Friday, May 28, 2010

70 kids of the West End Eco-Fishing Camp ready for graduation

 The 2010 West End Eco-Fishing Camp kids along with members of the Royal Bahamas Police and camp volunteers in their last group pose prior to the upcoming graduation ceremony scheduled for May 29, 2010.

WEST END, Grand Bahama – The West End Eco-Fishing Camp Association (WEEFCA) and the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) will hold their second annual graduation ceremony Saturday May 29, 2010, 11AM at the Church of God of Prophecy to celebrate the accomplishments of 70 kids from Pine Ridge, 8 Mile Rock, and West End. The camp program was designed to provide the children with specific subjects that would encourage and motivate them to pursue careers as ecology and bonefishing guides, aqua-culture specialists, scuba dive guides and instructors and marine biologists.

The RBPF created the camp program in 2009 as part of their neighborhood community policing initiative to deter kids away from crime and drugs. The success of the program is due to the support of a number of corporate sponsors who believe that West End will emerge as a place where the community, the police and camp volunteers have set high standards as they seek to bring renewed vitality and opportunity for all residents. Sergeant Terry Barry who forged ahead to launch the camp program states, “The past two years has proven that when the police department is closely involved with the local community a successful initiative like the eco-fishing camp can only provide inspiration in other areas of the Bahamas to start their own signature programs.”

 Mrs. Pam Miller, Resident of Pine Island [Old Bahama Bay] stopped by to make a donation to Mrs. Linda Barry-Cooper, Chairman of The West End Eco-Fishing Camp Association. Donations, such as this one, is greatly appreciated and goes a long way to providing for the needs of the 70 campers.

Highlights of the 2010 camp include presentations from staff members from the Department of Fisheries on fishing regulations; BASRA shared with the kids how distressed boats or fallen airplane rescues at sea are performed; and the Grand Bahama Port Authority provided a well rounded ecology lesson that provide an in depth look at our eco-system.
The children enrolled in the West End Eco-Fishing Camp learn basic skills about first aid, water safety, swimming, boating, and fishing. A group of dedicated adult volunteers from the Grand Bahama community and officers from the West End police station keep the kids busy learning about “Esprit de Corps” or group spirit that encourages a team effort in each of the planned activities.

A major highlight of the camp occurred when two of the kids, India Culmer and Patriqo Hanna each caught a bonefish within minutes of each other. The excitement of the catch quickly moved among the campers as word spread that the “gray ghosts” were caught. Carl Rolle, expert Bonefish Guide and son of Legendary Bonefish Folley was on hand to ensure that the fish were handled carefully and released back into the sea.

 It takes creative planning and a full pantry to feed 70 campers. Thanks to the numerous volunteers, it is readily done. From - left to right: Mrs. Claudine Hanna, Ms. Constance Hanna - Treasurer and Ms. Sue.

At the graduation ceremony campers will be recognized in a number of categories including – Most Fish Caught, First Bonefish Caught, Top Swimmer, and Distinguished Graduate. Measuring the most productive children is an important aspect of the program requirements in order advance the kids to the next level and become future camp leaders.
Read the Rest of the Article HERE

Chamber president concerned about increased tourism taxes

 Peter Turnquest President GB Chamber of Commerce
Freeport News

Freeport, Grand Bahama-  The decision by government to increase taxes on the tourism product was questioned yesterday by the president of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce K. Peter Turnquest, who said, it was a difficult thing for the island's already ailing tourism industry to stomach.

During the official budget communication in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said, the air and sea departure taxes are being increased by $5 effective on July 1, and the increase for cruise ship passengers becomes effective on October 1. The hotel room tax is also being increased to 10 percent of the room rate effective July 1.

"With respect to the increase in departure taxes in particular, I regret that we have to take that kind of action. In Grand Bahama in particular the cry has always been that the cost of air arrivals have been extraordinarily high in comparison to The Bahamas and even in the rest of the Caribbean so this additional tax will not help our situation any," Turnquest said.

He expressed hope that there will be some off-setting of that increase by the Grand Bahama Airport Company.

"I would have preferred to see the Government, maybe, consider the individual islands' circumstances a little different than just painting the whole picture with one brush," he said.

"For instance, we know that the tourism product in Nassau is mature, it is active and vibrant for the most part so maybe they can bear this $5 increase but the islands where the cost of getting there is already higher, maybe we ought to be considering giving them the concession and leaving the rates as they are just to encourage the traffic to go on and spread the revenue throughout the islands."

The increase in the hotel tax, Turnquest added, would have the effect of putting hotels at a disadvantage with respect to the cruise ships. He said he believes that is not a wise move since there is a large disparity between the onshore spending of an overnight tourist versus a cruise ship tourist.

"So it seemed to me that we would have tried to figure out some way to get more out of the tourist that comes by cruise ship rather than milk an already stressed hotel industry."

On the other hand, Turnquest said, he approved of the Government's decision to make some cutbacks within the public service. Ingraham revealed that the provision for overtime within the service is being reduced from $10.4 million to $1.5 million.

"I noticed some comments from the public service union that maybe you'll have to hire more people to take up the slack for that overtime," Turnquest said.

"On the contrary, I think that it may be time now for the government to go further in terms of reforming the public service, look at things like casual and sick days and the amount of vacation that is given to civil servants, maybe we've reached the point where we just cannot afford those things anymore."

Meanwhile, the salary cuts for the Prime Minister and the cuts to the allowances for ministers and top civil servants Turnquest said was absolutely the right thing to do as "It demonstrates tangibly that they understand the situation that we're in and that cuts are going to be necessary for all of us and they're leading the way in that regard, so I give them much approval for that," he said.

As for the incentives the government provided for residents wishing to be more environmentally-friendly, such as reductions to the duties for tankless water heaters and LED light bulbs, Turnquest said in his opinion they should have gone even further and made other items like solar panels, solar water heaters and inverters duty free.

To promote the use of more fuel-efficient vehicles, the government is also proposing to reduce the number of excise tax rates on cars and trucks to a rate of 65 percent on passenger vehicles with an engine of 2,000 cubic centimetres or less and a rate of 85 percent for all other passenger vehicles and trucks.

"They have the right idea but I don't think they've gone far enough. There's no need for the size of vehicles that we're driving today and so they should have gone down to not only on engine size but actually length size and maybe bring that rate a little lower and take the large car rate higher," Turnquest suggested.

"If you can afford to buy that big gas-guzzling car that is a polluter and a drain on our energy you should pay for it. So I would have liked to see the car size go smaller and the rate of duty go lower in proportion so that we can cause our people to start thinking about the use of energy."

