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News Article

October 01, 2011
Facts and fiction about diversification

This column was first published on July 20, 2010

At a recent service marking his demission from office, the head of a prominent denomination offered the heated view that the Bahamian economy desperately needs to be diversified.
He proclaimed that he had advised successive governments of this need, but that his advice went unheeded.   Unfortunately, the religious head seems as expert in economics as Donald Trump may be in theology.
His is the latest example of a public figure who should know better than repeating the wearying and inaccurate conventional wisdom regarding the actual nature and level of diversification of the Bahamian economy.
This same ignorance continues to bubble to the surface by those running around panicking like the fabled Henny Penny that the sky is falling in terms of the supposed dire threat of Cuba to the Bahamian tourism industry.
One of the accompanying arguments is that because of the apparent normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States that The Bahamas had best quickly pivot from tourism and diversify into other industries.
This view reflects a failure to grasp economics, including the economics of tourism.  It is also stunningly ignorant of Bahamian history.  Whether or not you believe Sir Stafford Sands should be on the $10 bill, he's there for a reason.
Sir Stafford understood the cycle of boom and bust that haunted The Bahamas for centuries with the rise and fall of industries - including wrecking.  Then in the 1930s the Bahamian economy collapsed with the end of Prohibition in 1933 and the devastation of the sponging industry by a marine disease in 1938.
To diversify the economy, Sir Stafford and others concluded that a year-round tourism industry would stabilize the Bahamian economy, assigning the cycle of boom and bust to the history books.  This historic achievement was also made possible by taking advantage of technologies from the jetliner to air conditioning.  Way before all of the 21st century talk of globalization and service-based economies, the Bahamas was on the cutting-edge in the mid-20th century.
Despite many downturns, including the Great Depression of the last century and the current severe global economic crisis, the Bahamian economy is generally healthy.  Tourism has made our economy quite resilient, the envy of many countries, including our Caribbean neighbors.  This resilience has been boosted by the country's diversification into financial services and other industries.

COMMODITY

The success rate of commodity production and export in The Bahamas is mixed.  Sponging collapsed, as did peanut farming in Andros, sugar in Abaco, pineapples in Eleuthera, onions in Exuma and sisal in various islands.  Had these survived, they collectively would not have generated the level of economic activity and employment of tourism.  Incidentally, after many years, Bacardi ended rum production in The Bahamas.
The distributive and sustainable power of tourism is more enduring than many other industries.  The Caribbean has learned this lesson - painfully so - from the instability of bauxite in Jamaica to sugar and bananas throughout the region.
An alphabet soup of self-interests masquerading as free traders have dealt serious blows to the economies of the Caribbean:  From the EU and the USA on bananas, NAFTA in terms of textiles, and the OECD on financial services.  Yet, tourism has generally survived hurricanes manufactured by humans and nature.
Meanwhile, the former religious head, who clearly does not understand economics, should pause and recall that most of the money offered up for collection - comes from tourism.  Those who preach of justice should consider:  Many of the demands for social and distributive justice they seek, may be been best achieved by tourism.
Undoubtedly, there is still much to be done to better spread the economic and related benefits of tourism.  Yet, on balance, tourism makes good economic and ethical sense.  And the country continues to make progress in terms of greater Bahamian ownership of the industry.  One area of great promise is the multimillion dollar heritage tourism sector.
Still, many are blind to the facts staring them in the face, with the fact of diversification seemingly of little consequence.  This includes, among other examples, The Bahamas serving as a major financial services centre and hosting a major transshipment center as well as the world's largest cruise ship repair facility.
The Bahamas boasts one of the largest ship registration centers in the world, and continues to boost its maritime services industry.  The country now hosts the annual Bahamas International Maritime Conference and Trade Show to promote the ongoing development of and diversification within this industry.
Lest we forget, Grand Bahama was also home to an oil refinery, BORCO, and Syntex, a pharmaceutical company.  The near full employment of Inagua powered by salt, and Spanish Wells by fisheries, also seems to elude the notice of those who have conveniently forgotten that aragonite was mined in Bimini and that The Bahamas has had boat-building and straw-work industries.
Still, tourism will remain our main industry for the foreseeable future, for many good reasons.  With less than 400,000 people our best bet is as a service-based economy.
We will never be a power in agriculture, fisheries or manufacturing, though we can successfully enter into niche markets in these and other areas.  Moreover, these industries can only employ so many Bahamians.

