Friday, January 17, 2020

#242NewsBahamas Newsletter Edition: January 16th 2020

#BEAHero Well intentioned and Well Executed

Dear Readers,

This week, our editorial team was deeply troubled by a #Tribune column which unfortunately and incorrectly linked the #BeAHero campaign to the government's recently introduced plastic ban. The column written by Malcolm Strachan blasted the government's #JanBan as a 'well-intentioned' but 'poorly executed' initiative and used a photo of the Minister of the Environment Romi Ferreira standing in front of a #BeAHero backdrop. The presentation of the article - particularly at first glance - seems to link the two initiatives which are absolutely separate. It further gives the impression that the #BeAHero campaign was somehow a failure. 

Here's why this is an issue. While it's not difficult to see how the columnist made this jump, the only actual element linking the two initiatives is the fact that that they were both released under from the Ministry of the Environment.

Since it launched in October of 2018 the #BeAHero campaign which targeted elementary school students inspired scores of school-based projects which encouraged young people to become environmentally conscious and to do their part to protect their surroundings, through school cleanups, agricultural projects, community cleanups, etc. Using social media, the campaign organizers were able to track the work of participants and share their progress with the world.

$1.5 billion in recovery funding and in-kind services pledged at Hurricane Dorian conference
Governments, NGOs, multilateral institutions, companies and individuals pledged $1.5 billion in recovery funding and in-kind services on Monday at the Hurricane Dorian Private Sector Pledging Conference. More than 300 local and international delegates attended the conference at Baha Mar.

The pledging section of the conference occurred during the afternoon session. It was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Peter Turnquest.

The pledges included initiatives in homebuilding and repair; educational assistance; renewable energy partnerships; relief aid; grants; direct assistance to storm victims; parks restoration; loans and financing.
“These pledges are an important step in the ongoing reconstruction and rebuilding of areas affected by Hurricane Dorian, so that we may rebuild stronger and with more resilience,” said Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis. 
“We are grateful to domestic and international partners, including foreign governments.
Minister Dames Lauds Contract Signing for Police Body and Dash Cams
Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames, said, on January 14, 2020, that, as the worlds of law enforcement and technology continue to integrate, the probability of capturing a critical incident on video rises exponentially.

He added that was why he was “extremely pleased” by the signing of the contract that day between the Government of The Bahamas and AE Tactical, and its partner Axon, for body and dash cams because, in doing so, the Royal Bahamas Police Force not only improved its crime-fighting initiative by the implementation of “cutting-edge” technology; but ,more so, because the commitments being made that day spoke volumes about the seriousness and veracity of the Government’s approach towards “the fight against crime, safety of communities and enabling of police officers to perform their duties in an optimal way”.

“Body-worn cameras are an effective law enforcement tool that can reduce violent confrontations and malicious complaints against officers,” Minister Dames said, at the contract signing ceremony held at the Paul Farquharson Centre, Police Headquaters. “Body-worn cameras provide additional documentation of police-public encounters and will be an important tool for collecting evidence and maintaining public trust.”
Dylan Wu claims 36-hole lead at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay
 After a 5-under 67 on Sunday led to a T2 position entering the second round, Dylan Wu carded a front-nine 31 and an eventual 66 on Monday to open up a seven-stroke lead on the field. At 11-under, Wu leads George Cunningham and John Oda at 4-under and three players at 3-under. Play was suspended due to darkness at 5:48 p.m. with five groups remaining on the course at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay. 

While Wu’s front-nine 31 is the low nine of the tournament so far, his round almost got off to a much different start. The 23-year-old credited a grind-it-out par on the first hole to jump-starting his day.

“On No. 1, that was a really good par,” said Wu. “It’s probably my least favorite tee shot because I hit the ball left to right, and the wind is straight off the left. In the practice round my first two tee shots were in the water. Today I was in the rough and somehow hit it left into the hazard on my second shot. I found it in the hazard, but I could only advance it about 20 yards into a waste bunker. Then I had a 40-yard shot and I hit it to nine feet and made the putt for par.”
University of the Ozarks, Arkansas, Professors Provide Workshops at BAMSI
The Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) is excited to announce that as part of its expanding relationship with the University of the Ozarks, three professors from the Arkansas-based school are currently visiting the Bahamas to share their expertise through a week-long series of workshops at BAMSI’s North Andros campus.

