Archive for December 29th, 2009

Christmas Day power cut due to vehicle collision

| 29/12/2009 | 4 Comments

(CNS): Some Christmas diners took a little longer to cook in George Town this year as a result of a CUC outage caused by a motor vehicle colliding and breaking a power pole in the afternoon on Christmas Day. From 14:40pm customers in areas at Outpost Road, Windsor Park, Anthony Drive, Pasadora Place and parts of Smith Road, South Church Street from Texaco to the Cayman Crossings vicinity on South Sound were without power as turkeys sat in cold ovens.

A spokesperson for CUC said on Tuesday that staff had however restored power to the first customers at 15:33pm. “CUC apologies to customers for any inconvenience the outage may have caused,” the firm stated adding that it was committed to providing excellent service to its customers and that it is one of the most reliable and efficient utilities in the region. 

“At October 31st 2009, the Company posted a respectable Average Service Availability Index of 99.95 % compared to 99.93 % for the same period last year.  This means that, on average, our customers experienced approximately three and one half hours of outages during the period,” CUC added

 

 

 

 

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Environmental Health looks for garbage fees

| 29/12/2009 | 28 Comments

(CNS): Despite reports that garbage fees are notoriously difficult to collect the Department of Environmental Health has issued a reminder to home and business owners that the fees will be due by 31 January 2010. Fees are due twice yearly, in January and July for 6 month periods, but owners do have the option of making a full single payment in January and the department also said that payment plan arrangements can also be made to help people meet their obligation. Garbage fees are prescribed in accordance with the Public Health (Garbage and Refuse Disposal) (Amendment) Regulations, 2002.

“Customers also have the convenience of paying garbage fees by debit or credit cards on Grand Cayman.,” said Director Roydell Carter. “Of course we accept cash and cheques too—the DEH aims to makepaying user-friendly!”

To avoid invoice delivery delays, the public is further urged to contact DEH on 949-6696 to update mailing addresses. Customers who do not receive bills by January 15, 2010 are advised to contact DEH immediately.  The DEH said that it appreciates the cooperation of residents who regularly pay their fees in a timely manner, and thanks those other civic-minded individuals who are currently in the process of paying their fees.

Given the shortages in government coffers and recent delays in garbage collections owing to problems with resources in the DEH the fees will be needed more than ever this year.  

The fees can be paid in person at Department of Environmental Health, in the Cayman Islands Environmental Centre, 580 North Sound Road, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday or at any Grand Cayman post office and at the District Administration Office in Cayman Brac. Customers can also post payment to the Department of Environmental Health, P.O. Box 1820, Grand Cayman KY1-1109.

 

 

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Body found shot dead in GT

| 29/12/2009 | 85 Comments

(CNS): Updated 12:15 Police have confirmed that a murder investigation is underway following the discovery of a 27-year-old man’s body close to Welly’s Cool Spot in Sound Way, George Town. The RCIPS said the man’s injuries appear to be consistent with gunshot wounds.The 911 centre received the report that the body had been found at around 8:30am on Tuesday, 29 December. Police said that an extensive forensic examination of the scene is currently ongoing. Police officers are also conducting door-to-door enquiries to establish if anyone in the surrounding area has any information which could assist with the enquiry or help put together the last movements of the deceased.

The identity of the deceased will be made available when formal identification has taken place and his next of kin have been made aware. A family liaison officer has been appointed by RCIPS to assist the victim’s next of kin.

A murder incident team, led by Detective Chief Inspector Peter Kennett, will be based at the murder incident room, which has been set up at George Town police station.

“This young man lost his life in what can only be described as a very brutal way. I have to stress that we do need the help of the public as we try to piece together the last few hours and minutes of the victim’s life,” said DCI Kennett.

“We have already started to gather vital information both from the forensic examination of the scene and from interviewing people who live in the surrounding area but I would appeal to anyone who has any information, and has not already been spoken to by the police, to come forward. Even if you feel the information you have is insignificant or trivial – please let us know – it might be vitally important to the enquiry.”

