Nassau Guardian Stories

Some voters registered twice

March 28, 2017

Officials have found that some people have registered to vote for the approaching general election more than once, Parliamentary Commissioner Sherlyn Hall revealed yesterday.
"We have noticed that people have been registered twice, so we have to delete their cards," said Hall at the Parliamentary Registration Department on Farrington Road.
"They were registered at one station today; tomorrow with another station.
"Now, we have picked it up, but after the stuff has [already] been keyed into a computer database.
"So the computer picks it up.
"As I said earlier, that is dishonesty and I did refer a particular case to the police, where someone registered within five days, two different locations, same constituency, but different locations for the same polling division."
When asked whether it may have been the intention of the person to collect two voter's cards, Hall said, "Well you tell me. Why do you want to register twice? What does that tell you? Less than a week? That's dishonesty."
When asked whether there have been cases of people trying to register multiple times in different constituencies, Hall said no, but if it happens they would pick it up later.
"Mainly in the same constituency trying to register twice," he said.
Hall said this would be considered perjury under the voter registration oath.
"The oath book says, 'I swear that I am not registered in another constituency under current register'," he said.
"So if you sign an oath after you register the first time, that is perjury.
"He was committing perjury. So we will see [what will happen]."
Hall emphasized, "One man, one vote. One voter's card, one voter."
The parliamentary commissioner also said there have been reports of misplaced cards and cards that do not have the official seal on them.
To the misplaced cards issue, Hall said the cards were misfiled, insisting "we will find those".
To the missing seal issue, Hall said registration officers "are not pressing hard enough on the impression. So the seals are there, but it is very faint".
When asked whether there is any danger to the voting process if the seal is not on the cards, Hall said, "Well I don't know about the danger, but the person's name still appears on the register."
He said voters will still be able to vote even if the impression is not seen on the card.
Hall, however, said anyone who does not have the impression on their voter's card should take the card to the parliamentary registration headquarters to ensure the impression comes out.
As of Saturday, there were 146,326 people registered to vote.
Ultimately, approximately 172,000 people voted in the last election.
"We still have lots of other stuff to be keyed in," Hall said.
"So we are growing every day and that's a very positive thing to do. We thank God for that.
"I think people are getting the message, better late than never."
Hall added that it is important for the public to note that once Parliament is dissolved, only people who registered the day before would be entitled to vote.

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'Integrity of registration process put in question'

March 28, 2017

Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage said yesterday that over the last few months there has been a "considered attempt to discredit the people who work in the Parliamentary Registration Department and the whole process" and it is "shameful".
It was an obvious reference to Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis, who claimed at a rally on Cat Island on Friday that the computer system crashed at the department and erased the names of registered voters.
Minnis accused the PLP of attempting to "steal" the general election.
Parliamentary Commissioner Sherlyn Hall said on Sunday there was no truth to the claim regarding a crashed computer system.
In the foyer of the House of Assembly, Nottage, the minister responsible for elections, reaffirmed that there has been no breach.
"I've noticed over the past several weeks, even months, there has been a considered attempt to discredit the people who work in the Parliamentary Registration Department and the whole process," Nottage said.
"I think it is shameful that is happening. I think we are an open society.
"We have a record for hosting democratic elections. The sides involved in the election have always been able to speak with each other.
"When I was in opposition and the same persons virtually were running the Parliamentary Registration Department, I could go there and get information, so it's easy to find out.
"If you hear something that sounds like it may be prejudicial to the process, it's easy to go and see the parliamentary commissioner.
"...I can't understand why he would want to cast an aspersion like that.
"Even if it were true, I would think, firstly, he would try to verify it with the people involved."
In February, former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said he was concerned that Hall would be unable to ensure a smooth election process due to his inexperience and the problems that arose during the June 7, 2016, gender equality referendum.
At the end of the evening on June 7 - hours after the polls - Hall was unable to declare the outcome of the referendum, or provide results in many instances.
Nottage suggested at the time that it was more difficult to conduct a referendum with four questions than a general election.
Responding to the concerns that similar delays could take place during the general election, Nottage said there are "hiccups" with every election.
"In most general elections we have had, there have been Election Court cases brought by persons who believe something amiss may have occurred," he said.
"This election period is no different from any other. I think that our staff seek to do their best and those of us who are responsible for the system are in constant contact with persons responsible for activities, and if there is something that is amiss we would deal with it.
"I am very surprised that these accusations keep occurring."
Nottage said he spoke with the parliamentary commissioner yesterday morning, and he is in touch with Hall on a daily basis.
Asked whether Minnis had advised him of his concerns or shared any potential information he might have received, Nottage said, "No. Dr. Minnis has not made me aware of anything.
"In fact, he does not come here (Parliament) so our paths do not cross."
Minnis has been absent from the last three sittings of the House of Assembly, though the records of the House show he has been one of the top attenders over the last five years.
But the attendance record does not reflect how long a member actually sat through a sitting of Parliament, only that he or she showed up to be marked present.
The minister said Minnis has, by virtue of his claims, put into question the integrity of the registration process and the personnel involved in that process.

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Major gives farewell address as speaker

March 28, 2017

Announcing that it would be his last time formally communicating to the House of Assembly, Speaker of the House Dr. Kendal Major made an impassioned farewell speech at the beginning of yesterday's sitting and implored the next government to prioritize tabling bills in the new session of Parliament that would fundamentally change the institution.
Parliament is expected to soon be dissolved. The decision on the timing ultimately rests with the prime minister.
The House would automatically dissolve on May 23, five years after the first sitting of Parliament, if it is not dissolved by then.
"We are rapidly approaching the culmination of a five-year session of Parliament, and what a session it has been," Major said.
"This, therefore, will serve as my last formal communication to this honorable House.
"I want to begin by thanking the Right Honorable member for Centreville (Perry Christie, prime minister) for recommending me to the high office of speaker, and the entire House for your overwhelming election to this high office.
"By extension, I also want to thank the member for Killarney, (Dr. Hubert Minnis, leader of the FNM) the member for Long Island (Loretta Butler-Turner, leader of the opposition) and the member for Marco City (Greg Moss, former leader of the United Democratic Party) for their cooperation during the functioning of the House, particularly in the midst of several adversarial incidents.
"Two members, who, because of the nature of their offices, of which there was much collaboration with, [were] the member for Central Grand Bahama (Neko Grant, the former leader of opposition business) and the member for Bains and Grants Town (Dr. Bernard Nottage, leader of government business).
"To the member for Central Grand Bahama, I thank you for your collegiality and maturity during this parliamentary session.
"I wish you every success as you retire, leaving an outstanding record in public service."
There was widespread applause from parliamentarians.
Grant gave up the post last August, saying recent events -- namely his support in removing Minnis as leader of the opposition, which was fulfilled four months later -- made Minnis dissatisfied with his service.
Addressing Nottage, Major thanked him for his "quiet resolve, yet resolute example of leadership demonstrated".
"You are not retiring, at least not voluntarily, so I guess you will be seen in the political fray," Major said.
Major said he has constantly advocated for the deepening of The Bahamas' democracy and the institution of Parliament, noting that it would "engender a greater level of trust of our people".
"I call on both government and opposition in the next Parliament to prioritize this idea whose time has come. Despite incremental steps that were made, there must be a desire to further strengthen our institution."
He said despite an appointed committee reviewing and reporting on the matter, "we remain fundamentally where we started", something that should be a matter of concern to all parliamentarians.
Major said he hopes and prays that amongst the first bills tabled in the new session of Parliament will be proposed legislation that proposes fundamental changes to Parliament "for it is a critical plank in our quest to produce a fair and just society".
"Honorable members, I am reminded of the words uttered by this speaker after my election to the chair on May 23, 2012, recognizing that I was embarking upon a new level of responsibilities in public life," he said.
"I spoke to the scripture where King Solomon, after given access to anything he wanted, declared that the only thing he wanted was the wisdom to lead his people.
"I believe within the full context of my stewardship our democracy was advanced and our people were the beneficiaries of our efforts."
Major also had a message for the MPs who have "moved away from the glare of the light of public office".
"I wish you Godspeed as you continue to fulfill His purpose in your lives," he said.
"Special thanks are extended to the deputy speaker and member for Nassau Village (Dion Smith), and also the member for South, Central Andros and Mangrove Cay (Picewell Forbes), for agreeing to step in when we needed you."
Major also thanked the staff of the House of Assembly, including House clerks, praising them for their institutional knowledge and counsel.
He also thanked his personal assistant, the sergeant of arms, past and present, and the entire team of professionals.

