Archive for September 23rd, 2010

Tropical Storm Matthew forms in Caribbean

| 23/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): When the season’s 13th storm formed on Thursday afternoon it was located 435 miles east of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. With maximum sustained winds of 45 mph Matthew is moving west at 16 mph. The NHC said this general motion was expected to continue for the next 48 hours with the storm expected to be near the Nicaragua/Honduras border late Friday or early Saturday morning. Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hour and Tropical Storm Matthew could become a hurricane by Saturday. Tropical-storm-force winds currently extend outward up to 35 miles from the centre.

The storm is not likely to pose a local threat as it is forecast to pass far south of the Cayman Islands. A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning are currently in effect for Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua to Limon Honduras including the offshore islands.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Lisa had almost ground to a halt this afternoon in the centre of the Atlantic though forecasters said the storm was expected to start moving on a north to northeast track on Friday. Winds are currently near 40 mph with higher gusts and some slight increase in strength is possible during the next day or so the NHC said.

Go to NHC

Continue Reading

Machete attack on the Brac

| 23/09/2010 | 34 Comments

(CNS): Updated – Police said on Friday afternoon that officers have now charged a 46 year old man with wounding causing GBH and assault causing ABH following a machete attack on Wednesday 22 September on Cayman Brac. A 32-year-old man was admitted to Faith Hospital after the incident that occurred at about 8.20 int the evening. The two men who were reportedly attending a family event in the Watering Place area became involved in an altercation. During the fight one of the men attacked the other with a machete, police said. The injured man suffered lacerations to his body and he is understood to still be in hospital at this time, where his condition is described as stable.

Police have not yet named the individual who has been charged and is still in custody. CNS has been unable to confirm if the man appeared before the courts on Friday.

Continue Reading

Fosters announce recall of infant formulas

| 23/09/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Responding to a voluntary recall of some Similac Brand infant formular that may be contaminated with beetles and beetle lava, Foster’s Food Fair IGA has proactively pulled all the affected from their shelves to ensure the safety and well being of customers. The affected products sold by Foster’s Food Fair IGA are Similac Advance Powder with iron 12.9oz, Similac Isomil Advance with Iron 12.9oz, and Similac Organic Powder 12.9oz. (Please refer to the chart below for more details of affected products sold at Fosters.) Abbott, the company that produces the products, has announced that it is initiating a proactive, voluntary recall of certain Similac-brand, powder infant formulas in the US, Puerto Rico, Guam and some countries in the Caribbean.

Abbott says it is recalling these products following an internal quality review, which detected the remote possibility of the presence of a small common beetle in the product produced in one production area in a single manufacturing facility. The US Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) has determined that while the formula containing these beetles poses no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae, could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of small insect parts irritating the GI tract. If these symptoms persist for more than a few days, a physician should be consulted.

No Abbott liquid infant formulas are impacted. Products not involved in the recall include all Abbott Nutrition liquid ready-to-feed and concentrated infant formulas and all powder and liquid specialty formulas, such as Similac Expert Care™ Alimentum®, Elecare®, Similac Expert Care™ Neosure®, Similac® Human Milk Fortifier, and metabolic formulas for inherited disorders.
Consumers who have purchased this product should stop using it immediately. Any adverse reactions we advise you consult your healthcare Physician.

Until Foster’s Food Fair IGA has a further correspondence from the manufacturer on this affected product, moving forward, it will not be available. The company apologised for any inconvenience this may cause, but says the safety of customers is their top priority.

Fosters encourage all customers who have purchased this product to return the affected product to their Foster’s Food Fair IGA of purchase for a full refund.

Please find below a link to the manufactures press release:

Continue Reading

Viewpoint removed

| 23/09/2010 | 0 Comments

In response to the numerous queries concerning our decision to remove the viewpoint about Desmond Seales: The VP by Sandra Seales was factual. However, we had a personal plea from a member of Desmond’s family — no threats or legal issues, just a request — to take it down now for the sake of his children here, which we agreed to. Sandra wanted acknowledgement of her existence, which she has had now. It’s a very sad story and all his family, in the Cayman Islands, Trinidad and the US, have our sympathies.

