Archive for November 23rd, 2011

MLAs ignored by Cabinet

| 23/11/2011 | 30 Comments

Arden new.jpg(CNS): Although the new constitution has a provision for elected members that represent districts that do not have a member in Cabinet to visit with the government board once every three months, the two MLAs impacted by this have only been asked to come once in more than two years. Arden McLean, one of the two elected members whose constituents have no Cabinet representation, said that the only time he has been asked was before the 2010 budget and has not been asked since. The PPM member said he believed the premier was cherry-picking the things he liked in the constitution, such as the trappings of office, but ignoring things he doesn’t , especially those supporting democracy. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

Representing the single member constituency of East End, which along with North Side is one of the two which have don’t have elected ministers in the constituency, the two MLAs are constitutionally entitled to go to one of the government’s weekly Cabinet meetings once a quarter.

The two men revealed that they have only been invited on one occasion, despite the constitutional requirement that they should have been allowed to make representations on behalf of their constituents at least six times since the constitution came into effect.
McLean stated that the only issue that has been addressed from his single appearance was the canteen in his district’s primary school.

Even though there have been, and still are, other pressing issues in his constituency that he would like to present to government, he has not had an audience. The opposition member said the premier seems to believe the requirement to invite the non-cabinet MLAs is his to issue when he feels like it and not, as is actually the case, a legal requirement.

“The premier is picking and choosingthe bits in the constitution he likes and ignoring the rest,” the opposition member said. He pointed out that the trappings of office that the premier seems to like are not compulsory but he had still blamed the PPM for having to adopt them. “But what doesn’t align with his wishes he rails against it,” McLean added.

The independent member for North Side, who said that no invitation has been extended to him either since the one time appearance before the 2010 budget, stated that the premier seemed to have difficulty  complying with the constitution in a number of areas.

Ezzard Miller pointed to a victory on constitutional issues, as government was finally complying with the twenty-one day rule of tabling proposed legislation before debating it. This also means that the government has been adjourning the meetings of parliament properly and opening up opportunities for the opposition benches to file questions and motions.

The North Side MLA said the stand that he and the PPM members had taken earlierthis year had worked. The members had held a press conference to alert the public and voiced their grievances to the governor, after the premier had been adjourning sittings of the parliament over and over without adjourning the actual meeting, abusing the democratic process and attempting to silence the opposition.

As government is now complying with the twenty-one day rule, the public is also now being given a chance to see and read legislation before it is debated in the Legislative Assembly and passed and given a three week opportunity to voice their opinions, concerns or support for either new legislation or changes to existing laws.

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Back to work programme adapted for new groups

| 23/11/2011 | 1 Comment

singlemom_0.gif(CNS): Unemployed single mothers and young men over the age of 21 are the next two categories of people struggling to find work that government hopes to help with its Passport2Success programme. So far the back to work initiative has focused on school leavers but now people for these demographics will also get an opportunity to tackle barriers that have prevented them from work next, officials said when the two new programmes launch next year. Only twenty spaces are available for each of the newly adapted programmes which the employment Minister said addresses employment problems in a holistic way and can make a difference. 

“This programme is achieving its goal of transforming struggling young people aged 17-20 years into mature, work-ready citizens, and we are confident that it can also make a difference for other vulnerable groups,” Rolston Anglin said about the initiative launched in April 2010.

The minister said focus groups have been held with single mothers and men over 21 by the strategic partner in the programme, the Wellness Centre, to better understand their unique experiences of unemployment. Based on the information gathered some changes will be made to the curriculum.

“This consultation process was critical. I am convinced that the key to the success of Passport2Success is the fact that it responds to real life issues and needs of the participants, whatever they might be,” Anglin added.

Wellness Centre Director Shannon Seymour explained that both programmes will include the development of communication and negotiation skills. Core elements will include résumé writing, an overview of the Labour Law and employment contracts, and sessions covering workplace expectations and practices.

Identified deficits in budgeting and finance skills, customer service skills, deportment and self-confidence will be addressed. Group and individual counselling and detailed assessments will also be important features of the programme.

To start, successful applicants will participate in a three-week in-class orientation that includes site visits and guest speakers. Following that, a 16-week combination of in-class work and internship will add to participants’ skill base. Week 20 will close the programme with the sharing and processing of experiences as well as a graduation exercise.

