242newsBahamas - Will we ever get a real FREE press? (Weekly Highlights)
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FOIA vs ICB
For more than five years, countless groups have been agitating for
the introduction of a fully enacted Freedom of Information act. The
Bahamas remains one of few countries int he world that still do not have
such laws and if we're being honest, our country and our democracy
suffers because of it.
The importance of having access to information cannot be overstated. Access tot information is perhaps one of the valuable tools available to journalists, organisations and
the general public who require answers about how the government is
ACTUALLY spending taxpayer money and not just the stories told by
Ministers in their well written speeches and government press
releases. Except here in the Bahamas, we literally have no access
outside of information that is LEAKED to press.
viable Freedom of Information Act would essentially open the floodgates
for memmbers of the press, giving them access to secrets that would
have otherwise died within the hallowed halls of parliament, or the
office of the PM or any other government institution.
It seems that successive government have chosen to take the position of extreme "caution" when approaching freedom of information. This posture says to me that they are afraid of what could be uncovered in a specific FOI Request. one
thing is important to remember: the information that government
departments hold isn't their information, it's ours. We as citizens,
given that we are living in a democratic society, have a right to know
what elected officials are doing with our money and data.
Here at home, however, what goes on in government has been a closely guarded secret that only become public when leaked. Now, while successive governments have started the process of making
this legislation a reality, the road has been long and winding with the
current administration only committing to a phased implementation.
Ironically though, as the government works to keep its
secrets, its simultaneously looking to pass laws that give them access
to ours - yours and mine. The Interception of Communications bill
affectionally named the spy bill by former GB Human Rights President
Fred Smith has stirred up a ton of controversy.
When tabling the bill last year, the Jr. Minister of Legal
Affairs explained that the bill which would allow the interception of
both public and private communications systems would be authorized under
a single Framework. Here's what the Nassau Guardian Reported on September 17:
"The bill provides for the interception of all
communication networks, regardless of whether they are licensed as
public or not," the bill reads. "This will include public telecommunication operators and also Internet providers.
"The bill also provides for the interception of
communication carried wholly or partly by wireless telegraphy and also
encompasses all mail handling systems, which includes all parcel and
"The bill further provides for the use of certain devices for listening to private conversations."
The ICB would be in the "interest of national
security" and the "protection of The Bahamas from threats of sabotage,
espionage, terrorist acts, terrorism or subversion", according to the
The bill notes that interception may only take
place when the information cannot reasonably be acquired by any other
means and "each interception or entry warrant is authorized by a judge,
upon ex parte application by the attorney general, at the request of an
authorized officer", which includes the commissioner of police or a
person authorized in writing by the director of the Bureau of
The bill says interception of any communication in
The Bahamas would take place in the course of its transmission from an
address by means of a postal service or a public or private
If passed, an entry warrant would authorize an
authorized officer to enter premises to intercept a communication,
install and maintain an interception device or remove such device or
An entry warrant would not be granted by a judge unless there exists a related interception warrant.
The bill would also make it an offense to misuse or abuse information obtained, including prosecution.
Private conversations recorded by listening devices
would be inadmissible unless consent is given or the prosecution
relates to an offense under the bill. The minister of national security would list and gazette electronic devices deemed listening devices.
Once enacted, to possess devices on this list would require an exemption. Certain
non-governmental organizations have called on the government to hold
off on passing the bill before consulting stakeholders.
The previous administration introduced a similar
bill, but shelved it in the face of staunch opposition from a
cross-section of civil society groups, which coined the bill the "spy
Since then, the government has been unable to convince anyone
that this bill will actually serve the "intended" purpose of aiding
fighting crime. And despite calls from various sectors, there has been
little effort (in my opinion) to really address the lingering concerns.
As for me, I say NO ICB until we get FULLY Implemented FOIA.
Clearly, the government understands the importance of having access to
information the only difference...they want access but continue to deny
us ours! That sounds totally out of balance for me. We can't have one
without the other. Simple as that.
Prime Minister Opens PMDU to Monitor Government's Services to Community
In keeping with its commitment to improving the quality of services
to the community at large, Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis
officially opened the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit to do just that.
