Archive for October 14th, 2013

Open letter to the premier

| 14/10/2013 | 68 Comments

I don’t want to come across as complaining about my situation or not being empathetic toward unemployed Caymanians. I believe everyone, everywhere has the right to work a job, should they be qualified and should they commit to the requirements set by the employer to fulfill a position.

That being said, having been a law abiding, gainfully employed resident  in the Cayman Islands since 2005, I feel I am not getting a fair shake at what I have worked for while here. I knew the rules when I came to live here my second time around and played them to the letter of the law. I did my community service, I trained Caymanians, and I opened a small business. I also purchased property, all the while never taking anything for granted.

I refused to sign a  Term Limit Exemption Permit, believing I was taking the more difficult path, and as I did not want to sign my legal rights away as those choosing sign the TLEP, I applied for and was awarded a Key Employee designation.

Fast forward to this year, this new government. I feel as though the rug has been pulled out from under my feet. I am in the home stretch and the law is to change with the finish line in view. It raises the bar beyond my middle class capabilities, just as our business was beginning to grow and our future was looking bright. If we are not here to run our business it will wither and die, period. Nobody can run a small business from offshore and expect it to thrive. Small businesses are the cornerstone of the economy along with middle class society.

So, ultimately, I really want to know why the government is persecuting those who took the harder path to Key Employee and did not sign their rights away as those signing TLEP have done. Why would you not hold TLEP holders and their employers to the contract they chose, in some cases on behalf of both parties? Everyone on every side knew the day would come. Why is this a large, shocking issue to them now? It was destined.

I guess this is written in frustration. I, for the life of me, cannot figure why someone would be granted a designation and have the rules that apply to it change in the middle of the program. Why would you not give people the chance to finish what they started on the same playing field? If you want to abolish Key Employee, abolish it. However, would it not be decent and fair to create changes to the Permanent Residency requirements applicable to the next wave, not those on the one breaking on the shore?

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3rd killing shakes community

| 14/10/2013 | 67 Comments

(CNS): The murder of 32-year-old Anthony ‘Beenie’ Connor last Friday night has shaken an already fearful community as the level of crimes involving guns once again climb to shocking heights. Connor was the third person killed in under a month in Cayman and comes amidst an increase in street and doorstep robberies as well as those at commercial premises involving guns. With the police stretched to the limits, politicians called for the commissioner to take responsibility and for a new form of policing, as they made their contributions to the budget debate following a briefing from the deputy commissioner Monday morning. Meanwhile, Connor’s family called for the violence to stop and for those with information to help the police.

In a statement released to the media, the family said they were heartbroken that the life of Anthony “Beenie” Connor had been taken so suddenly.

"The continued gun violence must stop. All it is doing is hurting family, friends and the entire Caymanian community as a whole. We are known as a loving, peaceable people; therefore we ask everyone to unite and pray for the senseless violence to cease. We urge those who may have information that can help solve this or any other crime not to be afraid to tell the police so that they can help curb the senseless killing of young men," the statement read. "Remember, you can call Crime Stoppers and remain completely anonymous. Thank you to all those who have offered kind words, prayers and support to our family, who is deeply saddened at the loss of a beloved son, brother, cousin, nephew and friend."

The family are no strangers to violence; Connor’s mother survived being shot in the face in 2010 outside a Mary Street bar. That shooting, in broad daylight, came in the wake of another period of gang related violence. Although a man was arrested for the attempted murder, no one has been convicted of the crime.

Although the police have not yet offered any further updates regarding the killing of Connor outside Mango Tree on Friday night, officers are expected to hold a press briefing to answer questions over the latest spike in gang related crime and gun violence tomorrow morning.

The governor and local politicians were briefed by Deputy Commissioner Steve Brougham Monday about the rise in crime and the latest murder before the resumption of the budget debate, which has been dominated by concerns about crime.

After the briefing Governor Helen Kilpatrick stated, “It is important for the premier, mMembers of the LA and me to hear how the RCIPS are responding to the recent outbreak of violent criminal acts and for the acting commissioner to hear MLAs express the concerns of their constituents. I will be discussing with the acting commissioner the approach the police will be taking to prevent any reprisals."

