Archive for August 11th, 2009

Teenage ganja growers nipped in bud

| 11/08/2009 | 10 Comments

(CNS): Police said this afternoon that they seized a large quantity of ganja and several ganja plants on Saturday, 8 August during an operation by Bodden Town. The Bodden Town officers were joined with officers from George Town CID and between them they also recovered other items during the operationwhich police stated they believed to be stolen were. Two male teenagers one 19 and 15 were both arrested on suspicion of possession of ganja with intent to supply and cultivation of ganja.


The two men remain in police custody at this time. Police said aside from the ganja the items recovered include power tools and camera supplies. “We appeal to anyone who has recently been a victim of burglary or theft of power tools to come to George Town Police Station to view the items,” said Detective Constable Gustavo Rodriquez.

He added that a proper means of identification and proof of ownership will be needed before items are returned to individuals.

Bodden Town Area Commander Chief Inspector Richard Barrow warned those intent on committing crime that the police will track them down.

 “Those involved in criminal activity will be pursued and prosecuted, and I encourage members of the community to work with us by reporting any instances of suspicious activity they come across,” he said.

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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CAL cools down with water salute

| 11/08/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Airways flight 102 was cooled down from the excitement of the airline’s birthday celebrations when it arrived at Miami International Airport on Friday morning, 7 August. The water cannon salute was in honour of the national flag carrier’s 41st year in business. Applauding the salute from the gate were representatives from the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (DoT): Manny Gonzalez, Regional Manager; and Ana Pichs, Regional Administrator.

Officials from the Miami-Dade County Airport Authority, the Miami Protocol Office, and Transport Security Administration (TSA) also joined in the celebrations. “From the ticket counter to the gate, guests on every flight bound for Cayman were greeted with a festive atmosphere of true Caymanian hospitality, including Caribbean music by Patrick Holgate and many refreshments,” said Cayman Airways’ Miami Station Manager Dave Gibson, noting that the Department of Tourism sponsored and assisted with the day’s festivities. “It was a great day for our staff and our guests.”

Gibson said the DoT team also travelled to Tampa to participate and assist with the festivities there the following day, wherethe Hillsboro County Airport Authority also attended.

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No EIA for cruise berths

| 11/08/2009 | 43 Comments

(CNS): The development of cruise berth facilities will not be held up by an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the Leader of government business has revealed.  Plans for the development of the George Town Port have now been changed to just a cruise development, with cargo now proposed to go East, but there will be no major EIA conducted to assess either the impact on the immediate marine environment, which is Seven Mile Beach, or the socio-economic impact on the land environment of the development.

Expressing his desire to get a cruise berth project up and running under a private financing initiative as soon as possible, McKeeva Bush said on Monday that there was no need to wait for a major EIA as the George Town marine harbour was already destroyed, and provided no structure was allowed to be built that would affect the currents, Seven Mile Beach would not be at risk. “The cruise port must be done now,” he said. “We can’t wait for these studies. We know the area is a disaster already and not an environmental zone.”

Bush said that by securing a cruise berth development under a private finance initiative it would create jobs and stimulate the economy without government have to pay anything until later. He added that the country could not afford to get tied down in arguments about it and have people who wanted to throw themselves down in front of bulldozers — referring to East End MLA Arden McLean who told Net News this week that if the UDP government tried to develop a cargo port in East End he would do just that.

Although not offering details of where and how the cargo port will be developed, Bush did say he intended to separate the two and develop the cargo port in the eastern districts. “Cayman needs a new cargo port but we can’t build that in George Town — the two don’t go together. George Town has to be a Mecca for tourism with nice streets,” the LoGB added.

He said the next best place, if people don’t think that it should happen in the North Sound (a private proposal by McAlpine several years ago), is East End or Breakers. Bush said he hoped to develop home porting, transhipment facilities and a mega yacht marina within the cargo port development and probably move the oil terminals there as well.

“Had we done those things in the past Cayman would not be suffering today,” he said stressing the urgency of development. Bush said that as Cuba was opening up Cayman had to act fast. “We can’t listen to the yappers” he added, referring to those who might be opposed to the developments, as he said the interest of the country was at stake.

