Archive for March 3rd, 2011

Seaport plans still coming

| 03/03/2011 | 18 Comments

(CNS): Although the premier made no mention of the proposed East End Seaport in his most recent presentations and appears to have turned his attention to other potential projects, the developer says he still intends to submit a formal proposal to the Cayman Islands Government. The controversial proposal to develop a commercial port in the High Rock area was not raised last month when the premier reviewed the latest project ideas in the Legislative Assembly and focused his attention on an oil refinery and a channel in the North Sound. Despite the premier’s omission, Joseph Imparato says plans for the commercial port will be given to government in the next few weeks.

The developer did, however, indicate that the plans may be modified as a result of the consideration government is now giving to the possibility of dredging a channel in the North Sound to facilitate mega yachts.

“In the event that the North Sound channel proceeds, as announced, then it is likely that the mega yacht berthing facility would be eliminated in order to avoid a redundancy; however, the repair and service facility for medium to large sized private vessels would remain,” Imperato’s public relations company AtWater told CNS in response to enquiries regarding the current status of the proposed port.

The developer has proposed a maritime infrastructure project that includes at least five different types of marine based commercial activities and a selection of complementary land based activities. The project had proposed to include a marina for yachts as well as fuel storage tanks, however the developer has stated that it did notinclude an oil refinery.

The project, if given the go-ahead, would be constructed on privately owned land and would be funded by the developer, who has said he would recoup his investment from the sale of fill which would be extracted from the site during the development. It would then be handed over to the Cayman Islands Port Authority to manage. It is not clear how much of the upland infrastructure would be undertaken by the developer and what would be the responsibility of government in order to make the port operable.

So far, Imperato’s proposal has met with a considerable amount of opposition from the people of East End and North Side and the wider community. Both the political representatives for those districts strongly oppose the project for a variety of reasons — environmental concerns as well as the impact on the lives of people living in the district — with what they say will little benefit in return to most local residents.

Although the developer has met with small groups of people from the district, he has not yet held any open public meetings. AtWater said in a statement that once the EIA is complete and the findings submitted to the government, Imparato plans to hold larger public meetings with the residents of the relevant districts.

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Free-standing freezing orders: the Cayman view

| 03/03/2011 | 10 Comments

(International Law Office): The question as to whether a freezing order (or Mareva injunction) may be awarded in a jurisdiction where there are no related substantive proceedings has been a controversial subject in the offshore world in recent years. Traditionally, such ‘free-standing’ injunctions were not granted. More recently, certain offshore jurisdictions, whether by the development of case law or by statute, have performed a volte face and determined that such injunctions can be awarded in aid of related foreign proceedings.

These jurisdictions have determined that such free-standing injunctions should be awarded in certain cases. In the Cayman Islands, the position is less certain.

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One CCTV camera for every 32 people in UK

| 03/03/2011 | 0 Comments

(The Guardian): The UK is being watched by a network of 1.85m CCTV cameras, the vast majority of which are run by private companies, according to the only large-scale audit of surveillance cameras ever conducted. The study, which involved police community support officers (PCSOs) physically counting virtually every camera in Cheshire, provides the first reliable estimate of how saturated with CCTV the UK has become. Details of the research come in the week that a government consultation document proposed a voluntary code of practice for public CCTV systems, but left private cameras largely unregulated. It has taken more than two years for Cheshire PCSOs to interview the owners of every premises in the county. During the ongoing project they counted 12,333 cameras.

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Banker attacks UK government over neglect

| 03/03/2011 | 0 Comments

(FT.Com): The chief executive of UBS has attacked the UK government for its public neglect of the City of London, warning that tougher regulations will see Britain and the rest of Europe cede investment banking business to Asia and the US.Oswald Grübel, the veteran banker who has led the Swiss bank back from the brink of collapse over the past two years, said: “The government is so quiet about[the City]. Only behind closed doors do they pay lip service to wanting to keep the City. If it is abandoned by the government one day, God help you.” The comments, in an interview with the Financial Times, echo the privately held views of many bankers who complain the British government’s recent Project Merlin peace deal with UK banks did nothing to convert years of banker-bashing into a pro-City stance.

Mr Grübel, 67, said that like all foreign banks UBS needed to know whether London – the main base of its core investment banking operation – was the right place to target investment.

 

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Pain at the pump as oil soars

| 03/03/2011 | 89 Comments

(CNS): With world oil prices soaring due to the growing unrest across the Middle East, the international price hikes will be hitting local pumps today (Thursday), according to the petroleum inspectorate. While people are still reeling from the government’s 25 cents duty increase last summer, drivers will soon be feeling more pain at the pump as they pay as much as CI$5:25 for a gallon of fuel, and it won’t stop there. With oil passing $102 per barrel on Wednesday, customers can expect another ten cent increase when the next tanker docks. The cost of fuel has a direct impact on all goods as well as the cost of power from CUC and CBP&L, leading to an increased likelihood of price hikes everywhere as global experts say oil prices could still climb further.

