Archive for January 8th, 2009

Little Cayman Sea Camp for students

| 08/01/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Little Cayman Research Center will be hosting the 10th annual Caribbean Sea Camp this summer. Students 14-18 years of age who are interested in learning about the marine environment, gaining experience for their educational future and having fun in the process are encouraged to apply. The program accepts both national and international students, and scholarship opportunities are provided to local students who are able to show an active interest in coral reef conservation.

The 2009 Sea Camp, a high school marine sciences education program, is hosted by the Central Caribbean Marine Institute at their Little Cayman fracility and will take place 12 through 18 July. The anniversary will be celebrated with the introduction of a newly developed curriculum, activities and counsellors, according to a CCMI release.

This year’s events and activities have been developed to provide students with a solid foundation of knowledge in marine ecosystems and conservation. Students will have the opportunity to gain invaluable hands-on experience working with marine scientists, collecting data, mapping habitats, debating issues that concern our reefs and many other fun productive activities.

Students interested in the program must complete an application indicating their own personal ideas about why coral reefs are important and obtain a letter of recommendation as to why they should be considered for placement in this program

For more information on the 2008 Caribbean Sea Camp or for an application e-mail or visit our web site at Applications are being accepted now and through the months of March and April.

Companies interested in sponsoring a scholarship for a local student can obtain details by emailing .

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.

For additional information on the research, education, outreach and conservation initiatives of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute, please visit our website at

Photo: Pair of French Angel Fish, courtesy Chris and Joanna Humphries

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99 Bottles Giveaway winner

| 08/01/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Paullete McField won a ticket for two to any Cayman Airways destination as the Grand Prize winner in the second annual 99 Bottles Give Away sponsored by Hpnotiq, PAMA and Tortuga Rums. McField said she was thrilled with the start of her new year, and considered the prize a present for her early January birthday. Her daughter Asia selected the winning canister for her. The other 98 winners took home bottles of Hpnotiq, PAMA, Tortuga products, tee shirts and other promotional items.

 All customers and participants enjoyed in-store specials and samples of the sponsors’ products.

The Give Away was promoted throughout the island during the entire month of December with Z-99 radio live remotes held at DLK, Helium, Sapphire Lounge and Rackam’s Waterfront. Promotion entries were earned by purchasing Hpnotiq, PAMA and Tortuga rums, or attending the Z-99 live remotes. From the hundreds of entries, ninety-nine winners were selected for the final prize drawing held at Tortuga Liquors Governors Square store on Saturday, 3 January.

Hpnotiq is a blend of premium vodka, natural tropical fruit juices and a hint of Cognac, and PAMA is a pomegranate liqueur. Tortuga Rum Company is a family owned and operated business based in Grand Cayman, with franchise bakeries in Jamaica, Barbados and the Bahamas.

Photo: Paullete McField, daughter Asia and Jeremy Ebanks, General Manager, Tortuga Rum Co

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Recycle Christmas trees

| 08/01/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Everyone on Grand Cayman who enjoyed having natural Christmas trees over the festivities can now improve their environmental credentials by taking those trees to drop off areas so that they can be recycled. The Department of Environmental Health (DEH) collects the trees andturns them into mulch which is provided free to the public, which benefits the environment by keeping the trees out of the landfill. The date for mulch collection will be announced at a later time.

Residents can drop off their trees at the following locations:-

  • Ed Bush Stadium, West Bay
  • George Town Cricket Field
  • The drop-off area at the entrance of the GT Landfill
  • Spotts Dock, Savannah-Newlands
  • Entrance of Frank Sound Road
  • Front of George Dixon Park, East End

 Residents are urged to drop-off their trees so that there will be enough mulch for everyone. For more information, contact DEH’s solid waste unit at 949-8793 or Tania Johnson at 244-4152.

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Grouper ban still in effect

| 08/01/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Taking of any Nassau grouper in any of the designated grouper spawning areas during the months November through March is prohibited as the eight year ban is still in effect. The Marine Conservation Board also reminds the public that no Nassau grouper may be taken with any spear gun in Cayman waters.

Designated grouper spawning areas are located at the following locations:

Grand Cayman – East End ‘Coxswain Bank’
South West Point ‘Sand Cay’
Cayman Brac – East End and West End

Little Cayman – East End and West End

12 Mile Bank- Northeast and Southwest ends.

Further information on these areas may be obtained at the Dept. of Environment Offices on North Sound Rd. George Town.

Anyone wishing to report violations of the Marine Conservation Law may do so confidentially to the DOE at 949-8469, Marine Enforcement Supervisor Mark Orr at 916-4271, or Emergency 911.

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Sea Camp date set

| 08/01/2009 | 0 Comments

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Website opens polls for local awards

| 08/01/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Voting has opened for the 3rd Annual Best of Cayman Awards, and the polls will be open through until the end of January for people to vote for their favourite things in the Cayman Islands. Each year the website offers accolades to local businesses in the tourism sector. The website was started in 2004, allowing tourists to plan their vacations before arriving on island.

