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Nassau and Paradise Island News
Save The Bays declares victory as court ruling halts approval process for controversial Nygard Cay development
Submitted by DP&A   
Saturday, 19 July 2014 14:57

Men at work. Close up of southeastern artificial reef construction at Nygard Cay.NASSAU, Bahamas -- Save The Bays (STB) is encouraged after the Supreme Court issued an injunction halting the approvals process for further work at the controversial Nygard Cay development, where it is claimed decades of unauthorized, invasive construction negatively impacted the surrounding marine environment.

The fast-growing social and environmental advocacy movement was granted an injunction restraining the prime minister and his Cabinet from making decisions on any applications by owner Peter Nygard until mid-August. In addition, both STB and a group of 103 Lyford Cay residents and property owners were given permission to apply for separate judicial reviews to examine whether Nygard built his imposing Mayan temple-themed resort in the absence of proper permits and the validity of the Government's so-called consultation process.

“This is an important day,” said attorney Fred Smith, QC, director of legal affairs for STB. “It continues the work of our organization in upholding the rule of law in The Bahamas in the protection of human rights.

“We continue to attempt to teach the government that the public will no longer sit idly by and tolerate the destruction of the environment as a result of cozy relationships between politicians and developers.”

Smith called unregulated development a “deadly scourge” that is threatening to destroy the natural resources upon which future generations of Bahamians must depend. It comes about, he said, because of a system of reciprocal favors that has reached the highest levels of government.

Public notice: Agriculture offices relocated
Submitted by BIS   
Saturday, 19 July 2014 14:46

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The public is hereby advised that the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government has relocated its Administrative, Land Administration Unit, Department of Cooperative offices as well as the Bahamas Agricultural Marine and Science Institute (BAMSI) Main Office from the Levy Building, East Bay Street to its new location in the Island Traders Building situated East Bay and Okra Hill. The telephone number is 1 242- 397-7400.

Save The Bays, reEarth score major victory in fight to protect dolphins
Submitted by DP&A   
Saturday, 19 July 2014 14:38

By Boat - reEarth director, Sam Duncombe (left) & Kim Aranha (right), president of the Bahamas Humane Society inspect the area of Blackbeard’s Cay where dolphins were being kept. Environmentalists scored one of their most powerful victories in Bahamian legal history today when a Supreme Court judge ordered a tourist attraction to undo work on Crown Land done without proper procedure or permits and to be prepared to return eight penned dolphins now contained in an area that has been described as 'inhumane.'NASSAU, Bahamas -- Environmentalists scored one of their most powerful victories in Bahamian legal history today when a Supreme Court judge ordered a tourist attraction to undo work on Crown Land done without proper procedure or permits and to be prepared to return eight penned dolphins now contained in an area that has been described as “inhumane.”

The 21-page ruling by Justice Stephen G. Isaacs in a case brought by reEarth and represented by the legal team of Save The Bays, the fast-growing people’s environmental movement, ran the gamut from restraining the Town Planning Committee from issuing site plan approvals without public consultation to quashing Prime Minister Perry Christie’s decision “to allow Blue illusions to carry out the construction of the facility on Crown Land without site plan approval and to operate a captive marine mammal facility without a premises license as required under the Marine Mammal Act.”

At the heart of the ruling is a controversial island day-visit development on Balmoral Island, re-named Blackbeard’s Cay, off the coastline across from Sandals in Cable Beach. Developer St. Maarten businessman Samir Andrawos first attracted the attention of local businesspeople up in arms about a cruise ship diverting Nassau passengers directly to the island without visiting historic downtown. That business concern was quickly overtaken by environmental fears expressed by animal rights groups including the Bahamas Humane Society and reEarth.

ReEarth director Sam Duncombe said today she was “thrilled” over the decision, though the defendants have six weeks to appeal before dolphins are moved.

RBPF summer campers visit Government House
Submitted by BIS   
Thursday, 17 July 2014 07:58

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling welcomes children from the South Eastern Division of the Royal Bahamas Police Force's Annual Summer Youth Camp during a courtesy call at Government House on, July 16, 2014. (BIS Photo/Letisha Henderson)

Baha Mar Academy summer programs take off
Submitted by Kristina McNeil   
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 15:50

The sky is the limit for these high school students participating in Baha Mar’s Junior Jet-Setter program.NASSAU, Bahamas -- Bahamian college students have the opportunity to soar this summer as the eight-week Summer Dream Team Associate program, one of three coveted student internship programs at Baha Mar, began yesterday. The internship programs are geared to students at various stages in their education.

The Junior Jet-Setter program for high school students started on July 7th while the Jet-Setter program for recent college graduates will start on July 21st. These internships provide the opportunity for students to explore careers in hospitality while experiencing the dynamic Baha Mar environment in diverse areas such as environmental planning and sustainability, creative arts, marketing and finance.

