Archive for January 14th, 2014

DEH warns public to stop littering

| 14/01/2014 | 43 Comments

(CNS): As the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) continues the battle to keep up with Grand Cayman’s waste collection due to ongoing mechanical problems with its aging fleet of trucks and delays in the arrival of new ones, it is warning people to stop littering. Officials said that an increased amount of litter was being seen on beaches and picnic spots and reminded the public that littering is illegal and that offenders may be prosecuted. The government rubbish collectors also stated that people throwing garbage from moving vehicles were adding to the litter problem, as were workers in landscape companies who, the DEH said, are blowing garden waste onto the streets instead of collecting and bagging it.

“The DEH has noticed an increase in litter along the beaches and public areas,” said DEH Director Roydell Carter. “We are asking for assistance from the public in keeping these areas clean by collecting and disposing of waste after using these areas.”

The allegations by the department come in the wake of concerns from the wider public that garbage is piling up in the streets of Grand Cayman during the peak tourist season because of problems with collection. Beach garbage is washed up on local beaches  from a number of sources, not least the George Town landfill, as well as boats and even cruise lines.

However, hoping to clamp down on random littering, the officials asked those who witness others not properly disposing of their rubbish to report the offenders to the police. Under the Litter Law, convictions can result in $500 fines, and / or imprisonment.

For more information, please contact DEH at 949-6696.

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JPs begin training ahead of new regulations

| 14/01/2014 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The mandatory training programme for some 200 local Justices of the Peace (JPs) got underway recently to enable the people who hold the unremunerated position to get to grips with the new regulations governing the role. These new regulations will be formalized later this year and the office of the deputy governor had announced last year that JPS would face a more vigorous training regime regarding what is expected of them. The lack of understanding and the previously inadequate training of JPs was brought into sharp focus during a judicial review last year when a JP admitted that he had no idea about the relevant law in case where he signed a warrant for the arrest of local activist Sandra Catron.

The case caused significant controversy when the JP in question admitted that he had never refusing to sign a warrant in more than 20 years, had not asked for evidence, had not having sworn an oath and above all he said he did not understand the reasons for the warrant. The warrant was thrown out in the case which is still progressing against Catron.

Nevertheless, the case led to a review by the police of the use of JPs without any legal training and also prompted the deputy governor who is responsible for the ranks of justices of the peace to review the regulations and introduce the more robust training.

Speaking to the first group to undertake the session last week  Franz Manderson, the  deputy governor, who is also a JP reiterated the vital role in the administration of justice, good governance and upholding the reputation of the Cayman Islands.

The new regulations call for conducting a more updated and extended training programme to assist and streamline JPs’ work, especially in view of constitutional changes. The regulations also provide for update training every three years, Manderson explained. While the unpaid position of JP has a status, it is not just an honour but the role has serious duties and responsibilities which help to preserve the rule of law.

When the regulations come into force they will introduce a code of conduct for JPs that deals with the provision of services, conduct and integrity, as well as confidentiality. The document also covers the nomination and appointment of JPs, and sets out a requirement for training.
Local attorney Clyte Linwood is the trainer for all the sessions and module Module I of the training took place last Wednesday at the Seafarers’ Hall in Prospect for the first group and that will be followed up by Module tomorrow Wednesday (15 January 2014)

The two modules will be repeated on consecutive Wednesdays until 28 May, with the exception of Ash Wednesday on 5 March until all of the JPs have completed their training.

See new regulations below

 

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Chamber pension plan seeks volunteer trustees

| 14/01/2014 | 2 Comments

(CNS): The local pension fund which is run by the Cayman Islands Chamber of commerce is asking members, which is all employees whose employer holds a plan for them with the Chamber, to volunteer as a Trustee of the Board for a variety of industry categories which are listed below. Officials from the Chamber said that anyone interested in possibly participating in the governance of their Plan should visit the website at www.chamberpension.ky  for a form and them return that completed form by email to admin@pensions.ky, fax it to 745-7699, or mail it to PO Box 609, KY1-1107.