Stephen Turnquest, newly appointed Chairman of BAMSI, said the partnership between the Institute and the University of the Ozarks is a reflection of BAMSI’s commitment to providing the richest possible academic experience for its students, alumni, faculty and staff. “The three faculty workshops being put on are an incredible opportunity for our Bahamian students to be exposed to a wealth of information. They will have access to new research data and technologies, experience different teaching methods, and gain greater insight into what it might feel like to attend university abroad."
LENO hits the rim, sinks a two-point winner, supports two basketball teams
Regulators Basketball and Eagles Nest Basketball teams received an early New Year’s present in the form of a $6,050 donation from Leno Group of Companies, a leading financial, trust and real estate services provider. Regulators Basketball Team was formed back in 1999 by Police Corporal 1361 Don Dorsette (aka “Coach Robo” on the court), who wanted to start a boys club and use basketball as the magnet to teach lifelong skills and offer tutoring to struggling young men.

It was his way to give back and minister to young men in his community, many of whom came from disadvantaged situations. Impressed with the Regulator’s success on and off the court, Sterling Pratt, a basketball veteran, teamed up with Dorsette to form Eagles Nest Basketball team in 2005. 
Philcher Grant appointed Director of Group Corporate Affairs and Government Relations at Port Group, Limited
President of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) and Port Group Limited (PGL), Ian Rolle, today announced the appointment of Philcher Grant as Director of Group Corporate Affairs and Government Relations at Port Group, Limited. 

“We are pleased to announce the appointment of Philcher Grant to the Port Group Limited team,” said Mr. Rolle. “This appointment comes as we continue to strategically position the organization to execute our responsibilities to residents in the most effective and efficient way. We remain focused on our vision to improve the quality of life for everyone in Grand Bahama, and to provide high performance service in areas of utility, city management and business development.” 
In her new capacity, Ms. Grant is charged with leading engagement plans and initiatives with key stakeholders, media and public relations, hurricane preparedness, government relations and managing strategy process for the Grand Bahama Utility Company. She joined the company on January 13, 2020.
Acting Chairman of the GBPA, Sarah St. George, said, “Ms. Grant possesses the expertise and diverse knowledge to complement and strengthen our team. 
AML Foods Limited & Bahamas Feeding Network Continue to help those in need on Grand Bahama

More than twenty-two nonprofit feeding centers and church outreach programs, members of the Bahamas Feeding Network (BFN) on Grand Bahama, were the recipients of some much-needed assistance through the Feed 5000 Families campaign spearheaded by AML Foods Limited (AML) at the end of the year. Representatives gathered at Solomon’s in Freeport to receive food vouchers from AML Foods which were distributed by BFN Executive Director, Phillip Smith, volunteers and staff of AML. 

It is the fourth consecutive year that AML Foods Limited partnered with BFN on its ‘Feed the 5000’ initiative. “We wanted families to have a great Christmas and not worry or stress about where their next meal will come from,” shared Daneisha Clarke, an AML Foods Associate. “Especially after the hurricane we felt that it was important to do the annual give back because there are still so many in need.”  

Through its membership in Grand Bahama of more than 22 organizations - which include churches, soup kitchens, and other feeding organizations - BFN made gift cards available to scores of deserving residents, just in time for the Christmas holiday. Each of the gift cards, valued at $40 dollars, were redeemable at any AML Solomon’s and Cost Right locations. 
Disaster Reconstruction Authority updates on housing post Hurricane Dorian

The Government of The Bahamas is researching the best affordable, permanent solution for homes for residents impacted by Hurricane Dorian, beyond providing temporary housing.That, according to John Michael Clarke, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Disaster Reconstruction Authority.

As of January 14, eleven (11) domes are being erected in Spring City, Abaco and by January 23, 119 Domes will be on the island, according to the contractor. This is, unfortunately a delay from earlier anticipated, he said.

Notwithstanding that, the strategy is to erect 40 domes in Spring City by the end of January and commence with the construction of the other domes in communities throughout the impacted areas in Abaco, as soon as the residents for those structures have been identified.

The Authority is currently working with the Department of Social Services, the Ministry of Works, the Department of Housing and NEMA in finalizing the process for applications for temporary housing as well as for home repairs.
Applications are expected to be accessed online by the end of January, at Ministry of Works in the Government Complex in Marsh Harbour, and at the Disaster Reconstruction Authority office in Grand Bahama in the Star General Building.
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