Friday, May 17, 2019

#242NewsBahamas Newsletter Edition: May 16th, 2019

Is It Abuse Or Is It Needed Discipline?

Dear Readers,

This is not a topic that we are thrilled about having to discuss again, but the events of the past week have made it very clear that this conversation needs to be had; openly and frequently. CHILD ABUSE – where do we draw the line?

This week there was yet another video of “child abuse” circulating around The Bahamas. The video depicts a young girl called Muffin crying, being shouted at, and then shouting back, and can be watched here

PM Minnis Endorses Reinstatement of Fulbright Program
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between The Bahamas through the Ministry of Education and the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for the re-establishment of the prestigious Fulbright Program for academically qualified Bahamians.

After a 23-year hiatus, which included 2 years of renegotiations, the MOU was signed during a ceremony at the Office of the Prime Minister on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Signatories were the Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education and Caroline Casagrande, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
The Bahamas – The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) under the powers vested in it by the Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA) has been and still is the sole regulator for all utilities in the Freeport zone since 1956.

As the utilities Regulatory Authority in the City of Freeport, GBPA in 2012, recognized that there was a need to strengthen the regulatory regime by implementing a Regulatory Framework and Operating Protocol (“Framework”) in accordance with international best practices. This Framework not only provides an objective and transparent process for rate setting, but also establishes a regime of efficiency and customer service standards designed to secure greater levels of customer protection. The Framework was, and remains, the first of its kind and the most advanced set of regulations within the Bahamas, which clearly outlines the expectations of GBPA as the regulator.

BREA Members return full slate of officers
With a booming market and more luxury developments coming on stream than ever before, real estate leaders warned hundreds this week that a new era of compliance regulations would force every firm dealing with property to focus on not just what it was selling, but who it was selling to.

“This has been another interesting year with many obstacles and challenges,” Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA) President Christine Wallace-Whitfield told a packed house at the Nassau Yacht Club May 1 as the 800+-member organization held its annual general meeting. Record numbers turned out for what is considered the serious business highlight of the year for the real estate community but this year most subjects paled by comparison to the new issue of compliance.
Statement From Obie Roberts National Vice Chair PLP On Senate President Kay Forbes Smith And Carnival
The PLP takes note of the public report of the engagement of the Senate President Kay Forbes Smith as consultant to the Carnival Cruise Line, an applicant to the government of The Bahamas for permission to build a cruise port in Grand Bahama.

We have taken note of the Attorney General's statement defending the right to accept the consultancy on legal grounds. The Senate President defended the position on similar grounds as the Attorney General.
The law is not the issue or a correct response.

The issue is whether or not it passes the test of propriety, the proverbial smell test. In other words, would an objective observer say that there is no conflict? 

Conchman Continues to Support Local Sports Programs
As the longest standing triathlon in The Bahamas, the Conchman Triathlon is continuing to use its annual profits to support young athletes and local programs in the community. Presenting a donation to the GB Sailing Club was Conchman Chairman, Christopher Baker. “We are pleased to support the sailing club,” he noted. “They are a club involved with Youth sport on the island run by volunteers. We are pleased they are using the funds to purchase much needed equipment, and will continue to assist our committee by providing volunteers following our swimmers on kayaks to help in any distress and/or course needs.”
Minister Thompson responds to Taxi Drivers’ concerns
Responding to Taxi Drivers’ concerns on Thursday, May 9, Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson said during a press briefing at Office of the Prime Minister that issues that they currently face have been that way for years, but taxis are very important to the island.

The Minister was responding to statements made on Wednesday when union representatives held a press conference threatening action if something is not done to address their concerns by the relevant authorities.
On May 11th 2019, Concerned citizens across the globe gathered for the 7th Annual Empty The Tanks Worldwide event. Thousands gathered in solidarity to bring awareness to the plight of captive whales and dolphins during this annual event, which spanned over 70 event locations across 25 countries. 

EARTHCARE volunteers manned an information station in Freeport, Grand Bahama, to educate the public about captive whale and dolphin programs. Gail Woon, Founder of EARTHCARE, a former Dolphin Trainer shared her experiences and is adamant that dolphins can’t be kept happily in captivity. “EARTHCARE is vehemently against the introduction of any new captive dolphin facilities into the Bahamas”, she said. “Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins travel up to 40 miles a day. They can dive to great depths and live in family units. To keep a marine mammal in captivity is a very tragic situation.” Her experiences can be found in an article by the Huffington Post, “Former Dolphin Trainer Speaks out on the Horrors of Captivity”. Savanna and Havana Gibson, Tyler Riley and Jahrin Ellis assisted with the EARTHCARE Empty the Tanks Information Station. 
Freeport Rugby Football Club (FRFC) are preparing to welcome teams from Cayman, Miami, and Nassau for their Ninth Annual Youth Rugby Festival, May 17th thru 19th. The club are expecting over 250 youth players from 8 to 17, in both girls and boys age groups, travelling to enjoy the experience of playing International rugby.

The festival is a culmination of months of dedication from Freeport’s coaching staff, players, and numerous sponsors helping to make the event possible. “As a non-profit organization we rely on the goodwill of our members and sponsors; to enable all our youth programs to operate and to host such an event. Our aim has always been to provide boys and girls in our community with a safe environment to play soccer and rugby, and to pass on the love of this great game to others.”

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New Providence
May 18th, 2019
  • The Place for Art presents: All Things Cuban! 3:00pm - 8:00pm at The Place for Art, 20 Village Rd
May 19th, 2019
  • Sound Fest Bahamas 1:00pm - 10:00pm at Clifford Park
May 24th - 25th, 2019
  • The Harbourside Marine/Rotary "Tuna Classic Tournament"
June 14th, 2019
  • National Conclave of Chambers at Baha Mar
Grand Bahama
May 24th - 25th, 2019
  • The Harbourside Marine/Rotary "Tuna Classic Tournament"
May 25th, 2019
  • The Jubilee Cathedral's Fun Run Walk
May 31st, 2019
  • RUNWAY 2: Where Fashion Meets Compassion! 8:00pm - 11:00pm at Regency Theatre
Family Islands
May 24th - 25th, 2019
  • The Harbourside Marine/Rotary "Tuna Classic Tournament"
May 24th, 2019
  • Brown Tip: Live Rake N Scrape Band 8:00pm - 11:00pm at Abaco Beach Resort
May 25th, 2019
  • 4th Annual Bimini Bread & Seafood Cook-Off at Bimini Craft Centre
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