Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Featured Listings!!! Silver Cove Tourist Commercial Property

  • Silver Cove Tourist Commercial Property
  • 38,000 sq. ft.
  • Tourist Commercial Lots
  • $369,000
  • Listing ID#5533

These canal lots are located in the popular and highly sought after Silver Cove subdivision. Together, these lots offer approximately 190’ of canal frontage and are zoned Tourist Commercial. These lots are centrally located and just minutes away from the Grand Bahama Domestic & International airports and are in walking distance to several beautiful pristine beaches.

The Port Lucaya Marketplace with marina & casino, Downtown Freeport, the financial district and Supreme and Magistrates courts are all no more than a 10 minute drive away. Together these lots measure over 38,000 square feet and zoning for these lots allows for the development of anything from a simple home to small resort, villas, restaurants, or a grand multi-family income producing complex. Ideally this property has endless possibilities. Click HERE TO GO STRAIGHT TO THE LISTING

Miss Annie is the 2010 Bahamas Billfish Champion

Congratulations to the Overall Winners of BBC 2010!
First – Miss Annie
Second – Deguello
Third - Ticket
After four years of competing in the Bahamas Billfish Championship and being denied the title twice, Barry Weshnak’s team Miss Annie won this year’s five tournament series that concluded June 26th. Like the majority of the fleet, team Miss Annie started the season catching predominantly white marlin. Then, during the Harbour Island Championship, the Allenwood, New Jersey team caught and released two blue marlin and six white marlin to handily win the tournament and takeover the lead in the Championship which they never relinquished.

“I am indeed proud of the Miss Annie team,” said Weshnak. “And this is a ‘team’ that has been together for seven years; Capt. Matt Rabenstine, Nick Lucov, Greg Bogdan and Mark Donohue. They made it happen. I am delighted that our team has the honor of being the Bahamas Billfish Champion.”

Capt. Matt Rabenstine led Miss Annie to a third overall finish in 2007 and second overall in 2008 behind team Cerveza based on time. This year, Rabenstine and Miss Annie were not to be denied. For the 2010 Series, the Viking 52 released six blue marlin and nine white marlin to achieve their winning total 6,500 points.

Weshnak went on to say, “What I have come to cherish most about the BBC is the camaraderie among the anglers and crews. For me the BBC has produced many lasting friendships that extend well beyond the competition of the tournament season.”
The Cabo 48 Deguello owned by Gary Domel grabbed Second Place Overall with 5,700 points. As was the case with Miss Annie, team Deguello started the season catching white marlin. Midway through the Series, Capt. Bill Diamond ‘adjusted and fine tuned the spread’ and the team caught five of their total six blue marlin during the final two tournaments. In addition to releasing six blue marlin, the Spicewood, Texas team caught three white marlin and one sailfish for the Series. Team Deguello achieved bonus points for their third place finish at the Boat Harbour Championship and their second place finish at the Treasure Cay Championship.

Congratulations to the Winners of the Treasure Cay Championship!
First – Inappropriate
Second – Deguello
Third - My Doris

A new comer to the BBC this year but a team that was consistently catching billfish at each tournament was team Ticket. Jim Jensen’s Spencer 62 achieved 5,400 points and finished third Overall for 2010. Veteran Capt. Ed Dwyer led the team from Cocoa, Florida to six blue marlin releases, four white marlin releases and a second place finish at the Harbour Island Championship. During the BBC’s final tournament at Treasure Cay there was a see-saw battle between Ticket and Deguello and the eventual outcome was only decided when Deguello received bonus points for finishing second at Treasure Cay.
During the awards presentation at Treasure Cay’s Spinnaker Restaurant, team Miss Annie was awarded the coveted Bahamas Billfish Championship Ring created specifically for the BBC and presented by Monica Higgs and Andrew Pinder of Abaco Gold. Paul Anselmo, representing the overall trophy sponsors Smith Merritt and International Special Risks, presented Miss Annie with a specially designed Geoffrey Smith bronze trophy for their overall win.
As the Top Release Team of 2010, team Miss Annie was awarded a hand-carved Polynesian fishing hook trophy by marine artist Randy Buck. Trophy sponsor, Murray Products along with Highseas Technology and Pipewelders award top release team trophies at all five BBC tournaments.

As top captain for the 2010 BBC, Matt Rabenstine was the recipient of the Lindsay Forde Memorial Trophy, a handsome bronze sculpture presented by Steve Lewis of the Lewis Marine Group and Elizabeth Forde and McKenzie Forde. In addition, Capt Rabenstine and the crew of the Miss Annie received Randy Rich designed Top Captain and Top Crew trophies from the Lewis Marine Group. The trophies are replicas of the perpetual BBC Top Crew Trophy on display at the IGFA Hall of Fame and Museum in Dania Beach, Florida.
Both teams Deguello and Ticket received Geoffrey Smith designed bronze trophies from Smith Merritt and ISR. In addition, team Deguello was awarded the Smith Merritt Insurance and International Special Risks ‘Customer Appreciation Overall Award.’ Smith Merritt and ISR award a Carey Chen print to their insured scoring the highest points at each individual leg of the BBC and finishing highest overall for the Series.
During the 2010 Bahamas Billfish Championship season the five tournaments averaged thirty-two participating teams. There were 89 blue marlin caught, 61 white marlin and 25 sailfish for a total of 165. The BBC utilizes time and date stamped digital images to validate species and release times of all billfish caught. Affidavits signed by all participants fishing on each team releasing fish further confirms that the billfish was released in accordance with IGFA and Bahamas Billfish Championship rules.
Now celebrating its 37th season, the BBC is the oldest billfish tournament series in the world. Anglers can fish any or all of the tournaments with cumulative points determining the overall Bahamas Billfish Champions. In an effort to give-back to the Bahamian people, the Bahamas Billfish Championship has two endowed scholarships that enable Bahamian students the opportunity to pursue a degree in marine biology or advanced education in marine technologies.
For the very latest information and tournament photos visit our fact-filled Internet website at or contact the Bahamas Billfish Championship at 866-920-5577 or email:

'Major concern' over planned 'foreclosure tax'

Tribune Business Editor

BAHAMIAN home buyers could have to significantly increase their equity down payments if a proposed Stamp Tax amendment goes through, the Clearing Banks Association (CBA) chairman warning that the sector had "a significant concern" over the Government's plan to impose Stamp Duty on the sale of all court-ordered foreclosed properties.

Paul McWeeney, who is also Bank of the Bahamas International's managing director, told Tribune Business that the change - part of the Budget amendments to the Stamp Act - could negatively impact the entire home buying process, and was causing significant concern to the major international banks, particularly in regard to large syndicated loans.

"It's a big issue we are trying to address with the Ministry of Finance," Mr McWeeney confirmed to this newspaper. "Prior to the amendment, or the proposed amendment, any sale of real estate as a court-ordered foreclosure was tax exempt.