Fears grow over oil spill

An oil slick that could land in The Bahamas this weekend could have catastrophic effects on the country's fishing industry, said the general manager of Tropic Seafood - the country's largest exporter of lobster tail.

It could also mean higher seafood prices for the country and a falloff in tourists coming to fish in blue Bahama waters — if the current weather patterns propel the slick in a more easterly direction to the Cay Sal banks, Bimini and the western area of Grand Bahama.

The degree to which Bahamian fishermen would be affected by the spread is devastating, said Glenn Pritchard.

"I am extremely concerned, as should be everyone living in our country," the Tropic executive said. "This has catastrophic damage potential for our fishing and tourist industries.

"Areas such as the south and west coasts of Andros are extremely eco-sensitive and are the breeding grounds for numerous birds, fish, conch, lobster and turtles. If enough of that oil slick gets into and destroys the mangroves where these animals breed and grow, the devastation will be of such a magnitude that it will take years to recover, if ever."

It's a situation currently playing out in the Gulf, following an oil rig explosion on April 20, sending millions of gallons of oil gushing into the Ocean. Fishermen and seafood restaurants in the surrounding area are already reporting sharp declines in business as a result of the disaster.

Pritchard is now praying that a way is soon found to remove the oil out of the water before the oil's effect manifests here in The Bahamas. His company, the seafood processor for Bahamas Food Services, processes and packages its own brand of lobster tails, conch, snapper, and other seafood products for worldwide markets.

"Let's all hope and pray that the U.S. finds some way to stop this disaster before it does any further damage. My concern and prayers also go out to the people of the Gulf area of Florida and those in the Florida Cays," Pritchard said. "I hope their damages are minimal."

It's a statement that comes as a top local meteorologist confirms a shift in wind patterns will most likely slide the oil slick into Bahama waters by the weekend.

Customer service a must

Freeport News

As the Department of Immigration prepares to launch its Customer Electronic Identification Card this July, a series of workshops on Customer Service are being held in Grand Bahama and New providence to apprise employees of the process involved.

Officers from the local Immigration Department participated in the one day seminar yesterday under the theme 'Embracing technology for Improved Customer Service and Productivity.'

Immigration director Jack Thompson told The Freeport News that the main objective of the seminar is to give officers an opportunity to check their tools, better equip themselves and to prepare for improved customer service.

" I believe that the public deserves more and it is important from time to time to stop, to strategize and to see our strengths and weaknesses. We have to access the product that we are issuing to the public."

The identification cards, Thompson explained, will eliminate writing permits, inclusive of work and spou-sal permits and do away with a 70 year old process.

"This will make the department more efficient in terms of tracking and in terms of quality. It will also be fraud- proof and will not be as exposed, where persons are able to manipulate the card. The card will also include security features and an electronic chip. We will spend over $6 million on the system so we expect it to be a state of the art type of card."

As annual permits expire, Thompson said that the new electronic card will be phased in so by this time next year, all records would be up- to-date.

"We will be scanning the documents so we do expect some foreseeable challenges there, but once that is done it would make the process faster and easier which will increase productivity and help us to become more efficient and effective, which are key components for the department."

Speaking to the expected addition of 30 new officers that the department intends to take on in the near future, Thompson noted that as the new plan comes on stream they too will be trained in service and enforcement.

"There are two main pillars of immigration – one is service where we provide permits and welcome persons who are entering our boarders legally. The other is enforcement which includes apprehension and repatriation, so these new officers have to be able to do both tasks," he said.

With only 191 immigration officers in the country, Thompson said that every little bit of manpower helps.

"I am grateful in these times of economic challenges that we were able to get persons in to serve."

Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce president Peter Turnquest said that the establishment of the cards is way past due in its implementation time, and will aid in the proper identification and processing of legal resident aliens.

"Similarly, however, I trust that the landing cards for Bahamians will be eliminated as to date, no one seems to have valid reason for it and conversely in a tight budgetary year, its elimination could result in significant cost savings to the department in paper, storage, processing, etc., and speed up the arrival processing time for residents and tourists alike at the boarders."

Thursday, May 27, 2010

[VIDEO] GBPA president promises rejuvenation and new initiatives for Freeport


Watch live streaming video from grandbahamatv at

A GBTV presentation. Produced by Keen i Media Ltd ©2010

At the monthly meeting of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce on May 26, Grand Bahama Port Authority President Ian Rolle provided an in-depth update on current and planned initiatives for Freeport that he stated would rejuvenate the Grand Bahama economy.

Mr Rolle reviewed recently commenced projects, including the 'Downtown Turnaround' initiative, upgrades to the Sir Charles Hayward Public Library, and new community support efforts. He said that new business development projects are underway, including one that is expected to activate the International Distributors facility. The GBPA executive also hinted at new foreign investment projects that are in process but about which he could not reveal details.

GBTV was on hand to record the presentation which is shown below in its entirety.

GB Port Authority Meets On Disaster Preparedness

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS MEETING AT GBPA – Hurricanes, oil spills and other disasters were some of the topics discussed during a recent disaster preparedness meeting organized by the ‘Port Authority’.

 Freeport, Bahamas – As the start of the 2010 hurricane season approaches, The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) has gone into preparatory mode. Recent meetings were held at GBPA headquarters with representatives from GBPA’s Environmental Department, G.B. Utility, Industrial Park companies, Grand Bahama Health Services and government agencies in attendance.

“We are here today to check our level of preparedness for the upcoming 2010 hurricane season. This is indeed a timely meeting and we’re grateful to see all of our industry partners here with others at the table,” said GBPA Hurricane Disaster Preparedness Duty Officer and NEMA Liaison Officer, Geneva Rutherford, as she chaired the meeting.

In an average season, experts predict 9.6 named storms, with 5.9 developing into hurricanes, and of which 2.3 will be intense. The 2010 season is expected to see 15 named storms, with 8 developing into hurricanes, and of which 4 will be intense.

“Obviously weather experts are forecasting a productive 2010 hurricane season,” said meteorologist, Trinard Tynes, of Air Traffic Services as he addressed the group. “The reason why we want to be prepared is because history tells us over the years, that the more information you have about a particular season, more disasters and tragedies can be prevented. Oftentimes casualties are not due so much to a lack of knowledge but negligence in a number of cases.”

Tynes also cited storm surge, flooding and wind as some of the main hazards associated with hurricanes. Such hazards were of particular concern to many of the industrial partners gathered.

Speaking on behalf of the Grand Bahama Utility Company was manager, Geron Turnquest. He outlined safety measures that have been put in place to protect the company’s storage tanks and water supply. “We have emergency generators on hand so that in the event of power loss, our system will still be intact and we’d be able to pump water into the city. In fact, once we get the all clear, we can get back up and running fairly quickly as long as there aren’t any busted water lines,” said Turnquest.

