Archive for June 7th, 2010

Territories look for one voice

| 07/06/2010 | 9 Comments

Cayman Islands News, Cayman Islands World news(CNS): The proposed regional high security prison, a change to their respective borrowing guidelines, the role of premiers regarding those who are naturalized and the UK’s contingent liabilities were just some of the topics on the agenda this weekend at the Pre-Overseas Territories Consultative Council (OTCC) meeting in Bermuda. The Cayman Island Premier McKeeva Bush joined the delegation of leaders from all of the region’s British overseas territories to find collective support and a single voice on a number of issues to advance at the OTCC meeting later this year.   

At the opening of the meeting in Hamilton, Bermuda Premier Dr Ewart Brown outlined the importance of a collective position. “In the time that we have been holding these meetings in advance of our discussions with the UK, we have come to understand the power inherent in speaking with one voice,” Brown said. “We have come to understand that we do possess the ability to make that voice be heard. And we have come to understand that we are stronger together than apart.”
Other topics on the agenda included the European Commission Report on Civil Protection in the Caribbean, civil aviation, law and order and the role of the premier and elected members in the NSC, role of the governor in appointments of senior members of government, redefining consultation and constitutional advancement.
Following the Bermuda meeting, which finished on Sunday, Bush will be travelling to London where he will be discussing Cayman’s forthcoming budget with the UK’s new Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Henry Bellingham, MP on Tuesday (8 June). He will then head to Brussels on 9 June for talks with EU representatives regarding the Alternative Investment Fund Manager Directive, the new European regulations that could have an impact on the Cayman Islands hedge fund sector.
Bush is expected back in the Cayman Islands by 13 June in time to deliver the much anticipated 2010/11 budget on Tuesday 15 June.

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Brac kids create mascots for Poison Prevention Day

| 07/06/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): As part of the 10th Anniversary of Poison Prevention Day on the Sister Islands, 57 students from both the primary and high schools on Cayman Brac participated in a poster competition to create their own poison prevention mascot that could come to life, bringing words of wisdom to our children advising them to stay safe and stay away from poisons. Poison Prevention Coordinator Dhallchand Seeram said that hopefully, one of these mascots will be selected to appear at all future poison prevention activities. (Left: Cassandra MacDowell receives a Digicel phone from Carol Busby)

The judges selected the first three winners from each school, and among the finalists the first, second and third place winners were chosen. In the preliminary session, the first, second and third places for Cayman Brac High School went to Tevanio Stedman, Tafari Young and Anastacio Mena respectively. Creek and Spot Bay winners were Tuscany Dilbert, Carlie Tibbetts and Eugene Myles. Tuscany’s mascot says “I am Lenny the Lion Fish- Poisons are as dangerous as I am”.

Eryn Ritch, Diana De Mercado and Amanda Fredericks took the prizes for West End Primary. Eryn’s mascot says, “I am Smokee – Smoking will be my death and yours, so don’t smoke me because it leads you and me to die slowly”. Carlie’s mascot, Oscar the Wise Old Owl, says, “Hooo ever messes with poison is not wise”. In the final judging Tuscany Dilbert was first place winner and Cassandra MacDowell and Eryn Ritch were second and third respectively.

All winners received certificates, cash and gift awards from Cayman National Bank, Rotary Club of Cayman Brac, Sagicor General, Kirkconnell Limited and Billy’s Supermarket. Tuscany Dilbert also won the coveted Digital cellular phone from LIME presented by manager Yvonne Walton (right), Cassandra’s beautiful pink DIGICEL cellular phone presented by officer Carol Busby and Eryn received gift certificates from The Shoppe and Economy Electronics presented by Poison Prevention Coordinator Dhallchand Seeram. The art teachers, schools and other students also received certificates of participation. All schools and the public library received book awards with the compliments of the Caribbean Poison Information Network (CARPIN) and Pelican Publishers from Kingston Jamaica. The new edition of the text “Poisonous Plants of Jamaica” features the same species of poisonous plants grown in the Cayman Islands.

