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The Commonwealth of The Bahamas is a beautiful country and place to live. It has its share of social ills reflective of many other sovereign nations within the Caribbean and global community. Many of the problems we face in our general society are problems that have sprouted from the decay of the family structure, or that have begun in our homes and eventually manifested in the behavior of our citizens at a local and even global level. Many problems face both our country and world, such as an increase in poverty, rising unemployment, a global increase in crude oil prices, which affects every facet of life today. Further to these are a rise in crime, a constant rise in the cost of living without an increase in salary to compensate and a general sense of hopelessness due to so many ever-increasing stresses.
Whether it is due to socioeconomic factors or any other that can contribute, one of the greatest problems in our society today is an increase in the amount of abuse and violence against women, children and men in the home. Abuse in homes contributes to emotional and mental distress, which affects all of the sexes and all areas of society. The result is a cycle of abuse that is in the form of physical, mental, sexual and emotional abuse that occurs.
The Crisis Centre, formerly known as The Women's Crisis Centre, is a registered, nonprofit organization that provides services to people who are the victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Dr. Sandra Dean-Patterson, who saw an urgent need in the community for such a facility, opened ?the center in 1982. During the time the center has been in operation, the number of volunteers has grown steadily and the scope of services rendered to the community has been considerably expanded.
Because of the center's extensive efforts, through radio shows, newspaper articles, workshops, school talks and other presentations to churches and civic organizations, to sensitize the community to the devastating effects of all forms of abuse, persons from all socio-economic levels are seen at the center.
In its endeavor to continue both informing and educating the public about the reality of abuse in our society and its effects, the Bahamas Crisis Centre has launched a program geared towards raising social consciousness. The program's focus is to actively reach out to the community to educate about the different forms of abuse and to continue its mission. The program will be in the form of a weekly column, which will be printed on Tuesdays in The Nassau Guardian touching on different forms of abuse, legislation relating to the same and the manner in which to identify and seek help. In addition to the column there will also be community outreach where volunteers will be going into communities from door to door, handing out information pamphlets and answering questions individual families might have about the work of the Crisis Centre and about getting needed help. The Crisis Centre will also be sending out information relating to both the column and community outreach via social media and web-based media.
The Crisis Centre's continued mission is to work on seeing our country and world healed of abuse and violence and to work towards a peaceful today and tomorrow.
o For more information, check out our website at www.bahamascrisiscentre.org or contact us. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 328-0922. If you, or someone you know, have been the victim of child abuse, you can also call Child Protective Services at 322-2POD, 326-1451, 326-0526 or 326-5560 or the Child Abuse Hotline: 322-2763.
Hot weather can be dangerous for dogs because they lack the ability to cool off as effectively as is often required. Since we live in The Bahamas, known for our often soaring temperatures we are offering a few tips to keep your canine friends safe in the heat.
o Water, water and more water. Dogs can dehydrate very quickly. In the hot weather, dogs need access to plenty of water. Be sure to check their bowls a few times a day to ensure a constant supply of fresh water.
o Shade, shade and more shade. Think about it, if you get hot while in the sun, what do you do? Chances are you seek shade and feel the instant difference. Dogs require the same thing and need access to a shaded and ventilated area if they are kept outside.
o Limit your dog's exercise to cooler portions of the day.
o Remember dogs are much closer to the ground than we are, standing on the hot asphalt street will heat up the dog faster than it does us. Be mindful and choose grassy areas over the pavement to stop during your walk.
o Groom your dog regularly. This not only helps prevent flea and tick problems but it helps thin out the dog's hair which can trap heat. Dogs can get sunburn so avoid shaving off their hair; instead keep their coat shorter in the hotter months.
o Bring your dog inside your home during the hottest hours of the day.
o Please spay and neuter your animals. By ensuring your animal cannot produce more litters, you are saving lives and decreasing the suffering of unwanted animals. Please consider donating or helping with Baark!'s efforts to improve animal welfare in The Bahamas. For more information, contact us at email@example.com, 427-SPAY or visit our website www.baarkbahamas.com.
