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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.
Kirkland 'KB' Bodie, the number one selling Bahamian recording artist, has joined the fast-growing marine environmental movement, Save The Bays, writing, performing and producing a song by the same name to bring awareness to the fragile state of the country's coral reefs and bays.
"Save the Bays", written and sung by the artist, who has produced more music than any living Bahamian will be released to all radio and online media outlets this weekend.
"You can clearly see the effects of the pollution in our waters," KB said following a land tour at Clifton Bay and an aerial plane ride over a few Bahamian islands with Save the Bays director, environmental activist Joseph Darville. "We all have an integral role in saving our bays. This was the impetus which led me to write the track."
The song, just under four minutes, includes the chorus "Rise up, Bahamas; Let your voices blaze; Stand up, Bahamas, come on let's Save The Bays; God gave us this land, and this land we must save; Stand up, Bahamas, come on let's Save The Bays."
KB, whose fan favorites include "Civil Servants" and "Bush Mechanic", is no stranger to creating songs to express his concern over national and environmental issues. In 2011, he produced the hit "Dey Sellin'" voicing the frustration of the Bahamian people regarding the constant sale of Bahamian land resources.
A diligent supporter of Friends of the Environment, the Abaco-based nonprofit organization dedicated to protection and preservation of waters and wildlife in The Bahamas and careful development, KB works tirelessly to assist the group in its efforts. On the heels of his most recent studio project, KB and Friends Volume 4, KB has pledged part proceeds of the album sales to Friends of the Environment.
Save the Bays, formerly known as the Coalition to Protect Clifton Bay, is a licensed nonprofit Bahamian corporation committed to preserving and protecting the delicate environmental, ecological and cultural balance of Clifton Bay and the surrounding community. Special priority is given to encouraging effective land-use decisions and habitat restoration efforts that benefit the natural and human communities of the bay. For more information, visit the website at www.protectcliftonbay.org.
Common practices that can put people in danger of developing one of the fastest growing cancers in the world -- skin cancer
For any number of reasons, many people are often not pleased with the skin they were born with. It may be too pale for their liking, not having enough melanin, or it may be too dark, has too much melanin. Or it may be too blotchy, too bumpy or have too many freckles -- whatever the reason, they often try to fix the perceived imperfection. Often their fix results in real skin problems, even in some cases, to the development of skin cancer.
June is observed as Skin Cancer Awareness and Prevention Month. We will look at some of the common practices that can put people in danger of developing one of the fastest growing cancers in the world, and the most common form of cancer in humans -- skin cancer.
The month of June is observed as Skin Cancer Awareness and Prevention Month. The awareness color for skin cancer is black.
Our beautiful skin
The skin is the largest organ in the body, and it covers the entire body -- from the top of the head to the toes. It is a wonderful, hard-working structure and comes in many different shades -- from milky white, to charcoal black, and all the myriad hues in between this spectrum, depending on the genes that people inherited from their parents at the time of conception.
An intact skin is one of our body's best defences against infections, and provides protection for our internal organs from heat, light and injury. In addition, our wonderful skin also regulates our body temperature; stores our water and fat; is one of our sensory organs (sense of touch), and prevents water loss from our body.
The skin has three layers. The top or thin outer layer is called the epidermis. This layer contains melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin, which gives us our individual skin pigment or color.
The second layer is called the dermis. This layer contains blood vessels, lymph vessels, hair follicles, sweat glands, collagen bundles, fibroblasts and nerves. The dermis is held together by a protein substance called collagen -- in later life many persons have collagen artificially injected into their skin in order to achieve a more youthful appearance. This middle layer is what gives our skin its flexibility and strength. Due to the nerve endings, it also contains our pain and touch receptors.
The third and deepest layer of our skin is the subcutaneous layer. This layer consists of collagen and fat cells which help to conserve our body heat. It also protects our body from injury by acting as a shock absorber.
Ways in which we damage our beautiful skin
There are two primary ways that we often do irreparable damage to our skin, both of which involve our attempts to alter, or change, the outward appearance of the melanin in our skin -- either by attempting to make our skin lighter in appearance, or conversely, darker in appearance.
Skin whitening, lightening or bleaching, refers to the practice of using chemical substances to lighten the skin tone, or even the skin complexion, by lessening the concentration of melanin using skin creams (a very common practice throughout our islands). Many of the products commonly used to achieve the desired skin tone have been proven to be toxic. Many cause mutations in the normal bacteria that are generally found on our skin, and are possibly carcinogenic (cancer-causing).
Tests have shown that the use of skin-lightening creams can cause the following problems: permanent skin bleaching; thinning of the skin; uneven color due to the loss of melanin leading to a blotchy unattractive appearance; permanent redness and intense skin irritation.