The site has been evolving and account executive, James Gale said visitors to the site will notice several new features, including free local classifieds, an event calendar, and new video listings. “The video listings are extremely popular, and allow new visitors to get a “virtual tour” of your business and the best things you have to offer,” he added.

The firm said it wil also be launching its sister website, to serve the islands throughout the Caribbean.

“This year we will launch Best of the Caribbean to help tourists and locals decide where to go and what to do when they arrive on one of the islands. Businesses featured on the sites include hotels, rental cars, restaurants, shopping, spas, local activities and more,” says founder, Carrie Layne.

The parent company, Best of Travel, LLC based in Dallas, Texas also has very aggressive plans to launch similar community websites, including the most recently launched, and soon to come Best of Florida. More website networks are planned to launch throughout the US, Canada, and even Europe. recently partnered with the Cayman Islands DOT, The Wharf Restaurant, and Sunshine Suites to give away a trip for two to the Cayman Islands. “We feel that this promotional campaign in Texas will help increase tourism and awareness in the Cayman Islands,” says Carrie Layne.

To vote, simply log on to and click on the Voting Banner on the homepage or go here to vote now: . Last year, over 20,000 people from all over the world voted for all the BEST places in Cayman. The winners help both locals and tourists decide where they want to visit and spend their money in Cayman.

For more information about investing in Best of Travel or to advertise your business in our network of websites, please contact Carrie Layne at

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Serrano helps Lassie house

| 08/01/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The restoration expert that helped to restore the Old Jail in the Cayman Islands National Museum building is now using her expertise to assist the Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF) with the preservation of art work at Miss Lassie’s House. Professor Elisa Serrano will be advising on the restoration of the art on the windows, doors and walls of Miss Lassie’s house as well as evaluating the CNCF’s collection of paintings.


Since Miss Lassie’s death in 2003, time and weathering have deteriorated the art that she painted on her house. Dr. Serrano will advise how best to arrest further deterioration and work on preserving the widows and doors in their current state. The original windows and doors will be removed and placed on exhibit at the property.

Replicas built by Steve Hawley with the art copied by local artists will replace the original windows and doors. Murals on interior walls will be repaired and preserved. Dr. Serrano is an expert in the conservation of pictorial heritage and mural art with 35 years experience in the conservation and restoration of paintings on wood, canvas, ceramics and stone as well as murals. One of her most outstanding works is the restoration of the 163 square metre ceramic mural by Cuban artist Rene Portocarrero that won her praise from the Laboratories of the Museums of France. She also worked on the restoration of Ernest Hemingway’s original writings on the walls of his Havana villa and the restoration of mural paintings at Caracas’ 19th century Municipal Theatre.

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West Bay party-goers may face arrest

| 08/01/2009 | 3 Comments

(CNS): Police said that they have been receiving a number of complaints from people regarding the congregation of late night party-goers at the weekend in West Bay in the Morgan’s Harbour area and warned that if people are using and selling illegal drugs at the events the police will make arrests.

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) issued the warning following a number of complaints which have been made to them regarding late night parties taking place in Garvin Road, near Morgan’s Harbour.

“Recently, we have seen a large number of people gathering in this area at the weekend after the bars have closed,” said Area Commander Chief Inspector Angelique Howell. “We have had complaints about ganja use and loud music carrying on until the early hours of the morning.”

The area in question has clear signs stating that no loitering and no loud music is permitted. “We don’t want to spoil people’s fun,” commented Ms Howell. “But people must conduct themselves lawfully. If illegal drugs are being sold or consumed or if people are being a nuisance to the community, we will take action.”

The RCIPS encourages residents to contact the police if they have any concerns about what is happening in their community. People can contact their local police station, the main switchboard on 949-4222 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling crime stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their informationlead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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Henry-Ricketts say not guilty

| 08/01/2009 | 8 Comments

(CNS): The two men accused of murdering Estella Scott-Roberts on 11 October 2008 appeared in Grand Court yesterday and entered a not guilty plea to the charge of murder. Although Kirkland Henry (27) and Larry Ricketts (25), both Jamaican nationals, also stand accused of other charges including rape, abduction and robbery, the men were not arraigned for those charges on the request of their defence attorneys.

On the first day of this year’s Grand Court session (Wednesday 7 January) the two men appeared before Justice Alex Henderson at the end of a long docket. Henry and Ricketts, who are currently on remand at HMP Northward, were brought in to the court room surrounded by heavy security from both police and HMP officers. Once their pleas were recorded, Justice Henderson set the trial date for 3 August 2009. He queried whether the ten day period set aside was long enough for the trial as some 34 potential witnesses were listed to appear.

However, the defence attorneys both said that it was unlikely that all the witnesses would be called as much of the testimony would be similar, and that two weeks should be a sufficient time for the trial. Henry is being represented by attorney Ben Tonner and John Furniss is representing Ricketts. Both men will be arraigned regarding the other charges against them at a later date.

Both men were arrested by police on Monday, 27 October, over two weeks after the body of local activist and Cable and Wireless communications manager Scott-Roberts was found in her burnt out car in the dykes area of Barkers in West Bay.

