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In past columns, we have examined the ideal in several areas of politics, including the ideal leader, the ideal nation, the ideal electorate and the ideal media. Today we would like to Consider This...what is the ideal we should be striving for in a political campaign?
Firstly, we want to look at what a campaign should not be. It should not simply be an excuse for a concert, although concerts have their place and are integral to our campaigns, figuring prominently into our political culture. However, the ideal campaign is not only about concerts, nor are they occasions for public drunkenness or other rowdy, anti-social and uncouth behavior. Campaigns should not be looked upon, as we have heard several candidates from different parties suggest to their followers, as a time to enrich ourselves financially while still voting our consciences, or in Bahamian nomenclature, "take the money but vote for the party of your choice." In other words, the ideal political campaign should not be about bribery. An ideal campaign is not all about how many flags we can fly on our vehicles, pins we can display, stickers we can affix to our car bumpers and T-shirts we can wear.
The ideal campaign is neither noisy nor unruly. It is not about shaking the hands of those who come to you for your vote without delving deeply into their minds, motives, morals and messages.
No, the ideal campaign should be a time when you, the voter, earnestly and deliberately decide what it is you want to see your government accomplish for you, as a Bahamian, for your community in particular and for the nation as a whole. The ideal campaign is an occasion when you set the priorities of what you want to hear from the candidates who are all competing to be the stewards of your future for five uninterrupted years.
When we talk about setting priorities, we don't mean just being satisfied with hearing, for example, that candidates will "deal with crime". In an ideal campaign, candidates must come with the specifics of their plans for dealing with what it is that you feel is important for your well-being and that of your family and the country.
In an ideal campaign, the voters' time would not be wasted hearing a list of the candidate's old successes or the old failures of their opponents. In an ideal campaign, the discussion would be focused on what successes the candidate is planning for the voters' future.
In the ideal campaign, candidates will be clear about establishing milestones and yardsticks for their performance if they are successful. Candidates who are serious about serving the people whom they seek to represent would not be reluctant to set criteria by which they can be judged as to whether they are successful during their term in office. Candidates who are sincere about representing people would have no fear whatsoever about being judged and critiqued on their performances, knowing that constructive criticism can only make them better as they go about their job, which is, first and foremost, building a secure and successful Bahamas.
Campaigning with ideas
It is not difficult to determine whether candidates are serious about discussing the issues that are important to voters. There is a positive correlation between the quantity of mud-slinging in which candidates engage and the level of frustration and desperation that they experience on the stump. If a candidate is confident that his message is resonating with the electorate, then the focus would be placed on a discussion of that message and the issues it addresses, as well as the candidate's vision for the future. If, on the other hand, the candidate is desperate, the amount of mud that is slung and the depths to which a candidate sinks to make his point will dominate his campaign, clearly demonstrating his lack of understanding of the issues that we all regard as important. Accordingly, voters should take note of which candidates take the high road on the campaign trail, addressing the issues substantively, and those who sink to the depths of vitriolic invectives, or mud-slinging, in order to make their points to seek your support.
Political campaigns in The Bahamas present many opportunities for gossip and innuendo to abound. The rumor mill is rampant during the silly season. And often the more salacious the scandal, the more some people seem to revel in unfounded or unsubstantiated twaddle. In an ideal campaign, candidates would spend far too much time talking about what matters that they would simply have no time left to indulge in rumor-mongering. In campaigns, as in life, the idle hands, or, in this case, the idle candidates' tongues, are truly playgrounds for the devil.
Increasingly, in the ideal campaign, political debates should figure more prominently. This not only includes debates by the parties' leaders but also by constituency candidates. True, party leaders must be prepared to debate each other on the issues that will affect us all, and if they are not prepared to debate the issues they do not deserve to be seriously considered by the electorate.
Additionally, voters must be able to evaluate individual candidates in their own right because it should be a team of leaders who will govern us, not just the party leader. In future elections, the cult of personality which has punctuated previous polls and the prodigious primacy of the party leader must diminish and the importance of the team will increase. What better method is there to evaluate the team than to be able to assess them on the issues that they will be able to address in public debates?
In the ideal campaign, the candidates will no longer be selected because of connections, lineage and past precedent. In the ideal political campaign, candidates will be selected by the political parties because they possess strength of character and commitment to service. These attributes will be the primary considerations in their selection as standard-bearers. These qualities will be a welcome departure from many of the past and some of the current candidates, and should greatly improve the quality of representation, ridding us of the despicable behavior all too often observed in Parliament.
