Archive for July 2nd, 2010

Cayman Loves Children ends ten-year campaign

| 02/07/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): After raising more than $100,000 for UNICEF, Cayman Loves Children formally ended its decade-long campaign on behalf of the world’s poorest children this month. “I feel the organization has done well but it’s time to wrap it up,” said founder Guy P. Harrison. “I’m thankful to all the people in the Cayman Islands who donated money. $100,000 is a lot of money when you consider that just a couple of dollars can mean a life-saving vaccine or school supplies for a year. It’s nice that so many people in Cayman cared enough about children to give.”

Although he is pleased with the overall effort, Harrison admitted to feeling some disappointment.

“My original vision was that Cayman Loves Children would become a self-sustaining entity that was powered by Caymanian children,” he explained. “I wanted it to be about kids helping kids. But because of work and family demands I failed to invest the needed time and energy to make that happen. I feel bad about that. I was also continually frustrated by the common local attitude of ‘charity begins at home’. It was a struggle to convince many people that it’s not enough to only care about your immediate neighbor when 11 million children are dying around the world needlessly each year. But I’m glad I took a shot and I’m very happy that we were able to pass on a substantial amount of money to UNICEF.”

Harrison thanked his children Jared and Marissa for their support and hard work. He also cited the key contributions of five young Caymanians who were instrumental in launching the group ten years ago. They are: Marzeta Bodden, Adishree Mani, Andrew Mackay, Daniela Ryan, and Cristin Alexander.

“I hope that Caymanians will continue to give to UNICEF,” Harrison added. “UNICEF is the worlds best organization when it comes to helping children suffering in extreme poverty. They don’t spend half their money on salaries and marketing and they have a presence in all the necessary places.”

“It’s difficult to imagine nearly 30,000 children under the age of five dying every day due to malnutrition and diseases that could have been prevented or treated, but that is the reality of our world. Imagine if terrorists were killing 30,000 people every day or if that many people died in plane crashes every day. The world would act immediately. But 30,000 children dying in poverty goes mostly unnoticed. Their poverty makes them invisible. I think that is outrageous. I’ve seen things around the world—children living in total hell—that I just can’t forget. I will always care about this problem and I encourage every Caymanian to become informed and do something to help.”

Harrison said that UNICEF’s Web site ( is full of information and has a convenient page for credit card donations.

“A gift of as little as $10 can literally save a child’s life,” he said. “You can’t get spend your money any better than that.”

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“Mugging” email is a scam warn financial cops

| 02/07/2010 | 4 Comments

(CNS): While police say they have had no reports of individuals falling for the latest email scam, officers from the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit (FCU) are warning the public not to give out their banking information after an e-mail from a man claiming to be a mugging victim began circulating on the islands. Police said that in this latest electronic con the sender states that he is on holiday abroad and has been mugged and asks for money to help him get home. The unsolicited e-mail asks the recipient to respond if they can help and advises he will get back to them with details of how to transfer the cash.

“This is a scam, please do not make contact with the sender of the e-mail and do not, at any time, give out any personalor banking details over e-mail,” Detective Inspector Rudolph Gordon from the RCIPS FCU said.
If you have any concerns about e-mail communication then please contact the Financial Crime Unit on 949-8797.

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Bounty offered for Anglin

| 02/07/2010 | 17 Comments

(CNS): The man suspected of a violent attack in West Bay last month is still at large and police have now posted a reward of up to $5,000 leading to his arrest. Chad Anglin (30) has been wanted since 17 June following what police had described as a vicious attack on a young woman in Garvin Road in the early hours of the morning. Although there have been a number of unconfirmed sightings of Anglin none of the information provided so far has ledto his arrest and police believe he is being assisted by people in the community .


Earlier today (Friday 2 July) the RCIPS said it had joined forces with Cayman Crime Stoppers to offer the reward for information on the whereabouts of the 30-year-old fugitive. Announcing the reward, Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden said police were grateful to Cayman Crime Stoppers for joining with the RCIPS to offer the reward.
“Anglin is still at large and there is absolutely no doubt he is being assisted by others in his attempts to evade police. This was a very violent attack and we need to speak to Anglin as quickly as possible about the incident. We hope that the reward will encourage people who know where he is to contact police as quickly as possible,” the senior officer said.
Since the incident on 17 June police said that officers engaged on the enquiry have searched a number of premises, executed a number of warrants and interviewed family, friends and associates of Anglin in an attempt to trace him.
Anyone with any information about this crime, or the whereabouts of Anglin, should inform the police immediately. Calls can also be made to Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS).

