Archive for February 18th, 2013

‘Just Leaving’ secures sailing win once again

| 18/02/2013 | 0 Comments

Ciao leading Just Leaving down wind (230x300).jpg(CISA): Wild winds and choppy seas were the order of the weekend making for exciting racing in the Ridley J22 National Championships. The weekend’s racing had two purposes; the National Championship and gaining final qualifying points for the Race Cayman International Regatta that takes place from 14-17 March 2013. Nine boats competed in three races on Saturday afternoon and there was strong competition for the front runners Ciao, Yahoo, Just Leaving who took the championships and Sunshine. 15 knot winds led to some exciting racing with Ciao skippered by Tomeaka McTaggart leading after day one. The rest of the fleet were close behind, dicing for the minor places.

The conditions on Sunday made for difficult racing with near 20 knot winds and occasional large swells on North Sound. The racing was close with Just Leaving skippered by Mike Farrington taking the day with consistent first places. Ciao battled for second, with Calima skippered by Eduardo Bernal in third place overall. The high winds caused problems for many in the fleet with only three of the eight starters not experiencing major difficulties down wind. Tired sailors enjoyed the presentations and a social evening catered by Terrie Farrington and her Social Committee team.

J22 club rep, Matt Diaz said, “It was great to have nine boats racing for this regatta and I commend the crews who have spent many hours on the water training for this event. Thanks must go to our dedicated race committee who braved the conditions, making the racing possible”. Photos of the weekend racing are available on the Cayman Islands Sailing Club’s Facebook page.

The points gained by Just Leaving and Ciao will see them along with Yahoo skippered by Bruce Johnson representing Cayman in the Race Cayman regatta, an invitational event. This year’s regatta will see six international teams come to the Cayman Islands to compete with our best, while enjoying Cayman hospitality and the competitive sailing conditions our Island has to offer. For further information on Race Cayman and the Cayman Islands Sailing Club please contact the club on 947 7913 or

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Education ministry dominates CS gongs

| 18/02/2013 | 1 Comment

DGAwardeesNovandDec (226x300).jpg(CNS):  A financial controllerwho came up with an innovative enhancement of revenue collection and a junior support administrator in the IT team at John Gray High School with a people-oriented approach to problem solving problem are the latest two winners of the Civil service employee of the month scheme. Nicholas McLean and Robert Llamas are both from the ministry of education, financial services and employment which has claimed four of the five awards since the scheme started. The men received the November and December internal awards for civil servants who are nominated within their departments on a monthly basis.

The awards recognise high standards which are expected from all public sector workers.  A committee of Chief Officers then selects an Employee of a Month from among the Chief Officer’s Choice award winners.

“I am impressed by Mr Llamas’ performance and particularly pleased with his track record of training Caymanians. I also congratulate Mr. McLean, whose innovative approach to his work is commendable. As a young Caymanian, he has a very bright future in the Civil Service,” said Franz Manderson, deputy governor and the person who started the award scheme.

Llamas said he was honoured to receive the award. “When I joined the financial team in the Ministry, they were going through a critical restructuring phase. This allowed me as a person to grow through the experiences we had during this time, and I am very grateful to have been a part of this project,” he added. Crediting his colleagues for their support, Mclean said the recognition was for the entire ICT team at the school.

Llamas and McLean are the third and fourth winners respectively from the Ministry of Education.

Rodrigues said that morale at the Ministry has received a tremendous boost from the recognition that the team is receiving. We have a very diverse and hard-working team, with many true servant leaders, dedicated to making a positive difference through their work. “I am proud of and impressed by their contributions and commitment,” she said about the latest awardees from the ministry.

Previous recipients are John Gray High School Principal, Lyneth Monteith, Chief Conservation Officer in the Department of Environment (DoE), Mark Orr, and At-Risk Youth Programme Coordinator, Michael Myles.

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West Bay private drive paved in ‘error’

| 18/02/2013 | 56 Comments

accidental paved driveway.jpg(CNS): The deputy premier said work by the National Roads Authority on private land in West Bay had been done by mistake. Following up on a question submitted to Cabinet by CNS last week regarding reader enquiries about the paving of a private driveway in the district, Rolston Anglin said Thursday that the work was a mistake. After the question was raised phone calls had led to the work being immediately halted and the NRA workers directedto clean up and go the correct location, Anglin said. He did not explain how the error had occurred but offered his thanks to the media for bringing the issue to government’s attention. (Photo by Kerry Horek)

Speaking at Thursday’s press briefing the deputy premier said the householder had also been surprised at the arrival of the NRA and its heavy equipment at his home. However, the minister said the work was stopped as soon as the error was spotted and the driveway cleaned up. The minister did not say where the NRA was meant to be working when work started at the “wrong place” but it is understood that the incorrect location was in the Conch Point Road area of West Bay.

