Archive for March 5th, 2010

Turtle meat discount over, say farm officials

| 05/03/2010 | 10 Comments

(CNS): Some regular restaurant customers of the Cayman Islands Turtle Farm were offered the chance to buy turtle stew at a 25 percent discount from Thursday evening through Friday morning until the farm sold off its extra stock. The farm confirmed this was a one-off sale and the meat has not been reduced on a permanent basis. Following the price increases last month, the farm has been readjusting the production programme to meet the changes in demand. Managing Director Tim Adam explained that there was some surplus stew in the recent production run and he said the farm made a decision to discount some of the meat to long standing customers.

Adam said the price of all turtle meat was now back to the prices announced last month, which meant stew was again selling for $16 per pound. “We have sold out the overstock amount that we had available at the discounted price.  We have now adjusted our meat production to be better aligned with demand, and we are also now able to take advance orders for future production runs.”

The new director added that the farm was getting used to its new demand levels and would be improving levels of production to meet the adjustments in customers purchasing behaviour. Adam said the new prices which were now in place reflected the real cost of the product.

While there is also a need to reduce the amount of turtles the farm slaughters to ease pressure on the troubled breeding programme, the farm’s main goal is that price matches the cost of production.

“Our goal is to ensure that when we sell meat the farm is not subsidizing the sale,” Adam stated adding that the new prices were set at the level that covers the cost of producing a pound of each type of turtle meat product. 

“Since that time, turtle meat sales have continued, but of course at a slower rate than before the price increase.” He explained that the last meat production run built up a small overstock of harvested turtle meat. To sell off the overstock, the farm sold stew between yesterday evening and this morning at a 25% discount to specifically selected customers.

Although there is no more sale stock left anyone wanting turtle meet can call the farm’s meat production chief Malachi Anglin at 925-8622 to find out what products are still available and to place orders for future meat production runs.

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Woman shot – one arrested

| 05/03/2010 | 181 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, Cayman crime(CNS): Update Saturday 11:30 – A 32-year-old man has been arrested in relation to the shooting of a woman yesterday (Friday 5 March) in Mary Street in the heart of George Town. Police say he is being detained on suspicion of attempted murder. The  woman is in hospital in stable condition after she was shot in the facein broad daylight  The 911 emergency centre received the call around 4:10 Friday afternoon to say the victim had been shot at Barnes Plaza. The response unit was at the scene yesterday and investigations regarding the latest gang related shooting incident are ongoing. The incident follows three other shootings in less than twenty four hours and police are calling for witnesses to come forward.

Yesterday evening, police directed rush hour traffic on Mary Street around the scene of last evening’s shooting, using McField Lane to send commuters onto School road, resulting in significant delays in the area. (Photo above)

Two men were shot in West Bay on Thursday night around 8pm in two separate incidents and gunmen opened fire on a house in the Windsor Park area at around 2 am Friday morning.

Anyone who was in the area and witnessed the shooting, or has any information which could assist detectives in relation to the crime, is asked to contact George Town CID on 949-4222 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS).  

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Earthquake drill at the Glass House

| 05/03/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): There will be increased activity personnel and emergency vehicles at the Glass House this afternoon that may look like an actual emergency, but it is just a drill. Hazard Management Cayman Islands says an earthquake drill is currently being conducted at the Government Administration Building on Elgin Avenue in George Town. HMCI says there is no emergency situation in the vicinity of the Glass House.

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Bank sponsors football camps

| 05/03/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): First Caribbean International Bank was amongst the first corporate supporters to donate to this year’s annual football camp organized by FC International Football Club. The football camps run from the second week of August during the summer holidays and children of all ages from around the islands flock to it to improve on their football skills. Richard Lewis of FirstCaribbean International Bank said, “We are delighted to be supporting this year’s FC International Football camps."

He said, "We believe that promoting sport among young people is vital to promoting healthy lifestyles. Football is one of the most popular supports in these islands so it is a natural choice for the bank to get involved.”

FC International conducts camps in the districts of Savannah, George Town, North Side and Cayman Brac as well as for Fairbanks Prison for females, and young people with special needs.

Over the years FC International has organised a number of educational presentations for its young players from agencies such as the Royal Cayman Islands Police, including talks about safety and guidance on good citizenship. Juliette Gooding, former Director of Cayman Islands 911 Emergency Centre, who is a long time supporter of, and active participant in the organization of the annual FC International Football camps, said, “I am extremely happy to participate in these camps because they enable me to maintain my keen interest in the development of the sport of football and do something for Cayman’s youth at the same time.” She continues, “I truly respect the time and effort that FC International always puts into the development of the youth and various other sectors in our community. I encourage other local businesses to get involved and to make a contribution no matter how great or small to ensure the camps continue to be a success.”

