Archive for December 1st, 2010

Sarasota International Six-a-side Cricket Festival

| 01/12/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): It was with great expectation that the 2010 Sarasota Heineken sponsored Village Greenies touring party boarded the specially chartered Cayman Airways jet at Owen Roberts International Airport (Terminal 1). Boasting two sides of varying ability and experience, hopes were high that a 17 year drought in the tournament could be finally ended. The Village Greenies, captained by David McGrath, had been weakened by the late withdraw of talismatic all rounder Frankie Hinds but on paper still boasted enough talent to challenge. The Evergreens,captained by David Groves, and with player coach Ian Goodall at the helm also looked to have more than enough experience to be a force.After a mad dash from Tampa airport both teams took the field for their first games.

The Greenies unfortunately capitulated against a strong Anzacs team, much to the annoyance of captain McGrath, who embarked on a verbal spat with the spectators. The Evergreens, however, cruised through unscathed against the Mad Dogs, led home by an unbeaten 25 from Matthew Walker.

Days two and three continued in a similar vein with the Greenies continuing to struggle and the Evergreens dominating the opposition. At the end of the group stages the Evergreens had comfortably booked their place in the Sunday Final (4 wins 1 loss) whilst the Village Greenies would be taking the day off (1-4).

Finals day dawned, and with some sore heads and tired legs in the camp the Evergreens would be taking on the Springboks. Having studied the pitch and the overhead conditions Coach Goodall selected the team of Walker, Adams, Sawle-Thomas, Beck, Grover and Dreadsy to take the field. Missing out on this occasion were fellow tourists The McGrath twins, Rotsey, EE Ming Wetherell and Sellars.

By the time of the final the crowd had swelled and the party double decker stand was full. In addition a gaggle of snow geese and pack of wild hogs had been drawn to the ground in a trance by the horns and scratch pads of master hunters Dreadsy, Texas, Sellars and Peter McGrath

Captain Groves lost the toss and the burly Springboks chose to bat. After the customary Jerry Beck first ball bumper and some lusty hitting from the South Africans, the Evergreens’ bowlers and fielders battled back from a poor start and the innings closed on 77-3 from their 5 overs, which looked to be a challenging total. Openers Charlie Adams and Matthew Walker walked out to bat and took the game to the Springboks pacers with a mixture of boundaries and scrambled twos. Walker departed for a well crafted 25 and Dickie Thomas joined Adams at the crease. Despite a few nervous moments these two guided the Evergreens home to a famous victory with two balls to spare and the crowd, already built up into a frenzy by the quality of the Evergreens cricket, went crazy. Captain Groves accepted the trophy from an emotional Larry Parry and the shield will be taking pride of place in the soon to be constructed Village Greenies Little Cayman Hunting Lodge.

Top performers on the field during the tournament with the bat were tour MVP Matthew Walker with a total of 122 runs, Charlie Adams with 68 runs and Nick Sellars with 58 runs. Top Bowlers were Walker again with 5 wickets, David Groves with 4, Matthew Glyde and Jerry Beck with 3. A special mention must also go to Adams who has been attending the festival every year for the last 17 years and who finally tasted victory in a Sarasota final for the first time at the ripe old age of 67.

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Climate change could wipe out Caribbean resorts

| 01/12/2010 | 2 Comments

(Independent): Rising sea levels caused by climate change are set to cause damage of billions of dollars to the islands states of the Caribbean by the middle of the century, including wiping out more than 300 premium tourist resorts, a remarkable new report suggested yesterday. Airports, power plants, roads and agricultural land in low-lying areas, as well as prime tourist locations on islands from Bermuda to Barbados, and from St Kitts and Nevis to St Vincent and the Grenadines, will be all be lost or severely damaged, with dire implications for national economies and for the welfare of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people, according to the report.

Released yesterday at the UN climate conference in Cancun, Mexico, the report paints an astonishing picture of West Indies-wide devastation caused in thedecades to come by rising seas. Sea levels mount in association with global warming because warming water expands in volume, and melting ice from land-based ice sheets and glaciers adds to the rise.

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Minister urges disability rights but no news on law

| 01/12/2010 | 12 Comments

(CNS): The education minister has urged everyone to do their part in protecting and ensuring the rights of people living with disabilities. In his message marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December Rolston Anglin said people with disabilities have the right to equality and non-discrimination. “They have the right to accessibility, employment, health and rehabilitation. They also have the right to life, liberty and security like everyone else,” Anglin said but made no mention of when new legislation will be brought to the Legislative Assembly as required by the constitution.

Minister’s message in full:

“I have no legs, but I still have feelings. I cannot see, but I think all the time. Although I’m deaf, I still want to communicate. Why do people see me as useless, thoughtless, talkless, when I am as capable as any for thoughts about our world?”