LEVERAGE

But we can leverage our small population, stability and strategic location to punch way above our weight in tourism, financial and maritime services, international arbitration, offshore educational services and other industries.
Despite tourism's exposure to external threats, we have more control over protecting tourism than any other industry. Our challenge is ongoing diversification within tourism, while promoting linkages between other industries and our main industry.
Asked his thoughts on a world energy crisis, the American architect and futurist, Buckminster Fuller pressed:  "There is no energy crisis, only a crisis of ignorance."   In many ways, the so-called long-term economic crisis some see in The Bahamas related to tourism is a crisis of ignorance and imagination.
The task for the 21st century Bahamas is to eschew an ignorance of our economic history while replacing ignorance over what is possible for the economy.  That ignorance can be overcome with the sort of imagination which prompted Sir Stafford Sands and others to recognize that in many ways tourism and The Bahamas were made for each another.
The current Minister of Tourism and Aviation, Vincent Vanderpool Wallace, understands our current historic challenge.  He has the imagination and experience to extend Sir Stafford's vision even further than the man who has been dubbed as the "Father of Tourism".
While Sir Stafford knew that tourism would create mass employment, he did not envision ownership of various elements of this industry by black Bahamians.  Mr. Vanderpool Wallace understands the power of tourism to create employment, wealth and considerable opportunities for all Bahamians.
But to leverage these opportunities the Minister understands that the country has to invest in critical infrastructure.  This infrastructure is needed for innovation within and the ongoing diversification of our main industry.
He knows that there are at least three 'Ts' that the country needs to improve:  transportation networks, technology and training inclusive of our schools and retraining programs for adults.
From better utilization of the internet, to making travel through the country more seamless for tourists from booking to actual journey, to better educating ourselves,   our challenges are clear, urgent and possible.
Moreover, the question today is not the sustainability and possibilities within the tourism industry.  The question is whether we have the imagination and will to transform the industry to take greater advantage of these possibilities in a sustainable manner.

frontporchguardian@gmail.com
www.bahamapundit.com

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News Article

August 31, 2014
Failing to deliver

On January 1, Latore Mackey posted on his Facebook page: "Happy 2014! I love you all!"
The following day, he posted something more serious: "Recommendations and proposals in the fight against crime."
Mackey ended by asking: "If not us, who? If not now, when?"
He added, "We are the change we have been seeking. To accomplish things we haven't before we must begin to do things we haven't done before."
Tragically, before he or any of us could see a meaningful dent in crime in The Bahamas, Mackey was murdered last Monday around 4:30 a.m.
Mackey's New Year's Day post and the numerous responses to it signified that for the average citizen, crime is not too far from the mind.
"Violent crime has skyrocketed over the last few months, with murder records being recorded on an uphill climb," read the post on Mackey's page.
"The terrible truth is that Bahamians no longer feel safe and the fear of crime has gripped the hearts of all of us -- in our homes, on the streets, in our businesses, even in our schools.
"Our children are growing up in a country in which gun violence is deployed almost casually as a means to resolve disputes, gain immediate wealth through robberies, intimidation of others and self empowerment of criminals, in part because there appears to be no national direction."
Mackey, who was a proponent of a national youth service, also posted: "I am of the belief that a national youth service from our citizens diversifies our defense and removes a disproportionate amount of the burden from the poor and inner-city minorities.
"The result is a greater sense of national unity, community building and integration between economic classes."
The post also recommended that such a program be funded through citizen taxation, the legalization of web shop gaming, a commitment from foreign investment developments during the signing of heads of agreement and donations from the private sector as well as international organizations.
Other recommendations included increased penalties for gun/drug possession; increased law enforcement officers on the streets; installation of CCTV island-wide and a legislative amendment to address capital punishment.
"As it relates to the humane treaties or agreements we may have signed onto, we can revisit our constitution to include lethal injection for the death penalty to be imposed and accepted by the international organizations," the post said.
"Public opinion supports greatly the death penalty and many arguments are being waged that the lack thereof is what is fueling the seeming lack of fear in criminals.
"I have canvassed and spoken to many Bahamians of varying demographics that have all agreed, drastic measures must be taken to restore security and peace in our nation and in the world."
The post also recommends addressing illegal immigration and shantytowns and implementing a national ID system.
In the wake of his death, Mackey's post has been widely shared on Facebook.
The recommendations might be useful for a government paralyzed in the fight against crime.
It is clear that, despite the catchy campaign slogans, ill-conceived murder billboards and the Urban Renewal public relations exercises, the Christie administration is lost in the crime fight.
The murder of Mackey, Christie's press secretary and the deputy director of Bahamas Information Services, served as another reminder of the government's failure to "keep Bahamians safe".
At 85, murders are up over last year this time when the count stood at 76. At the end of 2013, the murder count was 120.
It has been many months now since police or national security officials provided the public with crime statistics.
Amid the mayhem, Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade has gone curiously silent, telling a reporter last week that he could not speak to ongoing crime concerns as the prime minister has already spoken.

