Archive for December 11th, 2011

Miller warns of unrest among country’s educated

| 11/12/2011 | 122 Comments

t1larg_0.jpg(CNS): Government needs to be careful of young educated Caymanians who are returning home qualified and ready to work but who are being turned away from local firms and economic opportunities in their own country, despite their hard work. Ezzard Miller said that with 18 per cent unemployment among local people while every day there were hundreds of work permit jobs advertised in the press, the growing group  of disaffected young and educated unemployed presented a powder keg that was ready to explode, the independent member warned his legislative colleagues. He said it was the educated, not the poor, that started revolutions.

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly recently, the North Side member warned of the potential unrest that could be caused by these young people if they continued to be marginalised.

“The greatest threat to the stability of the Cayman Islands today is young educated Caymanians,” Miller warned, as he explained how many young people have gone overseas, studied hard and got their academic and professional qualifications only to find when they return home that they can’t even get an interview for a job.

“They repeatedly say that they don’t understand why it is this way in Cayman. All of their friends from other places are being head hunted by the larger global corporations months before they graduate.” 

Those that performed the best academically are being wined and dined by the firms, but it was a very different story for young educated Caymanians who are returning home, Miller added.

“When they approach the local law and accounting firms and banks with their qualifications, they are treated like they are performing a criminal act,” he said, but all the while there are thousands of people here on work permits.

He said their parents have invested heavily in their children to get them the best education even when they can ill afford to do so but when they are coming home they see that their children can’t get any jobs.

“We need to address this situation as it is a powder keg waiting to explode. I would caution the government that revolutions in other countries are not started by the poor and uneducated. They use them, of course, but they are started by the young educated people who no longer believe that they have an opportunity to participate in the economy of their own country,” Miller said.

He warned that there was a situation in the Cayman Islands where now both the young people and their parents were feeling this way as he warned that government had to do something before it was too late.

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Premier talks tourism ahead of song launch

| 11/12/2011 | 2 Comments

caymankind.JPG(CNS): McKeeva Bush, in his role as the tourism minister will be hosting a “Tourism Awareness 2011” public town hall meeting, on Tuesday, evening at Pedro St. James. The agenda will include presentations from the premier and tourism department  officials including an update on the tourism sector, planned initiatives and information about Caymankind, the Cayman Islands’ brand marketing initiative launched this year in the US market. Bush will also be hosting a special event on Wednesday evening at Tiki Beach to launch the Caymankind song which will include a public performance of the song written to promote Cayman on the global stage.

All residents are invited to both Tuesday’s meeting will be held from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at Pedro St James where light refreshments will be served. The Caymankind launch party also starts at 7pm

For further information, please contact the Department of Tourism at 949-0623.

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Port roads to cost over $25M

| 11/12/2011 | 72 Comments

cruise term_0.JPG(CNS): If government does eventually go ahead with the proposed plans to develop cruise berthing facilities in George Town, it could cost the public purse millions to address the road system that will be needed. At a public meeting last week Burns Conolly said that the NRA has revealed that at least $25 million will need to be spent on modifying the capital’s roads to accommodate the new port and the thousands of passengers that will be coming off the ships directly into George Town. It is understood that China Harbour Engineering Company will not cover the cost of the roads in the current plan, which means the money will need to come from the public purse.

Taking the role as the lead spokesperson for the Red Bay or South Sound port option, Conolly stated that he and the sea-captains had met with both the Department of the Environment and the National Roads Authority in order to discuss their alternative proposal.

He said that they had been told that a considerable amount of work would be needed on the downtown road system in order for George Town to be able to cope with the change that the berthing of mega ships would bring to the capital.

Pushing the alternative location, Conolly said that one of the major advantages with the Red Bay location was that the facility would tap straight into an already gazetted and existing road network and would help to alleviate rather than worsen local traffic problems at the location with the intended bridge. Conolly stated that the plan would be to deliver people to George Town in shuttle buses in a manageable fashion.

He said that a significant amount of work would be needed in George Town to accommodate what could be as many as 24,000 passengers arriving in a given day. During the negotiations with DECCO, the first developer which the current government had begun talks with over the propose project, of which Conolly said he was a part, it was suggested that a one way system would need to be created in the capital to deal with the new facility.

Listing what he stated were the many different problems with developing in the capital, he pointed in particular to the disruption that would be caused during the development as well as after. He added that once the project was underway, the Royal Watler would need to be closed from the start of the project which meant buses and taxis would be returning to the old north and south terminals to collect the passengers from the ships that will continue to tender during construction.

