Archive for September 12th, 2014

Man charged with aiding West Bay gunman

Man charged with aiding West Bay gunman

| 12/09/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A 60-year-old man who was arrested during a police operation on Tuesday evening has been charged with accessory after the fact to murder or manslaughter in connection with the killing of Solomon Webster in West Bay on Sunday. Police have not named the suspect from West Bay, who was expected to appear before a magistrate on Friday. The man is accused of aiding and abetting an offender in relation to the murder investigation but no one has yet been charged with the shooting. Police confirmed Friday afternoon that the 27-year-old man also arrested in the same West Bay raid remains in police custody but he had not been charged at that time.

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Conservation Council selected

Conservation Council selected

| 12/09/2014 | 18 Comments

(CNS): The men and women who will serve on the National Conservation Council have been appointed by Cabinet as government moves towards the full implementation of the law some nine months after its historic passage in the parliament last year. Wayne Panton, the minister responsible for the environment, said that the commencement of this law was now underway with Cabinet’s approval of the first two parts of the legislation. He described this as the next step towards the law coming fully into force well before the end of this year. The minister said these two parts of the law deal with definitions and the council, which can now begin considering the specifics of how it will discharge its duties.

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly on Friday, Panton said a priority for the new council would be to produce the drafting instructions for the regulations which will govern the Environmental Impact Assessment process. He pointed out that those new rules would need to be implemented alongside the wider regulations for the full law, which have already been drawn up and will be considered by Cabinet when the council completes its work and the law is ready for full implementation.

Panton said he expected the preparatory work of the council to take a few months.

“Once it is complete, government will be in a position to commence the remainder of the Law and bring it fully into effect. I anticipate this to be by the end of this calendar year,” he said. “The Department of the Environment has already developed fairly detailed drafting instructions for the EIA Regulations,” he said but explained that the council would need to have input before they are finalised.

The law's wider regulations focus on the preservation of species and the protection measures that were previously covered by either the Marine Conservation Law or the Animal Law. He reminded his LA colleagues that the Animals law had been amended and the Marine Law would be repealed when the NCL is commenced in its entirety. But all the previous regulations under the Marine Conservation Law would be carried forward.

Panton revealed the district members of the conservation council include Davey Ebanks representing West Bay, Lisa-Ann Hurlston-McKenzie representing George Town, McFarlane Connolly representing East End, Brian Tomlinson representing North Side, and Wallace Platts representing Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Christine Rose-Smyth, representing Bodden Town, has also been appointed as chair of the council. The National Trust of the Cayman Islands nominated Christina Pineda, who was approved by Cabinet and the two additional people appointed are Fred Burton and Patricia Bradley.

The remaining members of the 13 person council are experts from the Department of Environment.

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Driver trapped in car during early morning smash

Driver trapped in car during early morning smash

| 12/09/2014 | 24 Comments

(CNS): Emergency crews were forced to extract a driver from a car smash in the early hours of Friday morning. The 31-year-old woman, who is in hospital with significant but non-life threatening injuries, was driving a Daihatsu Charade car heading south on Birch Tree Hill Road in West Bay, when it smashed into a concrete wall at the intersection with Andresen Road. The driver, who was freed from the car by fire officersr using the “Jaws of Life”, received injuries to her face, upper body and legs. A 23-year-old man in the front passenger seat received injuries to his face, legs and a dislocated shoulder. Police, medics and fire crews attended the scene and the couple were taken to the George Town hospital by ambulance.  

Anyone who may have witnessed the accident or can assist the police with their investigation is asked to contact the West Bay Police Station at 949-3999.

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Women dominate YCLA finalists

Women dominate YCLA finalists

| 12/09/2014 | 23 Comments

(CNS): Chevala LaWanda Burke, Dr Katrina Jurn, Michael Ashley Lockwood, Kadi Merren and Lydia Warren will be battling it out for the 14th Young Caymanian Leaders Foundation award. The ceremony will be held on Saturday, 1 November when this year’s winner will be revealed from the group dominated this year by women. The nominations for Caymanians under the age of 34 come from the public and the finalists are selected via what is described as a rigorousprocess by the YCLA committee which narrowed the field and which will now go on to further examine the nominees and select a winner.

