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News Article

August 30, 2010
Committed to Deception


Tribune Features Writer

A FEW years ago I watched a seemingly romantic love story on Lifetime. My memory of the movie is a bit blurred, however I do recall the movie being centered around lies, deception, and betrayal.

In the movie a woman falls in love with a man who seemed to be the "perfect" gentleman. He was smoother than the sensual timbre of jazz. He was wealthy, he had charisma, he was sensitive, not to mention attractive and skilled at making the woman believe she was the only one that made his eyes twinkle.

After a few years of dating, the woman found out the man who she fell head over heels for was married. Her heart shattered into a million pieces.


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News Article

September 19, 2014
'No Good Deed' is as predictable as a Lifetime television movie

No Good Deed (Rated C)
Cast: Idris Elba, Taraji P. Henson, Henry Simmons
Genre: Thriller
Dwight's Rating:

Ah! The Lifetime television movie -- infamous for a faithful dedication to a tried-and-true formula: either chronicling the struggles of a virtuous woman battling a life-threatening illness, or more commonly, sharing the tale of a heroine whose life is being threatened by a crazed rival, obsessed stalker, psychotic husband, or jealous ex-boyfriend.
With the exception of the life-threatening illness, there's a dash of all of the above and an overwhelming heaping of one in particular in the new film, "No Good Deed", which should serve as Valhalla for anyone who's ever wished to see the ultimate Lifetime movie on the big screen.
The extremely popular and well-regarded Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson star in this thriller. Elba plays a downright despicable character. His Colin is an awful scoundrel, and he's about to make life very difficult for our heroine, Henson's downtrodden and neglected housewife Terri.
To say any more would be to give it all away. As is often the case with Lifetime movies, the plot is beyond predictable. What are supposed to be shocking twists can be seen from miles away. I personally had the whole thing figured out within the first 15 minutes.
What wasn't easily predicted though, was that this thriller would be far too sexy for its own good! So let's be honest for a moment. As mentioned, Elba and Henson are popular, and that is indeed primarily because they are extremely talented and accomplished actors. But the fact that they are also both exceptionally good-looking is also a major factor.
The film doesn't seem to hide from the fact that Terri probably would not have been so open to "good deeds" if Colin were slovenly. And it certainly isn't the first time a movie character was blind to danger, distracted by another character's looks. Terri is no different. Unfortunately, "No Good Deed" seems to want the audience to do the same.
At the screening I attended -- knowing full well that Colin is a heartless psychopath, and that Terri is in grave danger -- (female) audiences in the theater gasped and moaned when Elba takes off his shirt. And the film milks the sexual tension for all it's worth. However, it does seem to cross the line when a scene in which Terri has no idea whether she may be raped or not is still played for sexiness. There's a fixation here on titillation.
Then there's the overabundance of all the usual thriller movie tropes: the stormy night; the window glass shattered by a tree branch blown through a window in the storm; the over-sexed best friend. Also, one would expect a significant amount of violence in a film of this genre, but the blood and body count is remarkably high.
That said, and even with the predictability elements, we still manage to get a few high anxiety moments filled with tension.
Elba and Henson make the most of the paper-thin plot and deliver credible performances, even if we may question their characters' motivations and decisions.
Elba is likable enough that this turn as a really irredeemable person probably won't turn off his fans. And in true Lifetime television movie form, Henson makes a strong heroine, and audiences may often find themselves cheering out loud for her.
But for those of you who aren't massive fans of Elba and Henson, then it might be a safe bet to just wait about a year and a half, and watch "No Good Deed" at home when it finally airs on Lifetime.

o Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of " Morning Blend" on Guardian Radio. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email and follow him on twitter @morningblend969.

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News Article

November 24, 2012
Twenty Questions

1. What's been your most inspirational moment in the last five years?
My first seven-day silent Vipassana retreat, and of course, finding love.

2. What's your least favorite piece of artwork?
I am not such a fan of extremely conceptual work, particularly if it's too cerebral and needing to explain itself.

I would rather be moved than led to think.

3. What's your favorite period of art history?
I love abstract expressionism.

4. What are your top 5 movies of all time?
Gosh this is tough.
The Sound of Music (I've watched it the most in my life),
Trainspotting (It was so fresh and unique),
City of God (Just powerful!),
Rabbit-proof Fence (Really touched me),
Hunger (Such an incredible directing debut).

5. Coffee or tea?

6. What book are you reading now?
Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha.

7. What project are you working on now?
There are two narrative feature films that I have written and want to produce in the next two years - "Epiphany", a Bahamian drama about a Greek Bahamian family and an illegal Cuban immigrant, and "My Life in a Dojo", a NY slice of life dramady.

8. What's the last show that surprised you?
NE6 was amazing (but in truth, I knew it would be)!!!

9. Saxons, One Family, Valley Boys or Roots?
One Family for costumes, and maybe Saxons for music, though I love all Junkanoo!

10. If you had to be stranded on one Family Island which one would it be?
At this moment, Eleuthera.

11. What's the most memorable artwork you've ever seen?
Most recently, "God's Bride" by Roberta Stoddard.

12. Which artist do you have a secret crush on?
Hmmm...either Frida Kahlo or John Beadle...?

13. If you could have lunch with anyone who would it be?
President Obama.

14. Who do you think is the most important Bahamian in the country's history?
Well for me, my mother, Irene Klonaris Govan, who is amazing, but for the country I would have to say, Sir Lynden O Pindling.