The ideal campaign will feature a majority of enlightened, intelligent, knowledgeable, and ethical political candidates who will inspire the Bahamian people toward greater dedication, helping to mold the society in more fulfilling and positive directions.
In the ideal campaign, if we take democracy seriously, without the die-hard allegiance to partisanship that perpetuates a polarized polity, we will come to fully appreciate that the ultimate responsibility for the welfare of our society does not rest entirely with the candidates who offer for office. Ultimately the ideal campaign will truly confirm that our future really rests with us.
oPhilip C. Galanis is the managing partner of HLB Galanis & Co., Chartered Accountants, Forensic & Litigation Support Services. He served 15 years in Parliament. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday 18th December 2010 8:00 AM
Native Dishes: Chicken Souse, Sheep Tongue Souse, Stew Conch, Boil Fish & Stew Fish American Dishes: Omelets, Egg Platters, Pancake Platters, Sandwiches, Breakfast Burritos & New York Strip with Eggs Free Wi-Fi
February has been designated head and neck cancer awareness/prevention month and included under this broad heading are cancers of the lip, mouth (oral cavity), nose (nasal cavity), paranasal sinuses, brain, pharynx (the cavity behind the nose and mouth that connects to the oesophagus) and larynx (voice box). This group of cancers are strongly associated with certain environmental and lifestyle risk factors, including tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, over exposure to the sun's ultra-violet rays, as well as certain strains of viruses, specifically the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). The awareness color for cancer of the head and neck is grey.
What is head and neck cancer?
The vast majority, 90 percent, of head and neck cancers are Squamous Cell Carcinomas. They begin primarily in the epithelium, the mucous lining of our mouth, nose and throat. Head and neck cancers are frequently very aggressive and often a second primary tumor develops.
Who is at risk for these cancers?
In general, these types of cancers occur most often in men at a rate of 66 to 95 percent. Factors which can significantly impact this incidence ratio include the location of the specific cancer, and the increasing numbers of female smokers. For example, the male to female ratio for oral and pharyngeal cancers is currently three to one. However, in patients with Plummer-Vinson Syndrome (a disease that occurs mainly in people with chronic iron deficiency anaemia), which causes difficulty in swallowing, due to small, thin growths of tissue that partially block the upper oesophagus (food tube), the position is reversed, with 80 percent of the cancers occurring in women.
The incidence also increases with age. Most patients are between 50 and 70 years. There are more women and fewer smokers in younger patients. Also, people with HPV-associated head and neck cancer tend to be younger -- in their 30s and 40s -- when first diagnosed.
In the United States (US), the incidence of laryngeal cancer is significantly higher in African Americans relative to white, Asian and Hispanic populations. Also in African Americans, this type of cancer is associated with lower survival for similar tumor stage. For example, the overall survival rate is 56 percent in whites versus 34 percent in African Americans. It is estimated that each year, over 1,700 new cases of HPV-associated head and neck cancers are diagnosed in women, and some 5,700 are diagnosed in men.
In 2011 alone in the US, approximately 39,400 men and women (27,710 men and 11,690 women) were diagnosed with cancer of their oral cavity and pharynx, and some 7,900 died as a result. Further, an estimated 12,740 men and women (10,160 men and 2,580 women) were diagnosed with laryngeal cancer and approximately 3,560 died. Additionally, most patients with head and neck cancer have metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis. That is, their cancer had already spread to other parts of their body.
The risk factors associated with head and neck cancers
There are a wide range of factors that can put an individual at greater risk for head and neck cancer. Lifestyle risk factors such as tobacco chewing and smoking (cigar and cigarette); irresponsible alcohol consumption; over exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays; as well as dietary factors, such as a poor diet and/or the high consumption of processed and red meats are also associated with increased rates of head and neck cancers. Environmental risk factors include exposure to asbestos, textile fibers as well as prolonged exposure to wood dust and paint fumes. Cigarette smokers have a lifetime increased risk for head and neck cancers that is increased five to 25 fold over the general population.
Additionally, the presence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or acid reflux disease, has also been found to be a major contributing factor. In such cases, stomach acid flows up into the oesophagus and damages its lining, thus making the affected individuals susceptible to throat cancer.
