Archive for June 24th, 2014

Local man charged with stealing electricity

| 24/06/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The difficulties faced by many residents understood to be living without power in the  Cayman Islands were highlighted in Summary Court, Tuesday, when a George Town man pleaded guilty to unlawfully tapping into the electricity supply. James Nixon admitted dishonestly abstracting electricity at an address in Watlers Road, in the capital. The magistrate bailed Nixon to his sentencing date which was set for September in order for the court to receive a social enquiry report.

 

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Haines passes half-way mark ahead of 3rd marathon

| 24/06/2014 | 2 Comments

(CNS): With another $100,000 pledged for Derek Haines’ six marathon challenge for Cayman Hospice, the veteran distance runner has soared passed the halfway point on the road to his $1million target as he limbers up for his next 26 plus mile slog. Haines will be in Pamplona, Spain, this weekend pounding the pavement with his daughter Lizzy who will be keeping her dad company as he takes on his third marathon in the six that he hopes to complete before the year end. So far he has clocked up runs in Paris and London but Hanes will continue to wear out his trainers as long as donors keep pledging the cash to help build the Hospice’s much needed inpatient facility.

“I am looking forward to the race, particularly as I have my daughter Lizzy running with me,” haines said ahead of the race this week. “Also good support from Cayman with wife Helen, Chris and Merja Johnson together with Peter and Julia Kandiah coming along; although as a major donor Peter is probably making sure I run.”

The Cayman Islands Real Estate Brokers Association (CIREBA) was the latest organisation to pledge a significant donation after offering $100,000 which has pushed the donation level to more than $577k.

“This is a tremendous boost and will certainly put an extra spring in my step when I run the Pamplona marathon,” Haines said. “It promises to be a fun weekend but the generous pledge from CIREBA makes it so much better. Knowing we are over 50% of the way to our $1million goal by the halfway point in races to be run gives me a fantastic feeling.

"CIREBA are part of our community and this is a huge effort by the members for all of the Cayman population. It is wonderful news and I am very grateful to all of them; as I am to all of our donors whatever the contribution" he added.

For more information on Haines' challenge or to pledge money visit the dedicated website: http://six4hospice.com/

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School garden grows to new heights

| 24/06/2014 | 15 Comments

(CNS): The Year Two students at Cayman Prep are nearing the end of a very successful growing season. The students planted their crops in January, with assistance from the Department of Agriculture and despite battling unwanted chickens and green iguanas the garden has grown to new heights. Collecting their own rainwater and composting the kids are not only growing their own food but they are learning some valuable lessons that will stay with them for years to come. “This has been a pivotal year for our school’s organic vegetable garden,” explained Sarah Burton, the school’s garden coordinator.

“As momentum in the local food movement continues to grow, parents, staff, and students have come together to bring this beautiful space to an entirely new level.”

Burton, who is a teaching assistant, became involved with the project last year.  “There are so many lessons that we can learn from nature. It is my hope that these experiences stay with the children for the rest of their lives.”

When Tim Dailey donated a tumbling compost bin students then began bringing their food scraps from home to add to it.“Students are learning first hand that nature recycles everything, even banana peels and apple cores,” Dailey explained. “The students compost these items every day, and observe asthey are broken down into organic compost, which they then use to fertilize the garden.  It’s a lesson in ecology.”

A few months later, the garden began attracting chickens and green iguanas, which were damaging the crops.  What was at first a frustration became an opportunity for the school’s PTA to jump in and help.  They funded the construction of a wire enclosure, which the maintenance team enthusiastically built over the school’s Easter break. The PTA also funded the purchase of a 65 gallon rain barrel.  The students are now using stored rainwater collected from the school’s roof to water the garden. 

“The benefits of the garden will enhance the education of Cayman Prep children for years to come, and hopefully will inspire healthy eating choices and a lifelong love of gardening,” said Maggie Garnett, president of the PTA stated, as she thanked Burton for overseeing the project.