15. Who is your favorite living artist?
That's so tough...I love Lavar Munroe's work.

I think he's incredibly talented, as is Robberta Stoddard, a Jamaican artist I've recently come to know.

16. Sunrise or Sunset?

If I had to say which I love the most, it would be sunrise...perhaps because it's more special.

I see far more sunsets these days.

17. What role does the artist have in society?

I believe our work is a reflection. The artist makes connections both in the process and with the work itself - we illuminate, challenge, evoke feeling, inspire, generate empathy and a deeper understanding of our nature, our humanity, all of which can be deeply healing and ultimately unifying.

18. What's your most embarrassing moment?

I peed my pants at Wong's Plaza wearing my St. Andrew's high school uniform. My cousin made me laugh so hard it just happened. It was awful.

19. What wouldn't you do without?

At a high level... my partner, who is one of the best things to happen to me, and my friendship with my mother, who is my rock.
On a practical level - I'm in a long distance relationship and so when the Internet/Skype goes down I really feel it - that and my toothbrush.

20. What's your definition of beauty?

Truth. Vulnerability. Acceptance. Grace -- Especially amidst adversity and struggle.

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News Article

December 15, 2012
Twenty Questions

1. What's been your most inspirational moment in the last five years?
Becoming a self-employed artist, designer and photographer, there's nothing like the freedom of being your own boss.

2. What's your least favorite piece of artwork?
It's already been destroyed.

3. What's your favorite period of art history?
How can I pick just one?

4. What are your top 5 movies of all time?
o Roman Holiday
o To Kill A Mocking Bird
o Silence Like Glass
o Pan's Labyrinth
o Little Miss Sunshine

5. Coffee or tea?
Coffee in the mornings, tea in the afternoons.

6. What book are you reading now?
"Naked" by David Sedaris.

7. What project are you working on now?
Currently editing photographs for three weddings, assembling various adverts for Bahama Hand Prints, developing ideas and starting new paintings for a show Dylan and I are having next March, beginning the flamingo sculpture for the airport and working on one commissioned painting. I'm sure I'm forgetting something.

8. What's the last show that surprised you?
"NE6: Kingdom Come". Everyone really stepped up to the plate on this one and I felt that as a whole the exhibition was truly exceptional. It's encouraging to see so many Bahamian artists producing great work.

9. Saxons, One Family, Valley Boys or Roots?
Junkanoo full stop.

10. If you had to be stranded on one Family Island, which one would it be?

11. What's the most memorable artwork you've ever seen?
In truth I didn't see it in person but recently watched a documentary about artist, Marina Abramovic and her performance retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 2010, entitled "The Artist is Present". Such a beautiful film and a very touching performance, wish I could have gone to see her.

12. Which artist do you have a secret crush on?
Dylan Rapillard, but don't tell him.

13. If you could have lunch with anyone who would it be?
My grandparents.

14. Who do you think is the most important Bahamian in the country's history?
Sidney Poitier.

15. Who is your favorite living artist?
Kendal Hanna.

16. Sunrise or Sunset?

17. What role does the artist have in society?
Creating artwork that evokes a genuine emotion or response from the viewer - good, bad or ugly.

18. What's your most embarrassing moment?
When I was four years old, I went to the grocery store with my mother, the elastic in my underwear was shot and I was wearing a dress. Although mummy insisted I just take them off, I insisted on keeping them on. As I walked down every aisle of the store, they kept falling to my ankles, my older sister and friend behind me laughing hysterically all the while.

19. What wouldn't you do without?

20. What's your definition of beauty?
Being yourself.

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News Article

October 11, 2011
60 Home Movie Sure, But It's Still In Theatres

MOVIE studio Universal Pictures and its new parent, cable TV giant Comcast Corp., will try giving film buffs a chance to watch a movie that's still in theatres from the comfort of their living rooms. But the price tag for a single movie could have consumers spitting out their popcorn: $60. The test involves "Tower Heist," a PG-13 rated comedy caper starring Eddie Murphy and Ben Stiller due out Nov. 4.

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News Article

July 24, 2014
Beauty personified

Six women will vie for the title of Miss Universe Bahamas and seven will compete for the Miss World Bahamas crown during double-header pageant on Saturday, August 3 at the Grand Ballroom at the Atlantis Resort.
The contestants were revealed at a pageant launch event on Sunday, July 20 at the John Watling's Distillery for the event that is being held under the theme Beauty Personified.
With girls representing different islands to give the pageants a national appeal, Miss Bahamas Organization (MBO) Director of Media Relations Jerome Sawyer, says the quality of contestants has improved.
"We've always been happy with the contestants that we've gotten, but they're now coming from a broader cross section of the country," said Sawyer.
District directors within respective islands selected two contestants with ties to their district to enter the pageant, which Sawyer said took the pressure off the MBO in terms of recruiting.
With the addition of the district directors to the organization, Sawyer said the contestants now have a better support system, other than just their sponsor and families.
The MBO director of media relations said he also found it interesting that more contestants opted to enter the Miss World Bahamas pageant over the Miss Universe Bahamas pageant which spoke to just how much the Miss World Bahamas brand had grown after they took the pageant under the MBO umbrella.
"I think the public will be pleased with what they see in the preliminaries," said Sawyer.
The women will compete for "lavish" prize packages, including representing The Bahamas at the Miss Universe and Miss World pageants, a wardrobe, with designer Ashley LaurenKerr leading the way, jewelry, airline tickets and spa packages.