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Roberts: More to come for Mackey

March 28, 2017

Following confirmation that Free National Movement (FNM) candidate for North Eleuthera Rickey Mackey paid the $9,591 debt he owed to the Bahamas Customs Department in taxes dating back to 2002, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts yesterday warned that there was "more to come" for Mackey.
"There is more to come," Roberts told The Guardian.
"When I start something, that's only the opening shot.
"There is more to come for Mr. Mackey.
"Tell him tighten his seatbelt because it is coming."
Roberts revealed the information at a rally in Eleuthera on Friday night, calling into question Mackey's suitability to hold public office.
Roberts released a letter written by Mackey to the comptroller of customs on April 18, 2013, stating; "I, Rickey Mackey, of Harbour Island, Eleuthera, owe the Bahamas Customs Department $12,789.20 for Eleuthera Petroleum".
Mackey then confirmed on Sunday that the difference was "some $9,000".
Roberts said, "He should also pay interest for all these years he owes the government money as well.
"When you owe somebody debt, you pay for it.
"But I see he hasn't paid any interest."
Roberts also said that despite Mackey's claim that he got sidetracked with the bill and faced "financial challenges", it is interesting that Mackey "could find the money so quickly".
"Either he didn't have the money or somebody provided it for him," Roberts said.
Mackey charged on Sunday that his issue does not detract from the fact that the PLP "owes the country an explanation for [how they handled our money] that has this country in the state it is in" and insisted that Roberts' move shows how desperate the PLP is to hang onto power.
In response, Roberts said "a bill ducker making that accusation, that's completely groundless.
"He is putting himself up for public office, so he must stand the test."

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University of The Bahamas officials visit BTC

March 28, 2017

President of the University of The Bahamas Dr. Rodney Smith recently paid a courtesy call to Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC). While at BTC, Smith and BTC CEO Leon Williams discussed the relationship between the two entities and new possibilities as they work together to strengthen the partnership in the interest of nation building.
"We have been a partner with The College of The Bahamas, now the University of The Bahamas for many years. We are committed to ensuring the perpetuity of this institution for generations to come," said Leon Williams.
"Presently, BTC affords ten students from across the country an opportunity to pursue a four-year degree program free of charge. In addition to this, last year BTC and UB broke ground for the university's Technology Lab and Innovation Center. BTC also has a retail store on the campus and is actively involved in campus life. During the university's charter ceremony, BTC announced that it would further invest into the endowment fund for the university.

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FNM MP raises CLICO, City Market plight in House

March 28, 2017

Declaring that as the Christie administration draws closer to the end of this term "matters are just pushed through this House", Montagu MP Richard Lightbourn said yesterday it appears the government has either forgotten or is simply not motivated to address the outstanding claims of Bahamian CLICO policyholders or former City Market workers.
"We all remember City Market; here we are dealing solely with the Bahamian employees of City Market, who have for the last -- I've lost the number of years, it could be up to 10 years -- have been seeking some type of compensation and government seems to attach no priority to that," he said.
"I suppose it wouldn't be as a result of the fact that virtually all of the claimants of City Market are Bahamian.
"I would urge the government to look into that matter and to have some time given to addressing that issue."
The purchase of some of the City Market chain of food stores' assets was finalized in June 2012.
Former workers, who have staged multiple protests outside of the House of Assembly, said the former owners have long been paid and the workers must receive what is owed to them -- in excess of $3 million in severance pay, according to spokespersons for the group.
Lightbourn asserted that the government has failed those Bahamians at a time when so many people are unemployed, "and yet these persons cannot be compensated for monies that are rightfully owed to them".
The Montagu MP also said despite the interest expressed by the government to resolve the CLICO matter several years ago, since then, "nothing has happened".
Minister of State for Finance Michael Halkitis rebutted that over 3,000 CLICO policyholders were paid last year.
He said the policyholders that were owed under $10,000 were paid in full.
Halkitis said the government is committed to settling the outstanding claims of policyholders and the government "will make an announcement in short order".
He did not address the matter of the former City Market employees.
"We wanted to do it sooner; some matters came up, but we will be making an announcement in short order for the resolution of the CLICO matter," Halkitis said.
"But, it is unfair to say, Mr. Speaker, that nothing was done.
"When we settled those claims, we dealt with approximately 80 percent of the outstanding policies.
"We have to deal with the others we acknowledge and we are committed to dealing with that.
"But, to say nothing was done, Mr. Speaker, is not true."
In December 2016, Halkitis advised Parliament that the final payout to distressed policyholders of CLICO was expected to be made in January 2017, pointing out that the liquidators and other professionals were completing a business plan and funding structure that would ultimately be approved by the Insurance Commission of The Bahamas and the Supreme Court.
The payout was estimated at around $38 million.
Lightbourn said the government seems proud to announce that a "small number benefitted by efforts they have made".
Halkitis said the government is pleased to be able to assist those who have languished for many years without a resolution and stressed that over 3,000 policyholders is not a small number.
However, Lightbourn expressed doubts that the government will keep its word on the matter.
Additionally, he said the Free National Movement (FNM) will ultimately resolve the matter as the current government will not be in power for much longer.
"They won't be here to deal with anything," he said.
"So, at least we can be sure that the matter in fact will be dealt with when the present government is removed from office."

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Doctors set to receive salary boost

March 28, 2017

After nearly two years of negotiations, two industrial agreements to improve doctors' salaries were signed yesterday.
The Bahamas Doctors Union (BDU) signed an agreement with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Public Service, as well as an agreement with the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA).
Together, the agreements are valued at $17 million and cover the period 2015-2020.
During the signing at the Ministry of Public Service on Monday afternoon, Labour Minister Shane Gibson said, "It wasn't until I started to get involved with negotiations that I realized how low doctors' salaries are.
"As a matter of fact, it is so bad, I'm embarrassed to tell you what it is, because most Bahamians wouldn't believe it, but despite that, they (doctors) pressed and continued to do their work by saving lives, treating sick persons and going above and beyond their call of duty.
"That is why we thought it was important that in addition to doing the little that we did in concluding these negotiations, we will also have a salary review which will really help us to determine and put them on the correct career path and bring them closer to earning the kind of salaries and compensation that they should be earning at this time.
"So we thank them for agreeing to what we agreed to in this industrial agreement."
The agreement allows for the improvement of salaries, increase in disturbance, rental, relocation and educational allowances, and for lump-sum payments to be made.
Health Minister Dr. Perry Gomez said the "historic" agreements will positively impact hundreds of deserving doctors.
"These agreements will jointly impact 462 doctors in our public healthcare system," he said.
"I was pleased to announce that medical insurance was included in the previous agreement for the first time.
"I am now proud to advise that with the imminent rollout of National Health Insurance (NHI), the group medical plan for physicians will be amended and will continue six months following the initiation of the NHI program."
Acting President of the BDU Macumba Millar described the process as "long and torturous", but expressed gratefulness that the process was over.
"For decades, junior physicians in the public healthcare system have been marginalized and disenfranchised in this country," Millar said.
"This industrial agreement is a significant step towards rectifying some of these injustices like inadequate facilities, insufficient staff and sometimes hazardous working conditions.
"...The Bahamas Doctors Union is grateful to pass this hurdle and eager to embrace our remaining challenges."

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Guns linked to murder in 2013

March 28, 2017

Two guns seized by police shortly after the murder of Shanrio Deveaux in 2013 have been linked to his death through ballistic testing, a Supreme Court jury heard yesterday.
While testifying at the murder trial of Judson Mackey and Tristan Deveaux, firearms examiner ASP Earl Thompson said that recovered cartridges were fired from two .40 pistols that were submitted for testing.
Mackey and Deveaux have denied the charge that they are jointly responsible for the May 25, 2013, shooting death of Deveaux at Strachan's Corner.
They are on trial before Justice Bernard Turner.
Police arrested the suspects less than an hour after the fatal shooting thanks to a tip from a 911 caller, who allegedly saw Deveaux with a gun. Acting on the information received from the tipster, police went to an abandoned building where they allegedly saw Deveaux drop a .40 pistol in the toilet.
That gun was retrieved and the suspects were taken into custody.
Police recovered a second gun on May 26.
An officer allegedly caught Mackey hiding the .40 pistol in a manhole in the cell block at the Central Detective Unit.
That gun was also recovered and the suspects were tested for gunshot residue.
Thompson said that both submitted weapons were in working condition and had fired the submitted cartridges.
Anthony Delaney is the prosecutor, and Roberto Reckley and Roger Gomez Jr. appear for the accused.

