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Family Island News
PM speaks on vision for Andros at Kamalame Cay
Submitted by BIS   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 08:05

Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie addressed The Nature Conservancy and the Inter-American Development Bank on “A Vision for Andros: Development with People and Environment in Mind,” at a dinner at Kamalame Cay, Andros, September 9, 2014.  (BIS Photo/Peter Ramsay)A Vision for Andros:  Development with People and Environment in Mind

Presentation by the
Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie, M.P.
Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas
Dinner in Honour of
The Nature Conservancy Annual Board Meeting
Kamalame Cay, Andros
Tuesday, 9th September, 2014

Cabinet Colleagues
Distinguished Members of the Board of the Nature Conservancy
Senior officials from the Inter-American Development Bank
Senior Government Officials
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Evening:

It is a pleasure for me to be in lovely Kamalame Cay, Andros at a resort facility known around the world as a shining example of the convergence of tourism and environmentally friendly development. This is a fitting place for The Nature Conservancy to have its annual Board meeting and I wish to welcome all of our visitors to The Bahamas, and particularly, Andros where so much is happening in terms of environmental and other related developments.

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The press views BAMSI in North Andros ahead of start of classes
Submitted by BIS   
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 06:28

ANDROS, The Bahamas -- Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government the Hon. V. Alfred Gray led a team of Government officials and the press to view the progress of establishment of the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute in North Andros where 50 students will begin classes at the end of September under the guidance of Executive Director Dr. Raveenia Roberts Hanna.  

Minister Gray, proud of the progress so far and looking forward to the start of school, said “it’s always good to do good” – anticipating the future important role of the institute in energizing the push for food security for The Bahamas, and the meaningful steps being taken towards the long-held dream of the country’s feeding itself.  

Minister of Education the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald, in light of strong efforts “to revolutionize and advance our economy and our people” urged that “we are one Bahamas, one people,” and that we “try to move forward as one people” – and unite in the advance of education, agriculture, and sustainability – with ‘sustainability’ being the important objective.

He noted that he and his team were amazed, during the process of choosing an Executive Director, at the great number of well-qualified young people in The Bahamas.   In referring to the UTEB controversy, he reaffirmed that processes were taking place properly, that he was open to dialogue, and he asked for responsible leadership in the best interest of all.  

Minister of Health and M.P. for North Andros and the Berry Islands, the Hon. Dr. M. Perry Gomez said it was remarkable what was happening in a short time on North Andros, which will have direct impact economically. He added, “it’s a first real attempt to diversify our economy and create a second pillar of magnitude beyond tourism.”

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Baha Mar Academy team hosts a meet and greet in Georgetown, Exuma
Submitted by Kristina McNeil   
Monday, 08 September 2014 14:08

 (L-R): Baha Mar Academy Director, Kristin Wells; Outreach Associate, Jarrel Hall; SLS LUX at Baha Mar Regional Director of Human Resources, Denise Valdez; Hyatt Hotels Roving Director of Human Resources, Beth Cantor; Baha Mar Casino & Hotel Director of Employee Relations, Rachel Rolle and Rosewood at Baha Mar Training Manager, Clarence Albury.EXUMA, The Bahamas -- Baha Mar’s Family Island outreach and recruitment efforts continued in Exuma with residents receiving an in-depth presentation on the multibillion dollar resort.

Exuma residents also had an opportunity to learn about valuable job opportunities at the property from representatives of Rosewood, the Grand Hyatt, SLS LUX and the Baha Mar Casino & Hotel.

The Baha Mar Academy, the training and recruitment arm of Baha Mar, spent two days in August on the island, inviting members of the community to learn about these world-class hotel brands that will call Baha Mar home.

In speaking to the Baha Mar Academy team, many residents said they were interested in pursuing a career at Baha Mar to fulfill their desire to return “home” to New Providence to be a part of the largest luxury resort project in the history of the Caribbean.

“Baha Mar is committed to finding the best and brightest Bahamians from throughout the country to be a part of this transformative resort,” said Baha Mar’s Chief Operating Officer, Paul V. Pusateri. “We will continue to search for those Bahamians with an aptitude and passion for service as we introduce Baha Mar to the world.”

