Archive for January 22nd, 2009

MOU reveals no commitment with Atlantic Star

| 22/01/2009 | 4 Comments

(CNS): The Government has released the Memorandum of Understanding which it signed with Atlantic Star last July regarding the terms of negotiation about the possible redevelopment of the George Town Port. The MOU, despite rumours to the contrary, is merely an agreement to talk about a deal but not necessarily make one. Government has also confirmed that it still considers George Town to be the best place for the new port – both cruise and cargo.

Speaking at the post cabinet press briefing on Thursday, 22 January, Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts said that in the interests of Freedom of Information the MOU was being released into the public domain. He said accusations that government had already privately signed a deal with Atlantic Star were unfounded.

“The MOU was merely to set out negotiations and the signed MOU is being released today,” he said. “This is not a secret contract. It outlines a framework for negotiations in a confidential manner.” Tibbetts stated that by releasing the MOU, which has now been extended to the end of January, it was open to public scrutiny.

The MOU is a six page document signed by Minister Charles Clifford, Wayne DaCosta Chair of the Port Authority and Fahad Al Rashid of Atlantic Star. The contents are merely terms of agreement with regards the parameters of negotiation between the parties to work towards a possible deal but there is no indication of any deal already shaped. The document sets out vague parameters for discussions only. The MOU makes no mention of the fact that Atlantic Star owns the land where the new cargo facility is proposed to be sited.

During the briefing it was also revealed that the Environmental Impact Assessment would remain confined to the George Town location and the team will only be asked to consider other areas if it becomes apparent there is a need to do so during the assessment.

“The George Town harbour has been home to a fully functional cruise and cargo port for decades.  Anchors have been dropped, piers built and commercial zones established to facilitate the lifeline of these three islands,” said Tibbetts. “In many respects, significant harm has already been caused in the port vicinity in order to support this vital activity. It has been proposed by the Port Authority and government that the existing site is the most appropriate location for future expansion. Morethan a decade ago, in the 1994 Master Port Development Plan, it was proposed that George Town was the most appropriate location for facilitating port expansion.”

He added that the current plans would expand the existing footprint for cruise facilities and  establish new cargo facilities within close proximity to the existing cargo centre. “Going somewhere new and starting fresh will undoubtedly cost more and create significant harm in what might otherwise be pristine, virgin environments.”

Tibbetts noted that, while all construction projects have an impact, the EIA would indicated how to minimise damage, but he said government had officially stated that it would not proceed with the project if it is scientifically determined that serious and unavoidable harm would be caused, for example, to Seven Mile Beach (7MB). “However, rather than assuming what the impact will be, the DoE is utilising a highly respected firm, CH2M HILL, who has conducted prior work in the Cayman Islands to conduct the tests and to report back to the people and government,” he said.

At a recent public meeting, a number of local sea captains and people who have worked in Cayman’s marine environment for many years had grave concerns about the redevelopment and indicated that 7MB could be at risk, along with a number of other dangerous or detrimental impacts on the local environment.

Tibbetts announced that the public input period on the terms of reference for the EIA has been extended until the end of January, even though an extensive list of stakeholders had been consulted and asked for their contributions.

“Following these consultations, the public was advised that input could still be submitted to the DoE through this Friday, 23 January.   Today, I would like to announce that, out of an abundance of caution, the government has agreed to extend the consultation period for another week through 30 January 2009,” he said, adding that at this stage the consultation was on the Terms of Reference for the scientific study only.

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Corruption investigated in Turks & Caicos

| 22/01/2009 | 0 Comments

(The TCI Journal): On Monday morning Floyd Hall, the Deputy Premier, who is the Finance Minister of the Country, and also the Treasurer of the ruling PNP party, gave testimony to the hearing investigating reports of corruption and serious dishonesty by the Members of the House of Assembly of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Go to article

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Tea with the Queen

| 22/01/2009 | 2 Comments

(CNS): A chance to visit the queen is open to members of the public, who are invited to submit applications to attend Her Majesty’s Royal Garden Parties, which are scheduled for July at Buckingham Palace. Submissions must be made to the Chief Secretary’s Office by Friday, 13 February 2009. Applicants who wish to attend one of the parties should be citizens or nationals of the Cayman Islands and be in the United Kingdom during any of the below-mentioneddates, a GIS release states. It may also be possible to include a few British guests living overseas.

