Archive for June 1st, 2009

The Great Divide: Expats vs. Caymanians

| 01/06/2009 | 0 Comments

I find it highly disturbing that there is such contention between Caymanians and expats and "paper Caymanians". The more we concentrate on "us" vs. "them", the more we will find to divide us.

To bring it home, for those women who go to that salon where her stylist knows exactly how she likes her hair done or how you always have toenails done, do you realize that they will be rolled over too? Which Caymanian do you see fighting for that job? How frustrated do you think you will be having to explain yourself over and over till you find another stylist or nail technician just how you like your hair and nails done? For those with helpers that you and your kids love, for those whose children are learning much better from the teachers and tutors….. How can you not see that in 4, 5, 7 years from now when that person gets rolled over, your child’s life, and your customer service experience will be negatively affected? How do you think the tourist feels when they come to check in and no one knows that they’ve been coming to Cayman every year for the past 15 years?

How many Caymanians do you know that are clamouring to be housekeepers and make USD$4 an hour? But a clean room is essential to tourism dollars, one of two economic pillars of which we all enjoy the benefits. What happens when Jamaicans, Hondurans and Filipinos no longer feel welcomed in our country and leave for home, where they make just as little money but are far more welcome? What happens when your favourite bartender leaves and returns to Canada?

These things add up people. Yes, it is quite true that if there are capable, willing, reliable and qualified Caymanians, they should get the job. But in some cases, one of these elements is missing — Caymanian business owners, you know it’s true. Our own people sometimes want to pick and choose aspects of their job and tell the boss what they will do! And you know it’s true. Yes, immigrants need to be managed — diversity in immigrants should be encouraged as a means of enriching the pot and not being overly-dependent on workers from any one nationality. It is never a good idea to have all your eggs in one basket, any finance person will tell you that. But you don’t need a rollover policy to accomplish that.

I think that it should be a wake-up call to Caymanians that despite the fact that Government has a rollover policy, and has both raised the cost of work permits and made it harder to justify getting a work permit, that both Government and private sector businesses alike find it more beneficial to hire expats in many cases. Wake up, Cayman! The Government has put stringent measures in place and still expats are hired. Do you think businesses wouldn’t love to have fewer expenses and more profits? Do you think businesses and Government would do that if there were capable, willing, reliable and qualified Caymanians to fill the positions?

I cannot understand for the life of me why we cannot look at the bigger picture. For crying out loud, can’t you see that we all, expats and Caymanians, have a role to play in making Cayman successful? The more successful Cayman is, the more opportunities there are for everyone, Caymanian and non-Caymanian alike. Like other Caymanians, I am tired of hearing a lot of expats speaking ill of us and our country. However, I am sick and tired of hearing Caymanians doing to same to expats. If we treat expats negatively, mimicking how some of them treat us, we are no better than how we perceive them to be.

I challenge expats to find the good in Caymanians. Don’t be so quick to believe the worst of what you hear or see. Caymanians are still a good people and you shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you. And as long as you are working in Cayman, Cayman is the hand that feeds you. You are just as dependent on Cayman’s success as Caymanians are. So learn to work with us. By the same token, Caymanians, please, for love of God, stop being so hostile to expats. I wish that we would stop blaming others for where we are as individuals today. If you really want something, you can find a way to get it with integrity. To me, that is where we as Caymanians are failing. We are losing our integrity. And that saddens me. When we drive away people who help us make our country successful and who we can learn from, we do ourselves a disservice. Business will go elsewhere. When business goes elsewhere, there will be fewer jobs, which means there will be fewer jobs for all — Caymanians included.

If your Government department or business/company doesn’t have succession planning, demand it. It creates a business structure that helps people understudy key positions, learn the ropes and get experience with the idea that one day they will be in a position to take over jobs as capable, deserving, experienced and hopefully educated individuals, who also happen to be, guess what, Caymanian. Remember when you accept a position with any entity, it is because they found something beneficial in hiring you and you found something beneficial in being with them. It is not just about money for the employee. So, if your department or company doesn’t have succession planning and your demands for it aren’t going anywhere, let me share this with you:

My former (Caymanian boss) once told me, sometimes the journey to the top is not always straight. And she was right. We might have to become an expat in someone else’s country to get the world experience we need to assume the job at the helm. These days you have to be competitive, you have to think strategy. Victor Frankl said, "When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." We should be flexible, resilient, determined. We should remain true to wholesome, Godly values. The way we treat some expats…it can hardly be called wholesome or Godly and for that we should be ashamed.

