Archive for September 6th, 2010

Helpers to skip rollover

| 06/09/2010 | 182 Comments

(CNS): Government will be amending the Immigration Law during the next sitting of the Legislative Assembly to enable carers and helpers who act as nannies, nurses or some form of “specialist caregiver” to those who are elderly, handicapped or sick to bypass the seven year limit. Under a special certificate the domestic workers will be able to skip what is known as the rollover policy for up to five years if they remain with the same family, caring for the same person or people. The premier announced some time ago that he intended to bring this amendment as he said he was concerned that the country’s most vulnerable people were suffering as a result of the rollover policy.

The suggestion stirred up some controversy as there were concerns that this would mean immigrant workers on the lowest pay and without pensions would be able to apply for permanent residency.
The Immigration (Amendment) (No. 2) Law, 2010 states that the Certificate of Specialist Caregivers would not allow any individual who holds it to apply for permanent residence under sections 29 and 30 of the Immigration Law, as the amendment says the certificate would not represent “legal and ordinary residence for the purposes of sections 29 and 30” of the law.
It is not clear, however, given the implementation of the human rights bill from 2012 how after potentially 12 years in residence the individuals would not have a right to apply for residency despite the wording of the new bill.
The Cayman Islands Immigration Law requires all expatriate workers to depart the islands for at least twelve months after they have worked continuously on the island for seven years unless they apply for and gain key employee status. If they acquire key employee they are then at liberty to apply for permanent residence. This certificate would exclude those workers from that right, the law states. Despite those concerns, the bill is expected to be passed during the next session of the Legislative Assembly, which starts 8 September.
The bill states that the rollover exemption certificate for this special category of workers can be obtained via the Work Permit Board or the chief immigration officer at any time during the course of the caregiver’s final work permit.  An application can also be made up to a year after the expiration of a final work permit. The worker must have been employed before application for at least three years looking after the specific person or patient.
The certificate won’t be renewed if the caregiver stops working for the same employer or if the person being cared for dies or recovers from their illness or disability.
The Legislative Assembly is currently scheduled to resume on Wednesday 8 September.

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Miller rejects Cayman only jobs

| 06/09/2010 | 102 Comments

(CNS): A private member’s motion tabled by Ellio Solomon asking government to designated certain positions as “Caymanian only” has failed to attract the support of Ezzard Miller, the country’s most staunch protector of local employment rights. Although the independent member for North Side is well known as an advocate of jobs for Caymanians first, he says Solomon’s motion could cause problems for local business owners. The motion, which is limited in detail, is expected to come before the Legislative Assembly this week and it asks government to form a committee to recommend categories of positions or types of employment that should be preserved for Caymanians. (Photo Dennie WarrenJr)

Rejecting the idea, Miller said that what Cayman needs is to enforce its existing immigration law to ensure Caymanians are protected in the work place. He pointed out that by designating specific roles government would create further problems for local businesses.
“What will happen when a Caymanian is genuinely not available to take up the position?” Miller asked rhetorically. “That could cause problems for Caymanian businesses if they can’t find a local person and then are not allowed to recruit overseas. This motion won’t address the problems Caymanians are facing. What we need is to see the existing immigration laws enforced and a human resource authority ensuring that Caymanians who are available for the work get first chance.”
Although, Miller says he is in favour of anything that can assist Caymanians who are unemployed at present, he said this idea would be counterproductive.
It is not clear if the motion being tabled by Solomon and supported by government backbencher Dwayne Seymour has support from his front bench government colleagues but it is not included in an amendment government is expected to bring this week to the Immigration Law protecting carers and other domestic helpers from the rollover policy.
Although there has been some discussion about creating certain roles to be automatically designated ‘key’ and by return some exempt from key, neither the present government nor the previous administration has ever suggested making specific job titles the preserve of Caymanians.
The current immigration law provides that a work permit can only be issued if there is not a suitably qualified Caymanian available. While many employers are frequently accused of circumventing the law to avoid employing Caymanians, the refusal of work permits in some cases in order to force a firm’s to try harder to find Caymanians has been cited as one of a list of reason why some firms, particularly in finance, have relocated from Cayman.

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Police officers return to court over charges

| 06/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Two police officers who are facing charges for wounding following an incident in June last year at the Red Bay Esso Station on Shamrock Road returned to Summary Court, today (Monday 6 Septmebr). Rabe Welcome and Adrian Clarke are accused of assaulting a man at the gas station while they made an off duty arrest. They appeared for a preliminary enquiry where evidence is heard by the court before a trail date is set. According to a police report from the time an internal enquiry had been initiated by the Professional Standards Unit of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service to assess the level of force used during the incident. (Photo by Dennie Warren jr)

The man who had been reportedly armed with a machete sustained various injuries during the arrest by the three off duty police officers. The complainant had been arrested on suspicion of threatening violence and possession of an offensive weapon, suffered a laceration to his face and a broken arm. 
The police said ast year that when officers find themselves in situations where the use of force is necessary they are required to justify that use of force, showing that it was proportionate and legal, and that there was, at the time, an absolute necessity.
The officers were suspended from duty and charged earlier this year. The preliminary enquiry which began in March of this year was adjourned this afternoon and is expected to continue on 21 September and bail was extended for both officers.

