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Abaco News
Chinese Harbour Engineering Company engages Bahamian firm on North Abaco Port project
Submitted by Inderia Saunders   
Monday, 14 April 2014 08:43

ABACO, Bahamas — Chinese Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) has engaged the expertise of local Engineering firm Caribbean Coastal Services Ltd. (CCS) as the $39 million North Abaco Port project moves one step closer to ground breaking.

The Bahamian Engineering firm will review, comment, stamp and seal CHEC’s designs for the Abaco port to make sure all the drawings that are handed into the Ministry of Public Works will comply with all the local and relevant laws and codes.

Principal of CHEC Bahamas Felix Chang said support from CCS will enhance the award-winning international engineering firm’s ability to fulfill all the country requirements for this port development.

“We are pleased to establish a mutually beneficial business relationship with Caribbean Coastal Services the way we have with other local firms,” said Mr. Chang. “We look forward to completing our project to the high standards that both firms are known for.”

Construction on the North Abaco Port project is expected to be completed in roughly two years and is to be funded by the Export Import Bank of China and the government of The Bahamas. A minimum of one-third of the project’s investment will be shared throughout the community directly and indirectly during the construction phase.

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Abaco Chief Councilor: Treasure Cay environmental damage ‘irreparable, heartbreaking’
Submitted by DP&A   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 11:21

Left photo shows the wetlands in pristine conditionRight photo shows the destruction of acres of wetlands, slashed by heavy equipment on a site being developed under expansion plans by a resort known as Treasure Sands despite a cease and desist order by government. TREASURE CAY, Abaco -- Abaco’s Chief Councilor today labelled as “heartbreaking” the destruction of acres of wetlands, slashed by heavy equipment on a site being developed under expansion plans by a resort known as Treasure Sands despite a cease and desist order by government.

“I don’t blame the developer,” says North Abaco Chief Councilor Gary Smith. “Nor do I blame the government in Nassau. The Minister of Finance for Investments Khaalis Rolle did the proper and honourable thing and we are very grateful to him for recognizing that protecting the environment and proceeding with the right permits is important for the long-term sustainable growth and development of any community.”

But something thwarted the delivery of the cease and desist order once it got to Abaco, he said, and an investigation is ongoing to learn why it was not presented to the developer for some three weeks after it arrived, enough time for centuries of mangrove, wetlands and hardwood forests to be mowed down. The Abaco Council and two environmental groups, Abaco Defenders and Save The Bays, are trying to get to the bottom of the delay.

“In the three weeks between when the cease and desist order was signed and when it was actually presented to the developer, irreparable damage was done to the wetlands in Treasure Cay,” said Smith. “Before, this place was a haven -- a sanctuary for birds and bonefish. You could see the nurse sharks coming in and the baby nurse sharks. The wetlands were the nursery for all sorts of species.” The Bahamas National Trust had plans to turn the area into a national park. Today, the scarfed land is a stark reminder, said Smith, of how quickly something that took centuries to form can be wiped out.

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Baha Mar Academy connects with 170 people in Abaco
Submitted by Royann Dean   
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 10:04

Benjamin Sims, Director of Human Resources for Mondrian at Baha Mar, presents to high school seniors at St. John The Baptist Anglican Church in Marsh Harbour, Abaco.NASSAU, Bahamas -- Baha Mar Academy representatives recently traveled to Abaco, reaching out to approximately 170 recent high school graduates and professionals on the first trip of several to the Family Islands that are scheduled over the coming months.

The audience met the team from Baha Mar which included Kristin Wells, Director of the Baha Mar Academy; Vonya Ifill, Baha Mar Academy Associate and representative for Rosewood at Baha Mar; Benjamin Sims, Director of Human Resources for Mondrian at Baha Mar; Beth Cantor, Roving Director of Human Resources for Hyatt hotels (representing Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar), and Jarrel Hall, Outreach Associate and acting representative for the Baha Mar Casino & Hotel.

In addition to interviewing potential candidates for positions at Baha Mar, the team also provided information about career opportunities, the recruitment process and general expectations about belonging to the Baha Mar team.

“Our outreach to Bahamians throughout the entire country is another part of Baha Mar’s ongoing recruitment and training efforts,” said Paul Pusateri, Chief Operating Officer at Baha Mar. “We are looking for people with an aptitude for hospitality who will be as committed as we are to building a world-class destination and transforming The Bahamas.”

Interested candidates should complete applications at www.bahamar.com/careers/opportunities.

