This is the year that was …

| 30/12/2010

(CNS): As the worldwide recession took a grip in Cayman during 2010, a surge of armed robberies and home invasions, along with some of the worst gang shootings ever seen, ensured that crime dominated the local news headlines. As the year began the RCIPS was already immersed in a murder investigation after the shooting of Fabian Powell on 28 December 2009, a crime for which no one has been arrested a year after the discovery his body outside Welly’s Cool Spot. Although the police did manage to bring charges in several killings, the murder toll continued to mount in 2010, including the most shocking of all, in which a four-year-old boy was shot dead at a West Bay gas station. (Photos by Dennie Warren Jr)

Police faced the ire of the community throughout the year as armed robberies reached record highs. Home invasions also began to shake up the community and saw one licensed firearm holder shoot an intruder dead in July.

Some of Cayman’s most notorious gang members were arrested and charged in 2010 over various shootings and killings. Raziel Jeffers is now facing three separate murder charges for the deaths of Marcus Ebanks, who was shot by two masked gun men in 2009, Damian Ming, who was killed in his own yard on the eve of his return to prison on drug charges, and Marcos Gauman, who was gunned down in Maliwinas Way. A 16-year-old boy, who sustained a serious gunshot injury to his leg on the same night as the killing, has also been charged with the murder of Gauman.

Devon Anglin was arrested and charged with a shooting which stunned the community. Four-year-old Jeremiah Barnes was shot in the head as he sat in a car with his family on the forecourt of the Hell Esso gas station in West Bay in February. Anglin is expected to face trial sometime in 2011.

Andy Barnes, the father of Jeremiah and a witness in the case against Anglin, spent this Christmas in jail with both Anglin and Justin Manderson, who is charged with the attempted murder of Barnes outside Kelly’s Bar, West Bay, in June. Barnes, who was charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm with intent, was remanded to Northward Prison on Christmas Eve in connection with a dispute in Bodden Town on Friday, 17 December.

The year was also marked with weekly armed robberies of gas stations and liquor stores, as well as a number of daylight bank robberies. Police did make a number of arrests with regards outstanding gang killings but they failed to make a mark on many of the serious violent robberies, including the bank heists.

Politicians also had a tough year. With no magic bullet to cure the country’s economic ills, they were criticised for unnecessary spending on travel and the trappings of office while civil servants faced a 3.2% salary cut. Increases in fees and duty bit hard and unemployment continued to grow among Caymanians. With a declining population as a result of the contraction of the economy, local businesses battled with increased overheads and declining takings, as well as the rise in crime.

January:

The year began with several break-ins and burglaries, along with an increase on duty rates. On Monday, 4 January, as the shops reopened after the holidays, customers were faced with a duty increase of two percentage points, which meant a real price increase of around 10 percent in the shops. Goods charged at 20% went to 22% and those at 25% to 27% duty levy.

The first tragedy of 2010 came when police launched a search and rescue operation on 10 January. Five people who left to go fishing that morning never returned and police called off the search after several days of looking for Raynell Wood, Astor Range, Joshua Gilman, Jeamie Avila and Michelle Wood.

Caymanians were also shaken – literally – by an earthquake registering 5.9 magnitude on the Richter scale. The quake came only days after a massive earthquake in Haiti. Fortunately, Grand Cayman escaped unscathed with the exception of a few curious sink holes.

Meanwhile, in the courtroom the crown scored its first notable success of the year with a murder conviction against Randy Martin for the murder of 21-year-old Sabrina Schirn. Martin, who killed Schirn in a machete attack during a clandestine meeting at the prison farm, was sentenced to life in prison on the 26 January after a judge-alone trial.

The first murder of the year occurred on Thursday, 28 January, following the discovery of the body of 32-year-old Courtney Spence in the car park of the Progressive warehouse in Sparky Drive, industrial area, George Town. The police described the shooting of Spence as he left his workplace that night as a “premeditated attack” but have yet to bring any charges in the case.

The country welcomed the arrival of the new governor, Duncan Taylor, who after the departure of his predecessor, Stuart Jack, perhaps the most unpopular governor the territory has ever seen, remained remarkably quiet throughout 2010.

February:

One of the biggest murder trials ever witnessed in Cayman opened on Monday, 1 February, when Larry Ricketts and Kirkland Henry appeared in the dock to face trial for the abduction, rape, robbery and murder of Estella Scott-Roberts. The trial, which was presided over by the chief justice, lasted three weeks and ended in a guilty verdict.

