Archive for October 14th, 2013

Kenny Dalglish to raise cash for local football

| 14/10/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Football fans with $75 to spare will have the chance to ask Scotland’s most capped player about his 22 years in the game. Kenny Dalglish will be in Cayman his month as the star of a dinner evening hosted by Sunset FC and a special golf scramble event this coming weekend. Dalglish who played for Celtic and Liverpool, where he is currently a non-exec director, made over 100 international appearances for Scotland and was named as the greatest striker in post-war British football in 2009. Alongside the Q&A the evening with Dalglish will include an auction and raffle of football memorabilia.

See details of dinner event and golf scramble below

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15 countries to play at 7s rugby festival in CI

| 14/10/2013 | 1 Comment

(CRFU): The SteppingStones North American & Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Rugby Sevens come to Grand Cayman November 9th and 10th 2013 for two days of world class Rugby Sevens action. Fifteen countries will be battling it out over the two day festival in the hopes of reaching the Commonwealth games in Glasgow, CACSO games in Vera Cruz Mexico and the HSBC World Sevens Series Hong Kong tournament in 2014. SteppingStones Recruitment has pledged their support as tournament sponsor. Milly Serpell said SteppingStones shares in the excitement building around the tournament.

“November 9th and 10th will surely be an exciting weekend for all spectators herein Grand Cayman. With over 15 countries and 15 men’s and women’s teams participating in the tournament, it is an opportunity to showcase our talent and make a splash on the Rugby circuit. The SteppingStones NACRA  Rugby Seven’s tournament is a key stop for many international teams, and we look forward to welcoming them to Cayman,” she said.

Canada and the USA are sending their Olympic development teams for both the men and women, with the women’s team looking to use the tournament to improve the performances that saw Canada finish 2nd in the Sevens World Cup and the USA 3rd held in Russia earlier this summer. The men’s team will also be looking to improve their World Sevens Series standings and stay as core teams in 2013/2014. Mexico and Jamaica return as last year’s first and second placed NACRA teams with Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, BVI, Curacao, Guyana, St Vincent, Turks and Caicos, Trinidad and Tobago and of course Cayman Islands looking to upset last year’s champions.

The teams will be split into four pools for day 1 round robin play, with the top two teams in each pool at the end of day 1 going into the Cup round and the bottom two teams going into the Plate round on day 2.

•         Pool A – Canada, Bahamas, Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos
•         Pool B – USA, Barbados, Bermuda and BVI
•         Pool C – Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, St Vincent and Curacao
•         Pool D – Jamaica, Guyana and St Lucia
Canada and the USA are expected to top Pools A & B respectively at the end of day 1, and based on last year’s form, Mexico and Jamaica expected to top Pools C and D. Cayman will aim to finish 2nd in Pool A and progress to the Cup round on Sunday, where they will likely face Jamaica or Guyana in the quarter final.

The process for teams to qualify for various events in 2014, based on results from the SteppingStones NACRA Rugby Seven’s tournament are quite different than previous years, as outlined:

•        Commonwealth games – Canada have pre-qualified so the highest finishing Commonwealth team will represent in Glasgow
•        CACSO games – the top 5 finishing teams, not including Canada and the USA, will qualify (assuming Mexico is in the top 5 as they pre-qualify as the host country)
•        HSBC World Sevens Series Hong Kong – Top two teams (other than Canada or the USA as they are current WSS core teams) qualify
There is everything to play for in the SteppingStones NACRA Sevens tournament for all of the teams.

The two day tournament is being held at Truman Bodden and will feature twelve hours of rugby sevens action each day, with refreshments available throughout the day. Tickets are CI$25 for the weekend, pre booked through the Cayman Rugby website www.caymanrugby.com or from the Cayman Rugby Club office. Corporate hospitality has been eagerly booked by several sponsors including SteppingStones, the title sponsor, LIME as a preferred sponsor, Security Center, CIOC and Chris Johnson associates. DJ XS will be providing music and entertainment along with game day commentator James Bebarfald. Rugby seven’s tournaments around the world have become festivals of sport, music, dancing and entertainment with the spectators dressing up in fancy costume. The SteppingStones NACRA Sevens will be no exception falling on the first weekend of Pirates week, spectators are encouraged to dress appropriately and spot prizes will be given out through the two days to those in the best costumes.