Signs and symptoms of head and neck cancers
There are many factors that would cause an individual to seek professional help, and they can all be caused by something other than cancer. However the watchwords of the Cancer Society of The Bahamas (CSOB) are "early detection," so please check with your doctor or health clinic, early, if you are experiencing any of the following: Swelling in your neck that may or may not be accompanied with pain; Bleeding from your mouth; Persistent sinus congestion; Persistent bad breath -- even with good oral health care; Sore tongue; Painless ulcers or sores in your mouth that do not heal; Dark, red or white patches in your mouth that will not go away; Persistent earache; Unusual bleeding or numbness in your mouth; Lump or swelling in your lip, mouth or gums; Enlarged lymph glands (swelling) in your neck; Slurring of speech (if the cancer is affecting the tongue); Hoarse voice which persists for more than six weeks; Sore throat which persists for more than six weeks; Difficulty swallowing food, and change in diet or unusual weight loss.
Reduce your risk of developing head and neck cancers
The most effective primary prevention would be to avoid as many of the risk factors. Do not chew or smoke tobacco. If you engage in these activities, you should stop now. Do not drink alcoholic beverages, or limit your intake to two drinks daily for adult men over 18 years old or one drink for adult women. Apply protective sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 with three stars, to the skin before going outdoors. Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet daily that includes lots of leafy green vegetables, fruits, especially citrus fruits, complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, cassava, pumpkin, etc., and fish. Also, drink lots of liquids such as water, coconut water, fruit juice, low fat milk, tea and coffee daily. Additionally, exercise daily, for at least a half hour.
You should also have regular, annual medical examinations, including annual dental examinations. Ensure that you get adequate sleep each night and time for relaxation each day. Limit your intake of foods such as hot dogs (which are high in nitrates); processed meats such as bacon and corn beef (which are high in sodium nitrate); donuts (made with white flour, sugar and hydrogenated oils, then fried at very high temperature); French fries (fried in hydrogenated oil at very high temperature), and chips, crackers and cookies (all made with white flour and sugar). Also limit your daily intake of salt, never adding any to your food at the table.
Should you experience one or more of the signs and/or symptoms outlined above, visit your doctor or health clinic right away
In secondary prevention, when diagnosed early, head and neck cancers can be treated more easily, and the chances for survival and a return to a normal productive life would be greatly increased. The goal of the CSOB is regular screening for prevention, early detection and effective treatment of all cancers.
Waiting for the results of a biopsy and listening to your doctor confirm your "worst nightmare", that you do have cancer must be one of the most devastating experiences for an individual to have. Fortunately, most often these days, this confirmation is quickly followed by the reassuring words: "It's in the early stage and we have a number of options to choose from, all with excellent/very good possible outcomes". Working together with the Cancer Society of The Bahamas, you can help to ensure that there are even more positive outcomes every time a diagnosis of cancer is confirmed.
oFor more information on the work of the CSOB, telephone 323-4441 or 323-4482 or visit the website at www.cancersocietybahamas.com.
Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Jesus put a child in the midst and said, "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." -- Matthew 18:1,4.
Mostly when I am out of town, it is customary for me to call and find out how everything is going. I was on the phone with my sister, Bertha, when she got a call from my sister-in-law, Sharon, saying that Reuben was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). On asking which Reuben it was, I found out that it was my little seven-year-old nephew, the son of my brother, Pastor Reuben. I was standing, but my faith stabilized me.
That day on Thursday, February 16, I was already in a very reflective mood since it was my late mother's birthday, and precious memories were flowing. Reuben's death happened so suddenly and without notice. It seemed to be the flu, but it took him immediately to the ICU with a grave prognosis. In three short days, little Reuben went to be with the Lord. My sister, Carmella, told me that on his first day in ICU, he removed the mask from his face and said "Psalm 17" and please do read it.
As I look over my nephew's life, I cannot but conclude that angels are not for the long haul, but for the expressed purpose of a mission to be accomplished. He was highly intelligent, technologically savvy, musically endowed with the most crystal clear voice I have ever heard. I attended Marjorie Knowles' music recital at St. Matthew's during the Christmas and he performed "The First Noel" flawlessly. I was extra excited because my first music recital given by Meta Cumberbatch at age eight was held in St. Matthew's schoolroom.
