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Ten days after relatives of Stephen Sherman wept as crime scene investigators documented his murder outside his Yamacraw Shores home, police yesterday charged his wife with conspiring to have him killed.
Some of those same relatives were among the dozens of spectators, who gathered in and around the South Street court complex, trying to get a peak at 43-year-old Renea Sherman.
With feet shackled, Sherman was marched from the Nassau Street Police Station to Court Number One, as the crowd, including some of her co-workers from the Water and Sewerage Corporation, looked on.
Family members and loved ones of the murdered banker struggled to find a seat in the courtroom to hear the charges levied against his wife.
Sherman's face remained expressionless as she also sat in the courtroom waiting for Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez to appear.
She was charged with conspiracy to commit the February 17 murder, along with 33-year-old Jermaine Russell of Cascarilla Street and 21-year-old Janaldo Farrington of Breadfruit Street.
Sherman and Russell were also charged with aiding and abetting the murder of her husband.
Farrington was charged with Stephen's murder and two counts of armed robbery.
The defendants were not required to enter a plea to any of the charges, and Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez informed the trio that the prosecution would proceed by way of a voluntary bill of indictment, fast-tracking the matter to the Supreme Court.
Last week, 21-year-old Cordero Bethel was also charged with Sherman's murder and is also accused of robbing Sherman and his niece at gunpoint.
The trio has been remanded to Her Majesty's Prisons. Attorney Murrio Ducille represented Sherman.
Stephen worked at the Royal Bank of Canada.
The father of two was 47 years old when he was killed.
His case has garnered widespread attention, blossoming from a report of a killing during the course of a robbery, to something police claim was much more complicated.
Police say he came home with his niece around 8:20 p.m. Friday before last when a man who exited a silver Honda vehicle approached him, robbed him of his cell phone and shot him in the head.
The shooter allegedly took off with another man in the Honda.
The banker was pronounced dead at the scene.
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- In December of last year, the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) donated gifts to the underprivileged children of Grand Bahama as they have been doing for several years, but this time they wanted to do more.
Staff of Norwegian Sky a member of FCCA decided that rather than exchange gifts between themselves, they would pool their monies together to purchase more gifts for the kids of Grand Bahama. The staff members were able to gather $400 between them, which they used to purchase school supplies. The school supplies were then presented to the Grand Bahama Children's Home, and Freetown Primary School.
Mrs. Sandrea Bullard, Acting Principal at Freetown Primary School says, "The joy brought to the students as a result of the FCCA's generosity will be one that will have a lasting impact on our students." She also wished them blessings in their future endeavors.
Ms. Brennamae Rolle-Cooper of the Grand Bahama Children's Home says, The donation is being made at a much needed time, and would "go a long way in assisting our children with their academics." She sincerely expressed much appreciation for the crew's generosity.
On September 16, 2011 the Catholic Church in England and Wales returned to
the obligatory practice of abstaining from eating meat on Friday. The allowance,
after Vatican II, for self-motivated substitutions to this rule, resulted in the
erroneous widespread belief that the rule itself had been abolished. Not
surprisingly, fasting gradually disappeared from the ordinary lives of many
Catholics. The Bishops of England and Wales are now re-establishing the practice
of Friday penance in order to unite Catholics and restore Catholic identity.
We are now in the season of Lent and the importance of fasting cannot be
understated. Sacred Scripture and Christian tradition teach that fasting is a
great help to avoid sin and all that leads to it. We first hear of the
commandment to fast in Genesis where man is prohibited from eating of the fruit
of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. After Adam and Eve's expulsion from
the garden fasting is proposed...
- Kemp & Parkgate Rds (Bar 20 Corner)
- Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
"It is not an arrogant government that chooses priorities, it's an irresponsible government that fails to choose." - former British Prime Minister Tony Blair We are approaching the end of summer, the beginning of a new school year for many thousands of students and the commencement of the political season that will stimulate the sensibilities and passions of many.