These are the words of a poem written by 14-year-old Coralie Severs from the United Kingdom.
Her poem speaks for millions of children and adults worldwide, who live with disabilities every day. Many face discrimination. Their abilities are overlooked, and their capacities underestimated. They don’t get the education and healthcare they need, and they are excluded, oftentimes inadvertently, from many community activities.
But children and adults with disabilities have the same rights as everyone else; their prerogatives to express themselves are the same as everyone else’s. Even though they may have difficulty seeing, hearing, walking or remembering, they too have dreams, hopes and ideas that they want to share with their community.
Since 1982, the United Nations has observed December third as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. One may think this observance is for those with disabilities. And it is: the day focuses on how recognising the rights of persons with disabilities benefits every aspect of our political, social, economic and cultural lives.
But it equally is about waking up those of us who, either consciously or unconsciously, have the “disability” of seeing persons with certain physical or mental conditions as unable to contribute positively to our society.
Our local theme for 2010, It’s About Ability, reflects this; and I urge you to think about exactly what these three wordsmean.
Simply put, we are all different, and as such have different levels of ability. So if we just take time to think, we easily can rattle off a long list of persons with disabilities, who have risen above their challenges to invent, entertain and inspire. These include:
Author Helen Keller,
Singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder
Artist Claude Monet.
Scientists like Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein
Actors like Michael J. Fox, Christopher Reeve and Tom Cruise.
Locally, we have our own differently-abled high achievers such as swimmers like Andrew Smilley and sprinter Cindy Whittaker. Not to mention our Special Olympics football team that recently won gold in the Special Olympics Jamaica Invitational Football Competition.
Consequently, the Ministry of Education, Training and Employment is ensuring that the talents within our intellectually and physically challenged citizens are nurtured and encouraged, and that their basic human rights are protected.
An advisory body, called the Steering Committee for Persons with Disabilities, was formed in 2007 with this objective. Its members are identifying gaps in service provisions for these citizens, and promoting public awareness and acceptance of persons with disabilities in our community. Already they have spearheaded an extensive review of current laws affecting persons with disabilities, and have made recommendations for their reform.
While this committee continues its important work, I urge everyone to also do their part in protecting and ensuring the rights of persons living with disabilities. This really isn’t hard to do.
Simple actions, such as leaving disabled parking spots for those who really need them; educating ourselves about the needs of persons with disabilities; or taking a little more time, if needed, when working or socialising with physically and mentally challenged citizens, can help everyone contribute in our society.
All we need to do is to keep in mind that persons with disabilities have the right to equality and non-discrimination. They have the right to accessibility, employment, health and rehabilitation. They also have the right to life, liberty and security like everyone else.
In the Cayman Islands, and around the world, International Day for Persons with Disabilities promotes an attitude of inclusion, rather than one of exclusion. I ask every person in our community to challenge themselves, to think and act in a way that recognises the rights of persons living with disabilities.

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Experts forecast severe oil crunch

| 01/12/2010 | 0 Comments

(Bloomberg): Falling crude-oil supplies and surging demand are likely to lead to “a severe oil crunch” within five years, according to Mamdouh G. Salameh, an independent oil economist. The CHART OF THE DAY displays Salameh’s projections for annual production and demand, along with supply shortfalls, at five-year intervals through 2030. The data comes from a paper published by the U.S. Association for Energy Economics and its international counterpart and posted on the Social Science Research Network, an online library. This year’s projected shortfall of 4.87 million barrels a day is likely to widen to 9.2 million barrels in 2015, according to Salameh, director of the Oil Market Consultancy Service.

Assuming that occurs, crude oil will match or exceed its record of $147 a barrel, set in July 2008 in New York trading, he wrote. “High oil prices might be an early indication of a supply- demand imbalance that can’t be reconciled by still higher prices, Salameh said. “In that case, a more comprehensive oil shock surely awaits.”

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Legislative change will allow sewerage sell off

| 01/12/2010 | 3 Comments

(CNS):Two new laws and an amendmentwill be coming before the Legislative Assembly shortly regarding the management of the country’s water supply and waste management. The various pieces of proposed legislation relating to the provision of water and sewerage were published this week in Extraordinary Gazette No 82 (Tuesday, 30 November). The Waste Water Collection and Treatment Bill, 2010 and the Water Production and Supply Bill, propose to allow Cabinet to issue concessions for the purposes of wastewater collection and treatment, and water production and supply, following advice from the Water Authority. The laws come in the wake of proposals to privatize Cayman’s sewerage system.