"It is a significant element for us to be concerned with and make representations to the Minister of Finance to reconsider that amendment. I understand they are taking a look at it. It is a significant concern, especially for international banks in syndicated loans. The cost of doing it may be prohibitive. The CBA made representations to the Ministry of Finance and they are reviewing it."

Court-ordered foreclosures are ones where a Bahamian court orders that a bank, or any mortgage lender, can take possession of a property and sell it in accordance with the lien/charge it has over it. This power, and procedure, are commonly invoked when a borrower has long defaulted on their repayments, and there is no prospect of the lender recovering its money.

The international banks - Royal Bank of Canada/FINCO, FirstCaribbean International Bank (Bahamas) and Scotiabank (Bahamas) - were those who commonly used the court-ordered foreclosure route, and led large syndicated loans secured on underlying real estate.

Take, for instance, a $20 million loan secured on Bahamian real estate. Previously, a lender or lending syndicate could go through a court-ordered foreclosure, take possession of the property and sell it to a new buyer, recovering their loan without having to pay any Stamp Duty on the purchase.

The Government's proposed amendment, though, would see the banks now having to pay 12 per cent Stamp Duty (6 per cent if split with the buyer) to the Government, which would cost them either $2.4 million or $1.2 million.

What is being viewed as a revenue grab by the Government would, if approved, percolate and have ramifications for the entire Bahamian real estate and home buying market.

If they have to pay Stamp Duty upon selling a foreclosed property, a bank or banks may not recover the full amount on what is already a defaulted loan, forcing them to continue pursuing the defaulted borrower for the balance.

With the banks running the risk of being 'out of pocket' on a defaulted loan as a result of the new tax burden, Mr McWeeney suggested some might seek to mitigate the changed risk profile and increased loss possibilities by demanding higher equity down payments from borrowers, raising requirements from 5 per cent to 10, 15 even 20 per cent.

This will make home ownership costs more prohibitive, and could exclude an even greater number of Bahamians from the mortgage market.

"It almost imposes a penalty or impediment to that [court-ordered foreclosure] process," Mr McWeeney told Tribune Business, warning that it could "negatively affect" the Bahamian banking sector.

He added that not just banks but all mortgage lenders, such as insurance companies and cooperative societies, as well as potential new market entrants, stood to be impacted if the proposal was passed into law.

"It adds to the losses, the cost to take possession, and if you see it, you have to pay 12 per cent of the purchase price. It's a significant cost," Mr McWeeney warned.

"The international banks, with those future syndicated loans, I imagine the banks that design those may have serious concerns about these changes if they go through."

Another banker said of the Government's proposals: "We've got some pain to endure, and the willingness of banks to forgive and do all those things is very slim. It's a risk in the long-run when you need banks to fuel recovery. It's shortsightedness."

GB Power CEO to speak at next GB Chamber Meeting‏

Freeport, Bahamas - Join members of The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, June 30th for a special presentation from Grand Bahama Power Company CEO/President, Mr. Alan Kelly.

This is an opportunity to learn more about plans for the future development of the Company; and also to ask questions as it relates to the Company's operation and the impact on our community.

The Meeting will be held in the at the Freeport Harbour Convention Centre, beginning at 12:30 p.m. Due to limited seating, please confirm your reservation by 2:00p.m. on Tuesday, June 29th. Call us at 352-8329 or email:
Click HERE to download RSVP File

Monday, June 28, 2010

Photos!!!! 2010 Northern Bahamas Bodybuilding championships

Roundabout plans on hold

The roundabout proposed for the junction of Sunrise Highway and Britannia Boulevard may be delayed even further according to officials from the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA).

For months now motorists have been frustrated with the modification to the intersection and have called on those in authority to quickly remedy the situation.

The thoroughfare opposite Our Saviour Lutheran Church has been the scene of several traffic fatalities and a number of serious traffic accidents in years past and a decision was made to provide a temporary solution to the problem until a design for a permanent one is approved.

In that vein, a concrete island was installed at the junction which prevents motorists exiting the East Sunrise Shopping centre from making a right turn onto East Sunrise Highway.

It also prevents motorists travelling north along Britannia Boulevard from making right turns onto East Sunrise Highway.

Motorists travelling north along Britannia Boulevard must turn left, travel west onto Sunrise and make a U-turn on Sunrise to travel east and motorists exiting the East Sunrise Shopping Centre can only make a left turn on entering East Sunrise Highway.

GBPA City manager, Troy McIntosh recently told The Freeport News that the plan to place a roundabout there may happen later than expected.

"That might not happen....again I don't know exactly, but it may be postponed for the new fiscal budget for next year," McIntosh said.

The idea for the round-about came up in January after Freeport City Councillor for High Rock, Fritz Thompson, complained about the danger and inconvenience of the intersection.

He noted that the round- about in the Port Lucaya area was constructed in a short period of time and the same can be done for that intersection.

McIntosh reported to The Freeport News, during that time, that it was the intention of the GBPA to construct a roundabout at the intersection of Balao Road first, and upon completion the decision will then be made whether or not the roundabout at the Britannia intersection will be constructed during the time that school is in session.

Although McIntosh had hoped for both roundabouts to have been completed by April, the construction of the Balao Road roundabout was completed earlier this week and school has officially closed for the summer holidays.

"Our concern is that it is a small area, there are a lot of constraints and we have to figure out how to detour and route persons.

"Even when school is closed that is still an issue because we have an average of 1,500 vehicles during peak hours moving through," McIntosh reported at the time.

Meanwhile motorists continue to agitate for something to be done soon in the area.

McIntosh said that while plans for a roundabout are pending, the Department is preparing to launch an educational video next week, reminding motorists of how to use a roundabout.

"We hope to educate the public on how to use round- abouts, by knowing what lane persons would use to make turns from all angles. Hopefully it would help lessen the amount of accidents on the streets," McIntosh said.

Just this week, a male crashed into the newly constructed round-about on Balao Road due to excessive speeding.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Carnival Magic Takes to The Seas in 2011, Includes Freeport Itineary

Carnival Magic, the newest of Carnival Cruise Lines' ships, will run a seven-day Caribbean cruise from Galveston, TX as of November 14, 2011. With a 3,690-passenger capacity, this makes the vessel the largest cruise ship based at the port year-round.

Carnival Magic will debut in Europe in May 2011. Upon arriving in Galveston she will offer two different week-long itineraries, including seven-day western Caribbean voyages calling in Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, and an eastern Caribbean tour to Nassau, Freeport and Key West.

Onboard guests can look forward to a water park, an adults-only retreat, a wrap-around promenade, a spa and children's facilities.

Carnival Triumph is also being deployed to Galveston and will operate year-round four-and five-day western Caribbean cruises beginning October 6, 2011.

The addition of these two ships will bring over 450,000 guests through Galveston, a 28 percent increase over this year.

In other Carnival news, the 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest and 2,052-passenger Carnival Ecstasy will be repositioned to New Orleans from their current location in Galveston. With their year-round departures, they will return the line to pre-Katrina capacity in the Big Easy. Carnival Conquest will sail to the Caribbean year-round on three seven-day itineraries featuring Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel; Key West, Freeport and Nassau; and Belize, Roatan and Cozumel. She sets sail November 13, 2011.

