Archive for January 6th, 2011

Ralph Harvey is new coach at CI sailing club.

| 06/01/2011 | 0 Comments

(CISC): The Cayman Islands Sailing Club is preparing for 2011 by ramping up its staff in preparation for another busy sailing season. It is with regret that Mike Weber, who spearheaded the growth of the youth sailing programme, has decided not to renew his contract and will be moving on to new opportunities.Denis Murphy the vice commodore at the Sailing Club said, “Mike’s enthusiasm and direction led to increased activity and use of the Club, and over the last five years we have given thousands of children the experience of sailing in Cayman. Mike has been instrumental in building the youth programme and we would like to thank him for all his efforts.”

Raph Harvey, who has been coaching at CISC for almost two years, has accepted a promotion to the position of Lead Instructor and he, together with two new coaches will continue to provide a top class youth sailing programme in 2011.

Murphy said, “We would like to welcome Raph into his new role at the Club. Raph has shown outstanding dedication to the club since he started coaching and has built a great rapport with both students and parents. He is already coming up with some great new ideas on how to further develop the youth programme and we are excited about its future.”

For more information about the 2011 sailing programme please contact the CISC manager, Rick Caley at

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Cuba rolls out red carpet for liner

| 06/01/2011 | 0 Comments

(UKPA): A salsa band, dancing schoolchildren and showgirls in bikini tops and feather headdresses welcomed around 1,500 tourists on a British cruise liner – one of the biggest ships to visit Cuba in years. Once a frequent sight, cruise ships had become a rarity since 2006, after then president Fidel Castro complained that the industry did little more than flood the communist-governed country with rubbish. But the cash-strapped government now led by Fidel’s younger brother Raul appears to have taken a rosier view. Tourism Ministry official Jose Manuel Bisbe said the arrival of the Thomson Dream underscored the recent resurgence of cruise traffic to the island.

In a brief address as passengers in shorts and flip-flops streamed off the ship, Mr Bisbe said a number of deals had been signed with European cruise operators to add regular stops in Cuban ports, and more accords were in the works.

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Cayman to host another health conference

| 06/01/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Following on from the country’s first National Health Conference in November, the Cayman Islands will be playing host to the health leaders at another conference on the subject later this month. Cayman Island Healthcare Thought Leaders Forum will take place in the afternoon of 19 January at the Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman. Expected to focus on the short and long-term improvement in the quality of healthcare in the region, as well as searching for ways to reduce healthcare costs and increase employment for Cayman Island citizens, the conference is being organized by CBCA Administrators, a US based employee service organisation.

Ken Di Bella, CBCA Administrators president and CEO, will lead the forum, officials said in a release, with a presentation detailing ways that wellness and chronic illness management programs benefit the Cayman Island population by reducing healthcare costs and promoting healthy living. Di Bella is also expected to reveal “innovative ideas on how to keep more Cayman healthcare dollars on island,” the release stated.

“Through my relationship with CINICO, I have come to understand and appreciate the unique aspects of the healthcare system of the Cayman Islands,” Di Bella said. “Our goal is to create an open discussion that will foster growth and bring revolutionary ideas to the future of healthcare on the Cayman Islands.”

Health Minister Mark Scotland will give the opening address. Dr Edward Cabrera, KePRO chief medical officer, and Kelly Burn, a respected healthcare consultant with significant ties to the Caribbean Island Nations, will also be speaking at the Forum.

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Cayman’s Stingray City to get UK TV exposure

| 06/01/2011 | 4 Comments

(CNS): A celebrity documentary programme airing on UK television on Thursday evening will be giving the Cayman Islands’ Stingray City a welcome plug. British comedian, actor and scuba diver Martin Clunes will be starring in a show where he fulfils his own “burning ambition” to swim with Stingrays firstly in Cayman then in various other locations around the world. The show will air on one of the UK’s leading channels at 9pm considered a primetime adult slot. The new documentary "Man to Manta" which shows Clunes kissing one of the fantastic sea creatures at Stingray City will be seen by millions of British viewers as ITV is the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster.