The parties will be held on three consecutive Tuesdays: 7, 14 and 21 July. Successful applicants will be allowed to bring their spouses or companions and up to two unmarried children between the ages of 18 and 25. To apply, the following information must be submitted, in writing: the applicant’s surname, forename, title, and decorations; occupation; marital status; name of accompanying spouse, or of a companion (must be at least 18 years old); names and ages of accompanying children; a reliable UK contact address (not the address of a bank or hotel); and a preferred date of attendance, as well as dates that would not be convenient.

Applicants should note that they will not automatically receive invitations and that invitations are not intended for diplomatic service staff on leave or for persons who have previously attended a Royal Garden Party.

The written application must be submitted by Friday, 13 February, to the Chief Secretary’s Office in the Government Administration Building, or e-mailed to Successful candidates who change their travel plans and are then unable to attend must immediately inform the Chief Secretary’s Office. For more information, contact Betty Ebanks, the Personal Assistant to the Honourable Chief Secretary, at phone 244-2432.

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Design a logo for Earth Week

| 22/01/2009 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The National Trust for the Cayman Islands is inviting Years 10 , 11, 12 students to try their hand at designing the Earth Week 2009 logo. The winning logo, which will be selected by public vote at the Agricultural Fair on 25 February, will be used in promotional materials for Earth Week, other events and will be used as the design for the Earth Week 2009 T-shirt. Entries should reflect this year’s theme: “Butterflies of the Cayman Islands”.

Aspiring artists should keep in mind that the T-shirt design will be limited to 3 or 4 colours. The winner will win a day trip to Little Cayman for two. Entrants should submit their designs to the National Trust Visitors’ Centre in the Dart Park on South Church Street. or electronically to in pdf format by the Friday 20 February deadline. The maximum size for the logo/shirt design is 8 inches wide by 11 inches tall. The Earth Week Committee reserves the right to reject any submission for any reason.

The winning design. Entrants should include a daytime phone number and email address with the submission. All submissions for this contest become the property of the National Trust and will not be returned. Designs must contain all original material and may not include copyright material. The organizers reserve the right to modify the design as necessary to meet their needs.

For more information call 949-0121.The winner will be notified on or before 2 March.


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Two more accidents on Cayman’s roads

| 22/01/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Police say a 38-year-old woman sustained serious injuries in a collision with a car Wednesday evening, 21 January, and two men were injured in a single vehicle car crash in the early hours this morning. In the first incident, the 911 Emergency Communications Centre received a call at approximately 7:25pm reporting that a woman had been knocked down on Shamrock Road in the vicinity of Grand Harbour.

Police and medics responded to the scene and found that a Kia Sportage and the 38-year-old pedestrian had collided as the woman tried to cross the road. The lady was taken to hospital with serious injuries. Her condition is said to be serious but stable. The driver of the vehicle, a 38-year-old woman, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Police would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the incident who has not yet spoken to a police officer. Anyone who can help should contact the Traffic Management Unit on 946-6254.

In a separate incident, two men were injured following a single vehicle car crash on Crewe Road in the early hours of Thursday morning, 22 January. The 911 Emergency Communications Centre received a call at around 2:05am from a member of the public reporting that a car had crashed in the vicinity of Cranbrook Drive. Police and medics attended and found that a Honda Civic had collided with a concrete fence. The two male occupants had sustained some injuries; the driver suffered a brokenleg and some lacerations while his passenger sustained facial injuries. Both were taken to hospital for treatment. Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact the Traffic Management Unit on 946-6254.