Reuben was meek, gentle and well-spoken. He was as Christian as his faith was strong. His seven-year-old life could have been measured symbolically in the life of one who had fulfilled all the requirements needed for entrance to the pearly city. Now I know that the days of our life are three score years and 10, but it does not necessarily mean that it is out of God's will if one dies before 70, but any part or parcel of the 70 must be lived in the will of God.
It is amazing that the late Whitney Houston was not even buried, yet that the tongues of some of the religious order were criticizing Reverend Marvin Winans about his sermon. "He ain't do this and he shudda do that and he the next." These are the Christian preachers. Yet, on the other hand, high level media personalities were giving the entire service along with the sermon, high marks.
Such was the case in Jesus' day as recorded in our text. Rather than rescuing the perishing, caring for the dying and witnessing to lost men about the salvific gospel of Jesus Christ, they were trying to find out among them, who was numero uno in the kingdom of God. Who among us could preach the best, has the biggest church with the most members? Who is popular in every nook and cranny? Who is wearing the latest and longest suit and the most expensive shoes? Whose robe is the grandest of them all?
Jesus had just come down from the mountain where His Transfiguration took place in the presence of Peter, James and John, and the multitude were waiting for him. A certain man among them begged Jesus to heal his lunatic son, as the many attacks were beginning to take a toll on the health of both he and his wife. Jesus rebuked the demon and the child was restored to good health.
Thereafter the disciples came to Jesus to find out who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And who so shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But who so shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."
For me, through the death of little Reuben, the word of God has become more clear as to how we should live our lives and our daily behavior each to the other. Children are innocent, pure and chaste and never harbor jealousy or sow seeds of ill wind. They are just pure children who though spanked, will still share a smile. They do not support grudges and will speak the truth even though it may be to the detriment of others. While some may wait for the later years to train children, the wise ones know that from the moment a child comes into this world, serious training must begin. By the time a child reaches the age of seven, the life pattern of that child is already defined.
Once a man and twice a child to me has nothing to do with the physical condition of an individual, but all the graces and virtues of what it is to be a child. Our lives must begin as virtue-packed as that of an innocent child, and in our adult years must possess and show all the love, peace and kindness as if we are still children at play in an open playground. Thank you Father for your word, and thank you God for little Reuben of seven - fit for heaven.
oE-mail email@example.com; write to P.O. Box SS 19725, Nassau, Bahamas with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God's Blessings!
The book of Acts is coming alive at Jesus Christ Centered Ministries International's 2012 Holy Spirit and Power Conference, which is in its last night tonight at New Life Christian Center on Prince Charles Drive.
The gospel is being put on demonstration by American pastor Dave Roberson, who pastors The Family Prayer Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He ministers powerfully in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and teaches people the way to have the power of God come alive in their own everyday lives.
Bishop Sheldon Newton, who is hosting the conference along with his wife, Pastor Jennifer Newton said that God is moving in an awesome way and people are being blessed.
"Wonderful miracles are happening, people's arms and legs have grown out, Pastor Roberson has been ministering by the Word of knowledge and 'calling out' certain diseases and people have been coming up and being ministered to and being healed," he said. "In addition, many are being filled with the Holy Spirit [with the initial evidence of speaking in tongues]."
The conference has been supported by ministers from different churches who have attended meetings.
"[On Tuesday] the ministers received an anointing of the Holy Ghost as Pastor Roberson laid hands on and ministered to pastors and ministers.
"The Word of the Lord is also coming forth in tremendous fashion," said Bishop Newton. "The people have been feeding from the table of the Lord."
Going into its final night, Bishop Newton said the conference has exceeded his expectations as people have been able to see first hand the power of God in demonstration.
"To watch people actually be healed in front of your eyes and to see hands and legs grow out right in front of you, it's an awesome sight and I think it has birthed a hunger in people for more of the supernatural power of God."
He said that miracles and healings began in the first service and that people were shouting with excitement as they watched God perform miracles right in front of their faces.
"Our members were actually up by the pulpit looking and watching as they saw things happen and we just glorify God for what He has done. These are things that Jesus is doing through His servant and these are things that are available to every Christian.
"Jesus said that [believers] shall lay hands on the sick and that they shall be healed and what we are seeing is a demonstration of what the Word of God already said believers are supposed to be doing."
Bishop Newton said Pastor Roberson is teaching a lot on the love of God, being filled with the Holy Spirit and the importance of spending time speaking with other tongues.
