Friday, January 10, 2020

#242NewsBahamas Newsletter Edition: January 9th 2020

Join the Jan Ban and Let’s Protect Our Islands in 2020


Dear Readers,

On January 1, The Bahamas became part of a global collective of countries that instituted a formal ban on single-use plastics. The items which were coined the Four-bidden included plastic bags, plastic straw, plastic cups, and styrofoam containers. These items, in particular, have contributed to staggering amounts of plastic pollution in the ocean.

New laws introduced by the Minnis administration in 2019 now dictate that the use of plastics bags and will only be permitted for six months (from January 1 to June 30, 2020). After this period, these bags must be replaced with compostable plastic options. As a deterrent, the law also allows for customers to be charged 25 cents to $1 for each plastic bag requested at the checkout at Bahamian retail stores.

More than a year out, the Ministry of the Environment launched a campaign via traditional and social media designed to sensitize the public to the coming changes. The process involved meeting with stakeholders, grocers, distributors and the public to develop a manageable plan. On its website and its social media, the Ministry also noted the progress that was being made via the introduction of various biodegradable alternatives such as reusable bags, paper, and plant-based food containers that had already been introduced to the local market by hotels, restaurants, and suppliers. 
Bahamasair saga is a national disgrace, says DNA release.
The national carrier has been plagued by political interference, mismanagement and inefficiencies for decades. Successive administrations led by the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and Free National Movement (FNM) have presided over the deterioration of the operations and financial position of Bahamasair.

The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) has noted numerous media reports in relation to the failure of Bahamasair to comply with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards by installing the Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) on three 737-500 planes before January 1, 2020. This is concerning because the FAA regulations in question were issued May 27th 2010, therefore we had 10 years to comply with this mandate . This issue has spanned over two FNM administrations, one full term under the PLP and three Prime Ministers. This is a national disgrace and the height of incompetence.
The DNA had withheld its comments to provide the government, Aviation Minister and Bahamasair with opportunities to explain their failures to the Bahamian people.

Also members of the aviation community ( locally and internationally) have patiently waited for an explanation from the Bahamas National Flag Carrier as to why this software was not installed within 10 years. This mandate applied to all aircraft operators, Private and Commercial, and guess what ? The majority of General Aviation airplanes that operate out of Nassau into the USA have met the deadline, some operators more than two years ago.
Construction Zone for the Urgent/Emergency Care Project Renovation Works to Expand at PMH
The construction zone for Phase I of the Urgent/Emergency Care Project Renovation Works will expand on Monday, January 13, 2020 and will temporarily prohibit access through the main Emergency Department of the Princess Margaret Hospital’s entrance off Elizabeth Avenue.

During a press conference at his office, January 8, 2020, Minister of Health the Hon. Dr. Duane Sands advised that due to this development patients arriving by ambulance or private vehicle (including maternity cases) will be diverted to the Maternity Ward’s Entrance, accessed through the security arm located off Sands Road.

He added that walk-in/ambulatory patients and visitors will access the Emergency Department through the Main Lobby Entrance (Critical Care Block) off Shirley Street.
Dr. Sands said for general hospital access, the public should also utilize the Legacy Entrance off Shirley Street.
He said Phase I of the project is anticipated to continue for 40 weeks and Phase II of the renovation, which will address the main floor of the Emergency Department, is expected to start later this year.
Members of the Judiciary urged to build the country and foster wholeness of living
In his sermon to mark the opening of the 2020 Legal Year, The Very Rev’d Harry Bain, Dean of Nassau and Rector of Christ Church Cathedral, appealed to justices, magistrates and members of the Bahamas Bar Association to follow three moral duties as called by God -- do justice, love kindness and walk humbly.
Dean Bain officiated the religious service Wednesday, January 8, at Christ Church Cathedral, George Street. It was marked with hymns, prayers, and scripture readings.

The Rev’d Chitan Thompson, assistant curate; Justice Bernard Turner; and Camille Darville-Gomez, Registrar of the Supreme Court, participated.
The Dean called for a “renewal of minds” which will essentially lead to a transformation of not just the judicial system, but the nation.
Dean Bain also urged the members of the judiciary to extend kindness by becoming actively involved in legal aid and undertaking pro-bono work. Many are in need of professional help but are unable to afford it, he said.

He told the members of the judiciary that they are in a “privileged” position, and as such should be “forerunners for social reform.” He encouraged them to look beyond self and reach out to others including the disenfranchised; to use their voice and platform that many do not have; to restore what has gone crooked as there are a lot of crooked people around.
China’s Ambassador to The Bahamas pays Courtesy Call on Prime Minister Minnis
Discussions focus on post-Hurricane Dorian recovery and bilateral relations
During a courtesy call at the Office of the Prime Minister on Monday, Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas H.E. Huang Qinguo and Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis discussed how the People’s Republic of China may further assist in recovery and reconstruction efforts on Abaco and Grand Bahama.
The Prime Minister invited China to partner with The Bahamas by participating in the upcoming United Nations Development Programme Donor Pledge Conference to aid the Government’s reconstruction program post-Hurricane Dorian.

