Archive for March 11th, 2009

Cayman signs deal with Northern European states

| 11/03/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): With the G20 meeting only a few weeks away, the Cayman Islands government has signed another information sharing agreement, this time with the seven European nations known as the Nordic countries. According to the Portfolio of Finance and Economics, the series of bilateral agreements, including tax information agreements, were successfully concluded during technical negotiations held on 5-6 March 2009 in Copenhagen. Minister Alden McLaughlin said the agreement was further evidence that Cayman does not trade in secrecy.

The portfolio said in a statement that the recent meeting in Denmark was the second-round of negotiations, the first round having taken place in the Cayman Islands 17-18 April, 2008.

“We are very pleased to see these agreements come to fruition with our Nordic Group partners. It is proof of what can be achieved when parties approach negotiations in a fair manner, and we are keen to continue this trend, involving, on our part, effective arrangements for the provision of information on tax matters,” said the Minister for International Financial Services Policy, Alden McLaughlin. “This is further evidence that the Cayman Islands does not trade on secrecy or illicit tax activity.”

The seven tax information agreements are currently going through the political authorization process on both sides, to enable execution at a signing ceremony to be conducted in Stockholm in April 2009. The collateral commercial agreements will be signed in mid-June at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Paris. The Nordic countries comprise Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Continue Reading

Police name visiting snorkelling victim

| 11/03/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Elizabeth Ann Palm of Wisconsin, US, a 57-year-old visiting cruise passenger, died following a snorkelling trip off Seven Mile Beach on 4 March, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) has said. The 911 Emergency Communications Centre received a call at around 1:30 pm that afternoon from a staff member of Red Sail Sports who reported that she was being brought to shore unconscious. Despite receiving CPR and being met by medics, Mrs Palm was unfortunately pronounced dead at the hospital. The police send their condolences to the family and friends.

Continue Reading

Local book store to celebrate bedtime reading

| 11/03/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): To mark the ‘Week of the Young Child’, which starts on Monday, 16 March,Early Childhood Services will be holding its second Annual Pajama Party storytelling event at Books & Books between 6-8pm. The time-honoured tradition of the bedtime story will be celebrated when local children come together in footie pajamas and sleeping caps for an evening of family fun with night time tales from local personalities.

Local authors Richard Singer, Joseph Betty, and Helen Thomas will be reading to the children and signing copies of their book, "Daddy, What is Success?" JR (Douglas Cameron) from Black Pearl Skate Park will be the MC for the evening’s festivities, and there will also be singing and dancing.  

The first 100 children will be able to decorate their own pillowcase and will receive a 5 percent discount coupon from Books & Books. Milk and cookies will also be served for the first 150 children.


Continue Reading

No dates on gender legislation

| 11/03/2009 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Speaking at the celebration for International Women’s Day on Monday of this week, the Minster for Health and Human Services Anthony Eden said again that his ministry was working on the issue of gender violence in the Cayman Islands to strengthen the Domestic Violence Law; and bring forward new anti-discrimination legislation. However, the minister did not offer any timelines or whether he was intending to push through any legislation before dissolution of parliament on 24 March.

He also said he was seeking to re-establish a national committee that would address gender violence and other inter-linked issues, such as family violence, sexual violence and child abuse.

The minister also noted that while institutional mechanisms and strong legislation are essential individuals must play their part. “Each of us must refuse to turn a blind eye so that acts of violence against women and girls are ended in our families, workplaces and communities. It is the least we can do to ensure a brighter, safer future for girls and women,” he said.

He said that this year’s theme for Honouring Women Month 2009 was “Heroes Among Us".  “We know from our recent National Heroes Day celebrations that in our Islands we do not have to look far to find female heroes and role models.  There are female heroes among us that may not necessarily be in the public spotlight, but still significantly contribute to our growth and development, at an individual and national level,” he added.

Eden said that far too often, the community does not recognise how the actions of women have enhanced the lives of everyone and they deserved the honour that the commemorative month officially bestows upon them.


Continue Reading

Jack: ‘Glad’ Bridger came

| 11/03/2009 | 16 Comments

(CNS): Following Acting Police Commissioner James Smith’s statement last night that Martin Bridger is leaving the Cayman Islands at the end of April, Governor Stuart Jack has said that he wanted to acknowledge the contribution Bridger made towards the goal of a police service beyond suspicion. “I feel sure that many of the people who came forward with information are glad that Martin Bridger came to the Cayman Islands,” he said.

