Archive for April 14th, 2011

School takes investment prize for second time

| 14/04/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Students from St Ignatius have once again proved to be savvy investors. After more than six months of intense competition the winners were announced at the awards presentation Tuesday at George Town Library. Five Star Investments of St. Ignatius Catholic School were confirmed the winners of the grand prize followed closely by The X Factor of St. Ignatius and Modern Age Investors of International College of the Cayman Islands (ICCI). In the high stakes virtual investment game the winning students managed to more than 54% return. During the second year of the event more than 50 students aged 14 to 19 gained hands-on experience in the world of investing, maintaining a virtual portfolio by picking stocks in accordance with the current market.

Originally slated to award prize money totaling USD $3,000, the education ministry offered its support and upped the prize money offerings by pledging an additional USD $1,000 and $500 to the second and third place teams respectively. First place won USD$2,500 to be split amongst team members, and similarly the second and third place teams won USD $1,500 and USD $500.

On hand to celebrate in the successes of the students, as well as recognize the hard work and determination demonstrated over the course of the competition by all students, were Rolston Anglin, the Minister of Education, Training and Employment, as well as guest speaker Edwin Holmes, former manager of Hip Hop artist Nelly.

In addition to the presentation of the awards, Saxon also presented stock certificates of a publicly traded Cayman company to all of the students as a keepsake of their experience.
The awards event included a short strategy presentation by each team, and special guest speaker, Edwin Holmes, shared his insightful words along with Anglin who encouraged the teens to continue on the journey of educating themselves.

CEO of Saxon Brian Williams said it was incredibly rewarding to see how far the students had come. “They have gained invaluable insight to the world of investing at a young age, paving the way to financial success. Saxon is committed to investing in our youth for we recognize that there is no better investment in Cayman’s future than instilling young minds with knowledge and wisdom,” he added.

At the close of the competition St. Ignatius Five Star had succeeded in earning a net worth of $154,518.22, with a total return of +54.52%. The X Factor and Modern Age Investors were neck and neck, closing with a net worth of $135,367.97 and $132,176.91 respectively, and total returns of +35.37% and +32.18%.

“Trades were executed online as if the students had their own brokerage accounts, making the experience all the more real-life. Impressively, they were able to short sell and buy on margin. Average investors don’t use those options,” Williams said. “When buying on margin you can lose big, but when done correctly and carefully you can pull in big earnings – and ultimately their aggressive, albeit risky, strategy paid off.”

Offering his congratulations to the three victorious groups he also acknowledged the hard work of all the students who participated.

“It was a journey that we took together, and on behalf of Saxon – we are proud of each of them. While this club certainly evokes a healthy level of competition, the most valuable reward is certainly the insight gained from the hands-on experience,” Williams added.
First place team Five Star Investments included Cristian Crescente, John Fawkes, Alex Hennings, Michael Testori and Yannick Whorms. Second place team The X Factor included Celina Russell, Gabriela Roberts and Andrel Harris. And third place students of Mordern Age Investors were Ralston Thorpe, Valdin Bailey and Michael Ebanks.

 

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Police charge two with possession of guns and drugs

| 14/04/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Two young men in their early twenties who were arrested last weekend after a stop and search have been charged possession of ganja and possession of unlicensed firearm. The two men appeared in Summary Court on Wednesday and were remanded in custody until Monday 18 April, when they will return to court. The men, who are aged 23 and 21, were arrested on Friday 8 April at around 8:30pm on Godfrey Nixon Way in George Town after police officers, who were conducting the stop and search as part of a proactive police operation, found the drugs and a handgun in the car the two men were travelling in.

Anyone with information on this matter or on crime taking place within the Cayman Islands may contact the George Town Police Station at 949422, or any police stations within the Cayman Islands or Crime Stoppers at 1800-TIPS.

 

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Man falls from 10 foot scaffold at school site

| 14/04/2011 | 9 Comments

(CNS): According to a police report, a construction worker at the Clifton Hunter School site in Frank Sound fell from scaffolding this morning, Thursday 14 April. The RCIPS said officers responded to a report of an industrial accident at the site at about 8:00 am. When they arrived police officers found that a 48-year-old man had fallen from a scaffolding platform where he was working that was around 10 feet in height. Police said the man received minor injuries to his forehead. He was transported to the hospital, where he is currently undergoing treatment but police said they expected that he will be released shortly.

