Archive for July 11th, 2014

Cops urge World Cup partiers not to drive

| 11/07/2014 | 2 Comments

(CNS): The RCIPS is urging drivers to exercise responsible judgment this weekend if they are visiting bars or private social functions during this Sunday’s world-cup final, where people are likely to be drinking alcohol. Superintendent Robert Scotland said people can enjoy the event but they need to make other arrangements to get home if they are drinking. “It is better to call a cab or have a friend drive you home than unnecessarily endangering yourself and others by driving under the influence of alcohol. It is ok for you to go out and enjoy the final, but we want you to be safe on the roadways,” he said.
 

Continue Reading

Harris takes tourism reins

| 11/07/2014 | 3 Comments

(CNS): Government officials have revealed that industry veteran, Rosa Harris has been formally appointed as the director of tourism after seven-and-a-half years at the department and some 14 years in the sector. A Caymanian from George Town, Harris who is a graduate of Ivy League school Cornell University with an MBA from Manchester University, has had her eye on the top tourism job for some time. She started in the hospitality industry in 2000 at the old Hyatt hotel and worked her way up from the restaurant and in-room dining assistant manager to the position of Rum Point Club Property manager in 2005.

The following year she joined DoT as the national promotions and events manager. During her tenure, she gained considerable experience in key aspects of the Cayman Islands’ tourism industry. In these roles she established marketing plans for the Islands and led tourism product development among other duties. Some of her notable achievements include five destination promotions that resulted in annual increases in the number of tourists visiting the Islands.

Following the departure of Shomari Scott at the start of this year she acted as director, and was the Interim Chairman of both the Public Transportation Board (PTB) and the Hotel Licensing Board, roles she will continue as director, the post she assumed formally on 1 July.
She is also the Deputy Chairman of the Cayman Islands Hospitality School Council, Tourism Attractions Board and the Cayman Islands Marketing Professionals Association.

“Having served as Acting Director previously, Mrs. Harris has a proven record of bringing valuable expertise and organizational skills to the table and that she is an asset to the Department of Tourism,” said Chief Officer for the Ministry of Tourism, Stran Bodden.
Commenting on the responsibilities of the role, the director said she looks forward to many aspects of the new position. 

“I am very excited to be leading this organization to support and drive economic success for the country, being involved with the Ministry of Tourism’s airport and cruise port redevelopment projects, and shaping the future tourism product by collaborating with tourism partners, new developers and sister government agencies,” she stated. 

Minister of Tourism, Moses Kirkconnell said he was pleased that such a qualified individual had been identified for the role. 

“During her tenure Mrs. Harris has played an integral role in many of the Department’s successful endeavours and continuously contributes to the betterment of our tourism product locally, while elevating our positioning globally as the destination of choice in the Caribbean. I look forward to the Department continuing to thrive under Mrs. Harris’ leadership and wish her every success in this next phase of her career,” he added.

 

Continue Reading

GT man charged with list of violent offences

| 11/07/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A 45-year-old George Town man has been charged with attempted robbery, wounding and threats to kill following an incident that occurred in Cruz Lane, George Town in the early hours of Thursday morning. During the attempted violent robbery a 35-year-old man from West Bay was stabbed in the wrist and in the throat. Although police have not revealed the details of what took place in the early hours Thursday a spokesperson for the RCIPS said the victim was expected to make a full recovery. Meanwhile, the suspect was expected in court Friday afternoon.

Continue Reading

The tale of a frustrated trailing spouse

| 11/07/2014 | 172 Comments

When I arrived on island a few years ago for a teaching position with the government, I was told by HR finding a job for my husband would be easy, especially since he had sales, bar and banking experience. Three months after arriving he got his dream job in sales — work permit rejected. He then got a temporary job through a recruitment company which ended up in him being employed for over a year and managing a team of Caymanians. He was the only expat.