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Abaconians excited as National Arts Festival begins on island
Written by BIS   
Monday, 07 April 2014 11:48

MARSH HARBOUR, Abaco – As the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival recently began its Abaco adjudications, residents were happy and excited that it is giving Abaconians a change to showcase their talents.    

Arts Teacher at Angels Academy Stacey Adderley shows Arts and Craft Officer in the Department of Culture Ellery Deveaux a number of pieces by her students at the Marsh Harbour, Abaco, school during the recent E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival adjudications of the island. (BIS Photo / Eric Rose)

Founder and Administrator at Every Child Counts (ECC) Lyn Major said that it was wonderful that the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival adjudications came to the school.    

“The first time we entered was last year and it was a really neat experience for the kids and I think it really helps them with their practicing music and art and they look forward to this time,” she said. “It is just a great experience.”    

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E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival adjudications come to Abaco
Submitted by BIS   
Friday, 04 April 2014 08:29

Students at Angels Academy in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, perform a piece on Junkanoo as a choral verse speaking group, during their first time in the E. Clement Bethel National Arts Festival Abaco adjudications, on April 1, 2014.  (BIS Photo / Eric Rose)  

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Hector Picard inspires Abaco
Submitted by PROMPT   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 09:37

Hector at the end of the GAFFW with the organizers.  Lefft-Right:  Chrystonia Robertson & Lee McCoy, Robert Meister, Hector Picard.TREASURE CAY, Abaco -- Hector Picard made his first visit to the Abacos as part of the third annual Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend. Hector had previously visited Freeport and, upon the invitation of race director Lee McCoy, made the journey from South Florida to participate in the weekend's races.  

While this may not sound like such a great feat in itself, Hector is slightly different than everyone else. He is a motivational speaker, a triathlete, and a family man. He traveled with his wife Wendy and two kids, and stayed at the Treasure Cay Resort & Marina while in Abaco. He talked with a crowd at Every Child Counts and at Forest Heights Academy and also at the Hope Town School. He also demonstrated how to change a tire on his race bike – with no hands.  

Hector is a bilateral amputee who has minimal use of one arm while utilizing a custom prosthetic. In 1992 he almost lost his life in a work related accident.  He spent four weeks in a coma and upon waking up discovered burns across his body and both of his arms had been amputated, one below the elbow and one just after his shoulder.

Thanks in part to a grant by the Cable Bahamas Cares Foundation, Hector was able to compete in the Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend, completing the 1-mile Open Water Swim and the Sprint Triathlon.  He was also able to present to local schools ECC, Forest Heights Academy, and the Hope Town School.  

His presentation to the children and adults alike was both inspiring and motivational.  He talked about his accident, career, challenges, obstacles, and life, and also about how he was able to overcome all of these things without the full use of his arms. He talked about how doctors said he couldn't do certain things, yet he managed to play softball and basketball with his daughters as they grew up. In 2009 he began competing in triathlons and has competed in 87 triathlons since, including four IronMan distance triathlons.  

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Competition and fun at the Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend
Submitted by PROMPT   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 09:28

Start of the 5k/10k Fun Run/Walk.TREASURE CAY, Abaco -- Drawing everyone from the ultra-fit to those who run for fun, the third annual Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend hosted them all this past weekend at one of the world's most beautiful beaches in Treasure Cay, Abaco.

Bahamian and veteran of the local triathlon circuit, Simon Lowe, 30, and Laura Fijol, 46, of Massachusetts, came out triumphant in the Olympic distance triathlon event with times of 2:27:03 and 2:47:51.  Simon was also the Olympic champ in 2013.

The sprint triathlon was dominated by Nassau's Dorian Roach, 37, with a time of 1:20:46, and for the third year in a row Freeport's Vicki Stafford, 47, with a time of 1:28:02.

Lowe, 30, came out on top again in the 10k run, in 44:57, along with Roberta Fontana, 44, of Nassau, who won the women's 10k in 48:14.  In the 5k run, Donovan Rolle, 35, of Nassau, ran a speedy 6.51 minute per mile pace to cruise to victory in just 21:15, while Catherine Jadot of Freeport came in just behind at 22:34.

Among the swimmers in the one mile open water swim event which kicked off the festivities on Friday afternoon, Mark Rutledge of Mount Pleasant, US, swam a swift 19:01 minute race, while young Christina Pyfrom, 14, of Marsh Harbour was victorious in the women's swim, in a time of just 22:15.

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