Itis not yet known which firm the man worked for or if he was wearing and using safety equipment.

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Triple murder suspect unrepresented for first trial

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(CNS): A West Bay man who faces three murder charges only has legal representation in one of the cases against him and is now facing his first trial in just over three weeks without a lawyer. Raziel Omar Jeffers (27) is charged with the fatal shooting of Marcus Ebanks in Bonaventure Lane in July 2009, as well as the murder of Damion Ming in Birch Tree Hill Road and Marcus Duran in Malawians Way, West Bay, last March. Although Jeffers was expecting to face the charges regarding the murder of Ebanks first, the crown’s decision to try him for the killing of Duran alongside the teenage suspect the prosecution says is his co-conspirator leaves Jeffers without legal representation and only three weeks away from trial. (Photo courtesy Cayman27)

The crown’s application to join Jeffers onto an indictment alongside a 17-year-old also accused of murdering Marcus Duran was granted by the Grand Court on Wednesday afternoon. The teen has been on remand awaiting trial for more than twelve months.

During Wednesday’s hearing concerns were raised by the teen’s defence counsel, who objected to the joinder. Alongside the potential problems that could arise during the trial if her client was tried alongside Jeffers, the obvious delays that his lack of representation could cause would be unfair to the teen, Lucy Organ from Samson McGrath stated to the court.

She pointed out that the 9 May date when her client is sent to face trial for the killing of Duran is already his third trial date as a result of the delays caused by the crown’s wish to try the two accused together.

Organ reminded the court her client was 16 years old when he was arrested and charged with the murder and has been in prison ever since. She said that, having been shot himself on the night of the killing, he has been struggling to receive the necessary medical attention he needs for the severe injuries he sustained.

Jeffers, who represented himself at the hearing, pointed out that he has not yet had an opportunity to test the evidence the crown claims it has against him since the charges were brought. A combination of difficulties with counsel as well as having his attention on another murder charge left him struggling to deal with this particular charge, Jeffers told the court.

He pointed out that the crown’s case against him in all three murder charges boiled down to what he said was hearsay evidence from one witness, and as a result all three cases were linked.

The accused man said his attorney who was representing him in the Bonventure case, the first murder charge the crown brought against him, was focusing on having the charges in that case dismissed, which, he said, would have a knock on effect. Jeffers said that his lawyer was only able to deal with one murder case at a time, so it was unfair to ask a lay person like him to tackle more than one at a time.

The disadvantage that Jeffers is now in did not go unnoticed by the court and it has been suggested that counsel is found in the UK directly to represent him in what is now emerging as the first case he will be expected to face.

The problems of legal representation in criminal cases continues to be an issue for the local justice system due to the limited pool of attorneys willing to take on legal aid criminal defence work as a result of the uncertainty surrounding payment.

There are only around a half-dozen defence lawyers who are taking on the bulk of the serious criminal cases which are set down for trial in the Grand Court.

Despite the continued public opinion against funding legal aid, the growing concern in a number of circles is that without proper representation any convictions secured by the prosecution will be overturned on appeal. 

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UWI assess UCCI teacher training

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(CNS): The Joint Board of Teacher Education (JBTE) based at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) was invited to UCCI recently to examine and assess the work of students in training. For over 45 years, JBTE has been dedicated to providing quality assurance in teacher education across the Caribbean in territories such as Jamaica, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and Belize. In Cayman, JBTE examiners have been assessing UCCI students since the inception of teacher education programmes in 2007. This, according to faculty members, will ensure that teachers who graduate from the University College are held to the same professional standards as other teachers in the region.

Officials from the UCCI’s Department of Teacher Education & Public Administration said it not only strives to ensure that its student-teachers receive quality education that meets international standards, but that they leave well-equipped and prepared to teach in the classroom. Regular evaluation also gives further currency to the programmes locally, regionally and internationally.

“The partnership between UCCI and JBTE helped us create a very good product. Through collaborative efforts, we are able to produce a global programme that enables our graduates to work not only in Cayman, but in the Caribbean, United States and the United Kingdom,” said Dr. Allan Young, Department Chair, adding that one student was recently hired to teach in Dubai — a testament to the quality of the UCCI programme.

