Archive for February 15th, 2010

Machete attack in Courts Rd

| 15/02/2010 | 31 Comments

(CNS): A young man is in critical condition after a vicious attack by two unknown assailants in the early hours of this morning. Sometime between midnight and 2:00am on Monday 15 February, a 25-year-old man, who is an Indian national, stepped outside his home in the North Town Courts apartments, Courts Road, George Town to use his cell phone to call his wife, who is currently in Goa. Shortly before 3.00am the man returned to the apartment suffering from serious head injuries. He stated he had been violently attacked by two unknown men who struck him on the head with what could possibly be machete.

The injured man was taken to Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town where his condition is described as critical. It is anticipated he will be transferred to Jamaica for further medical treatment later today.

“This would appear to be a motiveless and vicious assault on a young man who was telephoning his recently married wife back in his homeland of India,” said Detective Constable Orlando Mason who is leading the hunt for the attackers. He appealed for anyone who may have been in the Courts Road area at the relevant time and saw anything suspicious to contact him at George Town CID on 949-4222 or call Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS).

Courts Road is fast beoming one of George Town’s most dangerous streets as it has been the scene of a number of serious assaults, robberies and muggings over the last 12 months.

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Teenage domestic violence tackled by advert campaign

| 15/02/2010 | 0 Comments

(BBC): An advertising campaign is being launched (in the UK) to raise awareness of domestic violence in teenage relationships. The adverts will target boys and girls aged 13 to 18, urging them not to use violence against their girlfriends. The £2m TV, radio, internet and poster campaign is part of a government strategy announced last year to reduce violence against women and girls. Home Secretary Alan Johnson said it was essential to change attitudes in order to stop abuse against females. He said: "We want to see young people in safe and happy relationships and this means tackling attitudes towards abuse at an early age, before patterns of violence can occur.

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Cops increase armed patrols after weekend gun crime

| 15/02/2010 | 20 Comments

(CNS): Following three seperate incidents over the weekend involving firearms, a senior police officer has confirmed that the RCIPS has increased the number of armed officers now deployed around the island. Alongside the threat made to acustomer at a local barber shop by a single gunman, police said they also received two reports of gunshots being fired in George Town in the early hours of Monday morning, and although no one was hurt, one of the shots hit a parked car. Chief Superintendent John Jones called on those involved to stop the tit-for-tat.

“The increasing use of firearms on the islands is completely unacceptable,” said CS Jones. “On Friday night we had a man threatened with a firearm within a barber shop in Eastern Avenue. The information we have at the present time is that this was not a random attack. There is no doubt that the people involved in many of these incidents know who the perpetrators are but for whatever reason they do not want to provide us with statements or tell us who was involved. This tit-for-tat must stop now or the consequences for the people involved, or innocent bystanders, could be fatal.”

He said that once again the police are asking anyone withinformation about those involved to come forward in confidence.  

“Information can be passed anonymously if necessary,” the senior officer added. “We all want to see an end to this violence but we cannot do this alone. We need the help of the public.”

Jones confirmed that police have stepped up patrols throughout the island and that increased numbers of armed officers would be deployed at strategic locations to ensure that they could quickly respond to firearms incidents.

“If you are the mother, girlfriend, sister, brother or father of anyone who is involved, please let us know. We know it would be a hard decision to make, but I’d suggest it would be easier to cope with the consequences of making that call than dealing with the heartache of making funeral arrangements for a loved one,” he warned.

Detectives are now investigating the various incidents, including one which took place on Friday 12 February at 7:50pm when a man armed with what appeared to be a firearm entered Mr G’s Barber Shop in Eastern Avenue. He threatened a man in the shop with the gun before running off.

Then at about 1:15 this morning, Monday 15 February, police responded to a report of shots being fired in the School Road. On arrival, police were informed that a number of shots had been fired. One shot damaged a parked car. Police carried out a forensic examination in School Road and recovered a number of spent cartridges. The RCIPS also said that it seems further shots had been fired in the Myles Road area and other shell casings were recovered.

Anyone who has any information regarding any of these incidents is asked to call George Town CID on 949-4222, or call Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS).

