Archive for October 2nd, 2008

Cubans arrested over illegal landing

| 02/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Department of Immigration said that officers from its Enforcement Section arrested three Cuban nationals for the offence of illegal entry during an operation on Wednesday night (1 October). Immigration said the Cubans were arrested without incident and requested to be returned to Cuba, but did not say whether the three claimed asylum.

Immigration also said that further investigations revealed that the three men were part of a group of Cubans who stopped at Grand Cayman enroute to Honduras on 29 September.

 “The arrest of these Cuban nationals highlights the need for continued vigilance when Cuban vessels arrive in the Islands,” said Chief Immigration Officer Franz Manderson, who pointed out that it is an offence for members of the public to assist or connive in the illegal landing of persons and stated that his department will investigate to determine if members of the public played a part in the three Cuban nationals illegally landing in the Islands.

The Immigration Law sets tough penalties for assisting a person to land illegally in the Islands, including a fine of $50,000 or imprisonment for up to seven years.

Although eyewitnesses reported to CNS that a group of Cubans were offered some assistance when they landed at Spotts Beach, they also reported that the Cubans went on their way.

Officials stated that 12 other  Cuban migrants, whose vessel arrived off Cayman Brac earlier this week, are still sheltering there from inclement weather but that they intend to soon continue their sea journey to Honduras.


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Governor makes another appeal to public

| 02/10/2008 | 3 Comments

(CNS): HE the Governor Stuart Jack has made yet another statement pleading with the public not to listen to the continued speculation surrounding the special police investigation. As reported on CNS yesterday, the governor has drawn attention to points he made in a letter to the local press denying any conspiracy theories.

“I ask again for everyone to be patient, not to believe all the unfounded conspiracy theories, and not to be quick to condemn those under investigation, or criticise those who are doing their best to investigate allegations and establish the truth,” he said in the statement. However, speculation and conspiracy theories continue to mount within local public discourse.

One local attorney told CNS that the problem is the secrecy which is fuelling the various conspiracy theories. The special police investigation which has now drawn in one judge, three senior police officers and two local journalists continues against the backdrop of Cayman’s first round of constitutional talks which has been described as far too coincidental by local politicians, the wider members of the offshore community and the local business sector. The public at large too continues to voice its skepticism over the investigation and its true purpose. However CNS has also received some comments in support of the Governor and the continued secret enquiry.

“Contrary to some people’s opinion there is no conspiracy, no grand scheme, no ulterior motive on the part of the UK Government or the police in the UK or, of course, me to harm the interests of these islands, or to time developments in order to influence the constitutional talks,” the Governor has said again. “The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is obviously following these developments in Cayman, but is in no way masterminding them.”

Aside from the secrecy surrounding the investigation there are also concerns that the action taken by Martin Bridger the Senior Investigating officer, at the grant of the governor, are over stepping the mark. Minister Alden McLaughlin voiced his concern at the weekly press briefing last Friday when he said that it all seemed to be a gross over reaction to the issues at hand. “If we have a corrupt system we need to fix it but nothing I have seen or heard so far leads me to believe that the response of the Governor to these matters is proportionate.”

Moreover CNS has seen the original arrest warrant of Justice Alex Henderson and the reasons for the arrest listed do not seem to point to any serious misconduct and are based entirely on accusation allegedly made by John Evans to the investigators. The warrant accuses Henderson of telling John Evans the letters in Net News might be in contempt when they he knew they were not; improperly using his influence as a member of the judiciary; requesting John Evans get information; breaching Desmond Seales right to a personal life and exposing the judiciary to the risk of partiality.

The Governor has insisted that the whys and wherefores of the investigation will eventually be revealed and the public will see the purpose. He said once the police investigators have done their work the Attorney General’s Chambers here will decide whether to prosecute on the basis of the usual evidential and public interest tests.

“Woe betide this country if decisions by the police or the prosecutors on criminal matters were determined by a particular political or commercial interest. In the current cases I can assure everyone that they have not been,” he said. “The Special Investigation Team is carrying out independent investigations. All operational decisions are taken independently by the team here in Cayman, drawing on advice from their own expert legal counsel. Neither I nor anyone in Londoninstructs them how to conduct their investigations or what conclusions they should reach.”


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Family bank offers advice to family businesses

| 02/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS):  Designed to offer solutions to the challenges faced by many family business owners in Cayman, the Chamber of Commerce Professional Development & Training Centre in partnership with RBS Coutts, held its first Family Business Forum this week. Having started life as a family business, and having looked after many business owners and their families over the years, Coutts was well placed to offer advice.

