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Family Island News
Arthur’s Town High students sworn in to Cat Island Local Government Junior Council
Written by BIS   
Friday, 22 November 2013 16:22

Elected Arthur’s Town High School students and stakeholders pose for an official photograph, during the Local Government Junior Council swearing-in ceremony at the Cat Island school, Nov. 15, 2013.  (BIS Photo / Eric Rose) ARTHUR’S TOWN, Cat Island – Arthur’s Town High School students cheered and applauded for the newly-elected members of their Cat Island school’s Local Government Junior Council, on November 15, 2013.    

Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government were in Cat Island to oversee and conduct elections during that week, along with local coordinators, at Arthur’s Town and Old Bight High Schools.    

Students who attended the rallies and took part in the elections process spoke highly of the programme and what it meant to them.    

Idanique Dean, grade nine, said that she thought the campaigning and voting a few days before was “a great process” and taught them a lot.    

“The campaigns were great and the speeches stood out from each other, so it made it better,” Idanique said. “It made it easier to elect the candidate of your choice.”    

“It prepares us for when we get out of school and have to vote in an election.”    

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Old Bight students learn and have fun during Junior Council elections
Written by BIS   
Monday, 18 November 2013 16:01

Old Bight High School seventh-graders Vanna Miller (left), Jefftin Evans and Ricadra Thurston pose with their voter’s cards and inked thumbs, on November 14, 2013, during the Local Government Junior Council elections at the Cat Island school.  (BIS Photo / Eric Rose) OLD BIGHT, Cat Island – “Election Fever” was in full blaze as Old Bight High School students held campaigns and debates, in Old Bight, Cat Island, as part of the Local Government Junior Council elections at their school, on November 14, 2013.  

Candidates decided to form parties to show teamwork from the very beginning. The teams were the Positive Dream Makers (PDM), the Young Women of Standards (YWS) and MEAD (Maintaining Effective Adjustments Dominantly), the latter is pronounced “med” to rhyme with “head”.  

The teams had supporters, flyers, posters, entry music and platforms, such as sports facilities and repairs and renovations to their school campus.  

Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government were in Cat Island from November 13 – 15, 2013, to oversee and conduct elections during that week, along with local coordinators, at Arthur’s Town and Old Bight High Schools.  

Tania Armstrong, grade 10, said that she thought the campaign and the elections would be good for Old Bight High.  

“It is going to build up the school mentally and physically – like how they were talking about a gymnasium,” she said. “Mentally, it is going to help us with our work because we are going to have extra classrooms and extra teachers.”  

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Old Bight High educators commend Local Government Junior Council programme
Written by BIS   
Monday, 18 November 2013 09:49

Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government V. Alfred Gay poses at the Old Bight High School, Cat Island, on November 15, 2013, with (from left) Local Coordinator Ms. Deidra Rolle, National Co-ordinator for the Local Government Junior Council Programme Ms. Lashanta Fowler and Assistant Local Coordinator Mrs. Yuwonka Lafrance, during the programme’s swearing-in ceremony.  (BIS Photo / Eric Rose) OLD BIGHT, Cat Island, The Bahamas – Educators at the Old Bight High School, on Cat Island, applauded the Local Government Junior Council programme, on November 14, 2013, and commended the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government for bringing it to the island.    

Old Bight High School principal Jerome Forbes said he was “blessed” by the proceedings and the event was one he would never forget.    

“To see young people come together – not just as individuals but as teams – presenting platforms for the betterment of their school and Cat Island was a joy,” Mr. Forbes said. “To see their team spirit and their campaigns – it just shows that students are learning what goes into a general election. We even saw them with their ‘election generals’, their flyers, their posters, the rousing speeches they made.”    

Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government were in Cat Island from November 13 2013, to oversee and conduct elections during that week, along with local coordinators, at Arthur’s Town and Old Bight High Schools. The Ministry is currently conducting the second phase of the 2013/2014 Local Government Junior Council Programme, which entails the elections and swearing-in ceremonies, on a number of islands.    

