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Family Island News
QC Smith: Nearly 40% of Bimini seabed already gone
Submitted by DP&A   
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 17:31

Fred Smith, QCSmith raises concern over Court of Appeal delay, claiming accelerated dredging by developers

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- There may soon be nothing left in Bimini to argue over according to attorney Fred Smith, QC, as a massive seafloor dredging operation was allowed to continue during a court postponement, with 38% of the work already complete thanks to a “dramatically increased” rate of excavation.

Mr. Smith, who represents Bimini Blue Coalition (BBC), a group of activists and concerned citizens seeking to protect Bimini’s invaluable marine resources in the face of the construction of a mega-resort and 1,000 foot ferry terminal, said that according to the developer’s own reports, 53,000 cubic yards had been dredged between May 16th and 21st , but over the next two days the total jumped to 150,000 cubic yards, the acceleration coinciding with BBC’s legal efforts to stop it.

On Monday, his clients, Bimini Blue Coalition (BBC) were set to present their case against a recent Supreme Court decision to allow dredging to resume, overturning an injunction granted by the Privy Council in London.

However, the matter was delayed until Wednesday after attorneys for the developer, Resorts World Bimini, said they had not had an opportunity to read Mr. Smith’s submissions, having only received them the night before. Two of the three justices of the court said they also had not had a chance to read the documents.

RWB lawyer John Wilson said he had no desire to delay the proceedings, but Mr. Smith pointed out that on the eve of last week’s Supreme Court case, BBC’s team was likewise given short notice of the developer’s submissions but was nevertheless ready to proceed the next day, despite having to consider a large amount of new material.

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GEF SGP Bahamas and One Eleuthera Foundation build capacity of organisations on Eleuthera
Submitted by One Eleuthera Foundation   
Monday, 02 June 2014 16:27

Participants from the GEF SGP and OEF Project Management and Grant Writing Workshop.ELEUTHERA, The Bahamas -- Through its work of connecting organisations to resources to assist in strengthening them and the communities they work in, The One Eleuthera Foundation (OEF) observed the need for capacity development for the NGOs, CBOs, CSOs and Government agencies on Eleuthera. Recognizing the connection of its objectives to those of the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme Strategy, OEF successfully submitted application to host a three-day workshop on Eleuthera geared toward improving the grant writing and project management skills of organizations on the island.

“While organisations have been working miracles with their limited resources, it is imperative that such training be provided to allow them to increase their funding resources, which is a major factor in them continuing and expanding their work, and evolving to compete in a global economy”, said OEF’s Director of IT/Communications Gacintha Gordon.

Held May 19th to 21st, the workshop was led by GEF SGP Bahamas National Coordinator, Deon Stewart and HD Wells President Stacey Wells-Moultrie who was the main trainer for the event. Pertinent information and evocative exercises on topics such as proper budgeting, monitoring and evaluating grants and projects, and managing and tracking project budget and activities captivated the attention of participants throughout the training. The skills learned have equipped attendees with the knowledge and tools necessary to apply for almost any grant or manage almost any project.

Trainer Stacey Moultrie was intrigued by the enthusiasm of those attending the workshop. “The attendees participated actively and came up with some excellent project ideas,” said Moultrie.

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E. Clement National Arts Festival adjudications continue on Andros
Written by BIS   
Sunday, 01 June 2014 11:21

ANDROS, The Bahamas -- Fresh Creek Primary grade-one students perform the poem "Fire Drill", during the E. Clement National Arts Festival Central Andros adjudications at the school in Fresh Creek, on May 28, 2014.  (BIS Photo / Eric Rose)    

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Acklins school children meet the Governor General
Submitted by BIS   
Thursday, 29 May 2014 07:56

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Students and teachers from Snug Corner Primary and Lovely Bay Primary Schools in Acklins are pictured with Governor-General Sir Arthur Foulkes during a courtesy call on His Excellency at Government House, Tuesday, May 27, 2014. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)

 
 
Resorts World Bimini Career Fair for Biminites to fill dozens of job vacancies
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 17:28

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- Biminites are being invited to apply for dozens of job openings now available at Resorts World Bimini (RWB). A Career Fair is being planned for the island on June 4th under the theme “Your career is about to take off at Resorts World Bimini”. The event will be held between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. or beyond, depending on the response.

