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Family Island News
Andros project to remove invasive species and re-plant coconut trees
Submitted by BIS   
Friday, 04 April 2014 07:13

ANDROS, The Bahamas -- The South Andros Handicraft & Manufacturing Association (SAHMA) will hold an official launching ceremony of the “South Andros Coastal Restoration & Coconut Project” on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 10am at the Craft Centre in Motion Town, Long Bay Cays, South Andros, Bahamas. This initiative is a ‘Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme UNDP funded project for the Community’.  

The project will be implemented over a 15-month period and is intended to address the issue of coastal erosion and land degradation of a 25,500 square feet coastal area in Long Bay Cays, South Andros, where harvesting of coconuts was once an economic contributor to the local community.  

The project will restore this coastal site by the removal of all invasive species (e.g. the Casuarina) and replanting native coastal-friendly plant species including coconut, to help stabilise the coastline and reestablish the coconut grove. Resources from the restored area are expected to reinvigorate and enhance the local cottage industries of charcoal and agro-processing, resulting ultimately in sustainable livelihoods for community members.  

The Bahamas Ambassador to CARICOM and Member of Parliament for the South Andros Constituency, the Hon. Picewell Forbes will be in attendance and will bring remarks at the event. It is also anticipated that other government officials and Members of Parliament will be present.    

South Bimini Airport to welcome its first-ever night flight
Submitted by Michelle Malcolm   
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:58

BIMINI, The Bahamas -- The Bahamian government will welcome the next installment of Resorts World Bimini’s $150 million investment in the Bimini islands on Thursday April 3, 2014 when night flights begin arriving at South Bimini Airport for the first time in the island’s history. The addition of new flight instrumentation and runway lighting will enable civilian aircraft to land 24 hours a day. Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie will travel aboard the first night flight, which is set to arrive in Bimini from Nassau at approximately 8:30pm.

The upgrades make South Bimini Airport only the third airfield in The Bahamas capable of accommodating take-offs and landings around the clock. The airport can now aid aircraft in distress, providing an emergency landing alternative to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

These airport improvements are part of Resorts World Bimini’s ongoing investments in the twin Bahamian islands, which are being undertaken in collaboration with Prime Minister Christie and the national government. Other upgrades to come will include an expansion of the airport’s runway from 5,400 feet to 6,000 feet, which will enable jets as large as a Boeing-737 to land; improvements to the islands’ roads; and the development of a new luxury marina hotel, which will open this year.

“Nearly 100 years have gone by without a plane landing in Bimini after sunset, putting the islands at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting visitors from around the world,” says Resorts World Bimini president Dana Leibovitz. “With its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, these islands are home to some of the world’s greatest natural treasures. We’re making investments that will help bring more people here, creating new jobs and spurring welcome economic impact along the way.”

Commercial flights between Nassau and Bimini are available through Western Air and Sky Bahamas and flights between Ft. Lauderdale and Bimini are available through Sky Bahamas and Silver Airways. In addition, the Bimini SuperFast cruise ship offers regular service from Miami.

Sandals Foundation outfits Rolleville Primary with computers
Submitted by Chester Robards   
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 14:48

EXUMA, The Bahamas -- Another Exuma school has had its technology upgraded by the Sandals Foundation. This time Rolleville Primary was the recipient of a brand new computer lab.

And while the lab will be used to advance the students of Rolleville Primary, it’s principle, Lavone Knowles, said the computers will benefit the entire community.

The students were overjoyed to receive the new computers and created a special hand-made sign for the opening of the lab saying, “thank you Sandals”. They also presented Sandals Foundation representatives with a beautiful plaque.

Community leaders, like Rev. Adam Brown, made a commitment to assist in the upkeep of the new computers.

This is the fourth computer lab the Sandals Foundation has donated to Exuma schools and it is looking forward to completing many more.

Opposition Leader, the Hon. Dr. Hubert A. Minnis visits Exuma
Submitted by Katherine Stewart-Gibson   
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 07:34

Dr. Minnis (second left), Joshua Sears (center) and FNM Deputy Chair Brensil Rolle (far right) walk with Exuma residents. (Photos by Yontalay Bowe)EXUMA, The Bahamas -- Free National Movement Party Leader, the Hon. Dr. Hubert A. Minnis continued his Family Island tours when he and party officers visited the island of Exuma on March 29 – 30, 2014. The team touched down at the George Town International Airport on Saturday morning, March 29.

Dr. Minnis and his team walked-a-bout, visited homes, and chatted with residents in the settlements of Williams Town, Forbes Hill, The Ferry, Heartswell, Rolle Town, George Town, Steventon, Rolleville and Stuart Manor and Mt. Thompson.

The evening concluded with a Grill & Chill held at FNM Headquarters in George Town on Saturday evening. Addressing the crowds Dr. Minnis shared his message of ‘restoration’. He reaffirmed that the FNM will restore faith in government and will empower and provide opportunities for Bahamians.