Go to website for more details on the show

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Odd smell on plane brings out emergency services

| 06/01/2011 | 14 Comments

(CNS): What was described as “an unusual odor in the cabin” by the country’s national airline but described by passengers as a burning smell brought out the emergency services, on Wednesday, at Owen Roberts International Airport. As Cayman Airways flight KX113 bound for Grand Cayman from Miami, Florida was cruising home on 5 January the odor was detected in the cabin but no abnormalities were indicated in the cockpit. However, as a precautionary measure, Cayman Airways Chief Pilot, Captain Gary Hydes who was in command of the flight, elected to begin an early decent into Grand Cayman.

“On final approach into Grand Cayman, Captain Hydes informed Air Traffic Control of the odor and as a precaution, requested for emergency services to be on standby. The aircraft landed safely at Owen Roberts International Airport without incident, and a normal deplaning process was completed on arrival,” a spokesperson for Cayman airways revealed.

Maintenance inspections on the ground in Grand Cayman found that one of several ventilation fans (provided for system redundancy) had developed a defect in flight, resulting in the unusual odor. The defective ventilation fan was removed and replaced, and the aircraft was returned to service with minimal delays to the day’s scheduled operations.

“Cayman Airways would like to assure everyone that the nature of the defect, while creating an unusual odor, did not impact the safety of the flight,” said CEO Fabian Whorms.

“We at Cayman Airways hold the safety and security of our passengers as our highest priority and, as such, we commend Captain Hydes and his flight crew for their precautionary measures and the professional manner in which they addressed the situation. We would also like to thank all concerned for their understanding and apologize for any inconvenience that may have been experienced by our valued passengers,” he added.

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Ritz developer cuts jobs

| 06/01/2011 | 53 Comments

(CNS): Both Caymanian and ex-pat workers have been let go at Orion Development Ltd this week, officials confirmed today. Sources told CNS on Tuesday that a significant number of redundancies had been made by the developer of the Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman and the proposed Dragon Bay project, Michael Ryan, who is the owner of Orion. Although a spokesperson for Orion said that the Dragon Bay project is still going ahead, other sources told CNS that most of the people who lost their jobs this week were connected to that planned development. The developer has not revealed how many jobs and which roles were lost but admitted that Caymanians as well as foreign workers had been in the firing line. (Photo of Dragon Bay site by Dennie Warren Jr)

In an email to CNS in response to enquiries about the redundancies, Orion said that it had made a consistent effort to retain as many Caymanian members of staff as possible. “No Caymanians were let go from our main office staff and the minimum possible from field staff,” the firm owned by Ryan stated. CNS has asked Orion to clarify what that figure is and is awaiting a response.

“The job losses resulted from a review of the business and the decision to end duplicating services that the hotel can and does offer. The realignment does not affect the Dragon Bay development or our capacity to deliver to our owners, in fact we expect to see an improved and streamlined operation going forward,” the company said.

The spokesperson added that the company would be focusing on its core business of marketing and selling the real estate, managing the hotel assets and focusing on the ongoing development work on Dragon Bay. “We are transferring ancillary services to the hotel – including the boat and car operations, and oversight of the properties’ strata programmes,” she said.

The email went on to state, “The realignment does not affect the Dragon Bay development or our capacity to deliver to our owners. In fact we expect to see an improved and streamlined operation going forward.”

The spokesperson said the Dragon Bay project had always been a long term project, and has been planned that way. “We made the decision to realign and refocus our business to improve and strengthen our core capacity to move the Dragon Bay project forward,” the spokesperson stated.

Although Orion offered few official details on the number and type of jobs lost, sources told CNS that on Tuesday lunchtime most of the administration staff, as well as the construction and sales teams working on the Dragon Bay project had been let go.

In May last year CNS revealed that Ryan had given the go ahead, in accordance with the planning permission that he had been granted, to remove over 378,000 square feet of mangrove buffer zone along the North Sound shore in preparation for the work on Dragon Bay .

At the time Ken Crews from Orion Development told CNS that the goal was to replant a new 50 foot buffer of red mangroves out into the ocean. CNS has also made enquiries with the developer about the future of this replenishment project.

More recently, in September, it was revealed in the Legislative Assembly that Ryan had stopped making quarterly payments to the public purse on deferred duties which were now owed. It was revealed that the developer had asked the Cayman Islands government for an extension on the payment plan for his other development firms, Stingray and Condo Co., on some $6milllion in connection with the development of the Ritz Carlton.

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