Jesus replied, "If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad."
"You are not yet 50 years old," the Jews said to him, "And you have seen Abraham!"
"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
- John 8:54-59
During my seminary training in Fort Wayne, Indiana, I had to make regular calls to a rest home to which I was assigned. Occasionally I would sit and chat with a group of ladies who were always assembled around the same table.
As I sat with those ladies, I thought I was having a normal conversation. That is, until on one of my visits, one of the ladies informed me that she had gone home to Alabama over the weekend and that the people of her community had asked about me. Then on a similar visit another lady told me that someone at her lodge had said they had not seen me to meeting in a while.
Then I realized that I was the only one having a normal conversation. The old ladies at that special table were senile. They and I were having two different conversations.
In the above text, Jesus is having a conversation with some people; however, they and Jesus are on two different plains. Jesus is talking about spiritual matters while they are concerned with secular or earthly matters.
Because they are so concerned about earthly things, and because they have contempt for Jesus, their minds are closed to what he has to say. Their eyes are blind to the fact that the Messiah is in their midst. They have all of the signs but refused to see.
When he talked about and referred to Abraham, they were surprised that, at his age, he talked as if he knew Abraham personally. "... Before Abraham was born, I am!" This puzzles them. But then they did not have the faith of Abraham. Jesus, the Messiah, is the God of Abraham.
"I Am," is the name for God. When he was sending Moses to deliver the Israelites from the hands of Pharaoh in Egypt, Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is the his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I am who I am." (Exodus 3:13-15)
Unfortunately, the old ladies to whom I was speaking were senile. They did not have the ability to have a normal conversation. However, the people in conversation with Jesus were different. They had all of their faculties but refused to look beyond their prejudices.
Their forefather, Abraham, believed when God gave him a glimpse of the future. Yet, they, who were beholding what Abraham longed to see, refused to believe. God's promised Messiah, the Christ, was in their presence, but, instead of believing and giving thanks to God as their father Abraham did, they picked up stones with the intention of stoning him.
Today, as we in the Christian church continue to proclaim this same gospel and present God to the world, they are still picking up stones to throw at us. The world is still calling us crazy. They are still saying that we are demon possessed.
Notwithstanding this, we should not be deterred. We follow in the train of the prophets and the apostles. We are called to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the people of the world.
God is still in control. He is still guiding us. He sent the Holy Spirit to guide and sustain us in our mission. This we should do until he calls us away to our eternal rest. Amen.
o Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas or telephone: 323-4107; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.
A Cuban detainee at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre escaped from the facility during last week's severe storm, according to a statement from the Department of Immigration sent yesterday.
However, Cuban Ambassador to The Bahamas Ernesto Soberon Guzman told The Nassau Guardian last night that no one from the government had contacted him about the incident.
"You know that this is the first news that I heard about this issue," he said.
"No one informed the embassy about this incident.
"You are the first [to] inform our embassy about this incident."
The Department of Immigration said the escapee, Roberto Angulo Lamadrid, was still at large.
"In response to press inquiries, we wish to advise the public that during the rain storm in Nassau last week, there was an attempt to escape the detention center at Carmichael Road. All were prevented from escaping, but one person," the statement read.
Guzman said he knows the detainee.
"I know that this person was in the detention center and until now I thought that he was still there," he said.
Guzman said he plans to visit the detention center on Monday.
The statement from the Department of Immigration said that a website was showing pictures of detainees within the center and voicing complaints about their treatment.
"These photos and their origin are being investigated," the release read.
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? - Mark 8:31-38.
The hit song, "Can't Buy Me Love" was released by the Beatles in 1964. The song was written by Paul McCartney. When asked what the song means, McCartney expressed that one can place any interpretation to it. He further stated, "The idea behind it was that all these material possessions are very well, but they won't buy me what I really want."