The UCCI Department of Teacher Education boasts a world-class faculty all of whom possess a doctoral degree and have taught at various levels of the educational system throughout their careers.

Collectively, they engage in research and provide relevant education for the times. As a result, the department receives strong support from its stakeholders and has established strong links with institutions like the University of Miami, through which the new Master of Science in Education programme will be offered jointly this fall. Other programmes include the Post Graduate Diploma in Education, Bachelor in Education and Teacher’s Aid Certificate.

Nowadays, there is a growing need for more Caymanian men and women to take up the profession “Teachers make a significant contribution to nation-building,” said Dr Young. “Helping young people understand where they were before and how they’ve reached where they are now, will help effect change in future generations. Although they are not recognised as much as they should be, being a teacher is very fulfilling because you can definitely make a difference in a person’s life.”

With most of a child’s waking hours spent there, schools become second homes and teachers become second parents who make lasting impressions on their students’ lives and play a critical role in shaping the individuals that they can grow up to be.

 

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Crankers bike to the Brac in memory of Estella

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(CNS): Cayman’s newest sports club 53/11 Crankers Cycling Club which organizers says is the first ever cycling club to be formed in the Cayman Islands, will be hosting a special cycle race on the Brac over the Easter Weekend raising money for the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation. Since its inception o far the club has held races in addition to those currently on CICA’s racing calendar. The club was launched with a series of six races over three holiday weekends under the name Cayman Challenge Cycle Series. The first race of the series took place over the Hero’s day weekend and the second is the ‘Bike to the Brac.

“Over the Easter weekend, we will be holding the Bike to the Brac – Cayman Brac Bluff Challenge in honour of the late Estella Scott- Roberts who hailed from the Brac, with part proceeds going to the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation. The event will be taking cycling back to the Brac after a 20 year absence” Barry Jones the club’s founder said.

The Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation is a not for profit organization which was established to continue to address the social issues that she passionately supported, following her murder in October 2008.

Chairperson of the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation (ESRF), and Estella’s widower Rayle Roberts stated, "The Foundation is pleased to support the 53/11 Crankers Cycling Club’s Bike to the Brac event, and we look forward to using this event to promote the objectives and vision of Estella’s foundation, which is gender equality and a life free of violence for all."

The cycling club is geared towards the promotion of cycling awareness and cycling events throughout the Islands in conjunction with the Cayman Islands Cycling Association (CICA).

“We are a not for profit club with a single minded goal of promoting cycling, in all forms, for all to enjoy with a focus on the youth and women” said club President and Founder Barry Jones.

“The aim of the Club is to provide an environment which will help promote fitness through cycling as well as promote the bicycle as an alternate means of exercise and transport especially on Grand Cayman which will eventually grind to a halt (George Town and West Bay Road) due to vehicular traffic. Of equal importance we wish to promote cycling as an exciting and attractive sport and as marketing vehicle” he went on to say.

53//11 Crankers is focused on attracting a greater number of youth and women to the sport by holding clinics on proper riding etiquette in a safe environment so that they can build confidence before reclaiming the roads. The mission of the club is to provide quality programs and events which will instill core values in the youth and further ensure success in other aspects of their lives while also strengthening family bond through physical fitness health and wellness education.
 

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Cayman Gears up for Touch Rugby Season

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(CRFC): This summer sees a feast of rugby coming to the Cayman Rugby Club in South Sound. For the tenth year running, the Summer Touch League starts in May, and teams are already beginning to sign up to take part. This three month festival of rugby has 24 teams, in three Divisions, playing over 300 games of touch rugby to determine who takes the accolade of Summer Touch League Champions 2011. Touch rugby is a simple game. You run forwards and pass backwards. The “tackle” is replaced with a “touch”. Each team gets six attempts to score a try, after being touched 6 times the ball is handed over to the other side. The winner is the team that scores the most tries. (Photo Caroline Deegan)

It’s an easy game to learn, a great opportunity to stay or get fit and most importantly of all, it’s great fun.