Strategies
Following Mackey's shooting death and the murders of four other people in less than 48 hours last weekend, Prime Minister Perry Christie pledged to "go back to the drawing board" and review the government's crime-fighting strategies.
"When you see it now begin to stretch and extend itself to people who you least expect to be involved in any kind of underhand activity, who may have just been a victim of circumstance, then you know we have a lot of work to do," Christie told reporters last Monday.
He made a similar statement on the night Kurt McCartney, the brother of Democratic National Alliance Leader Branville McCartney, was murdered last October.
Christie said of that murder: "Very tragic in its implications, but a profound lesson to those of us who are responsible for public policy, and to all of our countrymen and women who oftentimes tend to believe that it is just those people over there who become perpetrators and victims and never us. But this now is another reminder that one of us has been killed."
In his most recent comments, Christie seemed to be admitting that his administration has failed on crime.
The tone of his message on crime has shifted since his days in opposition, when he laid the blame for the country's crime problem at the feet of then Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham.
On August 15, 2011, the then opposition leader made a nationally televised address on crime with a sense of urgency that highlighted "a major crisis facing The Bahamas".
Christie said, "An important reason for the escalation of crime in The Bahamas is poor governance."
He said, "This government has been paralyzed, unable to lead on this crucial issue and their determination to put politics first, not Bahamians, has made a terrible problem much worse."
The plans Christie outlined in 2011 made headlines. They were intended to convince the electorate that the Ingraham administration lacked the will to "break the back of crime" and had failed to keep Bahamians safe.
Christie said in that 2011 national address on crime that "people are afraid, and they are angry".
"They are afraid that the violence is going to continue to escalate, and they are angry that the government has offered no meaningful response," he said.
Months later, the PLP used its murder billboards to underscore the crisis and play on the emotions of voters.
It was a shameless act that now haunts the government as it scrambles to address the problem.
Christie's recent "back to the drawing board" pledge has been made several times over the last two years.
After the murders of four people in Fox Hill last December, the prime minister announced a new set of measures to address crime.
Christie said at the time there were plans to increase saturation patrols.
"If I have to put a policeman and a police car on every corner, as they do in some countries, we are going to communicate to the criminals in this country that we are going to root them out wherever they are," he said.
Christie also announced that the government was considering reinstating the 12-hour policing shift "possibly on new terms".
Christie said Operation Ceasefire will mount "aggressive" initiatives which include the expansion of the capabilities of the Royal Bahamas Police Force's Situation Room to collect and analyze data; outsourcing the repair and maintenance of police cars so the entire RBPF fleet is operational; improving the EMT program; appointing new judges and public defenders and improving intelligence gathering capabilities.
At the time, he said the government will also expand New Providence's CCTV coverage, expand the use of reserve officers, accelerate the training of police recruits, expand the use of plainclothes officers and adopt a "strike force" strategy.
While we have heard repeated claims from National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage that the initiatives implemented by the Christie administration to address crime have led to an overall reduction in crime, we do not feel safe.
When the government goes back to the drawing board, it will need to complete a full assessment of its crime-fighting strategies.
It now seems to recognize that crime should never be used as a political tool to win elections.

