Archive for February 6th, 2009

Cops plan high profile policing for Mardi Gras

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(CNS): Police will be monitoring this year’s Mardi Gras party at Kaibo’s from the water and on land to ensure that there is no breach of the peace or public order and marine offences or traffic violations committed before, during or after the event, the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has said. The party will take place on Wednesday, 25 February — a public holiday — and Area Commander, Chief Inspector Richard Barrow, says he hopes the continuing situation of incident free Mardi Gras events continues.

“We don’t want people not to have fun,” CI Barrow said. “But we want to make sure they enjoy themselves safely, responsibly and decently. We have been working with the organisers to ensure adequate security and such like is in place, and now I’m calling on the public for their cooperation also.

 “As usual, the hosts have put in place measures to ferry people to and from the event and taxis should be on hand for the return journey, so there is no reason for anyone to get behind the wheel if they have had a drink.  Barrow warned revellers who do drink and drive that they will be caught.

The joint Customs and RCIPS Marine Unit is also warning boaters to act sensibly on the water. People are reminded that they should not operate their vessels if they are under the influence of alcohol. In addition, boats should not be overloaded with passengers and all the necessary safety equipment should be on board at all times.  The Marine Unit will be policing the event and officers will be looking out for unsafe boats and other dangerous water activities.

“We want everybody to have a safe and happy holiday and this starts with responsible behaviour,” added Mr Barrow.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station 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 information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.


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Regional Health experts offer support to Cayman

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(CNS): Members of the Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC) have commended some of the work going on in the health sector in the Cayman Islands on a recent visit. CHRC Director Dr. Donald T. Simeon and Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Elizabeth Lloyd visited Grand Cayman last month at the invitation of Minister for Health and Human Services who said he wanted to strengthen ties with the council. “My Ministry is very interested in utilizing CHRC’s technical expertise to inform the development of policy,” Minister Anthony Eden said.


In addition to the Minister and the ministry officials, Dr. Simeon and Ms. Lloyd met with ministry heads of departments, Chief Executive Officers, as well as representatives from the Nurses’ Association, Medical and Dental Council, and Cayman’s HIV/AIDS programme.

 “I am very pleased with the number of developments within the Cayman Islands, especially the recently enacted smoking legislation, which is currently only being discussed in other Caribbean countries,” Dr. Simeon said. “This development is especially important in the context of the public health and primary health care initiatives.”

The representatives said they were pleased that the Cayman Islands will make two presentations this year at the CHRC annual health research conference in St. Lucia. Lloyd encouraged local practitioners to submit research papers for next year’s conference. “Good research is being generated in the Cayman Islands,” she said.

During the visit, staff of the Ministry and the Health Services Authority did presentations on primary healthcare and public health initiatives. CHRC representatives then offered feedback on how to further develop these initiatives, by incorporating monitoring and evaluation techniques into the plans.

Dr Simeon said it was encouraging to see that the Ministry recognises the multi-sectoral nature of health impacts, and have involved various partner agencies in addressing health issues.

He and Lloyd also proposed to assist the Ministry and its agencies through training workshops on building research, and monitoring and evaluating capacity.



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Radio station introduces basketball show

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(CNS): Local radio station Hot 104.1 has introduced an hour of sport to DJ Renato Harris’ show. With the station becoming the new official media sponsor of the Cayman Islands Basketball Association (CIBA), DJ Renato will be welcoming CIBA into the studio to contribute to the new sports slot. The addition of on–air CIBA coaches and player interviews will be a recurrent part of the new line up. Renato first broadcast on the dms Broadcasting station two years ago, covering early-morning broadcasts and Night Flight.

 “I am thrilled about the new HOT 104.1 line up,” he said.  “CIBA will be an exciting addition to Midday Moods and I look forward to meeting with the best coaches and players on the island in the studio.”

Listeners can tune in Monday through Friday from 10am to 3pm to hear Renato on the Midday Moods show or on the Saturday Night Live show from 7 pm to midnight.  Fans can also tune in on-line

Every Thursday at 2 pm Renato will welcome two coaches into the studio from various CIBA leagues, including the National Men’s and Women’s Leagues, Men’s and Women’s U-19, and Boys and Girls U-16.  Players will also be visiting the studio to discuss upcoming games. 

“HOT 104.1 is ecstatic to be the official media sponsor for CIBA,” said Broadcasting Network Promotions and Marketing Manager Phil Vinciullo. “CIBA is one of Cayman’s most cherished sporting organizations, with over 400 people who participate in CIBA every year. HOT 104.1 is proud to jump on the bandwagon and join in on the fun.”

