Archive for January 28th, 2014

Suckoo joins up with Ozzie

| 28/01/2014 | 23 Comments

(CNS): Despite bing one of the youngest members of the Legislative Assembly and a back-bench government representative, Alva Suckoo is getting around government. Having stepped in to take the reins at the Education and Employment Ministry recently, when both the minister, Tara Rivers, and her councillor, Winston Connolly, were overseas, he is now working alongside the health minister. Already appointed as a councillor in the premier’s Home Affairs Ministry, working on e-government and computer services, Suckoo will now also be working with his Bodden Town colleague, Osbourne Bodden, focusing on sports, youth and culture. 

Bodden said he was happy to share his workload with his constituency colleague.

“He shares some of my passions in those areas and he’s already been helping. He’s a very able and committed representative and he will add much to the good services we already provide in these areas,” the minister added.

As a councillor, Suckoo will attend meetings and events for Bodden. His appointment was made official Friday and announced in Tuesday’s Cabinet. During the same meeting all the new ministers were sworn in as Justices of the Peace and have been undergoing training for the role.

Continue Reading

Cayman Prep and Red Bay win double titles

| 28/01/2014 | 0 Comments

(CUC-PFL): The always entertaining 2013/2014 CUC Primary Football league (PFL) concluded this past Saturday, January 25, with Cayman Prep and Red Bay Primary emerging as the season’s clear winners with two titles a piece. Cayman Prep won their first of two titles in the Under 9 Champions Cup final as they defeated previously unbeaten Savannah Primary 1-0 thanks to a 38th minute strike from midfielder Tom Byrne. Savannah Primary’s impressive run to the final included a 1-0 victory over Cayman Prep in the third round of the PFL Playoffs but this would not be the Under 9 defending champions’ day.

The boys from Savannah had not conceded a goal during the regular season or the Playoffs and had scored15 goals during the four playoff days.

Cayman Prep’s victory was revenge for last year’s 3-2 loss to this same Savannah Primary team in the Under 9 Champions Cup final. Last year, Cayman Prep had reached the final going undefeated only to falter at the last hurdle.

The Gerome Graham Award for Most Valuable Player in the Under 9 Champions Cup final went to Cayman Prep’s defender Jacob McMillan-Cullen, who had an outstanding game.
Under 9 Champions Cup Third Place:

St. Ignatius Prep’s Jace Jervis and goalkeeper Jayden Miller emerged as the heroes from this thrilling Under 9 Champions Cup third-placed matchup between St. Ignatius Prep and Sir John A. Cumber Primary. Following a goalless 50 minutes and 10 minutes of extra time, it would be penalties that would ultimately settle this Group A rivalry. It did not begin well for St. Ignatius Prep as Alex Novak drove his penalty straight at the Sir John A. Cumber goalkeeper, but Matthew Lloyd-Hickey and Chad Owen netted the next two to keep St. Ignatius’ hopes alive.

Sir John A. Cumber’s Owen Gordon and Rashaad Powery scored the first two penalties for the West Bay outfit but Lewis Clarke failed to find the target and after three penalties, the score was locked at 2-2. On to sudden death penalties and the pressure was on. St. Ignatius’ Jace Jarvis stepped up and slotted home his attempt but Sir John A. Cumber’s Shaunjay Bodden could only find the knees of St.Ignatius’ goalkeeper Jayden Miller, which ultimately secured the 3-2 win for the Catholic boys.

In the Under 9 Consolation Cup final, Red Bay Primary won their first of two titles as they held on to defeat defending Under 9 Consolation Cup champions Bodden Town Primary 3-2.
Red Bay’s prolific goal scorer Alejandro Holness scored twice in the 14th and 15th minutes and Tyru Nixon added a third in the 26th minute to put the youngsters from Red Bay on course for the win. Bodden Town’s captain Jacobi Tugman pulled one back for his team mates in the 32nd minute and rattled the Red Bay coaching staff’s nerves scoring his second in the 50th minute. At 3-2, it was ‘game on’ but Bodden Town Primary was unable to find the equaliser in the final 10 minutes. Red Bay was champions.