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Farmers warn of water risk over proposed cargo port

| 02/07/2010 | 17 Comments

(CNS): East End farmers have joined the growing opposition to the controversial suggestion of a cargo port in East End. Both Arden McLean the opposition member for the district and Ezzard Miller, the independent representatives for North Side made their opposition clear in the Legislative Assembly recently. Residents of the area also raised a number of objections at a public meeting held by McLean last month. Now the local farmers are pointing out such a development could undermine the local water supply used to grow crops in the district which has the highest number of farms on Grand Cayman. (Photo Half Moon Bay)

Evelyn McLaughlin and Kent Rankin both told News 27 that the fresh water basin would be contaminated by the sea water and bring an end to what little farming there is on the islands. This issue adds to fears in the district over what would happen in a hurricane, the pollution, the potential damage to the environment, the industrialisation of the area and the concern that the dock is merely a façade for what both Miller and McLean say is an excuse to quarry the valuable fill on the land owner’s property.
Although government says it has not yet seen any concrete plans, the premier has said on a number of occasions that he wants to move the George Town port to East End. Joe Imparato the owner of the land that could be used says he is only in preliminary talks with government at present and there is no commitment to develop the dock.

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Yates says cop cuts will put UK at risk

| 02/07/2010 | 1 Comment

(Guardian): A senior government minister has angrily attacked Britain’s top counterterrorism officer for warning that government cuts to the police would put the country at greater risk of an al-Qaida attack. Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said public servants had to be "damn sure" they had cut out waste, warned they should avoid shroud waving and claims of dire consequences that would alarm the public. He was reacting to claims from John Yates Scotland Yard’s head of counterterrorism, that "eyewatering" cuts of £150m to the budget to fight violent extremism would endanger the public.

Yates, (who was originally the officer with overall control of Operation Tempura in the Cayman Islands)  was speaking to a private session of top officers and police authorities at the Association of Chief Police Officers’ conference. Details of his remarks were first leaked to the Times. More details emerged that Yates had said the cuts would mean that the public and government would have to "accept a higher level of risk" of a terrorist attack.

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Three winners inDinghy Race Series

| 02/07/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Light and shifty wind made for challenging sailing on the final day of the Compass Marine Dinghy Race Series held at the Cayman Islands Sailing Club and completed last month. The six week series ran on Saturday mornings in May and June and was open to all dinghy sailors. After the results were finalised, winners in each division were awarded prizes by Mike Farrington of Compass Marine. Nick Taylor, the 2008 and 2009 Laser National champion, won the Laser Radial division. Jon Faris won the Laser class while Oliver Fogerty took top place in the Bytes.

A release from the CISC said it was a special day for Faris and Fogerty, both winning their final race in their respective classes. Faris, who has been active in growing the Laser fleet at the CISC, has now left for Canada. Fogerty, who was Cayman’s top finisher at the recent Byte North American Championships held during Race Cayman, is moving to the UK.

Sailing Director, Michael Weber, praised the winners, “The nice thing about a six week series is that you get a variety of conditions to challenge the sailors and give everyone a good chance to have a few good races. At the end, however, the best in their respective divisions were the winners.”

Weber also thanked Compass Marine, “The winners appreciate the new sailing gear donated by Compass Marine. We hope this encourages sailors to come out next time.”

The next series runs in September and October 2010.

For more information on sailboat racing in the Cayman Islands, please contact Michael Weber at 

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DoE takes NCL on the road

| 02/07/2010 | 7 Comments

(CNS): The Department of Environment received a mixed response to its presentation of the National Conservation Law in North Side on Thursday evening. At the first of the department’s community outreach meetings to present the latest draft of the bill, the small group of people offered differing opinions to the director’s presentation. A number of them said that North Siders above all others knew how to conserve and develop sensibly, which is why their district was still so beautiful. They were concerned that the law may punish the small man while still allowing major developers to tear up mangrove buffers. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