The bills also provide for the establishment of a Compensation Assessment Tribunal as well as outline the terms under which concessionaires will operate. Both bills contain a clause stating that once a concession is granted, the concessionaire will be deemed to hold a franchise under the Local Companies (Control) Law (2007 Revision).

The third element is an amendment to the existing Water Authority Law (1996 revision) to give the authority specific powers to regulate the concessionaires.

The bills are available on the Gazette website at and are expected to come before legislators sometime before Christmas during the next meeting which is due to start on 6 December after the premier returns from his latest overseas trip.

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AIDS claims 35 Cayman lives

| 01/12/2010 | 23 Comments

(CNS): Although Cayman has one of the lowest rates of HIV infection in the Caribbean, complacency towards the disease is a serious problem, the Red Cross has revealed. Four people died of the disease in Cayman during this year and there are still 60 people living with the virus. Every year since 1985 more people have tested HIV+ and so far in 2010 another five new cases have been reported. Thirty-five Caymanians with HIV went on to develop AIDS and died since the first case was reported. Today (1 December) on World AIDS Day the Cayman Islands joins the rest of the world in raising awareness about the virus and its transmission, as well as fighting against the stigma attached to the diagnosis and the complacency that makes people think it won’t happen to them.

The Red Cross has headed the campaign in the Cayman Islands since 2002, and the programme manager, Carolina Ferreira, says that while the known numbers in the Cayman Islands continue to appear low, the Caribbean has the second highest rate of HIV prevalence in the world, second only to Sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, Cayman is vulnerable and the CIRC continues to advocate for greater preventative measures, such increased interventions amongst vulnerable groups and a greater push towards voluntary testing, among others.

"Part of our work is fighting the apathy and complacency that comes when people compare our local known numbers to global statistics," Ferreira explained. "In comparison to the figure of 33 million persons worldwide, our statistics of 95 persons since 1985 seems like something to cheer about. It isn’t. Every country which now has a high incidence of HIV prevalence once had low numbers. We have a limited window of opportunity to step up our response and work towards stopping and even reversing this trend before we become another global statistic, but we can only do it together, as a community."

As a result, Ferreira welcomed the support from a local bank which will pay for this year’s education campaign. Since the Red Cross joined the fight to combat the spread of HIV and AIDS it has worked to educate and raise awareness about transmission prevention and the stigma and discrimination people living with the virus suffer.

“Over the last eight years what started off as a pilot project has become a department, which runs awareness sessions, education programmes and social marketing campaigns, some of which have been hailed in the region as examples of ‘best practice’. This year we have received a much needed boost from HSBC Cayman, which has allowed us to launch our latest campaign. This is incredibly encouraging as this is a topic of tremendous importance that needs to be continuously discussed and promoted within our community,” she said, expressing her appreciation to the firm.

Local HSBC CEO Gonzalo Jalles said the bank was proud to support the Cayman Islands Red Cross. “This is a disease that not only affects the Cayman Islands but the entire world. As a global bank we focus on supporting educational projects that not only affect ourlocal community but communities around the world. Local educational programs like this one will contribute to the overall success of combating the disease globally,” he added.

With HSBC’s assistance, the CIRC’s HIV & AIDS department has launched its new campaign today, 1 December. Created and executed completely in house by the Red Cross with the community’s assistance, the campaign posters, ads and promotional material will roll out today but continue throughout the year.

“One of the most disturbing statistics about HIV is that approximately every ten seconds someone becomes infected with the virus. When it comes to AIDS, approximately every 15 seconds someone loses their life,” Ferreira revealed. “Our campaign, appropriately titled ‘every ten seconds’, aims to not only make people aware of that statistic but also draws attention to what exactly ten seconds feels like.”

The “every ten seconds” campaign is composed of four parts: t-shirts, awareness and education efforts, video public service announcements (PSAs), and audio PSAs. It has been officially launched on World AIDS Day and is accessible online at the Red Cross websit., The ads will enter rotation at Hollywood Theaters and begin radio rotations on dms broadcasting, Paramount Media and Radio Cayman.

The community awareness efforts began 27 November, when Red Cross Youth Peer Educators gave residents of Grand Cayman the opportunity to win this year’s campaign t-shirt while learning some facts about the virus, the situation in the Cayman Islands, and how one can protect oneself and their loved ones. Over three hundred people stopped by the booths, which were located at Foster’s Food Fair Airport, Hurley’s Grand Habour, and Kirks Supermarket location.

Their work is still far from over: the Peer Educators will be hosting awareness days at Clifton Hunter High School this week and nearly 200 young people are expected to attend the 3 day “take over”.

“It never ceases to amaze me how, when given the opportunity, the youth of this country will tackle head-on that which so many adults are hesitant to even acknowledge, and they need to be commended for that more often,” Ferreira added.

