Archive for April 16th, 2012

Gags galore

| 16/04/2012 | 1 Comment

They say that the only thing to do when things get really bad is laugh, and that’s certainly what happened at the weekend when Rundown launched its annual dose of comic cure for Cayman’s ills. Alongside a ‘double helping’ of McKeeva, Shetty and Quincy, few were safe from the butt of the gags which peppered this year’s production of Cayman’s comedy review.

Rundown is always funny but this year it was also extremely clever and Henry Muttoo isn’t worrying about who he takes aim at and whose sensibilities he might be offending with his ‘un-PC’ but hilariously irreverent script.

The cast is refreshingly diverse and very funny with some great acting. Classic performers such as Harwell McCoy, Rita Estevanovitch and Michael McLaughlin — the inner circle of ‘Rundown Idiots’ — ensure the professionalism of the show and, of course, Quincy Brown's talent for acting, impersonation, singing and comic timing seems to grow better each year. 

Priscilla Pouchie, who has virtually grown up on stage, also gives a great performance, especially singing for the double McKeevas – who are almost as funny as the real thing.

The newer members of the cast also add some interesting new perspectives on the traditional show, which brings back the much loved ‘Ital’ and the funniest talk show in Cayman, ‘Talkacross’; McLaughlin's impersonation of Gilbert McLean is classic.

The show, which has a special place in the heart of Caymanians and ex-pats alike, provides plenty of chortles and is sure to offend plenty of people as well  — but if they can’t take a joke and all that …

Muttoo has proved more than able to carry on the review created by Dave Martin with quality material that offers something for all, including some very subtle gags that can easily be missed by those not paying attention but will appeal to the cerebral among the audience. The wit is complemented with splendid slapstick and visual comedy, not least of which is an excellent cameo by Hell’s very own Ivan Farrington, plus a great dance routine by Kevin Creary and Giselle Webb, and the Shetty and Shetty act by Judy Singh and Vijay Singhera is not to be missed.

Topical and sharp, the show takes a hilarious and flippant swipe at many of Cayman’s politicians and local characters, reminding them not to take themselves too seriously.

Oh, and Mutooo, whaddya mean "Cayman Olds Service"? Yer cheeky beggar…

Rundown opened on Thursday evening with a fundraising performance for George Town Primary School and the curtain rises again on Thursday 19 April, with performances starting at 8 through Sunday, when the curtain goes up at 6pm. The show then moves to Cayman Brac for one weekend before returning for its final showdown on Grand Cayman on 3 May, closing on 6 May.

Tickets are available at Fosters Funky Tangs and the CNCF offices at the bargain price of $20, given the amount of laugh you get for your money.

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Earthday clean up attracts 1500 volunteers

| 16/04/2012 | 0 Comments

ED April 14 2012 017 (300x284).jpg(CNS): More than 1500 people from schools, businesses, church groups, and other community organisations early Saturday morning for the Chamber of Commerce’s 15th Annual Earth Day Roadside Clean-Up. Bags and bags of garbage were collected by the most volunteers the initiative has ever attracted, from the roads and beaches. “With fifteen years of this event behind us it just keeps getting bigger and better,” said Wil Pineau the Chamber’s CEO.

“The community spirit generated by this clean-up event is always spectacular. It’s a perfect opportunity for our members to work side-by-side for something that is meaningful to us all,” he added.

Pointing to the wider benefits of the popular clean-up he said it also remind people about the importance of the local environment. 

“Although our community benefits significantly from this event it is the economic benefits of taking care of our tourism identity that will positively impact our many businesses. Our beauty is bountiful but it still needs looking after. The Chamber sees this Earth Day event as an excellent way to remind people that we are caretakers of our environment and that we have an obligation to take that responsibility seriously. I am pleased to say that more people than ever took that to heart this year,” Pineau said.

Event sponsors included BritCay Insurance; Dart Cayman Islands.; Island Heritage Insurance; Kensington Management Group Ltd.; KPMG; Transocean Inc.; CUC Ltd.; The Phoenix Group; Conyers Dill & Pearman; Cayman Islands Yellow Pages; Cayman National; Foster’s Food Fair IGA; Department of Environmental Health; Mourant Ozannes, Walkers, Deutsche Bank (Cayman) Limited, LIME, Sagicor Life of the Cayman Islands, Grant Thornton, CIBC-First Caribbean International Bank, Appleby, Foster Food Fair, HSBC, Royal Bank (Cayman) Ltd. Consolidated Water Company Ltd. Cayman Maritime Authority, Greenlight Reinsurance Ltd., Miller Lite, CIBC Bank & Trust Company; and Caledonian Global Financial Services.

Special thanks were given to Department of Environment Health for providinglatex gloves and garbage bags and the Recreation, Parks, and Cemeteries Unit who with a team of 20 staff and 7 pickup trucks will collect all the trash bags on today (Monday April 16) that were placed on the roadside.

Following the hard work and effort the volunteers enjoyed a free brunch at Tiki Beach sponsored by LIME.

