Archive for April 17th, 2014

Cayman story time flows over airwaves

| 17/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Sponsored by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation Caymanian Stories is a Saturday morning radio show on Saturday mornings featuring the work of local writers, read by local people who bring Caymanian tales to life. Radio Cayman is now recording a host of new stories, poems and historical accounts from contributors such as Roy Bodden, Chris Gourzong, Joy Merren and many more. Reverend Alson Ebanks, Marcia Muttoo and Virginia Foster will be reading a special Easter meditation on 19 April and later this month new material from Nasaria Suckoo Chollette and Twyla Vargas will be broadcast.

Anyone who would like to record a story can contact cayfest@candw.ky

To listen tune into Radio Cayman Saturdays at 9am on 89.9FM and to hear a clip of what is coming up, click here.
 

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Trust encourages earth month challegnes

| 17/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The National Trust is hosting a number of events this month including Dress Down days, Easter at Mission House and a Dark Sky Initiative with the Cayman Islands Astronomical Society and the University College of the Cayman Islands. Selling. “Protect our Paradise” t-shirts for schools and cooperation dress down days are available from the National Trust for CI$15 for adults and CI$10 for kids. The trust is encouraging people to get involved in an Earth Month Challenge while enjoying Cayamn's natural beauty and post it to Facebook Participants are challenged to take part in a range of outdoor activities such as tours, eating traditional food, recycling, reducing carbon footprints or planting a tree.

The public is asked to  change social media profile photos to the National Trust’s “Protect our Paradise” icon and take pictures of Earth Month Challenges  labeled with the hashtag #ProtectourParadise.

On Saturday, 19 April the Trust celebrates Easter at Mission House. Parents are invited to drop off their “little bunnies” to the National Trust office where they will be bused to Mission House for a Peter Rabbit themed morning or afternoon of fun activities including crafts, Easter obstacle course, grow your own carrots and stories from the Beatrix Potter collection. Costs is CI $25 per bunny.

Reach for the stars with the Cayman Islands Astronomical Society and UCCI. Help protect our natural light by joining the National Trust at the Dr.Wm Hrudey Observatory on Friday, April 25th at 7pm for live viewing of Saturn and Mars which will be streamed to an Internet meeting of several Astronomy Societies in the North and South Americas along with a lecture on Dark Skies in Cayman at 8pm. Adults are CI$15 and Kids are CI$10. Proceeds raised will go to the National Trust, the Cayman Islands Astronomical Society (CIAS) and the observatory.

Lastly, learn to cook like a local at a Traditional Cooking Class being held in conjunction with the Catboat Club on 30 April. 

For further information on Earth Day activities please visit www.nationaltrust.org.ky or contact marketing@nationaltrust.org.ky or call 749-1121.

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Batabano opens with masked ball

| 17/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Organisers of the Batabano carnival will be opening the coulourful event next month at the Le Masque & World Fete on Thursday 1 May at Royal Palms. Guests will be hiding behind masks however, to get them into the carnival spirit during the Caribbean themed evening with a buffet and live music from Trinidad Oscar B and soca artist of Destra Garcia. The street party and parade will take place on saturday starting at 3pm. The 31st anniversary of the carnival celebration, stilt walkers, acrobats, and limbo dancers will lead a colorful parade of masqueraders as they ravel along West Bay Road to Harbour Drive for the street party with live music by local and visiting entertainers.

Over 20 local vendors, alongside some of Cayman’s premiere restaurants will also be dishing up traditional island fare. The Cayman Carnival Junior Batabano and Family Fun Day takes place on 10 May.

For more details log onto www.caymancarnival.com

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Brac & Mild

| 17/04/2014 | 39 Comments
With all the recent ramblings about increasing Cayman Brac’s economy, promoting small businesses, establishing new industries and providing jobs beyond those offered by the government on our little sister, I sat back and thought to myself, ‘how much money does government waste on officials who sit for hours trying to find solutions to problems of which the solutions are normally quite obvious?’

 
So they’ve tried everything to increase tourism on the quaint little island, and you would be surprised to know how many people actually do travel over; but the island is not as highly marketed as a vacation retreat as Grand Cayman is, so exactly what are they trying to promote? Typically Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are described in a two-page article within one of the Cayman Activity guides. It doesn’t seem like anyone has really taken much time to research, discover and publicize what is actually available to vacationers, but honestly it is really not much more than some good peace and quiet – which many people living in big urban cities would relish anyway.
 
