Archive for April 20th, 2009

Big goals for eco-clean

Big goals for eco-clean

| 20/04/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): As the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce gears up for is 12th annual roadside and beach cleanup to commemorate Earth Day it said that so far 1,300 people have volunteered to participate but it hopes the finally tally will be 2,000 on Saturday, 25 April between Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac. “The support from our Members this year is extremely encouraging. I believe the community is realizing that the Environmental issues are not going to go away and we must all pull together to reduce our eco footprint,” said Wil Pineau, CCE, Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Commerce. (Left Barrie Quappe cleaning up on last year’s Earth Day)

Starting at 7 am 27 local firms have offered sponsor ship including Barclays Private Bank & Trust the Chamber’s official t-shirt sponsor and British Caymanian this year’s brunch sponsor. The first 1,000 volunteers will receive an official Earth Day T-Shirt and all volunteers will get a reusable shopping bag courtesy of the Chamber of Commerce and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, latex gloves, and garbage bags donated by GEL Distributors.

The Chamber Cleanup Crews are invited to bring their beach gear and relax after their morning of hard work at West Bay Road Public Beach to enjoy the complimentary brunch and planned activities which includes a “Green Generation” Fair.

Partnering with the Department of Environment to host it the Chamber said the fair will showcase the rapidly growing green sector that has been established on the Cayman Islands. “This is the first time in the history of the Chamber that an event such as this has been organised. The Chamber continues to keep a focus on the environment and we hope that by holding this Fair it will bring greater awareness of the need for all of us to keep environmental protection, preservation and conservation in the forefront of our minds,” said Pineau.

The concept fits well with this year’s international Earth Day theme of the “Green Generation” which is based around the principles of encouraging individuals to commit to responsible, sustainable consumption, and of creating a low carbon, green economy that will provide good quality, “green-collar” jobs. This is a great opportunity to make people aware of the environmentally friendly products and services that are already available on-island as well as the environmental initiatives that have already been set up. The Chamber of Commerce and the DoE said, adding they believe this will give people more ideas for how they as individuals can actively help the environment in the Cayman Islands.

“For Earth Week the DoE will be promoting a suite of climate change educational materials, which have been created by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) and UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) for the UK Overseas Territories, funded by the Overseas Territories Environment Program (OTEP) via the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the UK Department for International Development,” ,” said Sophie Halford from the DoE. “Leaflets from this series will be distributed at the fair, as these speak simply and directly about the science, evidence and causes of climate change, its potential impacts in the Overseas Territories, and the actions we can take to adapt to these impacts and to do our bit to combat the causes of climate change.”

Local businesses that provide environmentally conscious products and/or services, or that have environmental initiatives underway that others can learn from, are invited to participate and should contact Joanne Diaz-Berry at or Kennedy Powery at by Wednesday, 22nd April. To register your cleanup team visit the Chamber website


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Offshore goes on alert

Offshore goes on alert

| 20/04/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): With one week to go before the Offshore Alert Financial Due Diligence conference opens the man behind the offshore watchdog news letter and the conference David Marchant said people had signed up from literally all over the world for what was likely to be the most important conference to date.   “I’m thrilled that residents from more than 28 countries have signed up to attend,” he said, adding that many were from Cayman and other offshore jurisdictions. Given the current global climate, the key note speaker Jeffrey Owens, Director of the OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration is bound to create considerable attention.


Over the years the annual the conference has attracted considerable attention from financial professionals both onshore and off and Cayman’s own Eduardo D’Angelo Silva, Chairman, of the Cayman Islands Financial Services Association said it was an important conference when it comes to understanding the arena.  “Thanks to the high calibre and knowledge of its speakers and organizers, this conference has consistently provided its attendees with a comprehensive overview of the offshore financial world and a superb setting for learning and exchanging ideas. It is a fundamental tool for those who aim at understanding and progressing in this area," he said.

The event takes place this year between  26 – 28 April in Miami and will see finance professional from all sides of the spectrum – vendors and clients, money managers and investors, asset protection experts and asset recovery specialists, regulators and regulated, those who specialize in privacy and those who specialize in transparency attending. “They are bankers, attorneys, accountants, officers, directors, financial services providers, tax consultants, company managers, compliance personnel, insurance managers, fund managers, trust practitioners, venture capitalists, asset tracers, liquidators, regulators, law enforcement, private investigators, intelligence-gatherers, and journalists,” said Marchant. “This will surely give you the ammunition you need to make your case to the corner office. After all, this is the one conference that will give you the solutions to your biggest challenges in times like these.”

As well as keeping delegate up to date with the latest offshore products and services the conference aims to educate about the risks involved, how to stay on the right side of the law and how to locate, freeze and seize concealed assets.

The three general session include a key not address by Owens from the OECD whowill b talking frankly about  “the list”. Then there’s the offshore view from Wendy Warren, CEO of the Bahamas Financial Services Board. And a session from senior officers at the IRS who head its offshore enforcement programmes.