Seeram thanked Department of Education Services Learning Community Leader Tammy Banks-Dacosta for permission to talk to all pupils on the topic “Smoking Kills – Stay Away” and to involve all schoolsin this art competition. Other supporters included art teachers Susan Hundt, Carol Lazzari and Allison Mcleod, all school principals, Market Place, Kirkconnell’s Supermarket, Progressive Distributors, Librarian Leticia Connolly, judges and all students whose hard work made this learning activity such a tremendous success.

Seeram said he was very pleased with the deep interest shown by all concerned and requested that ourislands dedicate a special time to observe a Cayman Islands National Poison Prevention Week to educate our children on how to be wise and stay safe from poisons.

 

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Cayman’s politicians silent on Gulf disaster

| 07/06/2010 | 39 Comments

Do our politicians read newspapers? Watch television news? Visit news websites? Do they have any idea what is going on in the Gulf of Mexico right now? I wonder because so far none of them have taken the time to make a meaningful comment on what may prove to be the greatest human-caused natural disaster in history.

For those who may be geographically challenged, the Gulf of Mexico is close to the Cayman Islands. Jamaica and Cuba are not impenetrable barriers to oceanborne threats. The Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea may have different names but no walls separate them. The Cayman Islands may not be directly downstream from this crisis, but we cannot assume favorable currents will protect us from millions of gallons of oil in the coming months and years.

Estimates vary widely, but some credible scientists believe an amount of oil equivalent to the 1989 Exxon Valdez tanker spill is entering the water every four days. The ruptured seabed in the Gulf is spewing between 200,000 and 700,000 gallons of oil per day and this could continue all summer. By September it is possible that 100 million gallons will have been released. And it’s all happening next door to us. How can this not be worthy of a public statement of some sort by our political leaders?

Most of the oil that will contact land is projected to hit shorelines in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida, of course. But could some patches of it drift our way eventually? Yes. Credible projections by marine scientists show the bulk of the oil rounding the tip of Florida, moving up the East Coast, and large amounts “pooling” in the mid-Atlantic. If this happens, normal circulation patterns could send some muck our way several months from now. Less dramatic, perhaps, but more dangerous and long lasting will be the impact of millions of gallons of oil entering the food chain of Gulf, Atlantic and Caribbean waters.

How will the disruption to Gulf fishing and shrimping industries impact Cayman? We are an island society but much of our locally sold and restaurant-served seafood comes from the Gulf of Mexico. Shouldn’t we be concerned about health risks from Gulf seafood that may end up on our grocery store shelves and on our plates in restaurants? Are any of our MLAs worried about the potential impact to our local economy and health, or will they just be content to trust outside governments and companies to keep us safe?

Ourelected leaders’ lack of awareness and concern about the Gulf spill is stunning. During a recent rant on Rooster 101’s “Crosstalk” programme, for example, Premier McKeeva Bush brought up thetopic of oil. But he said nothing about the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Instead he groaned about how people had failed to support his desire to have an oil refinery built in Grand Cayman. Yes, the worst oil disaster in history is growing day-by-day right here in our region and our leader is talking about how heartbroken he is because he didn’t get his oil refinery.

Wow.

 

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Bahamas government prepares for Gulf oil spill

| 07/06/2010 | 3 Comments

(The Freeport News): Industrial companies in Grand Bahama are being called on to stand ready to assist the government in formulating a national response should the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico reach Bahamian waters. This was disclosed by the Minister of Environment Earl Deveaux during a press conference in New Providence yesterday. Deveaux indicated that on Friday, the government will be dispatching scientists to Cay Sal, which is the area the government feels is most vulnerable, to take water and marine samples and determine against the likelihood of the spill turning south and heading into Bahamian waters.

The government is deeply concerned about the oil spill and its likely impact on The Bahamas, he said, and the country’s Oil Spill Contingency Team, which has been mobilized, will work to refine the country’s options, marshall national and international resources and to keep a watchful eye on the spill.

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Related articles:

(Jamaica Observer): Caricom warns oil spill could reach Bahamas, Jamaica

(NBC New York): New Projections Show Gulf Oil Surging Up Atlantic Coast

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