Archive for September 18th, 2010

Teenagers to be awarded ‘GCSE in sex’

| 18/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(Telegraph): Teenagers will learn how to use a condom and obtain the morning after pill as part of the first GCSE-style qualification in sex. Pupils will be able to gain the equivalent of a D grade under the new course which has been devised to raise awareness of issues surrounding relationships, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases. The Government-funded qualification is being offered in nine schools and colleges for the first time this term with plans to expand it across the country. Last night, the move sparked outrage among families’ groups who claimed it legitimised sexual promiscuity and failed to make any reference to marriage. But Suzanne Cant, research manager at the qualifications provider NCFE, which is running the course, said: “Sexual health education should play a part in the curriculum for all young people.

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Talk sex & contraception to teens, minister says

| 18/09/2010 | 10 Comments

(CNS): The minister for health has warned that Cayman’s seemingly low rates of HIV infection offer a unique challenge because too many people think HIV/AIDS is not a priority issue for the island. Mark Scotland warned that current sexual behaviours had to change otherwise the disease will become an increasingly serious problem. In his opening remarks at the EC/OCT steering committee meeting on HIV/AIDS in Caribbean Overseas Territories, he said parents and the community had to start speaking about the taboos associated with teenage sexual behaviour including contraception.

“We need to accept that avoiding talking about sex and contraception does not protect anyone – on the contrary it fails all,” Scotland told the delegates gathered at the Marriott on Thursday morning for the two day meeting. “When it comes to sexually transmitted disease young people are especially vulnerable. It is then no surprise that they are disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Studies reveal that in the Caribbean, most people become infected in their teens and early 20s”.
He said the health ministry was actively supporting the activist groups in the Cayman Islands that were speaking out against stigmatization while and was also support regular testing. Scotland stated that parents also had to be involved in national strategies to tackle the problem.
He said governments had to reach out to them and empower them to be proactively involved. “Most will agree that HIV/AIDS is a difficult topic and parents need help discussing these ‘taboo’ subjects with their teenagers,” he said. “So many times we withhold essential information from our young people, fearing that they might misinterpret or misuse it, but we need to give them more credit. As such, my ministry will continue to support the drive for sexual health education because when it comes to HIV/AIDS, ignorance is never bliss.”
Another key challenge, he pointed to not just in Cayman but across the region was dispelling the myth that the epidemic is just a ‘health’ issue. “It is clear to me that an effective response to HIV must be based on the involvement of all societal sectors, including health, education, social welfare, finance and the highest levels of the executive,” Scotland told the delegates.
“We need to honestly ask ourselves why – with all our knowledge and with global, regional and local awareness campaigns and prevention programmes – communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS are on the increase,” the minster said adding that eh believed part of the response lies in changing views and perceptions at the individual level. “We must include frank conversations about personal responsibility.
People must understand the importance of regular testing, of practicing safe sex and of doing away with prejudices. HIV/AIDS is not ‘somebody else’s problem.’ It does not discriminate – indeed, it is an ‘equal opportunity’ disease capable of affecting us all. Unless we all take steps to educate ourselves and our loved ones, we have no hope of reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS.”
The Cayman Islands hosted this year’s meeting of EC/OCT which is a European Commission funded project involving UK & Dutch Overseas Territories to promote an integrated response to HIV/AIDS.
The Caribbean region is heavily affected by HIV/AIDS and is the world’s second hardest hit area after sub-Saharan Africa. AIDS is the leading cause of death in the 15-44 year age group and Caribbean UNAIDS calculations suggest that close to 360,000 people in the region are living with the virus; but it could be as much as 500,000.

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DoEH chases old debt in wake of fee removal

| 18/09/2010 | 9 Comments

(CNS): Although the government has abolished individual homeowner garbage fees, the Department of Environmental Health says it is still trying to collect outstanding fees owed as well as from condo complexes and commercial premises that use commercial containers. The government abolished garbage fees in the wake of an increase in duty but the DoEH director said large apartment complexes and businesses required by law to have a commercial container still have to pay for the containers and their servicing. The director confirmed that commercial and larger residential properties will no longer be billed by square footage or by the number of units in the complex.