Teams are limited to squads of 14 players with three men and three women on the pitch at all times. From the fast and furious pace of Division 1 to the more “social” aspect of Division 3 there is a standard of rugby that will suit everyone. Games are played on Monday, Wednesday or Friday evenings and teams will usually have one game a week. The season is completed by a straight knockout Finals Day that is as social as it is competitive.
 

Last year Maples I were crowned Division 1 Champions in a frenetic final game against their long standing rivals Genesis Trust Five Nations. However, both teams will need to up their game this year. Dan Andersen, Captain of the Five Nations said, “The league as a whole gets better and the skill level is raised each year, I’m looking for the Five Nations to follow that trend. I’m also looking for Maples to do the same. Appleby, KPMG and PWC are also ones to keep an eye on. We are excited about the season and are looking to show a few of the younger sides that experience still matters.”
 

At the other end of the spectrum, Grizz’s Old Fellas, resplendent in their famous faux-fashionista pink kit, were without doubt the most sociable of touch teams. Richard “Grizz” Adams, mentor of the eponymously named side says, “With the mix of nationalities, pace, experience and legendary characters on the team I fully expect that the Old Fellas will once again dominate all facets of play… except when on the pitch.” Never a truer word spoken!
 

So, if you’re a beginner at the game or an experienced touch player and you want to be involved in a great game of touch rugby contact Sharlee Henshaw at caymantouchrugby@hotmail.com . She can help you find a team that suits the level of rugby you wish to play.

 

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Cayman celebrates 25 years of marine conservation

| 14/04/2011 | 7 Comments

(CNS): It’s 25 years since the Cayman Islands first took steps to formally protect its marine resources with the Marine Parks Law. The parks were established in April 1986 under the slogan “Save Our Tomorrow—Today”. Over the past quarter of a century there has been increasing international recognition of the ecological and economic importance of Marine Protected Areas, and the success of the Marine Parks and the islands’ reputation for healthy reefs draws millions of visitors to support our economy. The Department of Environment (DoE) has now partnered with Bangor University and the Nature Conservancy to conduct a scientific review of the protected areas — evaluating reef health, fish and invertebrate biomass, and fishing pressure inside and outside the parks on all three islands.

In the latest edition of the department’s newsletter the past, present and in particular the future of the parks is examined in detail. Since the parks were established, threats to the marine environment have changed. In addition to increased fishing pressure and habitat destruction, our reefs are now threatened by invasive lionfish and by the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change.

The DoE is collecting sightings of staghorn and elkhorn coral around the islands, species that were once common reef building corals in the Caribbean but are now decimated by multiple threats. Coral bleaching, disease, hurricanes, sedimentation, nutrient enrichment and habitat damage have dramatically reduced these key reef builders.

In order to map the distribution of rare branching corals in the Cayman Islands divers and snorkelers are asked to send pictures and sightings giving the details of the location and when the corals were sighted. The DoE team is asking observers to describe how abundant the coral was and its condition — was it healthy, diseased or bleached? — and contact details for those willing to answer follow-up questions.

See DoE’s Marine Research News below.

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Million $ Run moves to Royal Palms

| 14/04/2011 | 5 Comments

(CNS): The annual ‘Ugland Offshore Racing Million Dollar Run 2011’ will take place this Easter Weekend in Grand Cayman, with a line-up of new events to compliment the glitzy powerboat race. Spectators will be able to enjoy the full race spectacle from the beach in front of Royal Palms on Seven Mile Beach, which will provide this year’s finishing line. Organizers are also introducing the new Million Dollar Run Car & Boat Show in the Royal Palms parking lot. The Show will feature performance boats, personal watercraft, motorcycles and luxury cars, including select show cars from the Cayman Motor Museum, and power boats taking part in this year’s race.

This Million Dollar Run (MDR), which takes place 25 April, Easter Monday, also has a new race class for pleasure craft and a new circuit race designed for the fishermen style and leisure boats, organisers said. Meanwhile, the Thunder Run is a new circuit race for personal watercraft with over US$3000 in cash and prizes available. The Corona Kayak inflatable race is a team challenge for family and friends around buoys set up on the shallow area on beach front.

As well as the new pleasure boat race, the MDR itself will include the circuit class for experienced captains and medium performance boats and the offshore class designed for the most experienced captains and high performance crafts.

