Archive for November 25th, 2008

Rain no match for Breeze

| 25/11/2008 | 0 Comments

“Don’t rain on my parade …” is the song Breeze FM and Radio Cayman staff must have been singing in the final days before the Second Annual “Breeze Fusion 2-Mile Run/Walk”, which took place on Saturday, November 1. When Saturday came, it seemed Mother Nature was going to cooperate. As the 7:30am start time drew closer, participants were appearing thick and fast. Then the heavens opened and the rain came down.

This was not a deterrent however, for the organizers and just over fifty participants, evenly split between male and female, including a few young aspiring runners. After an on-time start, a drizzle here, a downpour there, they just kept on going. Even at the end of the race they were determined to stay through the awards ceremony, give-aways and just to enjoy the camaraderie.

This year’s overall winner—also the winner of the male 40 to 49 year-old category—was Steve Spiers, who was visiting from Virginia Beach. Despite the conditions, Steve finished in 11:20:00. Overall female was local resident, Beth Schreader, her time 11:59:00. Some 50 trophies were awarded in male/female categories, ranging in age from under-12 to over-60.

MATTSafe and the NCVO were the chosen organizations which benefited from part-proceeds of the event. Pat Ebanks, Director of MATTSafe was on hand to assist with the presentation of trophies. MATTSafe promotes safe driving for young drivers in Cayman and plans to institute safe-driving skills lessons in High Schools across the Cayman Islands. Ms. Ebanks later received the donation for MATTSafe. The presentation to CEO of the NCVO, Janice Wilson was made live during the 29th Annual NCVO Telethon, which was aired on CITN/Cayman 27 on the same evening of the Breeze Fusion.

The organizers thank Roma United FC, Funky Tangs, Sagicor, Reflections, Maedac Cards, Cellular World, British American Insurance, Wendy’s, Lee’s Office Products, Hydes & Sons, Zulu’s, Kirk Marine, Le Classique, Cayman Taffy Co., Tony’s Toys, Pure Health, Godfrey’s Enterprise, Atlantic @ Governor’s Square, Edie’s Décor, Singh’s Roti Shop, The Dog House, Le Bleu—the Official Water of Breeze Fusion, Coach Jerry Harper and Phoenix Athletic Club, for their generous support, as well as Media partners Cayman Net News, Gospel 88.7FM and other media houses who provided coverage prior to and after the event. They also thank everyone who braved the weather to come out and participate.

As the organizers look forward to next year’s Third Annual “Breeze Fusion 2-Mile Run/Walk” on—rain or shine—in an effort to constantly improve the event, increase sponsorship support and numbers of participants, comments and suggestions are welcome at

Photo 1: Acting Deputy Director/Sales & Promotions Manager at Radio Cayman,  Paulette Conolly-Bailey (R) making the presentation to Janice Wilson, CEO, NCVO during the 29th Annual NCVO Telethon/Radiothon held on November 1 at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Photo 2: Pat Ebanks, MATTSafe Director (far right) and Aileen Samuel, MATTSafe President (second left) accept their donation—part proceeds from this year’s Breeze Fusion Run/Walk—from Acting Deputy Director/ Sales & Promotions Manager at Radio Cayman, Paulette Conolly-Bailey (second right). Looking on at far left is Account Executive, Katherine Miller.


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Art makes sense of water

| 25/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Cayman Traditional Arts has opened its latest exhibition featuring prominent local artists at the Gallery of the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Water Sense has taken the striking Caribbean waters as its inspiration and turned them into a vibrant, colourful and diverse art exhibition full of thought provoking images that leaves viewers feeling fortunate to live somewhere so beautiful.

Trina Christian, CTA spokesperson said that Cayman is lucky enough to have many talented and prolific artists producing enough quality work to hold exhibitions on a regular basis. “The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, has been a tremendous support in allowing us the use of their Gallery space, and of course they are able to benefit too from the incredible displays of colourful works,” she said.

A new sponsor for this exhibition is BIGFIN Marketing Communications, a new marketing firm that recently opened for business in September this year. BIGFIN’s Managing Director, Roberta Bostock, said the firm was delighted to be involved in the promotion of artists in the Cayman Islands.

“This kind of artistic expression plays a vital part in the development of a thriving cultural community. When an artist paints they are telling part of a story. Through the support of our local artists we believe we are helping to promote the ‘Cayman story’. We have always been impressed by the work of the CTA and look forward to supporting its future exhibitions, ” she added.

Water Sense is part of CTA’s ongoing effort to promote local artists’ work to both overseas and local buyers. Chris Christian, CTA Managing Director and an artist himself explained that CTA is all about promoting local art, not only to our own community – but to the rest of the world.

“This is an ideal forum. We are a small team at the CTA but we are passionate and very active. We also take great joy in training young Caymanians in the work that we do, like our Junior Art Coordinator, Gabrielle Watler, who played a big part in putting this exhibition together,” he said.

The opening night was well attended by a large number of local art lovers as well as guests of the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Many of the exhibiting artists were also there to promote their work and spent time answering questions about their own style and inspiration.

