Talking conch and surgery on Steve Harvey’s couch
#The Bahamas, February 19, 2018 – Judging by the size of his smile and his core professional choice, it is probably not difficult to humour Steve Harvey. However when you size up his stature and his personal accomplishments, it is likely it is more than tough to impress this multi-media icon; but recently a Bahamian-American did just that when he appeared on Harvey’s daytime TV talk show.
Early on, Myron Rolle was raised in The Bahamas and born in Texas. His parents migrated to the United States, with the family, when Myron was but a boy. Rolle was a guest on the Steve Harvey show where he was introduced like this by Mr. Harvey himself, “My next guest is just 30 years old and already his life is the stuff that movies are made of. In college he was a star football player and a Rhodes Scholar, then he made it to the NFL. Now after three seasons in the pros, he just made headlines for his latest achievement being accepted to the neurosurgery program at Harvard University. Please welcome a man who is the definition of over achiever, please welcome Myron Rolle.”
The audience erupted in loud applause.
Dr. Myron Rolle flashed a huge smile, looked a little taken aback by hearing such a glowing report about himself from such a towering media figure, stretched out his arms on Steve Harvey’s couch, sat a little more upright and spoke in a mannerly, charming and humble tone as the cheering audience quieted in anticipation.
The 4:47 minute clip has been widely circulated on social media, particularly by proud Bahamians who are overjoyed to show off the accomplishments of a home town boy on the global stage. By now, Bahamians are not unaccustomed to stand out athletes who are drawing international attention but this man, Dr. Myron Rolle, certainly does take it to a new level when it comes to achievement.
A sixth round draft pick in the NFL, where he signed on for four years as a safety with the Tennessee Titans. While attending Florida State University, Myron was fantastic on the field for the Seminoles and fantastic off the field for the pre-med program which he completed in a record two and a half years with a 3.75 grade point average. The amazing performance academically earned him a Rhodes Scholarship and he pressed paused on his NFL dreams to study at Oxford University in London, England.
Even his road to the Rhodes is a fascinatingly, inspiring story of sacrifice, tenacity and uncommon favor. Myron Rolle saw doors open to him that no man could shut and he made wise choices by taking the one year Rhodes Scholarship, which is offered to only 32 Americans each year and in 2010 he was back for the NFL draft, where he was picked up in round six.
In 2013, Myron Rolle was one of three Bahamian Rhodes Scholars to be honoured with his image on a commemorative stamp; the 70 cent piece features the trio. And he has charity organisations, including one focused on curtailing childhood obesity.
Dr. Rolle, who in 2009 had a day celebrated in his honour in Galloway Township, New Jersey where he grew up told Steve Harvey that as a child, his parents put images of strong, accomplished, men who ‘looked like me’ on his bedroom wall.
Among those making the cut for Mr. and Mrs. Rolle as suitable black role models for their sons were Kofi Annon, Booker T. Washington, Deion Sanders and Dr. Ben Carson; the former presidential candidate; author of Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and a pioneering medical doctor, heading leading medical facilities and forging medical breakthroughs as a brilliant neurosurgeon, who also happens to be a black American. Obviously, the latter two men made the most marked impression on young Myron as he was coming up.
“So Dr. Carson was on my wall as a young man, and he planted the seed of neurosurgery in my head, early and I also had Deion Sanders on my wall so he was kinda my athletic hero. So I had this parallel road of trying to accomplish the goals academically and athletically and thankfully by the grace of God, by good work, good discipline I focused on education and focused on good principles, I was able to accomplish some of these things.”
The interview was riveting and got even more interesting as Dr. Rolle repeatedly talked about his Bahamian heritage.
When Steve Harvey asked him how he unwinds and cuts loose, the mention of the Bahamas came again and this time it was the conch that got ‘big props’.
“So I like to go back to Nassau and hang out with my family. I like cracked conch, I don’t know if you have ever had conch before? But… crack conch, stew conch, boiled conch, fried conch, conch burgers, conch fritters, conch salad… every kind of conch you could think of.”
This conch list elicited laughter and Dr. Rolle continued his remarks demonstrating his love for his Caribbean region roots.
“I grew up on reggae and soca music so I live alone and when I have a chance to have my own jam session and concert in my house, by myself I get a full lather on…I really get into it.”
