Archive for September, 2013

Statistics office starts annual employment count

| 30/09/2013 | 6 Comments

(CNS): The Economics & Statistics Office (ESO) is beginning the annual Labour Force Survey this Sunday 6 October and is appealing to the community to the public for its full cooperation with the interviewers, and to provide the necessaryinformation, which will be collected under the Statistics Law (2011 Revision). The information provided for the LFS will be used for estimating the Islands’ 2013 labour force statistics, such as the unemployment rate. The data will also be used in estimating household size and in making a projection of the country’s population. Trained interviewers will visit randomly selected samples of households in the three Islands over a four-week period.

Each interviewer will work under an Oath of Secrecy, and all information collected will be kept strictly confidential. No information is ever entered which would allow anyone to be able to link the data with an individual respondent.
All interviewers carry a photo identification which should be worn for easy visibility, and respondents are advised to request identification from any interviewer before sharing information.

A sample of the LFS Questionnaire and the Interviewer’s Manual are available from www.eso.ky as well as other information on the survey and results of previous surveys.

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Cayman Prep takes trophy in PFL opening tourney

| 30/09/2013 | 0 Comments

(CUC-PFL):  Reigning Under 11 Champions Cayman Prep defeated an improving Prospect Primary team 2-1 in the final of the 2013/2014 CUC PFL Opening Rally Saturday at the Annex Field. Ironically, the final game of the 2013/2014 Opening Rally was a rematch of the first game of the Rally between the two finalists as both schools were drawn to face each other in Zone B along with Bodden Town Primary. In that encounter, Cayman Prep emerged with the victory in penalties after both teams failed to find the net during regular time. The final featured the two most consistent teams on the day and although both sets of players were visibly drained from the day’s heat, the final itself was an entertaining game of football.

Cayman Prep’s influential midfielder Harrison Hew and Most Valuable Player of the final was the central figure in a majority of Cayman Prep’s attacks. He rounded off his superb performance with the first goal for his teamand played a major part in the second goal as Nick McCallum rounded off the scoring.

Not to be outdone, Prospect Primary came close on numerous occasions but were unable to put the finishing touches on many enterprising attacks. Louie Booden, younger brother of Prospect Primary legend Rico Bodden, couldn’t find the back of the net with Cayman Prep’s goalkeeper having an excellent game himself.

Finally, Prospect’s Angelo Forbes found a gap in Cayman Prep’s back line and blasted his side back into contention with a well-taken goal. The action continued as Prospect fought bravely to try and grab the equaliser but it was not to be as Cayman Prep secured the season’s first silverware.

Cayman Prep’s journey to the final began with the penalty shootout victory over Prospect Primary and a 6-2 defeat of Bodden Town Primary to top Zone B . A quarter final victory over George Town Primary on penalties and a 3-1 semi final win over NorthEast Schools ensured their place in the final. Prospect Primary’s second place finish in Zone B following the initial loss to Cayman Prep and a 2-1 victory over Bodden Town Primary, propelled them into the quarter finals and a date with reigning Opening Rally champions Sir John A. Cumber Primary.

A 1-0 victory over the boys from West Bay coupled with a 3-1 defeat of St. Ignatius Prep in the semi finals, booked Prospect’s place in the final. The surprise team of the tournament was NorthEast Schools who for the first time in Primary League Football history, got their hands on a trophy after securing a third place finish with a penalty shootout win over St. Ignatius Prep.

As runners-up in Zone C, Northeast Schools defeated Zone A winners South Sound Schools 1-0 in the quarter finals and lost 3-1 to eventual champions Cayman Prep in the semi finals.
St. Ignatius Prep’s passage to the third-place game started with a 1-0 loss to South Sound Schools, a 2-0 win over Red Bay Primary in Zone A, a quarter final victory over Zone D winners Savannah Primary in a penalty shootout and a 3-1 semi final loss to Prospect Primary.

Special thanks to youth referees Thompson Hew, Collin Ebanks and Rico Bodden, under the tutelage of Dwayne Ebanks and Chastine Rankine, for officiating the day’s games. Thanks to all the parents and supporters who continue to cheer on the league, players and schools.

Traditionally, the Opening Rally marks the beginning of a new Primary Football League season. The 2013/2014 PFL regular season begins this Saturday, October 5 with a number of games scheduled at various primary school venues around the Island. Fans are encouraged to come out and support the players and schools.

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Mac blames division on PPM

| 30/09/2013 | 54 Comments

(CNS): The opposition leader has said that the current serious divisions in the community over the proposed immigration amendments and the planned street march against the changes are a direct result of the People’s Progressive Movement’s anti-foreign stance which has back-fired. McKeeva Bush said the PPM’s position for the last ten years had created unrealistic expectations. Although he has not yet stated what line the opposition United Democratic Party will take on the Immigration Amendment bill when it comes to the Legislative Assembly as discussions are ongoing, he said that the UDP took the position that the country must grow while Caymanians must be given the first opportunity on jobs.