Kennedy Ebanks, President of FC International, stated that the club has been running these camps for many years and finds it a fulfilling task when the children and their parents come out and support the activities. He said, “I credit the success of the camps to the Technical Director Mr. Elbert McLean, who donates his time to teach the participants the essentials of the sport of football, along with the other coaching staff who are all volunteers.” He added, “We are very grateful to the staff members of FirstCaribbean International Bank, who were inspired to make this donation. We really appreciate the bank’s ongoing support of the youth of these islands.”

Registration information regarding the camps will be issued in the media over the coming months and parents should register their children as early as possible to secure them a place in the programme.

Photo: (Left to right) Alejandro Chisholm, Cieron Haylock (camp participants); Richard Lewis (representing FCIB); Juliette Gooding, former 911 Manager and supporter

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Gunshots in George Town

| 05/03/2010 | 17 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman local news, Royal cayman Islands Police Service, Cayman crime(CNS): Police have confirmed that at around 2:00 this morning shots were fired at a house in Templeton Street in the Windsor Park area of George Town. No one was injured though a number of cars were damaged. Police have cordoned off the area, which is currently being examined by scenes of crime officers. CNS understands that this could be yet another gang related incident.

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Premier seeks public thoughts on local honours

| 05/03/2010 | 35 Comments

(CNS): Royal gongs from the UK will no longer be the only honour that can be bestowed upon Caymanians once the Legislative Assembly passes a bill to introduce a new system of awards from the premier’s office. Public input is now sought on the appropriate criteria for the honours which will give recognition to people in the community left out of the UK system. Presenting the draft bill McKeeva Bush said royal honours were limited and the local government had no control over was given those accolades. He said there was a “persistent unsatisfying sense that deserving people are left out,” of those awards and he wanted to find a way to address that.

Bush explained that it would not be him that would decide and give out the awards but the honours would be bestowed from the office of the premier and he said government was encouraging “vigorous public critique” of the draft bill in order to ensure that the mechanics as well as the criteria worked properly to honour those who were deserving.

“Let us have your view, people of the Cayman Islands. Let us have the well informed input that is out there in our civil, cultural and church organizations regarding the appropriate criteria for these awards,” the premier said in the Legislative Assembly last week.

He said an award system such as this could act as a possible antidote to the social poisons feeding the  so—called gun culture. “It is in the absence of adequate tools for socialization, for strengthening of affect between man and society: it is the vacuum created by the lack of positive social approbation that gangs develop and strengthen,” Bush observed.

He said as well as acting to prevent crime and catch criminals the community must create ways of preventing alienation from social norms and encourage positive achievement. The premier suggested that Caymanians had to learn to “big each other up “other wise we were investing in the tools of social degradation.

Bush explained that it was proposed that the awards would be bestowed on those who were engaged in different endeavours and services in the civil and artistic arenas as well as ecclesiastical and uniformed services. He said awardees would be chosen by a committee of fair minded people and the office planned to consult with the leader of the opposition on the awards as well.  

Bush explained that the goal was to give due recognition to selfless and sometime self sacrificing efforts by persons in our midst that add to the quality of life in the Caymanian community.

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Mac sees red on legal aid

| 05/03/2010 | 53 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, Cayman legal aid(CNS): As a new report examining how legal aid is managed and funded was handed to the ministry of finance on Monday in the county’s parliament, the premier made it quite clear that he still objected to the principle of government paying to defend what he believed were criminals. In the debate regarding the introduction of the Criminal Evidence Anonymity bill. Opposition MLA and lawyer, Alden McLaughlin, pointed out that the introduction of the new powers for the police to present anonymous evidence meant it was more important than ever that those accused of a serious offence were “adequately and competently” represented.

The legal aid report, which was undertaken by a committee led by Cheryl Neblett, has not yet been made public but McKeeva Bush has said that there is no money to fund legal aid in the way it is currently being financed and wants to change the system. In October he removed a considerable part of the $1.8 million allocated to the chief justice for the funding of representation, saying government planned to establish a public defenders office managed by Theresa Pitcairn and Steve McField, who would manage a smaller legal aid budget and do more with it.

However, the move, which came late at night in the Legislative Assembly during a Finance Committee meeting as the budget was about to be voted, caused considerable controversy and objections from the legal community and in particular the chief justice. The previous governor then stepped in and asked government to undertake a review before removing the financing of this year’s legal aid budget.

The committee included two representatives from the judicial services department, UDP back bencher Ellio Solomon and local attorney Steve McField, with Neblett as chair, and their report was submitted to the ministry on Monday. However, prior to receiving thereport, Bush said  that he would change how legal aid is managed and cut the funding.

