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“The Power Of Persuasion”

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From the beginning I knew that it would be hard for fifty dollars to overcome nine million dollars, but I said let me give it a try anyway.

I knew that with nine million dollars you could purchase radio, print media, private bloggers and any amount of social media hounds to push your agenda and yes they did, but I kept on trying, just for the sake of protecting and preserving our fragile culture.

So when I saw the live stream of the so-called Carnival event in Grand Bahama, I was happy to see that they emulated the template of the successful “It’s A Bahamian Ting” show that we put on a week prior at Arawak Cay (April 11th, 2015). They had an all Bahamian cast, like we did. They had Rake-N-Scrape, like we did. They had a Junkanoo Rush Out, like we did. They had a super-sized Goombay Summer Festival, like we did.

It was awesome and I said to myself, this is what I was asking for all along, Bahamians and visitors enjoying our Bahamian Culture. What I did not want was a Trinidadian type carnival-styled event and from all indications, the Trini Road Fever thing never happened in Grand Bahama. Again great, that is not Bahamian Culture. So all in all, Grand Bahama held a complete Bahamian Festival and there was no need for the word ‘carnival’ to be added to it. No one came to Grand Bahama looking for a carnival. No one purchased Road Fever Trini costumes.

No one carried on vulgar in the streets. No fights, just like the Arawak Cay show. Bahamian music is peaceful. I was very proud of that; I was glad that they took our advice. I can see us renaming this event to Bahamas Junkanoo Festival or Bahamas Goombay Festival going forward.

In Grand Bahama we are used to crowds of Bahamians showing up at Taino Beach for special occasions, this is nothing new. This was my experience since I was a child, and up to today. Taino Beach is still that spot.
With six months to a year of internet ads, posters, billboards, radio ads, and a million or so dollars injected into the event, actually there should have been more visitors and Bahamians than what was at Taino Beach. Grand Bahama’s Tourism Office does just as well with regards to crowd numbers with a budget of thirty to forty thousand dollars, or so, for the Goombay Summer Festival. When we brought the “Best of the Best” shows to Grand Bahama there was standing room only and those were private functions. Those crowds went insane! It was like the Beatles were in concert, so let’s not get it twisted.

Grand Bahamians are always hungry for sweet Bahamian music, just like the rest of the country. Once it is presented properly, in a safe environment, given enough time and funding, we could have a successful Bahamian concert on every island in this country utilizing every Bahamian artist, musician, dancer etc. and be able to spark their economies also without the word carnival ever being used. Now on the issue of hotels, car rental and no food on the island because of this Carnival event in Grand Bahama, I leave that up to the reporters to make some calls and find out the truth and not allow the spin doctors to dictate to them.

This discussion, at least from my vantage point, was never about making money. It has always been about the Bahamian taxpayers’ monies being spent on Bahamian things, Bahamian people, Bahamian entertainers, and Bahamian Culture but the political operatives are trying to change the topic and mislead us. It amazes me how we would pull down our own and protect the foreigner just because our own would stand up to a government that said they would put Bahamians first. Go to Crab Fest, Cat Island Rake-N-Scrape Festival or any of the many festivals throughout our country; the only thing we need to do is promote these festivals internationally. Give it half of, or just as much as we are giving to this foreign festival and see what happens.

I have noticed that no one is addressing my main point of the Bahamian people’s money being spent only on Bahamian Culture. The Minister of Culture is suppose to defend and protect our culture, where is he on this matter? I am disappointed in him. We need leaders that will look out for us, to protect our heritage. I think we need a thorough forensic audit on how and where our monies were spent and are being spent.

Bahamians who defend foreign over their own, who are willing to pay the foreigner more and not bat an eye when destroying their own countryman for political mileage, should be ashamed of themselves. When a foreign government starts paying for us Bahamians out of their treasury to perform at their national festivals I would jump on board with this head first. Our leaders duck away from the subject of wasting the Bahamian people’s money. We don’t need anyone else’s culture to make a dime off, our culture is just fine. I would like to thank Mrs. Ginger Moxey and her crew for being brave and putting on an all Bahamian event in Grand Bahama with no foreign elements or entertainers. New Providence should take note and follow suit. Carnival is not our culture, and you all are wrong for trying to push it down our throats at our own expense. #BahamianCultureFirst

Kirkland H. Bodie

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

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CARPHA, HCC and PAHO call on the Caribbean Community to “Reimagine Healthy Spaces” for Caribbean Wellness Day

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September 9, 2022 – The Caribbean Community is celebrating Caribbean Wellness Day (CWD) 2022 under the theme “Our Neighbourhood, Our Health”. In commemoration of the day, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), are calling on the region to “Reimagine Healthy Spaces” around three main themes – Active Societies, a Smoke Free Caribbean and Healthy Schools.

In a statement commemorating the occasion, Dr. Joy St John, Executive Director, CARPHA noted that, “We take this opportunity, at this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, to create a renewed vision and re-commit to the practices and policies that we know support the health and wellbeing of our Caribbean people.”