“These outstanding students are the future of the Bahamian hospitality industry. These internships at Baha Mar demonstrate the diversity of the industry and show the students that if they have the right attitude and an aptitude for service, they can have a career in hospitality regardless of their area of study,” said Baha Mar Chief Operating Officer Paul V. Pusateri. “Together, we can transform Bahamas and create a better future for our country.”

The summer programs will lay the foundation for Baha Mar’s better-than-best service culture among potential employees. While the Junior Jet-Setter program will run for two to three weeks at a time, teaching the high school students how to prepare for successful careers, the Jet-Setter and Summer Dream Team Associate interns will teach more specific workplace skills. The college students and recent graduates will learn skills such as time management, professionalism, and critical thinking in addition function-specific skills such as guest services that will prepare them for future job opportunities with Baha Mar. 

One of the most unique aspects of the internships will be the chance to learn service standards and global perspectives from representatives of the exclusive resort brands at Baha Mar – Grand Hyatt, Rosewood, SLS and the centerpiece of the resort, the Baha Mar Casino & Hotel.

Young men lead the class of 2014 at Temple Christian High School
Submitted by Nerissa Hamilton   
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 09:58

Mr. Perry Cunningham, the Principal of Temple Christian High School presented the Principal’s Award to Daniel Jagessar, Head Boy and Valedictorian of the Class of 2014   at the graduation ceremony. (Photo by Edgar Arnette)NASSAU, Bahamas -- Three young men of the Class of 2014 of Temple Christian High School, Daniel Jagessar, Terrance Arnold and Cameron Johnson captured top honours at the graduation ceremony. Head Boy, Daniel Jagessar emerged as the Class Valedictorian and received the Principal’s Award. He obtained first place prizes for Mathematics, English Language, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Religious Studies and Spanish and the second place prize for Graphical Communication.

Daniel also received the Most Outstanding Student Award for Mathematics, the BTC General Manager’s Award and a four-year scholarship from BEC to attend The College of The Bahamas all from participating in the Technical Cadet Corps Programme. Terrance Arnold, Deputy Head Boy captured the Salutatorian Award. He received first place prizes for Graphical Communication and Physical Education and second place prizes for Mathematics and Physics.

Terrance was given the Spirit Award for Soccer and Track and Field. Cameron Johnson graduated in third place in the Class of 2014. He obtained first place prizes in Literature and Art and Design and the second place prize for English Language. Cameron received Honourable Mention from Savannah College of Art and Design for his comic book entered in the college’s art competition.      

Under the theme, “Christ is our Compass for the Future”, the Deputy Director of Education with responsibility for Planning and Development, Mr. Marcellus Taylor gave the keynote address on behalf of the Honourable Jerome Fitzgerald, Minister of Education, Science and Technology at the graduation ceremony. Mr. Taylor reminded the graduates  that to succeed they would need to have a sense of personal direction.

Packed town meeting says ‘No to Nygard’
Submitted by DP&A   
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 09:30
CAPACITY CROWD – Hundreds of Bahamians gathered at the BCOPU hall on Farrington Road to discuss Peter Nygard’s application for further expansion of his   controversial development, and to express their lack discontent over the close relationship between political leaders and foreign developers.NASSAU, Bahamas -- A packed BCPOU Hall resounded with spirited chants of “No to Nygard! No to Nygard!” as a town meeting to discuss the latest plans for a controversial Lyford Cay development swelled in numbers, scope and energy beyond even the organizers’ expectations.

Citizens expressed their fervent opposition to more proposed works at Nygard Cay, where conservationists say unauthorized development is already harming the vital ecosystem of the surrounding Clifton Bay and negatively impacting nearby Jaws Beach, one of the few public beaches left in Nassau. Many, particularly young Bahamians, came forward to ask how they could help convince government to reject the plans.

Environmental attorney Romi Ferreira told them they must stand together like the heroes of the first battle to save Clifton Bay, an area of unique historical, cultural and ecological importance.

“Fourteen years ago, we stared down an unwise development. We won the victory only because we stood together against overwhelming odds and secret deals,” he said.  “Today the threats to Clifton Bay and Jaws beach are very different and yet the same - unregulated development.”

Drawing cheers and applause from the crowd, an impassioned Ferreira said the government’s failure to hold a proper consultation process over the Nygard Cay application – which also asks that land claimed from the seabed without permission be leased to the development’s owner, Canadian fashion designer Peter Nygard – is a prime example of what he called politicians’ disregard for the rights of Bahamians and willingness to sacrifice the public interest for the benefit of certain wealthy foreign “friends”.
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