Responding to the controversies surrounding government’s proposed changes to immigration, Bush said that the PPM had opposed the UDP’s immigration philosophy for ten years and had now got itself into trouble.

“The PPM as a government has found themselves in a ‘pickle’ because of their political campaign based on lies, Anansi stories and an anti-foreign mentality, which did nothing but grow false expectations, which now they're finding out can't be sustained if our country is going to be a viable location for both local and international business whilst also being able to keep giving our people free education, healthcare, better roads etc," the opposition leader told CNS.

“The PPM opposition was a damning opposition to the UDP's immigration philosophy since 2003. They ran a successful national campaign based on scare mongering, anti-foreign residence and employment against the UDP immigration policies from 2003 to recently, wherein they tricked businesses to support them in their negativity towards most things foreign,” he said.

Bush claimed this had resulted in the current division and that the planned public march would generate particularly bad press for Cayman and fuel the negativity.

“The problem of migration and immigration has been the 'harlot of the ages', but in a small country such as ours with no vast natural resources, it is showing just how negative political posturing to win the government at any cost, as the PPM did, will indeed inflict wounds that will go deep if there is not a change in their narrow-minded approach,” Bush warned.

“My position is: first the country must grow and our policies must enable that growth to take place. Do we want to go forward or backward?” he asked rhetorically. “Backwards means worse times than what people are experiencing now.”

Secondly, he said, Caymanians must be given the first opportunity on jobs and in ownership of businesses that they can grow, as well as being trained for available jobs and to meet the demands of an ever changing workplace. But he did appear to offer his support for the government’s position that employers have to be truthful about their vacancies.

“This approach includes removing the proverbial glass ceiling and the placement of all truthful, authentic ,advertisements must be part and parcel of any strategy going forward,” he said. Additionally, that must entail a government machinery that is much more forward thinking and a business private sector that is truly a partner … willing to cooperate, with government and all employees towards building a society that is truly beneficial to all stakeholders.

“It is my party's overall position that the future of growth of our country and its society must be based on a relationship which is built on a high and deep level of mutual respect towards growth and the challenges which that growth objective will place before us. Giving Caymanians jobs, jobs, jobs,” Bush stated.

The first phase of changes to the immigration bill are expected to be pushed through the Legislative Assembly before 28 October to avoid the exodus of more than 1,500 people holding what are known as Term Limit Exemption Permits all on the same day. Having made a decision to push the rollover or term limit policy back two years, the new government will be providing every work permit holder, including those with temporary extensions, to now apply for permanent residency, regardless of their working status. The PPM government has rejected the idea that this will open the flood gates for every ex-pat worker to stay, as the premier said that the new permanent residency application process will be more stringent and robust.

Despite the claims, the government has failed to win the hearts and minds of all Caymanians on this issue, and with the independent members for East End and North Side leading a vociferous campaign against the changes and groups of local activists also vehemently opposed, a rally is now planned to march against the policy changes on 11 October.

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Loaded gun recovered in George Town

| 30/09/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A 21-year-old man is in custody after a foot chase resulted in the recovery of a loaded firearm in George Town, as the latest spate of gun crimes continues. Just after midnight in the early hours of Sunday 29 September, officers from the Unit Support Group were on patrol along Sheddon Road when they approached a young man. However, he fled on foot and a chase ensued, during which the suspect discarded an object. The man was caught and apprehended by officers, who searched the area and found a loaded handgun containing several rounds of ammunition. The gun was sized by USG officers and the young man was arrested on suspicion of possession of an unlicensed firearm.

Anyone who was in the area at the time of the crimes or has any information regarding this incident should contact the George Town Police station on 949-4222, the RCIPS tip line 949-7777 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS).

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Manderson on the run for almost seven weeks

| 30/09/2013 | 21 Comments

(CNS): Following his escape from HMP Northward with his father and a fellow inmate, Marcus Manderson remains on the run, despite the capture of the other two men. However, the RCIPS has remained tight lipped about their suspicions over the young convict’s likely departure from the Cayman Islands. Manderson (25) was serving a mandatory ten year sentence for possession of an unlicensed firearm, which in his case was a modified flare gun, following his conviction by a jury earlier this year. Having escaped with his father, Steve Manderson, who escaped for the sixth time, and Jamaican national Chadwick Dale (22), both of whom were caught in the North Side area, Manderson has evaded capture now for 47 days.

An RCIPS spokesperson said Friday that the investigation was continuing but failed to respond to questions about the possibility that Manderson is now in Jamaica.

