Archive for January 9th, 2013

Works start on West Bay Rd

Works start on West Bay Rd

| 09/01/2013 | 128 Comments

wbrd close (236x300).jpg(CNS): Workers from the National Roads Authority (NRA) began closing part of the West Bay Road on Wednesday in preparation for construction work on the northern side of the road heading towards George Town. NRA representatives at the location confirmed that they were hoping to close the lane on Thursday and direct all traffic into two narrow lanes on the southwestbound side towards West Bay in order to begin work on the junction for the Esterley Tibbetts Highway (ETH) extension ahead of what is looking increasingly like the permanent closure of the West Bay Road.

There has been no official word from the roads authority or the Dart Group about the closure or the likely disruption to traffic while work is underway on the access point to what will be the bypass.

Yacht Drive is already closed and access is being gained via the Salt Creek entrance as Dart and the NRA approach the completion of the stretch of highway that will enable them to close that stretch of the West Bay Road. This closure will also facilitate the development of what will become the developer's beachfront property.

Although government, Dart and the NRA signed a preliminary agreement under the ForCayman Investment Alliance in December 2011, the main deal has not yet been signed or revealed to the public. In addition, questions over the legality of the vesting of crown land, which forms part of the deal, have not yet been addressed.


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Entertaining games kick-off primary playoffs

Entertaining games kick-off primary playoffs

| 09/01/2013 | 0 Comments

(pflplayoffs050113 05 (248x300).jpgCUC-PFL): In the Under 9 Champions Cup, undefeated South Sound Schools continued their winning streak with a 2-0 victory over Sir John A. Cumber Primary thanks to strikes either side of half time from Diondre Wright and Aiden Hew when the 2012/2013 CUC Primary Football League (PFL) playoffs in the Under 9 and Under 11 Champions Cups kicked off Saturday at the Annex Field with six very entertaining games. In the Under 9 Champions Cup, undefeated South Sound Schools continued their winning streak with a 2-0 victory over Sir John A. Cumber Primary thanks to strikes either side of half time from Diondre Wright and Aiden Hew.

In the second game, Savannah Primary overcame a stubborn NorthEast Schools 2-0 courtesy of an own-goal and a sublime strike from Zaejah Ramoon in the second half. I
n the Under 11 division, St. Ignatius Prep defeated Bodden Town Primary 3-2, George Town Primary outlasted Red Bay Primary by a similar score line 3-2, Cayman Prep beat Sir John A. Cumber Primary 3-0 and Grace Academy squeezed by NorthEast Schools 1-0.
In the first of the day’s two “big” matchups, George Town Primary’s Under 11 captain Joshua O’Garro netted twice and Cyrus Conolly added a third as they led their team past a sprightly Red Primary in a very closely contested encounter. Mesyias Llewellyn scored two in reply for the boys maroon.

In the second highly anticipated Under 11 matchup of the day, Sir John A. Cumber Primary tasted defeat for the first time this season after losing to an undefeated Cayman Prep 3-0. Following a mediocre first half from both teams, the game exploded into action as David Pitcairn opened the scoring in 32nd minute. Tommy Kehoe made it 2-0 in the 40th minute after a goal-mouth scramble and Aaron Jervis secured the threepoints in the 50th minute with the goal of the day.

Young Jervis latched on to a through ball, “nut-megged” the last defender and slotted the ball into the far corner of the net just out of the reach of Ike Bush in the Sir John A. Cumber goal. Grace Academy secured all three points for coach Arden Rivers by beating NorthEast Schools 1-0 thanks to a penalty by Gunnar Studenhofft.

The 2012/2013 PFL Playoffs continue this Saturday, January 12 beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Annex Field.  In the Under 9 Consolation Cup, George Town Primary faces Bodden Town Primary (9:00 am) and Truth For Youth go up against Prospect Primary (10:00 am). In the Under 9 Champions Cup, St. Ignatius Prep play Cayman Prep (9:00 am), Savannah Primary face Red Bay Primary (10:00 am), Sir John A. Cumber Primary play NorthEast Schools (11:00 am) and Cayman International School meet South Sound Schools (11:00 am).

In the Under 11 Consolation Cup, Truth For Youth play South Sound Schools (Noon), Cayman International School face Prospect Primary (1:15 pm) and Truth For Youth go up against Cayman Brac (2:30 pm). In the under 11 Champions Cup, its St. Ignatius Prep versus Red Bay Primary (Noon), Sir John A. Cumber Primary versus NorthEast Schools (1:15 pm), Grace Academy plays Cayman Prep (2:30 pm) and George Town Primary faces Bodden Town Primary (3:45 pm).