Carnival Ecstasy will operate year-round four- and five-day Caribbean itineraries as of September 22, 2011.

Reservations are currently being accepted. Visit

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Girls' Soccer Swept Grand Bahama

Under 12 teams compete from Nassau (pink) and Freeport (blue) on June 19th at the Freeport Rugby Football Club. Photo: Natalia Gonzalez.

Freeport, Grand Bahama Island - Girls from Freeport and New Providence turned heads on June 19th at the Freeport Rugby Club as they played hard fought soccer matches in the under 10 and under 12 divisions.
Freeport, Grand Bahama Island - Girls from Freeport and New Providence turned heads on June 19th at the Freeport Rugby Club as they played hard fought soccer matches in the under 10 and under 12 divisions.
Grand Bahama teams were victorious in both the divisions, winning by a score of 2 - 0 in both matches. After the matches all the teams enjoyed a pizza lunch and camaraderie. The Freeport girls presented the visiting players with Girls’ Soccer Rules! T-shirts and costume soccer rings.

In May of this year, the under 10 and under 12 Dynamos Girls’ Soccer team were crowned the League winners of a six team division in Nassau. As a reward for winning the very prestigious league title, their coach Carl Lynch decided to travel to Grand Bahama and play against the Grand Bahama Girls’ Developmental Program run by Donnie and Mary Knowles.
Coach Lynch gave the following remarks about the visit to Grand Bahama, "On behalf of the 16 girls who made up the squads and the 12 parents who traveled with the team, I would like to thank Freeport for hosting us to a wonderful experience. For a number of the girls this was their first visit to Grand Bahama. For the team, this was their first traveling match and they enjoyed the experience fully. We accomplished 95% of what we wanted with this trip and we look forward to traveling again in the near future."
"The games were very competitive and I was able to evaluate my 10-under squad to see what I had for the upcoming season. The under 12 girls performed very well, but could have used a few more reinforcements. They performed above the level where we left at the end of our regular season," Lynch continues.
"Female football looks very bright and will continue to grow in the Bahamas. If the youngsters continue to perform with the passion we saw on Saturday, we will soon make our way to the international level. Our squad is now on summer break officially and we will return with a new mission at the end of August."

"The parents enjoyed the experience except for the fact that the trip was too short. We agreed that the next rip will be a longer one so that we can take in more sights and get to relax a bit. For a number of them, surprisingly, this was their first trip to Freeport as well," he finished.
The Dynamos created special "Soccer Tour 2010" pink t-shirts especially for the trip. Aside from parents that traveled with the Nassau contingent, many Grand Bahama parents were on the sidelines cheering on their daughters. The U12 teams played 30 minute halves, and the U10 teams played 20 minute halves.
Coach Mary Woodside-Knowles said that the best part for her was just seeing the girls being able to put the game aside and socialize after the game with parents and the girls. "We can always learn from each other and we plan on networking and getting ideas from each other to make the girls’ program stronger in the Bahamas. Already we have a young lady who played on the Dynamos team, but is moving to Grand Bahama for one year so we made arrangements for her to train with us until she is able to rejoin her team in Nassau. After seeing Carl Lynch’s program, we would feel quite comfortable sending any of our girls to him if anyone had to move to Nassau as well."
In terms of the level of play, Coach Mary Knowles said that she was pleased with how aggressive the girls were on both teams. "All the girls fought to the end which made the games exciting to watch. All teams should be congratulated as many of the spectators, including England F.A. Skills instructors, were impressed with the quality of play shown by the girls." The FA Skills coaches are in Freeport for the English Premier League/Jack Hayward soccer Camp being held this week at the Freeport Rugby Club.
Coach Donnie Knowles said that he is sure the girls will have an added incentive to work hard in the fall as they will want to make the team that plays Nassau in 2011.
Goal scorers for the under 10 Freeport team were Hanna Joy Simms and Ashleigh Bernon. Myah Greene got the shutout in the net.
Goal scorers for the under 12 game were Nikeitra Barbes and Shannon Albury. Anise Laing got the shutout in the goal.
For more information on Grand Bahama Girls' Soccer contact Mary Woodside-Knowles at or call 242-352-3641 (Town and Country). Find Grand Bahama Girls Soccer on Facebook.

Stay of execution for Rick Hayward

Scott Armstrong ~ Guardian Business Editor

Freeport, Grand Bahama- A three-month stay of execution has been given to Rick Hayward for him to come to an agreement with his father Sir Jack over more than $500,000 in unpaid rent.

Some 78 jobs hang in the balance over the dispute which revolves around three Port Lucaya Marketplace restaurants and rent backlog which accrued, claims Hayward Jnr., after the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) more than doubled lease payments within five years.

Hayward Jnr. owns The Pub at Port Lucaya, La Dolce Vita and East but stopped paying rent some 18 months ago after he claims the monthly rent at the former two restaurants had been increased from $10,000 per month five years ago to $21,000 per month.

Yesterday at the Supreme Court in Freeport it was decided that Rick Hayward's company LDV Ltd. had three months, or until September 30, to come to an arrangement with Bourbon Street Ltd., a subsidiary of Port Group Ltd. which is the landlord/holding company for the Marketplace.

Sir Jack's son refused to pay rent after he said his lease payments had gone up so in much in the space of five years that it added up to $360,000, which he feels is too high.

He told The Nassau Guardian: "What this ruling does is give us time to breathe and time to see if we can come up with a reasonable agreement with the landlord.

"However the most important factor is the 78 jobs so if we cannot come to terms at least it gives us time to find someone else who may come in and keep all those great people in jobs.

"Nobody wants to see more people out of work, particularly after what happened at Freeport Concrete too. Hopefully we can clear the air and come to some satisfactory conclusion."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Enthusiasm building for 2010 Independence Celebrations

By Simon Lewis, BIS

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – Come July 10th The Bahamas will observe its 37th anniversary as an independent nation and on Grand Bahama Island every effort is being made to sensitize Bahamians on this most important part of the nation's history.

Two weeks ago, the Honourable Neko C. Grant, Minister for Works and Transport, who also has responsibilities for Grand Bahama Island introduced the Grand Bahama Independence Committee to the Bahamian public, noting that there are a number of new faces on the committee, designed to bring fresh ideas and get people excited about the celebration.

While introducing the Committee, headed by City of Freeport Administrator Don Cornish, Mr. Grant, who is the Member of Parliament for Lucaya Constituency on Grand Bahama, assured residents that the 2010 celebrations promises to be the best ever and that the Committee had already drafted an exciting program.

He was also keen on pointing out the theme for the 2010 Independence Celebration, “Celebrating Independence Through The Eyes Of Our Youths,” and stressed that every effort will be made to ensure young people's participation in the celebrations.

The Grand Bahama native also called on the Committee to ensure that persons from Sweetings Cay in the east to West End build some enthusiasm for the event. To that end both West Grand Bahama District Council and the East Grand Bahama Local Government District Council are involved in the planning of the celebrations.