Miss Universe Bahamas Contestants

Toni Bethel -- Eleuthera
Height: 5-7
Age: 25
Toni, who has a degree in Criminal Justice, has always had a passion for Bahamian culture. This down home girl loves to fish, and is very close to her family and friends. Toni also enjoys public speaking, reading, cooking, acting and traveling.
Favorite things
Color: Black
Food: Sushi
Sport: Softball/soccer
Fun facts: Toni took part in Youth in Parliament in 2007, and can speak Spanish.

Tomacina Culmer -- Grand Bahama
Height: 5-11
Age: 22
Tomacina, who is affectionately called "Tomi" by friends is no stranger to the modeling world, having won the second season of the Campari Caribbean Poster Girl competition. However, she is also a down to earth tomboy-of-sorts, who studied carpentry and joinery in high school, and later went on to study automotive technology at BTVI. Tomacina also enjoys playing flag football, sewing, and singing, and is the lead singer in the band, B12. In her free time, she is also a Brownie volunteer at the Freeport Primary School
Favorite things
Color: Purple
Sport: Flag football
Fun Fact: Tomacina once did a photo shoot where she was dressed as a construction

Ominique Burrows -- Long Island
Height: 5-8
Age: 24
Ominique is not one to blend in with the crowd, and believes in always being herself and having her own unique style. Not only is she an entrepreneur with her own pastry business called, Sea Treats, but Ominique can also speak Spanish, and is also an experienced flute player, who loves fashion and reading.
Favorite things
Color: Purple
Food: Anything home cooked
Sport: Tennis
Fun fact: Ominique was the winner of the "Beauty Schools of America Model
Competition" in 2009.

Gabrielle Wong -- Ocean Cay
Height: 5-9
Age: 21
Gabrielle is a beauty with brains and brawn. She not only graduated as valedictorian of her high school graduating class, but she was also an accomplished track and field athlete. She has since put down her cleats, but she is still a big dance and Junkanoo fanatic, and is a member of the Culture Junkanoo Group. Gabrielle is also very active in her church, and in her free time, she enjoys writing poetry, reading, song writing, and modeling.
Favorite things
Color: Pink
Food: Chicken Alfredo with Mushrooms
Sport: Gymnastics
Fun fact: Gabrielle was her high school's head girl and has visited China.

Rokara Hepburn -- New Providence
Height: 6-2
Age: 21
Rokara comes from a family of statuesque beauties. Her cousin, Walteia Rolle was the first Bahamian to be drafted into the WNBA, and she is determined to make her mark on the world. An avid gardener, Rokara also loves to sing, jog, write poetry, and model. In 2012, she was also named the face of Nu Woman magazine.
Favorite things
Color: Red and black
Food: Shrimp alfredo
Sport: Volleyball
Fun fact: Rokara goes jogging every day.

Diandra Brown -- Paradise Island
Height: 5-9
Age: 26
Diandra is a model and actress who has appeared in the Bahamian film "Hurt people, hurt people". She is also a singer who has recorded two songs with the group Breakthrough. Diandra is a preacher's kid, and is very active in her church. She is passionate about health and wellness through proper eating.
Favorite things
Color: Blue
Food: Fish
Sport: Soccer
Fun facts: Diandra is handy with handicraft. She's very good at creating arts and crafts products.

Miss World Bahamas contestants

Pylara Russell -- Andros
Pylara is studying medicine at the College of The Bahamas and aspires to become a gynecologist with the goal of one day opening her own private practice. She is active in her church where she is a member of the dance troupe. She'd like to one day meet Naomi Campbell whom she describes as an inspirational woman of color.
Height: 5-3
Age: 18
Favorite things
Color: Black
Food: Pasta
Sport: Track and field
Fun facts: Pylara is pretty good with a sewing machine and even won a national award for clothing construction.

Cymphony Lockhart -- Bimini
Height: 5-3
Age: 17
Cymphony graduated valedictorian of her class, and hopes to one day become a behavioral analyst, psychologist or counselor. She describes herself as a quick learner who is determined to achieve her goals. Cymphony enjoys singing, and was part of a gospel group which captured first place at the National Arts Festival. When she's not singing she enjoys a challenging game of ping pong.
Favorite things
Color: Green
Food: Lobster
Sport: Volleyball
Fun fact: The most unusual thing Cymphony has ever done was randomly breaking out into a song and beat box routine for a group of strangers.

Krishanna Culmer -- Eleuthera
Height: 5-7
Age: 22
Krishanna is a pageant veteran who comes from a family of beauty queens. Every female in Krishanna's family, including her mother, has participated in pageants. She placed first runner up in the 2009 Miss Teen Bahamas Pageant and has also competed in Miss Earth Bahamas, and Miss Global Bahamas. Her ambition is to become a lawyer.
Favorite things
Color: Black and red
Food: Steamed fish
Sport: Volleyball
Fun fact: As a child, Krishanna was intrigued by the movie Mary Poppins, and even tried to emulate the fictional character. One day she went on the roof of her home with the umbrella and jumped off. Krishanna describes herself as "peppy" and says she never lets anything dampen her spirit.

