Archive for April 4th, 2012

Long awaited LA meeting short lived

| 04/04/2012 | 24 Comments

(CNS): Despite not having met since before Christmas, legislators spent just over an hour in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday morning before the premier adjourned the parliament. With MLAs facing a number of other official engagements, including a groundbreaking in East End at the Morritts Resort as well as meetings with the visiting delegation of UK MPs  and Cayman's London representative, the politicians addressed very little of the issues on what was a full order paper. After several reports were laid on the table, including the long awaited National Census report, and the first reading of three bills was made, the brief meeting of the country's parliament was over.

During the short session the deputy premier revealed that government is leasing the old craft market site on Cardinal Avenue to Magnum Jewellers, which she said had won a government tendering process. She laid the report of the vesting of the plot of crown land, which is now a public document.

The premier adjourned the proceedings until 10am Thursday morning when the legislators are expected to deal with the Custom's tariff bill, an immigration amendment and the new arbitration bill. Government is also expected to table a motion regarding government guarantees for the Cayman Islands National Insurance Company (CINICO).

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Former CS boss adds name to growing petition

| 04/04/2012 | 16 Comments

012 (210x300).jpg(CNS): With around 3500 signatures on the one man, one vote petition, the addition of Donovan Ebanks, the former deputy governor and civil service chief to the list of names may help with the major surge that the campaigners will need to persuade government to implement the system of one man one vote before the next election. Signing outside the George Town, town hall on Tuesday morning in what witnesses described as an historic occasion Ebanks said he hoped his decision to sign publicly would encourage all civil servants who supported the petition’s goal to sign without fear of sanction.

Following the implementation of a new public sector policy, of which Ebanks was the architect, enabling government employees to sign petitions and become more involved in the political process, the former civil service boss said he hoped they would take advantage of it.

He advised any civil servants who still have any reservations about signing any petition including this one to seek out the new deputy governor because he would reassure them.

“If they still have a lack of confidence in the policy they need to seek out the deputy governor as he is the ultimate referee and convey their concerns,” he said explaining that they need to hear it from him if they are still not comfortable. “I think the policy is sound, I think it gives a clear set of rules.”

Involved in the development of the policy he said that he had learned during the research that Cayman makes more use of petitions than any other jurisdiction putting it in a unique position.

Ezzard Miller who has spearheaded the campaign for one man, one vote and the petition said he was delighted that Ebanks had signed the petition in such a public forum and support the cause.

“It’s going to be a tremendous boost for the cause,” Miller added. “He was the architect behind the policy……as he has always supported an increase in freedoms for civil servants.”

Miller said that there were more than 70 petition books still out in circulation and that people were still asking for more. He said that the number of signatures would be even greater if they had more volunteers to collect the names but it was still going very well.

He explained that the plan was to deliver the petition to government on 30 April with the numbers required to trigger the people initiated referendum along with a draft referendum law and a draft amendment to the election law but that the group will carry on collecting signatures after that.

“I believe that there is a point at which we will get the watershed and the government will have no choice but to do the right thing and amend the law in time for 2013,” he said.

Miller added that the government’s announcement about holding a referendum in May of next year had set back the campaign at first describing it as a “brilliant” political move on the premier’s part who opposes the principle of single member constituencies.

“The purpose of the announcement was not to hasten the advent of a referendum, the purpose of that announcement was to dampen the enthusiasm of people and we have had to overcome that. Politically it was a brilliant move… but people have seen through the politics of it.”

He said they were also not swayed by the idea of the community wanting 18 post offices because of one man one vote which he said was ludicrous as it had not happened anywhere in the world.

However, the independent member for North Side did agreed that the premier’s more recent comments about the campaign was right as he said it was a power struggle.

“I agree entirely, yes it’s a power struggle,” he said. “We are trying to empower the people through equality and single member representation with direct accountability and direct responsibility.  Mr Bush is trying to maintain the power for himself and his group by keeping the multiple member constituencies and continuing to gerrymander the process.”

Miller questioned the premier’s position that the cost of a referendum earlier than the election would be so much more and called on the government again to implement the equitable system of one man, one vote before May 2013.

