Phase One of Refurbished Southern Recreation Grounds Opened in The Bahamas
# NASSAU, The Bahamas – November 16, 2020 — Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, the Hon. Travis Robinson, MP for Bain and Grants Town, alongside government executives and private partners, today (November 16) unveiled a plaque that signals the completion, dedication and reopening of Phase 1 of the Southern Recreation Grounds. A soft-re-opening ceremony for the newly refurbished park located in the Overthe-Hill community was held in compliance to COVID-19 restrictions.
Prime Minister Minnis revealed today that another re-opening ceremony will be held at a later date at which the entire community will be invited. A component of the Over-The-Hill Community Development Partnership Initiative, the refurbishment includes: an outdoor fitness centre, installation of WI-FI and CCTV cameras (24-hour security), signage, new playground equipment, a new basketball court, facilities for volleyball, and green spacing including native flora and fauna.
Among those witnessing the event was the Hon. Shanendon Cartwright, Executive Chairman, Parks and Beaches; Samita Ferguson, Executive Manager, Over the Hill Community Development Partnership Initiative; Archdeacon Keith Cartwright, Rector, St. Agnes Church; representatives of Bahamas Striping Group of Companies and former residents of the community.
Prime Minister Minnis, a native of Over-The-Hill, recounted his promise to transform and rebuild the community. “I made a commitment that we must change the Inner City and give each and every individual, regardless of his financial and religious status, an opportunity to excel and succeed.
“This led to the Government’s commitment and fulfillment of free pre-school and university education for qualified students in The Bahamas. “Like the Southern Recreation Grounds they were promises made and promises kept,” he said.
Now a Tax Free Zone, the Prime Minister said it was essential that the Government make this declaration for the Over-The-Hill community.
“Our people, who have been neglected for so long, would have a head start in their redevelopment and advancement of business and housing opportunities.” In his walk down memory lane, he highlighted establishments in the surrounding area including Keith’s Chicken Shack, Paul Mayer’s Theatre, the Drum Beat and Peanuts Taylor. “Many tourists walked Over-the-Hill and came to the Drum Beat. As they visited, the whole community became a town. While they were there we sold our goods etc. That’s our dream to rebuild the inner city back to those glory days,” he said.
He announced the Government’s plans to purchase properties adjoining the Southern Recreation Grounds to build an amphi theatre and make it a tourist attraction where arts and crafts can be sold. Mr. Robinson remarked, “Today is yet another act of fulfillment on the promises made to the people of Bain and Grants Town and by extension all of our inner city communities.
The more than 40 years of neglect and broken promises have come to an end. Today, we signal the reprioritization of people and communities that need the government help the most.
This redevelopment of Southern Recreation Grounds is by far the single largest investment in our inner city community in over 40 years thanks to our Prime Minister Dr. the Most Hon. Hubert Minnis.”
A product of Bain Town, former student and head boy of C R Walker Senior High School, he said Southern Recreation Ground is rich in history, from serving as a meeting place during the Burma Road Riot and the General Strike to hosting political rallies leading to Majority Rule.
“These grounds have played a pivotal role in the fight for equality and the progression of the modern Bahamas,” he added.
(BIS News by Kathryn Campbell ; photos/Yontalay Bowe)
FBI and Bahamas looking into woman’s death
#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – The FBI is investigating a woman’s ‘suspicious’ death on a Carnival Cruise ship in February. The unnamed woman and her husband boarded the Carnival Sunshine on February 27th, for a trip to the Bahamas, but she was dead before they arrived in the port in The Bahamas.
The FBI said Carnival’s team had administered life saving measures when the woman was reported unresponsive, but they were unsuccessful. The body and the woman’s husband were released to the Bahamian authorities when the cruise arrived in the country.
In a statement shared with US media houses, Carnival Cruises claimed the death has been a natural one. The Nassau Guardian said a source told them the police findings had concurred with that assessment saying it was a “normal sudden death of a tourist who wasn’t feeling well.”
The FBI was waiting for the cruise and when it got back to South Carolina on March 4th, they immediately boarded and began to investigate the room based on ‘evidence of a crime.’ The FBI also searched the couple’s car.
No updates have been shared to contradict the currently established cause of death.
Why Sargassum Matters
#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – “If you don’t like it, go to another beach!” Is what Aaron John, an Education Officer from The Bahamas National Trust jokingly tells our news team about sargassum blooms; his quip, motivated by the necessity of nature when pit against the notion that there is a real threat when the stinky seaweed makes its annual appearance.
John can admit, he says, that Sargassum isn’t very pretty but life isn’t all about aesthetics and in this instance that ugly patch serves a purpose.
“We love our sandy beaches, but in order to keep them we need Sargassum. When storms come, they wash away all the sand off the beach but sargassum acts as a mulch to protect the sand from water erosion. It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t feel good but we need it.”
He said it also provides a habitat for small crustaceans, crabs, and insects that are all necessary to our ecosystem and islanders have found use for the weed.
“Historically, (in The Bahamas) we have been using sargassum as fertilizer, especially in the family Islands as far back as I know,” he said. “Birds don’t go on the beach unless there is Sargassum and what do they do? they feed – it’s beautiful.”
He encouraged residents to just leave it be if they came across it.
Sargassum isn’t harmful to humans, except for people with respiratory issues who may find the rotten egg smell triggers asthma. Despite this, it’s not advisable to walk through the weeds which may hide sharp rocks and bottles or vulnerable animals.
Experts say Sargassum blooms began to increase in size around 2011 and have continued to get bigger and bigger since. This year‘s bloom is around 5000 miles long and 300 miles wide and visible from space.
“I know it’s not a general outlook, but I would like to change the perspective on sargassum,” John said, pointing out The Bahamas National Trust is actively working to decrease alarm over the less worrisome events like sargassum as it raises the profile on the environmentally devastating.
Lease agreement approved for diaspora office
#TurksandCaicos, March 17, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos’ Bahamas Diaspora Office is moving closer and closer to opening day, following the Cabinet’s approval for the signing of a lease agreement.
The lease will be signed with FINCEN ltd in the Bahamas. Several weeks ago, Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration confirmed to our news team that the location had been found and was being finalized; now a lease is approved at the Cabinet level.
The interest in the TCI from TC Bahamians was evident in the diaspora meetings held in early February. The two meetings held in Nassau and Grand Bahama were completely full and over-subscribed by hundreds.
It’s interest which the Government hopes will translate to real life population growth, bolstering the local population before the native population ‘goes extinct’.
The Opposition PDM is on the record with what it feels is a far more viable solution to a dwindling native population; seek out the country’s own citizens and bring them back home.
Cabinet did not state when the office will open.
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