"We're very much oriented towards building business ties," stated Kyle
Hatcher, Economic Officer, United States Embassy to The Bahamas, during
his first official trip to Grand Bahama. His comments were keenly
welcomed by executives of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited
(GBPA) who participated in informative discussions with him.
of my portfolio is to do outreach as much as I can outside of Nassau.
Freeport is the economic engine and on an economic and political level,
it's good for us to get out and build those relationships," he noted...
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- "We're very much oriented towards building business ties," stated Kyle Hatcher, Economic Officer, United States Embassy to The Bahamas, during his first official trip to Grand Bahama. His comments were keenly welcomed by executives of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) who participated in informative discussions with him.
"Part of my portfolio is to do outreach as much as I can outside of Nassau. Freeport is the economic engine and on an economic and political level, it's good for us to get out and build those relationships," he noted.
GBPA-President, Ian Rolle, was pleased at the level of discussions that ensued. "We certainly welcome your involvement and want to see an even greater United States presence," he said. "Our whole city is a free trade zone and Freeport is far better suited for growth than anywhere else in The Bahamas. Our message is about using this unique situation in Freeport to benefit the island's residents and our brothers and sisters in the entire Bahamas."
Opportunities for developing sister-city relationships between Freeport and key US cities were discussed, along with prospects for establishing Information Technology programmes or related businesses in The Bahamas. "Elsewhere in the Caribbean, even the smallest countries have burgeoning IT industries, and here you've got an incredibly smart and educated workforce," Hatcher commented.
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Hands for Hunger, a Bahamian non-profit organization that works to provide food to Bahamians in need, has signed up two major beverage suppliers as partners in their first-ever major fundraising event.
I'm just going to put it out there - I'm a carnivore through and through. My favorite cuts of choice - the rib eye from the cow; the rack, chops and shanks from the lamb - get my nod of approval all day, and dare I say there isn't anything better than pork belly. So yes, I am a carnivore and I don't have any plans to change that anytime soon. I really think my life would sorely be lacking if I did.
But I admit that there are times when I do need a break from all the meat, and from time-to-time have been known to whip up a little meatless something.
For about a year I had noticed this sign called Raw on Da Porch, but honestly didn't know what it was all about. I would pass it and think about these crazy Bahamians coming up with crazy names for their businesses. And ask myself what it meant.
It was in the middle of last year that I finally found out it was a raw food "restaurant" that ascribes to the belief that the most healthful food for the body is uncooked. Although most food is eaten raw, raw foodists believe heating food is acceptable as long as the temperature stays below 118 degrees Fahrenheit (the cutoff temperature) - and that was the kind of food that Christina Thompson, aka Chrissy Love, has served at Raw on Da Porch since opening her location at #1 Rosetta Street at the Hawkins Hill light. All of her meals consist of veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, herbs and sprouts.
On one of those days when I was feeling absolutely weighed down by meat I strolled in, not knowing what to expect or even what to order. I noticed things like ish (fake tuna) and chips, noodle bowl, Porch burger, Thai salad, sea salad and all kinds of nice-creems (Chrissy Love's take on ice cream sans dairy). And of course, I can't forget the green smoothie.
Not knowing what to expect, my very first order was of ish and chips and a green smoothie. I remember tentatively going in with my chip, only to be wowed by the flavor that was tuna-ish, but definitely not tuna, or meat of any kind, and digging in with chip after chip. Now I honestly can't say the same thing for my first taste of the green smoothie (and goodness only knows what was in it). As I understand it, whatever green is available on a given day is what Chrissy Love throws into that smoothie, so it could be anything from broccoli to kale to Swiss chard to whatever.
At my first sip, I was hit with a kick of ginger and the taste of "green" that left me wondering whether I really liked the drink, but after a second, third and fourth sip, I was really digging it and couldn't get enough. I traveled to the Palmdale area to get that smoothie everyday for a week straight - it was that good.
