Archive for November 16th, 2008

CBHS may open next week

| 16/11/2008 | 3 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Brac High School is on target to open towards the end of next week, but a firm decision on the actual date will be taken after the weekend. It is anticipated that some primary provision, possibly initially operating from one site, should come on-line in the week beginning 24 November. Meanwhile, UCCI is aiming to reopen its Brac campus in January.

University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) Brac Campus Director Martin Keeley told CNS that all the computers had been covered during the storm but now needed to be checked out. It was not known if the video conferencing equipment still worked but the server room was OK, he noted.

“The basic idea is to continue where everyone left off, do one week of revision and then just keep going until February, which will take us to the end of the first semester. Then after a short break, we’ll start the second semester mid-February and run through into the summer semester. So we’ll have two semesters instead of three. Too much time has been lost,” he said.

“Students can’t study at home right now because there is no power or internet, Also, adult students are busy working to get the island restored,” Keeley pointed out. PWD staff from Grand Cayman had fixed the roof and cleaned out the building. CUC and CB Power and Light hooked up mains power Tuesday morning and the RCIPS had temporarily moved their headquarters to the building that same day. Keeley said that one advantage in reconnecting the building was that it had originally been renovated as offices so each room had its own metre. So while the Back rooms had not been passed by electricians, the front rooms were ready to go.

According to the Ministry of Education and the Department of Education Services, significant progress has been made towards the re-opening of education services in Cayman Brac, following Hurricane Paloma.

The main focus over the last few days has been the Cayman Brac High School, which has seen most of the debris on the site removed with the assistance of the Public Works Department and the Department of Environment. Local contractors have also been engaged to secure the buildings and preparations are well underway to ensure that the facility is dried and cleaned.

The Ministry’s Facilities Team, along with the Chief Education Officer Shirley Wahler and the Learning Community Leader for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, Tammy Banks-DaCosta, have also been working on Creek, Spot Bay and West End Primary Schools.

Commenting on the exceptional work already completed and the challenges that still lay ahead, the Education Minister Alden McLaughlin said in a release, “It is both pleasing and inspiring to see the way in which education has been prioritised in the wake of Hurricane Paloma. I would personally like to thank everybody who has worked so diligently and effectively to re-open schools far more quickly that was originally thought possible and I look forward with great anticipation to the realisation of our collective efforts for the children of Cayman Brac.”

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No report from Yates

| 16/11/2008 | 9 Comments

(CNS): Although Assistant Commissioner John Yates from the Metropolitan Police in London allegedly visited the Cayman Islands last week to assess the situation of Operation Tempura, no information about that visit has been forthcoming and the Caymanian people have still not been told what is happening regarding the $4million investigation. CNS can reveal, however, that this is not the first investigation over which Yates has presided that spent millions but brought no charges.

While the elected government in Cayman has called for an end to the investigation, which they believed has revealed very little evidence if any of corruption but has cost the Cayman government millions of dollars as well as the reputation of the islands, no one from the Special Police Investigation Team (SPIT), Scotland Yard or the Governor’s office has said what happens next.  Justice Alex Henderson has been officially cleared, but Acting Commissioner David George said on Friday that the remainder of the investigation concerning the alleged break-in to Cayman Net News continues and a subsequent statement will soon be released.

However, this investigation described as “chasing ghosts” by one elected official here bears some resemblance to another corruption allegation headed by Yates in the UK described as a “wild goose chase” based on  “no credible evidence”.

In 2007, Yates faced extensive criticism over what was known in the UK as the Cash for Honours scandal, when at the end of the £1 million operation which lasted 16 months, no charges were brought and no wrongdoing was revealed in what had been accusations of corruption against peers for taking honours from the Labour government in exchange for loans and donations.

Yates and his team questioned various members of the Labour Party (including Tony Blair), the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats and arrested four people including Labour’s Lord Levy but never charged him or anyone else with any crimes.

At the end of the investigation Yates was forced to answer a political enquiry concerned that after so much money and so much time there was no case to answer. The Senior Met Officer faced criticisms by a panel of politicians that the investigation was a “wild goose chase” and the heavy handed approach he had taken. Tory MP Charles Walker had asked Yates why it was necessary to beat down the door of former Number 10 aide Ruth Turner in a "6am raid". Yates said, in general, people under investigation for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice could not be put "on notice" by the police in advance. "People under suspicion for this sort of case will try to hide evidence," he said.

