Monday, November 30, 2009

New Pastures for The team behind "East Restaurant"

Freeport, Grand Bahama-
So I'd heard on the grapevine a few weeks ago that there was change in the air with one of my favorite restaurants on the Island, East. And today folks, I can officially confirm that Tim & Rebbeca Tittbits are moving on to new pastures. According to The Bahamas Weekly – Tim and Rebecca Tibbitts, the creative force behind the popular East Restaurant announced today that they will be moving on from managing the upscale restaurant to pursue new restaurant opportunities.

Increased competition and diversity in the local dining market in Freeport should be welcomed, according to the restaurateurs. “Restaurants come and go," says Tim Tibbitts, "but when there are more choices around the restaurant owners become more serious. Everyone tries harder to make a better product and this gives our customers confidence and drives revenues up. That success has also allowed us to attract and train the great staff that we have.”

"We are very excited about some of the new opportunities we have already seen in potential restaurant locations,” said Rebecca Tibbitts. “We had thought about taking a short break after two years of building and then running East, but we think the timing is just right now to bring a new dining experience to the island.”
Tim's Current status on his Facebook profile reads "Tim Tibbitts is moving on....thanks for all the well wishes. Please continue to support our great staff at East. They've worked hard for it."
Tim & Rebbeca, we wish you all the luck & can't wait to see what's next in you future.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Peter Turnquest elected as new Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce President

By The Bahamas Weekly News Team

Photo by The Bahamas Weekly

Freeport, Bahamas - The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce held their annual general meeting on November 25th at the Sunrise Resort & Marina, and their elections for the Chamber Officers & Directors for the 2009/2010 Administrative were held at that time.

Mr. K. Peter Turnquest of Telcom Trading & Consulting Ltd., and Chairman of the Board of SkyBahamas was elected the G.B. Chamber's new president.

“I am grateful to the members for having the confidence to have elected me to the office of President of The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce unopposed along with a team of very talented and diverse Directors. I look forward to the job ahead and to the initiatives we will design and implement together with the goal of stimulating economic benefit for our members and the wider Grand Bahama community by extension.

As we move forward education, promotion, sustainability and advocacy will be our focus and all of our programs will be built around these core ideals,” said Mr. Turnquest to The Bahamas Weekly News Team when asked how he felt on his new position.

The newly elected executive board is as follows John Swain as 1st Vice President; Esmond Weeks as 2nd Vice President; Chatto Outten as Treasurer; and Leigh Lightbourne-Termath as Secretary.

New directors are Lanelle Philips, Vanessa Mallory, Patra Major-Albury, Malvese Capron and Neville Wilchcombe.

Grand Bahama players get national exposure

Photo- ©Lyndah Wells

By SPORTS WRITER ~ For The Guardian

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama — Three young women from Grand Bahama got the opportunity of a lifetime when they competed as part of the Under-17 Bahamas National Football (Soccer) Team in Port-au-Prince, Haiti at the beginning of November for the Caribbean Football Union's (CFU) Women's U-17 Qualifying Competition. Mia Whylly, Kiana Baldwin, and Courtney Moss, all junior coaches in the Grand Bahama Girls Soccer Developmental League, came back to help out with the league this past Saturday after a grueling schedule of training in New Providence and travel to Haiti where they lost their opening match to the Cayman Islands 2-1; suffered a loss to Haiti 5-0; but came out with a stellar 9-0 victory against the British Virgin Islands in their final match.

The girls played to packed large stadiums, screaming fans, and were on Haitian television. On Saturday, November 14, founders of the Grand Bahama girls program honored the girls, saying that they set an example to the younger girls in the league, showing that hard work and determination in soccer can pay off.

More and more Grand Bahamian girls are going off on sports scholarships through the sport of soccer. The girls were presented with trophies from their Grand Bahama coaches and mentors, Donnie and Mary Knowles, who have worked with all three of the girls for years.

In return, as a gesture of appreciation, the girls presented Mr. and Mrs. Knowles with gifts. Persons interested in girls' soccer in Grand Bahama can contact Donnie or Mary Knowles at Town & Country at 242-352-3641.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Women’s basketball heads to Grand Bahama

By Max Rothman

Senior guard Sade Morris goes in through a pair of Michigan opponents for a layup. Morris scored 26 points, becoming the 21st player in the history of women's Jayhawk basketball to score 1000 career points.

Women’s basketball is about to find out what turkey tastes like in the Bahamas.

“It’s been one of my dreams to go,” senior guard Sade Morris said.

After defeating Michigan State 77-66 Monday night, the 19th ranked Jayhawks head south this week for the Junkanoo Jam on Grand Bahama Island — a 12-team tournament that sets the stage for another matchup against No. 9 Xavier, Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

“We’ve got to be mature and understand that we’re going down there with a purpose,” coach Bonnie Henrickson said.

The last two times these teams met, home-court advantage was nothing but a myth. In the 2007-2008 season, Kansas marched into the Cintas Center in Cincinatti, Ohio and edged the Musketeers 62-60 with help from senior (then sophomore) guard Danielle McCray’s 24 points. In the 2006-2007 season at Allen Fieldhouse, senior (then freshman) guard LaChelda Jacobs led Kansas with 18 points but the team still fell to Xavier 72-63.

This time it’s a neutral setting for two highly ranked teams to prove their worth. The rankings are just numbers, but their meaning is not all forgotten.

“It’s kind of in the back our minds,” Jacobs said of Xavier’s lofty rank. “We’ve just got to keep the focus.”

Xavier coach Kevin McGuff boasts one of the finest front courts in the nation, led by junior forward Amber Harris and junior center Ta’Shia Phillips, a teammate of McCray’s on the USA National Team this summer and last year’s Atlantic 10 player of the year. The two bruisers post double-doubles regularly and should keep sophomore forward Aishah Sutherland and junior center Krysten Boogaard busy in the paint.

“We’ve got to be able to hold our own on the boards,” Henrickson said. “Krysten and Aishah are going to have to stay out of foul trouble.”