The premier, whose ministry has responsibility for the NRA and who was at the centre of a road paving controversy on Cayman Brac, which was described as 'unlawful' by the auditor general, was not present at either of the press briefings where the latest issue regarding the NRA paving private driveways was raised.

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George Town loses power due to pole fire

| 18/02/2013 | 13 Comments

cuc pole fire.jpg(CNS): Crews from CUC have now restored power to the capital following an outage on Monday afternoon in the wake of electrical pole fire on North Sound Road in George Town.  Officials from Grand Cayman’s power company said that teams were at the location and were hoping to restore power as soon as it was safe to do so. CUC apologized for the inconvenience that the outage  caused its customers in the George Town area. It was not clear in the official release from CUC how extensive the outage was and CNS has contacted the company for clarification on the areas affected by the power loss and is waiting for more details.

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Robotics club scoops key trophy at tournament

| 18/02/2013 | 0 Comments

robot1_img_2129_ag (300x297).jpg(CNS): Kids from a local school robotics club have won a coveted trophy at the regional Lego tournament in Florida in the first league of its kind. Cyber Rays, the Cayman Prep High School robotics club, won the Core Values trophy at the regional First Lego League tournament in Orlando earlier this month and have now advanced to the Florida State Championship to be held at the University of Central Florida in March. On Feb 2, the team of year 8 and 9 Prep students School competed in the one day tournament and secured one of the places in the state championship following a table run with 19 potential missions to complete within each 2.5 minute round. 

The 2013 Cyber Rays team includes Bronsan Hunt, Ryan Kirkaldy, Nick Crawshaw, Mike Boucher and Drew Milgate.  The coaches are Allison Smith (Teacher), David Kirkaldy and Jeff Boucher.  The Core Values trophy is one of the few that the team did not win during its first season in 2012.  The round is among the fundamental elements in the Lego League  where  participants learn that “friendly competition and mutual gain are not separate goals, and that helping one another is the foundation of teamwork.”

Robotics is now a part of the curriculum at Cayman Prep High School using the LEGO NXT programmable brick system and accessory sensors.  Cayman Prep sponsored Allison Smith, ICT teacher and Cyber Ray’s head coach, who completed five days of training at the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) in Pittsburgh, PA, two years ago. 

The NREC is part of the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute, a world-renowned robotics organization. Smith, like all students at NREC, was introduced to the Lego robots and NXT-G programme as a part of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum.  Much of that training has now found its way into the Prep School curriculum with robotics an integral part of many classes.

“If the students have the skills to play games on the computer then they have the skills to program a robot,” said Smith. “The NXT-G programming software uses a graphics user interface to create very intricate programs which students are able to use to interact with their robots. The CPHS robotics programme is designed to engage students and develop their STEM skills.”

Alan Milgate, parent of Cyber Ray team member Drew said: “We could not be more proud of this group for their continued achievements, team spirit, national pride and the excitement with which they look forward to their next challenge.”


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Officials deny CI Company Registry hacked

| 18/02/2013 | 13 Comments

3005965-slide-loophole4all-caymans-certificates2.jpg(CNS): The servers which hold information on the companies registered in the Cayman Islands have not been breached, officials from the Financial Services Ministry stated Monday. Following claims by an Italian artist that he had hacked the government website and collected information on more than 200,000 Cayman Islands companies as part of a protest against offshore tax laws, the government said this was not the case. The Registry of Companies servers have not been compromised, the Registry’s Senior Assistant Registrar Donnell Dixon said, and there has been no interference with the Cayman Islands Online Registry Information Service (CORIS) used to share information between local financial services agents and the Registry.

“Just like any member of the public is able to do, the person who claims to have hacked our servers conducted a search for companies on the Registry’s website,” Dixon said. “‘He then cut and pasted the names of these companies onto a template, in order to create bogus certificates. To the unsuspecting public, these fake certificates appear to be authentic.”

As part of a political art project Paolo Cirio claimed to have ‘grabbed’ or hacked a list of all companies incorporated Cayman and was selling the "identities of those companies at a low cost to democratize  privileges of offshore businesses” as a form of tax resistance on his website, which  instructs visitors to choose from the 200,000 companies and purchase a digital certificate of incorporation and redirect their own tax bills.

However, Dixon pointed out that it’s impossible to obtain the certificate image from the Registry’s website, as the image is not stored on the server.  

"Not storing the image on the server is one of the simpler ways in which we protect data," he said, adding that the Registry’s website features robust security features that prevent information theft.