The garden’s raised bed was constructed in 2011 when Cayman Prep was selected as a Project Grow School. Generali, Vigoro Nursery and HSBC are the main sponsors of Project Grow. Now enclosed and fertilized with organic compost, the Cayman Prep garden has been yielding six varieties of tomato, season peppers, basil, mint, thyme, rosemary, sunflowers, and spring onions.

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Security firm backs cops’ cricket club

| 24/06/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service Cricket Club will be able to keep up its batting average thanks to the support of a local security firm that has renewed its all important financial support. The Club’s President, Inspector Pearson Best, said the police CC promotes a healthy lifestyle within the RCIPS and strengthens camaraderie. Earlier this year, RCIP-CC in partnership with the officers of George Town Police Station successfully introduced the first ‘WinBall’ cricket competition involving all shifts based at the GTPS. “The goal “, according to Best, is to have a tournament involving the entire police service.

A stalwart within local cricket, the RCIPS CC has been on the increase for four decades and the club is open to young people and civillians. Best said the Club is particularly proud of offering international exposure to Cayman’s talented youth players on its overseas tours to England and Barbados.

However it can’t do any of it without cash and the Security Centre Ltd renewed its sponsorship of the Club for a fourth successive year.

Stuart Bostock, the firm’s CEO, said it was “alert to the pressures of our hardworking policemen and women and our continued sponsorship demonstrates the Security Centre Ltd.’s commitment to a healthy police service and a safer Cayman Islands.”

Thanking the firm, the police commissioner David Baines said, “These partnerships between businesses and the RCIPS are fundamental to the effectiveness of community- based policing.  A company like the Security Centre Ltd is very aware of the daily intense pressure of protecting and meeting the needs of the Caymanian community.”

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A new take on summer camp

| 24/06/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A different kind of summer camp is emerging in the Cayman Islands. The new summer experience for youngsters with a calling for music and the industry that surrounds has been launched by Hopscotch Studios, a company with decades in the industry and whose owners were also a part of the successful musical ensemble Memory of Justice. Several platinum albums have been recorded at the studio where the week camp will be held on North Sound Way. Campers will have the opportunity to be a part of a production team where they will write, record, edit, mix and ultimately produce their own original work.

“Over the past five years Cayman has seen an emergence of young talent, who once nurtured and groomed, are on the level for regional and international success,” said Charles Gregory from Hopscotch Studios.

The backdrop for the recording and stage production of many of Cayman most prominent artists such as Inverse, KK Alese, ThE iZ, Jeffrey Wilson, Swanky Kitchen Band and Thanks and Praises to name a few, international artists have also passed through the doors at Hopscotch Studios.

Tami Chynn and Rascal Flatts who recorded their album Feels Like Today which to date has sold over 7 million copies worldwide recorded there and Hopscotch is also the home of local Grammy-award winning producer and songwriter Jason “JG” Gilbert who has worked with Eminem and Machel Montano.

“We want to continue on the work we have been doing locally and this no doubt begins with the youth and making sure they have the resources at their disposal that will give them of the skills necessary to succeed in the business. It’s about encouraging them and reinforcing their inclination for the arts with structure,” said. Gregory.

Campers will also work closely with some of Cayman's talent who are trained by the Berkley College of Music, and one of the top institutions in this arena, in addition to having Mr. Gregory on hand daily as a mentor.

Camp dates are July 14th through 18th or August 11th through 15th.The registration fee is $25 and the cost of camp for one week is $400KYD with snacks and lunch included. Registration fees will be credited towards the cost of the camp upon placement . Registration forms may be collected from the studio, via email hopscotchstudioscayman@gmail.com or call 949-6131/325-8041 for details. Updates are available through https://www.facebook.com/hopscotchproductionscayman.

 

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Talkshow host makes brief court appearance

| 24/06/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Rooster’s radio personality Austin Harris (41) made a brief appearance in court Tuesday morning in connection with allegations of assault. The Crosstalk host was represented by Lloyd Sampson of Sampson McGrath, who stated that he had only just received the relevant documents and asked for an adjournment until 22 July, when Harris is expected to answer the charges. Magistrate Grace Donalds granted the adjournment and bailed the breakfast show host to return next month. Harris is accused of hitting a female friend at a social gathering in Governor’s Harbour in March.