On 4 February the police were tackling their first bank robbery of the year when the Cayman National, Savannah branch, was robbed by two masked gunmen around lunch time. Police have yet to bring any charges in the case.

What some described as a “daylight robbery” of another kind took place in February at the country’s Turtle Farm. As Tim Adam took up his new post as MD of the beleaguered Boatswain Beach, his first decision was to triple the price of turtle meat in order, he said, to give the farm a fighting chance of sustaining a meat supply into the future.

Premier McKeeva Bush chose to announce one of his first major changes to the immigration laws with the introduction of a million dollar residency certificate. Accused of selling status to the highest bidder, Bush said he was trying to find ways to attract investorsand boost the local economy as he continued to berate the opposition for leaving the country in debt.

Twenty-two-year-old Dow Travers made history for Cayman when he became the first Caymanian to enter a Winter Olympics, competing in the men’s Giant Slalom in Whistler. Travers made a respectable showing, moving from his start position of 101st to 69th in the rankings with a time of 3:02.89

Any pride Cayman was feeling, however, was rocked when four-year-old Jeremiah Barnes was shot and killed at a West Bay gas station. The child was shot by two armed gunmen and became the innocent victim that police had warned would be a result of the escalating tit-for-tat gang violence on the island.

March:

After several years of controversy, the police helicopter finally touched down in Cayman on 4 March. Heralded as a much needed asset in the fight against drugs and gun smuggling, as well as to assist in tracking offenders and rescues, the machine is costing the public purse over $1milllion per annum to operate.

Cayman saw its first ever kidnapping and ransom for cash on 18 March. Four men were eventually arrested and charged with the abduction of a young adult, whom they held hostage in North Side for around 36 hours before he made his escape. The kidnappers had threatened to kill the young man unless his parents paid a ransom of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Three men are expected to face trial in the New Year and one man has pleaded guilty to the offence.

Robberies of fast food restaurants, gas stations and liquor stores mounted as police struggled to cope with what became the country’s worst ever surge in crime.

Shootings in Cayman’s gang wars escalated throughout March and ultimately accumulated in three murders during the course of the month. Marco Gauman, Damion Ming and Alrick Peddie were all shot and killed in the district of West Bay. Several other victims also received gunshot wounds, including a woman who was shot in the face in a George Town bar. Police have since brought charges in all three murders, and trials are expected throughout 2011.

Meanwhile, the political war continued when the premier left for London to gain approval for the country’s budget and more borrowing. The opposition called on government not to cut civil service pay or sell the new government accommodation building. In the face of threats of marches and civil disturbance, the government pulled back on the idea to use the building as a means to raise cash.

April:

Chantelle Morrison got April off to a positive start for the Cayman Islands when she took a gold medal at the CARIFTA games for the under 17’s 100-meter women’s final.

Meanwhile, in sharp contrast, a World Health Organisation report revealed that Cayman’s teens were some of the laziest in the world. In a study of more than 70,000 young teens from 34 countries, teenagers from the Cayman Islands and St. Lucia were found to be the least active kids.

Government signed a deal with the world famous cardiac surgeon, Dr Devi Shetty, as the first step towards the development of a major medical complex on Grand Cayman. Shetty is proposing to invest billions of dollars over the next decade to create a state-of-the-art health city and medical university, set to revolutionize the provisions of tertiary healthcare. Since the deal was signed Shetty has still not announced where the hospital will be and there is no sign of a ground breaking date.

Government also signed an MOU with DECCO (Dart’s construction company) in April to build the George Town cruise port, an understanding which eventually failed to come to fruition. Government admitted in early in December that it was unable to reach agreement with DECCO and had given its second choice developer, GLF Group/Royal Construction, a chance at making the cruise berthing facilities a reality.

The Electoral Boundary Commission completed its work on recommendations for the future political landscape of Cayman. Despite the completion of the report, however, government has made no move since the publication of the report to debate how the country’s legislature will grow.
As government yo-yoed over announcements regarding the possible introduction of VAT or payroll taxes and delayed the budget announcement, the opposition accused the UDP of wasting its first year in office.

April saw the country wave goodbye to the controversial but much admired auditor general, Dan Duguay, who had exposed a number of shortcomings in the government’s handling of public money, not least its failure to publish any financial accounts for more than half a decade. Called a “cowboy” by the premier and having clashed with government, the opposition, the independent member, and even the Governor’s Office over his commitment to transparency, no one was surprised when Duguay’s contract was not renewed and he was given the boot.

