Archive for March 23rd, 2012

Critical dive patient dies in hospital

| 23/03/2012 | 3 Comments

(CNS):  Updated — A 51-year-old female resident has died after being admitted to hospital in a critical condition on Friday afternoon. Police confirmed the death of the woman Monday, stating she had died on Friday evening. Pamela Jean Langevin was taken to the hospital when she collapsed after a dive. At about 12:35pm Thursday afternoon the police were informed that she had had difficulties during a dive at the Turtle Reef off North West Point, in West Bay. Langevin was able to reach shore with her dive partner but became unconscious and had difficulty breathing. Staff from Sun Divers responded and assisted. CPR and Oxygen was administered prior to the arrival of emergency services.

A police spokesperson said her death was under investigation by the RCIPS Marine Dept.

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No evidence in Baker case

| 23/03/2012 | 15 Comments

kerran_2.jpg(CNS): The man arrested in connection with the suspected murder of Kerran (KerryAnn) Baker last November has been released from police bail conditions as there is no evidence to charge the 35-year-old man, police said Friday. However, an RCIPS spokesperson stated that the enquiry into the disappearance of the 25-year-old Jamaican nurse “remains very active” and officers recently visited Jamaica to meet with her family and officials there. Although Kerran's body has never been found, police suspect that she was murdered following her suspicious disappearance from her home in Bodden Town last July and the discovery of her car parked close to the Pedro cliffs a few days later.

“Although no trace of Kerran has been found, the circumstances surrounding her disappearance and the findings of the enquiry team to date have led the RCIPS to treat this case as a murder,” police said Friday.

Officers leading the hunt were in Jamaica this week to provide her parents, siblings and fiancée with a comprehensive update on the progress of the investigation, the spokesperson added. During the visit officers also met with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

A recent report in the Jamaicanpress revealed that Kerran's parents had concerns about the investigation and had approached the Jamaican government to intervene in the investigation into the suspected murder of their daughter.

Kerran's stepfather told the Jamaican Observer that the family had approached the Jamaican government to stop the investigation dying out.

So far, only one arrest has been made in the eight month long enquiry. The man who was arrested after an operation in Prospect last November has since been released from his bail conditions, police said, as, “at this stage, there is insufficient evidence to proceed” towards charges.

“Kerran's family have been made aware of the development and remain extremely supportive of the RCIPS and the determination of the enquiry team to bring this case to a successful conclusion,” the police added in the latest update about the case.

Kerran was last seen shopping at Foster's Airport supermarket on 30 July, where she was captured on CCTV. The Jamaican practice nurse was reported missing by a friend when she and other friends of Kerran’s were unable to make contact with her. When her friends gained access to her apartment, they found partially unpacked groceries and Kerran's purse on the counter. It was apparent that Kerran had been interrupted by something or someone as she was putting away the shopping and left her apartment with just her phone and car keys.

Her vehicle was discovered in Pedro St James a few days after her disappearance and the keys to the car in bushes nearby.

Anyone who has any information in relation to the disappearance of Kerran is asked to contact George Town police station on 949-4222, the RCIPS tip-line 949-7777, or Crime Stoppers 800-8477 (TIPS).

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Clue to male baldness discovered

| 23/03/2012 | 0 Comments

uncle-fester.jpg(BBC): A biological clue to male baldness has been discovered, raising the prospect of a treatment to stop or even reverse thinning hair. In studies of bald men and laboratory mice, US scientists pinpointed a protein that triggers hair loss. Drugs that target the pathway are already in development, they report in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The research could lead to a cream to treat baldness. Most men start to go bald in middle age, with about 80% of men having some hair loss by the age of 70. The male sex hormone testosterone plays a key role, as do genetic factors. They cause the hair follicles to shrink, eventually becoming so small that they are invisible, leading to the appearance of baldness.

Now, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have analysed which genes are switched on when men start to go bald.

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Crane reaches dizzy heights over Seven Mile Beach

| 23/03/2012 | 0 Comments

image004 (254x300).jpg(CNS): The crane being used by the general contractors on a Seven Mile Beach condominium broke local records this week when it was extended up to 202 feet, becoming the tallest structure in the Cayman Islands. The crane’s extension comes ahead of the anticipated completion of what will be the country’s tallest residential building. Following a controversial amendment to the planning law in 2010 that now allows developers to exceed the seven story limit up to as many as ten floors in the main tourist zone, the developers of WaterColours immediately adapted their plans to take advantage of the extra floors. Read more on CNS Busines

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Miller: CHEC deal won’t pay

| 23/03/2012 | 86 Comments

(CNS): Despite the claims by the premier that the proposed deal with China Harbour Engineering Company to build the George Town cruise port facilities will bring a better return for the people of the Cayman Islands, the independent member for North Side says the figures just don’tadd up. Ezzard Miller claims that over the roughly fifty year life of the deal government is considering with the Beijing based firm the public purse could lose out by as much as a half a billion dollars. When compared to the previous proposal, Miller says CHEC will be taking money from passenger fees over fifty years, which will see Cayman lose out.

