Archive for April 6th, 2011

Lawmakers to tackle immigration amendments

| 06/04/2011 | 24 Comments

(CNS): Cayman’s elected officials will be taking up their seats in the Legislative Assembly on Thursdaymorning to deal with five pieces of legislation, two of which relate to the islands’ immigration laws. In what is likely to generate lively debate on the floor of the Cayman parliament, the government is proposing to amend the immigration law to clarify how people who have been deported from the islands can return to live here. People are usually only deported for breaking immigration regulations or as a result of another criminal offence. Government has said it believes the law needs to set timelines for how long deportation orders and exclusions should apply to those who have been kicked out of the country.

The second change to the immigration law will beef up the security arrangements for the submission of passenger and crew manifests by arriving and departing aircraft and cruise ships. The amendment expands the duties and obligations of local agents, captains or pilots of planes and ships, requiring them to provide the particulars of the passengers on board their vessels or aircraft that intend to disembark at, or embark from, the islands, as well as the particulars of members of the crew and any other person on board the cruise ship.

The legislators will also be dealing with The Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2011, the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2011 and the Securities Investment Business (Amendment) Bill, 2011.

It is not clear if this will be the last sitting of the current meeting before the House is adjourned in preparation for the budget session.

Last year the premier changed the Public Management and Finance Law to remove the requirement that government bring its appropriations bill before the end April, which allows him to bring his administration’s spending requirements to the LA any day before the end of the financial year in July.

The legislative meeting starts at 10am, when the doors will be open to the public to see their elected officials in action. 

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Minister joins global call to fight drug resistance

| 06/04/2011 | 5 Comments

(CNS): The growing problem of drug resistance is the target of the World Health Day (Thursday 7 April) campaign this year and the local health minister is calling people not to use antibiotics for colds and other viruses. With many diseases becoming increasingly resistant to the medicines used to fight them, especially antibiotics, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is seeking greater commitment from around the world to help address the problem by controlling the unnecessary prescription of medicines. Antimicrobial resistance is endangering the continued effectiveness of many medicines and threatening health professionals’ ability to treat infectious diseases.

Governments and practitioners are being asked by the WHO to implement the policies and practices needed to prevent and counter the emergence of highly resistant micro-organisms.

Supporting this call to action, Cayman’s Health Minister Mark Scotland urged people to explore alternative treatments instead of reaching for antibiotics to treat simple colds and other virus infections.

“Although this is indeed a highly sophisticated medical issue, the good news is that everyone can improve the longevity of antibiotics,” he said in his World Health Day message. He also said making healthy choices was important as there is a connection between lifestyle and drug resistance. “A combination of exercising and eating healthily is indeed the best prescription for building up your immune system. A strong one means fewer illnesses, which in turn reduces the need for antibiotics.”

For its part in the ‘war’ against AMR, the Laboratory of the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) has been collecting data on antibiotic resistance trends, and preparing reports (antibiograms) on a bi-annual basis since 1997. This information is distributed to the hospital’s Infection Control Department, the Public Health Department, all physicians, the chief pharmacist and is also submitted to the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC), where it is included in regional surveys monitoring antibiotic trends.

“Monitoring data in this way allows for informed decision-making, aiding doctors in selecting the most appropriate medicines for patients. It also set the stage for educational and technical-support interventions in instances where guidelines need to be reviewed or revised,” HSA GP Coordinator Dr Anna Matthews explained.

Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria, viruses or parasites evolve to withstand attacks by antimicrobial medicines (antibiotics, antivirals, and antimalarials) to which they were previously sensitive. This means that standard treatments become ineffective and infections persist and may even spread.

When infections caused by resistant micro-organisms become resistant to standard treatment, it results in prolonged illness and puts patients at greater risk of death. This is threatening a return to the pre-antibiotic era. Many infectious diseases risk becoming uncontrollable and could derail the progress made towards reaching the targets of the health-related United Nations Millennium Development Goals set for 2015.

