Archive for May 3rd, 2012

Ghost orchid blooms at the Turtle Farm

| 03/05/2012 | 0 Comments

ghost orchid2.jpg(CNS): One of the world’s rarest flowers, the mysterious Ghost Orchid, is in bloom at the Cayman Turtle Farm, officials announced in a release Wednesday. Grand Cayman's Ghost Orchid (Dendrophylax fawcetti) is a rare, endangered and endemic native plant. The flower is a small to medium, pale cream-coloured blossom, but still subtly beautiful- especially against a leafy background. This particular orchid is often very difficult to cultivate outside of its natural habitat. The farm has two which were donated by the Orchid Society in late 2006 having been rescued from clearing work going on at the Ironwood Forest in George Town. The orchids were re-attached to two trees growing in the Blue Hole natural trial and two years later began blooming.

After being dormant for almost two years, the first of the Turtle Farm’s Ghost Orchids bloomed in early 2008 and since then, both orchids have bloomed each year in late April or early May.

The Ghost Orchid is a unique flower, as the single pale blossom grows from a strange-looking epiphyte that more resembles a creeping vine or some sort of root system embedded in the bark of a tree, rather than an actual plant or what most people perceive an orchid plant to look like. It often seems to be suspended in mid-air, hence the name “Ghost Orchid.”

“This unique form makes the Ghost Orchid difficult to locate in the wild among the leaves, branches and vines of their arboreal woodland habitat. It is a unique and exciting natural phenomenon to observe on the Blue Hole Nature Trail,” said Geddes Hislop, who is the Curator -Terrestrial Exhibits & Education Programmes at the Cayman Turtle Farm: Island Wildlife Encounter.

The Ghost Orchid’s bloom will usually last for about two weeks. It is suspected that the flower is pollinated by a large nocturnal sphinx moth that uses its long proboscis to reach into the deep flower to feed on its nectar. This orchid is a distant relative of the African and Indian Ocean genus Angraecum. Botanists theorise that orchid seeds, blowing like dust, crossed the Atlantic at least once and successfully colonised new habitat.

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‘Be 1 of 8000’ campaign

| 03/05/2012 | 30 Comments

ezz omov (229x300).jpg(CNS): The independent member for North Side says that the campaign for a ‘yes’ vote in this summer’s referendum on one man, one vote and single member constituencies is underway and will retain its focus on door to door canvassing. Under the slogan ‘Be one of the 8000’, the mark at which the ballot would be won, Ezzard Miller said he remained confident that despite the premier’s efforts to stack the deck against one man, one vote, the people of Cayman will come out and vote in favour of it on 18 July. He explained that district groups have been established where volunteers will be co-ordinating a strategic campaign and visiting the homes of voters.

“We are continuing to find that the best way to educate the electorate about one man, one vote is in the comfort of their living rooms,” he said. “Although the campaign will now move on to a wider national strategic level, with public meetings, campaign leaflets and such, we are still going door to door.”

He explained that the district groups would be organising more informal meetings and socials where people can ask questions and discuss the issues in small groups rather than have politicians shouting them out from platforms. “We have found that people want to engage in dialogue and ask questions about the issues, and that’s the approach we will be taking,” Miller added.

Although Miller, along with the opposition members, recognise they now face an uphill struggle to get close to 8,000 'yes' votes in July's referendum, they are still confident that they can win.

“As we have said many times, the time is now,” Miller added, as he stressed once again the importance of equity in democracy.

Miller said campaigners were continuing to collect signatures for the original petition in order to continue to measure public sentiment and as an insurance policy. Although the campaigners have not undertaken an official count, the number of completed books and those in circulation suggest that close to 5,000 registered voters have now signed the petition, surpassing the requirement to trigger the people’s referendum.

Now that government has taken over the process, however, it will be embarking on a public funded campaign against one man, one vote and single member constituencies and a move to retain the status quo.

If the referendum is lost and less than 50% plus one of the country’s voters say ‘Yes’, it is still not clear how the people of Cayman will vote in the May 2013 general election. Although the premier had initially stated that he would be adding two seats to the district of George Town and one to Bodden Town to accommodate the growth of the Legislative Assembly to 18 members, he has also indicted that one seat could go to West Bay instead of two to George Town.

If the referendum passes the electorate will go to the polls and vote for just one candidate in their local single member constituency as set out in the Boundary Commission’s report of 2010, which inmost cases is in line with the existing polling areas.

For more information on the referendum and one man one vote contact any of the individuals listed below:

Al Suckoo Jr                        916-1689    
Johann Moxam                                       
Noel March                        916-1429    
Chris Goddard                   928-6534    
Betyann Duty                    916-1494    
Kent McTaggart                928-3449    
Bo Miller                              916-0003    
Sharon Roulstone            516-0220    
Marco Archer                    939-7474    
Bryan Ebanks                     916-3048           
Edward Caudeiron           916-0157    
Terry Caudeiron               916-7895    
Ezzard Miller                      327-5757    
Arden McLean                  916-0630    
Woody Da Costa               916-2470    
Gregg Anderson               916-6777           
Alden McLaughlin            916-3153
PPM Office                         945-8292    

Petition books are also available to sig at Four Winds Esso in West Bay, Walkers Road Texaco, in George Town, Pinnacle Condos on 7MB, as well as the Book Nook and Hobbies and Books.

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UK justice expert to manage Cayman courts

| 03/05/2012 | 8 Comments

New Crt Admin Kevin McCormac (269x300).jpg(CNS): Following an open recruitment process Kevin McCormac has been appointed as the new court administrator. McCormac will be responsible for the overall management and administration of the non-judicial operations of the Courts. Directed by the chief justice, he will lead, manage and guide the strategic development and implementation of efficient and cohesive processes, court officials said Wednesday. He will also serve as chief officer for the Judicial Administration under the Public Finance and Management Law and the appointing officer under the Public Service Management Law.

McCormac has over 30 years’ experience in the management and development of courts and judicial systems in England and Wales.

According to an official release revealing his appointment, as Chief Executive to the West Sussex Magistrates’ Court Committee, McCormac was responsible for leading the Judiciary and staff through a major period of change at a time of increasing budgetary constraints.  McCormac took early retirement from the United Kingdom Civil Service in October 2010, having served as Deputy Director in the Ministry of Justice. 

Since his retirement he has undertaken a variety of roles from an employment appeals tribunal judge to the establishment of a legal aid clinic at Zagreb University in Croatia. He has edited various legal books and spent time in Egypt and Jordon on judicial projects as well as work assisting on projects relating to the reform of justice systems and supporting work for the Governors of British Overseas Territories

McCormac is a qualified barrister and holds an MA in Jurisprudence from Oxford University in the U.K.  He is also a member of the Bar Council, an honorary member of the Justices’ Clerks’ Society and an Associate member of the Magistrates’ Association. In 2001 he received an OBE for services to the criminal justice system and is the author of legal textbooks and has during his career edited law reports.

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