Continue Reading

Waste-to-energy ‘won’t work’

| 23/09/2010 | 66 Comments

(CNS): Despite the fact that government appears committed to dealing with the country’s landfill problem by burning it, experts have revealed that not much more than a quarter of the million tonnes of rubbish at the dump can be burned. A group of local activist has said that while waste-to-energy can form part of a solution, it falls far short of addressing the country’s growing garbage problem. Aside from being environmentally unsound, expensive and long term, WTE will also encourage us to produce more waste rather than reduce it. Walling Whittaker said Cayman doesn’t produce enough rubbish to make a WTE project cost effective andthat an integrated management programme is the country’s best hope. (Photo a view from the dump Walling Whittaker)

At its first in a series of public meetings to drum up support for a more holistic approach to dealing with the George Town dump (aka Mount Trashmore) and the country’s future waste problems, WISE (Waste Initiatives and Sustainable Environments) told a small audience last night (Wednesday 22 September) that the government’s approach is unlikely to be a real solution for the country, but that officials have not yet completely closed the door on other ideas.
The group’s committee members include Pilar Bush, Berna Cummings, Rayal Bodden, Jude Scott and Theresa Broderick. They have received input from both Whittaker, who is a former director of the Environmental Health Department, and Denise Murphy, another expert in rubbish, who both pointed out some of the pitfalls that government’s current proposal for burning trash will present.
The duo explained that in order to incinerate the garbage the dump would have to be mined, which would cause considerable further environmental pollution, with leaching, pollutants thrown into the air and increased bad smells. This, they said, would continue for as long as the dump was minded for stuff that can be burned, which could be more than a decade. The experts pointed out that government’s hope of burning around 45% of existing garbage and future rubbish is also an over-estimation and a more realistic figure is less than 28%.
WTE is also an expensive option, the activists maintained, and estimated that the set up cost of the WTE facility and mining of the dump would be around $120 milllion with annual running costs of over $18 million. Whittaker said Grand Cayman residents produce less than 100,000 tonnes of rubbish per year, which is not going to be enough to make the WTE worthwhile, and that the idea of encouraging us to produce more rubbish to burn is exactly the opposite of what the country should be doing.
Whittaker said Cayman could benefit from an eco-waste-management park, where 60% of our rubbish could easily be recycled and reused through various methods, including composting and glass crushing for fill. He said some could still be incinerated and a smaller, lined and properly engineered landfill could be used to dispose of rubbish that cannot yet be reused or recycled. He said that around the world properly managed eco-parks are achieving close to 100% re-use and recycling and almost zero disposal — a goal that Cayman could strive towards.
The activists thought the best solution for the current dump would be to remediate and professionally cap the giant garbage pile. While controlling and treating the garbage mound, which is now over 80 feet high, an altogether new facility could be created elsewhere on the island that would focus on more on recycling and reusing rather than disposal and burning.
Pilar Bush told the audience that WISE was not advocating moving the dump as it would simply be impossible to do that. Facing the recent speculation that WISE is merely a “Trojan Horse” for the Dart Group, which has long made it clear it wanted to buy the current dump site, she said that Dart was one of a number of sponsors of the project that had an interested in resolving the country’s garbage problem.
The group acknowledged that a new waste management eco-park or properly engineered facility would need around 100 acres to house the different elements, such as the recycling centre for plastic, paper and cardboard, the composting heap for waste vegetation and glass crushing for fill, as well as a smaller lined landfill and an incinerator.  Whittaker explained that most of the facility would be under cover and surrounded by vegetation as a buffer from the neighbouring area. He said there should be no leaching and no pollution from an eco-park.
Whittaker also pointed out the comparative costs for this more integrated solution. The creation of the eco waste facility would run eventually to around $60 million for a fully engineered and integrated site with remediation at the current dump costing around $23 million. Annual running costs were estimated at around $4 milllion, all of which adds up to considerably less that the proposed WTE.
Noting the controversy over where this proposed site should go, however, the activists pointed out that the new and altogether different waste management facility would not be a recreation of Mount Trashmore.
WISE were also at pains to stress that their goal is not to offer a definitive solution as it will not be submitting a bid when the tender to deal with the dump is eventually opened (though Whittaker is likely to tender his alternative to WTE) but to encourage people to consider and support alternatives to the current assumptions made by government.
Bush pointed out that whatever happens Cayman has to find a sustainable solution to its waste management problems and that the WTE route could be a costly mistake which will not really address the problem of the growing landfill and cause further waste problems in the long term.
WISE will be hosting a second meeting next Wednesday and encourages everyone to come and express their views about the future of rubbish in Cayman. For more information long on to


Continue Reading

The Mighty Arrow, Soca King of the World, dies at 60

| 23/09/2010 | 0 Comments

(The Montserrat Reporter): The Government and People of Montserrat join in mourning the loss of The Soca King of the World, Alphonsus “The Mighty Arrow” Cassell MBE. He died at his residence on Montserrat today Wednesday 15 September 2010 at the age of 60. The island’s national Radio Station ZJB was today overwhelmed with calls of grief and offers of condolences to Arrow’s family in an atmosphere of deep mourning across the island. Montserrat’s Chief Minister, The Honourable Reuben T. Meade said; “Arrows passing is a national loss of a Cultural Institution and a National Icon who was generous, kind and the embodiment of an enduring and unmoving love for humanity.