Worldly possessions are good, but the most important thing that we want or need, cannot be had through worldly possessions. Muammar Gaddafi was a very wealthy man, yet at the end, his money was no good to him. It did not save his life.
Yes, money can buy many material things in this life, but it cannot buy the most important thing - everlasting life. In your getting, keep the cross of Jesus Christ in focus.
A pastor was once on his way to visit a parishioner when he encountered another person going to visit the same parishioner. The gentleman was about to step aside and let the pastor go ahead of him. However, the pastor suggested that he go first since he was there first. The gentleman, an insurance underwriter, said, "You go first. What you have is for life."
He was right. The pastor carried insurance for life after death. Life insurance underwriter carried insurance for this life. The person whose life it covered did not even get to enjoy it. The gift of salvation is for life and the person covered enjoys the benefit.
We are often tempted to reach for the world. Satan encourages us to gain all that we can. He entices, "The world ours to claim."
The above text is Jesus' response to Peter following Peter's attempt to chide him for talking about his eminent suffering and death at Jerusalem. Satan had enlisted Peter to tempt Jesus and entice him with earthly things.
Peter and the other disciples were focused on earthly things as apposed to heavenly things. They were expecting Jesus to set an earthly kingdom, with them at the helm.
Satan, having failed to tempt Jesus during his 40-day sojourn in the desert, thought this a most opportune time to play on Jesus' emotions and get him to abandon his earthly mission. He decided to use Peter to accomplish his objective.
Satan does the same thing to you and to me. He uses whatever means that is convenient for him. He tells us that we need a little more money. We need more power. We need to work a little harder.
Therefore, we forsake our God, our families, and the church in order to acquire more of the world. Satan tells us, if we are to succeed, we must forsake all and move hurriedly. But by the time we achieve the world, our family and health are gone. We have gained the whole world, but what do we really have?
Wealth and fame are no good to us once our health is gone. They cannot get us the most important things that we need. They cannot buy love. They cannot buy good health. And most definitely, they cannot buy our way into eternal life.
Therefore, what is the use of having all the money and power in the world if they cannot buy the things that really count? Mind you, Jesus is not saying that we should not enjoy a good life or become rich. God gives the things of this world to us to enjoy. Our wealth comes from Him. He is saying that we should not allow ourselves to be consumed by life's transient treasures. In our getting, keep the cross in focus.
Without Jesus in our life, we are nothing. We have nothing. Amen.
oRev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas or telephone: 323-4107; E-mail: email@example.com; Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.
When asked if the final version of the government's proposed Gaming Bill should afford Bahamians the same right to gamble legally as non-Bahamians, Gaming Board Chairman Dr. Andre Rollins said yesterday that Bahamians should be able to do anything in The Bahamas that non-Bahamians are lawfully able to.
Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller shared similar sentiments.
Both men said they are opposed to a provision in the proposed bill that discriminates against Bahamians participating in online gaming.
"Bahamians should be able to do in this country anything that a non-Bahamian is lawfully permitted to do," Rollins said.
"There is no ifs, ands or buts about that."
This comes a day after two senior members of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) said they want the government to rethink the provision.
"The new generation of leaders of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) recognize that it is for us to stand for what we believe to be right," Rollins said.
"And it would be futile for us to work as diligently as we did to be elected, to represent the Bahamian people, only to come here and ignore their cries.
"And I can assure you that the same way that we have been outspoken as we have been, we will continue to be as outspoken because we strongly believe that it is unacceptable for politicians to give lip service but not put meaningful action behind the words that they utter."
Although he has not seen the proposed bill, Miller said he believes it should be changed.
"I think we need to inject a paragraph or two paragraphs in that bill enabling Bahamians to have the same privileges and rights as any foreigner that either resides in our country or comes here as a tourist," Miller said outside the House of Assembly.
"It really bothers me that less than 40 percent of our population voted in that [gambling] referendum.
"The church was very strong in their views [and] it's unfortunate that that took place.
"In my opinion it really wasn't necessary.
