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AML Foods Limited, the company that's bringing the Carl's Jr. fast food franchise to The Bahamas, hosted a one-day job fair at the Town Centre Mall yesterday. Hundreds lined up in hopes of landing employment with the fast food brand.
The brand's Marketing Manager Shirlen Godet told Guardian Business AML Foods is pleased with the response, with the lineup starting as early as 8 a.m. The company is seeking to hire just over 60 people, from entry level employees to managers to operate the store when it opens up.
"Understanding the state of the economy, we as a company are proud that we're going to be able to open up a new franchise that will bring jobs and help the company. From the looks of it, there are probably about 200 people. We need operational staff for our stores. We're looking for fun and exciting people to bring out the Carl's Jr. brand, so we invited Bahamians to bring their resumes and other necessary documents," he said yesterday.
"Most of the jobs that are available are at the entry level, customer service and a few managerial posts."
AML Foods consists of the Cost Right, Domino's Pizza, Solomon's Fresh Market and Carl's Jr. brands. Godet revealed that the company is also using the job fair as an opportunity to see if any applicants would be able to fill positions in other companies. The Carl's Jr. store will be located downstairs in the Town Centre Mall, a few doors down from Cost Right. Godet said the location is a perfect fit for the brand, with AML's executive offices located upstairs as well.
Tiffany McKenzie, Kevin Jones and Shaneth Deveaux, are all currently unemployed and came to Tuesday's job fair looking for employment at Carl's Jr.
"I came early to get an early start," said McKenzie. "I have experience in the fast food business, having worked at Subway. I believe it will work in my favor. It's been very challenging for me to find a job, but I am confident. Apart from my experience, I also have computer skills that the company could benefit from."
Jones said, "Carl's Jr. seems to be a solid place to work, so I came to fill out an application to try and get a job because I currently don't have a job.
"It's been challenging to find a job. Hopefully, this works out for me."
Deveaux said, "It's been hard for me to find a job and I have already filled out tons of applications."
Godet announced the company's plans to have at least five locations throughout the country over a five-year period.
In December 2013, AML Foods Limited Chairman Dionisio D'Aguilar revealed to Guardian Business that the company was pushing ahead with plans to launch the Carl's Jr. fast food chain in The Bahamas, believing that such a move is strategic given "changes in the food industry".
Kenny Mackey has put The Bahamas at the forefront in men's physique.
Mackey recently participated in men's fitness at the 2014 Arnold Sports Festival. Amateur fitness athletes traveled from all over the globe to compete in the event in hopes to receive a pro card to compete at the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness (IFBB) elite level.
Mackey finished fourth, a position that is quite commendable, seeing that he has only been competing seriously in the sport for about a year. He said that he had mixed emotions about the fourth place finish.
"I felt both joy and a little pain with the finish. Last year I finished 12th in the same competition so this year my goal was to make the finals" said Mackey. "After I made the finals, my eyes were set on a bigger prize, winning the whole competition, so there were a bit of mixed emotions but it's still gratifying to see the hard work being recognized, so it was bittersweet."
The contestants were grouped by height and were judged on overall muscularity, symmetry, conditioning and stage presence.
To get ready for the competition Mackey said that he worked out at a number of different facilities in New Providence and had a vigorous workout regimen leading up to the competition.
"To get ready for the competition I would get in two, sometimes three workouts a day. Some days at Club One, sometimes at MACFit 360. I would get in a workout in the morning and do a session, then go back in the evening and do another," said Mackey.
"After a good workout sometimes I also would do cross fit by the airport industrial park for some functional training, because I feel that helps to keep the muscles more elongated."
Mackey also said that he owes a lot of his success to his mentor, Bahamian professional bodybuilder Joel Stubbs.
"He has been my mentor for a long time. He does my weekly assessments and tells me what I need to work on. He also plans my diet as well so I owe a lot to Joel and his mentorship," he said.
Stubbs said that he was proud of the progress that Mackey has made so far, and excited to see what they can accomplish together.
"I've been working with Kenny for a while now. We have been working on his body trying to put together the best package possible," said Stubbs.
"I was very proud that he not only cracked the top 10 but managed to get in the top five, so I was very proud of that. We still have work to do and we will work to win the CAC Championships in
September were hopefully he can win his pro card."
Mackey said that going into these events he looks to work on his overall physique and is looking to improve on his package, and not getting complacent.
"The goal is to keep building on your package because you don't want someone to be able to say you looked better last competition or that you look the same as the last time out," he said.
Mackey said that he's always working hard because he knows that he represents his country every time he steps on the stage.
"I'm blessed for the opportunity to represent our country at any level. I'm appreciative to have the chance to do something I love to do."
Mackey also gave credit to Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation (BBFF) President Danny Sumner.
"He's been instrumental in keeping in contact with all the athletes," Mackey said.
"Going into the Arnold, he made sure all paper work was done and that we were on top of the game with the IFBB. He made sure everything was together and he deserves credit for his capacity as president of the BBFF."
Mackey is looking forward to the rest of this year. It will be an active one with two major competitions. The BBFF National Championships is in early July and the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships will be held September 12-14, in St. Martin. Both Mackey and Stubbs expect a good showing at the those events.
ELEUTHERA, Bahamas -- The One Eleuthera Foundation, in collaboration with cosponsors The Cancer Society of Eleuthera,e commenced "Step Up to Health: 6 Weeks to Wellness/Fitness Boot Camp" September 10th and 11th with two sessions, one held in South Eleuthera at Preston H. Albury High School's Track in Rock Sound and another in Central Eleuthera at the Cancer Society's Wellness Center in Palmetto Point. The boot camp was led by Nurse Bianca Edwards, Mrs Tamara Moncur and Mr Brian Babbs.
Six Weeks to Wellness received an overwhelming response of more than 100 participants from various communities who were all enthused about taking on such a challenge. These persons were then divided into teams who worked together for the duration of the boot camp.
The program, part of One Eleuthera's Health Initiative goal of "reversing the trends" by promoting healthy lifestyle changes, focused on children and adults that may suffer from ailments such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, gout, arthritis, insomnia, thyroid disease, lupus, fibroids and/or polycystic ovarian syndrome and a host of other health issues. Aerobics, nutritional counselling, body weight exercises, crunches, endurance exercises, skipping, weight lifting, abdominal exercises and other activities were incorporated. The intent was to enable participants to adopt healthy self-management behaviours, reverse disease trends and create a healthier community through diet, exercise and healthy lifestyle changes.
If artists and politicians had a relationship status on Facebook, it would certainly read as "It's Complicated".
Art in its many forms has undeniable power, able to bring groups of people across social strata and cultures and even social beliefs together in an instant - just think of the myriad of pop culture musical references and local performances used in our political rallies. Did people really think Tina Turner would appear at an FNM rally? Did it matter once the turnout stretched beyond the eye? And how many undercover PLPs, DNAs or undecided voters attended - or attentively kept an eye on their TV screens at home - waiting to catch a glimpse of the beloved internationally-acclaimed musician? That's some powerful art.
Yet local artists will openly admit feeling like the jilted sweetheart of their political paramours, finding a lack of funding for their endeavors and no certain systems for their craft that can only be put in place by politicians through law. The truth is being an artist in The Bahamas means paying 45 percent duty on your supplies, battling a one-dimensional view of Bahamian culture that is synonymous with Junkanoo, a lack of government-issued incentives to develop their craft (funding, scholarships, awards, residencies, gallery/performance spaces, public art initiatives) and the push for sun-sand-and-sea tourism over untapped cultural tourism.
On the other side, politicians balance the cries from the art community for such change with the ever-pervasive belief that art is a luxury. Such efforts often give only just enough to artists for boasting rights during election time, yet leave artists unsatisfied and often resentful. The unfortunate inability to commit wholly to the arts in all of its forms just continues to perpetuate the art-as-luxury idea instead of helping the public to realize the necessity of art to expand the definition of Bahamian/Caribbean culture and identity.
After all, here in The Bahamas, the major political parties are reduced to a single color to drive their campaigns - "Red Splash" and "Gold Rush". And if that's not art as the most basic, one-dimensional way to powerfully define Bahamian identity, then I don't know what is.
Yet the resistance too from the political side comes from a long history of spats between artists and politicians - after all, art, as said before, is powerful, and when not in favor of the status quo can be quite problematic for authority figures defining issues for society in black-and-white terms or altogether pulling the wool over the public's eyes. Through socially critical work, artists keep authority figures and societies honest, and complicate objective stances with subjective realities.
Take the work by artist Dionne Benjamin-Smith. In her earliest printmaking pieces, she explored the politics of the feminine in raw, honest linoleum-cuts that confronted viewers with its uncensored imagery and themes.
Now working in digital media and drawing more heavily from her graphic design background, she continues to make work that keeps authority on its toes. For that she's been called an artist that expresses social commentary or a political artist, and has garnered equal shares of criticism and praise for her fearlessness and ability to present troublesome political decisions or social trends in clever representations, such as the "Black Crab Pledge of Allegiance" and "Bishops Bishops Everywhere But Not a Drop to Drink".
"What drives me is speaking the truth - showing the naked emperor - so people can make their own decisions on how they view a situation," said Benjamin-Smith. "I am constantly thinking about issues I see before me. I pray about them and I am often moved to express them in some way through the work. Hopefully, people will see the truth of a situation and that the authority figures will see that the people aren't stupid. Hopefully, it helps bring truth to a world that is very messed up."
Her latest collection of work, "Birthright for Sale" which was on display at Popopstudios Center for the Visual Arts during the Transforming Spaces 2011 tour, aimed to bring new perspective to recent political decisions regarding the sale of Bahamian land and Bahamian companies. Ripped-from-the-headlines issues such as the BTC sale to Cable & Wireless and the Mayaguana land sell-off are repackaged as everyday cheap Bahamian products like Mahatma Rice, Wesson Oil and Carnation Cream, shown as individual products then represented in ubiquitous food store ad placements, all shared on a loop of digital image slides to non-descript elevator music.
"All these huge swaths of land being given away for such little in return; it grieves me," said Benjamin-Smith. "I'm witnessing these things and I wondered how to express this indignation, how to show people what's being done because so many people don't see. How do I express that our land is being sold away from under our feet?"
"The idea of them selling The Bahamas as a product came to me, selling these places that were and are special to me and is the birthright of me and my Bahamian brothers and sisters," she continued. "I included the details of the transactions on each product so people could see the truth of the matter - that their birthright was being sold like a product off the shelf - for a pittance."
Like in her earlier pieces, Benjamin-Smith brings the absurdities of reality to extremes in order to shake a response from her viewers. Indeed the pieces, critical of both politicians' decisions to sell off Bahamian land like a cheap product and of the public for not holding them accountable, are a case of "laughing so as not to cry" - the product design itself is enough to weigh on any viewer's conscience.
Indeed her work is a powerful voice in contemporary Bahamian art, being one of those artists who feel the responsibility to keep authority figures and their decisions in check for the greater good - and in a smart, respectful way, too. She even makes her pieces first and foremost for the people she's questioning, allowing society at large to bear witness to such confrontation and find their own voice in the crossfire.
"I'm respectful of the position of authority, and God says to be so, however when they're doing wrong or they're not honoring or doing the things they need to be doing, then they need to be shown," she said.
"I want them to see how their actions affect society. I'm always wanting the politicians to see - and to understand that they're not doing these things in darkness, they're not doing this without people seeing and knowing, and hopefully they will be convicted that some of their actions are hurtful and detrimental and affect people."
With work like that by Benjamin-Smith, the fear shared by many politicians is always that the art itself will not supplement them and their decisions but rather come to define them or usurp them and become the center of controversy - and a force for social or political change - themselves.
Indeed when it comes to politics, often a single image can define an entire political movement or change - from J. M. Flagg's 1917 Uncle Sam "I Want You" poster to Shepard Fairey's 2008 Obama "Hope" poster, artists have been taking their social and political beliefs to the public eye. But whether to slant public opinion or shed truth on a matter, such work has great power that stays in the public's consciousness throughout time - whether they consider such work fine art, tribute, or extreme propaganda.
Take a mural recently designed by Kishan Munroe, commissioned by the Democratic National Alliance candidate, Wayne Munroe. The impressive piece shows Wayne Munroe close to the front of a pack of people from a wide cross-section of Bahamian society walking in the glow of a lighthouse toward a better future, leaving catastrophe - in the symbol of a shipwreck and natural disasters - behind.
It's easy to label the work as a piece of political propaganda, yet Munroe insists it's an idea he's been manifesting for some time during his travels abroad. As quite the global political and social activist, Munroe has traveled worldwide to find the source of the human experience which he reflects in his artwork. He's attended protests for Occupy Wall Street and stood in solidarity with global groups calling for justice. Knowing this progressive background may be the difference between taking a cursory look at his mural and searching for the deeper meaning he always aims to incorporate into his work.
"The sketch wasn't specifically for them, it was an idea I've always had, a theme I've always wanted to work with," said Munroe. "Wayne Munroe has always supported my endeavors, and he wasn't trying to take advantage of me for political reasons."