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Smith gets more time to find lawyer

March 28, 2017

An attorney who could be imprisoned if found guilty of contempt, was yesterday given more time to find a lawyer to represent him during the hearing.
Justice Rhonda Bain last Wednesday gave Keod Smith two days to instruct counsel with respect to his failure to appear before the registrar to determine his ability to pay costs awarded to Save The Bays in 2014.
However, the judge adopted a softer tone on Monday, giving Smith an additional week in "fairness" to him.
Smith said, "I really do appreciate the consideration of the court in this matter."
Bain replied, "It is a matter for which you ought not be representing yourself."
Lead counsel for Save The Bays, Fred Smith, QC, appeared willing to reach an agreement with Smith.
Fred Smith said, "The applicant is not desirous for Mr. Smith to be subjected to a custodial sentence. All we want is for Mr. Smith to be examined under a judgment debtor summons. Our objective is not to put him in jail."
Fred Smith suggested that the court make an order for Smith to return before the registrar for an examination of means; failure to do so would attract a sentence.
Once the position was put to Smith, he said that any negotiations would be done through his soon to be instructed lawyer.

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Doctor says NHI could work, but it has to be done right

March 28, 2017

Acting President of the Bahamas Doctors Union (BDU) Dr. Macumba Millar said yesterday National Health Insurance (NHI) "could be great if done right" despite skepticism of the government proposed scheme by other physicians, specifically consultant-level physicians.
Millar, who said he is speaking solely in his capacity as a family medicine specialist and not as the acting president of the union, said growing pains are expected in the implementation of NHI.
While he is still concerned about a number of things, Millar told The Nassau Guardian, "If it is done right, it can be a great thing.
"I'm just still not sure about it."
Despite several discussions with the NHI Secretariat, the union has not produced its own position yet.
However, Millar said some doctors in the union (which consists mostly of lower level doctors, general practitioners and non-consultant physicians), "have a positive view of NHI" as "anything involving the improvement of healthcare is something we are interested in".
Last week, Medical Association of The Bahamas (MAB) President Dr. Sy Pierre said the nation's best doctors are not signing up for NHI.
During an interview with The Tribune, Pierre said, "I don't have any official numbers, but my feeling is that the top-level consultants are not signing up.
"The guys who are signing up are the general practitioners.
"They're the ones who are out in the community, but don't have specialist training. They are general practitioners. They are a dying breed, but there are a number of them.
"These guys are the ones signing up.
"The lower tier physicians will take this; it will be an economic boon for them. But the primary care specialists, the experts, they're telling me they're not signing up because they can't run a practice on what the NHI primary care phase is paying."
Millar said the MAB president is speaking for doctors who cater to patients who are "blessed financially".
He added: "It's a difficult balance between economics and altruism when it comes to medicine.
"On the one hand, when we see a specialist in The Bahamas they have basically given a decade of their life to the profession.
"So [during] that time, they could've been having families, spending time with parents or having friends, and so there's a lot of sacrifice involved, not just education-wise, but when you come out, some days people are in the hospital for 36 hours straight.
"Now economics cannot fully re-liberate you for the amount of time and sacrifice it takes to become a doctor.
"On the other end, just like everyone else, we have to pay bills, we like to send our children to nice schools.
"And understand, I represent the people that don't [have] millionaire houses, that don't own businesses, that don't have a lot of financial resources, but in my position I'm still paying student loans, and I graduated seven years ago.
"We are the ones who are financially strapped. This could be good for us.
"So I can understand his point of view, but I don't necessarily fully agree with it."
Millar said there are still some things on a medical level that need to be worked out.
"It is not just about the finances or how much we will be paid," he said.
"It is still too vague.
"I am concerned about the standard of care that we will have."
He said, "We need to know what amount of times you can see patients.
"We need more structure about what happens between the physician and patient."
On January 31, the government announced the launch of NHI's primary care physician registration.
Prime Minister Perry Christie has said the primary care phase of NHI will begin next month.

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Open letter to my friend, Mr. Bradley Roberts

March 28, 2017

Dear Editor,
To my friend, Mr. Bradley Roberts:
You may recall that in 2009, we often met and exercised together at Goodman's Bay. For many mornings you may remember how I tried to persuade you, Mr. Roberts, to run for the position of chairman of the PLP (our party at that time). Your response to me was, "I am retired". Eventually, after much persistence on my part, and support and encouragement from Mr. Christie, who also walked at Goodman's Bay periodically, you finally agreed to contest for the position, and the rest is history. I have reminded you of this for a reason.
You need not be reminded that Mr. Ingraham was then the Prime Minister and I had told you that Mr. Christie would beat Mr. Ingraham in the next election based on a dream I had, and that in fact, Mr. Christie would retire Mr. Ingraham from political life. My contention was that Mr. Christie needed a strong personality like you ( Mr. Roberts), as chairman of the PLP party, to compliment him. It pained my heart to give that advice, because one of my favorite politicians, Glenys Hanna-Martin, was then serving as the first female chair person of any major political party in the country. Well, that's all history now. I advised you, based on dreams that I had received. I usually refuse to relate my dreams, lest it be perceived that I am attempting to make myself out to be a prophet. The fact that God may give dreams to an individual does not make that person a prophet. I am not a prophet. In fact, the Bible reveals that God gave dreams to heathens who did not even know Him. For example: King Pharaoh of Egypt (Genesis 41:1-25); the baker and the butler of King Pharaoh (Genesis 40:1-23); King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (Daniel 2:1-49 ; 4:1-37); and Pilate's wife (Matthew 27:19), just to name a few. God is sovereign and can do whatever He wishes, whenever He wishes, by whomever He wishes.
I have shared publicly some things, only after repeated attempts to share such information with Mr.Christie. I was then mandated to warn The Bahamas. My public utterances were also based on dreams and my interpretation of those dreams. It was in this context that I got involved in the gender equality referendum. So, may I remind you and the nation, that it was revealed to me over one year ago, in two frightening dreams, that one of the greatest threats to our nation's sovereignty is the demonic-like infiltration of the Chinese. We may ignore this Chinese warning if we wish, but only to our spiritual and economic destruction, including the devaluation of our dollar. The reason it is important is that we have a change of government now, and the present government is in bed with the Chinese and are becoming increasingly comfortable in this relationship -- to the detriment of The Bahamas. Call me an alarmist. Call me whatever you will. I can only speak what I have seen and heard.
Unfortunately, there are some good people still left in the PLP, but because they lack the courage or insight to oppose Mr. Christie's pro-China policy, they must all go down together. I have discharged my duty to warn the Bahamian people to the best of my ability. The remainder is in the hands of the Bahamian voters. This election, above everything else, must be fought on our knees in prayer and fasting before God. Because He said, "If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14. It is now up to us whether we will experience healing by turning to God, or suffer further destruction.
My God help us to turn to Him, especially our religious, political and civic leaders, so that God can bless The Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

- Pastor Jeremiah Duncombe, Leader of The Gatekeepers

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IMAGINE- Villa de Championne