Hot Topics also include tax investigations involving UBS and LGT Bank, Ponzi schemes such as Bernard Madoff in the USA, Allen Stanford in Antigua, and DMG in Colombia, the crackdown on bank secrecy. Marchant noted there will also be a speed networking event, two cocktail receptions and several food breaks offering the opportunity to mingle with some of the most significant and influential experts in the complex world of offshore finance.

For more details visit the 7th Annual OffshoreAlert Financial Due Diligence Conference.


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Forget politics its carnival!

Forget politics its carnival!

| 20/04/2009 | 5 Comments

(CNS):  For those not that over excited about the impending election and referendum there are other things on the Cayman calendar for people to look forward to not least the annual Batabano carnival which takes place between 24 April and Saturday 2 May. In preparation for the big day over the last three weeks LIME in partnership with Appleton and the Batabano Committee have been holding “Happy Hours” at several bars across the island to Cayman into the carnival spirit.  


The final warm up event will take place this coming Friday at Calico Jacks starting at 8:00 pm with a great night of entertainment planned.  Several of the Mas Bands will be there showcasing their beautiful costumes, so it will be a last minute opportunity for people to sign up and get ready to play Mas on Saturday 2nd May in the Street Parade.

Barnaby Richardson, Marketing Manager for Jacques Scott said it was a last chance for carnival goers to get ready for the Mas fun “This is the only remaining event before Carnival starts next week and one of the final opportunities for people to get their costumes.  We supported these events as Appleton is the spirit of Carnival and also because we wanted to educate some of our new residents to the islands, who maybe don’t know what Carnival means and give them an opportunity to participate,” he added.

Chair of the Batabano Committee Donna Myrie-Stephen said everyone was looking forward to a fun event on Friday with lots of prizes and surprises. “It’s an opportunity to get a sneak preview of the costumes before the big parade,” she said.

Meanwhile, this past week New Horizon student, Raidez Perez, won the title of designer of this year’s official Jr. Batabano T-shirt. A panel of independent judges, including local artist Al Ebanks, chose Raidez’s design over more than 28 entries. In their submissions for the competition, students were asked to create a t-shirt design that represents the Batabano slogan “All nations’ one celebration” or choose any theme that highlighted the energy and spirit of Batabano.

Raidez’s winning design used animated costumed dancing letters to spell out “Batabano.”

Ebanks said it was a tough decision as all of the entries were very good. ““This design not only showed that the artist has talent, but also creativity and originality,” he said.

Raidez wins an ipod for her winning entry, donated by Mark and Cindy Scotland, and her school will receive a plaque in honour of her achievement.

The calendar of events for Batabano has according to organizers something for everyone from the Junior Carnival and Family Fun Day on 25 April through to the Adult Street Parade and Dance on 2 May. 

Myrie-Stephen, said the committee is delighted with the support offered by the community as a whole. “This is a fantastic time of year and it is a wonderful opportunity for locals and visitors alike to come out and enjoy the festivities as all different nationalities bring their flavor to the festival.” 

One of the signature events is the Masquerade Fete at Pedro St. James Castle scheduled for Thursday 30 April. This year the late Byron Lee will be honoured for his numerous contributions towards the enhancement and development of Batabano. The evening will feature a special presentation by The Dragonaires titled “Remembering the Dragon – Byron Lee”. 

More events on the festival schedule include the Friday Fete on 1May and this year the wrap up event for carnival festivities will be the Coco Fete set for 8 May. For more information on the entire experience for this year simply log on to


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LSD found in drug raid

LSD found in drug raid

| 20/04/2009 | 7 Comments

(CNS):  Police said this morning that four people have been arrested on various drugs offences during a police operation in George Town on Friday night that involved the search of two houses. Officers from the uniformed section carried out what police said was an intelligence-led operation that resulted in the seizure of an unrevealed quantity of drugs, which will be analyzed but police suspect to be cocaine, ecstasy and LSD. Along with the arrest of the two men and two women on suspicion of possession of cocaine, ecstasy and LSD with intent to supply, police said they had also seized a vehicle.

“Drugs are extremely destructive for communities and we will continue to target those involved in their use and supply,” said Inspector Adrian Barnett who led the operation. Police also noted that while the appearance of both LSD and ecstasy is not common in Cayman, this is not the first time police have seized both drugs.

Along with the drug operation police also arrested another ten people including three teenagers for various offences from assault to motor vehicle theft. One 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of a restricted weapon, another 16-year-old on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle, and a 17-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of burglary.  A 20-year-old man and a 24 year old man were arrested on suspicion of consuming a controlled drug and a 23-year-old man on suspicion of possession of ganja.  A 29-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods, while two men aged 37 and 55 were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. A 38-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of being in possession of a restricted weapon, and a 41-year-old man for suspicion of assault.

