Friday, March 13, 2020

#242NewsBahamas Newsletter Edition: March 13th 2020

Activist warns Govt. over ‘Spy Bill’

Earlier this month, a notice in parliament revealed that the government of The Bahamas had enacted the controversial Interception of Communications Bill otherwise known as the Spy Bill. The legislation which was vehemently opposed when first introduced was quietly brought into force on February 1, but not announced until a month later. The move meantime has raised questions about how the government plans to use the new laws. In an interview with segments of the press, local activist Joe Darville raised some very valid points and concerns regarding the way forward. This week, our editorial team wanted to share that story with our readers. We look forward to hearing from you in the comments.

Authority Thanks NGO Community at Florida event

COCONUT CREEK, Florida – Members of the local and international NGO community were thanked for their significant assistance to The Bahamas as a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian at a press conference in Florida marking the six-month period since the Category 5 storm hit Abaco and Grand Bahama.
“I want to thank the many international and Bahamian NGOs for stepping forward and helping during our time of crisis,” said Katherine Forbes-Smith, Managing Director of the Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority, on Friday, March 6 at Food for the Poor, Coconut Creek, Florida.

“You helped save lives. You lessened suffering.”

Hurricane Dorian hit Abaco and Grand Bahama in September. With maximum sustained winds of 185 miles per hour, it was the strongest storm to hit The Bahamas.
Winner of the 2020 Bahamas National Spelling Bee Emerges

NASSAU, The Bahamas --- It was a repeat victory for 10 year-old Roy Seligman who emerged as winner of the 23rd Annual Bahamas National Spelling Bee (BNSB) at the Atlantis Resort on Sunday, March 8th, 2020. The Lyford Cay International student said he was humbled after winning for the second consecutive year over his 21 competitors.

“I feel very relieved. I knew I would have better competitors this year, so I studied very hard.” Seligman said shortly after receiving his trophy. Seligman’s father, Arthur Seligman said his son’s victory was the result of a collaborative effort. “We’re very proud. Roy worked very hard.

I’m very proud of his coach and my wife who have spent a lot of time and effort with him. It was an advantage that he won it last year, but this year’s competition was much tougher.

It was a team of very good students here, and I thought they all did very well.” Mr. Seligman stated. Sharing similar sentiments was Seligman’s coach, Katina Seymour, who reiterated the significance of partnerships in education.
URCA hosts its 2nd Regulatory Forum

Nassau, Bahamas - The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA), in partnership with the Public Utilities Research Center (PURC) of the Warrington College of Business at the University of Florida, recently hosted its second in a series of Regulatory Forums for Senior Technical Officers at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, Nassau, The Bahamas.

The Forum attracted Directors and senior technical officers from various government ministries and departments, private sector representatives, URCA licensees and academia. It provided an opportunity for participants to deepen their understanding of URCA’s role as an independent regulator, and how URCA’s work impacts government policies and the public interests.

Mr. Shavonne Cambridge, Director of Utilities and Energy and interim CEO, in his opening remarks stated that URCA does not regulate in a vacuum and the effectiveness of regulations is driven by interactions with other agencies and those agencies understanding of the regulatory process.

Bahamian Brewery on Track to Meet its Rebuild and Restoration Goals

Freeport GB, The Bahamas – Bahamian Brewery & Beverage Company Limited and Bahamians across the country have been counting the months, weeks, and days for production to resume on the company’s Truly Bahamian brands. Over the past few months, the company has marked a series of major milestones as it moves toward the official relaunch of the Brewery’s Grand Bahama operation and the return of its popular brands, including Sands, Sands Light, and Bushcrack.

Already, the company has renovated and reopened the Grand Bahama retail operation, rebuilt and expanded the Abaco store, and launched a new Jimmy’s retail location located on East Bay Street in Nassau. “Despite being in full recovery mode, my team has not missed a step in continuing to meet the needs of our customers,” said General Manager Gary Sands.

Campbell: Gender Equity and Equality Benefits All

NASSAU, The Bahamas – Gender equity and equality results in greater benefits for all – men, women, boys and girls, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, said Sunday.

Addressing the annual Church Service commemorating the global observance of International Women’s Day (Sunday, March 8) held at Bethany Assembly, Churchill Subdivision, Soldier Road, Minister Campbell said global, regional and local economies, families and communities thrive even better when gender equity and equality exists.

Sunday’s Church Service was attended by females representing a number of the more than 200 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are registered with the Department of Gender and Family Affairs, Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, and was one of several events commemorating International Women’s Day that Minister Campbell attended.
Plans Underway For 22nd Annual Coconut Festival In Pelican Point

PELICAN POINT, Grand Bahama, March 9, 2020 — The Coconut Festival Committee and Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (BMOTA) have announced that, despite challenges posed by Hurricane Dorian, the 22nd Annual Coconut Festival will move ahead as planned next month in the Pelican Point Community.

“I am here to report that the residents of Pelican Point are resilient, resolved and determined. Hurricane Dorian may have slowed us down, but it will not stop us,” Cathy Laing, Coconut Festival committee chairman, said during a press conference at the festival grounds on March 6.