Rosetta Cartwright -- Grand Bahama
Height: 5-10
Age: 19
Rosetta hails from Sweeting's Cay, a small cay near Grand Bahama Island. She is a Dean's List student at the College of the Bahamas. She is passionate about inspiring others to remain positive in the face of difficulties. She would like to meet Lupita Nyong'o, whom she says inspired her not to give up on her dreams.
Favorite things
Color: Black
Food: Cracked lobster
Sport: Basketball
Fun facts: Rosetta loves watching cooking shows and is convinced that she is a master chef. Her mother disagrees. Rosetta is not afraid of getting physical if need be. She once had to help free a boat that became stuck on a sand bank while trying to get home. Rosetta is known to serenade her friends as her way of trying to brighten their day.

Shanae Strachan -- New Providence
Height: 5' 10"
Age: 22
Shanae Graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor's of Business Administration in Hospitality Management at the age of 19. She is passionate about the development of women and girls as they strive for equality, nationally and worldwide. Shanae has travelled extensively, and has volunteered in Bulgaria, Peru, and Uganda.
Favorite things
Color: Green
Food: Anything Thai
Sport: Basketball
Fun facts: Shanae has been modeling since the age of 8, and has walked the runway of hundreds of fashion and designer shows. Shanae is a trained fire dancer and has rushed with the Saxons Superstars Junkanoo group for the past eight years. While living and studying abroad, Shanae worked for U.S. Congressman Charles B. Rangel.

Chantel O'Brian -- Ocean Cay
Height: 5' 7"
Age: 20
Chantel is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Marketing at the College of The Bahamas. She is an accomplished model, and has appeared as the face of several campaigns. Chantel has also competed in several pageants, including the 2013 Miss World Bahamas pageant where she placed 1st runner up. She is very close with her mother and says she wants to continuously make her proud.
Favorite things
Color: Red
Food: Chicken fettucine
Sport: Basketball
Fun facts: Chantel has a famous face. She has served as the Face Of Eye Candy Makeup Co.; the Face Of Roses From Concrete; and the Face of Adele 13 Crotchet and Swimwear Accessories.

Rontre Rolle -- Paradise Island
Height: 5' 10"
Age: 20
Rontre's philosophy is life is a journey, and the only way out is to move forward and not look back. She says her proudest moment was going to college because she was able to prove wrong the people who doubted her abilities as a child. She loves to sing and dance, and is an active volleyball and softball player.
Favorite things
Color: Purple
Food: Ham
Sport: Volleyball and softball
Fun fact: Once while in college, Rontre stood in the middle of the main floor and sang to everyone who walked by.

Events Calendar
Friday, July 25 -- Top Model
Where: British Colonial Hilton, Bay Street
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: $35

July 26 - National Dress/Costume
Where: Pompey Square, Bay Street
Time: 4 p.m.
Admission: $15

July 27 -- Swimsuit
Where: John Watlings Distillery, Delancey Street
Time: 6 p.m.
Admission: $35

August 1 -- Evening gown/talent
Where: St. Joseph's Hall, Boyd Road
Time: 8 p.m.
Admission: $50 VIP, $35 general

Finale double header
August 3 -- Miss World Bahamas, Atlantis Grand Ballroom
Time: 3 p.m.
August 3 -- Miss Universe Bahamas, Atlantis Grand Ballroom
Time: 7 p.m.
Tickets: $75 VIP, $50 deluxe, $35 preferred

