Archive for November 16th, 2010

Determined burglar breaks through wall to get at safe

| 16/11/2010 | 11 Comments

(CNS): Police are on the hunt for a burglar or burglars who broke their way through a partition wall at a condo complex in  North West Point Road ,West Bay to get through to the office where the safe was kept. Shortly before 1.00am on Sunday, 7 November the security alarm was activated at the Oceanside Plantation office. When the manager and the police attended they discovered that the culprits had broken through the wall of the on-site gym, into the office and had made off with a safe containing bank cheques, a coin box, and a quantity of cash. The safe is described as dark grey, around 12 by 18 inches, about 12 inches deep with a 12 digit keypad and dial latch. (Photo shows similar safe)

Detective Constable Devon Bailey, of West Bay CID, is appealing for anyone who was in the area at the relevant time to contact him. “The person or persons responsible were pretty determined; not only did they break through a partition wall to get into the office they also removed the safe which had been bolted to the floor,” he said.

“We have been carrying out door to door enquiries within the complex and the surrounding area. Today, we would appeal to anyone who we may not have spoken to as yet to come forward. You could be someone who was either in the area at the time, or who lives in the complex but has not yet been interviewed in relation to what you heard or saw on that particular night,” he added on Tuesday afternoon.

If anyone has any information about the break-in, the whereabouts of the stolen safe or its contents they are urged to call West Bay CID on 949-3999 or Crime Stopper 800- 8477(TIPS).

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Another date set for the sinking of Kittiwake

| 16/11/2010 | 10 Comments

(CNS): After endless delays and more than seven years in the planning the much anticipated sinking of the ex-USS Kittiwake, a de-commissioned naval vessel, in Grand Cayman’s waters has now been reset for Sunday, 5 December. The wreck will create an artificial reef and a new dive attraction for visitors to Grand Cayman. The 251-foot, 2,200 ton, five-deck military vessel, which served the United States Maritime Administration (US MARAD) for over 50 years after it was commissioned in 1945, is currently being towed to the Cayman Islands from the James River Reserve Fleet in Virginia, USA. The Kittiwake will be sunk on the north end of Seven Mile Beach.

The boat was scheduled to be sunk in July of this year however, towing problems which emerged just two weeks before the event was set to take place forced organizers to cancel. The vessel is now expected to arrive in Grand Cayman around 29 November and if all goes to plan the joint project between the Ministry and Department of Tourism and the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) will final come to fruition. The acquisition of the decommissioned naval vessel marks the first time that a US MARAD ship has been donated to a foreign Government for the creation of an artificial reef to preserve the marine environment.

Premier McKeeva Bush said the sinking represents the single most significant occurrence in a decade for Cayman’s dive industry and stakeholders were naturally very excited. “Since the last year, the Ministry and Department of Tourism, CITA and Kittiwake Project Manager, Nancy Easterbrook, have been working hand in hand through many processes to ensure the cleaning and safe movement of the vessel to the Cayman Islands, in preparation for its sinking and I am pleased to see that we are almost at the finish line,” the premier said recently. “This public-private sector partnership is a good example of the kind of meaningful collaboration that results in necessary and exciting enhancements to our tourism product, such as the Kittiwake will bring.”

CITA’s Nancy Easterbrook said the financial support of the Ministry of Tourism had always been important to the project. “The Ministry of Tourism realized the importance of this initiative when it was first proposed in 2002 and assisted us in kick-starting its development. CITA came on board and matched those funds and both parties have been working tirelessly to get to this point where, in a few weeks, the Kittiwake will become Grand Cayman’s newest dive attraction,” she added.

Despite a delay in the original plans for the sinking of the Kittiwake the sinking now comes at the start of the 2010/2011 winter tourist season. “This newest attraction symbolises our commitment, as a destination, to continually enhance our tourism product and to keep the Cayman Islands at the forefront of the dive industry in our region,” Acting Director of Tourism, Shomari Scott stated.