"In the beginning he was only asking for something to beautify the place, and me being the artist that I am, I decided to take it to a totally different level, especially after my mural (on 'Da Balcony') burned down on Bay Street," he continued. "I felt compelled to make a statement, another national statement about contemporary issues we have, and something that is more uplifting, relevant, and doesn't sugar coat issues."
So is it propaganda? Then again, it depends whose interests are being served, and how damaging that is to the wider public. Many may find the road signs sharing "abstinence-only" tips or blatantly declaring "homosexuals aren't allowed into my kingdom" as problematic pieces of propaganda Bahamians see every day that perpetuate ignorance and hatred, however well-intentioned they may be by those who placed them in the public's eye.
From the artist's perspective, Munroe believes his piece doesn't exist to gain DNA votes from the public - it's a call to action to the Bahamian public in general, including politicians. After all, it's only DNA-centered because the party commissioned it - he insists he would have made a similar mural had the FNM or PLP approached him instead.
"The message would still be the same, it would have the same feeling. The piece isn't of Wayne Munroe; Wayne Munroe is of the piece," he said. "I don' feel it has that strong of a political implication because at the end of the day this is about the progression of a people to move forward."
"That's why he's closer to the front - not right at the front - because he is of the people. But most of the dynamic figures are those before and behind him, because the composition overall comes from the motion of the people as one."
Indeed, by no means is the poster one-dimensional: from the "in-between" orange hue mixing red and yellow, to the figures - worker, educator, planner - who all have a role to play to salvage society, to Wayne Munroe's garb of half-lawyer, half-everyday man, the mural is an impressive call to arms to not only the public, but to politicians as well, to move through these turbulent times with a master plan to uplift the nation.
Indeed, to Munroe, everything we see and do is a political act whether we are consciously aware of it or not, and has consequences. For him, such work is a rarity in Bahamian culture, and he calls for artists to continue to make work that challenges its viewers with its social commentary.
"Any art is propaganda, because at the end of the day you're trying to get people to respond to your thoughts, to what you believe and what you want the piece to say," pointed out Munroe.
"It's important for me to be able to not only share my international experiences but also to actually use a visual language to create an alphabet for Bahamians to understand. This is a visual language of globally turbulent times but it's also a Bahamian dialect of a visual language they can understand."
In the end, who can say when art crosses into the sphere of propaganda? If an artist's work isn't openly critical and rather praises a politician or a movement, then many may say such a tribute - like Munroe's - is propaganda by nature. Is this fair? Must artists only be critical, or can they be in support of an idea without being blamed for selling themselves out?
A clever way to address political beliefs no matter what the alignment is through humor - and with the road to the 2012 election unfolding the way it has been with a exhausting amount of mudslinging and bipartisanship from three main political parties, there is no shortage of material for satire, as seen in the various comics or cartoons in the daily newspaper.
Especially in this digital age of social media where nothing escapes the public eye, the true ugliness of political races happen in real time - more so now than in any other time in history. For artist Damaso Gray, whose piece "The Amazing Spectacular Circus 2012" has been making the rounds this political season, the use of satire can keep things in perspective. In this outrageous piece, Hubert Ingraham and Perry Christie battle it out on sea creatures while Branville McCartney observes from a distance, giving new meaning to "the silly season".
"I wanted to bring humor to the occasion to enlighten the people of the grandeur of events in Bahamian history," said Gray. "I feel that it was about time that we see politics from an unbiased and insightful point of view."
"I think that the audience should see it as just that amusement rather than take it so seriously. I would hope the public sees the election campaign as it really is: a spectacle to amuse and gain the interest of the people at any cost, using multiple props and comedic mudslinging."
Yet Gray also operates from a space of honoring history, recognizing his role as an artist often intersects with that of a historian, and makes his work accordingly. In the diptych, "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide", two elderly figures sit in front of two political signs - one for the PLP and one for the FNM. Gray points out that he wanted to show that these people are very set in their ways, but that the younger generation could "capitalize on their mistakes" to move the country forward.
In the end, he insists it's important, once the viewer understand the humor in his work, to move past it and come to the realization that Bahamians have to be for Bahamians - not for a certain party.
"My work I would hope gives an unbiased report of the event and gains a humorous but rationale response where it is plausible to see the event retrospectively," he said. "I would hope the public would embrace and appreciate the art as it is one of the greatest political battles in Bahamian history."
"I would hope politicians value our opinions on the how we feel about the process. It is significant that they engage artist to document Bahamian history and I hope that they see it fit to create historical spaces for the arts."
Indeed, at the root of every politically- or socially-minded piece - despite criticism, despite support, despite humor - is that very hope to be taken seriously as a member of the voting public who wishes to see a better Bahamas - a member of the voting public who sees the potential in Bahamian society and culture as still tragically untapped by their political caretakers.
For the artist, politics continues to offer a torrid affair, a constant balancing act what is and what could be, that irresistible urge to ask "what if?" even when presented with hopelessness. And if their work can help even one other member of the voting public not to decide who to vote for but to think beyond red, yellow and green, then perhaps they too can demand politicians of any party build that bridge between reality and dream together.
NASSAU, The Bahamas - An assessment of the fire and the damage it caused to the National Emergency Management Agency building continues, Director Captain Stephen Russell said.
On Tuesday, November 26, personnel from relevant agencies were at the site on Gladstone Road carrying out assessments of the damage to the main workstations in the centre of the newly constructed facility.
Structural engineer Kirk Bullard from the Ministry of Public Works and Urban Development carried out an inspection to determine whether the roof has been compromised, and any other structures affected by the fire, which erupted on Friday, November 22, 2013.
The ministry would also determine the scope of works for repairs to be carried out and when the building would be fit to resume occupancy for the 17 staff members.
A report is being compiled by the Royal Bahamas Police Force Fire Services that would detail what caused the blaze at NEMA, which was constructed at an estimated $1.7million.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) --
Jeff Ansorge once commanded a staff of 17 and made around $80,000 a year as executive chef at a posh downtown Minneapolis restaurant where a 24-ounce dry aged Porterhouse steak goes for $48. But he gave it all up to become the head cook of a Salvation Army soup kitchen, where the meals are free. Now he brings his culinary skills to bear making salmon, ribs and stews for the poor and homeless who come to The Salvation Army Eastside Corps Community Center in St. Paul. For the Thanksgiving meal that's being served Wednesday, Ansorge planned a traditional feast of turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce and rolls, served on tables covered with white tablecloths.
"It is not your old-fashioned soup kitchen where you get a bowl of soup and a piece of bread and (are) sent on your way. He makes phenomenal meals that you would pay quite a bit of money to go to a restaurant and have," Salvation Army Capt. John Joyner said of Ansorge, who left The Capital Grille to run the soup kitchen.
The clients agree. "This is outstanding. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give him an 8-and-a-half, yep," Donnie Richardson, 55, a homeless man from St. Paul, said over a meal of chicken thighs, rice and mixed vegetables in the center's white-walled gymnasium. Ansorge, 40, says a spiritual awakening led him to his new job at the soup kitchen in October 2012, making just onethird of his previous salary. "I went through a divorce. I was suffering from major depression for four years. And my priorities were all wrong,"Ansorge recalled while standing near the center's pantry shelves. "I wanted the highpaying job. I wanted the big house. I wanted the cars. I wanted all that. And ultimately, none of that satisfied me."Ansorge started cooking when he was 16 at a mom-andpop restaurant. He went to school in Rhode Island, earning degrees in culinary arts and food service management before joining The Capital Grille, where he spent 12 years.Now Ansorge is lucky to get as many as three volunteers to help him in the soup kitchen. On a recent Thursday, Ansorge -- a trim man with short gray hair -- set up the tables, seasoned, seared and baked the chicken thighs, dished up meals and wiped down the tables afterward. Instead of a traditional white chef's hat and uniform, he wears a dark blue T-shirt with the words "SHIELD CREW" in white with the red Salvation Army insignia, and blue jeans.
Raised Catholic, Ansorge -- a former altar boy -- said he drifted away from his faith in his 20s and 30s. Despite his prominent position at the restaurant, Ansorge said he was spiraling downward.
"My priorities were backwards. I had a big mortgage, I had car payments, I had credit card debts," Ansorge said. "And now I have none of that."He sent about 10 applications to mainly Christian nonprofits, hoping to make a change. He chose The Salvation Army because "it's a nonprofit that works with people that need help."
Joyner said The Salvation Army initially felt Ansorge was overqualified. But none of the other candidates seemed a good fit.
"His credentials are unbelievable. He could easily be making two, three times what he makes working for us. But he told us that he wanted to give back and he really wanted to do this," Joyner said.
Susan Dunlop, chef and coowner of Joan's In The Park restaurant in St. Paul, worked with Ansorge for nearly three years at The Capital Grille. She says she's not surprised by his decision.
"That's his true passion. He wanted to do something where he was giving back to the community," Dunlop said. "It's who he is. He needs to do that to be happy."
Ansorge didn't just bring cooking skills. Joyner said Ansorge's shopping skills save the organization money.
Ansorge said he looks for bargains on food nearing its expiration date that grocery stores don't want to sell but has been frozen and is salvageable. The Salvation Army also has a partnership with the Second Harvest Heartland food bank that allows it to get 40-pound cases of mixed poultry for $5, he said. Before Ansorge came to the soup kitchen, The Salvation Army spent $28,000 on its lunch program at the East Side center. In Ansorge's first year there, he spent $13,000 on the lunch program. The center serves from 80 to 140 people each day at its Monday through Friday noon meal.
Ansorge also tries to bring nutritional value to whatever meal he serves. For some, it may be their only meal of the day.
He's eliminated desserts and cut back on the fat and sugars in meals.
"I don't want to feed them anything that I wouldn't eat,"he said. "I try to feed them something that I would feed to my own family."
A combination of higher revenue collection and lower expenditure caused the government's overall deficit to contract by $66.2 million, or 45.9 percent, in the first quarter of the 2013/2014 fiscal year - a turnaround from a $49.4 million, or 50 percent growth in the deficit during the same period last year.
The Central Bank of The Bahamas has attributed the change to a combination of higher revenue collection and reduced expenditure.
The turnaround comes as many in the private sector are calling for the government to show evidence of its commitment to reducing government spending as a means of addressing the deficit and debt.
John Rolle, financial secretary, said the figures must be considered in context, with the timing of certain financial flows likely to have made the percentages appear more "drastic" than otherwise.
However, he said the picture presented fits with some of the "direct concerted efforts of the government to manage its expenses" and to improve revenue collections.
Gowon Bowe, co-chair of the Coalition for Responsible Taxation, said he would be happy if these types of reductions in the deficit were "sustained" over "at least two consecutive quarters".
"That's not to disparage the results; they are positive. But the question is whether this is a sustained change in the path.
"Another key point is that timing can be a great distorter of information. We need to look at the full year to really see what is going on.
"And if you get to the accrual basis of accounting, the question is what are the unrecorded liabilities and commitments, which may push those numbers into complete disarray if you were to add them on top."
According to The Central Bank of The Bahamas, revenue collection grew by $8.5 million, or 2.9 percent, to $305.3 million in the first quarter of the 2013/2014 fiscal year. Non-tax receipts drove the revenue growth, being up $9.4 million, primarily due to a $9.5 million rise in fines, forfeits and administrative fees - a 46.7 percent rise.
In contrast, tax collections contracted marginally by $0.9 million (0.3 percent) to $271.7 million, led by a $15.2 million (9.9 percent) decline in taxes on international trade, which offset the almost two-fold increase in other "non-allocated" taxes to $28.4 million.
On the expenditure side, overall spending in the quarter fell by $57.8 million, or 13.1 percent, to $383.3 million. Recurrent outlays decreased by $27.5 million, or 7.5 percent, to $342.1 million, reflecting in part a decrease in subsidies to a local public health authority.
This can be compared to the same period last year when recurrent outlays rose by $24.0 million (seven percent) to $369.6 million, led by an $11.8 million rise in personal emoluments, along with an $8.3 million (6.5 percent) gain in transfer payments.
Capital outlays dropped by $32.1 million (51.5 percent) to $30.2 million in comparison to the same quarter in the previous year, in line with a reduced level of infrastructural projects. This represented a significant turnaround from activity in 2012, when capital expenditure more than doubled to $62.3 million from $25.7 million, linked to increases in outlays for infrastructure projects.
Government's budgetary support to public entities grew by a net of $1.9 million (20.2 percent) to $11.1 million over the same period last year.
"In the context of challenging global conditions, expectations are that the domestic economy will continue to face significant headwinds over the near-term. No significant improvement is anticipated in employment conditions until the economic recovery broadens to other key sectors, while inflationary pressures are likely to remain subdued, despite the volatility in global oil prices," said the central bank.
"Improvements in the fiscal deficit and associated debt indicators remain heavily dependent on the extent of the domestic recovery, as well as the success of government's efforts to increase revenues through enhancements in administration and the implementation of new tax measures, while also restraining expenditure growth," it added.
Immediately upon the return of its Family Islands team from Long Island, the Bahamas Boxing Commission (BBC) officially presented its program to Director of Sports Tim Munnings.