I am not yet 30, I am a woman, I am Caymanian. When I first started working in 2006, I was underpaid; my degrees did nothing to get me extra money. But I didn’t bash expats; I didn’t kick up a fuss and demand better pay or a better position. I learned all I could for two years at that job and then I applied for another job. The pay was better. There again, I took in as much as I could before applying for yet another job. This year, I started another job. Am I where I would like to be? No. Am I in management? No. But I am sure as heck on my way there. I take knowledge and work where I can get it. And guess what? Expats are very willing to share what they know and contribute to my development. I have to say, the pay is not at all shabby either. So you see, if one young female Caymanian can do it, others can as well.

This is hardly the time to tear each other down. Bring down the divide and let’s learn to work together already because all this bickering between both expats and Caymanians is only creating tension, dissent and an awfully hard pill to swallow. The rollover policy only reinforces that divide and an increasing sense of expat alienation. "United we stand; divided we fall." I hope we can all be mature and move forward for the betterment of the Cayman Islands.

I hope Government and Private Sector read this. I hope expats and Caymanians read this. And I hope we can all be mature about it and move forward for the betterment of the Cayman Islands. God bless us all. We need it.

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Weekend arrests start with drug bust

| 01/06/2009 | 10 Comments

(CNS): The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) have arrested 21 people this weekend for various offences from drug possession to attempted burglary. The arrest spree started on Thursday 28 May when Officers from the Drugs Task Force (DTF) and West Bay Uniform carried out two operations which resulted in the arrest of two men and the seizure of 15 pounds of ganja. “We know residents are concerned about drug use in West Bay and we will continue to target those involved in the use and supply of illegal substances,” said Chief Inspector Angelique Howell.

The first drug search was carried out at address in the Watercourse Road area and resulted in a 30-year-old man being arrested and 14 pounds of ganja being seized. A second search of a property in the Miss Daisy Lane area led to the arrest of a 36-year-old man and the seizure of around 1 pound of ganja.

Between Thursday night and Friday morning (28/29 May) two men were arrested on suspicion of possession of ganja and consumption of a controlled drug and a third man was arrested on suspicion of possession of ganja, consumption of a controlled drug, burglary and taking a vehicle without the owners consent.

Then on Friday night into Saturday morning (29/30May), one man was arrested on suspicion of possession of crack cocaine and consumption of a controlled drug and one woman and two men were arrested on suspicion of consuming a controlled drug.

Howell said that those involved in drugs should prepare to be caught if they have not been caught already. “We will continue to target those involved in drugs and thank the community for supporting us in our efforts,” she said, adding that anyone with information about the use and supply of drugs can talk to an officer or call Crime Stoppers to pass on their information anonymously.

Meanwhile in the eastern districts police arrested a 15-year old boy on suspicion of burglary; a 54-year-old man on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol; a 26-year-old man on suspicion of consuming a controlled drug and a 21-year-old man on suspicion of theft.

Then in George Town a 39-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of damage to property, a 45 and a 48-year-old man for driving under the influence of alcohol; a 19-year-old man on suspicion of attempted burglary and a 21-year-old man on suspicion of assault actual bodily harm, damage to property, assaulting police and disorderly conduct. Another 19 year old man was arrested on suspicion of burglary and a 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession and consumption of ganja.  A 29-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of assaulting police and disorderly conduct.

On Cayman Bra c officers there arrested a 27-year-old man on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol after a pedestrian was knocked by a car and sustained injuries to his arm.

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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Victim stabbed in attack

| 01/06/2009 | 12 Comments

(CNS): A 21 year old man was taken to hospital in the early hours of Saturday morning following an attack in which he was stabbed. The 21 year old victim told police that he was walking north along West Bay Road in the vicinity of Burger King when he was approached by two men. He said he was attacked by the men and during the course of the incident sustained a wound to his side and the suspects fled the scene. The offenders were described as one being tall and slim, the other was shorter and both were dressed in dark clothes.


Detectives said they are appealing for witnesses to the stabbing which occurred around 12.30am on Saturday, 30 May. The incident was reported to the 911 Emergency Communications Centre by a friend of the victim.  Police and medics responded to the scene and found the wounded man. He was then taken to hospital for treatment to the injury and has since been released from medical care.