Since then I've really broadened my horizons and tried out a variety of her noodle bowls flavored with her choice of channa masala curry sprinkled with raisins for a Mediterranean twist, adzuki beans or chickpeas.
Then there's the mountainous Porch burger piled high with veggies sandwiched between sprouted buns that seems almost too much to eat. I've also had the Thai wrap, which of course is filled with veggies and ish (actually I could use a little more ish in my wrap). I've had the sea salad, and mind you it tastes just like conch salad without the conch. And the first time I had the nori nibs, it almost made me believe I was eating sushi (and I'm a true sushi lover to the core). So that was a major feat.
I've also had the ELT (eggplant, lettuce and tomato) sandwich with avocado and veggies, and here's where I had to make a 180-degree turn. The filling is served between slices of sprouted bread, a type of bread made from whole grains that have been allowed to germinate. The bread is often eaten uncooked or slightly heated by proponents of raw food to ensure the maximum possible vitamin content. When I asked to have my bread toasted, the reaction was akin to me asking for $1 million, it was mission impossible. Chrissy Love refused to kill her "live" bread by toasting it. That day I had sent out for a sandwich and when it arrived it was on untoasted bread. I do not eat untoasted bread, so I picked out the filling that actually was quite delicious and into the trash went the bread. The next day I decided to give the sandwich another try as she acquiesced a tiny bit and grilled the bread for me. This still did not work out for me because all that grill did was put some nice grill marks on my bread, but as far as the crispy toast that I adore, that was non-existent. So I've given up on that sandwich. As a textural eater, I love crunch and the dark toast that I like I doubt Chrissy Love will ever do.
Now Raw on Da Porch also offers a number of different desserts which I've yet to try because that's simply too much eating for lunch. But I must say, since the middle of last year to now I've been pretty enamored with the food Chrissy Love is preparing at Raw on Da Porch. I'm not missing the meat that I'll have at dinner anyway, and I'm having a delicious meal to boot. So I feel good that I give my body a break. But there's one thing that won't change, I'm still a carnivore through and through, and I'm always looking forward to my next lamb shank, pork belly or rib eye of course. But thanks to Chrissy Love for allowing me to lighten up when I feel like it.
Four of the top junior female basketball players in New Providence are of interest to Melissa Irvin, head coach of the University of the Cumberlands Patriots.
[This is the final piece in a series entitled "Dispatches from Exuma."
The banana is one of
many favorite plants which I have in my backyard, and believe me when I
tell you that I have spent quite a few dollars acquiring those banana
Aside from being a favorite in food stores, bananas have
quite a few medicinal values as well. Bahamian folk have used banana
leaves mixed with other ingredients to treat blisters, diarrhea and
fever. Bananas are also great as organic matter for the garden.
grow year round in The Bahamas, and you really can't go wrong with
bananas. Regardless of where you are located in the world, you can find...
The holiday season is fast approaching and with it the office party! So this week I wanted to share a word to the wise. Be very careful that as you slip into party mode, that you do not allow your professional reputation to slip out the door. While the office party is a time to mingle and have fun with your co-workers, be careful not to have too much fun, because no matter how long the night may seem, tomorrow will eventually come.
Here are some tips to ensure that when you return to work, you can do so with your head held high.