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Motivated student latest ‘proud of them’ awardee

| 24/06/2014 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Mariah Tibbetts (20) a student at Georgia State University studying for a degree in business administration has been recognised for academic excellence, in government’s special award programme designed to highlight the achievements of young people. With a GPA of 3.93, Tibbetts is also a member of three college societies – Golden Key Honor Society, Beta Gamma Sigma Society and Tau Sigma National Society and she plans to be an accountant. Tibbetts set the scene of things to come at John Gray High School when she got 15 higher-level passes in her external exams, and earned an award for consistently excellent reports. 

The Bodden Towner also received the JGHS Ernst & Young 2011 Achievement Award for Academic Excellence.

Aside from her studies Tibbetts served as a student counsellor, a peer educator, and school prefect. She also took part in the Mentoring Cayman programme. A member of Dance Unlimited for several years, a participant in Junior Achievement, Tibbetts also attended two overseas conferences: Next Generation Leaders and the World Affairs Seminar, served as a member of the Prom and Yearbook Committees, the Business Club and the Debate Team.  She also represented her school in Spelling Bee competitions, and has obtained First-Aid and CPR certifications.

Before heading to Georgia she completed an Associate’s Degree at the University College of the Cayman Islands and won a full scholarship from Deloitte to move on to the BA.
“Proud of Them is a wonderful idea,” she said. “Many young people are trying hard, but think that their efforts are unrecognised – yet theirs could be the next faces on the Proud of Them billboards.[Its] An uplifting and inspiring achievement, and has motivated me to do even better, and to be a role model to others.”

The youth minister, Osbourne Bodden said Tibbetts’ tenacity and drive are commendable: “While the qualities for which Mariah are being recognised are laudable, her ability to motivate and inspire other young people is ‘positive peer-pressure’ at its finest. I look forward to seeing Mariah achieve great things in the near future,” he added.

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Locals make grade but no job

| 24/06/2014 | 52 Comments

(CNS): The opposition benches were querying why almost 70 Caymanians cleared as experienced, qualified, work-ready candidates by the National Work Force Development Agency looking for jobs in the tourism sector weren’t placed in last year’s job drive. During Monday’s Finance Committee proceedings MLAs Arden Mclean and Ezzard Miller queried why only 13 locals were placed during an initiative involving the tourism sector and the government’s job agency when over 80 candidates were cleared ready for work in the sector and there are thousands of work permit holders across the tourism industry that these locals could replace.

The question of why these job-ready candidates couldn’t be placed in any of the posts currently held by permit holders was not directly addressed but ministry officials pointed the finger at the immigration department and the decisions to grant permits by the boards.

Probing Dr Tasha Garcia-Ebanks, the deputy chief officer in the education and employment ministry, during the Finance Committee’s scrutiny of the appropriations for the ministry held by Tara Rivers, Arden McLean, the member for East End, asked what had happened during the much heralded job-drive organized by Cayman Islands Tourism Association and the NWDA.

Garcia-Ebanks described the initiative as a win when it came to developing partnerships but the figures she revealed made it clear it was far from a win for the majority of job-seekers. Although some 200 jobs were identified and over 180 Caymanian clients of the NWDA were contacted to come to the assessments, in the end just 13 people were placed in work. 144 people contacted by NWDA attended their appointments in the districts with CITA and the agency, where they were interviewed by a panel

From those, Garcia-Ebanks said, 82 cleared as suitable for employment without training while 40 required some training and 21 a considerable amount of assistance was needed before they could be put forward for jobs. From the more than 120 who were eventually referred for jobs over 50 people didn’t follow up or go to interviews. More than 40 did attend interviews however and 13 people were eventually hired. Garcia-Ebanks stated that the type of work candidates were looking for and the jobs available in the drive didn’t match,which was why so few people were placed.