On Tuesday, June 22, a number of youth leaders from throughout Grand Bahama joined committee chairman, Mr. Cornish, and cultural affairs and entertainment chairman Kevin Tomlinson at encouraging Bahamians young and old to take part in the many activities planned, during a press conference at the Office of The Prime Minister.

Among those lending support were Jonathon Rigby of the Sea Grape Youth and Sports Association; Julian Laing of St. Matthew's Baptist Church in High Rock; Bruce Russell, Assistant Youth Pastor at Calvary Temple Church; Ms Peandra Knowles, Super Model of The Bahamas and Ms Tempestt Stubbs, the reigning Miss Grand Bahama.

While encouraging persons to take part in the overall celebrations the young persons was particularly keen on drumming up support for the Fit Nation Fun Run Walk and the Youth Rally which kicks off a week of Independence activities beginning Saturday July 3, 2010.

In her remarks, Miss Grand Bahama pointed out that Independence celebrations are enticing to all Bahamians, especially the youths.

“Our youths today must gain the importance of our independence and this year we are setting the foundation,” she stated.

Directing attention to the theme for the celebrations, she said that in Grand Bahama young people have the opportunity to participate and engage themselves in all the activities planned from July 2 to July 10.

Bruce Russell, Assistant Pastor at Calvary Temple, noted that the Youth Explosion (rally) which takes place after the Fun Walk at the Tori Gate in the International Bazaar promises to be a fun time.

He said invitations were sent out to all the churches “and we are really hoping that we get a good turnout from all of the youth groups. I hope that everybody turns out. This is a time when we as young people can come together and really show that we are a nation under God, a Christian nation and to let God’s glory shine and just to express our love for God.

“I believe that this is something that is very important, that as young people we need to come together and make a stand to let this island and let the country and the world know, that they throwing us away, but we are going to stand strong and let them know we are here and we are not going to give up and we are not going to the dogs,” he said.

Magnum enters 64th NBA Draft

 Rolle blocking a shot during a game

The Tribune

NOT since the 1978 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft has a native Bahamian been selected among the list of amateur hopefuls looking to join the ranks of the world's most elite basketball league. But on Thursday night, one Grand Bahamian looks to make history.

After a stellar collegiate career spanning four years and a pair of top tier NCAA Division I institutions, Magnum Rolle has entered his name into the 64th edition of the NBA Draft.

Scheduled for 7pm Thursday (June 24) at the world famous Madison Square Garden Arena in New York City, New York, Rolle hopes to hear his name called as a selection by one of the 30 NBA franchises.

Rolle, the 6'11" 225-pound forward/center, has been projected by several scouting services, including, and as a possible mid-to-late second round pick.

Rolle has been invited to seven workouts over the course of the evaluation period since the NCAA season ended.

The senior out of Louisiana Tech University has gone through workouts with the Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, Charlotte Bobcats and most recently, the Indiana Pacers.

Rolle declared for the 2009 NBA draft as an early entrant following his junior season when he averaged 12.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. He rescinded the entry, and without hiring an agent, was eligible to return for his senior season when he averaged 13.9 points to finish second on the team in scoring and first with 8.4 rebounds per game.

Rolle starred on the Grand Bahama high school basketball scene before relocating to the Laurinburg Institute in North Carolina. After a standout high school senior season, Rolle was signed by SEC powerhouse Louisiana State University.

At LSU, Rolle was a part of an historic Tigers team in the 2005-06 season which advanced all the way to the NCAA Championship game before they fell to the UCLA Bruins.

Rolle averaged 2.2 points and 2.5 rebounds per game and appeared in 33 of the 36 games for the eventual runners- up on a team which featured future NBA standouts Glen "Big Baby" Davis and Tyrus Thomas.

With a depleted roster following the loss of its major superstars, Rolle returned to average 4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game with 31 blocks during his sophomore season.

Rolle transferred the following season and transferred to Louisiana Tech where he became one of the top frontcourt players in the WAC Conference. He became a two time all-WAC Defensive team player and was named to the Lefty Driesell All-America Defensive Team.

Rolle looks to become the first native Bahamian since Mychal Thompson to be drafted into the NBA since the Portland Trailblazers took him with the first overall selection in 1978.

Dexter Cambridge and Ian Lockhart were the others to advance to the league, however they were acquired by their teams through free agency. Rolle could not be reached for comment up to press time last night.

GB Arts and Craft Centre expected to enhance local products

Freeport News

Freeport, Grand Bahama- Construction of the Grand Bahama Arts and Crafts Centre is progressing, officials say, and an August date is estimated for the official opening.

Yesterday morning, Baha-mas Agricultural and Indust-rial Corporation (BAIC) executive chairman and Member of Parliament for South Abaco Edison Key toured the site off East Sunrise Highway, near the Jasmine Corporate Centre.

Key noted that the project was slightly delayed, but said he was confident that it would be completed within the next few months.

"It's coming along very nicely. It's a little bit behind schedule but there were some legal things in the contract that had to be sorted out and once that was completed, then we went full scale on the project," he said.

The 5,000 square foot centre is being built to accommodate the offices of BAIC as well as a training centre for craft classes and a display area for finished goods. The concept was to create a tourist attraction where visitors can see how the souvenirs and other craft items they purchase are actually created.

The Centre will provide a tremendous boost to Grand Bahama, Key said.

"The BAIC offices which are downtown will be moved here and then there will be training facilities here ... so this will be a good addition to Freeport in general. I'm sure once we get into the training aspect of the program with the handicraft, a lot of the training that's done will be right here for Grand Bahama."

Since his appointment as BAIC chair, Key said more than 1,000 Bahamians have graduated from the various training programs and the Corporation hopes to see that number multiplied significantly in the future.

"We import almost $300 million in souvenir items annually but there's no reason why we can't produce a good percentage of that and keep the money in the country and create employment."

Contractor Chris Harris, president of Pyramid Cons-truction explained that work is currently being done on the roof and the exterior, and said he looks forward to seeing the finished product.

"The marketplace is design-ed with an all wood, pine ceiling, very high walls and big arched doors. It's a very modern, attractive building. The office building as well has a very high ceiling in the centre and it has a very nice, unique architectural design to it. I think it's going to be a beautiful building."

The GBPA has partnered with BAIC for the Centre. The government has contributed a total of $300,000 to the project, while the GBPA will provide the remaining $350,000 to fund it.

The ground-breaking for the Centre took place on the two-acre site last August.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Going Green on Grand Bahama: Who cares about the environment anyway and why go green?

By Cheri Wood / Bahamas National Trust

Why care? Why should anyone take the time to recycle a can when it is easier the throw it in the trash? Why should anyone be inconvenienced to drive to the local landfill when dumping trash in the bush is so much easier? Why should we suffer through the heat of the summer when we can just turn on our air conditioning? And why would we ever want to pick up a piece of trash on the road that someone else threw there?