Skin tanning refers to the use of tanning beds or over exposure to the sun, to magnify the melanin in the skin, causing it to become a darker hue (a very common practice worldwide). Tans are the result of harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation either from the sun or from tanning lamps and are not good for our skin. A tan means that you have been over-exposed to UV rays and have sustained damage to your skin cells.
The cumulative damage caused by overexposure to UV radiation, can lead to the following permanent problems: premature skin aging, wrinkles, lax skin, brown spots or a combination of all three. It can also lead to skin cancer. Studies have found that persons, who use indoor tanners, are at a 74 percent greater risk for developing melanoma (skin cancer), than those who never tanned indoors.
Studies have also shown that there has been a sharp increase in melanoma in persons aged 18 to 39 years, with a reported increase of 800 percent among young women and 400 percent among young males. It is not a coincidence that young people are more likely to tan than older persons.
Who is most likely to develop skin cancer?
Skin cancer develops in persons of all ages, genders and colors, from the palest to the darkest. However, skin cancer is most likely to occur in persons with fair (white) skin, light-colored eyes, blonde or red hair, those who have a tendency to burn or freckle when exposed to the sun, or who have a history of sun exposure. Anyone with a family history of skin cancer is also at an increased risk of developing this disease.
Protect yourself and prevent skin cancer
There are a number of things that people can do to lessen their risk of developing this disease. Not using skin whiteners, lighteners or bleachers; not using tanning beds or spending too much time in the sun, without appropriate sun protection are primary prevention actions. Appropriate sun protection includes staying out of the sun, as much as possible, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun's UV rays are strongest. It also includes applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen, one that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more, year round to all our exposed skin, before going out in the sun. This sunscreen is to be applied liberally (do not be stingy with it), and should be re-applied every two to three hours, especially after swimming or engaging in physical activity that causes you to perspire.
Additionally, you should wear protective clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat to shade the ears and neck; a top with sleeves to cover our shoulders, as well as long pants. Prevention also includes wearing sunglasses when outside; having regular check-ups and going to the doctor or the nearest health clinic right away, if you notice any suspicious looking lesions, or changes in your skin. Early detection is the best protection against skin cancer.
Your skin is one of your most precious gifts -- when intact, it helps to protect and keep you free from germs and injury.
Skin cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers, but you can protect your skin and lessen your individual risk by not using toxic creams on your skin to change your natural color and by minimizing your exposure to the harmful rays of the sun or using tanning beds.
o For more information on any cancer related topic, or if you would like a presentation to be made to your church, school or civic group, please call the Cancer Society of The Bahamas at 323-4441 or 323-4482. You may also log on to our website at www.cancersocietybahamas.org.
Another National Insurance Board (NIB) executive has been axed by the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) government. According to the June 5 edition of The Nassau Guardian, Vice President of Human Resources at NIB Richenda King was terminated on May 31.
The PLP-stacked NIB board made the decision on the day before her termination. King, according to The Guardian, was among seven or so NIB executives who pocketed over $700,000 in bonuses between January 1, 2010 and May 2012. So far it appears as if only a few Bahamians are sympathetic towards King and the other NIB executives.
In all likelihood, this is due to the revelation of the massive bonus payments that they received.
King was formally advised of the board's decision to terminate her services on May 31, which was a Friday.
However, The Guardian pointed out that she had already known of the impending dismissal before she was given her pink slip, thanks to bahamaspress.com. Hence, the board was preempted by the website.
This was the same website that published confidential information on fired NIB Director Algernon Cargill in December of 2012.
Judging from the contents of the articles on Cargill on bahamaspress.com, it is obvious to me that a whistleblower in the government is leaking confidential information to the website. At times, one is led to believe that bahamaspress.com has replaced Bahamas Information Services as the official news agency of the government of The Bahamas.
I am not writing to defend King or any of the other members of the executive board who received the hefty bonus payments. Whether it was right or wrong to fire her is not the focus of this letter. And whether it was right or wrong for the NIB executives to receive bonuses is another matter for another day.
That said, I think it was unprofessional and inhumane to leak information of King's dismissal to bahamaspress.com before she was given her pink slip. There are certainly right and wrong ways to go about letting someone go. And the way King was fired was the wrong way.
Can you imagine going on a website to read the news and finding a story about you being fired?
Christie needs to find out who is preempting his administration by leaking information to the aforementioned website and admonish the person or people to desist from their whistleblowing activities.
In celebration of life, Sunflower Day has been celebrated since May 2000 as an uplifting way to remember loved ones who have passed on, as well as to be aware of the presence of the people we love who are still alive.
This year, the Sunflower Organization has chosen to focus on celebrating the life, works, character and friendship of Jackson Burnside III -- architect, artist and culturally passionate Bahamian, during Sunflower Day on Saturday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunflower Day will be an evening of entertainment at the Dundas Centre of the Performing Arts combining an exhibition and a two-hour concert of music, song, art, dance, photography, film and literature as well as a special tribute from Sir Sidney Poitier and an exciting Junkanoo rush out in Burnside's honor. There will also be a Grief Recovery Institute information table at the concert for people that want to pursue a proven program of recovery from grief.
