Nassau, 07 Mar 2016 – Kirkland ‘KB’ Bodie, the musical artist who delivers tough messages to catchy rhythm and rhyme, released his latest Youtube salvo yesterday, taking aim at the government for threatening to replace important land use legislation with a weaker act that he fears fails to protect land or life.
The song ‘Das What Real Bahamians Do’, written, performed and produced by ‘KB’, is the latest in a litany of the musician’s lyrics for the environmental movement Save The Bays and like the others, it puts the conscience of a country on notice.
“Past songs like ‘Hold dey feet to da fire’ were important because they set the tone, making the point that people need to ask for and demand accountability,” said KB. “But today’s release dealing with the Planning and Subdivision Act was far more challenging. How do you make land use rights and responsibilities sexy? How do make the need for an environmental impact assessment for all developments something people relate to, make it fun, and translate the importance of the right to public consultation into a language that makes people care?”
The Act has been a priority issue for Save The Bays, the grass roots environmental organization that has nearly 20,000 followers and friends on Facebook. Environmental attorney and consultant Romi Ferreira, a director of Save The Bays, has been spreading the message of the need to keep the 2010 legislation, speaking to Rotary and other civic organisations, appearing on radio talk shows, at public forums and in paid ‘Say No to PSA’ radio and print ads.
“This bill, the 2015 Planning and Subdivision Act that would replace the 2010 Act that we all fought so hard for and was agreed upon, an Act that was passed unanimously, takes away the rights of Bahamians,” said Ferreira. “It takes away the right to be consulted. It is the legitimate expectation of a community to be consulted, to express its opinions and concerns and for those opinions and concerns to be considered before a decision is rendered that will alter that community’s future.”
Under the proposed legislation, basic rights of public consultation would vanish and the decision to require an environmental impact assessment would be in the hands of a Cabinet Minister for developments of more than 100 lots despite The Bahamas having signed on to a global agreement to the contrary. The 100-lot scenario, says Ferreira, would only encourage developers to build in phases, 99 lots at a time.
While Ferreira looks at the proposed legislation through the eyes of a senior lawyer who has taken environmental and public consultation cases all the way to the Privy Council in London, KB is hoping to get the message across in a way that touches a nerve with a beat that people can’t get out of their heads.
“I don’ get it,” sings KB. “I don’t understand, why the government does give away our land…Y’all voted yes on the PSA, now ‘dat y’all in power, you wanna’ take it way…You shouldn’t change the rules when they don’t suit you, you shouldn’t change the law just for the few.”
Save The Bays, which sponsors the music with a message and the production of videos appealing to tens of thousands of viewers, has picked up the pace for public online involvement of the environmental movement while partnering with several organisations that have long track records in environmental resource management. A petition to keep the 2010 Planning and Subdivision Act is on its website at www.savethebays.bs and a separate petition calling for Freedom of Information legislation and an environmental protection act along with other measures has already attracted nearly 7,000 signatures.
Jamaica Rum Festival Endorsed
#Jamaica, June 27, 2022 – Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange, endorsed this year’s fourth staging of the Jamaica Rum Festival at the Aqueduct in Rose Hall, St. James, on Saturday (June 25).
Ms. Grange, who officially opened the event, noted that rum, and spirits in general, has deep cultural significance in Jamaica, spanning centuries.
“From the cane fields, where our enslaved ancestors worked, through to today, where we have the best rum in the world… we have a lot to be proud of,” she added.
For his part, Tourism Director, Donovan White, commended the organisers of the festival, which attracted a significant number of patrons, including visitors from overseas. He said the Ministry of Tourism, through the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), was pleased to be a partner in the event that showcased top quality products by local rum purveyors.
Minister Grange, representatives from the Tourism Ministry’s agencies, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, were presented with limited edition Wray and Nephew White Overproof Rum.
Contact; Okoye Henry
49th Independence Anniversary Celebrations Kick Off with National Pride Day
In its efforts to promote pride and unity throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the Secretariat is encouraging a National Flag Raising Ceremony be held at all Government, and private corporate offices.
This ceremony should be staged at 9am on the Friday, simultaneously.
Bahamians are urged to wear the national colours of aquamarine, gold and black and assemble together as the National Flag is being hoisted and to sing the National Anthem, followed by a prayer.
The Secretariat is also encouraging participants to capture the event in photos and or videos, for posting on social media platforms, and inclusion in the national jubilee booklet and documentary next year.
Send images to: email@example.com
Photo Caption: Sienna Evans beautiful costume was created by Patrice Lockhart. Special thanks to Commonwealth Fabrics for their generous donation of the Androsia fabric used in the gown.
Education Ministry Recommits to Expanding Uniformed Groups in Schools
#Jamaica, June 27, 2022 – The Ministry of Education and Youth remains committed to increasing the number of uniformed groups in schools. This is in keeping with its thrust to fulfill this mission under the Safety and Security in Schools Programme, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams, has said. She further noted that “it is a part of our series of measures to improve discipline among students.”
Mrs. Williams was speaking during the Council of Voluntary Social Services’ (CVSS) uniformed groups church service on Sunday (June 26). The service was held at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Cross Roads, Kingston.
Mrs. Williams remarks came against the background of what she said were “heightened concerns” in recent months over incidents of violence in schools across Jamaica and calls for a more concerted effort to provide civic and character education for students. She noted that several initiatives within the Ministry to address these concerns were being expanded, among them support for uniformed groups in schools.
“The Ministry has been supporting uniformed youth groups in the development of a Three-Year Strategic Plan and [Memoranda of Understanding] with individual groups which will, at one and the same time, advance the missions of the groups and the mandate of the Ministry to these groups,” Mrs. Williams added.
The Minister pointed out that these cohorts, including Girl Guides, Brownies, Boys Brigade, Cub Scouts, Cadets and Pathfinders, “have played an invaluable role in shaping the character and awakening the social conscience of our young people for decades.”
“It has been well-established that students who participate in clubs are more out-going as they are engaged in activities that support socialisation with their peers. These students tend to be more comfortable in group settings where communication and team-work are necessary. This is a valuable asset as it will also benefit these students outside of the school setting,” she stated.
Additionally, she said they provide opportunities for informal learning and life experiences.
“Uniformed youth groups represent a cohort of the nation’s youth that is organised around a set of core values, such as honour, discipline, service, loyalty, commitment, integrity, perseverance, industry and spiritual fortitude,” the Minister emphasised.
She noted that while most are based in schools, units may also be organised at church and community levels.
“Indeed, we know that the church has been a main source through which many new members are recruited. There is a challenge, however, and that is, over the past few years, there has not been as robust an interest in these groups as in previous decades,” Mrs. Williams indicated.
She said it was acknowledged that the society’s youth now have many more interests and distractions, “but we should still try to encourage them to see the value in participating in groups such as these”, while citing an “urgent need” for volunteer adult leaders.
The Minister also noted that older and more traditional groups, such as Boys Scouts and Girl Guides, are international in scope and maintain linkages with the worldwide movements.
“Support from these fraternal organisations has, however, diminished over the years, and local organisations must find the resources to sustain operations and pay the required affiliation fees. So once again, it is important that we, in the local community, pitch in to provide the needed support,” she added.
In this regard, the Minister commended members of the uniformed groups and CVSS for ongoing efforts to forge long-term alliances that facilitate mutual support and joint action.
Further, she said, for representing the concerns of the social sector, including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, at the regional and international levels.
“We, as a collective, continue to dedicate ourselves to creating a supportive and safe environment for our students to learn and experience as much as possible to become productive members of society,” Mrs. Williams stated.
Contact: Douglas McIntosh
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