Archive for January, 2012

Early morning robbery

| 31/01/2012 | 9 Comments

Crime-Scene.jpg(CNS): In yet another doorstep heist, two armed men carrying a handgun escaped with cash and jewellery in the early hours of Tuesday morning after robbing a victim outside his home. Police said they are investigating the robbery which occurred on Templewood Street in the Windsor Park area of George Town at around 3:55am. The man arrived at his home and began to unload his vehicle, when he was approached by two men, one of whom brandished a handgun. The suspects made their escape from the crime scene on foot with a sum of money and jewellery. The culprits were described as having Caymanian accents and were dressed in full black clothing.

The victim was unable to provide any other description of the suspects police said, adding that no shots were fired and no injuries were sustained during the incident.

Anyone with information should call the George Town CID   at 949-4222  or the Confidential Crime Stoppers number 800-8477 (TIPS )

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Minister says attitude shift on trade skills needed

| 31/01/2012 | 0 Comments

construction worker.jpg(CNS Business): Education Minister Rolston Anglin has called for “social change” when it comes to accepting the legitimacy and gainful-employment possibilities of a variety of trades. The Cayman Islands Further Education Centre – the new government Year 12 programme – now offers vocational courses but, the minister said, the community still needs to undergo an attitude change toward learning trade skills.  “What are we going to do differently to get parental buy-in?” Anglin asked. “Through parents encouraging their young people and seeing these qualifications as worthwhile, that is crucially important.” The ministry's push to promote the value of learning a trade is being reinforced by the economic slowdown, which Anglin said may be one of the greatest motivators to shifting attitudes toward seeking jobs in the trades. Read more on CNS Business

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Baker denies theft of over $400,000

| 31/01/2012 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A local baker pleaded not guilty to fraud and theft on Friday and will now face a judge alone trial next month regarding a number of offences that the prosecution says were committed between August 2006 and July 2008. Dave Bryan a partner with a local bakery firm is accused of stealing more than $400,000 from both Cayman Bakery and Foster’s supermarket. Bryan is also charged with various counts of fraud and conspiracy that relate to attempts to obtain a loan in his business partner’s name and attempting to conceal the proceeds of crime.

Bryan, who is currently in custody in Northward Prison, faced five counts in total and pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. The trial is set to start on 20 February without a jury.

Raquel Bryan and Seymour Morgan were originally charged alongside Bryan however, the court heard Friday that after the alleged co-conspirators had spoken with the police they would not be facing trial with Bryan.

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DoEH investigates fast food roach report

| 31/01/2012 | 25 Comments

Roach%20Cartoon_full.jpg(CNS): In the wake of news of food poisoning at this year’s Taste of Cayman event, the Department of Environmental Health has confirmed a report yesterday of a cockroach in a burger at a fast food restaurant on Seven Mile Beach. A CNS reader reported that the insect was found in a local teenager’s lunch on Monday.  The DEH director confirmed that the office received the report of a customer complaint today around 2:45pm concerning “a young man who had allegedly consumed a foreign matter (roach) in a burger.” Roydell Carter stated that the matter is currently under investigation to gather evidence and determine if the complaint is substantiated.

“Where necessary, the DEH will enforce relevant actions to ensure that corrective steps are implemented because food safety and hygiene are of paramount importance to everyone. The customer will be notified of the outcome of the investigation,” said Carter.

A relative of the teen told CNS that he was treated on the George Town hospital and prescribed medication after the unappetizing incident. They also confirmed that the restaurant staff were apologetic and gave the teen his cash back.

Meanwhile, public health officials are still gathering data from those that were affected by the food poisoning at the Cayman Islands Tourism Association’s major annual food festival and trying to trace the source of the bug which caused the problem. On Monday evening Dr Kiran Kumar reported that a common thread was beginning to emerge from the reported cases which the team could investigate.

People who were affected but not treated at the hospital are asked to contact officials to assist with the investigation.