May:

As government reached the anniversary of its first year in office, May brought plenty of turmoil for the UDP. While the government waited for a Conservative victory in the UK, which didn’t quite happen, hoping it would not be forced to introduce tax in exchange for more borrowing, one of its backbenchers was arrested after an altercation outside a Seven Mile Beach hotel. Dwayne Seymour has since been charged with assault and attempting to pervert the court of justice and is next due in court in January. The premier also found himself in the political hot seat when he reneged on the announced intention to cut MLA salaries by 20 percent.

Armed robberies continued as the police launched a month long gun amnesty in the face of violent crime. During the window of opportunity to give up weapons, officials collected 26 guns, a crossbow, tear gas, a Taser, a grenade and more than 200 rounds of ammunition. However, more than nine crimes involving guns were committed during the amnesty.
Elton John’s Roller, Idi Amin’s Merc and the famous Batmobile from the original TV series all found a new home in West Bay as key exhibits at the new Cayman Motor Museum opened by local millionaire Andreas Ugland.

The information commissioner issued warnings that the country’s civil servants were merely paying lip service to the Freedom of Information Law. Jennifer Dilbert said the public was being misinformed by officials, who were not following the proper procedures. Requests for people’s identity, incidents of intimidation and unfounded refusals had all been reported to her office, she revealed. The premier also launched a very public attack on CNS over its requests for information via the law.

The environment also faced a hard time with no sign of the National Conservation Law and continuing threats to wildlife. As the Cayman Islands National Trust launched a campaign for the law, Grand Cayman lost a significant stretch of natural habitat from the North Sound coastline. After being granted planning permission by the CPA in February, the developer of Dragon Bay, Michael Ryan, ripped up over 378,000 square feet of mangrove buffer zone, despite the fact that the Development and Planning Regulations state that such natural protective barriers should only be removed in exceptional circumstances.

June:

Violent crime continued to increase throughout June, especially armed robberies of gas station and fast food joints. The public was outraged when three teens armed with machetes robbed a pizza shop in Savannah. The troubled teenagers were all apprehended soon after and later pleaded guilty to their crimes. But worse was to come: a gunman opened fire on police following a high speed car chase after an armed robbery at Mostyns Gas station in Bodden Town on 16 June. Two men were arrested in the wake of the incideent but only one teenager has been charged in relation to the robbery. His trial started in December but was adjourned before Christmas and is expected to resume in January.

Following meetings with the FCO and the UK’s new overseas territories minister, the Cayman Islands premier got the OK for a further $155million in borrowing and was able to bring his 2010/11 budget, which included a 25 cent hike on fuel duty, to the Legislative Assembly for approval. Despite the opposition ‘no’ vote, the government majority carried the day.

With the annual spending plans brought very late, the budget debate and ensuing Finance Committee, chaired for the first time by the premier, was wrapped up in record time. A process which normally spans across a two week period was ‘done and dusted’ in one nine hour sitting and a second eleven hour sitting, as the premier kept his promise to “do things differently”.

News of Joe Imparato’s proposal to government to build a commercial shipping port in East End was met by opposition from the local PPM MLA and residents of the district. Arden McLean said the developer was using the proposal as an excuse to quarry the land. This was the beginning of a campaign against the East End Seaport, which is expected to step into full gear early January, when a petition against the potential development will go island wide.

The results of an FOI request in June revealed that, despite the economic crunch, the people were footing the bill for the new trappings of office for the premier. The request by a CNS reader to the Cabinet Office revealed that utility bills, Christmas lights, phone, fax, electricity and water bills, security and domestic staff at the premier’s home in West Bay were being paid for from the public purse.

July:

July opened with politics taking centre stage as the opposition criticised the way government was doing business and its efforts to close down debate in the LA. The PPM accused government of attacking the democratic process. Meanwhile, the premier turned his attention back to the media, accusing it of hostility, bias, sarcasm and of twisting government’s message.

In the business community the country’s oldest insurance company was forced into liquidation as a result of its parent company’s troubles in Trinidad, and Hadsphaltic, one of the countries oldest developers, also closed its doors due to troubles with its parent company. The controversial and troubled publisher of Cayman Net News, Desmond Seales, died after a sudden heart attack, leaving the country’s second newspaper in turmoil.

Government amended planning laws to facilitate ten storey buildings and the country’s hedge fund sector took a turn for the better. However its decision to go ahead with a $9million hurricane shelter on Cayman Brac stole the headlines.