The three main suspects in the so-called scandal were officially cleared in October 2007 — Lord Levy, who was Tony Blair’s personal fundraiser, Ruth Turner who was Downing Street’s director of government relations, and Sir Christopher Evans, one of the 12 businessmen whose secret loans to the Labour Party triggered the police action.

During the police investigation more than 130 people were interviewed and four people were arrested. It focused on allegations that peerages had been offered in return for loans to Labour and the Conservatives ahead of the 2005 general election. Figures questioned by officers included the then Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Tory leader Michael Howard. All involved in the investigation denied any wrongdoing and the CPS said that there was "insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction against any individual for any offence".

Yates persistently defended his investigation and arrests saying, "With any investigation you go where the evidence takes you and during the course of the investigation it became necessary to consider whether there had been a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.” He added that he was clearly aware that the investigation into these matters would have serious consequences. The decision to investigate was not one that was entered into lightly.

"It is a search for the truth,” he said. "Accountability for operational decision-making in this case has rested and remains with me. However, from the beginning, the investigative team and I have liaised closely with the Crown Prosecution Service, Queen’s Counsel and the Electoral Commission, seeking their advice and views throughout."

"There can be little doubt that it has been challenging case. The proportionality and necessity of any action were matters uppermost in my mind throughout. Some have been surprised about the intensity and length of the police investigation and I recognise that this has not been a comfortable time for many of those who came under the investigative spotlight. However, with allegations such as these, which were of utmost seriousness, the investigation had to be thorough and meticulous in every respect,” Yates reportedly said when justifying his actions.

Yates was criticized throughout the investigation for dragging it out and for leaking damaging stories to the press about their supposedly confidential work.

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Post-Paloma loans for public servants

| 16/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Civil servants and staff of statuary authorities on the Sister Islands can apply for $10,000 interest-free loan from Credit Union to help them recover from Hurricane Paloma. Current loans and income will be taken into account and representatives from the Portfolio of Finance will be on island mid-week to process applications as quickly as possible, Chief Officer for the Portfolio of the Civil Service Mary Elizabeth Rodrigues told CNS.

Applications for the loan are available at the Command Centre (which is now at the Bodden & Bodden law office). The availability of the loan is intended for those who require financial assistance due to damage sustained by the hurricane, Rodrigues said. Portfolio of Finance staff will also be on hand on Monday and Tuesday, 17 and 18 November so that cheques can be disbursed on Wednesday.

Rodrigues, on the Brac on a mercy mission to help distribute aid gathered by the Cayman Brac High School alumni and friends, also distributed to civil servants supplies gathered from private donations.

District Administration is doing a needs assessment for its staff. All employees of the Ministry of District Administration and the Cayman Islands Government are asked to call and report any damage from Hurricane Paloma. Employees should contact the following hotline numbers: 948-1522 and 916-3634. They should leave messages on the voice mail with their names, contact numbers and details on the condition of their family members, property and homes.

Government has advised civil servants that although many government agencies are involved in the response efforts on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, the only two agencies that are organising volunteers to work for the government in the Sister Islands are the Cayman Islands Hazard Management and the Portfolio of the Civil Service.

Unless authorized travel arrangements have been obtained from either of these two agencies, civil servants will not be allowed to travel to the Sister Islands as a government-sponsored volunteer and should not go to Cayman Airways without this confirmation.

While the Cayman Islands Government said in a release that it remains grateful for the overwhelming offers of help, responses need to be both organized and needs-based. Public servants are further reminded that leave will only be granted to those offering to be volunteers, willing to be assigned as needed.


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Global Cooling, Not Warming

| 16/11/2008 | 17 Comments

Many warnings about global warming are alarmist and are intended to scare Cayman’s people into believing the harsh predictions of the IPCC (Inter Government Panel on Climate Change).

Their most worrisome prediction is that the sea level will rise and drown the Cayman Islands.

In actual fact, the earth entered into a global cooling phase about 10 years ago, and this cooling phase is accelerating. In the last 10 years, satellite measurements of atmospheric temperature have been falling.

Last January, record cold hit Florida, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maine, Arizona, and Texas, Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon, and Washington. During March, record cold again hit North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida, and then six more states in April. In fact, new record lows have been set every month in the US, including this October. On October 29 and 30 this year, no less than 23 States reported record cold temperatures.

In the Southern hemisphere, Sydney Australia experienced its coldest August on record. Brazil and South Africa were surprised by snow, which they had never seen before. The US, Canada and Europe have had a cool summer.

The effect of global cooling on humanity will be entirely different and much more severe than any global warming. For starters, food crops will fail, food prices will rise, millions will starve, the sea level will fall, canals will dry up, Cayman will gain real estate, and will attract many more visitors trying to escape the cold..