March 28, 2017

Dear Editor,
Thanks for allowing me to share a snippet of what I envision, what I imagine. John Lennon challenged us to imagine a world of brotherhood, a world of peace. Well, when it comes to The Bahamas becoming a magnet for sports, consider using that as a foundation, as a dragnet to become a world championship celebration destination. Imagine -- "Villa de Championne"!
By now we all know that it is a tradition and a privilege for most American sports champions to be honored as a guest of the current President at the White House. We in The Bahamas can top that. Now all that needs to happen, subsequent to that traditional, time-honored formal invitation, is an informal place of relaxation, right here in The Bahamas -- winter, spring, summer or fall.
I dream of a championship village, preferably in Abaco, Freeport or Eleuthera, where baseball, basketball, football, or any other major sporting championship team, can come to The Bahamas for at least a week and experience a sporting haven for relaxation and celebration. Disney World alive and well in The Bahamas -- the magical kingdom sporting destination for championship celebration!
There will be a first class facility complete with a professional indoor basketball court, a convertible baseball/football/soccer field -- just for starters. There would be a first class, five-star residence that can accommodate at least 100-150 patrons, with private rooms for one or two patrons, or single personal suites as some athletes, coaches or other high ranking officials might desire. Fully decorated with a Bahamian flavor, a Bahamian Sports Hall of Fame to boot; maybe even an international Hall of Fame. There would be a first class -- Bahamian products only -- straw market, strategically and aesthetically located. There would be regularly slated Junkanoo and other Bahamian cultural festivities to entertain. Our National Youth Choir, our Dundas thespians, our KB's, and other talented singers and poets putting on a show...Can you imagine?
There would be a kitchen that serves primarily Bahamian, but other Caribbean cuisine - managed by Bahamians. There would be Bahamian pastries, fruits and other delicacies available 24 hours a day. Can you imagine the market for the tons of mangoes (instead of rotting on the ground like this past summer), the tons of coconut water, the sapodillas and other delicious Bahamian fruit used to make drinks, etc.? There would be fishing tours, diving tours, especially diving -- Shaunae could lead that activity! There will be many water and land recreational activities all regulated and managed by professional, certified service officers. Other recreational, entertaining and exciting services can be brought to bear later, as entrepreneurs join the entertaining fray.
The facilities could provide year round accommodation. Imagine the crowned champions from the NCAA Men's and Women's basketball, baseball or football teams yearning to be a part of the celebrations, the grandiose experiences. Imagine the NBA and the WNBA joining the party. Imagine Major League Baseball World Series Champions!
Imagine The Bahamas becoming a staple as a destination of celebration on the championship level. Imagine "Villa de Championne" or whatever other attractive, substantive name that speaks volumes of quality fun and relaxation. Imagine celebrating here becoming one of the main goals, one of the main motivational factors toward becoming a champion in any sport.
Imagine the boost to the local economy, imagine!
Then imagine the "Villa de Championne" eventually becoming a destination of celebration for world sports champions of almost any sport. Imagine the Brazilians, the Chinese, the British, South Americans, South Africans and other European sporting programs.
Could we do it? Could we be become the premier destination for celebration after the White House visit, after the ticker tape parades of the newly crowned champions in their local cities? Could we make it worth their championship experience? Could we? Imagine...Could we seek the sporting world billionaires, the other talk show, fashion and entertaining moguls to join forces to sponsor such a place? Could the government secure and provide the acres of land needed for such a world-class, one of a kind facility? Could we build such a premier visionary complex, complete with the above amenities and more? Could we build it outside of New Providence? Yes we can!
Editor, thank you for allowing me to share this "sportstastic" idea that has been playing around in the arena of my mind for a few years. Hopefully we can dive into this and strike gold. After all, where in the world does such a village exist? And where better in the world for such a village to exist? We have the Jumbey Village, now let us build a world-class champion sporting village of reward and relaxation.
And how do we fund such a venture? First of all, we can take the diamond in the rough idea and fine tune it. Secondly, we solicit the Pitinos, the Caliparis, the Jordans, the Cubans, and other big name team owners and coaches, to buy into the vision. Couple that with the private sector and government. That could surely take care of the funding and the backing that would be needed.
Let us blaze a new champion trail for world-class champs...IMAGINE!

- Dr. B

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Erica and Tamico are going to prom

March 28, 2017

Almost 28 years ago Tamico Gilbert promised he would take his best friend Erica Morris to their prom -- the date never materialized. Two weeks before St. Augustine's College's (SAC) Class of '92 prom, Gilbert dumped Morris for another date. She has never let her classmate and friend live that down. Two-and-a-half decades later Gilbert has again promised to take Morris to the prom. And while they're looking forward to a fun evening between friends at SAC's Class of 2017 prom, they will be attending the seniors rite of passage with a serious initiative behind the outing -- to raise funds to assist '92 classmate Maceito Glinton with his mounting medical bills.
In July 2016, Glinton suffered three strokes. He has to have his skull repaired. It was removed to allow his brain to bleed after having had the strokes, resulting in a hemorrhagic right brain. He also suffered from spiked blood pressure at 285/160; hemorrhagic right side bleeding results from a weakened vessel that ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain.
He is having difficulties with vision in his left eye as a result of left facial weakness due to the strokes.
His medical bills stand at $50,000 and are rising.
Glinton's wife, Bolera, who is also a member of SAC's Class of '92, was off island last year when she received a telephone call that her husband, who was the family's major breadwinner at the time, had suffered a massive stroke. She was advised to return home because there was a chance her husband would not make it. Glinton spent four weeks in intensive care, followed by another eight weeks in hospital. He has since had to have a stomach tube installed, and suffered a seizure, and still has to have his skull repaired as his medical bills continue to rise.
Glinton's 14-year-old niece, Soraya Jovin, knowing she can't work to assist with her uncle's medical bills, did the next best thing she knew, she opened a gofundme page on which she is asking members of the public to donate monies and support her uncle in his time of need, to help raise funds to assist her aunt in paying her uncle's medical bills.
In 24 days, the gofundme account has raised $2,270 of the $50,000 goal, from 16 people.
"God chose to spare his life, and we are thankful," wrote Soraya. "My uncle was a strong, hardworking man who paved roads and drove huge trucks for a living. He supported his wife, Bolera, and four children Mcquille, 21, a college student; Malisha, 15; Mashard, nine; and Malia, six. Since his stroke, Uncle Macy has not been able to work. My Auntie Bolera now cares for him full-time and has a small business creating beautiful bags. Uncle Macy is recovering slowly. He can now talk, and is relearning how to walk with the help of great physiotherapists and doctors. My aunt shared that my uncle's hospital bill is currently at the $50,000 mark and is growing.
"Also, their light bill was so high that [BPL] has turned off the electricity to their home, which makes life a greater challenge. I am not old enough to work and help my uncle, but I thought I could reach out and ask others to give what they could to help my uncle and his family. So if you can, please donate to my uncle's hospital fund, and if you cannot, please pray for my uncle and his family that God would lead many to help in this difficult time."
Bolera says her husband's medical issues arose as he was trying to get a wart removed. She said he was on blood pressure medication, and medical officials started adjusting his medication every time he went to the doctor because his blood pressure was high.
"They kept telling him his pressure was too high, so they increased the medication each time, then they changed it, and I went away, and that's when he had the stroke," said Bolera.
Glinton, 43, is out of hospital and at home. He's talking now and doing therapy, but can't do much else for himself. Doctors have told her that her husband will definitely not be able to resume his former career. The strokes have left him with left-side weakness. He barely moves his left foot and doesn't move his left arm. He also requires 24-hour care.
As she can't hold down a full-time job, because she has to provide around-the-clock care for her husband, the mother of four has taken to helping out her family finances the best she can by making straw bags. And in capitalizing on the political season, she also has what she calls her "Election Collection" with bags dedicated to all the political parties for sale.
Through all of this, Morris has been with her friends every step of the way, including "man-sitting" for Bolera when she needs to run errands to assist the family.
"You never know when it's your time," said Morris. "She [Bolera] is my friend, and the minute I saw that she needed help, I just jumped onboard -- anything that she needed ... I can remember her calling me at 12 midnight because their car had broken down, saying 'Erica we don't have any water in the house,' and me coming from my house at midnight in my pajamas, taking her to get some water. I can remember 'man-sitting' him -- not babysitting -- one day, because his wife needed to run some errands, so I told her I would watch him for her and I remember just looking at him and weeping, thinking he's not going to make it. It's them today, but I live for my child, and I would hope that if something like this were to happen to him, even if I'm not here, that he would have a friend that would do the same for him ... it's just knowing that humanity still exists; and you do these things not looking for any type of reciprocity."
