Archive for March 19th, 2014

Locals dominate rookie cops

| 19/03/2014 | 48 Comments
 
(CNS): After receiving some 500 applications, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) managed to whittle thatnumber down to fifteen men and women who are to be appointed as police constables and about to embark on a new career. From the ten men and five women selected to begin the RCIPS training programme, none were recruited from overseas. Twelve of the rookies are Caymanians and three are permanent residents, officials revealed Wednesday in a release announcing the results of last year's recruitment exercise. Having already passed a rigorous testing regime, the group will be sworn in on 31 March and they will then begin the 16-week recruit training programme before hitting the streets.

 
RCIPS officials said the group is the most localised set of recruits to join the RCIPS for some thirty years, after the recruitment process had targeted Caymanians andpeople who had been living here long term rather than looking overseas.
 
Police Commissioner David Baines said he was delighted that the service was able to attract and recruit this many local people. 
 
"We held them to high standards and are confident that these are exactly the kind of people that we need to attract, to help us successfully police the Islands,” the top cop said. “We very much look forward to working with these young people to develop their abilities and assist them in becoming exemplary police officers."
 
Officials narrowed the field of 500 applications, he explained, by stringently applying the criteria of age and nationality. Physical and background checks, as well as testing that included a multiple choice exam, essay and presentation, further reduced the number of candidates to 29. 
 
These persons were then interviewed for the positions.
 
By the end of the process 21 individuals had exceeded the minimum overall score. From these the recruitment panel selected the top 15.
 
Five candidates are aged 18-21 years old, five are 22-25 years and the remaining five are 26-30 years. Two are residents of Cayman Brac and the rest are from or living on Grand Cayman.  

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Generator failure cuts power in WB and GT

| 19/03/2014 | 4 Comments

(CNS): Grand Cayman's power company left huge parts of the island without power on Wednesday afternoon following a generator failure at the CUC power plant in the industrial area of George Town. All of West Bay, Seven Mile Beach, Camana Bay down town George Town as well as most of the capital and out towards Crewe Road and beyond. The power outage began before 4pm and lasted for just under an hour, according to officials from the power provider who said crews worked hard to get the supply back an sceeded in doing so before 5pm.  

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Transparency boss opens ethics conference

| 19/03/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Dr Huguette Labelle, from Transparency International, opened the much anticipated UCCI conference Wednesday evening  in the Vassel Johnson Hall on the university campus in George Town. Open to the community, this year’s conference "Towards a Corruption-Free Caribbean: Ethics, Values, Trust and Morality" is expected to attract a broad and significant audience as the issue of corruption in the region’s communities is examined from all angles. Dr Labelle is the boardchair at Transparency International, which works in more than 100 countries in the fight against corruption. 

Professor Trevor Munroe, the executive director at National Integrity Action of Jamaica chaired the opening session.

The bulk of the action gets underway Thursday morning when Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s finance minister, gives an account of her country’s experiences with corruption and the lessons for the Caribbean. The session will be chaired by Cayman’s own government number, cruncher Marco Archer, the minister for finance and economic development.

Following that, the Cayman Islands premier will be joined by regional heads of for a Plenary Round Table session. Alden McLaughlin will join Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and, representing the Premier of Bermuda Cheryl-Ann Lister, Chair, the National Anti-Money Laundering Committee (NAMLC),  Anti-Corruption Assessment and Strategies in the Region.  The session will be chaired by Samuel Bulgin, the Cayman Islands Attorney General with remarks from Dan Scott, the regional managing director of EY.

Many other regional and local leaders, academics, experts and government representatives will be taking part in the conference giving papers and talking on panels and plenary sessions covering the pervasive nature of corruption throughout both the public and private societies.

From medicine to sport and everything in between, CNS’ reporter Wendy Ledger will also be taking part in the conference during  a session on Thursday evening examining the media as an anti-corruption instrument.

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Infrastructure Fund could solve dump problem

| 19/03/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): The idea of a local investment infrastructure fund may be receiving the cold shoulder from government but local businessman and former political candidate Bo Miller is urging the business community to get behind, claiming that this is the solution to Cayman’s major problems, such as addressing the dump and the sewage issues, as well as the port and airport. Speaking this week at a Chamber of Commerce ‘Be Informed’ presentation, Miller and his partners in the proposal, Samit Ghosh and Andre Wright, said that Walkers had already agreed to create the fund to raise local capital to pay for local projects while giving investors a long term return on their cash. Read more on CNS Business

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Morning minor quake wakes up Grand Cayman

| 19/03/2014 | 15 Comments

(CNS): One or two people in Grand Cayman were shaken out of bed this morning when the earth was moving a little on Wednesday. According to the United States Geological Survey a small earthquake registering a 4.2-magnitude eon the Richter scale struck at around 6:55am today south of George Town. The epicentre of the tremor was about 39 miles south of the capital and about 44 miles south of West Bay some 10 kilometres deep (18.720°N 81.416°W .) CNS has received no reports of any damage and so far only a handful of people reported feeling the shake over breakfast.

