Archive for March 24th, 2011

Butterfield faces US$1/2million suit, watchdog reports

| 24/03/2011 | 2 Comments

(CNS): The online watchdog OffshoreAlert is reporting in this month’s newsletter that the Bankruptcy Trustee of a Cayman Islands-domiciled hedge fund is suing the Cayman and Guernsey operations of Butterfield Bank for $561,863. The newsletter reveals that the complaint was filed at the US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois in October last year by Ronald R. Peterson for Lancelot Investors Fund Ltd. and affiliated parties. The suit states that the liabilities of Lancelot Ltd. at all times exceeded the value of its assets. The suit claims that the cash is a fictitious profit as a result of the “Defendant’s investment” in the bankrupt fund.

Go to article
 

Continue Reading

Government gets behind Jazz on the Green

| 24/03/2011 | 4 Comments

(CNS): Although the Jazz Fest may have been consigned to the DoT history books, the tourism department is backing the annual Jazz on the Green event, which takes place this Saturday. Officials said that jazz lovers could expect a spectacular line-up of international artistes “offering a unique and exclusive musical experience, set in relaxed, tropical surroundings.” The premier and minister of tourism, McKeever Bush, said his government was committed to growing and developing the tourism industry and actively engaged in indentifying lucrative events and activities that had the potential to positively impact the tourism industry, either by driving visitation or diversifying the tourism product.

"The tourism industry is extremely competitive and in order to stay on top and maintain a viable share of the market, it is imperative that the Cayman Islands continue to offer a broad range of wholesome, entertaining activities that will keep our tourism product fresh and exciting. While the scale of this event is relatively small," Mckeeva Bush said, "It has tremendous potential for growth and is expected to drive incremental visitation to the Island and I would like to thank the organisers for their efforts now and over the past years."

One of the key elements driving Governments support is the fact that Jazz on the Green aligns well with Cayman’s target market. Cline Glidden, the West Bay government backbench MLA who has been given responsibility for tourism, said it was the kind of entertaining, relaxed, musical event that visitors are attracted to.

“On this basis, the Department of Tourism has assisted the organisers with the staging and logistical elements for this event,” he said. “Additionally, given that one of the DOT’s primary goals is to garner international exposure for the destination, we have also provided assistance with the public relations outreach. I am extremely pleased that as a direct result of our support, Jazz on the Green has been featured in the Delta Airlines’ in-flight magazine Delta Sky which reaches over 22,000 unique visitors each month.

“This coveragebrings awareness of the event to an international audience, who have the ability to travel to the Cayman Islands via a convenient direct flight from NYC and this is one of the ways in which we anticipate visitors will be encouraged to visit Cayman,” Glidden added.

Kicking off at 4:30pm Saturday 26 March with local singer KK Alese & Friends and saxophonist Devon Edie, the event features an artistic evolution of music through New York-based singer and songwriter, Somi, along with jazz classics and Cuban music offered by Latin saxophonist César López y Habana Ensemble. Completing the line-up of international artistes, talented Trinidadian-born trumpeter Etienne Charles, famous for his combination of jazz extemporizations and Afro-Caribbean inspired music, will round out the evening in his own inimitable style.

Hosted by the Friends of Jazz committee, the festival which takes place at Gaston Maloney’s Gardens in George Town, was described by DoT as an “affair of bona fide jazz music” for one all inclusive price of $75, which covers all food and drink, in addition to the musical entertainment.

Proceeds from the festival will be used to support the George Town Sports Club (GTSC), a registered non-profit organisation which participates in various sporting activities at the senior and youth level. The GTSC is community-oriented and is heavily involved in the development of the youth in its district. It has a network of social programmes and activities which encompasses an after-school programme, summer fun day, Christmas give-aways and a back-to-school party.