Heading the team to Long Island recently was Commission Chairman Alvin Sargent. He was accompanied by Deputy Chairman and Secretary Fred Sturrup, Dr. Patrick Roberts, Fernley Palmer, Alvin Davis and James Tynes. While in Long Island, the commission appointed Omar Daley as its associate, who will direct the program in the area.
"We felt as a group that the time had come to begin operating and reaching out to the islands. That is what we plan to do going forward, and it is a pleasure to be able to find in the islands, proactive and dedicated young sports leaders like Omar," said Sargent.
The commission's plans are innovative. The commission has determined that the overlapping of sporting programs will foster greater growth overall in the country. So here is, a veteran bodybuilder, who has represented the country in competition and mentors young Long Islanders from his base in Stella Maris. He will now branch out into boxing training. The commission will provide Daley with equipment, and he will expand his fitness center in Stella Maris to accommodate boxing training. The collaboration of disciplines from a training perspective is just the first phase of the commission's program for the islands.
The next phase will be in-island competitions that will heighten the exposure for the overlapping sports. In the case of Daley in Stella Maris, it is likely that during the first part of 2014, the commission will assist him in coordinating a tournament at which young body builders and novice boxers will be showcased.
The proposed third phase will be an invitational competition for which various islands inclusive of New Providence will be invited to participate. The commission, as it carries out its program in the islands, will be aware of the official organizations that has jurisdiction for the different disciplines.
The commission will operate accordingly and move forward only after receiving the endorsement of the parent sporting bodies. The commission is functioning also with the agreement of understanding for boxing development between the Amateur Boxing Federation of The Bahamas (ABFB) and the Pan American Caribbean Boxing Organization's (PACBO) head office, which is located in this country. Munnings is impressed with the direction the commission is taking.
"This is very good. I like the idea. It is always good when we think about helping out in the Family Islands. This seems like the route to take to make sure that the country is best covered," said Munnings, while at the same time, encouraging the commission to continue its mission of sporting inclusion and education in the islands.
Daley and his fellow sports leaders in Long Island can take satisfaction in the fact that the commission intends to focus on Long Island until the program, under Daley, is firmly in place. According to Sargent, a commission team will be returning to Long Island "early in the new year".
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Bahamians have much to cheer about regarding the success of their international track and field campaign in 2013. At the Moscow World Championships, no medals were won for the first time since 1995 but much hope was shown.
Junior Shaunae Miller, this year's Austin Sealy Award winner for the outstanding athlete at the 2013 BTC CARIFTA Games, switched to the 200 meters (m) from the 400m and finished fourth in Moscow in 22.74 seconds. Miller was the only junior athlete on the team and capped quite a successful season.
Her 22.45 seconds, done at the BTC National 'Open' Championships in Grand Bahama this June behind Anthonique Strachan's 22.32 seconds, is a Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Junior record and is fourth on the CAC senior list for 2013 and 12th on the world's list. At the 2013 BTC CARIFTA Games, Miller set a new CARIFTA record for the 200m at 22.77 seconds, breaking Anthonique Strachan's 22.85 mark from Bermuda in 2012.
Miller dominated the world junior list in both the 200m and 400m. In the 200m, she had the top six times in the world. Her 50.70 seconds time done at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, is the fourth best in the CAC region and 16th worldwide. In Moscow, Miller was a member of the 4x400m relay team that won their semi-final but was later disqualified for lane violation.
The 2011 and 2012 Austin Sealy Award winner Anthonique Strachan concentrated on the 200m this season. As a senior and professional athlete, she improved her personal best to 22.32 seconds at the BTC National 'Open' Track & Field Championships in Grand Bahama. This performance was the second best in the CAC region behind Jamaica's Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce and sixth worldwide. Strachan missed qualifying for the final in Moscow by a hundredth of a second.
The 2008 World 200m Junior Champion and 100m bronze medalist ran 11.18 seconds this season, at the BTC National 'Open' Track & Field Championships for 11th place on the CAC list. She made it to the semi-final in the 100m in Moscow and participated in the 4x100m relay. In the relay she was charged for a lane violation.
The Bahamian national record holder in the long jump had the best performance in the region at 6.73m, done June 12, in Dakar. Stuart was unable to advance to the final in Moscow.
Adderley has run the third best time in the 800m in Bahamian history after Vernetta Rolle and Whelma Colebrooke. Adderley was the first Bahamian to participate in the 800m at the World Junior Championships. This season, she ran 2:06.38. This time was the 15th best in the region this year.
Charlton captured the under-20 girls 100m at the 2013 BTC CARIFTA Games, running a personal best of 11.60 seconds. She had won the event two years ago in Montego Bay. Charlton led the 4x100m team to victory at CARIFTA.
Anderson won a bronze medal in the 400m at the 2013 BTC CARIFTA Games. She won the Most Outstanding Female Athlete Award at the CAC Age Group Championships in Curacao, helping The Bahamas to win the championships. Anderson is coached by World and Olympic 400m Champion Tonique Williams.
Thomas had a challenging year but in the end, he jumped his best in several years, 2.32m to finish in sixth place in Moscow. This was ninth on the world's list.
Ingraham jumped a personal best of 2.30m at the Edmonton Invitational in July. This placed him in second place on the regional list and 21st on the world's list. At the World Championships in Moscow, Ingraham, who was still 19 at the time, finished in a three-way tie for 10th place with a performance of 2.25m.
Wilson jumped a best of 2.28m at the Chris Brown Bahamas Invitational. His performance was third in the region, helping The Bahamas to sweep the top three spots.
Barry, the 2011 World Championships bronze medalist, was injured this year and was only able to clear 2.25m. This placed him fifth in the region.
After making a comeback in 2012, the national record holder and Osaka silver medalist ran a best of 10.06 seconds for 14th place in the region. He was injured after the 2013 BTC National 'Open' Championships and did not compete in either the CAC Senior Championships in Morelia, Mexico, or the Moscow World Championships.
Hart had a best of 10.16 seconds which was 28th on the regional list. At the Moscow World Championships, he did not advance to the semi-final.
Men 4x100m relay
In Moscow, history was made when all four relay teams qualified for the World Championships. The men's 4x100m relay team had broken the national record twice at the CAC Senior Championships in Morelia. Trevorano Mackey had been suspended for a doping infraction and was replaced by Warren Fraser at the Moscow World Championships. The team of Adrian Griffith, Jamial Rolle, Fraser and Hart was able to run 38.70 seconds for a new Bahamian national record in Moscow.
Mathieu, who set a new Bahamian national record in the 200m last year, was able to run 20.35 seconds in San Paulo, Brazil. This placed him 11th on the regional list. Mathieu ran at the National 'Open' Championships but was not fit enough to participate in Moscow.
The anchor man from London had the best time of all 400m runners in The Bahamas this season at 44.93 seconds. He ran that time at the 2013 BTC National 'Open' Championships. In the first round of the Moscow World Championships, Miller suffered "tightness" in his legs and was unable to advance to the next round.
Brown did not have a banner year after having dedicated much of his time to organize his invitational meet. He made it to the semi-final of the 400m but did not advance to the final.
Gibson ran himself into the Bahamian track and field record book when he ran 49.39 seconds in the men's 400m hurdles at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, breaking Greg Rolle's record of 49.96 seconds which was set in May of 1983. In doing this, Gibson qualified for the Moscow World Championships. He is the first Bahamian to qualify for the event since 1983. Gibson advanced to the semi-final.
Stephen Newbold had a fantastic showing at the 2013 CARIFTA Games even if he did not win. Newbold, the 2011 World Youth Champion in the 200m, ran the 400m this time. In the heats of that event in the morning, Newbold ran a National Junior record of 45.94 seconds, and was only able to run 46.01 seconds for third place in the final that evening. To be able to come back that evening with such a performance was just unbelievable! At the National Junior Championships, Newbold set another National Junior record, this time in the 200m. He ran 20.76 seconds, breaking Michael Newbold's record which stood since 1987.
Smith finished sixth in last year's World Junior Championships' 200m. At the 2013 BTC CARIFTA Games, he upset the field, running from lane eight.
Eleuthera native Andre Colebrooke finished second in the 800m at the 2013 BTC CARIFTA Games. At the Pan American Junior Track & Field Championships in Bogota, Colombia, Colebrooke captured the bronze medal in that event, the first Bahamian ever to do that.
Finally, one of the greatest performances at the 2013 BTC CARIFTA Games was the under-17 boys 4x400m relay. It seemed unlikely that the team of Henry Deluze, Tyler Bowe, Kinard Rolle, and Mikhail Bethel would win. On the final lap, Bethel shocked the fans and finished in 3:16.38.
There are numerous things to be happy about in Bahamian track and field this year. These are only a few!
A developer in Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera has estimated he might have lost $10,000 to $20,000 in profits after reservations for three new cottages had to be canceled when the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) did not come to install electrical power in time for occupancy.
However, despite this and other delays, the developer behind the French Leave resort and marina on Eleuthera said he is pleased with the progress of construction to date.
Eddie Lauth, CEO of developer Shaner Bahamas Ltd., told Guardian Business: "I would say that we lost between $10,000 to 20,000 since the cottages weren't opened in time for the holidays like the original plan. It's disappointing because it's a lost opportunity, but we don't want to dwell on that. Hopefully, we can get the power in and then continue to move forward.
"We have had so many delays between us hitting flint rock and having no power. The three cottages were leased out for the holidays but obviously we couldn't do that because none of them had power. But things over at French Leave are going well."
To date, Shaner Bahamas has invested $7 million of an anticipated $17 million spend in French Leave.
Construction on the resort's 1648 Bar and Grill, fitness center, wedding pavilion and events lawn are all currently underway. Once that is completed, Lauth said work would begin on the rest of the cottages.
"Right now, we have a good chance of having the commercial area and the first three hotel cottages opened no later than March. And then bar and grill, along with the pool, should be done by June 30," according to Lauth.
"We're pleased with the progress of construction so far. I believe those who have seen the cottages so far, it has exceeded their expectations.
"We think that on Eleuthera, especially in Governor's Harbour, our vision has always been the old Bahamas, the other Bahamas. I think what we're building fits perfectly into that mold. I think when people see the cottages and the stone work, they get it."
Formerly the site of Club Med, the property was purchased in 2004, with further land acquired from Frank Lloyd Trust.
Shaner Bahamas, a company founded by Lance T. Shaner, entered into a partnership with Governor's Harbour Resort & Marina to build and finance the property. Shaner Bahamas is an off-shoot of the Shaner Hotel Group, a corporation with more than 24 owned or managed properties and thousands of employees.
The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) is set to begin the 2014 season with the first meet slated for the first weekend of the new year.
The BAAA Odd Distance Meet, which is scheduled for Saturday, January 4, 2014 at the old Thomas A. Robinson Stadium, is expected to start promptly at 3 p.m. Once again, the meet is expected to be highly competitive as many of the country's senior athletes are home for the Christmas holiday season, and are expected to compete to assess their fitness levels for the 2014 season.
For senior athletes, testing fitness is urgent as many of them are looking to qualify for the International Association of Athletic Federation's (IAAF) World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, from March 7-9, 2014. Shortly after the meet this coming weekend, senior athletes will turn their attention toward qualifying for the inaugural IAAF World Relay Championships which will be hosted locally, on home soil, May 24-25, 2014. These early events will require many athletes to adjust their usual training pace to be prepared earlier than usual.
For junior athletes, the year is filled with several marquee competitions which will get underway with qualifying for the CARIFTA Track and Field Championships, which will be held in Fort-de-France, Martinique. Other competitions to highlight the junior season will be the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon, and the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.
To date, 500-plus athletes have already registered for the Odd Distance meet. Spectators can expect to see some of the key junior athletes competing this weekend, such as Doneisha Anderson, Blayre Catalyn, Janae Ambrose, Xavier Coakley and Ian Kerr. For the senior athletes, home trained world championships competitor Ryan Ingraham and Olympians Ramon Miller and Wesley Neymour are registered to compete.
The competition will allow athletes to run, jump or throw at distances either under or over standard distances for athletic competition. The track events that will be contested are the 60 meters (m), 80m, 150m, 300m, 500m and 1,000m. The field events being contested include the high jump, long jump, triple jump, shot put, discus and javelin.
It is at this first competition of the season when athletes will compete within the new age groups introduced. The new age standards were already implemented at meets such as the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Championships, however, the new age requirements will now be in effect in meets such as CARIFTA. Prior to this upcoming season, CARIFTA competitors competed in the under-17 and under-20 divisions. With the adoption of the new standards, CARIFTA will now have under-18 and under-20 divisions. All lower categories have been adjusted to accommodate these changes. The age categories for the upcoming season are under-8, under-10, under-12, under-14, under-16, under-18 and under-20.
Officials of the association are excited about the launch of season 2014. A spokesperson from the BAAA said: "The executive team is excited about the 2014 season. We are determined that this year will be a successful season for athletics. This year our theme is 'One Team, One Vision, One Goal'. The athletes and developing our sport is first and foremost. This has always been our ultimate goal."
Spectators can purchase student tickets for five dollars and adult tickets for 10 dollars at the gate.