With no businesses in the Brac buying advert spaces in these magazines, the article is almost like a charity page, one published “just because we have to…”.
 
So, how exactly can the economy in Cayman Brac be boosted and jobs be created to encourage a developing population where small business can thrive?
 
I have toyed with the idea of emailing this suggestion to Mr Moses, but I figured I’d never get an email reply. Ms Julianna attempts to be proactive but this usually expands no further than words, and all my other dear island politicians must surely be busy from a week long LA meeting hosted on the tiny island. Oh yes, that!
 
I shall be interested to know how much it did cost to have the LA meeting held on the Brac; but considering the many other ways our Government spends the tax payer dollar, I think it was a welcomed event. The rental car companies, accommodation providers and other local business I’m sure would have benefited well from an influx of spending civil servants. I’d much rather see the public money go that route than on more multi-million dollar luxury jail cells.
 
So, moving past that subject, back to the Brac economy. Why does Grand Caymanflourish with jobs the way it does? It is certainly not only the tourism industry that contributes to this advantage; in fact, I feel that the tourism industry now feeds on the publicity the island receives from the mother of its financial stability, the Financial Industry itself.
 
What are the primary components of the Grand Cayman Financial Industry? Well, Trusts, Mutual Funds and Incorporations of course! It seems that a move in this direction was made when the General Registry (or better known to financiers as the Registrar of Companies) opened offices at the Brac Government Administrative Building this 2014. But for Financial Service Providers already stationed on Grand Cayman and functioning very well, there must be some incentive provided that would drive Corporate Service Providers in that direction – whether a reduction in fees across the board and one business day turnaround, a service that many corporate clients would appreciate – they really don’t care much what island their Registered Office is as long as it is WITHIN the Cayman Islands.
 
All in all, I feel that Cayman Brac must foremost concentrate on weaseling its way into becoming a comfortable, functional financial services location; stationing itself as the chosen destination for financial service seekers because of the benefits of a small society, faster turn-around, paperwork not being lost amongst heaps and bundles and a cozy little place for people to go and do business undisturbed (amid the offshore tax scandals, but that’s a viewpoint in itself).
 
Not sure how long it would take to achieve this, but I can be sure that once Corporate Service providers realize the advantages of working with a much smaller agency, on a smaller island (the result of which can be happier, wealthier clientele due to the abilities of increased customer service, reduced fees and no requirement to pay additional fees for one day turnaround) offices will open, jobs will open, the population will increase and small business can take advantage of this all because they will actually have people to sell to and provide services to.
 
Grand Cayman had to start somewhere with this all too…

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Charity needs furniture for half-way house

| 17/04/2014 | 10 Comments

(CNS): Volunteers attempting to open a new and much needed half-way house to help women dealing with addiction are in desperate need of furniture for the new premises, which the Bridge Foundation charity hopes will be in use by those in need next month. The new women’s residence for recovering addicts in West Bay is scheduled to be formally opened by the governor on 29 May but before that happens the home needs beds, kitchen equipment, office supplies, as well as help towards installing air-conditioning and constructing the bathrooms. The charity already runs a halfway house for six men, which is being expanded and with the help of donations the founders said they can provide places for six women at a time as well.

Charles Jennings, one of the founders and directors along with Lem Hurlston, Terry Delaney and Bud Volinsky, said the foundation has further expansion plans as the men's facility has already become an important part of the process in supporting those in the community trying to change their lives.

"We like to think we are making a difference in turning people’s lives around and in the process having a positive impact on crime in the islands," said Jennings. "Judging by the support we’re getting from the courts and several government agencies, they think so too," Jennings stated.

Securing the women's facility alongside expansions to the existing men's facility from six places to eleven is likely to have an even greater impact on the lives of people trying in difficult circumstances to make a change. However, the facility can't open without furniture.

"Our immediate need is to furnish the new women’s residence," said Jennings, as he asked for anyone who may have unwanted or second-hand furniture that they can spare. 

A list is attached below of the things needed. Those marked with a red cross have been acquired already, but the charity is still in need of many more items and help from the community.

