Archive for April 20th, 2013

R&B singer to perform at Cayman Fashion Week

| 20/04/2013 | 0 Comments

chrisette.gif(CNS): American R&B grammy award winner Chrisette Michele will take the stage at the 3rd annual Cayman Islands Fashion Week Gala Runway Show on 27 April at the Island Air Hangar. Cayman Islands Fashion Week, (previously Cayman Fashion Solstice) has been renamed for 2013. The event aims to promote the Cayman Islands as a fashion and lifestyle destination. The event showcases international and Caribbean trend setting fashion designers and models from top agencies, including Ford, Major, DNA, RED, Muse, Next, IMG and Elite. Since its 2010 launch, the event has attracted a diverse audience of professionals and influencers from around the globe, including celebrities, designers, and buyers.

Sessilee Lopez, Georgie Badiel, Kacie Schaffer and Bobby Roache are amongst the list of models that have appeared at the event.

The three day event will feature the Culture & Style Welcome Party, the “MyStyle” Soiree and the 2013 Runway Fashion Show, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday April 27th at the Island Air Hangar. 12 designers are planned to feature this year from London, New York, Africa, Dubai, the Caribbean, as well as the Cayman Islands.  Tickets can be purchased at NKY Collections, Sand Angels, Silhouette in Camana Bay and Arabus Boutique in George Town.

Chrisette Michele launched her career with her 2007 debit album ‘I AM’ and has produced two more since, with her fourth, ‘Better’, set for release in June 2013. 

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New committee to develop national statistics system

| 20/04/2013 | 0 Comments

statistics.gif(CNS): The Economics and Statistics Office (ESO) recently launched the National Statistical Coordination Committee (NSCC), whose goal isto better “coordinate the development of the country’s statistical system.” The official launch event took place at the George Town Hospital on 18 April. In her welcome address, ESO Director Maria Zingapan stated that the vision of the NSCC is to have an “information system of a democratic society, serving the Government and the public with data about the situation of the Cayman Islands in four areas – one, economic; two, demographic; three social, and four, environmental.”

Attendees at the launch heard how the NSCC will be comprised of a mix of voluntary public and private sector agencies who together will comprise a system which is intended to “serve the Government and the public with data that are compliant to fundamental principles of statistics” and that, “will lead to the socio-economic development of all residents.” Zingpan said that, “Key users of statistics in the private and public sectors may also be invited, such as business associations and schools.” She said that the ESO hoped “the NSCC will be embraced by all data-producing agencies.”

Providing historical context for the launch, Acting Financial Secretary, Sonia McLaughlin, explained how the NSCC fulfils recommendations made following a ‘statistical assessment mission’ conducted by the Caribbean Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC) in 2005. She said that the mission found that there are “no means of setting priorities in the statistics area,” and therefore recommended the creation of a ‘national statistical coordinating committee’ to advise the chief statistician on “planning and prioritisation in the statistical programme” as well as advising the government on “needed resources to initiate statistical programs, setting the stage for budgetary approval.”

Addressing the question of why only now the government is responding to recommendations from an assessment mission made 8 years ago, McLaughlin said, “The ESO had to put its own house “in order” first before it can have the credibility to coordinate with other departments and ministries in developing the national statistical system.” She explained that a number of reforms at the ESO have been carried out in the interim as a result of the CARTAC findings, although “much remains to be done.”

McLaughlin said that the success of NSCC “will not rest on ESO alone.” She called upon attendees at the event to “think of official statistics beyond the ESO to include all departments and other public sector authorities who will volunteer as part of the NSCC.” She also said she hoped that the NSCC would succeed in its endeavours, “preferably without additional budget from the CIG.”

In her keynote address, premier, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, spoke about the importance of shifting from ‘silo thinking’ to ‘system thinking’ in government. She said, “Government structures are often associated with the so-called "silo effect,” explaining that this “refers to a palpable lack of the spirit of building each other for the common good.” She added, “This phenomenon has many symptoms, foremost of which is the lack of communication and understanding of a common vision and shared goals and objectives.”

O’Connor-Connolly said that she thought that the NSCC was “a good model of system-wide thinking”. She continued, “It is high time to have a NSCC in the Cayman Islands Government.” Citing anofficial handbook, she said, “A national statistical system is the “ensemble of statistical organizations and units within a country that jointly collect, process and disseminate official statistics on behalf of national government.”

Talking about its intended benefits, the premier called on all government agencies to join the NSCC. “I note that membership is voluntary, dependent on the willingness of the agencies and subject to their primary mandates. Your membership and active participation will be your great contribution to the cause of reducing the ill effects of silo thinking in government in general and to statistical development in particular,” she said.