At the beginning of every hurricane season, most of us give some thought into investing in a stand-by generator. Because you will be shelling out a fair bit of cash for the purchase, you may want to sit down and do a bit of homework before making that call to a supplier.
There are different considerations depending on if you are purchasing for residential or commercial use, and further still if you already occupy your property or are merely in the planning stages. Regardless of where you fit though, your first step is always to think about conservation. And secondly, you should assess what your real needs are during a power outage.
From the point of view of conservation, you simply want to ensure that you have the most efficient lighting and appliances that you can comfortably afford. This is good practice in general, as it will save on your monthly bills and reduce the amount of standby power that you require.
If you are assessing an existing property, you can have your electrician or electrical engineer help you decide what size generator you require. If money is no object, you may just want to buy a system that can power up your entire house or office building.
However, it might be worthwhile to consider what your real needs are in an outage. For example, air-conditioning can easily account for 35 percent of your electrical load so crossing this off your list of essentials might be a good idea. For the homeowner, your list of essentials might be the kitchen, water pump, bedrooms and bathrooms minus the air-conditioning and hot water of course!
For some businesses, air-conditioning is essential as the sheer size of the space means that most building occupants are away from operable windows. In such a case, there may be other ways to minimize the size of the generator required.
If you do prefer a standby system for only essential loads, I would recommend having an engineer redesign your existing electrical system so that you have a separate generator panel that is loaded with the essentials and you utilize an automatic transfer switch so that these are the only areas that receive power during an outage. If you are still developing building plans, consider this option as a way to save on the upfront and operational costs of the generator.
A very green solution would be to utilize photovoltaics and generate your power using the sun or wind using a windmill. To make these investments in renewables worthwhile, it is ever more important to first invest in energy efficient lighting and appliances, ensure that your building envelope is tight and that your roof is properly ventilated and insulated.
Whichever way you decide to go, ensure that you establish your needs, do your homework and seek professional advice to both select and install a suitable standby power system.
o Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sonia Brown is principal of Graphite Engineering Ltd. and is a registered professional engineer.
Please help me with this. Where do Bahamians get $400 million to gamble with in the web shops? Is this money coming from tourism? Or foreign investors? Or is this money already in the country?
If it is already here then government has already got its cut.
Another thing is I don't understand if the web shops are operating with machines why do they need to hire thousands of people when most people can gamble from their homes, their cars, their churches and work? If Bahamian people are spending that much on gambling when this becomes legal more people will gamble than are doing so now because they respect the law. Don't get me wrong on this, I think that if Bahamians want to gamble that badly then government should find a legal way for them to do so. But I don't think putting a web shop on every corner is the way to go.
The only government in the world that would legalize gambling to its poor people who depend 80 percent on outside investments would be a black government. No other race of people would think this way. Even my sometimes favorite country, the great U.S.A., until recently hid gambling in a dessert away from her citizens who may be tempted to waste their hard-earned money foolishly. Leave it to a soul brother and he will put a shop on every corner and keep his own people poor so they can come to him and beg him for something to eat, to turn on their electricity and give them "one government job". Now you tell me who loves you.
Brooks said "fools rush in, where wise men never, never go". Please call the doctor, these people are sick. My opinion, yes make gambling legal. I think Bahamians have a right to this entertainment as others are enjoying it in this country. Make it so he can own a casino, but he would have to qualify just like everyone else; whatever those qualifications are. He should have all the perks and all the advantages as the foreign investors enjoy. Being Bahamian doesn't get you anything more than any other Bahamian.
Remember now that only one group of people has concessions for gambling in this part of the world. If Bahamians have special privileges that go with their licenses the foreign investors will not be happy. Legal or illegal gambling will attract foreign undesirables if not controlled by them.
So, 'Mr. Government', be careful where you put your foot. These boys know you long time. They think you are just a bunch of hicks who will do anything for money. Don't forget how Motown Records got out of black folks' hands or who made the big bucks off "Funky Nassau", "Who let the dogs out", BTC and soon to be BEC.
Please Bahamians, make your government stop the madness before we become like Jamaica or Haiti. They didn't think it could happen either. They also refused to pay the piper and went hog wild with other people's money thinking nobody can make them pay "'cause this is we country". They also got in with questionable people and replaced their worldwide accepted white Jamaican prime minister with a radical black racist government, whose first big mistake in their present downfall was to turn down a breakfast invitation from the former U.S. president. Everything was downhill from there.
Our downhill started when we threw an important world-class banker in a bus filled with sweaty workers and then in a detention center not fit for human occupation; and most Bahamian didn't see anything wrong with that. We are going to be the ones to suffer, as these people have enough money to live on the golf course on Paradise Island for the rest of their lives while we are sloshing around with outside toilets over the hill when it rains.
- Bob Nevil
Finding a way to relax and control her weight was what originally led 49-year-old Porcia Fernander to try acupuncture. The first time she tried the treatment over the course of several weeks she lost 10 pounds and knocked a few inches off her waist. That was one of the most energizing periods of her life. She was thankful to the physician that advised her to try the Eastern alternative form of medicine. She had finally found the relief she sought and now has regular acupuncture therapy to cope with her occasional pain and aches related to her job.
"As a bus driver I don't get a lot of time to move around or exercise particularly since I have early mornings and late evenings. I also struggle to eat a proper diet as I don't really have any real breaks when driving a bus particularly since I run my own business, so it is easy to pack on the pounds with continuous poor eating as well as get cramped and achy due to sitting in the same position all day or having bad posture. I really needed to find a way to get my metabolism going and start a health plan that was more natural. So I was glad when I found acupuncture because it truly solves my problem."
Acupuncture therapy, a procedure that in previous years was met with lots of trepidation by Bahamians due to their fear of needles or their general misinformation about the procedure, is taking off in The Bahamas according to Dr. Nisha Armbrister, a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of traditional Chinese medicine at Alternative Care Center located on Dean's Lane. But she said that there are adventurous people or who are educated enough about what actually happens who are willing to try it and who have found that this Eastern alternative form of medicine really helps.
According to the doctor acupuncture is when disposable thread-like needles are inserted into the pressure points of the body (of which there are over 300 points) that are all connected to the nervous system. In stimulating the pressure points by inserting needles, a message is sent to the brain to produce more of certain hormones and natural chemicals. In a way this naturally accelerates metabolic processes in the body and in essence encourages more expedient self-healing from ailments or pains."
The procedure she said has been used for over 4,000 years worldwide, particularly in Africa, Asia and South America compared to modern western medicine which has only been around for 250 years she said. And contrary to belief, Chinese medicine is not just confined to acupuncture but also includes three other modules Chinese medicine practitioners like Armbrister use -- herbal medicine, nutrition and Tui Na or body massage which is used to increase circulation and vital energy (qi).
"A lot of people believe a myth that acupuncture is only for weight loss, but there is so much more to it than that," said the acupuncturist. "Originally acupuncture was intended to relieve pain, but in treating patients for pain by creating balance in the body, the patient's metabolism often increased and as a result weight decreased."
Another myth that Bahamians have she said is that acupuncture hurts. The wellness professional says while it may prick at times, it does not hurt in the same way that a traditional hollow needle used for immunization or taking blood may feel. The needles used are thin, solid and disposable. They are small enough to fit in a skin pore and are usually only inserted a half inch into the skin.
Undergoing acupuncture is a simple process that Dr. Armbrister said does have merit. Despite modern people having a deeper affinity for Western medicine she has found many people who are interested in the Eastern medicine and are willing to try it before trying surgical or synthetic means of pain relief. There are even people who choose acupuncture and other natural means of relief primarily over medications and developing dependencies on synthetic products.
"Unlike Western medicine where you expect immediate relief with the pop of a pill, acupuncture is not like that. If you have an acute pain or disorder you can get a session or two to get you back on track, but with long term illnesses and aches and pains you will need more sessions. After all, the illness didn't develop overnight so how can you expect it to be healed overnight. This is very natural and allows people to use their bodies' own natural healing defenses which is the way to go about things in most cases."
Dr. Michael Ingraham, a general practitioner who operates from the Natural Health Center said acupuncture does have a lot of merit due to modern science finally being able to monitor how it works. He said the medical procedure was first mentioned in the "Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine," an ancient text that is generally used as the foundation of Eastern medicine and that unlike many modern forms of medical treatment, acupuncture is all-natural.
"Acupuncture is a very useful procedure for most people with any kind of pain, chronic illness or bodily imbalance. This procedure is not hype like many people may feel and it's good for more things besides the popularized weight loss theory. I have successfully treated many patients with problems ranging from migraines, sports injuries, sciatica (ruptured disk), lumbago (lower back pain) and even chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension. All of these illnesses may seem to have little in common and you may wonder how something like acupuncture can treat them all, but the truth is acupuncture is a means to stimulate the body to heal itself no matter what the problem is."
The doctor with 32 years of medical experience said that acupuncture in many ways is superior to modern medicine due to it being universally helpful for many illnesses. He said it should also be a preferable treatment method for people hoping to go a more natural route as opposed to using chemicals and surgery to cure or manage an ailment. He said such extremes like medicines should be a last resort as they actually alter the body's chemistry and in some cases end up doing more harm than good. He said using invasive methods like surgery to heal the body of non-critical chronic illnesses should not be done before trying alternative and more gentle means of healing like acupuncture and massage therapies.
Dr. Ingraham said acupuncture heals because it focuses on over 360 important points as well as the 12 essential meridian system or energy channels in the body and stimulates them. The points and channels closely align with other systems in the body like the lymphatic system and circulatory system. Because they even lie near important organs through massaging or treating acupuncture points they in turn assist in the circulation and healing to the area connected to the point.
Despite its usefulness many people may still be turned off by acupuncture due to its use of needles and a universal fear of pain but the physician said the procedure has evolved over time and people can be less fearful.
"When people think of acupuncture they may think of all the needles and pain that is said to be associated with it, but acupuncture, although ancient has become a very modernized thing," said Dr. Ingraham. "The point of acupuncture is to pinpoint areas of the body that are in pain or affected by poor or hyper-energy circulation. And the traditional way of doing it used to be needles but now we have advanced and there are electro-magnetic therapies that can target the same painful areas and give results. Another method is laser treatment which is a form of acupuncture that uses a gentle light to treat that is very effective on young children; so really acupuncture is not what people think about anymore."
Although the physician would recommend this procedure to most patients he warns people to be wary of who they are attended by. He said there are many people who claim to be acupuncturists but who are not certified or properly trained. Before opting to visit an acupuncturist he advises people to do their research on the practitioner and the clinic to ensure they are qualified and certified for the job. He said to also enquire about their proper sanitation of needles if they are used in the procedure. The doctor said while acupuncture can do wonders over time, if it is not done by a qualified practitioner it can do more harm than good.
Former Prime Minister and Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Hubert A. Ingraham made several strategic moves in the months leading up to the May 7 general election in an effort to stave off the political onslaught of the Progressive Liberal Party's (PLP) Gold Rush in Grand Bahama. The FNM's six candidates in the 2007 general election were able to win five of the six seats that were up for grabs that year. Sensing that the tide in Grand Bahama was turning against the former governing party, the leadership of the FNM decided to make several significant changes to its slate of candidates on the island.
The former governing party's slate of candidates that would contest the May 7 electoral contest was called the "Take 5 Team". This group of candidates was touted as being the best fit to revive Grand Bahama's economy as Ingraham's leadership did before. During the campaign, this team reminded Grand Bahamians that the FNM government gave minimum wage to workers; provided free medication for chronic diseases; and some $25 million for the education of Bahamian students.
The FNM government also introduced the unemployment benefit program and the national job readiness and training initiative in order to cushion the blow of the stagnant recession. There were other things that the FNM government did, such as the construction of the $19 million government complex on Mall Drive and the multimillion dollar upgrade to Rand Memorial Hospital. But obviously the FNM's message was not resonating with the majority of voters in Grand Bahama. This is due to the fact that thousands of Grand Bahamians are jobless.
A few days before the May 7 election, campaign workers of the then opposition party were all over Freeport handing out anti-FNM flyers. The flyers read "We Deliver?" Of course, this title was referring to the campaign theme of the then governing party. These political propaganda flyers listed 27 businesses that had closed down under the Ingraham administration in Freeport. Some of these businesses include: Consolidated Electric, Miniature Golf Course, Redwood Inn, Casa Bahama, Ice Cream Palour, Pusser's Pub, Island Palm Resort, Stone Crab, Royal Palm Resort, Food World, Perfume Factory, Reef Village at Our Lucaya, Ferry House, The Columbian, Fenestration Glass Company and Kay Shell Furniture. Obviously, the closure of these businesses meant the job losses of hundreds of Grand Bahamians.
Such a negative campaign spelled disaster for the FNM and its Take 5 Team. As far as the FNM was concerned, something had to be done. Ingraham was counting on this team to win all five seats. Considering the fact that the FNM had won five seats in 2007, anything other than this would obviously be considered a let down.