Roy McTaggart who as well as being a George Town MLA is the chair of the YCLA board, said selecting the finale five from the “stellar” nominees had been a difficult task.

“We are thankful to the community for embracing this programme and bringing these remarkable young people to our attention,” he said. “In the coming weeks, we will be revealing more details about the finalists, and helping the community to better know these five outstanding young leaders, who all deserve to be recognised as bright lights of hope and inspiration to the youth of Cayman."

The first of the nominees is Chevala LaWanda Burke, nee Tatum, 33, of Cayman Brac. Chevala holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tampa, Florida. She is currently pursuing her MBA with St. Leo's University. Chevala is employed by the Cayman Islands Government as Marketing and Promotions Manager in District Administration, representing both Cayman Brac and Little Cayman both regionally and internationally. She has served as a Cayman PRIDE trainer for Cayman Brac and is an Advisor with the Junior Achievement Unit based there. She is also Group leader for the Annual Vacation Bible Schools for Fellowship and Ebenezer Baptist Churches and is Assistant Secretary for the Sports Association of the Sister Islands.

Dr Katrina Jurn is a graduate of John Gray High School; she was a recipient of the United World College Scholarship in 1999 and the Cayman Scholar Award in 2002.  She obtained her Doctorate Degree in Philosophy in 2013 from the University of Cambridge. Some of her previous experience includes serving as a senior policy advisor for the Ministry of Finance, Commerce and Investment; A senior lecturer at the University College of the Cayman Islands as well as a tutor and research analyst at the University of Cambridge. Katrina is Co-Founder of Sustainable Cayman, Committee Member, Protect South side project, Director-Fundraising, United World College Cayman Islands Foundation and Committee Member, Equality Cayman.

Michael Ashley Lockwood, 26, of George Town. A graduate of St. Ignatius, Michael holds a bachelor of Laws, with Honours, from the University of Liverpool (England), and has completed a Legal Practice Course, with Commendation, from UK-based BPP Law School. He is employed as an attorney with Maples and Calder. Throughout his youth, Michael was a lead Altar at St. Ignatius Catholic Church, mentoring and training other young men. He was a competitive swimmer for many years with the Cayman Islands Swim Team, and has served on the boards of the C.I. Swim Associations. He has also served for many years as one of the Head Pirates and organisers of Pirates Week.

Kadi Merren, 27, of George Town. A graduate of Triple C High School, Kadi went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from Warner University in Lake Wales, Florida, with a BA degree in Business Administration. She also holds a Masters degree in Accounting and Taxation from Florida Gulf Coast University. Kadie is a Certified Public Accountant employed by PricewaterhouseCoopers and has been the lead Advisor in the company's involvement with Junior Achievement. She is President of the Kiwanis Club, wheere she has been active for several years and is a Co-Advisor to Triple C's Key Club. Kadie is also the driving force behind the "Join In Recycling” initiative in Cayman.

Lydia Warren, 34, of George Town. Lydia received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours from York University in Ontario, Canada and holds a Masters degree in Education from the University of Miami. She is employed as an educator at John Gray High School, where she is a member of the Senior Management Team and is Learning Mentor for some 300 students. She is a graduate of Leadership Cayman, a volunteer for the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, and former Chair of the Primary Literacy Task Force, the team that drafted Cayman's National Literacy Policy. Lydia is a member of the Cayman Islands Baptist Church.

Organisers said the Young Caymanian Leadership Awards programme was conceived to identify, celebrate and honour outstanding young people in the community who make a difference through their actions, behaviour and leadership, and who serve as role models for the youth of Cayman.