In a statement issued on Wednesday morning, 11 March, the governor said that while mistakes had been made during Operation Tempura the investigation had succeeded in clearing the names of people who were unjustly accused of wrongdoing. “Many of us in the Cayman Islands – including myself  – have acknowledged that some mistakes were made later on, as unfortunately sometimes happens with the best of intentions.”

He said he believed the Caymanian people wanted to see a better police force. "I am confident many people in the community will continue to support the actions taken by the acting commissioner of police to achieve that important national goal,” he said.

He noted that while Operation Tempura is winding down there was another report to consider and that the police operation would continue. “We must do so to provide justice for this community and for the RCIPS. The Cayman Islands’ reputation for integrity is even more important given the current economic pressures,” Governor Jack said.

“I want to reassure people who provided information to us, confidentially, that their claims have been carefully considered, and each one will be dealt with appropriately. In taking these investigations forward, I have also asked the acting commissioner and the Portfolio of Internal Affairs to look carefully at the financing arrangements to ensure that, in these difficult economic times, we are receiving the best possible value for money.”

He repeated Smith’s announcement that there will be a new senior investigating officer of this second phase investigation, known as Operation Cealt, but did not name anyone or state where the new SIO would be from.

However, he said there was a commitment to taking action against police officers who did not meet what were the high standards of the majority. “We equally remain determined to sort out key systems in the RCIPS that are not working well, so that the public can have greater confidence in their police service,” the governor added.







Continue Reading

Bridger set to depart Cayman

| 11/03/2009 | 7 Comments

(CNS): Martin Bridger, the Senior Investigating Officer of the Special Police Investigation Team, will be leaving Cayman at the end of April. No reason has been given for his departure but Acting Police Commissioner James Smith has issued a statement saying that Bridger will lead Operation Tempura to its conclusion and a new SIO will oversee Operation Cealt – the second phase of the special investigations. The APC also said that Cabinet had approved almost $1 million more in funding.

Smith said in his statement that he had met with Cabinet on Tuesday, 10 March, and updated them on the special police investigations, Operation Tempura and Operation Cealt. Despite the elected governments continued and persistent public concerns regarding how SPIT has conducted the investigations, Smith claimed they had been “very supportive of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) and will continue to fund the two investigations.”

Smith also said he had asked Cabinet for almost CI$ 915,810  to continue SPIT’s work and it was approved. CNS continues to try and reach members of Cabinet to confirm if indeed they have made a u-turn on their position regarding the financing of the investigations.

Meanwhile, Smith stated that Operation Tempura’s active investigations were now primarily focused on preparing for upcoming trials. He said Bridger would continue to work on it until the end of April to ensure continuity of the process and facilitate a handover.   

He did not say if or when Stuart Kernohan would be interviewed or if Chief Superintendent John Jones, who has remained suspended from office on full pay for the last 12 months, would be returned to post or charged with any offence.

Smith said an initial report had been completed and passed to him by SIO Bridger, who he said would also hand over the preparatory work that he has done on these investigations to his deputy senior investigating officer, who will lead Operation Tempura to its conclusion, and to a new SIO who would oversee Operation Cealt. However, Smith did not state who would take over from Bridger.

“SIO Bridger’s departure does not mean that these investigations are over,” said Smith. “The investigations are not just about one person.  This decision is the result of discussions with Mr Bridger over several weeks, and is supported by both HE the Governor, Mr Stuart Jack, CVO and Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates. I would like to publicly thank Mr Bridger for his professionalism and for the work that he has done on Operation Tempura and the work he started on Operation Cealt.  After 35 years as a police officer, I know how difficult anti-corruption investigations can be.”

No mention was made of Bridger’s culpability in the recently concluded case regarding the unlawful arrest of Justice Alex Henderson or the latest legal action by Burman Scott, who was also allegedly unlawfully arrested by one of Bridger’s SPIT members.

Smith turned his attention to the second phase of the investigation, which is based on alleged reports from the community regarding potential corruption within the ranks of the RCIPS.

“Over the past few weeks, I have been reviewing each of the statements made by members of the community on alleged incidents of police corruption.  Today, I advised Cabinet that I wished to investigate certain of these allegations as a priority,” Smith stated.

He said that he and the Special Investigation Advisory Group (SAIG), which includes Deputy Chief Secretary Donovan Ebanks, Strategic Advisor Peter Gough and Chief Immigration Officer Franz Manderson, have also advised Cabinet on the importance of creating an environment which makes it extremely difficult for corruption to occur in the first place.