The route will include what organisers described as an exciting rolling start from the Marriott Beach Resort area 300 yards offshore. The boats will then blast up the world-famous Seven Mile Beach, heading west towards the Public Beach area and continue to Northwest Point, before making a turn and heading back South towards the Thompson Mooring in George Town, then making another sharp turn before heading back to Royal Palms.

For the Poker Run element of the race “Cards” are chosen randomly before, during and after the race to form a full five-card hand for each captain at the conclusion of the race.

The Million Dollar Run boat race has become known for its high calibre of captains participating and returning to the event. Andres Ugland Sr, of Ugland Offshore Racing, will race in the offshore class, participating for the ninth year. He is a master of his trade and continues to impress the crowds. Since the debut of his team in 1991, Ugland has continued to excel in his craft and win European, National and World titles.

A longtime resident of the Cayman Islands, Andreas is no stranger to the world of racing. As owner of the globally-recognized Ugland Offshore Racing team, he has a reputation for capturing some of the world’s most illustrious off-shore racing titles. The Ugland Offshore Racing name worldwide embodies commitment, technical excellence and, above all, success. The team has captured world, European and national titles, due largely to the uncompromising partnership of Ugland and Norwegian racing legend, Jann Hillestad. The company’s legacy stretches back 20 years in the offshore racing world. Andreas Ugland is chairman of the Queensgate Bank and Trust in the Cayman Islands.

Dale Crighton, a Caymanian entrepreneur, is back to defend his title of Best Time in the Offshore Circuit Class. In 2010 he dominated the water with his 42-foot Fountain “Heavy Metal” and took home the trophy. Dale Crighton is one of Cayman’s most successful young businessmen and manages most of his family’s extensive holdings in the Cayman Islands, which include developments ranging from high-end homes to large-scale residential complexes. Powerboat racing is a passion of Dale’s, and he regularly attends international OSS (Offshore Super Series) and SBI (Super Boat International) races, primarily in North America.

Bob Watler, Caymanian entrepreneur and winner of MDR 2010 ‘Best Hand’ in the poker run, looks to be the man to beat in both the Best Craft and Best Crew category. His flawless 38’ Donzi with just under 1,000 horsepower – entitled Happy Ours II — bagged the Best Craft award in 2006 with its candy paint job. The team returns this year and will race Happy Hours II. They hope with their steady craft and great team spirit to be in the running for a trophy in 2011.

The Captain’s Cocktail Reception at the Grand Old House is at 7pm on Thursday 21 April, is the last chance to register for the MDR and kicks off the race weekend events. The race entry fee is US$800.

For more information on registration, log on to www.mdr.ky or contact Christina Hefner at Monster Media on 345-949-8423 or email events@paramountmedia.ky.

Organisers say they are also seeking local Caymanians and residents who own antique and show cars who would like to have their cars on display as well.
 

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DMS opens Brazil office

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(CNS): Local offshore firm dms management Ltd. (DMS), the largest fund governance firm serving the hedge fund industry, has announced the opening of an office in in São Paulo, Brazil to service its Latin American clients. dms Management (Brasil) Assessoria Empresarial Ltda marks the firm’s foray into South America and is an important part of the firm’s global strategy and commitment to localized client service and innovative growth. Don Seymour, founder and a Managing Director of DMS said it was part of the firms global expansion and to deliver service within cultural expectations. Previously based at DMS’ headquarters here in Grand Cayman, Francine Balbina, Director, recently relocated to her native Brazil to lead DMS’ new office.

“Our unique advantage is serving as a single point of contact to ensure efficient and seamless service delivery, on our clients’ terms, in their language. Nothing gets lost in translation across multiple service providers,” she said.

DMS Brazil delivers multiple offshore products and services for Brazilian and Latin American clientele, including comprehensive consulting advice, from concept through launch, to Brazilian sponsors seeking to efficiently structure and operate offshore hedge funds.

“This global reach, combined with DMS’ exclusive combination of market-leading proprietary fund governance methodologies and technologies, will provide unparalleled accessibility for our already existing strong client base in the Latin American region,” Seymour said. “The Brazilian investment funds industry is evolving and has experienced strong growth recently. We have extensive experience advising Brazilian clients over the last decade and our new Brazil office will ensure that we continue to deliver exceptional service in facilitating this demand within cultural expectations.”

 

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