The audienceresponse to the comprehensive presentation by Gina Ebanks-Petrie was mixed, with some supporting the bill and others suggesting that it was both too broad a brush and at the same time not powerful enough. The example of the recent removal of what was described as 300 acres of mangrove buffer by the developer of the Ritz Carlton, (although the developer says that 300ft or eight acres was removed) was raised a number of times, with people voicing concerns that this would still happen even if this law was passed.
There were also some concerns and misunderstanding about the intention in the law to protect certain species and the director pointed out on a number of occasions that people would not be prevented from developing their land as a result of finding such things as fire ants on it. She explained that the law was not about preventing development but nor was it a fix-all solution to amend the problems associated with the planning law.
The composition of the council raised a number of questions from the audience. As provided for in the law, the council’s main goal will be to suggest and advise the need for environmental impact assessments. Some people at the meeting said they wanted to see more business minded people on it as in the draft it was weighted in favour of environmentalists.
Others said there was a possibility that the council’s members could be persuaded not to recommend EIA’s for some developers as only five members were needed for a quorum with a simple majority.
There were a considerable number of political faces in the audience: Ezzard Miller, the independent member for the district, was present along with opposition MLAs Arden McLean from East End and Anthony Eden from Bodden Town. Also at the meeting were Derrington ‘Bo’ Miller, a North Sider who ran as an independent candidate in the last two elections in both North Side and George Town and who supports the legislation, and Justin Woods, who ran in Bodden Town and who does not support it.
With the exception of Ezzard Miller, who spoke briefly and said he would be holding his own meeting about the law on the 7 July, none of the three elected members of the Legislative Assembly spoke during the meeting.
However, Woods, who is in the quarrying business, accused the DoE of twisting figures as he said that while the west of the Island had been extensively developed, the rest of the island was underdeveloped.  He asked why the country needed to give the DoE the power to tell people not to develop their land. “This is designed to slow down the economy,” Woods claimed.
John Bothwell from the DoE team pointed out that while the eastern and northern areas of the island had not lost the level of habitat as was the case in the west, the law would seek to preserve what was left of the green spaces.
We know what has happened in the west and the point is we don’t want that t happen everywhere,” Bothwell explained.
Jerris Miller the president of the Maritime Heritage Foundation, spoke passionately about the conservation of the environment by residents of North Side and said a place should have been created on the council for a person from the district.
“North Side people are the most conservation minded people,” he said. “We are the people who know how to conserve and develop sensibly, we are the only people who have a 1500 foot mangrove buffer zone but you can’t give us a seat on the council?” he asked, noting that a seat was earmarked for someone from Cayman Brac. He said no one had consulted him about the law or anyone in North Side, who were not asked the time of day despite the fact that they had not ruined their district.
Miller told CNS that he believed the problem with the latest draft of the law was it remained the same as all previous drafts as it was not from the grass roots up but was being imposed on people. “Before you write a law you should come to North Side,” he said, but added that he was in favour of conservation.
The law has been in discussion now for almost a decade, and while the arguments persist about the content of the law, the natural environment and the vast majority of endemic species remain virtually unprotected in law. At present there is nothing to stop people from killing, collecting and destroying most of the terrestrial species, including those which are critically endangered.
The North Side meeting was the first in a serious of open public forums by the DoE:  Tuesday 6 July at the Bodden Town Primary School Hall; Thursday 8 July at Elmslie Memorial Church Hall, George Town; Saturday 10 July at National Trust House, Little Cayman; Monday 12 July at John A. Cumber Hall, West Bay; Tuesday 13 July at East End Community Centre; and the final meeting on Thursday 15 July at the Aston Rutty Centre, Cayman Brac.
The law and summary guide can be downloaded at .The public consultation period will last until Friday, 16 July. Until then, anyone can comment on the legislation. Comment forms are available online at and printed copies can be picked up from the DoE’s office or at any of the district public meetings. Comments can also be submitted by email to ; Faxed to 949 4020, or mailed to NCL Comment, c/o Department of Environment, P.O. Box 486, Grand Cayman, KY1-1006.
People who do not wish to offer comment can also simply show their support for the legislation by writing to the department or the ministry. CNS readers can also vote in the CNS poll.

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Jamaican police certificates part of fraud investigation

| 02/07/2010 | 5 Comments

(CNS): A former senior police officer and several other members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) are under investigation by the JCF Anti-Corruption Branch for the suspected misuse of records. According to a report in the Jamaica Observer, the fraud concerns the supply of police records to criminals to enable them to apply for firearms licences and make visa applications. As a result of the probe the United States Embassy and other authorities have had to implement several new security measures. The Jamaican police have admitted that they couldn’t say for certain if people who have been given police certificates are who they say they are.

"Police investigation has highlighted several deficiencies in the integrity of the previous police certificate process where it was possible for criminals, through fraudulent means, use police records of law-abiding citizens to carry out major identify theft, apply for firearms licences and make visa applications," a senior policeman told the Observer.
The probe was confirmed by Les Green, assistant commissioner of police. "In the past, police could not guarantee that the person who we issued the certificate to is the person whose name and detail appeared on that certificate."
The United States Embassy and Jamaican authorities have implemented several new security measures, which includes the splitting of the Automated Finger Identification System (ASIF) database and a requirement by the US Embassy for visa applicants who had applied for police records prior to June to renew the documents, Green explained.
Green said that prior to this there the possibility for criminals to use fraudulent police certificates to apply for firearms, jobs or United States visas.

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FOI anonymity under threat

| 02/07/2010 | 60 Comments

(CNS): A legislative committee to oversee the review of the Freedom of Information law, which will take place shortly, has now been formed. The FOI law calls for a review of its own legislation 18 months after implementation. Announcing his decision to create the whole parliament as the committee with the Speaker Mary Lawrence as chair, Premier McKeeva Bush said that during the review he hoped it would re-examine the ability of people to apply for information without disclosing their names. Bush has stated publicly on many occasions that he is unhappy that requests can be made anonymously. The premier also said that the committee needed to consider charging people for the information.