The Kittiwake will provide underwater enthusiasts of all skill levels with a new year-round diving destination that is both easy to access and a thrill to explore. The Kittiwake will join the MV Captain Keith Tibbetts, a Russian Frigate sunk off the coast of Cayman Brac in 1996, as central dive sites in the artificial reef movement in the Cayman Islands and the Caribbean.

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Storytelling festival returns to traditional time

| 16/11/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): One of Cayman’s best loved festivals is back in full force this year as Gimistory returns with a full line up of local and international tellers and an appearance in all six districts. Organised by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, it is acclaimed by story festival fans as being among the best anywhere. The festival which is now in its twelfth year, takes place in parks, beaches, and even in Ned Miller’s backyard in North Side and all of the venues evoke an atmosphere of days gone by before television and play-station. Another element reminiscent of the good old days is that it’s free. This year’s festival opens on 30 November in West Bay at the public beach.

From there the show moves to East End Public Beach on Wednesday, Capt Ned Miller’s yard in North Side on Thursday followed by Bodden Town Mission House on Friday and on Saturday the tellers will be in George Town at Smith Baccadere. A group of story tellers will also head to the Sister Islands on Thursday.
During the day, storytellers visit schools making special presentations to kids and in the evenings the entertainment is designed for bigger kids who still enjoy a good story. The 2010 international line up includes the much loved Philip Murray aka Blacksage as well as David Bereaux & Friends, Louis McWilliams, Storycrafters, Ewart Serrant, Amina Blackwood-Meeks, Alisford Phillips and Ken Corsbie.
Local Tellers include Steve McTaggart, Mike McTaggart, The Powery Family, Nasaria Suckoo-Chollette, Auntie V, Young at Arts Storytellers, Michael McLaughlin and of course Sookie & Zekiel.

Another, ever popular part of Gimistory is the free fried fish, fritters and swanky – Cayman style lemonade – that is served to the audience at the end of the show but which has now become something of a show in its own right. In 2009, the "fry fish ‘n swanky" tradition of Gimistory took a new twist and became a culinary competition. Each district now competes for the honours of Best Fried Fish, Best Swanky or Best Fritters. The judging is conducted with the help of the Best of Cayman, which also polls the public for its opinion and calculates the responses into a percentage of the overall judging.


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Removal of uncertainty over EU Funds welcomed

| 16/11/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The international financial law firm, Walkers says the confirmation of the final terms of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive and the removal of uncertainty for non-European Union (EU) fund managers is a positive development for industry. The firm said it was good news for its managers marketing non-EU funds in the European Union, in the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Jersey. The final terms of the directive were approved by the European Parliament last week.  (Photo Rod Palmer, partner and Global Head of Investment Funds with Walkers.)

The terms allow for the distribution of non-EU funds to professional investors in the EU through both a private-placement regime and a passport system. The private-placement regime, which has been the traditional method of distribution in the EU for non-EU funds, will remain in place at least until 2018. It is proposed that this regime will transition in 2015 to allow full access to an EU passport marketing regime to non-EU funds on the same terms as EU funds. EU funds will become eligible for a passport in 2013.

"The confirmation that non-EU fund managers will be able to continue marketing Cayman Islands, BVI and Jersey funds to professional European investors is excellent news for the industry," said Rod Palmer, partner and Global Head of Investment Funds with Walkers.

The private-placement marketing regime introduces certain conditions for non-EU funds to be distributed in the EU. Those conditions include the need for supervisory co-operation agreements between the regulator of the EU member state in which a fund is being marketed and the regulator of both the fund manager and the fund. In addition, the country in which both the fund and the fund manager are established cannot be on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) blacklist. Funds also need to comply with certain basic transparency and reporting requirements.

“The Cayman Islands, BVI and Jersey are very highly rated by the FATF in respect totheir anti-money laundering regimes, which means they will not have to make any changes in their funds’ operations to comply with the Directive,” said Richard May, partner withWalkers based in the British Virgin Islands.