Local Coordinator at Old Bight High School Ms. Deidra Rolle said she thought the campaigning and debates went off quite well, especially in light of the amount of preparation involved in the event.    

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Romora Bay renovates and builds fitness centre with high hopes for upcoming season
Submitted by DP&A   
Monday, 18 November 2013 00:22

HARBOUR ISLAND, The Bahamas -- Two years after its name made headlines round the world as the resort where the world’s most sought-after runaway, the Barefoot Bandit, was captured, Romora Bay Club & Resort in Harbour Island is preparing for a different kind of attention. The colourful harbourfront property is upgrading rooms and baths, building a fitness centre and renovating common areas hoping for the best season since the economic freefall in 2008.

“The bookings, particularly for the marina, look good,” said Client Manager Anne Ward. “So this year when we closed during the fall, we plowed full speed ahead with renovations.” Only local contractors and artisans were considered for the work that will top $500,000. Contractor Christopher Ritchie was awarded the main contract and Gregory Higgs, the contract for the gym next to the dock master’s office.

Timing for the makeover was not accidental.

This summer, the marina was chockablock full for American Independence weekend, the first time every one of its 40 slips was filled since the marina opened in 2008. Romora Bay earned environmental praise by building the marina without dredging, by declining the lucrative option of selling fuel, placing a dye in docking vessels so any discharge into the harbor would be detected and by creating an educational experience for youngsters with areas protected areas under the docks.

“Dredging, particularly if it is not coordinated with the outgoing tide, churns up sand and silt that covers coral reefs, damaging fragile life,” explained a spokesman for Bonachella Investments, which owns the historic property on nearly six acres of some of Harbour Island’s most treasured land. “Fortunately, we were able to complete without dredging because of the depth of the seabed and the design of the docks.”

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Resorts World Bimini establishes Environmental Task Force
Submitted by Eileen Fielder   
Sunday, 17 November 2013 16:18

BIMINI, The Bahamas --To underscore its commitment to environmental sustainability, Resorts World Bimini (RWB) has established an Environmental Task Force (ETF) as work progresses on the construction of the North Bimini Ferry Terminal. The ETF comprises environmental consultants, technical advisors, and Bimini community leaders whose responsibilities will include the oversight of an ongoing Environmental Management Plan.

The ETF signals Resort World Bimini’s commitment to bringing about the most beneficial outcomes for all stakeholders through the committee’s vigilance. Top on its action list is the oversight of the dredging necessary to create the 4.5 acre cruise terminal island, to ensure mitigation of any potential damage to the surrounding 25 acres of seabed. ETF member Kirk Lofgren of Ocean Consulting assures that protective measures will be implemented during dredging operations.

“These protective measures include the installation of anchored turbidity curtains to knock down sediment suspended in the water column during dredge operations,” he said. “The suspended sediment, known as turbidity, will also be monitored every 4 hours during dredge operations and if it is found that levels exceed the Government-approved maximum limit as identified in the Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Management Plan, operations will be shut-down until levels return to acceptable standards below the limit.”

The ETF is also paying close attention to the relocation of patches of coral reef that were found in the footprint of the three stages of construction – the pier, artificial island, and dredging. Mr. Lofgren reveals that the 75 corals that have been relocated thus far are faring well.

“The corals have been re-attached to the first limestone boulders placed in the water at the proposed artificial reef location,” he said. “They will be monitored for a period of 5 years to ensure their health and success, and during that time we will monitor the natural recruitment of new coral colonies. We are also establishing a photograph and video log to keep track of the coral relocation work completed to-date.”

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Nassau Container Port announces Family Island development initiative
Submitted by Eileen Fielder   
Friday, 15 November 2013 09:10
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Nassau Container Port announces its Family Island Development Initiative with incentives geared towards supporting the evolution of the Family Islands through fostering the sustainability of the Small Bahamian Shipping Companies.  

The perks offered at NCP allow for the facilitation of commerce and development between not only New Providence, but the Family Islands and the World.  

