Archive for September 17th, 2008

Call goes out for 60 mentors

| 17/09/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): With the official launch of this year’s Mentoring Cayman Programme coming up in November some 60 volunteers are needed to fill the role of mentor to encourage young Caymanian school students into a promising future.  Since 2002, Mentoring Cayman has assisted many motivated high school students to become the next generation of business and community leaders. (Left Joanne Diaz-Berry launches 2008 programme)

The Programme is reportedly designed to encourage students to go on to post secondary education, introduce them to careers not previously considered, and develop friendships with industry leading professionals. Run by the Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Education, Training, Youth, Sports & Culture the 2009programme kicks off on Monday, 24 November with the first workplace visit scheduled for Tuesday, 9 December and the chamber will need the mentors in place before that date.
The Chamber said that high school students are identified and nominated by their Principals for placement in the programme. They are then carefully matched with mentors based on the mutual interests of both parties. Each mentor and his or her student meet for seven sessions of one “school day” per month. The student and mentor meet at the mentor’s place of work and also participate in a minimum of two social sessions outside of work.
Taking part in the recently concluded programme, Steve Ali, Senior Account Manager at CITCO mentored John Gray Student Jawara Alleyne whose main interest is in Accounting. “From a mentor’s perspective it allowed me the chance to interact with the youth and the future of Cayman, and show the promising side of the nation’s future” explained  Ali. “The experience was a two way street. The time invested was worth it, even though I was faced with a numberof challenges in terms of meeting my existing deadlines and also trying to be part of Mentoring. In the end the sacrifice was for a greater good. It gave me a sense of accomplishment and it brought me closer to the community and the young people in Cayman.”According to the Chamber participating mentors are given the opportunity to offer guidance and direction, demonstrate as well as explain and model professionalism and ethical conduct while instilling the social skills needed in the workplace. “The Mentoring Cayman programme affords Mentors with tremendous benefits. Not only do they obtain great satisfaction from helping a young person grow, there is the added benefit that, through individuals’ links with students, businesses can become more involved in the wider community and forge links with perhaps potential staff members in the making,” the organisation said.

“This programme also provides Mentors with the opportunity to develop interpersonal, communication, and listening skills, increase self-awareness, as well as satisfy the desire to help others feel valued and to put something back into the community.”

Mentor applications are available for download from Companies interested in sponsoring the Mentoring Cayman programmme or anyone seeking more information should contact Joanne Diaz-Berry, Programmes & Events Manager at the Chamber of Commerce on

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White roofs could save planet

| 17/09/2008 | 0 Comments

(Greenbang): The idea of painting roofs white to reflect the sun’s rays and help cool houses naturally without energy-intensive air conditioning isn’t exactly new and has been floating around for a while. Now a new study claims to show that painting roofs white can help combat global warming. It claims that if the world’s 100 biggest cities installed white roofs and changed to ‘cool’ pavements with more reflective materials such as concrete it would be enough to offset 44GT (giga tonnes) of carbon dioxide emissions. Go to article

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Explosion of litigation coming

| 17/09/2008 | 0 Comments

(Legal Week): The former UK Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer, has predicted an explosion of ‘mega-litigation’ in the aftermath of this week’s collapse of Lehman Brothers. Falconer said the demise of the US’s fourth-largest investment bank would be a turning point for credit crunch-related litigation, unlocking a flood of cases. “There is going to be litigation on a scale that we have not seen before,” he told a conference, predicting the emergence of “a new era” for litigation and dispute resolution.  Go to article

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Grand Court supports OCC powers

| 17/09/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A Grand Court decision has ruled that the Complaints Commissioner does have the authority to demand private and confidential information from a non-governmental entity concerning a private citizen while investigating a complaint. The need for clarity arose during an investigation by the Commissioner in which Cable and Wireless was asked for information about calls to and from a telephone owned by a C&W customer.

The investigation by the Office of the Complaints Commissioner (OCC) concerned an allegation that information had been improperly leaked from a government entity. A release from the OCC said the Office made a formal request on 5 May 2008 requiring Cable and Wireless (C&W) to produce a list of incoming and outgoing calls during December 2007 and January 2008 on a telephone belonging to a C&W subscriber. The subscriber was a private citizen who was not employed by any government entity.

C&W was uncertain about their obligation to comply with the request, and referred the question to the Information and Communications Technology Authority (ICTA), which felt unable to offer a conclusive opinion on the matter. The ICTA suggested the Commissioner apply to Grand Court for a declatory order.

Complaints Commissioner Dr John Epp then applied to the Court to clarify the Complaints Commissioner Law, which says that for the purposes of an investigation his office has the same powers as the Grand Court, including requests for documents, and specifically whether this authority extends to the power to demand the telephone records of private persons from service providers like C&W.

In making his decision, Justice Alex Henderson quoted a 1994 Supreme Court of Canada ruling on the scope of the duties assigned to the British Columbia Ombudsman, which found that the Ombudsman “should receive a broad, purposive interpretation consistent with the unique role the Ombudsman is intended to fill".

The Supreme Court also said, “(The Ombudsman’s) powers of investigation can bring to light cases of bureaucratic maladministration that would otherwise pass unnoticed. The Ombudsman ‘can bring the lamp of scrutiny to otherwise dark places, even over the resistance of those who would draw blinds’: ReOmbudsman Act (1970).”