Regardless of size, all family businesses face significant challenges of continuity, longevity andultimately success. According to research statistics, only one in three family businesses succeed in making it from the first to the second generation. In fact, 70 percent of family-owned businesses do not survive the transition from founder to the second generation. An astounding 90 percent of family-owned businesses do not make it to the third generation.

Held on Tuesday, 30 September at the Grand Cayman Beach Suites Annette Rahael, Certified Family Business Advisor was the keynote speaker at the forum. With what was described by the Chamber as a profound understanding of the commercial realities faced by businesses of all sizes Rahael highlighted the importance of starting business succession planning early, to look at family members realistically to train successors.

 With family businesses, succession planning can be especially complicated because of the relationships and emotions involved, hence the sooner you start your business succession planning the better,” she said. “If you want to pass your family business along to the next generation, putting off succession planning is the worst thing you can do. A good succession plan can ensure that you have the funds you need to retire and that the business you have built continues to thrive in the hands of the next generation.”

She said opening a dialogue among family members is the best way to begin the process where close attention is paid to the personal feelings, ambitions and goals of everyone concerned.

“You may want your first-born son to run the business, but does he have the business skills or even the interest to do it? Perhaps there’s another family member who is more capable. It may even be that there are no family members capable of or interested in continuing the business and that it would be best to sell it,” she added.

RBS Coutts in the UK have successfully launched a Family Business Owners initiative and the firm said it would like to offer a similar service to the Caribbean.

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Locals say economy poor

| 02/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Consumers are pessimistic about the status of the Cayman Islands economy according to the findings of the most recent Tower Omnibus Survey. The survey found 35 percent of all respondents feel that the Cayman Islands economy is doing poorly, and only 15 percent said they thought it was doing well.

The consumer research survey was carried out among 1,000 respondents and of those 477 were Caymanians. Among those the level of pessimism was even greater with nearly 42 percent of Caymanians saying the economy was doing poorly while 28 percent felt it was showing an average performance and under 15 percent said it was doing well. In both case the remaining percentage either did not respond to the question or said they did not know. The question on the economy was privately sponsored by local economist and consultant Paul Byles, Managing Director of Focus Corporate Services & Consulting.

 “I thought the question would provide us with some insights on the actual state of things on the ground, aside from the anecdotal evidence out there”, said Byles. There seems to be some differing views on how our economy is doing. People often point to the number of new licenses in the offshore sector as an indication, but while this is a good partial indicator there are other factors that when brought together, can give a clearer indication of how the local economy is really doing.”

He said that a survey question like the economy one, while not official data, provides important information about confidence in the wider economy, an indicator that has been utilised by most advanced economies for years. Byles added that it shows that there is a lack of confidence in the local economy and is something that policymakers should take serious note of because it also affects their expenditure patterns in the short to medium term. 

Byles said that the Government should create an index of various indicators to utilise as a ‘confidence measure’ which can be included in planning discussions among policymakers and officials on where the country’s economy is going as it helps to better forecast future expenditure and investment behaviour.  

“Having an indicator of either business or consumer confidence in the economy which can be compared to previous periods as a benchmark has been implemented in most advanced countries for decades. Its just that the Cayman Islands is unfortunately very much behind in comparison when it comes to drawing on tools, and the underlying information, for modern economic planning and management. It is important that the traditional approach changes very soon” added Byles.

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Free gas up for grabs

| 02/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): As fuel prices continue to clean out people’s wallets dms broadcasting’s HOT 104.1 FM is collaborating with Royal Star Assurance (RSA) and Fidelity to give away free throughout October. During the promotion RSA and Fidelity will be giving away thousands of dollars of free gas to insurance customers and discounts on insurance premiums for new customers. Each morning a winner will be announced on HOT 104.1 FM’s morning show hosted by Island Boy Gil and Jules.

 “With the significantly inflated current price of gas, HOT 104.1 FM empathizes with our listeners and we are proud to once again support a campaign that demonstrates customer appreciation – a practice that all dms Broadcasting stations exercise,” said HOT 104.1 FM’s Island Boy Gil.  

To be eligible to win, RSA customers should listen for their name to be announced on air and call in before 9:00 am to stake their claim on a CI $75 gas voucher, or the voucher will be rolled over until the next day.