A candlelight vigil will take place this evening at Heroes Square and free HIV testing is available at the hospital and district clinics Friday.

Watch the ads on YouTube:

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Medicine maker pulls more products

| 01/12/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Following another recall by McNeil Consumer Healthcare Inc. relating to children’s and cold medicines, Foster’s Food Fair has pulled all Children’s Benadryl Allergy Fastmelt Tablets and Tylenol Cold Liquid Product from its shelves. The voluntary recall by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Inc. was made in consultation with the U.S Food and Drug Administration after a review revealed insufficiencies in the development of the manufacturing process. There is no indication that the recalled products do not meet quality standards, and this recall is not being undertaken on the basis of adverse events.

The recall of the Tylenol Cold Liquid was initiated after an internal review revealed that information about the presence of alcohol from flavouring agents was noted as an inactive ingredient listed on the package, but not on the front panel of the product.

“Until Foster’s Food Fair IGA has a further correspondence from the manufacture on this affected product, moving forward, it will not be available. We are sorry forany inconvenience this may cause, however the safety of our customers is our top priority. We 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,” the local supermarket stated.

The following products have been removed by Fosters:Children’s Benadryl Allergy FASTMELT Tablets, Cherry Flavor 3-00450-18018 Children’s Benadryl Allergy FASTMELT Tablets, Grape Flavor 3-00450-19018 Tylenol Cold Liquid Daytime 3-00450-25708 Tylenol Cold Liquid Night time 3-00450-26908 Tylenol Cold Liquid Multi-day SVR 3-00450-52108.

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Port deal teeters on brink

| 01/12/2010 | 74 Comments

(CNS): The chair of the Cayman Port Authority said Tuesday evening that speculation over a collapse of the cruise berth negotiations between government and the developer was not accurate but admitted that negotiations were very sensitive. Stefan Baraud said that despite the challenges DECCO was still at the table and involved in the process. In the face of rumours that government was examining options to the DECCO partnership, Baraud said there was a lot of work to do but thedeveloper, government and the Port Authority were all still talking. He said that they were examining the business case presented by the Camana Bay developer over the lease length on the upland part of the project.

Although the port chair said he could not reveal the details of the negotiation stumbling blocks, he indicated that the main area of concern was the length of the lease. In the Legislative Assembly earlier this month the premier had pointed to the lease length as an area of contention when he said government was seeking the shortest time period possible and the developer the longest time possible, in a span of 20 to 99 years as set out the framework agreement.

Meanwhile, Baraud noted that negotiations with the cruise lines were still moving forward and Carnival Cruises had now made a proposal regarding the per passenger fee it was prepared to pay for the upgraded facilities. Royal Caribbean, he explained, the leading advocate from the cruise sector for the infrastructure improvement, was also close to supplying a figure.

However, Baraud pointed out that between the increase in fees from the cruise lines and the cost of the project there was still a significant financial gap that needed to be filled by the upland element of the development, which would ultimately offer the commercial profit for the developer’s investment.

In order for DECCO (aka Dart) to recoup that investment it needs to have access to the profits generated by the upland development, including the hotel, marina and shops, for a given period. Baraud explained that there were many elements to the negotiations on the optimum length of that lease, which is key to the projects future for all parties.

“The negotiations are sensitive but we have not parted company. DECCO is still part of those negotiations. There are many things to be considered and we are all still committed to working through the negotiations with a view to breaking ground on the project in the New Year,” Baraud said optimistically.

The port chair also admitted that he had not envisioned the magnitude of the legal work that would be involved in order to ensure compliance with the law during the early processes of the project, but regardless of the necessary bureaucracy, everyone involved was still working hard to achieve the common goal of creating modern cruise berthing facilities to boost the country’s tourism sector.

Baraud also stated that, as far as he knew, DECCO had completed the environmental impact assessment on the project, which was waiting to be submitted. He confirmed that once the EIA was handed over by the developer, in the interest of transparency the Port Authority would release the document to the public.

The development of cruise berthing facilities has been a key goal of the UDP government but the project has been controversial and plagued by speculation and rumour from the get go. While the chair told CNS that DECCO remains at the table, other sources close to government revealed that the length of lease requested by the developer is not unacceptable to the government, which is now examining the other proposals that were received when the requests for proposals were first made.

The cruise berthing facilities will be developed on land owned by the crown or, ultimately, the Caymanian people. As a result, the time period that the land in question will be leased to the cruise port developer is sensitive. Too long a period and it will be seen as a sale of the people’s property — a controversial political position — but on the other hand, offering too short a lease could undermine the feasibility of the project for the developer. This would also cause a political headache for government, which is relying on the project to boost the country’s flagging local economy.

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