No scientists dispute the fact that the earth’s climate is always changing. What they do dispute is the direction and causes.

Over the last 600,000 years there have been four ice ages, each lasting about 100,000 years, with warm periods in between, averaging about 10,000 years. And we are at the end of the latest warm period.

No matter what the IPCC says, these are geological facts. Were humans causing those ice ages and intervening warm periods? If not, then the simple question is who, or what?

When the last ice age ended about 10,000 years ago, the earth warmed up to a peak temperature around 5000 years ago when the Sumerians founded their society, and it has NEVER been that high since.

There have been valleys and peaks since then, but every peak has been lower than the previous peak. One of the recent peaks occurred in the 12th century, when there were flourishing vineyards all over Britain and the Vikings discovered and settled in Greenland.

However, they were frozen out in the 1400’s when our temperatures descended into the mini ice age. The Thames froze over every winter, and people could walk over the Baltic Sea ice from Sweden to Poland.

In recent years, the pronouncements of the IPCC (Inter Government Panel on Climate Change have been discredited. Their famous “hockey stick” graph showing temperatures over the last few hundred years has been shown to be a fiction.

Since this “hockey stick” graph is the foundation of the whole global warming “science”, then that “science” has also been discredited.

Dr. David Archibald, an eminent climatologist, and others, have pulled the rug out from under the IPCC, by showing that the relationship between CO2 and global temperature is weak and almost non-existent,

He even suggests that we need three times the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere than we have now, to optimize the growth of food crops.

A fundamental problem with the IPCC’s “science” is that it ignores the geological data that was collected over thousands of years up until the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and the beginning of their fraudulent “hockey stick” temperature graph.

Now please tell me how anyone can accept the IPCC’s science, which cannot, and does not even attempt to explain, what has happened in the earth’s history. If they cannot do that, then how on earth can they purport to predict the future?

In fact, they cannot, and until they can the best possible course is to ignore the IPCC completely.

However, the IPCC continues to push their fraudulent predictions and scare tactics even more stridently than before. Never mind that on December 21, 2007. a “U.S. Senate report documents hundreds of prominent scientists – experts in dozens of fields of study worldwide – who say global warming and cooling is a cycle of nature and cannot legitimately be connected to man’s activities.” The UN (United Nations) bureaucracy wants to grow its size, acquire more power, and. extract income from trading so-called carbon credits

Billions of taxpayer money from all over the world is at stake, so this is something that all of us should take very seriously.



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Reform needed says G20

| 16/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Leaders of the G20 (the worlds major developing nations) have identified the relentless search for, “higher yields without an adequate appreciation of the risks and failed to exercise proper due diligence” as one of the root causes of the current global financial crises. During an initial summit in Washington this weekend the countries said they were determined to enhance cooperation to restore growth and achieve needed reforms in the world’s financial systems.


In a joint communiqué issued by the leaders drafted at the summit meeting the countries’ financial leaders said they have taken urgent and exceptional measures to support the global economy and stabilize financial markets but that the countries were also seeking reform to help to ensure that a global crisis, such as this one, does not happen again.

“Our work will be guided by a shared belief that market principles, open trade and investment regimes, and effectively regulated financial markets foster the dynamism, innovation, and entrepreneurship that are essential for economic growth, employment, and poverty reduction,”the paper said.

Aside from the greed of seeking ever higher yields the G20 said that other causes of the current crisis included weak underwriting standards, unsound risk management practices, increasingly complex and opaque financial products, and consequent excessive leverage which created vulnerabilities in the system.

“Policy-makers, regulators and supervisors, in some advanced countries, did not adequately appreciate and address the risks building up in financial markets, keep pace with financial innovation, or take into account the systemic ramifications of domestic regulatory actions,” they said.

The G20 also criticized the inconsistent and insufficiently coordinated macroeconomic policies, inadequate structural reforms, which led to unsustainable global macroeconomic outcomes. “These developments, together, contributed to excesses and ultimately resulted in severe market disruption,” they added. “We have taken strong and significant actions to date to stimulate our economies….but more needs to be done to stabilize financial markets and support economic growth.”

The G20 said they will implement reforms that will strengthen financial markets and regulatory regimes, but as financial markets are global they want to see intensified international cooperation among regulators and strengthening of international standards, where necessary.