Oil prices jumped 2.6% Wednesday to close above $102 a barrel for the first time since September 2008 before dropping back slightly to just over US$101 but predictions are for further increases.

With the local economy still in the doldrums and a 10% unemployment rate, today’s 10 cent increase will bite hard for most people in Cayman and will do little to improve matters in the local economy. According to the latest local consumer price index figures from the ESO, inflation in Cayman was up 0.3% at the end of 2010 despite the recession. Transportation costs alone increased by over 8%, with the average price of fuel and lubricants up by 25%, according to the December 2010 figure.

One local environmentalist said that the increase in world oil prices demonstrates that Cayman really needs to lessen its dependency on oil instead of considering the installation of its own an oil refinery.

“Having our own oil refinery wouldn’t help in these circumstances as the crude oil would still be purchased at these high rates,” the source stated. “We need to seriously rethink our dependency on oil and move towards greener sources of energy now.”

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Rundown enters 20th year with a bundle of new laughs

| 03/03/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): There’s been no shortage of material for the Rundown team to take a swipe at since the last theatrical antics and capers, given the ups and downs of the last 12 months. Now in its 20th year, the comedy review that takes an irreverent and humorous look at life in the Cayman Islands is back to put local thorny issues such as the East End Sea Port (the oil refinery may have come too late to meet the script deadline) and of course crime under the comedy spotlight. With politicians and media personalities directly in the firing line, it’s likely to be a cracking bundle of fun at the Harquail Theatre. Directed and largely written by Henry Mutoo, the show opens 25 March and runs for three weekends.

Produced by Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF) many of the show’s regular cast members are back for another round of hilarity, along with some newcomers to perform the loosely linked skits, comedy and songs.

Leroy Holness, Morgan DaCosta, Rita Estevanovich and Quincy Brown, seniors of the ’Rundown Bunch‘ will be hoping to make you laugh ‘til your belly hurts’. Holness entertains with his familiar ’Ital‘ Rasta character and in one skit, Quincy Brown plays a popular host on ‘Cock Crow Radio’s Talkacross’ listeners call-in programme. Quincy also has a major singing role in the show.

Other familiar Rundown players are Michael McLaughlin, Fritz McPherson, Giselle Webb and the one and only Evelyn Walsh. Newcomers include Priscilla Pouchie, Judy Singh and joining the cast for the first time is Lorna Bush, to whom audiences were introduced to as ‘Ma’ in the ‘De Honeymoon Over’. Cayman’s multicultural mix, especially its many accents, and the misunderstandings that can occur as a result, has always been a Rundown favourite and this year is no exception.

Explaining the development of the comedy capers Muttoo said the script is being pulled together at the moment with a couple of adapted classic pieces around which the show will be built.

“Things happen, so you like to be up to date and it develops as you go along. People do get in touch and suggest politics and so on, but I have to keep reminding them that this is funny. Sometimes they want you to say things they would like to say,” he revealed. “We do review things and make fun of certain things, a lot of which is topical but some of which could lend itself to virtually any society.”

For more information on Rundown, Cayfest or any of the programmes of the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, visit the website at www.artscayman.org or call 949-5477. Rundown opens on 25 March and plays Thursday through Sunday until the end of March Tickets are $20 from Fosters and Funky Tangs and the CNCF office at the Harquail Theatre.

 

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Kids take on environmental battles

| 03/03/2011 | 4 Comments

(CNS): With the country’s natural environment coming under greater pressure than ever and no sign of any legislation to protect it, Caymanians may have to put their hopes of preserving what natural resources remain in the hands of the next generation. Students in Cayman Prep & High School Year 6 class recently seized the title of the Disney’s Planet Challenge (DPC) winners in the Cayman Islands for 2011/12 with a project focused on preserving habitats for the native swallowtail butterfly, which is under threat and one of thousands of species with no protection in law. This year, more than 1,270 Cayman students in 66 classes took part in this environmental programme, pledging to make a positive difference for the environment.

The two-part educational programme is a combined effort between Disney Cruise Line, and the  of tourism, education and environment departments to encourage children to take an active part in pledging to protect the environment and problem-solve environmental issues within their local community.

Through their project titled "Save Our Swallows", the students worked to protect local habitats for the swallowtail butterfly, a species native to the Cayman Islands and whose population is threatened due to the lackof naturally growing lime trees in the area. Through a creative two-part process, the class reached out to their school and community, raising awareness by passing out seeds and planting new lime trees, raising more than one thousand dollars in donations for their cause in the process.

"It’s exciting to witness the younger generation make an active contribution to our islands in such a meaningful context," said Acting Director of Tourism, Shomari Scott. "Through the DPC programme, these students discovered the danger of the swallowtail population and developed their own conservation programme, taking the extra mile to go out within their community at large and encourage others to plant lime trees in their yards, providing habitats for the butterflies."

