Archive for April 8th, 2010

Families wanted to host inner city kids

| 08/04/2010 | 13 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism is looking for local families who can play host to guest children from New York who will be visiting Cayman this summer. A partnership between Cayman Airways, the Fresh Air Fund and the DoT provides young people from underprivileged backgrounds from the inner city and urban environment the chance of a life time vacation. The children aged between 10-12 will be arriving in Cayman on 22 July and staying for one week to experience some of the most unique and exciting activities the Caribbean has to offer.

The Department of Tourism is looking for families to get involved in this great cause by hosting participants during their trip. Any families interested in serving as hosts for the kids or private organizations who would like to provide services or materials for the trip can contact Nasaria Budal-Coe from the DOT at  Host families will be invited to participate in the week’s activities.  
The Fresh Air Fund adolescents coming down to Cayman are selected by the organization based on their achievements, their willingness to succeed and their history with the organization. Each year, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism works closely with The Fresh Air Fund to ensure the group experiences warm Caymanian culture and hospitality by flying direct on Cayman Airways and visiting attractions such as Stingray City, Boatswain’s Beach, Pedro St. James and QE II Botanic Park.
The group will also take an adventure-filled day trip to one of the sister islands. The trip is meant to provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience new things outside of New York City to kids who wouldn’t be able to visit without the generosity provided by Cayman and the host families and private partners who help make the trip a reality.
The Fresh Air Fund is an independent, not-for-profit agency that has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. The organization garners extensive media coverage both in New York and on a national scale, and provides an ideal opportunity for the Cayman Islands to showcase its well-earned reputationfor hospitality and warmth.

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New immigration deputy is HR expert

| 08/04/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Samantha Bennett, has been named as the new Deputy Chief Immigration Officer (DCIO) – Administration and will take up the job on Monday (12 April). Bennet moves to immigration from the Ministry of Finance, Development and Tourism where she was the Chief Human Resources Manager for the last four years.  Welcoming the appointment, Chief Immigration Officer (CIO) Linda Evans said this recently-restructured position will provide managerial and administrative support in human resources, training and customer service delivery.  

Bennett’s responsibilities relate to different sections, from finance and the filing registry, to the Passport and Corporate Services section. She will also provide advice and guidance on the Immigration Law, policies and procedures, the immigration chief explained. 
The new DCIO will work closely the Boards and immigration stake holders to ensure improved service delivery. “I will primarily support the department’s initiatives to enhance its customer-focused and performance-driven services,” added Bennett. The development of efficient processes and effective working relationships among all stakeholders are also high on her agenda.
“This is a critical position and comes at an important juncture in the re-development of our Immigration controls,” said Evans who added that Bennett would be an integral member of the management team – which includes DCIO – Enforcement, Intelligence and Asylum Gary Wong; DCIO – Border Control Bruce Smith; Sherryl Miller, Director of Work Permits and Boards; and Chris Eakin, Director of Policy and Strategic Management.
Bennett holds a MSc in human resource management (merit) from the University of Portsmouth and is a founding member and past president of CISHRP (Cayman Islands Society of Human Resources Professionals).
The Department of Immigration is one of the most active government departments. It has a staff complement of more than 170 officers and administrative staff. Annually, they process over 90,000 clients, and handle over 40,000 telephone enquiries. The department generates revenue exceeding $47 million annually, and has an operating budget of some $14 million.

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Drug council issues SOS for volunteers

| 08/04/2010 | 4 Comments

(CNS): The National Drug Council (NDC);the body responsible for the oversight of the country’s anti-drug strategy has issued an urgent call for 35 additional volunteer fieldwork assistants to help with the Cayman Islands Student Drug Use Survey (CISDUS) 2010. The work will begin on the morning of Tuesday 13 April and the NDC says it needs more hands on deck to help start the interviews with students the first of which will be at schools between 11:15am to 12:45pm.

