Archive for March 20th, 2009

Lean on Me Masquerade Ball

| 20/03/2009 | 2 Comments

(CNS): The Lean on Me Committee (Charity) will be holding their first annual Spring Celebration Masquerade Ball – A Spring Affair on Saturday, 21 March to raise funds to help people in the community who need financial medical assistance or who are in dire need of other legitimate assistance. This year’s ball will be held on the waterfront terrace at Camana Bay at 62 Forum Lane, which is adjacent to CNB. The evening will be packed with an array of local musical entertainers such as Hi Tide, Regeneration, Steward Wilson and Love Culture, Miss Cayman Islands Nicosia Lawson, Jamesette Anglin, Jeffery Wilson and DJ Diamond.

Tickets are $5o pre-sold, $60 at the event, and the dress code for the evening is semi-formal. The ball begins at 6:30 pm and ends at midnight and will be in the form of a masked cocktail party, with lots of entertainment throughout the evening, and will be catered by Mise en Place. The organization has also flown in a limited amount of Venetian Style Masks specifically for the event which will also be on sale for a nominal donation.

The Lean on Me Committee (Charity) was formed by a group of dedicated young professionals who came together in July 2006 to raise funds for local singer, Nina Orrett, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Since then they have also raised funds for another local musical artist Errol “Skanky” Grant, who was diagnosed with male breast cancer.

Every year since 2006 the Lean on Me Committee (Charity) has organized events throughout the year which not only showcases a plethora of local musicians, dancers, comedy acts and models who have all donated their time and talents to express their support, but have also used these events to assist persons directly who are either in need of guidance, financial or hands-on assistance. The Lean on Me Committee has also lent its support to other local charities and non-profits to assist in their efforts as well.

A few of the time and monetary donations made to assist those inneed in the community are:

The Pines Retirement Home- Funds raised from annual event to assist their Building Fund
C.I. Hospice Care- Funds raised from annual event-for Care-giving costs
Nina Orrett- Funds raised from annual event- Medical expenses
Errol ‘Skanky’ Grant – Funds raised from annual event-Medical expenses
C.I. Crisis Centre- Linen Drive- to assist battered women by providing clothing and household goods
Baby Jordon (pre-mature infant) – Supermarket collection & Private donations
Five recently orphaned children – Private donations of clothing and assistance
Baby TJ (pre-mature infant)- Catamaran Cruise and Supermarket donations
Nathan Benko- a young child who needs financial assistance for a Open Heart Surgery
HMP Northward- Prison-Motivational Talks (Men’s Prison)
HMP Fairbanks- Motivational Talks (Women’s Prison)
Anna Watler- Kidney Transplant assistance to donor
Cayman Recovery Fund- For Cayman Brac Hurricane Poloma Relief Fund.

The charity has also recently created a Facebook site which is being used to generate support for the organization and to also help inform the public of their efforts and give a face to the many needs in the community. The Facebook site is open to the public and can be found as Lean on Me-Cayman in the Facebook search.

Lean on Me Committee (Charity) will continue to assist those in need and look forward to the continued public support that it has received in the past.

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Brac Rotarians help Day Care Centre

| 20/03/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): When the Cayman Brac Day Care Centre appealed for post-Paloma assistance, the Rotary Club of Cayman Brac stepped forward with $2000 for playground items and sun shades to protect the children. The donation was made possible by more than $120,000 in Paloma Recovery donations from an international assortment of benefactors to the Brac Rotary Club’s Hurricane Paloma Relief fund. Rotarians from every club in the Cayman Islands have donated time, money, or both to help the residents of Cayman Brac restore their storm-ravaged community.

Many of the cash contributions donated to Rotary’s hurricane recovery efforts have been triggered by the post-Paloma updates offered online at Visitors to that site can learn more about Rotary’s efforts in the wake of this disaster and read comments from people around the world offering support and encouragement to the residents who are still struggling to rebuild their lives.