At this point, as a master of comedic timing, Steve Harvey says, “well that living alone – there’s some people who can shut that down for you right now…” In a ‘round the way girl’ voice, Steve added, ‘heeeey, you don’t have to stay by yo’self. I’m lonely too.’
Obviously, as a suave and handsome young man, Dr. Myron Rolle is also a very eligible bachelor and he next shared that he has met both Dr. Ben Carson – he attended church with the celebrated physician who also wrote him a letter of recommendation – and Myron has met ‘prime time’ aka Deion Sanders, another over-achiever retired now from both the NFL and MLB, and is a Hall of Famer.
As the interview neared the wrap up, Myron complimented Steve Harvey on his fashion sense and Harvey promised Dr. Rolle that he would continue to follow his progress. Steve Harvey also endorsed the idea for Dr. Rolle to make a splash, fashionably, even in his medical scrubs.
Steve Harvey summed up the life of our Dr. Myron Rolle as well, ‘an amazing story’ and that is exactly what it is, truly amazing.
Kamala Harris to meet with Caribbean leaders in The Bahamas
#USA, June 5, 2023 – Kamala Harris, United States Vice President will journey to Nassau Bahamas in June for a top level meeting with Caribbean leaders, marking the first time she will visit the region since occupying office in 2021.
According to the White House in a statement, the meeting will bring attention to a range of regional issues. Harris and the Caribbean leaders will continue talks on the shared efforts to address the climate crisis, such as promoting climate resilience and adaptation in the region and increasing energy security through clean energy.
Additionally, the statement informed that Harris’ trip “delivers on the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advance cooperation with the Caribbean in pursuit of shared prosperity and security, and in recognition of the common bonds and interests between our nations.”
The June 8th meeting builds on and strengthens the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030, which was launched by the Vice President and Caribbean leaders in Los Angeles at the Summit of the Americas as further mentioned by White House Statement.
PM Davis ‘confident’ that Revenue Outturn will near $2.9 billion
By ERIC ROSE
Bahamas Information Services
#NASSAU, The Bahamas, May 30, 2023 – Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis said in the House of Assembly, on May 31, 2023, that public revenue receipts were strong over the nine-month period of July 2022 to March 2023, due to legislative reform, effective policy decisions, strengthened economic conditions and more efficient collection efforts.
“Analysis of the trends of the first three quarters of this fiscal year, and the years prior, suggest that the government is potentially set to exceed the $2.85 billion target set forth in the February 2023 Mid-year Supplementary Budget,” he said, during his Communication on Budget 2023.
“I am confident the revenue outturn at the end of the Fiscal Year 22/23 will near $2.9 billion.
Public spending has remained on track, and is well within the budgeted amount,” Prime Minister Davis added. “For this reason I am confident that expenditure at end of the Fiscal Year 2022/23 will almost reach the target of $3.1 billion set in the Supplementary Budget.”
He pointed out that the primary balance will, therefore, record a surplus of $68.4 million at the end of the fiscal year, a $54.8 million increase from the $13.6 million surplus projected in the supplementary budget.
“Likewise, the overall deficit is expected to improve to $520.6 million, down from the $575.4 million outlined in the supplementary budget,” he said.
Speaking of Government financing, Prime Minister Davis said that The Bahamas’ borrowing costs had begun to experience a downward trend in the previous quarter; but the cost of borrowing rose at the end of March 2023.
“At the end of the third quarter, the total average cost of borrowing for current outstanding debt had risen to an interest rate of 5.55 percent,” he pointed out. “This is notably higher than the previous year’s rate of 4.93 percent at the end of March 2022.
“This increase in borrowing costs is primarily attributable to the higher costs associated with external loan facilities.”
He added that, more specifically, the average interest rate for external financing had risen by 1.99 basis points, resulting in a rate of 5.55 percent as of March 2023, compared to the preceding year’s 3.56 percent.
“Throughout the past year, the interest rate policies of the major Central Banks have been restrictive, with a series of interest rate increases,” Prime Minister Davis said. “These adjustments have been primarily motivated by the escalation of inflation, and the resulting upsurge in interest rates has had an impact on the Bahamas’ external borrowing costs.”
He added: “However, the cost of borrowing in the domestic market has been declining over the past quarters.