Tickets to the all-inclusive Jazz on the Green cost $75 and can be purchased from the Department of Tourism, Funky Tangs, Moneygram, Arabus and Singh’s Roti Shop. For more information about Jazz on the Green, the performers and directions to Gaston Maloney’s Gardens visit www.caymanislands.ky/jazzonthegreen

Continue Reading

Spanish trip cost US$50K

| 24/03/2011 | 111 Comments

(CNS): The deputy premier’s recent visit to Barcelona, Spain, to attend the GSMA Mobile World Congress cost CI$41,596.47, according to the results of a freedom of information request. The government delegation, led by Juliana O’ Connor-Connolly, which attended the telecoms industry conference in February included Cline Glidden, Kearney Gomez and Paul Leonce as well as the Director of the Information and Communications Technology Authority (ICTA) David Archbold. The request, which was made by Donald Duck, reveals that Archbold paid for his accommodation and travel costs, which totalled CI$6,926.84 from the ICTA budget, but the cost for the other government delegates came directly from the public purse.

According to the information supplied to Duck, the government delegation, comprising the deputy premier, whose ministry has responsibility for communications, her executive assistant, the chief officer in the ministry and the back bench MLA, spent over CI$4,300 on three hotel rooms for the five night trip and over CI$20,000 on airfares. The delegation also spent over CI$1,361 at the restaurant Santiaguina Barcelona.

In his FOI application Duck also requested documentation relating to any minutes from meetings or memos that would provide evidence of the need for such a delegation to go to the conference. However, the ministry’s information manager said there were no such documents but it was the ministry’s practice that once invitations to “conferences are received and if it is deemed to be beneficial, the minister, permanent secretary and head of department with responsibility for the relevant subject, make efforts to attend,” adding that this wasthe case with this particular conference.

The Global System for Mobile Communications Association Conference is an annual telecommunications industry event described as the “best venue for mobile industry networking, finding business opportunities, and making deals,” where “more than 1,300 companies displaying the cutting-edge products and technology that will define the mobile future.”

More than 49,000 people predominantly from the commercial sector attended the conference, 80% of which, the association’s website said, came to network. Only 3% of attendees come from government as the event targets the world’s mobile operators, handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, as well as media and entertainment organisations.

The conference presentations from this year’s congress are now available on line at www.mobileworldlive.com.

See the detailed cost spreadsheet released by the ministry below.

Continue Reading

Headcount too low, says Mac

| 24/03/2011 | 82 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands premier has said that the early results of the national census from the Economics and Statistics Office show a declining instead of increasing trend in the population. Despite the growth in numbers since the island-wide headcount in 1999, McKeeva Bush said the figure of 54,878 was lower than the population estimates received back in 2008, which had projected a total of just over 57,000 with the expectation that the population would continue to grow. He said that government had to address the decline as he said a sustainable increasing population was vital for economic growth.

“This population downtrend has the potential to negatively impact local economic activity and is thus a matter of serious concern, one which needs immediate action,” the premier said in a statement released on Thursday. “The new census results accordingly compel government to continue pushing for policies that will promote sustainable population growth in the Cayman Islands. While we do not want a runaway population spiral, what we do need is sustainable growth that can spur healthy local economic growth.”

The preliminary population results from the ESO’s two month-long census exercise were revealed to the public earlier this week and also revealed that population growth among the districts is uneven.

“We have a large gap in numbers for George Town, compared to West Bay and Bodden Town, the two other population-dense districts,” Bush stated. “But we have to maintain sustainable growth in all our districts. Government considers this a vital requirement for progress and we want to address this actively.”

The premier also pointed to the relatively slow population growth in the Sister Islands, which he said must also be addressed.

“Facilitating greater economic activity in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman therefore becomes vital to achieve growth in keeping with the environmental concerns that characterise those islands,” he said. “We don’t want some districts to be left behind in Cayman’s socio-economic development process; otherwise our progress will not be meaningful.”

The full census report, expected in the last quarter of this year, will provide in-depth information on each district’s socio-economic and demographic dynamics. “We need those figures in order to take focused action,” Bush revealed, adding that the data would guide his government’s response, not only to the issues that exist at the district level, but to “promote balanced growth across the country”.

The results revealed that Bodden Town was the fastest growing district in the Cayman Islands. All the other districts have experienced a gradual decline in their share of the population over the past 30 years, except George Town, which had experienced a gradual increase.