Go to article

Continue Reading

Five go to battle for beauty pageant crown

| 23/09/2010 | 34 Comments

(CNS): On Saturday five young Caymanians will battle it out for the coveted title of Miss Cayman Islands and the chance to be an ambassador for their country. Aside from attending the Miss World and Miss Universe pageants the winner of the crown will spend the next twelve months promoting the islands on behalf of the department of tourism. The five finalists have spent the last few weeks at photo shoots, public appearances and specialist events drumming up support for themselves their sponsors and their chosen charities but it all boils down to the judges’ decision on the night.

The Pageant will take place at the Lions Centre starting at 7:00pm but organisers said the gates will open at 6:00pm.
“This year’s theme is ‘Earth, Wind and Fire’ and will convey a mystical, elegant tone for the Pageant,” organisers stated.
The five contestants – Venessa Ebanks, Mysti Bush, Trudy Ann Duncan, Shari Walton and Cristin Alexander have been training for weeks with Ford Fitness, former Miss Cayman Stacey Ann Kelly, Trainer Dwight Rivers and the Toastmasters Club, and are ready to hit the stage.
General Admission is $25.00 for adults and $15 for children but those under 12 are free. VIP tickets cost $100 which includes wine, hors d’oeuvres and first-class seating.
Tickets are available from Le Classique, Reflections, Eclipze, Funky Tang’s, Government Administration Building, Ministry of Tourism – Dawn McLean-Sawney 926-2577 or Shena Ebanks 917-9897, the Miss Cayman Committee  members – Lovenia Ebanks 916-0264 – and contestants.

Continue Reading

Second youth employment course gets underway

| 23/09/2010 | 4 Comments

(CNS): Another twenty-four young people have joined the government’s youth employment scheme Passport2Success in the hope of improving their chances in the most difficult job market Cayman has ever experienced. With over a 1,000 Caymanians out of work, youngsters with no higher education qualifications and no work experience are hit the hardest by the recession.  Following the positive response to the Passport2Successpilot earlier this year, the second free 12-week skills preparation programme began this month. Over half of the students from the last course are now either in college or working, organisers said, giving hope for this next group of young people.

Programme Coordinator Shannon Seymour said she was hoping for a repeat of the last group’s achievements with the second class. “Of the 22 students who signed up during the pilot, 14 have transitioned from unemployment to having some clear goals,” she said. “Six are now attending the University College of the Cayman Islands and eight are fully employed. Most young people not only need a chance, but they also need to be prepared to take advantage of that chance when it comes. This program equips them to do that.”
The programme tackles specific skill gaps, such as literacy and IT, but its main focus is to teach school leavers how to go through the process of securing a job and keeping it once they have done that and preparing them for the realities of the work place.
Education and Training Minister Rolston Anglin said the programme would help the students to get a firm grasp of employers’ expectations. “It’s designed to ensure that your transition to the world-of-work is as smooth as possible, as wellas to equip you with the softer skills that employers desire,” he told the young people enrolled on the orientation day.
After only one course the Passport2success programme appears to be gaining a positive reputation as a number of the latest group of students said they were there as a result of hearing about it from the pilot-group. “I heard about the programme from my cousin Michelle Johnson," Angelica McField explained. “And I’ve seen the difference it’s made in her life.”
The programme is full-time, runs five days weekly from 8:30am – 4:00pm and is based at the International College of the Cayman Islands (ICCI).
Passport2Success is joint project between government and the private sector. It is free and no qualifications or work experience are required to participate. The minister has said he hopes to run at least two programmes a year to give young unemployed Caymanians a better chance of helping themselves into a job. Visit, email or call 949-9355 for details. Programme sponsors are the Ministry of Education, Training and Employment; LIME, Butterfield Group and CML Offshore Recruitment.

Continue Reading

Cop faces trial for assault

| 23/09/2010 | 2 Comments

(CNS): RCIPS officer Rabe Welcome will face a Grand Court trial on charges of common assault and wounding in connection with an incident at the Red Bay Esso gas station last year, following a Summary Court enquiry. However, charges against his fellow officer Adrian Clark have been dismissed following a successful ‘no case’ submission by his attorney, John Meghoo. Both officers were suspended from duty following a police investigation into allegations of brutality by three off-duty officers after a man received a broken arm during an incident at the gas station in June 2009. Welcome is accused of using excessive force during the incident which caused the man’s injuries.