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Local talent underwater

| 06/02/2009 | 3 Comments

(CNS): Updated with photos — Local amateur photographers took their place alongside international film makers recently when they were invited to submit underwater images that best depict Cayman.  The “Eyes Wide Shut” photo competition, with categories of “Images with Strong Eye Contact” and “Images with No Eye Contact,” attracted nearly 200 entries as part of the 6th annual Cayman Islands International Underwater Film Festival on 30 January 30. (Left: Photo by Patrick Weir)

All of the photos submitted were shown during a slide show and displayed at the event where celebrity judges Cathy Church and Geri Murphy announced the winners.  “Choosing the winners was a difficult decision as all of the photos submitted were winners in their own right,” said Church. “There is an incredible amount of talent on this Island.”

She added that CITA had confirmed that the Photo Competition will become an annual event along with the Film Festival. (Right: Photo by Mike Johnston)

Winners of the “Images with Strong Eye Contact” section were: First Place – Patrick Weir; Second Place – Cynthia Abgarian and an honorable mention went to Jack Cudworth, Michael Brown, Mike Johnston, Chris Alpers, Jonathon Dietz, Nancy Mowbray-Cook, J. Syson, Ash McKnoght, Dave McKay, Hugo Segura, Cynthia Abgarian, and Younghwa Lee.

The winner of the “Images with No Eye Contact” was Mike Johnston with Jonathon Dietz taking the second place. Honorable mentions went to Gary Redfern, Susan Kerr, Jack Cudworth, Miklos Ujhelyi, Jonathon Dietz, and David Colli.

As well as presenting an audio/video feast of beautiful imagery guests enjoyed stories from around the globe. The Film Festival, organized by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA), was the second event in a high profile week for scuba divers around the world, which kicked off with the annual Induction Ceremony for the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame which was held at Pedro St. James the evening before. (Left: Photo by Cynthia Abgarian)

Each presenter at the Film Festival was a Scuba Diving Hall of Fame Inductee.  Howard Rosenstein kicked off the evening with a fascinating presentation highlighting his experiences in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean Atolls, followed by Casey Smith speaking on behalf of his father, the late Larry Smith, showing a film featuring Larry muck diving in Indonesia and New Guinea. Renowned underwater photographer, Geri Murphy, presented an Al Gidding’s classic film entitled “Silent Warrior,” about divers searching for the famous I-169 submarine.

Dr. Alex Mustard, a previous Film Festival presenter and guaranteed crowd pleaser, ended with a slide show highlighting the role of the underwater photographer. The evening also included a fundraising silent auction where artwork, hotel, diving, restaurant and other exciting certificates donated by CITA members were sold for the benefit of CITA’s marine conservation efforts. (Right: Photo by Jonathon Dietz)

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Young entrepreneurs cash in on Valentines

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(CNS): Demonstrating that the programme clearly works, Junior Achievement firm Sugar Rush has introduced a new line of confectionary arrangements for Valentine’s Day.  One of two JA companies mentored by dms Organization Ltd., Sugar Rush is busy preparing its upcoming selections which are now available to the public in anticipation of a surge in sales.

The student entrepreneurs said that the new line of products are thoughtfully named Sweeties, A Kiss Squared, Love Squared and XOXO.

Each of the designs features an assortment of confectionary delights in decorative containers and packaging. Sugar Rush, in addition to their planned public sales at various local retailers, are also taking pre-orders for custom done arrangements. “Come on down to A.L. Thompson’s on the 7th of February fro, 10 am to 2 pm and purchase your very own sweet delight!” said Sugar Rush VP of Marketing, Kortney Remizowski “After all, who wouldn’t want to give or receive sweets on such a romantic day?”

The Sugar Rush team said it hopes its customers will enjoy the treats they have to offer and added; “Who says that you can’t get sweet things at sweet prices? No matter what you desire; Sugar Rush has a product you will love.”   

Sugar Rush, a JA group, is a company solely run by high school students, mentored by dms Organization Ltd. advisors. Through the creation of its products, the student members of Sugar Rush are gaining valuable experience on how to operate a business and its different areas: production, marketing, finance, and human resources. Sugar Rush hopes its customers will enjoy the savory and unique treats they have to offer. Who says that you can’t get sweet things at sweet prices? No matter what you desire; Sugar Rush has a product you will love.   