1. Don't let your significant other attend the Christmas party alone. Why not? Three reasons: Firstly, the office Christmas party is notorious for breeding promiscuity and infidelity. With a steady flow and consumption of free alcohol, inhibitions are lowered, judgments become impaired, and people become bold and adventurous. According to a private investigation firm, workplace affairs usually take root at the office Christmas party or at some other office social event. In fact, in a survey conducted by Men's Health Magazine, 44 percent of the men surveyed admitted that they had an affair with a sexy co-worker during the Christmas party. In a similar survey conducted by Trojan Condoms, 49 percent of the respondents surveyed (males and females) admitted that they would hook up or have sex at the office Christmas party if the opportunity presented itself. Reason two. If your significant other has already crossed the line, the office party can reveal the workplace affair. Observe how your significant other interacts with his/her colleagues. If your partner is hooking up with someone at work their body language and behavior will give them away. Is he/she avoiding anyone? Listen for the gossip and pay special attention to the person who keeps glancing in your direction. Introduce yourself to as many people as possible, you may be surprised to learn that Alex is indeed a woman and not a man as your significant other led you to believe. Reason three. Obviously to make your presence known and keep predators away.
2. Watch your alcohol intake, especially in light of the above, but also because too much alcohol separates your tongue from your brain, and sends common sense on a mini vacation causing you to say and do things that you will regret. Things like getting up close and personal with your subordinates. So much so, that they lose all respect for you and you find that you can no longer manage them. All because you crossed the line at the Christmas party and got too familiar. Things like cursing out your boss, getting into fights, becoming sick and throwing up, passing out on the table, and falling down drunk to the point where one of your colleagues has to take your keys, put you in your vehicle and drive you home should all be avoided.
3. Dress appropriately. Ladies do not, I repeat - do not - wear the shortest, tightest or sexiest thing in your closet! This is a visual that your male colleagues will never forget. You will become the topic of discussion in the 'boy's club' or worse, the center of a wager to see who "gets to hit it first". Remember, you should be striving to advance your career, so don't derail it by dressing like a tramp.
4. Don't be the life of the party. Some people love to be the center of attention and they look for any opportunity to claim center stage, including at the office party. Be careful of the avenues that you use to draw attention to yourself. So do yourself a favor - no flirting with your co-workers, relinquish that karaoke microphone - especially if you can't sing. Don't teach your friends how to dougie, and definitely save the "bumping and grinding", for the club.
5. Choose your guest wisely. You know what they say, "if you want to know a man tell me who his friends are". So the real question is will your guest help to advance your career, or will he/she cause it to blow up in your face? Ensure that your guest is aware of the proper etiquette and is prepared to follow the rules.
5. Beware of photographs. Technology has gone to a new level; everyone and his uncle has a camera phone and knows how to upload the photos to the internet instantly. Beware that you are not caught in any compromising positions with a hidden camera. If taking group photos I suggest that you take them at the beginning of the night, and make sure that you don't have a drink or cigar in your hands.
"But I thought a party is all about fun?" It is, but remember it's the office party, not a family get-together. If you want to survive the Christmas party and not have to call in sick because you are too embarrassed to return to work, you've got to play by the rules.
Dress like a professional, act like a professional, and party like a professional.
Stacia Williams offers keynotes, workshops and personal coaching on a wide range of: Personal branding, image management, customer service, leadership, business etiquette and international protocol topics. You can contact Stacia Williams at 325-5992 or e-mail
Stacia@totalimagemanagement.com, or visit staciawilliamsblog.com.
Nassau, Bahamas: On
Thursday 14th October, 2010, the inclement weather placed a halt on the
CD launch party planned by Mode Îsles Ltd, producers of "Islands of The
World Fashion Week".
The unexpected rain however, proved to be a blessing in disguise, as it
became the inspiration behind a generous donation of hors d'oeuvres
donated to the Bahamas Children's Emergency Hostel on
Saturday, October 16, 2010. In preparation for one of the most
anticipated events of the IWFW 2010 calendar, organizers were forced to
postpone the launch of the "IWFW CD Vol.1"; the official runway music to
be used in the "Islands of the World Fashion Week" international
television debut. Mr. Kedar Clarke, Operations Manager of Mode Îsles
Ltd, applauds the Bahamas Children's Emergency Hostel for being gracious
recipients of the gourmet treats and says charities like the hostel
make the greatest statements through its commitment to youth and
The Super Bowl won't touch down in New Jersey until next month, but the New York restaurant scene already is rolling out the turf carpet.