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Dr. Rovenia Roberts Hanna is new executive director for BAMSI
Submitted by BIS   
Saturday, 06 September 2014 13:38

Pictured from left: BAMSI Executive Director, Dr. Roberts Hanna; Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government Minister, the Hon. V. Alfred Gray; and Education Minister, the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald. (BIS Photo /Letisha Henderson) NASSAU, The Bahamas -- As agriculture and marine science students, some 50 of them, eagerly anticipate the September 2014 opening of the first Bahamian fishing and farming school in Andros, they will be welcomed by an institution leader – the new Executive Director of the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute -- who is also Andros-born.  

Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government, the Hon. V. Alfred Gray in a press conference, September 3, at the House of Assembly said: “I am very pleased to announce the appointment of the Executive Director of the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) in the person of Dr. Rovenia Roberts Hanna.”  

Minister Gray said that Mrs. Hanna is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree.  He added that she went on to the University of Liverpool, where she studied Tropical Medicine, obtaining a Master’s Degree with Distinction.  From there, she attended the University of Newcastle in London, England, United Kingdom, where she earned a Doctorate Degree in Philosophy with special emphasis on Post Harvest Technology, said Minister Gray.  

“She is an author of several theses.  She is very experienced, very academically strong, and she’s been in the business of academics and research over 12 years.” Minister Gray said that BAMSI and the school it represents certainly is going to be better off because it has been able to capture the talent of a wonderful professional woman. “And I emphasize ‘woman’ because I believe she will probably be historically speaking, the first Executive Director of BAMSI.  And that’s going to go down in history as a first for a woman in that regard.”  

Education Minister, the Hon. Jerome Fitzgerald also commended Dr. Roberts Hanna on her appointment.  He thanked Minister Gray and the Board at BAMSI: “We were very pleased when we looked at qualifications of a very young inspiring and dynamic Bahamian who is able to fill this post being advertised,” said Minister Fitzgerald.  

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Resorts World Bimini opens Bimini port and expands service to Fort Lauderdale
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Saturday, 06 September 2014 13:31

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- Resorts World Bimini announced Friday the first phase of the Port at Resorts World Bimini is complete and that passengers will begin disembarking directly onto the island beginning Sept. 18, 2014. Now guests will spend up to six hours on the island of Bimini, fully enjoying all that the island has to offer. Additionally, the company announced that Bimini SuperFast will complement its current Friday, Saturday and Sunday cruise schedule from Port Miami with a weekday schedule from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale to Bimini every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday beginning October 14, 2014.

“The completion of the Port at Resorts World Bimini further enhances our commitment to the island, offering guests more time in port and uninterrupted cruise service during the winter months,” said Dana Leibovitz, President of Resorts World Bimini. “Growing demand for cruises to Bimini among passengers hailing from Broward and Palm Beach counties and points north has led us to add service from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale during the week. This move will make our day cruises even more accessible to the South Florida market and increase the economic impact to the island of Bimini.”

The roundtrip cruises will depart Port Everglades each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 9 a.m., arriving directly to the new Port at Resorts World Bimini and returning to Ft. Lauderdale at 9 p.m. that evening. Bimini SuperFast will continue to sail from Port Miami three days a week, Friday through Sunday.

Phase one of the new Port, which includes a temporary Customs and Immigration facility, brings many benefits to the island and provides Day-Trip visitors with more time to enjoy Bimini’s miles of white sand beaches, and the resort’s six restaurants and bars and world-class casino.

Phase two of Port construction will feature permanent facilities for Customs and Immigration; the third and final phase of construction of the Port will include a new beach experience, offering guests the opportunity to enjoy a variety of water sports onsite, as well as a restaurant and beach club, and a craft market.

 
University of Florida experts weigh in on BAMSI
Submitted by BIS   
Friday, 05 September 2014 06:38

ANDROS, The Bahamas -- The Bahamas Agricultural and Marine Science Institute (BAMSI) in North Andros is “a God-sent vision of the Prime Minister” according to one Bahamian farmer at a recently held farmers’ forum. BAMSI is a national initiative aimed at modernizing agriculture in The Bahamas and, once and for all, stemming the skyrocketing food import food bill, which is now in excess of US$1,000,000,000.