Though the population is not as large as the premier would like it to be, the ESO report reveals that if the islands’ population were to continue growing at the rate it has since the last census, it would double in size over the next two decades.

See preliminary report 

Continue Reading

DVE workers undergo Red Cross training

| 24/03/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services’ have recently undergone Red Cross training which they say could have mitigated past workplace accidents. DVES has responsibility for maintaining government’s fleet of vehicles and related equipment. As a result staff members work in conditions that require a strong safety element. The management team decided that formal training to handle emergencies was required in order to satisfy safety needs and expectations, officials said. “This training was timely and will especially benefit our mechanics,” said DVES Deputy Director Steven Ashford. “What was learned this time might well have mitigated some past workplace injuries.”

Accounts Officer Mercedes Ebanks said he was able to learn some life-saving techniques and said he felt better prepared should an emergency situation arise. The technical and office staff covered first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), as well as use of the automated external defibrillator (AED). The sessions took place at the Cayman Islands Red Cross headquarters, facilitated by their Training Manager Peter Hughes.

 

Continue Reading

Iguanas retain the crown

| 24/03/2011 | 0 Comments

(CRFU): The John Doak Architecture Iguanas became the first side to retain the Alex Alexander Memorial Trophy under the Cayman Rugby Football Union draft system which was implemented back in 2008. The Iguanas, having stumbled early in the season to the DHL Cayman Storm in the Heineken Charity Shield match and the Krys Global Buccaneers in the league opener turned their season around to win 4 consecutive games and march into the league decider with a slender 1 league point lead over the DHL Cayman Storm. The Iguanas knew that whilst a draw should see them through to another league victory the DHL Cayman Storm would stop at nothing to get the win and take the League for the first time since 2008. (Photo by Caroline Deegan)

The game started at a frantic pace and only moments into the battle the Iguanas found themselves with a one man advantage as DHL Cayman Storm outside centre Camilo Ramirez was awarded a red card for dangerous tackle on Iguana Inside centre Adam Keenan.

Unfazed by the tackle, Keenan continued in the same fashion as he had managed against the Queensgate Pigs Trotters he week before and made powerful runs against the Storm back line.

The Iguanas used their extra man advantage to little effect however as the Storm defence held firm against the extra man.

The Iguanas ended the 1st half in the lead but with the wind on their backs the Storm came back strong looking for the all important win and with a string of infringements from the Iguanas the Storm put points on the board through Venassio Tokotokovanua as Yohann Regnard and Chris Kennedy of the Iguanas sat in the sin bin due to repeated infringements at the ruck.

With the game ending 17-17 the Iguanas knew that they had ended above the Storm on the league table but with the Krys Global Buccaneers handing the Queensgate Pigs Trotters their 6th defeat of the season by a heavy 72-24 margin the Buccaneers marched to the top of the table to be on equal points with the Iguanas. Only a superior point difference separated the 2 teams in the end and the Iguanas were crowned 2011 league champions!

The league win grants the Iguanas a place in the Waterford Trophy final on 2 April 2011 whilst the Buccaneers and the Storm will face off on 26 March to see who will battle against the Iguanas for a shot at the only trophy left in the 2011 Rugby XV’s season.

2011 Alex Alexander Memorial Trophy Standings

Team Played Won Lost Tied PF PA PD Bonus Total
John Doak Architecture Iguanas 6 4 1 1 179 103 76 1 19
Krys Global Buccaneers 6 4 2 0 170 144 26 3 19
DHL Cayman Storm 6 3 2 1 213 109 104 4 18
Queensgate Pigs Trotters 6 0 6 0 90 296 -206 1 1

All games are available to watch free on www.caymanrugbytv.com

Next games: March 26, 2011 at the Cayman Rugby Club

DHL Cayman Storm vs. Krys Global Buccaneers @4pm

Continue Reading

Man arrested for DUI after three car pile up

| 24/03/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Police have now charged a man with driving under the influence following a major three car smash on Shamrock Road in Lower Valley on Wednesday evening which caused disruptions for vehicles travelling to the eastern districts last night. The male driver who was heading west struck two eastbound vehicles when his car veered into the opposite carriageway near Hibiscus Gardens at around 7pm. Police revealed that the drivers of the two vehicles which were heading east were both taken to the George Town hospital but were released following treatment. The driver of the westbound vehicle was arrested and later charged with DUI. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

Meanwhile, police were asking drivers on Thursday morning to be cautious in the wet weather as some were not taking account of the conditions as police had received a number of reports of vehicles skidding – particularly near the roundabout near Britannia.
 