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Adam asks community to support recovering addicts

| 06/09/2010 | 8 Comments

(CNS): In a message to mark Recovery Month Minister of Community Services Mike Adam said people should avoid judging those who are trying to recover from addiction as they were the people who in so many instances are most needful of love and support. Adam said that government continues to work towards establishing strong institutions and programmes to strengthen the family unit. The Family Resource Unit, he said, is now increasing the focus on families by offering training workshops on abuse and programme sthat foster harmony in families. This year’s theme for Recovery Month is: “Join the Voices for Recovery: Now More Than Ever”. Adam stated that it is in everyone’s interest to promote healthy lifestyles in families and neighbourhoods.

Adam’s message in full:
Each September Recovery Month is observed across the globe. Against this background, the Ministry of Community Affairs, Gender and Housing wholeheartedly supports local residents who have taken the bold step away from substance misuse and other addictive behaviour, onto the recovery path. 
The Ministry also views the month as an opportunity to reaffirm support for hardworking staff in both the public and private sectors, particularly those who dedicate their time to guiding persons who are struggling to get their lives on track.
It is often said—and it bears repeating—that the effects of addiction extend beyond those who are addicted, to impact family, community, and indeed the wider society.
This year’s theme for Recovery Month is: “Join the Voices for Recovery: Now More Than Ever!”.
And we should therefore understand that it is in all our interests to sustain the efforts to promote healthy lifestyles in our families and our neighbourhoods. Endorsing health and encouraging recovery can only help to solidify the foundations of social stability.
This year’s Recovery Month has a special focus on stress management. This is especially fitting as persons try to cope with added challenges, whether in their personal lives, in economicissues, public safety and more.
With such pressures in mind, we need to commit to positively influencing the lives of those who are seeking peace of mind, transformation and healing.  Let us strive to avoid any tendency to judge and condemn persons, the very same ones who in so many instances are most needful of our love and support.
For our part, government continues to establish strong institutions and programmes to strengthen the family unit, for this is the main socializing agent in our society.
We have now established a Family Resource Unit (FRU) under the Department of Counselling Services which offers services previously provided by the National Parenting and Young Parent Programmes, and the Women’s Resource Centre.
The FRU is now increasing the focus on families by offering training workshops on abuse and programmes that foster harmony in families. The centre also offers guidance on proper parenting, particularly while dealing with stress management and other issues that impact the family. 
These services are ongoing while the wider Department of Counselling Services provides family, individual and group counseling at The Counselling Centre, and residential treatment for addiction and recovery at Caribbean Haven Residential Centre.
In turn, the Department of Children and Family Services continues to materially assist numbers of families, to minimize the impact of economic hardship, and Ministry staff also work hard to develop special programmes for our at risk youth.  Each department continues to work diligently to assist families who are impacted by Addiction and the process of Recovery.
While the Government continues to provide recovery assistance, let us not overlook our individual roles and responsibilities. Right here in our own communities, we can make a difference in preventing addiction and in the effort to support those who are striving to recover.
So during this Recovery Month let us join, “now more than ever”, with The Department of Counselling Services and work for this most worthwhile of causes.
God Bless you all.


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Man stabbed by robber

| 06/09/2010 | 37 Comments

(CNS): A man is recovery in hospital after being stabbed during a street mugging in the George Town area on Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Police have confirmed that they are investigating the incident, which was reported to CNS by a number of other sources.  Police said that a 32-year-old man was walking in George Town when he was pushed to the ground and a struggle ensued, during which the victim was stabbed in the chest. The assailant fled the scene with the victim’s wallet and phone, leaving him in the road where he managed to flag down a passing car for assistance.

Police said in their report that the driver of the car took the man to the Cayman Islands Hospital. However, sources close to the victim say the driver had demanded $25 from him in order to convey him to the hospital. As the victim had no cash, having just being mugged, the sources told CNS that the driver did not take him all the way there, and after he had given the driver what change he had left in his pocket he was dropped by a roadside, from where he managed to make his own way to the emergency room.
He is currently being treated for the stab wound and police described his condition as stable. Police said enquiries to establish exactly where and when this attack took place are ongoing, though other sources said that the man was making his way from Mary Street towards Sheddon Road when he was attacked.
A CNS commenter, who is a friend of the victim, said the attack happened as he was walking past the Genesis Building after he left Centre Spot. "The knife missed his heart by an inch and he is lucky to be alive. This is an ordinary guy, just recently engaged, minding his own business," the person said.
DC Wade Chase said he is appealingto anyone who has any information about this crime to come forward in particular what was described in the police report as the “good Samaritan” who he said had driven the victim to the hospital. “I need to speak to you as a matter of urgency. You may have valuable information which could help us with the enquiry and trace the person responsible for this vicious attack,” Chase stated.
Anyone with information should contact George Town police station on 949-422 or Cayman Crime Stoppers 800-8477(TIPS)

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Crown witness told cops Samuels had a gun

| 06/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The solicitor general called her last live witness in the murder trial of Brandon Leslie Ebanks, Osbourne Douglas and Patrick McField on Monday morning. Officer Dameion Maxwell told the court he had interviewed crown witness Marcus Manderson. When asked by defence counsel he confirmed that Manderson had told him Omar Samuels had a gun. Maxwell explained that after taking the statement about the night Samuels was shot he took Manderson home in the police car and it was then that he told him that the murdered man had a 44 but had not mentioned it in his statement. Maxwell told the court he understood that to be a gun.