Drug resistance is also increasing the costs of health care as more expensive therapies become necessary. The longer duration of illness and treatment, often in hospitals, increases healthcare costs as well as the financial burden to families and communities.

AMR is a consequence of the misuse and excessive, but often unnecessary, prescribing of antimicrobial medicines. For example, when patients do not take the full course of a prescribed antimicrobial or when poor-quality antimicrobials are used, resistant micro-organisms can emerge and spread.

See health minister’s message below.

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Annual clean-up attracts 1500 volunteers

| 06/04/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Grand Cayman was looking considerably cleaner this week thanks to the efforts of more than 1500 people who took part in the Chamber of Commerce 14th Annual Earth Day Roadside Clean-Up last Saturday. Hundreds of people made it out even before the sun was up to begin cleaning-up Cayman’s roadsides and beaches and they were joinedby hundreds more throughout the morning from schools, businesses, churches and other community organisations. “It was a spectacular day,” said Wil Pineau CCE, Chamber CEO. “The community spirit generated by this clean-up event is always extraordinary”

He said everyone came together with the common goal of improving the environment and making it a safer and cleaner place. Sometimes we forget that it is the beauty of the Cayman Islands that is our greatest asset. If we don’t preserve this and take a pride in where we live then we run the risk of losing valuable tourism dollars and investment,” Pineau added.

KPMG’s Kendell Pierre one of the early risers said, “The crack of dawn start on a Saturday morning had me thinking twice about signing up but I’m extremely glad that I did and was able to share in this wonderful experience. I was especially proud to see my little one and so many other young kids doing their bit for our environment.”

Lauren Christie protecting the environment for future generations is arguably one of the biggest challenge we face. “Our firm’s environment policy is geared towards reducing, reusing and recycling with the aim of helping to reduce our local carbon footprint it was great to see so many colleagues ….making a positive impact.”

This year’s sponsors included British Caymanian Insurance Co. Ltd.; The Caledonian Group; Dart Enterprises Ltd.; Island Heritage Insurance; Water Authority-Cayman; Kensington Management Group Ltd.; KPMG; Transocean Inc.; G.E.L. Wholesale & Distributors; FirstCaribbean International Bank; CUC Ltd.; Flowers Bottled Water; The Phoenix Group; Conyers Dill & Pearman; Cayman Islands Yellow Pages; Cayman National; Grant Thornton; Foster’s Food Fair IGA; Department of Environmental Health; Power Flower Ltd.; Mourant Ozannes; Royal Bank of Canada; LIME; CIBC Bank & Trust Company (Cayman) Ltd.; Deutche Bank and staff from the Recreations, Parks & Cemetery Unit of the Ministry of District Administration, Works, Lands and Agriculture and who collected all the trash bags on Monday April 4.

After the clean-up everyone was invited to a FREE brunch at Tiki Beach courtesy of LIME.
 

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Curtain set to rise on kids’ performing arts festival

| 06/04/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Youngsters of all ages will be showcasing their myriad talents over the next two months when the curtain rises next week on the 29th annual National Children’s Festival of the Arts (NCFA). The festival opens with performing arts competitions on 12 April in Grand Cayman and 19 April in Cayman Brac. Scheduled to run through 10 June, the 2011 festival promises a rich mix of visual, literary and performing arts from steel pans to the young musician of the year. “Every year the entries increase in number and performance standards continue to rise,” Festival Coordinator Angela McLaughlin said.

“When the festival began in 1982 the primary emphasis was on encouraging students to express themselves in speech, music, drama and dance. That focus remains, but over the years we’ve added arts and crafts, a literary competition and new awards such as Better Futures.”

McLaughlin said the festival has achieved a lot over the almost three decades since it started with students’ performances being judged excellent by both local and international standards.

“We owe a great deal of credit for the strides that have been made towards cultural growth to the public and private school teachers and students who willingly participate every year,” she added. “I trust that teachers and students will continue to involve themselves as they have in previous years. The NCFA has contributed greatly to the cultural life of the Islands and I hope that the next several years will be as fulfilling as the first 29.”