Continue Reading

Chocolate factory to open in St Lucia

| 24/03/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Sweetening the bonds of manufacturing, agriculture and tourism the Hotel Chocolat, a new boutique resort near Saint Lucia’s old colonial capital, Soufrière is breaking ground on a new Chocolate Factory to be located next door to the swish hotel the country’s tourism officials have said in a release. Director of Rabot Estate, Hotel Chocolat’s Phil Buckley reported more than 100 farmers will benefit from the new chocolate factory, and his company is hopeful that the project will help revitalize the once-profitable cocoa industry on the island. Tessa Mangal, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Consumer Affairs, predicted that, "Saint Lucian chocolate in the global marketplace will bolster the island’s brand as well as inspire new manufacturing projects to fuel economic growth."

The new chocolate factory is set to open next year officials said and Allen Chastanet, Saint Lucia’s Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation welcomed the plans. "The creative combination of three of Saint Lucia’s vital sectors is important for Saint Lucia and for Soufrière – home of a UNESCO World Heritage Site", he added. The project could also helps promote environmental sustainability and community partnerships, the senator stated.

"Farm to table, roots to restaurants, agritourism, whatever you want to call it, it is clear that this new project is another example of our government’s mission to integrate tourism and the agricultural sector as we help our farmers get back to business," Ezechiel Joseph, Saint Lucia’s Minister of Agriculture, Land, Fisheries and Forestry proclaimed.

 

Continue Reading

Corruption at ‘systemic’ levels in Jamaica

| 24/03/2011 | 0 Comments

(Jamaica Observer): Contractor General Greg Christie yesterday called for the creation of a special agency to fight corruption, asserting official graft has reached "systemic" levels. Christie said there is credible evidence Jamaica’s law enforcement and anti-corruption institutions have been ineffective in netting the "big fish" involved in practices that corrode the island’s society. For years, and despite having on paper what some might regard to be a relatively comprehensive anti-corruption institutional framework, corruption in Jamaica, particularly the corruption that is perceived to be taking place in high places, has enjoyed a field day," Christie said at the close of a two-day regional anti-corruption conference.

Christie, whose position comes with extensive statutory powers of investigation and subpoena, said it is crucial the government recognise that efforts in combating graft have fallen short.
He said Jamaican leaders must show political will to effectively battle corruption, which has "already condemned the great majority of Jamaicans to a future of relative poverty and dismal hopelessness."

Go to article
 

Continue Reading

TV company shuffles channels to new slots

| 24/03/2011 | 39 Comments

(CNS): The islands’ cable television company is moving its channels round, it said Thursday, in order to create a block of network programming in the channel line-up. Next month WestStar TV will move the major US networks to the “20s”alongside the local network channels, making it easier, it claimed, for viewers to move between primetime and the local stations in the evening. Besides placing network channels next to each other Weststar said the reshuffle would also pave the way for more future channels which will be coming soon.

Traci Bradley of Weststar TV said, “As we prepare to launch more channels over the next year, we are looking at our channel line-up and making adjustments so that they make the most sense for viewers. We recognize viewers usually surf the networks in the evening, and now it is easier to quickly compare what’s on.”

Last year Cayman27 and Island24 were moved to the corresponding cable channels and programming on the two channels was re-aligned into two categories: information, and entertainment. Moving the networks complements these changes.

From Friday 1 April CBS will move to channel 22, NBC to 23, ABC to 25 and fox to 28. Meanwhile BBC World will remain at channel 26 along with Island 24 and Cayman 27 remaining in their corresponding channel numbers. Weststar said as a result of creating the network block the Seventh Day Adventist channel will move to 2, BET to 4, E! to 5 and VH1 to 12.

For more information log onto www.weststartv.com
 

Continue Reading