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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Police name Brac road victim

| 22/01/2009 | 31 Comments

(CNS): Update – Police have named the young man who died in the early hours of Thursday morning, 22 January, following a car crash in Cayman Brac. He was 23-year-old, Eric Dannie Dixon. The RCIPS sends its condolences to his family and friends. His passengers, two men in their 20s, were also injured in the crash. The 21-year-old suffered serious injuries and has been airlifted to the United Stated for treatment. The 23-year-old passenger remains at Faith Hospital where his condition is said to be stable.

A sergeant and an accident reconstructionist from the Traffic Management Unit in Grand Cayman are on route to Cayman Brac to assist with the investigation into the crash.

The 911 Emergency Communication Centre received a call from an off-duty special constable at around 1:10am this morning reporting a one vehicle crash on West End near the Texaco gas station. All emergency services responded to the scene and found that a Silver Nissan Primera had collided with a parked car.

Officers would like to hear from anyone who saw or heard the crash, or who saw the Nissan Primera prior to the crash. Anyone who can assist police should contact Cayman Brac police station on 948-0331.

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Comments wanted to shape new strata law

| 22/01/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Long considered to be outdated and ambiguous, Cayman’s Strata Titles Law and Regulations are about to be addressed. The Law Reform Commission has announced that it intends to commence work on the reform of the Strata Titles Law and Regulations in the Cayman Islands, and is now seeking contributions from the public to help shape the new law. 

The commission said that members of the public are invited to submit their comments on any aspect of the regulation of strata titles on the Islands or to highlight any issues or problems which have arisen in this area of the law. Submissions should be made no later than 6 March 2009 and should be mailed to the Director, Law Reform Commission, c/o Government Administration Building or delivered by hand to the offices of the Commission on 3rd Floor Anderson Square. Submissions may also be sent to

The existing Cayman Islands Strata Titles Registration Law, in its earliest form, was reportedly first enacted in 1973 and was based on the Australian strata legislation of New South Wales, created in the early 1960s.

Although some changes have been made to Cayman legislation since the first enactment, it is suggested that the changes have been modest when compared to the evolution of laws in other jurisdictions.




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Judge gets time and money

| 22/01/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS):  Following reports that Justice Priya Levers had been awarded her costs and that the tribunal had been postponed on CNS earlier this week, her legal team, led by Anthony Akiwumi at Stuarts Walker Hersant, has confirmed in an official statement that the hearing has been adjourned until May and that, in a significant move by the tribunal, Justice Levers has been awarded the funding to defend herself against the accusations. 

In a statement to the media on Wednesday afternoon, 21 January, Akiwumi explained the reason for the delay was relatedto the pursuit of costs by Justice Levers.

“The fact finding hearing before the Tribunal of Inquiry, chaired by Sir Andrew Leggatt, will now commence on 7th May 2009. The delay in proceedings was occasioned by the lack of consensus between Madam Justice Levers’ legal advisers and HE The Governor on the on the issue of his liability to fund the considerable costs incurred by Madam Justice Levers as a direct result of the proceedings initiated by the Governor on 12th September 2008, “ he stated.

“Given this lack of consensus, the issue of funding was referred to the Tribunal of Inquiry for resolution. On 12th January 2009 at a hearing held in London, the Tribunal of Inquiry resolved the issue in favour of Madam Justice Levers. This was an important issue because the costs of her legal representation in the Tribunal of Inquiry will be substantial and the unanimous decision of the Tribunal of Inquiry in Madam Justice Levers favour is significant.”

Akiwumi confirmed that Justice Levers was continuing the legal fight to clear her name and welcomed the opportunity presented by the Tribunal of Inquiry to vigorously contest the unwarranted allegations of misbehaviour made against her with the help of her experienced legal team.

CNS understands that the tribunal has awarded Justice levers 75% of her costs on a month to month basis and the retained 25% shall be given to her once the tribunal is concluded should it be in her favour. As reported on CNS on Tuesday, Levers is likelyto seek damages which would see the costs of this tribunal to the Caymanian people soar.