Fans of “the powerful game” are encouraged to make their way to the Annex Field this Saturday, January 12 to cheer on the youngsters as they proudly represent their schools. We’ll see you at the field.

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International veteran football coach to hold CI clinics

International veteran football coach to hold CI clinics

| 09/01/2013 | 0 Comments

billirwin01 (300x298).jpg(WBSF): The West Bay Sports Foundation, in collaboration with the Academy Sports Club, is pleased to announce that they will be hosting Bill Irwin, Director of Soccer from the University of Portland from January 16 to 20. Coach Irwin is in his tenth year as the Director of Soccer at the university. Irwin, a certified “A” licenced coach, was promoted to his current position in 2003 after serving 16 years as an assistant. He and the rest of the coaching staff are responsible for the men’s and women’s soccer teams at the University of Portland as a combined staff.

Coach Irwin has a distinguished record as a goalkeeping specialist and has extensive experience with both the U.S. National Men’s and Women’s programmes, assisting with the Under 20, Under 21, Under 23 and senior women’s teams, and the Under 16, Under 17, Under 18, Under 20 and senior men’s teams. He trained the US goalkeepers in the 1998 World Cup in France, the 2000 Olympic team in Australia and the youth teams in various World Youth Championships.

His football background includes 17 years in goal in the pro ranks in England in the 1970s and in the United States in the North American Soccer League (NASL) and the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) in the 1980s.

The University of Portland is a NCAA Division 1 institution located in Portland, Oregon with a complement of 3,900 students and 320 faculty members. The University has been ranked 18 years consecutively in the top ten for western regional universities in the United States by “U.S. News & World Report”.

The West Bay Sports Foundation has arranged a number of events with Coach Irwin including training sessions with the PFL Youth Programme at 5:00 p.m. at the Annex Field in George Town and with the women’s teams at 7:00 p.m. at the Ed Bush Field in West Bay on Thursday, January 17; an Under 18 game between a George Town select team versus a West Bay Select team at 5:30 p.m. at the Ed Bush on Friday, January 18; and two goalkeeper’s clinics on Saturday, January 19.

The goalkeeper’s clinic will be hosted by the Academy Sports Club at the Academy Field on Saturday, January 19. Coach Irwin will lead goalkeepers through a two-hour session aimed at strengthening skills, increasing game awareness and building confidence. A clinic for goalkeepers aged 10 through 16 will take place between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. followed by a clinic for keepers aged 17 through 23 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The two clinics are sponsored by Zolfo Cooper.

Technical Director for the Academy Sports Club Virgil Seymour said, “The Academy Sports Club has always placed a heavy emphasis on the link between football and academics so we are very pleased to support the WBSF in this venture for our local football community. There is a serious lack of proper goalkeeper coaching in the Cayman Islands so I encourage goalkeepers of all ages, boys and girls, to take advantage of this excellent opportunity. Special thanks to Zolfo Cooper for sponsoring the clinics.”

Co-founder of the West Bay Sports Foundation Arden Rivers said, “The Foundation is very excited to be welcoming Coach Irwin to Grand Cayman. His involvement in football over the years has been extensive and his expertise in coaching and directing the coaching in men’s and women’s football will be extremely beneficial for our youngsters. We hope to establish a long and meaningful relationship with Coach Irwin as we strive to create academic andathletic opportunities for those players interested in continuing their education at the college level in the United States.”

Since its inception in 2009, the West Bay Sports Foundation has been instrumental in creating opportunities for the Island’s young athletes to excel academically and athletically locally and overseas. The Foundation has also hosted various youth football tournaments and events involving local and overseas teams including the visit of Swindon Town Football Club’s Under 13 team from the English professional team’s prestigious Youth Academy and CD Vida’s Under 15 team from Honduras.

The Foundation’s annual West Bay Community Cup Youth Football Tournament has become a well-supported event showcasing the best young talent in the Under 11, 14 and 17 age groups.

For further information on Coach Irwin’s visit and schedule of events, please contact Arden Rivers at 927-7011or Neil Murray at 925-8793. To sign-up for the goalkeeper’s clinics, please e-mail

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Cabinet taking UK advice

Cabinet taking UK advice

| 09/01/2013 | 74 Comments

(CNS): The new government has made it clear that it is taking a more conciliatory approach with its UK masters, in particular with regard to the public procurement process. Cline Glidden, the new tourism minister, revealed that a report has already been undertaken by the UK’s economic advisor regarding previous attempts by the Cayman government to get the cruise berthing facilities project and airport redevelopment started, which indicates where it believes things have gone awry. Glidden said he had clarified the support of the governor for the port development but the project would now move forward only on the basis of advice from the UK.