The conference is scheduled for 13 January at Baha Mar.
The pledging conference will leverage resources of domestic and international groups who want to partner with the Bahamian people and the Government to rebuild affected areas stronger, and with more resilience, especially in light of the global climate emergency.
The Conference is a part of a broader program and strategy for reconstruction led by the Government of The Bahamas.
Prime Minister Minnis noted that in addition to the reconstruction of hospitals and schools, housing remained a key priority for the Government.
Grand Bahamian Restaurant Named in Top 20 In The Caribbean
Grand Bahamian restaurant Flying Fish in Freeport has been named one of the Top 20 restaurants in the Caribbean by esteemed culture magazine, Caribbean Journal. According to Caribbean Journal, “this year’s edition of the 50 Best Caribbean Restaurants...retains our core criteria: food, service and ambience, the three pillars which are the foundation of any great restaurant.”
“We are humbled and incredibly proud of this recognition, and even more proud to bring some good publicity to the island of Grand Bahama, especially during such a difficult rebuilding period for our island ” said Chef Tim, Owner and Chef at Flying Fish.

In the list, Tibbitts was citied for his creative menu that straddles comfort food and molecular gastronomy. “Our commitment to the quality of our product is of the utmost importance to us,” said Tibbitts, “for Caribbean Journal to give us recognition for food, service & ambience is amazing.”
Tibbitts is happy to see several Bahamian restaurants on the list as well, it shows that the food scene in the country and region is on the rise.

“The entire team is responsible for attaining this recognition. I hope this will inspire other Bahamian restaurant teams to be consistent and creative in their approach so we can see more Bahamians on next years list.
2020 New Year's Day Junkanoo Parade in Grand Bahama
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture the Hon. Lanisha Rolle, her Under Secretary Montez WIlliams, Cultural Affairs Officer Terez Davis-Nixon, Consultant Telford Mullings, and other Ministry staff traveled to Freeport, Grand Bahama, to show support for the 2020 New Year's Day Junkanoo Parade. The event was held by her Ministry, in conjunction with the Grand Bahama Junkanoo Committee. Minister Rolle also took time to meet with her Grand Bahama staff and lauded their work in the planning and production of the parade.

Among those present to show support and cheer, as the nine Junkanoo groups paraded downtown on Pioneer's Way, were as follows: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest; Minister of Social Services and Urban Development the Hon. Frankie Campbell; Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson; Parliamentary Secretary Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe; Senator the Hon. Dr. Jasmin Turner-Dareus; Senator the Hon. Fred Mitchell; Julien "Believe" Thompson; Dillon "D-Mac" McKenzie; corporate sponsors; Junkanoo stakeholders; members of the local and international media; family members and fans. 
Carnival Cruise Line Awards UNEXSO as Leading Tour Operator

UNEXSO has received the prestigious award for "Caribbean's Leading Tour Operator" from Carnival Cruise Lines.

Every season Carnival Cruise Lines recognizes the company that receives the highest ratings from both their passengers and onboard shore excursion staff for shore excursions conducted the previous season. “Carnival Cruise Lines are the largest provider of cruise ship guests for Freeport, averaging 15 calls a month. At UNEXSO we are constantly striving to better our guest experience through the creation of new tours or tweaking existing ones. Despite a challenging year our staff have consistently provided excellent customer service and an amazing guest experience. All credit for this award is due to our staff: shore excursion reps, front desk operations, boat captains, dolphin trainers, dive instructors and maintenance for keeping it all going. Without them this would not have been possible”, says Linda Osborne, General Manager of UNEXSO.

Carnival Adventures Sr. Director, Product Development, Marketing & Operations Erika Tache said, “We admire your commitment to excellent business practices, your company’s position as a leading provider of shore excursions, and your reputation for first-class service. Your recent achievement speaks volumes to your commitment to your clients and our guests, and there is no doubt that the admiration for your accomplishments will be felt by all within the cruise industry.”
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Events
January 10th 2020
  • Daisy & the thief of love
January 25th 2020
  • Marathon's Youth Got Talents
  • Jet Set 2020 Travel Summit
January 28th 2020
  • Consumer Symposium
March 7th 2020
  • BNT Pig Roast Dinner and Bon Fire 7pm
Grand Bahama Events
January 29th 2020
  • The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its Annual General Meeting
Abaco Events
January 25th 2020
  • Pete's 26th Annual B-Day Party
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