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Crewe Road residents on lookout for crime

| 19/03/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Resident at the Silver Oaks complex on Crewe Road in George Town have become the latest group of neighbours to form a watch programme to combat crime in their community. Last weekend PC Cornelius Pompey and PC Brian Jameson of the RCIPS Neighbourhood Policing department in the George Town district presented the Neighbourhood Watch sign to Richard Wildman and Robyn McLean the presidents of the Silver Oaks Neighbourhood Watch Committee. The police officers pointed out how important these schemes are to addressing the crime problem as a whole.

“Neighbourhood Watch is a crime prevention programme that stresses education and common sense,” said PC Pompey. “It empowers communities to be aware of what is happening within their community as well as to build partnership with other residents and the police. It’s about keenness and alert as the police cannot be everywhere all the time."

Constable Jameson encouraged the residents to report suspicious activities to the police and said they would continue their high visibility patrol within the neighborhood which can be a deterrent to criminal activities.

Anyone wishing to know more about Neighbourhood Watch or any other crime prevention methods and tips should contact The George Town Neighbourhood Policing Department on 9494222 ext  5316/3056. If you have information about crime that was or is being committed please call crime stoppers at 1-800-TIPS. (8477).

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Assistant postmaster gets CS monthly staff award

| 19/03/2014 | 9 Comments

(CNS): In January, public service bosses turned to the post office to hand out the deputy governor’s monthly award. Assistant Postmaster General of Operations Lloyd McField was named government’s Employee of the Month and he also won the chief officers’ choice award. McField was the first postal service worker to be selected for these awards and the first in the planning ministry to get the staff gong. “Mr McField has the greatest team spirit and is truly a champion of change within the Cayman Islands Postal Service.  He epitomizes the more traditional values of being a civil servant in the Cayman Islands government,” said Postmaster General Sheena Glasgow.

“He consistently puts the needs of customers and the department above his own.  If a customer is looking for a letter which is not trackable, it is common for him to lead the search through hundreds of letters, at more than one postal facility, at the airport warehouses, contact airlines about mail dispatches or liaise with overseas postal administrations as part of his efforts,” Glasgow added.

Mcfield was presented with both prizes at the Airport Post Office on Wednesday by Deputy Governor Franz Manderson and the ministry's chief officer, Alan Jones.

He has had a career at the postal service spanning 28 years and has been recognized for his abilities to bridge the gap between senior managers and line staff, an essential element for the smooth running of his department.

Glasgow said that McField also “understands that mail processes must become more efficient and that improved customer service is critical to the future survival of the postal service. He understands that the Universal Postal Union (UPU) standards are increasingly influential in how mail processes change over time.” 

McField “routinely goes above and beyond his regular duties”, officials said, stepping in whenever there is need for an extra hand. He sorts mail if a section or particular postal facility is short staffed, or if mail volumes are simply heavy. If the driving team is short, he will drive a mail van to ensure the mail gets to its next stage in the delivery process. 

“His acceptance of added work enabled the Postmaster General to implement a restructuring plan that was based on natural attrition. He took on these added duties over a period that spanned 3 years, worked longer hours when necessary, took less vacation, and did so without ever asking for financial compensation, because he understood the department's and government's budgetary restrictions,” Glasgow added.

Meanwhile, Manderson also congratulated McField and thanked him for his service.

“This recognition symbolises and reinforces the values and standards that we expect all staff to exhibit. You serve as a role model for all Cayman Islands civil servants,” he said. “I was told that you ‘have eyes everywhere’, because you are particularly adept at spotting accidents in mail operations before they happen; and if they do, you usually address the situation without being asked. I know that you strive to provide your customers with quality customer service,” Manderson said as he handed out the award.

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Team Cayman poised to win gold

| 19/03/2014 | 0 Comments

(CIEF): On Saturday 8 March, riders from the Equestrian Centre and Cayman Riding School converged on the Equestrian Centre for the 2014 FEI World Dressage Challenge (“WDC”). This international competition is designed to promote the art of dressage in countries where equestriansport is still at a developmental stage. Two FEI judges flew into Cayman on Friday in preparation to judge the competition on Saturday. The same judges had already visited Barbados, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago and Bermuda to judge equivalent competitions in those countries, before coming to Cayman.

Elke Ebert of Germany and Anders Sucksdorff of Finland were impressed by the quality of dressage talent in Cayman. “Cayman has really improved in the past year with its dressage riders,” commented Ebert, who visited the island 12 months ago to judge the same competition. The improvements were self evident in the results. At the time of going to press, Team Cayman was sitting in first place in the Caribbean overall with only Jamaica left to ride later this week.