“However, individuals or businesses still in arrears for garbage fees from prior billing periods remain responsible for paying their outstanding fees. These customers will continue to be billed for overdue amounts until their accounts are settled,” the DoEH stated.
Commercial and residential property owners still required to pay garbage fees will continue to be billed in January and July each year. Customers are expected to pay their fees on time and can arrange payment plans with the DoEH. “The process of referring unpaid garbage fees to the Cayman Islands Government debt collection unit for recovery of overdue fees remains the same,” said DEH Director Roydell Carter, adding his thanks to people who have punctually paid their dues and those currently in the process of paying.
In order to prevent any delay with mailed invoices, the public is urged to contact DEH on 949-6696 to update their mailing addresses. Fees are billed in accordance with the Public Health (Garbage and Refuse Disposal) (Amendment) Regulations. Anyone querying garbage fees or otherwise needing information should contact the department, also on 949-6696.
Fees can be paid in cash, or by cheque at the Department of Environmental Health, at 580 North Sound Road. Between 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday or on the Sister Islands, at the District Administration Office. They can also be paid at any post office in Grand Cayman.
Customers can also mail payments to the Department of Environmental Health, P.O. Box 1820, Grand Cayman KY1-1109.

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Selita Ebanks is Kanye West’s new muse

| 18/09/2010 | 0 Comments
(New York Post): Selita Ebanks is Kanye West’s new muse. They’ve denied they’re dating, but Ebanks stuck close to West during the weeks he guest-edited XXL magazine’s October issue. She accompanied him to photo shoots and helped make page edits, insiders said. The issue includes a first-person essay from West, where he talks at length about his mother’s death. "When I moved to LA, she moved to LA. And she wound up in a place that would eat her alive. Even if I stayed in New York, it wouldn’t have been like that. If I had lived in New York, she’d still be here."

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The missing years

| 18/09/2010 | 38 Comments

My father, Desmond Seales, made the decision 49 years ago, when he departed Trinidad, to abandon his family by marriage as well as his blood relatives. Subsequently, he falsely claimed to have emigrated at age 18, when in fact he did not leave Trinidad until age 22. The four year discrepancy was to conceal the existence of his first marriage with three children as evidencedby the untruthfulness communicated in his obituary.

For those who question the motive for publishing this statement, suffice it to say it is nothing but a request to correct erroneous data. Every child deserves to be acknowledged by his or her parents. I have lived the past 49 years with the stigma of not being acknowledged by our father, even though many know of our existence. Upon his death, we were not given the opportunity for closure. In reading the tributes and obituaries, insult was only added to the injurious years of pain and feelings of abandonment, with the printed “erasing” of the life he had in Trinidad.

We impart our condolences to the family he did acknowledge. Their loss of a father is also ours.

Desmond Seales: The Missing Years

Desmond Seales was born on November 3, 1938. He was one of 11 children. Some of the family followed their father into the printing business. In his late teens Desmond worked at Yuille’s Printery, where he met his first wife. They were both 19 years old when they married. She became a housewife while Desmond continued to work. They soon had three children: Sandra Karen Seales, born January 10, 1958; Rhonda Hazel Seales, born November 23, 1959; and Sharon Rachel Seales, born April 30, 1961. The family of five resided in Port-of-Spain. Desmond, by all accounts, was a very involved father and supportive, loving husband.(Left: Desmond Seales 1958)

Desmond eventually got a higher paying job at Camps’ Printery. In 1961, Sir Etienne Dupuche visited his good friend, Mr Camps. He met Desmond, was impressed with his work, and offered him a job in the Bahamas with his company. Because there was a new baby, it was decided by the young couple that Desmond should go on ahead and the rest of the family would join him in a few months. Desmond boarded a BOAC airplane at Piarco Airport on September 29, 1961, and went to Nassau, Bahamas. His wife and the three children went to stay temporarily with the Seales family.

For the first three months after he left, Desmond corresponded with his wife; then she stopped hearing from him. It is to be noted that there were letters only (which are long gone). Several months later, she received a last letter (also long lost) stating her husband had died in Miami. Some members of the family didn’t accept this … didn’t believe it … yet had no means to prove otherwise. The wife and three children he left behind later relocated to the United States. (Left: Karen Seales with her parents 1958, this picture and one above from Karen Seales’ baby book – page below)

It would take many, many years, but eventually Desmond was found. In the interim, there had been two reports of sightings of Desmond at Trinidad Carnivals in the 1970s. These turned out to be accurate. Desmond himself later confirmed that he had indeed taken those two trips back to Trinidad, and never bothered to let his family know. His mother, father, and all of his siblings (except for one sister, who had died long ago in childhood) were still alive at that time.