"Pastor Roberson is emphasizing the importance of having a spirit-filled and spirit-led life and a love walk, which allows the power of God to flow through you. If you want to walk in the gifts of the Spirit and real power, you have to learn to love people and really care about people. God has opened up a measure of divine love to [Pastor Roberson] and he is walking in a great measure of that divine love -- that's what's causing the power of God to operate through him."
Tonight's final session begins at 7:30 p.m.
Pastor Roberson is known in Christendom for his powerful teachings on fasting and prayer.
After an undeniable supernatural encounter with God in 1973 Pastor Roberson left his job in an Oregon saw mill to answer God's call to the ministry. Since then, he has preached the gospel with signs following in nations around the world through church meetings, city-wide crusades and pastor seminars. In 1990 Pastor Roberson began pastoring The Family Prayer Center.
Whether home or abroad, Pastor Roberson's ministry has always been marked by a free flow of the spiritual gifts, outstanding creative miracles and physical and emotional healings as he teaches others to hunger after a more deeper and more vital walk with God.
Beijing Construction America is considering an equity position in the $200 million World Mart, pointing out that Baha Mar is made up of essentially the same "ingredients".
Zac Henson, the president of Beijing Construction America, drew strong parallels between himself and Tiger Wu, the vice president of China Construction America and a top executive behind Baha Mar.
The latter is now full steam ahead on the $2.6 billion resort rising on Cable Beach.
"It is undetermined whether we would take an equity position, but as with many projects, we build and finance," he explained. "We are a state-owned enterprise, we are owned by the government; the banks are owned by the government. Baha Mar is run by China State Construction, which is one of our counterpart companies. We essentially do the same thing, we have the same ingredients and we're owned by the same people as they are."
Henson and other top executives of Beijing Construction America were in Freeport last week finalizing some of the particulars behind the 1.1 million square-foot facility.
He was joined by influential Chinese investors and Bahamian executives.
World Mart is designed to provide merchants from China and around the world with an international platform to promote, sell and distribute mass quantities of goods to corporations throughout North America, Latin America and the Caribbean.
While Beijing Construction is under a similar umbrella to its counterpart at Baha Mar, Henson told Guardian Business there are a few significant differences.
Unlike China State Construction, which tends to import labor, Beijing Construction will employ up to 1,200 Bahamians for the high-profile project.
World Mart executives hope to start construction by early next year.
"As you can see, our counterparts at China State deploy Chinese workers onto the island. We don't do that," he said. "At Beijing, we sub-contract work. And so, the workers and the work community will come from the sub-contract community. Where they get their works is up to them."
The statement could indeed mean a new beginning for Grand Bahama and provide a remarkable solution to the island's 21 percent unemployment rate.
Challenges, however, remain before shovels can be stuck in the ground.
Henson said Beijing Construction America is looking forward to hearing more details from the government and other local officials on exactly what international merchants can expect if they set up shop in World Mart.
The deal is beyond "dollars and cents", and foreign investors will want to perfectly understand the value of investing in The Bahamas.
"The biggest resource they have here is 'Freeport'," he added. "Those words. Free port. Free trade. Exchange. Business. Culture. You can wordsmith it any way you want, but that is the core that should be on the tip of everyone's tongue. You have something to do with trade? Come give me a hug."
Fundamental to making the World Mart concept work, however, is being sensitive to the guest experience. He told Guardian Business that the business traveler is quite different than the typical tourist, particularly a client that is coming from 9,000 miles away. He called it a challenge, but also an opportunity.
Air travel to The Bahamas is another challenge to overcome and consider.
While Nassau has gained all of the attention, Henson felt Freeport would need to generate more direct flights and attract greater attention to make the ease of travel, and business, easier.
Comprising 1,600 stalls for merchants, World Mart, as the name suggests, would not simply be populated by Chinese. In fact, executives revealed a "household name" from Korea has already made a commitment to the project.
Securing key investors in different corners of the world is considered essential for the concept to snowball.
World Mart will be divided into five districts geared towards specific areas of trade and distribution: Fashion Boulevard, Technology Way, Home Goods Avenue, Manufacturing Place and Season Street.
It is expected to include a hotel, restaurants and other amenities, and ultimately employ up to 3,000 Bahamians.