William McLaughlin- Martinez, the man charged with the murder of Brian Rankine, whose naked and mutilated body, the result of a machete attack, was found in a car park at McField Lane in George Town in May of last year, also entered a not guilty plea to the charge of murder, which was read out to him in court. His trial date has been set for 7 July.

Josue Perez–Carrillo who has been charged with the murder of Canadian national Martin Gareau, whose badly beaten body was found in his home in Beach Bay in May of this year, also appeared before Henderson. However, his case was adjourned when his defence counsel, Anthony Akiwumi, explained that he would be engaging in legal argument with the crown and seeking a motion to have the indictment quashed, the details of which were not revealed in the court room.

Following the official opening of the grand court in the morning, Henderson began the afternoon proceedings with the jurors and fined five people $500 each who failed to turn up for the session. He then worked through a long list of mentions and indictments covering sexual offences, firearms charges, wounding and robberies.

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SPITtakes centre stage at Grand Court opening

| 08/01/2009 | 8 Comments

(CNS): The official ceremonial opening of the Grand Court for 2009 was dominated by the issues relating to the Special Police Investigation Team (SPIT) and Operation Tempura. The Chief Justice Anthony Smellie criticized SIO Martin Bridger directly and presidents of both the Caymanian Bar Association and the Cayman Law Society criticized the arrest of Justice Alex Henderson, questioned the investigation and called on the governor to reaffirm his support for the judiciary. Smellie was particularly emphatic in his condemnation of Henderson’s arrest as well as Bridger’s public statements.

“The regrettable, unlawful and ill-conceived arrest of Justice Henderson remains a subject of sustained public criticism and concern,” the CJ Anthony Smellie said, adding that the legal profession should demand full accountability from all persons responsible. “The misconduct alleged in the arrest was not and could not have amounted to an offence in the first place. Not only was the arrest therefore unlawful, it was also without any reasonable or proper basis. It is fundamentally important that the public should understand this, otherwise the impression might linger that although misconduct in public office may not be an arrestable offence, some such offence was nonetheless involved,” Smellie stated.

He noted that there was serious concern regarding the public statements made by Bridger in relation to the publication of the judgments which refused search warrants for the Operation Tempura investigation.  “Those judgments, like all judgments of the Court, immediately became public documents in the absence of any application and any order granted to embargo their publication. No such application was made. It seems this failing, if such it was, occurred because of yet another misunderstanding of the law – although it is in essence the same in Cayman as in England – relating to such matters.”

Smellie went on to criticize Bridger’s statement on 9 October 2008 seeking to bring into question what Bridger had described as the CJ’s authorization of the publication of the judgments.  “That, it must be said, was neither exemplary nor professional behaviour on the part of a police officer whose sworn duty requires him to respect the Courts and to observe the laws of the land. It was all the more troubling coming, as it did, from an experienced officer such as Mr Bridger. It was a matter about which I wrote immediately to H.E. the Governor, registering my concern.  I still await a response,” Smellie told the audience gathered for the ceremonial motion to open the Grand Court.

Alasdair Robertson presented the President of the Law Society Charles Jennings’ speech, which also criticized the Investigation and called on the governor to offer his support to the judiciary. He said the governor needed to confirm publicly that,with the possible exception of the upcoming Commission of Enquiry (concerning Justice Priya Levers)  he had no further problem with the judiciary, and announce unequivocally that he continues to have every confidence in the Bench and in the administration of justice in the Cayman Islands. 

“Let’s draw a line beneath it as soon as we can, hopefully reinforced by a statement of confidence in the judiciary by the governor, and move on.  We are going to have enough challenges this year not to waste further time and money on distractions like this” Jennings stated.

He noted that Justice Henderson should never have been arrested. “The fact that it did shows that aspects of the investigation were ill-advised and fundamentally misconceived.  The positive point, I suppose, is that the rule of law did at least prevail in time to save the jurisdiction and various individuals any further embarrassment and I hope we can say, in light of the recent apologies of both the visiting senior investigating officer and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, that that particular aspect of the investigation is at a close,” Jennings added.

James Bergstrom, the President of the Caymanian Bar Association, said the actions taken by the investigation team were found to have been improper, illegal and an abuse of process, and had raised real concerns aside from the improper arrest of a sitting Grand Court Judge.  Bergstrom said there had been a lack of clear oversight and direction, a lack of transparency on the subject of the investigation, a lack of proportionality regarding the action taken, and the length and cost of the investigation were also of concern.

“The consequent damage to the perception and reputation of Cayman as an international jurisdiction is, as of now, uncertain.  But the fact that much of this damage will have been caused by the world wide publicity attending the improper arrest of the judge heightens those concerns,” Bergstrom added.

“We all patiently await the report by the investigation team and any remedial action that will be taken so we can put this behind us, move on and try to repair the damage that has been done to the administration of justice in these Islands.”

The day’s proceedings also involved a considerable reflection on the many legal issues raised in 2008, as well as the challenges facing the judiciary in the coming year.

Keep checking CNS for more reports from the Grand Court opening this week



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