Foundation Director Jackie Hansen said the programme continued to attract incredible support from sponsors. “It is proof that the Cayman community understands the importance of positive role models for our youth,” she said, thanking them all.

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Bush presses government for protection of caregivers

Bush presses government for protection of caregivers

| 12/09/2014 | 24 Comments

(CNS): The opposition leader’s bid to get government to re-instate special measures for non-Caymanian caregivers under the immigration lawhas gained sympathy with the ruling administration after the Legislative Assembly supported McKeeva Bush’s private member’s motion on the issue. Although government has not yet spelt out how it will address the immigration status of these work-permit holders, most of whom would not be likely to qualify under the law for permanent residency, the politicians have agreed they should not be rolled over when they are taking care of the elderly or infirm. In a brief debate Thursday, Bush pointed out the particular distress caused to older members of the community when they face losing the people that may have cared for them for many years.

During his time as premier Bush introduced a special care-givers permit that would allow this specific category of workers to be exempted from what was then the seven year term limit. However, when the PPM administration made changes to the immigration law last October to remove the seven year rollover and allow all permit holders to stay up to nine years and have the chance to apply for PR, the special pass for caregivers was removed.

Nevertheless, Premier Alden McLaughlin stated that the government was very sympathetic to the situation and was already examining how it could be addressed and indicated the government would support Bush’s motion.

“This matter is of much concern to many people in our community,” Bush told his LA colleagues during the debate. “Those of us with aged parents can appreciate how the law had assisted people with sick elderly loved ones who sometimes have two caregivers. These aged individuals are not used to or can’t tolerate change and new faces around them,” he added as he pointed out that some are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, stressing the importance of those who care for them as he appealed to government to do something.

McLaughlin agreed that there were real challenges for families with sick or elderly relatives being cared for by people with whom they have an important relationship. But the problem lay in who takes care of the caregivers later on as they are among the lower paid people employed in Cayman, he said, noting the need to find a balance. He said that government was sensitive to the issues and had heard the concerns and pleas from the community, so it would find a way to address it. McLaughlin indicated that some form of amendment would be brought alongside the next phase of immigration law amendments.

The move by the government was welcomed by back-bench MLA Anthony Eden, who said he too has had many representations from his constituents in Bodden Town about the matter. He pointed out that the change in the law would help the people and that was what they were meant to do as representatives. And if they helped others, God would help them with the other challenges that come with it.

Health Minister Osbourne Bodden also noted that no one had felt good about removing the care-giver exemption and he agreed that, despite the obvious burden on the state these people may become in the future, the numbers were not so great that the government couldn’t find a way to bear that burden, as he too noted the service they are providing

Bush thanked the government for support and said that it, like all other governments, had to realize there are situations it can’t avoid dealing with despite the challenge. He pointed to the possibility of using the provision in the law that enable the government to offer status in exceptional circumstances. Bush said he believed this category of workers were exceptional cases and warranted finding a way. He pointed out that in the end government held the power to make the change and put in place safeguards so it would not be open to abuse.

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Jefferson takes helm as FS and CS jobs merge

Jefferson takes helm as FS and CS jobs merge

| 12/09/2014 | 34 Comments

(CNS): The deputy governor said that top civil servants are leading by example with the merger of the financial secretary’s post with the chief officer’s job in the finance ministry. Franz Manderson formally announced Thursday that Kenneth Jefferson would, in addition to being FS, take up the duties once covered by the CO following the retirement earlier this year of Sonia McLaughlin. Jefferson, who has been financial secretary since 1 November 2004, has been responsible for advising the finance minister on government’s regulatory, fiscal and budget management operations. He will now also be in charge of the financial and human resource operations of the entire ministry, including oversight of the large customs department and the Economics and Statistics Office.

Manderson, the deputy governor and head of the civil service, said he was happy that the operations were in the “very capable hands” of Jefferson and the merger wasan important example.

“The amalgamation of the two posts shows that civil servants at the highest level are leading by example and doing more with less,” he said.