Anyone who was in the area at the time of the attack is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Lauriston Burton of the George Town Criminal Investigation Department on 949-4222 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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Brac health symposium

| 01/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): With Cayman Brac still recovering from the emotional as well as physical effects of Hurricane Paloma last November, the Cayman Brac Rotary Club decided to include a focus on stress management in this year’s health symposium, held on 16 May at the Aston Rutty Civic Centre in partnership with the Baptist Health System and the Health Service Authority (HSA). With the theme of “Make Dreams Real for a Healthier Life Style”, the symposium included talks on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Stress, Management in Type 2 Diabetes, Stress Management, Gastroenteritis, and Helping Children Cope with Stress. (Photo: President Alphanso Gayle and Vice President Valerie Bolageer)

The theme for this Rotary year is “Make Dreams Real”, with an emphasis on reducing child mortality rate, so much attention was given to parents by Dr Eleen Strot in her presentation on ‘Helping Children Cope with Stress’. She commended the initiative taken by the authorities in organizing activities at the Youth Centre for the children on the Brac shortly after Paloma, rather than getting them back to the routine of school life .They were encouraged to share their experiences by talking about it, expressing themselves artistically, in poem and drama on how what they saw during such an ordeal. Dr Strot donated some workbooks to the schools entitled ‘After the Hurricane – a guide to help children cope with the psychological effects of a Hurricane’.

Dr Grace Ezema from Faith Hospital made a presentation on Stress Management in Type 2 Diabetes and invited people to join the support group they will be starting at Faith Hospital. This will be launched with a presentation on 11 June at 4:00 pm at the Dental Clinic. The target groups are diabetics, their family and health care giver. The purpose is to raise awareness in the Cayman Brac Community, highlight the potential risk of diabetes and encourage them to take an active role in their health.

Ana Bassil, Director for International Relation and Protocol at Baptist Health Systems, with her team of two psychologists and a gastroenterologist gave presentations and had a booth on display with a wide range of literature addressing several illnesses as well as a bag of goodies for each guest.

Each session was followed by an opportunity for questions. According to a Rotary release, the audience seized this chance and the quality of questions asked was indicative of the keen attention given to the information presented.

At lunch time everyone was treated to some healthy food such asf fruits, salads, juices, and vegetable salads with chicken strips. Throughout the day Faith Hospital staff was busy screening for diabetes and doing blood pressure checks on attendees.

Unfortunately, the CEO of HSA Lizzette Yearwood and others who were in transit to the Brac for the event had to return to Grand Cayman due to the deterioration in weather conditions. Dr Srirangan Velusamy, Medical Officer in Charge of Faith Hospital, was the moderator for the first session followed by Dr D. Mulgrave-Thorpe for the second session. President Alphanso applauded Vice President and Committee Chair, Valerie Bolageer for a job well done. Heartfelt thanks also to everyone who contributed to the success of this event.

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Cops offer advice to kids

| 01/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Officers from West Bay police station have been spending time with young people recently talking to them about child abuse and domestic violence, respect and acceptable behaviour, self-defence and avoiding physical conflict to solve disputes and how to protect themselves as part of Child Month activities. “These issues are crucial to the well-being and development of our young people,” said Chief Inspector Angelique Howell. “We need to highlight the issues that can have an impact on youngsters while at the same time help to equip them with the knowledge and skills to deal with situations that can occur.”


Howell gave her presentation on the impact upon children of domestic violence and abuse to the congregation at John Grey Memorial Church. The presentation covered the forms of domestic violence which take place and how it can impact on a child, the types of child abuse which can occur, how people can help children in need and the services and resources which are available for people to use.

Pastor Yvette Noble-Bloomfield said the talk was well received by the 146 people who were present. “This was a very informative talk,” she said. “Child abuse is something we have traditionally been in denial about and it is essential that we think about these issues, address these issues and surround them with prayer. Since the talk, we have had members of the congregation come forward to request copies of the presentation which is really encouraging. We are hoping this has been an eye opener for people so they can see that there is a real concern for us here in the Cayman Islands.”

Sergeant Forth gave a presentation to year 4-6 students at John A Cumber Primary School on the subject of ‘respect’. Around 250 students listened intently to the talk which was designed to demonstrate respectful and non-respectful behaviour. With the assistance of two students who carried out role plays for the class, he encouraged the group to think about how they would react in certain situations.

Forth also completed a self-defence class at Cayman International School with the help of martial arts practitioner Ian Richards. The presentation was targeted at year 9 high school students and was designed to highlight the importance of avoiding physical conflict. The team stressed that the best defence is not to get into physical conflict situations and to use respect and dialogue for solving issues. Some tactics for preserving personal space and creating distance between you and your attacker so you can run for help were also given.