"We should have gone to Parliament the same as we did... on behalf of Kerzner and the guys out west, that's what should have happened."
Miller and Rollins spoke separately amongst two civic groups that marched to Rawson Square lobbying for equal rights in the country.
The Nassau Guardian reported on Monday that the bill would allow people outside The Bahamas to gamble on a website established, maintained and operated by the holder of a local gaming license.
But they must be in a country or jurisdiction that permits online gaming.
The bill would also allow work permit holders and permanent residents to gamble in The Bahamas.
Bahamians would be the only group of persons prohibited from gambling.
PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts told The Nassau Guardian that he agrees with critics who see the proposed law as discriminatory.
Former PLP parliamentarian George Smith, who headed the Hotel Corporation, said he was "baffled" by the proposed legislation and questioned the rationale behind it.
The government is looking to modernize the Bahamas Investment Authority (BIA) to ensure that all investment board approvals do not take more than 30 days.
Khaalis Rolle, minister of state for investments, told Guardian Business yesterday that he plans to bring the Bahamas Investment Authority into the 21st century. That process includes restructuring and technological upgrades. While "significant" progress has been made, Rolle admitted that the investment promotion agency still has its share of challenges.
"If you look at investment promotion agencies around the world, particularly in the Caribbean, we are lagging behind in terms of our approach and how we promote. We don't have a website, which is a normal requirement for investment promotion agencies," he shared.
Another challenge is the transition from a manual system to an automated one.
"We should always know where we are with projects as opposed to the manual system that currently exists. So we have brought on someone that's dedicated solely to information technology who will help us to build an automated project system. But there will be some challenges as we move to an automated system, " according to Rolle.
"One of the things I want to do with the Bahamas Investment Authority is ensure that a modern structure exists so that an entity like this can achieve its goals and objectives.
It's all in the best interest of what we do moving forward."
Rolle confirmed to Guardian Business that the authority has been able to put a major dent in the backlog that previously existed.
"We're making significant progress. We were able to get rid of the backlog last week but it's still a work in progress," he revealed.
Recently, the Bahamas Investment Authority came under fire as a leading attorney and members of the business community expressed concern over the frequency in which foreign investment boards meet.
They claimed that meetings at the authority, where crucial approvals for land acquisitions and other direct foreign investment (FDI) proposals occur, have reportedly become increasingly sluggish since the general election one year ago.
Chad Roberts, a partner at Callenders and Co. who specializes in property law, said his understanding is the foreign investment board "rarely meets."
"Permits used to be granted within a month or so. It has taken two or three months now, or much longer. As I understand, they just aren't meeting," he told Guardian Business.
Noting that the system has become "really bogged down since last May", Roberts emphasized that the grievances are not political.
The Bahamas Investment Authority is the government's investment promotion agency and is responsible for the administrative processing of investments and applications.
"As an investment destination, The Bahamas must ensure that it is perceived to be adequate," Rolle noted.
Any proposed gaming legislation presented to Parliament should ensure "fair play" for Bahamians, Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis said yesterday.
Minnis spoke to the draft Gaming Bill for the first time in an interview with The Nassau Guardian.
When asked whether that meant Bahamians should be allowed to gamble in casinos, Minnis said, "In terms of [whether] Bahamians should be in casinos, I feel yes, but that is my personal view."
Speaking in the Minority Room of the House of Assembly, he also said, "Whatever is done you should ensure fair play to the Bahamian populous, and you should ensure that you truly believe in Bahamians.
"That is the most important thing."
The bill in its current form would also allow work permit holders and permanent residents to gamble in casinos in The Bahamas.
Bahamians would be the only group of people prohibited from gambling.
This element has caused an outcry in some quarters.
The bill would also allow people outside The Bahamas to gamble on a website established, maintained and operated by the holder of a local gaming license.
But they must be in a country or jurisdiction that permits online gaming.
It would also allow mobile and online gaming at the properties of license holders.