The minister responsible for finance and economic development, Marco Archer, said Jefferson would easily meet the additional challenges. “His signature traits are high efficiency and effectiveness, and I certainly look forward to working with him in this expanded role,” Archer added.

Meanwhile, Jefferson said he was also looking forward to working with the diligent staff to accomplish the tasks that lie ahead.

Jefferson started his civil service career as an Audit Manager at the Auditor General’s Office in 1994, having worked at Price Waterhouse and Ernst and Young here and in London. He later became Deputy Financial Secretary and Assistant Financial Secretary before his appointment as the FS.

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Red Cross gets ‘Happy’ for Ivan anniversary

Red Cross gets ‘Happy’ for Ivan anniversary

| 12/09/2014 | 15 Comments

Cayman Islands Red Cross(CNS): The Cayman Islands Red Cross has got everyone dancing to celebrate the recovery from Hurricane Ivan, which devastated Grand Cayman in 2004. Set to Pharrell Williams’s mega-hit 'Happy', the video includes several well-known faces, including the Cayman Governor Helen Kilpatrick, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, Chief Officer Eric Bush, RCIPS officers, staff from the HSA and PWD, Red Cross volunteers and response teams. Watch full video on CNS Business

Of all the words in the English language that one would associate with Hurricane Ivan,
“happy” is certainly not one that comes to mind, the CIRC noted as it launched the video. But on the 10th Anniversary of the worst disaster to have affected Grand Cayman, the Red Cross said it was challenging the community to a new perspective.

“To say that Ivan was horrific is a gross understatement,” said Deputy Director, Carolina
Ferreira. “It was our biggest challenge to date, and quite possibly the scariest thing that
most people have ever lived through. Our aim is not to try to minimise that in any way,
but rather to showcase our resilience, as a nation, not only directly after but for the past
decade following that disaster.” 

The CIRC’s focus is on the work that was done and continues to be done by various sectors of the Cayman community to ensure that we take the lessons learned to heart and apply them.

“We would be doing ourselves as individuals and our community as a whole a disservice
if we took nothing away from the steepest learning curve we have had to date,” explained
Disaster Manager, Danielle Coleman. “The CIRC via its volunteers and its work with the
Community Emergency Response Teams, along with other key response agencies, have
been working tirelessly to help build resilience at the individual, family and community
levels. That is what we need to celebrate- the unbreakable spirit of our people.”

The music video, created with the help of the Cayman Story Company, gives a “then and now” retrospective look at how far the Cayman Islands have come in the ten years since the devastation. Set to the tune of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”, the video is a composite of Ivan photos and footage intermixed with current day shots of members of the community expressing their gratitude and happiness for being able to get to where we are today.

“The video is aimed to make people feel good, grateful and empowered,” explained Ferreira. “It has cameos by CIRC volunteers and staff, members of the Community Emergency Disaster Teams, members of the RCIPS and HSA, and even the deputy governor, among others. We have accomplished a great deal, and we need to remind ourselves of this. When people watch this video we want them to nod their heads in agreement with us when we say ’10 years later… 10 years stronger’,” she added.

The CIRC “10 years later… 10 years stronger” video was launched via social media at
midnight on 11 September 2014. 

To see it log on to the CIRC website and follow the YouTube, Facebook and Twitter links. For more information contact the CIRC directly on 949-6785 or

Watch it now on CNS Business

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Meade defeated in Montserrat election

Meade defeated in Montserrat election

| 12/09/2014 | 2 Comments

(CNS): Following an election in one of the UK’s smallest overseas territories, the incumbent premier Reuben T Meade, leader of the Movement for Change and Prosperity (MCAP), has been ousted from office. Meade has conceded defeat to the leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDM), Donaldson Romeo, and congratulated him on a “well fought battle”, according to regional media reports. Speaking on the island's radio station Friday morning, Romeo said he was looking at a “convincing victory” for the party and appealed for a united Montserrat as the new government takes over the task of rebuilding the island, which was battered by a volcano some 17 years ago. Romeo said that there was nothing set out in the campaign manifesto that his party could notachieve.