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News Article

March 31, 2014
'Pocket Rocket' coming to The Bahamas for the first time

KINGSTON, Jamaica - It's hard to imagine that Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the darling of the entire Caribbean, has never stepped foot on the sunny islands of The Bahamas.
This May, she intends to change that by taking part in the inaugural International Association of Athletics Federations' (IAAF) World Relay Championships, and the compact World and Olympic Champion is looking forward to the trip.
Winning four of the past five sprint global titles outdoors in the 100 meters (m), and by adding a 60m indoor title this year, the Jamaican national record holder is unquestionably the number one female sprinter in the world right now. Inclusive of relays, she has eight global gold medals since her OIympic debut in Beijing, China.
Her coach Stephen Francis calls her the greatest female sprinter over 100m in the history of athletics. With the hardware she has racked up in just a short period of time, it would be difficult to dispute that. In short, no other woman has done what she did, particularly in the 100m over the past six years. Still, the 27-year-old petite 'pocket rocket', as she is called by her many fans, remains as humble as ever, while still focussing on getting better.
"I'm driven from the inside and from certain circumstances what happened in my life. I don't pay attention to where I fall in history. I just want to continue to get better, and leave the sport better than I found it," said Fraser-Pryce. "I'm reserved. I try to stay away from being looked at as number one - just try to remain humble and grounded. Even after I won the three gold medals in Moscow (2013 World Championships), when I got back to my room, I was like, 'how am I possibly going to top this'. My husband says that I never enjoy anything, but enjoyment will come in time. I just want to continue to get better, and ensure that other young athletes could see that you need to work hard and you need to stay grounded and focussed to get to the top. The sky is the limit."
Fraser-Pryce leads by example. After pulling up to her morning workout last Thursday in her Mercedes jeep, she turned on her Bob Marley music through her head phones, and then engaged in an intense training session.
Francis, the head coach of the Maximizing Velocity and Power (MVP) Track Club, has the ultimate confidence in her.
"Stephen is a wonderful man. He looks rough, but inside he is soft-hearted," said Fraser-Pryce. "I admire him for the fact that he believes in me so much, and I believe in him as well. It's a two-way thing. For you to reap the rewards, you have to pay attention to the coach. I've always listened to him. He has not guided me wrong.
"I just want to continue to pave the way for the young men and women in our society. There is many more to come from Shelly-Ann. I still want to run 21 seconds, and I still want to go under 10.7, so I am still set on working hard, being grounded, and just trusting God to give me the strength and the health to do the things that I need to do."
Fraser-Pryce has personal best times of 10.70 seconds and 22.09 seconds in the 100 and 200m respectively. The 100m time is a national record for Jamaica. The world record in the century, her best event, is a blistering 10.49 seconds, set by the late Florence Griffith-Joyner 26 years ago.
"If I told you I didn't think about 10.49, I would be lying, but I'm one of those persons who believe that in order for me to think about a 10.49, I would have to get to a 10.6, and I would have to get to a 10.5," she said. "As it stands now, I'm not even at 10.6 yet. Until I get there, I try not to focus on the 10.49.
"I definitely believe in my heart that I'm a 10.6 sprinter, but nothing happens before its time. I just have to continue to work."
Fraser-Pryce said that she's very competitive when pitted against her rivals such as American Carmelita Jeter, but she's friendly as well.
"When we are competing against each other, we would walk past each other and don't say anything, but when we would have finished, we would stop and have a conversation. I would tell her that I admire her and she would say that she admires me, and stuff like that," said Fraser-Pryce. "It's a healthy rivalry. I like running against the U.S. They have been dominant for so many years, but we (Jamaica) are here now, and we have much more success to come."
Fraser-Pryce said that when she first started winning races, she discovered what her potential was, and how much better she could be if she continued to work hard.
"I knew what was expected of me," said Fraser-Pryce. "It's very hard to stay at the top, but you just have to keep working.
"I remember first walking through the tunnel at 'Champs' (Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association Boys and Girls Athletics Championships), and being nervous. This shows how far I have come in the sport. I understand and analyze someone's start, technique, and the amount of power they are getting from the blocks.
"At my first 'Champs' I was very excited. I made final and finished seventh. The adrenaline was flowing, but after the race I was excited and proud. The Olympics has shown you that you need to be calm and relaxed. 'Champs' has paved the way for a lot of us, and for me, it taught me how to handle certain situations."
Coincidentally, 'Champs' wrapped up on Saturday at the national stadium here in Jamaica, two days after the interview. Fraser-Pryce, who represented Wolmer's Girls at 'Champs' during her high school career, even provided a bit of commentary during the five-day meet. Whereas full-time commentating as an analyst is quite possible once her athletic career would have concluded, Fraser-Pryce said that she highly doubts that she would go into coaching, because she sees the stress that Coach Francis go through on a daily basis, and doesn't know if she can go through the same thing. For now, she's just enjoying her time commentating at 'Champs'.
"Champs is just awesome. I really love it and can't help but to make noise. I'm one of those fans who get my nails done in school colors. I'm big on style, and I focus on what I like."
Fraser-Pryce's animated style has translated right over into her senior career. She is always seen on the tour, or at big meets, with an assortment of hair styles which separates her from the rest. As a matter of fact, it was at her hair salon, Chic Hair Ja in Kingston, where she gave the interview to reporters last Thursday.
"It's not just that I love hair, I have a passion to create jobs," she said, vowing to bring in a barber in short order as well. "A lot of young men and ladies in Jamaica have degrees and are sitting at home because there are no jobs. If I can create a business so that other persons can get employment, then that's healthy for me and for Jamaicans."
Despite accomplishing it all outdoors over the past six years outdoors, this year could have a special meaning in Fraser-Pryce's career, in that she has already won the world indoor title in the 60m in her first year running indoors, she could run in the Commonwealth Games for the first time, and she is expected to be competing in the inaugural world relays in what would be her first trip to The Bahamas.
She spoke about how excited she is to be coming to The Bahamas.
"I have no idea of what The Bahamas looks like, but I can't wait to experience the culture and enjoy the championships there," she said. "I like the beach, not so much to go in the water because I can't swim, but just to sit on the beach and drink a martini and chill.
"I just hope that Jamaica fields more than one team because we have the depth. I'm not a huge fan of relays because there is always some controversy as to who will run what leg but this particular event should be a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to it, just going there and getting it done in The Bahamas. Relays are always exciting, and being a part of this first championship is very huge. I would love to be there to see what unfolds."
The world relays is set for May 24-25, at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.
At home in Jamaica, Fraser-Pryce's typical day is inclusive of her early training session at 6:30 every morning, taking her five-year-old niece to school at times, dropping by the hair salon, going to the gym around midday, getting a massage if needed, and then back for a second workout in the evenings. At times, she would have photo sessions, shoot commercials, and watch a movie if time permits. Her favorite TV shows are the Jamie Foxx and Steve Harvey shows.
As for her Pocket Rocket Foundation, it is geared toward assisting student-athletes in getting scholarships for secondary and tertiary level education.
"We're just trying to alleviate some of the stress and the problems that they face," said Fraser-Pryce. "When I started high school, I was blessed to have a woman assist me financially. She saw something in me that I didn't even see, and started to fund my education, my books, my lunch... everything.
"At that point, I didn't want anyone to feel sorry for Shelly-Ann, but she showed me compassion and love in so many ways and that in a way made me obligated to do the same thing to other athletes who are coming from impoverished situations. They are here, and a lot of their parents can't afford to send them to school so that they could become better individuals."
Fraser-Pryce's foundation gave out seven scholarships to deserving student-athletes last year.
"It has been really remarkable to see the progress that they have made, especially in the school area," said Fraser-Pryce. "We don't just hand out the checks, but be there for them emotionally as well. The foundation has given me a platform to cause a change for young Jamaicans. I just hope to get more sponsors to come on board so that we could give out more scholarships. These young kids are talented and bright.... they are just unable to pay their way through school."
On two of her tattoos, one on each wrist - one has the word 'hope' on it, and the other has the word 'faith' on it.
"I'm big on faith and hope. Everything that I hope for in life, I have faith that God will provide it for me," said Fraser-Pryce. "I still have a lot of work to do to get where I want to go. I understand what hard work does. I just have to remain dedicated and put in the work."
Apart from track and field, Fraser-Pryce said that she has grown to like football and cricket, but has an appreciation for all sports.