It’s not our problem. Let the government, the Port Authority, and Sanitation Services deal with it. Let GB Power figure out how to supply enough electricity so we can sit in our living rooms and watch television in a 75 degree climate versus the 90 degree temperatures outside. And why would we ever want to wash a dish when we can just use Styrofoam and throw it away after our meal is done? And why would we ever want to walk anywhere in the summer heat when we can drive our car? Why care about going “green” on Grand Bahama? Well maybe, just maybe, we should care. The importance of preserving the environment on Grand Bahama has never been greater. The beauty and environmental sustainability of our island is critical for every individual who lives here. Our health is dependant on the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the stress we experience each day in our lives. Most of us don’t need scientific studies to tell us that a healthy environment promotes healthy people, lower crime, less stress, and a more successful economic landscape, but for those who require scientific proof there is plenty out there. And let’s not even get started about how the unsightly trash and pollution can negatively impact our ability to attract tourists.

Many people on this island are passionate about preserving the resources we have been blessed with and many people do not seem to understand the significance of even caring about such things. The truth is we need to care, and not only for our future, but for RIGHT NOW.
Over the next several “Going Green on Grand Bahama” articles we will explore the green initiatives going on right here on Grand Bahama and how every one of us can contribute to the health of our island and ourselves. There are many stories to be told and much information to be shared that will highlight how you as an individual can “go green” by Reducing waste, Reusing products, and Recycling.

We will share information on retailers who carry “green” products and companies who are taking a hard look at their business practices and making informed decisions about the way they do business to promote a healthier environment. And most importantly we will provide valuable information on how every one of us can save money, get healthier, and reduce the stress in our lives by living a more “green” existence.

Until next time, here is your first green challenge to think about. Are you still taking hot showers in this summer heat? Why? If the air temperature in your home is too cool to take a non-heated shower, than rethink the temperature you have your air conditioner set at. If you ARE still taking hot showers, then you are paying to cool the air and heat the water at the same time. Kind of silly when you think about it. Just think about it.

Cheri Wood recently retired from Bank of America and has now permanently relocated to Grand Bahama. Her career of over 20 years in corporate America included serving in various capacities including training, marketing, sales, quality control, risk assessment, communications and operational management. While performing her regular job responsibilities, Cheri also served several years as the president of the Environmental Network for the Bank of America in the State of Rhode Island. Her experience in the environmental arena includes project management and coordination of volunteer events on local and national levels throughout the United States. Over the years she has worked closely with organizations such as the Nature Conservancy, the Audubon Society, the Rhode Island Rivers’ Council, and in 2010 Cheri was elected as secretary of the GB Branch of the Bahamas National Trust. Serving in her voluntary role with the Bahamas National Trust, Cheri is involved with increasing recycling on the island, promoting green practices with local businesses, educating the community on the importance of preserving the environment, and serving as a resource for those who wish to participate in environmental opportunities on local and international levels.

Doctor flies into Corvallis looking for a change of scenery

Dr. Iza Horsfall arrives in Corvallis after flying for four days in her Cessna 172 from the Bahamas to visit Chuck Frederick. (Scobel Wiggins/Gazette-Times)

 By Gail Cole, Gazette-Times reporter

While some people flock to the Caribbean for a holiday, one island resident has decided to spend her vacation in Corvallis.

Dr. Iza Horsfall, 76, of Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, arrived at the Corvallis Municipal Airport on Thursday evening in her Cessna 172 to visit longtime friend Chuck Frederick, a recent transplant from the Bahamas to the mid-valley.

Horsfall took four days to make the solo flight to Corvallis from Freeport, where she's lived and worked as an obstetrician for 46 years. She covered more than 2,800 miles and spent more than 30 hours in the air.

This is her second trip to Corvallis, but not a rare visit to the U.S. Horsfall has made many long-distance solo trips to attend Flying Physicians Association conferences in places like Monterrey, Calif., and Santa Fe, N.M., and to visit two of her children, who live in Miami and Washington, D.C.

Horsfall visited Corvallis last year by commercial flight, and said her favorite part of the area is the Saturday Farmers' Market.

Frederick, a former TWA pilot who spends half the year in the Bahamas and has owned a home in Corvallis for three years, was also impressed when he visited the market for the first time.

Horsfall has known Frederick for nearly 30 years and even delivered his daughter when his wife gave birth in the Bahamas.

Besides a visit to Newport and a trip to the farmers' market, Horsfall doesn't have a busy schedule this weekend.

"I'd like to rest a little bit, because prior to this I've been very busy," she said.

Horsfall doesn't always travel by plane. Shortly before coming to Corvallis, she walked 75 miles of the road to Santiago de Compostela, an ancient pilgrimage route across northern Spain.

"After you've done that, you have a sense of achievement," Horsfall said.

Horsfall will begin her return trip early next week, following the same route back to Freeport.

New Non-Stop Charter from Italy to Grand Bahama to Boost Summer Bookings

The Grand Bahama tourism sector will receive a boost in business when the first of 9 weekly Alpitour charter flights will arrive at 2:12pm, on Monday July 5th, 2010, bringing over 1,000 visitors via Blue Panorama’s non-stop 767 cross-Atlantic jet service from Milan, Italy.

Approximately 120 Italian visitors will be landed each week as the double drop program will proceed on to Cancun, Mexico and then return to Milan.

“There continues to be a demand in the European market for the Islands of the Bahamas” said U.K. based, Deputy Director-General of Tourism Ellison Thompson, “and the beaches of Grand Bahama Island remain a long-standing favourite with the Italians.”

The weekly charters are being promoted by variety of Tour Operators in the Alpitour portfolio – ranging from Francorosso Tours on the high end to the moderately priced Karambola Tours.

The vacationers will have the option of choosing an all-inclusive beach experience at the Viva Wyndham Club Fortuna Beach Resort or the Our Lucaya Beach and Golf Resort with access to the nearby Port Lucaya Market Place.

The seasonal program will end on Monday, September 6th, 2010.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Father's Day gift to his son

It could not have been a better time.

Just before Father's Day, a father concluded the first phase in the fulfillment of his son's dream.

Last week Thursday, Patrick Munroe drove to High Rock to give out certificates to the kids who participated in the creation of Munroe Tennis Academy in East End, Grand Bahama.

Over 30 participants received certificates for their participation and completion of the course, fulfilling a part of Levaughn Munroe's dream of establishing a tennis academy throughout Grand Bahama.

"You see Levaughn was not just a dreamer, he decided to take action," said Pat Munroe, during the closing ceremonies for the prize giving on Thursday.

"Today, the dream has become a reality. Just look and you can see that Munroe Tennis Academy is alive and well. Yes, these kids are the proof; the seed is planted and the dream is alive."

Coach Patrick Munroe took his son's dream to East End in February of this year and concluded the first phase last week.

Lessons, which were free to the kids, were given every other Saturday at the Grand Bahama Sailing Club's tennis courts.

The tennis academy will begin another round of training in September and will run through to June of next year.

The idea of hosting the program in East End was to give those kids an opportunity to learn the sport of tennis without having to try and find a ride all the way to Freeport.