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Students prep for mock parliament

| 03/03/2011 | 10 Comments

(CNS): Twenty-two of tomorrow’s potential politicians are currently preparing themselves for their first parliamentary experience when they take centre-stage in the Legislative Assembly later this month. Cayman’s fourth Youth Parliament will take place on Commonwealth Day, Monday 14 March, at the country’s seat of government, hosted by the Cayman Islands Branch of the Commonwealth ParliamentaryAssociation. This year 10 girls and 12 boys will participant and are busy honing their debating skills and learning the processes to be parliamentarians for a day. The day’s debate will also commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

Coaching the would-be politicians is a committee comprising MLAs Dwayne Seymour (Bodden Town – Chairman), Ellio Solomon (George Town); Deputy Speaker Cline Glidden Jr. and Capt. Eugene Ebanks (both West Bay) and Moses Kirkconnell (Cayman Brac and Little Cayman) as well as Clerk of the Legislative Assembly Zena Merren-Chin. Deputy Clerk Sharon Smith and Assistant Clerk Nana Bothwell are also helping out.

The junior parliamentarians from the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI), John Gray, Clifton Hunter and Cayman Brac High Schools, CI Further Education Centre, Cayman Prep and High, St. Ignatius High and Cayman International School, are meeting every Tuesday and Saturday.

The group have divided themselves into government and opposition members as well as choosing Cabinet members, the governor, the speaker, clerk and Sergeant-at-Arms, the participants also chose topics for two debates.

“With the hard work all are putting in, especially our young parliamentarians, we are aiming for a memorable performance,” Chairman Seymour said.

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Tourism proves popular choice at school career fair

| 03/03/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The idea of working in the tourism industry was a popular option recently when John Gray High School Students attended their school careers fair. CITA officials said that students”flocked to its booth” to learn about careers in the industry last week. The Cayman Islands Tourism Association’s booth highlighted the mission, vision, membership and work of the association. Particular focus was given to the projects that CITA is involved in, such as the Kittiwake underwater attraction and the Taste of Cayman Food & Wine Festival.

“We wanted to show students what CITA does for its membership and for the tourism industry as a whole,” stated Trina Savage-Christian, CITA’s Executive Director. “With that information, students can give serious consideration to pursuing a rewarding career in tourism.”

Organizers of the Career Fair – John Gray High School’s Counselling Department — sought to “provide opportunities to assist students in making wise career choices” and reached out to industry stakeholders to assist in students’ career education.

“CITA joined the Department of Tourism, the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, restaurants at Camana Bay, Digicel, and the school’s Humanities Department at Tuesday’s fair to highlight the skills, education and attitudes needed for their career paths.

The three-day event held February 22 – 24, 2011 from 9am to 2pm daily was organized into industry segments, with careers in tourism and the culinary arts being the professional focus on Tuesday 22 February. Careers in business and finance were highlighted on Wednesday, and government, health services and media careers promoted on Thursday.

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Governor gives out gongs to uniform branches

| 03/03/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Several officers from the various uniformed services in the Cayman Islands recently received Colonial Long Service Awards from Governor Duncan Taylor at a special ceremony at Government House. Members of the Royal Cayman Islands Police, Special Constabulary, Fire, and Prison services were awarded medals for service ranging from nine to thirty years. Four men from the fire service all received the 30-year clasp. Congratulating the awardees on their lengthy and exemplary service, Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks, whose office organised the ceremony said the Cayman Islands was a better place by virtue of what the service men and women did.

The officers and the respective award divisions follow.

The Colonial Fire Brigade Long Service Medal:
(30-Year Clasp) – Deputy Chief Fire Officer-Administration, Rosworth McLaughlin, JP; Senior Divisional Officer- Aerodrome, Craig McCoy; Station Officers Harvey Chisholm and Milford McCoy.
(25-Year Clasp) – Station Officer Michael Ebanks; Sub-officers George Hurlston and Garfield Ritch.

The Colonial Police Long Service Medal:
(25-Year Clasp) – Chief Inspector Patrick Beersingh; Sergeants Dewey Ebanks and Michael Montaque; Constable Trevor Miller.
(18-Year Clasp) – Sergeants Dorris Morris-Herrera and Robert Smith.
The Colonial Prison Long Service Medal:
(25-Year Clasp) – Deputy Director of Prisons, Daniel Greaves; Principal Officers Harvard Gourzong and Percival Williams; Prison Officer Leonard Jervis.
(18-Year Clasp) – Prison Officers Carl Grant and Carley James.

The Colonial Special Constabulary Medal:
(Nine-Year Medal) – Special Sergeants Vincent Davis, Christopher Duggan and Rodney Rivers; Special Constables Festus Lawrence and Pamela Watler. 

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