Cayman Rugby Union CEO Richard ‘Grizz’ Adams is delighted with the way the tournament is coming together both logistically and in terms of the Cayman teams preparations, “This is a big tournament for the Cayman Rugby Union as well as the Cayman Islands. Rugby focus across North America, Mexico and the Caribbean will be turned here for twenty four hours as we stream each game live through our www.caymanrugby.com site we are expecting very large numbers of both local support but also on line spectators so it’s a great opportunity to market the Islands and sport here in general. There will be strong representation from the International Rugby Board through Tom Jones the Regional General Manager for the NACRA region as he hosts several presidents of Olympic Committees from around the region to show them firsthand what Rugby sevens is and how well Cayman can host events of this magnitude.”

Grizz continues, “in terms of Cayman’s preparations the tournament has drawn lots of new local girls into the program, which bodes well for the future of the women’s game here. The women will be up against some very tough competition with Canada and USA ranked 2nd and 3rd in the world respectively and teams like Trinidad, Jamaica and Guyana having very strong programs. Cayman will be aiming for a top 6 finish and the chance to qualify to play in Trinidad in December, as well as the CASCO games in 2014 in Mexico. The Cayman’s men’s team is looking stronger than ever before. Sponsored this year by ESSO and with Dave Clancy having been employed through a Commonwealth Games grant to deliver Strength and Conditioning programs, the guys are in great shape. Morgan Williams, the former Canadian Sevens and Fifteens captain, Sevens coach and professional player in France and Wales remains as the technical director of the Sevens program and will be back in Cayman for a 7 day camp leading up to the tournament, as well as the tournament itself. We have set the High Performance platform for the guys this year and they have responded well. The time to see what we have achieved will be evident at the SteppingStones NACRA Sevens tournament and then if all goes to plan, throughout the 2014 season. We have committed to the Olympic Games 2016 and 2020 and preparing teams to qualify. This is our first step and we must do well in November.”

The men’s and women’s national teams continue their preparations over the next four weekends as they participate in the Summer Sevens Series at the Cayman Rugby pitch each Saturday. Six men’s and 3 women’s teams will play round robin each week and the coaches and selectors will get a chance to look at all of the players in contention under the microscope. Both squads continue training over the next four weeks.

Visit www.caymanrugby.com or www.facebook.com/CRFUNACRA and stay up to all with all the action of the SteppingStones NACRA Rugby Seven’s tournament.

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Ping-pong fans encouraged to sign up for tourney

| 14/10/2013 | 0 Comments

(CITTA): The Cayman Islands Table Tennis Association (CITTA) will be hosting its inaugural Table Tennis Tournament entitled “Cayman Islands Table Tennis Open” on 9 November. The Tournament will be hosted at the UCCI Multi-purpose Hall and players in a variety of age groups are invited and encouraged to register and to participate. This tournament is in keeping with CITTA’s objective to develop a vibrant Table Tennis fraternity in the Cayman Islands and to ensure that Table Tennis enthusiasts of all ages have access to the sport for recreation and competition. Through hosting this tournament, we intend to reignite competitive drive and inspire further technical development in all the participants.

We invite all Table Tennis enthusiasts to register and participate in this inaugural tournament that promises to be an exciting development for Table Tennis in the Cayman Islands. Maximum participation will support further interests and development in the sport within the Cayman Islands.
 

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Pension dodgers to be named

| 14/10/2013 | 81 Comments

(CNS): Following allegations by the complaints commissioner that more than 1,100 employers were delinquent in their pension contributions, with tens of millions of dollars missing from funds, the director of labour and pensions has revealed that the amount missing is around $14 million and many of the delinquent payers are less than two months behind in their arrears. However, with work already underway to address many of the complaints surrounding pensions, Director Mario Ebanks told CNS that employers and companies facing prosecutions will be named and shamed, with the details of their alleged offences uploaded on to the NPO website. Government also has plans to bring the revised pensions bill to the LA before the end of this fiscal year.

Ebanks told CNS that he was not sure where Nicola Williams, the complaints commissioner, was accessing figures, which she described as “tens of millions of dollars” in her press statement last week, but he admitted that the department faced a considerable workload and numerous complaints.