AGENCY UPDATES – Representatives from various agencies provided details of their respective disaster preparedness plans, including Geron Turnquest (far right) G.B. Utility Manager.

Reflecting on the aftermath in the face of recent storms, Turnquest assured the group that the utility company has proactively beefed up capacity. “We’re in a better position now than we were back then because we now have more storage capacity west of the Fishing Hole road. Also, we are in the process of talking with Ginn to find out exactly what their capacity is and how they would be able to assist in servicing the western end of the island in the event of a disaster,” he added.

Mr. Don Cornish, Administrator in the Office of the Prime Minister, noted that Government has been diligently working in preparation for the upcoming hurricane season. “As evidence of our proactive approach, an emergency centre is up and running in Grand Bahama with emergency telephone numbers and a separate office that specifically focuses on disaster response,” Cornish stated.

Cognizant of the need to address disaster preparedness in general and not just hurricanes, Rutherford called on a National Oil Spill Committee representative to update the group on contingency plans in light of the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and its probable affect on Bahamian waters.

Industry partners present also outlined their respective company’s stance towards disaster preparedness, with all in attendance pledging to work cooperatively as agencies responsible for protecting the lives and assets of Grand Bahama.

Trust still missing on cheque posting


Tribune Business Reporter
BAHAMIANS are still seeing their deposited cheques take several days to clear despite the launch of the Bahamas Automated Clearing House (ACH), but its general manager told Tribune Business yesterday that the system was running fine.

Brian Smith said the ACH was not to blame for the length of time some cheques take to clear. He added that some commercial banks simply impose their own rules on their cheque clearing system. And while depositors should see money credited to their accounts by the end of the second business day after making the cheque deposit, some banks still have longer holds on cheques. One banking official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said banks still can't trust their account holders to not overdraw their accounts or write a bad cheque, so longer holds are still necessary despite the ACH.

Mr Smith said the commercial banks are often extremely competitive and therefore advancements, such as the advent of the ACH, are staggered in their use. "People need to ask their banks," he said. "It has nothing to do with ACH." He added that the ACH's next big move is to facilitate bulk direct credit.

According to him, they are awaiting on the commercial banks to complete their final customer agreements in order to bring online a direct deposit system that can be used by employers to electronically pay their employees, greatly reducing the need for paper cheques.

While it is not know how long it will take for the direct deposit system to become functional, the ACH is also focused on developing a comprehensive network Internet banking portal that will allow the transfer of funds through the Internet from one bank to another. "Internet banking is not ready yet, but all the banks are looking into getting that ready," said Mr Smith. "The next thing to come online will be bulk payments. If we can do bulk payments that's a huge step forward."

Oil spill threatens Florida and The Bahamas as BP ramp up efforts

 By JASMIN BONIMY ~ Guardian Staff Reporter ~

The worst natural disaster to hit the Gulf Coast is likely to reach local coastlines by the weekend, according to Chief Climatological Officer Michael Stubbs, who said a shift in wind patterns is expected to propel the oil slick towards The Bahamas.

In an interview with The Nassau Guardian yesterday Stubbs said that in pervious weeks weather conditions have kept the oil slick contained in the Gulf of Mexico.

"As it stands now the wind is not supporting movement out of the Gulf. It's keeping the oil particles that are floating along the surface in the Gulf of Mexico," said Stubbs.

"However as Friday approaches we see the weather pattern changing and what would happen then is the winds in the area would be flowing clockwise, making it possible for oil floating on the surface to make it to the notorious loop current. So once the particles move into the loop current the chances are [higher] for it [the oil] to reach our area."

The oil spill began on April 20 after an oil rig exploded and sank in the Gulf, killing 11 people. It is estimated that oil is escaping from the collapsed rig's underground pipeline at the rate of 95 thousand barrels, or four million gallons, a day.

Stubbs, who heads a meteorological task force set up by the Ingraham administration to monitor the oil spill, said once the surface winds shift, oil sediments will most likely reach the Cay Sal Bank, Bimini, and western Grand Bahama - key fishing areas for the marine industry.

He said for this reason the government has already been warned to prepare for the likely arrival of oil in Bahamian waters.

"Some sort of action is necessary at least before the weekend so we can know where to access resources," he said. "Currently as it stands the government has taken a proactive position in that they have deployed vessels out there with scientists to get base line samplings. From that we can do some sort of clean-up plan or find ways to divert the oil using tools like booms."

On Monday, Minister for the Environment Earl Deveaux told The Nassau Guardian that the government is doing all it can to tackle the issue which has persisted for more than a month.

However, just five days earlier in a press conference, Deveaux admitted that The Bahamas is not prepared for the level of calamity that the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could cause the country.

He also explained that international and local agencies have been notified and will assist in the clean up efforts if the spill reaches Bahamian waters.

He added that local agencies are preparing to ensure that they have a response in time to mitigate a worst-case scenario.

Still, Stubbs insisted given the magnitude of the spill, it is a problem that will persist for months to come.

"We have to take into consideration that we are now approaching the official beginning of the hurricane season and we know that we are going to be faced with quite a bit of tropical disturbances, which means that even efforts by the relevant authorities to stop the leak or to clean up is going to be hindered more so as the season progresses.

"We also know that this time of the year the formation of cyclones usually originates around the Gulf of Mexico or the northern Bahama islands. So this means whatever actions we are going to take, we need to coordinate our efforts to make certain that we take the best measures towards our area becoming contaminated."

As local experts prepare for the impending threat, British Petroleum (BP), the company responsible for the sunken oil rig, has tried twice to stop the leak. The company's first attempt to divert oil leaking from the well using a 40-foot contaminant box failed on May 8.

The second effort to capture oil using a tube inserted in a pipe has been able to recover an average of 1,885 barrels of oil a day, according to a BP spokesman.

The company said on Monday that the spill cost BP about $760 million, or $22 million a day.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

(PHOTOS) Tempest Stubbs crowned Miss Grand Bahama 2010/11

All photos © Dave Mackey

By The Bahamas Weekly News Team

Freeport, Bahamas - On May 16th at the Hilton Outten Convention Center, 24 year old Tempest Stubbs was crowned the new Miss Grand Bahama for 2010/11. Miss Stubbs, a graduate of Bishop Michael Eldon School is sponsored by Mid-Way Electronics.

The conference center was packed with family, friends and supporters who were in such a frenzy with excitement and cheering that the environment felt electric. Miss Stubbs' platform is Respect: Character Development in Females, and she targets young women in the community through an already established program, "Rachel's Daughters."

Remi Henderson 1st runner-up sponsored by SynGAD Services and Rayne Armbrister 2nd runner - up sponsored by Traffic Bahamas.