The city with the endless appetite for great food is going all out for the big game, mounting a culinary spectacle in keeping with the overthe-top nature of the event.
"We go crazy for things,"said Kate Krader, Food and Wine magazine's restaurant editor and a lifelong New Yorker. "But I'm kind of astonished at the level of things people are doing."
Exhibit A -- The 50 Yard Lounge. At the intersection of Madison Square Garden and Penn Station, the 50 Yard Lounge will offer what amounts to a five-day food and wine festival with athletes. Heated roof decks, tented plazas and restaurants will showcase themed menus from top New York chefs while current and former NFL players mingle with diners.
In some of the many chefand-athlete demonstrations, Michelin-starred chef Michael White will teach Football Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter to make pasta. And celebrity butcher Pat LaFrieda will show three-time Super Bowl champion Matt Light, formerly of the New England Patriots, how to break down meat.
"It's about New York City chefs, New York City music, and about experiencing the Super Bowl in New York City,"said Lonny Sweet, founder of marketing agency The Connect Group and creator of the event. "I felt I had an opportunity to show what makes this city so great."
The Super Bowl also will give rise to Forty Ate, a popup steakhouse created by hospitality giant Danny Meyer where VIP tables will cost $50,000 -- food and drink included.
Commissioned from Meyer by the NFL and hosted in the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel, the restaurant will serve burgers, steak and pasta with a view of "Super Bowl Boulevard," which is a section of Broadway converted into a street fair featuring a giant toboggan run.
A more modest offering will be found in Brooklyn, where the charity Taste of the NFL will hold its annual fundraiser to combat hunger. The event, which costs $700 per ticket, will bring former players as well as chefs including Tertulia's Seamus Mullen and "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.
Meanwhile, all across the city, independent restaurants from the famous to the obscure are getting in on the game. A.G. Kitchen on the Upper West Side will enlarge its famous Cubano, stretching the roast pork-ham-andcheese sub to 6 feet long.
"It gets away from the Italian subs people are used to,"said restaurant co-owner Spencer Rothschild. "All of New York is being transformed. Every restaurant should find a way to step up."The Asian-accented barbecue joint Fatty 'Cue is offering feasts of whole pig, brisket or lamb to eat at its two restaurants or for take-out. And Taquitoria, a Lower East Side shop that serves only the deep-fried, cigar-like tortillas called taquitos, offers 40-piece boxes of Buffalo chicken taquitos throughout football season. On game day, says owner and manager Brad Holtzman, they expect to do 99 percent of their business for takeout.
"They're the perfect food to sit on your couch and watch the game," he said.
Across the bridge in Brooklyn, the chicken-and-waffle restaurant Sweet Chick will create special combinations to let diners vote with their mouths. Chicken gumbo might top a rice waffle, says co-owner John Seymour. It's too bad New Orleans won't be in the big game.
But, salmon cakes might perch on a coffee waffle, which would be great if Seattle makes it.
And if Denver makes it, there's something else. Keep in mind, recreational marijuana was recently legalized in Denver, so hemp will definitely be in the waffle. "I wish we could do a pot waffle, but we don't want to get closed down," Seymour said.
Even uber-hip Roberta's, a vanguard of cool in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, is mounting a Tiki bar with football-shaped calzones, cheese pretzels and "cheap pitchers."
"To me that shows just how deep the food scene in this city," Krader said, "is buying into the Super Bowl."
I was listening to Joel Osteen on television a few Sundays ago as he was giving another very inspiring talk. He was simply advising people not to quit when the going gets tough. He said, that although some people had been doing a whole lot of work, success still seemed to be completely eluding them. However, Joel went on to utter the short phrase which is the title of this article'Payday is coming', as he endeavored to get everyone to realize, that the seeds which we have all planted, will indeed eventually bear fruit, as we enjoy a rich harvest.
