Archive for October 7th, 2014

Local half-way house gets above average success rate

| 07/10/2014 | 7 Comments

(CNS): The local half-way house charity Bridge Foundation has revealed that in 2013 it enjoyed a 44% success rate with clients, exceeding the international average of 38% and officials from the charity say they are already on track to exceed that figure this year. However, the non-profit organisation that plays a critical part in assisting recovering addicts is in desperate need of financial support in order to continuing helping people on the road to recovery. Getting past an addiction is not an easy journey and with exceptionally limited transitional accommodation available for the significant number of addicts resident in the Cayman Islands, the Bridge Foundation has a huge battle on its hands and right now officials say there is only $3000 in its account to fight with.

The role of half-way houses in the recovery process is extremely well documented and over the past two years the two houses in West Bay, owned by the Bridge Foundation, have helped 34 Caymanians get through the difficult period. The homes can accommodate six women and soon twelve men. Although all of the residents the foundation assists are recovering addicts who no longer use alcohol or drugs they need safe, secure residential accommodation to help them stay clean and become productive members of society again.

To do this the homes need $15,000 per annum for each resident and officials from the charity are appealing to the community for help and explained why cash given to the foundation represents value for money.

“Many of our residents were inmates and all are anxious to start over again,” said Charles Jennings, the co-founder, director and company secretary of the Bridge Foundation. “Several branches of government, including HM Prisons, the governor’s office, the Drugs Court, Caribbean Haven Residential Centre and the department of counselling services, refer individuals direct to us.”

He explained that government and the public enjoy a huge cost benefit from former inmates being helped and accommodated at the foundation rather than incarcerated as prison costs around $60,000 pa per inmate – the exact amount of the annual grant given to the charity by government. The charity costs just $15,000 a year to accommodate a recovery addict in a clean environment, where they are holding down a job and hopefully reintegrating into society.

“Our residences are well-run. Curfews are in place, house guests are screened and monitored, and residents are tested for drugs and alcohol,” Jennings said. “If found positive, they have to leave. They live a communal life, cooking, cleaning, helping and being helped by their companions. And since they are not charged to stay with us, they have an opportunity to save their earnings to secure their own accommodation when they move out.”

In May an international accreditor commissioned by the National Drugs Council and the Ministry of Home Affairs formally reported that our facilities meet or exceed international standards for transitional housing.

Cayman is a small community and most people know, or know of, someone with drug or alcohol problems. One proven step on the road to recovery is the halfway house.

But Jennings said despite the charity’s best efforts and the generosity of many people who helped during the recent appeal for furniture the foundations still finds itself lurching from financial crisis to financial crisis. With just $3000 in the account which is enough to last about a week, keeping the doors open will be a major battle with some more support. Urging people to help in any way they can the charity is also seeking a major benefactor that can help with on-going continuous monthly contributions.

“In a nutshell, now that the women’s residence is fully operational and we have almost completed our extension to house more male residents, we ideally need $15,000 per month to keep providing our services,’ Jennings added. 

The Bridge Foundation needs a steady, reliable revenue stream and is looking for businesses or individuals who are able to make a regular contribution.  Jennings also asked local companies to think about the foundation as the possible beneficiary of charity dress-down Fridays or other appeals.

Jennings also emphasised that the Foundation operates in accordance with a unique written transparency policy and donors have access to all the books and records including the accounts and bank records on request unless donors have requested anonymity.“We make it our business to ensure that your donations are in good hands and accounted for in full,” he added.

For more information contact 525 5546 email: or visit the Foundation’s FaceBook page:

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Dive gong promotes Little Cayman and marine expert

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(CNS): Dr Carrie Manfrino, founder and director of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) which is located on Little Cayman has received an industry related gong helping to promote both her work and the smallest of Cayman’s three islands. Manfrino was named a Sea Hero in the Sept/Oct issue of Scuba Diving Magazine. The award recognizes people who have made exceptional contributions to marine conservation on the front lines of ocean and marine life preservation. “My serious concern about modern reefs began in 1998 after a heartbreaking field season on Grand Cayman when all of the corals in my study area were dead,” Manfrino said.

The expert has spent nearly two decades undertaking coral reef research after here disturbing field dive inspired  her to establish CCMI in 1998 with the dedicated mission of protecting coral reefs for the future. Since its inception, CCMI has published and facilitated critical coral reef research at the forefront of coral fluorescence, lionfish culling, ocean acidification, and reef resilience.

Manfrino urges divers to continue to, “bear witness to the marvels of a healthy living ocean.”

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute aims to understand what contributes to reef resilience to help restore the balance of healthy coral reefs. “The great news is that corals are surviving at Little Cayman which offers enormous hope for the future,” Manfrino added.