Residents can see Grand Cayman’s performing arts competitions inspeech and drama at the Harquail Theatre from 12-15, and 18-19 April. Music eliminations for senior students follow from 2-6 May and for infants, juniors and junior high students from 17-20 May at Church of God Chapel and Family Life Centre.

On 19 May the Amin Mohammed Memorial Steel Band Competition is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in the Mary Miller Hall. Then at 5:00 p.m. on 25 May, the art and craft exhibition opens at the George Town Public Library.

Cayman Brac’s entrants will perform in their music, song-writing, speech, drama and dance competitions from 19-20 April.

Final concerts will be held in Cayman Brac on 7 May and in Grand Cayman from 30 May – 3 June.
The competition closes with the Butterfield Young Musician of the Year and NCFA awards ceremonies set for 4 and 10 June respectively.

Festival coordinators are continuing the tradition of the Better Futures Award. Entries for this category will have reflected the theme Pride in our Caymanian Heritage, and awards will be provided for the dance, speech, drama, music, arts and crafts, and literary competitions.

Festival coordinators are still accepting entries for the literary competition. The deadline is Friday, 8 April.

Entries for visual and performing arts contests have already closed

See full schedule below
 

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NGOs create Cayman’s first wildlife internship

| 06/04/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): As a result of the growing need for more dedicated support when it comes to wildlife rescue in the Cayman Islands, the National Trust, Cayman Wildlife Rescue and St. Matthews Veterinary University have partnered to create a wildlife internship programme. The programme began last autumn with its first trainee vet, Canadian national Dr Lara Cusack, who will be conducting the treatment and care under bird expert Dr Heather Barron of SMU. As a result, the volunteers at Cayman Wildlife Rescue (CWR) have been able to set up an animal hospital, adding to the number of successful releases the organisation is able to make.

Program Manager Alison Corbett said it was an exciting time for CWR. “We have been struggling to operate with only volunteers but with a dedicated full-time and trained DVM we have been able to create a fully functional wildlife hospital able to handle a greater case load volume and complexity of cases,” she said.

The Cayman Turtle Farm has also joined the program. In exchange for loaning their facilities for the wildlife hospital, they also have gained use of the intern for their animal care.

Dr Cusack, who has extensive wildlife medicine experience, is overseen by Dr Barron, who is an Avian and Exotic Animal Specialist. Together they staff the hospital with SMU student volunteers.
“It is hard work; often I am in the hospital for twelve hour stretches to give round the clock care, but it’s worth it,” said Dr Cusack. “Our successful releases are increasing.”

As the programme heads into spring, its busiest time of the year, many volunteers are needed to help during baby bird season. (See attachment below).

“We are in need of support from the public more than ever,” Corbett added. “We need volunteers to help with rescues and transporting wildlife to the hospital and we urgently need donations to cover the growing expenses.” If members of the public would like to help they can make a cash donation or donate some wish list items, such as towels, washer/dryer and a microwave oven.”

Donated items or cash donations can be dropped of at the National Trust Office, located at Dart Park, and donations by cheque can also be mailed to Cayman Wildlife Rescue, PO Box 31116 KY1-1205. Symbolic Wildlife Adoption Kits are also available for purchase from the National Trust Gift Shop, all proceeds benefit CWR.

If a member of the public finds injured, sick or orphaned wildlife, they can call the LIME sponsored Wildlife Rescue Hotline 917-BIRD(2473). The public is asked to ensure they call the hotline before bringing in an animal for care.

Interested members of the public can email the Program Manager at caymanwildliferescue@gmail.com for more information. The program is especially in need of volunteers who are free during the weekdays to help with rescues and with care.

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Divetech gets first instructor-trainer for new gear

| 06/04/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Steve Tippetts, a diver with Cayman’s local recreational dive firm, Divetech, has become the firstinstructor-trainer in the world outside of the original development team to be qualified to teach others on the new GEM Rebreather. Recently released from KISS Rebreathers of Vancouver, Canada, the GEM stands for ‘Gas Extender Mechanism’, which is exactly what it does. During an intensive 8-day program in March Tippetts completed his training with Tom Mount of IANTD on this new recreational diving equipment, which is described as the lightest, smallest, most inexpensive Rebreathers on the market.