Yet Xavier’s backcourt is not to be overlooked simply because of the towers up front. Junior guard Special Jennings was a preseason Atlantic 10 third team selection and freshman guard Katie Rutan was just named Atlantic 10 rookie of the week after schooling Arizona State for 13 points and shooting 3-of-4 from three point range.

“Both teams will be trying to run,” Henrickson said of the game plan.

No. 9 Xavier is currently sitting at its highest ranking in the school’s history after taking the Atlantic 10 title (25-7, 13-1), leading the nation in field goal percentage and placing third in rebounding margin last year. This may be the toughest test for Kansas so far this season, and should serve as an ideal barometer as to how ready this team will be when Big 12 competition rolls around.

“If we are fortunate enough to beat them, we’ll know how good we can be,” Morris said.

Despite the high stakes, the team does still plan to have some fun in the tropics.

“I did hear we’ll get a chance to go on the beach and ride some jet skis,” Morris said.

Henrickson said, however, that she’ll be abstaining from the turkey.

“I think I’m getting chicken,” Henrickson said.
View original article HERE

— Edited by Abby Olcese

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bahamian Brewery Launches Its Fourth Beer To The Grand Bahama Market

High Rock- The new Premium beer from The Bahamian Brewery Company

Freeport, Grand Bahama- Wednesday evening Bahamian Brewery and Beverage Company launched its fourth beer, High Rock, a premium lager beer. The newest addition to the Brewery’s line of successful beers is a higher end lager, delivering a crisp and refreshing taste with a bolder constitution.

“Lager beer is one of the most popular beers made in the world,“ said Lynden Johnson, Bahamian Brewery and Beverage Sales and Marketing Manager. “High Rock will be our higher end lager using the method of longer maturation which gives HIGH ROCK a wholesome quality. Allowing the slow acting yeast to ferment during storage gives it more body – much like a European beer.” The name of the newest beer to join the Bahamian Brewery and Beverage Co. family, HIGH ROCK, was derived from the 2006 competition launched by brewery owner James “Jimmy” Sands. This unique contest allowed all Grand Bahamians to submit their ideas for “Truly Bahamian” beer names – even before the brewery opened!

The competition offered contestants a chance to win $3,000 for their ideas. When the brewery opened “Sands” was the first name chosen and then “High Rock” the second name. At the time two local ladies had submitted this name, Ethel Bethel and Garnell Frith, and thus won $1,500 each.

High Rock Premium Beer was named after the High Rock Township, a small and hospitable community in the eastern end of Grand Bahama. “High Rock is a place where you can relax on a Sunday afternoon, while sipping on your favorite cocktail and enjoying the ocean breeze,” noted James “Jimmy” Sands, Bahamian Brewery Owner and President. “As you drive through the area, you are greeted by many locals and feel a sense of community, much like what we are trying to create at our brewery facilities and with our business practices.“

Junkanoo Parade for High Rock- the new Premium beer- Photo. Susan Clegg Missick

High Rock bellows “Truly Bahamian” from its smooth finish to its original bottle design. The lighthouse on the label and bottle cap are reminiscent of an out island feel, and there is in fact a lighthouse in the High Rock community. Its distinctive green bottle is not only a great “green” colour but is also a “green” environmental product as it is recyclable.

Notably though, for fans waiting for the next great brew, High Rock’s taste is pure and aromatic. The longer aging process gives it a slightly darker golden colour as well as a wholesome quality. Brewed with no sugar, it delivers a pure taste with a smooth finish.

Sands noted “I am ecstatic to present yet another beer to The Bahamas. We have had great success with Sands, Sands Light, Strong Back and even our malt-beverage, Triple B. I am confident that our premium lager will have a similar impact on the market.”

Since opening in late 2007, the Bahamian Brewery and Beverage team has been steadily growing from 14 to now just over 60 employees. Though all products are produced and bottled in Grand Bahama, the brewery has also expanded its operation into Nassau, opening a capital-based distribution centre at Kelly’s Liquor Store on Wulff Road in April of this year. This new distribution centre and the brewery in Grand Bahama are also the collection points for the brewery’s ongoing recycling of bottles programme.

 Guests at the launch: Nigel Kirkby, Dunya Alnerbeck, Susan Clegg-Missick

“With the holiday season approaching, what better way to show our appreciation, to our many loyal distributors,” noted Johnson,” than by introducing the newest Truly Bahamian Premium Beer, High Rock, to them and saying thank you for their continued support of our brands.” Johnson also released that High Rock beer will be available for sale on Thursday, November 19th at Jimmy’s Liquor Store, Bristol Wines and Spirits Freeport and at all Truly Bahamian Liquor stores and restaurants throughout Grand Bahama.

The Bahamian Brewery and Beverage Company has always held a special place for keeping it “Truly Bahamian” and is on a mission to make all of its products Bahamian sensations. “We had great success with the Sands beer launch in late 2007” noted ‘Jimmy’ Sands, “and the local support here in Grand Bahama has been incredible. I am hoping they will embrace High Rock the same way! So I will launch it here first and then in 2010 take it the rest of The Bahamas.”

Bonefish preservation discussed

Grand Bahamas guides recently met to discuss ways to preserve the area's bonefish population.


LUCAYA, GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND -- A little more than two years ago, University of Miami bonefish researcher Mike Larkin escorted a small group of avid anglers on a tagging expedition to the bone-studded flats of Grand Bahama Island.

The goal was to learn how far bonefish range and to see if there is any mixing of the stocks between Florida and the more than 700 islands of the Bahamas.

In one week, the handful of anglers caught, tagged and released 71 fish. All were hoping for word that one of their fish had been recaptured.

They had to wait a long time -- until March of this year, when guide Ishmael Makintosh reported catching a 21-inch, tagged bonefish near Water Cay on the north side of Grand Bahama. It turned out the fish had been caught June 23, 2007, in the same area by Islamorada angler Jim Bokor and his brother, Art, when it was only 16 ½ inches long.

That fish is one of few recaptures of bones tagged in the Bahamas since the 1980s.

Other Grand Bahama guides, such as Phil Thomas, said they have caught a handful of tagged fish recently, but let them go without following up.

Some bonefish researchers, such as Aaron Adams -- executive director for the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust based in Key Largo -- hope to change that. Adams and several colleagues met with Bahamian bonefish guides last month in Nassau in a session organized by the island nation's Ministry of Tourism.