While the casino question was not on the January 28 referendum ballot, Prime Minister Perry Christie has said it would be put to the people during a constitutional referendum promised for later this year if the Constitutional Commission recommends that the matter be addressed as part of overall constitutional reforms.
Minnis had urged Bahamians to vote no in the gambling referendum, criticizing the process.
As a final Gaming Bill has not yet been tabled in the House of Assembly, Minnis did not wish to comment on specifics of the draft, other than to stress that he supports equality for Bahamians.
The FNM leader said he obtained a copy of the bill this week from an "individual".
"Nothing was sent to us; nothing was sent to the Opposition, so one has to wonder what version is this that is circulating, and what is the PLP up to," Minnis said.
"They have made a series of blunders throughout their one year of governance and therefore you must understand that there can be some ulterior motive with this particular bill, and presumably more circulating."
The bill has raised the general issue of equality for Bahamians.
More than 200 supporters of Citizens for Equal Opportunity displayed fresh outrage in Rawson Square over several issues yesterday, including the "discriminatory" provision in the drafted bill.
Minnis said those demonstrators marched against being marginalized in their own country as Bahamians.
"Bahamians should truly be first, and once there is opportunity Bahamians should be given opportunity to be employers, not necessary employees, so they are marching for their rights," he said.
Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe, who has responsibility for gaming, told reporters outside the Churchill Building on Tuesday that there are several versions of the bill but would not specify what changes have been made.
He said Cabinet had not yet reached a consensus on the legislation.
"In the Cabinet you have many people who are opposed generally to gambling so you have a number of personalities in your Cabinet that take strong positions," Wilchcombe said.
Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts said on Tuesday that he agrees with critics who see the proposed law as discriminatory.
Former PLP parliamentarian George Smith, who headed the Hotel Corporation, said he was "baffled" by the proposed legislation and questioned the rationale behind it.
NEW YORK -- A revamped Caribbean tourism website is
making it easier for consumers to find events taking place in The Bahamas
and other Caribbean countries, a Caribbean Tourism Organization official
revealed at a Caribbean Week workshop.
Sharon Coward, intranet administrator
at CTO, said the organization's website, onecaribbean.org, was recently
revamped to be a more affective tool for its more than 30 members.
Before, the homepage allowed only six events to be featured, but now
32 events can be listed at the same time.
Luciano's of Chicago has started its preparations for Hands for Hunger's one-of-a-kind culinary experience and most anticipated charity event in The Bahamas - Paradise Plates, a culinary celebration benefiting the fight against hunger in the Bahamian community.
As a culinary partner of the event, Luciano's is excited to once again join this year's Paradise Plates marking its fifth year of participation in the lively evening that features gourmet cuisine from top local chefs and restaurants, fine wine, beer and cocktail tastings. Additional highlights of the evening include exciting silent auctions, raffles and live musical entertainment, all contributing to a great cause.
"Paradise Plates has become one of our favorite annual traditions since its inception in 2009," said Sue Lawrence, director of special events at Luciano's of Chicago. "It's an event we particularly look forward to as it's all for a great community cause, as well as being an enjoyable event that showcases culinary art at its best."
At last year's event, Luciano's of Chicago prepared a number of unforgettable and delectable dishes which included variations on arancine (traditional Italian deep-fried stuffed risotto rice balls), as well as variations on meatballs, including Luciano's signature Beef and Pork Meatball, with a choice of Penne or Rigatoni Pasta with Pomodoro Sauce and much more.
"Over the years, Paradise Plates has become an annual social highlight in Nassau. This year we expect to offer guests and supporters a sensational Luciano's of Chicago experience with the culinary options being prepared for the event," continued Lawrence.
The restaurant's culinary team will prepare a number of menu selections which will be featured at Paradise Plates on Saturday, September 28, in the Crown Ballroom, Atlantis.
To learn more about Luciano's of Chicago, please visit the restaurant's website at http://www.lucianosnassau.com or visit them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/LucianosNassau.