Scuba divers interesting in getting involved with the science can also join CCMI on a number of their citizen science initiatives, including a marine census to photo-document the Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) coral species on Little Cayman.

Speaking about the awards Mary Frances Emmons, deputy editor of Scuba Diving, Sport Diving, and The Undersea Journal said they are given to “ordinary divers who make an extraordinary difference, and inspire the rest of us with their compassion and dedication. Dr Manfrino’s work has shown that coral reefs in the Caribbean can not only survive the changes that threaten the future of our oceans, but actually remain healthy and even expand.”

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Philatelists treated to new sporting FDC

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(CNS): Collectors were treated to a new First Day Cover from the Cayman Islands Postal Service this month with the release of a set of stamps to commemorate the islands’ participation at the Commonwealth Games. The seven stamps represent each of the sports that the Cayman Islands competed in during the Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

The First Day Cover has all seven stamps, and features Michele Smith who held the flag during the opening ceremony at this year’s Games.

The 20¢ stamp features a cyclist, the 25¢ a swimmer, the 75¢ a boxer, the 80¢ an athlete playing squash, the $1 a member of the Shooting Club, the $1.60 a gymnast and the $2 an athlete throwing a javelin.

The Cayman Islands has been represented at the Commonwealth Games since 1978, but this year’s contingent was one of the largest, with 28 athletes. The Cayman Islands made its debut at the Edmonton 1978 Commonwealth Games. In 2002 the islands won their first medal, a Bronze in the Men's High Jump for Kareem Streete-Thompson. The next medal came during the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, where Cydonie Mothersill won Gold in the Women's 200m, with a time of 22.89 seconds.

Assistant Postmaster General for Marketing Tara Bush apologized for the delay in releasing the stamps. “Nevertheless, we are hoping that our collectors and the sporting community will be interested in this seven stamp series, which commemorates the Commonwealth Games,” she added.
Members of the public are invited to the Airport Post Office on Saturday, 11 October, 2014 between 9 and 11am to meet athletes that competed at this year’s Games andto get the First Day Covers signed. The CIPS will also be celebrating World Post Day which includes a Santa writing programme and 2015 Christmas Stamp Competition.

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College celebrates founder’s day with new awards

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(CNS): The ICCI was marked its 44th anniversary recently with the introduction of new awards for teachers and students as well as a notable cake. Yvonne Lawe-Gonzales and Wayne McManus were the inaugural recipients of the Dr. Elsa Cummings Award for Teaching Excellence, whiel Jesse Coe and Arsenith-Edale Sintos were the first student recipients of the President's Award for service and dedication to ICCI. Both awards will now be given on an annual basis each Founders' Day.  The celebrations also included welcoming new students to the College during a pinning ceremony.

The first tertiary institution in Grand Cayman ICCI was founded in 1970 and a few old students were also around for the anniversary including Bodden Town political veteran and PPM backbencher MLA Anthony Eden spoke at the event who was part of the first group of students to enter ICCI, graduating in 1977.

“I remember well those first days as a student,” Said Eden. “I am grateful that this college was there to provide me with the opportunity to pursue my education. Many of us owe our success to ICCI. I am proud of the contributions the college has and is continuing to make in the Cayman Islands.”

President Emerita and Founder Dr. Elsa Cummings said the college helped the country grow by providing education to people in Cayman who may not have been able to access learning any other way.  “It has not always been easy, but when you look around at all the successful people in Cayman who got their start at ICCI, we know our efforts were well worth it,” she added.

The ICCI President Dr David Marshall said the country owed a debt of gratitude to the Cummings’ family, the founding committee, and the supporters who provided the access to education for Caymanians

“This College stands as a monument to what hard work, dedication, and perseverance can do when good people are committed to a noble cause,” he said.

The need for a higher education institute in Cayman was initially expressed by Floris McCoy McField, a Caymanian teacher. A Founding Committee was organized by Dr J. Hugh Cummings early in 1967 which worked for several years to establish the College. In January 1968, the American Committee for the College of the Cayman Islands was formed to provide financial help for establishing a college in the Cayman Islands, a college that would later be named International College of the Cayman Islands. The College was formally founded in 1970.

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Cancer charity donates biopsy machine to HSA

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(CNS): The George Town hospital a $55k CUROS Vacuum Assisted Biopsy machine as a result of a donation from the Cayman Islands Cancer Society (CICS). The machine allows for both ultrasounds and biopsies to be performed at the same time and in a less invasive manner. The procedure can be done on any tumour that is visible to the eye and does not disfigure the breast. The machine uses a needle that is inserted under the tumour which makes an incision and takes a biopsy of the tumour or lump. When the needle is moved around it takes multiple samples and in some cases can actually remove the entire tumour.

The CVAB machine has already, and will continue, to help with early diagnosis of breast cancer, health officials stated.