``They were all very forward-thinking about preserving their fishery, which was nice to hear,'' Adams said.

Bonefish & Tarpon Trust ( last year launched a large-scale project in the Bahamas, Caribbean, and Central America, working with fisheries managers, guides, resorts, and anglers with the goal of tagging as many as 2,000 bonefish over the next two years. Adams said they need to tag at least that many because the average return rate is low -- about 3 to 5 percent.

In South Florida and the Keys, guides and anglers working with BTT and researchers from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School have tagged more than 7,500 bonefish since 1998, with nearly 300 recaptures, according to Larkin.

From those tag returns, the scientists have learned that bonefish travel extensively between Biscayne Bay and the lower Keys, and that at least two bonefish tagged in South Florida traveled across the predator-infested Straits of Florida to be caught again near Andros Island in the Bahamas.

Far less is known about the species' travel among the islands of the Bahamas and elsewhere, Adams said. Hence the big push to get others concerned with the fishery involved.

``It's important to figure out movement patterns and home ranges so we can put that into management,'' Adams said. ``If it turns out [bonefish] move among the islands, then those guides would have to cooperate in conservation.''

Learning more about bonefish movements, life history and reproduction is vital, scientists said, because the species helps drive a powerful economic engine wherever it occurs. An annual bonefish census in South Florida, for example, shows each fish is worth about $3,500 per year, or $75,000 over its lifetime. Elsewhere, the species has a commensurate value, the scientists said.

BTT petitioned the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently to make bonefish a catch-and-release-only species. But some FWC officials have interpreted the request to mean designating bonefish a prohibited species, such as Goliath grouper. That would mean anglers would not be allowed to bring a bonefish out of the water to photograph it -- a notion that has some Keys guides and tournament organizers upset.

BTT officials now have withdrawn their request and are working with FWC on the wording of a possible rule change to protect bonefish without making them off-limits. The issue is expected to be discussed at the FWC's next meeting in December in Clewiston.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Treasure Bay Takes Over Isle Of Capri Today

Internationally renowned Treasure Bay Gaming Resorts officially took the reins of the Isle of Capri at the Our Lucaya Resort today nearly three months after Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham announced that the company would be taking over operations in an effort to save some 200 jobs and revitalize the struggling tourism industry in Grand Bahama.

Isle of Capri first announced that it was pulling out on May 31.

Since then employees there were very concerned about their futures under new operators.

The Bahamas Government offered to make severance payments for those wishing to part ways with the casino, but Minister of Tourism Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace told them that if they chose to go that route, Treasure Bay would not be obligated to rehire them.

He said that the government wanted to ensure that persons who wanted to sever their relationship with the company, would be provided with adequate severance packages, even though there was to be no change in the actual ownership of the casino.

Employees later began fighting to gain job security even if they had elected to take the severance package.

Even though the casino will remain closed until December 1, employees have already been hired to help with clean-up efforts.

The casino will later re-open under its new name.

Employees say they are excited about what he future with Treasure Bay will bring.

It was in September when Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham revealed that the government was "painfully" paying the cost for the continued operation of the Isle of Capri Casino.

This, he said, was just one of the concessions the government has made with Treasure Bay as it goes into Grand Bahama to operate the casino.

He said having to use money out of the public treasury to run a casino, was not something he was comfortable with. But, he noted that unusual times call for unusual decisions.

Columbus House Boys go horseriding

By James Sarles

Freeport, Grand Bahama- Some of our readers may be aware that on our Island of Grand Bahama, there exists a young boys home that relies of donations and contributions from the community to keep running and provide food, shelter & clothing for these young boys. The Columbus House for boys is always happy to hear from persons who can donate their time to helping these boys become young productive men. The Rotary Club GB Sunrise Big Brother Program took the Columbus House boys Horseback riding. James Sarles Director of Big Brother Program wants to thank Linda at Pinetree Stables for making this fun day possible.

Supermodel of the Bahamas to hold open call in Grand Bahama, November 28th - 29th.

By OilinSha’s Models & Talent Agency

 2009 winners of Supermodel of the Bahamas. Left is female winner is Kelly Clarke, and male winner is Phillip Pennerman. Founder, OilinSha Coakley stands center. In 2008 winners were Candice Diah and Omar Francis. 

Nassau, Bahamas - Supermodel of the Bahamas is in its third year and the event has grown to become the number one Model Search in The Bahamas. With the event branching into a reality television show in the year 2008 with JCN network, channel 14, the Model Search has quickly become a favorite show in The Bahamas.

Now in its third season, the organization is once again searching for young men, women and children (ages 3 - 21) for their 2010 competition, and will be in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island on November 28th and 29th at the Radisson Our Lucaya from Noon to 4pm.

Do you have the looks, the style and grace to become a winner?

In the year 2010 the organization has expanded its event with a Children’s Category, looking to find children ranging in ages from 3 years through to 13 years of age and from 14 through 21 years of age. All individuals will be given the training and the tools to compete in front of seasoned professional judges from New York, Los Angeles, Florida and Jamaica; from agencies like Elite Model Management, and Pulse Models.

Supermodel of the Bahamas competition 2009

The title categories that will be awarded are; “ Little Supermodel Bahamas” which will go to one lucky boy and girl. “ Commercial Model winner” will be given to one male or female with the best voice, looks and personality. “ Supermodel of theBahamas” will be awarded to one male and female. Supermodel of the Bahamas is the overall title and the winners will be awarded with cash and prizes worth $3000.00, a complete portfolio, representation with OilinSha’s Models & Talent Agency and the opportunity to compete in the “ Top Model of the Universe” competition in Europe.

The overall title winners, Supermodels of the Bahamas will be flown to New York and accommodated in the OilinSha’s Models & Talent agency apartment. Open call dates will be held November 28th – 29th Radisson Our Lucaya, 12 noon to 4 pm.