“The RCIPS and prison service continue to work closely together on this very active investigation,” a police spokesperson stated. “The incident room is still up and running and staff follow up on all intelligence reports or sightings. Members of the public are reminded to call 911 with any sightings. The media and public will be made aware of any significant developments; in the meantime the investigation is still ongoing.”

The three men made their escape from the jail after cutting through the perimeter fences at around 9:30pm on 14 August. Dale, who is serving a six year sentence for a violent street robbery, was the first to be caught in the Rum Point area and has since been charged with escaping lawful custody. Steve Manderson, who is serving a mandatory life sentence following his conviction in the killing of a prison officer, was later rounded up in Frank Sound and investigators believed both men had been living rough.

The RCIPS lead investigator issued a warning to the younger Manderson to give himself up as it was only a matter of time before he would be captured. However, since his father was returned to custody on 29 August, Marcus Manderson has continued on the run alone and evaded the authorities for a further month. Speculationis mounting that he has left Cayman and may be in Jamaica but the police have made no comment on the suspected whereabouts of the escapee.

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CS bosses ask that experts make final cuts

| 30/09/2013 | 38 Comments

(CNS): Records released by the deputy governor’s office of a civil service managers’ meeting show that the public sector bosses want outside experts to be the ones that make the major cuts in the size of government. Minutes from a chief officers’ meeting on 16 September show that while Deputy Governor Franz Manderson believes that good progress had been made in reducing the cost of the civil service, more work is needed and this must be achieved by structural changes. With civil servants doing much more work with fewer resources and some mergers of departments having already happened, the next step will require a comprehensive report, which civil servants should not be asked to do, he said.

“The deputy governor stated that it was important that a comprehensive report be prepared that will allow Ministers to determine what services provided by the government should be abolished, amalgamated or privatized. It was agreed that civil servants should not be asked to perform this work and that expertise from outside of government was necessary,” the minutes record.

Although the civil service heads said it was important for ministers to also hear the views of chief officers, the public sector leaders are clearly reluctant to carry the can for future cuts.

However, as well as the civil service's own internal reviews and reports over the last four years, the Miller-Shaw report, which was published in 2009, also pointed to areas to cut or privatize but it is believed that the document has largely been ignored. That report pointed to the possible sale of the Port Authority, the airport, Water Authority, UCCI, the Development Bank and the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange, as well as the Cayman Turtle Farm.

Speaking at the Chamber Legislative Lunch meeting last week, the premier pointed out the main problem government faces when it came to the privatization of its companies or statutory authorities:  the only ones people are interested in are the profitable ones. Answering questions after his key note speech, Alden McLaughlin said if anyone wanted to buy the Turtle Farm to let him know.

Despite another $12 million being shaved off operation costs this year, the government still needs to drive down the civil service bill further unless it can find a new revenue source.  McLaughlin pointed out, however, that government was fast reaching the point that it would need to make decisions about divestment if it was to continue to drive down costs.

He explained that already some cost cuts were not sustainable, such as putting recruitment on hold or not buying what a department really needs. The premier warned that continuing to make unsustainable cuts would leave the public sector in crisis and so divestment was the remaining solution.

“We need to shave off some services but when it comes to true privatization, the only ones people want are profitable ones … thatis the stark reality,” he said. He also warned of the dangers of creating private monopolies by selling government companies, as well as the costs of regulating private sector entities that deliver public services.

In the meantime, with the civil service wanting to hand over the tough cuts, the minutes show that the policy for voluntary separation has now been approved by Cabinet and an implementation schedule is being finalized and will commence this week. This is expected to also help cut costs and reduce headcount during the coming year. Civil servants who accept the separation package will depart from the service in January 2014.

In a step towards a more transparent public sector, the document posted below also reveals that the performance assessments deadline is today, 30 September, and public sector bosses were reminded that the assessments were a key component of driving accountability across the civil service.

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CIG’s Europe trip costs revealed at just over $14K

| 30/09/2013 | 18 Comments

(CNS): With accommodation costs covered by the Joint Ministerial Council in Gibraltar, the Jersey government providing accommodation for the trip there and a chief officer depending on friends in London, as well as flying premium economy rather than first class, the recent trip by a Cayman delegation to Europe, led by Premier Alden McLaughlin, was kept down to $14,256.20, government officials have said. With travel still a contentious issue, government released the costs of the trip taken by the premier, the financial services minister, a backbench councillor and a chief officer earlier this month, which began with a trip to Gibraltar.

McLaughlin and his Joint Ministerial Council "Sherpa", Jennifer Ahearn, CO in the health ministry, travelled to Gibraltar on 11 September to attend a three-day pre-Joint Ministerial Council meeting of the overseas territories.

McLaughlin and Ahearn travelled premium economy on all flights, at a cost of $2,738.95 each. They were each allotted a $150 daily per diem allowance for a total of $1,200 each for eight days and accommodation was provided by the JMC.