“This year, Team Cayman consisted of Tracey Surrey from Cayman Riding School, Jessica McTaggart-Giuzio and Phoebe and Polly Serpell from the Equestrian Centre,” said acting President, Sharon Hinds. “Our riders have all been training extremely hard for this regional competition,” she continued, “and we are really pleased with the improvement in the skill level of dressage riding in the Cayman Islands generally. We have a real pocket of talent here and it is one that we are committed to supporting and encouraging in every way we can. All riders in this competition have invested hundreds of hours of training in order to put Cayman quite clearly on the international dressage map!”

Riders had to qualify to enter the WDC in one of Cayman’s National Dressage Competitions held during  the past year. Twelve riders presented themselves at the Vet Jog the day before the main competition to have their horses inspected. Every horse presented has to pass the Vet Jog in order to be allowed into the competition. As well as checking that every horse is sound, the Vet Jog is also an opportunity for riders to compete for the coveted ‘Best Presented Horse’ Award.

This year the Best Presented Horse – Child’s Award went to Hannah Fowler and her dappled grey warmblood, Seligkeit, and the Adult’s Award went to Jessica McTaggart-Giuzio and her horse, Loris 7.

In the WDC competition, the skill level of the riders increased with each class and the first to go were the children riding the Preliminary Test. Phoebe Serpell coasted to first place on Sunday’s Edition with an impressive 70.86%. Second was Thea Millward on Iggy Pop, third Anya van Genderen on Kartouche, fourth Hannah Fowler on Seligkeit, fifth Isabelle Smith on  Edson Arantes MB and sixth Ashley van den Bol on EWSZ Carmella.

In the adults’ Preliminary Test, Tracey Surrey took first place on SonRise David with 69.66%. Jessica McTaggart-Giuzio was a close second on Loris 7, with Polly Serpell on Calidad in third and Regina Nowak in fourth on Leonora.

The Elementary Test is also divided into separate children’s and adults’ tests and in the child class, Phoebe Serpell took first place on Sunday’s Edition with Lexi Bodden winning the adult class on Relation. Second was Jessica McTaggart-giuzio on Loris 7 and third was Polly Serpell on Partenon.

Lexi Bodden and Relation also took first place in the Medium Test with Charlotte Hinds on Monroe Carr in second place.

High Point Awards in the WDC were awarded to Tracey Surrey, as the highest scoring adult, and Phoebe Serpell, as the highest scoring child.

The CIEF is extremely grateful to Sunshine Suites for its generous and continued support and sponsorship of the CIEF through assistance with the provision of accommodation for visiting judges.
 

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CCMI opens new wet lab for coral research

| 19/03/2014 | 6 Comments

(CNS): The Central Caribbean Marine Institute on Little Cayman has opened a new wet lab facility at its centre on the Sister Island. The open-air and climate controlled wet lab pavilion will be used to observe and process coral reef organisms in a variety of environments with free-flowing seawater. It also contains large aquariums and specimen tanks for multiple studies. "The wet lab is a much needed addition to the Little Cayman Research Centre,” said CCMI founder Dr Carrie Manfrino. “With our growing education activities and research programmes, expansion became imperative."

She added, “In 2012, CCMI were the proud recipients of a National Science Foundation grant for a new Climate Change and Coral Reef Stress lab at the LCRC and we are excited to announce that construction is nearly complete."

Designed by local architect John Doak, the new lab facilities are up and running in time for CCMI’s newest education programme. CCMI has been awarded the Research Experience for Undergraduates grantby the National Science Foundation. The grant funds eight US undergraduate students to be paired with a professional research mentor and they will live and work together at the Little Cayman Research Centre to develop a research project on the topic of 'Coral Reef Biodiversity and Resilience'.

“The timing couldn't be more perfect. Little Cayman's reefs are showing unique and remarkable signs of recovery from the 1998 El Nino event, which resulted in high sea temperatures that killed corals on a global scale. The next step is to discover exactly why,” Manfrino added.

The lab was formally opened by the premier, Alden McLaughlin, and his deputy, Moses Kirkconnell, during their recent visit to the Sister Islands.

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Tower shines light on local media market

| 19/03/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business):A local publisher claims there has been a lot of mis-information in Cayman about print-run and readership numbers of locally distributed publications in the past. Having commissioned a media audit of its own products, Acorn Publishing is encouraging other publishers in the Cayman Islands to do the same. “Cayman is playing catch-up to other developed economies that have been providing independently audited media services for years,” said Acorn’s Director Charles Grover. Lynne Byles (left), Director of Tower, which conducted the audit, said it would ensure the published print-run numbers match the actual printed copies, providing confidence and assurance to business owners that their advertising dollars are being spent as a publisher advocates. 

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