If, as is already suspected, that this is a murder it will be the eighth killing in the Cayman Islands in 2009, making it the highest number since records began.

Anyone with information can call the murder incident room at George Town police station direct on 244-2924 or Crime Stoppers 800-8477 (TIPS).

 

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UDP saves NYE bus

| 29/12/2009 | 39 Comments

(CNS): Following the revelation that the National Drug Council did not have funding to run the Purple Ribbon free New Year’s Eve bus service for the 2010 celebrations, Matthew Leslie of the Young United Democratic Party has stepped up to the plate and rallied his party colleagues to come up with the money to get the service up and running. Leslie said that with money from the YUDP’s fundraising coffers, together with contributions from all of the UDP MLAs and some party members, he has come up with enough cash to allow the NDC to run the service island-wide from 10pm to 3am on 31 December/1 January.

“The YUDP felt this was a worthwhile cause to spend some of the money we have gained through fundraising this year as we know lots of young people will be on the road on New Year’s Eve and we want them to stay safe,” Leslie said explaining that after seeing the story on the CNS site he wanted to do something. “With the help of party members and all the UDP MLAs we’ve come up with enough money to give to the NDC so it can organise the free service so that young people can park those cars when they have been drinking and get home safely on the purple ribbon bus. Drunk driving is a genuine concern for all and we want to do what we can to help start the New Year without any major accidents.”

Leslie said that full details of the exact times and routes of the buses would be revealed before New Year’s Eve but that the service would be island wide, free of charge and all buses will be clearly marked.

Mark Scotland, the Minister for Health, said he was delighted with the YUDP initiative and offered his full support. “I was disappointed to hear that the NDC was unable to find funding for this worthy initiative so I am really pleased that Matthew and the YUDP have spearheaded this initiative which all of the UDP is behind. This is an important service as we all want everyone to stay safe on the roads,” Scotland added.

Leslie confirmed that no government money is being used to fund the service but cash from the YUDP’s own coffers, party members as well as the MLAs’ own pockets.

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Shaune Fraser enters Cayman’s sporting hall of fame

| 29/12/2009 | 13 Comments

(CNS): Following his graduation next summer star swimmer Shaune Fraser will become the Cayman Islands latest elite athlete when he signs a contract with government in June 2010. Shaune and his younger brother Brett are currently competing for the University of Florida (where they both have swimming scholarships) on the amateur National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) circuit. Once he graduates Shaune will be able to take on sponsorships and under the contract the CI government will offer financial support enabling him to focus on training and competing.

Swimming since he was six years old, Shaune competed in the Olympics in 2004 (Athens) and 2008 (Beijing). He currently holds the NCAA record for the 200m fly, and the Florida state records for the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, and 200m fly – all set this year. Shaune’s main events are the 200 individual medley (IM), 200 freestyle, and 200 fly, and he has his sights firmly set on the 2012 London Olympics.

Big events for next year include, the NCAA Championships in March, the Central American and Caribbean Games in July, October’s Commonwealth Games in India, and the World Swimming Championships in December 2010. After graduating next summer, he will also start competing on the swimming Grand Prix circuit.

 “Shaune and Brett both have impressive records of performance. Not only have they proven themselves in the swimming pool, but they also are excellent role models for our young athletes. I am impressed with their dedication to their sport and their education. It takes a very special and talented athlete to juggle the demands of international competition and full-time study,” Minister of Sport Mark Scotland said. 

 “My ministry is proud to offer another young Caymanian athlete the opportunity to further his sport career. In turn, Cayman will benefit from being represented on the world stage by an athlete of great calibre.”

The Cayman Islands’ Elite Athlete Status programme allows athletes to enter into a contract with the Cayman Islands Government whereby they receive financial support to assist them in their training and development.  Under the agreement, athletes are required to maintain a certain level of competition and participate, whenever possible, in promoting sports in the Cayman Islands. They are also expected to act as athletic ambassadors when and wherever they are competing.

Current Cayman Elite Athletes are Ronald Forbes, Cydonie Mothersill, Charles Whittakker, and Michael Letterlough.

