Archive for August 1st, 2011

PNP leader says UK is ‘raping worth’ of TCI people

| 01/08/2011 | 48 Comments

(CNS): As relations between the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands and the UK remained strained the leader of the Progressive National Party (PNP) has hit out again at the new constitution stating that it transfers powers from the people to the British. Clayton Greene said in a release last week that the new document “makes the government of the people subservient to the dictates of those in a far away land and rapes us of our worth as a people,” and said it was not supported by the Turks and Caicos Islanders.

“The reality is that the constitution that has been published today is by and large what those of us who met with the Minister in London expected to receive. That is however not the issue. The issue is that it is not a constitution that has the buy – in of the people of the Turks and Caicos Islanders because it is not a negotiated document. That is a significant indictment,” said Greene who as well as being leader of the local political party, is the managing partner of the TCI based law firm Stanfield Greene.

He added that the new constitution which the UK government is set to impose on the local government remains a document designed to transfer governance from the local people and place it exclusively in the hands of the governor who is the UK government’s representative.

“There is nothing in it that is worthy of celebration because nothing in it speaks to the hopes dreams and aspirations of the Turks and Caicos Islanders,” Greene said. “The reality is that we have come too far and accomplished too much for ourselves that we will never be satisfied with a constitution that that does not recognize our worth as a people. We aspire to be more that a territory.”

According to Greene, who was a former Speaker of the House of Assembly of the Turks and Caicos Islands the proposed constitution does not recognize that. “It makes the government of the people subservient to the dictates of those in a far away land and rapes us of our worth as a people. I will never be satisfied and will therefore do everything that I can to hasten the day when we can negotiate the constitution of our choosing,” he promised in a short statement on Thursday.

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Cayman athletes continue to shine

| 01/08/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A number of local athletes have performed well in regional and international sport meets continue to improve – especially those of younger sportspersons – in events including races, jumps, swimming and rugby. Last weekend, Cayman participated in the Pan American Junior Championships in Florida, according to a GIS release.  Alex Pascal, one of the youngest participants, scored a personal best in the javelin throw, placing ninth overall. He is now ranked number two in the Caribbean in this event. Cayman’s National Track and Field Team also attended the Central America and Caribbean (CAC) Senior Championships in Puerto Rico earlier this month.

Local runner Jon Rankin (fourth from right in picture above) captured third place in the 1,500meter race, taking the bronze medal behind Venezuela and Mexico. Carl Morgan placed fourth in the long jump.

Other team members at that meet were Carlos Morgan (long jump); Michael Letterlough (hammer throw); Ronald Forbes (110m hurdles); Kemar Hyman (100m sprint); and Junior Hines (400m hurdles). The athletes were accompanied by National Track and Field Coach Kenrick Williams and Manager Michael Naulty.

Coach Williams reported that most team members were trying to achieve the ’A’ or ’B’ standards required for participation in next month’s Senior World Championships in South Korea.

Ronald Forbes has already qualified for the 110m hurdles in Korea, but he used the CAC meet to gauge his personal performance. Cydonie Mothersill-Stephens has also qualified for Korea’s 200m race, but didn’t attend the CAC Games.

In spite of some injuries and other setbacks, national team athletes also did well earlier in the season.  During May’s CARIFTA Games, Cayman’s Jorel Belafonte won a silver medal in the 1,500m race.

Then, at the Islands Games earlier this month, Cayman won four gold medals (in long jump, triple jump, relay, and 100m), three silvers (hammer throw, 200m and 400m) and two bronze (100m and hurdles). In so doing, they also set two new records, in the relay and triple jump. And there was more to come, for in last month’s World Youth Championships in France, Alex Pascal outdid himself, scoring a personal record in the javelin throw.

Cayman’s Women’s and Under-19 rugby teams have also had winning seasons.

South Korea apart, Cayman’s athletes still have a few more events to attend this season. This week brothers Shaune and Brett Fraser are swimming in the International Swimming Federation’s World Championships in Shanghai.

Other coming events include the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man in September; and in October, the Senior Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Continuing his active support of sports and athletics, Ministry of Sports Mark Scotland congratulated the team members and officials.

