Archive for January 11th, 2013

Police make 3rd arrest in missing person case

| 11/01/2013 | 0 Comments

H Gonzalez December 2012.jpg(CNS):  A man was arrested Thursday morning at Owen Roberts International Airport in connection with the case of the missing Guyanese national, Hemerson Raymond Gonzalez. Police confirmed Friday that two women recently arrested on various offences also in connection with his disappearance have been released on police bail. Detective Inspector Oremule, the Senior Investigating Officer in the matter, said Gonzalez was still missing and the police inquiry continues. The man who was arrested on his return to Cayman is currently in police custody.

Police noted that a family liaison officer continues to update the mother of the missing 31 year old who was reportedly last seen on the evening of Tuesday 11 December. Anyone with information about this or any other crime is asked to telephone 949 4222 or Crimestoppers on 800 TIPS.

See related story:
Cops arrest two women over missing person


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Teen arrested for WB attack

| 11/01/2013 | 0 Comments

crime scene (230x300).jpg(CNS): A 19 year old man from West Bay has been arrested on suspicion ofattempted murder and robbery in connection with a violent attack on a 60 year old man on Monday night. A police spokesperson confirmed that the teenager was picked up by police in the district on Friday afternoon and is currently in custody. The 60 year old victim, also from West Bay, was stabbed in the neck during the attack in Boggy Sands Road near the four way stop and robbed of the $9 he had in his possession at the time.

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Blog Blog

| 11/01/2013 | 39 Comments

There are some skilful and academically gifted young Caymanians that could bring immense credit and clarity to our democratic process if they would only stop hiding behind their blogs and engage us politicians directly.  Rather than using technology to enhance the negative qualities of our Marl Road culture they could use it to make freedom of thought and expression a reality, at least for their generation.

Often when reading, not just remarks made about me on CNS, I realize that however these persons may judge my personal and political conduct, I can be judged because I am not the spook who sat by the door.

By the time I was first elected in 1996, I was already very aware that there would be days when some would dislike me and days when others just wanted revenge for what I might have done or not done. Therefore if we are to really attend to our country’s business we need to make that first step towards the liberation of our country from the “old dirty stinking politicians” by putting a face to our opinions. And we should never be fearful of retribution nor waste time mocking those willing to stand up for what they believe, regardless of how ridiculous their platform may seem.

I have sometimes wondered what kind of schools these ill hearted souls attended and if their tuition was paid for by the Cayman Islands Government – and if so whether they would now consider paying the people back the monies which were spent on their educations.  Because by some accounts it is fair to take money from seamen and the old, and radically downsize the civil service while maintaining our very costly higher education payments for students overseas so they can return home to line their own pockets, saying that the national good was their individual triumph over the odds that kept them down.

Anyway, I pray that despising me is not a sign of some kind of unfinished identity crisis some may be struggling with. I say this not to be cruel but whether or not we are comfortable accepting the issue of identity as relevant in your political discourse, it forms an essential component of any national debate and remedy.  In order for democracy to be real and vibrant it must have a face and that face must be formed by the diversity of the citizens represented within that geographical area known as their nation state.

And maybe someone will tell me why politicians and the political environment are the only elements of our society to be faulted for the present ills and challenges. Why is it never the teacher, the parent, the community worker, the attorney, the police, the judge or the investor? Why is it that we blame our politicians for corrupting our system when civil society begun the corruption process in order to maintain indirect control over political decisions. Day after day there are articles dealing with the conduct of politicians but not one thing said about the conduct of those pastoring our churches or leading community efforts to get food to the needy.

The May elections may be very difficult to predict but whatever change any of us may truly desire will have to be laboured for by all of us. Change, even that which is desired by the most deserving among us, will not happen until we all learn that democratic political systems were invented as a very clever way of granting the people the appearance of change while preserving the status quo for the continual benefit of the privileged leaders of civil society.

 My platform is a continuation of my fight for social and economic justice for the real people, and this includes the decimalization of the private consumption of marijuana.Not because I am a closet smoker who wants to come out, but because I have seen lives ruined by the laws prohibiting its use rather than by its usage.