Coach Munroe noted having kids all throughout Grand Bahama learn the sport of tennis was his son's passion and his lifelong dream. Levaughn wanted to help Bahamian kids get an opportunity to not only learn tennis, but to use the sport as a means of obtaining college scholarships.

Since his untimely death in 2009, Levaughn's father has taken up the mantel and has set out to fulfil his son's dream.

"We knew when we started the academy in East End we would want to see it through, and I'm so thankful to so many people who helped that to become a reality," said Pat Munroe.

"We started and completed the first phase."

Munroe said that it was possible thanks to a number of people, including Member of Parliament for High Rock, Kenneth Russell; president of the Grand Bahama Sailing Club, Chris Paine and others who worked with the kids.

The program was supposed to involve all four schools in the East End, including Sweetings Cay, High Rock, McLean's Town and East End Primary.

However, due to problems getting over each session, Sweeting's Cay school could not participate.

Munroe says he still has plans of doing a program with the students of Sweeting's Cay.

Bradford Marine Bahamas to manufacture and install concrete floating docks

Mike Stafford   

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Bradford Marine Bahamas (Bradford Grand Bahama, Ltd.), one of the Bradford Marine family of companies, is very pleased to announce that they have opened a new division, Bradford Marine Bahamas Concrete Docks, which manufactures and installs concrete floating docks. Their concrete floating docks are specially designed and engineered for all types of commercial and residential uses.

Paul Engle, Bradford Marine Bahamas’ President, said, “We are excited about this new division and its product line. Our skilled work force has readily adapted to build and install these versatile, quality concrete floating docks for the Bahamas."

With its easy port access, a 35-foot depth, a state-of-the-art 1,200-tonne floating drydock, and a 150-tonne Travelift™, Bradford Marine Bahamas’ shipyard in Freeport, Grand Bahama is able to attract boats of all types to utilize its highly-regarded, quality services. In addition, they provide towing, salvage, and vessel brokerage services in the Bahamas; their Bradford Marine Bahamas Fabric Structures division produces and installs a variety of fabric structures; and their newest division, Bradford Marine Bahamas Concrete Docks, manufactures and installs state-of-the-art concrete floating docks. Quality, customer satisfaction, responsiveness, and top-of-the-line service are watchwords at Bradford Marine Bahamas.

For further information, please contact Dan Romence, General Manager, at (242) 352-7711 or

Monday, June 21, 2010

GB Police offer summer safety tips

As the school semester comes to an end parents are being urged by members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force to ensure that their children practice safety measures during the holiday.

Police officials offered some necessary safety tips to parents and children during a press conference yesterday.

With more than 500 traffic accidents already recorded for the year on the streets of Grand Bahama, Assistant Superintendent Welbourne Bootle, who heads the Road Traffic Division, said that motorists should be mindful that there will be more pedestrians on the roadways.

"With school closed we expect for more kids to be out and about walking the streets. We want drivers to be aware of that and know that there are children who do not know the rules of the road and we depend on motorists to be on the lookout," Bootle said.

He added that parents should not leave their children unattended in running vehicles or alone in vehicles in the summer heat.

Some children will undoubtedly be left at home during the summer, Bootle said but parents should keep them engaged in constructive activities.

Press Liaison officer, ASP Loretta Mackey said that this is the time when the police control room is bombarded by prank calls from school children and parents should monitor this as well.

"The control room is the heartbeat of Grand Bahama Island for the police operation and we do not want to be dealing with those types of calls when we can be answering emergency calls," she said.

"Children should also be warned not to open the door for strangers and children should report any suspicious activity in their area."

Officer Elie Ariscar of the Police Fire Department advised that children should not use matches or gas stoves while they are home alone.

He added that if children plan to play outside they should not climb trees with electrical wires running through them or fly kites during storms.

Meanwhile, officer Christina King of the Eight Mile Rock District, warned that children should not go swimming unattended and should avoid small bodies of water.

King also urged parents to monitor the activities of their children on the Internet and ensure that they are not posting negative pictures or videos.

Oil Spill Contingency Committee says no signs of contamination in Bahamian waters

NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Bahamas National Oil Spill Contingency Committee chairman Philip Weech said there is no evidence that any of the oil contaminated water in the Gulf of Mexico has impacted Bahamian waters.

Mr Weeks gave an update on the workings of the committee, in the wake of a massive oil spill recovery effort in the Gulf of Mexico. The incident happened due to an explosion on a rig exploring for oil in the body of water on April 20, 2010.

“The Bahamas is continually testing its waters, as large volumes of oil continue to be released from the well. It will go on for another 30 to 60 days. But at the moment there is no evidence of any oil contaminated waters having washed upon the territorial shores of The Bahamas,” Mr Weech said.

As the potential looms for Bahamian waters becoming contaminated, a number of measures were put in place by the government to buffer the impact on the marine environment.

Firstly, by activating the committee, the government has brought all its relevant agencies together to provide and give advice regards how to work the threat and the potential impact on The Bahamas.

Secondly, the involvement of the National Emergency Management Agency, headed by Captain Stephen Russell intended to deal with the short term response to clean up, to mobilize, and to do whatever is necessary if contaminated waters were to hit any area of The Bahamas.

And thirdly, to contact the International Maritime Organisation, which met with officials two weeks ago, produced a report, the recommendations of which NEMA and the committee are acting upon.

“Those recommendations deal with the acquisition of equipment and booms necessary to protect Bahamian shores and beaches, as well as deal with clean-up,” Mr. Weeks said.

The areas of expected impact are the Cay Sal Bank, Bimini, the western end of Grand Bahama and potentially the west coast of Andros. The priority areas of assessment are Cay Sal, Bimini and Grand Bahama.

“What the committee has recognised needs to be done is an urgent base-line assessment of the Cay Sal Bank, Bimini and Grand Bahama areas. Cay Sal and Bimini have been completed; the reports from both of them indicate that there is no evidence of oil contaminated waters at this particular time,” he said.

The committee is also devising responses to the long term effect on the marine environment of the Gulf and its adjacent waters, which includes The Bahamas, is the use of chemicals, the presence of oil itself, and marine garbage passing to the north of us in the Gulf Stream.

“The other concern we have is the fact that the magnitude of this particular spill at the start of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season, is that if there is a significant storm that will occur anytime, there is the potential for the contaminated material in the Gulf to make its way to our shores,” Mr Weech said.

“We have been very fortunate at the moment because weather conditions in the Gulf are such that the oil and contaminated materials have been pretty much trapped into the Gulf, and has been coming ashore at Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, north of the spill site.”

The United States Embassy in Nassau along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration met with the oil spill committee and provided an overview of what the US government is doing regarding the situation and the likely impact on The Bahamas.

“The conclusion of that meeting was that we would in all likelihood, see tar balls, contaminated sea water, contaminated floating materials,” he said.