Defending Under 11 Champions Cayman Prep stamped their name in the PFL history books with a 2-0 victory over St. Ignatius Prep thanks to two wonderful goals from Aaron Jarvis in the 15th and 24th minutes. For his two goal contribution, Aaron Jarvis was awarded the Justin Henry Memorial Award as Most Valuable Player in the final. This victory was Cayman Prep’s second title for the day and the third for the season after winning the 2013/2014 Opening Rally championship in September.

In addition, this Under 11 title win confirmed
Cayman Prep’s second successive undefeated season (regular season and playoffs), which may not ever be equalled.Cayman Prep’s only blemish was a loss to Sir John A. Cumber Primary in the final of the 2012/2013 Opening Rally last October.

Sir John A. Cumber Primary secured the Under 11 Champions Cup third place trophy with a hardfought 1-0 victory over South Sound Schools thanks to a Jahrion Bodden strike in the 22
nd minute. Sir John A. Cumber’s inability to consistently find the back of the net has plagued their 2013/2014 campaign and it was no different for this their final game of the season.

South Sound Schools were their usual busy selves making it difficult for the boys in red from West Bay. Kiran Connolly-Basdeo put in another solid performance in the South Sound rearguard (Note: Kiran Connolly-Basdeo was mistakenly named as the scorer of the own goal during last week’s semi final game with Cayman Prep).

Red Bay Primary clinched their second title of the day in the Under 11 Consolation Cup final as they defeated Truth For Youth 2-1 in yet another thrilling encounter. Alejandro Holness opened the scoring for Red Bay but Truth For Youth’s Tevin Ebanks equalised just
before the half time break. Red Bay’s Tekwan Truman sealed the victory for Red Bay with one of the ‘goals of the day’ as he volleyed home a cross just past the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Satiah Miller.

Following the games, trophies and medals were presented to the respective schools by CUC’s President and CEO Richard Hew.

As always, special thanks to all the officials Ronnie Roach, Dwayne Ebanks, Shakur Welcome, Chastine Rankine, Shannelle Frederick, Collin Redden, Thompson Hew, Ernie Jacques, Ryan Burke, Sylvester Coleman and Joshua Frederick for their assistance throughout the season, and to sponsors Progressive Distributors, sole distributors of Gatorade to all the schools for the past nine years.

Thanks to all the coaches, parents and supporters who make the CUC PFL “the most powerful game” to watch. The 2014/2015 CUC PFL season commences in only eight short months.

Continue Reading

DoE creates reporting app

| 28/01/2014 | 16 Comments

(CNS): Members of the public will soon be able to help the Department of Environment (DoE) enforce marine park laws when it launches a new app that will enable people to make reports to staff in real time on their iPads and smart phones. The new technological development is related to further research being funded by the UK’s Darwin Initiative to help the department address a number of additional issues that arose out of the most recent assessment of the local marine environment with a view to enhancing the Cayman Islands Marine Parks to give the marine life a hope of survival.

The development of technology to help enforcement is one of four elements that the DoE will re-examine as part of the research work on creating enhanced marine protection. As well as allowing the public to instantly report infractions, it will allow them to report any interesting sightings, from turtles nesting to whales or dolphins, and also give a GPS map of the marine parks to boaters and other water users.

Simultaneously, scientists are working on an app that the DoE enforcement officers can use to check licences and information instantly when they are patrolling, giving them more important information when they have concerns about people taking marine life out of season or fishing without a licence.

The DoE needs for more information about which other fish species are using grouper spawning holes to reproduce (termed as the local ocean’s “maternity wards” by department scientists), the changing behaviour of lionfish and the impact on culls, as well as the patterns and impact of local fishermen – what they are taking, when and how much – in order to see how areas reserved for fishing in the proposed new parks can be provided.

John Hunter, from Bangor University, who has been working with the DoE for many years with the research supporting the need for enhanced marine parks, explained on Friday at a press briefing that the DoE had received over $100,000 from the UK for this post-project research. As it is rare for funding to be awarded for the same thing twice, he said, the grant emphasised the importance of enhancing the parks.

The research relating to the areas of enforcement, lionfish, fishing and spawning areas is expected to be completed by September of this year and the findings, along with previous input from the first round of consultation, will again be part of a public discussion. Both DoE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie and Environment Minister Wayne Panton spoke about the importance of public support for the new park boundaries when they are finally implemented.