The Royal Watler terminal would under the current plans be demolished to make way for the proposed new two storey retail facility at the point where the passengers disembark.

Meanwhile, speculation continues around the cruise berthing project after the premier extended the existing MOU that he had signed last June. A few weeks ago he extended the MOU to March.

The premier has said that he will get the port project underway, despite the financial framework agreement he has signed with the UK.

McKeeva Bush told the Legislative Assembly recently that the agreement merely requires government to complete an independent business analysis of the project to satisfy the conditions of the agreement. He announced that KPMG was undertaking the business analysis but it is not clear if the review includes examining the alternative port locations in Red Bay.

CNS contacted KPMG to ask if it was part of the remit and despite the fact that this project involves crown land and public assets the auditing firm stated:  “Due to client confidentiality, we are unable to comment publicly on this matter or discuss the scope of this engagement with any third party.”

Government has not yet revealed any of the details of the proposed plans that China Harbour Engineering Company has proposed but a delegation from the Chamber of Commerce took an all-expenses paid trip to Jamaica recently for a presentation by the firm. During the presentation it was revealed that the firm was willing to discuss the traffic management issues relating to the project but it was clear it is not currently part of the plan.

See Chamber of Commerce report on trip to Jamaica.

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CHF offers training for workplace AED units

| 11/12/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The non-profit Cayman Heart Fund (CHF) is extending the availability of its training programme to organisations that are part of the project to install Automated External Defibrillator (AED) units in workplaces and public places around the islands. The classes are coordinated by St. Matthew’s University, School of Medicine (SMU).  AED training is offered FREE to all organizations which have purchased or received an AED from the CHF.  When used in the first 3-5 minutes of a person collapsing, AEDs have been shown to dramatically increase the survival rate of a person suffering from sudden cardiac arrest. 

“The AEDs distributed by the CHF are very straightforward and easy to use,” Dr. Sook Yin, Medical Director of the CHF said. They audibly instruct the rescuer about exactly what to do during each step of the process and even will deliver indicated shocks automatically and safely.

A person’s chance of survival drops 10% for every minute that passes between cardiac arrest and getting the heart restarted.  Since time is the most important factor in a cardiac emergency. “We wish for the public to understand and feel confident to call 911 and then grab the closest AED should a person suddenly collapse.  Persons availing of the free short AED training sessions will enhance such confidence and thus the chances of survival,” Dr Yin added.

Basic Life Support (BLS) training is also known as CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation. CHF and SMU are offering FREE BLS training session for nannies, teachers and day-care providers to help such caregivers respond more quickly and efficiently in case of an emergency.   In addition to free BLS classes for child caregivers, BLS classes are being offered to employer and community groups at the affordable fee of $60 per person and are available at either the group’s meeting site or at the SMU campus.

Organizations and companies may wish to combine the free AED & low-cost BLS trainings back-to-back.  Since BLS training could save a life almost anywhere, not just at the workplace, it could be the best present you give this holiday season.

CHF anticipates offering Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) instructor training for medical professionals in 2012.  “CHF will continue its annual provider education Cardiac Symposium and is pleased to expand its cardiac education efforts for the country’s professionals,” said Suzy Soto, CHF Chair Emeritus. 

The CHF appeals to businesses, schools, homeowners and public entities to prepare, protect and prevent deaths from cardiovascular disease.  For more information on AED installation, AED, BLS or ACLS instructor training, please contact the CHF at (345) 916-6324 or at caymanheartfund@gmail.com.

Meanwhile, CHF is also selling tickets for next February’s fund raising gala dinner for tickets and more details contact 345-916-6324 or caymanheartfund@gmail.com

 

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Booze board allows extensions

| 11/12/2011 | 15 Comments

night.JPG(CNS): After many months of pressure from a number of bar and club owners on Grand Cayman for extensions to their business hours, the liquor licensing board has finally given in and granted several extensions for businesses for Friday night through to the early hours of Saturday morning only. This means that several George Town bar licence holders and one West Bay bar that made the application will now be able to serve drinks until 1:30am and play music till 2am. The board has also granted most of the main George Town nightclubs an extension to their licences as well, allowing them to serve booze until 2:45 and play music until 3am on Saturday mornings. 