The chamber is looking for at least two people already employed in the professional & finance sectors, industry and commerce, hospitality & tourism and one from the voluntary & self-employed category.

With local pension plans coming in for considerable criticism, being a part of the board can give those whose contributions are invested in the funds a much more direct appreciation of what is happening to members’ investments.

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Tough time predicted for paddle board racers

| 14/01/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Competitors in the second ever Rum Run competition which takes place this weekend will be faced with a significant challenge, says the creator of the race in which boarders will paddle across the North Sound. Neil Martin, a local paddle board enthusiast and one of the partners of the Cayman Standup Paddle Company that is organizing the race said, “Strength, balance, endurance and tenacity are all required for the most taxing of the paddle board disciplines, known as the “downwinder” and next weekend’s 2014 Rum Run is going to provide a significant challenge for all the participants.”

Alongside the race, Martin said the weekend event incorporates paddle board clinics to improve technique, paddle board yoga demonstrations, a fun beach day of sprint races for men, women, children and relay teams and will culminate in the 8 mile endurance paddle.

He explained that downwind paddle boarding is a growing sport from the Hawaiian Islands where paddlers brave the open seas to paddle between islands or ride the swells along the rugged coastlines.  Here in Cayman there is potential for the sport to develop further.  

“Last year 13 paddlers took on the 8 mile course, with boat support” said Martin.  “The course was a relatively unknown quantity as we believe it was the first time that anyone had crossed the North Sound on a paddle board.  With the wind at your back it is possible to try and link together the swells as you ride the boards.  The participants all completed the course in under two hours with a huge sense of achievement.” 

As paddle boarding appears to be increasing in popularity in Cayman organisers have created different challenges for this year’s event which is being held on Saturday, 18 January at Public Beach and on Sunday 19 January at Camana Bay.  “With the winds forecast to rise to 20+ knots this weekend, the paddle boarders could be having the downwind ride of their lives,” Martin added.

The race is support by a list of sponsors including Carey Olsen, Miller Lite, Caribbean Canvas Company, Olukai, Cayman Stand Up Paddle Co, Sun Bum, Seven Fathoms Rum, Dukes Seafood and Rib Shack, and Laird Stand Up, one of the industry’s leading shapers and manufacturers of boards, spear headed by the legendary waterman Laird Hamilton. 

Chuck Glynn and Noa Hopper, two pro riders from Laird Stand Up will be running this year’s paddle clinics as well as competing in the main events  "creating a huge buzz amongst the local paddle board community of enthusiasts," Martin added.

Proceeds from the event go to support ARK Cayman. For more information on the sprint races and the down wind paddle, contact Neil on neil@rumrun.ky or check for details on the event website www.rumrun.ky

Saturday:  

 10am – 11 am  paddle clinic with Chuck Glynn and Noa Hopper
  11:30 – 2pm  sprint races – categories and prizes for men, women, children,
  2pm – 4:30pm  corporate relay and relay events
  5pm   BBQ at Dukes

Sunday: 

11:30am  8 mile downwind crossing of the North Sound
  3pm   BBQ at Dukes
 

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Costa Rica clinches last semi-final spot with draw

| 14/01/2014 | 2 Comments

(CNS): A 1-1 draw with Jamaica was enough for Costa Rica to progress to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 championship following Monday night’s critical match. The Central Americans took second place in group A with 4 points, two more than Jamaica.  Meanwhile, having already qualified the US finished with a perfect 3-0-0 record to win the group after destroying Guatemala 10-0 in the last match of the competition for the Central American team at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. The line-up for the semis in group B will be decided this evening when Mexico face Trinidad to decide the group winners and Cayman’s ladies have a last chance to put a score on the board when they face Honduras in a game that will be more about pride than competition.