Morris is one of those always upbeat and engaging people who never seems to let things get her down, and while she says she was devastated and livid when Gilbert dumped her two weeks before the prom, she never let Gilbert forget that. A few weeks ago, she said she jokingly decided to poke the bear one more time about what he had done to her.
She posted to social media what he had done to her and that she felt it was time he made it up to her. At the time of the posting, she said she didn't think about him taking her to the prom or anything, but when people started responding and telling him that he needed to make it up to her and try to take her to some prom, he called her the next day and asked her to go to SAC's prom with him. She agreed.
"And then I thought about it and said wait a minute, we're trying to do a fundraiser for Maceito, why don't we tie this into a publicity stunt for Maceito. So basically, if people want to see us go to the prom, they can buy a proverbial ticket, which is donating $10 or whatever to the gofundme page [started by Soraya], and that is how we're going to go to the prom."
Funds donated on behalf of Morris and Gilbert's prom date go directly to Glinton's family, and have nothing to do with Morris and Glinton's upcoming prom date. They said they're going anyway.
Morris reached out to the organizers of the SAC Class of 2017 prom. She said they welcomed them onboard when they found out about the initiative.
She and Gilbert will be attending the prom on June 24 at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, and are hoping to raise a significant contribution to help the Glintons.
They've also had people step up to assist them with making their prom night happen -- albeit 25 years later. Apryl Burrows will recreate Morris' prom dress; Kedar Clarke will style Gilbert; and Patrick Ferguson will take their pictures.
Gilbert gives Morris all the credit in coming up with the fundraising idea that he thinks is great. At the same time he admits he was blindsided when she started blasting him on social media about not taking her to the prom 25 years ago, something he said she never let him live down, and in the past had always spoken to him about face-to-face. He also owns up to having made a lousy move all those decades ago that universally is frowned upon.
"It was a convoluted situation 25 years ago in high school. Erica and I were good friends. I'd kind of had a crush on her way back, but I got friend-zoned, and so as a result I was like I ain't worried about that anymore let me carry someone else to the prom."
He asked two other girls, one was a year behind him -- her dad told him he didn't want his daughter going to the prom that year; the other was a classmate who told him she would be attending with someone from her church. Out of options, Gilbert said he had to settle to going to prom with his friend, Erica, and told her yes. Then the classmate who was to go with the church guy returned to him and told him she could go. He dumped Morris.
"Obviously I did the lousy move that everyone universally accepts to be frowned upon, and which shouldn't have been done -- I went with the other girl which was wrong, and didn't have such a great time. It was a boring night and all that, and she went off to college that same year, and I haven't seen her since. Erica on the other hand is always around, everywhere -- and everywhere I've seen Erica in the past 25 years, it's always, 'Boy you dump me for the prom.' If I meet her in the mall, she introduces me as, This the guy who dump me for the prom.' Mind you, she and I are still great friends, and that's a joke between us, so when she started in on it on social media about it four weeks ago I was so surprised. It turned out she had hatched an idea behind it, and I accepted."
Gilbert said that he's obviously bummed and dismayed that Maceito has been afflicted with his medical condition, and said it's a situation that is surprising and sobering to the members of the Class of '92.
"I guess all of us still feel a little young, but all of us in my class should be over 40 now, so we're not as young as we once were, and to know that one of our classmates is down is very sobering. We obviously want to help and do what we can to show our support. And it's not just one of our classmates -- it's two of them -- because Maceito married Bolera, and both of them graduated with us, so it's two members of our '92 class that are affected directly."
On the lighthearted side of things, Gilbert said attending the prom with Morris will be about fun, and a chance for him to redeem himself and make amends for what he said was a "boneheaded" move in 1992, as well as see how he and Morris hold up against the young folks.
On the serious side he said they are happy to be able raise funds for an important situation.
"The sky's the limit. I just want it to be something significant. I don't want it to be chump change," he said.
SAC's Class of '92 will be coming together for their first reunion since graduation, and have planned a series of initiatives, all of which will be fundraisers to assist the Glintons. The first event will be a soup drive on Thursday, March 30 during which peas soup and dumplings, conch chowder, okra soup, and pumpkin soup, will be sold at $10 per cup; as well as cream of broccoli and butternut squash soup at $7 per cup, prepared by Ali-Gaitors Catering Service. Delivery can be had for five or more orders, or soups can be picked up on the far west side of Montagu Beach. Orders can be placed at 558-8005.
The classmates will also have a weekend of family-oriented activities encompassing games like dominos to the three-legged race that they will charge to participate in, again with proceeds going to Glinton. Classmates are encouraged to wear the color associated with the House they were in (Leonard, Bernard, Alcuin and Seton) for the occasion.
"We've actually decided to have a class reunion, but in aid of a fundraiser for Macieto, because we've never had a class reunion. We're doing all of this in our 25th year of graduating to raise funds for his medical expenses," said Morris.
"We're trying to do different things, and hats off to Erica Morris," said Gilbert. "I'm just a willing participant in her master plan right now. Erica's the Brain, and I'm Pinky. That lady's heart is very big, and I applaud her for it. All of us have our careers, and our lives, most of us have our own family situations by now, but Erica is just out there and bringing everyone together. We encourage everyone to have a big heart when it comes to this situation, purchase a soup, come out on June 24 to see us, donate to the gofundme, and try to keep an eye out for any other fundraisers we may come up with in the next couple of months."
Bolera's appreciation for their efforts to assist her husband in his time of need was so overwhelming, she said she couldn't find the words to express her gratitude.
"I can't even find the words to express how appreciative I am, because it's just been so much ... I have his medical issues going on, and then I have other stuff going on in the home. I wasn't working at the time, when it happened, he was the one working, and so I can't get a job now because he needs 24-hour care, because his skull is not on, and they don't want him to fall, because if he falls ... and I have four kids."
Looking back, Morris said that ironically, it was at Glinton's grandmother's house that they were supposed to have their prom after-party 25 years ago, but that never happened.
"Cars were lined up from Imperial Park to Prince Charles. We all got there and his grandmother was like, 'Ain't no party goin' to be here. I don't know where ya'll goin' but ya'll can't come in.' Needless to say, we didn't even have an after-party, so you had a whole class of people with no place to go," she recalled.
After the upcoming SAC prom the Class of '92 will get their after-party, at the home of a classmate in The Grove, at which Joe Cools' another classmate will deejay. The party will serve as another fundraiser for Glinton.
Two-and-half decades later, Morris is going to prom with Gilbert, her best friend, and is looking forward to a fantastic evening. But she also recalled how livid she felt with being dumped.
"Tamiko and I went to Europe together [on a school trip] and became best friends. We made a promise to each other going into 10th grade that we were going to take each other to the prom. I stood by that. I had a boyfriend, but I was like, this is my friend, I want to go to the prom with him. In the 12th grade we were planning going to the prom together. I went away, purchased a dress, and when I came back I said to Tamico, what colors are you going to wear, because here are my colors. We were in Red Square at the time and he looked at me dry-eyed, no remorse, no nothing, and said I'm not taking you to the prom. I was like what? I was devastated, because I was one of the more popular girls in school, so how could I go to the prom without a date?
"I was a piece of mess in Red Square, 'cause I was goin' drag him in Red Square, but I couldn't do it, because I didn't want to get suspended. I ended up going with another guy in our class to prom to the Le Meridien Hotel [now Sandals Royal Bahamian]. We walked in together. I never saw my date again that night. I didn't see 'Tiko' the whole night. I didn't talk to him. He dumped me, and then come to find out, he took someone else in our class to the prom. In 25 years I never let him live that down, because I'm like how can you do this to me? I'm your good friend."
So 25 years after Gilbert unceremoniously dumped Morris, the duo will be going to prom together, and using the event as a fundraiser to help defray the cost of their classmate's medical expenses. Person's wanting to donate to Maceito Glinton's medical expenses can do so at the gofundmepage at www.gofundme.com/c3nep-macys-medicalfund, or a deposit can be made at the Bank of Bahamas account #5510055501 in the name of Maceito Glinton at the Village Road branch.