Cindy Lewis, sponsored by Grand Bahama Bone Fishing Company walked away with the Top Model Award.

Fila Lauren Clothing store won the Fashion Store Award.

Cindy Lewis also won the fitness award. Celina McCardy who is sponsored by CA McCardy Construction won the Friendship Award and Best Costume Award.

Remi Henderson won the Photogenic Award and Popularity Award.

Rayne Armbrister captured the SMS Matrix Bahamas People's Choice Award for most text votes.

The Miss Grand Bahama Beauty Pageant Organization wishes Nikie Severe, 2009 Miss Grand Bahama the best in her future.

There were eight lovely contestants competing for the crown Valdeana Bain  sponsored by DJ's Construction; Rayne Armbrister sponsored by Traffic Bahamas; McKishine Wilmott sponsored by Grand Bahama Tank Company; Shequera King sponsored by SkyBahamas; Remi Henderson sponsored by SYNGAD Services; Cindy Lewis sponsored by Grand Bahama Bone Fishing Company; and Celina McCardy sponsored by CA McCardy Construction

The Miss Grand Bahama Beauty Pageant Organization would also like to thank The Bahamas Weekly, Terreve College, Island Seas Resort, Pelican Bay at Lucaya / Sabor Restaurant,  Discovery Cruise Line, Bonjour Clothing Store, UNEXSO (official swimsuit sponsor), Bandolera, Escanti Boutique, Patrice, Western Air, Prestige Perfume, Kayak Nature Tours, DAP Corporate Training Service, YMCA, Gizmos & Gadgets, Kelly's Freeport, D'Angelo Carey, Old Bahama Bay, 1st Class Security, Dr. Percentie, Magnolias, Leshan Ferguson (official photographer), Zorba's Greek Cuisine, The Corner Bistro, Charmain McNab (fitness trainer), Rizwan Ali of Karachi (Pakistan),  April Crowther Gow, Karen Ferguson-Bain, James Bridgewater, Karon Pinder-Johnson, and Doris Fitzgerald.

About Tempest Stubbs: Born to the proud parents of Philip Stubbs and Virginia McIntosh on January 12, the world was in for a great surprise. I was born and raised in Grand Bahama. During my early stages of childhood, the presence of my father was always there until things started to change when people change, of course. By the age of six, my mother struggled to raise my brother and me, but today I can say her struggle was successful; my mother is my greatest supporter!

I attended National Academy where I graduated as Head Girl at the age of five. I continued my primary education at Freeport Primary School where I graduated with the Principal’s Award. Later, I attended Freeport Anglican High and my graduation was held in 2003, but I decided not to participate in my graduation ceremony. I made the decision to complete another year of high school to work towards a softball scholarship. Unfortunately, the scholarship in sports was not granted; I was blessed with something better. I was offered a scholarship of $20,000 to aid in my tuition and a sure job teaching because my major would be Physical Education with a teacher’s certification.
During my matriculation at the Great Bethune-Cookman University, my goal was to be a sponge and absorb and experience everything in the space of four years. I was involved in various organizations and held positions in most of them. The Federation of Bahamian Students was my very first organization and I was elected as Miss FOBS. In 2006, I competed for the title of Miss Homecoming Queen, which I won. I was a part of the Caribbean Students Association and I was elected as Miss CSA. I compete in the Miss Florida Caribbean Students Association and placed first runner up. The National Council of Negro Women, the organizations of all organizations. I served on the Student Government Association executive board two years consecutively. I was elected for Executive Secretary my first year and my second year I capture the title of Miss Bethune-Cookman University. I was the second Miss Bethune-Cookman University and the first international student to accomplish that.
During my senior year of school, I was “Miss Bethune-Cookman University” and it was a pleasure. I competed in the Miss MEAC and the Miss National Hall of Fame Pageant. I was not successful in winning the crown, but the opportunity to travel to two different states and share my experiences was amazing. I was able to work on several projects, such as, Breast Cancer Awareness, a Cultural Extravaganza, Thanksgiving Baskets, Boy and Girls Club, Toys for Tots and Clothing Drives.

My college days were a great experience! Being from my family, in another country has taught me valuable lessons and I would encourage anyone to study abroad and experience life outside of the Bahamas. Even though, I enjoyed life in America; I always wanted to come home and bring my talent and knowledge where it is needed. Improvement of the Physical Education program was my ultimate goal! Now, currently working at Bishop Michael Eldon as a Physical Educator I love my profession. I inspire to be a Principal and I plan on accomplishing that by going back to school to achieve my Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership.
Tempest Stubbs crowned Miss Grand Bahama 2010
 Since my arrival home, I have been actively involved with the local sporting activities around the island; night league softball and volleyball (also played with the national team for GB). Also, I am actively involved with a mentoring program call Rachel’s Daughters. Rachel’s Daughters is a part of my platform as well, which is Character Development in Females. Currently, I am employed at Bishop Michael Eldon School; I have coached various sports teams and I have accomplished a championship title with the Junior Girls in Softball. I have introduced a Field Day for the school which they have made an Annual event.
I am a well rounded individual and very goal oriented. I have high standards and I believe we should always go forward and not backwards in life. Learning from my experiences has taught to limit my mistakes in the future. I am a very outgoing individual and I love a challenge. My ultimate lesson in life is “to take care and love me, because no one will love me better than me.”


Burger King Freeport assisting Bahamas Red Cross Society in revitalizing 'Meals on Wheels'

GRAND BAHAMA, Bahamas -- Grand Bahama residents have been impacted greatly by the economic downturn with many families facing job lost, losing homes, and even losing loved ones.

Our hearts are touched by the struggles that many face just to put food on the table. This may your next door neighbor, a relative or even you. Burger King Restaurants Freeport has been touched by the scores of Grand Bahamian families who are going through this difficult time.

Over the next few days, residents can stop at any of our 4 locations and drop off 3 or more canned good items; for your generosity, you will be given a FREE movie pass to the 3rd BK Red Carpet Movie Premiere for Thursday May 27th, 2010 at 7 pm Galleria Cinemas. These proceeds will assist the Bahamas Red Cross Society on Grand Bahama in revitalizing the Meals on Wheels Program.

The Annual Burger King Red Carpet Movie Premiere program is purposed to aid in the development of community projects and charities. Benefiting from these events thus far are the Grand Bahama Children’s Home, the Retired Persons Association, Freeport City Council and Over the Horizon Mobile Library Project and now the Bahamas Red Cross Society.