Panton offered his support to the work, with the goal of introducing the enhanced marine parks in the not too distant future. Having steered the National Conservation Law through the Legislative Assembly recently, despite last minute opposition, Panton is also offering his support for more marine protection.

Aiming to engage Cabinet on the subject in the coming months, Panton said it was important to ensure public support as well and to achieve consensus. However, the minister made it clear that he believes the parks need enhancing to protect the future of the country’s marine resources, which he said are the backbone of Cayman’s tourism product. He said the original parks were no longer enough to fight off growing threats, such as climate change, the lionfish invasion, coral diseases and bleaching as well as over development.

Scientists from the UK and the United States are working with the DoE to ensure that the information and data about these latest issues impacting marine life are properly researched before the new park enhancements are implemented.

While everyone is well aware of the famous grouper spawning, thescientists believe that as many as 20 other species could be using the same areas as spawning grounds too and that must now be configured into the new park zones. Technology is being tested to help the DoE enforce the marine park laws without necessarily drawing further on public resources, and the lionfish are under scrutiny following reports that the culling may have made the fish more evasive and adaptive at dodging divers.

Ebanks-Petrie pointed out that understanding the impact culling was having on the invasive fish was important because at present the DoE was reluctantly engaged in the high risk strategy of arming people with a licensed type of spear gun to cull them but they could no longer be sure it was helping.

This research into the ability of the lionfish to adapt to its human predator will help realign policies for dealing with the fish, though given how over-fishing has worked on most fish species that people eat, encouraging consumption still appears to be the best policy to tackle the fish and how they can be taken, given what will be enhanced regulations in the future parks.

Finally, the DoE will also be doing much more research into local fishing habits. Although many people still fish to eat in Cayman, it is no longer a subsistence economy, so those catching food are a smaller number than in other Caribbean islands. The goal to find out where, when, how and what local fishermen catch is to ensure that the areas that will be set aside in parks for fishing are the right places and that the parks will be able to help sustain those local fishing grounds without undue strain on the bigger picture.

Continue Reading

Burglars charged following high speed chase

| 28/01/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Police have now charged two of the three men who were arrested last week in connection to a burglary, which ended in their arrest following another high speed police pursuit through the streets of George Town. The young men, aged 19 and 20, have been charged with burglary and are now due to appear in court sometime today. Police said the third man, aged 18, remains in custody but he is expected to appear in court today in connection with an unrelated matter. Meanwhile, following reports of a burglary in the early hours of Friday, 24 January, in Palm Road, George Town, a 28 year-old man has been charged with attempted burglary, theft and carrying a restricted weapon at night. 

He is also expected in court today. None of the suspects have been named by the police.

Continue Reading

Activist fumes as pet endures another attack

| 28/01/2014 | 24 Comments

(CNS): Sandra Catron is taking her fight over dangerous dogs to the governor after her pet (left) was attacked once again at the weekend by what she says is a neighbouring dangerous dog, which the authorities have refused to address. Despite her very public requests to the police and other government officials, the local activist told CNS that nothing has been done about the animal, which she feels is also being neglected. This time Catron is pointing the finger at the police and has written to Governor Helen Kilpatrick, who has ultimate responsibility for the RCIPS. Frustrated by the lack of action, despite her continuing reports and enquiries, Catron noted that the police took a dog she believed lost and had rescued away from her ands claims there are double standards.

“I’m beyond appalled that this has been allowed to happen yet again,” Catron said this weekend, following another attack on her Shih-Poo dog, Coco. “At this stage, the pet owners have clearly proven themselves to be completely irresponsible and incapable or being decent pet owners."

“I lay the blame 100% on the RCIPS for not enforcing the law and removing this dangerous dog. Irecall when I rescued Precious and was treating her so well, they came with a warrant and the animal control officer and confiscated her from me, pending the full investigation and outcome of the case. So I am well aware that they have the power to remove the dog. It appears because I am the person lodging the compliant it will not be handled professionally and the law will not be followed,” she told CNS.

Catron is no stranger to controversy having taken on the authorities in the court room on a number of occasions and, despite not being a lawyer, has won on each occasion. A well-known advocate for a child sex offenders’ register and a person who seems to attract an unusual amount of attention from the police, despite having never been convicted of a crime, Catron said she believed her choosing to speak out about issues appears to be undermining her rights.