However, a number of environmentally concerned people, who did not consider themselves ‘yappers’ but who wished to remain anonymous, told CNS that developing the pristine waters in the eastern districts for an industrial port would be a potential disaster. They noted that the quality of the reefs and the water on that side of the island was what attracted divers to the islands and that to consider that scale of industrial development out there would be a tragedy. Some said they would indeed be willing to put themselves in the path of the bulldozers if it came to it.

Not ready to commit to the bulldozer, but certainly against the development of a cargo port in the east and concerned about the lack of an EIA for the cruise development, the former minister for tourism and environment, Charles Clifford, told CNS that despite the poor environmental state of the George Town Harbour, an EIA was still  essential.

“Not to undertake an EIA is a huge mistake as we won’t be able to measure the extent of the impact or, more importantly, how to mitigate it during the construction. The EIA would influence the method of construction and the materials used to minimize environmental damage,” he said.  Clifford noted that under the proposal he had put together there had been a considerable amount of time spent soliciting input from stakeholders, in what he described as difficult meetings, who had shown very real concerns about the overall impact of the project.

“I hope those same individuals will demand an opportunity to discuss the proposal that the UDP government comes up with,” Clifford added saying that there were other implications. “The EIA was also about the impact of the development on George Town itself and the socio-economic implications on residents and business owners.”

Lamenting the idea of going east with the cargo port, which Clifford said simply has to be in George Town, he wondered if Bush had read the Go East policy document and noted that the development of an industrial port in the east would undermine any hope of developing tourism in the eastern districts. “I believe Mr Bush needs to stop blabbering and use some common sense with regard to the port development,” Clifford added.

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Walkers looks east

| 11/08/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): With the growth in demand for offshore legal services from the Central and Eastern Europe Region (CEER) Walkers said this week that it has launched a new initiative aimed at raising awareness of Walkers’ capabilities to new clients in these expanding markets. The legal firm said it will be growing its capabilities in the CEER in order to focus on the growing number of commercial opportunities emanating from this region. The new initiative will be spearheaded by partner Jack Boldarin who has relocated to Europe in order to offer clients additional support in their time zone.

Boldarin, who is admitted as an attorney in both the Cayman Islands and the BVI is relocating from Walkers’ BVI office where he has headed up the finance and corporate department for the past three years. Boldarin will be based in the Jersey office and will receive support from partners and associates in Walkers’ London as well as Jersey.

"As business in the traditional financial centres such as New York and London has been impacted by the global credit crisis, we have seen more activity in the trading centres like Moscow and elsewhere in Russia and the CIS, particularly where companies are working with the vast natural resources present in that region," Boldarin said. "From the discussions that we have had with our clients and with others in the region, we anticipate an excellent response to this initiative."

Boldarin has received numerous recognitions from the leading legal commentators for his work with Walkers both in the Cayman Islands and the BVI, with recommendations from the International Financial Law Review and Chambers Global Guide. The PLC Which Lawyer Yearbook ranked him in the top tier of Banking and Finance lawyers in the BVI and the Legal 500 directory said Boldarin was "widely acclaimed as one of the islands’ top practitioners".

With his commercial expertise across transactions and products in the emerging Eastern European economies and Walkers’ reputation as the legal counsel of first choice on complex, multi-jurisdictional transactions, clients in the region can rely on receiving the most relevant, commercially aware advice to best meet their objectives the firm said.

"Companies and financial institutions in the emerging markets have traditionally tended to gravitate towards BVI legal services for their offshore needs and at present we are seeing a significant amount of M&A and joint venture work," Boldarin added. "Often the most suitable solution will involve a combination of BVI and Cayman Islands law or Cayman Islands and Jersey advice. Many of our attorneys are able to advise on the laws of more than one jurisdiction, which results in a more efficient service for our clients."

Recently, Boldarin has advised on a number of major transactions in the CEER, including acting for a large investment bank in relation to a US$155 million joint venture established to invest in the development and construction of a portfolio of shopping malls in the former states of the Soviet Union.

He also acted recently for a leading Russian conglomerate on a US$2 billion bridge facility to be granted by State Development bank Vnesheconombank.

Boldarin has advised the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development with respect to various transactions in Russia and the CIS region, as well as recently acting for a major French bank in connection with a US$1 billion loan facility made in regard to the acquisition of a group of Russian controlled BVI companies.