When Desmond was found in late 1978, he was angry about it. He demanded thatno one in the Cayman Islands should know about his past, and that most of his surviving family from Trinidad should not be told that he was even still alive. He refused to explain his reasons for this or his actions.

Desmond Seales died on July 3, 2010. He is survived by his fourth wife, Suzan, and their daughter, Danielle; his daughter Nathania by his second wife; two sons, Jordan and Matthew, by his third wife. He also leaves behind three children from his first marriage in Trinidad, seven grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and several sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother, who never knew he was still alive.

Truthfulness in journalism: that will be the legacy of Desmond Seales, when this is printed.



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Igor forecast to make direct hit on Bermuda

| 18/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): According to reports from Hamilton,on Saturday, Bermuda is preparing itself for what the home affairs minster said was “probably the worst storm we have seen” as Igor a category two hurricane headed towards the island. With storm force winds stretching for 345 miles the NHC said Bermuda can expect to start experiencing the effects of Igor this evening. The Royal Gazette said that the country’s capital was quiet this morning as residents appear to have made their preparations and are ready to batten down as they wait for what is expected to be a direct hit. Igor is forecast to reach its closest point to the Island at 3am on Monday when it will be around 11 miles to the north of the Island.

The hurricane is currently about 400 miles south of Bermuda and moving at ten knots with sustained winds of 110 miles per hour with higher gusts. The NHC said it could not rule out Igor regaining Category 3 status before it reaches Bermuda as fluctuations in strength are expected and Igor remains a dangerous hurricane. The island is bracing itself for 50-feet high waves, storm surges endangering shoreline properties, potential tornadoes and road flooding from heavy rainfall.
Bermuda’s buildings are some of the best-constructed in the world, weather forecasters and analysts say which could help mitigate any potential storm damage. The Bermudan government has warned residents to prepare for an impact similar to the one they experienced in the 2003 Hurricane Fabian, which killed four people and caused millions of dollars of damage.
Authorities were planning to close the island’s international airport and a causeway linking it to the rest of Bermuda later on Saturday. The National Hurricane Centre said it could not rule out Igor regaining Category 3 status before it reaches Bermuda.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Karl has dissipated over the southern Mexican mountains and Tropical storm Julia continued to weaken as it rolled across the middle of the Atlantic. Located 1515 miles west-south-west of The Azores, Julia is forecast to continue weakening as the storm turns to the north and then the north north-east on Sunday.
The NHC also stated that an area of showers and thunderstorms associated with a broad low pressure area located a couple hundred miles southwest of The Cape Verde  Islands have changed little in organization during the last several hours. Environmental conditions appear somewhat favourable for potential gradual development as it moves slowly west-north-westward. The NHC is giving the system only a 30 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.

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Bush goes back on tour

| 18/09/2010 | 113 Comments

(CNS): The country’s premier is leaving the Cayman Islands this weekend on another international tour where he will be promoting the islands at a series of meetings and conferences over the next two weeks. The world trip includes talks with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) in Miami, a United Nations conference in New York, the OECD Global Forum in Singapore, the opening of a Cayman office in Hong Kong and a Commonwealth Financial Ministers Conference in Washington. With the deputy premier still at the CPA conference in Kenya until 25 September, Education Minister Rolston Anglin will act as the country’s premier next week.

Bush starts his tour in Miami with talks regarding the local cruise industry with representatives of the FCCA. The next stop is New York, where he will spend the rest of the week at the United Nations to assess progress made in addressing the vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States.
The press office did not say who will be accompanying the premier on the first US leg of the trip but after the UN round table discussions he will be accompanied by a delegation from the Financial Services Secretariat to Singapore to attend the OECD Global Forum. The press office said the representation is required as the Cayman Islands sits on the OECD Steering Committee.
From Singapore Bush will then go to Hong Kong for the launching of the first phase of the government’s Asian programme. The government is opening an office there as a way of building relationships with key members of the Hong Kong business community in preparation for a presence in China. There was no indication from the press office who is travelling with the premier on that leg of the Asian trip.  
The next stop is Washington, where Bush will attend the annual Commonwealth Financial Ministers Conference before he is expected to return to the Cayman Islands at the end of the month.
The deputy premier is currently in Kenya for the 56th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, she left the Cayman Islands accompanied by her police driver/bodyguard on 7 September. The conference which focuses on parliament and development in the 21st Century was officially opened by the Kenyan Prime Minister on 14 September and closes this weekend. However, the deputy premier is not expected back in Cayman until the end of next week.

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