Based on average expected arrival figures, despite giving back 40% in the second 25 year period, public coffers will still be worse off than the deal proposed by GLF Construction, which was a smaller, less costly project where the developer would have covered its costs and return within 25 years.

The premier has claimed, however, that because the cost of the financing the project proposed by CHEC will be much cheaper than the one proposed by GLF and government will begin to reap the benefit sooner. He has said that on top of the amount of work that will be generated by the actual development and the anticipated economic stimulus it will create, the Chinese will begin giving back 40% of the takings to the public purse after the first 25 years.

McKeeva Bush has also stated that Caymanians will be offered an opportunity to own shares in the development and therefore earn a direct profit from the cruise berthing project.

However, Miller says he has spent significant time analysing the figures and says that no matter which way government dresses it up, the public will lose out in the CHEC deal. On top of the immense competition that will be created for existing George Town traders with the proposed 100,000 sqft of retail space on the upland development, the public coffers will also suffer as a result of the length of the deal and the money CHEC will be taking from fees.

The GLF proposal was estimated to cost around $195 million while the CHEC proposal is currently estimated to be around $300 million, though this has not yet been confirmed and could be considerably more. Based on the estimated fee take Miller says, in the first 25 years under the GLF proposal government would receive just over $395M in income from the ports, compared to just over $324M from CHEC.

But it is the second 25 year period where government would lose out most, said Miller. If government had struck a deal with GLF, the developer would have handed over the ownership of the facility, having already covered the costs of financing and a return on its investment, he said.

With the CHEC deal, however, government will continue on in partnership with the firm, and although it will be receiving a 40% share of the profits, the income to government in the second 25 year block with an anticipated arrival figure of 1.6 million passengers per annum, government will receive only $507M, rather than the more than $1B it would have received, the independent member pointed out.

Miller told CNS that government must re-think the CHEC deal. Despite Bush's claims that it is the best proposal for Cayman, it will not only see local retailers suffer from the competition from the upland development but will also significantly reduce the take to the public purse.

Government has still not revealed the finer details of its current discussions with China Harbour and KPMG are currently engaged in a value for money study on the proposal. The premier and his spokesperson on the project, Ellio Solomon, have both indicated that they hope to move to a main agreement with CHEC over the next few weeks.

See proposed CHEC plans for cruise berthing facility here

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Premier to battle one man, one vote in public forum

| 23/03/2012 | 60 Comments

bush LA.jpg(CNS): As a keen defender of the voting status quo, Premier McKeeva Bush will be going publicly head to head with Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin and independent member, Ezzard Miller, next week over the question of the introduction of one man, one vote in Cayman. Local think tank Generation NOW will be hosting the panel discussion on the topical issue next Thursday, which will also feature Adrianne Webb, who was one of the Electoral Boundaries Commission members, along with UDP supporter and election commentator, Dick Arch. The forum is open to the public and organisers say that, given the line-up, it promises to be a lively discussion.

"We believe that we have selecteda panel of persons who have been outspoken on this issue from a variety of perspectives that reflects a cross-section of our community as a whole," said Olivaire Watler, one of the directors of the activist group which seeks to promote higher education and opportunities for young Caymanians.

The non-governmental organisation has hosted several round table discussions on a number of thorny subjects that have encouraged the local community to begin openly debating some of the country’s more controversial issues, from gambling to taxation.

With McKeeva Bush still opposed to the principle of one man, one vote and Miller spearheading a campaign that is just a few hundred signatures away from triggering the country’s first ever people initiated referendum on the subject, the discussion question "One Man, One Vote: Now, Later or Never?” is likely to generate an evening of interesting discourse.

“Along with Mr Ezzard Miller, who has initiated the petition to introduce one man, one vote, the premier and the leader of the opposition will weigh in on the issue,” Watler said. “We will also have a valuable resource in Ms Adriannie Webb, attorney and member of the Electoral Boundaries Commission, which considered the pros and cons of single-member and multi-member constituencies, and Mr Dick Arch as an informed member of the public who is well known for, amongst other things, his long experience as a general elections radio commentator and his considered contributions on the subject."

The round table, which is open to the public, will take place on Thursday, 29 March, at 7:00pm at the Harquail Theatre and will be moderated by Crosstalk’s Austin Harris.

Organiser's also stated that the discussion will be aired on Radio Cayman but people wishing to attend the live forum will be asked for a $5 contribution to the cost of the event.

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