Bush questioned the FOI law’s facility for anonymous application and the fact that in most cases requests do not incur fees, in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, as he filed the motion to create the Freedom of Information Law Review Committee. The premier said that the committee, which will have a government majority, would call witnesses to question them regarding the law and the review would be directed with the assistance of the information commissioner.
As Bush presented the motion to the House, opposition member for George Town, Alden McLaughlin, pointed out that the motion creating the committee may seem innocuous at first but his comments about anonymity and the costs raised concerns.
“Given the public utterances of the premier recently and the ominous concerns he raised in his short motion, I wish to record our concerns that this … is not an attempt to in any way diminish or make any less effective this crucial piece of legislation,” he said.
McLaughlin believed the law was having a positive effect on transparency, and while it may aggravate a sitting government, the law was an important tool in the checks and balances of democracy. He pointed out that those in office needed to develop a level of tolerance and acceptance that FOI was part of open and honest government. “It goes with the territory,” the former Cabinet minister added.
He defended the right of people to apply for information anonymously as he said it removed the fear of intimidation, and given the force with which the premier had attack people making requests recently, including Mickey Mouse, there was a very good case for anonymity to remain in the law.    
Increasing fees would have a “chilling effect”, McLaughlin suggested, adding that it would serve to neuter the law but he wondered if that was the goal. The opposition member also pointed out that with the whole house as a committee, the government’s majority would ensure that the “government’s will will be done”.
In his response the premier expressed his outrage at the PPM member, who he accused of going to any length to smear the UDP “and in particular me”. Bush justified his reasons for appointing the committee in accordance with the law. He accused McLaughlin of behaving in manner akin to communists, who he said mislead people.
Bush told the House that while the PPM administration may have enacted the FOI law, his previous government had made plans for it and introduced the Office of the Complaints Commissioner, its fore runner. He accused the former government of enacting the bill late in their administration because they did not want it.
The premier said, however, that he was not the only person that believed that FOI was costing too much. Bush said he understood FOI was not a luxury and that it could make government more efficient but he said it had to be done right.
He questioned some of what he said were frivolous and vexatious requests, and accused the opposition of “putting people up” to making the requests as the information people were asking for couldn’t be of any use to them. The premier told the Legislative Assembly that when the UDP was in opposition they could not get any information about what the government was doing and had walked into government blind, but the third elected member from George Town had the audacity to talk about transparency.
Following the debate the motion was passed.
During Wednesday’s sitting of the Legislative Assembly the 2009 annual report of the Information Commissioner was laid on the table of the House and is now available at
In her report Jennifer Dilbert, the information commissioner, says much was done to advance the law through 2009 but questioned the commitment to the law by some public bodies. She explained that the law replaces the discretion to reveal information with a set of rules that apply when responding to a FOI request.
“In order for this system to work properly there therefore has to “buy-in” from senior government officials. In several cases this year I have found such commitment from various authorities to be lacking. There needs to be a stronger push to proactively publish records, especially when it is in the public interest to release information,” Dilbert stated in the report.
Since the report was written, however, the Office of the Information Commissioner has been given its own independent budget under the PMFL and is therefore now independent, financially speaking, from Cabinet.

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Local branch of troubled insurer can pay claims

| 02/07/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The Joint Controllers appointed to oversee the Cayman branch of Motor and General, the islands’ oldest insurance company have said the firm will be making valid claims. David Walker and Ian Stokoe of PricewaterhouseCoopers said that existing policy holders continue to be covered and that new policies can also be renewed. While the firm’sparent company in Trinidad may be in trouble, it appears that the Cayman branch is viable as a stand alone entity, as the controllers have said Motor and General Cayman could be sold.

Following the court sanction of the powers previously conferred on the controllers by CIMA, they confirmed on Thursday that the Company will continue to make valid claim payments in the normal course of business. “Policy holders are reminded that any new claims should continue to be brought to the Company’s attention in the usual manner in accordance with their policy,” the duo from PricewaterhouseCoopers said in a statement.  
They also confirmed that existing policy holders of the Company continue to be covered and that the Company is able to renew existing policies. 
“Controllers are currently examining the future options for the Cayman Islands insurance business, one option being the possible sale of the business in the short term,” PwC said. 
On 22 June 2010 the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority appointed Walker and Stokoe under the Insurance Law (2008 Revision) following the suspension order imposed on the Company by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago.
Policy holders with further queries may contact the Company on 949 6299 or alternatively contact the Controllers at or telephone +1 (345) 914 8743.

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