"I completed an 80 minute dive to 130 feet on an 80cuft 32% nitrox tank and came back with 2,500psi from a 3,000psi tank. That’s incredible to only use 500psi over 80 minutes of diving, and makes this an ideal unit for all recreational divers. It’s easy to learn and use," said Tippetts.

Kim Smith, manufacturer of the new GEM explained the advantages of the new gear to recreational divers. "It’s easily one of the lightest, smallest, most inexpensive Rebreathers on the market today, perfect for the recreational or travelling diver. We have the KISS Sport, Classic and Explorer Rebreathers, but we’ve been working for years to release a new product that is lower cost, easy to travel with and accomplishes the goals for rebreather diving in the general recreational marketplace," she said.

Tom Mount, President of IANTD, said it was appropriate to have Divetech as the first Instructor Trainer facility in a resort location. “They have a long and dedicated history in rebreather training, excellent facilities to support the unit and a good customer base to show the new product to a lot of divers. “Steve is an exceptional Instructor and will be able to bring other Instructors on board for customers that wish to test dive or get certified on the GEM," he added.

From a business standpoint, owner Nancy Easterbrook said it’s revolutionary and very impressive.

“The Rebreather market is expanding by leaps and bounds. The products are tested and reliable and so many people are interested in them. It’s not just the technical divers anymore. Many divers both young and old are getting Rebreather certified, not to go deep but for the safety, enjoyment and the long bottom times that are afforded. Rebreathers reduce dehydration and keep you warmer, both benefits to safe diving. We are very excited to have been selected to be on the cutting edge of this new technology," Easterbrook explained.

"Experience dives" are available for a 1/2 day, or a certification course is 3 days. For further information, please contact Divetech or call 345 946-5658. 

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Public asked to help send foster kids on holiday

| 06/04/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): People collecting air-miles on Cayman’s national flag carrier are being asked to give those frequent flyer bonuses away to local foster kids. The NCVO has teamed up with Cayman Airways “Miles Ahead” programme to enlist their customers in the goal to help send nine children currently in foster care on a holiday in August to give them a break from group home living for a very special two week vacation. Members of Cayman Airways Frequent Flyer programme-Sir Turtle Awards who have accumulated air-miles can donate them to the NCVO to help the Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home children.

An account has been set up for people to donate their Frequent Flyer miles by simply filling out a short form. Contact Janice Wilson, CEO of the NCVO on 949-2124 or by emailing ncvo@candw.ky to receive a copy of the form. Forms are also available on www.caymanairways.com or at the Cayman Airways Headquarters. Donators are asked to list the NCVO acct # 100157374 as the Charity receiving the donated miles.

Financial donations are also needed to make this trip a possibility; contributions can be made by contacting the NCVO at the above email address or by phoning 949-2124.

 

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UCCI sets new date for musical event

| 06/04/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The University College of the Cayman Islands has set a new date for its Spring Concert. The music and dance extravaganza which seeks to raise funds for the development of the performing arts at UCCI is now set to take place on Saturday, 21 May 2011 at 7:30pm. The concert was re-scheduled after the original dates clashed with exams and other commitments. Organisers said the weekend date will allow more people the opportunity to enjoy the event featuring performances from renowned artists such as Glen Inanga of the famed Micallef-Inanga piano duo. The line up also includes UCCI’s own rising stars – the UCCI Choir, Steelpan Band and Dancers.

The Planning Committee said t was grateful for the support that the event has been receiving from the public, the guest performers who have committed to lending their talent to this cause, and to various organisations such as Hopscotch Productions, Caymanian Compass, High Impact Media, Books & Books, Funky Tangs, AL Thompson’s, Kirk Supermarket and Foster’s Food Fair. Ticket sales at the supermarkets and other outlets will resume this weekend.Interested parties may also purchase their tickets at UCCI or online at boxoffice.ky.