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News Article

December 15, 2012
Defending comments on the police force and commissioner

Dear Editor,

The whistleblower has been taken to task by PLP supporter and former leader in the now defunct Abaco Independence Movement (AIM) Errington 'Bumpy' Watkins for a recent letter to the editor that was published in The Nassau Guardian.
Before critiquing my letter, the former law enforcement officer took a swipe at the leaders of the FNM, especially that party's national chairman. Watkins' statement about the chairman switching political allegiance faster than trees shed their leaves at autumn was stale humor, to put it mildly. Thankfully, Watkins never had to be a comedian in order to survive. Had that been the case, he would have starved to death. Further, Watkins is hardly in a position to question anyone's allegiance, seeing that he has also supported the FNM, the UBP and the AIM.
While it might be true that he has not switched his allegiance faster than trees shed their leaves at autumn, he has switched it nonetheless. If I was Prime Minister Perry Christie, I would keep an eye on Watkins. His political allegiance is too sporadic. You never know which party he is going to support next. Watkins said that he normally does not read letters to the editor where the author fails to put his moniker to his letters. I chose not to put my real name to my letters because the current governing party has a proven track record of persecuting individuals who don't toe the party line.
Watkins obviously did not take the appropriate time to read the heading of my letter. Whereas he said that my caption is: "Is Greenslade positioning himself for a PLP nomination in 2007?", the actual caption reads: "Is Greenslade positioning himself for a PLP nomination in 2017?"
My point is this: Why would I in 2012 say that Greenslade is positioning himself for a nomination in 2007? What sense does that make? 2007 was five years ago. Watkins appears to be watching way too many of those old "Back to The Future" movies with Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. After giving an unnecessary and irrelevant history lesson, Watkins then proceeds to put words into my mouth by saying that my posed question suggests that there was an ulterior motive by Greenslade for inviting Assistant Commissioner Stephen Seymour back into the police force. He then lists off several leadership qualities of the commissioner, as if I had questioned Greenslade's leadership capability and integrity. Watkins builds a straw man argument and then tears it down.
For his information, I never once even remotely suggested that the commissioner was not an intelligent, capable, efficient, dedicated and fearless leader. The issue of Greenslade's impeccable character was never the focus of my letter. The gist of my letter is that Greenslade has been sounding more and more like a PLP politician rather than a bipartisan commissioner since May 7. That is my opinion and I stand by it. Law enforcement officers entering into the political arena is nothing unique. Our current Minister of State for National Security and PLP Senator Keith Bell was a high ranking police officer before he left the force for greener pastures in the political realm.
And the current superintendent of Fox Hill prison, Dr. Elliston Rahming, was very active in frontline politics in the 1990s. Greenslade's defense in promoting Seymour to the rank of assistant commissioner was just as passionate as Perry Christie's. Watkins failed to point out in his letter the rumors in the press of senior ranking officers in the force who are reportedly upset that Seymour leapfrogged them for such a high post. He left the force of his own will with full pension under the FNM government to pursue a lucrative career in the private sector.
I don't care how much Watkins and others try to justify bringing back retired officers who have hefty pensions to the force. The stubborn fact remains that the country is up to its neck in debt. That is why I am of the view that The Bahamas cannot afford for political supporters of either the PLP or the FNM getting a second and third bite of the apple, while so many young people cannot even find a minimum wage job.
But Watkins cannot see this. He has on his blinders. Anyway, critics argue that Seymour got his assistant commissioner promotion because he is PLP, and, most importantly, because of his close friendship with the PM. Whatever Watkins' views are of former national security minister Tommy Turnquest, he would have to admit that Turnquest might be on to something when he said that Seymour's presence in the force could undermine Greenslade's authority. Seeing that Seymour is a close friend of the PM, the commissioner is hardly in the position to "harden up" his mouth to his underling. Why report to Greenslade when you can go straight to the PM? Further, I never said that Ingraham caused Greenslade to flip-flop, as Watkins alleges that I said. What I said was that the former PM had accused the commissioner of flip-flopping on the urban renewal program.
True, Ingraham's version of urban renewal leaves much to be desired when compared to the PLP's. But seven months into the current administration and its Urban Renewal 2.0 program, we have already had between 60 to 70 murders. Had the PLP won the government in January as opposed to May, we would have still had over 100 murders this year. So, it is really pointless in arguing over which political party's version of urban renewal was more effective. Whether it is the PLP's urban renewal or the FNM's, the stubborn facts remain that the country's murder rate is far too high.
One other thing, Watkins obviously reads the dailies on a regular basis. He praises the urban renewal program but is conveniently silent on the pay debacle that the workers in that program have had to deal with. Urban renewal workers weren't paid for up to six months. While Watkins and others have glowing remarks for the program, I wonder what the mistreated urban renewal workers have to say.
Yes, my suspicions about Greenslade positioning himself for a PLP nomination might be incorrect. Watkins might be right in this regard. But I give him wrong for misquoting me on several crucial points. He made way too many errors in his polemical letter. This tells me that he did not take sufficient time to read my letter before he decided to sit down and write a refutation. In the future, he needs to get his facts straight before he puts pen to paper.