There is a fourth concern, that the quality vessels that traffic through Louisiana, Texas, Florida, coming down the Mississippi Delta through the oil spill and passing through The Bahamas going elsewhere, that their hulls would be contaminated. Another concern is that such vessels working in or transiting the Gulf region would need repairs at the Grand Bahamas Shipyard Facility, and the possibility of contamination there, Mr. Weech said.

An estimated two million gallons of oil is being discharged into the Gulf daily. It has been about 60 days since the oil spill, which is some 750 miles away from New Providence.

“It is highly unlikely that the spill will be stemmed until sometime at the end of August or September, according to the United States Coast Guard or British Petroleum, (the company deemed responsible), Mr. Weech said.

However testing was done from May 21 to 26 and another round of testing is proposed for June 21 to 26 in the Cay Sal Bank/Bimini areas.

“The IMO has recommended that if and when we see any oil or tar balls coming ashore in the Key West, Florida area, that is our trigger point when something has to be done,” Mr. Weech said.
The agencies working with the committee in terms of manpower and resources are NEMA, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the Department of Marine Resources, the Ministry of Environment, the Department of Environmental Services, the Bahamas National Trust, the Nature Conservancy, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, and oil companies amongst others.

Grand Bahama Cyclist Clubs Annual Road Cycling Championships - July 3rd

Freeport, Bahamas - On Saturday July 3rd the Grand Bahama Cyclist Clubs Annual Road Cycling Championships will hit the streets of Freeport. The event which was initially set to include a 70 mile race has been reduced to 50miles over a marked circuit route. Thus, the event is now comprised of a 50 mile road race for adults a 24 mile race for novice adults and juniors as well as a 12 mile race for juniors who cannot tackle the full 24 miles. For juniors who are able to complete the full 50 miles there is also a special division for you.

This is hoped to be a fun and exciting event for all involved. This event will also be a part of the GBCC Points Series with funds going toward rewards at the end of the series. Because this is a championship event, there will also be double points for participation in this race. And as a special incentive, phone cards will be given to all First Time Participants to any GBCC event during the course of this series. Which means that if you've never participated in one of our club events you will receive a free phone card for participation in these championships.

Entry cost are $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for Juniors.

Butler's on target for August 2010 opening

Freeport, Grand Bahama- Local businessman Jeffery Butler Sr., confirmed yesterday that the closing of the Home Centre building "in no way" hinders the opening of his store which is scheduled for an August 2010 opening.

Back in April, Butler, the proprietor of Butler's Specialty Foods and Shenanigan's Irish Pub, announced that he will be occupying a portion of the Home Centre where the new, larger Butler's Specialty will be housed.

During a press briefing Butler said that with the signing of the lease, the final stages of the $3 million project had begun.

Having outgrown their present facility on Yellow Pine Street, Butler said that they already have a $1.5 million inventory and the time has come to expand and to diversify even further.

The new store, is approximately 20,000 square foot of space which includes a 1,400 square foot liquor store which will highlight specialty wines, spirits and beers from around the world.

The store on Yellow Pine Street will be made into a holding facility for inventory. Butler's caters to over 54 restaurants, including all of the major hotels.

And with the opening of the new store, Butler said that the business will be expanding, employing well over 100 Grand Bahamians in total.

The store's general manager, Bradley Scott said that when opened, the store will be a full service grocery store carrying all of the gourmet foods from over 20 countries.

Although saddened by the closing of another business in Grand Bahama and another group of Grand Bahamians being out of work, Butler said, this will not prohibit the August deadline opening of the new facility.

Alluding to the fact that the economy is down, Butler said, "If we want results we have to take a serious look at what we are doing here in Grand Bahama."

Emphasizing his point, Butler said that he received more than 300 applications for the 30 positions that will be available with the opening of the store.

"I will take a couple of people down there from the retail section, but those applications tell us what the economy is like in Grand Bahama," he added.

In a statement Monday afternoon, Freeport Concrete president Ray Simpson regrettably informed shareholders of both companies – the Home Centre and Freeport Concrete – that they will have to cease operation, effective immediately.

Simpson said that the directors of Freeport Concrete Company Limited have passed a resolution to convene an extraordinary general meeting of its shareholders to consider placing the company into voluntary liquidation and to appoint a liquidator.

He cited insufficient funds as the reason for the doors being closed and some 60 employees being dismissed.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Featured Listings!!! Fortune Bay Single Family Home

  • Fortune Bay Single Family Home
  • #69 Round Shot Close
  • 20,800 sq. ft.
  • 4 Bed, 3.5 Bath
  • $1,500,000
  • Listing ID#5272

Elegantly designed, this home boasts 10 foot ceilings, tiled floors, formal dining room, casual dining area, spacious master bedroom with walk in closets and modern bathroom and 3 luxurious guest bedrooms.

A precision dream kitchen featuring handsome granite counter tops, state of the art appliances and an island ideal for casual dining is a cook's dream.

Sold unfurnished, the purchase price includes a 12,500lb capacity boat lift and double wave runner lift. There is an option to purchase furniture, car, boat and jet skis.

This captivating home has been created expressly for the enjoyment of island living.
Call 242 351 9081 to speak to an agent NOW!!!

Featured Listings!!! Bahama Reef Multi-Family High Rise Lots

Click To Enlarge

  • Bahama Reef Multi-Family High Rise Lots
  • 465’ on the water
  • 4 contiguous lots
  • $845,000
  • Listing ID#3880

Located in Bahama Reef Yacht & Country Club this lot overlooks the ocean. This lot boasts 465 feet of canal frontage, close to the golf course and minutes away from all the attractions in Grand Bahama. These 4 lots have a total of two acres, to develop exclusive high rise condominiums or even a luxury hotel!

Call 242 351 9081 to speak to a agent now!

The Sir Jack Hayward English Premier League Soccer Camp starts June 21st

Soccer players take many breaks during the camp to replenish with water, and enjoy snacks of fresh fruits. 

 The Bahamas Weekly
Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas - In the midst of World Cup action, Grand Bahama's Sir Jack Hayward English Premier League Soccer Camp is set to get underway on Monday, June 21st and if your child is not already signed up, I'd encourage you to do so. Each year approximately 200 children enjoy the world's leading sport in a one-week camp at the Freeport Rugby Football Club.

Soccer encourages and is all about 'team play' and has disciplined skills which exercise the entire body. Not only that, it's a lot of fun! Many of the local children look forward to this camp for the entire year. It's been told that some of the little ones sleep in their jersey's as soon as they've been registered until opening day, so hyped on the return of one of the best summer camps in The Bahamas.

With camps like this, along with the youth development programs in place for soccer in the country, perhaps one day soon, instead of just watching the World Cup, the Bahamas will be participating.

I've been fortunate to be involved as a local coach since it's inception in 2004 involving the English Premier League and the year prior to that when members of AC Milan out of Italy came for a camp. All four of my children have enjoyed these annual camps over the years and I have enough soccer gear in my home from these camps alone, that I could start a small sports store as each year every child gets two full soccer kits (shorts, jersey, hat, and socks).
 2009 photo: Left to right, UK Coach Luther Blissett, UK Coach Jamie Godbold of the FA, UK Coach Tom Hartley of the FA, Rob Speller of the Freeport Rugby Football Club, and Sir Jack Hayward, camp patron.