Another issue that undoubtedly played a factor on the election outcome was the Hannes Babak debacle. His work permit was not renewed by the Ingraham administration in December of 2009. He was the chairman of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA). This controversial decision obviously caused a friction between the FNM government and the GBPA. In fact, there is a school of thought that says that Babak allowed several of his businesses to go belly up in order to get back at Ingraham. This action by the Austrian born investor had caused scores of Grand Bahamians to be placed on the jobless line. Obviously, the FNM suffered a voter backlash from these people and their family members. In addition to the Babak fiasco, the residents of this island have had to contend with outrageous electricity bills from the Grand Bahama Power Company. There have been reports of families living without power because of their inability to pay their light bills.
Late last year, the controversial decision was made to drop Kenneth Russell, former member of Parliament for High Rock and housing minister, and Verna Grant, former representative for the constituency of Eight Mile Rock. Ingraham would go on to fire Russell as his housing minister after he openly voiced his disapproval of being dropped from the ticket by the former prime minister.
Former Chamber of Commerce president and businessman Peter Turnquest received the nomination to run in Russell's place. Turnquest was able to win East Grand Bahama because it is one of the two remaining strongholds of the FNM on the island. As for Grant, her seat was eliminated by the boundaries commission. Ingraham chose journalist Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe to run in that area instead of the former Eight Mile Rock representative. Some political analysts saw this as a move by Ingraham to kill two birds with one stone.
The former prime minister wanted to retire Obie Wilchcombe in West Grand Bahama and Bimini by running a popular and attractive journalist against him. Like Wilchcombe, Parker also hails from west Grand Bahama. Ingraham also wanted to place the community of West End in the win column of his party by joining it to the community of Eight Mile Rock. West End has been represented by an FNM MP for only one term, between 1997 and 2002. Judging from the beating Parker received on May 7, the plan to eliminate Eight Mile Rock, an FNM stronghold, had obviously backfired.
The Eight Mile Rock constituency was formed in 1987; and has always been won by the FNM. Before then, it was a part of the West End constituency. Had Eight Mile Rock remained a separate seat, it would have more than likely remained in the win column of the FNM even with Grant as the standard bearer. Many Grand Bahamians have probably missed the significance of Wilchombe's win on May 7. He is the first PLP to represent the community of Eight Mile Rock in 25 years.
The move to join Eight Mile Rock to West End and Bimini reminds me of Aesop's famous fable entitled 'The Dog and its Reflection'. In the fable, a dog carrying a stolen bone looks down at a crossing stream and saw a reflection of itself in the water. Mistaking the reflection for another dog with a better bone, it opened its mouth to snatch at what it thought was another bone. In the process, it lost the bone that it had. Obviously, the moral of the story is that in its attempt to capture the seat of West End and Bimini by joining it to Eight Mile Rock, the FNM ended up losing both. In any event, the series of moves that were made in that area by the FNM were disastrous, to say the least.
In another move that raised many eyebrows, Ingraham moved former Minister of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing from Marco City to an area in New Providence, and nominated veteran educator Norris Bain to run in his place against the PLP's Gregory Moss. Both Laing and Bain lost their contests by impressive margins. The former Marco City MP has recently been named to the Senate for the opposition party. Moss' victory in Marco City did not come as a surprise to me at all. I had written on several occasions that the FNM was in grave danger of losing that seat. Apparently, the leadership of the FNM was also aware of this. That is why the party made the decision to run Laing elsewhere. However, there are some who are beginning to question the decision to move Laing. According to these people, he stood a better chance at being reelected in Marco City.
Many political observers were expecting a dead heat between the FNM's Kwasi Thompson and the PLP's Dr. Michael Darville in Pineridge. But that was not to be. Thompson was obviously a very good MP. That is why the FNM decided to run him again in that area. He ran on his own merits as a good, productive representative. But he received a thrashing at the polls by over 800 votes. Surprisingly, that contest wasn't close at all. Perhaps the unfriendly reaction to the former prime minister's visit to the Garden Villas community on the day before the election should have served as an indication that Thompson was in deep trouble. Pineridge has for years been considered a safe seat for the FNM. Yet the way the residents in that area carried on when Ingraham visited them, you would think that the former prime minister was visiting the PLP's bastions of Bains Town and Grants Town, Englerston, Nassau Village or Centreville.
Thankfully, the FNM's Neko Grant was able to stave off his main opponent in Central Grand Bahama, the PLP's Julian Russell. No reasonable analyst expected differently. That area in Grand Bahama has many middleclass and rich constituents who have more in common with the conservative FNM than with the PLP, a grassroot political organization. However, the thing that should concern the FNM is that the PLP is gaining ground in that area. Grant's margin of victory wasn't all that impressive.
The election results have taught me that the Grand Bahamian base of the FNM has eroded significantly. Grand Bahama is no longer FNM country. While the PLP made a good showing at the polls in its bastions in New Providence, the FNM has struggled to even hold on to the two seats (Central and East Grand Bahama) that are considered to be its strongholds. The next five years must be used to rebuild its base on this island. The FNM must also identify its candidates much earlier than it did in the last campaign cycle.
- Kevin Evans
In The Bahamas, purple is considered a royal color, but in other cultures it represents enlightenment, deep intuition and awareness of an unexplored dimension. At least that's what Jane Sunley, CEO of learnpurple, claims in her colorful new book, "Purple Your People".
In 24 short chapters, the author demonstrates the philosophy and practices of learnpurple, a UK-based company that has worked with a diverse range of organizations to enhance employee engagement. "Purple Your People" is an introduction to motivating people and getting results by using holistic techniques, rather than rules, regulations and threats.
Sunley adopts a humorous style and makes extensive use of punchy, vivid purple colored summaries, resulting in an easy to follow and well-presented guide to people management. Better still, many of the principles can be used independently and could potentially be adopted to support an organizations appraisal, induction and training policies.
At the end of each chapter, the reader's mind is focused by the mantra of "if you only do three things". The aim being to identify the key actions that ultimately impact upon:
1. The why and how of employee engagement and why it starts here.
2. How to become a people magnet and attract talent that fits your company.
3. How to manage aspirations and plan for success.
Sunley should be commended for avoiding complex theories, instead focusing on tangible outputs that support the effective implementation of change. Each page of "Purple Your People" is about targeting problems, areas for development, performance improvement and finding workable solutions.
The tantalizing reward is that if you get the people stuff right, the result will be a happier workforce, better recruitment, improved staff retention, increased profit - all with the added bonus of less stress. In a nutshell, the guide provides a direct route to better corporate performance, success and growth by stripping away the "what" and the "how" of employee engagement to its basics, and forces our attention on the "why".
The "what" and the "how" are based on internal factors such as culture, values and resources, and to help you on your way the book comes with a set of online tools, articles and podcasts to suit all learning styles.
To conclude, "Purple Your People" presents a colorful human resource strategy that could brighten up many Bahamian businesses.
"Purple Your People" by Jane Sunley. Published by Crimson and available from www.amazon.com.
o Keith Appleton JP, BA (Hons), N.Dip.M, MInstLM has extensive experience within a managerial and strategic leadership role. This is underpinned by his academic background and membership in the UK Institute of Leadership & Management.
Minister of State for National Security Keith Bell said yesterday he and the minister of national security are personally armed with police issued firearms.
"As a minister of national security it would not only be prudent, but it would be unwise for a minister who has to...make critical decisions which deal with life to not be armed given the serious business and nature and decisions that he has to make," said Bell via telephone.
The acknowledgement came after Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis said at a press conference yesterday that he had heard reports that the ministers were personally armed with weapons.
Bell said, "Under the Firearms Act, the firearms licensing officer is the commissioner of police who has a discretion to issue a firearms license and issue firearms to who he deems fit and proper."
"He (Nottage) has a gun and he deserves to be armed at all times given the nature of the decisions he makes," Bell said.
He continued, "As a former chief superintendent of police in the Royal Bahamas Police Force I have always had a firearm. The issue of whether or not I have been armed with a firearm or whether I have a firearm in my possession is in my humble opinion showing that FNM is grasping for straws.
"But I would want them (the FNM) to know that if the need arises I am there to protect them and their families as I have done in the past and I will continue to do in the future."
Bell said the question of whether a minister has a firearm is irrelevant.
"The question here is not so much that the minister has a firearm or not, but whether we as a country are serious about security and whether when we put people in these positions we want to ensure their welfare and that of their families."
Former Minister of National Security Tommy Turnquest told reporters yesterday that he never carried a firearm as minister and questioned why Bell would.
Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner said yesterday Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage's decision to carry a gun could have a negative impact on the society and urged the government to rethink that decision.
"The record reflects that no previous minister of any government has ever carried arms and I would ask this government to reflect on the gravity of what is happening and reconsider that decision because it now opens the door to perhaps allowing our country to become a legal gun-toting society," said Butler-Turner during debate on the budget in the House of Assembly yesterday.
Minister of State for National Security Keith Bell confirmed earlier this week that he and the minister of national security are personally armed with police issued firearms.
Butler-Turner, who is also the Free National Movement (FNM) deputy leader, said she is opposed to this "reckless action".
"I cried yesterday that we have come to a point in our country where ministers of the government now see fit to be armed with automatic weapons," she said.
Butler-Turner said even though she received two death threats while she was minister of state for social development, she never felt the need to arm herself.
"There is nowhere in this country where I'm afraid to go even as a woman," she said.
Butler-Turner quoted a Nassau Guardian article in which Bell explained, "As a minister of national security it would not only be prudent, but it would be unwise for a minister who has to...make critical decisions which deal with life to not be armed given the serious business and nature and decisions that he has to make."
But Butler-Turner said, "To have the national security minister armed, where does that put our people who don't have... bodyguards, who feel unsafe in their homes? Where does that put us?"
MP for Mangrove Cay and South Andros Picewell Forbes insisted that the previous National Security Minister Tommy Turnquest carried a weapon, however, Butler-Turner denied that claim.
"Whenever arms are distributed from the armory, they are signed for. There is a record of every firearm taken from the armory," she added.
Turnquest previously said he has never carried a weapon.
Earlier in the week, Bell said both he and Nottage have been trained to use firearms.
But Butler-Turner questioned their level of training. She said the matter is too serious to be taken lightly.
"The level of acrimony that happens right here within the chambers of this place and the level of anger that some people display in here, when they are armed with a gun it makes it that much worse," she said. "We do not know what we can do when we become angry."
As it relates to crime in general, Butler-Turner said the government must increase its efforts to reduce crime.
She noted the large number of murders committed since the PLP won the election on May 7. Twenty murders were recorded since then.
"The government was overall unprepared for office on day one," Butler-Turner said.
"The past few weeks demonstrate that it is shockingly unprepared to aggressively combat the scourge of violent crime.
"The rapid escalation of crime and drug and gang related violence raises troubling questions."
Judgement in Paradise, written and directed by award-winning filmmaker-turned-playwright Adrian Wildgoose, promised the end of the world - well, The Bahamas - as we know it, but delivered something quite different.
In the context of destruction, Wildgoose tried to hold a magnifying glass to Bahamian society by highlighting issues like religious hypocrisy, lack of political accountability, familial neglect and national dependence.
The play really focussed on the relationship issues of the protagonist, Destiny Wilshine, with her father, Christian; her grandfather, Grandpa Wilshine, and her best friend, Chance. Subsequently, Christian Wilshine (well-placed irony) sells The Bahamas to foreign investor Seymour Bucks, who then renames the archipelago "Laziton".
While this is going on, reporter Terry Smith is convinced by a Mayan priest that The Bahamas is meant to be destroyed on December 21, 2012, which she feels she must share with the rest of the country.
Firstly, I have to commend the cast because they clearly put a lot of work into the production and their effort can not go unnoticed. It was a cast of young people, many of whom were COB students and alumni. Though some shone brighter than others, I didn't see one person on stage that made me remember I was watching people act. The players clearly had a sense of character and where they fit into the story.
So, did I come away feeling I had watched a good show? Not exactly. The fundamental element that was missing in this play was strong writing. Perhaps with the desire to tackle so many pressing issues, Wildgoose was being over ambitious. The play seemed chock full of issues and themes and perspectives, but there was a serious lack of cohesion.
In terms of characters, some were written and directed with a lot of insight into life and the human condition. Others... not so much. Many characters were written and directed with comedy or furtherance of one of the various plots rather than realism in mind.
The character of the journalist was trying to convince The Bahamas to be prepared for the end of the world, but she never said why ("Because the Mayans said so" is not much of an explanation). At the same time, the radio talk show host, Haroldina Thriller, had moments of gold and moments when I wondered if she was on the radio or at the hairdresser. Two characters that should have provided the bulk of the insight into the situation had no insight to offer.
The elephant in the room with productions at The College of The Bahamas (COB) is often the technical issues. So needless to say, the lighting in the Performing Arts Centre (PAC) needs to be revamped for plays. Unfortunately from the middle of the theater, the glare of the state-of-the-art concert lights made it impossible to see the characters and it actually hurt my eyes after a while.
In addition to that, many would argue the use of microphones by the cast was a serious faux pas. Many would argue the opposite. The clincher? When the microphones didn't work, the audience couldn't hear the actors at all. This seldom happens when you use the good old lungs and project - something easily done in a theater like the PAC, which has less than 500 seats.