From the initial visit to receiving the results this process can take about two weeks much shorter than before the CVAB machine was available. Before the donations patients would have to wait for an available time and day for the operating room in order to have the biopsy taken, health officials explained but the CVAB allows for the procedure to be less invasive, without the use of general anaesthetic and is usually completed within a half hour to an hour. CVAB procedure allows patients to return to work the same day.

In the two months that the CVAB machine has been in use, there have been twelve biopsies, of which three were diagnosed with cancer. The CVAB machine allows for faster turnaround between sampling and results, leading to earlier diagnosis. It also provides a more accurate sample and picture with no distortion.

In 2006, the CICS raised funds to form the Cancer Care Fund, which ultimately brought the first digital mammogram machine in the Caribbean to the HSA. Since the fund was established the Cancer Society has been able to donate a camera, a microscope, wet prep set up for PAP smear examinations and now the CVAB. The cost of the CVAB machine was $55,065, all of which was paid for by the Cancer Society with funds from the Cancer Care Fund.

“The teamwork between the HSA and the Cancer Society has proven to making the process at the Cayman Islands HSA more efficient,” said Dr Bogle-Taylor.  “The HSA identifies specific cancer related equipment that is a priority to improving healthcare and when the equipment is necessary, funds from the Cancer Care Fund can be used to make those purchases.  The Cancer Care Fund has also been utilised to purchase a new microscope with digital camera for the HSA laboratory, so pap tests can be performed creating electronic images, which can be used with medical files as needed.”

Mammograms, MRIs and ultrasounds are some of the other tools used in cancer diagnosis. Every time a mammogram is performed, a portion of the medical fee is put towards the Cancer Care Fund which is used for machine upgrades, staff training, and the procurement of cancer related equipment. Every time a woman gets her mammogram at the HSA, she is helping the CICS contribute to the Cancer Care Fund.


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Expert to host free classes on Cayman’s geology

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(CNS): There is much more to Cayman’s natural beauty than meets the eye and the geological forces that have shaped these islands and in turn its flora and fauna will be the subject of classes and lectures next week. The world renowned, multi-award geologist Dr Brian Jones will be in the Cayman Islands next week, holding geology classes for high school teachers and students as well as free public lecture about the geological history of Cayman. His trip and time is being sponsored by the Water Authority after his successful visit last year to celebrate the public owned company’s 30th anniversary.

“Last year’s geology education was a success, Dr. Jones’ expertise on the geology of the Cayman Islands, developed over a period of 30 years, is phenomenal and it is a unique chance for students, teachers and the general public to be exposed to a top level scientist” said Dr. Gelia Frederick-van Genderen, Director of the Water Authority.

“Dr. Jones readily agreed to come back this year and he donates a week of his time. Due to the busy schedule last year it was not possible to extend this education to Cayman Brac, but we are glad that we can do so this year, providing teachers, students and the general public in Cayman Brac with the same level of geology education” 

His visit this year will include a professional one-day geology course for high school teachers with over fifteen teachers having already signed up for the one-day professional course. It is expected that some 500 high school students will be involved in the lessons at the schools.

The public lectures are being sponsored by the National Trust. “A Journey through Time – A Geological History of the Cayman Islands” will be held in the conference room of the Brac Reef Resort on Tuesday 14 October, starting at 7:30 pm, then at the George Town Public Library 3rd floor lecture room on Thursday 16 October, at 5:30pm. Admission to the lectures is free to the general public and refreshments will be provided.

Dr. Brian Jones, Ph.D., P. Geol. is a Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta, Canada and has been an educator for close to four decades. His fieldwork has taken him all over the world. Throughout his career he has received many awards in recognition of his work as an educator and as a scientist. Recently the University of Alberta awarded him as a Distinguished University Professor in recognition of his outstanding qualities as a scientist and educator. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

“Since the early 1980’s Dr. Jones, his colleagues and students of the university have conducted scientific geological research in the Cayman Islands,” said Hendrik-Jan van Genderen, Water Resources Engineer at the Water Authority. “The Cayman Islands has benefitted from this work and advice as Dr. Jones shares his work with the Water Authority, the Department of the Environment, the National Trust and any other Government agency that needs specific information on the geology of the Cayman Islands and he willingly advises on geological issues.”

For more information on the public lectures on Tuesday and Thursday, please contact the National Trust or the Water Authority.