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EricaTamiko are going to prom

March 28, 2017

Almost 28 years ago Tamiko Gilbert promised he would take his best friend Erica Morris to their prom -- the date never materialized. Two weeks before St. Augustine's College's (SAC) Class of '92 prom, Gilbert dumped Morris for another date. She has never let her classmate and friend live that down. Two-and-a-half decades later Gilbert has again promised to take Morris to the prom. And while they're looking forward to a fun evening between friends at SAC's Class of 2017 prom, they will be attending the seniors rite of passage with a serious initiative behind the outing -- to raise funds to assist '92 classmate Maceito Glinton with his mounting medical bills.
In July 2016, Glinton suffered three strokes. He has to have his skull repaired. It was removed to allow his brain to bleed after having had the strokes, resulting in a hemorrhagic right brain. He also suffered from spiked blood pressure at 285/160; hemorrhagic right side bleeding results from a weakened vessel that ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain.
He is having difficulties with vision in his left eye as a result of left facial weakness due to the strokes.
His medical bills stand at $50,000 and are rising.
Glinton's wife, Bolera, who is also a member of SAC's Class of '92, was off island last year when she received a telephone call that her husband, who was the family's major breadwinner at the time, had suffered a massive stroke. She was advised to return home because there was a chance her husband would not make it. Glinton spent four weeks in intensive care, followed by another eight weeks in hospital. He has since had to have a stomach tube installed, and suffered a seizure, and still has to have his skull repaired as his medical bills continue to rise.
Glinton's 14-year-old niece, Soraya Jovin, knowing she can't work to assist with her uncle's medical bills, did the next best thing she knew, she opened a gofundme page on which she is asking members of the public to donate monies and support her uncle in his time of need, to help raise funds to assist her aunt in paying her uncle's medical bills.
In 24 days, the gofundme account has raised $2,270 of the $50,000 goal, from 16 people.
"God chose to spare his life, and we are thankful," wrote Soraya. "My uncle was a strong, hardworking man who paved roads and drove huge trucks for a living. He supported his wife, Bolera, and four children Mcquille, 21, a college student; Malisha, 15; Mashard, nine; and Malia, six. Since his stroke, Uncle Macy has not been able to work. My Auntie Bolera now cares for him full-time and has a small business creating beautiful bags. Uncle Macy is recovering slowly. He can now talk, and is relearning how to walk with the help of great physiotherapists and doctors. My aunt shared that my uncle's hospital bill is currently at the $50,000 mark and is growing.
"Also, their light bill was so high that [BPL] has turned off the electricity to their home, which makes life a greater challenge. I am not old enough to work and help my uncle, but I thought I could reach out and ask others to give what they could to help my uncle and his family. So if you can, please donate to my uncle's hospital fund, and if you cannot, please pray for my uncle and his family that God would lead many to help in this difficult time."
Bolera says her husband's medical issues arose as he was trying to get a wart removed. She said he was on blood pressure medication, and medical officials started adjusting his medication every time he went to the doctor because his blood pressure was high.
"They kept telling him his pressure was too high, so they increased the medication each time, then they changed it, and I went away, and that's when he had the stroke," said Bolera.
Glinton, 43, is out of hospital and at home. He's talking now and doing therapy, but can't do much else for himself. Doctors have told her that her husband will definitely not be able to resume his former career. The strokes have left him with left-side weakness. He barely moves his left foot and doesn't move his left arm. He also requires 24-hour care.
As she can't hold down a full-time job, because she has to provide around-the-clock care for her husband, the mother of four has taken to helping out her family finances the best she can by making straw bags. And in capitalizing on the political season, she also has what she calls her "Election Collection" with bags dedicated to all the political parties for sale.
Through all of this, Morris has been with her friends every step of the way, including "man-sitting" for Bolera when she needs to run errands to assist the family.
"You never know when it's your time," said Morris. "She [Bolera] is my friend, and the minute I saw that she needed help, I just jumped onboard -- anything that she needed ... I can remember her calling me at 12 midnight because their car had broken down, saying 'Erica we don't have any water in the house,' and me coming from my house at midnight in my pajamas, taking her to get some water. I can remember 'man-sitting' him -- not babysitting -- one day, because his wife needed to run some errands, so I told her I would watch him for her and I remember just looking at him and weeping, thinking he's not going to make it. It's them today, but I live for my child, and I would hope that if something like this were to happen to him, even if I'm not here, that he would have a friend that would do the same for him ... it's just knowing that humanity still exists; and you do these things not looking for any type of reciprocity."
Morris is one of those always upbeat and engaging people who never seems to let things get her down, and while she says she was devastated and livid when Gilbert dumped her two weeks before the prom, she never let Gilbert forget that. A few weeks ago, she said she jokingly decided to poke the bear one more time about what he had done to her.
She posted to social media what he had done to her and that she felt it was time he made it up to her. At the time of the posting, she said she didn't think about him taking her to the prom or anything, but when people started responding and telling him that he needed to make it up to her and try to take her to some prom, he called her the next day and asked her to go to SAC's prom with him. She agreed.
"And then I thought about it and said wait a minute, we're trying to do a fundraiser for Maceito, why don't we tie this into a publicity stunt for Maceito. So basically, if people want to see us go to the prom, they can buy a proverbial ticket, which is donating $10 or whatever to the gofundme page [started by Soraya], and that is how we're going to go to the prom."
Funds donated on behalf of Morris and Gilbert's prom date go directly to Glinton's family, and have nothing to do with Morris and Glinton's upcoming prom date. They said they're going anyway.
Morris reached out to the organizers of the SAC Class of 2017 prom. She said they welcomed them onboard when they found out about the initiative.
She and Gilbert will be attending the prom on June 24 at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, and are hoping to raise a significant contribution to help the Glintons.
They've also had people step up to assist them with making their prom night happen -- albeit 25 years later. Apryl Burrows will recreate Morris' prom dress; Kedar Clarke will style Gilbert; and Patrick Ferguson will take their pictures.
Gilbert gives Morris all the credit in coming up with the fundraising idea that he thinks is great. At the same time he admits he was blindsided when she started blasting him on social media about not taking her to the prom 25 years ago, something he said she never let him live down, and in the past had always spoken to him about face-to-face. He also owns up to having made a lousy move all those decades ago that universally is frowned upon.
"It was a convoluted situation 25 years ago in high school. Erica and I were good friends. I'd kind of had a crush on her way back, but I got friend-zoned, and so as a result I was like I ain't worried about that anymore let me carry someone else to the prom."
He asked two other girls, one was a year behind him -- her dad told him he didn't want his daughter going to the prom that year; the other was a classmate who told him she would be attending with someone from her church. Out of options, Gilbert said he had to settle to going to prom with his friend, Erica, and told her yes. Then the classmate who was to go with the church guy returned to him and told him she could go. He dumped Morris.
"Obviously I did the lousy move that everyone universally accepts to be frowned upon, and which shouldn't have been done -- I went with the other girl which was wrong, and didn't have such a great time. It was a boring night and all that, and she went off to college that same year, and I haven't seen her since. Erica on the other hand is always around, everywhere -- and everywhere I've seen Erica in the past 25 years, it's always, 'Boy you dump me for the prom.' If I meet her in the mall, she introduces me as, This the guy who dump me for the prom.' Mind you, she and I are still great friends, and that's a joke between us, so when she started in on it on social media about it four weeks ago I was so surprised. It turned out she had hatched an idea behind it, and I accepted."
Gilbert said that he's obviously bummed and dismayed that Maceito has been afflicted with his medical condition, and said it's a situation that is surprising and sobering to the members of the Class of '92.
"I guess all of us still feel a little young, but all of us in my class should be over 40 now, so we're not as young as we once were, and to know that one of our classmates is down is very sobering. We obviously want to help and do what we can to show our support. And it's not just one of our classmates -- it's two of them -- because Maceito married Bolera, and both of them graduated with us, so it's two members of our '92 class that are affected directly."
On the lighthearted side of things, Gilbert said attending the prom with Morris will be about fun, and a chance for him to redeem himself and make amends for what he said was a "boneheaded" move in 1992, as well as see how he and Morris hold up against the young folks.
On the serious side he said they are happy to be able raise funds for an important situation.
"The sky's the limit. I just want it to be something significant. I don't want it to be chump change," he said.
SAC's Class of '92 will be coming together for their first reunion since graduation, and have planned a series of initiatives, all of which will be fundraisers to assist the Glintons. The first event will be a soup drive on Thursday, March 30 during which peas soup and dumplings, conch chowder, okra soup, and pumpkin soup, will be sold at $10 per cup; as well as cream of broccoli and butternut squash soup at $7 per cup, prepared by Ali-Gaitors Catering Service. Delivery can be had for five or more orders, or soups can be picked up on the far west side of Montagu Beach. Orders can be placed at 558-8005.
The classmates will also have a weekend of family-oriented activities encompassing games like dominos to the three-legged race that they will charge to participate in, again with proceeds going to Glinton. Classmates are encouraged to wear the color associated with the House they were in (Leonard, Bernard, Alcuin and Seton) for the occasion.
"We've actually decided to have a class reunion, but in aid of a fundraiser for Macieto, because we've never had a class reunion. We're doing all of this in our 25th year of graduating to raise funds for his medical expenses," said Morris.
"We're trying to do different things, and hats off to Erica Morris," said Gilbert. "I'm just a willing participant in her master plan right now. Erica's the Brain, and I'm Pinky. That lady's heart is very big, and I applaud her for it. All of us have our careers, and our lives, most of us have our own family situations by now, but Erica is just out there and bringing everyone together. We encourage everyone to have a big heart when it comes to this situation, purchase a soup, come out on June 24 to see us, donate to the gofundme, and try to keep an eye out for any other fundraisers we may come up with in the next couple of months."
Bolera's appreciation for their efforts to assist her husband in his time of need was so overwhelming, she said she couldn't find the words to express her gratitude.
"I can't even find the words to express how appreciative I am, because it's just been so much ... I have his medical issues going on, and then I have other stuff going on in the home. I wasn't working at the time, when it happened, he was the one working, and so I can't get a job now because he needs 24-hour care, because his skull is not on, and they don't want him to fall, because if he falls ... and I have four kids."
Looking back, Morris said that ironically, it was at Glinton's grandmother's house that they were supposed to have their prom after-party 25 years ago, but that never happened.
"Cars were lined up from Imperial Park to Prince Charles. We all got there and his grandmother was like, 'Ain't no party goin' to be here. I don't know where ya'll goin' but ya'll can't come in.' Needless to say, we didn't even have an after-party, so you had a whole class of people with no place to go," she recalled.
After the upcoming SAC prom the Class of '92 will get their after-party, at the home of a classmate in The Grove, at which Joe Cools' another classmate will deejay. The party will serve as another fundraiser for Glinton.
Two-and-half decades later, Morris is going to prom with Gilbert, her best friend, and is looking forward to a fantastic evening. But she also recalled how livid she felt with being dumped.
"Tamiko and I went to Europe together [on a school trip] and became best friends. We made a promise to each other going into 10th grade that we were going to take each other to the prom. I stood by that. I had a boyfriend, but I was like, this is my friend, I want to go to the prom with him. In the 12th grade we were planning going to the prom together. I went away, purchased a dress, and when I came back I said to Tamiko, what colors are you going to wear, because here are my colors. We were in Red Square at the time and he looked at me dry-eyed, no remorse, no nothing, and said I'm not taking you to the prom. I was like what? I was devastated, because I was one of the more popular girls in school, so how could I go to the prom without a date?
"I was a piece of mess in Red Square, 'cause I was goin' drag him in Red Square, but I couldn't do it, because I didn't want to get suspended. I ended up going with another guy in our class to prom to the Le Meridien Hotel [now Sandals Royal Bahamian]. We walked in together. I never saw my date again that night. I didn't see 'Tiko' the whole night. I didn't talk to him. He dumped me, and then come to find out, he took someone else in our class to the prom. In 25 years I never let him live that down, because I'm like how can you do this to me? I'm your good friend."
So 25 years after Gilbert unceremoniously dumped Morris, the duo will be going to prom together, and using the event as a fundraiser to help defray the cost of their classmate's medical expenses. Person's wanting to donate to Maceito Glinton's medical expenses can do so at the gofundmepage at www.gofundme.com/c3nep-macys-medicalfund, or a deposit can be made at the Bank of Bahamas account #5510055501 in the name of Maceito Glinton at the Village Road branch.