Anyone who can help is asked to call 525 5546 or email charles@jennings.ky 

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CAL backs international youth football tournament

| 17/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman airways Invitational Youth Cup is the latest tournament in the burgeoning local football action. The contest sponsored by the national flag carrier will see five international clubs for near and far compete next month in Cayman.  Teams from Charlton Athletic (England), IMG Academy (United States), Real Club Deportivo España (Honduras), Harbour View F.C (Jamaica) and St Clair's Coaching School (Trinidad and Tobago) will travel to Grand Cayman for a five-day tournament to play against each other and the Cayman Islands national under 14 squad.

"Attracting high level competition to Cayman is a pillar of the Football Association's plan to build our next generation of national players," said CONCACAF and Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) President Jeffrey  Webb. "Kudos to the organisers, West Bay Sports Foundation and Academy Sports Club along with the sponsors for their commitment to youth development. CIFA supports this and any initiative that will assist with the development of Cayman's young players."

Director of the National Youth programme Ardin Rivers added,  "The line-up of teams is an impressive one and will pose a challenge for the national Under 14 youth team, but with local support, I know our boys will give their best.”

Academy Sports Club, a regular competitor at overseas tournaments initiated the contacts with the regional and international clubs and has worked with the West Bay Sports Foundation to produce a tournament, with a scope never before seen in the Cayman Islands.
Virgil Seymour, Academy Sports Club Technical Director said it was excited for the young local players to have an opportunity at this level.  ”This will be a great experience not only for the players but also for the local community to have this exposure,” Seymour said. “We encourage everyone to come out to support the Cayman U14 team during the five days of the tournament. We have to also thank our generous sponsors for making this event possible.”

Fabian Whorms, Chief Executive Officer of Cayman Airways which will be providing the flights for the teams said that supporting youth sports programmes was also important to the development of sports tourism as a growing niche market. “We are particularly honored to be the title sponsor for this exciting new tournament on the sports tourism calendar in The Cayman Islands, and we wish all of the players, local and visiting, the very best of luck in their matches.”

See groups and schedule below
Group A – Charlton Athletic (UK), St Clair Coaching School (TRI), IMG Academy (USA)
Group B – Cayman Islands, Harbour View FC (JAM), Real Club Deportivo España (HON)

Match schedule:
Tuesday- May 6, 2014 (The Annex)
6 pm – Harbour View v Real Club Deportivo España
7:30 pm – Charlton Athletic v St Clair’s Coaching School
Thursday – May 8, 2014 (The Annex)
6 pm – St Clair’s Coaching School v IMG Academy
7:30 pm – Cayman Islands v Harbour View
Friday – May 9, 2014 (The Annex)
6 pm – IMG Academy v Charlton Athletic
7:30 pm – Cayman Islands v Real Club Deportivo España
Saturday – May 10, 2014 (Cayman Brac)  6pm – 3rd Place Match – 2nd  in Group A v 2nd in Group B
Sunday – May 11, 2014 (The Annex) 6 pm – Consolation Game – 3rd  Group A v 3rd Group B
PM – FINAL – Winner Group A v Winner Group B

 

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Sea search on for men missing from troubled boat

| 17/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The police helicopter and marine unit are currently involved in a sea search some 30 miles off the south east coast of Grand Cayman for two men believed lost at sea after searching for a distress parcel dropped by a plane late last night. A spokesperson for the RCIPS said Thursday morning that the local Air Traffic Control tower had received a message from a US Coast Guard aircraft which had spotted distress flares from a boat in the area at around 10:40pm last night (Wednesday 16 April). The Marine Unit and the police chopper responded and found the vessel with two foreign nationals aboard, who reported that two other men were missing in the water.

Police did not state where the men were from or if they were fishing, travelling or engaged in the illicit trafficking of drugs, guns or people.  The missing men were believed to have got into the sea in order to try and retrieve the life-saving package dropped by the US Coast Guard plane but then disappeared. The two men on the damaged boat were rescued and taken aboard the Niven D and the search is continuing for two the other men.