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Immigration bill could change

| 14/10/2013 | 43 Comments

(CNS): Premier Alden McLaughlin has stated that government is still listening to the concerns of the people regarding the planned changes to the immigration law that will, among other things, remove the key employee and the seven year term limit, enabling every ex-pat worker to make an application for permanet residency if they stay long enough. Government officials and elected members are currently visiting all the districts to explain the plans, and McLaughlin said that the government could still make changes to the bill when it comes to the Legislative Assembly sometime next week during the committee stage, based on the submissions and comments it is receiving. As he welcomed people protesting the bill into the LAlast Friday, he said government was not turning a blind eye or deaf ear to their concerns.

Balancing the needs of the business community to attract, recruit and retain the most talented workers with the need to address growing local unemployment is becoming increasingly difficult, and government is hoping to tackle the issue with a new fairer and more precise immigration regime.

But with the perceived marginalisation of Caymanians in the workplace and glass ceiling that some claim is increasingly difficult for local workers to break through, as well as the importation of foreign cheap labour squeezing out Cayman workers from the lower or non-skilled jobs, the opposition to allowing more people to stay longer, even if they don’t get PR in what will be a more stringent new regime, has sparked criticism of the bill.

Nevertheless, government is attempting to win the hearts and minds of the people as it continues its district road-show and McLaughlin made it clear that people could submit their concerns, which would be given consideration. Although he has not yet indicated what areas of the law could be tweaked during the passage of the bill, he said he was well aware that not everyone in country was supportive of proposed changes.

In addition to the meetings, he said, government had spent a considerable amount of time on the radio and TV explaining the changes and the expected impact in an effort to address some of the misconceptions that were fuelling the opposition.

“We know, given the present circumstances with unemployment, their main concerns about the impact and we are taking on board those concerns … and we are still receiving feedback,” he said, noting that he wanted to assure the protestors who had taken part in the March Friday morning, who were in the gallery, that written concerns and submissions would be accepted,as would the petition if it was submitted to him.

“There is still a chance to make some adjustments at the committee stage,” he added, as he encouraged people to submit comments.

The planned changes are causing considerable debate and in some case fuelling existing divisions between locals and ex-pat workers, as well as the parliamentarians. Aside from opposition from the independent members, even government is believed to still be divided over the issue. Veteran PPM backbencher Anthony Eden revealed in his vigorous contribution to the budget debate that he does not support all elements of the law. As a backbencher he will be able to vote for or against or abstain.

However, despite the public disquiet, the anticipated changes are, according to the premier, designed to reduce the number of guest workers that will get through the PR process and ultimately go on to get status. But he has also confirmed that there is no set measure about the numbers that would be acceptable. The premier told CNS following the West Bay public meeting that the government has no plans to set quotas on permits or PR applicants and that there were no plans to set an ideal figure for the increase in the population each year via PR and then status.

The Cayman Status and Permanent Residency Board processed a total of 494 applications in the quarter ending 13 June alone, and while 39 applications were deferred only 11 percent were refused.

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Manderson charged in jail break, son still on the run

| 14/10/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): With Marcus Manderson on the run now for two months, his father, Steve Manderson, has been charged with escaping lawful custody. Manderson Sr (44), who was one of three men who escaped from HMP Northward on 14 August, was recaptured following a police operation in the Frank Sound area on 28 August. This is understood to be the sixth time that Manderson, who is serving a mandatory life sentence for murder, has broken out of the jailhouse, and while he is expected to make his first court appearance in connection with the charge tomorrow morning (Tuesday 15 October), it is not clear what punishment could be doled out to him should the prosecution secure a conviction.

It is understood that since his recapture his prisoner category has already been redefined and privileges taken away from him.

Chadwick Dale (22), who escaped with the Manderson duo, was caught in the Rum Point area less than a week after the escape, when the three men broke through the prison kitchen block and cut through the two perimeter fences with the assistance of another inmate. Dale has already been charged and the case is progressing through the courts.