Some of the bars and clubs had been battling for over a year to get the licence extensions in order for their business to stay open later, at least on a Friday night to Saturday morning. The board had resisted the applications by the clubs and bars involved for a variety of reasons, including opjections from residents, but the RCIPS denied that it was the police which was behind the continued refusals.

Following a meeting on Thursday the board finally relented and granted The Inferno in West Bay, Welly’s Cool Spot, Roof Top Lounge and the Corner Pocket all in George Town permission to serve drinks until 1:30am and allow music and dancing until 2am. Jet Nightclub, O Bar Nightclub, L.I. Lounge, Elements and Club Allure were all given permission to sell drinks until 2:45 and play the music until 3pm. Although some of the clubs had asked to operate until 4am, the extension still gives most of Grand Cayman’s nightclubs an extra hour of business on their busiest night.

This move by the board will pave the way for other bars and clubs to make an application to the board to extend their business hours on Friday nights.

The news came in the wake of the revelation by CNS that government will also be bringing changes to the music and dancing law to lift the current ban on drinking and dancing on Sundays for special occasions. This will pave the way for restaurants, bars, and clubs to apply to the board for an extension to serve past midnight on New Year’s Eve, which this year falls on a Saturday night. Without the amendment all premises serving alcohol would have had to stop serving drinks and shut down the music well before midnight, putting a dampener on the New Year festivities.

If legislators pass the lawnext week, as is expected, Board Chair Mitchell Welds confirmed on Thursday that the licensing board does have provision to hold an emergency meeting in order to allow the islands’ licensees to apply for extensions in time for the 2012 party.

In order to pass the amendments to the law the government will, not for the first time, need to suspend the 21 day consultation period and push the legislation through on the grounds of an emergency situation.

Meanwhile, although the board has relented on the decision to give local bars and clubs the opportunity to extend their business and improve their earnings, the owner of Liquor 4 Less was once again refused an extension to the business hours for his liquor stores in George Town. Prentice Panton has also been trying in vain for many months to push his enforced 7pm closing time back to 10pm in line with liquor stores in the districts but he was disappointed with yet another refusal.

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St Ignatius crowned RBC schools sailing champions

| 11/12/2011 | 0 Comments

Windy conditions on the RBC Championships (300x270).jpg(CISC): The annual RBC Inter Primary Schools Sailing Championships has always been a hotly contested regatta and this year’s was no different. On Friday 25th November 2011, 36 sailors representing six schools (Red Bay, Savannah, Cayman Prep, St. Ignatius and Cayman International School) converged on the North Sound to battle for the rights to be crowned 2011 National School Sailing Champions. St. Ignatius dominated the championship fleet with seven first place finishes in as many races.

“RBC was pleased to again sponsor this year’s regatta. We extend congratulations to the teams that competed with such passion and to the organizers for an excellent event,” said Jason Waters, Area Vice President, Cayman Islands for RBC Royal Bank.

The thirty six sailors were divided into two fleets, championship and green. The more experienced sailors raced around a triangular course and the beginner racers sailed a reaching course (sailing across the wind). The weather conditions were challenging with 18 knots of wind and it was a credit to all the sailors that they coped so well with the conditions.

St. Ignatius domination didn’t mean that it was all over for the other schools, because the winner was going to be determined by the team with the lowest combined (championship & green fleet) score.

The green fleet was the most hotly contested group, with just a few points separating the six teams. Cayman Prep (one of last year’s joint winners) started out with three first place finishes but the other teams were not prepared to let them run away with the lead. The following five races saw Savannah (last year’s other joint winner), St. Ignatius and CIS all take line honours. Cayman Prep just managed to dig deep in the eighth and final race and win the Green Fleet event.

After the scores were combined, it was St. Ignatius who were crowned 2011 sailing champs, followed closely by Cayman Prep. CIS and Savannah were tied on points for third and Red Bay and Prospect were tied on points for fifth place. Andrew Moon, Club Commodore and Race Officer on the day, handed out the RBC trophy on behalf of Royal Bank.

The sailing coaches were very impressed with the turn out and level of sailing skill the sailors displayed in the windy conditions. Special mention goes out to newcomers CIS, who had the two youngest sailors (ages 6 & 7) in the competition and although they were by far the lightest team still managed to finish third. Coach Raph said, “Next year we are hoping that George Town, North Side and East End primary schools will be competing in the championship.”

The National Sailing Centre would like to say a big thank you to our sponsors RBC Royal Bank for their continued support of this regatta.

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