Emile Hunt is the latest emerging Bahamian writer to take his work to the top and represent The Bahamas on a global scale - this July, a short story he penned will appear in the prestigious Transition Magazine, published by the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University.
Guided by a suggestion and then encouragement by his fellow writer and friend Keisha Ellis, who looked over the short story, he took a chance and submitted the work to the magazine despite being intimidated by the Harvard name.
Four months later, he was elated not only to find out that the story had been accepted, but that the chief editor of Transition Magazine personally relayed her positive remarks to his work.
"I wanted to shout in joy but I didn't, I just said a quick prayer and said thanks because I am really grateful for this talent God has given me," said Hunt.
"I'm grateful for this opportunity to have my work in the magazine and at the fingertips of so many readers. A Bahamian work getting out there, a Bahamian voice getting out there in this form of academia - I'm just thankful for that."
The short story, "Names of the Dead", said Hunt, examines the life of wayward pastor Mario Major struggling under the weight of the legacy of his forefathers. In a magical realist twist, he begins hearing voices of marginalized and troubled individuals in the world of the dead and begins feeling their effects on his physical and emotional health.
"Not until he comes to some realization of the people he should represent just like his forefathers - this disenfranchised - and helps them, not until he comes to accept the names of the dead, will he come to his true self and his identity," explains Hunt.
The story is just one of many in an impending short story collection by the promising young fiction writer. After completing his English language and literature studies at The College of The Bahamas, he went on to pursue an MFA in creative writing at the University of West Indies in 2008, beginning his collection of short stories then. Though he's completing his MFA this year, he's already looking at PhD programs in creative writing.
Some of his work has already been published in Poui, tongues of the ocean, and Small Axe, yet he hopes to begin finding a publisher for the complete finished collection this year. No doubt the latest acceptance of his work is the vote of confidence he needs to put the finishing touches on the work, complete the MFA and simultaneously find a publisher.
"The reason my collection took so long is because I couldn't complete them in Trinidad," said Hunt. "They were Bahamian stories and I was detached from my setting. I couldn't put the finishing touches on them until I got home and immersed myself in the people and the culture."
Indeed his work, like "Names of the Dead", examines masculinity through male relationships in The Bahamas - whether father and son or friend-to-friend or even lover to lover. Such a decision, said Hunt, serves to highlight the importance of positive male roles models in society.
Hunt himself is doing his part - he's currently teaching English language and literature at C. V. Bethel. Besides keeping his writing practice sharp by keeping him in touch with the basics, teaching an especially underperformed subject across the board in Bahamian schools allows him to encourage a respect and love for reading and writing in Bahamian youth.
"Spiritually, I believe men have an obligation not only to their families but to younger men, to teach them how to carry themselves in society," he said. "They can look at me with my rough exterior and see that it's ok for a man to express his feelings, to write about the experiences of others, to involve yourself in the depth of a character."
"It's important to change the path that most of our young men are on," he continued. "In my classes, the young men have come to realize what we call reading and education are not 'sissy' or 'light' or the easy way out, it's a way to express yourself."
Yet a love and appreciation for that craft also begins at a young age - something, which as a teacher, he encourages parents to develop in children the ways his parents did.
"I think it's important for parents to encourage reading. I remember my parents reading to me at a really young age," he said.
"I was rapt and from then on I was obsessed with characters and stories. Everything I could get my hands on, I read. My parents encouraged that, they poured that into me. I think it's important for parents to take note of what they pour into their kids."
Hunt is also grateful to his own mentors - Sis. Annie Thompson, Arlene Nash Ferguson, Fr. Sebastian Campbell and Dr. Ian Strachan, to name a few - who he believes have also helped him get to this milestone as a writer.
Next up, he and Keisha Ellis will attend the Cropper Writer's Workshop in Trinidad, a by-application only prestigious workshop that is held every two years for Caribbean writers. With this new accomplishment under his belt, he is ready more than ever to take Bahamian writing to the world and make a great impression on the globe.
"We're excited to go there and show them what Bahamian literature is all about," he said. "We're going to show that we have powerful stories also, we have tales we can share."