Dale, who is a Jamaican national, was serving a six year sentence for a violent street robbery during which he stabbed a woman with a screw driver, even though she gave up her purse.

While these two men will be facing some sanction for their escape, Marcus Manderson remains on the run and there has been no comment from the RCIPS about whether they believe Manderson Jr is still in hiding on Grand Cayman or whether he may have left the islands.

The younger Manderson was incarcerated earlier this year for a mandatory ten years following his conviction of possession of an unlicensed firearm, when a jury found that a modified flare gun was a real weapon.

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Men arrested while making fake gun

| 14/10/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): As gun-related crime escalates on Grand Cayman, the police have reported another key arrest following an operation in the Savannah area last night. An RCIPS spokesperson said that two men, aged 20 and 22, were arrested following the seizure of a fake firearm they were in the process of attempting to construct when the police turned up. The men are currently detained in police custody following their arrest at 11:23pm on Sunday in Hirst Road. Officers from the Uniform Support Group reportedly caught the men in the act of making the imitation gun.

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Unemployed offered basic hospitality training

| 14/10/2013 | 48 Comments

(CNS): As government continues to get to grips with the challenges presented by growing local unemployment and as part of the drive to get locals back into tourism jobs, the National Workforce Development Agency (NWDA) is launching a five week food and beverage training programme this week. Once again urging every Caymanian looking for work to register with the agency, those that are registered and want to work in tourism but don’t have the skills can take this short free course as a firststep towards a new job. In partnership with the Marriott Hotel, this NWDA Food & Beverage 101 covers a series of topics to equip participants with basic product knowledge and service. 

The workshops are free to anyone registered with the NWDA and are held at the NWDA Conference Room at Midtown Plaza on Elgin Avenue on Wednesdays from 16 October to 13 November. To register or for more information visit the NWDA offices, or contact them at 945-3114 or email nwda.jobs@gov.ky.

 

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Victim escapes muggers in GT robbery attempt

| 14/10/2013 | 4 Comments

(CNS): As the crime tally keeps growing, police are investigating an attempted robbery which happened this weekend behind a local restaurant in George Town. An RCIPS spokesperson said that police received a report Friday of the fumbled mugging, which took place at the rear of “The Corner” restaurant on Eastern Avenue. The incident occurred at about 5:45pm on Friday 11 October, when the victim went to the location to collect some money owed to him. While at the rear of the premises, two men attempted to rob him but he managed to get away and contact the police.

No weapons were reported to have been used in the incident and no injuries received by the victim.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact DC Stewart at the George Town Criminal Investigation Department on 949-4222, the RCIPS tip line 949-7777 or Crime Stoppers 800-8477 (TIPS)

 

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Three robbed in GT street

| 14/10/2013 | 46 Comments

(CNS): Two women and one man were all robbed on Saturday evening in another street robbery in the capital. The RCIPS said they are now investigating the gunpoint mugging, which occurred on School Road, George Town, on the evening of 12 October at around 9.00pm. Two women who were sitting inside a parked vehicle were talking to a man standing on the roadside when they were approached by two masked suspects, police said. One appeared to be armed with a small handgun and the second person with a machete, an RCIPS spokesperson said. A quantity of cash and two cell phones plus some other personal items were stolen.

Police were called to the scene and conducted a search of the area. They recovered one of the mobile phones along with some of the personal items.

One suspect was around six feet tall with a slim build, and the second was around five feet five inches with a stout build. Both were wearing dark clothing, masks covering their faces and gloves.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact DC Santo at the George Town Criminal Investigation Department on 949-4222, the RCIPS tip-line on 949-7777 or Crime Stoppers 800-8477(TIPS).

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Cayman Prep scores over Red Bay in kids’ league

| 14/10/2013 | 0 Comments

(CUC-PFL): Following the second week of play in the 2013/2014 CUC PFL season Opening Rally champions Cayman Prep find themselves atop Group B with impressive wins over Red Bay Primary. In the earlier game, Cayman Prep’s Pierce Terry led his troops with two goals in the 13th and 43rd minutes, the first from the penalty spot, with Tom Byrne adding to the tally in the 37th minute. Red Bay’s goal was on unfortunate own goal for Prep’s Justin Byles in the 23rd minute following a free kick from Red Bay’s Alejandro Holness.