 

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Merren denies money laundering, drug smuggling

| 17/04/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A 47-year-old Caymanian held in jail in Puerto Rico has now formally denied the charges of drug trafficking and money laundering, according to US records. Bryce Merren has pleaded not guilty to three counts of conspiracy and attempt to possess and distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine after he was caught out by undercover US agents. The undercover cops say the Caymanian business man wired $200,000 from a Cayman bank account to a Puerto Rican account as a down payment for a cocaine deal in which he had plans to move some three thousand kilos of the narcotic. Merren is currently remanded in custody at the Guaynabo prison on the US owned island. (Photo courtesy Spike)
 

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Cubans on run as centre struggles with security

| 17/04/2014 | 11 Comments

(CNS): Authorities are on the hunt once again as another group of Cuban refugees being detained by immigration left the insecure detention centre in the Fairbanks area of George Town. Officials said some 13 migrants escaped Wednesday afternoon and while ten were rounded up three are still on the run along with at least one other man who escaped last month when 33 refugees escaped by crawling under a perimeter fence. Last week another three men left the centre. Immigration officers said it is an offence to help the refugees who have escaped.

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Brackers protest ‘devil’ art

| 17/04/2014 | 168 Comments

(CNS): A rotting goat’s head nailed to a cross on top of a heap of garbage and old bones may be art to its creator but to a group of Cayman Brac residents it is simply offensive. Local businessman Elvis McKeever, who organised a peaceful protest at the location of the controversial sculpture on the south side of the island Wednesday lunchtime, said it looked like devil worship or the practice of Obeah, “like something you would see in Haiti”. It was built by the artist known as Foots, who also created the underwater sculpture “The Lost City of Atlantis”, which lies off the north coast. But his latest creation, which includesa fake gravestone with three 6’s engraved on a bloody cross, has stirred deep resentment in the small, largely Christian community. 

The goat’s head and cross had been removed before the protest but the 30 or so Brac residents who turned up to demonstrate their objection to Foots’ artwork wanted officials to make sure they were not put back up. 

But in any case, they said, the rest of Foots’ handiwork was also offensive and would depreciate the value of surrounding properties, as well as being a health hazard, and they want the whole thing removed.

McKeever said that when he first started talking publicly about his objections to the sculpture, Foots took down the decaying goat’s head and the cross for about two weeks, but on Palm Sunday he put it up again. He said that Foots had removed them again last night. “He thought that that was going to stop us from doing the protest and then in a week’s time he will have it up there again,” he said.

Under Cayman Islands law anything above four feet is supposed to have planning approval, noted McKeever, who owns a construction company. “I want planning to show me the approval,” he said. Claiming Foots had about 15 old toilets on the property behind the sculpture, McKeever, who owns adjacent land, said he wants the politicians and the Department of Environmental Health and the district commissioner to do something about it.

McKeever also noted that the land it is built on, which is 32 feet wide stretching to the Bluff, is part of an LPP (Land for Public Purpose). “You're not allowed it to build on it,” he said.

“And where are the church people and why are they allowing this in the country?” he asked, noting that House Speaker and Brac MLA Juliana O’Connor-Connolly had been invited to join them. “The practice of Obeah, which is a religion, is illegal in the Cayman Islands. I know that for sure because I know people who have got arrested for practising Obeah,” McKeever said, although there is no evidence that Foots is actually a devotee of any religion.

Scattered around the mound of dirt and bones, with what looks like a small skull, are rocks with engraved messages of peace and snippets of John Lennon lyrics. “Love is the answer” it says next to the “The Apocalypse Now Revelation” gravestone. However, McKeever remained adamant that the structure was morally wrong and that was why so many had turned out for the protest.

“I don't know who I'm more annoyed at – Foots for building it or the government for not doing anything about it,” said Dalkeith Ebanks, one of Wednesday’s protestors.

Bridgette Manville, who lives nearby, said, “Mr Foots has been displaying unacceptable so-called art in my neighbourhood.” It started, she said, with a display of plants inside the toilet bowls but after she complained about it to District Commissioner Ernie Scott, this was removed.

“Next it was the car with the head through in the windscreen with blood and everything else. Before I could get to complain, that was moved. Then he came back with the coffin and the head again on top of it. I looked at it and thought, ‘Leave him be.’ But then the most disturbing and upsetting display he had was the cross with a dead goat’s head on top of it like it was crucified on the cross with a 666. And that I found that very offensive and I felt like he was trying to insult the people of Cayman Brac.”

The protesters had police permission for the demonstration, and Chief Inspector FrankOwens and another officer were there keeping the peace and stopping anyone from going onto Foots’ land – at least until his estranged wife and co-owner of the land, Elsie Keynes, arrived to join the protest and said it was okay.

Owens confirmed that the police had received several complaints about the sculpture. These had been passed onto the legal department to see if any laws had been broken, he said.

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