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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Insurance too risky

| 01/06/2009 | 1 Comment

(AP): As the 2009 hurricane season arrives, many homeowners are finding insurance is either more expensive, or harder to get. Homeowners from New York to Florida and in the Gulf Coast region are again seeing premiums rise and coverage change. And more are being dropped completely by their carriers as insurers try to limit their exposure in high-risk areas. "They just don’t like being in the business … too much risk," said Scott Hall of Market Street Advisers, a financial advisory firm in Wilmington, NC.Homeowners’ insurance premiums are up about 3% nationwide.


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US probes UK offshore firms

| 01/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(FT.Com): British-linked businesses are the prime foreign targets of US corporate bribery probes, according to research published on Monday that highlights how UK companies and executives are being caught up in Washington’s purge on international corporate corruption. Companies based in the UK, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands account for 16 of the 29 ongoing investigations in Washington’s fast-expanding assault on graft by overseas companies, says law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. The cases are likely to add to international pressure on Britain to mount corruption prosecutions of its own after its much-criticised scrapping of a probe into BAE Systems’ Saudi Arabian arms deals.

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Men charged with Scott-Roberts murder seek lawyers

| 01/06/2009 | 5 Comments

(CNS): Both men facing charges over the murder of Estella Scott-Roberts are currently without legal representation. According to the law, anyone charged with murder must receive qualified legal experience through legal aid and both men have pleaded not guilty. However, both Ben Tonner and John Furniss the lawyers allocated to Kirkland Henry (left) and Larry Ricketts have reportedly removed themselves from the case. Henry has requested legal aid pay for a QC from Jamaica to take his case but that request has been denied. In court on Friday Tonner said he was not prepared to act alone in a case of this nature when Queen’s Counsel has been denied.

Furness has apparently quit over disagreements with his client Ricketts. Nonetheless, lawyers will have to be found for the men long before their trial date. The men are charged with the murder, kidnapping, and robbery of Scott-Roberts on 11 October of last year and Henry is also charged with raping the former director of the Crisis Centre.

Her body was discovered in the back of her own burnt out SUV in the dykes around Barker’s in West Bay. The two men accused of her killing both lived in George Town but are Jamaican nationals and were employed as a carpenter and a gardener. They were arrested on Monday, 27 October, after police had allegedly traced them because they were in possession of Scott-Roberts’ cell phone. Although police did not comment on motives regarding the actions of the two men, they did reportedly confessed.

During their court appearance in January when they entered their pleas, Solicitor General Cheryll Richards asked for the two accused to be remanded in custody because of the seriousness of the offences, the strength of the evidence and that as foreigners the men were a genuine flight risk. Richards had indicated that not only had the men had recent possession of Scott-Roberts’ cell phones when they were arrested, there were specific forensics linking Henry to her. She also said the men had made detailed statements to the police.

The murder of Scott-Roberts, who worked as an executive with Cable and Wireless and who was a leading advocate in the community against gender violence and abuse, sent shock waves through the community. SIO Peter Kennett, who headed up the police investigation, said that crime could not only be measured by the acts that take place but also by the reaction of the community. “The reaction we have seen since 11 October has been one of shock, disbelief, outrage and disgust. This is a testament to everyone that calls Cayman home.”

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WHO calls for pictorial warnings on tobacco packs

| 01/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(World Health Organization): WHO today urged governments to require that all tobacco packages include pictorial warnings to show the sickness and suffering caused by tobacco use.
WHO’s call to action comes on the eve of World No Tobacco Day, 31 May. This year’s campaign focuses on decreasing tobacco use by increasing public awareness of its dangers.
Studies reveal that even among people who believe tobacco is harmful, few understand its specific health risks. Despite this, health warnings on tobacco packages in most countries do not provide information to warn consumers of the risks.

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Last Titanic survivor dies

| 01/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(BBC): The last survivor of the sinking of the Titanic has died aged 97. Millvina Dean was nine weeks old when the liner sank after hitting an iceberg in the early hours of 15 April 1912, on its maiden voyage from Southampton. The disaster resulted in the deaths of 1,517 people in the north Atlantic, largely due to a lack of lifeboats. Miss Dean, who remembered nothing of the fateful journey, died on Sunday at the care home in Hampshire where she lived, two of her friends told the BBC. Her family had been travelling in third class to America, where they hoped to start a new life and open a tobacconist’s shop in Kansas.

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