So imagine our horror to discover immigration won't even consider him for his role because of his status. The company have no choice but to try and find someone else. All the Caymanians were devastated to lose my husband and none of them wanted to step up to management, so the position remains unfilled.

Now, months down the line he is still searching for work. He gets offered positions then offers are retracted due to not being able to process permits. I understand fully that Caymanians should get priority if they have the experience but my husband is here, so he may as well be working too.

When he was employed, we ate out 2/3 times a week, happy hour most days and bought from local companies our new items, etc. Now, we stay in and barely survive — the bar staff have lost their tips, the waitresses have lost 15% on our meals and local companies no longer get our trade as we cannot afford to buy anything. Since my husband will be here regardless, surely there should be some allowance for trailing spouses of government employees/work permit holders!

I am a very well respected educator on this Island with excellent results. My proven success with difficult students was the main reason I was hired in the first place. When students ask about why my husband can't get a job, they struggle to understand it too. I am now seriously considering my future since our salary is too low to stay, especially with pay freezes and no increments, so every year the situation will get worse. I will one day leave, leaving innocent students without a very good teacher because her husband was suicidal at the thought of not being able to provide for his family.

Please, somebody look out for the trailing spouses. Our situation is not alone; I know of many people having the same issue and who will also leave. Yes, give Caymanians priority — but please give trailing spouses a chance afterwards.

Continue Reading

LC garbage truck driver suspended after crash

| 11/07/2014 | 8 Comments

(CNS): The driver of the garbage truck in Little Cayman has been placed on required leave, following an incident on the island involving the garbage truck and property, the director of the department of Environmental Health has confirmed. CNS understands from other sources that the driver crashed the truck into government property at the island’s dump but the circumstances are unclear. In response to questions from CNS, Roydell Carter said that a staff member from Cayman Brac is going over to Little Cayman twice per week to collect garbage on that island but denied that this is affecting garbage collection on the Brac and that garbage collection is still being collected there twice weekly. 

“It is a normal practice to provide work coverage on each island, as required when a staff is off work for some reason or another to try and facilitate waste collection and operations; this case in no exception,” Carter said. “At this time, it is more cost effective to send a staff from the Cayman Brac operations instead of incurring a higher cost with sending a team from Grand Cayman.”

He said, “If a staff is out of office it can impact operations but we have been doing waste collections as necessary on Saturdays to compensate. The DEH team is best managing the resources to ensure waste is collected during this period. So far, we have not been receiving many complaints from the public about the waste collection services provided on the islands.” 

Operations on the Brac were expected to be back to normal by Tuesday 8 July and Carter said that “the Little Cayman situation will continue until the matter has been resolved”.

Continue Reading

NWDA not just a job placement agency, Rivers says

| 11/07/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): There are currently just over 1,400 people registered as unemployed at the National Workforce development Agency (NWDA) including 1,100 Caymanians, and over 500 employers are registered with the agency, though they are working to increase this number, according to Labour Minister Tara Rivers. She told CNS Business in today's video interview that the agency is working with employers to develop training programmes so that when people apply for jobs they have the right skill set. Within the 10 month period 1 July 2013 to 1 May 2014, over 160 people found jobs with the help of the NWDA, she told CNS Business in a video interview. Read more on CNS Business

Go to full article and comment

Continue Reading

US sets aside 100s of miles of beach for turtles

| 11/07/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The United States federal government has extended protection to loggerhead sea turtles nesting on Florida beaches, according to the US media. Hundreds of miles of coastline and ocean was designated critical habitat this week including beaches in Broward and Monroe counties. The areas, which cover 685 miles of nesting beach and more than 300,000 square miles of ocean, mark the largest critical habitat distinction in history, said Amanda Keledjian, a marine scientist at Oceana, an ocean conservation organization. Species with protected critical habitat are twice as likely to recover than species without protection, Keledijian said.

The sea turtles will use their newly designated coastline and ocean space for nesting and feeding.