The NDC explained that the survey will be carried out by qualified staff and professional research and information officers using statistical software and data entry apparatus. It is the 6th cycle of the Cayman Islands Student Drug Use Survey, the last of which was carried out in 2006.
The survey aims to gain a better understanding of drug use among middle and high school students in the Cayman Islands, to track changes and patterns in alcohol and drug use to inform the development and strengthening of prevention programmes.
If you would like to volunteer please contact us on 949-9000 or email

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Teen arrested for murder

| 08/04/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Police confirmed this morning that a 16-year-old boy has been arrested and is currently detained on suspicion of murder following a police operation in the West Bay area earlier this morning. At About 7:20 am on Thursday 8 April the teenager was arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of Marcos Mauricio Gauman Duran who was shot and killed in West Bay, on Thursday 11 March, police stated. Duran an Ecuadorian national from George Town was killed as he was visiting an apartment on Maliwinas Way.

He was the third murder victim of 2010 and was killed on the same evening that a teenager was wounded in a shooting in the Birch Tree Hill area. Police have not yet confirmed if this murder was gang related. Police said at the time that Duran cold have been the victim of a robbery gone wrong.

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Cayman teens lazy, says study

| 08/04/2010 | 70 Comments

(CNS): According to research conducted by the World Health Organization in Geneva, in a study of more than 70,000 young teens from 34 countries, teenagers from the Cayman Islands and St. Lucia were found to be the least active kids. Some 58 percent of boys and 64 percent of girls in Cayman said they spent three hours a day in sedentary activity. The results come at a time when obesity and diabetes is on the rise among local children. Health Minster Mark Scotland said in his World Health Day message yesterday (7 April) that almost 38 percent of school students aged between 11 and 14 are overweight.

This latest study was conducted by Regina Guthold and a team from the WHO, who found that, overall, most kids aren’t getting enough exercise. Published in The Journal of Pediatrics, it looked at 13- to 15-year-old school children from North and South America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East between 2003 and 2007.
The researchers defined adequate physical activity as at least an hour of exercise on top of gym class at least five days a week. Children who spent three or more hours watching TV, playing computer games, or chatting with friends outside of school time were classified as sedentary.
Across the 34 countries involved just one-quarter of the boys and 15 percent of the girls were getting enough exercise by their definition, the researchers found. And a quarter of boys and nearly 30 percent of girls were sedentary and didn’t get enough exercise. In every country aside from Zambia, girls were less active than boys. In more than half of the countries in the study, less than a quarter of the boys were getting enough exercise.
Uruguay had the highest percentage of active boys at 42 percent, while Zambia had the lowest at 8 percent. Girls from India were the most active with 37 percent meeting exercise recommendations, while girls from Egypt were the least active with just 4 percent getting adequate exercise. Kids in Myanmar were the least sedentary with 13 percent of boys and 8 percent of girls classified as sedentary. The most sedentary nations were St. Lucia and the Cayman Islands, with 58 percent of boys and 64 percent of girls spending at least three hours aday in sedentary activity.
While the study didn’t look at the reasons behind the lack of physical activity in various nations, Guthold speculated that urbanization could be a factor, as could the near-universal availability of cars and TVs.
Schools can help children become more active by having physical education classes and educating students about the importance of exercise, the researcher said. Adding lanes for bicycles, pedestrian crossings and other changes to promote walking and biking to and from school could help too, she added, as could giving kids space to be active wherever they live.
Studying physical activity in entire populations is difficult, Guthold noted, and any questionnaire used to measure physical activity will have limitations. However, "even with the limitations that questionnaire data (suffer) from, I guess it’s pretty safe to say that we have a huge problem with physical inactivity among schoolchildren around the globe and that we should take action," she told the international news agency Reuters.

