Archive for December 3rd, 2009

Nassau crime wave hits cruises

| 03/12/2009 | 30 Comments

(The Telegraph): A series of armed attacks on cruise ship passengers in Nassau has raised fears about the safety of visitors to the Bahamas. Several Europeans were among a group of 18 tourists held up by two men wielding shotguns during a guided tour of an eco-park close to Nassau last weekend. Their local guide was tied up and a woman hit in the face with the butt of a gun as the robbers took money, cameras, mobile phones and passports from the passengers. Last month, in another daylight incident, 11 cruise passengers were robbed at gunpoint as they stood at the top of the Queen’s Staircase, the city’s landmark attraction.

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Reviewers to seek cuts in public sector

| 03/12/2009 | 20 Comments

Cayman islands news island weather classifieds business financial services(CNS): The Prison Service, the Department of Tourism, Public Works and Cayman Islands National Insurance Company (CINICO) will be the first four government departments to come in for scrutiny as the public service review gets underway this month. The reviewers are expected to explore whether a service should be cut, outsourced or stay within government but delivered more efficiently, Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks has said. The review is part of government’s effort to reduce public expenditure and part of the deal made with the FCO to attain permission to borrow funds to balance this year’s government budget.

“Government should be continually improving the way it does business,” said Ebanks. "However, in these economic times of rising costs and diminishing revenues we need to critically examine all the services we provide for the public and ask fundamental questions.”

The top Civil Servant said he hoped the review would be completed well before the end this financial year.

Responding to criticisms that a self-review will be ineffective, Ebanks said members of the project team were carefully selected and it includes personnel from the Internal Audit Unit who have experience and training in auditing the performance of government departments. Moreover, private sector individuals have also been invited to be part of the review.

 “I believe that together we have the talent and energy in the Cayman Islands to drive this review without having to rely heavily on foreign consultants that will only add costs,” Ebanks added.

Seventeen civil servants have been selected to form four Review Teams, and the private sector has been asked to provide support for the teams. The teams will be trained and developed by an external trainer. Reports on the emerging findings of the reviews are expected in January 2010.

Although the project is driven by the Office of the Deputy Governor, the four review teams will work under a project team headed by three chief officers — Franz Manderson, Gloria McField-Nixon and Jennifer Ahearn.

The Cayman Islands Civil Service Association (CISCA) has been consulted on the review, and Ebanks has asked civil servants to give their support to the review teams so they can complete their reporting within the stated timeframe

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Middle school boys charged

| 03/12/2009 | 67 Comments

(CNS): A student at George Hicks High School was airlifted to Jamaica with head injuries on Monday and two students have been charged in connection with the incident. Sources have told CNS that the 13-year-old victim was injured by rocks thrown at him. Police say that the alleged assault took place at 10:20 on Monday morning, 23 November, at the school campus and two boys, aged 13 and 14, have been charged. According to the RCIPS, it is anticipated that the victim and his family will be returning to the Cayman Islands on Friday, 4 December.

CNS will post updates when more is known about the incident.

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Maples denies shake-up and talks of restructure

| 03/12/2009 | 26 Comments

Cayman islands news island weather classifieds business financial services(CNS): The tenants of Ugland House have reorganised their management team in the wake of speculation that Charles Jennings and Julian Reddyhough were voted out of their positions as managing partners after only two years at the helm of the offshore firm. In a release, Henry Smith, who has taken on the newly created role of Global Managing Partner, says the changes to the management structure are to “reflect the increasingly complex international nature” of Maples Group. The firm denied a shake-up, however, and Global Director of Marketing Sheree Harrison also told CNS that there would be no Caymanian job losses at the firm as part of the restructuring process.

Smith said a new Global Management Committee has also been created to oversee the co-ordination of the Maples Group and to continue to develop its global strategy. The committee will include Smith, David Brooks, Gareth Griffiths, Christine Chang and Andrew Doyle.

Brooks has been appointed Chairman of Maples Finance, the fiduciary and fund administration service provider, to help oversee global strategy. Maxine Rawlins will continue in her role as Chief Executive Officer of Maples Finance, and Gareth Griffiths will be Managing Partner of the Cayman Islands office. Christine Chang and Andrew Doyle will continue as Managing Partners of the law firm’s Hong Kong and Irish offices, respectively.

The firm said it had also created eight new partners, with Charles Jennings and Julian Reddyhough two of four reportedly retiring partners.