- The whistleblower

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News Article

November 27, 2014
'Mockingjay' installment of 'The Hunger Games' is a real turkey

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 (Rated T)
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland
Genre: Science Fiction Thriller
Dwight's Rating: 2.5
Just in time for the holidays, a turkey analogy:
You know the feeling when it's time for the big Christmas or Thanksgiving meal, and you see that plump, beautiful, glistening, golden turkey, straight out of the oven and smelling all amazing?
You slice into it, and take that first bite. And, oh dear! It's dry and tasteless!
You immediately look around, searching for any way to fix this desert-like bird and make it more palatable. Should you paste on the cranberry sauce? Douse it in gravy? Re-baste it?
Such is the case with the new film "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1". And instead of that member of the bird family, this third installment in the series might as well have been named "Turkey".
The movie picks up where "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" leaves off. Following the Quarter Quell, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) becomes part of a secret rebellion spreading throughout Panem to overthrow President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Meanwhile, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is now brainwashed and a captive pawn of President Snow.
If none of that makes any sense to you, then you've probably not watched either of the previous installments. And you may not want to start now - not with this movie. Sadly, though, even if you have been watching, don't get your hopes up for much in the way of excitement.
This is the penultimate installment in this series. And unfortunately, like so many of these editions in these kinds of franchises - "The Matrix Reloaded", "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers", and especially "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1" - it suffers the same fate; there's not a whole lot going on other than tons of priming for the finale.
This era of long-running movie franchises has reduced the theater experience to watching annually-released two-hour television serials. Too often it feels like we're watching any ordinary episode of a TV show, filled with long, uneventful and unnecessary dialogue, and usually lots of journeys with limited action. All the while, we're just sitting and waiting for something, anything of significance to happen.
I can't really point to any really significant plot twist or event in "Mockingjay, Part 1". Unlike the shiftless "Twilight" movies, which actually improved with each new edition (they couldn't really get any worse), "The Hunger Games" series is regressing. The original is the best to date, and is still the most thrilling and captivating. As such, it was able to build unprecedented anticipation for "Catching Fire". But quite a bit of the magic and luster was lost with last year's edition. However, "Catching Fire" looks spectacular next to "Mockingjay".
I considered rating it as merely "watchable". Instead, it gets a "not bad", earning some extra points as a result of its talented cast, which despite a lack of material, still manages to give it the old college try. The unbelievable Jennifer Lawrence is fast becoming one of my favorite actresses. Like Meryl Streep, Lawrence continues to amaze me with her ability to seem like such a totally different person in each of her roles. There are scores of much-beloved actors who have never been able to master this, and always seem to be playing essentially the same person.
Also delightful are Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks in their small roles. There's also the wonderful Julianne Moore, wasted in a role that could have been played by an extra. And, of course, this is the final performance of the great Philip Seymour Hoffman. Even here, it is evident that the film world has lost a great.
But sadly, there is not much for any of them to do. So even for fans - and probably especially for fans - if you miss this one, it's no big deal. And honestly, one may also wonder - especially since "The Hunger Games" has strayed so much from the heights established in the original - whether anyone should care anymore.
Like turkey is rumored to do, "Mockingjay" may put you straight to sleep. So you may want to skip it, and rest up for the big, juicy bird we're hoping and praying "Mockingjay, Part 2" will be.
o Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of " Morning Blend" on Guardian Radio. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email and follow him on twitter @morningblend969.