The BURGER KING® system operates more than 11,200 restaurants in all 50 states and 69 countries and U.S. territories worldwide. Approximately 90 percent of BURGER KING® restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees, many of which are family-owned operations that have been in business for decades. To learn more about Burger King Corporation., please visit the company's Web site at

Nassau stage production set for Regency Theatre

The 22-member cast of Virtue Dance Academy out of Nassau will take the Regency Theatre stage this Saturday, May 22, with two showings of the production "Diary of a Bitter Mother-In-Law."

Based on the biblical story of Ruth, Naomi and Boaz, Diary is the latest instalment of the Academy's "Dance of the Scroll" series. Since the series' opening, two of its shows have graced the international stage in both New York and London.

This time around, choreographer, producer, and show writer Marilyn Deveaux has decided to preview the production closer to home.

"Everybody knows that Freeport has a very strong dance presence and a very strong dance industry and their artistry. Their technique is talked about in Nassau," she said of the decision to hold two performances of Diary in Grand Bahama.

In bringing the production to the Freeport stage, Deveaux said that, with this being the Academy's first visit, she hopes to impart a message of hope in a big way.

Noting that the character Naomi had suffered many losses — transitioning from "having it all" to losing her husband, sons and economic stability, yet still trusting in God — Deveaux believes the message is appropriate for Grand Bahamians during these dire economic times.

But this production is not only for those in need of uplifting, she quickly pointed out. Any lover of the dance should witness this "amazing" show, she said.

The theatrical production features the Virtue Dance Academy cast exploring this biblical tale through dialogue, music and various styles of dance including ballet, jazz, contemporary and modern.

"People think that when they come to a Christian production they're going to hear a bunch of choir-type/gospel songs, because that's normally the accompaniment for liturgical dance. Ours is different in that we are a Christian theatre group which means that we cover a wide array of music styles," she said. "There will not be one dull moment in this production."

While Deveaux says the group looks to impart and inspire, she added that they would be remiss to not seize an opportunity to also receive. Thus, the cast, who arrive on Friday, and will participate in masters class with local instructor Garret Seiler on Sunday.

Also, as many cast members have never visited Grand Bahama, the group will participate in island tours and other activities.

"Diary of a Bitter Mother-in-Law" will hit the stage on Saturday, May 22, at 3 p.m. and again at 8 p.m.

Deveaux advised that Grand Bahamians take advantage of group discounts that are available.

Recognizing that many community members are feeling the economic decline, she explained that any group of adults (five people or more) interested in seeing the production can telephone Tarah Storr at 687-2117 or 443-3232 on or before Friday to book their tickets and receive a $10 discount on the regular price.

Groups that do not book their tickets with Storr before Saturday will receive a $5 discount upon purchasing tickets at the door.

Other shows in the "Dance of the Scrolls" series include: "Beauty and the King," "The Seed of the Woman," "The Showdown at Mount Car-mel," and "The Prophet's Wife."

GBCC Chief Turnquest slams Power Company


The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce (GBCC) is urging the Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) to reconsider its decision to pass on its temporary increased operating cost to the public, in consideration of the continued tough economic times in Grand Bahama.

In a statement released yesterday, GBCC president K. Peter Turnquest said the Chamber is profoundly disappointed and frustrated by the inability of the GBPC to maintain a stable electrical supply to the island, evidenced by the unplanned electrical blackouts and load shedding over the past few weeks.

Such instability is a significant detractor to potential investors, Turnquest noted.

"One of the main considerations in attracting and retaining new investors to a destination, especially an offshore destination like ours, is a stable and consistent utility service," the statement read.

"The inability of the power company in this instance to provide this basic service consistently and efficiently, puts the government, The Grand Bahama Port Authority and institutions like the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, at an extreme disadvantage in our promotional activities, making efforts to generate new investment that (much) more challenging."

Turnquest said the Chamber was further frustrated by the GBPC's announcement that customers would see increases in their bills this month.

"While we cannot pretend to know all of the factors that have led to this current situation, we are of the opinion that a properly scheduled and operational maintenance and replacement plan, complete with adequate inventory of spare parts, should minimize the need for these excessive shutdowns and inconvenience to the public that is left with no options due to the nature of our operating and legal environment," Turnquest continued.

Such a plan would allow for a levelling out of plant replacements, upgrades and maintenance events, he said, so as to avoid the spikes in rates that have been announced, while ensuring that the power plant has a consistent schedule to meet current demand. Turnquest suggested some oversight and lack of proper planning. Consumers, however, should not be made to suffer the consequences of that, he said.

"That's the power company's problem and they have to deal with that. I don't think that it is a cost that should be passed on to the consumer. That's a cost of being in business and the need to structure their business as such."

The Chamber has received complaints from at least two business owners who had equipment and appliances damaged and experienced losses as a result of the recent outages, the president noted, and sympathizes with them.

"One was a flower shop. The lady lost all of her mother's day sales as a result of the outages, and her refrigeration equipment was damaged. It was obviously a very big loss for her. She has to pay her suppliers, and because her flowers were damaged, she got no revenue so she was in a bind. As a small business person she really can't afford that kind of a loss," he said.

The Chamber is encouraging everyone to ensure that their premises are properly grounded so as to minimize future risks for similar losses.

"We would likewise encourage the power company, as a part of its social outreach, to conduct its own safety audits, at customer's request, so as to not only help protect the consumer but to also minimize its exposure to liability from future claims," the statement further informed.

"We trust that the investigation of existing claims for damages will be undertaken with fairness to all parties and that at the end of the day where responsibility is determined, just compensation will be made as soon as possible so as to minimize the disruption to businesses and residents alike."

Turnquest believes the GBPC should put priority on investigating claims made by residents and businesses.

"It's no fault of their own. They subscribe for a consistent clean supply of electricity and have done everything that they need to do to protect their equipment and if there's damage I think that somebody ought to be liable."

Turnquest said he fully supports the government's proposal to have the GBPC, like the Bahamas Electricity Corporation, regulated by the new authoritative body, the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA).

"Obviously they need some kind of control. It just cannot be left to them to determine from day to day what they feel the public can afford. There has to be some kind of control mechanism in there because at the end of the day the consumers have to have some kind of protection to make sure they are getting the best possible operating cost," he said.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Successful 'Black and White Affair in Paradise' cocktail reception benefits HIV/AIDS awareness

 All images Courtesy Derek Caroll

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Guests were mesmerized by the transformation of the arcade at the International Bazaar as they arrived at the Red Rose Ball Cocktail Reception "A Black & White Affair in Paradise" on Saturday, May 15th, 2010. Shops in the arcade were opened for one hour during the event to allow attendees to take a glance inside or even purchase items. Following the black and white theme of the event, guests looked stunning in their colour coordinated cocktail apparel for the evening.

