Archive for March 25th, 2011

Robbery victim fights back

| 25/03/2011 | 24 Comments

(CNS): Two men who attempted to rob a man on his own doorstep ran off when the victim decided to fight back instead of complying with their demands. The police reported this morning that around 8:40pm last night (Thursday 24 March) a 47-year-old man returned home to his residence in Mahogany Way, Prospect. As he was opening the door of the house he was suddenly confronted by two hooded men, one of whom was in possession of what appeared to be a firearm. The suspects threatened the man, demanded cash and told him to lie down on the ground. The man grabbed hold of the gun, causing one of the suspects to stumble – both hooded men then ran off empty handed.

The man was not injured in the incident and no shots were fired, the RCIPS said.

The suspects were both wearing dark coloured clothing, gloves and had their heads covered by hoods. One was around 5’7” in height, the other 6’0”.

Anyone who was in the area at the relevant time and saw anything suspicious or the suspects running off from the scene should contact George Town CID on 949-4222 or the confidential Crime Stoppers tip-line 800-8477 (TIPS).

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Tourism body prepares for annual board elections

| 25/03/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): With the new fiscal year for the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) on the horizon the industry body is preparing for its annual elections for the new board of directors. With the exception of three of the top voted seats these director’s posts turn over annually and any CITA member whose business is in good standing with the Association, and has been a member for at least one year is eligible to be nominated with the support of five member signatures. There are thirteen board seats available representing the various CITA sectors: hotel, condos, water-sports, transportation, restaurants, cruise, Sister Islands, and allied sector which represents the businesses which are directly or indirectly supported by tourism such as retailers and developers.

The organisation said that there are very few businesses on the island that are not supported by tourism in one way or another as the sector is one of the two economic pillars of the Cayman Islands. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the amalgamation of the tourism bodies (Restaurant Association, Watersports Association and Hotel & Condo Association) to become the Cayman Islands Tourism Association.

“By becoming a member of CITA and or a board member you aid CITA (which) continues to lobby the Cayman Islands Government on a number of tourism objectives to benefit you, your business and the Cayman Islands.” said Trina Savage- Christian, CITA’s Executive Director.

After ten years as a more unified body it continues to be the voice of the private sector representing the most tourism businesses, the organisation stated in a release. CITA works on items such as increasing Air Arrivals, implementation of the National Conservation Law, input on the department of tourism’s marketing efforts, the cruise port development and pro-business measures including ease of doing business, reducing cost of doing business and ease of Immigration. CITA listens, it said to the membership community to provide what the industry needs to retain and generate new business.

The board sets goals for the year ahead with particular focus on lobbying government over important issues such as safety, air arrivals, increasing the value and ROI from government’s marketing dollars and tourism training & development.

The elections are hosted by the Marriott Grand Cayman Resort from 3:30pm – 5:30pm on April 14th 2011. All CITA Members are welcome to attend this event and paid members will be eligible to vote for 2010/11’s board of directors. A State of the Industry Presentation will also be shown as well as highlights from the 2010/11 year. CITA also looks forward to welcoming new members to this event. For more information persons can contact the CITA at 949-8522 or email membership@cita.ky

The nominations are as follows:

Hotel (2 seats open)
Nadia Hardie (Sunshine Suites)
Enrique Tasende (Marriott)
Arie Barendrecht (Cobalt Coast)
Condo Villa (1 seat open)
(Serving a 2nd Year) Tom McCallum * this seat closed (TheReef)
Harry Lalli (Treasure Island Resort)
Watersports (1 seat open)
(Serving a 2nd Year) Rod McDowall * this seat closed (Red Sail Sports)
Jane Van Der Bol (Cayman Luxury Charters)
Padraic Linnane (Resort Sports)
Nancy Easterbrook (Divetech)
Restaurant (2 seats open)
Steven Hayes (Cimboco, Chicken! Chicken!, Breezes by the Bay)
Markus Mueri (Abacus, Prime, Deckers)
Transportation (2 seats open)
Nigel Mitten (Majestic Tours)
Brian Krug (Budget Rent A Car)
Allied / Attraction/ Retail/ Bank etc (1 seat open)
(Serving a 2nd Year) Hugh Treadwell
* this seat closed (Active Capital)
Tim Adam (Cayman Turtle Farm)
Cruise (1 seat open)
Ken Hydes (Camana Bay)
Ronnie Anglin (Captain Marvins)
 

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Club sponsors island-wide diabetes screeing

| 25/03/2011 | 2 Comments

(CNS): Rotary Central has partnered with the Cayman Islands Diabetes Association (CIDA) and the Health Services Authority (HSA) to carry out a major diabetes screening event on Saturday to test the nation. Healthcare workers will be posted at major supermarkets to offer the free tests and the community is urged to take up the opportunity to be screened. Rotary Central member, Zelta Gayle, who chairs the club’s organizing committee and is a registered nurse, explained that the tests takes only 5 seconds and that a special ‘pen’ will be used to get the blood sample to accommodate those who are uncomfortable with needles.

This is the first diabetes screening event to cover Grand Cayman but the club said it hopes to repeat the exercise for years to come.

“This event is free and is open to children, adults, diabetics and seemingly healthy individuals. We hope that many within the community take this opportunity to have this important health check”, said Rotary Central President, Wil Pineau.

The free diabetes screening will be carried out at all major supermarket locations between 10am-2pm on Saturday, March 26th, 2011 due to the kind cooperation of all of the following locations: Cost U Less, Foster’s Airport, Foster’s Strand, Foster’s Countryside, Foster’s Republix, Hurley’s Supermarket and Kirk’s Supermarket.