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DMS invites applications for education award

| 11/01/2013 | 0 Comments

joanna-clarke.gif(CNS): DMS, local financial services firm, is calling for applicants for the 2013 Joanna Clarke Excellence in Education Award (JCA), and the Joanna Clarke Scholarship Fund. Now in it’s 7th year, the JCA rewards winning education initiatives annually with up to CI$12,000, and the Scholarship fund with CI$1,000 or more. Applications are being accepted from January 14th through February 15th. Recognizing the importance of private sector support for education, DMS introduced the award to honour Joanna Clarke, a revered local educator, in 2007, and publicly acknowledge the efforts of the people and organisations that contribute to education in the Cayman Islands.

The Joanna Clarke Scholarship Fund aims to support the education of a current or aspiring teacher in the Cayman Islands.

DMS is raising funds for its scholarship recipients with a Dress Up Dress Down Day on Friday, January 25.  All proceeds will go towards the Joanna Clarke Scholarship Fund. The top collecting school will be awarded a free table for 10 at the upcoming JCA Gala Dinner at Grand Old House on 9th March.

Ms. Joanna Clarke said, “It is of paramount importance to us to visit the recipients and follow up with the progress of the initiatives. My favourite part of this whole process is interacting with the children and learning how they are benefitting. After all, it is about the children. We are always greeted with such a warm reception, and to date it has been indescribably rewarding to see how well maintained the initiatives we have selected are.”

Parties eligible for entry include teachers, students, Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs), not- for-profit organizations, government departments and schools. Application forms are being circulated throughout Cayman’s schools and not-for-profit organizations, and are also available on the award website:  For further information call 749-2540 or email


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Churches get $400k from fund

| 11/01/2013 | 143 Comments

gty_money_in_bowl_thg_111027_wg.jpg(CNS): Close to a half million dollars was given to churches from the controversial Nation Building Fund created by the former premier and administered by his ministry, during the 2011/12 financial year. According to a document released under a freedom of information request submitted by the independent member for North Side, Ezzard Miller, 11 churches received $420,548 from the public purse for a variety of reasons. A further $1.5 million was randomly given to people and causes connected to the arts, sports and community activities across a diverse spectrum. Almost $8000 was also used for the proposed Christian heritage monument in George Town.

From a $3000 grant to fund a Caymanian’s efforts to get on the US TV Show X-Factor to $15,000 for the UCCI’s observatory, the grants range from as little as $300 to as much as $750,000.

Although a significant portion of the funding appears to be going to worthwhile causes, it has always been controversial for variety of reasons. While the former premier has insisted the funds given out under the nation building programme are transparent, the actual criteria and reasons for granting one application over another have not been spelt out.

Most of the grants appear to be to assist young people in their education or cultural development with grants being given to sports clubs, the scouts and brownies as well as a local half-way house. The vast bulk of the money however, went to around 85 students who were given scholarships under the programme, which is outside of the normal scholarship application process. Amounts to individual students ranged from as little as $588 for a summer camp scholarship for one student to as much as almost $46,000 to another scholar studying in the US.

The grants have also caused controversy because these scholarships are not dealt with by the education department and again, the basis on which these special educational grants are awarded has not been defined. In this third full financial year of the fund’s existence around $1 million was given to the various students.

See full details of where cash was allocated below.

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Twenty-five refugees sent back to Cuba

| 11/01/2013 | 11 Comments

CubanBoatersNov12 (300x254)_0.jpg(CNS): Efforts of twenty five Cubans attempting to flee their country have been undermined after Cayman officials sent them all back to their neighbouring island of Cuba this week. Yesterday, Immigration officials repatriated the migrants, who had landed in the Cayman Islands in early November with an escort on Cayman Airways. The group also included the two men who had escaped from the Immigration Detention Centre late last week. Only five migrants that arrived in Cayman at the end of December now remain at the detention centre in George Town while waiting to be processed by the Immigration Department.

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Activists step up campaign to ban paraquat

| 11/01/2013 | 72 Comments

Paraquat-exposure-head-injuries-triple-risk-for-Parkinsons-disease.jpg(CNS): Local campaigners who want to see the poison paraquat banned from the island will be holding a candlelight vigil to remember all the dogs in the Cayman Islands that have been poisoned by the deadly herbicide. Activists will meet at Smith Cove Saturday evening at 5-30pm when they hope to raise more awareness about the persistent problem. Almost 5,000 people are estimated to have signed a petition to ban the poison, which killed another four dogs over the Christmas and New Year break. A Facebook group has also been created to measure how much support exists for banning the importation of paraquat, which is generally used by local farmers as a weed killer.