All in all, the concept of the play was brilliant, as well as the use of the Wilshine family as the audience's window into the situation. But plays are about people - their wants, their actions and their purposes. Many players ended up just on stage acting, when they should have been playing three-dimensional characters with purpose.
This was a valiant effort by young people in theater that is absolutely essential for growth - both of the individuals and the industry. Wildgoose and his vibrant cast should be commended for taking the time to contribute to Bahamian theater, and hopefully, they will continue to produce and learn.
The exuberance that resulted from the official opening of the new Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium was a clear indication that the sports industry in this country is poised for greater heights.
There was unrestrained enthusiasm and joy within the sporting fraternity despite a few shortcomings. Yet, with all of the elation and the verbal uttering of praise by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and his Sports Minister Charles Maynard, there was no mention of the Bahamas Games.
I find this quite odd and call on Maynard to speak to this issue. He excitedly talked about the soon-to-be new Andre Rodgers Baseball Diamond and the Churchill Tener-Knowles softball facility.
Indeed when completed, the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre complex will be perhaps the finest in the entire Caribbean region. No other sister Caribbean nation would be able to boast of such a variety of quality sporting facilities in one general area. It's a perfect situation for the Bahamas Games.
One would think that such a hallmark competition would be a high priority sports item. It could be the case though that the politicians have no real interest in the Bahamas Games. It's really a shame that successive central administrations have not seen the importance of a regular gathering of Bahamian sports family members from across the length and breadth of this archipelago, in competition and social interaction. The games presented the greatest national sports forum for our people.
In the Family Islands, residents stayed connected to ZNS Radio and ZNS television stations. Such was the high interest level around the nation.
It's been more than 10 years now, since the last Bahamas Games. This event started under the Lynden Pindling-led Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) government in 1989. The games were staged again in 1991, before Pindling's government lost power in 1992. My understanding is that the Pindling government intended the Bahamas Games to take place every two years.
The Hubert Ingraham Free National Movement (FNM) government brought the games back in 1995 and organized them again in 1998 and 2001. The Perry Christie government did not stage the Bahamas Games during its five-year tenure, despite the fact that he and Deputy Prime Minister Cynthia Pratt attained political success largely because of a strong foundation in sports.
We're in 2012 with the state-of-the-art national stadium available as the anchor facility of the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre. Deciding what events are budgeted for, nationally, does not come directly under the purview of the Sports Authority. It would be good though for members of the Sports Authority to raise the Bahamas Games issue soon with the sports minister... whoever happens to be in that position after the upcoming general elections.
To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com.
Last year, 5,687 mothers at 412 locations in five countries, simultaneously breast-fed their babies during a world event known as The Big Latch On -- this year as the organizers seek to break this record, The Bahamas is expected to be in on the final count of breastfeeding women with their babies latched to them for one minute at a set time, to support and promote breastfeeding.
The Bahamas version of The Big Latch On, known as the Big Latch On Palooza will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 4, in the church hall at Holy Cross Anglican Church in Highbury Park. Organizers expect at least 400 women to participate at the event, according to Nurse Linelle Thompson, program coordinator of Lactation Management Services in the Department of Public Health who is also the education chairperson of the Bahamas National Breastfeeding Association (BNBA).
On Friday, August 3, the clinics and hospitals around the country will be encouraged to have their mothers join the move by breastfeeding at the same time in their respective facilities.
The aim of The Big Latch On event is for communities to identify and grow opportunities to provide ongoing breastfeeding support and promotion. Raise awareness of breastfeeding support and knowledge available in communities. Help communities positively support breastfeeding in public places. Make breastfeeding a normal part of the day-to-day life at a local community level. Increase support for women who breastfeed (women are supported by their partners, family and the breastfeeding knowledge that is embedded in their communities. Communities have the resources to advocate for coordinated appropriate and accessible breastfeeding support services.
For one mother, Jasadette Hepburn, the idea of the event is exciting as she is looking at it as a support group effort to let people know that breastfeeding is okay.
"I get so excited when I see a breastfeeding mother that I usually go and interrupt and say something like I'm so proud of you," said the 24-year-old mother of a three-year-old son who she still breastfeeds and is hoping to continue to do so until her son attains his fourth birthday.
Hepburn, who is also the media consultant for The Bahamas National Breastfeeding Association said that through The Big Latch On Palooza, they will be pushing for more young women to breastfeed.
"More mature women breastfeed because they know the health issues involved with breastfeeding -- not just for their babies, but for themselves as well in terms of lowering their risk of cancer and just getting slimmer after having the baby," said Hepburn. "But younger women tend to just put the bottle into the baby's mouth, so we're trying to get all women to breastfeed," she said.
Using herself as an example, Hepburn also provides the mother and child with an attachment.
"I was in my first year in college when I got pregnant, and it was depressing to me," said the daughter of a nurse. "After I had my baby I was really distant from him --I didn't want to breastfeed, I didn't want to get close to him, and [my mom] was like, 'J, breastfeed.' After a month, I didn't want anyone around him. It gave us an attachment and I came to the realization that I loved him so much," she said.
Contrary to popular belief breastfeeding does not hurt. And that it is actually nipple feeding that hurts, which she said is incorrect. It will also hurt if the baby is not latched onto the breast properly as well.
As the BNBA gets ready to host the Big Latch On Palooza, Carlotta Klass, president of the organization said the World Health Organization recommends that all mothers breastfeed their babies exclusively for the first six months of life. That means no water, no juice and no formula, and that mothers should continue to breastfeed the same way up to two years and beyond. She said there is really no cut off point. And that if a mother has to go to work that she can express her milk and allow someone to cup feed the baby, as giving the baby a nipple attached to a bottle confuses the baby.
As mothers breastfeed she said it's also important that they maintain a proper breastfeeding posture in which the baby's tummy will touch the mother's tummy. The baby should be lying on its side at the mother's breast.
And according to Nurse Thompson, the stories that most people hear about breastfeeding she said are just that -- myths.
She said breastfeeding does not cause saggy breasts, but helps women to get their shape back.
The nurse also said that breast milk does not give babies gas when the mother has not eaten.
"That's impossible, because breasts are not hooked up to the stomach, so you can't give the baby gas."
She said babies get gastric disturbances, when they take in milk designed for a 200-pound animal
"While studying at the University of West London, they showed me the stomach of two babies -- one with the breast milk going in, and the next with the formula going in. The stomach is coil-shaped and you could see the breast milk going into the stomach lining it, coating it, sealing it and making it bacteria-proof. When the formula went into the next tummy, because it was so heavy, it stretched the gut right out. It reduces the immune system and causes gastric disturbances. Not only that, when you give the baby formula, more than two-thirds of that formula does not go anywhere and won't be used by the baby," she said. "Formula lies to the baby and gives the baby a false feeling of fullness and takes away the hunger and thirst for the breast."
According to the nurse, most of the breast milk is absorbed into the baby's system and only a small amount is left in the stomach, which is why the breast-fed baby would want to breast feed faster and why people would think they are not getting enough.
"It's that they're using their food, but the baby that's getting the formula is not using their food," she said.
Babies breastfed for two years are given special protection against salmonella and if the mother breastfeeds for three years, the baby gets protection against cholera.
Breastfeeding classes are offered in all government clinics and at the Bahamas National Breastfeeding Association.
The Big Latch On is originally from New Zealand, and was started by Women's Health Action in 2005 as part of World Breastfeeding Week. Each year, they have seen growth in the numbers of breastfeeding women attending and an increase in the support for breastfeeding in public. The Big Latch On was introduced to Portland, Oregon, in 2010 by Joanne Edwards in celebration for World Breastfeeding Week. In 2011, Edwards worked with Annie Brown and members of La Leche League USA to grow the Big Latch On across the United States. In an effort to further strengthen the Big Latch On mission to protect, promote and support breastfeeding women, and in recognition of increasing global participation in the Big Latch On, Women's Health Action and the Big Latch On Global Coordinator Joanne Edwards joined forces for 2012.
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated August 1-7.
The breastfed toddler
Hair: Breastfed toddlers have glossier, healthier hair. Protein is a major functional and structural component of hair cells and is essential for growth and repair. After 12 months, 15 ounces of breastmilk provides 45 percent of a toddler's protein requirements in its most natural form.
Brain: Higher intellectual and cognitive aptitude compared to formula-fed peers and peers breastfed for a shorter amount of time.
Ears: Breastfed toddlers have better hearing due to lower incidence of ear infections.
Eyes: As the eye is similar to the brain in regards to nervous tissue, breastfed toddlers have stronger vision. Also at 12 months (15 ounces) of breastmilk provides 75 percent of a toddler's Vitamin A requirements. Vitamin A is needed by the retina of the eye and is necessary for both low-light (scotopic vision) and color vision.
Teeth: Thumb sucking is less likely to occur in breastfed toddlers so their teeth are less likely to become misaligned. Also, increased duration of nursing actually improves the dental arch.
Independence: Breastfeeding is part of meeting a child's dependency needs, and this is the key to helping the child achieve independence. Children who achieve independence at their own pace are more secure in that independence than children forced into independence prematurely.
Weight: Toddlers who are breastfed for extended periods of time tend to have leaner bodies with less risk of obesity.
Limbs: Breastmilk is an excellent painkiller in the bums and bruises that come along with toddlers and climbing.
Taste buds: Breastfed toddlers are less likely to be fussy eaters. However, even if they through a fussy period, breastfed toddlers still get their taste buds stimulated by the range of flavors in their mommy's milk.
Bones: Calcium is a mineral that strengthens bones. After 12 months, 15 ounces of breastmilk provides 36 percent of a toddler's calcium requirements in its most natural form.
Immune system: At one year of age, a child's immune system is functioning at 60 percent of adult level. The antibodies in breast milk continue to provide valuable protection during the toddler period. In fact, the immunological benefits of breastfeeding actually increase during the second and third years of nursing.
Skin: Smoother and more supple
Hydration: Although breastfed toddlers are less likely to become ill, if they do get sick, breast milk can keep them hydrated when they cannot tolerate other liquids.
Portability: Breastfed toddlers are easier to travel with. Nursing is far more convenient than carrying around feeding cups and paraphernalia, and can be a wonderful way of providing reassurance in unfamiliar surroundings.
o Source: mummiesnummies.com
10 reasons why breastfeeding doesn't suck
o You'll feel far less crazy: A study of postpartum mothers found that those who breastfed their babies showed far less anxiety and more mutuality at one mont postpartum that those who didn't.
o It lowers the risk of adulthood cancers: One study found the risk of childhood cancer in formula-fed children was 2-8 times that of long-term breastfed children. The risk for short-term formula feeders was 1-9 times that of long-term breast feeders.
o ...And breast cancer in mothers: Get this -- If women who breastfed for less than three months were to stick it out for four toe 12 months, breast cancer among parous premenopausal women could be reduced by 11 percent. And if they stayed with it for 24 months or longer, those risks could be reduced by nearly 25 percent.
o Smart kids rule: Studies show that breastfed babies have significantly higher IQs by eight years old than babies who didn't breastfeed -- even after adjusting the stats for differences between groups and mom's educational and social class.
o You could save on braces: The longer you breastfeed, the lower the likelihood that baby will suffer from malocclusion -- a fancy word for misalignment of the teeth and dental arches.
o It cuts down on childhood obesity: Breastfeeding has long been tied with reducing the rate of childhood obesity, regardless of Mom's diabetes or weight status.
o Allergies and ailment are no biggie: Respiratory wheezing, influenza, diarrhea, allergies and eczema are way less common in breastfed babies -- think about all those trips to the doc you won't have to make.
o It saves lives: If just 90 percent of mothers breastfed exclusively for six months, an estimated 900 babies would live.
o Oh, and it'll save you a ton of cash too: Believe it or not, formula supplies for just six months can cost upwards of $1,000.
o You'll fit into your skinny jeans faster: Breastfeeding burns an average of 500 calories a day. Yes, really. Need we say more?
Tackling the Health
& Wellness of Eleutherans - One Eleuthera's Step Up to Health: 6
Weeks to Wellness/ Fitness Boot Camp Comes to a Conclusion
Bahamas -- The One Eleuthera's Foundation, in collaboration with
cosponsors The Cancer Society of Eleuthera,e commenced "Step Up to
Health: 6 Weeks to Wellness/Fitness Boot Camp" September 10th and 11th
with two sessions, one held in South Eleuthera at Preston H. Albury High
School's Track in Rock Sound and another in Central Eleuthera at the
Cancer Society's Wellness Center in Palmetto Point. The boot camp was
On the heel of hosting a successful international tennis tournament, the governing body for the sport in the country is all geared up for their annual Junior Nationals set to swing into action today.
The week-long tennis tournament, at the National Tennis Centre, will feature some of the up and coming junior players competing under the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association's (BLTA) umbrella. Runner-up in the under-14 girls' singles at the recently held Junkanoo Bowl Tournament, Gabriela Donaldson, is expected to lead the charge once again. Donaldson was defeated by Kianah Motosono, of the United States of America (USA), 6-2 and 6-1. The Junkanoo Bowl Tournament was a grade four event, sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
A number of high ranked players from around the world participated in the event, which wrapped up this weekend. The under-18 boys' title went to American Daniel Kerznerman, who defeated Farzin Amiri, 6-1 and 6-3. American Mariana Gould secured the under 18 girls' crown with a 7-5 and 6-3 win over Valeria Salazar, of Mexico.