For more information, contact Kristel Galimba, Director of Marketing, Public Relations and Alumni at 623-0561.

 

 

 

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Law reformers seek input for new strata rules

| 06/04/2011 | 7 Comments

(CNS): The Law Reform Commission is seeking public comment on a discussion paper aimed at modernising the rules thatgovern local strata schemes. The paper is based on comments submitted in a consultation exercise conducted over two years ago about the existing legislation, which had been called into question. The commission found problems in the management of strata schemes and a lack of regulation over their termination. Deficiencies in the law were first highlighted in the wake of Hurricane Ivan by the then president of the law society Charles Quin before he was appointed to the local judiciary.

Quin had pointed to a need to reform the existing laws and regulations dealing with strata following the problems local lawyers encountered when trying to deal with the destruction of properties in the aftermath of the September 2004 hurricane.

The commission said that during the public consultation exercise a wide variety of issues were raised but the most common was the ineffective management of strata schemes and insurance matters. There was wide support, the commission said, for a comprehensive overhaul of the laws and regulations relating to strata schemes. Since then, a number of amendments to the law have taken place but there are still several issues outstanding.

Given the complexities regarding various problems, from management to insufficient regulation governing the termination of strata schemes, the commission said it had decided to deal with these matters first while it continues consultation on the reform of the creation of strata schemes and regulation of the staged development of schemes.

Matters discussed in the paper and provided for in the bill include duties of corporations; preparation and auditing of financial statements; levy of contributions on proprietors; bye-laws including bye-laws granting exclusive use of common property; regulation of executive committees; regulation of meetings; and insurance, including insurance deductibles.

The commission is now inviting comments and suggestions on those to be submitted in writing by 17 May 2011 to the Director of the Law Reform Commission, 3rd Floor Anderson Square c/o Government Administration Building or sent by e-mail to Cheryl.Neblett@gov.ky.

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Chief minister to seek independence for Anguilla

| 06/04/2011 | 66 Comments

(CNS): Anguilla’schief minister says he intends to start seeking independence from the UK on behalf of the Caribbean island following the late approval of his government’s budget. Hubert Hughes said the approval was a little too late and the island lost out on revenue and a deal with the EU on a fiscal package and a deal with a regional bank. The overseas territory’s leader said he was “very disillusioned and frustrated” with the British administration for Anguilla. “My commitment now is to press on with my programme for self determination." he added. The budget was drawn up in December of last year but only approved a few days ago.

"We lost out on so much revenue, we have lost out on the deal we had with the European Union, on the EDF 10 fiscal package,” Hughes told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC). “We have lost out on support from the Caribbean Development Bank because these institutions will not do business with Anguilla as long as Anguilla cannot produce a proper, credible budget," he told CMC.

Governor Alistair Harrison said that the queen, through the secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs, had assented to the island’s Appropriation Act, which contains the 2011 budget.

He gave no details of the amount contained in the budget, but Harrison also announced that he had approved the legislation introducing the interim "stabilization levy", as well as amendments to the customs surcharge and the petroleum levy passed earlier by the House of Assembly. “These three measures constitute the new measures necessary to implement the budget settlement for 2011," Harrison said.

At the start of the year, Henry Bellingham, the UK minister responsible for the British Overseas Territories, wrote to the chief minister stating that the London would provide two independent experts to assist the local administration with the preparation of its 2011 fiscal package. The two consultants, paid for by the Department for International Development (DFID), have since presented a number of recommendations to the local government.

“My budget was perfect, so says the team of consultants by the Foreign and Commonwealth office sent in on the advice of the governor of Anguilla to rewrite it. But yet the day after the consultants gave the report to the cabinet, the governor said he had permission from the Foreign Office now to sign the budget, and yet it took a month for him to sign it, playing the fool because he was ashamed, “ Hughes said.

Last month the two independent financial experts, John Wiggins and Ved Gandhi, sent to the island by the UK government, said the Anguilla Government and its technocrats had “pursued a very careful and rigorous constrained policy in expenditure” in the budget.

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