“Obviously there’s a price to pay for speaking out in this community and for standing up against the RCIPS. In my opinion, I am now being punished for those actions. My human rights are being violated as I am not able to have peaceful enjoyment of my own home,” she added.

In her letter to the governor lodging a formal complaint, Catron relates the ongoing issue relating the four separate attacks, one in which her dog was almost killed, and also describing her most recent harrowing experience where she had to call for help from people in the street.

“I am wondering what will it take for the RCIPS to do something about this matter?” she asked the governor in her letter. “Every time I file a report and/or statement nothing has occurred and I am being told it’s being 'investigated'. In my opinion, sufficient time has passed for them to have conducted a murder investigation, much less one about a dangerous dog, especially one in which a plethora of evidence has been provided including: vet bills, emergency room reports, CCTV footage and third party eyewitness statements." 

Catron asked the governor, "Why has the dangerous dog not been removed pending the full outcome of a criminal investigation? The Animal Law (2003 Revision) allows for these types of dogs to be removed. However, the RCIPS are saying that they have no facility to remove the dog/detain the dog and that Department of Agriculture (“DOA”) is responsible. DOA claims they do not have the power to deal with dangerous dogs because that is a police matter and their responsibility is only in relation to the welfare of dogs.

“Whilst these two departments bicker about who is responsible, I am in constant fear of my life and the safety of my dog, who I consider a part of my family,” she wrote in her letter.

Given the large number of people complaining about similar problems, some of whom have had their dogs killed by dangerous animals because nothing is being done about this matter, Catron is concerned that her dog is facing the same fate unless the neighbouring animal is taken away.

“The RCIPS seem to be of the opinion that they are not motivated to take any action until my dog is killed. I am very disappointed at this approach. The Animal Law gives them the power to remove the dog and deal with it accordingly,” she wrote.

Catron is taking civil legal action about the neighboring animal, but in an odd turn of events it appears that the police contacted Catron, accusing her of harassment after she had served the legal papers on the owner of the dog that has attacked her pet. She said the police had the “audacity to actually contact me about that; yet in over one year have done nothing about my various complaints against the dog.”

Catron also told the governor that her “constructive criticisms of the RCIPS” means that any complaints that she makes to them are not taken seriously, as she pointed to the double standards she claims she has experienced.

Continue Reading

Government lawyer disputes Polaine claims

| 28/01/2014 | 8 Comments

(CNS): Although the Attorney General’s Chambers has still not addressed the question over why it did not defend the employment of Martin Polaine, one of the legal advisors on the controversial Operation Tempura police probe, when he was disbarred in 2009, the solicitor general has written a letter requesting clarification on an article posted on CNS earlier this month. The government lawyer disputes the content of the article about Polaine being disbarred from the profession based on the content of Sir Peter Cresswell’s ruling in the judicial review of the unlawful arrest of Justice Alex Henderson as she says he did not find that Polaine was not qualified to practice in Cayman. 

In her letter to CNS (attached below), dated 23 January 2014, Solicitor General Jacqueline Wilson states that Justice Cresswell never said Polaine was not qualified but rather that he set out the submissions of the attorneys representing Henderson who had argued that Polaine was not called to the bar and not qualified to give advice in Cayman.

However, Cresswell does point to his acceptance of the submissions made by Ramon Alberga, QC, who was representing Henderson and sets out in his summary of the case that Polaine was not called to the bar.  In addition, the UK Bar Council, which had originally disbarred Polaine, also used the comments by Alberga, which appeared to be accepted by Cresswell as grounds for the lawyer’s removal from the profession.

At the hearing in 2009, which was convened as a result of a complaint filed by Justice Henderson and based on the ruling by Cresswell, the UK’s legal tribunal found that Polaine was not qualified to practise as a lawyer or offer expert knowledge of the law in the Cayman Islands and knew or ought to have known he was not competent to give such advice. The findings were all based on the critical ruling by Cresswell in which he took all of the Tempura team to task and indicated that Polaine had not been called to the bar.

However, Wilson has asked for an apology and a clarification stating that the article was “misleading and confusing” and was wrong to suggest that an erroneous finding by the judge formed the basis of the original uncontested decision of the UK’s disciplinary tribunal.