Speaking at a government press briefing, he said that entering into talks with a sole bidder was simply not an option as far as the UK was concerned, which excluded the possibility of a design-build type project along the lines of the three failed attempts on the cruise port. Glidden confirmed that in the case of both Owen Roberts International Airport and the cruise berthing facilities in George Town, the new government would be following the existing Cayman laws regarding procurement as well as guidance from the UK.

The minister, who as a back-bencher led talks with the first two proposed developers at the start of the previous UDP government on behalf of the premier, said that an economic advisor from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who would be working with the Cayman government on procurement issues, recently visited the island to meet with the governor, the attorney general, the auditor general and Port Authority staff.

Following those meetings, he submitted a preliminary report pointing out what was unacceptable about the previous attempts by the Cayman government to find a developer for the project. Glidden said the document gives an outline of how the UK expects to move forward with the cruise berthing facilities as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the governor have offered their support for the project.

Based on that report, Glidden said the ministry was now working with the Port Authority to see what informationit and other government agencies held that would be requiredto put together a proper procurement package that would satisfy the UK. He explained that over the last three years, various components have been developed that would be required and the goal now is to see what the Cayman Islands Government can use in terms of plans, designs, what it owns and what resources are already available to help shape the tender package for bidders.

The tourism minister also revealed that he and the new community affairs minister, Dwayne Seymour, would be going to Florida soon to meet with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association representative (FCCA) to re-start talks now that the position of the UK had been clarified and its support confirmed.

Against the backdrop of the fight between the former premier, McKeeva Bush, and the UK’s overseas territories minister, Mark Simmonds, over Bush’s insistence that Chinese-based firm, China Harbour Engineering Company, would develop the port, despite the UK asking him to put the project out to tender, Glidden said some confusing messages had gone out to the FCCA.

He said thepersistent comments from the UK could have given the impression that, while the Cayman government was intent on developing piers, the FCO was not necessarily backing the project at all.

“We needed to clarify the position of the governor and the UK before we go back to the cruise lines,” he said, noting that the UK's clarification of its support, on the condition that the proper process is followed, would help the process along with the FCCA.

Glidden said that there was no way that the Cayman government could simply go back to the GLF bid or any other sole bidder since, despite the financial concerns and the cost of putting together a request for proposals and a tendering package, the current legislation was inflexible. He said there was no provision in the law for negotiations over a design-build project, which is where government had gone wrong at the start.

“In 2009, government was in the position of having no money for the development and a traditional procurement,” he said. Glidden explained that with a project of this magnitude it could cost anywhere from $5 to 10 million to prepare a tender, which was why government had attempted to go down a different path with a design-build project. But after three failed attempts, the UK has said the project must be in line with the current law, which means government will essentially need to start over.

However, as some of the components that would be required for the package have been undertaken over the last three years during the failed attempts to kick-start the project, first with the Dart company DECCO then GLF Construction and more latterly CHEC, he said those could form part of the proposed business model, which the UK wants to see.
Glidden warned however that the lack of cruise infrastructure was having a significant impact on the industry and most people were aware of the dire situation.

Asked about the report undertaken by the UK’s advisor ,Glidden said he would check with the Governor’s Office to see if that could be released to the public, but as it was authored by the FCO and not the Cayman Islands Government, he could not just automatically release the preliminary findings.

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Juliana resigned from UDP

Juliana resigned from UDP

| 09/01/2013 | 65 Comments

cab 3 (2).jpg(CNS): The Cayman Islands premier has confirmed that she too, like her Cabinet colleagues, has resigned from the United Democratic Party. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly said Tuesday that, even though she did not face any threat of disciplinary action from her own political committee, who were, she said, delighted to have a Brac MLA as premier, she had nevertheless formally resigned from the political party. The former right hand woman to the UDP leader McKeeva Bush said letters had been written last week to the necessary people and the entire Cabinet were no longer party members.

Speaking at the second of the new Cabinet’s televised press briefings, O’Connor-Connolly noted that her colleagues had already all resigned following notice from the various district committees that if they had not there would have been disciplinary action. She said she had nothing against any of the members of the UDP and explained that her committee on Cayman Brac was not as formally entrenched, being on a separate island, as those on Grand Cayman. She was not ousted, she said, but voluntarily withdrew.

Welcoming the last minute surge of voter registration last week and the jump in the electorate to more than 18,000 voters, the premier said she was excited to see democracy was alive and well and that so many people would be afforded the opportunity to have their say in forming their government.

“I was especially elated to see the great rush at very end,” she said describing it as "the audacity of hope and a new breeze blowing”. She said she was looking forward to the elections and hoped to see 100% of voters come out to the polls, not because they would be forced to do so but because they are excited to do so and want to be part of the democratic process.