The green iguana’s free ride ended as government removed the inadvertent protection offered under the law. The National Conservation Law went on the road – again – and the planned sinking of the US Kittiwake was cancelled at the eleventh hour. While the former US naval ship finally arrived in Cayman waters on Christmas morning, there is still no sign of the conservation law.

Meanwhile, with no let up from the country’s criminal element, robbers used a van to crash into a local store in George Town and steal cash. The community was divided, however, when a 65-year-old homeowner used his licensed gun to defend himself against a home intruder in the middle of the night. Harryton Rivers was shot and killed when he broke into a home in Liguinea Circle, George Town. It was later revealed that Rivers was on bail with an electronic security tag, which he had managed to remove before he set out to burgle the George Town Home.

The month ended with an announcement by the UK Privy Council that the Cayman Islands Grand Court Judge, Justice Priya Levers, had misbehaved and that she should be removed from the bench. The judicial committee’s judgment said there were fatal flaws in a judicial career that had many admirable features. Levers had faced a tribunal in May 2009, which had recommended her removal as a result of a number of complaints against her concerning comments made in and out of court.

August:

The eighth month of the year started with yet another tragedy when twenty-four-year-old FederAnn Faustino was killed by a drunk driver on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway early in the morning of 3 August. Eighteen-year-old Brooke Novak was arrested that night and was later charged and jailed for fifteen months for causing death while driving under the influence of alcohol.

Meanwhile, the RCIPS admitted to running down a cyclist on North Church Street. Despite denials to CNS days after the incident by an RCIPS spokesperson at George Town Police Station, the police eventually confirmed that an RCIPS marked car hit a cyclist in downtown George Town on 1 August and an officer was suspended from driving police vehicles. Following comments about the levels of literacy among RCIPS officers, Police Commissioner David Baines was criticised publicly by the Police Association, further straining relations in the service between the top brass and the rank and file.

White collar crime hit the local headlines when Robert Christopher Girvan pleaded guilty to 18 counts of theft and three counts of money laundering, which the crown said amounted to around $19 million. Girvan was a trader and fund director with four Cayman Islands Hedge Funds, known as the Grand Island Funds, which collapsed in 2008 as a result of major losses related to Girvan’s unauthorised trading. Girvan was eventually given an eight year sentence for his crime.

The premier’s request for a sixth elected minister to sit in Cabinet before the LA is expanded at the next election was greeted with silence by the governor, who remained largely silent on most things throughout what was essentially a tumultuous year. Aside from occasional comments to the press regarding the new National Security Council and the need to reduce civil service costs, the UKs representative has remained surprisingly quiet during his first year in office.

Questions over MLAs double dipping (taking salaries and a pension from the public purse) were raised by MLA Ezzard Miller. While two PPM members admitted to drawing both, CNS is now taking an FOI request to a hearing in the New Year in order to get information released on all MLAs who are drawing a pension.

Despite being the month normally considered a slow time for politics, former and existing politicians continued to dominate the headlines, with the education minster ‘nodding off’ at the wheel and crashing into boulders in the early hours of the morning in West Bay and the former PPM tourism minister resigning from the opposition party.

In the courts, the crown suffered a major blow when the murder conviction of William McLaughlin-Martinez for the murder of Brian Rankine Carter was quashed by the Court of Appeal and remitted back to the Grand Court for retrial. Martinez is currently serving a mandatory life sentence and is expected to face a new trial early in the New Year.

September:

A tourist was the first victims of crime in September when he was mugged on West Bay Road. Immigration made several arrests after its amnesty for over-stayers closed, and it was revealed that RCIPS officers had been taking lie detector tests. The country’s sixth murder occurred in West Bay on the 8 September, when 20-year-old Tyrone Burrell was shot dead in a yard in Birch Tree Hill. Police said they believe that Burrell had information about another killing but had chosen not to come forward. Leonard Ebanks has since been charged with the murder. Robberies also continued, including another daylight bank robbery, this time at Fidelity in downtown George Town. Police have not yet brought charges in connection with the crime.

Meanwhile, in the courts Patrick McField, Osbourne Douglas and Brandon Leslie-Ebanks were all found guilty of the murder of Omar Samuels in McField Lane, George Town on 5 July 2009.