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Cops arrest five for drink and drug offences

| 11/08/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Police from the police station in West Bay said they arrested four people aged between 30 and 53 for possession and consumption of drugs offences this past weekend as well as a 54 year old on suspicious of DUI. They also arrested a 46-year-old man for assault ABH and a 29-year-old on warrant. The only teenager arrested this weekend was a 19-year-old man who was arrested for driving whilst disqualified.

Despite the more serious crimes of late in West Baya nd other districts Area Commander Chief Inspector Angelique Howell said these arrests demonstratethe Police’s commitment to tackling crime in the district and she encouraged residents to remain vigilant at all times.

Howell also said that reports of thefts are on the increase with seven items reported stolen during the previous week including a Yamaha engine; a Zongshem motorcycle; license plate; Blackberry cell phone; Cannon camera; and a wallet containing cash.

“Drivers should also be aware that cars are being targeted by thieves. When leaving vehicles drivers must take precautionary measures to remove belongings from plain view and ensure that vehicles are locked,” Howell added.  

Anyone who has information on the stolen items or on any criminal activity in the district should contact West Bay Police Station on 949-3990.

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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Education minister takes peak at private college

| 11/08/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS):  Although the International College of the Cayman Islands (ICCI) is a non-profit private educational institution, the new education minister Rolston Anglin visited the campus recently to see where the college may fit with Cayman’s overall tertiary education programme. Cayman’s oldest institution of tertiary learning, ICCI is accredited as a senior college by ACICS, the Accrediting Council for Independent College and schools and Washington, D.C.  and offers students associate, bachelor and master’s degrees.  


The visit which took place in the evening when most of the college students are in class saw the minister meet with students and staff and learn about the work of the college Dean Scott Cummings said ICCI was very pleased to welcome the Minister for a tour of the campus. “We had an opportunity to show him our facilities, introduce him to many of our students and also had a very positive discussion about the role ICCI can play in the Cayman Islands Tertiary Education system," Cummings said.

Anglin said he was interested in developing relationships with all educational institutions on the isands, whether they are government owned or in the private sector.  "The bottom line is understanding where ICCI is, if I don’t understand where ICCI is, I can’t see where it fits in and know how best to move forward and how it should best fit into the education platform in Cayman and how we can best assist as Government," Anglin stated. He said that he looked forward to a further formal meeting with ICCCI officials and Chief Education Officer, Mary Rodriguez. 

Cummings said that the college forward to a productive and mutually beneficial relationship with the Ministry that would benefit Caymanians seeking higher education."
The dean added that the focus of the institution is on providing students with a means of pursuing an education while employed and contributing to the Cayman Islands economy and it is in the early stages of a campaign to add a third building to the campus in order to meet the needs of the growing student body.

ICCI was founded in 1972 by the late Dr. John Hugh Cummings.  The land for the college was donated by Cayman’s first National Hero, James M. Bodden.  More than 1,000 students have graduated with associate, bachelor and master’s degrees in business and related areas.

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Giant ‘meat-eating’ plant found

| 11/08/2009 | 0 Comments

(BBC): A new species of giant carnivorous plant has been discovered in the highlands of the central Philippines. The pitcher plant is among the largest of all pitchers and is so big that it can catch rats as well as insects in its leafy trap. During the same expedition, botanists also came across strange pink ferns and blue mushrooms they could not identify. The botanists have named the pitcher plant after British natural history broadcaster David Attenborough. They published details of the discovery in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society earlier this year.

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Matrix gets ‘credit’ for legal qualification

| 11/08/2009 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Local skills training centre Micro Matrix has obtained accreditation for its Paralegal Certificate Course by the Institute of Paralegal, becoming the first Cayman programme to be accredited by the association. Sandra Catron, designer of the Paralegal Certificate programme stated that this is a real milestone for the centre. “The course in Cayman has been designed specifically for the Cayman employment market and focuses on key areas of importance including Company Law, Cayman Judicial System, Contract Law and the English Legal System,” she said.

The Institute of Paralegal is a UK government recognized, not for profit professional body that represents paralegals. The Institute is the professional body for paralegals in the United Kingdom which sets National Competency Standards for paralegals, legal secretaries and legal assistants.