Following Gibraltar, Ahearn travelled to London for a meeting of Sherpas to help set the agenda for November’s Joint Ministerial Council meeting in London. She had no accommodation costs in London as she stayed with friends.

In London, the premier was joined by Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton and the FS ministry’s councillor, Roy McTaggart. The three travelled to Jersey at the invitation of the islands’ chief minister, Ian Gorst, and the Jersey government provided accommodation. Airfare for Panton and McTaggart was $2,439.15 each for premium economy seats and they were each given $750 to cover expenses for the five days.

Officials said that during the meeting in Gibraltar the premier met with his counterparts to discuss issues affecting the overseas territories ahead of the main JMC meeting in November to explore how Cayman and other OTs can work together collectively when they all go to London.

The UK trip included a visit to the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry at the Southampton office, which continues to promote Cayman as one of the world’s most respected jurisdictions for registering yachts and commercial vessels.

“The expertise of the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry, the reputation of the Cayman Islands flag, the ease with which a vessel can be registered, the security of the Cayman Islands, and the determination to personally monitor and uphold high standards, have made the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry one of the top 13 registries in the world,’ government stated.

The delegation also joined the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism’s European team at the Southampton Boat Show on Friday, 13 September, to lend support to the team’s efforts to bring the Cayman Islands to the forefront of the affluent yachting fraternity.

The delegation was invited to Jersey to review that government’s procurement process as part of the preparations for the CIG’s review of its own procurement systems, as well as to discuss how Jersey deals with immigration and the budgeting process.

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Child shot in shop robbery

| 29/09/2013 | 88 Comments

(CNS) Updated: The police have now confirmed that, contrary to earlier reports, the victim injured during a grocery store robbery in West Bay on Saturday night was a 6-year-old boy.  The robbery at Videtts's Grocery store on Reverend Blackman Road, just a few feet away from the West Bay police station, happened at around 9:20 in the evening (28 September), when two masked men entered the store armed with a machete and a handgun. They demanded cash from the proprietor but the robber armed with the gun discharged a shot. Police said fragments from that shot caused non-life threatening injuries to the child, who was in the store with his parents and who was taken to the George Town Hospital by private car.

The child has since been released from the hospital having been treated for bruises.

"The six-year-old boy who was injured during the incident was released from hospital on Saturday night following treatment to superficial bruising," An RCIPS spokesperson stated, Monday. "It is believed that his injuries were caused when the fragments, or other material, ricocheted after a shot was discharged into the wall."

Police said the two robbers were believed to have fled the scene on foot in possession of a quantity of cash and were last seen running to the rear of the premises. The first suspect was described by the RCIPS as being 6'1" with a dark complexion, slim built, wearing a black jacket with a hood. The second was 5'6" also with a dark complexion, medium built and wearing a black jacket with a hood.

Detectives investigating the robbery are appealing for anyone who may have seen two men loitering outside the premises approximately two hours before the robbery to come forward. This or any other Information can be passed to the West Bay Police Station on 949-3999, the RCIPS tip-line 949-7777 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS).

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Cops seize 185lbs ganja

| 28/09/2013 | 20 Comments

(CNS): Marine unit officers patrolling the Sister Islands intercepted a drug canoe off the coast of Cayman Brac last night. The police seized around 185lbs of ganja and arrested seven people. Three Caymanian nationals and four Jamaican nationals are currently detained in police custody after the drug laden boat was spotted at about 9:35 last night, Friday 27 September. The officers were aboard the Guardian on routine patrols when they came across the canoe and triggered a land and sea operation involving officers from Cayman Brac Police Station, Special Constabulary, Drugs and Serious Crime Task Force and the Immigration Department.

The successful operation resulted in the seven men being arrested, a second boat, as well as two motor vehicles and the drug haul being seized.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Drugs and Serious Crime Task Force at 949-7710.Information can also be passed via the RCIPS tip-line 949-7777 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS).

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Cops release second murder suspect in Bush case

| 27/09/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The local police released a second man, Friday, who was arrested in connection with the murder of Irvin Bush earlier this month. A police spokesperson said that the 26-year-old man who was arrested on Tuesday, 24 September following a police operation in West Bay has been released on police bail while enquires continue. The police also released a 22 year old man earlier this week who had been arrested in Breakers just two days after the shooting. Bush (52) was gunned down outside his home in Daisy Lane on the night of  Sunday 15 September at around 10pm. Police have never said how many gun men they suspect were involved or how the killer or killers made their way to and from the house where the West Bay man was shot.

It is still not clear whether the killing was gang related as Bush’s son Robert Mackford Bush was also gunned down in the district two years ago in a shooting that triggered a spate of gang related killings over a nine day period in September 2011

 

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