It was really a lesson about keeping going in Tough Times, as we pass through Troubled Waters, trying to weather the storm and stay afloat. It w ...
The not so sweet, yet subtly smooth creamy texture of avocado makes it such a great fruit to accompany meals. Most Bahamians can probably agree that a breakfast of grits and tuna, with a slice of avocado on the side is a delight.
And as it is avocado season in the Bahamas, many people may be interested in unique ways to cook and prepare meals using avocados a part from the usual fare. Here are some recipes to try.
CRAB MEAT SOUP
8 oz (one can) of crab meat.
4 avocados, peeled and seeded.
1 medium onion, finely chopped.
4 cups of chicken stock.
2 cups of heavy cream.
4 tablespoons of butter.
1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour.
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.
Most Bahamians feel they cannot get skin cancer. This is not true! People of all races and colors get skin cancer. This common cancer develops in people of African, Asian, Latino and Native American descent, and not just white people. All races have heard the diagnosis, "You have skin cancer". When skin cancer develops in dark skin, the cancer is often more advanced by the time it is diagnosed. Researchers are not sure why, but it could be that the cancer is not recognized until the later stages, or it's possible that skin cancer tends to be more aggressive in darker skin. Skin cancer can develop anywhere on the body, including in the lower extremities -- foot and ankle. Skin cancers of the feet have several features in common. Most are painless, and often there is a history of recurrent cracking, bleeding, or ulceration. Frequently, individuals discover their skin cancer after unrelated ailments near the affected site.
We often view the sun's harmful rays as the primary cause of skin cancer. The condition is often found on parts of the body that receive the most sun exposure. Skin cancers of the feet, however, are more often related to viruses, exposure to chemicals, chronic inflammation or irritation, or inherited traits. Unfortunately, the skin of the feet is often overlooked during routine medical examinations, and for this reason, it important that the feet are checked regularly for abnormalities that might indicate evolving skin cancer.
Types and symptoms
Some of the most common cancers of the feet are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma.
Basal cell carcinoma frequently is seen on sun-exposed skin surfaces. With feet being significantly less exposed to the sun, it occurs there less often. This form of skin cancer is one of the least aggressive cancers in the body. It will cause local damage, but only rarely spreads beyond the skin. Basal cell cancers may appear as pearly white bumps or patches that may ooze or crust and look like an open sore. On the skin of the lower legs and feet, basal cell cancers often resemble non-cancerous skin tumors or benign ulcers.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common form of cancer on the skin of the feet. Most types of early squamous cell carcinoma are confined to the skin and do not spread. However, when advanced, some can become more aggressive and spread throughout the body. This form of cancer often begins as a small scaly bump or plaque, which may appear inflamed. Sometimes there is a history of recurrent cracking or bleeding. Occasionally it begins as a hard projecting callus-like lesion. Though squamous cell cancer is painless, it may be itchy. Squamous cell cancer may resemble a plantar wart, a fungal infection, eczema, an ulcer or other common skin conditions of the foot.
Malignant melanoma is one of the deadliest skin cancers known. This type of skin cancer must be detected very early to increase survival rates. Melanomas may occur on the skin of the feet and beneath a toenail. They are found both on the soles and on the top of the feet. As a melanoma grows and extends deeper into the skin, it becomes more serious and may spread through the body by the lymphatics and blood vessels.
Malignant melanoma has many potential appearances, leading to its nickname, "the great masquerader". This skin cancer commonly begins as a small brown-black spot or bump, however, roughly one third of cases lack brown pigment and thus appear pink or red. These tumors may resemble common moles, however, close inspection will usually demonstrate asymmetry, irregular borders, alterations in color and/or a diameter greater than six millimeters. Melanomas may resemble benign moles, blood blisters, ingrown nails, plantar warts, ulcers caused by poor circulation, foreign bodies or bruises.