O’Connor-Connolly confirmed that she and her colleagues had every intention of running for re-election in May but she would not be drawn on the details of how that would happen. The premier indicated that the Cabinet saw themselves as a solid group. She said they were viewing the road to the election one day at a time but were strategizing among themselves about what do. 

She said the job ahead for the new Cabinet, which she described as transitional with a holding status, was to ensure that Cayman remained a jurisdiction of choice with an open and transparent government.

Hoping to convene the Legislative Assembly before the end of this week, she said there was some legislation that need to be addressed shortly and she would be consulting with the opposition and independent members, as she had promised, before bringing anything on to the floor of the chamber. With a LA Business Committee arranged for tomorrow, she said, the deputy premier needed to bring some important legislation regarding the financial services sector.

“As everyone knows, it is no secret that there are only five of us and it takes eight to pass legislation,” she said. “We have an understanding with the opposition and independent members to consult with them so we can reach consensus on laws and I will be loath to take any new laws to parliament without that consensus before the dissolution of the LA.”

The premier also revealed that a Cabinet delegation would be going to London shortly to meet the overseas territories minister. She stated that the agenda was currently in the works and, as a result, more information would be revealed at the next briefing.

The new premier also noted that the next Cabinet meeting would takeplace in her home constituency of Cayman Brac, which was not solely as a result of her appointment as Cabinet has met on the Sister Island in the past. O’Connor-Connolly said she believed Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are an integral part of the Cayman Islands and the people should have opportunity to meet Cabinet members, including the governor. She confirmed that the ministers would be making a number of scheduled visits to public institutions while they were there.

She also confirmed that the new Cabinet intended to continue regular press briefings but they would move to the regular time slot of 10am on Thursday mornings.

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Misick family appeal for help for former TCI premier

Misick family appeal for help for former TCI premier

| 09/01/2013 | 27 Comments

Michael-Misick.jpg(CNS): The family of the former Turks and Caicos Islands premier, who is currently held in a Brazilian high security jail, are appealing for him to come home. Michael Misick (46) was arrested in Rio last month on an international arrest warrant in connection with a corruption probe by the UK. The former controversial leader, who had fled his own country in the wake of the investigation, has already written an open letter from his jail cell saying that the TCI government does not need to apply for extradition for him as he wants to come home. Family members have now added their voices to Misick’s appeal in a letter sent to a local newspaper.

According to the SUN newspaper, one of Misick's sisters, Alith Misick Gardiner, said her brother was "crying out for help" from his maximum security prison. "Mike is being made to suffer in one of the worst prisons in the world even though he was never charged with any crime,” his sister told the local press. “He left the island without being questioned by Special Investigation and Prosecution.

“The Attorney General and SIPT representation to the Brazilians that he escaped lawful custody in order not to avoid being prosecuted is a blatant misrepresentation of the facts. He has no right being detained in a maximum security prison. To be placed in a maximum security prison is wrong he was never convicted of any crime in Brazil or the Turks and Caicos Islands. His being placed in such a prison clearly shows that FCO and SIPT will stoop to any level to humiliate the former Premier," she added

Although not charged with any crime yet, Misick is wanted for questioning by the British-appointed prosecution team based in the TCI.

Misick’s sister said that neither the FCO nor the governor's office or SIPT has offered the family even basic information over his detention, including where he is being held and in what conditions and why the family has not been allowed to contact him. “It is shameful that what we know we have learned through the media,” Alith Misick added.

She asks how can anyone fight against Britain whose leaders are “hell bent on convicting him” and questioned if justice could ever be served for her brother.

“Would Britain or Brazil for that matter have stuck one of their former leaders in a prison that the UN has condemned as unfit for humans occupation, particularly where that leader is only being detained on the basis of allege non-violent crimes,” she asked.

Misick had sought political asylum in Brazil, where he has reportedly been living since October 2011, and had permission to reside in the country, though his application had been refused in November. On the day of his arrest he told the UK representatives that he wanted to return home but this request was reportedly denied and Misick was detained by the Brazilian authorities.

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Cayman Airways considers purchase of planes

Cayman Airways considers purchase of planes

| 09/01/2013 | 0 Comments

CAL_1.jpg(CNS Business): The new tourism minister has revealed that Cayman Airways Limited is consideringbuying some, if not all, of the planes it currently leases following feedback from the leasing company and discussions with the UK. Cline Glidden explained that the four aircraft cost CAL more than $6.3 million per year in fees and, as the planes are coming to the end of their leases over 2013/14, which will see the airline facing return costs, buying the aircraft could well prove to be much better value for money for the public purse. Because CIG is squeezed when it comes to borrowing, the minister said that he had sought advice from the UK’s economic advisor, who has agreed to help the national flag carrier and will arrive in Cayman next week. Read more and comment on CNS Business

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