The exhibition of painting and photography includes works from such talent as Al Ebanks, Gordon Solomon, Avril Ward, Sue Widmer, Nasaria Suckoo-Cholette, Chris Christian, Renate Seffer, Patrick Broderick, Charles Long, Dora Williams, Jenny Palmer and Nancy Davies. The exhibition will run until February 2009. All exhibition pieces are for sale and may be purchased through the retail department of the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.


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Business boss offers advice

| 25/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Youngsters taking part in Junior Achievement were given the benefit of experience this past weekend at a special officer training session. Students picked up some tips on success, leadership and fiscal responsibility from Don Seymour, President of dms Organization, who was the keynote speaker at the session.

On Saturday, 22 November, student officers from several Junior Achievement groups attended the morning session at John Gray High School where they gained practical business knowledge from members of Cayman’s business community. Seymour, answered questions about various topics including business ethics, company start-up, and leadership.  In response to a student query about the formula behind his success he noted the importance of personal growth. 

“For me, I am still trying to do and learn more.  It is important to set goals for yourself, so that you are continually learning and growing, pushing yourself to do the things that you only dared to dream about,” Seymour said also stressing the importance of fiscal responsibility.

 “You will only get as much out of your company as you put in.  Putting your business first is a priority, because you are not only responsible for your means, but also for the lives of your employees,” he added.

  Junior Achievement is a global partnership between students, educators and the business community to develop entrepreneurial skills, fiscal responsibility and preparation for the workplace.  The Cayman Islands chapter of Junior Achievement has been enriching the lives of students since its founding in 1991.The Junior Achievement officer training session was aimed at giving students an opportunity to interact with the local business community and learn about their respective roles as presidents and vice presidents of finance, human resources, production, marketing and public relations.  Volunteers from all aspects of the business community participated to provide advice, guidance, and a better understanding of these departments.

Other dms Organization representatives were also on hand for the session. dms’ Krista Pell got the students moving and thinking with energetic activities, icebreakers and breakout sessions.  Shannon Wilcox, Vice President of Marketing and Communications of dms, also presented in a session to the JA vice presidents of public relations (PR) about the principles of good PR and how to work with the media.

 “It is so important that we encourage our nation’s youth to become interested in business and entrepreneurship because they are the key to our future success.  It was a pleasure speaking to a group of such bright and engaged students, and to share my knowledge with them,” Seymour said.


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Immigration warns jobseekers of costly scam

| 25/11/2008 | 5 Comments

(CNS): Overseas job seekers could be getting scammed says the Cayman Islands Department of Immigration which has received reports of individuals engaging in dishonest schemes by attempting to mislead those looking for work. The department said people are promised that agents can organise travel and job opportunities in the Cayman Islands after paying a fee which  usually results in victims losing their money.

“With concern growing over the state of the world economy we must be mindful of  unsuspecting persons falling  prey to scams,” the Immigration Department said.

Part of the scam reportedly involves the job-seekers being given instructions to meet unscrupulous individuals at the Cayman Islands Visa Office in Jamaica in order to make it appear that the paperwork will be submitted to the Office there. Once the monetary transaction takes place the fraudster will then basically disappear.

 The Department warned that the victims usually end up paying a huge sum of money and have no work permit application or any other Immigration process progressed on their behalf. The public must note that the Cayman Islands Visa Offices in both Jamaica and in Honduras do not accept or deal with Work Permit applications or associated transactions.

“In addition, we are echoing previous reminders that the overseas Visa Offices do not have the authority to make any decisions on any visa applications submitted.  All visa applications received at these offices are dealt with by Immigration officials in the Cayman Island,” the department added.  


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Lobster season begins

| 25/11/2008 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The Department of Environment has said the public needs to comply with the laws during the three month open season for lobster catching which begins next Monday 1 December and runs until 28 February 2009. Only spiny lobster (panulirus argus) may be taken during the period and the catch limit is three lobsters per person or six per boat per day, whichever is less.


The minimum tail size of caught lobsters is six inches and no lobsters may not be taken from marine protected areas or while on SCUBA at anytime from Cayman Waters. 
Lobsters may not be taken in depths less than 20ft with the use of spearguns (which includes hook-sticks, pole spears, and othersuch impaling devices; and must be licensed by the Marine Conservation Board).

Violation of any of the marine park regulations and conservation laws attracts a maximum penalty of CI$500,000 and one year in prison.  Upon conviction, any vessel and equipment used in obtaining the illegal catch may also be forfeited.

In recent years in and around the region the spiny lobster numbers have been in decline as the species has been over exploited the quality of reefs are also essential to the Caribbean lobster. The preservation of reefs some scientists say will eventually help to increase lobster populations

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Justice Levers will fight on

| 25/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Despite the fact that Justice Alex Henderson has returned to work and the Special Police Investigation Team (SPIT) has reportedly turned its back on its investigations into the country’s judiciary, the Cayman court system is still down one of its most widely respected judges. Justice Priya Levers is facing a tribunal over unspecified allegations and, according to sources close to the judge, she intends to fight on despite some questionable issues regarding the evidence.