Still battling for a turnaround in the country’s economic fortunes, the premier declared a need to increase the local population and spoke about cutting the rollover gap. He also turned his attention to the Far East as he courted Asian investors. At home, McKeeva Bush took aim at government bureaucracy and criticised what he called the “silent, passive non-compliance” and a “dragging of feet” over government projects. Implying that it was within the government mechanism that things were being held up, he said bureaucracy was what was preventing him from getting things done. He also told the country that in three months time the local economy would be on the road to recovery, triggering a 90 day count down.

The opposition warned of the erosion of civil liberties as laws came before the Legislative Assembly that appeared to be designed to strengthen the hand of the prosecution and undermined the rights of the people in the court room.

The public was outraged when it was revealed in the Legislative Assembly that the developer of the Ritz Carlton was behind on his payments to the public purse for deferred duty. Owing $6 milllion to the public purse, Michael Ryan had asked for an extension because of the economic difficulties.

A report by the complaints commissioner revealed the full extent of the failure of employers to follow the pension law. In a special report, Nicola Williams said the National Pensions Office (NPO) had systematically failed to enforce the law and bring justice to hundreds of people whose employers have literally stolen their contributions. Although the minister with responsibility has promised an overhaul of the pension and labour laws, the legislation has not yet been brought to parliament.

FOI came under the spotlight again when the information commissioner published a report in “Right to Know Week” revealing widespread problems in compliance with the Freedom of information Law.

October:

A brutal killing marked the beginning of October when Jack Forbes was beaten to death in the evening of 1 October at a shopping plaza in Bodden Town. Having served aten year prison sentence himself for manslaughter for the killing of Steve Watler in 2000, Forbes had been recently freed from Northward prison. Police made several arrests in connection with the killing and two men have been charged.

Police were criticised again when they failed to collect key forensic evidence after an armed robbery at Reflections. The cops said they would be reviewing procedures after they left a bullet behind at the scene.

Government stumbled into trouble and wide criticism when the Dormant Accounts Law, which was designed to give it legal access to abandoned cash, hit “unintended consequences” and the finance sector warned it could do real damage to the industry. However, it was the $46,000 spent by the deputy premier on a new four-wheel drive vehicle that really upset the public. Given the austere times most people were living through, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly’s decision to spend public money on a new car was not well received.

The government’s introduction of a certificate for specialist care givers also divided the community, with some welcoming the move that enabled them to keep their most trusted staff, while others accused government of opening the gates to more status grants. The premier came under more fire when he circumvented the usual tendering process in order to secure a government loan with a New York based firm. The country is still waiting on the details regarding the interest rate government has secured for the CI$155 million loan.

A population count began on 10/10/10, which was National Census Day. Despite the general rumblings of mistrust and lack of confidentiality, the Census Office managed to count and survey well over 95% of the population and is expected to reveal its first figures in the first few weeks of January. Funds were also being counted and appeared to be on the up. As the financial sector breathed a sigh of relief over European legislation and hedge funds, the sector predicted that Cayman would see its fund registration back to its all time high of 10,000 early in 2011.

Meanwhile, on the track in Delhi Cydonie Mothersill lifted the spirits of the nation when she powered to victory in the 200-meter finals, bringing home the country’s first Commonwealth gold medal.

November:

Following an earlier attempted robbery at the Grand Cayman Beach Suites, the first hotel in the heart of the country’s tourist zone to be the scene of such a crime, masked gunmen pulled off a frightening heist at The Grand Caymanian Resort on Monday 1 November. The two robbers tied up members of staff at the hotel while they robbed the safe. The third bank heist of the year took place at Butterfield Bank in North Sound Road when three armed gunmen wearing Halloween masks burst into the bank at around 11:20 on 24 November. Although police made an arrest immediately after the robbery, no charges have since been brought.

As crime continued to plague the community, the police went on the road with a public opinion survey, the results of which, the RCIPS has said, will be made public shortly. November also saw the sixth fatality on the country’s roads when Winston Welsh was hit as he crossed Crewe Road to Mango Tree by a driver who left the scene. The driver later gave himself up to police and was charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

The premier came under fire for undermining the democratic process in the Legislative Assembly by failing to answer opposition questions or debate their motions, as well as ignoring the country’s growing crime problem. He was also berated when he used the terms ‘darling’ and ‘sweetheart’ to address two young women who had asked questions at a public meeting in Bodden Town.

However, announcements that the country’s anticipated $50 million deficit for this year’s budget had been reduced to $15 milllion gave government some much needed public support. A review of the civil service also revealed where major cuts could be made in public sector spending. Following the assessment of four of government’s biggest spending departments, the report revealed where $17 milllion could be cut from the current budget.