Coupled with the unlawful arrest of Justice Alex Henderson, the suspension without charge of former Commissioner Stuart Kernohan followed by his dismissal from office, along with the suspension without charge of Chief Superintendent John Jones, who remains on full paid leave, this could add up to a very expensive legal bill handed to the CI government as a result of decisions by the current Governor Stuart Jack before he leaves office in July.

The governor’s office has still not made any official statements regarding Justice Levers’ Tribunal, relating to either the postponement or the award of costs despite pledging to keep the Cayman public, who will eventually foot the bill, informed of the developments relating to Justice Levers’ suspension and tribunal.

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Police need child psychiatrist

| 22/01/2009 | 4 Comments

(CNS): Having dealt with five cases of child abuse on very young children last year, the Family Support Unit of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) says that Cayman now needs to employ the services of a full time child psychiatrist. It is believed a qualified professional would be able to support child victims of abuse during the evidence gathering stages, help with securing a prosecution through expert testimony, and most important of all, offer comprehensive treatment to these young victims.

Although the FSU has the support of a number of counsellors, specialist social workers and psychiatrists who work with adults, Inspector Claudia Brady of the FSU says that having a dedicated professional child psychiatrist employed permanently on the island would be of immense benefit to both the unit and the young children in Cayman that have been abused and psychologically damaged by their horrific experiences.

“With a psychiatrist specialising in child psychology we would have access to someone that could help us go forward with a case entirely in the best interests of the child and help describe the long term treatment needs for any child that has suffered abuse to ensure they can to return some kind of normalcy,” said Insp. Brady.

She also noted the importance of such professionals in helping prosecute what are very sensitive cases without further traumatising the young victims. “Given the problems there are associated with very young children giving evidence in such cases, a dedicated child psychiatrist could explain the behaviour of children in such circumstances to the court, i.e. why these young victims may tell the police different things at different times or recant their evidence, and explain how we can tell when they are telling the truth. A professional would be able to interpret child behaviour based on professional analysis and research,” Insp. Brady explained.

She noted that the police can only present the evidence and the facts; they cannot interpret or try to explain why they might think a child has done or said certain things. The practice of using child psychiatrists is common in other countries such as the UK and the United states, where it has been shown to assist the police in successfully prosecuting cases.

Dr Mark Lockhart, the psychiatrist at Chrissie Tomlinson Hospital, agreed with Insp. Brady over the need for a specialist psychiatrist and confirmed that dealing with adults is different to working with young children. However, he went further and said that Cayman is in real need of a specialist child psychiatric unit.

“I agree it would certainly be beneficial to have a child psychiatrist here on island in the same way that we have paediatricians as well as general parcticitioners. In the same way that medical cases present differently in children and adults, the same is true of psychiatric disorders,” said Dr Lockhart. “However, we really need a dedicated psychiatric unit for children with not just a child psychiatrist but the necessary support staff as well.”

He said that children are not treated in adult medical wards and they should not be brought to adult mental health units either as it can be extremely frightening for them, especially very young children.

“In cases where children have been abused, we need to not only treat them but keep them in a place of safety, and with a child psychiatric unit we can develop a treatment programme as well as keep them safe,” he added.

Political candidate for Bodden Town, Sandra Catron, an advocate regarding the many issues surrounding child abuse, said that as a community Cayman needs to re-examine its commitment to protecting the children.

“We vocalize and say one thing but how committed are we really if we cannot see the need to have the full rights of children protected?" she asked. “I am in full support of having a professional representative for children in any court proceedings. The professional would be responsible for making sure that the interest of children is paramount in any situation that they are involved in. In particular, with child abuse – when children are at their most vulnerable they need an independent, unbiased professional to address their needs and to put them back on solid footing so that they can be healthy members of our community."

Since establishing a web-based child offender’s register, Catron has made a significant contribution to raising what has long been a taboo subject in Cayman. Facing criticisms for her campaign to name and shame convicted offenders because the revelation of an offender in such a small community as Cayman often makes it clear who the victim is, Catron argues that in a misplaced attempt to protect victims, Cayman has historically protected the perpetrators as well.


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