The introduction of the subject by McLaughlin during the anonymity bill debate resulted in an angry response from the premier to the comments made by the George Town representative. He criticised his eloquent speeches about the rights of criminals when there was no money to spend because of the spending of the administration in which the George Town member had served. Referring to the country’s high crime rate, Bush said he was not going to mollycoddle criminals because of human rights.

MLA and lawyer Alden McLaughlin pointed out that, with the introduction of the new powers for the police to present anonymous evidence, it was even more important that anyone accused of a serious offence was adequately represented. This meant that government had to ensure legal aid was properly funded. He said that without adequate representation, people could be convicted on anonymous evidence which was not tested, making those convictions unsafe.   

However, the premier saw red and he suggested the free representation of criminals was causing the rising crime problem and made it very clear that he resented government paying to represent those “who shot up children and burned women”.

Bush made it clear that he was uncomfortable with spending public money to defend criminals and gave little credence to the principle that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. He loudly declared his disgust and criticised the opposition member for his speeches about rights at a time when there was no money.

“Government has to find the money for legal aid and when there is no money what do we do, close the schools, stop the money for veterans?” he asked. “When you go to court you have to have someone talk for you, yes, but you should not go to court in the first place. You should not shoot people or burn people up.”

He said that by voting millions of dollars for legal aid to help them, the politicians had encouraged criminals. He told the opposition benches that they should have done something about the legal aid funding problem when they had the chance when they were in office. Bush added that he was sick of “eloquent speeches about the rights of people, but what about their responsibilities?”

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Two hit in West Bay shootings

| 05/03/2010 | 112 Comments

(CNS): The ongoing gang violence on Grand Cayman has resulted in yet two more victims being shot. Police have now confirmed the details of two separate shootings that took place in West Bay this evening, Thursday 4 March. Police said that shortly after 8.00 pm a man was in Miss Daisy Lane when he was shot in the shoulder. He was conveyed to the Cayman Islands Hospital, where he is currently being treated. His condition is described as stable.  Meanwhile, in the second incident a man sustained slight head injuries when he was shot in the Birch Tree Hill area of West Bay around 8.15 pm

Police said the second man had been taken to a hospital by a friend and has since been released. No other details of the shootings or of they were connected have been released and the police said that West Bay detectives are now looking into the incidents.

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Business representatives back civil service cuts

| 05/03/2010 | 64 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman business news, Cayman Islands Chamber of commerce(CNS): The first public comments from the private sector regarding government plans to cut civil service salaries and reduce public spending has come from the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce, which has offered its full support. The body which speaks for Cayman’s commercial community said that it has long advocated a reduction in Cayman’s public sector and the divestment of some of the services into the private sector, which the Chamber says will improve efficiency and cut costs.

The Chamber also said it was pleased to see the elected arm of government living up to the promises made during the election campaign, especially at its candidate forums.

The Chamber said it welcomes the premier’s decision to reduce MLA  salaries by 20-30%% and to begin paying half of their health insurance premiums, which they said was a welcome first response to the budget challenges and should send a clear message to the civil service and all statutory authorities.

“Reducing Government spending is critical and the Chamber congratulates the Premier and the Government for taking a leadership role in driving change. This decision is in keeping with the election promises that were expressed by most of the candidates during the Chamber’s District Candidates Forums held in April 2009,” the Chamber stated.

The Chamber said that for many years it had called for government to reduce spending, build up national reserves and to operate under the same set of rules as the private sector as well as adopt privatization. “Unfortunately, successive Governments have dismissed or failed to acknowledge the warnings and continued to add layers of non-essential activities andadditional workers to the long list of services; many of which can be performed by the private sector at considerable savings and with improved efficiencies,” the chamber said in a statement.

It also stated that it believed government should identify assets that could be sold outright or part privatized through public offerings to reduce public debt. “By introducing this approach, local residents and businesses will be able to become direct shareholders of several important national assets and Government would reduce its direct operational costs,” the Chamber urged.

The Chamber said it was opposed to any more pressure on business especially additional revenue measures without a definitive plan to cut costs and reduce debt. The Chamber said it was against additional general, corporate or any form of taxes on income, interbank transactions, payroll or property. 

In terms of future business development, the Chamber expressed its support for the development of cruise berthing, medical tourism development, convention facilities, waterfront redevelopment in George Town, attracting the reinsurance sector and additional private trust business. It also pledged its full support to addressing the crime issue that threatens to destabilize the society and drive away business and revisions to immigration policies.

The Chamber also said it supported government efforts to develop investment policies and to support small business development and it was pleased government had adopted many of the strategies outlined during meetings with the organization in September. The Chambersaid as the representative of a broad cross section of the business community it believed it could work with government to address the current challenges.

Read full statement from the Chamber of Commerce

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