Although rumours have persisted that a settlement had been discussed, CNS has learned that this is not the case and that Justice Levers is exceptionally keen to clear her name of what are considered by many to be spurious accusations and return to the bench and the work she loves as soon as possible.The tribunal was originally set to commence Monday, 24 November. However, it was announced on 16 October by the Governor’s office that the hearing was being moved to 23 February 2009, although CNS has learned that Justice Levers’ team is still waiting on some evidence regarding the accusations against her.

Concerns have been also been raised about the behaviour of some employees in the Legal Services Department who have reportedly copied personal papers without Justice Levers’ permission and which have now turned up in the tribunal evidence. Of particular concern is how the Chief Justice’s office has obtained a copy of private documentation concerned with Justice Levers’ last requests in the event of her death. One source has told CNS that she is very upset and disturbed that such personal and private correspondence meant for members of her family and her executers alone has been copied by staff at the courts and has now found its way into the alleged evidence against her.

Although the details of the accusations made against Justice Levers have yet to be made public, sources close to events told CNS that they have no justification and that the Justice enjoys wide support from the legal community.

The official announcement that accusations had been made against JusticeLevers, questioning her behaviour, was made on 16 September when the Governor said she was suspended as a result of certain complaints brought to his attention earleir this year.

“Having given the matter the most careful consideration I have appointed a Tribunal under the relevant provisions of the Constitution to inquire into the matter and report back to me,” the Governor had said at the time when he suspended her from performing her judicial functions whilst the process unfolds.

According to the terms of reference of the tribunal it will carry out a "…factual investigation and report to the Governor whether the conduct of Madam Justice Levers taken as a whole has fallen below the standard reasonably to be expected of a holder of the office of Judge of the Grand Court so as to warrant proceedings for her removal…”

In response, Justice Levers spoke through her legal representative at the time denying any misbehaviour and said, with the assistance of her experienced legal team, she intended to vigorously defend all the allegations made against her to the fullest extent permissible by the law. The lawyers also noted that the scope of the inquiry had already completely exonerated Madame Justice Levers from any financial impropriety or irregularity implied by some media reports. CNS has also learned that Justice Levers has requested an open hearing in the interest of justice and transparency. CNS has made attempts to contact Justice Levers directly regarding her case and the exposure of her private correspondence and is still awaiting her comment regarding these matters.

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Civil service petition ban

| 25/11/2008 | 8 Comments

(CNS): Local activist Sandra Catron says that she has real concerns that civil servants are being told they cannot sign petitions that involve government policy. She thinks that many people who would want to sign her on-line petition to force government to establish an official paedophile register are being prevented from doing so because of their government jobs and their democratic rights are being denied.

Catron, who has been championing the cause of exposing those who commit and are convicted of acts of child abuse, is pressing for the establishment of an official register for convicted sex offenders. As a result she has created a website and a petition which has proved to be extremely popular. However, recent campaigns, including one to stop a road being built through George Town’s remaining indigenous forest and another campaigning for the right of women to carry pepper spray, have both reportedly produced official memo’s and letters from the Chief Secretary’s office telling civil servants they cannot offer their signatures.

“It is my understanding that civil servants have directly been told not to participate in petitions in general terms that are ‘controversial or involve government’. I’m surprised that a government that ran under openness and transparency would not immediately rectify this situation,” said Catron, who noted that there is nothing in the Public Management Law and Personnel Regulations that states civil servants cannot participate in the democratic process.

“As such, I would encourage the legal department to make a statement clarifying the position from a legal perspective. Civil servants are very afraid of being victimized and some have expressed to me that victimization is at its height,” she added.

Government is the largest employer on the island employing more than 3,500 people, and Catron said that they are being denied a voice in participatory government, which she says is not only morally but legally wrong.

“The PPM government was given almost a unanimous mandate by the people to change things and nothing, in this regard, has changed. I recall back in 2003 when people wanted to sign the petition for the referendum – we were discussing these same issues and here we are 5 years later and this topic has still not been addressed directly.”

CNS contacted the Chief Officer in the Portfolio  of the Civil Service to ask what would happen to any civil servant who signed Catron’s or any other petition, and why letters had been sent to public sector workers telling them not to sign such things when there is no mention in the Public Management Law that they cannot. However we have yet to receive any comment.

However, CNS understands that there are letters in circulation signed by the Chief Secretary George McCarthy indicating that public sector workers should not sign anypetitions. Moreover, Catron also states that her website has been blocked to civil servants.

Catron points out that a long history of civil servants believing they are not allowed to have an opinion is being exploited, when really they have every right in law to sign petitions and speak their minds openly and publically. 

There is no doubt, judging by comments on the CNS site, calls to radio talk shows and correspondence to the print media, that Catron’s campaign to not only have sex offenders named once charged with an offence but to have them registered so residents know their whereabouts when released, is despite the  controversy a popular one.

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