"I think this generation right now, this group of writers moving forward, this movement is going to be something great," he continued. "I think it's going to shock the world. There are more avenues being opened up to us in a globalized world with readerships, so it's going to draw eyes down here to see what we're doing in The Bahamas and that's going to be beneficial for all of us."n
Friday 10th September 2010 8:00 AM
Native Dishes: Chicken Souse, Sheep Tongue Souse, Stew Conch, Boil Fish & Stew Fish American Dishes: Omelets, Egg Platters, Pancake Platters, Sandwiches, Breakfast Burritos & New York Strip with Eggs Free Wi-Fi
The Bahamas Department of Meteorology has just issued a severe thunderstorm watch update; from 1:55 p.m. until 4:00pm Friday 25th, may 2012.
A severe thunderstorm watch is now in effect for Andros, New Providence, Berry Islands, South Abaco, Middle and Upper Exuma Cays, Eleuthera, Northern Cat Island and their adjacent waters.
At 1:50 p.m. radar and satellite data indicated lines and clusters of thunderstorms pushing east and northeastward from central Cuba and the Great Bahama Bank, across the tongue of the ocean toward the watched areas.
Some of these thunderstorms are heavy to occasionally severe at times causing strong gusty winds, dangerous lightning, heavy downpours, flooding in low-lying areas, and possible waterspout or tornadic activity.
Boaters in the warning areas should seek safe harbour and residents in the warning areas should stay indoors and away from windows until conditions improve.
All boaters in the watched areas should remain alert and residents in the watched areas should try to remain in doors.
In The Bahamas, heart disease is a major cause of death in people, as it is in animals. In humans it is because of lifestyle challenges (smoking, diet, etc). In animals, the cause is usually hereditary, heartworms, age-related or degenerative. Middle-aged and older small dogs are most often affected. A number of conditions can adversely affect the function of the heart. Heart failure results when a damaged heart muscle is no longer able to move blood throughout the body. Without treatment, the dog will die. Disease prevalence severely increases with age.
Signs of heart disease vary from type-to-type, but many times the affected dog suffers exercise intolerance (becomes exhausted quickly), may act weak or have a bluish tinge to the skin and tongue from the lack of oxygen. In most cases of chronic heart failure, the dog's body retains fluid (edema), due to the body trying to compensate for reduced heart efficiency. The result is a retention of sodium and fluids, increased blood volume, constriction of blood vessels and increased blood pressure.
Heart disease has a cascading effect on the whole body and can lead to damage of other internal organs like the kidney, liver and lungs. When the left side of the heart fails, fluid collects in the lungs (pulmonary edema) and results in a cough, labored breathing and panting. Obesity complicates heart disease and makes it more difficult to treat, but some dogs suffer weight loss and seem to waste away. Dogs sit with elbows spread and neck extended while straining to breathe. They may even try to sleep in this position to ease respiration.
When the right side of the heart fails, fluid collects and swells the abdomen, accumulates beneath the skin, and/or fills the chest cavity. This fluid accumulation results in congestive heart failure. Usually, dogs suffering from heart failure will have a heart murmur. Many times, right heart failure develops as a result of the strain from an existing left heart failure.
Congenital heart disease may or may not be inherited and is quite rare. Patent ductus arteriosus is the most common, and is seen in poodles and shepherds. Congenital pulmonic stenosis and aortic stenosis are also conditions that are seen. Acquired heart disease, unlike congenital, develops over time, and is commonly due to other conditions like cancer, parasites (heartworm) or infectious disease (periodontal disease). Acquired valvular heart disease is considered a disease of old age, with about one third of all dogs over the age of 12 affected. It is most common in smaller breeds. The heart valves simply begin to wear out and leak blood backwards instead of pumping it all forward. This puts extra strain on the heart. Dilated cardiomyopathy may also cause heart valve problems. This is a disease of the heart, rather than the valves. The heart loses the ability to adequately contract and pump blood out. The heart itself enlarges, but becomes flaccid, and the muscle walls become thin. This is usually a hereditary problem and is seen in boxers, cocker spaniels and Dobermans.
Diagnosis of heart disease is made using x-rays, ultrasounds and electrocardiograms (EKG) that pick up irregular heart rhythm. Dogs with heart disease due to heartworms can be cured if diagnosed and treated early. Dogs with valvular heart disease can often be helped with drugs that improve the heart performance and reduce flow accumulation. A diuretic drug like Lasix forces the kidney to eliminate excess salt and water. Vasodilation drugs like Enalapil help open the lungs and control congestion. Digoxin may help improve heart muscle performance in certain types of heart disease.