Access to the EU marketing passport will be subject to similar conditions to the private placement regime. In addition to satisfying those conditions, the non-EU fund manager will need to be authorised in an EU member state. OECD-compliant tax information exchange agreements will need to be in place between the fund domicile and both the fund manager’s EU member state of reference and each other member state in which the fund interests are proposed to be marketed.

"In our recent discussions on the directive, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority confirmed their commitment to entering into co-operation agreements with EU regulators as a matter of priority," said Jennifer Thomson, partner with Walkers in the Cayman Islands.

“This follows Cayman’s long history of working with regulators worldwide and reflects Cayman’s own strong regulatory framework. We know Jersey and BVI regulators share this commitment as well.”

Each of the Cayman Islands, BVI and Jersey appears on the OECD’s ‘White List’ of nations which have substantially implemented the internationally agreed standards on tax and information exchange, and they continue to enter into new tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs) with EU member states, among others. Currently the Cayman Islands, BVI and Jersey have collectively entered into nearly 60 TIEAs, with more pending.

“A further positive outcome for the industry is that the Directive does not apply to passive marketing or reverse solicitation of non-EU funds,” added Jonathan Heaney, Head of the Investment Funds Group in Walkers’ Jersey office. "This means that European investors may contact non-EU fund managers and invest in Cayman, BVI or Jersey funds even if the fund manager does not satisfy the conditions of the Directive."

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Man stabbed in back during fight, one arrested

| 16/11/2010 | 4 Comments

(CNS): A George Town man is currently in hospital recovering from serious stab wounds after a fight on Saturday evening. Police said on Monday that they had arrested a 26 year old man in connection with the stabbing later that same night who currently remains in police custody. A police spokesperson said officers had received a report that a man had been stabbed during an altercation at a home in the Crewe Road area of George Town at around 7.30pm on 13 November. Police have alsosaid a teenager is now in custody in connection with a bar break-in during the early hours of Monday morning in West Bay.

On Saturday night emergency services took the man who had been injured in George Town to the Cayman Islands Hospital suffering from stab injuries to his back, police said. Although the man’s injuries are serious the hospital said they are not considered to be life threatening. Police arrested the 26-year-old suspect on suspicion of GBH.

Meanwhile, in West Bay police are hunting a second burglar in connection with a break-in at Kelly’s Bar in Birch Tree Hill, at around 2.50am on Monday, 15 November. Following a report of the burglary when police arrived at the scene two suspects fled the scene. Officers gave chase and a 19 year old man was apprehended and arrested on suspicion of burglary. A police spokesperson said enquiries to find the other individual involved are ongoing.

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Turtle stocks can sustain sale, says farm

| 16/11/2010 | 13 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Turtle Farm has announced that it is holding holiday-season sale on turtle stew and menavelin. Tim Adam, managing director of the farm said that after a review of production it was believed that an increase in supplies could be sustained, if only temporarily for the season. Although it is anticipated prices will go back up in the New Year the turtle boss said this sale would allow food vendors to offer the traditional Caymanian dish on menus for Pirate’s Week, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year gatherings. Adam said the stocks still had to be managed but the farm appreciated the need to try and reduce prices given the time of year.

“We understand the importance and sentimental attractions of Caymanian culinary traditions, particularly during Pirate’s Week and the holidays, which bear an even greater traditional significance,” said Adam. “We are happy to offer the community the chance to maintain — and remind others of — their uniquely Caymanian identity and all the pleasures and cultural expressions that implies.”

He explained that the Turtle Farm had reviewed its production programme and concluding that increased supplies could be sustained, if only temporarily, and that soon after the New Year, prices were likely to return to higher levels.

“We still need to manage consumption of this traditional product, in order to keep supplies at a sustainable level. By and large, the community has supported us, and people seem to understand and accept the need for a programme of careful maintenance and conservation,” Adam revealed.