Click here for contact details or to download the petition: Petition for single member constituencies

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Cayman fitness tips

| 04/04/2012 | 33 Comments

A  typical Cayman lunch or dinner consists of:
Chicken / Beef / Meat
Rice & Beans
Potato Salad / Breadfruit
Macaroni & Cheese
Corn Bread
Fried Plantain
Lettuce & Tomato
Soda / Fruit Punch / Juice-Drink

Mmmm – getting hungry? Most people would look at this meal and think that the meat and fried plantains are the weight gainers. You may be surprised.

Do you feel slow, lethargic and lazy after lunch? (Yes – I am referring to what is locally known as "niggaritis".) This feeling is actually due to the extremely high levels of carbohydrates (carbs) that are present in a typical Caymanian meal.

It is not the normal sized serving of meat that is making you gain weight; instead it is the high intake of energy-providing carbohydrates that have no chance of being used up by your body. This is why you feel so sluggish after lunch and dinner – too much of the starchy foods in our meals.

Our eating culture has a historical context. The active lifestyle, economic reality, and access to various foods determined our eating habits. Nowadays most of us are inactive and only sit behind a desk all day long … this does not require much carbs. Therefore, the carbs that we intake are not used / burned up by the body so it simply stays in the body as FAT.

Many people make the mistake and cut out meat and keep everything else when they go on a "diet". This is a common mistake. (By the way, diets DO NOT work simply because when you return to a normal eating pattern your body will return to its earlier condition.)

Instead, keep eating the same portion of meats, increase your intake of leafy vegetables and cut back significantly on the Rice & Beans, Macaroni, Breadfruit, Cornbread, Potato Salad – the starchy stuff.

Also, and perhaps most importantly, you should try to break out of the common eating pattern of 3 big meals a day. Instead try to focus on 6 – 8 small, frequent meals throughout the day. This keeps your metabolism running at top speed and you will actually BURN MORE CALORIES by eating more regularly – sweet deal right?

Exercise

Join a gym or health club. Also, invest in some proper workout attire to go along with your new lifestyle. Both of these actions will help you to stay committed, especially in the early weeks, as you have a financial interest in the new you.

If it is your first time, be sure to seek the assistance of a trained professional at your chosen establishment. Do not be intimidated by the gym scene; the truth is that 90% of people in the gym are just as clueless as you are … even many of the big muscle guys!

If you are a beginner you may want to spend some time on the cardio machines to get your body accustomed to its new way of life. However, do not get caught up in what I refer to as "CARDIO PRISON".

Cardio prison is when people equate "going to the gym" with walking / running on the treadmill, cross-trainer or stair-climber. Yes, all of these machines are useful in their own right; however including RESISTANCE TRAINING (free weights / dumbbells / weight machines) can significantly increase the extent and speed of your results.

Typically you can have as good as, if not better, a workout in half of the time you spend on a cardio machine if you include some of the weight machines in your fitness program. Plus this way you can actually burn calories and "lose weight" 24/7 as opposed to only when you are sweating away on a boring treadmill for 1.5 hours … but I won't get into all of that now.

Conclusion

So, for a healthier and smaller you, it will help to:

  • decrease the size of your meals
  • increase the frequency of your meals (6-8 rather than 3)
  • take advantage of the many buffet lunches islandwide today as they give you control over what and how much you eat
  • cut back significantly on your carbohydrate intake
  • get active – daily walks / jogs, join a gym
  • add some resistance training to your workout (ladies, no – this will NOT bulk you up, don't worry)
  • try to avoid "cardio prison"
  • drinks lots of water
  • NO MORE sodas, "juice drinks" etc. These are like a sugar-drip into your body

So, there you have it folks. You have just received a "professional" fitness consultation and managed to save about $300 bucks as well. Now, get out there and get crackin'!

* Disclaimer: Always consult a doctor before starting any fitness regime or change of diet and eating pattern.

Feel free to post any questions regarding any of the above or fitness in general and I will be happy to help if I can.