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Missing persons law needed

| 20/03/2009 | 29 Comments

In the past 6 months we have had at least 3 persons that have gone missing in the Cayman Islands. Sadly, two of those have ended in the worse possible way.

I am saddened that we are now at the stage where we need to formalize a policy to address missing persons but that time is here. We are no longer able to see these as isolated incidents that can be dealt with in an ad-hoc manner. Missing persons enquiries have to be treated very seriously as each has the potential to become a more serious crime.

I am therefore calling for both our legislators and the police to swiftly implement a missing persons report procedure and protocol. It is now high time that we implement legislation that lays out guidance on the management recording and investigation of missing persons.

The majority of persons reported missing return soon after their disappearance without suffering any harm. A small percentage, however, will have come to harm or have been the victim of crime and it must not be overlooked that the missing person report could be the start of a major crime enquiry.

The manner in which the investigation is conducted must cater for the preservation of evidence and the rules of disclosure. One of the most important considerations for the police when investigating missing persons is providing support to the immediate family and close friends. In some cases the trauma associated with such an event will place the family and friends of the missing person under severe personal pressure, particularly if the investigation or the media make heavy demands on them.

As a candidate and more importantly as a woman who now lives in great fear in the Cayman Islands, I would propose the implementation of a Management of Missing Persons Law that sets out, amongst other things, the priorities of the police service in responding to reports of missing persons can be summarised as follows: to ensure that every report of a missing person is risk assessed so that missing persons who may be vulnerable or represent high risk are immediately identified; to investigate reports of missing persons; o have clear policies in place which describe organisational roles and responses to reports of missing persons; to adopt a proactive multi-agency approach in dealing with missing persons; to support the needs of the family, those close to the missing person and the community; to ensure that staff are adequately trained to investigate missing persons’ cases; to preserve evidence where a crime has been committed.

Furthermore, police staff should maintain public confidence by delivering these priorities to a professional standard and implement an RCIPS internal forms and procedures forms; ensure that every missing person is risked assessed and resources are effectively allocated, investigated and supervised; implement a comprehensive force policy which reflects this guidance and develop systems with which support information sharing within the police service and other agencies; establish of a national persons helpline; establish a partnership program that allows for NGO’s, trained dogs, and other agencies to carry out immediate searches and road blocks, as well as an island-wide alerting system; continual training of search and rescue teams within the fire service and RCIP; and full recording of details and post-review of each case after completion by a senior RCIP officer.

Such enquiries can be very time consuming and resource intensive but we have to commit to doing all that we can to reach a satisfactory conclusion and trace the missing person. We no longer live in the safe island that time forgot.

I am calling upon all elected members and even candidates to make a contribution to this important topic. I stand ready and offer my free research and writing assistance to the RCIP in order to develop a pro-active plan for public discussion as well as support the passage of a bill.

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Two home wins for Brac Football Club

| 20/03/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Cayman Brac was treated to a fine display of football from the Cayman Brac Football Club’s Under 15 and 17 teams last Saturday morning as they both won their matches in style. The young U-15 team was up for the challenge as they faced a very organized and disciplined Future FC team, which defeated them earlier 1-0 in Grand Cayman. This time around, said Brac Coach Mitchum Sanford, the CBFC youngsters were on home turf and had good night’s rest to easily dominated and win Future FC 4-2.Prolific and multi-faceted star striker Nicholas Scott scored twice, while team mates Brian Martin and Jovonnie Anglin grabbed one each.

Sanford then starting a mass of substitutions to give his bench some playing time and took off his top players for much needed rest.

In the second match of the day, Cayman Brac’s highly skilled Under 17 team went up against the visiting East End FC for the first time this season. “From the start it was evident that the Brac was more organized and skilled, and displayed some of the best flowing and entertaining football seen in Cayman Brac,” said Sanford.

