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News Article
Chamber calls for work permit data release

The release of data identifying the number and types of work permits applied for in The Bahamas has been requested from the Department of Immigration by the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC), as it seeks to establish a "gap assessment" to encourage Bahamian employment.
Chester Cooper, chairman of the BCCEC, said that the organization has agreed to collaborate with the Department of Immigration to conduct this assessment which would help guide "company, sector and government training".
"One of the areas of concern that we have discussed with the Department of Immigration is developing a program to address the skills gaps in our economy. We have requested that they release to the public the number of work permits being applied for in each category. This will not only be used by businesses in planning for resource gaps, but also as a guide for students who may be in college or Bahamians living abroad who may wish to train for available gaps," said Cooper.
His comments came after the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) indicated that it is concerned about a "huge talent gap" in The Bahamas, which it indicated is set to be further exposed in 2014 by the forthcoming demand for management level staff by developments such as Baha Mar.
The BHTA is putting on a
forum addressing leadership and succession planning on December 5, specifically to focus on how Bahamian businesses can best prepare to respond to the "unprecedented changes coming to the workforce at the management levels over the next year as a number of major developments undergo massive recruitment campaigns to attract top talent".
Like Cooper, James Smith, CFAL chairman and former minister of state for finance, threw his support behind a more detailed analysis of the Bahamian labor market, saying on Monday it should be possible to have a better and more useful picture of what skills exist and where there may be gaps.
However, he said he would be suspicious that hiring by Baha Mar or other developments coming on stream could put significant pressure on the economy in terms of a "management void" without more detailed analysis given current levels of unemployment.
"The Bahamas is not a very large place and one ought to be able to get fairly good estimates on what's out there."
Smith noted that a job opening at CFAL recently attracted a large number of people with a great range of qualifications.
"Based on the applications we were receiving I would hazard a guess that there's a lot of people out there with management level experience who are searching for jobs. I would hazard it should be subject to more quantitative analysis," added Smith.

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News Article
Wife charged in banker's murder

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.

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News Article
FCCA donates school supplies in Grand Bahama

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.

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Business Listing

Bro B's Snack World
  • Kemp & Parkgate Rds (Bar 20 Corner)
  • Nassau
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
News Article
Boarding school reception

Colin Lord, Senior Associate Director of Admission and Director of Diversity Recruitment, will host a boarding school reception and information session for students wishing to attend Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut.

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Business Listing

66 Gauge Int'l Sound System
Sound Systems Consultants & Equipment,Disc Jockeys (DJs),Entertainment
  • Carmichael Road, Sunset Park
  • Nassau
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
Business Listing

Euro Tandoor Indian Restaurant
Restaurants - Indian
  • 6 Charlotte Street North
  • Nassau
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
News Article
Fasting in the season of Lent

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...

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Business Listing

The Village Grocery Store
Food Stores/Supermarkets
  • Paradise Island Shopping Plaza (back of the plaza next to Scotia Bank)
  • Paradise Island
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
News Article
US Embassy's Economic Officer GBPA Engage in Fruitful Discussions

Freeport, Bahamas

-
"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...

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News Article
Hands for Hunger signs up Sands Brewery and SHG Management for 'Paradise Plates'
Hands for Hunger signs up Sands Brewery and SHG Management for 'Paradise Plates'

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.

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News Article
Cruise ship diverted to Bahamas to avoid Hurricane Igor

By KRYSTEL ROLLE
Guardian Staff Reporter
krystel@nasguard.com

Despite churning in waters hundreds of miles away from The Bahamas, Hurricane Igor-which was downgraded to a category one storm yesterday-spells good and bad news for the country.
The bad news-according to the National Hurricane Center(NHC)-is that the large hurricane was expected to generate large swells in portions of the country which are likely to cause"life threatening surf and rip currents."
Although the NHC added that the swells will gradually subside in the next couple of days.
Sea swells are also expected in the northern Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Hispaniola.
However, the good news is at ...

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News Article
Jet Skis Ruining Beach

EDITOR, The Tribune.

ARE the authorities aware that Jet Ski operators are using the nice new beach at the Montagu Park to launch their personal craft instead of the boat ramp?

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News Article
Raw on Da Porch is a must try even for the most carnivorous of eaters

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.
 

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News Article
Exuma Bears Strange Fruit (Dispatches from Exuma Part 3)

[This is the final piece in a series entitled "Dispatches from Exuma."

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News Article
Four Junior Basketball Players Being Recruited By The Patriots

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.

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News Article
Priorities
Priorities

"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. 

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News Article
Can the Christmas office party ruin your reputation

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.

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Business Listing

Sweet Treats
Gourmet Food Suppliers & Products
  • Nassau
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
News Article
Web shops affect financial scruitiny

WEB shop gaming regulations will come under international scrutiny once enacted as the Bahamas readies itself for another round of regional assessments on its financial services sector...

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News Article
IWFW Makes A Fruit-filled Donation to Local Children's Home

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
humanitarian efforts...

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News Article
Rockets Cruise Past The Mariners In NPBA Action

A three-point attack in the third quarter, and David Taylor driving the ball through the lane, became the winning combination for the Phil's Food Service Rockets.