Must be between the ages of 3 to 21 years

Must be Bahamian, or permanent resident * (see bottom note for non-Bahamians)

Bring a comp card or portfolio if you have one, otherwise photos will be taken

No tattoos

Must have smooth skin

Must have a great personality and a great attitude

Dress in fitted jeans and a white or black t-shirt

Girls, no makeup and hair must be pulled in one pony tail (unless short hair) - no weaves

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Totally Connected (1979) [Vinyl "processed" by SFJ]

Some of you may not know this but I happen to have the pleasure of knowing a musician called Dave Mackey- Yes the same one you most probably know.
But what came as a surprise to me was that he was in a very popular band called T-Connection in the late 70's & early 80's.
When you walk into his studio, he has a wall of photographs of him & his bandmates in various recording studios around the world with artists such as; Blondie,
so when I saw this post on the web, I decided to share it with you.

Formed 1975 in Nassau, Bahamas. T Coakley commenced his music career in 1965 playing maracas in a calypso band in the Bahama Islands. In 1975 he left to form T-Connection which fast became the most popular group in the Grand Bahama. A year later they went to Miami and signed to TK Records. their debut album ‘Magic’ featured ‘Do What You Wanna Do’ (U.K. Top 20, 1977), one of the first records to be released in 12 inch single format and a classic record of the disco era.

Follow-up UK singles were ‘On Fire’ (Top 20) and ‘Let Yourself Go’ (Top 60), prior to a 1979 album ‘T-Connection’ and further Top 75 UK hits ‘At Midnight’ and ‘Saturday Night’. ‘Totally Connected’ followed before the group switched to Capitol. (
2. Late 70s funk and disco band from Nassau, Bahamas who moved to Miami and signed to TK Records where they released a number of funky disco classics. The group consisted of the band leader Theophilus Coakley, Kirkwood Coakley on bass and drums, David Mackey on guitar, and Anthony Flowers on drums and percussion. They broke up in the early 80s having signed to Capitol Records and released several albums. (discogs)
Arranged By – T-Connection
Artwork By [Design] – Joe Gschwind , Richard Roth
Artwork By [Direction] – Don Taylor
Bass, Backing Vocals – Kirkwood Coakley
Conductor [Strings] – Peter Graves
Engineer – Jack Nuber
Engineer [Assistant] – Sheila Taylor
Guitar, Backing Vocals – David Mackey
Horns – Bonaroo Horns*
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Drums – Berkeley Van Byrd
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Guitar – Monty Brown
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Producer, Arranged By [Horns] – T. Coakley
Mastered By – Ted Jensen
Percussion, Backing Vocals – Anthony Flowers
Photography – Francesco Scavullo

01. Totally Connected
02. Ecstasy
03. Let’s Do It Today
04. I Like Funkin’ With You
05. Choosing
06. That’s Love
07. Danger Zone
08. Born to

Click here for original post

Saturday, November 21, 2009

‘New India’ Fashion Show and Fundraising Party in support of Cancer Patients of Grand Bahama was great success

Cyndi Lewis on the runway in Sim Sui

Tomacina Culmer on the runway

Hundreds of people turned out to ‘Chak Deh Phuteh’ or literally translated, ‘To Raise the Floorboards’ at the Passage to India event this weekend. Many came to see the exclusive fashions and dance all night to three DJ’s in support of the Cancer Association of Grand Bahama this Saturday night at the Grand Bahama Sailing Club.
Passage to India Fashion Show and Party was organised by a group of Grand Bahama women who wanted something different to wear, to do something exotic and fun for the community and to bring a new flavour to the island.
The fashion show, created by Jennifer Wiegand and Glenn Charles of Face International Modelling School, was fast and colourful and many enjoyed the diverse range of models from teenagers, professional models and ladies who represented the Cancer Association. A special guest for the evening was Nikie Severe, Miss Grand Bahama, who showed off the collection designed by Surinder Panesar of Sim Sui. People crowded to buy the clothes later in the night.

L-R, DJ Maceo J.J. Jones, DJ JetC and MC Rico Thompson all representing the ‘Love Music Hate Racism’ campaign as they kept the energy high and the love flowing all night long

Music bridging all gaps in diversity as the crowd literally Chak deh phuteh or ‘raised the floorboards’

One of the hottest successes of the evening were the three DJs who jammed together and kept the energy high until the early hours. The crowd loved DJ JetC Patel, from the UK, who had volunteered to come to Grand Bahama to play for the event as well as DJ SayMyName and DJ Maceo J.J. Jones. The trio worked really well together along with the MC, Rico Thompson. JetC also represented the Love Music Hate Racism Campaign which he helped begin in the UK in 2002. The T-shirts became converted items as people related heavily to the concept of uniting all people together on the dance floor.

Miss Grand Bahama, Nikie Severe, surrounded by tourists and locals before her turn on the runway

Norma Headley, president of the Cancer Association of Grand Bahama and Alison Anglade, one of the organisers of the Passage to India event

The proceeds from the event will allow the organisers to buy hospital beds for the Cancer Association to help them extend the hospice which serves Grand Bahamians in need of help. Additionally, the organisers donated $10,000 worth of graphic T-shirts to the Cancer Association of Grand Bahama for them to sell at future fundraising events.

Maninder Versolatto, event director said “We are overwhelmed with how well the night turned out and amazed by how well supported it was. We have had a tremendous amount of positive comments and it is clear that people appreciated the DJs, the food, the clothes and the fun atmosphere. People were able to experience ‘New India’ and I am proud of how we bridged the gap between generations and cultural backgrounds. We want to thank everyone who attended and also thank everyone who put so much energy into making the evening a success. We are being asked by many to do other events like this and we are happy to look into the possibilities of bringing new and diverse ideas to Freeport.”