The Red Rose Ball Committee left no stone unturned in putting a personal touch to the ambiance of the affair. The entire arcade was magnificently transformed with black silk draping behind the bandstand, black and white silk draping intermingled with an array of colours from the Bird of Paradise flower at the entrance, and twenty-five tall cocktail rounds covered with black and white draping also using colours depicting the Bird of Paradise flower showcased simple elegance and a night to be remembered. The table top accent piece completed the décor - a large bowl filled with water and an array of colourful bird of paradise flowers. This elegant décor really set the atmosphere for the event.

The soothing sounds of soft jazz music played by the DJ set the mood. Early attendees were given surprise complimentary gifts courtesy of 1.9.6 the Experience and China Arts and Craft. On site, candid photographs were taken by Mr. Reginald Farrington as a personal keepsake of the event. Master of Ceremonies extraordinaire, Mark Gardiner, wasted no time as he pumped up the volume and got attendees excited and hoping for a raffle prize win. The in-house raffle prizes were generously donated by stores in the arcade and other businesses in the community, however, the grand prize was what everyone was waiting for ... a weekend stay, donated by our local five star resort - Pelican Bay at Lucaya.

The evening continued with stimulating information regarding HIV/AIDS education in our community, our country and our world by Mrs. Sandra Mortimer-Russell, former Chairman (8 consecutive years) and founding member of the Grand Bahama AIDS Awareness Committee (GBAAC). The Grand Bahama AIDS Awareness Committee helps to save more lives by developing, evaluating, implementing and supporting innovative prevention programs; the programs are designed to reach a variety of audiences through the defined theme: PREVENTION NOW.

The Grand Bahama AIDS Awareness Committee educates people on how to stop the transmission of HIV, encourages people to respond in informed ways to people who have HIV, and helps people apply the facts about HIV to their behaviours. Knowing this, it was easy to appreciate the support received from all in attendance, especially the business owners of the International Bazaar during these hard economic times.

Co-sponsors of the event included Paradise Jewels, Executive Partners, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Grand Bahama Health Services, Polymers International, Nesbitt Rentals, and partners Bank of Nova Scotia and 1.9.6 The Experience were all given personalised plaques for their unselfish support of this annual event by the Chairman of the Red Rose Ball Committee Odette Knowles and Red Rose Ball Committee Finance Officer, Minerva Kemp. The vote of thanks to all was given by Minerva Kemp, RRB Committee Finance Officer. 

As the night progressed attendees mingled, chatted and laughed with acquaintances, supporters and old friends, while enjoying an assortment of finger foods prepared by the newly-opened Le Rendezvous restaurant and an all-inclusive array of wines by Bristol Wines and Spirits which flowed until the end of the evening.

Another highlight was the tasting of original Cuban rum and individually rolled Cuban cigars, rolled and served during the event courtesy of Havana Trading. Then it was time for the performing live band, the ever popular Matrix Band, to liven things up some more giving the crowd just what they wanted. The evening ended around 11:00pm. Supporters were pleased they came out and made a difference, having fun while supporting a worthy cause.

The Red Rose Ball Committee wishes to thank the sponsors, partners, attendees and the general business community for all their efforts in support of HIV/AIDS education. Thank you and see you at the Ball on November 6th, 2010!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Roxy Perry performs House of the Rising Sun - See her LIVE at Joker's Wild, May 29th

In 2009 Roxy Perry was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame as an Ambassador to New York and as one of the Great Blues Musicians of all time.

Grand Bahama will be privileged to take in a concert with this acclaimed musical artist when she appears for one night only on May 29th at the Joker's Wild.

Perry will be performing original blues, classic blues, swing, jazz and much more.

The event is sponsored by The Bahamas Weekly, Thayers Natural Remedies , Pelican Bay Hotel , Mackey Media ltd. Tickets are on sale NOW! this week at Antoni's Pizza, Island Java and Seventeen Shop (downtown).

Pelican Bay Hotel is offering special rates for persons traveling in for this concert. Just call Pelican Bay Hotel and ask for the Roxy Perry group rate.

The video here is of Roxy performing the House of the Rising Sun at BB King's Club in Memphis, Tennessee.
Roxy Perry started her professional singing career at age 9. By her teens, she was fronting Rock and Soul bands that appeared in legendary NYC major venues such as The Peppermint Lounge. In her late teens and early 20s, she toured with a chart-topping Rock group Dawn, which appeared in major arenas throughout North America and Canada, and shared the concert bill with Kenny Rogers, The Carpenters, Rare Earth, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Iron Butterfly, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Mike Nesmith, Mark Lindsay and many others.

Throughout her early recording career, Roxy had record deals in several genres which landed on Billboard charts.

Roxy launched her Blues career in the 80s, when she quickly became known for her exciting live performances at clubs, concert halls and festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad. These performances secured her reputation as “the real deal” and “NEW YORK BLUES QUEEN.''

In recent years Roxy has appeared on the concert bill with Rod Piazza, Shamekia Copeland, Leon Russell, Marcia Ball, John Mayall, Saphire, Hubert Sumlin, Gatemouth Brown, Koko Taylor, The Black Crowes, and a host of others.

In 2007, Roxy and her band performed at the renowned Montreux Jazz Festival, where they headlined two stages, including the Lake Geneva Blues Cruise.

As a recording artist, Roxy has performed, produced and written the material for her four highly acclaimed CDs: HI HEEL BLUES (Monad Records), ROXY PERRY, NEW YORK BLUES QUEEN (BluePerry Hill Records), BACK IN BLUESVILLE (BluePerry Hill Records), and her most recent CD, IN MY SWEET TIME (BluePerry Hill Records) (2008). Music from these CDs has been added to classic female Blues artist lists on radio stations throughout the world.

Roxy's music continues to be heard regularly on MUSIC CHOICE, DIRECT TV, CLEAR CHANNEL, XM RADIO and hundreds of radio stations, web and podcasts worldwide.

Roxy hosts her weekly internet radio show 6 times per week on KCOR

Learn more at

GBPA License Fee Waiver Attracting New Business in the International Bazaar

GBPA LICENSE FEE WAIVERS PROMPT MORE BUSINESS – A newly-opened retail store in the International Bazaar enjoys brisk business.

By Lashann Dames GBPA
Friday 14th May, 2010 – Freeport, Bahamas – Retail store proprietress Gloria Russell, opened up a new store in the International Bazaar two weeks ago. After qualifying for the ‘1st Year Free’ license fee waiver extended by The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA), Russell has already applied to open 2 more stores in the Bazaar.

“In an effort to revitalize the International Bazaar, stimulate the small business sector, and encourage entrepreneurship on Grand Bahama Island, GBPA is pleased to announce that we will waive the first-year’s license fee, for all approved new license applicants with operating premises in the International Bazaar,” stated GBPA President, Ian Rolle.