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News Article

May 17, 2013
Live 2 dance

They may not have the years of dance experience as many of the kids that they went up against, but for six kids from The Bahamas and Nonny Cartwright's Live 2 Dance studio, their results at a recent international competition have shown them that they are on par with their counterparts. And that if dance is something they want to do with their lives, the opportunity is there to do it.
Stemarciae 'Suggy' Bain, Daniella Macre, Beth Macre, Jacob Cartwright, Charlotte Nevins and Christa Russell who range between ages of seven through 12, returned home with an armload of awards from the Star Quest dance competition in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, at the Broward Community College.
Jacob and Beth's tap duet in the age seven category, earned them the highest honor of the group -- a platinum award. The judges also awarded the duo the Prom King and Queen award. Jacob and Beth also achieved third place overall of all the duets and trios in their division. And they weren't finished yet, they also carted home a Fusion award, which is awarded to the routine the judges feel had the overall best fusion of choreography, technical execution, articulation, musicality, costume and performance quality.
The six-man group performed a jazz dance together and achieved a high gold award. They were also awarded a judges choice award for the most well rehearsed routine. The tap group achieved a high gold award as well as fifth place overall finish in their age division of more than 100 groups.
Daniella's jazz solo performance achieved her a high gold award. She was given the judges choice award for "Born To Dance" as well. Christa performed a tap solo and also received a high gold. She placed 10th overall in her division of over 150 kids.
Cartwright, the owner of Live 2 Dance and her students shed tears as the results rolled in. They went to the competition thinking they would do okay, but they did not expect to do as well as they did.
"We were all completely shocked," said Cartwright of the results. "To see them (students) crying with tears of joy ... they were ecstatic."
Cartwright's main goal in taking the children to the competition was to expose them to the wider world of dance and to show them that it's an art that is supported.
"Everyone wants their child to have a more secure job, so my goal with the kids was to have them go away and see there are so many other people that are trying to achieve the dream of becoming a professional dancer. I found a competition I felt I could take them to and they would be able to compete in a friendly environment and make friends in the dance community and be exposed to other dancers and be inspired by them. Since I've only been open since September 2011, my kids haven't had a whole lot of training under their belt, so it was a way for them to see other dancers that have been training for several years and become inspired," she said.
Cartwright chose the six students for the competition because she felt they could handle her being tough with them considering the short amount of time in which they had to prepare for the competition, as compared to them just going to class and doing their normal class routines.
"I knew I could really push these six, and they wouldn't get upset if I yelled at them and that type of thing," she said.
The dance instructor is hoping the showing by this group inspires their peers at the studio to work just as hard so that they too can be in the group.
The points the students received at the Star Quest competition was more than enough to get them an invitation to the World Finals in Virginia Beach, Virginia, July 14-21. At World Finals they will perform the same routines again, but the competition will be tougher at that level.
"They understand that and are ready and willing to go and give it their best shot," said Cartwright.
After taking six of her students off to an international competition and seeing them do well, words almost failed her.
"The way that I feel now being able to watch my students go on stage and perform what they've learned from me ... nothing can compare to that on any level. It's absolutely the best feeling I've ever had," she said.
The Live 2 Dance students will perform their end-of-year recital on June 15 at the Rainforest Theatre at the Wyndham. After that they will step up their training daily in preparation for the Virginia competition.
And Cartwright herself knows exactly what it takes to make it in the world of dance. She started dancing at the age of three in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, dancing throughout high school and earning a bachelor's degree in dance from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She moved to Los Angeles where she achieved success. She's danced in the Austin Powers
movies; danced in commercials for Taco Bell, Gap and American Express. She also did Lou Bega's "Mambo Number 5." But she says her biggest achievement was being signed on as the full-time choreographer for American pop star Aaron Carter. Cartwright began dancing on tour for Carter when he was nine years old. By the time he was 11, she was signed on as his full-time choreographer and choreographed three of his world tours and all of the music videos for four of his albums. She toured for years with Cher and has danced on the Grammy Awards and the Kid's Choice Awards. She's also performed on Ellen DeGeneres' and Jay Leno's talk shows.
Cartwright brought her dance expertise to The Bahamas after she met and fell in love with a Bahamian, Robert Cartwright, who she met while in The Bahamas choreographing for the Michael Jordan Golf Tournament show. They engaged in a long distance relationship between The Bahamas and Los Angeles for a year before she decided to hang it up professionally and move to The Bahamas and marry him. She had been looking forward to teaching, but she credits her husband with convincing her to open her studio in September 2011 in the Shirley Street Plaza.
Top Classic Junior Solo
1st place - Andrea Pombo Calderin - "Time To Say Goodbye" - Just Dance It!
2nd place - Angelica Manduley - "Rabbit Tango" - Dance Unlimited
3rd place - Lauren Morris - "Stupid Cupid" - Dance Unlimited
4th place - Gabriella C. Gonzalez - "Hound Dog" - Dance Unlimited
5th place - Maria Sol Garcia - "Fly" - Dance Unlimited
6th place - Carolina Rionda - "Le Jazz Hot" - Dance Unlimited
7th place - Ruby Alvarado - "Paper Skin" - Miami Dance Company
8th place - Trini Grinspan - "Against All Odds" - Just Dance It!
9th place - Samantha Gutierrez - "Show Off" - Miami Dance Company
10th place - Christa Russell - "Tightrope" - Live 2 Dance - Nassau, Bahamas
Top Classic Petite Duet/Trio
1st place - "My Favorite Things" - ABC Dance Studio - Jussara Zerbino, Juliana Zerbino
2nd place - "Remember Me" - Dance Unlimited - Jossie Stern
3rd place - "Brokenhearted" - Live 2 Dance- Nassau, Bahamas - Nonny Cartwright
4th place - "Mix It Up" - Dance FX - Joan Bartoletti, Julie Bartoletti-Brown
5th place - "Both Of Us" - Xpressit Dance Center - Raquel Lopez
Top Classic Junior Small Group
1st place - "Room Of Angel" - Impact Dance Studios - Elizabeth Keeler
2nd place - "Dumbing Down Of Love" - Peaches School Of Dance - Leslie Gettis, Alison Aslaender
3rd place - "Bring It Back" - Impact Dance Studios - Elizabeth Keeler
4th place - "Kaji" - Peaches School Of Dance - Leslie Gettis, Alison Aslaender
5th place - "Chocolate" - Live 2 Dance- Nassau, Bahamas - Nonny Cartwright
Petite/Junior Fusion Award
"Brokenhearted" - Live 2 Dance- Nassau, Bahamas - Nonny Cartwright

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