“At the same time they’re striving for personal bests, these young people are making their team – and the Cayman Islands – proud of their spirit of excellence,” he said.

For more information on the track and field scene, contact the Sports Department on 949-7082; go online to; contact the Cayman Islands Track and Field Association on 926-3939, orvisit the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) website

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Hyperbaric chamber looks to add volunteers

| 01/08/2011 | 3 Comments

(CNS): Hoping to add to his team of volunteers, John Elliott, Director of Cayman Hyperbaric Services, is planning a training course this fall to teach up to 12 people how to monitor the equipment that treats divers suffering from the bends. Working right now with a dedicated corps of 30 volunteers who can be called in at all hours to operate the hyperbaric chamber at the Cayman Islands Hospital (with six technicians operating the facility on Cayman Brac), Elliott says that, at times, the pool of available staff can be low. 

Holidays, work hours and sickness can deplete the full complement of technicians, and at least three people are needed at any one time to monitor the equipment from the outside and sit with the patient in the chamber.

The close-knit group, however,is always ready to answer the call, and recently dealt with two cases of people suffering from decompression sickness, one a tourist off a cruise ship and the other, 17-year-old Caymanian Elizabeth Schvartz.

After a morning dive on Saturday, 9 July, Schvartz felt unwell, complaining of a headache, and chest and back pain. When the symptoms didn’t subside by evening, her parents took her to the Accident & Emergency Unit at the hospital where the doctor decided she needed to go into the chamber.

At about 1:30am, Dr Denise Osterloh, one of three physicians on-island trained to deal with decompression illness, was called. In less than an hour, the volunteer team was being assembled.  “We always manage but sometimes it is a struggle to get people. We can always do with more volunteers,” she said, while praising the current members of the team, who only receive a small stipend per contact hour for the work they do.

“I think they do a fabulous job and everyone always speaks highly of them. They are a great bunch of people. They keep patients occupied who are in a highly anxious, nervous state in a small environment. They are available any hour of the day. They are a very valuable part because without them, no matter what we know, we can’t do the treatment.”

Schvartz’s parents watched the technicians in action through the night. “As her parents, we were amazed at these people,” said mom, Mia Schvartz. “Nobody made us feel it was an inconvenience for them to come out at 4, 5, 6 in the morning. It was just: ‘We’re here. How can we help?’”

Each technician can only sit inside the chamber for about an hour, requiring a rota of volunteers to come in during the average five hours it takes for a patient to recompress.  With so many technicians needed for each session, it can be a challenge to organize a crew from the 30 volunteers available, hence the plan for another training course.

But the ones that continue to help make a big impression. “They have full-time jobs yet they will crawl out of their beds or come during their lunch hour to help,” Schvartz said. “I don’t feel like there were enough thank yous I could say. As parents, we couldn’t do anything but watch them take care of our daughter.” Marcel Archer, who has been volunteering since 1982, was one of the technicians who answered the call that evening.  “I’ve been a volunteer so long it is probably part of my DNA by now,” he said.

Archer, a trained paramedic and nurse, spent an hour in the chamber with Elizabeth. He said his approach with patients is to “uplift their spirits, keep them distracted, and keep them alert and calm as possible so they do not feel claustrophobic or frightened or tense.”

He also noted that the team could use more people. “It’s one of those services that is essential but from a medical standpoint, there are very few who are trained to do it. Due to the small number of volunteers, it is difficult to respond. We get a small window of opportunity to commence treatment. The longer it takes for treatment to start, the worse the prognosis.”

Elliott, together with his wife, Ann, has been running Cayman Hyperbaric Services since 1996, taking over from the British Sub-Aqua Club, but both have at least 25 years experience in operating the decompression chamber.

Though not as busy as it was a few decades ago, an average of 40 to 45 patients every year come to them with decompression sickness. But when the call goes out, there needs to be enough technicians ready to come in.

“Every one of us are divers and first of all, we do it because it is in our blood. No one gets involved for the finance of it,” John Elliott said.

“We look at the team as a big family.”

Cayman Hyperbaric Services can be contacted by email by or by telephone at 949-8600 extension 2579 or 949-2989.

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