No matter the weather, and in June it's usually extremely hot, humid and often cursed with sporadic thunderstorms; the wholesome fun of the camp is never squelched as children up the age of 17 years love learning more about the sport and even continue play in the rain. The foreign coaches share their knowledge with the children and local coaches and get to experience the beaches and culture during their stay.

There is a wonderful collaboration of local coaches and junior coaches (many of whom used to attend as young players) who return each year to assist with the camp. The week comes together in a professional manner, and the excitement of meeting foreign coaches from the UK is as big a deal for the local coaches as well as the kids.
 Camp patron, Sir Jack Hayward stands center with 2008 first time coach, Jamie Godbold (left) and Philip French, who at the time was a special advisor to the English Premier League and is now a special advisor to the UK Government’s Minister of Sport and will be returning to participate in this year's camp.

In the past the camp has featured such UK talents as Warren Barton, Robbie Earle, Luther Blissett and Tom Hartley. Foreign coaches are being provided by The Football Association, whose team is representing England in the World Cup Finals. This year the children's favourite, Jamie Godbold returns to lead, and along with him will be new-timers to The Bahamas, that being Barbados World Cup player Matthew Joseph, and Sarah Green, who works for the London-based Football Association.

Warren Barton (left) and Robbie Earle helped kick off the camps in the first year with the Premier League Camp in Grand Bahama. Both are TV sports personalities today. Each child at the camp receives a certificate at the end of the week. 

Campers get lunch included each day as well as two full sets of uniforms, top level coaching and the chance of a cooling lunchtime swim in the club pool. Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids off the field and has sufficient sun-screen applied before they turn up each morning. Pack a swimsuit if you are okay with them swimming in the supervised pool at lunchtime.

Registration forms are available from Town and Country, Yellow Pine Street, or Animale, at Port Lucaya and once completed can be handed in at the same places. They are also available online BELOW from or from this website. Youngsters who are registered early can get their uniforms’ from the rugby club on Saturday afternoon, June 19, from 2pm to 4pm. General registration is between the same times on Sunday, June 20.

Let your child enjoy the fastest growing and most popular sport in the world!

GB air, sea arrivals increase by 20 percent

Aggressive marketing strategies during the peak of the economic downturn have yielded significant results for the Ministry of Tourism as air and sea arrivals to Grand Bahama have increased by almost 20 percent.

According to officials the latest numbers reveal that as of March 2010, sea arrivals are up from 44,256 visitors last year to 52,641 passengers this year, an increase of 18.9 percent.

Meanwhile, sea arrivals are up 19.5 percent for the first quarter of the year, representing almost instant cash into the economy.

According to Minister of Public Works and Transport, Neko Grant, this increase has had a positive impact on taxi drivers and tour operators increasing their revenue and has also provided an increase in business for store owners and straw vendors in the Port Lucaya Marketplace and in the International Bazaar.

The total arrivals for air and sea was 65,644 compared to 57,030 an increase of 15.1 percent, Grant said.

Director for Tourism in Grand Bahama, Karen Sey-mour told The Freeport News yesterday that these numbers have been boosted by the "Companion Fly Free" and the "Companion Sail Free" initiatives.

She noted that the cruise liners Discovery and newly introduced Celebration both saw an increase in passengers because of the plan. With three or more nights booked, on land cruise passengers were able to receive a two for the price of one special, Seymour explained adding that the majority of customers come from the East Coast which is the primary source market.

The numbers for air arrivals up until March could be attributed mainly to passengers who utilized the services of West Jet Service which began services to the island in November of last year.

Even with the increase in air arrivals, a second quarter audit may not show favourable numbers as Spirit Airlines discontinued its service between Fort Lauderdale and Freeport as of May 30, 2010.

Spirit had serviced that route since December 2007 and although initially offering daily flights, the carrier's schedule had over time been reduced to twice weekly.

The airline offered connecting service through Spirit's Fort Lauderdale hub from cities on its route network, including New York, Chicago, Atlantic City, Detroit, Washington DC, Boston, Orlando, Tampa as well as Los Angeles, Myrtle Beach and Atlanta.

It was rumoured that government was in negotiations to have this service returned to the island, however tourism officials told The Freeport News yesterday that this was not likely.

From the Our Lucaya Hotel had come the report that the resort was in discussions with Spirit Airlines to target sand and sun destination audiences in the United States that were popular in the past for visitors to the island, including North Carolina, Kentucky and Ohio.

Thus far the result of those negotiations has no been released by the hotel.

New Community Park for Regency Subdivision

After agitating for about 10 years for a community park of their own, residents in the Regency Subdivision will finally get their wish as Member of Parliament for Lucaya, Neko Grant and officials of the Freeport City Council (FCC) have joined together to build a park in the area.

Grant who also serves as the Minster of Public Works, held a contract signing ceremony late Friday afternoon, awarding Dexter Edwards of Glorious Works with the $74,000 deal for phase one of the project.

Grant noted that when he was elected for the Lucaya Constituency back in 1992, he was faced with many challenges.

"One of the challenges that that concerned me the most, since most of my adult life has been centred around the development of young people, was the absence of proper playground facilities throughout the constituency," Grant said.

"I was pleased that with the assistance of the FCC we were able to construct Sunset Park, opposite the St. Georges High School. We were also able to build a park in the Royal Bahama Estates but moving west in the area, it was void of parks."

He thanked the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) for generously providing the land for the park in the South Bahamia Regency area and said the land has already been cleared with the funds provided by the government to be used in the constituency.

Grant explained that the first phase of the park's development would involve landscaping, planting of trees and a playground facility.

Out of the four bids submitted for the job, Grant said that Edwards and his company were awarded the contract and he is confident that the best quality of work will be produced.

According to Edwards, the project is one that is made up of about 60 percent of material and they plan to have it completed in just four short weeks from the point when all of the resources are available.

"With this job we have to use some heavy duty equipment to rip the ground and prepare the surface for the planting and the seeding of the park itself. This job will need 15 persons that we have yet to employ so it will also produce work for some persons."

A memorandum of understanding was also signed between the government and the FCC to partner in this venture, both contributing $37,000 each toward the project.

Chief Councillor of the FCC, Alvin Smith, said that they were pleased to be a part of this development as they are mandated to establish green spaces within our community.

"We also felt it necessary to develop parks because we have to preserve safe areas for young people within our own communities. There is nothing better than a park," Smith said, adding that it was equally important to create an environmentally friendly atmosphere.

Regency resident Jennifer Ellis said that this was a proud moment for (she and others) of the area after waiting for 10 years.

"We are thankful for the Member of Parliament for seeing the need to offer his funds to assist us and I know that it will bring joy to the residents for generations to come.

Once all phases of the park are completed, it will include a walking track, playground equipment, a Gazebo, tennis court and bathroom facilities.

Grant said that this venture is an expensive one, therefore it has to be done in phases to get the job done.