Archive for August 14th, 2008

Venomous lionfish prowls fragile Caribbean waters

| 14/08/2008 | 1 Comment

(AP): A maroon-striped marauder with venomous spikes is rapidly multiplying in the Caribbean’s warm waters, swallowing native species, stinging divers and generally wreaking havoc on an ecologically delicate region. The red lionfish is a tropical native of the Indian and Pacific oceans. Got to article (Photo: Lion Fish at Baracuda Bite, Little Cayman, by Jason Belport)

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Fraser looks forward to 2012

| 14/08/2008 | 2 Comments

(CNS): Shaune Fraser broke the Cayman national record, which he had only recently set himself, in his third and final event of the Beijing Olympics today (Thursday), finishing his 100-metre Butterfly heat in 54.08 seconds. His overall ranking was 51 of 65 swimmers.

Taking the top five spots in the event was Milorad Cavic of Serbia who set a new Olympic record at 50.76, followed by Michael Phelps of US, Andril Serdinov of Ukraine, Jason Dunford of Kenya and Peter Mankoc of Slovenia. The final for this event is on Saturday.

"I thought it was a good swim," Cayman swimming coach Dominic Ross told Cayman Islands Olympic Committee Journalist Shurna Robbins. "He maybe missed the finish a little bit, his time could have been a little better. But this is an event that he is just getting started with, so certainly there’s a lot more in the tank in that event and I’m looking forward to the future."

Fraser said he was relieved that his swims were over, but he was already looking ahead. “I know my future is bright and I’m just beginning in this sport. So I’ll just keep on improving and take it year by year and see where that takes me by the next Olympics.” He added, "Next time around things will be a lot different…I’ll be much more experienced. I’ll be older, stronger and have a better training background behind me."

"I love to race," he said. "I always want to win and always swim my hardest."

The attention now turns to athlietics for the Cayman team, with Ronald Forbes competing in round 1 of the Men’s 110m Hurdles on Monday 18 August, and Cydonie Mothersill competes in round 1 of the Women’s 200m on Tuesday 19 August.

(Photos Shurna Robbins)


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Thieves target businesses

| 14/08/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Police are investigating a string of attempted burglaries in George Town last night (Wednesday 13 August into Thursday 14 August), in which seven commercial properties in George Town were targeted.

Police were alerted to the situation at 4.50 am by a Security Centre employee who had responded to an alarm sounding at Massive Equipment Rentals, Industrial Way, George Town. Police who attended the scene found a further five properties damaged. A second call was received from a Cayman Free Press employee at 5.25 am reporting the seventh break-in.

At this time Scenes of Crime Officers are processing each scene and detectives from the Criminal Investigation Department are recording statements from business owners. At this point it appears that only five of the properties were actually entered. While the other two were damaged, access does not appear to have been gained. At this time it is not known what, if anything, has been taken from each business.

“Clearly this is not a target against one business but more of a random attack on several,” said Chief Inspector Peter Kennett. “It is possible that the culprit or culprits were under the impression that security alarms would not go off due to the earlier power cut. However, almost all security systems have a back up system for power outage situations.”

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) is appealing for anyone with information about the break-ins to come forward. “Although we cannot be sure of when the first break-in occurred, thanks to the security equipment fitted at Massive, we know that a window was smashed at 4.30am.

Anyone who was passing around this time who saw anyone in the area, perhaps loitering or acting suspiciously, should contact Detective Constable Charmane Dalhouse at George Town police station on 949-4222.”

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Minister called out on claims

| 14/08/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Caribbean Marine Services (CMS) released a statement yesterday that appeared to refute statements made by Tourism MinisterCharles Clifford at a press conference on 31 July to announce plans for a full redevelopment of Cayman’s port facilities.

At issue is the Minister’s claim that when he first started talking about the development of berthing facilities at the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) conference in St Kitts in 2005, he began discussions with the owners of the tendering facilities about the intended establishment of berthing facilities and the need for them to prepare for that.

The CMS statement aimed to “set the record straight regarding recent statements in the media by the Honorable in relation to the development of the Port and the future of the cruise ship tender service.”

The tender company said that at no time did any meeting take place between the Directors of Caribbean Marine Services and the Honorable Minister in relation to the berthing facilities or tendering services in the Cayman Islands during that conference.

However, CMS Directors did meet Clifford approximately three years ago in the Legislative Assembly building in Grand Cayman to discuss the proposed berthing facilities, said the release. “In attendance was Mr Ken Thompson, Mr Gerry Kirkconnell and to the best of the Director’s knowledge, tendering was not discussed.”

CMS also stated that on 13 July 2007, a recorded delivery letter from Caribbean Marine Services was signed for and received by the Offices of the Minister for Tourism asking for a meeting between the government and CMS, in order to help develop their future business model. “To date we have had no response,” the release said.

It continued, “As a result of the Honorable Minister for Tourism’s statements, certain stakeholders in the development of the Port, including numerous cruise lines, have been left with the mistaken belief that Caribbean Marine Services has been involved in, and fully briefed on, the development of the Port. This is not the case. Caribbean Marine Services has had no meetings with, or received any information from, the Government regarding the development of the Port, but obviously we would be extremely pleased to be included in any future discussion of the proposed pier projects.”