Opposition Leader Kurt Tibbetts announced that he would be stepping down as both leader of the PPM and leader of the opposition, paving the way for a leadership election in the opposition party. It was revealed that all members of the People’s Progressive Movement will be able to cast their vote for the party’s new leader, who will be one of the other four party members in the Legislative Assembly.

December:

Cayman breathed another sigh of relief as it escaped the 2010 hurricane season unscathed, but the public continue to face ever more alarming types of crime. Two home invasions of elderly residents, one in which a couple in their 80s was beaten by the robbers, shocked a community that believed it was beyond shock when it came to crime. In a presentation at an international conference the police commissioner pointed the finger at the United States as the source of many Cayman’s crime problems.

On 18 December the seventh road victim of the year was killed by a suspected hit and run driver. Michael Edgington was hit in the early hours of the morning as he tried to cross the West Bay Road.

In the biggest clash yet between politicians and the media, all but four of the country’s legislators voted for the attorney general to prosecute The Caymanian Compass and its reporter, Brent Fuller, as a result of an article and supporting editorial that questioned why lawmakers were discussing a review of the Freedom of Information Law behind closed doors. Although the AG soon announced his decision not to press charges under the Immunities and Privileges Law, the threat to press freedom caused considerable concern in the local public domain as well as on the international stage.

The premier announced his stimulus package on Thursday, 9 December, which fell far short of expectations. A possible moratorium on loan and mortgage payments in the New Year, a possible duty reduction on some unspecified goods by unspecified amounts in the New Year, and more immigration changes, including a five-day permit for investors and staff, were offered as ways to kick start the economy.

The new auditor general’s first report on the state of the country’s public finances revealed that there was very little improvement in government ministries when it came to keeping proper accounts. While the office found that the statutory authorities had made an effort to abide by the Public Management and Finance Law, the work ministries had done on their books was worthless. He said government had wasted more than $2 million on old useless accounts and had failed to produce up-to-date financial information that would be of any use to the public.

The National Conservation Bill remained one of a number of promised legislative changes that failed to materialize during 2010 and hopes for its enactment faded further when the minister with responsibility for the environment failed to mention the law at allat the opening of a climate change conference. However, hope did appear on the horizon for a possible solution to Mount Trashmore as a US company was selected by government to begin tackling Grand Cayman’s landfill.

As the year drew to a close, the prime minister of Qatar popped in and out of Cayman on his luxury mega yacht, the Kittiwake sailed in over the horizon, details of the premier’s travels since he came to office finally came to light in an FOI request granted some six months after it was made, and an armed robbery on 23 December reminded Cayman that crime was still its most pressing problem.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Headline News

Comments (23)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. The Monkeys Back says:

    This article seems tome to be a great example of balanced reporting by CNS;   we have the good and uplifting stories along with those that made our blood boil.    A big thumbs up to CNS — we appreciate you.

    I wish you all the best in the new year.   We are going to have to tighten our belts significantly, but what resonates clear to me is that Caymanians — as well as expats — are pulling together toward a common goal.    I hope to soon believe that our government is on the same page.  

    A sustainable future is our right, but it won’t come without work and a major shift in our perceptions and paradigms.  We aren’t the rich Caribbean nation we were perceived to be — we are just folks that want to carve the way for our childrens’ beneficial future.   

    Peace.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Warren Buffet says that when the tide goes out it exposes the naked swimmers. This a good thing. When the pendulum of fortune swings too far in one direction, it can only swing back. This is when much needed change can happen. Governments fall, deficient businesses fail and the old withers and dies. New shoots appear, and vigorous growth happens. I hope that with the next elections, young, creative, and aggressive hopefuls will be inspired to put themselves up for election, representatives who will act with integrity and in the interests of the country, rather than themselves. Corruption is the true curse and enemy of democracy.

    • Anonymous says:

      I realize that there has been alot of criminal activity in GC in the past year, but I just returned from holiday and I must put in my two cents. I found the people inGC just as warm, hospitable and friendly as always. The island was decorated in holiday lights which were beautiful on every turn. The drivers were very accomodating signalling me out onto the busy roadway when there was not a break etc. The weather was chilly for a few days and sunny the rest, but my holiday was wonderful throughout. Thank you GC for another restful, peaceful, stay on your island. For the record, I went from West Bay to Rum Point and all points in between. Happy, blessed 2011 to all.