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Convicted money launderers now whistleblowers

| 07/10/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): Canadian investment advisor Eric St-Cyr, who was working from a Cayman Islands-based financial services firm, and Patrick Poulin, a Canadian attorney based in the Turks and Caicos Islands, were both sentenced Friday to serve 14 months in prison and three years of supervised release for conspiring to launder money. The two men are now said to be cooperating with the IRS and more investigations are expected from the information they have provided. St-Cyr and Poulin, along with US citizen Joshua VanDyk, were indicted on 6 March. The judge imposed the sentences after considering the defendants’ substantial cooperation with ongoing government investigations. Read more and comment on CNS Business

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Cayman to host bigger U15 boys tourney in 2015

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(CNS): Following the success of the inaugural U15 CONCACAF boy’s football development tournament in the Cayman Islands in August last year, local sports officials have confirmed that the country will host the second annual football competition as well. The regional championship is set for August but this time ten more teams are expected to participate 2015 with over 80% of CONCACAF’s members planning to take part. “This is promising news for our region, as we can see a growing interest in football development from 2013,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb.

“The Under 15 tournaments are especially important as those young players have an opportunity to build a foundation for their country’s youth leagues and represent their nations at international events. It also enables the football community to start scouting for new talent at an earlier age,” said Cayman’s sports boss.

The Cayman Islands has hosted several tournaments from 2013-2014, in addition to the Boys’ U- 15 Championship. In January 2014, the country hosted the CONCACAF Women’s Under 20 Championship and in August 2014, the CONCACAF Girls’ Under 15 Championship with the first ever international games being played in Cayman Brac.

The sports and youth minister, Osbourne Bodden, said he was delighted that CONCACAF has selected Cayman as the host country.

“The Boys U 15 tournament two years ago was a tremendous success,” he said. “Our boys did us proud then and with the early notification of this expanded tournament, I look forward to the local team being well prepared to compete next year. I trust this exciting news will also be welcomed by the players, fans, and the community at large, and I am particularly pleased to hear that there will be matches played in Cayman Brac as part of the tournament,” the minister added.

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Savannah Primary open the season with wins

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(CUC-PFL): Savannah Primary opened the 2014/2015 CUC Primary Football League (PFL) season with 4-0 (Under 9) and 2-1 (Under 11) victories over Cayman International School in Group A at the Dart Field on Saturday morning. In the Under 9 encounter, Savannah Primary’s Jacquan Wray scored twice in the first half, Emmanuel Duran added a third before the break and Cayman International School conceded an own goal late in the second half to complete the scoring. In the Under 11 game, the always busy Emmanuel Duran opened the scoring in the 3rd minute for Savannah Primary with a wonder strike from distance. Cayman International School’s Jonathan Rado levelled the score in the 14th minute before Akil Bodden restored Savannah’s lead with a 24th minute blast.

There would not be any further scoring but both teams created several chances in this exciting season opener.

In the Girls’ Primary Football League (GPFL) season opener between the two schools, Cayman International recorded a 4-0 victory thanks to Riley Doyle who scored her school’s first ever goal in the GPFL in the 2nd minute before adding a second in the 32nd minute. Olivia Kluiver added to the lead in the 10th minute and Savannah conceded an own goal in the 23rd minute to end the scoring.

Other PFL results in Group A included St. Ignatius Prep 3 vs. Truth For Youth 0 (Under 9) and St. Ignatius Prep 2 vs. Truth For Youth 1 (Under 11).

In Group B it was South Sound Schools 2 vs. Red Bay Primary 3 (Under 9); South Sound Schools 0 vs. Red Bay Primary 6 (Under 11); NorthEast Schools 4 vs. Bodden Town Primary 0 (Under 9); NorthEast School 2 vs. Bodden Town Primary 3 (Under 11); Triple C School 1 vs. Prospect Primary 4 (Under 9); Triple C 1 vs. Prospect Primary 5 (Under 11); and Cayman Prep 3 vs. Cayman Brac 1 (Under 11). In Group B of the GPFL, the games between NorthEast Schools and Bodden Town Primary and Triple C School and Prospect Primary were re-scheduled for a later date.

The 2014/2015 CUC PFL and GPFL regular season continues this Saturday, October 11 with games at the West Bay Town Hall Field, Annex Field, Cayman Prep, Prospect Primary and Triple C.

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Sport volunteers step up game with course

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(CNS): Local volunteers and administrators from eleven different sports took part in a sports administration course, last month, hosted by the local Olympic committee and funded by Olympic Solidarity (OS) to enhance their skills and knowledge. 29 people took part from a range of local sports clubs including athletics, boxing, cycling, equestrian, gymnastics, judo, rugby, sailing, swimming, taekwondo and volleyball. Officials said the ‘goal’ of the course was to cover the most common needs and requirements of administrators or elected executives of sports organisations.

The course which covered 18 topics related to sport administration and management was available to administrators associated with member federations of the CIOC. It was free to participants and conducted by Dave Farmer, Director of the National Olympic Academy of Barbados. Bernie Bush Treasurer of the CIOC, Jennifer Powell Chief Operating Officer of the CIOC, Dalton Watler President of the Cayman Islands Athletics Association and Richard Adams Director of the Cayman Islands Rugby Club also gave presentations at the 20 hour course spread over four days.

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