Archive for May 21st, 2012

Rain closes schools Tuesday

| 21/05/2012 | 81 Comments

IMG-20120521-00102.jpg(CNS): Updated with private school information — All government primary and secondary schools on Grand Cayman will be closed Tuesday due to severe flooding. However, students sitting their CXC History examination at CHHS and John Gray are to report to the John Gray High School Hall tomorrow as planned. Cayman Brac schools will remain open. Many private schools are also closed today and while UCCI remains open ICCI is closed and reviewing this evenings' classes. Police have confirmed that Agnes Way is closed in George Town. More than eight inches of rain fell on Grand Cayman on the Discovery Day holiday and further heavy rains were forecast for Tuesday. The Red Cross Shelter is open for residents flooded out in need of temporary shelter.

Private school closures include Cayman Prep and HighSchool (except for students taking external exams), Hope Academy, Grace Christian Academy, First Baptist School, Cayman International School, Montessori By The Sea, Miss Nadine's and Triple C School.  Private schools and nurseries not listed may also be closed. Parents are encouraged to check with their respective schools for further details. Unless otherwise advised, private schools are expected to re-open on Wednesday, 23 May, according to the Private School Association.

The Department of Children and Family Services said some families from the George Town area have been forced to leave their homes due to the flooding. The Red Cross Shelter is open for any other residents who may be experiencing similar issues. Anyone intending to stay at the shelter is encouraged to bring  food, a sleeping bag and personal items, such as medications and toiletries. For further information contact Lynda Mitchell on 925 5346

Weather services issued a small craft warning as weather forecasters called for further rain and flooding in low lying areas.

Officials said the NRA was working to clear drains and free roadways flooded from the heavy rain and the public was asked to exercise caution when driving.

The heavy downpour came on the public holiday, usually marked as a day of national preparedness ahead of the start of the hurricane season, and showed how inclement weather can cause hazards at any time. 

The persistent rain made driving conditions treacherous as main roads across Grand Cayman were covered with deep surface water. Flights into Grand Cayman were impacted Monday as a result of low visibility, with delays expected.

The Humane Society issued an SOS for volunteers and foster homes for the dogs and cats, as well as sandbags in the face of severe flooding at the kennels.

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Woe is me

| 21/05/2012 | 55 Comments

CNS' recent opinion piece which focuses on the role of Dart Management's vulture fund in Greece and the implications for Dart's activities in the Cayman Islands was a valuable commentary but only for what it revealed in the blogs that followed. The article itself carried some major flaws and certainly smacks of the entitlement/woe is me culture that encourages people to find someone else to blame for their standard of living.

Regretfully, there is this overwhelming need among many to always conclude that if someone and in particular a business person or investor is making a profit then they surely must be inflicting harm on others to get that result.

It's a common folly for this group that when everything else fails or frankly luck runs against them, they can always find some reason and ideally someone to blame for their "woes".

This cultural position basically says that Dart for example, is doing no more than to inflict harm on the Cayman Islands on his way to yet further profits. It's the kind of thinking and lack of understanding of how the real world operates that continues to serve as one of the major stumbling blocks towards an improved standard of living for too many people.

And anyone who dares raise this issue is quickly thrown into the ugly basket of evil persons who want nothing but to become more wealthy while refusing to give some of their hard earned wealth to the "needy".

Seriously?

Most investors are risk takers. Little is known of the failures of entrepreneurs globally or locally. When they take a risk, some of us assume that "they can afford to do so". Truth is very often they cannot, but their appetite for risk is greater than the average person. They can, and often do, lose their shirts on deals more times than one imagines. But ironically, it is this very risk taking/entrepreneurialnature that drives the local and global economy.

When they gain, we then say they must have hurt people in the process and are doing nothing or not enough (by our own self serving standards) for the country/community.

This hugely flawed position stems partially from a comparison of the magnitude of profits reaped by the investor against what that investor gives back to the community.