Please contact the Health Department's Surveillance Officer  timothy.mclaughlin@hsa.ky or call on 244-2651 or 244-221 to help the department get full picture of the symptoms and foods eaten.

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MLAs back BT landfill move

| 30/01/2012 | 99 Comments

_DSC2388.png(CNS): Despite mounting opposition in their constituency over government’s decision to move the country’s waste-management facilities to Bodden Town, Dwayne Seymour and Mark Scotland have made it clear they are backing the move. The two government representatives have stated that the George Town dump is not being relocated to their district but that “a state-of-the-art 21st century waste management facility is being developed there,” although not everyone in their district is convinced. Accusing the opposition, the independent member and “their cohorts” of trying “to pit the good people of Bodden Town against other Caymanians”, the UDP MLAs said their government was committed to putting in place an effective solution to address the "dump debacle" that the former administration “couldn’t solve.” (Photo Dennie WarrenJr)

“The dump problem is not a George Town problem or a Bodden Town problem but a Cayman Islands problem,” Scotland and Seymour said in a statement released by AtWater Consulting.

The MLAs said that although the PPM was responsible for the failure to address the landfill problem, the opposition and the Independent member had “the audacity to use a serious issue related to the welfare of all Caymanians as a political football for political mileage.”

In the statement the MLAs failed to address the mounting and non-political opposition to the plan and failed to address the questions that have been raised by the Coalition to Keep BT Dump Free, which is a single issue organisation formed by district residents to campaign against the landfill relocation.

While the MLAs said that the People of the Cayman Islands were entitled to answers to reasonable questions, neither offered answers to many of those asked by the coalition.

“We, in the government, are working to put in place the right solution for our waste management situation,” the district representatives stated. “We are carrying out a comprehensive review and design process to implement the correct solution for the waste management facility. The public is being intentionally misled to believe that the dump is being moved to Bodden Town and this would be very good reason for concern if it were happening – the facility to be developed in Bodden Town will bear no resemblance whatsoever to, nor will it be operated in a similar manner as the dump in George Town.”

Scotland and Seymour said it was a slap in the face to future generations of Caymanians in Bodden Town, George Town and throughout the Islands for both the PPM and the Coalition to make far-fetched assertions that the current location, in its current form, is acceptable.

However, at no time have any of those involved in the coalition or the opposition stated that the current situation is acceptable. The PPM, the independent member and the coalition all support government’s own original plans to address the land fill via a waste to energy solution. The cross-party group created under the last administration had agreed on that solution and the current administration had already selected a company to undertake the project, which had wide community support at the end of 2010.

Even though the solution government now proposes forms part of a major investment alliance with the islands’ biggest developer, which is a policy decision by the UDP, the BT MLAs said that they could “unequivocally” say they were not playing politics. They went on to add, however, that as elected members and part of the present government they had an obligation to uphold and direct policy that will be in the best interest of the Caymanian people.

“The direction that this Government has taken in relation to putting in place a solution for a proper waste management facility is the correct one, and subject to the proper protocols related to implementation of a waste management facility, we expect that the entire country will concur that we are doing the right thing at the right time for the people of the Cayman Islands,” they stated.

The MLAs further stated that they were "not prepared to face a staged performance of opposition and attack strategists who have no real interest in working with the government” but they did not say if that meant they would refuse to meet the coalition. 

They did say that in the coming days they would be addressing a myriad of issues specifically related to the Bodden Town district.

Meanwhile the coalition pointed to comments made by Dwayne Seymour on Cayman27 on Friday where he said he didn’t have all the information on the proposed move, querying how he and his colleague could support the relocation. It also pointed out that the coalition is not a political movement.

"The Coalition is completely non-political, unaffiliated with any political party, and open to support from members of any political party," said Vincent Frederick, one of the leaders of the coalition that stood as an independent candidate in the 2009 election. "We do not support either party and our only advice come the next elections is 'don't vote for any candidate who supports moving the dump to Bodden Town'. This is our only concern — and it should be Mr Seymour's and Mr Scotland's top priority if they were the least bit concerned with the interest and well-being of their constituents.”