Although Cayman and Honduras are already out of thecontest the hosts have one final game to play before their tournament is completely over and they will be looking to grab the three points and avoid finishing bottom of the group. Cayman Islands Women’s Under-20 Head Coach Joe Supe told Cayman 27 after the teams defeat against Trinidad that the focus was what the women had learned in the competition including  “the experience that they got, the exposure that they got and understanding what it takes to play against tough opponents.” Supe said he was impressed with the way the players fought despite some lopsided scores. “Impressed with the level of play, impressed with how they play and they lasted 90 minutes,” the coach added.

Meanwhile, the tournament rolls on for the four semi-finalists three of which will advance to the finals in Canada. The winners of the match between Mexico and Trinidad this evening will avoid the unstoppable USA but the losers will face the record breaking team that is dominating the Concacaf nations.

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3rd man charged in robbery

| 14/01/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A 35-year-old injured man was charged with robbery and possession of an unlicensed firearm Tuesday, in connection with the daylight hold-up at Diamonds International in downtown George Town on New Year’s Day. Jonathan Ramoon, who is the third man charged in the high profile case, was run over by Police Commissioner David Baines during a chase following the broad daylight jewellery store heist. Three armed men fled the scene of the crime with around half a million dollars’ worth of jewels before their escape was foiled by Baines and members of the public. Ramoon, however, was badly injured and was taken to court today by ambulance, wheeled in on a stretcher and returned to the hospital following his appearance.

Ramoon had been listed to appear in Summary Court but police did not confirm that charges had been brought until after 2pm, after the injured man’s appearance before Magistrate Valdis Foldats.

Although remanded into custody, Ramoon remains a patient at the Cayman Islands Hospital, where he is still being treated for what are understood to be serious injuries sustained after he was knocked down by the commissioner’s SUV before he and his alleged accomplices in the robbery, Christopher Myles and James McLean, were arrested.

McLean and Myles have already been charged and made their first court appearances. They are next due to appear in the Grand Court on Friday. Following his appearance today Ramoon’s case was transmitted to the Grand Court, where he will next appear on 24 January.

Since Baines was involved in the apprehension of the suspects and the resultant injuries to Ramoon, the RCIPS has confirmed that the commissioner’s involvement, the car smash and subsequent chase are part of a separate investigation.

Baines has publicly commented that the use of force by any police officer has to be necessary, justified and proportionate, whatever the context and circumstances. As a result, he said, he was assisting the investigating and would continue to do so until a decision has been made about whether or not the force he used was proportionate. The investigation is not, however, an independent enquiry but it is being carried out by officers from the RCIPS who are all under his charge.

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Driver charged in road death

| 14/01/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The 23-year-old driver of a Mitsubishi Lancer who was involved in a high speed crash in South Sound last year that killed Zac Quappe (21) has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving. The fatal crash which took the life of the son of well-known local musicians, Chuck and Barrie Quappe, happened in the early hours of Saturday, 18 May 2013, near to Sand Cay Condos. At around 3:11am the Mitsubishi Lancer and the Ford Taurus driven by Quappe, which were both travelling southwards on the single carriageway with a 30mph speed limit, collided as the drivers were negotiating a left bend and lost control of their vehicles.

Quappe was pronounced dead at the Cayman Islands Hospital following the crash, and the unnamed driver who was treated for injuries was arrested.  Police said Tuesday that he has now been charged with causing Quappe’s death and was due to appear in court on 3 February after being released on police bail.

 

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Primary players start to secure semis spots

| 14/01/2014 | 0 Comments

(CUC-PFL): With the fourth round of the 2013/2014 CUC Primary Football League (PFL) Playoffs completed this past Saturday, several schools sealed a place in the semi finals scheduled for this Saturday, January 18. In the Under 9 Consolation Cup, Red Bay Primary defeated Truth For Youth 2-1 thanks to two goals from Alejandro Holness. Truth For Youth’s Tevin Ebanks scored the lone goal for Truth For Youth. The win ensured second place in the standings for Red Bay Primary and a semi final showdown with George Town Primary after they defeated Triple C 4-0.

The other semi final will see Truth For Youth play Bodden Town Primary.