Alternatively, RSA customers can be eligible to win by spotting the green company truck at participating Esso stations including West Bay Road Esso, Industrial Park (Brown’s) Esso, Red Bay Esso, Crewe Road Esso and Mike’s Esso. Upon spotting the green truck customers should approach a present Fidelity representative, at which time they will be rewarded with a KYD $50 gas voucher.

Fidelity is also rewarding non-RSA customers with a KYD $50 discount voucher to go towards a RSA insurance policy, a policy which offers unique and exiting benefits such as Protected No Claims Discount, 24-hour roadside assistance, and much more.

“We are excited to introduce such a customer-rewarding campaign that we believe gives back in a way that loyal customers and listeners alike can appreciate,” said Marsha Ebanks on behalf of both RSA and Fidelity. “Quality service and customer appreciation are paramount to our company’s success.”

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Cayman tackled UK football

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(CNS): Despite some cold weather fronts coming in off the Irish Sea and nearby Welsh mountains which took a little adjusting to by Cayman’s young footballers the Welsh Super Cup football competition in Aberystwyth, Wales in the UK was a great success said the Executive Committee of Cayman Athletic Sports Club.

Cayman’s future soccer stars were able to attend the event this past July due to the help of local attorney Stuart Walker Hersant the Cayman Islands Government and a number of other sponsors to who the club, players and parents extended a big thank you. According to the committee the weather did improve as the weeks football proceeded and despite a number of disadvantages found in some of the age groupings of the competition together with limited practicing on a team level prior to the event Cayman’s players entered the football fray with determination.

Altogether 122 teams of various age groups took part in the tournament, with teams coming from as far as Australia meeting each other on 20 superb grass playing fields, refereed by as many as 90 officials. Our 14 and under group of which a number had not long turned 13 years of age, were caught by this particular tournaments age grouping requirements and found themselves up against very disciplined and physically aggressive teams (some with recognized academy type training) who were able to count on more of their players averaging a year older and having the physique to prove it.

Nevertheless, said the committee our team competed strongly and most of the games were very close end to end games with the boys learning a lot about how the professional game is played.

“Our Under 13’s playing for the first time in an 8 per side tournament (with its peculiar set of rules) weren’t actually a team at all prior to the event, but players within our overall group who were caught by the same age group limitations as the older players and asked to make up a team. Surprisingly, this makeshift team did very well managing to come away with runners up medals in the Welsh Champions League Cup which placed them approx third in the overall groupings for that age group,” the committee stated.

The committee said that the Under 10’s were perhaps the most exciting discovery of the tournament who despite not fully understanding the differences in playing 8 per side football  gave no quarter in their quest to excel at the competition and despite making a number of early costly mistakes in each game through competition inexperience –which to a large part cost them the coveted Super Cup, managed to come through grueling competition to win the Welsh Super Shield, a magnificent achievement given the quality of the competition.

“In addition many friends and contacts were made at the tournament which will be invaluable to the Club and our community over the years ahead,” the club said. “t is therefore evident to the management, coaches and parents of the club that attending these types of events far from home are invaluable in providing for the immediate and long term development of youth football in the Cayman Islands generally, and we sincerely thank our sponsors and everyone involved.”


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CCMI Festival of Trees

| 02/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A fundraising event to benefit efforts to sustain the biodiversity of Cayman’s coral reefs, has become a premier event to kick off the festive season. The fourth annual Dinner and Live Auction for the 2008 Festival of Trees will take place on Friday, 21 November, at Ristorante Pappagallo.

As with previous years, the Central Caribbean Marine Institute 2008 Festival of Trees dinner and live auction will include a varied display of beautifully decorated Christmas Trees and Holiday Wreaths adorned with exciting gift packages. Each tree and wreath will be auctioned off and delivered to the home or business of the winning bidder, according to CCMI.

The evening begins with an elegant champagne reception, followed by dinner with wine. The highlight of the night will feature the live auction of the Christmas trees and wreaths, presenting the opportunity for everyone to bring home the season’s best gifts from Cayman’s most popular retailers and restaurants.

“Once again we are pleased to present a celebratory night in support of the ongoing work of CCMI,” said Vico Testori, owner of Ristorante Pappagallo. “The Festival of Trees is a great event to spend time with friends, have fun, and get into the holiday spirit while contributing to a very active local charity”

“We would especially like to thank Ristorante Pappagallo for their generous participation over the years with the Festival of Trees,” said CCMI CEO Jim O’Neill. “As the event has grown, Vico and the staff at Pappagallo’s have been solid supporters in ensuring the evening runs smoothly and all guests leave happy, most with a new treasure in tow”.