Sunflower memory boards will be on display for the month of May at Doongalik Studios Art Gallery on Village Road, the Sign Man on Shirley Street and at the Dundas on Mackey Street on the night of the concert. People can post their own memories by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, see posted memories on the Sunflower website at www.sunflowerbahamas.com, or they can bring their letter-sized memories to personally post on the memory boards at any time during May.
Tickets for the concert will be available at the Dundas box office, Doongalik Studios Art Gallery and the Sign Man for $25 in advance or $30 at the door.
The Sunflower Organization is a not-for-profit organization promoting the celebration of life. Donations in addition to the ticket price will be put to excellent use. Proceeds will be responsibly used by The Sunflower Organization and the Jackson Logan Burnside III Design Library and Research Centre to promote the love of life.
The Sunflower Organization is under the patronage of Sir Orville A. Turnquest and Sir Durward Knowles.
Former co-ordinator of the Vote Yes Campaign Philip Galanis suggested that some people are now suffering from "buyer's remorse" following the failed gambling referendum.
Galanis said he finds it "ironic" that some of the people who led the charge against web shop gambling in the run-up to the January 28 referendum are now pushing for Bahamians to get the opportunity to gamble in casinos.
"They were saying on the one hand that [Bahamians] shouldn't have this opportunity [to gamble] and now they are saying, in a complete about face, that they should," Galanis told The Nassau Guardian on Thursday.
Last week, The Nassau Guardian revealed details of a proposed Gaming Bill, which in its current form would continue to prohibit Bahamians from gambling legally in The Bahamas but would allow work permit holders and permanent residents to do so.
As it stands now, work permit holders and permanent residents are also prohibited from gambling.
"I think what happened unfortunately is that a lot of people might have been confused and maybe we did not do a good job in selling the ideas of why people should vote yes (to the referendum questions). We thought we did but perhaps we didn't," Galanis said.
"I think perhaps there is a bit of buyer's remorse among those persons who voted no and persons who did not vote... Many persons, we are told, felt like this was a shoe-in, that this was a sure thing and they thought that their vote wasn't necessary. That is clearly an erroneous position and one I think that they are now regretting.
"And so, the buyer's remorse that you now see is reflective of that or the manifestation that they ought to have been more proactive, or they ought to have been more assertive."
The majority of people who voted in the referendum voted no, but it was less than 50 percent of the electorate.
Earlier this week, Dr. Hubert Minnis, leader of the Free National Movement, said any proposed gaming legislation presented to Parliament should ensure "fair play" for Bahamians.
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."
However, during the run-up to the referendum, Minnis urged voters to vote against the regularization and taxation of web shop gaming and the establishment of a national lottery.
Prior to that he had said he supported the legalization of web shop gambling.
Galanis said Minnis' latest position is evidence that his stance he took against web shop gambling was "purely politically motivated".
"It was a duplicitous position that he has taken," Galanis said.
The Gaming Bill in its current form 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.
Galanis said the government would be ill-advised to proceed with the bill, adding that he would use every ounce of his strength to persuade the government against doing so.
Whenever a successful, well-established company executes a rebranding exercise, there has to be a compelling reason behind the transformation. AdWorks, a local multimedia marketing firm, recently unveiled an edgy new corporate identity, and the story behind it is simple: It's the company's 25th birthday.
The firm's sleek new logo features on-trend shades of grey, using the Century Gothic font. The strong but subtle logo combines a classic look with a modern twist and is complemented by the firm's unique series of business cards. Each card features a personal mantra with a different geometric design.
When the creative team at AdWorks unveiled the firm's new corporate image to its clients and media affiliates, it garnered rave reviews.
AdWorks wrapped up its rebranding exercise with the launch of a new website, www.adworksbahamas.com, which features the most recent additions to its expansive portfolio including logo designs, TV commercials and websites produced by the firm.
Over the years, AdWorks has grown to become a dominant force within the Bahamian marketing arena. The firm has designed annual reports and brochures, developed advertising campaigns and coordinated events and promotions for local companies like CBS Bahamas, J. S. Johnson, Asa H. Pritchard Ltd., SouthWest Plaza and the Lyford Cay Foundation, as well as international companies and brands like P&G, Dove, Folgers and Florida's Natural.
In 2005, AdWorks expanded services with the spin-off of its sister company, FactFinders Market Research. FactFinders now boasts a wide array of local and international clients and regularly conducts both qualitative and quantitative studies, including surveys, focus groups and mystery shopper programs in New Providence and the major Family Islands.