In delivering judgment on 4 September 2008, Justice Henderson said that given the breadth of the provision in the Complaints Commissioner Law, “it can hardly be doubted that the Commissioner is authorized to compel a non-governmental (private) entity to disclose private and confidential information concerning one of its customers,even though that customer is not employed in the government service.”

Justice Henderson noted that the Commissioner has the same rights as Grand Court to demand documentation, and in Grand Court there are no rights to argue that the evidentiary value of the information is outweighed by the privacy interest at stake. Moreover, it is the court itself which determines the question of relevance, he said.

“Applying these principles by analogy to the Complaints Commissioner, I conclude that he may demand the disclosure of private and confidential information from someone unconnected with government, and indeed from someone unconnected with the subject of the investigation where, in the opinion of the Complaints Commissioner, that information would be relevant to his investigation. He may demand such information from governmental departments and entities, from non-governmental entities and from private citizens,” Justice Henderson found.
Following the Grand Court decision, Dr. Epp said he was satisfied that the point had been clarified.

“The Grand Court decision supports the power of the OCC to demand the disclosure of information in order to shine a light on government maladministration. However, the Complaints Commissioner Law prohibits the OCC from disclosing confidential information obtained in the course of an investigation. Therefore, while this office can obtain such records, the public’s privacy is protected,” noted Epp.

The OCC is located on the 2nd floor, 202 Piccadilly Centre, Georgetown, Grand Cayman, phone number (345) 943 2220. The website is


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Fund managers on defensive

| 17/09/2008 | 0 Comments

(Market Watch): Expectations of a global economic recession have risen sharply, and risk aversion has reached a new high, according to Merrill Lynch’s Survey of Fund Managers for September. It found that 61 percent of respondents now believe a recession is likely in the next 12 months and investors have moved to their most risk-averse mindset yet recorded. The survey also shows that investors have adopted more defensive strategies and shortened their investment time horizons. Go to article


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Mac calls for chopper probe

| 17/09/2008 | 6 Comments

(CNS): The contradictory exchange between government and Stuart Kernohan over the police helicopter has prompted McKeeva Bush, Leader of the Opposition, to call for an independent enquiry into the issues surrounding what he describes as the potential waste of public funds in the government’s failed attempt to secure this law enforcement resource. “Something is just not right here,” said Bush in a statement on Tuesday, 16 September.

“We have seen that the Leader of Government Business and his other elected ministers have conveniently attacked the Police Commissioner and laid the blame on him for this fiasco. But we are now hearing in detail from the Commissioner that the elected ministers themselves are largely to blame. Which is the truth?“ Bush asked.

He added that the people demand an answer to this waste of public funds, and he told CNSthat he had secured a meeting with Governor Stuart Jack for today. He said he wanted to impress upon him the need for an independent investigation, that would be seen to be objective, to properly ascertain the circumstances.

“Ultimately an enquiry would answer the questions regarding how we got to this crisis and hopefully we can put procedures in place to avoid future incidents,” said Bush. “But I have to say that Mr Kernohan’s detailed statement and his confidence in making those statements causes great concern about the way in which the government has handled this entire issue.”

He explained that an independent enquiry was required because governance is critical in areas such as national security. “How can the need to address serious issues such as safeguarding us against crime and drug smuggling end up being handled in this disastrous manner? Someone is responsible for this and I urge the government to display full transparency on this issue by participating in an independent enquiry,” the Leader of the Opposition noted.

Bush’s call comes in the wake of Kernohan’s statement refuting claims that he had misled the government and that in fact Cabinet itself was largely to blame for the significant delays. Kernohan is currently on required leave as a result of an independent investigation being conducted by a team of police officers originally from Scotland Yard, under the leadership of Martin Bridger, who is now employed by the Governor’s office. He hit back at government accusations from an undisclosed location in the UK through his local liaison, David Legge, a journalist and publisher.

Kernohan provided details in his statement on how the process of acquisition was carried out and made claims that Cabinet was warned about taking certain steps which would delay the process and that they went against that warning. Bush noted that Kernohan had welcomed the idea of an independent inquiry into the helicopter fiasco.

In his statement, Kernohan raised several questions about the competence of the government’s decision making, saying that the government’s recent statements on the matter “appear purposely misleading, politically motivated, possibly slanderous or libellous, and certainly incorrect”. He also noted that each time he had met with government to update them on the circumstance of the helicopter purchase, he had to explain the situation over again and that the politicians never appeared to take notes on his presentations.

Since the government made accusations against the suspended commissioner that he had misled the Cabinet, the Governor has also called on the Auditor General to investigate the circumstance surrounding the acquisition of the helicopter.

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Man faces attempted murder

| 17/09/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Police have arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of attempted murder following a drive-by shooting which occurred on School Lane last Friday 12 September.  A 36-year-old woman has also been arrested on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact of attempted murder, obstruction and disorderly conduct. The pair was arrested by the Uniform Support Group (USG) on Crewe Road at lunchtime on Tuesday 16 September.

An investigation was started, following the reported incident, by George Town Criminal Investigation Department, which said that the police had received an unconfirmed report of shots being fired in the Rock Hole area from a car at around 11:50 am on Friday. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service had responded to the scene, and officers were told a car had passed and fired shots. Today the police confirmed that evidence had been found to confirm the shooting had occurred. The man and the woman are currently being held in police custody.

 Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs

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