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Adrianna Joskowiak
Contacts and more information:

The Cancer Association of Grand Bahama – 352-2873 (N.B. The telephone directory has the wrong number listed)

Event Producer – Alison Anglade – 727-0085


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lets Talk Real Estate By James Sarles


Ask a property owner in Freeport how’s the real estate market and you will get many different answers. About 50% of the people think their property value has increased or has stayed at the same value over the last year and 50% the people think their property value has decreased. In reality 80% of the property has lost value over the past year. You would certainly not know that our prices are down if you look at the thousands of listings on the real estate brokers web sites or try to buy piece of property.
But keep in mind that listings are not what a property sells for but rather they are what sellers WANT to sell their houses for or the List price. Of course Realtors and Sellers are to blame because everyone needs to be more realistic with real Market Value and price homes and land accordingly. What a house actually sells for is the most important statistic and the only way to know this information is to talk to the realtors or ask someone who has actually sold their house. The Bahamas Government Registrar General’s Office has this information on microfilm but it is time consuming to access their records and the records are not very current as they are back logged with recording the title documents after conveyances are stamped and recorded.
Is this bad news for the Real Estate Market? Not really, it only means that sellers have to be realistic with pricing if they want to sell because it is a Buyers Market. A Buyers Market simply means that there are more Sellers (more inventory) than Buyers and so naturally savy Buyers are looking for deals and more realistic prices. The stubborn sellers who think that prices have not come down are going to have a very tough time selling their homes.
There are buyers out there and the market is starting to make a snails pace recovery. The recovery simply means that buyers are buying again BUT they are paying lower prices. So if you really want to sell adjust your prices to real market value and you will increase your chances of selling in a shorter time frame. I can assure you that buyers who are making offers are getting noticed. There are many sellers out there that are tired of waiting for their property to sell and willing to negotiate on the prices. The good news is that if you are a buyer this is a good time to buy, but the trick is in the successful contract negotiations.
There are motivated sellers in this buyers market but selling price for a home or investment property is only one factor in determining whether the buyer and seller can reach an agreement. The sales contract (Purchase/Sale Agreement) has many facets that must be considered, understood and accepted by all. An experienced broker is a solid advantage to both buyer and seller, because they have been through countless transactions and understand the principles of successful negotiations.
At James Sarles Realty we have seen deals fall apart over very minor, petty issues and we have saved deals where parties have walked away from the closing table. As the old saying goes “It aint over till the fat lady sings”. We don’t look at deal is done until the checks clears, the buyer has keys in their hand and the seller has money in the bank.

The issue of price or consideration in your deal is only one aspect of the finances. The contract should specify who pays for stamp tax, legal fees, and real estate fees. A typical gross offer or list price that you may see advertised implies that stamp tax is customarily split between buyer and seller, whereby each party pays for their own attorney fees and seller pays for the real estate fees. HOWEVER, any of these costs can be negotiated with either party paying any of the fees as the closing costs are NOT mandated by law. Its real estate and its negotiable as long as it is clearly stated. Sometimes the purchaser makes a net offer which means that the seller receives whatever is offered and the purchaser agrees to pay ALL closing costs including ALL legal fees for both parties, ALL real estate fees. In a net deal the percentages of the legal fees, the real estate fees and the government stamp tax are based on the Net price.

An important clause that is left out of many contracts is who pays for conversion fees. If a foreigner is purchasing property from a Bahamian or if a Bahamian is purchasing from a foreigner there is a conversion charge from US dollars to Bahamian dollars (.995) or Bahamian Dollars to US (1.0125) as Bahamians can’t accept or hold US dollars based on Exchange Control Regulations or purchase with US dollars. There is no hard and fast rule of who should pay for these charges. They can be paid by either party or split but MAKE SURE IT IS CLEAR WHO WILL PAY WHEN YOUR ARE NEGOTIATING THE DEAL!

A good real estate professional will make sure that there are no surprises in the transaction and that all aspects of the deal are covered. The team of a professional competent attorney and a professional competent real estate broker makes for a smooth transaction.

If you have been thinking about getting in the market this may be your opportunity to buy that property at the right price with sellers who are motivated. If you really want to sell then make sure your pricing is right so you can attract the motivated buyers.

Good Luck with your negotiations. Until next week.

Island of the World fashion Week: Video Coverage

Nassau, Bahamas - Islands of the World Fashion Week in November, 2008, is underway running from 5th – 7th November, 2009 in Nassau and Paradise Island, The Bahamas, once again.
Above is a commentary VIDEO from Night One which included "The Muse" Model Search selection; the Next Generation designer showcase; the Eco-Fashion and Culture Fashion showcase; and the fashions of visiting American Designer, Leanne Marshall. You will also see photos of the after party which was held at The Balmoral Club, and hosted by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

In this commentary you will hear from editor of The Bahamas Weekly, Robbin Whachell with Lyndah Wells, photographer for The Bahamas Weekly; the president of IWFW, Owen Bethel; The Muse model-search winners, Curaçao native, Giovara Geertriuda, and Bahamas' own Kendrick Kemp; and vice president of IWFW and producer of the show, Thomas Frenez.

Enclosed are photos from Night One taken by photographer Lyndah Wells which included "The Muse" Model Search selection; the Next Generation designer showcase; the Eco-Fashion and Culture Fashion showcase; and the fashions of visiting American Designer, Leanne Marshall. You will also see photos of the after party which was held at The Balmoral Club, and hosted by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. View other PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS HERE.

Stay tuned for more of The Bahamas Weekly's upcoming video productions!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's not the right place for The Farmers Market


Freeport News Reporter
Freeport, Grand Bahama- Local attorney Fred Smith is preparing to file an injunction to stop the construction of the new Farmer's Market proposed by the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA).

Smith told reporters on Thursday that the papers could take anywhere from one to three weeks to have drawn up. Smith was among dozens of residents who attended the GBPA Town Meeting at the Our Lucaya Resort and expressed concerns regarding the company's plans to construct the facility at the Goombay Park near the International Bazaar.

"I represent, about 11 land owners just behind Goombay Park and their concern is having a fish and farmer's market where there's going to be rodents, where there's going to be a smell...where its going to be messy and dirty and unsanitary," said Smith. "It's going to decrease property value, its going to cause traffic problems, it's not going to be well maintained and they just don't think that its the right place."

According to Smith he and his clients have written a total of 17 letters to the GBPA and did not receive a response.

"We're very concerned that the Port Authority has made the decision to do it despite the fact that we wrote letters...from July to October, (we got) not one response even saying thank you very much for your letter we'll be writing to you soon, which I think was very rude," he said.

Smith says he has taken specific issue with the fact that GBPA officials did not complete the necessary public consultations before deciding to move forward with the project and questions whether or not the company would be able to effectively manage such a project.