Also, in a lengthy statement to the Legislative Assembly on Friday, Tara Rivers, the minster responsible, said that work was ongoing to address the problems identified by the Office of the Complaints Commissioner (OCC) but staffing and other resource shortages have hampered efforts. As a result of the work done so far, which involved writing to all delinquent employers, 562 companies had been removed from the delinquency reports by June this year and some CI$1.5 million paid into plans.

Ebanks explained that according to the latest set of complete quarterly delinquency statistics collated by the National Pensions Office (NPO) and given to the OCC, at 30 June some 1,154 companies were delinquent or in arrears for more than 45 days, representing a total of CI$14 million dollars.

“In addition, there are 167 companies on payment plans, for a grand total of CI$3.1 million dollars. It is worthy of note that the assets under management in Cayman’s pensions industry is approximately US$1 billion,” he added.

Ebanks said that the small team at the National Pensions Office, the volunteer board and the ministry responsible “have laboured diligently with a tremendous pensions backlog,” which he said was made worse by the continuing economic decline and a lack of enforcement.

Nevertheless, Ebanks said that the NPO database of complaints is being reconciled and research, inspections, meetings and communication have led to many backlog complaint files being addressed. Improved information sharing between government’s regulatory agencies, such as immigration, trade & business licensing, General Registry, and the Health Insurance Commission was also helping with enforcement and the prevention of new cases.

Despite the allegations made by the complaints commissioner in her original 2010 report and her recent statement that the employers are stealing from employees, in many cases the delinquency is short lived and negligent rather than deliberate, and the minister said in her statement that many employers “traditionally regularize themselves on a short-term cyclical basis” and don’t spiral into serious debt.

While the minister acknowledged that government has still not addressed eleven of Williams’ recommendations, Rivers said that when the revised new national pensions bill comes to the LA, it will address most of the issues the OCC raised. The minister said the original bill, which was presented by her predecessor, had been withdrawn because of a number of concerns raised by the wider public and, as a new government, the bill had to be changed in line with its policy objectives. However, she committed to having the new law in the Legislative Assembly before June 2014.

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Immigration meeting set for eastern districts

| 14/10/2013 | 27 Comments

(CNS): The town hall meetings dealing with the government’s planned Immigration Reform continue in the eastern districts this week. The premier and government officials will be in Bodden Town tonight (Monday 14 October) 7pm at the Bodden Town Civic Centre.  The meetings then continue in East End on Tuesday, 15th October followed by North Side on Wednesday, 16th October at the district Civic Centres.  Both of those meetings will start at 7-30pm. “Government is holding these meetings throughout the Cayman Islands to help constituents and residents understand the proposals being made in immigration reforms,” officials stated.

The forums are also presenting an opportunity for government to explain the details of a number of employment initiatives underway to find jobs for Caymanians.

An immigration amendment bill was submitted to the Legislative Assembly on Friday, 20 September as the first phase of the reform of the immigration policy of the Cayman Islands.
Officials are urging everyone to attend one of the meetings.

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Steppingstones sink Island Air in touch final

| 14/10/2013 | 0 Comments

(CRFU): The KRyS Global Summer Touch Rugby League 2013 ended in style with a Play-Off Finals Day to remember. After the winners of each Division had been crowned at the Season Awards Dinner the previous week, it was gloves off (unless your name is Jerry Beck) for a chance for all teams to win some “silverware” and finish the season on a high. In Division 1, SteppingStones were determined to overturn a buoyant Island Air flying high after they had clinched the Divisional title only a few short weeks ago. These two teams, full of players who recently represented the Cayman Pirates Touch Team at the US Nationals, served up a real treat of a game.

There was more nip and tuck in this fixture than a Convention of Hollywood Wives, but it was the ‘Stones who eventually won through.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold” may be an old Mafioso saying but clearly Don Corleone had no idea of the soaring temperatures here in Cayman, yet revenge it certainly was for SteppingStones and I’m sure it tasted sweet.  Each team will go into the close season with something to celebrate.