In the Under 11 encounter, two goals apiece from Harrison Hew (11th and 15th) Victor Thompson (26th and 32nd) and Aaron Jarvis (27th and 41st) brought this encounter to an early end under the newly initiated “Mercy Rule”.

Red Bay’s Caleb Frederick missed a chance to bring his team level early in the game in the 14thminute but crashed his effort off the cross bar after a penalty was called for handball against CaymanPrep.

The “Mercy Rule” was added to the “PFL Laws of the Game” for the 2013/2014 season to increase playing time for many players who do not always have the opportunity to play as much as they would like.

The PFL’s “Mercy Rule” states that if a score line differential of six goals is reached at any stage during a game the referee will record that specific score but discontinue keeping score from that point onwards. The game will continue and even though more goals may be scored by either school, no further scoring will be recorded.

Other results from Group B included Prospect Primary 0 vs. NorthEast Schools 0 (Under 9); Prospect Primary 0 vs. NorthEast Schools 0 (Under 11); Triple C 2 vs. South Sound Schools 7 (Under 9); and Triple C 1 vs. South Sound Schools 7 (Under 11).

In Group A it was Savannah Primary 2 vs. Cayman International School 0 (Under 9); Savannah Primary 6 vs. Cayman International School 0 (Under 11); Truth For Youth 0 vs. St. Ignatius Prep 5 (Under 9); and Truth For Youth 2 vs. St. Ignatius Prep 2 (Under 11).
The 2013/2014 CUC PFL regular season continues this Saturday, October 19 with games at the West Bay Town Hall Field, Annex Field, St. Ignatius Prep, Bodden Town Primary and Donovan Rankine Field in East End.

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Local occupatoinal health body hosts regional meeting

| 14/10/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Occupational Therapy Association (CIOTA) will host the 11th Biennial Scientific Conference of the Association of Caribbean Occupational Therapists (ACOT) at the Cayman Islands hospital from the 31 Oct to 2 November, organisers have announced. Various papers will be presented by speakers from the UK, North America and the Caribbean region highlighting cutting-edge therapeutic practice both in the adult and paediatric population.  There will also be local guest speakers from the Wellness Centre and The Health Services Authority. The presentations are targeted towards other health care professionals, teachers, parents and caregivers and the theme of this year’s conference is “Occupational Therapy – Opening Doors to Better Health”

OTs are highly trained rehabilitation healthcare professionals who work directly with people with injuries/disabilities to empower them to regain the skills needed to lead their lives independently, particularly in the areas of self-care, productivity (e.g. homemaking, work, volunteering, schooling), socialization and leisure – many of the life skills we take for granted. OTs provides services to a wide range of clients, and treats a wide range of conditions.

OTs work with  children and adults with special needs, persons with orthopaedic injuries, mental illness, strokes, traumatic brain injuries, amputations, work-place injuries and Alzheimer’s disease. OTs work in hospitals, schools and in the community. They may work for private businesses (e.g. completing Functional Capacity Evaluations for an insurance company), or run their own private specialist practice.  They also liaise with other community services (e.g. Home-care Nurses, Social Workers, Early Intervention Programme) to support their clients in improving their quality of life.

The daily conference registration fee is $35, including meals. Students (with uniform or ID) may register at a special daily rate of $15. Registered conference attendees will receive up to 10 hours of Continued Education (equivalent to 1 CEU).  Registration can be done through our face book page – Cayman Islands Occupational Therapy Association Ltd.

Anyone interested in getting involved as a sponsor or volunteer should contact Ken Figueira at Kenneth.Figueira@hsa.ky, fig@candw.ky or 927-2912.  For more information, please visit http://www.caribbeanot.com/index2.html or our facebook page – Cayman Islands Occupational Therapy Association Ltd.

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