McLean said that it "seemed bad that only 13 people wound up with jobs” from more than 180 candidates and asked what was being done since to help the applicants.

The deputy chief said that as all the candidates are NWDA clients they were still being assisted with expanded training and the agency was working hard to remove the barriers to employment. With a more comprehensive intake assessment, she said, the NWDA had a better understanding of what was needed to get the unemployed back to work.

She also talked about the interface between the NWDA and the immigration boards, which she said now ensures members are aware of the local candidates available when considering permits and they can weigh that against the employers responses for not hiring them.

However, the idea of removing existing permit holders to make way for these experienced and qualified local workers appeared not to be on the cards.

When the North Side member, Ezzard Miller, pointed out that, in accordance with the immigration law, if a Caymanian is suitably qualified and available for any post they should get it, regardless of whether or not it is currently filled by a permit holder. He queried how almost 70 Caymanians could be seeking work in the tourism sector, cleared by not just the NWDA but the tourism association as well as being suitable, when there were so many permits in that industry.

Garcia-Ebanks told the committee that the job drive only included jobs that were vacant at the time of the initiative and not jobs held by existing permit holders.

Asked if government had taken any action to cancel permits in favour of the available candidates, the employment minster spoke about the process of supplying information to the boards at the time of work permit applications but skirted the issue of the permits already granted to overseas workers being cancelled

Rivers indicated that with the new process the information will get through to the boards and as each permit comes up the boards will be in a position to enforce the immigration law. She said it was not, however, the mandate of the NWDA to cancel permits and work permit decisions, she said, are made by immigration

“It it is not for us to say to an employer you can’t apply,” she said, adding that the agency was trying its best to show employers and immigration the potential Caymanians available for jobs but in the end it was down to the boards. The minister said the NWDA still did not have the resources to police permits but she undertook to follow through with the candidates cleared in the job drive to ensure the boards were aware of their availability and that they were using the portal created by the NWDA, which shows available local candidates.

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Premier gives cash towards costly primary school trip

| 24/06/2014 | 29 Comments

(CNS): Year 6 students from John A. Cumber Primary School in West Bay received a cheque for a $1000 from the premier’s office recently to help cover some of the expenses for their school trip next month to Washington DC. The trip had caused some controversy among parents earlier in the year as a result of the $2,700 price tag per child, which was beyond the pockets of most of the parents of the 90 students invited. It was later reduced to around $2,300, when the trip was cut from seven to five days and after teachers agreed to pay their own costs.

According to the premier’s officer, 21 children are now confirmed on the excursion to the US capital, which was described by the education department as providing “first hand learning opportunities” in the “political capital of the Western Hemisphere".

The premier agreed and said he was happy to be able to help the young people expand their minds. While in Washington, the students will stand where Martin Luther King made his pivotal speech, go to the Holocaust Museum and tour the Vietnam Memorial as well as participate in other activities.

“They are going to an area that is steeped in history and I hope they have a good experience and learn much,” Alden McLaughlin said.

Since the trip was confirmed, the Year 6 students from the school have also engaged in fundraisers to help offset the pricy tickets. 

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School-trip-costs-out-reach

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Coutts denies having Bin Laden cash in Cayman

| 24/06/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business) Updated: More than 14,000 files from the Cayman offices of the private bank Coutts have been seized by the German authorities in a tax evasion investigation. Following the closure of the bank’s Cayman Islands branch when its parent company, the Royal Bank of Scotland, sold it to Appleby Global, the documents were shipped to Germany bound for the bank's data centre in Geneva. The bank has, however, denied any connection to Osama bin Laden, the former al-Qaeda leader, or his immediate family following allegations that the files in question contained details of the infamous terrorist's cash. Read more on CNS Business

Appleby has clarified that it bought a tranche of fiduciary business from Coutts last year. "The recent shipment of documents from Coutts's residual business in Cayman has nothing to do with this transaction, and Appleby was not involved in the shipment," the firm stated. 

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