Located in the Leeward Islands and part of the Lesser Antilles, Montserrat is less than ten miles long and seven miles wide. There are less than 4,000 eligible voters who vote for a national slate with nine votes.

Meade, who is the father of Ben Meade, CITN’s news director here in Cayman, said it had been an interesting election campaign as he congratulated the PDM.

As well as representatives from the two parties, there were 13 independents among the 31 candidates who ran for office. The election was observed by a four-member team from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).

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Privatization not a panacea

Privatization not a panacea

| 12/09/2014 | 72 Comments

(CNS): The country has to recognize that privatization is “not a panacea that when poured down upon a Public Service will miraculously cure all ills,” the civil service association boss has stated in a message to the membership. In the wake of the publication of the Ernst and Young report on the rationalization of the civil service James Watler the CICSA president urged members to read and familiarize themselves with the document and pass their feedback to the management council on the proposals that could if implemented radically alter government and the wider community. 

Watler pointed to concerns about selling off the public sector and that in the end it will be civil servants, whose jobs are now on the line, who will have to implement the cuts and changes.

“Many privatization efforts have failed to achieve their overall objectives locally and internationally,” he said in his message Thursday. “Like any other government initiative in order for true success it is the individual civil servants that must make it happen. Thus our involvement is critical and not just as secondary stakeholders."

However the president pointed out how difficult this might be given the manpower problems across the public sector.

“Unfortunately, for the last decade, many of our service agencies have been operating with below optimal staff numbers while others may have been overstaffed compared to the practical demands placed upon the service. Once again we must suggest a full man power survey to better understand the current staffing situation and needs for the entire organization and a formal determination of essential services and staff to function and provide the requisite services that people expect their government to provide.”

Watler explained that such an assessment would inform the fair cost of a service otherwise investors run the risk of their privatization failing to achieve the savings, services and profits that could be expected.

Urging the association’s membership to offer their thoughts he said the management council was closely reviewing the proposals but it was crucial that civil servants aired their views. While government has made no announcements about what it will choose, if anything to implement from the report, Watler reminded the civil servants that the deputy governor is committed to carrying out policy obligations to reduce the cost and size of the service.

“While Civil Servants do not make policy the Association will act as an advocate for the rights of our members and look to ensure that the employer’s moral, contractual and legislative obligations are honored. We will also act as a conduit for our members to make representation to the Civil Service management and to the Government as we try to limit the negative impacts of the changes as much as possible,” Watler stated in a message to his membership on Thursday.

Although Watler stressed that the CS was keen to see government work efficiently and effectively he pointed out that some services cannot be privatized, outsourced and or sold because of the social impacts of the profit or the loss of the service.

“The Civil Service Association will engage with the Portfolio of the Civil Service and the new rationalization unit to work with them to find the most effective and most respectful ways to bring about whatever policy changes are decided on. But that will only occur if we are proactive about engaging with each other,” he added.

Watler asked the CS to think about the proposed changes and to express their thoughts in preparation for meetings to openly discuss the report and other issues. But in the meantime he urged them to email with their input.

Meanwhile, following the publication of the EY report, the deputy governor has also written to the wider civil service about the report and pointed out that once Cabinet makes any decision about its implementation the new unit headed by Mary Rodrigues would “create a sense of urgency” to see the policy changes pushed through. Promising to be transparent about the progress and development of this rationalization, Franz Manderson, acknowledged that there was a “high level of interest” in the findings and the implications of the EY report.
He said that he and government were committed to “ensuring that the social, economic and human resource implications of each change decision are identified and considered and that public servants are treated fairly.”

Any public sector worker who is no yet a member who wants to make their voice heard can join the CICSA by emailing

See the message from the CICSA, the deputy governor’s letter to government workers and a related CNS story with the EY report attached below.



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