“Their consistent implementation is necessary to protect against adverse cross-border, regional and global developments affecting international financial stability. Regulators must ensure that their actions support market discipline, avoid potentially adverse impacts on other countries, including regulatory arbitrage, and support competition, dynamism and innovation in the marketplace. Financial institutions must also bear their responsibility for the turmoil and should

Transparency and accountability, enhancing sound regulation; integrity in financial Markets; international cooperation and the  reform of financial institutions  were the areas the nations agreed to work on. They also cited the need to review and aligning global accounting standards, as well as the strengthening the resilience and transparency of credit derivatives markets and reducing their systemic risks and a commitment to an open global economy.

“We recognize that these reforms will only be successful if grounded in a commitment to free market principles, including the rule of law, respect for private property, open trade and investment, competitive markets, and efficient, effectively regulated financial systems,” the G20 said. “We underscore the critical importance of rejecting protectionism and not turning inward in times of financial uncertainty.”


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Pink Ladies Annual Bazzar

| 16/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Pink Ladies will be holding their Annual Christmas Bazaar on Saturday 29 November at The Family Life Centre off Walker’s Road from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The event will feature entertainment by the Cayman National choir, Prep School Steel Band, George Hicks Campus Band, Laura Reid’s Dancers and Miss Jackie’s Dancers.

Raffle prizes will include jewelry, dinners for two, "Spoileration" gift basket (for a lucky lady), romantic evening basket, and more. There will also be a plant stall with big and small home & garden plants, a red & Green bazaar stall filled with Christmas decorating items and goodies, a children’s corner with games and helium balloons, face painting, polishing finger nails, a white elephant and Santa’s Bag, a book stall with new and used books, Country Kitchen with all freshly made cookies, cakes, and homemade pies. In addition, the Pink Ladies are raffling a Christmas quilt: $3.00 for one ticket and $5.00 for two. Winners do not need be present.

The Pink Ladies are volunteers who raise funds for deserving causes mainly through our hospital coffee-shop and this once a year event. At their annual general meeting last week, the charitable organisation allocated over CI$100,000 to go to such worthy recipients as the Pines Retirement Home, Special Olympics, the Lighthouse School, NCVO, and many more. The Pink Ladies rely solely on the public’s participation.


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Montessori By The Sea welcomes new teachers

| 16/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Montessori By The Sea, a Grand Cayman pre-school and elementary school, has welcomed eight new faces this term. With the new teachers on board, the school’s administrators say they are excited about, and have high hopes for, a great school year. The new teachers are: Katie Campbell, Karen Jane Ryan, Brent Durksen, Amy Scriven, Mariella Alpizar, Kristina Harper, Penny Martineau, Cara Chon, and Guy Harrison.

“Each year the administration and returning staff extend a warm welcome to the new teachers who are now a part of our MBTS team,” said Debbie Thompson, the school’s principal. “Our interview process is quite extensive as we want to ensure that we have qualified professionals who support the ethos of our organization and, more importantly, our aims for the students in our community. We are confident that our new members will strengthen our school community, which strives to provide a nurturing environment that celebrates the joy of discovery and encourages students to realize that their possibilities are limitless.”

“Montessori By The Sea is a unique school and it is a privilege to work here,” said Campbell, a lower-elementary teacher.

Physical education teacher Ryan worked as a sports instructor and personal trainer in Ireland. She was a gymnastics coach in the Cayman Islands for the last three years. “I feel honored to be a part of a school that is devoted to helping each child grow toward independence by building confidence, competence, self-esteem and respect for others,” she said.

Scriven, a lower-elementary teacher from Canada says she fell in love with Montessori By the Sea immediately. “The school community is kind and supportive, just what you need when relocating so far away from home,” she said. “The school year has already been full of so many wonderful moments and I look forward to what the rest of the year will bring.” Scriven has a degree in Classical Studies from Queen’s University in Canada. She completed the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Course at The Toronto Montessori Institute.

“It’s easy to get excited about teaching students who are eager to learn,” said Brent Durksen, the school’s new Information and Communication Technologies teacher. “The genuine interest shown by the students of Montessori By The Sea in my first two months of teaching has encouraged me to put forward my best efforts as an educator. It’s a positive cycle of mutual respect that speaks volumes about the Montessori philosophy, and I feel privileged to be a part of it.”

Mariella Alpizar, a Costa Rican with a degree in psychology, says she is happy to be teaching Spanish and serving as an assistant teacher in the upper-elementary program. “I really believe in the Montessori method and I can say this is a great school,” she said. “Kids grow and learn in a friendly and respectful environment and it’s rewarding to see that they are happy and excited to learn new things everyday. It is a new challenge for me and I’m more than glad to take it. Looking back at the first months of school, I have realized that the best experience is the interaction with each child, just getting to know them and forming a bond with them. Helping and guiding them through their learning process is the most gratifying experience.”