There will also be a 10% discount on selected diabetic related items on the day of screening at pharmacies of the participating locations. At the event, a quick and simple registration will provide each person with an opportunity to win glucometers (blood sugar machine) and other diabetic related items for oneself or for a loved one who has diabetes.

The screening event will also have doctors, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists and members of CIDA present who will be available to answer questions regarding diabetes at various locations.

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Shetty deal to be extended

| 25/03/2011 | 35 Comments

(CNS): The agreement between the Cayman government and the Indian heart surgeon, Dr Devi Shetty, for a proposed health city expires in two weeks time but the Shetty team says both sides want it to be extended. The deal signed 12 months ago outlined the concessions and legislative changes government would make to facilitate the medical development. However, because those changes have taken longer than expected the agreement is about to end before all the requirements are met. But with changes now made to the health practitioner’s law and a cap placed on medical damages, a spokesperson said this paves the way for the deal to be extended and the first phase of the project could break ground before the end of this year.

Shetty will be going ahead with the medical tourism project, which is aimed at the North American health market and will shortly reveal more detailed plans of the proposed hospital, Gene Thompson told CNS on Thursday.

Thompson, who has been working with Shetty since the renowned heart surgeon began looking at the Cayman Islands as a possible location for his health city, said the legal changes turned out to be a complex process and took longer than anyone originally anticipated.

He explained that with two of the laws that Dr Shetty needed to go ahead with the project already on the statute books and the third, dealing with organ donation and transplantation, in the works, the doctor was satisfied that the spirit of the original agreement was being met. Thompson said the relationship between the team and government was going very well and the health ministry was fully engaged with the project.

Both the Shetty team and government had learned a lot over the last twelve months, Thompson explained, and through no fault any government department or anyone the whole process did not go as quickly as people had hoped.

“Dr Shetty is very committed to this project and we are confident that both sides are now comfortable about extending the agreement,” Thompson said. “The next step will be to present more specific plans to the community about the first phase, which will be a 140-150 bed facility.”

The local representative revealed that there will be another round of public presentations shortly that will go into much more details of the project itself. With Dr Shetty’s first presentations focusing mostly on the philosophy and intent behind the medical complex, the next step is to be more specific about the actual plans for the first phase of the hospital.

“We are now putting together a project team that will begin working on this first phase of the actual development,” Thompson said, adding that there was lots of work to be done. Thompson did not reveal the location of the development as he said it was still an open question with no final decision yet made, and because of the commercial realities of that he would not be drawn on the most likely location.

However, Thompson was emphatic that the project was going ahead, despite the delays, and that Dr Shetty was totally committed to beginning the development. “No one is walking away from this,” Thompson added.

The original agreement signed last April outlined the duty concessions on medical equipment that government was prepared to give, the discounted immigration fees and the necessary legislative changes. In return Dr Shetty has committed to building a large scale medical tourism facility, medical school, and assisted-living senior’s residence on 500 acres over a ten year period which will represent an investment of some $2 billion if the entire project goes ahead.

Dr Shetty has said that he believes the Cayman Islands is the ideal location to tap into the huge and growing medical tourism potential in the United States, where health care is increasingly expensive and inaccessible. The doctor says he can offer top quality medical care at a fraction of the cost, modelled on his Narayana medical facility in his native India.

See original Shetty-CIG agreement

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Hurricane hunter pilot describes ride through eye

| 25/03/2011 | 5 Comments

(CNS): The highs and, most definitely, the lows of flying WC-130J Hercules aircraft in order to collect essential data on hurricanes were described by one of the pilots flying the essential aircraft. “It’s like being on a rollercoaster ride and in a car wash at the same time,” said Chief Pilot, Lt Col. Dave Borsi when the hurricane hunter arrived in Cayman this week as part of the NOAA awareness tour. “While the airplane can manage sustained heavy weather, even category five hurricanes, it is often smaller, disorganized systems which result in more turbulence. It can be dangerous, but that’s why we train hard. It’s all in the public’s interest.” The aircraft ride through the eyes of storms on a regular basis in hurricane season to help scientists make accurate and essential forecasts. (Photos Dennie Warren Jr)

Borsi explained that as the aircraft heads into a storm, pilots slow to about 200 miles per hour to allow by-the-second gathering of compressed data. It’s that data which is essential to the forecasters. The NOAA team, who visited Cayman on Wednesday, said showing off the aircraft is an important element in the awareness campaign. Hurricane Hunter missions cover a vast area – from the Atlantic to Hawaii – and crews often simultaneously track several storms.

National Hurricane Centre (NHC) in Miami Director Bill Read explained that no one else in the world flies these reconnaissance airplanes. “Their overseas visits serve to demystify their work, while encouraging leaders and others to keep hurricane preparedness at the forefront,” he said. “By using the Hurricane Hunters’ readings regarding the size, intensity and structure of wind fields, the NHC can improve track forecasting by about 15 percent.”

Read also commented on the long-standing relationship with Cayman and NHC and said he was delighted with the success of the recent 33rd Session of the Region IV Hurricane Committee co-hosted by Cayman and the World Meteorological Organisation.

Cayman Islands National Weather Service Director-General Fred Sambula and Hazard Management Cayman Islands Director McCleary Frederick expressed their appreciation of the visit this week, which attracted wide public attention. “This is critical to enhancing public awareness and education in the areas of hurricane preparedness and mitigation,” Sambula added.

It seemed that everyone from school kids to governors were keen to have a look-see at the Hurricane Hunter on Wednesday afternoon as many people took advantage of the Hercules aircraft tour and the chance to speak with crew members while it was landed at Owen Roberts International Airport. 

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