If a business donates say an average of 1 million each year to charitable causes and employs 300 to 400 Caymanians, the absolute size of its profits, assuming this is substantial, should not water down the true impact of that contribution to the community and employment. The fact that the investor may incur a profit of 100 million does not all of a sudden mean that those 300 jobs are not important, or that the millions donated to charitable causes has not helped literally hundreds of needy persons within the community.

And neither does it matter if said investor did this "out of the kindness of his heart" or as a result of pressure to be a good corporate citizen. All that matters is whether the investment was carried out in an environmentally sustainable manner, within the laws and if it has been of benefit to the country or community in question.

The CNS viewpoint on Dart's vulture fund not only encouraged this type of "woe is me and people that make money are obviously harming others" thinking, but it also made a huge leap in logic in implying that we must now also be cautious of Dart's investment in this country.

Dart has not loaned money to this country, which is essentially what the organisation did indirectly in Greece and Argentina.

Instead its investment is what's regarded and welcomed as 'real investment' in the Cayman Islands, bricks and mortar type stuff which lead to true employment of hundreds of individuals who get real salaries and purchase physical goods or services in the country.

And yet I heard someone say a few months ago on a local talk show: "If Dart cared so much about this country, why then doesn't he just give some of his wealth to the country. He has made enough money; he doesn't need to make anymore."

There is so much wrong with that way of thinking that there is not enough space here to elaborate further.

However, one thing worth considering is the impact of this way of thinking on the youth of the Cayman Islands.

We teach the youth to pursue an education and that this is essential to a successful career path, and that they should try to enjoy what they do for a living. At the same time they are brought up a country where there is a prevalent culture of pointing at the expat, foreign or investor as their glass ceiling, the reason for a lack of opportunity. There is no denying that some of these so-styled glass ceiling issues exist, but the extent of this blame game is sold at such an incredibly ludicrous level to the youth that there is little point arming them with a good education when their minds and attitudes have been so severely poisoned with this nonsense.

It's time promote the true realities: that the Cayman Islands are part of a global and competitive economy, that the really great opportunities are there only for those who work both hard and smart, that if our youth are not prepared to survive globally they will certainly not survive locally (because global standards are already here and in practice), and that most of these 'bogeyman investors' that mean no good to our country are just law abiding entrepreneurs seeking the highest possible reward for the risks that they take.

There seems to be an increasing culture of blaming everyone else, and if Caymanians continue to swim in this "woe is me culture" they will most certainly never secure the control over this economy that they desire.

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Cuban men turn up at centre

| 21/05/2012 | 23 Comments

Cubans on Brac April 18 12 (2) (255x300).jpg(CNS): The two Cuban men who had escaped from the immigration detention centre in George Town over the weekend returned voluntarily, officials confirmed Tuesday. Four men had escaped over the weekend but two were captured in George Town at the waterfront by RCIPS officers on Saturday evening. Two other men remained on the run for another two days before they returned to the centre on Monday evening. Officials said that Angel Manuel Ramos Quiala and Yoandris Lahera Alvarez were both in secure custody along with the other refugees who were picked up in Cayman Brac last month.

The men were part of the group of 28 Cubans, which included one woman, who were aboard a relatively small vessel which landed off the coast of CaymanBrac on Wednesday, 18 April.

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Man drowns off 7MB

| 21/05/2012 | 9 Comments

(CNS): Updated — The RCIPS has now named the man who drowned Sunday afternoon after jumping from a boat off Seven Mile Beach. Police said that the body of 43-year-old Stephen David Kinch of Canada was recovered at about 5:20pm from the ocean floor in about forty-five feet of water by divers of the RCIPS’ Marine Unit. Kinch was transported to the South Terminal dock at George Town, from where he was taken by ambulance to the George Town hospital. At about 3:13pm the 911 emergency centre received a telephone call from a man reporting that his friend had jumped into the ocean from the boat they were both aboard and had not resurfaced.

The men were aboard a 19-foot boat between Calico Jacks and the Great House. The marine units and Xray 1 were dispatched to the area where the victim had gone into the water. 

Police are continuing their investigation into the tragedy.

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