The new temporary prices are $10 per pound for stewing meat and $8 per pound for menavelin and it is being sold in five-pound lots. Prices of turtle meet were increased in February when the cost of turtle stew went from its years-long level of $5.40 per pound to $16, and menavelin from $4 to $12 as part of efforts to reduce consumption and enable replenishment of stocks at the Turtle Farm.


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Eight-man delegation takes aid to St Lucia

| 16/11/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): MLAs Cline Glidden, Captain Eugene Ebanks, chief officers Carson Ebanks, Kearney Gomez, the cabinet secretary Orrett Connor, Cayman Red Cross disaster manager, Hemant Balgobin and Operation Blessing International president Bill Horan all accompanied Mckeeva Bush, the country’s premier, last week on a relief mission to St. Lucia. The Cayman Islands delegation took 18,000 pounds of relief supplies and a cheque for US$50,000 to the island on Thursday, aboard a special CAL charter to assist with the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas. Welcomed by St Lucia’s prime minister Bush said that the trip reminded him of the devastation Cayman had suffered in the wake of Hurricane Ivan.

“I wish we could offer more, but with these donations come our prayers,” the premier said on arrival in the country,
Having personally experienced the aftermath of Hurricanes Ivan and Paloma he explained that he understood the challenges faced by those affected and offered some advice. “This is the time for everyone – opposition members, non-government organisations and citizens – to work together. Everyone’s cooperation will make the recovery process much faster and easier,” he added.

Grateful for the donations, the prime minister of St. Lucia, Stephenson King said the country knew it had a friend out there. “In future times of need we too can reach out when there’s a challenge on the other side,” King added as he immediately gave the monetary donation to St. Lucia’s children who he said had lost learning equipment including textbooks, computer labs and school furniture. “This will go a long way in assisting at least one classroom in getting back to normalcy and getting on with their education programme.”

Bush presented another cheque for US$50,000 to the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and the director general; Dr. Len Ishmael accepted it on behalf of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and their PM Ralph Gonsalves. “Thank you so much, Premier Bush, for making this trip and for standing in solidarity with your Caribbean brothers and sisters,” she said. “We share a common bond historically. We are a family and this is a mark of friendship from your people to ours.”

Some 96,000 St. Lucians remain without potable water. During Hurricane Tomas the pumping and production centre at the island’s dam, capable of generating 8 million gallons of water daily, was damaged. As such, Operation Blessing International has committed two water filtration and purification plants capable of filtering and disinfecting 10,000 gallons of water per day.
The Charity’s Director of International Disaster Relief David Darg, who accompanied Premier Bush on the relief mission, remained in St. Lucia to assist with installation of the plants and training locals in the operation and maintenance of the equipment.
Lenard Montoute one of St. Lucia’s minister’s, explained that nationals were literally fighting for water that had been trucked post-Tomas to affected areas. “For you to drop in drinking water… I can assure you that there’s no better gesture,” he said. “The water purifiers will be especially valuable since we have people accessing water from some undesirable sources and we want to avoid the outbreak of any waterborne diseases.”
In the meantime St. Lucian engineers and technicians, along with experts from Trinidad and Grenada, continue working to repair the broken dam.
Reflecting on Cayman’s terrible experience during hurricane Ivan, Bush said that his visit to St. Lucia brought back many memories.
"Remembering how desperate our situation was then, it was a great feeling to know that we could help the people of St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines in their time of need."

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Facebook mail: it might kill Gmail, but ‘it’s not email’

| 16/11/2010 | 0 Comments

(The Guardian): From the decline in affection of one relationship to the growing warmth of another, Facebook users will soon be able to chart their entire conversation history with friends, family and lovers using the company’s new communication system. The social network website plans to combine text messages, emails and instant messages all in one place online. Today, at an eagerly awaited presentation at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of the site which now has 500 million users, unveiled the details of a product which some in the industry had been classing a "Gmail killer", referring to Google’s email offering.

