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Abaco News
Minister of Education opens preschool units at primary schools in North and South Abaco
Submitted by Nikki Bethell   
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 08:13

ABACO, The Bahamas -- On Thursday, 12th March 2015, the Minister and a team of Education Officials visited the James A. Pinder Primary School in Sandy Point to officially commission the Preschool unit. Making good on his promise to increase access to preschool education not just in New Providence but throughout the Family Islands, the residents of South Abaco expressed their appreciation and gratitude for having a preschool attached to the primary school.

The Minister of Education, Science and Technology highlighted the importance of preschool education and made reference to research regarding the benefits of preschool. “According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) children who attend a high-quality preschool enter grade school with better reading skills, richer vocabularies and stronger basic math skills that those who do not.” He further emphasized than the beauty of our preschool environments is that children are given the opportunity to explore, create, imagine, observe, listen, ask questions, try new things and very importantly, practice the skills they learn.

The Minister also heralded Mrs. Agatha Archer, a pioneer in early childhood education for her tenacity in establishing preschools, as well as the role she plays as Co-Chair of the recently formed Preschool Council. Committed to making preschool mandatory and changing the entry age to four, the Minister indicated that the Early Childhood Care Act has been passed by Parliament and this will continue to be an area of importance for the Ministry.

Minister Fitzgerald charged the parents to play an active role in their children’s learning and to model the behavior they wish their children to emulate. He also emphasized that parents are the child’s first teacher and that school should be an extension of the home.

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iJet Charters announces Saturday premium class direct flights from Westchester County to Marsh Harbour
Submitted by John Bell   
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 07:19

WHITE PLAINS, New York -- Owners of iJet Charters and Wildcat Touring today announced the launch of scheduled Saturday charter flights from Westchester County Airport to Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco in the Bahamas.

Jim Swieter, founder of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based iJet Charters, said the scheduled flight will begin on April 4th.  Swieter said the scheduled charter service is flying a new Saab 2000 aircraft, owned by Director of Carrier Meregrass, Inc., DBA Wildcat Touring.

Great Abaco and its popular destinations Marsh Harbour and Hope Town attract thousands of monthly visitors from the Northeastern U.S. during the season.

Saturday flights from Westchester County Airport to Marsh Harbour are priced at $622.  Roundtrip flights are priced at $1293. For reservations please call 888-462-0462 or go to www.wildcattouring.com.  The company is also launching scheduled service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International’s (FLL) SheltAir terminal to Marsh Harbour, North Eleuthera and Key West.

The 30-passenger aircraft features all premium class seating and high-speed travel with an average cruising speed of 425 mph with a maximum certified ceiling of 31,000 ft and a non-stop range of 1,300 statute miles. Equipped with an “all glass” flight deck (Collins Pro-Line IV), Meregrass’ Saab 2000 is the first and only aircraft of its type to operate on a 135-charter certificate.  It seats 30 passengers in a cabin designed to accommodate 50.  Consequently the seat pitch provides ample legroom.

 
2015 Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend is coming
Submitted by PROMPT   
Friday, 06 March 2015 09:35
TREASURE CAY, Abaco -- The 2015 Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend is coming to Treasure Cay, March 20-22nd!  The weekend of events for all ages begins on Friday:
  • Fri, 5pm - 1 Mile Open Water Swim
  • Sat, 7:30am - Sprint & Olympic Triathlons (Ind & Relay)
  • Sat, 11am - 1 Mile Kids' Run
  • Sun, 8am - 5k/10k Fun Run/Walk
Don't miss the 4th Annual Great Abaco Family Fitness Weekend. Fun for the entire family! Goodie bags, t-shirts, finisher's medals, and more for every participant along with great giveways and raffles.  Click HERE to visit the website to register.  

Proceeds benefit the Rotary Club of Abaco and Friends Of The Environment.
 
Guana Cay reefs suffering extensive damage
Submitted by DP&A   
Wednesday, 25 February 2015 07:08

Environmentalists’ warnings proven right; runoff from Baker’s Bay golf course leading to destruction of coral system

Smith and Albury examine the reefs around Guana Cay, where algae growth caused by runoff from the Baker’s Bay golf course is overwhelming and killing the coral. GUANA CAY, Abaco -- The once pristine reef system surrounding the tiny island of Guana Cay in the Abacos has suffered extensive damage since construction of the controversial Baker’s Bay development, environmentalists say.

The Save Guana Cay Reef Association (SGCRA), which mounted a groundbreaking five-year legal campaign in opposition to the project, warned of serious implications for the reef – recognized as one of the best dive sites in the world – as well as for the rest of the previously unspoiled island. It is now clear that their predictions have come true.

“There has been environmental desecration out here,” said leading environmental advocate Fred Smith, QC. “They burned the entire forest, they tore down the mangroves, they dug it all up.

“They’ve got a golf course, and the chemicals are seeping into the reefs that are there. It is environmental rape and pillage.”