The launch ceremony was held Tuesday, May 8, 2018 at the Office of
the Prime Minister. On hand for the historic occasion were Cabinet
Ministers, other government officials, representatives from Canada which
utilises a similar concept, and representatives of the Inter-American
Development Bank.Read More
GBPA Serious About Keeping their Island Beautiful
Silver Sands demolished to prevent safety concerns and to improve cityscape
In its hay day, the Silver Sands
Hotel property on Grand Bahama Island welcomed thousands of guests from
around the world. However, following the devastation wrought by
multiple hurricanes, the resort, which had once been a beacon of
relaxation, has been left abandoned and uninhabitable. The now
structurally unsound buildings have become not just an eyesore to the
surrounding community but a potential danger as well. Read More
Sands Beer Cup Tournament Marks Second Anniversary
For a second consecutive year, The Bahamian Brewery and
Beverage Company has joined forces with The Bahamas Golf
Federation(BGF) for the annual Sands Beer Cup series of events which
kicked off in Grand Bahama in March of this year. Read More
Derelict Buildings to Fall
Pioneers Plaza the First of many on Grand Bahama
In keeping with its mandate to manage the City of Freeport, the
Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) is continuing the process of ridding
the island of abandoned, derelict and structurally unsound properties.
"The beautification and maintenance of the City of Freeport are
always of paramount importance to GBPA. While there are inevitable
constraints, mostly legal, we are committed to that responsibility and
to our customers," said Rupert Hayward, GBPA Director.Read More
45th Independence Anniversary Activities Announced
The search is on for the best national recording artists, essay
writers, runners and walkers as the National Independence Committee
prepares to celebrate the country's 45th anniversary of Independence.
The planning committee announced initiatives and outlined details
of the 45th Independence celebrations during a press briefing at the
Paul Farquharson Conference Centre, East Street, May 7, 2018.
Bahamians Earn Coveted Awards from Global Real Estate Brand
A rental queen, a top rookie and a broker who racked up over $1
million in sales in less than a year were among five agents at Better
Homes and Gardens MCR Bahamas Group recognized by the international
franchise for outstanding sales performance.Read More
St. George Joins the Official Opening the UB Hawksbill Dorms GBPA donates 3 Million towards its build out
In 2015, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, under the direction
of the late Sir Jack Hayward and Sarah St. George, committed a donation
of three million dollars towards student dormitories to the then,
College of The Bahamas. Now, three years later,
The University of the Bahamas (UB) officially unveiled the new campus
dorms in a special ceremony held at UB North on Grand Bahama Island
under the auspices of University President Dr. Rodney Smith, the Deputy
Prime Minister, The Hon Peter J Turnquest and other dignitaries. Read More
Open letter to Minister Jeffrey Lloyd
Dear Minister Lloyd:
Re: Congratulations on your bold defence of the principle that all children have a right to be educated
I write to congratulate you on your bold and determined move to
protect the sacred principle that all children are entitled to an
education, regardless of their background or ethnic origin. This
principle, enshrined in both our Constitution and Education Act, is also
a cornerstone of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the
Child, an agreement which the Bahamas has ratified and subsequently
reinforced in our own Statute law with the passing of the Child
Protection Act (2006).Read More
Former M.P. Pierre Dupuch comments on Majority Rule in The Bahamas.
When Hitler came to power he used a secret weapon called Goebbels.
Goebbels was Hitler's Minister of Propaganda who believed that if a lie
was repeated often enough people would start believing it. And it did
wonders for him. He destroyed Germany and killed six-million Jews.
The PLP had its own Goebbels. The lie of Majority Rule has been
repeated often and now is believed. But, thank God, the young people of this country are now using the two phrases that keep Democracy alive, "why" and "how come".Read More
Presidente Takes to the Streets for Bahamas Carnival
The streets of New Providence were alive with the sights and sounds
of Bahamas Carnival this weekend as thousands turned out for the full
weekend of fetes and concerts featuring the brightest stars on the
international Soca scene.