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George Town man denies double arson attack

| 16/04/2012 | 0 Comments

fire_1.JPG(CNS): A 30-year-old George Town man has denied attempted to endanger four people’s lives during a double arson attack last year. Sven Connor pleaded not guilty on Friday morning to two counts of arson charged against him in the Grand Court. Connor is accused of trying to setting fire to a house on Fairlawn Road in the Fairbanks area of George Town. The crown claims that on the night of 15 December last year Connor set fire to the air-conditioning unit at the home of Theresa Brown and Eric Russell a mother of four endangering their lives. Connor is accused of then setting fire to Brown’s mother’s house on the same property later the same night after she moved there as a result of the first fire.

Connor faces charges of endangering the lives of four people as well as intending to damage the property by fire. Police confirmed at the time that despite the double arson attack no one was hurt in either fire.

After Connor submitted his not guilty pleas to both the charges he was remanded in custody to Northward Prison until 27 April when he will return to court for a trial date to be set. Connor was represented by defense attorney John Furnis

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Driver pleads guilty to Esterley Tibbetts road death

| 16/04/2012 | 28 Comments

IMG-20111130-00037.jpg(CNS): A 32-year-old man has admitted killing Richard Martin in a road smash on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway last year. Patrick Dixon pleaded guilty on Friday morning to causing death by dangerous driving in the early hours of 30 November after the Chevrolet Blazer he was driving smashed into a Honda Logo being driven by 52-year-old Martin, a resident in Cayman originally from Pennsylvania, USA. At the time of the crash, which happened close to Lakeside Villas, Dixon was also arrested for driving under the influence, a charge which Dixon denied and the crown withdrew. After his plea he was released on bail and ordered to return to court for sentencing on 25 May.

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Public sector review focus of weekly meeting

| 16/04/2012 | 7 Comments

The public lobby (228x300).jpg(CNS): The progress on the overall review of how Cayman’s public services are managed and operated formed the key part of the latest civil service bosses meeting. According to the minutes released by the deputy governor’s office the 2 April meeting revealed that terms of reference and the resources needed to collect data for a review of the whole of government synergies had been agreed. The record of the meeting also pointed to more issues coming out of the review of government’s human resource policies. 

The deadline for civil servants to comment on the human resource policies in government was extended to last Friday and feedback was provided to the deputy governor at the chief officers meeting on the Anti-Sexual Harassment policy and the Attendance Policy.

“Specifically, the need to consider greater flexibility in the attendance policy to provide services to the public over the lunch hour and for the collection of children from schools was raised,” the minutes reveal.

The minutes show that progress is being made on the whole public sector review and the teams involved have consolidated recommendations from several reports into one in order to eliminate duplication. A review of the current status of the implementation of the approved recommendations has also been undertaken.
See minutes below

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Regional astrophysicist holds ‘stellar’ workshop

| 16/04/2012 | 0 Comments

DSC_0806.jpgCNS): A regional expert was in Cayman recently for a teacher’s workshop on astronomy teaching and to enthuse local kids about her subject. Dr Shirin Haque from the University of the West Indies Trinidad who is the only astrophysicist in the Caribbean was the key note speaker at the Galileo Teacher Training Programme, organised by Dr Bill Hrudey, the man behind the UCCI reach for the stars project. “Science is an academic area that is too often neglected,” said Dr Hrudey. “I think that young students thirst for the opportunity to learn more and, Dr Haque's visit to the schools certainly confirms this given the enthusiasm they showed.”

Dr Haque is the recipient of numerous teaching awards and represents the International Astronomical Union in the Caribbean.  Members of the Cayman Islands Astronomical Society also participated in the workshop.  She visited 5 schools to speak to and inspire students on the merits of science and efforts are underway to have her return later in the year when a Science Week event is being planned as part of the UCCI Observatory programme.

Dr Haque was very impressed with the observatory as well as the telescope, noting that it has remarkable potential for astronomical work, public awareness of astronomy and serves to encourage young students to discover the world of science and discovery.

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Cayman veterans take Scottish tournament trophy

| 16/04/2012 | 0 Comments

Clan CaymanHarlequins.jpg(CRFU): Friday 13th in Melrose, Scotland unlucky for some but not the Clan Construction Cayman Harlequins who won the Plate Competition at the Davidson Chalmers 10's Tournament. The tournament for players over 35 years of age featured teams from Hong Kong, England, Wales & Scotland including the famous Melrose, Gala, Hawick, Orkney & professional club Glasgow. Cayman won their first pool match 37 to 5 against Northern Gas Pilgrims but lost to Melrose 5 to 7 despite scoring at the death only to have the try disallowed for stepping into touch which put the Clan Cayman out of the Cup and into the plate.

In the Plate semi final Clan Cayman faced Melrose 2nds and won 29 to 19 to get into the final against Glasgow.

In the final and in front of former Governor and now Melrose Resident Thomas Russell, Clan Cayman went behind 7 to 0 but defended valiantly against a very slick Glasgow side. Clan Cayman scored early in the second half but were unable to convert leaving the score at Clan Cayman 5 Glasgow 7. Clan Cayman Battled back and scored with the last play of the game to win the Trophy 10 to 7.