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CIMA promotes ICCI alumnus to key post

| 16/11/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): James Whittaker, former Chief Analyst in CIMA’s Investments and Securities Division has been promoted to the post of Deputy Head of the Division. Whittaker joined CIMA in January 2009 but has worked in the financial industry for over 17 years in banking operations, securities and structured finance. He has also worked professionally in Bermuda, Miami and New York. Born in Grand Cayman, Whittaker is a graduate of the International College of the Cayman Islands, with degrees in International Finance, Banking and Accounting.

CIMA said that Whittaker is intimately familiar with the growth and diversification of the Cayman Islands financial services industry. In his new post, he will be joining a leadership team comprised of Head of Investments and Securities, Yolanda McCoy, and Deputy Head, Heather Smith. The division is tasked with regulating fund administrators and certain categories of funds and securities investment business practitioners operating in and from theCayman Islands, as well as ongoing supervision of these regulated entities.

CIMA explained that this is done through an integrated risk-based supervisory approach of off-site and on-site supervision to ensure compliance with the regulatory laws and regulations, and with the rules, policies, and statements of guidance issued by CIMA. Whittaker will be assisting with managing the Investments and Securities Division’s staff of 36, developing and implementing new policies for the division, as well as liaising with foreign regulatory supervisors and local licensees. His responsibilities also include assisting with the management of the division’s off-site and on-site monitoring programmes.

“I am eager to face the new challenges that come with my promotion, commenting on the appointment,” Whittaker said. “CIMA operates in a dynamic and fast-paced environment, especially now with the global economic downturn and increased international regulatory reform. My experiences thus far, give me great confidence that the division, and CIMA, will continue to meet their objectives. I intend to approach my new role with a steady hand and proactive management.”

Managing Director of CIMA Cindy Scotland said that Whittaker was well versed in the financial services industry and his appointment was the result of his outstanding performance in managing the complexity of responsibilities of his previous position.

“I am pleased that he has welcomed the opportunity to take on more responsibilities at a time when sound leadership is needed and leadership positions are becoming more demanding. It gives me great pleasure to welcome yet another Caymanian to our management team,” she added.

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Weather boss promises top class climate conference

| 16/11/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Cayman Islands National Weather Service (CINWS) Director General Fred Sambula has said that Cayman intended to be the best possible host for the 50th Session of the Caribbean Meteorological Council (CMC) which will be held here this week. Over 45 delegates and government ministers from the region have so far confirmed their attendance including the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Michel Jarraud. The conference will focus on providing weather services and will examine the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season and its impact as well as scientific developments and radar projects.

Jarraud was first appointed in 2004 by the Fourteenth World Meteorological Congress; he was then re-appointed for a second four-year term that started in 2008. He holds membership in six meteorological societies: France, US, UK, Africa, China and Cuba. Having begun his career with the French national meteorological service, he later worked at the internationally renowned European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts before joining the WMO.

“We are pleased to have the Secretary-General and all the other delegates who are experts in the field attending the conference,” said Sambula. “I am looking forward to the information exchange and the meeting of the minds as we formulate a regional strategy to contribute to the global framework for climate services.”

He explained that an inter-agency committee was formed to organize the meeting, and is well advanced in its plans. “It is our goal to be the best hosts possible; promote the Cayman Islands and execute a seamless conference,” Sambula added.

The CMC 50 is being held 18 to 23 November at the Marriott Beach Resort, Grand Cayman and is themed ‘Towards a Global Framework for Climate Service,” the conference will officially open on 22 November with government ministers and meteorological experts from some 16 Caribbean countries attending. CMC 50 will begin with a closed door session of the Board of Governors of the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology on 18 and 19 November. Directors of the Meteorological Services will meet on Saturday, 20 November, in another closed session.

In addition to the Cayman Islands, delegates and ministers are drawn from 15 regional countries. These include Anguilla, Antigua, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos.

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