A 6-4 and 6-2 win was landed by Blaise Bicknell of Jamaica for the under-14 boys' singles title. Bicknell took to the court with Joshua Turnquest of The Bahamas. In the doubles, Bicknell partnered with fellow teammate Dimitri Bird. The duo defeated Nick Lines and William Way, both of Bermuda, 6-2 and 6-2.
The doubles title, for the under-14 girls, stayed in the country thanks to Donaldson and Iesha Shepherd. The Bahamian team stopped Eva Frazzoni and Motosono 6-2, 4-6 and 6-3. Tshea Ferguson won the consolation round robin match, in the under-14 girls, and Sierra Donaldson was the runner-up.
President of the BLTA Derron Donaldson is looking forward to the event and said he is excited about the high level of play that will be seen.
"If the players compete the way they did in the Junkanoo Bowl tournament, then I see no reason why the nationals won't be a success," said Derron Donaldson. "The Junkanoo Bowl tournament went rather well. The competition was very stiff and all the games were at a high level. I think the Bahamians did well, but there are a few areas they fell short in. One main area was fitness. They are not in tip-top shape so playing at that level might be hard. They don't see that level all the time and having a tournament like this is needed. Even though we hosted this one, we still need more tournaments like this. We had one last year and that is on the schedule again for November."
Derron Donaldson is hoping that all the players will take full advantage of the Junior National tennis event this weekend. The tournament will cater to players between the ages of 10-18. The draw in each division will be released today.
On June 7, 2012, the last of a small caucus of mulattos, who at a time in this country when racism was at its height saw the need to form a political entity (the Progressive Liberal Party) to combat the scourge of racism, victimization and intimidation of the downtrodden citizens of color in this country, died.
Whether coincidentally or by design, the movers and shakers of the movement were all mulattos, Henry Milton Taylor, Cyril St. John Stevenson, William (Bill) Cartwright, Clement Pinder, Urban Knowles and Charles Rodriquez. The officers were Taylor, chairman, Stevenson, secretary-general, and Pinder, treasurer. At the time of the formation of the party (1953), both Taylor and Cartwright (Long Islanders) were sitting members of the House of Assembly, Taylor as the junior member for Long Island and Cartwright as the member for Cat Island, both having won their seats in the general election in 1949. There was no party government so they had to continue as independents in the assembly.
The sheer audacity of such a move in this country at that time was to the ruling oligarchy (Bay Street Boys) like the waving of a red flag in front of a raging bull. Taylor was only a lowly bookkeeper employed by British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC); but Cartwright was a realtor and the rest were like the remainder of the country at the time, trying to keep afloat. Cartwright became the target of the powers that be and, contrary to statements made to the media by others that he served for seven years (a full term), had to resigned his House seat in April of 1956 a few months before the life of that assembly ended. It was the last of the seven-year terms of the House of Assembly and the beginning of the five-year term as we now know it.
In an article published in the June 8 issue of The Punch by P. Anthony White, he said that Cartwright fared better than the rest. I beg to differ. Cartwright, fared worse than all the rest and paid bitterly for the stand he took.
It is ironic that the leaders of the group, Taylor, Cartwright and Stevenson, were all ostracized and with the exception of Cartwright, who was targeted by the Bay Street Boys, eventually driven from the party by the very persons whom they sought to help.
After usurping the party, the group led by L.O. Pindling never rested until they hounded Taylor and Stevenson out of the party, using their (Taylor and Stevenson's) pigmentation against them; Taylor for attending a Board of Tourism function in England with Stafford Sands and Stevenson for visiting a group of Cuban refugees on Cay Lobos with a contingent of white reporters from the United States. Taylor fared better than the rest, as Pindling tried to salve his conscience by giving him a job and later making him governor general when he, Taylor, had one foot on a banana skin and the other in the grave. Cartwright was given a helping hand by Perry Christie when he was PM in 2002; but Hubert Ingraham saw fit to take it from him in 2007 and allowed him to wander the streets as a wanton until the Rev. Kendal Capron took him in at his facility.
In the June 15 edition of The Tribune was an interesting and well-written letter by one Kevin Evans, a regular contributor to that daily under the heading, "Cartwright deserved an honor"; save for a few inaccuracies, I entirely concur with his summation.
Both Pindling and Milo Butler joined the party quite some time after it was formed and along with others wasted no time in wrestling its leadership and disposing of the mulatto segment of the party. They eventually, because of dire necessity, ran two white candidates, Edison Key in Marsh Harbour and John Purkiss (an Englishman) in Clarence Town. Key eventually won a seat; but Purkiss, who started the Tall Pines Sub-division, like Cartwright, suffered a bombardment of victimization so great that he had to pack up and leave the country. For Evans' enlightenment, the PLP did not win any election in 1967. It won by a landslide in 1968. The 1967 election was a tie, both the United Bahamian Party got 18 seats as well as the PLP. The 1967 government was a coalition one, which was brought about by Randol Fawkes of the Labour Party and Alvin Braynen, an independent, throwing their support behind the PLP.
Political leaders tend to honor their cronies and supporters who in actual fact did nothing more than shout slogans, wave flags and vote for their party. This, Mr. Evans, is the modus operandi of the political entities in our nation. To the countless number of William Cartwright's relatives surviving and the hundreds of them who differed with him on his choice, to this day they have not supported the PLP; and who says that the party's record of victimization, cronyism and ingratitude are the reasons for their disagreement, I say that it took grit and fortitude for one to do what he did.
I do not think for one moment that any of them were in search of glory. They did what they had to do for the betterment of their brothers and sisters and the good of this nation as a whole. They are the real national heroes of this nation. May the great architect of the universe forgive them of their shortcomings and grant them peace and eternal rest while we as a nation say: "Well done thou true and faithful servants".
William is the last of that gallant band, his family should be proud of him.
- Errington W. I. Watkins
One of The Bahamas' brightest young soccer stars has a busy few weeks ahead of him, as he prepares for what could be a life changing experience next week, followed by an opportunity to represent the country at a major regional beach soccer tournament.
Valin Bodie, 17, is set to head to the George Kiefer's University of South Florida Soccer Elite ID Camp next week. He leaves for the elite camp in Tampa, Florida today. The camp, which will be held from July 22-25, is expected to be attended by hundreds of young soccer players throughout the United States and the Caribbean. A number of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and Division II coaches will be on hand to scout the young talent.
"I'm very excited. Over 45 colleges are going to be at the camp, so I'm looking forward to the opportunity," said Bodie. "I'm focused. At the end of the camp, there's going to be an evaluation where they point out your strengths and also your weaknesses and tell you what you need to work on. It's going to be a great experience. I think I just have to remain focussed and I'll be fine."
On the heels of that South Florida soccer camp, Bodie will travel as a member of the senior men's national beach volleyball team to a tournament in Jamaica. He is the youngest player on the team that will compete in the Jamaican Independence Tournament. Actually, young Bodie is a member of six local soccer teams. He also plays American football, softball and does the pole vault in track and field. As for his soccer teams, he was the team captain for the St. Augustine's College's (SAC) Big Red Machine senior boys soccer squad this past year, he was the team captain for the Cavaliers FC under-17 team that placed second this past year. He is a member of the Cavaliers FC men's team, The Bahamas' national under-17 team, The Bahamas' All-Star team, and now he's preparing to represent The Bahamas as a member of the senior men's national beach volleyball team.
Bodie himself admitted that even he doesn't know how he does it - balancing so much activities with his school work. He'll be entering the 12th grade of SAC in September.
"All I can say is it takes a lot of energy and a lot of effort," he said. "To me, the key is fitness and being on the right diet. First of all, you have to be focused. It's tough but I find a way to do it. Right now, I'm just focussed on finishing up my last year in high school, getting recruited for college, and doing my best to represent my country."
Bodie, who spends most of his time at goal, particularly for the beach soccer team, started playing competitive soccer at age six. When he's not playing goal keeper, he can normally be seen playing midfield, but is quite versatile. He said that he would love to be a professional goal keeper for beach soccer one day, but is just taking it one day at a time.
"I definitely rather beach soccer than field soccer, but if I get the opportunity to play professional field soccer, I will definitely take that," he said. "It feels good to make the senior men's national team, being only 17 years old. I feel there is a little bit of pressure, being the goal keeper, but I'm just going to go out there and do my best. Just to be playing at this level is an accomplishment."
As for the elite soccer camp next week, young Bodie will spend time training with college coaches, and is expected to gain international exposure. He is aspiring to study environmental engineering in college when his high school days are over.
The Bahamas' Men's National Beach Soccer Squad, which reached the doorstep of qualifying for the prestigious FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, was named as The Nassau Guardian's Team of the Year for 2013, with 26 points.
With the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Championships being held here in The Bahamas, the upstart squad took full advantage of home cooking as they rode the momentum of the fans to a 2-1 record during the round-robin section of the tournament, barely missing out on a semi-final spot.
During the five-day tournament, The Bahamas defeated Puerto Rico and Guatemala, but lost emphatically to the eventual gold medalists, the United States of America. Only the pool winners and the best second place team advanced to the semis. The Bahamas was among the best second place teams, but lost the tiebreaker to the eventual silver medalists, El Salvador. Only the top two teams qualified for the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup which was held September 18-28, 2013, in Papeete, Tahiti.
The Bahamas finished sixth in the CONCACAF Championships, but it was the best ever showing for a Bahamian team in beach soccer. Also, with the new national beach soccer facility at the foot of the Sir Sidney Poitier Bridge, there are expected to be many more opportunities for regional prominence in the future.
Professional field soccer player Lesley St. Fleur led The Bahamas in scoring with four goals during the CONCACAF Championships. Nesley Jean added three goals, and two other players contributed two apiece. The squad is hoping for a breakthrough in the future.
The men's 4x100-meter (m) relay team, which destroyed the national record this year, finished second in voting for The Nassau Guardian's Team of the Year for 2013, with 23 points. The quartet of Adrian Griffith, Jamial Rolle, Trevorvano Mackey and Shavez Hart, in that order, ran a blazing 38.92 seconds in the heats of the event at the 24th Senior Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Track and Field Championships, to qualify for the final with the fastest time and erase a 13-year-old national record of 38.98 seconds. That same quartet came back in the final to lower the national record to 38.77 seconds and win the gold medal.
At that same meet in Morelia, Mexico, Hart became the second fastest Bahamian ever as he ran a personal best time of 10.16 seconds in the heats of the men's 100m to qualify at the 'B' standard for the world championships.
At those Moscow World Championships, Mackey was forced to sit out, but the team of Griffith, Rolle and Hart, to go along with newcomer Warren Fraser, bonded together and pulled off The Bahamas' best performance in the event, ever. The quartet ran a national record time of 38.70 seconds to finish sixth in their heat, and 14th overall. It was the third time in two months that the national record was broken in the event after not being touched for 13 years.
All of the sprinters, with the exception of Rolle who didn't run much of the shorter sprint last year, ran under 10.30 seconds in the open century in 2013.
The Scottsdale Vixens which won a ninth consecutive New Providence Volleyball Association (NPVA) women's title this year, finished third in voting for The Nassau Guardian's Team of the Year for 2013, with 20 points, The Bahamas under-20 girls 4x100m relay team from the CARIFTA Track and Field Championships, finished fourth with 19 points, and The Bahamas' under-15 girls volleyball squad, which won the bronze medal at the Caribbean Volleyball Championships (CVC), rounded out the top five in the voting process, with 17 points.
The Bahamas under-20 girls 4x100m sprint team from CARIFTA, inclusive of Devynne Charlton, Shaunae Miller, Carmiesha Cox and Keianna Albury, ran 44.77 seconds for the gold medal, almost a full second ahead of second place finisher Barbados, and the under-15 girls volleyball squad shocked everyone at the CVC Youth Championships with their bronze medal performance.Team of the Year scores1st - Men's Beach Soccer Squad (Beach Soccer) - 26 points
2nd - Men's 4x100m (Athletics) - 23 points
3rd - Scottsdale Vixens (Volleyball) - 20 points
4th - U-20 Girls 4x100m (CARIFTA Track) - 19 points
5th - U-15 Girls CVC Team (Volleyball) - 17 points
6th - U-16 Boys FIBA Americas (Basketball) - 15 points
7th - U-17 Boys 4x400m (CARIFTA Track) - 10 points
7th - CARIFTA Swimming Team (Swimming) - 10 points
9th - Creter's Bulldogs (Softball) - 6 points
9th - MailBoat Cybots (Basketball) - 6 points
Others receiving votes: Men's 4x400m (Athletics); CAC Team (Bodybuilding & Fitness); Sigma Brackettes (Softball); Bommer G. Operators (Women's Basketball), Scotiabank Defenders (Volleyball) and Women's 4x400m (Athletics).
The only event of the year where designers and visual artists come together to celebrate local arts and culture, Fash/Art is gearing up for its second year with an early call to emerging artists, fashion designers and models to participate.