Lower-elementary teacher Kristina Harper has been working with children for most of her life. She a has a degree in Biology, a degree in psychology and a master of science in Child Development. She also as extensive experience working with physically and behaviorally challenged children. Harper calls Montessori By The Sea the “warmest and most caring” environment she has ever worked in. “The kids never fail to amaze me with their knowledge, interest in the world and consideration of others,” she said.

Ms Cara Chon has seven years of experience in Montessori schools. "Montessori By The Sea is an amazing community of warm and friendly students, families and educators,” said Ms Chon. “Becoming part of this, has been an easy and enjoyable adjustment for me!"

Guy Harrison is an author and newspaper columnist with a degree in history and anthropology. He is a part-time lecturer on science and history topics for both upper and lower elementary. “Montessori By The Sea is a fantastic learning environment. For me it’s pure joy to talk about space, microbes, ancient Greece and so on with curious and thoughtful children who are excited about history and science. In fact, it’s so rewarding and so much fun that I can’t believe they pay me to do it!”

Photo: New teachers at Montessori By The Sea. Front row, from left: Katie Campbell, Penny Martinaeu, Principal Debbie Thompson. Back row, from left: Guy Harrison, Mariella Alpiz, Kristina Harper, Cara Chon, Amy Scriven, Karen Jane Ryan. Not shown in photo is Brent Durksen. Photo by Jared Harrison

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Climate change may cause war

| 16/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(Houston Chronicle): Fast-changing climate has a range of serious thinkers — from military brass to geographers to diplomats — predicting a spate of armed conflicts driven by the weather. Shifting temperatures lead to shifting populations, they say, and that throws together groups with long-standing rivalries and thrusts them into competition for food and water. "It’s not hard to imagine violent outbursts," said Julianne Smith of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Go to article

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Water backs science for kids

| 16/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Water Authority Board is backing the upcoming Rotary Club of Grand Cayman Central Annual Science fair which is aimed at encouraging students to take an interest in science based careers expanding knowledge and skills of science through research and study.

Water Authority Director, Dr. Gelia Frederick-van Genderen said the Authority is pleased to support the Fair which helps to promote an awareness of jobs in the scientific and research fields to the young people in our community.   “We would like to thank all of the members and volunteers who help make this programme possible,” she added.

Chairman, Rotary Central Science Fair Committee, Dr. Walter Mustin welcome the Water Authority-Cayman’s continued support to the 3rd Annual Rotary Central Science Fair.

“This is a competition wherein students can demonstrate their science skills and compete for major prizes to assist them with future college studies.  Science fairs are great ways to generate interest and excitement in scientific fields and introduce students to new career opportunities.”

Students interested in participating should see their science teachers for application or contact Dr. Walter Mustin, Chairman, Rotary Central Science Fair Committee, P.O. Box 2216, Grand Cayman KY1-1105 or by email –

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Pre-school faces closure

| 16/11/2008 | 3 Comments

(CNS): More than seventy young pre-schoolers could have nowhere to go by Christmas as a result of a noticeto vacate. The Kids Adventures Preschool which opened in 2004 and survived Hurricane Ivan may not be able to survive market forces. According to PTA President Cheyenna Stewart the school must leave its current premises by 15 December 2008 as the building is under contract for sale and is desperate for a new affordable location.

“This forced relocation in such a short amount of time has shaken the well-being of 142 plus, parents, teachers and caregivers who give children a safe and secure environment to learn and grow,” said Stewart explaining that Kids Adventures parents, similar to other parents, need to work to provide for their children.

Stewart said that the school needs an affordable home in the range of 4000 square feet, with an area for a playground in the Georgetown area. Leasing is an option, but the market price per square foot is prohibitive (upwards of $25 per sq. ft.) — well beyond the affordability of any preschool.

“What will happen if there is no safe place to take them while they work?” she asked. “Quality, affordable, preschool and childcare makes it possible for Kids Adventures parents to make a contribution to the success of our business community and government offices. Kids Adventures PTA has undertaken the task of raising awareness of the current situation and is soliciting the help of the community, businesses and the Ministry of Education and Early Childhood Services. We have also been active in fundraising efforts by selling T-shirts and 2009 Kids Adventures Calendars as well as planning a Kids, Family Fun Day.”

She said that the Kids Adventures PTA is determined to give Cayman’s children the foundational security they so rightfully deserve by owning a property customized for the care of our littlest children and added that anyone who can help should contact her at 939-8282.

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