It took some time, however, for the Brac to breakdown the East End defence but when they did, the goals came quickly. Leading the game 4-0 at the end the first half, which would stand as the final result, Sanford again made wholesale substitutions by resting some of his star players and giving more playing time to his bench – a policy that the Brac coach has lived by for years and which he says has proven very beneficial to the development of his players and their satisfaction and happiness in playing for him and the CBFC.

Cayman Brac U-15 team will play Bodden Football Club this Saturday, 21 March, at 9:00 am at the field on the Bluff. Coach Sanford thanks all parents, guardians, and spectators for coming out and supporting the club each Saturday morning.

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Basketball v. child abuse

| 20/03/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): In one of the latest actions to combat child abuse and neglect in Cayman and to raise awareness about this problem, the Rock Hole Fyah Ants basketball team has been formed through the support of Ogier and the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre (CICC). The new Division B team’s captain, Caymanian artist Gordon Solomon, designed a one- of-a-kind basketball team uniform with ants as their icon and “Report Child Abuse” as the caption.

“Many people might be asking ‘why ants?’” said CICC Community Outreach Coordinator Carol Graham in a release. “Ants move mountains, one grain of dirt at a time. They do that by communicating. If we have community members that can address child abuse by adults taking the personal responsibility to protect children when they suspect or see abuse, we can truly change the fabric of our society.” Ants are the mascot to the ‘Darkness to Light’ programme taught by Graham through the CICC. The programme delivers specific training to parents and anyone who has responsibility for children on how to identify and prevent child abuse.

Solomon, a former player of the Cayman Islands National team (1994-1998), joined forces with two of his brothers Samuel Solomon and Cruz Solomon in putting together this team that carries this strong message. “The team is happy to be working with Ogier’s Child and Family Welfare Committee to advocate against child abuse,” said Solomon.

One of Ogier’s five employee funded and operated community services groups is the Child and Family Welfare committee, chaired by Denise Gower. “Funding this new team is an idea that the committee was immediately drawn to, as Ogier’s corporate involvement in combating child abuse is long and involved with Hedge Funds Care,” said Gower. “This project represents the increased level of awareness about child abuse in all areas of our community and it is wonderful to see this group actively creating dialogue around this issue and the need for adults to be accountable.”

With this strong message and the backing of corporate support, the team is expected to quickly climb the B division ranks. The team comprises: Gordon Solomon, Jovan Lee, Debert Dawes, Cruz Solomon, Odell Smith, Leroy Stewart, Kanie McKenzie, Samuel Solomon, Kenneth Bryan and Adam Llewelyn.

Photo: The Rock Hole Fyah Ants and members of the Ogier Child and Family Welfare Committee: Odell Smith, Heni Babbington, Cruz Solomon, Gordon Solomon, Adam Llewelyn, Shelliann Bush and Leroy Stewart.

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Talk on “kin” sparks debate

| 20/03/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): An in-depth presentation on “Kin”, also known as one’s relatives or family, sparked a colorful and thought provoking discussion about modern biology, and more specifically about the deep and close relationship among all life forms, at the first of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute’s Reef Reports. Dr David Ross Peart, Professor of Biological Sciences for Dartmouth College also discussed the details on the research his graduate students were working on at CCMI’s Little Cayman Research Centre and answered many impressive scientific questions.

According to a CCMI release, the final message of the evening is that our ongoing challenge is to better understand how to maintain some of the diversity of life that shares the planet with us.

The next Reef Report presentation is “Growing reefs, one piece at a time”, scheduled for 23 April at the Cracked Conch with a 7:00 pm welcome reception and 7:30 pm presentation. Guest speaker will be Craig A. Watson, the Vice President of Research and Conservation for the Florida Aquarium’s Board of Directors, and also holds an affiliation with the University of Florida. Participants will have a chance to hear about the Florida Aquarium’s coral reef restoration and education programs, in addition to the recent developments in building a relationship with Cayman Islands.

“We would like to thank The Cracked Conch for their ongoing generosity and it is because of their support that we are able to help increase the community’s knowledge on our local environment and the importance of conservation,” said Kellie Shoemaker, Sales and Events Coordinator for CCMI.