Politics
Both the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the Free National Movement (FNM) have at some point blamed the escalation in violent crimes on bad governance.
Upon coming to office, they were reminded that the approach to crime fighting must be multi-faceted with all stakeholders taking responsibility for addressing the problem.
Recognizing this fact last week, former Deputy Prime Minister and former Minister of National Security Cynthia "Mother" Pratt said while both parties are guilty of politicizing crime, the FNM is guilty of throwing the first blow.
Pratt spoke of being "attacked" from the platform at an FNM rally.
"That's where it started," she asserted.
"Both were wrong. It doesn't make it right who did it. It was wrong from the beginning."
It is pointless, though, to get into an argument on who threw the first blow.
From as far back as 2002, the PLP has been talking about bad governance leading to a high crime rate.
At a rally at Clifford Park on April 4, 2002, Christie lashed out at Tommy Turnquest, the FNM leader designate, on the crime issue.
Christie said, "I see thousands of Bahamians living in barricaded homes, too fearful to go to sleep and too afraid to come out because of the terror and mayhem that engulfs their communities.
"...Tommy T. may not see it, but I see children who are afraid to go to school because of the violence that stalks their playgrounds or lies in wait for them on the way home."
More than a dozen years later, having lived through one Christie administration, a third Ingraham administration and two years of a second Christie administration, thousands of Bahamians are still barricaded in their homes.
We remain unsafe. We remain terrified.
We agree with Pratt that politicizing crime is a bad idea.
It is a shame that she remained silent as her own party erected murder billboards in tourist areas and other parts of New Providence in 2012.
She also should not get into pointing figures on who started it.
As the families of Latore Mackey and the others who were recently slaughtered prepare to bury them, we shudder as the answers continue to elude the current administration and many of us who pray and hope for safer communities.

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Business Listing

Faith Temple Christian Academy
Schools - Elementary & Secondary
  • [ Location Closed Down - Permanently ]
  • Prince Charles Drive
  • Nassau
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
News Article
Fall For Chocolate
November 17, 2012
Fall For Chocolate

If Willy Wonka was to take a vacation to The Bahamas he'd be more than delighted with the Chocolate Factory at Graycliff which offers gourmet chocolate from the bean to the bar showcasing beans that are processed, roasted and blended on property with former "Top Chef: Just Desserts" contestant Chef Erika Davis at the helm.

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News Article
Family Guardian Founders' Day
October 12, 2011
Family Guardian Founders' Day

Family Guardian’s annual Founders’ Day provides an opportunity for the Company to commemorate its 1965 formation with a day of activities designed to positively impact the communities it serves.

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News Article
Family Guardian's Annual Founders' Day
October 24, 2012
Family Guardian's Annual Founders' Day

Family Guardian's Founders' Day is celebrated each year as an occasion for community building in the neighborhoods where we work and live.

Our new social outreach program began in 2010 to commemorate the Company's 45th Anniversary. On the third Friday of September our offices close for business and we pay tribute to our early pioneers and the communities we serve with visits to charitable organizations and neighboring schools.

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News Article

March 20, 2011
Family Island Schools Registered for Scotiabank national High School Track and Field Championships

Nassau, Bahamas - There are just three days away from
the exciting and competitive Scotiabank National High School Track and
Field Championships.
 

Several schools from Grand Bahama have
registered for the competition. They are Tabernacle Baptist, Catholic
High, and Bishop Michael Eldon High. They are bringing their largest
teams in recent memory.
 

Schools registered from other islands
are:

Long Island: North Long Island, N.G.M.
Major
; Andros: North Andros, Central Andros,
Mangrove Cay
; Abaco- Central Abaco, Moore's Island,
Agape Christian...

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News Article

December 03, 2014
Family Island Student Wins Financial Services Industry Speech Competition

The Presentations Ceremony for BFSB’s Essay and Speech Competition was held recently at the Melia Nassau Beach Resort, immediately following the conclusion of the Speech Competition component of the annual initiative...

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News Article
Family Island Teacher Shortages Prompt Students To Stay At Home
September 21, 2012
Family Island Teacher Shortages Prompt Students To Stay At Home

Schools on Inagua and Andros prompted some parents to keep their children home on those islands this week.

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News Article
Family Island student makes history
April 02, 2014
Family Island student makes history

Taliah Cooper made history when she won the Jr. Minister of Tourism competition and became the first Family Islander to capture the coveted title...