The highlight of the weekend's festivities, however, was
undoubtedly the massive Road Fever Parade which saw carnivalists from
the various carnival bands flood the streets to 'play mas' in brightly colored costumes as they strutted along the parade route to the sounds of the Soca music.Read More
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STAR PRESS RELEASE
One of the greatest shows to
ever hit Grand Bahama was a big hit with Freeport audiences last weekend
at the Regency Theatre! The team that brought you the Bahamian Icon
Nominated plays Sarah's Wedding and the New Rules of Sex and Dating and
the political drama Keeping up with the Boujees proudly introduced a
fresh and innovative production called "STAR." One of the words
constantly used by audiences to describe this performance was AMAZING! Read More
Paint for Fun - Garden Edition By Erika Gates
A group of local ladies spent the day at Garden of the Groves
under the expertise of artist Paola Correa de Albury! The "students"
learnt how to paint tropical leaves using the Garden's abundant lush
tropical foliage. The results were astonishing and we hope that the
class will exhibit their works at the Garden Café in the near future! Read More
The Importance Of A Warranty On Office Furnishings
As in many other businesses, in office
design in the Bahamas, a common phrase that is used from time to time
is, "this product comes with a warranty." While you may be familiar with
the term warranty, are you as familiar with why it is important on for
office furnishings? Today, we will take some time to make you aware or
remind you of the importance of a warranty on your office furnishings.
Firstly, just in case you are not exactly
sure of what a warranty is, a warranty is simply an assurance by one
party to the other party that specific facts or conditions are true or
will happen. In the case of office design, it's a statement made by the
seller or manufacturer of the product saying that it will perform in the
way specified, as products can have problems either upon purchase or
after a certain amount of time.
A warranty is often one of the strongest
indicators of product quality. It is very valuable to a customer and
should not be overlooked. Today, SOS will give you a few reasons why it
is vitally important to have a warranty on any furnishings you purchase
for your office:
You Are Going To Keep Your Office Furnishings Past The Manufacturer's Warranty
Many employers and employees will make use
of the office furnishings long after the manufacturer's warranty
expires, therefore, should you have any issues with your product during
the time it is under warranty, the product can be repaired or replaced
and little or no cost to you as the customer. This will ensure that you
get the maximum use of the product for as long as possible. However, our
partnering supplier, Global Furniture, has a Lifetime Limited Warranty
on its products.
You Use Your Office Furnishings More Than Most
Depending on the nature of your business, a
warranty may be an excellent tool for your future. More frequent use of
the furnishings can result in them not lasting as long as the
manufacturer would have intended, at which time a warranty will allow
free or minimal cost of replacement of the furnishing.
Peace Of Mind
This may seem like the most obvious, but it
is an important note regardless. A warranty offers the peace of mind of
knowing that a cost of repair or replacement won't completely wipe our
wallets in a time of need. There is no way to ensure that all of the
complex and intricate parts of our office furnishings will last it's
Multiple Users Of The Office Furnishings
In most cases, multiple employees use office
furnishings which can sometimes put different level of stress on the
parts of the office furnishings. A warranty can save the company money
in cases where office furnishings are not able to last its expected
It's said that nothing last forever, but a warranty can help you to ensure that you get value for your money.
Click Below for this week's weather in The Bahamas:
May 11th, 2018
Woman's Tongue: A Social Commentary Art Show by Carla Campbell 6:30pm at Doongalik Studios Art Gallery, Village Road
May 17th, 2018
Woman's Tongue: A Social Commentary Art Show by Carla Campbell Art Talk Panel Discussion 6:00pm at Doongalik Studios Art Gallery, Village Road
May 26th, 2018
Solomon's Fresh Market 5K Fun Walk & Health Fair 6:30am
May 30th, 2018
Bahamas Chamber of Commerce Trade Seminar & Expo 9:00am - 5:00pm at The Melia
May 12th, 2018
Rotary Club 8th Annual Cigar Night 6:00pm at Grand Bahama Yacht Club
May 16th, 2018
Cat Island Association 4th Annual Seniors' Spelling Bee
May 12th, 2018
Red Bays Snapper Tournament at Red Bays, Andros
May 12th, 2018
Mangrove Cay Mother's Day Homecoming Regatta
May 13th, 2018
A Passion For Fashion at Cancer Society, Palmetto Point. Eleuthera
May 15th, 2018
The Bahamas Boating Fling: Bimini
May 19th, 2018
Spring Garden Party 6:00pm at Queen's Highway, Cockburn Town, San Salvador