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Bread roll swindler guilty

| 04/04/2012 | 56 Comments

cinnamon-rolls-ck-1622511-l.jpg(CNS): A 46-year-old man was convicted on Tuesday of what a judge described as a massive fraud after he stole more than $309,000 from Foster’s Supermarket by inflating invoices for baked goods. Over two years Dave Bryan, who was a partner at Cayman Bakery, managed to dupe staff at the supermarket who had trusted him and conned them out of cash by presenting invoices for huge quantities of cinnamon rolls, spicy buns and bread loaves which were never delivered. Aside from the bread roll swindle, he was also found guilty of forging his business partner’s signature to obtain a loan from the development bank.

Delivering his verdict, Justice Charles Quin described how Bryan had manipulated the system at the local supermarket and breached the trust of the staff there, who had failed to check the deliveries against invoice because they had believed him “and unwittingly processed and paid the invoices."

The judge said Bryan had managed to develop such a high level of trust with the people at that the store that he was in a position to alter the invoices even after they had been signed off and deliver the inflated amounts to the accounts office himself.

Bryan, a Jamaican national, had partnered with Bernie Bush, a West Bay businessman, in the bakery venture and although Bush acted as a “silent partner” in the business while Bryan was “heavily involved in the day to day” running, Bush’s wife was the bakery bookkeeper, who had also been duped by Bryan as he syphoned off the profit he was making from Fosters into his own accounts. Evidence presented in the trial showed that the cash received by the bakery was a fraction of the money Fosters had paid to the firm.

The con started in August of 2006 but it was not until May 2008 during a random check by a Foster’s manager at the Airport store that the scale of the bread roll swindle began to emerge when he discovered a bread  invoice for over $5,000. Such a large quantity of bread could not even hold in the bakery shelve space allocation at the shop, making it apparent something was very wrong.

For almost two years, as Bryan made the Cayman Bakery deliveries his average invoices were almost ten times the normal invoices that were presented to Foster’s by the firm’s regular driver.

After a full scale internal enquiry followed by a police investigation, the supermarket found that it had paid $395,000 for bread loaves, cinnamon rolls and spicy buns that should have cost the store no more than $56,000. The judge pointed out that on Easter buns alone Bryan had swindled the supermarket to the tune of $120,000.

Bryan had also conned a local justice of the peace to witness the signature of his and his business partner, Bernie Bush, on a loan application form, despite the fact that Bush was not present. The JP was conned by Bryan and signed as a witness to what turned out to be a forged signature. The court heard that Bryan had conned the JP by saying the $27,000 loan was urgent as it was for an industrial generator that the bakery needed for the hurricane season.

Bush first learned of Bryan’s fraudulent attempt to extend the business loan when the CIDB called him to say the cheque was ready, which raised the alarm.

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Cops open dynamite enquiry

| 04/04/2012 | 42 Comments

dynomite.JPG(CNS): A consignment of dynamite shipped into the Cayman Islands last month by a local company has triggered a police investigation. The container load of explosives, which was imported without a licence, has now been seized by the customs department, a spokesperson for the RCIPS confirmed Tuesday. “Police can confirm an investigation is currently on-going into a quantity of explosives which were imported into the Cayman Islands without the necessary paperwork,” an RCIPS official stated. Sources have told CNS that the explosives plus a key piece of heavy machinery which has also been imported and seized are in connection with a “major fill project” which could have significant public interest.

As yet unable to confirm the details regarding the explosives shipment and the under declared equipment, CNS has submitted a number of questions to the authorities and has also made an FOI request about the shipments, requesting copies of any correspondence relating to the dynamite and heavy equipment between various government agencies, departments and offices.

According to the law, anyone who wishes to import dynamite must have permission and a licence to do so. The explosives law states that anyone who is not authorised in writing by the National Roads Authority director to possess, control, sell, deal, buy or import explosives is guilty of a crime.