“The initial report that I received in January identified a number of systems in need of improvement,” Smith said. “We need to look at our vetting procedure when we recruit police officers.   We also need to look at the way we access information and intelligence because it is imperative that we be able to ensure the public confidentiality when they give us information essential for our work.”

He said this would cost money and he was aware that the economic situation means that Cabinet must look very carefully at any requests for funding. Cabinet, he said, had approved CI $915,810 to continue the work of Operation Tempura up to the end of the current fiscal year and to take forward priority actions on Operation Cealt.

“This is a considerable sum, but these investigations are an investment in the future of the RCIPS. I want to see a community with full confidence in its police service. Over the past few weeks, along with my colleagues in the Advisory Group, I have looked very carefully to see where we can make cuts in spending that reflect the current economic circumstances and have examined staffing matters very carefully,” Smith said.

“As head of the RCIPS, I can assure the public that I will consider all the allegations that have been made.  Some are particularly serious, and must be investigated so that we can establish the truth – and either bring criminal charges in appropriate cases, or end the suspicions against the innocent.”

Continue Reading

CAL helps Brac craft ladies

| 11/03/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): To ensure the Sister Islands were represented at this year’s Art @ Governor’s event, Cayman Airways sponsored the air transportation of three craft ladies from Cayman Brac whose families and neighbours are still recovering from the impact of Hurricane Paloma last November. Colleen Gibson will be travelling with Annelee Ebanks and Valda Watson, who says she has been twisting thatch twine for over 60 years.

Ebanks says she’s been making thatch hats and baskets for 56 years and “doesn’t plan on giving it up yet!” She has started teaching these traditional crafts in the Brac through the National Gallery’s Sister Islands office.

For more information on these classes email
Photo: CAL Express Pilot Devon Mclaughlin (centre) with (standing from left) National Gallery Deputy Director Natalie Coleman, Lineaya Hendricks representing her mother Colleen Gibson, the Gallery’s Sister Islands Office Coordinator Simone Scott, theGallery’s Communications & Marketing Manager Mona Lisa Tatum-Watler, and (sitting, from left) craft ladies Mrs. Annelee Ebanks and Mrs. Valda Watson.

Continue Reading

Basketball players shine

| 11/03/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Basketball Association’s National Women’s League wrapped up its regular season recently with Quik Cash Storm, the only undefeated tem in the league, taking the championship in fine form. But there were surprises along the way as stats leaders were spread to most of teams in the league. Awards were made in six categories: assist champion; rebounding champion; scoring champion; best defensive player; most improved player and most important player. Only two of these awards were earned by members of the championship teams – Bobeth O’Garro took the honours as she captured two titles — assist champion and best defensive player.

Adelaide Francois, a student of St. Matthew’s University and player for Silver Bullets, was the rebounding champion. Noting that she was playing in an organised league for the first time, Francois said she was ecstatic at the win. “I’ve always played basketball with my brothers and cousins. This was a learning season and I am really grateful for the experience,” she said.

Silver Bullets also produced the MVP of the league in the person of Scimone Campbell (pictures above) who netted 17 points, 7 rebounds, and five steals per game. Esso Blazzettes’ Theresa Hamil secured the scoring champion title with 153 points. “This award is the result of team effort and the work of the Lord,” Hamil said, while adding thanks to her teammates and coach.

Two of Welly’s Cool Spot’s players took the most improved honours. Sheneka Moore was awarded the number one spot with 9 points, 14 rebounds and 4 blocks per game. In second place was Letanya Thompson with 10 points and four rebounds per game. Merta Day nabbed the MVP of the finals with 22 points, nine steals and 5 rebounds. Storm’s coach, Errol Gray picked up the coach of the year award for being the only undefeated team in the league.

National Women’s Coach, Redver Ebanks, said he was pleased to see that wealth of stats was spread throughout the teams in the league.

“It was a good league from the beginning,” he noted. Even though Storm had an undefeated season they did not blow away their opponents. For the most part they had some really tough games, but experience and determination carried them through to the championship,” he said.