According to GBPA President Ian Rolle, however, everyone cannot be pleased.

Speaking with members of the media following the meeting, Rolle noted that the company has taken into consideration the concerns of those who would be directly affected by the move; namely the Fish and Conch Vendors.

Another major concern for some residents was the fact that the company had not yet completed an environmental impact assessment study.

"Looking at the situation without the in-depth report, we feel that we can make this thing happen," Rolle said.

"Of course, we wouldn't put that first brick into the ground unless we know for sure that it is in fact safe to do what we want to do."

The GBPA executive noted too, that the project will have enormous benefits for the city of Freeport, and in particular, the International Bazaar. Rolle noted that the company is undertaking several new initiatives geared at revitalizing the area.

He also responded to naysayers, some of whom suggested that it was unfair to move the vendors from their current locations to the Goombay Park site.

"Their concern is that they have a sure market in the place where they are located now, they have traffic from persons going to the post office, or walking in that area," Rolle explained. "What we intend to do for a period in time, especially leading up to the Christmas season is to introduce a shuttle service between the current location and the new site. We are also committed to advertise the new site."

Overall, Rolle said the meeting was successful and that he was pleased that the majority of the vendors were happy with the direction being taken. The GBPA is expected to host more town meetings as the project progresses.

GB Chamber holds Excellence Awards


Freeport News Reporter
Freeport, Grand Bahama- Winners for the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) 2nd Annual Excellence Awards were announced on Saturday evening during a gala event held at the Regency Theatre.

The aim of the awards is to recognize businesses and business persons who have demonstrated commitment to community building.

According to Chamber officials, there was an increased interest for the awards this year, as an estimated 50 persons for all categories were nominated this year.

Guests at the event were entertained with stellar performances by the Grand Bahama Youth Choir, Wilfred Solomon and the Magnetics and the Starlighters.

There were six general categories for nomination including: "Outstanding Business Person of the Year," "Developing Entrepreneur of the Year," "Company of the Year," "Philanthropic Business or Business Person of the Year," "Business Student of the Year," "Lifetime Achievement Award."

Bahamas Wholesale Agency (BWA) beat out 11 other business for the Company of the Year Award for businesses with 50 employees or less.

Nominees for this category included: Barefoot Marketing; Flamingo Air; Freeport Gases Ltd.; Cool Breezes Restaurant; Freeport Jewellers; Island Bedding; Frank's Ice Cream; Bahama Buy & Sell; Professional Brokers; Magnolia's Restaurant and GT Brokers.

The Company of the Year Award with 50 employees or more went to Sawyer's Food Store. The Garden of the Groves; Furniture Plus; Cable Bahamas; Bahamian Brewery and Freeport Restaurant (Kentucky Fried Chicken) were also nominated for this award.

Donald Roberts of Dolly Madison Furniture won the Outstanding Businessperson of the Year Award over Jeffrey B. Butler Sr., Butlers Group of Companies; Jeremy Cafferata, Freeport Ship Services Ltd.; Donald Dean, The Architect Incorp.; and Frank Outten of Frank's Ice Cream

Noel and Britton Clarke, Agave Restaurant won the Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Others nominees included : Derick & Reannah Singh, Cruzin Café; Ruthann Newton-Lightbourn, 1.9.6; and Debbie Borsetto, Now That's A Party.

Frank Outten got the well deserved Philanthropic Businessperson of the Year award over Eddie Whan and Shuffel Hepburn.

Business persons were not the only ones honoured at the event, Dreshon Rolle, a Jack Hayward High School student, won the Business Student of the Year Award earning an academic scholarship. Vonette Malakius of St. Georges High School and Carissa Gaitor of Tabernacle Baptist Academy were also nominated for this award.

The most noted award of the evening, the Lifetime Achievement Award, went to Havard Cooper of Doris Minette Holding and The Grand Bahama Shipyard received the President's award given by GBCC President Gregory Moss.

Business persons were encouraged by officials to remain committed in their endeavours, and never to compromise excellence in service, quality of products and commitment to fair and honest conduct in the business marketplace.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

TONIGHT!!!!!!‘New India’ Fashion Show and Fundraising Party to support Cancer Patients of Grand Bahama

By Event Producer – Alison Anglade

Grand Bahama Model: Shequera King

Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas - Exclusive UK fashion designer, Surinder Panesar of Sim Sui based in Leicester, has created a special collection especially for Grand Bahama that will feature for view and sale this weekend at the Cancer Association of Grand Bahama’s Passage to India event. Additionally, flying in for the event is JetC, one of the evening’s three DJs, who has recently played Brighton Festival and frequently works the hottest European and London nightclubs.
Grand Bahama Model: Julia Geiger

Passage to India Fashion Show and Party has been organised by a group of Grand Bahama women who wanted something different, cool and exciting to wear, something fabulous to enjoy and a way to raise money to buy beds to extend the hospice care provided by the Cancer Association of Grand Bahama. The event will take place on Saturday 14th November at the Grand Bahama Sailing Club, formerly the Sir Charles Hayward Yacht Club on Main Royal Close, east on Midshipman Road.

Alison Anglade, event producer, said, “We have had the privilege of seeing some of the fabrics and designs and they are perfect for our climate and desires. The Sim Sui collection includes ladies, mens and children’s wear and has everything from beach to evening wear. It is all excellent quality and reasonably priced.”
Anglade continued; “The evening itself promises much. We have a fashion show featuring professional models, some of whom are world class, as well as featuring survivors, all of whom are beautiful women who are excited to step out on the runway and show off their strength and these fabulous clothes.
Grand Bahama Model: Cyndi Lewis

“We have Indian hors d’eourves, special drinks, fun giveaways and demonstrations planned and the evening will be hosted by Grand Bahamas’ youngest and hottest MC, Rico Thompson. It will be a great way for us all to experience a taste of the ‘new’ India.