Programme Facilitator Dr Tasha Ebanks-Garcia said the focus will be skill acquisition as opposed to work experience.

“We want our graduates to walk away with a tangible skill. Through an apprenticeship-focused internship, participants will have the opportunity to learn skills that will increase their marketability and employability. The benefit for employers is that skilled Caymanians will be available at the end of the programme,” she said.
The organisers are seeking the support of local businesses for the provision of unpaid internships. Interested organisations may contact Shannon Seymour on 949-9355 or email info@wellnesscentre.ky.

Passport2Success is a free programme provided by the Ministry of Education, Training and Education, with the support of private sector sponsors Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Ltd., CML Offshore Recruitment, and LIME Communications. Transportation for the programme is provided by Webster’s Tours Ltd and forms are available online at www.passport2success.ky the application deadline is 30 November.

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Barnes accuses ‘old friend’

| 23/11/2011 | 0 Comments

Jul%206%20Man%20accused%20of%20shooting%20-pic_0.jpg(CNS): During a Grand Court trial Andy Barnes accused a man who he said was once a close friend when they were growing up in West Bay, of tryingto kill him. He told the court on Tuesday that Justin Manderson had opened fire on him outside Kelly’s Bar last summer. “He knows that I know he shot me,” Barnes said as he revealed that they were once friends and neighbours in what he said were the district’s government schemes.  Manderson (20), whose trial for the attempted murder of Barnes opened Monday, has denied he was the gunman and has filed an alibi notice with the court in response to the accusation. (Photo courtesy of Cayman27)

Having arrived at Kelly’s with a friend, Barnes was shot some time before 8pm on 24 June 2010. He said that as he crossed the road towards the bar, he spotted Manderson on a bicycle coming towards him, side on, and was concerned as he expected something to happen.

Barnes is the father of four-year-old Jeremiah Barnes, who was shot and killed at a West Bay gas station in February last year by a gunman that police believe was trying to kill Barnes. Devon Anglin was acquitted of the murder earlier this year but during that trial Barnes gave evidence stating that he believed Justin Manderson had tried to kill him four months later because Anglin, who is Manderson’s friend and cousin, had been arrested for the child’s murder on Barnes’ witness statement.

He told the court Tuesday that as soon as he saw Manderson on the night of the shooting he was worried. When the defendant saw him, Barnes said, he uttered an expletive before pulling out a revolver from his waist band and started shooting. Describing himself as under fire, Barnes said he ducked down behind cars and then fled into a yard, jumping a fence. After the shooting stopped, he realised he had been hit and took refuge in the bar before his wife came to collect him. He was taken to hospital, where he was treated for a gunshot wound to the leg and where he told the police it was Manderson who had tried to kill him.

At the scene of the shooting outside Kelly’s bar the police recovered several shell casings and a bullet and arrested Manderson later that night. According to the crown, Manderson tested positive for gunshot residue after his arrest and had also made what was considered an incriminating statement to the officers. John Masters, the lead prosecuting counsel, said that when he was arrested, Manderson stated to the police, “Attempted? So he’s still alive then?” but later gave a no comment interview.

Masters told the judge that the crown has witnesses that corroborate the story given by Barnes and said, “If you believe Barnes' evidence, it is clear that the defendant is guilty."

During cross examination, CCTV footage from outside Kelly’s bar played to Barnes appeared to contradict some of his version of events but Barnes stated that he could not remember every detail of the night as he was in shock having been shot, but the defence lawyer should ask his client what happened.

“You should ask your client if he did shoot me or not because he knows and I know that he shot me,” said Barnes, adding that he knew that he had seen the defendant, whom he said he had grown up with in what he called the government schemes in West Bay.

Although there is more than ten years difference in age between the men, Barnes said that they had been friends as children and played on their bikes and their families all knew each other. “It’s no mistake in who shoot me in the leg. I am the victim here. Ask your client if he shot me,” he said.

The trial continues in Grand Court one and is set down for three weeks.

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Local hospital wasting over 90% of its time

| 23/11/2011 | 17 Comments

hospital entrance.jpg(CNS): Cayman’s healthcare system has a massive opportunity to dramatically cut waste, says a healthcare management expert. Cindy Jimmerson, founder and president of Lean Healthcare West, revealed that on a visit to the hospital’s A&E last week, only six percent of the time she spent there was valuable to her as a patient. Jimmerman told an audience at last week’s health conference that she spent five and a half hours at the George Town Hospital with a medical condition which needed urgent attention. She said she had met great people and the time wasted was not necessarily a bad thing but it illustrated that there was a huge opportunity for the hospital to improve efficiency.

