Archive for August 25th, 2014

Gunshots pepper West Bay

| 25/08/2014 | 54 Comments

(CNS): Although no one appears to have been injured, the police have revealed that the gunshots reportedly fired near Super C’s restaurant in West Bay in the early hours of Saturday morning were not an isolated incident. An RCIPS spokesperson confirmed Monday that officers have now recovered more spent shells and casings and discovered bullet holes at several more locations. Alongside the spent shells found not far from Super C’s following a report about gunshots being heard there at around 4:50am on 23 August, police have now also found a bullet hole in the plywood sign to the rear of the restaurant. Aln undisclosed number of spent shells have also been found in front of a residence on Jefferson Road and at another in Topaz Lane, all in West Bay.

Police said the home on Topaz Lane was struck by what appeared to be a bullet. Officers are continuing their enquiries into the discharging of weapons but have not yet stated if more than one weapon was involved or if reports that the people involved were firing from a motorcycle are accurate.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact the West Bay Police Station CID at 949 -3999 or CRIME STOPPERS at 800-8477 (TIPS).

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Governor won’t release report

| 25/08/2014 | 67 Comments

(CNS): Leaving it until the last minute, the governor is seeking yet another costly judicial review in order to keep the report related to the controversial Operation Tempura secret following a refused FOI request. Helen Kilpatrick’s staff posted a statement on Facebook at around 1pm Monday about the decision. The office has already been through one JR, in which an outside judge was brought to Cayman at the local tax-payers’ expense to hear the case. But Sir Alan Moses referred the dispute back to the information commissioner after giving the governor a last chance to expand on just one part of the argument to keep the report under wraps. Some 45 days ago, the acting information commissioner dismissed the renewed arguments and again ordered the document's release.

The report in question relates to a complaint filed by the senior investigating officer on the ill-fated internal police probe which began in September 2007. Martin Bridger’s complaint was dismissed by the former governor, Duncan Taylor, and although the Tempura boss has a copy of the reasons why this was so, he was only given the resulting report under a tight confidentiality clause.

An FOI request was made for that document however and so began what has become the longest and most protracted battle the information commissioner’s office has had with any government entity to release information.

Despite having 45 days to consider Jan Liebaers most recent decision, which was handed down in July, the governor’s office waited until the very last day in law before placing the announcement on the Facebook page and informing the commissioner’s office that an application for another Judicial Review has now been filed.

The statement posted to Facebook from Kilpatrick was exceptionally short and reads as follows:

“I have considered the Information Commissioner’s Ruling of 10 July which ordered the disclosure of a complaint made in relation to Operation Tempura and my predecessor’s response to this. There remain several allegations and cases related to Operation Tempura that are not concluded. I believe that release of the documents at this time could potentially prejudice the progress of these. I am also concerned that releasing the documents at this time could breach a court order, and is not in the public interest. I have, therefore, sought leave for Judicial Review of the Information Commissioner’s decision.”

However, with just one narrow area of law to examine, the governor’s office is pushing the limits of the Freedom of Information law. Liebaers, who will be forced to continue the fight for transparency, said in the wake of the revelations that as the issue is now back before the courts he was unable to comment directly on the governor’s decision.

The governor’s fight to keep the details of the report secret will add to the growing cost in relation to the fallout of the operation, which continues to be plagued by secrecy and controversy. Once again it will be the cash-strapped public purse that will foot the bill for the cost of another outside judge to come to Cayman to hear the arguments as well as the costs of both sets of attorneys to represent the governor’s office and the information commissioner.

Check back to CNS for more on the ongoing issues relating to Operation Tempura later this week.

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DoEH begins small battery recycling

| 25/08/2014 | 10 Comments

(CNS): Although the Cayman Islands is still a long way for a comprehensive recycling programme for the majority of its waste the department of environment along with other NGOs around the island continue to make small steps towards removing some things from the landfill. Small Batteries are the latest items now being collected for recycling. Batteries used in cell-phones, cameras, pagers, two-way radios, calculators, small cordless tools, and other personal digital devices can all be recycled, officials said. While any reduction in waste going to the landfill no matter how small is welcome the main benefit with this latest effort is keeping the metals contained in the batteries from contaminating the environment.

The programme to collect small batteries in special containers located at supermarkets is in addition to the department’s existing programme of collecting lead-acid batteries used in cars, boats, heavy equipment and other large vehicles.

Urging everyone to support this latest and all the existing recycling initiatives the environmental Health, minister said he was pleased to see the department adding another element to the recycling programme. “Recycling is a key component to reduce overall waste volume,” Osbourne Bodden added.

The DEH is now asking the public not to throw the batteries in the household trash, but to bring them to the DEH battery recycling containers located at supermarkets, schools and central points throughout the three islands.