Built spaces and urban planning laws can significantly impact the level of movement in society and is a crucial element in ensuring a healthier Caribbean.

“The commitment of governments towards the implementation of intersectoral public policies and programs so that all neighbourhoods have basic services, safe public transportation, areas where we can socialise, safe streets, places to walk and green spaces, is so important.” PAHO Director, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne said. “I want to recognize the efforts of many municipalities in the region that are working on making their municipalities healthy, responding to the needs of people, and facilitating strategies that improve the conditions of places where they are born, work, study and have fun,” she added.

Another issue to be addressed during the “Reimagine Healthy Spaces” campaign is the negative impact that cigarettes have on both public health and the environment.

Dr. St John noted that, “Millions of trees are cut down annually to produce the number of cigarettes that the industry demands to maintain profits, while cigarette butts and packaging can contribute to environmental pollution.” She asserted that, “This reimagining of a smoke-free Caribbean, that limits the negative impact of the tobacco industry on our health and our environment is necessary, not just for our own health but for the health of the next generation.”

Sir Trevor Hassell, President, Healthy Caribbean Coalition noted that “Healthy Schools are a cornerstone of our neighbourhoods and a building block of a productive society.  A Healthy school is smoke-free, promotes inclusive physical activity and is protected by healthy school policies.” He elaborated, “These policies would limit the sale and marketing of foods full of sugar, fats and salt both in and around schools, while increasing the availability of healthy foods and drinking water.”  In keeping with this, the recently launched digital campaign, ‘#ActOnFacts – The Food in Schools Matters’, encourages public and policymaker support for the introduction of policies that puts the health of our children at the centre.

Caribbean Wellness Day

Caribbean Wellness Day is celebrated each year on the second Saturday in September to address the threat posed by non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The day was originally conceived by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and is an integral part of the Port of Spain Declaration where the region united to fight the epidemic of NCDs. The event aims to increase awareness and promote activities to address non-communicable diseases including mental health issues.

The overall theme for Caribbean Wellness Day for the five year-period, 2020-2024 has been, “Power Through Collective Action”. It is this collective power that can be harnessed to affect the much-needed changes that can transform our spaces into enabling environments for a healthier Caribbean people. Collectively, the region has the power to bring the vision of a healthier Caribbean to life – one person, one neighbourhood, one nation at a time.

CARPHA, HCC and PAHO invite the public to join the celebration by visiting our social media pages to share your vision of Healthy Spaces. The campaign will feature key facts around the need for change, enable conversation in our communities and encourage our leaders to continue to build on the commitments made in the historic Port of Spain declaration.

Follow the campaign by using the hashtags: #CaribbeanWellnessDay, #CWD2022, #CWDHealthySpaces

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Covid Entry Vaccine mandate ‘working’ for Turks and Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, August 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos will not be dropping its vaccine mandate for visitors immediately according to E. Jay Saunders, TCI Deputy Premier, acting as Minister of Health; Saunders was speaking at a press conference on Monday August 8th.

He explained that while the government would certainly follow the advice of the health ministry the mandate would be around a while longer.

“We feel currently that the vaccine mandate is working for the Turks and Caicos. It certainly hasn’t slowed down the amount of tourists coming into the Turks and Caicos and we’re happy with that,” he said.

He expressed gratitude that the government would not have to be reactive and change the protocols just because of the low tourist arrivals.

“We are watching it to see what’s best for the country and so there’s no date on that. It’s not going to be in forever.

Eventually we are going to get to a point where we think that it’s safe enough, where we have enough herd immunity in the country where we can allow people to come in unvaccinated.”

While the acting minister did not have a specific date set for this removal he reassured that whenever the decision was made it would be with the best interest of the country in mind.

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NEW CAYMAN MISS UNIVERSE IS FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, August 20, 2022 – After cheers, celebration, and a proud victory for twenty-four old, Tiffany LeAnn Conolly, there is now dismay, disbelief, and shame.

Conolly was crowned Miss Cayman Islands Universe at the annual beauty pageant at the Westin Hotel on Saturday August 6.  Now, she is facing several criminal charges regarding an assault last year.  The newly crowned queen has not yet been convicted but appeared in Summary Court in March, facing two counts of common assault, two counts of damage to property, two further charges for disorderly conduct at a police station and one of assaulting a police officer.

Conolly was also arrested following an altercation at a former boyfriend’s house after allegedly assaulting her former lover and another family member, as well as a police officer at the detention centre following that arrest.

Conolly was still allowed to enter the pageant because she has not been found guilty of the charges; the case is still ongoing. On Saturday, she was awarded Miss Photogenic, Miss Best Smile and Miss Best-In-Gown.

The Miss Cayman Islands Universe title comes with a number of rewards and responsibilities, including a $70,000 three-year educational scholarship.  Nonetheless, Conolly may not be allowed to represent the island at the international pageant should she be convicted.

Chloe Powery-Doxey, the first runner-up and winner of Miss Best Legs, will become the new Miss Cayman Islands Universe if Conolly is convicted

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