At the July press briefing, Clifford announced that the Cayman Islands Government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Atlantic Star Limited (ASL) to formalise ongoing negotiations for the development and management of the Island’s cruise tourism and cargo handling facilities.

The plans are to separate the two elements of the port with cargo going towards the north and the new cruise berthing facilities expanding into the current port area. Clifford said the use of tendering facilities would diminish once cruise berthing facilities are established but there would be other opportunities for the tender boat companies.

“There will be a need in the foreseeable future for tendering to continue, albeit at a reduced level,” the minister said. Because there would be less need for tenders, the government had also offered advice to the tender operators on how they can restructure theirbusinesses.

“An example is using those tenders as water taxis to take tourists to other locations around the island. It was done in other locations and it certainly can be done here in Cayman,” he said. “And my gut tells me that is a much more lucrative business than what they currently get per head for tendering passengers ashore.”


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Cayman to take part in Carifesta X

| 14/08/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A Cayman contingent of 19 performers and support personnel is heading to Guyana for Carifesta X, which will showcase a play written by Frank McField and traditional Cayman music played by the Swanky Kitchen Band. Cayman’s participation in Carifesta is organised by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF) with Henry Muttoo the group’s Artistic Director and CNCF Chairman Martin Bould heading the delegation.

CARIFESTA (Caribbean Festival of Arts), which started in 1970 is the region’s roving, multidisciplinary, mega arts festival featuring a wide range of creative artists from various Caribbean and Latin American Countries. This year it is being hosted by Guyana and runs August 22 through August 31.

According to a CNCF release, the Cayman troupe offers theatre, music, storytelling and visual arts. The National Gallery is supporting the visual arts section of Cayman’s Carifesta show and is represented by its Deputy Director Natalie Coleman.

Cayman’s theatrical contribution to Carifesta is a production of the Frank  McField play, “One White One Black”. The play stars Quincy Brown and Fritz McPherson who portray two down and out men searching to make sense of their situation through psycho-drama and role playing, including taking on the roles of each other’s wives. The play is scheduled for two performances in Guyana.

Swanky Kitchen Band, which was a big hit at Carifesta IX in 2006, will take Cayman style kitchen dance music and their traditional style renditions of contemporary music to Carifesta audiences. Led by violinist Samuel Rose, the band is comprised of guitarist NicholasJohnson and percussionists Daniel Rose, Phillip Rose, Paula Scott and Stan Ebanks.

 The visual arts are well represented in Cayman’s Carifesta mission, and some 23 paintings from 14 local artists are being exhibited in Guyana, including paintings from Al Ebanks, Avril Ward, Gordon Solomon, Bendel Hydes, Charles Long, David Bridgeman, Gladwyn K. Bush, Joanne Sibley, Nasaria Suckoo Chollette , Randy Chollette, Wray Banker, Teresa Grimes, Luelan Bodden and Maureen Lazarus.

Twenty-one photographs from 11 photographers are being exhibited to represent Cayman in Guyana. The Cayman pieces are the work of Art Pasqual, Aston Ebanks, Courtney Platt, David Wolfe, Jennifer Newton, Nimer Alverado, Patrick Broderick, Rabeeah Dilbert, Sean Evans, Sheree Ebanks and Yvette McField.

During Carifesta each country will have the opportunity to host a night of entertainment. Performing at the Cayman Night are Dave Martins with his mix of comedy and song, Swanky Kitchen Band, Virginia Foster telling stories, and Aaron Kimball on tassa drums.

Cayman also has a Country Booth exhibit at the Carifesta Grand Cultural Market and Trade Fair, which displays a mix of tourism and history. Department of Tourism (DoT) photos highlight scenes from around the three islands, and the Cayman Islands National Archive photos depict Cayman’s past and heritage. The DoT is also providing Cayman Islands souvenir items to give away at the booth.

The Carifesta tour is funded by the Ministry of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports, & Culture.


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Cayman Olympic pins worth gold

| 14/08/2008 | 0 Comments

(Canadian Press): There’s a cardinal rule when it comes to the art of pin trading at the Olympic Games – if it catches your eye, pursue it at all costs. On a muggy day just outside the Olympic Green, Canadian Ron Finnigan has set his sights on one special pin, the equivalent of a gold medal in the world of pin exchange, a Cayman Islands Olympic team pin. Go to article

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CUC outage Wednesday evening

| 14/08/2008 | 1 Comment

(CNS): A mechanical fault caused a two-hour blackout in West Bay, East End and parts of North Side and George Town yesterday evening, 13 August. Caribbean Utilities Company Ltd (CUC) said staff managed to restore power at 8:32 pm. The cause of the outage, which started at about 6:30 pm, was traced to a mechanical fault in one of its North Sound engine rooms.

The system detected the fault and components of the system were automatically shut down, safely disengaging feeders to various service areas and notifying operating staff that the problem existed. CUC expressed its appreciation for the patience of its customers during the service interruption and apologized for any inconvenience caused by the outage.

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