In Division 2, Broadhurst went into Finals day with a point to prove. Having led the League for much of the summer they had been chastened and bested by Village Greenies who won the Divisional title with a superb string of late results. But (sit down Shirley Bassey because) history was definitely not repeating on this day. Nothing was going to stop the Broadhurst juggernaut from claiming the Division 2 Cup although the mighty Delta Force gave it a real good go. Crucial tries from the Broadhurst girls gave them a narrow lead and it was only a full length dive by the gravity-defying Jason Scarff that prevented the inimitable Jyoti Choi from equalizing in the final seconds. Such was the drama at the final whistle that fellow Force-ian Riley Mullen could only sink to his knees in anguish and repeatedly thump the ground in despair. Who says this guy doesn’t care? Mullen 1. Pitch 0.

The Village Greenies, short of players and no doubt over-hydrated from a radical and pioneering isotonic replenishment regime, won the Plate Final against a plucky UBS who fought hard but could just not get the upper hand. DMS took the Division 2 Bowl.

Ogier completed the Double winning the Division 3 Cup to go with their League title and virtually assured promotion to Division 2 next year. GCM took the Division 3 Plate.

As the sun set slowly in the West, all teams came together to share stories of the season and to cap off another fine summer season of touch rugby. It was the biggest touch tournament the Cayman Islands has ever seen with twenty-nine teams taking part and thanks must go to KRyS Global and to all other sponsors of teams for helping make it happen.

Other sponsors include: Island Air, SteppingStones, Maples, Genesis Trust, Harmonic, Broadhurst Barristers, PwC, DMS, Travel Pros, Dart, Delta Force, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, EFG Bank, GCM, KPMG, LIME TV, Ogier, Rawlinson & Hunter, Trident, Appleby, Zolfo Cooper, UBS, Queensgate, BDO, Walkers and Heineken.

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Service clubs to push for more recycling

| 14/10/2013 | 11 Comments

(CNS): In order to reduce the amount of garbage collected and placed in George Town’s ever-growing eye sore, Mount Trashmore, and in the absence of any government initiatives, local service clubs are encouraging residents to take it upon themselves and to start recycle wherever possible. Concerned that people living on the islands are not doing enough to try and recycle because they don’t know where to take the rubbish that can be recycled, the Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions clubs are planning a campaign starting next month to urge people to sort and separate their trash for recycling as well as exactly what and where garbage can be recycled — things such as tin cans, glass and plastic.

The club presidents said that Cayman needed to raise the bar with recycling education and awareness.

“Recycling is something that happens daily by residents in other countries, so why aren’t Cayman residents doing the same thing?” a spokesperson for the initiative asked, “Mainly because most residents are unaware of what can be recycled today and where they can recycle these items. We plan to change this with education and to encourage everyone to do their part in keeping Cayman beautiful.”

This community service initiative is the first of its kind, where all the service clubs have joined together on a cause they felt needed the strength of all club members. The launch is taking place on Saturday, 2 November, when members from each of the service clubs will be providing information at each of the grocery stores from 7am to 1pm. Participating in the “Join In” efforts are Foster’s, Hurley’s, Kirk’s and Priced Right.

Although many people are unaware there are a number of sites in Cayman where aluminum cans can be recycled, and while all of the bottles produced by the Cayman Islands Brewery can be returned directly, others can be recycled at Kirks Supermarket, where there are facilities to recycle glass, plastic and aluminum.

Residents are encouraged to begin right away by liking the Facebook page and staying connected to recent updates and information about recycling in Cayman. 

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US taser safety debate rekindled over teen death

| 14/10/2013 | 7 Comments

(Reuters): When police spotted Israel Hernandez Llach spray painting a shut-down McDonald's in August, the Miami teenager decided to make a run for it. Moments later the unarmed, 18-year-old graffiti artist was dead. He had been struck in the chest by a police stun gun. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is still investigating what caused the August 6 death of the Colombian-born teenager. His death in Miami Beach, where police conduct has come under intense scrutiny in recent years, has triggered protests calling for a change in the way officers use the stun guns known as Tasers. It has also reignited a debate about whether the electrical shock the Taser delivers can sometimes trigger a cardiac arrest when fired at the chest area.

"The fact that he was shot in the chest is something we are analyzing," said Jose J. Rodriguez, a lawyer for Hernandez Llach's family. "We're working with the assumption for now that the Taser caused his death."

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