According to Dr. Edward Evans, Professor of Food and Resource Economics and Associate Director of University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences International Programs, this is certainly a step in the right direction and an initiative that all Bahamians will be proud of when completed and fully operational. Dr. Evans, who headed a delegation of 10 University of Florida professors covering a wide range of disciplines, recently spent two days touring the facilities and reviewing its progress as well as reviewing the agronomic conditions. The 10 professors included an agricultural economist, horticulturist, soil scientist, biotechnologist and plant tissue culture specialist, a weed scientist, a hydrologist, livestock specialist, forester, commercial vegetable specialist, and a plant pathologist. The opportunity also was taken to interact with farmers in Andros as well as farmers from some of the other islands.

Dr. Evans lauded the effort of creating BAMSI and expressed amazement at the progress that has been made since April of this year. He pointed out that while Government cannot and should not be expected to do it all, food security is a matter of national security and is too important to be left solely to the private sector. Government has a role to play in being the catalyst to spur rural development, and agricultural development in particular, by providing the enabling environment in which private sector will see fit to become investors.

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BAMSI executives provide update on plans of the institute
Written by BIS   
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 09:37

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Godfrey Eneas, President of BAMSI and his senior executive team sat down with the Bahamas Information Services at BAMSI’s new offices in the Island Traders Building on Monday, 1st September to provide an update on the progress and plans of the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute.  

The President was beaming with pride as he confirmed that consistent with the public pronouncements of the Prime Minister at the ground breaking ceremony for BAMSI last February, the institute is on schedule to receive its first class of fifty students this fall, the 29th September 2014 to be exact.  

On the issue of a master plan to strategically guide the growth and development of BAMSI, Dr. Thomas pointed out that there a number of plans inclusive of a master plan. “We have a farm plan and we know we are approaching this project sequentially. We could not have established 15 – nearly 20-odd acres of Bananas, going up to 50 (acres) and 12 acres of Papaya without a plan.” The acreage includes 5 acres of Persian Limes and 4 acres of Coconuts. He went on to say that the farm plan includes a planting schedule, a developmental schedule, which BAMSI is following along with an irrigation system. “The irrigation system is being laid out – it must have a plan. So it is not a haphazard process that is going on,” said Dr. Thomas  

“In conjunction (with the farm plan), there is a plan for the campus, the physical structures of the campus, there is another plan for that,” chimed in Mr. Eneas, continuing that in addition to the 20-year agricultural plan for the entire sector, there are essentially four plans that make up the institute: There is a plan for the construction of the physical plant that comprises the campus; a farm plan for the agriculture infrastructure and crop development that includes processing facilities and an abattoir; thirdly there is a plan for the sequential roll out of a research and development program in the discipline marine science at the institute; and last but not least, there is an academic plan.  

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Playboy Playmate adds another reason to shout ‘WAHOO’ at upcoming Smackdown V tournament at Bimini Big Game Club
Submitted by John Bell   
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 13:02

ALICE TOWN, Bimini — A Florida girl with a love of diving and fishing, Shawn Dillon also happens to be the February 2013 Centerfold in Playboy Magazine. She’s returning for a second engagement to the historic Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina to play hostess for the upcoming Wahoo Smackdown V Tournament scheduled for November 13-15.  

Shawn, who has won major bikini competitions from Vegas to the Bahamas, grew up fishing with three brothers, either on her uncle’s boat in Bimini or in the lake in their Sarasota, Florida backyard. Also a surfer and wakeboarder, Shawn will be involved in final weigh-ins, presenting trophies and, well, posing for pictures and signing autographs for participating teams.  

Also returning to the November tournament as Grand Marshal will be writer John Hemingway, grandson of novelist and sport fishing legend Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway, who also spent considerable time fishing off Bimini as a youngster, will be chasing Wahoo onboard Miss Kethleen II, captained by Tournament Director Chase Camacho.  

Ernest Hemingway, who lived and fished in Bimini for two seasons in the 1930s, is credited with putting the tiny island on the international sportfishing map. During its heyday, Bimini anglers, including Hemingway (who is credited with being the first to land an unmutilated tuna on the docks) would catch many hundreds of blue marlin, bluefin tuna, sharks and other game fish for display and trophy mounts. Today the blue marlin granders and huge bluefin are rare. Catch and release thanks to the IGFA and conservation groups is the norm for many billfish and sharks caught, though Camacho said that wahoo, yellowfin tuna and dolphin are still prevalent in certain territories.  

“Playboy, Hemingway and the potential to catch a lot of Wahoo, should make for some bucket list memories,” said Camacho. “We already have several boats committed so it looks like we will have a competitive field of anglers.”  

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