“The planning for this event has seen green lights all the way. A great group of people have come together and asked what they can do to help and we have built up a large number of volunteers to help work on the night to ensure it is successful. Runway coach, Glenn Charles, director of Face International Modelling School, has some superb ideas for the show. We have two great local DJs, namely, Kriston Culmer and Maceo J.J. Jones who are excited about working with JetC Patel.”
Miss Shirlyn Gray, a volunteer of the Cancer Association of Grand Bahama incorporated in 1995, said “We really hope people will turn out to support this wonderful event and we are very happy that other nationalities have come together to help raise awareness of what we do. It will be a fun, fashion-forward evening and we are hoping that the profits from the event will buy the beds we need. We do hope everyone will come along and enjoy themselves all in support of such a great cause. The tickets are $20 and clothing will be for sale afterwards. It would a great place to buy something fabulous for the Christmas season.

Each year the Cancer Association of Grand Bahama hosts a seminar on the latest advances in cancer prevention and early detection. Last year in conjunction with Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami they undertook a genetic testing study to unearth why Bahamians are getting cancer at a younger age than other nationalities. The building on West Atlantic Drive, Freeport, currently has three beds and they need to increase that number to six to provide more hospice care to the people of this island.
Grand Bahama Model: Valdeana Bain

Miss Gray said, “We offer a confidential service and ‘comfort place’ to local patients. We hold support group meetings on the first Tuesday of each month for our membership of 80 and provide people with information about the disease.”
Grand Bahama Model: Cyndi Lewis

Everyone is wanted and welcome to come along to the Passage to India Fashion Show and Party. It is hoped that everyone comes along prepared to have lots of fun, buy lots of clothes and bring their biggest smile and ‘jangliest’ bangles to Jai Ho the night away. Tickets are available from Island Java, Personal Touch Pharmacy, Island Timekeepers and the Cancer Association of the Grand Bahama (242-352-2873 or 727-0085).
More information about Sim Sui designs and the organic fibres used: issue5/news06.asp

DJ JetC Patel: php?gid=35280257569&ref=ts php?gid=101442567040&ref=ts

Friday, November 13, 2009

"A Question of Faith: The Journey of Freetown," exhibition launch at the Gloria Banks Gallery

Freeport, Grand Bahama. Last night , Thursday 12th November, both Jamie & I attended the exhibition launch of "A Question of Faith: The Journey of Freetown," which opened at the Gloria Banks Gallery, located in The Rand Nature Centre.
Amongst the well attended crowd for the event were the Minister of State for Culture the Hon Charles Maynard, and the Deputy Prime Minister's wife Mrs. Robin Symonette, among many other local and visiting guests, including Edison Dames, Assistant Director of Culture and Percy 'Vola' Francism the 'King of Junkanoo'. The opening ceremony was led by Dr. Pamela Etuk and artist, Jackson Burnside gave remarks.

Curators for the exhibition are Chantal E.Y. Bethel, and Laurie N. Tuchel. Artistic advisor/curator, Antonius Roberts. Historical research, Darius Williams.

Participating artists in the exhibition are Lauren Austin, Chantal Bethel, Del Foxton, and Antonius Roberts. The Freetown participants in the quiltworks are: Rev Rufus Cooper, Romain Laing, Ahamal Lightbourn, Elizabeth Roberts, and Linda Roberts.

The exhibition gives the descendants of that old eastern settlement a quilt with enough warmth to cover their expansive histories as we journey from New Freetown, to Infantview Cemetery to Water Cay and on to Sweeting's Cay; where we spoke with healthy 104 years old resident, Firstina Baillou.

A project of the Grand Bahama Heritage Foundation, the exhibition is the result of a seven-month artistic process, historical documentation and cinematic recording of the history of the old Freetown by the inhabitants of new Freetown. Once located by the coast, all that is left of old Freetown is a cemetery called Infantview for its first inhabitant – a baby – and the ruins of an old house. The settlement was one of the first known communities of freed slaves on the island.

Old Freetown is one of the oldest freed slaves settlements on Grand Bahama Island. After the Grand Bahama Port Authority restructured the area in the 1960's, the people of Old Freetown moved to New Freetown. Old Freetown still holds remnants of the foundation stones of some of the earliest homes on Grand Bahama Island.

In 2007, in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade act, The Grand Bahama Heritage Foundation presented an art Exhibition entitled Freedom Call . "As we were doing our research, we found it extremely difficult to obtain written information about Old Freetown , we then made the decision that we would begin our exploration and research in Old Freetown."
Make sure you visit in the EXHIBIT from November 13th through to the 28th at the Gloria Banks Gallery, Rand Nature Centre, Bahamas National Trust.

Fish vendors are still downtown


Freeport News Reporter
Although the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) had indicated that effective Monday, November 9, all fish vendors will be relocated from the downtown area to the former Goombay Park, several vendors could still be found conducting business in the parking lot of the old Grand Union building yesterday.

As the landscaping and irrigation works progress for Phase I of the Downtown Revitalization Project, the GBPA said it has become necessary to relocate the vendors from their current location until the new Farmers Market is completed. As a part of the initiative, landscaping and increased parking will be introduced to the Grand Union parking lot.

In order to facilitate a more beneficial move, the relocated vendors are expected to have access to electricity, fresh and salt water on a timer-control basis, the GBPA said.

The Freeport News spoke with some of the vendors, who expressed mixed views on the relocation exercise.

The vendors said they originally received letters indicating that the temporary relocation would be effective on Monday past; however, GBPA officials later told them the site would not be ready until Wednesday.

One vendor, Arthur Sands, said he hoped the GBPA would reconsider moving them at least until the Christmas season is over.

Their present location, he said, is optimal for business, whereas the Goombay Park area is too far removed from the downtown area and would cause them to lose many of their customers, who may be be walking though the downtown area or catching a bus.

"They should wait until the beginning of the year, until January or February, before they think about moving us. Coming down to the Yuletide season, when we counting on putting a little turkey on the table, they should really give us that opportunity," Sands said.

"I wish they could think about it and give us until January. This is where everybody is going to be shopping. This is going to be the main area during the Christmas time, where most of the money is going to be spent and we would like to get a little piece of the pie."

While Sands noted that it is an offence for vendors to be selling goods at any location without the proper authorization and that it is "only through the mercy of the powers that we are doing these things," he said he believes the location should still be one that allows the vendors to be profitable.