Meanwhile, in the Under 9 Champions Cup defending champions Savannah Primary continued their dominance with a 6-0 win over South Sound Schools. The win completed a perfect playoff record for the Savannah team with four victories, no losses, scoring 15 goals in the process and conceding none.

Savannah Primary will play fourth seeded St. Ignatius Prep who grabbed a point against Cayman Prep in a 1-1 draw. Cayman Prep’s Jacob McMillan-Collet opened the scoring in the 16th minute only to see Matthew Lloyd-Hickey grab the equaliser in the 34th minute after some great individual play and a well-placed shot.

In the other semi final, third seed Sir John A. Cumber Primary will face Cayman Prep after their emphatic 4-0 victory over Prospect Primary. Goals from Rashaad Powery, Shonjae Bodden, Hakeem Seymour and a penalty by goalkeeper Diego Pino sealed the win for the boys from West Bay. The other score in the Under 9 Champions Cup saw the upstart NorthEast Schools defeat Cayman International School 1-0 thanks to a solitary strike from Randy Johnson.

In the Under 11 Consolation Cup, Red Bay Primary defeated Cayman International Schools 3-0 with goals from Tekwan Truman (2) and Cameron Bennett. The victory ensures a rematch with Cayman International School during the semi final round this Saturday as Red Bay Primary finished second in the standings and Cayman International School finished third. Truth For Youth sealed the number one seed and a meeting with Bodden Town Primary in the semis as they defeated Triple C 5-1. Elder Ebanks scored three goals in the 28th, 47th and 50th minutes after Oscar Hernandez (6thminute) and Tevin Ebanks (12th minute) opened the scoring for the boys from Truth For Youth. Triple Cs Zach Redden scored the lone goal for his school in the 7th minute.

Defending Under 11 champions Cayman Prep were in fine form this past Saturday as they eased past George Town Primary 6-0 with goals from Joshua Small (10thminute), Victor Thompson (32ndminute), Igor Magalhaes (53rd minute) and three goals from Aaron Jarvis in the 26th, 47th and 52nd minutes. Cayman Prep secured the number one seed with the victory.

Sir John A. Cumber guaranteed themselves a spot in the semi finals and the number two seed following a 3-1 victory over Prospect Primary.

In other games, Savannah Primary defeated NorthEast Schools 3-1 and St. Ignatius Prep drew 1-1 with South Sound Schools.

The third and fourth seeds have not been decided as there is a make-up game scheduled for Wednesday, January 15 with Savannah Primary taking on South Sound Schools. St. Ignatius Prep sealed their spot in the semi finals with the 1-1 draw but will need to wait until after Wednesday’s game to see if they finish third or fourth in the playoff standings.  Depending on the result, either George Town Primary or South Sound Schools will secure the fourth and final spot in the semi finals.

Special thanks to Shakur Welcome and Chastine Rankine for handling the officiating duties. The semi finals of the 2013/2014 CUC PFL Playoffs are set for this Saturday, January 18 with the finals, third-place games and trophy presentation scheduled for Saturday, January 25.

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Miller queries wisdom of port

| 14/01/2014 | 82 Comments

(CNS): The independent member for North Side has questioned the perceived position that the majority of people in Cayman are in favour of a cruise berthing port and that the business case has been made. Ezzard Miller said he has never been convinced that Cayman should be spending anything from $150 to $200 million on a facility for the cruise industry and noted that while this may be a private sector partnership, Cayman will be giving up the fees to cover the cost and will ultimately pick up the tab. As government seeks proposals from qualified engineering companies to do the environmental impact assessment on the proposal, Miller warns that it may not be a beneficial project for very many. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

Disappointed that the business case had not considered alternative proposals, such as improving the tendering system and the facilities at the existing terminals, he said a dock would not necessarily benefit downtown merchants the way government has suggested and that many are hoping for. Miller suggested that assumptions that ships would stay longer was not a forgone conclusion as it was the time of arrival in the next port and the opening of the casinos that controlled cruise ship timetables.