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News Article
Payday is coming

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 ...

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News Article
Making the most out of Avocados

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.

AVOCADO AND

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.

Sa ...

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Business Listing

Rose of Sharon Nursery
Plant Nurseries,Gardens & Parks
  • 65 Oleander Avenue, South Beach Estates
  • Nassau
  • Nassau / Paradise Island, Bahamas
News Article
U.S. attorney raises alarm over crime

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.
Crime warning
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..."
'Rare'
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."

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News Article
Norweigan invests 25M in private island

As Norwegian is nearing completion of its $25 million expansion project on Great Stirrup Cay, the director of cruise development at the Ministry of Tourism insists there is budding potential in the private island market.
Carla Stuart said more visitors are intrigued by the experience, and as a result, cruise lines are investing.
The fact that cruise lines are financially dedicated to enhancing these islands is an indication that this niche market has a high ceiling, she explained.
"More and more cruise visitors are seeking the private island and it's a direction that a lot of cruise lines are moving to," Stuart said. "The benefits of having this service is enormous, but whether or not it's a trend that the government wants to continue is up for discussion. But so far it's serving us well."
Great Stirrup Cay is Norwegian's answer to Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line's private island near Abaco. Half Moon Cay, owned by Carnival Cruise Lines, is located near San Salvador.
According to the cruise development director, five cruise lines have itineraries that travel to private islands. The cruise lines' respective islands are spread throughout the Family Islands, which Stuart said provides a good balance where jobs opportunities are available.
NCL recently opened up another segment of its expansion development on Great Stirrup Cay, as their private cabanas are now open to cruise passengers. Called "Cabanas on the Cay", the addition features exclusive services and amenities, and it's already pre-booked to capacity, according to Amanda Graham, public relations manager at Norwegian.
The private island also features a number of dining facilities, a hippo water slide and an island bar, with a straw market and other "behind-the-scene things" currently being worked on.
Stuart said Norwegian's recent investment on the island has been a great help in creating employment opportunities. She noted it's a positive indicator that an increased focus on private island cruising is worthwhile.
"Norwegian's commitment to the destination as a whole has been great," she said. "They are able to combine that with many of the other cruises that don't come to Nassau and it's a different product offering than the traditional cruises. If you look at the number of visitors going to private islands, it further enhances our product and also increases the amount of visitors that come here."
As for the cruise sector in general, Stuart is encouraged that the summer season will be as strong or even outperform last year's output. In a recent interview with Guardian Business, Stuart revealed that the industry recorded an 11 percent spike in passengers in the first quarter compared to the previous year. The Ministry of Tourism is estimating at least 4.5 million to arrive in The Bahamas in 2012.
"We have a positive mindset about the summer stretch and optimistic that it will be better than last year," she said. "We've completed contracts with a number of the lines and are looking forward having an active summer period."

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News Article
Acklins chief councillor: Trained tourism officer needed

ACKLINS - The recent visit of one of the Noble Caledonia cruise ships to Atwood Harbour, Acklins highlighted the urgent need for a trained tourism officer to be stationed on the island, according to Roston Cox, local government chief councillor.
"A number of tourists visit Acklins on a daily basis by way of airplanes and yachts and there is no representative from tourism to assist them," he said in an interview.
"I believe that it is prudent for the government to move now to train a native of Acklins to fill this position. Had there been a local officer on the ground in Acklins, things would have been more organized for the arrival of the cruise ship."
Cox told The Nassau Guardian that tourism workers had to be sent from Nassau to help prepare the harbor and arrange tours for guests from the cruise ship which visited the island on January 27.
The cruise ship caters to 300 retirees and elderly vacationers and first visited Acklins in April 2012. During both visits less than 100 people came ashore.
Anita Pratt, a local business person and artisan, was critical of the way the cruise was handled.
"I extended a lot of funds to set up for this cruise only to discover that the guests were not informed by the ship's personnel before they came off the ship that there were stalls set up for those who wished to purchase crafts and T-shirts."
Pratt was also upset about other aspects of the cruise.
"While the visit probably looked good on television it, however, had many glitches. Four bus tours were planned and only one was done. Tourists expressed the desire to see the island to experience its natural beauty, but everything was cut short. Better planning needs to be done in the future if the island is to benefit from these cruises," she said.
Cox was critical of the way funds were spent in preparation for the cruise.
"I don't feel that the Bahamian government, and in particular the good folks of Acklins, got value for the $80,000-plus that was spent to prepare Atwood Harbour for the visit of the cruise ship, Noble Caledonia," he said.
"I believe more could have been done with that money like the construction of a permanent restroom block, instead of bringing 'Potty Johns' out of Nassau."
Cox also criticized the government for not making certain changes after the 2012 cruise visit.
"The Ministry of Tourism was told by the cruise line that they will return back in April 2012, but nothing was done to prepare for future cruises. No training for guides, and no construction of facilities, no signage, no sitting area, no cleaning of the cave and no repairs done to the light houses at the harbor site," he said.
"Local government council office in Acklins does not have any funds. Our budget was cut by 12 percent. We can barely take care of the financial commitments we have now. So, certainly they don't expect us to do those things on the skeleton budget they gave us."

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