During a long form preliminary enquiry, which ended on Tuesday, Magistrate Grace Donalds dismissed charges against Clarke, but Welcome, who is represented by Waide DaCosta, has now been committed to Grand Court.
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.
The man, who had been reportedly armed with a machete, sustained various injuries during the arrest by three off-duty police officers. The complainant, who was reportedly arrested by the off-duty officers on suspicion of threatening violence and possession of an offensive weapon, suffered a laceration to his face and a broken arm. 
In the wake of the incident a spokesperson for the police said, “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.”
Welcome, the only officer of the three who will now face trial, had his bail extended and is expected to appear in Grand Court next month for a date to be set. It is unclear whether Clark will return to duty immediately or if internal enquiries will continue.

Continue Reading

Clifford: Miller taking lead

| 23/09/2010 | 54 Comments

(CNS):  Former tourism minister CharlesClifford has said he believes the independent member for North Side is emerging as a more effective opposition spokesperson than the official leader of the opposition. Clifford, who recently resigned from the People’s Progressive Movement, the party in which he served as a Cabinet minister, told CNS that Ezzard Miller was increasingly taking the role that people would expect to be filled by the PPM party leader Kurt Tibbetts. He pointed out that on all the major issues, at present, the North Side MLA was the first on his feet in the Legislative Assembly to point out the problems that government’s policies may cause and to speak on behalf of the people. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

Speaking to CNS about the current problems with Cayman’s political system and the desperate need for local politics to be about policies and not personalities or party colours, Clifford said Miller was demonstrating how much more effective an MLA could be when focused purely on the policies he believed would benefit or harm his constituents.
He said that at the last election there was a lot of talk about how independent candidates would not be able to function if they got elected to the Legislative Assembly as they would be up against the established power of the party system.
“There is an interesting dynamic going on here because Ezzard Miller is the sole independent member in the Legislative Assembly, and while this might not be the real position, it is the perceived position – Ezzard has emerged as the informal leader of the opposition. He is the person that is out there opposing the government more aggressively than anyone else on some of the policies that he does not think are in best interests of the country,” Clifford told CNS in a recent interview.
Clifford said it had been telling recently that rather than the leader of the opposition standing up first to respond to the premier stating the opposition position, Miller has been the one getting to his feet first and stating his position on a government bill or debate. It was interesting, the former minster said, that even as the single independent member, whether you support his policies or position or not he has made his mark.
“That says quite a bit, not just about Ezzard but independent candidates,” Clifford observed.
Although he said he was not advocating for the concept of independent candidates, he said Miller demonstrated how effective and powerful policy positions are in political representatives.
Clifford admitted playing a part in the style of party politics that had emerged, which he has previously criticised, and said is not about policies and ideologies as it should be but about personalities. He said that not only did this not suit the Cayman Islands but it was also stifling the best ideas. While he acknowledged that, as a UK overseas territory, we are obligated to practise the Westminster system of parliamentary politics, which was inherently adversarial, the country could find a new way that rejected the current ideology of "us and them” or attitudes of “you are for us or against us”, which has discounted positive ideas that were not from within the parties. Clifford said no one party had a monopoly on good ideas.
Avoiding the specifics about his own future plans, he did admit to talking with a number of people and working towards the formation of solid policy ideas about how Cayman could adopt a political system that could embrace creativity rather than stifle it. He said he was not against political parties and perceived a future for them, but ones shaped on political positions and ideology and not personalities. He said good people were being put off from entering the political arena because of the way the system worked. But Clifford said the country needed people to step up to the plate and offer policies that can move the country forward and he was in the process of recruiting people to his potential alliance or coalition to find a way to do that.
“What is more important than a name is what are the policies that this group will represent and present to the people as solutions … The name will naturally emerge from the ideologies but it’s less important that the ideologies.”
He said he understood the value of having structure and discipline in an organisation and said he was not opposed to politically parties at all, but to the way they had emerged and the negative issues associated with them. Clifford said using colours to identify parties may seem a minor point but it was divisive. “Even very young people who have no understanding of the key political issues yet are rallying around the colours, he added.
“Until we reach a level of political maturity where we can have an honest discussion about this party issue and what needs to be done, we are going to continue doing what we have always been doing and expecting different results,” he said, adding that voters needed to ask themselves questions before they cast their votes. “The electorate needs to begin looking at who it is that is being elected to the Legislative Assembly. Are they proposing the right policies? Do they have the wherewithal? Are they competent enough? Those are the real questions that the population needs to ask,” Clifford said.
The former cabinet minster, who lost his seat in the last election, says that he is not done with politics yet and has not ruled out running for election again. However, he said that regardless of whether he is directly or indirectly involved, he wants to pull together a political group of some kind that will be focused on ideology and policy positions that will lead Cayman in a specific direction and ensure the country changes course before its too late.

Continue Reading