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Government office ‘For Sale’

| 15/02/2010 | 69 Comments

(CNS): Although the government has made no secret of its intention to sell the new Government Office Administration Building, the ‘for sale’ sign has now officially gone up along with an invitation for submissions of interest. The premier has said that there had been a couple of expressions of interest already but as a public asset the sale must go through the proper channels. One of those expected to bid on the building, which government hopes will fetch around $50 million, is the Civil Service Pension Fund. The premier said last week that he wants to bring the 20010/11 budget to the LA before the end of April, which means he hopes to have a buyer for the GOAB before the middle of the month.

The 143,662 sq. ft. office building is not due to be completed until January 2011 and was set to cost government around $87 million to build, but it hopes to recoup the $50 million already spent making the deal a no gain or loss situation in terms of assets but one that will hopefully put cash back in the government’s coffers.

Last week the premier hit back at critics who have said the UDP government should not sell the building, saying that the cash was needed to meet the requirements of the 2009/10 budget and to address what he described as the financial mess left by the previous administration.

Anyone wanting to buy the custom-built Category 5 hurricane-rated building, which comes with associated car parking space, will not be able to use the building themselves as the deal is contingent on government being able to lease it at market rates. Government officials said any sale would be subject to the Cayman Islands Government (CIG) agreeing and signing the terms for a commercial lease under which the CIG will contract to pay rent as tenant at market rental value.

The invitation sets out the terms under which government will sell the building and states investor requirements. The full document is available online at Expressions of Interest must be made in writing and be accompanied by a banker’s draft for US$100,000, made payable to the Cayman Islands Government. This sum will be refunded by cheque 28 days later. The submission should also include evidence of the applicant’s financial standing. An information package including Heads of Terms for the Lease will be issued to successful applicants shortly after the submission date, and bids will then be submitted to the Central Tenders Committee by Friday, 12 March 2010.

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Rich pull out of tax havens

| 15/02/2010 | 2 Comments

(Wealth Bulletin): A combination of tax amnesties, hostile governments and tougher economic conditions are encouraging Europe’s wealthy to play it safe. They are increasingly moving their wealth back onshore, to the detriment of offshore centres which have all lost large volumes of funds. An estimated 25% of offshore funds, or $520bn (€383bn), has left since the beginning of 2008, according to research compiled by Wealth Bulletin. Most of these outflows are down to Europeans and Americans moving their money in the face of growing pressure to declare assets to tax authorities. Switzerland, the world’s largest offshore centre by assets, has lost about a fifth of those assets in the last two years, according to research.

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Turtles get fighting chance

| 15/02/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Giving the ongoing struggle to address the breeding problem at the Cayman Islands Turtle Farm, a recent undisclosed donation from a local law firm will give five of the farm’s breeders a fighting chance to reproduce this year. Appleby will be sponsoring Buckshot, Florence, Honey, Old Yellow and Submarine for the 2010 calendar year. With 2,274 pounds and 175 years between them, the contribution should help the farm’s experts get to grips with the current problems associated with the hatchling and other efforts to understand and protect the endangered marine turtles.

“The community’s involvement in the conservation of sea turtles is a very important part of our work at Cayman Turtle Farm,” said Geddes Hislop, Cayman Turtle Farm’s Curator of Terrestrial Exhibits and Education Programs. “We are grateful that Appleby saw the value in sponsoring five breeder turtles and we hope that other businesses and individuals within the community will follow the example this firm has set”.

Huw Moses OBE, Appleby Cayman Managing Partner said the firm was conscious of the community and environment. “The sea turtle is a significant part of the history of these islands and it is important that initiatives such as the breeder turtle sponsorship program are sufficiently supported. Appleby is pleased to make this valuable contribution to the Cayman Turtle Farm and the Cayman Islands,” he stated.

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Go-Karters keep it safe

| 15/02/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Cayman’s latest speed facility took another step closer to its big opening recently when organisers and members of the Cayman Motorsports Association (CMA) gathered at HiddenLagoon Drive (off Sparky’s Drive) in George Town to install tyres and water barriers to keep the racers safe and to test the new track. The track, which ahs been developed by  Cayman Karting is an asphalt paved surface about  1000ft  in total distance with the possibility of three different course layouts to challenge drivers on multiple levels.

In the interest of safety the race track has now been with tyres and advanced water-filled barriers to protect drivers from accidents and injuries. CMA offered a helping hand as well as advice on making the track as safe as possible for the racer before they tested it out. The tyres were donated by Automotive Art and constructed with tools provided by AI Group Ltd and Parker’s.