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News Article

June 16, 2013
Farm Road tennis tourney comes to an exciting conclusion

The first inner city tennis tournament was a smashing success, as a number of young Bahamians from the Farm Road area picked up tennis rackets this past weekend and competed in their first official tennis tournament.
More than 30 players took part in the tournament that was held on Saturday at the Farm Road Urban Renewal Center. The program, which lasted for 10 weeks, was sanctioned by the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA) in partnership with the Farm Road Urban Renewal Center and the Farm Road community.
Winning Group 'A' was Cordell Colebrooke with a perfect win/loss record of 2-0. Garfield White picked up a win and closed with a 1-1 record while Nelson Francois dropped both games. Elder Charles was the winner in Group 'B', and Jermaine Francis and Tannaka Burrows finished second and third respectively.
Taking the crown in Group 'C' was Devonya Butler. Nicole Rolle was second and Shawnna Woodside finished third. Venson Lewis was the winner in Group 'D', Lucitas Moxey and Enrico Simms followed.
Group 'E' was for the more skillful players. Christanique Johnson took that division, winning five games. Kashalia Arnette won four games and Jada Francis won three. Andre Smith dominated Group 'F', taking all five games. Kentez Ferguson and Jaden Francs both won four.
"It is always a pleasure to see the excitement and sparkle in the eyes of the younger Bahamians who have never played the sport before," said Derron Donaldson, BLTA president.
"Our vice president, Bradley Bain, is working extremely hard to promote tennis and making it affordable, but most importantly, available to all Bahamians.
"A number of the kids have demonstrated skills that can be worked on. The future is very bright and we will continue to introduce Bahamians to tennis. This is a part of our mandate, putting more tennis rackets into the hands of more and more Bahamians. Bradley has an excellent program going on where he goes to the schools and introduce the game to the primary school students."
The inner city tournament is a part of the 'Play and Stay' program that the BLTA has initiated. This program is being used as a feeder system for the local tennis association. These kind of matches are expected to be played on the Mark Knowles Play and Stay courts, which should be constructed shortly.

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News Article

January 23, 2013
February 1st Deadline For US Embassy's 2013 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Essay And Art Contest

Nassau, Bahamas -- The United States Embassy in Nassau is pleased to announce the seventh annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil Rights Contest. This year's theme "Dream Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.: Celebrating Forty Years of Bahamian Independence"will also include an art component in partnership with Antonius Roberts to encourage high school students in government and private schools to express themselves artistically.

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News Article

February 10, 2011
February declared Career Technical Education Month

Nassau, The Bahamas - The month of February has
been designated 'Career & Technical Education (CTE) Month.' The announcement
was made on Friday, February 4 at the Ministry of Education. The Minister of Education, the Hon.
Desmond Bannister said that the event would be observed in all public high
schools.

"We in education share the desire of the nation
to see our country develop and flourish economically and to remain competitive
globally," said Mr. Bannister. "In
examining the needs of our country, we have come to realise that if we are to
progress to the next level, there is a dire need for us to focus on areas of career
and technical education and entrepreneurship...

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News Article
Federation to Add two New Championships to Calender of Events
October 19, 2012
Federation to Add two New Championships to Calender of Events

Two new championships are expected to be added to the Bahamas Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation's (BBFF) calendar of events for next year.
President Danny Sumner has already started putting 'pen to paper' requesting the participation of the various armed forces in the country.

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News Article

January 12, 2012
Female Slaves in The Bahamas - a Talk by Dr Jennifer Bethel

Nassau, Bahamas - Happy New Year! As The Bahamas celebrates the golden jubilee anniversary of women's suffrage, The Bahamas Historical Society is proud to present a salute to the earliest women to make waves in the social arena - Female Slaves in The Bahamas - a talk by Dr Jennifer Bethel to be held at the museum on Thursday, 26th January at 6pm.

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News Article

January 22, 2012
Female Slaves in The Bahamas - a talk by Dr Jennifer Bethel

Nassau, Bahamas -
Happy New Year! As The Bahamas celebrates the golden jubilee anniversary
of women's suffrage, The Bahamas Historical Society is proud to present
a salute to the earliest women to make waves in the social arena -

Female Slaves in The Bahamas - a talk by Dr Jennifer Bethel to be held
at the museum on

Thursday, 26th January at 6pm.

Dr. Jennifer
Bethel is a Graduate professor at Barry University where she lectures
educational students in Research Methodology with emphasis on research
designs and methods emphasizing their underlying assumptions and inquiry
aims. In addition, she provides consultation to schools...