Smith said Maples had extremely strong teams throughout the global offices, both in the law firm as well as in the fiduciary service and fund administration groups at Maples Finance.

“We look forward to building on the platform they have helped create. We believe this structure is well aligned with our clients’ needs to pursue complex cross border transactions and to recognize our position as a market leader for hedge and private equity fund formation for managers and investors worldwide,” Smith stated. “We are sorry to say farewell to Charles and Julian who have decided to retire. Everyone at the firm owes them a debt of gratitude for their enormous contribution to the extraordinary growth of the firm during their time here."

Charles Jennings said he had been part of the management team at Maples and Calder for many years and was proud of what it had achieved. “As I am close to retirement age, I feel that this is an appropriate time to step aside. My partners are close personal friends as well as colleagues and I have full confidence in their stewardship of the firm."

According to reports in The Lawyer, a source close to the firm claimed that Jennings and Reddyhough were voted out at a recent conference.

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Pedestrian run down on West Bay Road

| 03/12/2009 | 9 Comments

(CNS): Police confirmed this morning that a 47-year-old man was knocked down on Wednesday evening as he was crossing the West Bay Road. The pedestrian has reportedly received head and arm injuries and is currently in George Town Hospital in a stable condition. Traffic police are appealing for witnesses following the accident, which occurred around 7.40pm and took place close to Comfort Suites. Police say the man was struck by a Range Rover which was travelling towards George Town and was driven by a 33 year old man, who was uninjured.


Inspector Adrian Barnett of the RCIPS Traffic department is appealing for any witnesses to the incident to contact him on 946-6254.

Police are reminding people who use the roads on the islands for recreational purposes to make sure they can be seen during the hours of darkness. Walkers, joggers, and cyclists are urged to consider wearing reflective clothing or use lights/ torches to ensure that motorists are aware that they are there.

 “Joggers, cyclists and walkers are commonplace on the islands with many people using the road network in the twilight hours or when it’s dark. If you are one of those people I would ask you to stop and think before you go out,” said Barnett. “Will what you are wearing make you visible – have you attached lights to your bicycle – could you do anything else to make sure that you can be seen and avoid any possibility of drivers failing to see you on the road?

He said that all road users including drivers, cyclists or pedestrians have a responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others. “By taking a few minutes to add lights, or change into reflective clothing you could avoid either causing or becoming involved in, a road accident,” the traffic officer added.

Anyone who wishes to obtain road safety advice should call the RCIPS Traffic department on 946-6254.

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Pirates’ Week Festivities began in the air

| 03/12/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): For visitors to the Cayman Islands during Pirate’s Week, the festivities began in the air on Cayman Airways, and continued on the ground at Owen Roberts International Airport. As a major sponsor of the festival, CAL rolled out a new welcome campaign for visitors flying in for Pirate’s Week. CAL customers were greeted upon check-in and boarding in Miami by staff clad in pirate gear. Additionally, a few lucky passengers on select flights won prizes from participating Cayman restaurants and on-island attractions if they were seated in the “Captain’s seat of the day”. (Capt. Terrence of Pirates Week Welcome campaign and Caren Thompson-Palacio of CIAA)

The National Festival Welcoming Committee extended this festive welcome to visitors upon their arrival at Owen Roberts International Airport. Visitors were greeted by the committee with welcoming treats, rum punch, and festival details, all in the spirit of creating a great first impression.

Cayman Airways also supported the festival by bringing the entertainers to our shores, namely the Bajan Invasion Band, Fab 5, Shurwayne Winchester, and Oscar B.

“The National Festival has been truly blessed this year with like-minded individuals who love this annual festival, support it wholeheartedly and above all has an interest in the different ways thatwe can also develop and grow the island’s tourism as a whole. Olivia Scott-Ramirez and the team at Cayman Airways supported our vision and enhanced it. Caren Thompson-Palacio and the team at CIAA, Immigration and Custom at the Owen Roberts International Airport are equally as supportive and encouraged the idea of creating a positive impression for our visitors. Everyone provided great support and enthusiasm towards making this festival a resounding success,” announced Casandra Hibbert, National Festival Director.

Cayman Airways has supported and been involved in Pirate’s Week since its inception, and this year we are very excited to be part of the many new programmes and initiatives, including the introduction of some of our own!” announced Cayman Airways Acting CEO Fabian Whorms.