According to Russell, those were the words that prompted her to act quickly to secure 2 more spaces. “I thought the license fee waiver was a wonderful thing because through it you can actually see that the Port Authority is trying to help local residents. The announcement made me feel good, excited and motivated all at the same time.

President of the International Bazaar Owners’ Association, Chris Paine, agreed. “The license fee waiver on the part of GBPA is a very positive incentive. It has certainly generated a lot of interest amongst owners and I think it’s served as a catalyst for new business in the Bazaar. In fact, it’s really in tandem with what we’re trying to do as an association,” commented Paine.

Prior to the hurricanes of ’04, ’05, the International Bazaar had 85 businesses in operation. At the end of December 2009, less than 30 businesses were open. Now, with the license fee waiver in effect, new tenants are applying regularly and almost 40 businesses are in operation.
What I would like to see within the next 4 months is for the count to rise where we have 60 businesses open and the process becomes self-perpetuating,” said Paine. “We want to create a domino effect where once you have businesses opening, others will want to open and they will then feed off each other.”

 INTERNATIONAL BAZAAR RENOVATIONS - A workman readies another store for occupancy as rentals in the International Bazaar spike
Russell is doing her part to spread the word about GBPA’s license waiver incentive and the Bazaar’s turnaround. “I’m already encouraging others to take advantage of the discounts,” she said.

Paine is buoyed by her enthusiasm and the support he’s received from numerous other businesses that have also recently opened their doors and are planning to do so.

“The idea is to be proactive and recreate the International Bazaar as an independent destination for local residents to enjoy. Also, to eventually restore it as a popular touristic attraction like what it once was in years gone by,” reflected Paine.

CLICO (Bahamas) liquidator rejects Guyana’s claim

The Tribune

CLICO Bahamas’ liquidator has “rejected” almost US$50 million worth of claims made against the insolvent insurer by its affiliates in Guyana and Suriname, and pledged to “call on” the US$58 million guarantee its Trinidadian parent made to it to cover any shortfall in sums due to policyholders and creditors.

In his third report to the Bahamian Supreme Court on the life and health insurer’s liquidation, Craig A. ‘Tony’ Gomez, the Baker Tilly Gomez accountant and partner, said the $34 million and $15.5 million (collectively $49.5 million) claims submitted by CLICO Guyana and CLICO Suriname had not been approved.
“After further consultation, I have rejected the above claims received from Guyana and Suriname,” Mr Gomez said. “My preliminary view of the documentation suggests that policies were never issued by [CLICO Bahamas]. Moreover, the premiums received by Guyana and Suriname were never paid to [CLICO Bahamas].
“It appears that the funds were remitted directly to a bank account held in the name of [CLICO Bahamas] at Ocean Bank, Miami, Florida, and to another account held by the company in Trinidad.”

Mr Gomez said he had subpoenaed records from the Ocean Bank branch, and would do similar in Trinidad, to determine how the funds were used.
Mr Gomez’s decision to reject the Guyana and Suriname claims is unlikely to sit well in the two countries, and may well become a political issue at the governmental/CARICOM level when administrations in those countries meet Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and his ministers.

It is also highly likely that Guyana and Suriname will hire attorneys to challenge Mr Gomez’s decision in the Bahamian courts.
Elsewhere, there was little new in Mr Gomez’s report, which covers the period up to January 31, 2010. He is continuing efforts to sell Wellington Preserve, the Florida-based real estate project that accounts for 63 per cent of its assets, to the Hines Group, and find another insurer to take on the CLICO (Bahamas) life and health policy portfolio.
That insurer is still thought to be Colina Insurance Company, but Mr Gomez’s report makes it clear he thought the portfolio transfer would have been accomplished by now.
“The selection of a new insurance provider has been made and the due diligences are being performed, and at the time of this report the selection is being reviewed by [his attorneys], the insurance specialist [David Thurlow], myself and the Insurance Commission, and will be forwarded for approval to the Supreme Court of the Bahamas. This process is tentatively expected to be completed by April 15, 2010,” Mr Gomez said. That date, of course, has now passed.

And, if the funds realised from the Wellington Preserve sale were insufficient to compensate CLICO (Bahamas) creditors and policyholders for 100 per cent of what they were owed, Mr Gomez said: “If the realisation of the property at this time is not sufficient to cover the outstanding advances made by CLICO (Bahamas) to CLICO Enterprises, then I will call on the guarantee to mitigate the shortfall for the benefit of the creditors of CLICO.”

As of January 31, 2010, CLICO (Bahamas) had some 17,707 policies with a collective surrender value of $23.302 million in force. The majority of these were 11,290 life policies, with a surrender value of $11.236 million, and 5,401 medical policies with a surrender value of $137,465.
“There was considerable attrition with regard to the number of in-force policies,” Mr Gomez said, “which was attributed mainly to the non-deletion by CLICO of life policies tied to Citibank loans, totalling 5,873, which were no longer needed as Citibank’s commercial operation had ceased doing business in the Bahamas.
“There was further attrition of policies due to the lapsing of some of the student protection plans, totalling 2,441. Based on my discussion with many of the policyholders cancelling their policies, the decision to cancel is as a result of the economic conditions that existed, and not necessarily as a result of CLICO’s insolvency.”

Between October 8, 2009, and January 31, 2010, CLICO (Bahamas) saw some 9,121 policies, with a sum assured worth $251.789 million, lapse.
Mr Gomez said he was reviewing and drafting responses to offers made to acquire 11 of CLICO (Bahamas) real estate assets - its former branch and sales offices, plus associated land parcels and the Centreville Medical Centre - which he wanted to raise around $5 million from.

The liquidator added that he would apply to the Supreme Court to settle the $360,786 mortgage balance owed to FirstCaribbean International Bank (Bahamas), in order to prevent any real estate assets he was selling from being encumbered.

Grand Bahama Road Cycling Championships coming up!

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- On Saturday June 26th, 2010 the Grand Bahama Cyclist Club will be hosting it's annual Grand Bahama Road Cycling Championships. This year's event is set to be more exciting and more challenging for participants than in previous years. It is also set to be more inviting for spectators.

The event will begin on the Grand Bahama Highway near the Airport roundabout and cover a circuit route that will consist of two 12 mile laps of the Grand Bahama Highway and two 25 mile laps that will take the cyclists over the bridge, through the Barbary Beach area, and back onto the GB Highway and starting point, giving a total of 74 miles. Novice and female cyclists will complete a shorter route.

As stated, this event promises to be an exciting event for all involved with a number of interesting prizes!