For Sugar Rush pre-orders for Valentine’s Day, or for more information on its products please contact Kortney Remizowski, VP of Marketing, via e-mail at or via telephone at (345)-928-7118 


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Poets, photographers and women heroes

| 06/02/2009 | 1 Comment

(CNS):  Formerly the Women’s Resource Centre the Empowerment Community & Development Agency (ECDA) has said it is looking for nominations for women heroes as part of the March observance of ‘Honouring Women’ month. The public is now invited to nominate exemplary women as candidates for a display. “This year’s theme for Honouring Women Month is Heroes Among Us,” said Programme Officer Miriam Foster, of the ECDA an appropraite theme following the dedication of a new statue in Heroes Sqaure to women.

“The theme symbolises the idea that ordinary women all around us are doing extraordinary things. Often the same women are constantly recognised in the local media, but there are so many women whose lives have been a heroic journey, and who are an example to us all,” Foster explained.

Along side the search for heroes the agency is also holding a photography and poetry contest on the same theme.

Foster explained that many women here in Cayman can offer inspiration by doing ordinary things."One doesn’t have to look very far to become inspired by the work of a single mother trying to clothe and feed her kids and yet still managing a smile on her face,” she said. Photography and poetry are mediums in which individuals are able to more freely express their feelings about topics that are otherwise hard to convey. “So by entering these competitions, participants will bring to light the many issues affecting women in our society,” Foster added.  

There are two age categories 14 to 17 years, and 18 years and older. Everyone in those age ranges is invited to participate. “We expect that the contests should generate a lot of participation from community members,” Foster said.

Winning entries will be displayed at various Honouring Women’s Month events. First, second and third-prize winners will respectively collect $100, $75 and $50. Poetry contest awards are sponsored by Orchid Development, while an anonymous supporter has donated funds to cover the photography prizes. 

The deadline for submission is Monday, 23 February at 5:00 pm and each entry must be accompanied by an entry form, which can be found online at, or collected from the Empowerment Community & Development Agency (formerly the Women’s Resource Centre) office in Elizabethan Square, Ground Floor.

The deadline for nomination of heroes s is also 23 February nomination forms and a digital picture of the hero can be submitted  by e-mail to or by hand to the office.

 The forms are available online at and at the ECDA office.  

The photographic heroes display will be unveiled at the International Women’s Day Ceremony on Monday, 9 March.

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‘Google Ocean’ launched

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(The Telegraph): Google Ocean, which will be included in the newest version of Google Earth, will allow users to swim around underwater volcanoes, watch videos about exotic marine life, read about nearby shipwrecks, contribute photos and watch unseen footage of historic ocean expeditions – all from the comfort of their homes. Footage of polar bears, beluga whales, sea urchins and king penguins from the BBC’s award winning series Planet Earth and The Blue Planet will also be available.  Go to article

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Radio station to match-make lonely hearts

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(CNS): Two local radio stations are hoping to help people looking for love find their soul mates with a singles speed dating night at Café Med next week.  Kiss and Cayrock are bringing local singles together to find their perfect match. “With speed dating, you meet an abundance of single prospects and talk to them for just enough time to decipher if you would like to get to know them better,” said Chuck Taylor from Kiss.

“dms Broadcasting understands that your time is precious – so why not just cut to the chase. It’s dating made easy1 It’s bound to be an entertaining night, and it’s a fabulous way to break the ice and meet new people.”

The night is free to attend, and depending on the number of participants, speed dating consists of a select number of round robins. Each couple spends three minutes of one-on-one discussion time to make their impression, before moving on to the next person. At the end of the night, participants anonymously submit a list of names of the individuals whom they would like to get to know better. The organizers review the submissions and arrange for an exchange of contact details between couples who mutually selected one another.

Registration is between 7 to 7:30 pm on Wednesday, 11 February and there will be prize giveaways at the door. “This event was a hit last year, and we find that with each time that we reintroduce events from the past, such as speed dating – the word spreads and the enthusiasm and participation grows with,” added Phil Vinciullo, dms Broadcasting’s network promotions and marketing manager.


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Prince surveys Brac damage

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(CNS): On his fourth visit to the Cayman Islands, HRH Prince Edward spent two hours Thursday morning, 5 February, on a lighting tour meeting Cayman Brac residents and surveying the damage left by Hurricane Paloma, which struck the island 8 November 2008. Paloma, a category 4 hurricane that grew in strength rapidly just before it hit the island, catching many off guard, caused an estimated CI$50 million worth of damages in the Sister Islands. (Left: the prince meets 32 Storm survivors Ray and Rosie Scott)

Most of the damage was on the Brac, where around 85% of all buildings were damaged. Additionally, 42% of businesses, all hotels and condominiums, and 32% of government buildings were also damaged. Of the 1,207 buildings on the island, 56 (5.36%) were destroyed, 182 (15.93%) sustained major damage, 231 (19.75%) had medium damage, 543 (43.39%) had minor damage, and just 195 (15.57%) sustained no damage at all, according to figures from the Ministry of District Administration, Planning, Agriculture and Housing and Hazard Management Cayman Islands. (Right: at Spot Bay)

Arriving at at the Gerrard Smith International Airport, where he was met by Acting Governor George McCarthy, MLAs Julianna O’Connor-Connolly and Moses Kirkconnell, District Commissioner Ernie Scott, and Acting Head of the Governor’s Office Alan Drury, Prince Edward drove through the north side of the island.