In areas designated as critical habitat by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, federal projects must be evaluated for potential harm to endangered species. Projects may include building highways, oil exploration or shipping, Keledjian said.
While the distinction is meaningful at the federal level, beachgoers are unlikely to notice any change.

Read more in the Miami Herald

 

Continue Reading

Gallery welcomes new pieces for collection

| 11/07/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The NGCI has been given two new pieces of artwork for the National Collection, which is held in trust for the people of the Cayman Islands. Last month the family of the late local attorney Charles Adams donated a significant work by Miguel Powery. Paradise Found, Paradise Lost, which was painted in 1998, draws attention to the Islands’ rapid development and reflects Adams' own long-term commitment to protecting our environmental and cultural assets. Then this month artist Maureen Andersen Berry gave one of her pieces to the gallery in memory of her daughter, Juanita Marianne Berry.

French Harbour with Boats was painted during an artistic sojourn in France in 2001, Berry said the painting would provide a useful teaching tool for students of perspective given that it includes three viewpoints.

NGCI will publish these and other works acquired in 2013/14 in their Annual Report later this summer and on the Collections page of the NGCI website in the near future.

The National Gallery’s Permanent Collection features fifty years of Cayman Islands Art History and over sixty local artists. Selected works can be viewed daily in the Upper Gallery of the NGCI facility and admission is free of charge.

For visiting hours and information or to download related educational materials visit www.nationalgallery.org.ky or email education@nationalgallery.org.ky

Continue Reading

‘Baywatch’ comes to Cayman at summer camp

| 11/07/2014 | 3 Comments

(CNS): The Lions Aquatic Centre in George Town has turned into a Baywatch-style training camp this week as it begins its first ever Junior Lifeguard Training in the Cayman Islands. A group of 25 young people aged between 10 and 15 are taking part in the specialist camp attending half-day daily sessions, when they are put through drills and receive instruction at the pool, as well as going to Seven Mile Beach for seaside training outings. Most of the youngsters at the camp are already keen watersports enthusiasts, either as members of the facility’s Stingray Swim Club or as participants in the Learn to Swim programme. Taking a leaf out of the famous TV show, the kids will soon be qualified to come to the rescue of people who find themselves in trouble in the water.

Senior Swim Instructor Ryan Mushin and three other coaches began with team building exercises and safety instruction for the young swimmers before putting the class through its rescue paces in areas such as stroke-styles, lap-swimming and basic life-saving techniques for pool or open-water.

The local Red Cross provided the training materials, and the young lifeguards to-be are being encouraged to continue their training with Red Cross certification classes in CPR and other areas.

Snacks were donated by Progressive Distributors and watersports operators lent paddleboards and other equipment for use in open-water sessions.

Another Lifeguard Training Class session will be held next week and parents or students are encouraged to register as soon as possible.  The cost is $25 for the entire week.        

Continue Reading

Recycling demand mounting

| 11/07/2014 | 61 Comments

(CNS): A private waste removal project which began as a subsidized recycling programme for plastics, cardboard, paper, glass and aluminium is being overwhelmed with the amount of recyclable goods being placed in bins at local supermarkets. With government recycling only cans, Junk, began a pilot project in partnership with supermarkets and local service clubs to create drop-off points but the demand is tremendous and the small business, which is underwriting much of the cost, is struggling to keep up with collections. Meant to be a once a week pick-up, Junk has had to increase these free community collections to three or four times a week but it’s still not able to collect the quantity of sorted waste being left at stores as quickly as it would like.

A spokesperson from the firm, which is owned in part by MLA Winston Connolly, said that some people are also leaving non-recyclables at the supermarket locations where Junk leaves recycle bins, adding to the workload, which is becoming difficult for the small business to sustain.

Although the supermarkets are offering the space for the skips and bins free and some are sharing the cost of those bins, Junk is absorbing most of the gas costs for the service. But demand is growing by the week and it is seeking more partners from local service clubs and other organisations to try and cover the costs of the private sector effort to recycle inthe absence of any meaningful programme by the Department of Environmental Health.