More information will be forthcoming as the event approaches. For cyclists with questions, email gb-cyclist@hotmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it and cyclists in Freeport, email for information on training rides, which will be held every Sunday at 3:00pm beginning Sunday May 23rd 2010.

Keralite wins Teacher of the Year Award in US

KOCHI: Ten years of hard work has paid off for Kerala’s Anil Antony who won the Teacher of the Year Award of the Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering (SECME) programme, the USA.

Antony, of Valiyaveettil House, Aluva, outperformed over 50 finalists to make it to the top spot. The SECME programme under the Ministry of Education, USA, selects the best teacher of the year from nominated teachers from universities, schools and colleges through a year-long selection process.

Anil has been working at Freeport, Grand Bahama district, as teacher for the last 20 years. Five nominees were selected from 50 people, and they were asked to complete portfolios in compliance with the guidelines provided.

The nominees were selected based on their dedication, accomplishment and participation in the SECME activities.

“I have been a part of the SECME activities for the past 10 years and have participated in 5 summer SECME institutes, including Tucson in Arizona, Houston in Texas, Daytona in Florida, Tuskegee in Alabama,” Anil said in an email interview.

“During the past 10 years, my junior and senior teams had won all the engineering design competitions, locally in Grand Bahama, and five times in the national competitions in the USA,” he said.

The award, comprising US$ 5,500 and a citation, was handed over to Anil at a function held at Clemson University, South Carolina, the USA.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bubble Q on tonight at Sabor

Bubble Q: Top UK DJ, Champagne & BBQ every Friday

Featuring the amazing South Beach Grooves of Maceo JJ Jones DJ’EM — one of the hottest DJ’s to come out of the UK!

Cruise line prices Spirit out of market


Tribune Business Reporter
THE BAHAMAS Celebration ferry/cruiseline has priced Spirit Airlines out of the Grand Bahama travel market, offering fares that amount to even less than the airline's taxes on a ticket, a deputy director-general at the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation (MOTA) said yesterday.

The lost seats will be replaced by American Airlines and Bahamasair.

David Johnson, who is also in charge of airlift development, said the option to cruise to South Florida in four hours with a large number of free luggage pieces was the selling point for the Bahamas Celebration and the catalyst for the demise of Spirit's airlift into the island.

According to Mr Johnson, Spirit struggled on its Grand Bahama direct from Fort Lauderdale service in the two years it operated. It found the route, which was serviced by a jet, expensive to maintain.

"It was expensive to operate a jet on such a short run and the economics were not going to change," he said.

Spirit also rolled out a controversial deal that required travellers to pay for luggage put in overhead bin,s and it always required passengers to pay for checked luggage.

Mr Johnson said the market for Spirit's Nassau route has not foundered.

Now, American Airlines and Bahamasair have replenished the seats going into Grand Bahama from Florida and have added 200 more.

Mr Johnson also revealed that the Ministry is in talks with American to convince them to further increase their airlift into Grand Bahama, but it has not made a definitive decision on the matter. However, it has increased the frequency of flights into the island compared to 2009.

"They are doing reasonably well, and we were in discussions with them to increase further," said Mr Johnson.

Minister of Tourism, Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, said replacing Spirit Airlines with American Airlines also adds the benefit of global connections.

"We will have a much improved service," he said.

Spirit leaves Grand Bahama

Inderia Saunders ~ Guardian Business Reporter

Grand Bahama will lose service from a major airline this month when ultra low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines ends all routes to that island - a loss Tourism officials promise will be met or exceeded.

The Grand Bahama change doesn't mean that things are necessarily in the clear for Nassau, either, with Spirit pilots now threatening strike action next month if they aren't awarded new contracts.

The strike could significantly effect arrivals to the country, coming at the kickoff of the peak summer travel period.

It's a problem the nation's second city won't have to worry about, however, given Spirit's service as of June will be no more to Grand Bahama, said the island's Tourism General David Johnson.

He also confirmed that increasing competition from the water side played largely into the airline's decision.

"They have signaled the end of their service at the end of May after much discussion with us over a period of time," David Johnson told Guardian Business. "It was a Spirit decision...when the Grand Bahama market saw two large ships each with 1000 capacity or more that they don't have in Nassau, so Grand Bahama and residents in Florida have the option of taking a cruise and take everything with them and four hours later land in GB.

"And that's significant competition for airlines and Spirit's concern was that they were relying heavily on Bahamians and Floridians with a jet size [and] they underestimated the competition from the ship, particularly when Celebration entered the market. That has influenced their decision."

Johnson asserts, however, that already Bahamasair and American Airlines has already stepped into to take up where Spirit has left off. On a weekly basis, the low-cost carrier would wing somewhere around 280 seats into the island on a bi-weekly basis.

Johnson said the replacement airlines will usher an additional 260 seats into the island when the service continues. Ticket prices for the additional airlift are also expected to be near those that the departing carrier charge.

Spirit Airlines just recently announced it would move to implement a $45 charge for carry on bags starting August 1. It's unclear at this point just how many passengers a possible strike at Spirit will effect.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Traveller? Then you Need this, Self Weighing Suitcase!!

Being a blogger requires me to wake up at early early hours of the mornings and scan my google reader, my google alerts and my blogger Dashboard & of course my Twitter timeline for you never know just what you may find.
So this morning I present to you the smartest idea that I've come across in a little while.
In these days of travel restrictions, how many times have you been to the airport and whilst holding bated breath, you place your luggage on the scale only to hear those dreaded words "Maam/Sir, your luggage is overweight"

Well Fret no MORE, Intelligent Luggage presents the "World's first ever Free standing Self Weighing Suitcase" ( I think a drum roll would go nicely there)
Check out the pictures on the site, and the price isnt bad too, £65 or $105.
Just as long as the quality is good I'm sold, I expect my Luggage to come with a 10yr warranty like my Antler Lugagge (4 yrs and counting now- Thanks Madalaine!)

According to Intelligent Luggage and I quote...
"Pack Your Suitcase To Limit

Your suitcase is already bulging…should you squeeze in your final pair of flip flops or cram in some last minute souvenir shopping? Or will you fall into every airline’s favourite trap and have to pay an excess baggage charge?

Cut out the guesswork and pack your suitcase to the legal limit with Intelligent Luggages self weighing suitcases.

When checked-in hold luggage exceeds 20kgs in weight, you have to pay an excess luggage fee of £7 per kg up to a maximum weight of 32kg. Just a couple of kgs over the 20kg limit will result in you being charged! An unwanted fee, whether it's on the journey out or the flight home, can put a real downer on your holiday - don't let it happen to you! Intelligent Luggage's self weighing luggage is the answer. So cram as much as possible into your suitcase this summer without the fear of a penalty charge!

Visit their site HERE or Here