Guests at CCMI’s Reef Reports will be updated on the 2009/2010 educational initiatives that have been undertaken by CCMI, including Ocean Literacy, a program to increase our children’s understanding of the important links between our lives and the ocean.

Anyone interested in attending the Reef Reports should contact Kellie at 949-1938 or . Space is very limited.

The Central Caribbean Marine Institute was incorporated in 1998 as a non-profit 501 ©3 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 to 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 more information on the Central Caribbean Marine Institute, please see

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Caymanian students join celebrations in London

| 20/03/2009 | 2 Comments

(CNS): Two Caymanians studying in the UK were able to take a special part in the recent Commonwealth Day celebrations on 9 March, thanks to a programme organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. The two students, Jamaal Anderson and Tracey Forbes, were invited along with students from other Commonwealth countries to attend a day of activities which reflected this year’s theme of ‘The Commonwealth @ 60 – Serving a New Generation’. (Left: Traceyand Jamaal with Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Secretary-General Dr William F. Shija)

 According to a  release from the Cayman Islands Government Office in London, the programme included a tour of the Houses of Parliament, discussions on the Commonwealth, and talks from UK Members of Parliament and High Commissioners about their day-to-day activities and duties.

Jamaal and Tracey were also able to attend the Commonwealth Day Observance at Westminster Abbey, which provided the highlight of the day for Tracey. “Although the whole day was enjoyable, my favourite part would undoubtedly have to be the Commonwealth Day Observance as it brought a variety of people together in a collective spirit, all sharing their experience and challenges, and eager to help the young people of today,” she said.

Jamaal felt honoured to have been invited to take part in the day. “This opportunity has heightened my understanding of world politics, and has raised my awareness of how unique yet interconnected the world is,” he said. “It has allowed me to feel patriotic about my country, as this day-long seminar illustrated how small states such as the Cayman Islands help contribute to global issues. This has been a wonderful life experience that has helped shape my perception of the world.”

Mary Chandler-Allen, Acting Cayman Islands Representative in the UK, also attended the Observance at Westminster Abbey, together with other United Kingdom Overseas Territories Representatives.

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Hijab dilemma in Norway

| 20/03/2009 | 0 Comments

(Christian Science Monitor): Norway’s biggest headache right now is not the financial crisis. Rather, the predominantly Christian nation is plagued by a religious dilemma over the right of a Muslim woman to wear a hijab as part of her police uniform. As the controversy has escalated, the country has seen the physical collapse of the justice minister, the public burning of a hijab, and a substantial rise in the popularity of Norway’s anti-immigrant opposition party just six months before general elections. This is odd for a country known for religious tolerance, generous international development aid, and peace efforts worldwide.

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Health insurance to cost more

| 20/03/2009 | 11 Comments

(CNS): The long criticized inadequate coverage offered under the Standard Health Insurance Contract is neither sufficient for patients or in line with today’s healthcare costs, Health Minister Anthony Eden said in the Legislative Assembly yesterday. Announcing a review of the plan held by many people on the island, he said that increased coverage would not come without an increase in premiums. “I know that especially our low-wage workers face difficulty in getting robust health insurance coverage,” said Eden.

He continued, “There is a general consensus that the current level of health care benefits listed in the Standard Health Insurance Contract (are) not in line with today’s healthcare costs. However, I caution that any legislated increase in benefits will be matched with increased cost of premiums for employers and employees.”

He said that if the country was to ensure optimal well-being for all, affordable health insurance was needed. He said that the Health Insurance Commission Board had made recommendations to his ministry on an enhanced Standard Health Insurance Contract (SHIC1) plan of benefits and had engaged an overseas company to derive a premium rate for providing benefits under a new proposed Standard Health Insurance Contract.

The minister said that the report states: “…expanded benefits under the new plan would lead to significant increases in premium rates, and the segment of the insured population that would be most affected by the premium increases are persons insured only for SHIC 1 benefits (those without supplementary benefits).”