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Former MLA arrested for shoplifting

| 04/04/2012 | 0 Comments

Lyndon-Martin-199x300.jpg(CNS): Police confirmed Tuesday that they had arrested a Cayman Brac resident around 4:30 on Saturday afternoon at a local store for shoplifting. CNS has learned that the 42-year-old man is former MLA for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, Lyndon Martin, and according to the RCIPS report he was arrested on suspicion of theft of itemstotalling $4.10 from Tibbetts Enterprises. A police spokesperson said that officers from Cayman Brac Police were now investigating the matter. Martin also appeared in the Summary Court on the Brac last month in relation to the theft of more than $900 from the Creek and Spot Bay School PTA last year.

The former UDP representative for the Sister Islands between 2002 and 2005 is accused of taking money from a PTA fund raiser and falsely tendering cheques from the PTA account for his personal use.

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Civil rights dispute ends in costly legal bill

| 04/04/2012 | 90 Comments

404304_10150462172732967_542307966_8730559_270248897_n.jpg(CNS): A local man who believed his civil rights had been trampled on by the police has lost his legal case in the local courts and is now facing a bill of tens of thousands of dollars. Dennie Warren Jr has been in dispute with the police commissioner for some time as he believed that the the police did not have the lawful right to go into Warren’s home at will because he held a firearms licence and that the commissioner was overstepping the boundaries of his office. After a legal wrangle in which Warren represented himself through Cayman's Grand Court and the Court of Appeal, he is now facing a massive billof over CI$29,000.

As a licenced firearms holder who disputed what rights the police had to enter his home, Warren said that the case was not about money or even about owning firearms, but it was a civil rights test that questioned how much leeway the police have to make regulations and policy themselves that stretch the parameters of existing legislation.

Warren said he could not afford a lawyer to test this issue so he had brought the legal case himself in an effort to protect what he believed were his rights to privacy. He believed that the inspection the police wanted to make of his home was unlawful as such a regulation could only be made by the Governor in Cabinet, but the commissioner of police had made it a requirement as a matter of policy. By doing so, he had acted outside the scope of his authority, Warren had argued in court.

However, the Court of Appeal found that the police commissioner does have absolute discretion whether or not to grant licences and so had the right to make an inspection a condition. The high court said that the commissioner had to be satisfied that the circumstances for a licence to be granted were met in the public interest.

Having failed to convince the appeals court of his position, Warren has now been presented with a bill which, he said, could deter other people from pursuing their civil rights in the courts in future. Regardless of the details of this case, he said, the outcome could have a negative impact on people who believe their rights and civil liberties have been breached.

He said others may now be fearful of bringing cases against the authorities when they genuinely believe a wrong has been committed against them because of the potential risk of such a heavy financial penalty for trying.

Believing he had a right to test the police commissioner's interpretation of the law, especially on such a delicate issue of owning licenced firearms, Warren, a former sports shooter, pointed to the increased pressure on licenced firearms owners from the police and efforts to remove guns from personal possession as a knee jerk response to rising crime.

The commissioner has made no secret that he believes that the fewer guns there are in Cayman the better, regardless of the weapons being in the possession of law abiding licence holders. In the past he has pointed to the theft and loss of weapons owned by licence holders that have found their way into the hands of criminals.

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Cayman’s young skiing star wins bronze in key race

| 04/04/2012 | 11 Comments

dean travers (260x300).jpg(CNS): After a six week layoff following a serious knee injury sustained earlier in the season during training, the Cayman Islands’ youngest skiing sensation, 15-year-old Dean Travers, started 47th in his first major FIS giant slalom race on the feared steeps of Telluride's Milk Run last month. Racing against 16 to 18 year olds in his Cayman colours, Dean showed classic form on the steeps as he improved his position to 21st after just the first run. With a cleaner course in his second run Dean stunned his older competitors by finishing in the third fastest time of the day, which improved his overall position to a bronze medal. 

In the next FIS giant slalom the following week in Park City, the young skier was placed way down on the line-up because of a lack of points during the season. However, Dean changed his 87th start up position to 21st, but then he blew the senior competition away again in his second run by finishing with the fastest time of the day, taking first place in the run over and above 90 other more racers and improving overall to 20th position.

Both these results mean Dean's FIS points in Giant Slalom drop to below the level required for full Olympic qualification and will rank Dean nationally as one of the fastest 15-year-olds in the United States.

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