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Juries to hear clamping cases

| 08/04/2010 | 36 Comments

Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman Courts , wheel clamping(CNS): Two separate cases involving drivers who were wheel clamped by local firms will have their cases heard before juries. In one case coming before the Grand Court a defendant is accused of theft regarding a wheel clamp and in a second case a man is accused of damage to property as a result of their respective responses to having their cars disabled by the wheel clamping firm. The issue of wheel clamping is becoming increasingly controversial but these are the first two cases in which drivers who have taken action against being clamped are facing prosecution. Both defendants have elected to have their cases heard before a jury. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

The issue of clamping was raised in the Legislative Assembly last month when Ezzard Miller, the independent member for North Side, questioned the legality of clamping and suggested that the firms were breaking both the Planning Law and the Road Traffic Law. In a private member’s motion, he asked government to investigate and clarify the situation.
Miller argued that having sufficient parking spaces is often mandated as part of a business’s planning permission. Consequently, clampers were unlikely to have the legal right to impose fines on drivers who are parking in the spaces designated to the building they are visiting, no matter how long they are parked.
The MLA noted that the clampers may also be breaking the Traffic Law, which states that anyone who interferes with a vehicle or any of its controls and equipment without the owner’s permission, which the clamping certainly wasn’t, was guilty of an offence.
Miller then offered advice to the victims of clampers who were visiting and parking at premises legitimately to call the police and ask them to enforce the Traffic Law 2003. He said the high fines being imposed were causing hardship and resentment in the community and he was concerned that if the issue was not addressed, someone was going to get hurt through tempers fraying and frustrations running high. The veteran politician said he believed that the parking companies were taking more and more liberties with people on this subject because they were getting away with it and no one was challenging their rights to do this to the public.
Parking fines for clamping currently range from $50 to $85, and CNS has been informed of numerous cases where the clampers have immobilized vehicles of drivers who were legitimately parked but have refused to remove the clamp without payment. In one case a driver was clamped in his own allocated parking space outside his place of work.
During the parliamentary debate the premier said government was willing to consider the motion since the planning laws were currently under review as part of government’s goal to create a national development plan. He said that he would ask the committee to add this question to the entire issue of parking restrictions in the George Town area as it needed to be addressed. McKeeva Bush said he agreed that there needed to be clarity regarding the law and what exactly the landlords could and could not do when it came to people parking on the premises under the Planning Law.
Last year, David Guilfoyle took an unorthodox approach to paying a clamping fine when he gave the parking company 7500 pennies and brought the question of parking fines into the fore. He also noted that the clamping fine was greater than the fine he would have had to pay for parking illegally on the street and, moreover, the police would not clamp his car.

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Security adds travel time for US Air passengers

| 08/04/2010 | 21 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island Local News(CNS): The Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) is introducing new security measures at Owen Roberts International Airport today. From now on passengers travelling to the United States are asked to arrive at the airport three hours before their flights. The CIAA said the enhanced security procedures are in response to the requirements announced by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which has implemented new measures for all air carriers with international flights to the US. The latest security procedures supersede the emergency measures put in place immediately following the attempted terrorist attack on 25 December 2009.

CIAA, confirmed that the new measures started on Thursday, 8 April, and will remain in effect until further notice.
“The measures will apply to USA bound passengers only and will not affect passengers on flights to the Sister Islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman or to Cuba, Montego Bay and Kingston, Honduras or the United Kingdom,” a spokesperson for the CIAA stated. “The additional security checks will include random screening throughout the check-in and boarding process utilising explosives trace detection, advanced imaging technology for baggage, canine teams, or pat downs, among other standard security measures.”
These protocols are said to be tailored to reflect the most current information available to the US government. They are part of a dynamic, threat-based aviation security system covering all passengers travelling by air to the US while focusing security measures in a more effective and efficient manner to ensure the safety and security of the travelling public.
The CIAA said it is encouraging passengers to arrive at Owen Roberts International Airport a minimum of three hours prior to their scheduled departure time in order to accommodate these additional measures and to avoid delays.

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