Remarking on the involvement of the Cayman Islands Airports Authority, Caren Thompson-Palacio, remarked, “We are delighted to partner with the Pirates Week Committee to ensure that visitors are given a special welcome and invitation to participate in the National Festival. The Welcome Tent outside the Arrivals Hall allowed visitors to learn more about the myriad of activities that will be taking place across all three islands and to impart an appreciation for the historical significance of the Festival. We are pleased to lend our support to Casandra and her team and wish them much success in hosting this year’s Festival.”

The National Festival would like to thank Cayman Airways, the CIAA, Immigration, Customs, Department of Agriculture, the Agricultural Society, Hungry Horse Restaurant, the Welcoming Committee and all volunteers who worked diligently to ensure that the Tourism Welcoming Campaign was a success.

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E-mails will impact on Copenhagen summit

| 03/12/2009 | 0 Comments

(BBC): E-mails hacked from a climate research institute suggest climate change does not have a human cause, according to Saudi Arabia’s lead climate negotiator. Mohammad Al-Sabban told BBC News that the issue will have a "huge impact" on next week’s UN climate summit, with countries unwilling to cut emissions. Other scientists say the e-mails from the University of East Anglia do not alter the picture of man-made warming. Itappears that the material was hacked or leaked; a police investigation has yet to reveal which. Climate "sceptics" have claimed that the e-mails undermine the scientific case for climate change being caused by humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions, dubbing the issue "ClimateGate".

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Did Christianity Cause the Crash?

| 03/12/2009 | 0 Comments

(The Atlantic): America’s mainstream religious denominations used to teach the faithful that they would be rewarded in the afterlife. But over the past generation, a different strain of Christian faith has proliferated—one that promises to make believers rich in the here and now. Known as the prosperity gospel, and claiming tens of millions of adherents, it fosters risk-taking and intense material optimism. It pumped air into the housing bubble. And one year into the worst downturn since the Depression, it’s still going strong.

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Guides get involved in preservation of national bird.

| 03/12/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Local wildlife activists have been spreading the message about protecting the islands national bird the Cayman parrot. A group of Girl Guides recently participated in a field trip with Cayman Wildlife Rescue where they met Alison Corbett, Project Manager of Cayman Wildlife Rescue at the National Trust Office for a presentation on the country’s native parrot.  The Guides also constructed toys for the rescued and non-releasable Cayman Parrots which are housed at Otto Watler’s farm. 

“The presentation covered the natural history of the Cayman Parrot, how the two sub-species descended from the Cuban Parrot.  It highlighted the challenges the species faces and how youth can help with the conservation efforts,” Corbett said. The parrot is under particular threat from local farmers who consider the birds a pest as they eat their mangoes. The birds are straying on to farm land more and more because of their diminishing habitat. Wildlife rescue is one of the organisations working hard to create ways and systems for farmers to use to keep the birds off their fruit without killing them.

The girls and Corbett visited Watler’s to meet the Cayman Parrots which were to receive the fruits of their labour. “It was great to get the girls up close to the parrots and teach them the distinguishing features of the Grand Cayman Parrot and how it compares to the Cayman Brac Parrot.  I think the ladies left with a great understanding about the Cayman parrot and a love for them.”  Corbett added. 

Cayman Wildlife Rescue is 100% staffed by volunteers and welcomes involving youth groups in the program.  Interested members of the public can email for ways to get actively involved in wildlife rescue. A programme of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands tasked with the rescue of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife for release backinto the wild the organization is financed by donations from the public.  If you are interested in helping please contact Alison Corbett at  For more information you can also visit

If you find injured wildlife call the LIME Sponsored Emergency Hotline 917-BIRD(2473) for all wildlife emergencies.  Cayman Wildlife Rescue has a team of experienced and trained volunteers ready to assist in wildlife emergencies.  The public are reminded to NEVER attempt to care for a wildlife animal themselves as they required special diets and veterinary care. 


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Flowers sends gifts to family services

| 03/12/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Representatives from the Flowers Group has presented some early Christmas gifts to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for its clients. The local firm handed over 75 pairs of shoes and sports equipment including cricket bats, gloves and pads, all of which will be donated to the Cayman Islands Cricket Association for the national programme. The Minister of Community Affairs and Housing, Mike Adam said he was very grateful to the company. “This is an excellent demonstration of good corporate citizenship. I am grateful that the Flowers Group is helping to make Christmas much brighter for some of our residents,” Adam said.

Representatives from the firm said the company was pleased to give back to the community, especially at this time of year an was in keeping with the company’s deep commitment to the Islands, particularly to the development of sports—readily evident in events such as the Flowers Sea Swim.


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