Today, AdWorks remains at the intersection of inspiration and imagination, propelled by a team of five uniquely talented women, all sharing one goal - to provide creative solutions that give clients an edge in the marketplace.
Officials of the Department of Information Technology in the Ministry of Finance continued hitting the pavement to share the message on the government's e-portal, bahamas.gov.bs to boost usage and registration on the site through a round of mini presentations to various professional and civic organizations.
Most recently, members of the Bahamas Insurance Association and the Bahamas Insurance Brokers Association got a firsthand glimpse into the e-government site through a tour led by Carol Roach, deputy director, Department of Information Technology.
"We've seen a steady increase in the number of persons registering on the site and are pleased with the response," said Roach. "The personal presentations go a long way in helping people understand how much information and how many services are available to them on the site and through the portal."
Government launched the site to re-position The Bahamas to compete in an increasingly sophisticated online world where everyone expects current information to be available with a quick scroll or click of a mouse.
The website provides links to services in every government agency and department, 365 governmental forms along with current news, access to legislation, news from the Family Islands, health information and a secure means for online bill payment.
"Feedback has been encouraging. This demonstrates that the direction the department is heading in with regards to the online content and services is long overdue," said Roach.
Fash|Art 2012 visual art award winner Attila Feszt opened "Life on my island", original patterns and paintings inspired by life in the islands, to warm reviews in an intimate showing Thursday evening at Doongalik Studios Art Gallery on Village Road.
Though he has been an avid illustrator all his life, Feszt just recently - within the last six years - got back into his art work, which includes various forms of media, including pen and ink illustration, painting, screen printing and graphic design work. He also is a huge fan of comic book art, which marries well with his passion for pattern designs.
Feszt, who has a Bachelor of Arts in History of Art and Design from Manchester Metropolitan University, said he was tentative for a while before taking the plunge into showing his artwork.
"In a way, I wasn't sure what I wanted to show," Feszt told Guardian Arts&Culture. "So starting, doing the patterns and working with paintings inspired by that, I started to figure it out a little bit more [and realized that] the meaning will come. The main thing is to just do it.
"Actually, I remember a few years ago talking to A.J. Watson (I spoke to him when I first started doing my printed stuff and had very much liked that graffiti stencil art style)... He said, 'Mate you just gotta do it. You just have to get it out there and do it'.
"For me, being a part of things and getting the exposure and being able to talk to people and knowing that people like what you're doing is a huge motivator and also winning this award and having this show was huge.
"It was pivotal for me, [and] some of the worry of whether people like it, it kind of stopped because I realized what I'm doing people like and people see something in it. So at that point, it's just about doing it without any of the questioning. You have the freedom to just do what you've been doing all along and to just focus on that without wondering what's gonna happen."
The name of the exhibition, "Life on my island", is also the name of his first pattern design, which features a manta ray and shells. Since that design, he has created a cohesive collection of artwork, as well as business cards and a website, which all incorporate his screen printing designs.
Feszt, who works as a designer at a screen printing company in Hope Town, Abaco, won the Fash|Art 2012 Jackson Burnside III Visual Artist Award in November.
"It's actually a big thing as well, having an award named after Jackson Burnside. So that was very special," Feszt says.
"[The show is] getting me thinking about other work I want to do. It's getting me thinking about what I'm trying to do with it, and I want it to lead me to other places, other styles of art or design or using other media.
"And for me it's not just about doing the work and becoming a success. I mean that would be nice, or will be nice, but it's about using it as a vehicle to explore new things and refine what I'm doing, the type of work I'm doing and get better at what I'm doing and that's what it's all about."
He is also looking forward to participating in more events in New Providence and is planning to come out with a line of clothing and bags with his screen prints on them, using his Maeter Design brand.
Doongalik Studios owner and Jackson's widow Pam Burnside expressed how important the studio's link with Fash|Art has been and the impact the visual arts award has had on the late artist's legacy.
"Being involved with Fash|Art is good because it's another way of extending Jackson's legacy through this award," Burnside told Guardian Arts&Culture.
"Jackson was very conscious of the next generation. He was always teaching, and he always wanted to be able to encourage the younger artists to move forward. There are just so many opportunities now as opposed to when he was an [emerging] artist that he was very giving and very enthusiastic to help and to get on.
"So this is our way of giving to the next generation and keeping up with the times... It's such an organic field, you have to open up your mind and be willing to talk to the students. And that's why he enjoyed talking to [College of The Bahamas] students because he was able to see how they were thinking and then be able to move with them.
"[Feszt] is the second winner who will be showing at Doogalik, and we are very excited about it."
o "Life on my island", original patterns and paintings by Fash|Art 2012 Jackson Burnside III Visual Artist Competition Winner Attila Feszt, can be viewed at Doongalik Studios Art Gallery. For more information, visit http://www.doongalik.com/.