Looking at it in more detail, we can see that:
- The average interest cost for domestic loans subsided by 27 basis points to 4.62 percent at end of March 2023, from 4.89 percent in the previous year;
- And the average interest cost for domestic bonds subsided by 3 basis points to 4.63 percent at the end of March 2023 from 4.66 percent in the previous year.”
Prime Minister Davis noted that those statistics affirmed the Government’s latest medium-term debt strategy, which aimed to shift its borrowing away from costly external commercial debt.
“Such debt has seen a sharp increase over the past five years, including recent interest rate hikes,” he said. “This strategic move will enable the government to once again rely predominantly on the domestic market to meet its financing requirements.”
Prime Minister Davis pointed out that, when considering the maturity of debt, or the average time it takes to repay the principal amount in the government’s debt portfolio, a longer maturity period led to a reduction in refinancing risk.
“In essence, prioritizing longer maturities is key to managing debt effectively,” he said. “And so another element of the government’s medium-term debt management strategy is the goal of prolonging the average maturity time of its debt.”
Prime Minister Davis said that, in the face of “unprecedented turbulence” in the global financial markets, the Government was able to maintain its average time to maturity.
“At end of March 2023, the average time to maturity has decreased slightly to 6.7 years, down from the previous 6.8 years in March 2022,” he said. “This variance is due solely to the external loan component, as the average time to maturity on internal debt has remained steady at 7.1 years.”
“This highlights the significance of maintaining a prudent approach to debt management, and aligning this administration’s practices with the government’s optimal debt strategy,” Prime Minister Davis added.
“It is imperative that we continue to exercise prudence in this area to ensure financial stability.”
(BIS Photos/Ulric Woodside)
PM states HCA model not working during budget debate
By ROBYN ADDERLEY
Bahamas Information Services
#FREEPORT, Grand Bahama, May 30, 2023 – The model of the Hawkbill Creek Act, the agreement between the Government of The Bahamas and the Grand Bahama Port Authority, is not working, said Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Davis during the opening of the 2023 Budget Debate on Wednesday, May 31 in the House of Assembly.
The island of Grand Bahama, he said, contributes 12 percent of the country’s GDP, however, there was a decline by 9 percent when compared to the previous year. Tourism, he said, increased in 2022 showing a growth in accommodation and food service.
“Unfortunately, the statistics show a prolonged decline in the Grand Bahamian economy. The evidence confirms the view of my government that the Hawksbill Creek economic model, which was meant to attract foreign direct investment, does not work.
“Furthermore, in our view, the government model of the Grand Bahama Port Authority must change, in order to realize the promise, growth and prosperity we all desire.
“Additionally, the Government of The Bahamas has serious concerns regarding the compliance of the GBPA and its related companies with the terms and conditions of the Hawksbill Creek Act, and its subsequent amendments.”
In the past, said the Prime Minister, administrations have attempted to address the issues however they appear to be “systemic and fundamental.” Decisive action will be taken, he continued, and a separate detailed announcement will be made at another time.
Prime Minister Davis mentioned that even though the GDP for several islands has experienced growth, Abaco and Grand Bahama have not done as well. Abaco, he said, saw a decline of 6 percent in 2022 with its contribution to the economy at 2.8 percent ranking the island as the third largest contributor.
“While there was a slight improvement in Abaco’s economy compared to 2019, it has yet to reach the levels seen before Hurricane Dorian. The decline in the economic activity is directly related to the slowdown in the real estate and construction sectors.”
He continued, “Declines in the real estate sector are directly as a result of a shift to higher intermediate consumption in 2022 from that of the previous two years. In terms of declines in construction, it should be noted that in 2020 and 2021, Abaco experienced significant recovery efforts in the form of debris removal, site preparation and building of damaged structures.
Such efforts bolstered the value added to the island’s GDP during those years. As those efforts wrap up, the industry saw a gradual decline as construction tempered to normal levels in 2022, resulting in a lower GDP.
Additionally, the Prime Minister said the Grand Bahama International Airport will be repaired, and a new healthcare facility will be built. Provisions have also been made for the continuation of an employment program for $4.7 million, along with the construction of a 50-meter swimming pool facility.
The House of Assembly has adjourned until Wednesday, June 7, when the debate will continue.
(BIS Photo/Ulric Woodside)
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