Set for July 7, 11 a.m. at Doongalik Studios, the meeting, says organizer Kedar Clarke, will be a chance not only for artists to come out and see how they can get exposure, but also for the organizers to see what is trending on the local art and fashion scenes.
"We want people to come out and we want to meet them and see what emerging artists are doing here," said Clarke. "This is it - now's the chance to come and show us what you've got and see how you can fit into and benefit from our event."
Fash/Art 2012 will be a little bit different this year, with the visual art exhibition and fashion show being held on different nights in new locations. Clarke is also planning several seminars and educational opportunities for the selected group of artists and designers to help develop their creative skills into lucrative businesses in order to build up a sustainable creative economy.
"You know the struggle for most artists - they can't create a business from their talents," said Clarke. "So we will have a mentorship opportunity and seminars on merchandising and branding open to all participants in order to cultivate the arts in this country."
Yet the excitement for all selected participants is to come out on top as the ultimate designer, artist and model. Not only will models get a chance to vie for a top spot in the revered PTG Modeling Agency, but fashion designers will compete for a the title of The Harl Taylor Emerging Fashion Designer Award and visual artists for the title of The Jackson Burnside Emerging Artist Award.
Last year's winners - designer Derrika Williamson and photographer Sophia Taylor - have been blown away by the
opportunities presented to them since their exposure last November.
Recently they collaborated on a fashion photo shoot, the results of which are in Sophia Taylor's first solo exhibition, "Beaulah Land", which opened this week at Doongalik Studios. The solo exhibition was one of the perks of winning the Jackson Burnside Emerging Artist Award.
After being approached by one of the event's creators, Taylor entered her work into the 2011 exhibition along with about a dozen other artists vying for their first art show.
The young artist, who is fresh out of the International Baccalaureate Program at the Lyford Cay International School, impressed the judges with her self-taught photography skills and eye for arresting perspectives.
Like Eden, "Beaulah" carries the connotation of a land blessed by the Lord. This favored land manifests as fertile, abundant, serene - a land much like the natural, untouched corners of Caribbean countries.
Indeed in her exhibition, Taylor explores her love for nature in the tropical landscapes of her dual nationalities - The Bahamas and Costa Rica - through gorgeous photographs and paintings.
"I love vibrant colors," she said. "I like to take something that everyone sees and try to put it into a different perspective and angle - so it's the same thing everyone is used to seeing, but the picture is presented differently."
"I want viewers to have a personal connection to my photograph - that they're right there viewing it live," she continued. "Sometimes I wish that my eyes can take pictures - can grasp images. That's what I do in my work, they are what I was there seeing and I capture that moment forever."
Taylor discovered photography years ago in her art studies at The Lyford Cay International School, and has since pursued the craft with the exuberance and dedication of a committed artist. The fact that this young artist is mostly self-taught makes her work all the more impressive, yet she looks forward to formally studying the craft in her college studies in Costa Rica beginning this fall.
"I'm self-trained - I've never had anyone teach me how to use the camera and its settings," she said. "So I hope when I go off to college I can learn some settings and learn how to use my camera properly."
"It's the same thing as using paintbrushes or tools - that's what my camera is, I'm using that to create my art," she added. "There are certain rules you need to apply to photography in order for it to have an aesthetic value."
Having her first gallery show before heading off to college is the perfect start to her artistic career - already, she says, winning the Jackson Burnside Emerging Artist Award has helped her form important relationships to other photographers and the wider art community.
"I've never sold my work so I've learned how to price it properly and set up a show. It's good exposure especially for getting ready for college," she said.
"I got really great feedback. Everyone loved my work, I was surprised - I'm not overly confident, so sometimes when I take pictures and I sit back and review my work, I think, ok, I'm pretty good at this."
"I'd encourage any emerging artist, no matter how young they are, to submit their work to Fash/Art this year."
Her exhibition continues at Doongalik Studios on Village Road until July 17 (Mondays-Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.).
The space - which hosted the first Fash/Art last year - remains committed to the project not only through Jackson Burnside's legacy to young artists but also through Pam Burnside's own training and love for fashion. Doongalik Studios and the Burnsides have always preached to support local artists and craftsmen, which aligns them with Fash/Art's vision to develop local design culture.
"Jackson always made sure he was very involved in encouraging young artists," said Pam Burnside. "Sophia is very talented, and it was wonderful to be able to host her here at Doongalik. We had a wonderful opening this week and people were amazed to find out how talented Sophia is just emerging from high school."
"It has a lot to say for Sandra Illingworth teaching the art programs there in the Lyford Cay School, and also other schools teaching the IB program in The Bahamas that allows the students to really shine," she added. "I say kudos to them."
"We urge everyone to come see the young talent we have and in July to host the casting call for this year's talented artists."
The Fash/Art 2012 meeting commences Saturday, July 7 at 11 a.m. at Doongalik Studios. For more information, check them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fash.art.event or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
LONDON, England - A 26-member Bahamian team is in very high spirits, and one of the reasons why is because of the atmosphere created by the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) at the week-long training camp prior to the games. The Olympic Games got underway this morning in London, and will run through Sunday, August 12.
According to reports, everything was in place for the athletes to be as comfortable as they needed to be headed into the games. All of the amenities were well taken care of by the BOC, and the athletes could just focus on training and preparing for competition. The only swimmer on this year's team, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, will see action first for The Bahamas when she hits the pool at the Aquatic Centre on Wednesday, in the heats of the women's 100-meter (m) free.
"In the BOC, it is time for us to make things happen," said team's Chef de Mission Roy Colebrooke. "We have to think outside of the box in 2012. In our view, the athletes are first, and my job as Chef de Mission is to ensure that we create this harmonious environment where the only thing that our athletes are focusing on, would be their specific events. I feel that we were able to do that at the training camp in Crawley."
Crawley is a town in West Sussex, England, located about 30 miles south of the British capital London. The team experienced an ambience there that was conducive to training. Not only that, but in conjunction with BTC and Cable and Wireless here in London, the BOC spearheaded a reception for the team on Wednesday night, and then the following night, the BOC joined up with the The Bahamas' High Commission in London to host the team to a reception at the commissioner's house. The function on Thursday was attended by a number of dignitaries, including Governor General Arthur Foulkes and Lady Foulkes, and The Bahamas' Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Danny Johnson. The dwelling, dubbed 'The Bahamas House', served as a home away from home for the athletes for that one night. They were treated to local dishes and drinks, and a steel drum band played Bahamian songs.
"We believe that it is very special for something like this to happen," said Colebrooke. "We want our athletes to be able to come somewhere in a foreign place, and feel at home. With this taking place, we feel it is now possible for them to enjoy the festivities of the London Olympic Games. They can mix and mingle with the Bahamians who are here in London, and who were desperate to see them up close."
The Bahamas House is expected to be open to Bahamians for the duration of the games. A Bahamian chef, flown in by the BOC, is on hand to prepare Bahamian cuisine on a nightly basis.
"This is the kind of treatment that we want to give our athletes," said Colebrooke. "It all started at the training camp. You have heard the stories from all of them. They were blown away.
"All of the athletes who had minor injuries were checked out and all of them are fit and ready to compete. I had the opportunity to speak with most of them, and they are saying that they're feeling tremendous, so we are expecting some very good things from our Bahamian athletes."
Colebrooke said that as long as he is an executive member of the BOC, this is the kind of treatment that Bahamian athletes can expect on a regular basis going forward.
"The only way we can go from here is forward. We will continuously take the bar higher and higher because we believe that we have to create the environment to ensure that our athletes are comfortable and ready to compete," he said. "When the athletes know that they are backed like this, they perform tremendously, so we have no other option than to continue providing top service for our athletes."
After a grand opening ceremony last night, Team Bahamas appears ready to see action at these Olympic Games. Competition officially got underway this morning, but The Bahamas won't see action until next Wednesday when swimmer Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace will hit the waters.
Our feet bear the brunt of all the stress we endure during our daily working life. Prolonged standing, walking, operating machinery, wearing high heels, carrying heavy objects and slippery surfaces are just some of the many dangers our feet are exposed to in the workplace everyday.
Every year, it is estimated that 2 million work days are lost due to complaints and disorders in the lower limbs, however many of these sick days can be prevented. Studies show that about 80 percent of adults will experience some foot complaints during their lifetime. This can vary from aches and pains, swelling, corns, calluses, injuries, fungal infections, varicose veins and more.
These common foot problems occur both on and off the job. However, there is no doubt that some work-related factors can lead to or aggravate foot problems, especially jobs that require long periods of standing or that put the feet at risk.
It is recommended that workers spend no more than 30 percent of their working day standing, however there are many jobs where workers stand for longer periods. Workers who are required to spend too much time on their feet are at increased risk of pain and discomfort in the feet, legs, hips and lower back. Standing for long hours, day-after-day, not only tires the worker's feet but can also cause permanent damage. It can cause the joints and bones of the feet to become misaligned causing flat feet, inflammation that can later lead to arthritis, and damage to the veins in the legs leading to pain, swelling, varicose veins and even ulcers. Prolonged standing can damage joints, causing swelling of the legs, and result in a range of problems for the feet, including bunions and corns and heel spurs.
Worksite accidents also result in a significant number of injuries to the feet and lower legs including sprains, strains and fractures. Foot injuries account for 15 to 20 percent of all disabling injuries. While not all of these are the result of work activities, a large proportion occur due to the conditions feet are exposed to at work.
Our feet are exposed to many dangers at work but fortunately the risk can be avoided or removed if employees and employers take simple, straight forward steps to protect the feet at work. Here are the recommendations to prevent foot injuries at work.
o Wear the right shoes for work: Prolonged standing, hard flooring and inappropriate footwear are very common working conditions for the feet. Workers should wear shoes that are appropriate to their occupation, working environment, and foot type. Improper footwear can cause or aggravate existing foot problems. Footwear that fits poorly or is in need of repair also contributes to foot discomfort and injury. If safety or special footwear is required for the job (e.g. steel toe boots) employers must ensure that employees have the correct shoes and are not allowed to work without them. In many worksites such equipment are supplied by the employer at no cost to the worker.
High heels are the favorite work footwear for many women but should not be because they throw the body weight onto the balls of the feet, which may lead to calluses, painful bunions, corns, neuromas, foot and back pains. The position of the foot in narrow width high heels can cause the ankle to become unstable, resulting in ankle sprains.
Wearing high-heels for long periods may cause the calf muscles to become shortened and tight over time. Backless (sling back) high heel shoes force the toes to claw as you walk, straining the muscles. To prevent this, two-inch high heels are recommended for everyday use. Calf stretches can help to keep the feet supple and maintain a good range of motion to the ankle joint. It is best to vary your heel heights from day-to-day; one day wearing low heels, and the next day slightly higher heels rather than high heels at all times. Wearing shoes with a strap or lace over the instep is better than slip-ons because they improve the fit and help stop your foot from sliding forward in your shoes. Comfortable, well structured, sensible and properly fitted footwear is essential to maintain good foot health and prevent minor foot ailments and injuries at work. Proper footwear is important, not only for foot comfort but also for one's general well-being and for you to have a good and productive day at work.
o Properly fitting work shoes: It is important to ensure that the safety shoe is appropriate for the task for which it is intended. The upper should be made from natural materials such as leather or a breathable man-made fabric. Toe box (front of the shoe) should be rounded or squared and deep enough to prevent rubbing, allowing the toes to wriggle. Insole can be inserted to provide padding and absorption. The heel should fit snugly on the foot, stopping the heel from slipping out of the shoe with each step you take. Heels should have a broad base and be no higher than two inches if they are worn for a long time. The sole should be strong and flexible with shock absorption to cushion the jolts of walking on hard surfaces. Laces, buckles or velcro should be used to secure the foot in the shoe.
o Foot safe work sites: In addition to the footwear, the work surfaces also have an impact on the feet at work. Hard, unyielding floors like concrete are the least comfortable surface to work on.
Wood, cork, carpeting, or rubber -- anything that provides some flexibility -- is gentler on workers' feet. Footwear with thick, insulating and shock-absorbing insoles can alleviate some of this discomfort. Working on a hard floor can feel like a hammer, pounding the heel at every step. Slippery floors can be hazardous resulting in slips and falls, ankle sprains or even fractures. Employers should make sure that floors are kept clean and dry or non-skid floors should be installed. Special anti-slip flooring or mats can also reduce slipping accidents. Stairs is a common site for foot injuries at work. To prevent these injuries make sure you are wearing the right shoes and paying attention when taking the stairs, the stairs are well lit with rails and are dry.
o Prevent workplace injuries at work: Most occupations have different footwear requirements.
Such requirements should be followed at all times to prevent injuries. Even if there are not specific foot wear guidelines, we recommend well-fitting, supportive shoe with moderate heels. If possible sneakers can fit the bill and they come in all styles and colors.
Remember, foot pain is not normal, it tells us something is wrong. If you have foot pain especially at work, see a podiatrist for a complete exam and treatment to get you pain free.
o For more information or to see a podiatrist visit Bahamas Foot Centre Rosetta Street, telephone 325-2996, Bahamas Surgical Associates, Albury Lane telephone 394-5820 or email at email@example.com or visit www.apma.org.