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The middle ear

March 28, 2017

The middle ear is a hollow, air-filled cavity that lies just behind the translucent tympanic membrane more commonly called the eardrum. The middle ear is comprised of the eardrum, the tympanic cavity, and the ossicles, which are the three tiniest bones found in the human body. These little bones or ossicles connect the eardrum to the inner ear. The ossicles include the malleus (hammer), the incus (anvil), and the stapes (stirrup).
As sound waves enter the outer ear they hit the eardrum causing it to move back and forth. This back and forth movement of the eardrum is extremely important to our ability to hear, as it results in the ossicles moving and then converting the sound waves into mechanical vibration that are carried to the inner ear. The eardrum also consists of two tiny muscles; the tensor tympani muscle and the stapedius muscle. These muscles alter the tension on the ossicles thereby adjusting the degree of loudness of the sounds entering the middle ear. And finally, the middle ear is what connects the eustachian tube to the upper throat, which helps in the equalizing of pressure and in the draining of mucus.

Disorders of the middle ear
As with any other part of the ear, damage to, or disorders of, any portion of the middle ear will usually result in some degree of hearing loss. In most cases, however, the type of hearing loss is a conductive hearing one and hearing may eventually be restored once the problem is resolved. This may occur following medical treatment or following surgery. In some cases, a portion of the hearing may still be permanently lost. If this occurs, a hearing aid may be required.

Below are some, but not all, disorders of the middle ear:
o Aero Otitis Media: Also known as Barotrauma, is normally experienced by divers or sometimes when flying and the eustachian tube does not open properly causing fluid to collect in the middle ear.
o Cholesteatoma: A tumor of the middle ear that often enters the external auditory canal.
o Eosinophilic Otitis Media: A problematic middle ear disease associated with bronchial asthma and nasal allergies.
o Otitis Media: An inflammation of the middle ear leading to fluid build-up.
o Otosclerosis: An inherited disease that occurs more frequently in women and usually occurs following pregnancy. The rate of otosclerosis is significantly higher in white women compared to women of color.
o Ossicular discontinuity: Occurs when the bones of the middle ear are displaced from their positions. This can occur from an extremely loud noise, a blow or slap to the head, inserting Q-tips or other objects into the ear, or from an accident.
o Ossicular fixation: Occurs when the ligaments of the ossicular chain become ossified, usually in persons suffering from osteoarthritis.
o Suppurative otitis media: An infection of the middle ear usually caused by germs entering through the eustachian tube.
o Tinnitus: A ringing noise in the ear that often accompanies hearing loss.
o Tympanosclerosis: Ossification of the ossicular chain that also includes the eardrum.
If you experience any of the symptoms in the list below, you should seek medical consultation. If a hearing loss or tinnitus is present, you should also have your hearing evaluated by an audiologist.
o Earache
o Ear discharge or drainage
o Ear odor
o Fever
o Fullness in the ear
o Headache
o Hearing Loss
o Tinnitus
The middle ear is one of the three main parts that make up our amazing ear. The proper functioning of all parts is necessary for us to have precise hearing.

o For further information on any hearing-related disorder, please contact Dr. Deborah Nubirth, doctor of audiology, in New Providence at Comprehensive Family Medical Clinic, Poinciana Drive at 356-2276 or 677-6627 or 351-7902 in Grand Bahama; or email dnubirth@yahoo.com.

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Flatfoot in children

March 28, 2017

It brings great joy when parents see the fat, cuddly feet of their children and watch them waddle down the hallway making their first steps. Those cute, flat, cuddly feet are one of the hallmarks of childhood that can become a vexing foot problem later in life -- flatfeet.
Flatfoot is common in both children and adults. It is the partial or total collapse of the arch in the foot. Flexible flatfoot is where the arch of the foot collapses or disappears, gets very low, or is absent when standing. Upon sitting or when the child is on their tiptoes, the arch reappears. Most children eventually outgrow flexible flatfoot without any problems.
Flatfoot is normal in infants and small children, partly due to "baby fat" which sits in the developing arch. The arch develops during infancy and early childhood and appears by the age of four to six years. Training and stretching exercises of the feet and walking barefoot on various surfaces can facilitate the formation of the arches during childhood. The arches continue to develop during adolescence and adulthood. It is estimated that 20 to 30 percent of the general population has flat arches in one foot or both feet. It is felt that the condition is even more common in black people. Several studies of military recruits with asymptomatic flat feet have shown no evidence of later increased injury, or foot problems, due to the flatfeet.
Symptoms
Most children with flatfoot have no symptoms as it is painless and does not interfere with walking or sports. If the child has normal muscle function and good joint mobility the flatfoot is often considered a normal variant. Flexible flatfoot normally continues until the child is at least five to six years old. If flexible flatfoot continues into adolescence, the child may experience aching pain along the bottom of the foot. Some children may exhibit other symptoms, such as pain, tenderness, or cramping in the foot, leg, and knee; turning the heels outward; changes in walking pattern; difficulty with shoes; reduced energy when participating in or withdrawal from physical activities. Bunions and hammertoes may develop as a result of a flatfoot. If the child's flatfeet causes pain, a podiatrist should be consulted.
Diagnosis
In diagnosing flatfoot, the podiatrist examines the feet and observes how they look when the child stands and sits. He/she observes how the child walks, looks for wear patterns on the child's shoes, and evaluates the range of motion of the foot joints. Because flatfoot can sometimes cause problems in the leg as well, the podiatrist may also examine the leg, knee and hip. X-rays are often taken to look at the bones and determine the severity of the deformity.
Non-surgical treatment
If a child has no symptoms, treatment for flatfoot is often not needed. Instead, the podiatrist will observe and re-evaluate the condition periodically. Custom orthotic devices may even be considered for some cases of asymptomatic flatfoot, because of the severity and the potential future complications seen in that foot type. When the child is experiencing symptoms, treatment is required and may include:
Activity modifications: If the child has activity-related pain or tiredness in the foot/ankle or leg, the podiatrist may recommend stretching exercises for the heel cord. The child may need to temporarily decrease activities like sports that bring pain as well as avoid prolonged walking or standing.
Orthotic devices: If the pain and discomfort continues, the doctor may recommend shoe inserts. In many cases, a soft, firm, or hard arch support may relieve the child's foot pain and fatigue. They can also extend the life of their shoes, which may otherwise wear unevenly. The podiatrist can provide custom orthotic devices that fit inside the shoes to provide support to the structure of the foot and improve its function.
Physical therapy: Sometimes the podiatrist may prescribe physical therapy or casting if your child has flexible flatfoot with tight heel cords. Stretching exercises and other therapy by the physical therapist can provide relief in some cases of flatfoot.
Medications: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, may be needed at times to help reduce pain and inflammation.
Shoes: The type of shoes the child wears is important to support the arches. The podiatrist will advise the child to wear well-structured, supportive shoes, with built-in arch support rather than very flat flexible shoes that do not support the foot. Sneakers are always a good choice for supportive footwear.
Surgical treatment
As the child grows, a small number of flexible flatfeet become rigid, making it worse instead of correcting itself. In these cases further medical evaluation and even surgical treatment will be necessary for children with persistent foot pain. Surgery is necessary to relieve the symptoms as well as to improve the foot structure and function. The surgical procedure or procedures are selected depending on the severity of the symptoms, the type of flatfoot and the degree of deformity. If you suspect your child may have flat feet or if they have foot pain, you need to take them to see a podiatrist.
o For more information email foothealth242@gmail.com or visit www.apma.org. To see a podiatrist visit Bahamas Foot Centre on Rosetta Street, telephone 325-2996, or Bahamas Surgical Associates Centre, Albury Lane, telephone 394-5820, or Lucayan Medical Centre on East Sunrise Highway, Freeport, Grand Bahama, telephone 373-7400.