Director of Cayman Karting, Alasdair Foster, offered the CMA members the opportunity to be the first to race karts around the track and the motorsports enthusiasts jumped at the chance and were ready with their safety gear and fired up the 10 karts provided by Alasdair.

The first few laps were taken slowly by most to get a feel for the karts and the track but those who’ve experienced kart racing before were right at home cutting tight corners, burning rubber and trying to find the fastest line around the track, the organisers said. Competitive 5-lap races began and it was noticed that the karts were in need of some final tuning which meant a couple of the karts were slightly faster than the others, giving their drivers a slight advantage over the rest of the field.

"I’m extremely grateful for CMA’s help setting up the tyre barriers on Friday night not to mention their advice and support throughout the process of getting the track started,” said Foster. “It was definitely appropriate that they were the first to race the karts on the track and I’m very happy that everybody enjoyed the experience!"

CMA president Bobby Hulse said the organisation had been watching the development of the track with great interest and didn’t want to make any opinions about it until it was done. “Now that it’s done and we have had a chance to take a spin on it all I can say is it’s a blast.  It’s tons of fun but I think it will be a great teaching tool for up and coming drivers also as the karts teach some very fine control points. I think it will be very successful,” he added.

Cayman Karting is scheduled to open on Saturday 20 February with 10 karts to race as well as bleachers for spectators to come and observe. A fully computerised timing system will give accurate lap times and standings for racers at future events. Find out more information about karting at and for more information about CMA’s events.

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Local firm seeks nominees for education awards

| 15/02/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Four the fourth year running a local business will be giving away CI$12,000 to help fund a number of education initiatives. Cayman Islands-based business conglomerate, dms Organization Ltd. (dms), is looking for nominees for its 2010 Joanna Clarke Excellence in Education Award (JCA), and the newly-created Joanna Clarke Scholarship Fund. Organisers said they would be happy to consider previous applications as they said each year worthy initiatives are turned down because the pressing number of worthwhile projects. The awards were introduced the award to honour Joanna Clarke (left) in 2006, and publicly acknowledge the efforts of all those that contribute to education in the Cayman Islands.

“Giving back to the local community through a selection of sponsorship and volunteer efforts has always been fundamental to our business practice,” said Don Seymour, president of dms. “This award seeks to bring awareness to the contributions of our local educators and encourage others to demonstrate their support.”

Applications are currently being circulated throughout Cayman Islands’ schools and are available at the award website Parties eligible for consideration include but are not limited to: teachers, students, Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) and schools. The JCA criteria are:

Contribute to and promote excellence in education in the Cayman Islands;

Be sustainable and measurable;

Contribute to increased parental and/or community involvement in education;

Be affiliated with a reputable educational institution or organization;

Demonstrate a proven history in successful education projects and/or teaching;

Organisers said the JCA committee will review all applications submitted, and if several worthy projects are identified, they may provide grants to multiple organizations up to $12,000 KYD in total.

“Each year it becomes increasingly abundant how many deserving initiatives and committed educators we have amongst us in our community,” said dms Vice President Krista Pell. “It can be incredibly challenging to decipher – but what is important to remember is that we invite applicants who may not have been chosen last year to apply again, as well as of course welcoming new initiatives for consideration. As well as winning, there is also the opportunity to bring awareness to your programmes, and wevery much look forward to what is brought forth to us this year.”

Previous recipients of the JCA include last year’s winner, the N.C.V.O.’s Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home for its Accessing Computer Aided Learning programme. In 2008 recipient was John Gray High School for its “Blueprint for Literacy” initiative which aimed to ensure that all high school students, upon graduation, will be able to perform at their grade levels and pass at least four external exams.

“It is of paramount importance to us to visit the recipients and follow up with the progress of the initiatives – my favourite part of this whole process is interacting with the children and learning how they are benefitting,” said Clark. “After all, it is about the children. We are always greeted with such a warm reception, and to date it has been indescribably rewarding to see how well maintained the initiatives we have selected are.”

dms recently introduced the Joanna Clarke Scholarship Fund will grant financial support to an aspiring or existing educator looking to further his/her education or wishing to further expand on his/her professional development. dms will be hosting a ‘dress up – dress down day’ to raise additional funds for the fund in late February.

For further information and to obtain an application contact Tara Tvedt-Pearson, dms Organization Ltd. Project Coordinator, at 749-2407 or


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