For more information on Shaune’s performance this year go to http://www.gatorzone.com/swimmingdiving/media/?sport=swimm http://www.gatorzone.com/story.php?id=16876

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Tourism stats still down

| 29/12/2009 | 6 Comments

(CNS): With only one month’s statistics left to come in for 2009 it is likely that the Cayman Islands’ annual tourism arrivals will be down for both cruise and stay-over visitors this year. While November air arrival stats were an improvement on 2008, unless December turns out to be a record breaking month, visitors to Cayman by air will be the lowest in 2009 since 2006. With five ships in port on Tuesday morning, downtown George Town was experiencing one of its busiest cruise days of the year, but one which again is likely to show yet another decline.

With the world recession still biting, tourism has been one of the hardest hit industries, affecting a number of Cayman’s small businesses and local unemployment levels.

According to statistics from the Department of Tourism, 20,614 people arrived in Cayman by air in November, an increase of 883. However the annual total for air arrivals for 2008 was 302,879, and with just one month o the year left, so far only 242,393 travelled to Cayman by air, meaning the destination is looking at more than a 10 to 15% decline for the year depending on how December’s stats measure up.

Last year’s cruise annual arrival statistics were the lowest since 2001 and 2009 may be lower still. With 1,361,850 people having arrived in the 11 months of the year so far, Port Authority statistics suggest a possible 150,000 will visit in December, giving a total of around 1,520,000 for the year.

With stay over numbers remaining low hotels and condos are averaging less than 52% occupancy this year compared to over 53% last year with hotels showing a steeper decline than apartments and condos which remain at similar levels.

With the promised investment in a cruise berthing facility in George Town to start in 2010 and several new condo and hotel projects also planned for next year, many people are counting on the second pillar of the economy to rebound in the new decade, creating jobs and business opportunities to buoy up Cayman’s flagging domestic economy.

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CBO tackling crime & politics

| 29/12/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The problem of rising crime, unemployment, as well as the prosperity and politics of the Cayman Islands will be the areas up for discussion when a local panel of experts discusses the future of the islands at the annual Cayman Business Outlook conference next month. Gary Linford will be moderating when the Commissioner of Police David Baines (left), Pastor Al Ebanks of Agape Family Worship Centre, Auditor General Dan Duguay, consultant Paul Byles and attorney Sherri Bodden come together to examine the issues at the forefront of the community.

Organisers are also encouraging the public to submit questions, which can be confidential and anonymous to the moderator at conference-moderator@dmtcgroup.com for the “Jobs, Prosperity, Politics and Crime: What’s in store for Cayman?”  discussion which will round out this year’s conference “Prospering in a Grave New World’ on Thursday 21 January at the Ritz Carlton.

McKeeva Bush, the premier, will open the conference which organizers say includes prominent and influential members of the community including professional local and expatriate business people, leading bankers, lawyers and senior members of government.

 

The CBO 2010 presenters have all made frequent appearances on financial channels and News programmes and are regular print and web columnists. The Keynote speaker is Simon Johnson, one of the world’s foremost authorities on the financial sector and economic crises and a former International Monetary Fund chief economist.  Ann Lee is an expert on financial derivatives and the global financial system. Currently Lee teaches economics and finance at New York University, and has served as an adjunct professor at the Lubin School of Business and Graduate Economics at Pace University, and as a visiting professor to Peking University in Beijing, China. Margaret A Neale is the faculty director of three executive programmes at Stanford University: Influence and Negotiation Strategies, Managing Teams for Innovation and Success, and the Executive Programme for Women Leaders.

 

Fidelity Bank is the primary sponsor of Cayman Business Outlook, a business networking and conference event designed to expand the knowledge of business leaders in the Cayman Islands and to foreshadow threats and opportunities that may exist in the global economic regime during the coming year. Alongside Fidelity sponsors include Admiral Administration, Campbells Attorneys-at-law, Consolidated Water Co. Ltd., DART, Five Continents Financial Limited, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Ritz-Carlton, Royal Fidelity and Royal Star Assurance.

 

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