Assist Champion
1. Bobeth O’Garro – Quik Cash Storm – 42
2. Lashawn Davis – Quik Cash Storm – 27
3. Lauri Webster – Esso Blazettes – 20

Rebounding Champion
1. Adelaide Francois – Silver Bullets – 120
2. Sheneka Moore – Welly’s Cool Spot – 113
3. Benieca Thompson – Dominos Lady Heels – 108

Scoring Champion
1. Theresa Hamil – Esso Blazettes – 153
2. Lavern Ebanks – Quik Cash Storm – 139
3. Scimone Campbell – Silver Bullets – 137

Best Defensive Player
1. Bobeth O’Garro – Quik Cash Storm – 51 steals and 3 blocks
2. Sheneka Moore – Welly’s Cool Spot – 33 blocks and 19 steals
3. Scimone Campbell – Silver Bullets – 40 steals and 3 blocks

Most Improved Player
1. Sheneka Moore – 9 ppg, 14 rpg, 4 blocks per game and finishing 1st in Blocks, 2nd in Rebounds, 2nd place for best defensive player.
2. Letanya Thompson – 10 ppg, 4 rpg,

Regular Season MVP
1. Scimone Campbell – Silver Bullets – 17 ppg, 7 rpg, 5 spg.
2. Theresa Hamil – Esso Blazettes – 19 ppg, 12 rpg
3. Lavern Ebanks – Quik Cash Storm – 17 ppg, 9 rpg, 3 spg

Finals MVP
Merta Day – 22 points, 9 steals, 5 rebounds.

MVP of the Regular season Scimone Campbell in action

Theresa Hamil collect top scorer award from CIBA president Bryan Hunter.

Continue Reading

Fun Day with Open Arms

| 11/03/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Rotaract Blue club of the Cayman Islands held a successful Open Arms Programme and the Family Fun Day event on 21 February at the Airport Park with the support of Open Arms premier sponsor Greenlight Reinsurance. In a release, the club said it was pleased with the outcome of the event and proud to see the interaction of children and families from so many different backgrounds. The day was also brightened by a visit from the resident’s of Maple House who really enjoyed the popular face painting and art booth.

Rotaract Blue member Rene Shortridge said, “Rotaract Blue is very happy with the support that the community showed by coming out to the Open Arms Family Fair. We look forward to planning this event again in the future so as to create a platform for individuals with disabilities to interact with the general public.”

As well as Greenlight Re, Rotaract Blue would also like to thank local businesses and organisations that helped to make the event possible: UCCI, Champion House, Dominoes, Pizza Hut and Papa Johns. All the proceeds from the Family Fun Day will benefit the Rotaract Blue Open Arms programme, which aims to create community awareness and understanding of different disabilities and to integrate individuals with disabilities into the community.

Continue Reading

Beach Volleyball Tournament coming to Cayman

| 11/03/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): With the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) Beach Circuit Volleyball Tournament kick off date quickly approaching, the Cayman Islands have begun preparing for what could be the largest international sporting event the island has ever seen. The tournament will last three days (27 – 29 March) and will feature as many as 32 men’s and women’s teams, including teams from Cayman, according to a release from Cayman Islands Volleyball Association (CIVF). (Left: the Canadian team that will be competing in action)

“We are extremely privileged to host the first leg of the 2009 tour which includes Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Puerto Vallarta (Mexico), Pachuca (Mexico), Veracruz (Mexico), Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Toronto (Canada), Nicaragua and Barbados,” said Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation (CIVF) President Noel Williams.

Sports Minister Alden McLaughlin added, “The Ministry of Sports is delighted to lend our support to an international sporting event of this caliber. We hope that having the opportunity to watch teams of skilled male and female players competing at this level will encourage more of our youth to take up the sport and become volleyball players.

The event, which is sponsored by the Ministry of Sports, FirstCaribbean International Bank, the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee, Jaques Scott, Z99, Cayman Free Press, Celebrations, Comfort Suites, K-Tone, Digital Designs, The Wharf, Artista Salon, The Red Cross, Tower Marketing, Gatorade, and Progressive Distributors, promises to be a huge success and admission is free to the public.

Managing Director at FirstCaribbean International Bank Tom Crawford said, “We are pleased to be one of the major sponsors of this event, it will be nice to seesuch an internationally accredited competition take place on the spectacular beaches of Cayman.”

The Cayman Islands Olympic Committee (CIOC) is assisting the CIVF with some of the funding needs for this regional event, and will work with the CIVF towards the success of the tournament. It is hoped that through this tournament and subsequent ones throughout the region in the coming months the Cayman Islands will qualify a Beach Volleyball team to participate in the Caribbean Games 2009 in Trinidad & Tobago in July.

For more information on the event visit the CIFV website or call Michelle Carter at 623-6712


Continue Reading