Smith, chairman of fast-growing social and environmental movement Save The Bays, fought alongside the SCGRA between 2004 and 2009 for the rights of Guana Cay residents. During a recent visit to the island, he dove the reefs along with association president Troy Albury to witness firsthand the extent of the damage.

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Central Abaco Kiwanis K-Kids join The Kindness Challenge
Submitted by Vickarieo Adderley   
Monday, 09 February 2015 10:11

ABACO, The Bahamas -- The Kiwanis K-Kids of Central Abaco Primary School invited the entire community to take part in The Kindness Challenge, sponsored by The Kids for Peace Organization in California. From January 26 to 30 the students had 50 acts of kindness they had to complete for the whole week.

They started off with a Kindness Assembly, where they sang the Kindness Challenge theme song written by The Kids for Peace and was sung by the 2,000,000 plus participating schools. Central Abaco Primary School was the only school participating in the Bahamas. The school had a poster competition, essay competition, door competition, and bulletin board competition. They also made a human photo with words Kindness Matters. Central Abaco Primary School is now a certified school of Kindness with The Kids For Peace.

 
Albury’s Ferry Service wins Cacique Transportation Award
Thursday, 29 January 2015 11:35

BahamaIslandsInfo.com congratulates one of our advertisers, Albury’s Ferry Service, on their WIN of the Cacique Transportation Award.

President Scott Albury shares Albury’s Ferry Service's Cacique Transportaion Award for 2015 with 'the hard working and dedicated staff, past and present, of Albury's Ferry Service.'Here are a few words that the President shared on the night:  

"I stand before you this evening as the humble representative of the hard working and dedicated staff, past and present, of Albury's Ferry Service,” said President Scott Albury. "I mention both past and present as there is just one of our current staff that was even born when AFS first opened its doors almost 56 years ago.

"We are proud to serve the community of central Abaco.  Abaco is a shining example of sustainable tourism. Recognition of our efforts by the Ministry of Tourism is greatly appreciated.

"The world will always dream of warm, sunny shores, sandy beaches and crystal waters. We can certainly thank God for having more than our fair share of these beautiful blessings. What completes these wondrous settings is our people. Our community and in fact our country's future is dependent on not only the strength of our people but the simple acts of kindness offered to our guests every time we interact with them.  

"Thanks again to all that worked so hard to earn this coveted award and to those that recognize our company's daily efforts to make it truly 'Better in The Bahamas!’”

Photo: President Scott Albury shares Albury’s Ferry Service's Cacique Transportaion Award for 2015 with "the hard working and dedicated staff, past and present, of Albury's Ferry Service.”

Well done to the Albury’s Ferry Team and all the Cacique winners who are shining examples of great Tourism Ambassdors for our beautiful country. We agree with Mr. Albury it is ‘Better in The Bahamas’ and we must all work to make sure every tourist realizes this too.

 
Natural beauty of The Bahamas takes centre stage at Art for the Parks festival
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Thursday, 29 January 2015 07:32

Natural Beauty of The Bahamas takes Centre Stage at Art for the Parks Festival - The Bahamas National Trust’s (BNT) Art for the Parks opened on Friday, January 23rd at the Abaco Beach Resort in Marsh Harbour, Abaco.  Featuring over 30 local artists and artisans, a food and craft market on Saturday and the comedy of David Wallace on Sunday, this weekend event was definitely a cultural experience and serves as the major fundraiser for Abaco’s six national parks. (Photo courtesy of BNT for Barefoot Marketing)ABACO, The Bahamas -- The Bahamas National Trust’s (BNT) Art for the Parks opened on Friday, January 23rd at the Abaco Beach Resort in Marsh Harbour, Abaco.  Featuring over 30 local artists and artisans, a food and craft market on Saturday and the comedy of David Wallace on Sunday, this weekend event was definitely a cultural experience and served as the major fundraiser for Abaco’s six national parks.

“The national parks on Abaco protect pine forest and coppice habitats for many important birds including the Bahama Parrot, coral reefs, mangroves and rocky shorelines important for nesting Tropicbirds and other seabirds.  The funds raised at Art for the Parks support the Bahama Parrot management plan, national park monitoring, as well as support for the Abaco office,” said David Knowles, Director of Parks.

Abaco Delight featured jams and jellies at the Market Area on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of BNT for Barefoot Marketing)Event attendees enjoyed viewing and purchasing works in all mediums including oils and acrylics, vibrant watercolors, handcrafted wood products, dazzling jewelry and incredible fabric art. The event also featured a special raffle with prizes donated by the artists and a quilt raffle with a quilt donated by Kim Roberts of Bahama Dawn Designs.  Several artists also gave live demonstrations working on paintings, jewelry or providing opportunities for attendees to create their own art with a ‘Make it and Take It’ activity.

“The Art for the Parks event was the idea of local Abaco artists who wanted a show that would allow them to promote and display their art while supporting the national parks on Abaco,” said Lynn Gape, BNT Deputy Executive Director. “It has been a great partnership with the artists participating in the planning of the event, as well as the amazing support we have received from the Abaco Beach Resort and local corporate partners.”

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