Annually, the Festival of Trees is a sell-out event that receives rave reviews by attendees. Individuals or companies interested in participating in CCMI’s Festival of Trees can contact

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute was incorporated in 1998 as a non-profit 501c3 organization. CCMI was established as an international charitable organization after becoming incorporated in the Cayman Islands (2002) and in the UK in 2004.

Since its first years, CCMI has proven a valuable asset to the effort of understanding changing coral reef and tropical marine environments, and its research and education programs have established a solid foundation for future reef education and awareness in the Caribbean and for students and researchers from around the world.



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Trust calls for new members

| 02/10/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): With a membership of only 875 the National Trust has begun a concerted effort to raise its profile and started with an open day on Wednesday evening which continues through today at the Trust’s headquarters, Dart Family Park in South Sound. Focused on preserving both the natural environment and the country’s heritage it receives only a small grant from government and depends heavily on the support of the community for finance and volunteers.

An eclectic organisation the National Trusts takes care of a diverse range of projects from the Mastic Trail to the Mission House (above).  “Anyone with an interest in Cayman’s environment and heritage should become a member,” said Frank Roulstone the General Manager. “That way you keep up to date with everything that is going on with the trust and you can get involved with some of our projects. We are under constant pressure to preserve what is being lost but we really need the community’s help to do the work. ”

Janice Brown (right) the office manager explained that there is a lot happening at the Trust and that an increasing number of tourists too were visiting the retail centre not just to purchase great gifts but also to sign up for the eclectic tours and events that the National Trust organises.

“We have built up the merchandise now and have a great selection of gifts and local crafts on sail but we also somegreat new tours and excursions that visitors really enjoy, but these are available to local residents as well,” she said.

The trust works hard to fund raise and is often thinking of creative ways to raise money. It recently held a car boot sale and raised $620 which will go towards the Uncle Sammy’s Pond project in West Bay.  A site acquired by the Trust in December 2007 it is raising funds to make it a wildlife reserve, open to the public.  The site has particular significance to migrating water birds such as Blue-winged Teal, the Lesser Scaup and a wide variety of herons who stop at the site for food and water on their way to and from South America.  A total of $90,000 has been estimated to see the project to completion which includes such features as a boardwalk, fencing, a bird-watching blind, parking and other public facilities.

“This was the second boot sale we have held this year and the turn-out was great.  It is a good way to get the community together and help the National Trust”, added Brown.

This weekend on Saturday between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm the trust is partnering with the National Museum to host a display at the Mission House in Bodden Town illustrating the life and work in traditional Cayman backyards.  ‘As many of our senior generation will recall, homes were mostly for formal entertaining and sleeping,” said   Denise Bodden, Historic Programmes Manager. “Much of our lives were carried out in the back yard. Washing, cooking and playing games were just a few of the activities that went on.  The “Out in Back” exhibit encompasses the Wash Day and the Caboose experience for visitors to learn about and appreciate.”, said Denise Bodden, Historic Programmes Manager for the National Trust for the Cayman Islands.

 “There will be light refreshments available for those who come early enough.  As you know, the cassava heavy cake goes pretty fast!” she added.

For more details of the work of National Trust, how to become a member or a list of forthcoming events log on to


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Older relatives neglected

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(CNS): Some families are neglecting their responsibilities in caring for older relatives and are relying on government to do the caring for them, according to Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Director, Deanna Look Loy. She said increasing numbers of families are opting for institutional care for elderly relatives and government is committing vast sums for this purpose annually, to operate five residential care facilities.

Several indigent elderly also receive poor relief on a monthly basis. During Older Persons Month, which has the theme UN Principles for Older Persons – Independence; Participation; Care; Self-fulfillment and Dignity, Look Loy is urging residents to become more involved in the care of elderly relatives.

Commending those citizens who do spend time and money on caring for elderly relatives, she said, “Government takes pride in caring for our older citizens, but it is always better for them to remain with family. When they are institutionalised, many elderly persons feel hurt and rejected, especially when family connections are diminished by infrequent visits.” She added that older persons often feel shamed by having to rely on government for their survival.

“Family members who can afford it ought to take great pleasure in caring for their parents and other elderly relatives who made tremendous sacrifices to care for them as children and young persons,” Look Loy said, noting that the institutional approach to elderly care is not typical of Caymanian society, and said that it signified a breakdown in society’s value systems.