Following the brief evidence and with no more witnesses to call to support its case Cheryl Richards QC, prosecuting counsel asked for an adjournment in order to finalize the admissions between crown and defence.
The areas where both sides agree certain issues relating to the case will be presented to the court tomorrow before the crown formally closes its case and makes way for the defence to answer. Although none of the defendants are obligated to call witnesses it is understood that several witnesses will be called on their behalf.
The trial will resume tomorrow morning (Tuesday 7 September) at 10am in Grand Court one.

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God’s not a man says Episcopal church

| 06/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(Telegraph): A new order of service produced by the Scottish Episcopal Church has caused controversy by removing masculine references to God. The new form of worship, which removes words such as "Lord, he, his, him" and "mankind" from services, has been written by the church in an attempt to acknowledge that God is "beyond human gender".  Episcopalian bishops have approved the introduction of more "inclusive" language, which deliberately removes references suggesting that God is of male gender. Traditionalists have criticised the changes on the grounds that they smack of political correctness and because they believe they are not consistent with the teachings of the Bible.

The alterations have been made to provide an alternative to the established 1982 Liturgy, which, like the Bible, refers to God as a man.  The new order of service, which can be used by priests if they have difficulties with a male God, has been produced by the church’s Liturgy Committee in consultation with the Faith & Order Board of General Synod and the College of Bishops.

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Dublin makes bid to be new hedge fund centre

| 06/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(FT.Com): Regulators in Dublin have relaxed financial market rules in an effort to position Ireland as the European centre for a new wave of onshore hedge funds. The change, which took effect 1 September is the latest in a battle between Ireland and Luxembourg for dominance as the centre of the nascent market – a scuffle that has so far passed by London, Europe’s principal hedge fund management hub.With upcoming EU rules threatening to bar opaque, non-EU domiciled hedge funds from European investors, many managers are racing to bring versions of their Cayman or Channel-Island fund vehicles onshore by registering their funds through the EU’s existing mutual fund framework known as Ucits or “undertakings for collective investments in transferable securities”.


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Faith based school gets 100 percent pass mark

| 06/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Although government has not yet released its results for public school students, Triple C students taking the CXC examinations have had gained a 100% pass rate for the third year in a row. Although the private faith based school follows the US education curriculum, in 2007-2008 a pilot project led by Linda Williams, the head of English offered students the chance to take CXC exams in that subject. As a result of the 100% pass rate in English the school has now added Mathematics and Principles of Business and the students have maintain the school record with all students passing and 95% receiving either a Grade 1 or 2 in the three subjects. The school did not say how many students had taken the CXC exams.

To offer this dual system some of the syllabus for CXC is covered within the scope of the
daily US curriculum but students also have to commit to after school classes to cover the portion that cannot be done during the school day. The school plans to expand the CXC subjects offered each year. Students will therefore be able to complete both a British and an American qualification making them eligible to go on to A-levels, to enter British or Caribbean universities as well as universities in the US and Canada.
“I amelated to be at Triple C. It is apparent that I am standing on the shoulders of giants who have been preparing our students to excel academically,” said the schools new prinicple. “I expect no less as we go forward and continue our competition.”
In addition to the CXC courses, the school offers Advanced Placement courses for college
credit in universities world-wide.

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Venus Williams to promote book in Cayman Islands

| 06/09/2010 | 3 Comments

(CNS): As part of its visiting authors series, Books & Books is bringing US tennis star Venus Williams to Grand Cayman for a book signing at the Camana Bay store later this month. Multiple grand slam tennis champion and entrepreneur Venus Williams, along with an A-list cast of business leaders, media figures, creative executives, politicians and doctors, come together in a book that shows how to turn a sports background into success off the field. The book signing event will be on Monday, 20 September, 7pm. Venus Williams became a professional tennis player at age 14, beating the top 50 player in the world in her first match.

The first African-American to reach the number one ranking as a professional in either the men’s or women’s game, Williams continues to be ranked at the very top of the professional rankings.
She graduated cum laude with a degree in fashion design from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, and went on to partner with national retail chain Steve and Barry’s to launch her athletic and casual clothing line, EleVen by Venus Williams. In June 2009, Forbes magazine named Venus Williams one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Celebrities.
In addition to her professional tennis victories, her interior design firm, V Starr Interiors, designed the set of PBS’s Tavis Smiley show as well as the Olympic athletes’ apartments as part of the recent US bid package for the 2012 Olympic Games, and private residences and businesses in the Palm Beach, FL, area. A multiple Grand Slam singles champion and three-time Olympic gold medalist, Williams resides in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
The store stated that this is an autographing only event and the public will need to purchase a copy of Come to Win from Books & Books to enter the signing line. The line will open at 7pm.

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