Passing West End, where 21% of buildings were affected by Paloma and seven were destroyed, the prince’s party travelled to Spot Bay, where 152 buildings (11%) were affected and 11 buildings destroyed. Seeing some of the damage by car and walking part of the way for a better look at the district, the prince was greeted next to the Spot Bay Park by a crowd of residents as well as children from Spot Bay School. Among those gathered were a number of Brackers – Rosie and Ray Scott (above), Faith Tatum and Lurley Scott (left with MLA O’Connor-Connolly) – who had survived not just Paloma but the 32 Storm, which devastated the island 76 years earlier. He also met Dr Mark Laskin and staff from the Cayman Islands National Recovery Fund, and Kris Beighton from KPMG, which has donated to the fund.

The party then moved onto the Brac Police Station at the Creek, which sustained major damage in the hurricane and has been unusable since. (Police are currently headquartered at the Brac campus of the University College of the Cayman Islands.) Then onto the trailer park at Watering Place, where eight trailer homes are currently housing 20 people. Some 60 residents are also believed to be living in other forms of temporary housing. Approximately 100 residents were displaced by the storm altogether but around 90% are now back in their homes, according to the DAPAH Ministry.

No residents were at the trailer park when the prince arrived, but 73-year-old Meridith Dilbert, whose home was blown off its foundation, later told CNS that the trailer home she had been allotted was “not too bad”. She said, "I lost everything in the storm and I hope something will come up and I get another place,” and added that she continued to sleep at a relative’s house because she didn’t like being alone at night. (Right: Crowds gather at Spot Bay)

Stopping briefly at the Seamen’s and Veterans’ Centre on the Bluff, where 93 people who sheltered there during Paloma were given a fright when part of the roof buckled in the storm, Prince Edward passed the Aston Rutty Civic Centre, where eight elderly residents of the Kirkconnell Community Care Centre remain in the medical wing of the island’s main hurricane shelter. During Hurricane Paloma, the medical wing of Centre housed 23 people, including hospital patients. Since Hurricane Paloma, three KCCC residents have passed away.

Prince Edward then made his last stop at the Brac Reef Beach Resort, which at the time of the storm was the Brac’s only hotel. (Leftto right: Deputy DC mark Tibbetts, MLAs Julianna O’Connor-Connolly and Moses Kirkconnell, Prince Edward and DC Ernie Scott)

There he met Kyle Hooker, the grandson of the hotel’s founder Linton Tibbetts, who gave him an update on the hotel’s recovery progress. Despite the fact that an entire section of the hotel – which included the lobby and office area, the exercise room and boutique – Hotel Manager Trudy Viers told CNS she expects the resort to re-open in June. A new hotel, The Alexander, is also nearing completion.

The Prince returned to the airport at noon for a last farewell to a group of schoolchildren gathered to wave him off as he headed for Grand Cayman.

  Brac Students wave goodbye to the prince at the airport

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Earl recognises young Dukers

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(CNS): One of the stops on Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex’ brief visit to the Cayman Islands yesterday (Thursday 5 February) was the Governor’s house where he presented 53 bronze Duke of Edinburgh awards and 9 silver to young people who had participated in the programme. The Earl congratulated the young people and said he hoped that they had enjoyed participating and that it had given them opportunity to see what they could achieve and had spurred them on to do more in their lives.

“To all these young people, I know that although the award is about individual achievement it is also about a team effort,” Prince Edward said. “They know that working as a team they got this far, but also a lot of other people have been involved teachers, leaders, parents, friends whoever it is thank you for all that you have done and I hope you have shared a little of the pride watching these young people receive their certificates.”

He said he hoped that the awardees would keep on the programme and move on up to the next level and aim for gold. “I hope one day to see you all up there with a gold pin and representing your country,” he added.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme was established in 1956 by the Duke of Edinburgh the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. Operating in over 120 countries it is dedicated to the development of young people.  Since the Cayman Islands began participating hundreds of young Caymanians have gone through the programme and gone on to achieve bronze, silver and gold awards.

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