These incentives include:

50% off landing fees on domestic cargo landed at NCP.
The result: Family Island manufacturing and agriculture benefits.

50% off landing fees on duty not paid cargo landed at NCP when a Family Island is to be the final destination.
The result: A $60 per 20ft container Supply Chain subsidy provided to shipping companies supporting the development of the Family Islands.

25% off landing fees for duty not paid cargo earmarked for New Providence and shipped by 100% Bahamian owned and operated vessels only.
The result: Placing Bahamian-owned vessels at an advantage.
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Eight contracts awarded to Androsians
Written by BIS   
Thursday, 14 November 2013 09:17

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development, Philip Davis, signs contracts totalling $1.3 million for the building of teachers’ quarters on the site of the Bahamas Agriculture & Marine Science Research Institute.  Pictured feft to right: Executive Chairman,  Bahamas Agricultural & Industrial Corporation (BAIC),  Arnold A. Forbes; Minister Davis and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Colin Higgs. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith). NORTH ANDROS, Bahamas – The government has awarded contracts totalling $1.3 million to eight Androsian contractors. The contracts were signed during a groundbreaking ceremony held on Monday, November 11 in North Andros.  

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development, Philip Davis said the contracts are for the building of teachers’ quarters on the site of the Bahamas Agriculture & Marine Science Research Institute.  

“This is unquestionably a great day for Andros. It is a great day for our future successes in our food production potential,” said Mr. Davis. “You would have heard of the cooperative efforts between the world of academia, the professionals in the agricultural and marine sciences and the various agencies of the government charged with the implementation of the government’s progressive policies for the development of our national potential in Agriculture and our Marine Resources.”  

Mr. Davis said the island of Andros has a "great deal" of land available for future growth and development; however, one of the greatest challenges has been the migration of Androsians to New Providence in the search for work. He said that it is the "government’s hope"that this investment would encourage the movement of people back to Andros.  

“I speak especially to Androsians, who I know have longed for the realistic potential for them to make the move back home,” said Mr. Davis. “Another consideration is that in a very real sense we are a water nation. Fully 95 percent of our territory is the sea and more than 20 percent of our 5,000 square miles of land is classified as ‘wetlands,’ with Andros leading the way in this as well as being the largest island, by far, within our archipelago.”  

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Bahamas Agricultural and Marine Science Research Institute officially launched in North Andros
Submitted by BIS   
Wednesday, 13 November 2013 08:49

Prime Minister Perry G. Christie along with several officials symbolically break the ground at the site for the Bahamas Agricultural & Marine Science Research Institute in North Andros during a ceremony held Nov. 11, 2013. Pictured left to right: Prime Minister Christie, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development Philip Davis; Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government, V. Alfred Gray; Executive Chairman, Bahamas Agricultural & Industrial Corporation (BAIC),  Arnold A. Forbes; Chairman, College of The Bahamas Council,  Alfred Sears; and former chairman of BAIC,  Edison Key. (BIS Photo/Derek Smith).ANDROS, The Bahamas – The Bahamas Agricultural and Marine Science Research Institute has been officially launched.

During a groundbreaking ceremony held in North Andros on Monday, November 11, 2013, the government made good on its promise to bring the project to fruition.

Prime Minister Perry Christie said the government is committed, not only to progress but also to the transformation of the agricultural sector.

“We share a vision – that as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of our nation’s independence, the future progress of our beloved Bahamians will depend, quite simply, on Bahamians,” said Mr. Christie. “That’s why a new era begins with a new school: the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Sciences Research Institute is the cornerstone of my government’s plan to realise our nation’s agricultural promise.”

Mr. Christie said the government’s “agriculture plan” has a holistic and forward-thinking agenda which would support infrastructural upgrades, promote the creation of value-added products, develop an urban agriculture programme, build new agri-business centres and strengthen trading relationships.

He said the country’s ever-increasing import bill is a driving force behind developing agriculture in The Bahamas. With hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on food imports annually, Mr. Christie said the country would need to realise the full potential of its arable lands.

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