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UDP to open new party HQ in George Town

| 18/02/2013 | 41 Comments

Bush oath 2.jpg(CNS): The United Democratic Party is opening a new office in the capital as its national headquarters. The new party office is situated at Rankin’s Plaza, off Eastern Avenue, and is likely to become the hub of the party’s campaign in the critical George Town fight. With six seats, 7500 plus voters and an expected long list of candidates, the capital will be where the May 2013 General Election will be won and lost. So far, the UDP have officially declared only two candidates for George Town  — incumbents Ellio Solomon and former Cabinet member Mike Adam, who gave up the community affairs ministry to stick by former premier, McKeeva Bush, following the no confidence vote in December that saw him ousted from office.

However, TV weatherman John Foster, who will be acting as MC at the official opening on Tuesday evening, is tipped to be running on the UDP ticket with Adam and Solomon, as well as local business Renard Moxam and waste-management consultant Walling Whittaker. 

Last week Bush announced that Tessa Johnson-Bodden had replaced Sherri Bodden-Cowan, who appears to have left the beleaguered party, as its chair. He also indicted that the UDP could be adapting the party name slightly and calling itself the National United Democratic Party ahead of the political fight.

The UDP was split down the middle in the wake of the no confidence debate in the Legislative Assembly a few days after Bush’s arrest on suspicion of theft and other offences under the anti-corruption law in December. Despite the forced departure of his two former West Bay colleagues, Rolston Anglin and Cline Glidden, and the two Bodden Town members, Mark Scotland and Dwayne Seymour, along with the voluntary resignation of the current premier Juliana O’ Connor-Connolly, Bush has made it clear he intends to mount a full campaign in an effort to regain power. However, he remains the subject of at least three police investigations and is currently on police bail until March.

It is not yet clear who will be running with Bush and Captain Eugene Ebanks in West Bay or who will take up the party fight in Bodden Town, but the former premier is expected to run a full complement of UDP candidates in the larger districts.

The opening of the office is scheduled to begin at 5:30pm and all are invited to come out and join Bush, Solomon, Adam, Ebanks and party officials for the celebrations and free refreshments.

See details below.

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Woman denies forgery of local cash

| 18/02/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A woman pleaded not guilty to six different charges relating to forged Cayman cash on Friday before she was bailed to return to court at the end of this year.  Shannon Ebanks denied passing a fake $10 note at the Evaglow Bar in Bodden Town or a fake $100 at Dunkin Donuts on Lawrence Boulevard. She also denied being in possession of more than 40 forged $25 bills along with implements of forgery following a police operation at a house in Kipling Street Bodden Town, including forgery paper, CIMA metallic strips and a copying machine.  Ebanks was bailed until 2 December when a four day jury trial has been fixed.

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Brac student awarded pharmacy scholarship

| 18/02/2013 | 2 Comments

rudy.jpg(CNS): First recipient of the Dispenser Lawford Lawrence Scholarship Fund, Rudy Walton, recently received a cheque of US $500 to assist with the purchasing of books for his second semester at Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA). This fund, which is supported by local sponsors, was established in November 2007 to encourage young Caymanians to pursue a career in pharmacy. Rudy, an honours graduate from the Layman E Scott Sr High School, Cayman Brac; is enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences at PBA and majors in medicinal and biological chemistry with concentration in pharmaceutical studies. (Photo: L-R Rudy Walton, his mother Laura Walton and Dhallchand Seeram)

Chairman of the organizing committee, Dhallchand Seeram, Secretary Pedro Lazzari , Treasurer Ivalee Scott and other well-wishers thanked all sponsors for their generous contributions over the years.


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Immigration hunt Cuban mother and son

| 18/02/2013 | 4 Comments

Capture_19.JPG(CNS): Two Cuban migrants granted temporary admission into the Cayman Islands earlier this month have gone missing. Immigration officials have released an appeal for the mother and son, who were last seen on Saturday. Nelvis Madeleinis Rodriguez, 33, and her 15 year-old son, Adriano Aldana Rodriguez, failed to report for curfew at a house in Newport  Avenue off Walkers Road, George Town, where they were being accommodated by government. The authorities are appealing to the community for any sightings or information on their whereabouts.


Part of a group of 21 Cuban refugees who passed Cayman Brac recently, Nelvis Rodriguez is described as 5’1” in height, weighing about 120 pounds with black hair and brown eyes The sone is said to be 5’5” in height and weighs 100 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes.

Immigration officials say six of the 21 migrants disembarked the vessel and opted not to continue their journey. The mother and son were housed separately from the others because the immigration detention facility was not considered suitable to house a minor.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Garfield Wong at 526-0480, Joey Scott at 526-0433; or Jeremy Scott at 526-7937.

See immigration Bulletin below.

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