The coalition again sent a message to both UDP members that they were elected to represent the interests of Bodden Town, not those of Dart.

Gregg Anderson challenged Seymour over the accusations that the people were being misled by those who oppose the moving of the dump.

“The coalition does have the facts, and opposes a dump in Bodden Town because of these facts. You claim that you don't have the facts, but you support putting a dump in your own district, in spite of not having the facts," Anderson added.

“Is it not a fact that the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) hasn't in its possession a single document relating to the relocation of the GT dump, or to the selection of Bodden Town as the preferred site? Was this Government decision taken behind the backs of the DEH as well? Is it not a fact that no Environmental Impact Assessment has ever been done, and that this would be the very first required step, in any country, before moving a dump and before choosing a new site? Is it not a fact that the Central Tenders Committee, following the due process of the law, rejected the Dart proposal to move the GT dump, because the environmental impact was of 'great concern' to its technical team?" he asked.

The coalition pointed to the recent revelations on CNS regarding the CTC's technical team’s considerations of the bids submitted in response to government’s request for tender and their concerns regarding the Dart proposal.

The coalition agrees, however, that there still is missing information, and Alain Beiner challenged the MLAs to reveal what it is that they are hiding from the people.

"We believe that you do have the facts, and we ask you how in the world did your government manage to dump the CTC's first choice to solve the problem of Mount Trashmore, and then run with the CTC's very last choice?" he asked. "Who did pick Bodden Town, why and when? These are the real missing facts, and we have to assume that your government has them,” he said to the district’s representatives.

See full statement from the Bodden Town MLAs plus the latest release from the Coalition below.

See CNS Viewpoint here

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Chefs and farmers to linger over slow food

| 30/01/2012 | 0 Comments

jm-food-table.jpg(CNS): As a pre curser to the agricultural show which takes place on Ash Wednesday a group of chefs and farmers will be getting together on Saturday morning for a Slow Food Day at Market at The Grounds at the Agriculture Pavilion in Lower Valley. Slow Food Day pairs local farmers with chefs who will give cooking demonstrations using the ingredients direct from the farms. A collaborative effort of the Cayman Islands Agricultural Society (CIAS), Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink and Slow Food Grand Cayman farmers the idea is to demonstrate the connections between the earth and the plate.

Chefs include Thomas Tennant,Michael’s Genuine; Nevin Patel, the Brasserie; Paul Carroll, Hemmingway’s Sara Mair Ortanique and Keith Griffin from the Culinary Society, Errol Watler, Patrick Panton, Joel Walton, Donna Connolly, Paul Bodden and Hamlin Stephenson.

The chefs will give cooking demonstrations between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m., using ingredients from the farmer with whom they are paired.

“One of the main highlights of the Agriculture Show is to emphasise the ground-to-the-plate correlation between the food that is grown and what we eat,” explained Errol Watler, President of CIAS.

Chef Tennant will serve soft scrambled eggs, provided by Mrs. Connolly’s hens – over garlic toast and topped with mixed with local green onions and grated cheese. Other chefs will create dishes using local ingredients such as sweet potato, pumpkin, coconut, calalloo, tomatoes, Scotch Bonnet peppers, pork and chickens raised at Patrick Panton’s farm.

Admission is free. Patrons will be entertained by local bands and a bouncy castle and pony rides will provide fun for the kids.

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Youth organisation show off their strengths

| 30/01/2012 | 0 Comments

Youth Consortium Event 28 Jan 2012 (1Girls Brigade) (232x300).jpg(CNS): Over 40 youth organizations, sports associations and schools exhibited at the Cayman Islands Youth Development Consortium’s (CIYDC) Celebrate Our Youth Day on Saturday. Described as “a national celebration of partnerships and opportunities”  guests at the event included various government officials and dignitaries. “So many times we look at what is wrong with our students,” said CIYDC Director Sylvia Wilks but she said Saturday was to focus on their successes and strengths. The event, which included a youth expo and awards ceremony, focused on the positive contributions made by young people, while also highlighting the many ways youth can become involved in their community. 