On Sunday, March 30, Dr. Minnis gave remarks at the closing session of the 79th Annual Convention of the Exuma District of Churches held at Mt. Hermon Union Baptist Church in Mt. Thompson. Dr. Minnis reminded the congregation that we are all ‘duty bound to work together to move the country forward, upward and onward together.”

Photo: Dr. Minnis (second left), Joshua Sears (center) and FNM Deputy Chair Brensil Rolle (far right) walk with Exuma residents. (Photos by Yontalay Bowe)

Preston H. Albury High School band visit the Governor General
Submitted by BIS   
Monday, 31 March 2014 08:35

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The band of Preston H. Albury High School from Rock Sound, Eleuthera was welcome by Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes to Government House for a courtesy call, March 28, 2014. Sir Arthur is pictured speaking to band members in the ballroom. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)

Top judge warns against permits for Bimini developer
Submitted by DP&A   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 10:55

Justice Conteh: “No self-respecting government” would give the green light to construction while the matter is still before the courts

One of the country's top judges has warned of implications for the rule of law if the controversial Bimini Bay development is allowed to forge ahead while still subject to judicial challenge. Pictured is the bulldozing of mangroves as part of earlier resort construction, which environmentalists say is damaging the island’s crucially important marine and terrestrial ecology. (Photo by Gail Woon of EARTHCARE)NASSAU, Bahamas -- One of the country's top judges has warned of implications for the rule of law if the controversial Bimini Bay development is allowed to forge ahead while still subject to judicial challenge.

Court of Appeal Justice Abdulai Conteh told lawyers for the government and Resorts World Bimini that any construction at the resort site could put the entire case at risk.

"In a democracy, no self-respecting government would do anything to jeopardize proceedings before the court," he said.

"When there is a contested issue, one should not change the facts on the ground until a decision is made."

Justice Conteh's comments came as the appeal, lodged by environmental groups Bimini Blue Coalition and Save The Bays, was again adjourned - this time to June 2.

When the new date was announced, lead lawyer for the environmentalists Fred Smith, QC, expressed concern that construction would be allowed to advance in the meantime.

Cruise ship MS Island Sky calls at Inagua
Submitted by BIS   
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 16:01

The Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government the Hon. V. Alfred Gray officially welcoming the MS Island Sky cruise ship to Inagua, during a ceremony on board the vessel on Monday, March 24, 2014. (BIS Photo/Raymond Bethel) MATTHEW TOWN, Great Inagua – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism welcomed the MS Island Sky cruise ship to Inagua, a move to strengthening stop over visitor experience to that most southern island.

On Monday, March 24, 2014 The Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government the Hon V Alfred Gray and Tourism officials greeted the captain, crew and passengers as they boarded the vessel in mid sea.

A plaque exchange ceremony took place in the lounge area where Mr. Gray, on behalf of the Minister of Tourism the Hon Obie Wilchcombe, said it was a great pleasure welcoming passengers and crew to “the best kept secret” in the world.

Mr. Gray presented a glass Junkanoo doll to Captain Hakan Gustafsson, Master of MS Island Sky, who in turn gave a framed photograph of the luxury liner.  “This is a hidden gem and you can now return to your home city and let all your family and friends know that you have seen paradise on earth,” Mr. Gray said.

It is the second time the MS Island Sky, one of the London-based Caledonian Sky flagships - called on the Southern Bahamas. Its Inaugural Call was on January 27, at Acklins Island. There, visitors received native teas, baked goods and Bahamian dishes and souvenirs.

NEMA continues to encourage safer building practices
Written by BIS   
Monday, 24 March 2014 08:42

 Facilitators, presenters and participants at the Safer Building Code Course held March 21to 22, 2014 at the Old Bight High School in Old Bight, Cat Island. Pictured front row seated from left to right are: Ricardo  Woodside, Bahamas Red Cross; Alexander Darville, Dean of Construction, Trades and Workforce at BTVI; Gayle Moncur, Senior Assistant Secretary of NEMA and  programme coordinator; Godfrey Forbes, Bahamian Contractors Association and Charlene Collie, Bahamas Electricity Corporation. (Photo: NEMA/BTVI) OLD BIGHT, Cat Island -- The National Emergency Management Agency is continuing its programme of promoting disaster resilient communities throughout the islands.

In this vein, NEMA, in conjunction with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute held a Safer Building Code Course on the island, which was severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

On Saturday, March 22, the importance of preparedness to respond to any emergency was underscored by facilitators and presenters to the 30 participants residing on the island.

Senior Assistant Secretary of NEMA and Gayle Moncur, the programme coordinator said that a goal of NEMA is to not only encourage participants to hone their skills but enable them to make a sustained living.

She said after the passage of Hurricane Sandy, and based on the level of devastation, it was just a matter of the relevant organisations coming together to facilitate the workshop.

The Safer Building Course is being supported through the Comprehensive Disaster Management Harmonised Implementation Programme: Phase I (CDM HIP) and is aimed at enhancing resilience and building a culture of safety at the community level in CDEMA Participating States.

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