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News Article

May 31, 2013
Popular artist backs Save The Bays

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.

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News Article

May 30, 2013
God is still in control

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: lutheranchurch@coralwave.com; website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.

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News Article

June 01, 2013
Cuban escapes Detention Centre

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.

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News Article

June 05, 2013
Sustainable Seafood NGO Launches New FishChoice 2013 Platform

Fort Collins, CO -
Nearly four years since the first iteration of its website launched,
FishChoice, Inc. has launched a new platform, "FishChoice 2013," to
better serve those businesses that buy and sell sustainable seafood.

FishChoice
2013's free membership platform offers distributors, supermarkets,
restaurants, chefs, and others a dynamic sustainable seafood resource
designed for businesses. Companies that are looking for new seafood
products have 2,700+ product listings from nearly 400 companies

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News Article

April 26, 2012
Let us be a beacon to people

Then He opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures. He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised, but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."
Luke 24: 45-49.

There is a story about a nobleman who wanted to leave a legacy to his village community. Eventually he decided that the best legacy would be a church. The plans for the church were kept very secret until the completion.
When the church was completed, the villagers were allowed to inspect it. The people marveled at its beauty. Eventually one of the observers asked, "Where are the lamps? How will the church be lighted?"
The nobleman pointed to some brackets along the wall, and then he gave each family a lamp to be carried to church and hung in its proper place on the wall. He told them, "Each time you come to church, you will bring your lamp and the area where you are seated will be light. Each time you are not here, that area will be dark. Whenever you fail to come to church some area of the church will be dark."
The church comprises of people. Each person is important. Individually and collectively, each person brings something to the worship experience -- light, response, prayer, confession, love and compassion to be shared with others.
In the text, Jesus visited His disciples shortly after His resurrection. They were assembled in a closed room. He reassured them that He was alive by inviting them to inspect His human body. He also requested food and ate it to prove that He was not a ghost.
Then He opened their mind to understand the scriptures. He told them that they would be witnesses to the world, beginning in Jerusalem. Their witness would begin in the very place where hope had died on Good Friday, the very place where they had failed Him.
They were to tell and retell this good news. The telling of this gospel would come at a cost, but that was not to impede the telling of His death and resurrection. They were not telling it as hearsay, but of their own knowledge of what had really and truly happened. They were to present this gospel to the world so that all men, everywhere, could be called to faith in Jesus.
Within a short while, He promised, the Spirit would empower them so that they could do the work to which they had been called. They would be furnished with gifts and graces which was necessary for them to discharge their great trust.
They were faithful to the Lord's instruction. They collectively and individually carried out their instructions and were faithful to their mission. Because they were faithful, we follow in their train, continuing the work of proclaiming the gospel.
We are witnesses called to prepare and to tell this good news to a new generation. As the villagers were told in the illustration, each Christian has a lamp which provides light to people in a small corner of the world. When we refuse to work, someone remains in darkness.
Like the disciples, we are all important to this mission of the church. Let us use the lamp of the gospel and give light to those who are in darkness. Our communities and the world are full of people in darkness Let each of us be a beacon to the people of the world. 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: lutheranchurch@coralwave.com, Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.

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News Article

May 03, 2013
Govt officials introduce e-govt to insurers

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.

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News Article

May 08, 2013
The world at their fingertips

The 30 students at Abraham's Bay High School in Mayaguana now have even easier access to a wider source of knowledge through the iPad.
Thirty-seven iPads, two wireless routers and a laptop were donated to the school from the Mayaguana Development Group. The students are allowed to use the iPads in the classroom to assist with their academic studies.
The students can use the iPad to access Khan Academy, a Bill Gates-backed online resources that is one of the premier educational internet sites which teach students about science and mathematics. Students can make use of the site's extensive video library, interactive challenges and assessments from any computer with access to the web. In an effort to ensure that the students use the iPad for the reason they were intended, the iPads were updated with software and apps simultaneously and prevent them from accessing inappropriate content using a special syncing cart.
With the guidance of their teachers, the students have been using the technology for the past two months.
"The iPads have really made a difference at our school. It is so much easier to access information that can help with the completion of homework and coursework," said Jada Charlton, head girl at Abraham's Bay High School. "I am proud that our school was selected because it really made a difference in the educational process."
Head boy Cameron Charlton said the use of the iPads assists him with his school work and is certainly taking their school into the technology era.
"I am able to research word meanings and gather information that is vital to me. It is something that we really appreciate as we prepare for the way forward," said head boy Cameron Charlton.
Abraham's Bay High School math instructor Susan Miller said if she's teaching a lesson on probability she would give the students the gist of probability, and then allow them to visit the Khan Academy website where they would watch various mini video presentations on the subject matter.
"The video lessons would start from basic Probability with a thorough explanation of the term Probability and how the formula is derived, after which varying examples are shown. At the end of the video presentations, the students are able to complete activities based on the video presentations they had previously watched. They are also able to check their work to see if they were accurate, if not, a detailed explanation is given in stages for them to see their error(s). This type of teaching and learning activity encourages self-directed learning so that advanced students can push ahead and students needing remedial help can get assistance with foundational concepts," said Miller.
Abraham's Bay High School acting principal Brian Williams said he has already seen the students confidence grow as a result of them having easy access to wider source knowledge.
"The Ministry started the technology revolution at this school last year with the Ministry's INSPIRE ICT Project and this expands the effort to close the technology gap in The Bahamas," said Williams.
Mayaguana Development Group company representative, John Moses, presented the iPads to Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald.
The donation was coordinated with the school and island residents.
"This has been a team effort with the Mayaguana Advisory Board and Council and the school's leadership to provide Mayaguana's students with the best technology resources available. Mobile technology is having an important impact on education and some of the world's most privileged schools are integrating tablets into the classroom. We are pleased to have worked with the community leadership to give local students the same opportunities," said Moses.
Minister Fitzgerald thanked Moses and the company for their generosity and assured him that the devices would be used to enhance the instruction the students obtain from their teachers.
The education minister said it is important for all stakeholders in The Bahamas to be involved in the education of students. And that he was pleased that students at the school would have the much-needed resource just prior to sitting their final and national examinations.