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No risks, no rewards

March 28, 2017

My friend, do you really understand the very important lesson in living contained in today's title, no risks, no rewards? Well do you? You see, there are, unfortunately for them, a whole lot of people spread throughout this great big world of ours who always want to play it safe, they're always afraid of taking any risks whatsoever in order to get them to where they want to be. Believe me, this kind of pathetic timidity will get a person absolutely nowhere. I remember well, many years ago, when I was selling encyclopedias. I decided to go to the British Virgin Islands to sell there for a couple of weeks. I'd never been there before. However, I shipped a whole pile of encyclopedias in advance by airfreight to San Juan, Puerto Rico. I then flew to San Juan and chartered a small plane to transport the books to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. I got a hotel room where I stacked up all of my boxes of encyclopedias, dictionaries, and children's classics -- the books I sold in an inclusive package with the actual encyclopedias.
I arranged a photo shoot with the chief minister of the government whom I presented with a set of American Educator Encyclopedias, and the photo with a write up was published in the local paper on the front page. The chief minister introduced me to the minister of education, who in turn introduced me to all of the school principals. I spent two very successful weeks in Tortola, sold all of my books and appointed a teacher as my representative in the British Virgin Islands.
Yes indeed, as I look back on that episode, I really did take a big risk by taking all of those books to the British Virgin Islands. However, believe me, it paid off very handsomely. My friend, I do sincerely hope and pray that you have got today's most important message. You've got to believe in yourself and thus be prepared to take some calculated risks in order to succeed in life.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Buddy catching on with the Kings

March 28, 2017

Bahamian professional basketball player Chavano "Buddy" Hield has found a home in Sacramento.
The starting 6'4" two-guard of the Kings has seen his production skyrocket since being traded to Sacramento during the National Basketball Association's (NBA) All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. He was a part of a six-player deal that saw the oft-disruptive, but very talented, DeMarcus Cousins end up in New Orleans.
In 16 games with the Kings, Hield is averaging 14.8 points per game and is shooting 44.2 percent from behind the three-point line -- a stark difference from the 8.6 points and 36.9 percent shooting (three-point range) he was recording in New Orleans. Hield's numbers are up across the board. He is averaging more rebounds, assists and steals per game.
On Friday night, he had his best game as a professional, finishing with a career-high 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists against the Golden State Warriors. The Kings lost that game, 114-100. Two nights before that, Hield had 21 points while shooting 50 percent from the floor and 33.3 percent from three-point land. The Kings were defeated by the Bucks in that game, 116-98.
On Sunday night against the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles, Hield spurred a fourth quarter comeback of historic proportions. Going into Sunday night's game against the Clippers, only one team in 6,746 attempts had erased an 18-point lead in the last five minutes of a game in the past 20 years. Hield and the Kings became the second such team on Sunday.
The streaky Bahamian started the game 0-for-5 from downtown, but went 3-of-3 in the final minutes on Sunday including a game-changing sequence featuring back-to-back treys in a span of eight seconds that cut the Clippers lead to three, 96-93, with 2:10 remaining. Hield had 11 points in total during the Kings 22-3 scoring run to end the game. He finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, two assists and a steal in 23 minutes of play. Hield shot 5-for-12 from the floor and was 3-for-8 from distance.
"We saw they started chirping with each other and we were able to see them collapse," said Hield via the Sacramento Bee's Jason Jones, following their dramatic victory over the Clippers on Sunday.
Willie Cauley-Stein's game-winning tip-in with less than two seconds left sealed the game for Sacramento, and ended a four-game losing streak for them. Point guard Darren Collison led the Kings with 19 points on Sunday, and Hield and Anthony Tolliver contributed 15 apiece. DeAndre Jordan led the Clippers with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul had 17 apiece.
The Kings hosted the Memphis Grizzlies last night, but the result of that game was unavailable up to press time. Going into last night's game, the Kings sported a 28-45 win/loss record, and were seven games out of a playoff spot in the NBA's Western Conference.
For the season, Hield is averaging 9.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. He is shooting 42 percent from the field, and 38.8 percent from three-point land.
Hield is currently having his best month of the season. In March, he is averaging 15.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He is also shooting 49.3 from the floor and 46.6 percent from three-point land this month. Hield started 37 out of 57 games for the New Orleans Pelicans, and nine out of 16 for the Kings.
He is sixth on the NBA's Rookie Ladder scale for the Kia Rookie of the Year Award after being as high as third this season. He ranks fourth among rookies in scoring, first in three pointers made, third in three point percentage (at least 100 attempts), 13th in rebounding and 23rd in assists.
Hield and the Kings have eight more games remaining on their schedule. A couple of featured games remaining on their schedule would be Friday night's contest against the Pelicans, and the season finale against the Clippers. Hield will return to the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Friday for the first time since being traded at the All-Star break.
On Wednesday April 12, they will travel to L.A. to play the Clippers again, this time in the season finale. There's no doubt that the playoff bound Clippers will be looking for retribution in that contest.

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CARIFTA swim team ready to reclaim title at home

March 28, 2017

There's now less than a month to go before the 36-member team selected by the Bahamas Swimming Federation (BSF) represents the country at home at the 2017 CARIFTA Swimming Championships. According to recently appointed head coach Travano McPhee, the swimmers are peaking at the perfect time and are in a great position to reclaim the regional title. Team Bahamas won two consecutive CARIFTA swimming titles in 2014 and 2015, but fell short of a three-peat last year, finishing second to Guadeloupe in Fort-de-France, Martinique. This year's championships are set for April 15-19 at the Betty Kelly-Kenning National Aquatics Centre in New Providence, here in The Bahamas.
With a team filled with members from last year's squad, team coaches feel that this is the year for them. Their main goal is to reclaim the CARIFTA swimming title.
"This year's team has been looking really good in the practice sessions," McPhee said. "The kids are working hard, and I think we are in a good position to defend our home turf. We'll have the home field advantage, which will play a major factor. It's an advantage we plan to make the most of. Last year, in Martinique, we barely lost to Guadeloupe. We had a bit of a drop off in a couple areas, but we feel that we corrected a few things and now we're ready to compete. We have a lot of younger swimmers who had good performances last year returning to this year's team. I think they'll be even better than they were last year, because now they know what to expect. All of the nerves and jitters are out of the way, so now it's time to get down to business."
Along with the action in the water, McPhee said that being a part of Team Bahamas also has a lot to do with attitude and team spirit. He said that the way the athletes interact outside of the pool is almost as important as how they perform inside of it.
"The newer athletes will learn quickly what it means to be a part of Team Bahamas," he said. "We have developed a winning culture over the last few years, and now it has become a point of emphasis to cheer on your team, to make sacrifices for the team and to be there for your teammates, regardless if they have a good or bad swim. We have some good senior leaders who will help us coaches control things out of the water, so I know we'll be okay in that regard."
The Bahamas finished a close second to Guadeloupe at last year's CARIFTA Swimming Championships. Guadeloupe ended the meet with 796 points, while The Bahamas had 774.5 points. Host country Martinique finished third with 586.5 points.
Team Bahamas
Swimming (36)
Abayomi Brown
Salene Gibson
Rachel Lundy
Liya Moncur
Zaylie Elizabeth Thompson
Katelyn Cabral
Jamila Hepburn
Anya MacPhail
Jolise Newbold
Katherine Slatter
Jasmine Gibson
Lilly Higgs
Margaret Albury Higgs
Brianna Nesbitt
Victoria Russell
Virginia Stamp
Brayden Dam
Nigel Forbes
Jared Reckley
Ishan Roy
Jake Thompson
Erald Thompson III
Trent Albury
DeVante Carey
Kevon Lockhart
Sean Neely
Ian Pinder
Tristan Russell
Lemar Taylor
Miller Albury
Izaak Bastian
Samuel Gibson
Peter Morley
Joshua Roberts
William Russell
Alec Sands

Open Water Swimming (12)
Giovanna Eneas
Anya MacPhail
Jazmine Trotman
Jasmine Gibson
Tenniya Martin
Keitra Lloyd
Rommel Ferguson
Tristan Russell
Lemar Taylor
Darren Laing
Shimon Lopez
Kris Smith

Water Polo (20)
Aidan Johnson
Loron Bain
Johnathon Demeritte
Adrian Burrows
Thor Sasso
Damian Gomez
Gabriel Sastre
Alexander Turnquest
Liam Mills
Nicholas Wallace-Whitfield
Jelani Grant
Gabriel Encinar
Thomas Illing
Stearlin Lewis
Marcel Ingraham
Saequan Miller
Joshua Knowles
Kendrick Stubbs
Adonis Sasso
Sean Knowles

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