It was initiated by CIYDC in January 2010 when the premier signed a proclamation to observe January as Support Our Youth Month.

For more information on CIYDC and Support Our Youth Month, visit http://www.supportingcaymanyouth.com/support_our_youth_month_2012.html
 

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Sea swimmers raise cash for Carifta 2012

| 30/01/2012 | 0 Comments

CARIFTA Fundraising Start (240x265).jpg(CIASA): A group of Cayman Islands swimmers took to the seas this past weekend to raise funds for the team’s trip to the CARIFTA Swimming 2012 in Nassau, Bahamas between 12 and 15 April. The swim has been completed but members of the community can still sponsor the team up until 4 February. Although focused and training hard for upcoming qualifying Swim Meets, the swimmers come together for this fundraiser to achieve a common goal – raise funds for the trip; but also to begin the bonding process which will see them leave club affiliations behind as they become the Cayman Islands CARIFTA Team in April.

At 8am the beach just north of The Wharf was abuzz with excitement as swimmers prepped, put on sun screen, greased up and made sure their goggles and caps were in good order. The group of 30 plus swimmers made their way to the old Pageant Beach Sea Pool and the first leg of the 5-1/2 mile relay began.

Coach Dominic Ross joked that, “this is an easy swim … after all … we all know that Seven Mile Beach is really only 5-1/2 miles long!”

However, when all was said and done the swimmers, some of whom are only 11 years old – put in a mammoth effort and swam the entire length in relay teams; while a couple of the older, more seasoned swimmers such as Geoffrey Butler and Andrew Smiley* swam the whole 5-1/2 miles solo.

Dr. Sook Yin, a longstanding CIASA Director and a “permanent” part of the swim team’s professional care commented:  “On behalf of CIASA I want to thank all of the potential CARIFTA swimmers for being such good sports and swimming the long open water course from George Town to West Bay. There were some grumbles along the way, but they all pitched in and did it – and the kids were all smiles at the end.

“I want to thank the parents too who walked the course, loaded down with water, Gatorade, towels suntan lotion  and hats – while walking barefoot on the mostly white sand but also negotiating iron shore and slippery rocks for 3.5 hours!”

While the swimmers are, of course, instrumental in an event such as this, it could not happen without the volunteer support team. Open Water Safety veteran Dagmar Wojcicki organized and managed the water safety team; NAME, marshaled the course via jet ski and Coach Dom, NAME and mother – son team, Michelle and Jake Bailey kayaked – keeping the pod of swimmers safely together and pulling out the younger ones when they couldn't keep up or the swells became a little too much.

CIASA also extends thanks to Red Sails Sports for the kayaks and jet ski; swim parents and club executives who organized the sandwiches; baked the goodies and made sure there was water and Gatorade along the way for swimmers, parents and the safety team.

CARIFTA Fundraising Start (400x241).jpgAnd last but not least CIASA thanks Coach Dom, Coach Katie and Coach Paula who, between them organized the event, and organized and motivated the swimmers both while they were swimming and walking the beach.

Swimmers are reminded to hand in all outstanding sponsorship money by the 3rd of February, along with their sponsorship form, to their coach; and members of the community are reminded to find a swimmer and sponsor them!

Next on the swim calendar is the Stingray Swim Club trip to Jamaica for the Water Rodgers Age Group Swimming National Championships, February 16-19th.

*An accomplished open water swimmer, Andrew Smiley is too old to compete at CARIFTA but used this swim as a great training opportunity.

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Swim coach dives into beginners swim programme

| 30/01/2012 | 4 Comments

Coach Chester (1) (226x300).jpg(CNS): Government’s learn-to-swim programme is now back on track with a newly-appointed coach, officials said Monday.  Chester Hurlston has taken up the job at government’s swim school and said while he will be helping young swimmers improve the goal is to focus on teaching all kids in the government system who cannot swim at all. Registration for the after-school swim programme is now open on a first-come, first-served basis for the weekday classes due to start next week. “It would be great if we could teach every child to swim. The Swim School gives everyone access to swim instruction,” Coach Hurlston said.