“Even though a number of our recyclables are actually collected at a loss, as a company, we have chosen to lead by example and take a very long term approach to recycling in Cayman,” a spokesperson for Junk told CNS. “It is our hope that along with the community, government policy and recycling legislation that others will join in and share the burden. It's the only way we can contribute to reducing what goes into the landfill and do our part to keep Cayman green."

The piles of plastics, cardboard, glass and cans sorted by residents who are keen to see their waste recycled and reused are growing steadily as more people begin to separate their rubbish but with DEH not collecting recyclables other than cans, Junk is going it alone and struggling to keep pace.

“We perform the services at the supermarket sites at significantly reduced costs and not reflective of our normal rates,” the Junk spokesperson added, explaining that as well as being a community service it allows people to see that private sector recycling at least exists in Cayman.

With the success of the programme in terms of getting people to recycle, the next step now is to come up with solutions to the growing piles and prevent regular garbage being mixed with the recyclables.

“We have come up with some solutions that hopefully are cost effective and that will save us time in sorting and processing as well as improve the aesthetics on the sites,” the firm said. “It will require everyone doing their part: community, store owners and Junk and we feel it can be done if people are committed and we all take recycling seriously and have thought about what happens after the items are deposited at the sites.”

The spokesperson is hoping to get residents to use recycling bags with $3 junk stickers per bag so that the firm only collects properly bagged and sorted recyclables. “We have had incidents where people put bottles in a cardboard box, other people come and put garbage on the bottles, it rains and when the drivers go to collect the bottles, they are mixed with garbage or have cigarette butts stuffed in them and the box breaks apart. Residents also, in spite of recycling stickers, dump regular garbage in the bins, or put wet items into cardboard bins which has resulted in wasted bins that we have to actually deliver to the landfill, defeating the goal.”

The Junk spokesperson said the firm has dealt with community complaints relating to the unsightliness of the sites at times and he said the firm has tried to explain what it can and can't collect and why people need to do their part as well.

“It's not fair to the stores providing the space; it's not fair to the sorters who collect the recyclables and it adds to the operating costs as we have to wash and separate recyclables again, and that's after we have given 75% mark downs on our services, or even spoiling the recyclables,” the spokesperson said. “We will continue to work on educating the public and ask that they please be patient as we strive to push full recycling in Cayman and revolutionize the industry.

“The irony is what was originally conceived as an introductory community project with Rotary Sunrise Grand Cayman has been overwhelmingly subscribed by the community and we have moved into the second stage of the project which is public education on recycling, including a schools programme,” he added.

The firm also have recently launched the Pink Periwinkle Bin project, where earmarked fees will go to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society or the Breast Cancer Foundation and Junk delivers anything usable to charities across the island. It is also in talks to launch in Cayman Brac shortly and has begun an audit in Little Cayman with the intent of making it a green island with a coordinating partner there.

“We believe that we can achieve great things. We need community partners to come on board and support us. We are willing to work with anyone on this cause. We are a small but ambitious company who thinks we can,” the spokesperson said.

With Cayman seemingly ready for recycling and the much anticipated dump solution still more than 18 months away, the local supermarkets are in danger of becoming swamped in recycling but Junk said they are confident things can be more organised and efficient.

Having created the Cayman Islands National Waste and Recycling Association to further promote and educate and handle the sponsorships of the bins, the junk management team said they want to transfer this to the service clubs or interested community members to take over. Lobbying for recycling legislation and standards whilst promoting a cleaner Cayman, Junk is hoping other people will become members to further the goals of the association.

Anyone interested in sorting their own waste and recycling can drop it off at the Junk bins at most of the supermarkets, including Chisholm’s in North Side and Camana Bay. Recyclers can also drop sorted items to the firm’s offices at #15A Kingbird Drive, North Sound Road.

Continue Reading