The current premium rate for the Standard Health Insurance Coverage range from $67 – $120 per month, and before revising the law government must ensure that the mandatory plan of health insurance benefits is not only adequate but is also affordable to the average employee/employer, the minister said .

“Amending the standard health care plan is clearly not a decision that government can make in a vacuum,” he said “As the minister who introduced mandatory health insurance coverage in these islands, I wish to remind everyone that the Standard Health Insurance Contract was meant to cover on-island care, brought in to transfer some of the cost from government to the private sector.

He added that insurance was never meant to cover catastrophic care overseas, but provide people, at the very least, access to inpatient service at our local hospitals. But to the best of his knowledge no one – Caymanian or non-Caymanian – has been denied access locally to urgent healthcare services due to a lack of adequate health insurance coverage.

This, however, contradicts various media reports in recent times, including the case of Shellesha Woodstock, who gave birth to a premature baby aboard a Cayman Airways flight to Jamaica after being told by HSA officials, while in labour, she could not have the child in Cayman. There have also been numerous reports of people on basic health care packages not being able to receive critical care as the package in insufficient to cover airlift or services from overseas medical centres. Carol Romero, an employee of Blockbuster Video at Grand Harbour, died last month after she was run down by a drunk driver, and the fact that she had insufficient coverage was cited as a contributor to her death as emergency centres in overseas jurisdictions refused to take her. While the CI government often guarantees the excess costs for Caymanians in need of critical overseas care, this is not the case for work-permit holders.

The minister stated that there was a need to cost-effectively bridge the gap between the benefits in the basic standard plan and those in what is called the premier plan, and he said the issue of affordable health care insurance for all remained high on his ministry’s agenda, but did not offer details of when changes would be likely to take place.

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Insurance rules implemented

| 20/03/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): New guidelines for the insurance industry have come into effect, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) said yesterday. The authority said that Risk Management for Insurers and the Rule on Market Conduct for Class A Insurers, Agents and Brokers came into effect on 2 March to formalise industry best practice in accordance with international standards. Given the recent global financial turmoil, the Rule on Risk Management for Insurers is a timely formalisation of “practices which were being carried out before by most insurers,” said CIMA’s Managing Director Cindy Scotland.

The Risk Management Rule requires insurers regulated by CIMA, both domestic and international, to implement a comprehensive framework for the management of their risks.“Ultimately, it is to ensure that insurers can identify, measure, assess, report and control all sources of risks that could have a material impact on their safety and soundness,” added Scotland.

The Rule on Market Conduct for Class A Insurers, Agents and Brokers transforms an industry practice into a regulatory requirement by imposing various obligations to enhance consumer protection and market confidence. It aims to secure consistency in certain practices in the domestic insurance market, and bolster transparency and disclosure in selling to the benefit of consumers and the market as a whole.

It specifically deals with the areas of market conduct, internal controls, insurance policy wording, disclosure and assessing customer needs, and enforcement. Among other stipulations, it requires that agents and brokers have internal controls and/or protection to safeguard customer assets and that they only act within the limits of personal competence and authorisation. They, as well as insurers, must implement policies and procedures to give effect to the rule’s provisions and must not seek to exclude or restrict any duty or liability to a customer that they have under Cayman law, this rule or any other voluntary code of conduct to which the licensee adheres.

This rule also states that, either before or at the time of concluding the contract, a customer must be given written information about: contact details for the insurer; the product (including price and any additional charges); estimated returns; the procedure for making complaints; and the claims procedure.

“This will make it easier for consumers to understand the insurance products which they buy and insurance companies will better assess the needs of consumers, Scotland explained..

CIMA said the measures are in keeping with the Insurance Core Principles, a set of global best practices issued by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and which are the foundation of effective insurance supervision. The Statement of Guidance on Market Conduct for Class A Insurers, Agents and Brokers amends the SoG issued in 2006. It now complements the new rule and its scope has been extended to brokers.

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