Team Captain Tony Elliot a former National Captain of the Cayman team who now resides in Hawick was delighted with the teams performance.

'It's great to win some silverware, we have been competing here for five years and despite some close attempts this is the teams first trophy against some formidable opposition," he said.

Director of Rugby Richard Grizz Adams had a huge smile on his face after the final.

"There are going to be some very sore bodies tomorrow including mine but the win was great, the tournament is superb and it's been a great day all around. The locals as always have been brilliant and it is great to carry the Cayman Flag to Scotland and Melrose where I am happy to say we have quite a following and are very lucky to have a lot of local players who make up the numbers so we can play here and wear their shirts with Pride!,' he said.

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Bush says SMCs threaten Cayman economy

| 16/04/2012 | 0 Comments

vote here 2_0.jpg(CNS Business): The premier has said that replacing the current voting system with single member constituencies (SMC) could threaten the economic prosperity of the Cayman Islands as it may make the islands look unstable. In a radio and television broadcast on Thursday in which he pushed government’s position to support the status quo and campaigned against the introduction of one man, one vote and single member constituencies, McKeeva Bush said voters must think of how it looks to those who make Cayman prosperous because it could make Cayman look like a banana republic and put them off coming here. Read full story on CNS Business

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UK OT minister heads for Cayman Islands

| 16/04/2012 | 34 Comments

Henry-Bellingham_0.jpg(CNS): The UK’s minister with responsibility for Britain’s overseas territories will be visiting the Cayman Islands this week. Although no official itinerary of Henry Bellingham’s trip has yet been released, CNS understands that the FCO minister will be arriving on Wednesday. Sources also tell CNS that he will not only be meeting with government officials but also with the activists opposing the proposed ForCayman investment Alliance between government and Dart. Bellingham will be visiting Cayman as part of a visit to other territories in the region. Cayman’s deputy premier will not be meeting with the UK boss, however, as she will be in Tonga on commonwealth parliamentary association business.

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Mac reveals ballot question

| 16/04/2012 | 51 Comments

Referendum.jpg(CNS): Voters in the Cayman Islands will be asked just one question in the 18 July referendum on changing the country’s voting system. “Do you support anelectoral system of single member constituencies with each elector being entitled to cast only one vote?” The premier has also confirmed that he will be seeking 50% of the entire electorate ratherthan a simple majority of the turnout, despite the fact that this now appears to be a government and not people initiated vote. Fears that the premier may seek to offer a number of alternatives on the ballot were allayed following a national address by McKeeva Bush, which was broadcast on radio and television on Thursday evening.

The premier also launched into a full campaign against the change and focused heavily on what he said were the disadvantages of small single member constituencies. In the address he said very little about the actual principle of one man, one vote. He said that the current system was not broken, even though he had previously admitted that the possibility of George Towners having six votes when others have only one was problematic.

Bush had previously said that his government was going to add the extra three seats as provided for in the new constitution to George Town and Bodden Town, based on the recommendations of the Boundary Commissions 2010 report and the populations of those districts. However, following the groundswell of support for one man, one vote during the campaign for a people-initiated referendum on the subject, Bush made a surprise announcement in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday that he proposed to hold a referendum in July instead.

The premier has stated that government will begin an education campaign against single member constituencies and has outlined what he says is wrong with them. In his radio and TV broadcast on Thursday he said the current system works well and does not need fixing, whereas the new system proposed is open to abuse and manipulation and that change creates uncertainty and risk.

Bush maintained that those campaigning for the change, who have focused on the inequality of multiple votes, were misleading voters.

“They use a quite different term,” he said, but did not use the term one man, one vote which is at the root of the campaign. “(This) suggests the Cayman Islands do not currently have that most basic of democratic rights, equal votes. So please don’t be misled by their language, or their claims that they are righting some fundamental wrong in our democracy.”

The premier warned that because the single member constituencies would be smaller the system would allow for family “bosses” to get elected.

Bush suggested that single member constituencies would destabilize the political system and didn’t to be fixed unless people were planning to fix the election.

Although one man, one vote and single member constituencies are the most common form of democratic voting, the premier made it very clear that his government wishes to maintain the status quo and he pointed to some local council elections in the UK that have been multi-member, although the UK parliament, considered one of the most stable democracies in the world, uses a single member, one man, one vote, first past the post system.

The campaigners for one man, one vote and single member constituencies now have only three months to ensure they get more than 7500 people to vote ‘yes’ in the referendum in order to secure a victory. With such a high bar and up against a government machine campaigning for a ‘No’ vote, the opposition, independent member and local activists will be looking to recruit hundreds of volunteers to go door to door and persuade the electorate that one man, one vote is, despite the premier’s position, more democratic.

The next step in the process towards the referendum is for the government to bring a law to the Legislative Assembly which will spell out the question and the requirement of more than 50% of the electorate to carry the poll.

See the premier’s full statement below.

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