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News Article

January 12, 2012
Female Slaves in The Bahamas - a talk by Dr Jennifer Bethel

Nassau, Bahamas -
Happy New Year! As The Bahamas celebrates the golden jubilee anniversary
of women's suffrage, The Bahamas Historical Society is proud to present
a salute to the earliest women to make waves in the social arena -

Female Slaves in The Bahamas - a talk by Dr Jennifer Bethel to be held
at the museum on

Thursday, 26th January at 6pm.

Dr. Jennifer
Bethel is a Graduate professor at Barry University where she lectures
educational students in Research Methodology with emphasis on research
designs and methods emphasizing their underlying assumptions and inquiry
aims. In addition, she provides consultation to schools...

read more »


News Article

January 08, 2012
Female Slaves in The Bahamas - a talk by Dr Jennifer Bethel

Nassau, Bahamas -
Happy New Year! As The Bahamas celebrates the golden jubilee anniversary
of women's suffrage, The Bahamas Historical Society is proud to present
a salute to the earliest women to make waves in the social arena -
Female Slaves in The Bahamas - a talk by Dr Jennifer Bethel to be held
at the museum on Thursday, 26th January at 6pm.

Dr. Jennifer
Bethel is a Graduate professor at Barry University where she lectures
educational students in Research Methodology with emphasis on research
designs and methods emphasizing their underlying assumptions and inquiry
aims. In addition, she provides consultation to schools...

read more »


Business Listing

Fernandez Bay Village
Restaurants,Hotels,Wedding Planners,Dive Operators
  • Fernandez Bay
  • New Bight
  • Cat Island, Bahamas
News Article

November 15, 2010
Festival Attracts High Profile Industry Players For Jury and Panels

The Bahamas International Film Festival (BIFF) announced today the members of the jury that will preside over the 7th edition of the Festival, which takes place December 1-5, 2010. The jury was revealed today by BIFF Founder and Executive Director Leslie Vanderpool.

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News Article
Festival Noel to Sparkle
November 11, 2011
Festival Noel to Sparkle

One can always count on fantastic local art being showcased at the Bahamas National Trust's annual fundraising event, Festival Noel, in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

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News Article

December 11, 2012
Festival Of Carols Held At Golden Gates World Outreach Ministries

Nassau, Bahamas - Scores of enthusiastic students engaged their
musical, dance and vocal talents to usher in the Christmas season in grand
style during the "Festival of Carols" held at Golden Gates World Outreach
Ministries, Carmichael Road on Wednesday, 5th December, 2012.

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News Article
Festival of Afro Caribbean Composers Draws Near!
February 13, 2013
Festival of Afro Caribbean Composers Draws Near!

Ensemble Du Monde are the words that should be on everyone’s lips just now as they are the flavour of the month! An international classical orchestra in Nassau! It does not happen very often but it will next week, from Wednesday, February 20th to Sunday, February 24th, 2013.

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News Article

March 10, 2014
Finance official: Consumer protection increase under VAT

Along with the establishment of the Central Revenue Agency (CRA), which will make the collection of taxes in The Bahamas more efficient, the government will strengthen the Consumer Protection Department to ensure that the public will not be taken advantage of by businesses illegally collecting VAT from their customers, Ministry of Finance official Lucine Mingo told teachers at Government High School recently.
The Bahamas has more than 30 departments and agencies collecting a variety of taxes and fees for the government. Mingo said that this has created a culture of poor communication between agencies, resulting in the inefficient collection of government funds.
"If customs knows that you've brought in $100,000 worth of imports, but then you have reported to the business licensing department that you have had a turnover of $50,000 for the year, which doesn't make sense, you were able to get away with that because the two agencies are not speaking to one another," he said.
While Mingo admitted that compliance with the law for major taxes and fees is often weak, he said that the ministry is making every effort to plug the holes in the system. The establishment of the CRA, he said, will ensure compliance with tax legislation and ease the burden of policing the 4,000 businesses and vendors collecting VAT on behalf of the government.
"Our new officers will be going to each one of these businesses, letting them know what will be expected of them," Mingo said. "VAT will require greater discipline from the business community, but will eventually mean improved infrastructure like schools and health care, along with enhanced social safety nets for the general population."
The new agency will be responsible for collecting VAT, stamp tax, real property tax, business licenses and taxes, hotel occupancy tax, casino tax and some bank and trust company fees.
For more information on the VAT implementation, please call the Ministry of Finance VAT hotline between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday-Friday at 225-7280.
You can also visit the official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/vatbah242.