"The location has to be established, and it's not established as yet. This is where the customers are, this is established."

Sharing similar sentiments was vendor Shawn Johnson, who said 70 percent of his customers were pedestrians.

"Right now that will cause us to lose the walk-in customers. That will be devastating for business. The Bazaar area, that whole are is like a ghost town right now maybe if the hotel opens back up I guess business will pick up," he said.

"And with the economy messed up now, to catch a bus downtown, you do most of your stuff in the town area and to jump on another bus to go to the Bazaar area just to get fish, ain't much customers going to go out of their way to do that so it will be bad for the fishermen."

Johnson said that the new location would mean that vendors would be 'out of sight, out of mind," causing them to loose impulse buyers.

Meanwhile, Jermaine Plakaris was more optimistic, saying he believed that his customers will still patronize him, even if he changes locations.

"People will come, We will have new customers over on that side," he said, adding that he had told the majority of his customers that he would be moving soon and most pledged their support.

"Some say they would catch the bus and some say when they get a ride, whenever they get a chance they will come, at least they know where we are. It will be a little difficult at first, but just give them a little time."

Plakaris said he is looking forward to the move and hopes that once the farmers' market is completed he will have the necessary facilities to expand his business.

"If we setting up better, then you could sell more things, a little grill conch, fish and all that too... Change is good too, when you get something you have to work with it."

Last month, the GBPA announced that the former Goombay Park had been chosen as the site for the new Farmers Market, which will include fish, fruit and vegetable vendors.

In August, the GBPA had carried out a demolition exercise at Goombay Park, knocking down the structures which they said were unsafe, especially during the hurricane season.

Now, the site is expected to be revitalized with new water, drainage and electrical systems installed.

Once completed, the marketplace will also feature room for expansion, which may allow some vendors from the already existing produce market downtown to also set up shop in the new farmers market.

The GBPA says the new Farmers Market is an integral part of its new Downtown Turnaround initiative.

"We are mandated to create new economic activity and provide an environment in which businesses can flourish. The new Farmers Market is one way by which we can breathe new life into the downtown area," GBPA president Ian Rolle said in a press release.

Initially officials had looked into putting the fish market on the Fishing Hole Road, where some vendors have already set up shop, as well as a location on West Atlantic Drive, near the downtown area.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Town Hall Meeting regarding the Farmers Market- Today at The Radisson

Freeport, Grand Bahama- Bahamas
There are those that are looking forward to the construction and subsequent opening of the Farmers Market and there are those who are not, be it for reasons of location or inclusion of workforce or simply the effects on the International Bazaar.
Whatever your issues, let your voice be heard tonight at the GBPA Town Hall meeting Convention Center, The Radisson at 7.30pm.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Grand Bahama Conchman Triathlon 2009 Results!

There were 22 Female Individuals and 41 Male Individuals. 84 persons completed the swim, 84 persons completed the ride, 84 persons completed the run.

This was the largest field we have had for several years with competitors from Canada, USA, Nassau and Freeport.

The Conchman Committee would like to thank the following persons for their invaluable contributions.
Ministry of Tourism
Fred Smith
Sun Alliance Insurance
Brita Water
Sanitation Services
Grand Bahama Port Authourity
Sands Brewery
Cafferata and Company
Pelican Bay Hotel
Lucayan Market Place
BASRA (Freeport)
Royal Bahamas Police Force
Jack Hayward High School Governor General Youth Award Club (60 road marshals and break down)
Students of Beacon School (set up)
All the other sponsors and volunteers without whom non of these events can take place.

Download the attached PDF's for full official results.

The Red Rose Ball Committee delivers A Night at the Taj Mahal, India

By The Bahamas Weekly

 Her Excellency, Nicole Avant, US Ambassador to The Bahamas (4th from right). Standing far left is John Rood, former US Ambassador to The Bahamas. Photo: Derek Carroll
Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas - On November 7th, 2009 at the Grand Ballroom Radisson at Our Lucaya, the Red Rose Ball Committee celebrated their 10th Anniversary of promoting and educating through the Grand Bahama AIDS Awareness Committee the successful message of “Prevention Now!” The Red Rose Ball Committee is well known for its ability to create the most enchanting evenings of entertainment, elegance and ambiance and A Night at the Taj Mahal, India delivered just that!

Special visiting guests were Her Excellency Nicole Avant, newly appointed United States Ambassador to The Bahamas who delivered remarks prior to the Ball at a special VIP and sponsor reception. Also in attendance was past US Ambassador John Rood, and Katherine 'Kay' Forbes-Smith, The Bahamas' Consul General in Atlanta making this her first trip home since taking up her appointment in the USA. The evening began by special entry and introduction of the honoured guest. Once all were seated a Bahamian and American national flag ceremony took place and Minerva Kemp sang both national anthems. Opening entertainment was provided by Bahamas Dance Theater, featuring Indian-style dance which was choreographed by Jullion Collie.

Her Excellency Nicole Avant, newly appointed Ambassador of the United States to The Bahamas speaks at a VIP reception at the 2009 Red Rose Ball at the Radisson Our Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island. Photo: Derek Carroll

Special guests of the 2009 Red Rose Ball held at the Radisson Our Lucaya, on November 7th. Left to right: Katherine 'Kay' Forbes-Smith, The Bahamas' Consul General in Atlanta; Her Excellency Nicole Avant, newly appointed Ambassador of the United States to The Bahamas; and former US Ambassador, John Rood. Photo: Derek Carroll

Visiting guest speaker was Jasmin D. Shirley, MSPH Vice President of Community Health Services for Broward Health in Florida. Master of ceremony for the evening was the charming Mark Gardiner, and music for dance and dining was provided by the Apple Elliott band as well as The Matrix.

Guests dined on an Indian infused menu of special salad, seared tenderloin of beef laced with curry, and grilled Bombay shrimp, and banana and dark chocolate mousse ganache with mango and peppermint chutney for dessert.

The main focus of the committee is the provision of much needed funding to GBAAC for ensuring that their goals of informing the general populous of HIV/AIDS on an Annual basis is achieved.

Wonderful raffle prizes were given out including trips for two from American Airines to Europe and the USA.
 Read The Full Original Article HERE