The independent member also said that more passengers would not necessarily mean more spending. Following his own observations on busy cruise ship days, he said there may be lots of people going in and out of stores in downtown George Town but few of them return to the ship carrying many bags. The MLA pointed out that the larger ships had been developed to carry more passengers, which has cut the cost of cruising. As a result, that type of vacation is no longer the preserve of the rich and, he said, the disposable income of cruise visitors declines as the ships increase in size.

Miller said he was concerned that while the new government was at least following the spirit of the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility (FFR), the business case for the project had not been made out in a report by consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers.

"I do not believe that a proper business case has been made out for the development of cruise berthing facilities, despite Cabinet’s position,” he said. “The business case seems to have been made around a decision that was already made rather than the other way around. It did not consider any alternative proposals, such as improving the tender process or even a floating dock.”

Miller pointed to the need to improve the treatment of passengers once they arrived and said it was impossible for anyone to enjoy the visit when they are shoulder to shoulder in George Town.

“We want quality over quantity,” he said, pointing to decisions by past governments to limit the number of ships in port on any given day because of that.

Miller warned that while the cruise industry is going to press for the dock, the ships can and will still come regardless and that the government should be more cautious about the conclusion it has come to that the cruise berthing would offer any distinct advantage for the local economy to any significant degree.

He pointed to the direct risks to the environment, the potential threats to Seven Mile Beach, the strain on infrastructure of so many people disembarking at the same time and the control that the cruise lines would ultimately have were they to finance the project in the first instance, especially when there were other possibilities.

Although potential serious environmental risks have already been identified in the business case and the government is now seeking a firm to undertake the assessment, it is likely to be seeking ways to mitigate those threats rather than stop the project. Having campaigned on the issue of developing a cruise port in George Town with a private sector partner, the PPM will, having won the election, claim a mandate for the project regardless of any opposition to it or potential environmental risks.

See tender details below.

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Officials warn against TV coverage of local courts

| 14/01/2014 | 7 Comments

(CNS): As the legal drafters begin the review of the contempt laws, which not only protect the principles and process of justice but also how the courts are covered in the media, officials have warned against TV coverage of local proceedings. While the drafters have said that given the consent of the judges reporters covering court should be allowed to use recorders, the idea of any type of camera in the courts has been dismissed. Pointing to high profile cases in the US that have been broadcast live, officials seeking public input have already recommended against televising the process of justice.

“The experience in the US, from the O J Simpson trial to the Zimmermann trial, does not fill us with any enthusiasm for permitting TV cameras into the courtroom,” the drafters state in a public consultation document.

Unlike in the UK and some other jurisdictions, here in Cayman there are no statutory provisions which regulate the use of cameras, tape recorders or any other apparatus for the making of video or sound recordings of court proceedings. In the UK it is a criminal offence to take a photograph in court and the Criminal Justice Act regulates the use of tape recorders without the leave of the court by declaring it to be contempt.

However, the legal drafters point out that taking notes during proceedings is already permitted and as those with shorthand skills can take as accurate an account as an official transcript, rather than banning recording devices the courts could easily regulate them.

“We would not be disposed to recommend that sound recording devices could be introduced without the leave of the court,” they wrote in the consultation but went on to state that as far as the media is concerned, providing there is no disruption to the proceedings it was difficult to see on what basis leave could properly be refused.

While audio may be considered acceptable, photographs and video are unlikely to find their way in to the court anytime soon. 

“We can see no good reason why anyone, including the media, should require this facility. There is no general rule which prevents photographs or video recordings being taken of anyone arriving at, or departing from, court and, in the case of newsworthy trials, such photographs or recordings are now common place.”

The drafters stated that a law is now needed here to introduce a specific criminal offence along the lines of the UK Criminal Justice Act to prevent pictures from being taken in the court.

Raising the question of TV cameras, the drafters said the criminal trials most likely to “excite the attention of the public” are the ones where cameras are likely “to be most objectionable”, and while cameras in the appeal court, which is now being partially covered in the UK by TV, may not be quite so objectionable, it was, they suggested, unlikely to be as attractive to broadcasters as it would not attract a sufficient number of viewers.

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