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News Article

September 19, 2012
Fire safety essential in schools

Knowledge can sometimes be the difference between life and death, especially for children in moments of crisis.
Last year seven children died in fires in The Bahamas.
Fritz Hong lost four of his children in a blaze at his Sandilands Village Road apartment. The fire was the result of an electrical shortage, according to then fire chief Superintendent Jeffrey Deleveaux.
In an effort to educate children, grade three students of Claridge Primary School on Monday were invited to the launch of Fire Safety Awareness Week at the Mall of Marathon.
Janatha Johnson, the class' teacher, said it was vital for students to know what to do in the case of a fire.
"They are the ones who need to know what to do and then they can go home and teach their parents what to do," she said.
"So if we can get it into them early... they could take the information and save their lives and help other brothers and sisters at home."
Students were given pamphlets with tips on establishing fire safety plans for their classrooms and homes.
"They did this in their curriculum in grade two and so now this is their first term in grade three and this is like reinforcement and just reminding them about it," Johnson said.
"So this week we'll be reinforcing it in the school... but we also want the parents to have a plan at home because that is where we have most of our fire accidents, so that's what I'm hoping they take away."
Minister of State for National Security Keith Bell said it was important that regular fire safety activities take place.
"Fire services statistics reveal a notable reduction in fire-related deaths, injuries and property loss over the period January 2011 to August 2011 and the corresponding period for 2012," he said.
"To date, unfortunately, there were two lives lost in 2012 compared to 12 in 2011 (year-to-date).
"This year, 12 persons suffered injuries compared to 29 for the same period in 2011."
Bell said the government, in protecting people, is mandated by law to provide a satisfactory level of fire protection, education, response, and detection.
"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, our people expect a reliable level of response to incidents.
"The Royal Bahamas Police Fire Services is presently equipped with a small fleet of fire trucks for emergency and domestic response. This fleet has served us well over the past years.
"To help improve conditions, the government has made provisions during this fiscal period for the acquisition of five new fire trucks before the end of February 2013.
"These include four pumpers and one tanker. Three of the units are earmarked for New Providence and two units will be posted in Grand Bahama. Upon arrival, we expect that they will immediately be put into operation for service to our communities."
Nineteen people died in blazes in 2011. Deleveaux said last year that when those deaths are compared to the number of fires his department has responded to, it is fortunate that more lives were not lost.

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News Article
First Nassau Education Technology Conference held at Lyford Cay International School
June 20, 2013
First Nassau Education Technology Conference held at Lyford Cay International School

Nassau, Bahamas - Under the theme, "Heads in the Cloud", the first Nassau Education Technology (NET.1) Conference was held
on Monday, 17th June, 2013 at the Lyford Cay International
School. The Honourable Jerome Fitzgerald, Minister of Education, Science
and Technology was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony. Two
hundred fifteen (215) attendees from more than fifty (50) private and
government schools throughout the country participated in the conference
based on the cloud computing concept. The attendees had the opportunity
to interact with over seventy-five (75) technology industry representatives
from around the world. 

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Business Listing

First Step Academy
Schools - Nursery & Kindergarten
  • Firetrail Road
  • Nassau
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
Business Listing

First Step Academy
Schools - Nursery & Kindergarten
  • Soldier Road
  • Nassau
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
News Article
FirstCare Medical Plan, R.E.A.C.H. Bahamas And Ministry Of Education Pledge To Make Contest Annual Campaign
May 15, 2013
FirstCare Medical Plan, R.E.A.C.H. Bahamas And Ministry Of Education Pledge To Make Contest Annual Campaign

Nassau, Bahamas – FirstCare Medical Plan in association with R.E.A.C.H. Bahamas and The Ministry of Education awarded three students with prizes valued at more than $1k at a press conference this morning announcing the winners of the first-ever Autism Awareness Essay Contest. More than fifty students submitted 300-word essays on the topic “Autism in The Bahamas: Building Relationships Through Understanding.” Junior and high school students from across the Bahamas through their essays, recounted experiences with autistic peers and family members and advocated for unified efforts to promote autism awareness from the government, schools, private and public sectors.

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News Article
Fishing Report
October 18, 2013
Fishing Report

Nassau: Both Captain Adam Russell and captain Teddy Pratt report catching wahoo along the edge and small mahi offshore of Nassau. Checl out the pictures above...

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