When to visit a podiatrist
Podiatrists are uniquely trained as lower extremity specialists to recognize and treat abnormal conditions on the skin of the lower legs and feet. Skin cancers affecting the feet may have a very different appearance from those arising on the rest of the body. For this reason, a podiatrist's knowledge and clinical training is of extreme importance for patients for the early detection of both benign and malignant skin tumors.
To detect other types of skin cancer, look for spontaneous ulcers and non-healing sores, bumps that crack or bleed, nodules with rolled or "donut-shaped" edges, or scaly areas. It is important for everyone, even people with dark skin, to perform a skin self-exam regularly. It will help you identify anything out of the ordinary with your skin. It may also help to have a skin cancer screening by your doctor or nurse especially if you find a lesion on your skin.
Diagnosis and treatment
Your podiatrist will investigate the possibility of skin cancer both through a clinical examination and with the use of a skin biopsy - a simple procedure in which a small sample of the skin lesion is obtained and sent to a specialized laboratory, where a skin pathologist will examine the tissue in greater detail. If a lesion is determined to be cancerous, your podiatrist will recommend the best course of treatment for your condition.
Prevention of skin cancer on the feet and ankles is similar to any other body part. Limit sun exposure and make sure to apply appropriate sunscreen when you are outdoors and your feet and ankles are exposed.
o For more information on skin cancer of the foot, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.foothealthfacts.org or www.skincarephysicians.com. To see a podiatrist call or visit Bahamas Foot Centre on Rosetta Street, telephone 325-2996 or Bahamas Surgical Associates on Albury Lane, telephone 394-5824.
Freeport, Bahamas -
In October, The Grand Bahama Home and Daycare for the Aged will be
celebrating its 20th anniversary of caring for the elderly. Not only do
they provide a clean safe and caring environment for Grand Bahama Island
residents, but also for persons in the Family Islands, as well as,
those with family members from the Turks and Caicos. There are
currently 17 persons who reside at the Home, however, throughout the
years, they have filled all 20 beds.
The Home provides a critical service as they accept persons from 60
years old who can no longer care for themselves and since there is no
residential care facility for the disabled on the island, they have
stepped up to the plate when the need arises and filled this gap...
With calls from victims of crime in Nassau the "majority" of those received by his firm, a Florida-based maritime lawyer has claimed that Nassau may be "one gunshot away" from seeing cruise lines drop it from their cruising itineraries.
Jim Walker, partner at Walker and O'Neil, a Miami law firm which represents passengers and crew members injured or assaulted on cruise ships around the world, said he sees The Bahamas progressing along a path which led in the case of countries like Colombia to cruise lines pulling out of the destination.
"We've seen a pattern of conduct with the cruise lines, where they had extensive conversations with the authorities in the U.S. Virgin Islands, they complained about crime and when they didn't get answers they left. My concern is that Nassau is one gunshot away from having cruise lines leave."
Walker, an attorney for 30 years who has appeared frequently in U.S. media outlets speaking on the topic of cruise safety, noted that his line of work sees him receive calls from aggrieved cruise passengers who are seeking redress over crimes they fell victim to.
"We don't receive calls from any passengers sailing into Alaska, Canada or Europe, except some from passengers pickpocketed in Naples or Rome, Italy, but as far as dividing the planet up into zones, almost 100 percent of calls relative to crime off the ship are coming from passengers
who were in the Caribbean and that would include the most dangerous ports we're aware of based on calls and volume of ports, such as Nassau, St Thomas, and Roatan, Honduras; but Nassau calls are the majority of the calls. It's robberies, sexual assaults, being held up at gunpoint."
Nonetheless, Walker said that the number of phone calls he has received from passengers regarding incidents when in Nassau has remained "steady" over the past five years.
The attorney's concern about the future of cruise tourism in Nassau peaked recently when it became known that Carnival Cruise Lines had issued a crime warning to its passengers about the Port of Nassau, and revealed that it had been in communication with the government about the issue of crime and the safety of passengers it brings to the city.