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News Article

May 03, 2013
Minnis blasted for 'double talk' on gambling

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts yesterday lashed out at Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis for "flip-flopping" on the issue of gambling.
"He is clearly double-minded," Roberts said in a statement. "Dr. Minnis has no credibility as a leader."
Roberts added that Bahamians should not trust Minnis to lead "because he cannot lead himself by standing on his convictions and principles".
Minnis told The Nassau Guardian on Wednesday that 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."
Roberts said this latest statement was evidence that Minnis engaged in double talk throughout the controversial gambling debate.
In August, Minnis said he had "nothing against individuals gambling in terms of lottery, buying numbers etc." and indicated that he would support making the numbers industry legal.
Minnis later said the FNM would not tell the electorate how to vote in the January 28 web shop and lottery referendum.
But in January, Minnis urged people to "vote no" on both referendum questions.
The majority of voters who voted in the referendum voted no, but it was less than 50 percent of the electorate.
Roberts said people should not be guided by any statements from Minnis.
The PLP chairman said, "I remind Bahamians that Dr. Minnis is a man who does not know his own mind and does not believe his own words, so why should anybody trust Dr. Minnis?"
When contacted for comment yesterday, Minnis said his stance on gambling never wavered throughout the referendum debate.
He said his comments on Wednesday were not evidence of flip-flopping and added that he spoke about Bahamians having the right to gamble in casinos, not web shop gaming.
When asked why the FNM told people to vote no in the referendum, he said, "The FNM had problems with the procedure, the entire process; the procedure was wrong."
The Gaming Bill in its current form 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 people prohibited from gambling.
This element has caused an outcry in some quarters.

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News Article

June 08, 2013
U.S. Collects Vast Data Trove

The National Security Agency’s monitoring of Americans includes customer records from the three major phone networks as well as emails and Web searches, and the agency also has cataloged credit-card transactions, said people familiar with the agency’s activities.

The disclosure this week of an order by a secret U.S. court for Verizon Communications Inc.’s phone records set off the latest public discussion of the program. But people familiar with the NSA’s operations said the initiative also encompasses phone-call data from AT&T Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp., records from Internet-service providers and purchase information from credit-card providers.

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News Article

May 06, 2013
FDI boards 'rarely meeting'

A leading attorney and members of the business community are expressing concern over the frequency in which foreign investment boards meet.
The meetings at the Bahamas Investment 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 boards "rarely meet".
"Permits used to be granted within a month or so. It has taken two or three months now, or much longer. As I understand it, 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.
Investors simply want the process to go smooth, or at least any difficulties clearly and consistently expressed to the applicant. Roberts explained that first-time property buyers from abroad, purchasing three acres or less, should not have any issues. These buyers are simply required to apply for a certificate after the acquisition, but it should not delay any of the proceedings.
"The only way people could really complaint is if it's a commercial property or a second home in The Bahamas, where they have to wait to get the permits" he added. As for improving the system, I guess they (the government) in the end just needs to have regular meeting schedules so the industry is aware of what is going on."
Indeed, the industry appears somewhat confused as to where the process stands.
One well-known developer, who wished to remain anonymous, said he has repeated situations where qualified citizens from the United States or from elsewhere want to buy land and a house but have trouble getting a permit.
The developer wished to stay anonymous to avoid any victimization or reprisals.
"They want to buy property, spend most of the year here, and spend money here. But they (foreign investment boards) are not meeting to approve these things. Is there another agenda here? Or is it a matter of dysfunction?" he asked.
Investors and second-home owners are capable of going anywhere in the region, he explained, and the country needs to make it easy for high-net-worth individuals, and others, to place money here.
Franon Wilson, the president of the Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA), said he has not received many complaints in recent memory.
However, he acknowledged that specific goals need to be set on what is acceptable.
On the Bahamas Investment Authority website, it is noted that the expected turnover is 30 days following the submission of documents. Officials need to stick with these timelines, he said, or provide notification if that period is going to be eclipsed.
"If we can all reach these goals, the private sector can live with that. Frustration sets in when it goes past 30 days and clearly the longer it goes past that, the higher the frustration," Wilson said. "Today, it is not easy in the second-home market."

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