Sports minister Mark Scotland said the learn-to-swim programme is very important to his ministry. “Every young child should have the opportunity to learn to swim,” he said “I am very pleased that we are able to revitalize it and extremely pleased that a young Caymanian has been hired to get the programme back on track.”

After returning from college in Knoxville, Tennessee which he attended on an athletic scholarship, with a bachelor’s degree in child psychology, Hurlston taught physical education at Grace Christian Academy and coached in government’s after-school sports programme.  He was drafted for the Cayman Islands Swim School late last year, taking up his position this January. “Sports have always been my thing plus I love working with kids. This new position allows me to pursue both passions and I couldn’t be happier,” he said.

The school will continue to help young swimmers improve but  kids who can’t swim will be the focus of attention for the programme.

“It would be great if we could teach every child to swim. The Swim School gives everyone access to swim instruction. Growing up, I did not have the privilege of learning to swim in a pool. For most of us, the ocean was our training ground. This is such a great opportunity, I hope parents will take advantage of it,” he noted.

Registration for the after-school swim programme is now open and  a nominal registration fee is payable. This term will only feature weekday classes which are scheduled to start on Monday, 6 February. For more information call the Department of Sports at 949-7082.

 

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Cash4Titles spin off suit settled out of court

| 30/01/2012 | 0 Comments

court good.jpg(CNS): A legal dispute between one of the acquitted defendants in the fraud case Cash4Titles and three local auditors has been settled outside of thecourtroom, according to a statement released by Pinnacle Publishing on Friday. Lewis Rowe, who had been charged in connection with the famous fraud case and was acquitted at the end of the trial in 2005, had filed a law suit in February 2011 against government, Dan Scott, James Cleaver and Richard Fogerty, who acted as the original liquidators in the case. Although it is unclear on whose behalf the statement was officially issued, it said that none of the parties had accepted fault but the dispute was over.

No settlement figure was revealed but whatever payment was made to Lowe, it was indicated that Scott had made no contribution to it.

Rowe was arrested in connection with the case in September 2000 but claimed the case against him was based on suspicions from one report written by auditors that were never properly investigated or ever amounted to a real case against him. In his suit he had stated that he had lost millions of dollars as a result of the case based almost entirely on a report accusing him of misconduct that he said was based on no material evidence but merely the suspicions of the auditors.

Lowe had also claimed that Scott, Cleaver and Fogerty owed a fiduciary duty to keep the promissory notes and other assets seized from him as a result of the case safe until he was in a position to get them back, but he had claimed in his writ that they did not do so.

“The defendants acted recklessly and irresponsibly in surrendering the said promissory notes,” he said, stating that his assets were never returned to him.

The Cash4Titles fraud case, which related to a US-based business that gave small short term loans based on the security of their car titles, was revealed to be a Ponzi scheme after the investors were found guilty in the US of diverting funds.

Rowe, who was an investor in the company, was originally charged in connection with the case with assisting another to retain the benefit of the proceeds of criminal conduct.
This settlement applies only to the auditors and CNS understands that Rowe’s dispute with the Cayman Islands Government has not yet been resolved.

Full statement re the settlement as follows:

"Lewis Rowe, Dan Scott, G. James Cleaver, and Richard Fogerty have reached a settlement ending all legal disputes between the parties. The settlement provides for no admission of fault by any party, the dismissal of Mr. Rowe’s claim filed in February 2011 against Messrs. Scott, Cleaver and Fogerty, the dismissal of the claim filed by Messrs. Cleaver and Fogerty against Mr. Rowe in 2005, the dismissal of Mr. Rowe’s counter-claim filed in response to the 2005 claim, and the mutual release of all other claims which may otherwise arise in future. Mr. Scott did not contribute to the settlement."

Read related story here

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