Campaigners also plan to hold a public meeting at 7pm on Wednesday, 16th January, to discuss the way forward in having the herbicides banned in the Cayman Islands. The meeting will be held at L'Ambience Room, at L'Ambience Apartment Complex on Fairbanks Road.

The activists are also hoping to record all of the pets that have been killed, usually as a result of eating food which has been deliberately contaminated with the poison, so they can guage the true extent of the problem. They hope this information will persuade the government to ban the substance and regulate other poisons that are imported on to the island.

Paraquat, one of the worst poisons, is particularly unpleasant as it is almost always fatal once an animal has eaten food poisoned with it. There is no cure and the dogs die a slow and painful death as their respiratory systems collapse.

Although government itself no longer imports the poison, Paraquat along with many other dangerous toxins is unrestricted and anyone can import and buy the herbicide.

There are no restrictions on the importation or sale of the herbicide in the Cayman Islands, so there is nothing to prohibit individuals from bringing it intothe territory.

For more details go to

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Annual ultra-marathon will follow new course

| 11/01/2013 | 0 Comments

Krys finish 2012 (238x300).jpg(CNS): Runners participating in the 2013 Off The Beaten Track marathon will be following a new route through the beaches, bush and back roads of Grand Cayman and crossing a new finishing line, officials have said.  The gruelling 50 kilometre run won’t be revealed until a week before the race but the organisers stated that the runners will be crossing the finish line at Tiki Beach on Sunday, 24 February.  The physical demands of the race are significantly more challenging than a typical road race. Relay team members can compete and only run a fraction more than 5 miles each.

For those entering as individuals, they will run an epic 50 kilometres across a course designed to  mirror the gruelling Marathon des Sables ultra-distance race, run in the hot sands of Morocco every year.

“There are a great many runners here in Cayman, and I urge all of them to come out,” said title sponsor and organizer Krys Global’s CEO, Ken Krys. “The team aspect allows everyone of all levels to participate, while experienced marathoners can choose to run solo.”

No stranger to challenges, Ken faced the Antarctic Ice Marathon and Amazon Jungle Run in 2011.  This year he braved dog sledding in Norway, 42 km Marathon Du Finistere in France, and just recently, the 212 km Manaslu Mountain Trail Race in Nepal.

All proceeds raised from the race will go to charity.  Facing Africa, the primary beneficiary, is an organization that sends teams of surgeons and medical supplies to sub-saharan Africa to battle a devastating disease called Noma, which causes deformities of the face in predominantly young malnourished children.

This year’s local beneficiaries are Cayman’s Ark and the NCVO (National Council of Voluntary Organisations).

Longstanding partner and key supporting sponsor, Lynne Byles, Managing Director of Tower Marketing, said that the race has many positives for Cayman encouraging health and fitness, promoting the Islands as a sports tourism destination, and raising funds for worthwhile charities.

Cayman’s business community is challenged to enter their corporate relay teams.  This year there will be prizes for the fastest individual male, individual female, all-female relay team, all-male relay team, co-ed relay team, and corporate relay team.  Runners will enjoy a hearty post-race meal during the medal distribution ceremony in the scenic comforts of Tiki Beach.

Online registration is now open on with fantastic early bird entry fees available until 24 January.  Costs are just US$240 for relay teams and US$80 for individuals.  After 25 January full entry fees apply at US$300 for relay teams and US$100 for individuals.

The race starts at 6am this year and is set for Sunday 24 February.

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Local dengue cases highest in three decades

| 11/01/2013 | 9 Comments

Aedes-aegypti-2.jpg(CNS): Officials have confirmed that there were 34 cases of dengue fever reported to the authorities in 2012, which is the highest number recorded in the last thirty years. The Cayman Islands normally sees one or two cases a year and usually in patients who have travelled to endemic countries. During this past year however there were 23 local transmissions, 19 of which were residents of West Bay. In total the public healthdepartment investigated 94 potential cases of the disease, which is spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito.

Since the last government update on cases in Cayman, four new suspect cases were reported, none of which had a travel history, while 17 results came back from the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre with only three positive tests. With one case reported so far this year and the test results, which came through over the last week, there are now just nine results outstanding.

Of the 34 confirmed cases only eleven appeared to have contracted the disease in an endemic country while the remaining 23 were all infected locally. In addition to the 19 West Bay residents, two were living in George Town and two more in Bodden Town.

Some 25 people have been admitted to hospital and treated for suspected dengue with 13 of them turning out to be positive and three patients still awaiting results.


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