See related CNS articles:

SPIT lawyer disbarred (10 December 2009)

Tempura lawyer reinstated (15 January 2014)

Continue Reading

Chamber boss agrees OMOV can wait

| 28/01/2014 | 28 Comments

(CNS): Despite leading the charge in the campaign leading up to the national referendum to introduce one man, one vote (OMOV) in July 2012, Johann Moxam said that he agreed with the recent comments by the premier that there is plenty of time to introduce the voting system before the 2017 elections and that there are other priorities that must be addressed. Although others have raised concerns that the government has not given any indication of when it will address the issue and that time is needed for its implementation, Moxam, who is now the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce president, says other issues are more important.

The Chamber has always supported the implementation of OMOV and single member constituencies for all electoral districts. But while Moxam urgeds the elected government to implement electoral reform before the next election in 2017, he said it still had three more years to bring the necessary changes.

“We are hopeful that they will fulfill their campaign promise,” Moxam said, as he pointed to other more urgent issues.

“The Chamber Council agrees with the premier that the national priority must be focused on getting unemployed Caymanians back to work and the local economy,” he stated. “This can only be achieved by way of extensive government reform to redefine and clarify the roles and the functions of the National Workforce Development Agency and the Immigration Department with specific and viable goals to get unemployed Caymanians back to work.”

Moxam once again emphasized the concerns of the Chamber about the cost of doing business, the cost of living and the heightened level of crime against businesses, which he said are of continuing concern to the business associations members.

“Public sector reform is critical to the business sector and the future of the Islands. We call for further action and would like to see ongoing transparency as to the progress we are making,” Moxam added.

Continue Reading

Bomb hoaxer formally admits call to 911

| 28/01/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): James Bernie Williamson, who was arrested following a bomb hoax just before Christmas and admitted his culpability, formally entered his plea Friday when he admitted to the offence. Having checked into Caribbean Haven to deal with his alcohol dependency, Williamson was bailed to remain there and continue with the rehabilitation programme at the facility until his sentencing in March. The West Bay man was a former employee of the Caribbean Cub, which, along with the Ritz-Carlton, was one of the resorts involved in the hoax called into the 911 emergency centre on 14 December. The call caused chaos at the two leading resorts in the heart of seven Mile Beach and during peak tourist season.

Continue Reading

Have-a-go heroes receive bravery award

| 28/01/2014 | 18 Comments

(CNS): Edward Azan (left), Charles Ebanks and Ray McGuire, who are well-known across the Cayman Islands for their intervention in an armed robbery at a liquor store, all received bravery awards on Monday, when Cayman celebrated its National Heroes Day. The three men, who have also received honours from the police and are forever associated with the local catchphrase "Not today, BoBo!", were instrumental in the capture of two young suspects, who were eventually jailed for their part in a daylight heist at Blackbeard’s in Grand Harbour. Two unarmed police officers were also cited for their bravery in the face of an escaping armed robber in Bodden Town. All five of the awardees were honoured for their “exceptional courage in keeping the Cayman Islands community safe for all residents,” officials stated.

The awards were handed out during a ceremony celebrating all of Cayman’s National Heroes, brave citizens and cultural heritage pioneers. 

Seventy Cultural Heritage Pioneers, who received honours in five categories, were chosen from among nominations from their peers for their stellar contributions to the “preservation and promotion of cultural heritage” in the Cayman Islands, including Caymanian cultural icon, 105-year-old “Aunt” Julia Hydes, who is still playing the drums and entertaining young and old alike.

Continue Reading

West Bay men deny killing Swiss banker

| 28/01/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Two men who were charged last year in a cold case killing have denied murdering Frederic Bise whose body was found in the trunk of a burnt out car in the district of West Bay in February 2008. Chad Anglin and Leonard Ebanks (left) both pleaded not guilty to the murder charge when they appeared in Grand Court on Friday morning. The men were remanded in custody and a trial date has been pencilled in for May of this year.  Police charged the two West Bay men in October some five and a half years after the killing following a two year investigation by the cold case squad which was formed in 2010.

The 40-year-old Swiss banker’s beaten body was found in the boot of his own a burned car outside his home in Mount Pleasant in February 2008. This was the first case selected and solved by the unit as officers believed that there were leads in the case that could be progressed.

Continue Reading