Metals such as lithium, zinc, copper, nickel, and manganese are used in small batteries, while lead is used in larger batteries. All batteries collected through the DEH recycling programme will be shipped off of the Cayman Islands to a recycling facility where they will be melted and recycled into other products.

The other items collected by the DEH recycling programme are aluminium cans, used motor oil, cooking oil, scrap metals, and batteries, as well as natural Christmas trees. In addition, receptacles for plastics, glass and aluminium are provided by private recycling companies and are located throughout Grand Cayman.

“Many residents and visitors are supportive of our current recycling programme,” said DEH Director Roydell Carter who said recycling conserves energy, saves natural resources, keeps the environment cleaner, reduces the country’s carbon foot print and allows the public to play its part in helping save the environment. But above all locally recycling cuts down a little on the stuff taken to the ever-growing George Town dump.

For further information on recycling, contact Tania Johnson at 743-5952 or through email at recycle@gov.ky or visiting the DEH website at www.deh.gov.ky
 

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Underdogs ride to historic medal place at youth games

| 25/08/2014 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Local horse-rider Polly Serpell, who is representing the Cayman Islands at the Youth Olympics in China, has made history as part of an unknown equestrian team and snagged a bronze medal for the country’s trophy cabinet and its first ever YOG medal in Equestrian. Serpell competed in the team event on 20 August representing North America, along with Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala and Dominican Republic. The team rode to third place bagging a bronze medal, despite being the underdogs in the showjumping contest. “I still can’t believe it. Me and my team are over the moon and I’m just so excited,” Serpell said.

The European team took gold and silver went to the South America team but 16-year-old Serpell and her team mates, Macarena Chiriboga Granja (Ecu), Sabrina Rivera Meza (Esa), Stefanie Brand (Gua) and Maria Gabriela Brugal (Dom), were delighted with their third place.

Hoping that nerves would not get the better of her, she had a rough start on the first day when she fell off the horse she is riding in China, Giorgio Zan. But the entire team held its ground on the second day and walked away with zero penalties.

“We came in unknown, an underdog, so we proved ourselves,” said Equestrian coach Mary Alberga. “Polly scored and tied for first in the overall in our team, she came tied at the number one position in team, so we have really stepped up to the plate.”

The Cayman Islands Olympic Committee commended Serpell and the team for the historic achievement. “This is truly a great moment for the CIOC and we would like to thank all of our top sponsors,” the committee stated in a release.

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Swim club invites kids to try out for next season

| 25/08/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Stingray Swim Club will be holding try outs for the 2014-2015 swimming year over the next two Wednesdays. Startng this week at 4pm on 27 August and then next Wednesday, 3 Sept kids who would like to join the club are asked to show up at the Lion's Pool. There is no fee to try out but swimmers must demonstrate their ability to swim 25 meters freestyle with bi-lateral breathing, (breathing on both sides comfortably) 25 meters backstroke, 25 meters breaststroke with legal kick as well as knowing the streamline position and the dolphin kick.

The invitation to try out for the team is also contingent on available space in the appropriate level as well as the skills of the swimmers.

Officials from the club said that passing the swim test does not automatically mean that all kids will get a place but they hope to find appropriate swim programmes at the Lion’s pool that suit the abilities of all of the young people that try out.

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English tests still being takenin Cayman

| 25/08/2014 | 17 Comments

(CNS): Although the immigration department had stated earlier this year that prospective employees whose first language is not English would need to take a language test before arriving in Cayman officials said Friday that the option to sit the test here will remain in place for several more months. Following a review of the of the requirement for overseas English Language Testing, the department of Immigration said it will allow both options for the benefit of both businesses and potential employees.

With more than one hundred nationalities working in Cayman many of which do not have English as their first language, DOI introduced the formal requirement for overseas English Language Testing on 1 July. Two companies administer the test throughout the world – the International English Language Test and Test of English for International Communication. Prospective employees can still choose whether to attend a relevant centre in their respective country or travel to the Cayman Islands for testing.

For more information see the DOI website at www.immigration.gov.ky

 

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AIDS foundation needs volunteers for board

| 25/08/2014 | 10 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman AIDS Foundation is looking for seven new board members with the skills to help the organisaiton continue its work supporting people in Cayman living with HIV and its education campaigns to prevent the spread of the disease. “As the preeminent AIDS Service Organization in the Cayman Islands and a leader in the Caribbean region in providing services, resources, education and policy, CAF intends to continue a history of excellence in the field. This is an exciting opportunity for seasoned professionals based in the Cayman Islands” said Interim Director Noel Smith.

Board members are expected to attend twelve board meetings per year, and participate in the life of the organization between board meetings, advising the staff team and acting in an ambassadorial role for CAF at all times.