  3. Dennis Smith says:

    This has been a year of challenges and changes and a lot of people have stepped up to the plate and contributed to Cayman’s improvement, including all of the people here on CNS. I want to thank all of you. Perhaps this is a good time to remember that Cayman’s best days are still ahead of it.

    Its future will not resemble its past and although that thought might be a little scary to some, imagine this: We have a clean slate in front of us. We can plan, control and develop our future. We have a lot to work with. We can become whatever we want. Think about that over the holidays.

    All of the negative events recorded above are symptoms of the problem; they are not the real problem. We’ve wasted a lot of years, a huge amount of money and scores of missed opportunities over the last 3 decades by playing around incompetently with our future. Now we are paying the price of negligence, stupidity and selfishness.

    The question is: Does Cayman have the determination, vision, integrity, talent and ability to transform itself into the best and most prosperous country in the Caribbean.

    The answer is: Yes we do, Yes we can and Yes we must.

    I’ll see you next year – Dennis

  4. Frank says:

    I know McKeeva is to blame for a lot of the problems within Government for the last couple of years but we’re also forgetting the fact that the Governor who has a higher authority here in Cayman has done absolutely nothing and said absolutely nothing about it! England will you please stop sending Governors to Cayman to lay on the beach all day and do grand openings for landmarks. If that is all they should really be doing, give me half the salary, save the money on flights and let me do it! We need somebody who is going to do something positive for Cayman. You know he has no presence when you can hardly remember his name!

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       9:20

      McKeeva made it perfectly clear from his first speech that the Governor was not to interfere with the governing of The Cayman Islands. Mr.Bush may want to re think that position and go to the Governor now for some help with the floundering UDP leadership.

    • Anonymous says:

       Remember we voted in McKeever so like the old people say, "you made your bed now lie in it" and don’t expect the governor to help you out.

      • Anonymous says:

        We epect the Governor to do his job, no more no less.  He is being paid by us.

    • Anonymous says:

      I know I didn’t vote for him

  5. flipper says:

    in response to Fri, 12/31/2010 – 04:24.

    Gosh, wishful pie in the sky thinking.  I’m going to let you down easy now, although you ought to know better after 8 years of living in the Cayman Islands…  The politicians are only interested in lining their own pockets and/or building grandiose monuments in their own honour.  They lack the ability to find common-sense solutions, and for the most part they do not care for the common man – they only pay lip service…  On the rare occasions where they do help someone, it usually comes at the expense of someone else.  For you to believe that McChavez is somehow going to grow a conscience and mend his ways is naive at best.  Pie in the Sky, pie in the sky…

  6. Anonymous says:

    I arrived in Cayman in 2002 and was informed by the young mover assisting us in settling into our home that I would "be fine in Cayman if avoided any places where there was liquor at night".  If you rewind every story recounted here, those two elements frequently play in. The remainder can be attributed to a lousy economy and years of seemingly minor social problems, compounding into larger issues and coming home to roost.  What Cayman needs most in 2011 is good government. Mr. Bush is surely surprised (as anyone in his position would be) that the populace demands more from him (and any leader) than they would when times are going well.  This is a terrible recession which is going to get worse in 2011, 2012 and 2013.  Few of us will be spared from the ravages and we will ALL (every one of us) need to make lifestyle adjustments of one kind or another before things stabilize. These mean years will bring great challenges,  but Caymanians are a tough, warm and loving bunch.  Hurricane Ivan which suddenly took so much from each of us proved that we can deal with the worst.  We will get through this too, but unlike in the past, we will really need our leadership to dig deeper.. step up..  and bring their very best game.  The trouble is our leaders are getting older and with age comes less edge and vigor. We need Bush (who is here now) to step up and leave a mark as this is really his last time.  He should leave us something better that we can honor his memory with.  We need his replacement (regardless of political affiliation) to digest these words and others here, and to step-up to the reality that Caymanian leaders can no longer coast on the status-quo as some did in past-times.  They need to lead this place like never before.  The future of Cayman (in 2011 and beyond) truly depends on it.   Happy New Year everyone.