Walker said he viewed this action - both the issuance of a crime warning to its passengers on disembarking at a port of call, and the admission that it was seeking to have the problem addressed through dialogue with the government - as particularly ominous.
"Once you are at a point where Carnival is having discussion about crime it reflects to me that Carnival is concerned business relationship is being impacted.
"I don't think its competitor cruise lines have made any ultimatum, but they've raised the concern and it's something that as, far as I am aware, they have not done in any other port - warning passengers of crime, and recommending they are going to designated destinations close to the port and on Carnival excursions."
Walker suggested that the admission by Carnival that it was speaking with the government about its concerns over crime suggest it is particularly troubled by the crime situation, given that such an admission might forseeably expose the company to greater liability if a passenger were to be injured or robbed in Nassau.
Robbery of acting prime minister
Meanwhile, Walker called the recent armed robbery of then-acting Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis in his home, a "real wake up call" which would not have gone unnoticed by cruise lines.
"It fascinates me that the acting prime minister was robbed at gun point - it's unbelievable to me. It's deeply disturbing because you'd assume you would take far better protection of your honorable leaders than some teenagers coming on shore with flip flops, so what does that say?" said Walker.
The attorney added that cruise lines by and large tend to do "whatever they want irrespective of what is good for the local port that they pretend to have partnerships with" and having pulled out of destinations like Cartagena, Colombia; Acapulco, Mexico; and St Croix, USVI, would have little except the profit motive to stop them leaving Nassau.
The attorney said that while the profitability of retaining Nassau as a destination on its cruise itinerary may tend to mitigate against it being dropped over crime concerns by cruise lines, if just one incident of a death of a tourist were to be recorded, this could change the situation dramatically.
"As long as no one is shot and killed I think this will chug along just the way it is. I don't think any cruise line has the foresight, or is going to disrupt their business interests, as long as no one is shot and killed. So do I think they'll just pull out because this type of robberies continue? No, I think they will make a point if someone is shot and killed of pulling out. It may not be permanently, but at that point certainly, I think that would happen.
"What happened in St Croix was that there were lots of complaints and the government did nothing, especially (complaints) by Carnival. Then a couple of passengers were shot and killed and poof - they departed in 2003, almost immediately," said Walker.
Walker has been highlighting his views on the crime situation in The Bahamas and its implications for cruise tourism in his blog, Cruise Law News. He is not the only one blogging on this topic. Guardian Business found at least one other law firm specializing in cruise passenger safety cases which was highlighting the crime situation in The Bahamas as a threat to passengers and tourism.
Walker has taken flack for his decision to flag The Bahamas as a potentially unsafe destination for cruise passengers by "patriotic Bahamians" who argue that it is rare for tourists to become crime victims.
However, Walker argues that in his experience, it is not only tourists who venture into some of the less touristic parts of Nassau who can become victims of crime.
"Some of these things are not remotely happening 'over the hill'. There's an equal percentage of young women who are at (a local business) and something will happen between the bar and the cruise ship, even when they are near police substations, and that's concerning to us..."
Meanwhile, he added that he was worried by the fact that visitors "almost uniformly" tell him that police in The Bahamas tell them that such incidents are "rare" or "have never happened before."
"It seems that whereas local press is extraordinarily transparent, the local police seem to be more motivated to act as tourism representatives."
Noting that by and large he does not believe most passengers view The Bahamas as a crime hot spot, Walker suggested that travel agents should be warning passengers about crime rates so that they can make informed travel decisions.
"Ninety five per cent of people will have a wonderful time, but if I was a travel agent, I wouldn't be so motivated by commission to do basic research on recommending where people sail. A lot of people are patriotic, they want to protect their country, but my concern in what I do as a living is representing people who are injured or victims of crime.
"I would prefer to warn people and have far fewer clients than have people robbed and assaulted."