Officials from the NGO said that special attention will be given to volunteers with previous experience in the areas of Medicine (with an emphasis on pharmacology, infectious diseases, public health, research), Law, Finance and audit.

Candidates are asked to apply with hard copies (cover letter, CV, references and police clearance less than a year old) by mail or by hand to CAF’s offices, available on the Foundation’s website at www.caf.ky

The unpaid board posts are for a period of one year although terms may be renewed.
 

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Nominations wanted for the 2014 arts awards

| 25/08/2014 | 2 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman National Cultural Foundation has opened the nomination process for its 2014 awards that recognise those who attain a level of merit in their artistic discipline, contribute to the arts, culture and heritage of the Cayman Islands or support the work of the Foundation. Looking for suggestions from cultural and heritage organisations as well as from the general public officials asked people to begin submitting nominations for the CNCF Star for Creativity in the Arts and for the CNCF Heritage Cross. The CNCF's Grants and Awards Committee reviews the nominations and selects the award recipients.

The deadline for submission is 15 September and nomination for the CNCF Heritage Cross Award from the public can be made by either by post to: National Arts & Culture Awards, PO Box 30201, Grand Cayman KY1-1201, CAYMAN ISLANDS or by email to: culture@candw.ky. 

CNCF Board Member, Morgan DaCosta, chairs the committee. The other members of the committee are CNCF Board Member, Lorna Reid, and Mary Anne Kosa. Posthumous nominations will be considered but the committee reserves the right not to present an award if no nominee satisfies the criteria.

For more information www.artscayman.org
 

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Cayman U17 boys lose 3-0 to Guadeloupe in CFU

| 25/08/2014 | 1 Comment

(CNS): Despite including a significant number of players from last year’s U15 team which made a great showing at the 2013 CONCACAF tournament, the chances of Cayman’s U17 national football team making it through to the CFU finals next month in Haiti were narrowed on Saturday night when the boys lost 3-0 to Guadalope in their opening match in Jamaica. Facing the favourites this evening who will be in front of a home crowd at the Anthony Spaulding Complex, Kingston at 7pm, the Cayman boys will have a very tough time taking any points from that fixture.

Although the Cayman boys played well in the first half on Saturday they were unable to find the back of the net. In the second half, Guadeloupe grew in confidence when Heindrix Julius opened the scoring in the 54th minute. Sylguy Theo Fumont doubled Guadeloupe's advantage in the 79th from the penalty spot and a minute later Dylanne Julien Bordin solidified Cayman’s defeat.

Meanwhile, Jamaica trounced the US Virgin Islands in a staggering 19-0 defeat when Donavan Dawkins scored seven goals. Justin McMaster scored four and Alex Marshall made a hattrick. Other goal scorers were Nicholas Nelson who scored two Tajea Brown, Ajeanie Talbot and Deshane Beckford.

The final match for what is a tough group for the Cayman team takes place on Wednesday afternoon at 4pm against the US Virgin Islands.
 

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700 patients treated at HCCI

| 25/08/2014 | 12 Comments

(CNS): The Shetty hospital which has been open to patients for six months has seen over seven hundred patients come through its doors with either heart or joint issues, doctors said last week. They have now carried out more than 50 different procedures with both cardiac and orthopaedic patients. Health City Cayman Islands was originally billed as a facility that would offer affordable care to patients in North America but it has been focusing on the Caribbean region as it awaits its accreditation by the Joint Commission in the US. Officials said they expected the hospital would get the nod from the US health standards body before February next year when American patient numbers are expected to increase.

At present however, doctors said, that they are working towards creating a specialist heart clinic at the facility spearheaded by Dr Devi Shetty for the Caribbean region and are working with regional health authorities.

Speaking at a press briefing regarding the first LVAD procedure at the East End facility on Thursday the hospital’s medical director, Dr Chandy Abraham, explained that the hospital is reaching out to and in talks across the region about the facility and what service and partnerships it can offer to Caribbean health authorities.

Dr Abraham also said that 21 children in Haiti have been identified as possible patients for the free operations promised by Dr Shetty to mark the opening of the Cayman hospital. With no local kids in need and most of the regional patients having health insurance cover, the doctor explained that it was Haiti where the need was the greatest and it was hoped that the first of those young patients will be coming to the hospital in the next few weeks.

The 140 bed facility is expected to launch Cayman’s medical tourism sector and both the local investors involved in the development of the hospital and Joseph Imparato, another local developer, are expected to begin work in the coming months on hotel accommodation, as well as other facilities and amenities to support the expected growth in visiting patients and their family and friends. 

The long term project is still billed as ultimately becoming a 2000 bed healthcare city which will also include a training hospital and medical college. There is hope that more young Caymanians will take up healthcare as a profession and while most of the medical staff at the Shetty hospital were brought from India as time goes on those jobs are expected to go to qualified local and regional personnel.

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