  7. Michel Lemay says:

    Thank you for this factual article summary of 2010.Well written I though Apart  from our Sport Atlethes there isn’t much to cheer about.The Governors silence and the elected members of  the Legislative Assembly except for a few of the opposition and Independant Mr. Miller gives me an eerie feeling to say the least.Our intelligence has been insulted more then once by our Premier and the lack of acknowlegment of the crime situation as left me disapointed in more ways then one when senior citizens are attacked in their own homes.We have moved to #10 on   CondeNest list and we are supposed to be happy.The service in many establishments both local and tourist oriented leaves a lot to be desired and the recent events in the LA by Madame Speaker, Mr. Miller and the others who voted to prosecute Mr. Fuller and the Caymanian shows a lack of maturity and confidence simple as that.Now I am not making this up, THOSE are the facts. IT’s time that EVERYONE pulls their weight.Time to address that it is becoming more difficult for a Caymanian to survive in it’s own country.TIME for everybody to work together expats,caymanians and residents alike for our future generations.We can do better by concentrating less on material things and focusing on what we need to deal with.With 2012 just around the corner let’s turn this NEGATIVE into a POSITIVE. I know we can because we once where there. Let’s appreciate what we already have and fix what is broken. Happy New Year and may God Bless you all.

  8. Anonymous says:

    So… what are the names of the ‘gangs’?

  9. Anonymous says:

    nice article…. i just wished it stuck to the various flip-flops, u-turns, missed deadlines by this sorry excuse of a government…

    their incompetence and failures must be highlighted for all to see….

    • Better Way Forward for Cayman in 2011 says:

      And that same incompetent government is gonna win again in 2013……happy and blessed 2011 to everyone.

  10. Anonymous says:

    complain, complain, complain…sensationalist negative journalism…can’t wait for you 2012 predictions next year !

    • Banker says:

      You are so right, my friend. I also blame the negative journalism for all the bad things that happen here on the island. If we would not have CNS, then there would be for sure less weapons on the island. Without CaymanCompass, less car accidents would have happened in 2010. Without CaymanNetService less domestic violence would exist. Blogger are really the root of all evil – having caused the earthquake in last year.

      Cuba, Russia, North Korea have no free journalism – and they are prospering countries, full with happy people. You never hear about a BurgerKing getting robbed in North Korea, do you? Have you ever heard about a Cuban QuickCash getting robbed?

      I’m sure that all this is the fault of critical journalism. Without the journalism, it would be so much easier to present our island as "The Caribbean’s answer to Disney World"… A clean, tidy island full of good, perfect people… Caring politicians… Friendly cops… well-behaving teenagers.

      But it’s good that people like you are there to take care of that problem. Pointing out the root of all evil is the first step to taking care of it. Unfortunately the Attorney General didn’t want to prosecute this annoying Fuller-Guy – I’m sorry for this. This would have been a step in the right direction to clean up our island. Throw the journalists into the prison – and suddenly nobody will speak about crime anymore. Nobody will bother our hard-working MLA’s anymore. Nobody complains about little things like that our government has no accounting in place.

      "Government Information Services" should start an own newspaper. There are so many positive things that happen in Cayman everyday. "Back-bench MLA from Bodden Town visits his aunt in the Pines". "UDP-member drives his child to school". "PPM-follower buys new TV in local shop". These are messages that paint a totally different picture of Cayman, don’t they. Our happy village.

      You want the predictions for 2012? Well, that’s pretty easy. If nobody tackles the evil-journalists-problem, then there will be more guns in Cayman. Less respect for the Police. More break-ins. More drunk driving. More teenage-pregnancies. More de-formed moral compasses. 

      But first I would say we all try to survive 2011 first – and then we look at 2012. Don’t drive after sun-set. Don’t go to West Bay on Thursday nights. Don’t look the guy in the supermarket in front of you in the eyes. If you have intruders in your home, pretend you are sleeping. Don’t walk on the side of SMB road after 6 pm. Then (and with the help of God) you should be fine in 2011.

      Happy New Year.

      • Anonymous says:

        so why u concern bout painting fa?  only thing that should be painted is a portrait entitled truth!

        Good Job CNS…

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       I thought it was a great summary of factual events. Kudo’s to the writer. My only comment is that it is to soft on the Premier and deputy Premier. We have a "lame duck" government which is hilarious because we have one man in control. No one can stop him from making good sensible decisions for us yet we are no better off today than we were 12 months ago. In fact we are worse off.

    • Shock and Awe says:

      Say what????  Complain???  CNS didn’t make the news my friend- they simply reported it.  And I think: this is an excellent summary of the major news which affected the people of the Cayman Islands in 2010. It would be nice if some of it was different but that isn’t in their mandate as a news service it’s the mandate of the government and specifically- the leader of the country.  When and if he’s home.  But go ahead and shoot the messenger if it makes you feel better.

      • Anonymous says:

        CNS choose which news to report…

         

        and you complainers choose what to harp on…

         

        typical