 “To be able to have our paralegal programme accredited benefits both the students and our program and shows that we have met the highest standards for our professional academic program,” Catron added. “To obtain accreditation the programme was subjected to a complete curriculum review and faculty and staff preparedness were also examined.”

She explained that these areas were all reviewed by an outside accreditation team from the Institute of Paralegal.

Accreditation also offers certain benefits to students including discounts and professional association membership. Both paralegal and employers are also able to review the National Competency Standards (NCS) for Paralegals; designed for non-lawyers actually practicing law. “Having this legal of accreditation in Cayman is a right step in the direction of professional qualifications being held to the highest standards,” Catron said.

Micro Matrix is a training and skills assessment provider offering courses in informational technology, management, banking and paralegal. Located in Centennial Towers, West Bay they can be contacted at 623-4600 or



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Cultural medals up for grabs

| 11/08/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Although the Annual National Arts and Culture Awards an initiative Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF) has been around for some 16 years the 2009 the awards have undergone a transformation. This year the CNCF is looking for nominees for the CNCF Heritage Cross Medal and the CNCF Star for Creativity in the Arts Medal. Despite the new name and awards the medals are still about recognising those who have made a significant contribution to Caymanian arts and culture.

The CNCF Heritage Cross Medal is awarded to those who have a consistent and active, quality engagement in the preservation and celebration of Caymanian cultural heritage. 
“The recipient must be Cayman by birthor status grant or a long term resident,” the CNCF said.

The Heritage Cross Medal has three divisions. The Gold is for a lifetime or a minimum of 20 years of quality engagement in the preservation/celebration of Caymanian culture. This award may be given posthumously.  The Silver is for a minimum of ten years and the Bronze is for a minimum of five years.

The CNCF Star for Creativity in the Arts Medal also has three divisions. Gold for a lifetime body of work again a minimum of 20 years, that is of consistent, high quality creativity recognised in Cayman or internationally; Silver for a minimum of 15 years of work and Bronze for a minimum of five years.

CNCF’s Artistic Director Henry Muttoo designed both medals and this year’s awards ceremony is part of the CNCF 25th Anniversary Celebration that is planned for October. The award recipients are to be selected bv the CNCF Grants and Awards Committee.

Nominations from the general public will be accepted for the awards until 27 August. They  must be submitted in writing and describe how the nominee has measurably contributed to the preservation and/or celebration of Caymanian culture over the specified period or their body of creative work. The submission must include the name and contact information of the person making the nomination and contact information for the nominee. Nominations may be made through the post by mailing to Arts & Culture Awards, PO Box 30201, Grand Cayman KY1-1201 CAYMAN ISLANDS. Nominations may also be emailed to

Details of the criteria for each award division are available on the CNCF website, click on Arts and Culture Awards under Open Door to the Arts.

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Techy expert joins financial regulator

| 11/08/2009 | 2 Comments

(CNS): As information technology takes an increasingly significant role at the Cayman Islands Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA), the regulator said this week that it was very happy to have Charles (Chuck) Thompson—an Information Technology specialist with over 30 years experience—take up the position of Head of Information Systems. Thompson will be responsible for the implementation of the CIMA’s information systems’ strategic and governance plan CIMA stated.

He will also be required, as a senior manager, to provide guidance, collaboration and effective solutions for all business functions and provide on-going support services for all IT projects as well as oversight for the Information Systems team of 10 staff.

CIMA said that Thompson spent 14 years at Fortis Bank (Cayman) Limited, as the Head of Information Technology and Facilities for the Western Hemisphere. His main responsibilities there included ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­management of a $5 million dollar budget, numerous staff, hardware and software. Before that he spent 16 years at International Risk Management (Cayman) Ltd. where he “had the privilege of working for the “father of the Captive Insurance concept—the late Fred Reiss”. He first was employed as a programmer and later progressed to business analysts, eventually ending his tenure as the Manager of Information Technology.  

“We are pleased to have someone with his vast knowledge and experience become part of the Authority,” said Managing Director, CindyScotland.  “His prior leadership in the financial services industry will serve well as he works collaboratively with the senior management team to handle strategic challenges and further create and implement technological solutions to assist CIMA in remaining a leading financial services regulator.”

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