The speeches delivered at the event by the premier, ESO Director and the acting financial secretary are attached.

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Environmental concerns running high

| 20/04/2013 | 23 Comments

reef.gif(CNS): Concerns are running high about Cayman’s environment and its lack of protection according to a survey recently conducted by the National Trust among its membership. Of the 155 respondents surveyed in March, 99% said they felt it is important to preserve the history and environment of the Cayman Islands, while only a meager 3% of respondents said they felt that Cayman’s environment is adequately protected by current legislation. 97% of respondents said they believe the Cayman Islands needs more legislation to protect its environment, and 86% said they believe the Cayman Islands needs a law to protect places of historic importance.

“This survey confirms a substantial level of concern about the state of environmental and historic protection here in the Cayman Islands,” said National Trust Executive Director, Christina McTaggart.

McTaggart noted that 88% of respondents stated it was “very important” that the next Government enacts legislation protecting the history and environment of the Cayman Islands, and a further 11% felt that it was “important”.

“We believe this information sends a clear message to the next Government that our citizens are concerned about the loss of our natural and built heritage, and we hope it will be the catalyst to ensure the creation of good conservation policy, and legislation beyond what already exists in the Animals Law,” said McTaggart.

She continued, “As the only non-governmental, not for profit organization charged with conserving our history and environment, The National Trust’s work is vital to ensuring the protection of significant historic and environmental sites on all three islands. In fact, the Cayman Islands is only able to meet its obligations related to a number of international treaties thanks to the work of the National Trust. However, our efforts can only extend as far as we are able to raise the funds to purchase and subsequently protect these sites.”

She also added, “We have been urging our lawmakers to release funds to the Trust from the Environmental Protection Fund, which was set up in the 1990s specifically to help protect Cayman’s environment. We hope the next government will take heed. Those funds would go a long way toward supporting our efforts to establish a system of protected areas that will ensure the long-term survival of Cayman’s unique plants, animals and habitats, some of which are not found anywhere else on earth.”

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Swimming association gets free ECG testing

| 20/04/2013 | 0 Comments

swimmers.gif(CNS): The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) donated free ECG testing to swimmers who competed in the CARIFTA (Caribbean Free Trade Association) Swim Championships held in Kingston, Jamaica at the end of March. These tests are used to screen for underlying cardiac problems in athletes, part of a medical screening procedure required for all CARIFTA team members in which each individual’s physical and physiological state is assessed prior to the competition. Peter MacKay, President of the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA) said that Cayman made great strides at this year’s CARIFTA Swim Championships.

“CIASA saw 18 of our members participate in this year’s CARIFTA Swim Championships and they enjoyed stellar success, with Cayman winning a total of 14 medals, including three gold, to finish 10th overall in this year’s CARIFTA championships,” he confirmed.

MacKay explained the importance of strict health checks for participants before the CARIFTA Swim Championships, saying, “The CIASA has a requirement to maintain records with regards to medications its athletes have taken, including those for allergies, so that the team managers and coaches have the full medical picture with regard to each participant. This is particularly crucial because strict anti-doping procedures must be adopted for swimmers over the age of 14 years.”

Lizzette Yearwood, Chief Executive Officer at the HSA said, “The Health Services Authority was very happy to support our swimmers by donating part of this compulsory medical screening test free of charge.” Ms. Yearwood said that this year three swimmers had already been screened as part of the Cardiac Risk Assessment Programme recently initiated by the Cayman Islands Government.

The ECG screenings were performed by Dr Nigel Boothe and Dr Sook Yin.  Dr Boothe is a physician for Accident & Emergency at the HSA and is the father of two CARIFTA swimmers.

Peter MacKay said that as the sport of swimming develops in the Cayman Islands, CIASA continues to look for ways to ensure the physical and physiological well being of the Islands’ athletes as well as are use the information obtained from the medical screenings to enhance performance. “A donation such as the one our swimmers received from the HSA will help us greatly in our mission and for that reason we are extremely grateful to the Authority,” MacKay said.

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Cops investigate early morning stabbing on Brac

| 20/04/2013 | 2 Comments

(CNS): Police are currently investigating an incident on Cayman Brac in which a 28-year-old man was rushed to hospital Saturday morning after being stabbed. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has confirmed that officers received a report around  20 April that a man with stab wounds was in the Dantzler Crescent Road area but there are no details on where, when or how the victim received the wounds. Police and ambulance attended the scene and the victim was taken to Faith Hospital with what is believed to be non-life threatening injuries, a police spokesperson said. The victim remained in hospital Saturday. Police said no arrests have been made as the enquiry continues.

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