“In the Caribbean we have been raised on the concept of the village raising children and looking after our elderly—but this is changing” she said, and explained that the elderly do have recourse and can take their relatives, to court under the Maintenance Law. “However, many older persons refuse to take this action because it is not acceptable in the Caymanian culture.

Although several NGOs and individuals have encouraged a change in the law so that the DCFS would have the responsibility of taking family members to court on behalf of the elderly, Look Loy added: “This is not the kind of social work we wish to practice. Rather our aim is to enable and empower the most vulnerable in the society and to work in a spirit of co-operation with families.” She pointed to other areas where older persons could gain visibility: “Continue to exert your independence through community participation and by maintaining relationships with family, friends and the church,” she advised. “Stay involved by interacting with other social groups and that will make you feel that you are still wanted and loved and that you are continuing to make a contribution to the society,” she said.

Several activities are being held across Cayman in observance of Older Persons Month. These include a Wellness Fair Wednesday morning, district tea parties, and other social events. Various businesses will also offer discounts to the elderly during October.

· The Governor’s Tea Party – Friday, 3 October
Government House
4 pm – 5:30 pm

· Churches urged to honour the Sunday, 5 October
Elderly in their congregations

· Seniors Annual Retreat – Friday,10 – Monday,13 October 2008
Cayman Brac

· Seniors Bash – Thursday, 30 October
Seafarers Association
7:00p.m. to 10:00p.m

District Tea Parties

· West Bay Thursday, 9 October
John Gray Memorial Hall
10a.m. – 1p.m.

· Bodden Town Wednesday, 15 October
The Bodden Town Civic Centre
3 – 6p.m.

· George Town Wednesday, 22 October
The Family Life Centre
10a.m. – 1p.m.

· East End Tuesday, 21 October
The East End Civic Centre
10a.m. – 1p.m.

· North Side Saturday, 25 October
North Side Civic Centre
5p.m. – 7p.m.


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Lions launch health campaign

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(CNS): The Lions Club of Tropical Gardens kicked off their Breast Cancer Awareness month yesterday with an opening ceremony in Heroes Square. This annual event continues to be very important to the health of the local community not least for the free mammograms which the club provides to women with inadequate health coverage. This year things got off to a great start after Anthony Eden the Minster for Heath and Humans Services gave the club a cheque for CI$10,000.

Commending the Lions hard work in raising awareness and educating the community about the importance of early detection and healthy living in preventing Breast Cancer he said that their work had certainly saved lives.

This year’s theme is Prevention through service and education and during the month of October there will be a series of public education meetings throughout the districts where women will be able to collect vouchers for free mammograms as well as a number of special clinics. Starting today in East End Thursday, 2 October the first clinic will be hosted until 12 noon and the public meeting starts at 7:30 pm this evening at the United Church Hall. Dress down in pink day will be on Friday 10 October and the Brenda Tibbetts Lund 5K Memorial run/walk starts at 6:00 am at West Bat public beach on Saturday 25 October.

October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month worldwide and it became an annual event in Cayman from 1997when Lion Merilda Miller had a dear friend and colleague who was diagnosed with the disease. The Club set out to make support and early detection information more available to women living in the Cayman Islands and since then has supported the month long event through community outreach, the issuing of free mammogram vouchers, fundraisers and educational materials.

The Club said that the programme helps both men and women cope with breast cancer, beginning with the possibility of its diagnosis and continuing through treatment and recovery, if necessary. The recommendation is that mammograms are done once every two years for those over 40 and once every year for those who are 50 and over.

Meeting Schedule from 7:30pm — Thursday, October 2nd – East End – East End United Church Hall
Tuesday, October 7th – North Side – United Church Hall
Monday, October 13th – Bodden Town – Bodden Town Primary School
Thursday, October 16th – West Bay – West Bay Primary School
Thursday, October 23rd – Savannah – Savannah Primary School
Thursday, October 30th – George Town – Mary Miller Hall

District Clinics schedule — Thursday, October 2nd – 9 am – 12 pm – East End
Tuesday, October 7th – 9 am – 12 pm – North Side
Monday, October 13th – 9 am – 12 pm – West Bay
Wednesday, October 15th – 9 am – 12 pm – Bodden Town
Tuesday, October 28th – 9 am – 12 pm – George Town

For more info log onto 

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