The drive to hire more staff is in preparation for major expansion at the Resort, which includes the openings of The Port at Resorts World Bimini this summer, and a 325-room luxury boutique hotel in late fall. Applicants will be vying for positions in the Hotel Front Office, Housekeeping, Slots, Casino Credit, Food & Beverage Service, Culinary, Marketing, Marina, Transportation and Security departments.

According to RWB President Dana Leibovitz, the career fair is expected to build on RWB’s contribution to the island’s economy, as well as national employment figures.

“Much more than a vacation destination, Resorts World Bimini is also an economic engine for The Bahamas and the islands of Bimini,” said Dana Leibovitz, President of Resorts World Bimini. “Our new hotel, paired with the construction of the cruise ship pier and airport expansion, will create hundreds of new jobs and enhance the island’s standing as a destination among visitors from South Florida and around the world.”

RWB’s employment plans are welcomed news, considering the national unemployment figures now stand at 16.2%, a 2.2% increase over the previous year. Mr. Leibovitz says candidates who are successful in obtaining employment with the Resort will have many opportunities for advancement.

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Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina reports record Memorial Day weekend
Submitted by John Bell   
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 17:25

Bimini Big Game Club Resort & MarinaBIMINI, The Bahamas — Management at the historic Bimini Big Game Club Resort & Marina, www.biggameclubbimini.com, reported a record breaking Memorial Day Weekend with just over $100,000 in sales, including rooms, food and beverage dockage.

“We maximized every profit source at the resort,” said Michael Weber, general manager.

Overall, according to Weber, the 51-room resort is up 23% year to date through the low season, with a strong upcoming summer where several weekends are already fully booked. Weber said the resort’s family business continues to build and that the restaurant and bar business remains strong.

Closed for two years, the Big Game Club, which was founded as a dinner club in 1936, was re-opened in 2010 by the Southern California-based Hankey Group of Companies, following completion of a $3.5 million renovation that included all guest rooms, the new Bimini Big Game Bar & Grill, Hemingway Rum Bar and Social Lounge, Gulfstream Conference Center and the Outfitter Shop.

Though Bimini is still primarily a destination for fishing and diving, Weber and his wife, Diana, marketing director, have worked diligently to add family fun and activities, with the addition of watersports, including backcountry kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, sailing, bicycle rentals and even yoga lessons.

 
STB praised for role in ‘David versus Goliath’ fight to save Bimini’s reefs
Submitted by DP&A   
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 07:50

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- Anxiously awaiting the outcome of a Supreme Court hearing last night, concerned citizens who oppose the controversial cruise ship terminal project in Bimini issued a heartfelt statement of thanks to advocacy group Save The Bays (STB) for its crucial help and support.

Bimini Blue Coalition said there is no way it could have challenged an international conglomerate like Malaysia-based Genting for so long without the invaluable backing and advice of the fast-growing fellow NGO.

“We are a small organization and could not have fought this fight on our own,” said BBC in a statement. “This is truly a David versus Goliath fight and wanted to take this opportunity to thank the thousands around The Bahamas and the world who have given us support, and in particular Save The Bays, which threw its considerable influence, expertise and bravery behind out effort since day one.”

Since its launch just over a year ago, STB has catapulted into the role of champion of environmental causes and fledgling advocacy groups around the country.

It has enjoyed unprecedented growth for an NGO, attracting more than 500 registered members, 14,300 followers on Facebook and 6,000 signatures on its petition calling for a Freedom of Information Act, Environmental Protection Act and an end to unregulated development in The Bahamas.

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Privy Council Bimini ruling on video
Submitted by DP&A   
Tuesday, 27 May 2014 15:53

In the video from the Save The Bays YouTube channel Lord Neuberger tells lawyers for Resorts World Bimini and the Bahamas government that the appropriate permits were not in place to allow a controversial dredging operation off the coast of North Bimini.

The developers want to construct a 1,000 foot pier and terminal to accommodate their massive, cruise ship-size ferry, but concerned citizens say the project will destroy some of the most pristine and ecologically important reef systems in the country, which many Biminites rely on for their livelihood.

Click HERE to view.

The Privy Council brought the dredging to a halt, ruling that if they wish to continue, the developers must show how a permit they got "over night" and which they produced at the last minute was properly issued and took into account all the relevant considerations.

 
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