Speaking at this’s year’s 20/20 Health Conference Jimmerson said the authority had a 94 percent opportunity to make things better. Estimating that she had spent 330 minutes in the ER she said that only 20 of those minutes were actual patient involvement. “I see an opportunity to make a dent,” she added

Jimmerson told the audience she had met wonderful staff at the hospital and such time wasting was not a particularly bad thing and typical of the type of healthcare services in places elsewhere in the world as well.

Cutting waste was the focus of her company, which had been aligned with similar principles found at the Toyota Motor Company. 

Lean Healthcare West had undertaken extensive research into the state of healthcare offerings in many different countries, working alongside 150 organisations in the US, Canada, Denmark and Australia. Her findings generally showed an average of 60 percent of everyday work practices within the healthcare system was wastage, including things like activities that had to be repeated, travel, errors, delays and confusion.

The ideal situation for any healthcare provider was to give the customers what they needed, no more and no less, providing care that was defect-free, on demand, with zero wastage within a safe working environment for all.

Introducing her company’s ‘Lean’ principles that encouraged entities to cut waste that did not add value to the patient, which frustrated healthcare workers out of their jobs but did not cut important projects, meant a higher capacity for work, lower operating costs, happier customers and workers and better leadership.

With 76 million baby boomers in the United States approaching an age when their medical needs were increasing, the need to address waste there was very important she added. Jimmerson said with the following generations, known as Generation X, Generation Y and those born in the millennium era, being far fewer in number there would be less people eventually to take care of the aging population.

Given that the US spends $3 trillion on healthcare, if it was able to cut waste by just half of the 60 percent that Jimmerson estimated was currently taking place, that would still equate to around a trillion dollars in savings.

Read more on the 20/20 Health Conference:

Local workforce must be priority for medical tourism

Doctor reveals key to affordable quality healthcare

CS will want more benefits if charged for health cover

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TCI public sector workers bring government to a halt

| 23/11/2011 | 0 Comments

(TCISun): Hundreds of angry Civil Servants in the Turks and Caicos Islands went on strike early Tuesday morning, disconnecting the power to Government's administrative building in the island-capital of Grand Turk and marching to the Governor's office where they chained doors to a building in which a meeting of UK-advisors was being held. Wearing red shirts and brandishing placards, the civil servants vented their rage at the Interim's Government's austerity measures which include plans to sever 300 of them by the end of the year. The majority of Government services in Grand Turk, where most of the country's 2,500 civil servants are located, ground to a crippling halt.

In Providenciales, the most populous of the 30 Turks and Caicos Islands and which is located 22 miles from Grand Turk, about 50 civil servants also took industrial action, blocking the entry to the Immigration Department where they held a rally.
 

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Bush lobbies UK for support of financial sector

| 23/11/2011 | 3 Comments

mac 75.JPG(CNS Business): The Cayman Islands premier delivered a letter to a member of the UK's treasury team in London Tuesday extolling the virtues of the islands' financial services and the jurisdiction's various international approvals. Ahead of signing a framework agreement with the British government committing to fiscal prudence, McKeeva Bush said he wanted to impress upon the UK and the rest of the world the standing of Cayman's financial services sector. Bush gave the letter to Exchequer Secretary David Gauke. It reportedly outlined acknowledgements Cayman has received from different supranational bodies that have assessed the jurisdiction’s compliance and regulatory regimes. Read more on CNS Business

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Law means electric cars now in business

| 23/11/2011 | 0 Comments

electric car.jpg(CNS Business): After waiting patiently formore than six years, local car dealer John Felder of Cayman Automotive said he was absolutely delighted that government has finally passed the new traffic law allowing cars powered by electricity rather than gas to drive on all of Cayman’s roads. Felder, the first person to sell electric cars in Cayman, is now working to open a chain of solar powered charging stations across the island to facilitate a greener future for local roads. Despite the amount of time it took for the legislation to finally reach the floor of the Legislative Assembly, Felder said he never gave up hope and had already begun importing the vehicles in anticipation. Read more on CNS Business

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