Event coordinators held the conference to announce plans for the three-day event, which begins on Friday, April 10 and concludes on Monday, April 13. The festivities will kick off with a gospel concert and fish fry at 3 p.m. on April 10 at the festival site. This event will feature Grand Bahama’s best praise teams, dance teams and gospel performers. On April 12, the committee will worship at the St. Matthew’s Baptist Church grounds. The service starts at 10 a.m. and all are invited to attend.
Tin Ferl’s Pop-Up Park Opens At The Dundas

“Palmdale Oasis” is an everyday lunch spot offering customers a variety of tasty options while empowering Bahamian entrepreneurs Ribbon cutting, food & drink sampling, prayer dedication and the smooth sounds of singer Rondi Treco marked the launch of Tin Ferl’s Pop-Up Park at The Dundas Centre for The Performing Arts on Monday.

“This “Palmdale oasis” is an everyday lunch spot where visitors can find pop-up vendors and stylish food trucks selling a wide variety of affordable food and drink options,” said Alicia “Puppy” Robinson Treco, co-founder of Tin Ferl, a company formed last June to support stronger, more polished pop-ups. “People can stop by, grab a delicious lunch to go or they can stay, relax and eat on these beautiful, tree-lined grounds. It’s a unique location that patrons and vendors alike are going to love.”

Tin Ferl was founded in June 2019, when three friends - Kendrick Delaney, founder of The New Duff, Brandon Kemp, founder of the Nassau Night Market, and Alicia "Puppy" Robinson Treco, founder of Pup Star Entertainment - came together to discuss some of the issues facing the pop-up community.


Iain Rodgers, Sr. Marketing Manager, BTO UK, represented The Bahamas at the ‘Go Diving 2020’ trade and consumer event in Coventry, UK. Also representing the magnificent dive facilities of the islands was Muriel Rolle-Gaitor of Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas.

Go Diving, the second annual show, was spread across three days, the Friday for trade-only and the weekend for consumers, attracting nearly 7,000 visitors, a 25% increase over the inaugural show in 2019. The trade day included seminars and member forums with presentations for dive centres/schools on developing online presence and utilisation of social media opportunities.

Among the main speakers of the event was Steve Backshall, who presented BBC Blue Planet LIVE from Bimini in 2019.
Bamsi Studies Long Term Ecological Impacts Of The Reopening Of London Creek, North Andros

Nassau, Bahamas, March 10, 2020: THE BAHAMAS Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) is executing a long-term research initiative at London Creek in North Andros.

The new project will look at the flow of water through the London Creek ecosystem which was interrupted by the construction of the road connecting North Andros to Central Andros. The construction of bridges to span creeks or the use of culverts under the roads are often utilized to maintain the ecology of such sensitive estuarine systems, but in this specific instance no such remediation efforts were taken when the road was built. Construction of a bridge to ameliorate this circumstance is now underway and is expected to be concluded by May 2020.

Dr Raveenia Roberts-Hanna, Executive Director of BAMSI said the Institute’s specific goal as related to this project is "to assess the long-term impact of the opening of the waterway on marine life and surrounding areas." The project provides an exciting opportunity for students to gain research experience as they bridge the information gap between building an infrastructure to drive an economy and the resulting environmental impact on the nation’s ecosystems.
Zonta Honours Lifetime Members/Centennial Award Winners
By Matt Maura

NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Zonta Club of Nassau honored seven females for their outstanding contributions to community during the Club’s Centennial Awards Ceremony, Sunday (March 8). Seventeen-year-old Miss Sierra Ferguson, a 12th-Grade student at Aquinas College was among the honorees.

The Awards Ceremony was held on International Women’s Day under the theme: “Honoring and Empowering Women in Our Community.”

Included among the honorees were: Mrs. Judy Munroe, O.B.E. (Charter President, Zonta Club of Nassau) and Mrs. Vylma Thompson-Curling, O.B.E. (Charter Vice-President, Zonta Club of Nassau) who were enshrined as Lifetime Members.

Five other persons received Centennial Champion Awards and they included: Senate President, Senator, the Hon. Dr. Mildred Hall-Watson (PACE Foundation); Ms. Sharmaine Goodman-Davis (The Crisis Centre); Miss Sierra Ferguson, a 12-Grade student at Aquinas College and a member of the school’s Z Club; Ms. Tracey Rahming (The AIDS Foundation) and Mrs. E’Thegra Symonette, University of The Bahamas’ Golden Z Club.

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New Providence Events
March 12th
  • A Conversation with the Minister: Ethics, Environment, & The Economy /Harry C. Moore Library / 10am
March 28th
  • Years of Scout Service 7pm
April 1st - 5th
  • Inspiration Africa: Bahamas
April 25th
  • PHA 9th Annual Push Walkathon / Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre / 5:30am
Grand Bahama Events
 March 12th
  • Kidney Day: Annual Candlelight Memorial Service /7:00 p.m. |Kidney Centre Grounds 
March 13th
  • GB Chamber of Commerce Business Luncheon Meeting / Grand Lucayan Resort / 12:30pm
March 14th
  • HSGB Cocktail Party 7pm
March 21st              
  • Humane Society’s President’s Cocktail Party/Garden of the Groves/ 6:00 pm
March 27th - 9th
  • Forever Us 8pm @BMES
March 28th
  • Sip & Shop 2pm - 7pm
April 18th
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April 14th
  • Art in the Park 11am - 6pm
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March 21st
  • Reef Ball 2020
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