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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West Bay debate fires up

West Bay debate fires up

| 20/04/2009 | 49 Comments

(CNS): In an explosive and combative Chamber of Commerce forum on Friday, independent candidate for the district of West Bay Woodward ‘Woody’ DaCosta said it was time for a complete change of policies and questioned where the representation for West Bay had been for the last twelve years. He said the incumbents had been big on promises but short on delivery, and also raised controversy when he asked if one of his panel colleagues had seen the Chamber questions beforehand as it was evident he was using pre-written notes.

DaCosta asked Chamber moderator Wil Pineau if Captain Eugene Ebanks had already had sight of the questions as, unlike the rest of the panel who were speaking off the cuff, he was reading from prepared answers. DaCosta also said rules were rules but they had been broken to allow the UDP to rearrange and change their appearance dates, even though his own request had been denied.

“I’m glad to have Captain Eugene here,” he said noting several changes to the UDP line-up and raising the fact that Cpt. Ebanks was reading from scripted notes. “The answers are supposed to be made from candidate’s hearts and half the answers here have been read out, and it ticks me off,” he said to wide applause. Reginald Choppy Delapenha, another panel member, agreed rules are rules and that all candidates should be treated equally.

Pineau confirmed that some candidates had been allowed to change dates but emphatically denied that anyone had seen the questions beforehand. Ebanks defended himself and said, “I have not been scripted. These were areas I researched and I asked if I could make notes and you said it was fine,” he said turning Pineau. “Some people speak off the cuff better and others are better from notes.”

Throughout the evening the four-member panel, which also included Dora Ebanks, faced some taxing and topical questions. It opened with Boatswain Beach and the haemorrhaging of more than $½ million of government funds every month, and was it time to sell, lease or keep subsidising?

Delapenha said the country should not sell the facility but it was time to find a way to make the Turtle Farm profitable or minimise the loss. Ebanks, after taking a few seconds to find his notes, said, “I think Boatswain Beach is a very vital part of our tourism product, I feel it can be a very viable facility but it needs some supporting amenities.”

DaCosta noted that it was a losing enterprising from the beginning. “It was a poor plan, a capital project that over-ran and it was clear it would not be solvent,” he said, adding it was time for a public/private partnership but the property should not be sold. He said it was evidently not viable at a cost of $68 million, with a maximum capacity of just over 3,000 visitors per day, and the product had to be changed around. Dora Ebanks said if it was losing money we could lease it.

The panellists were asked if they supported the proposed changes to the constitution and why. Ebanks answered first, avoiding the actual question, he said it was a personal issue and people should vote their conscience. Reading from the party manifesto, he said the UDP was committed to educating the public and the UDP could work with the document if it was a "yes". If it was a "no" the party was committed to working towards a new constitution.

DaCosta noted that Ebanks had not answered the question but told the audience why he supported it. He said the constitution obligated the UK to protect the Cayman Islands and the document safeguarded the interests of Cayman as a Christian society. Dora Ebanks said she was not sure she understood the question, but she recommended that Caymanians vote "no" as she did not believe in the party system and the constitution allows for that, which might lead to war and violence. Delapenha said it was a considerable improvement on the current constitution and people needed to understand the implications of voting "no". He said the document had been agreed by the Cayman delegation and the UK.

The panel discussed unemployment, tourism, daylight saving, the environment, crime, West Bay issues, the failure of the current incumbents to serve the district, the lack of a civic centre and education.

When asked about their support for the proposed Beulah Smith High School, which has been put on hold because of the government deficit, they all said the school should be built. Delapenha said it should be a priority as it cost less to educate a child than keep a young person in prison and the money could be found for it as well as another primary school since the district of West Bay was growing rapidly.

DaCosta promised the people of West Bay that if they elected him he would find the money and build the school within three years. Ebanks said it was needed and he would support having it built when the country could afford it, but he said the country was in debt and the district was not that pressed for it so it would have to stay on hold. Dora Ebanks said she thought it was already budgeted for and didn’t understand why it wasn’t being built, but she thought it would be good to have.

The question of immigration policy saw both DaCosta and Delapenha explain Cayman’s problematic dependence on the money now generated from work permits and how the system was intended to support the economy not have the economy depend on it. DaCosta said that until the policies are changed to create new revenue streams we would be dependent on the $50 million per year fees and not be able to address the inequalities. “Until policies are changed,” he said, “we will be in the same revolving hamster wheel.”  

Delapenha agreed that the government was becoming dependent on the money generated by permits but immigration policy should serve the needs of local businesses and Caymanians, and that until it was changed it would hard to address local unemployment.  Reading from theparty manifesto, Ebanks said it was clear the immigration system wasn’t working and the UDP would introduce a Human Resources Authority.

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Jamaican police end airliner hostage siege

Jamaican police end airliner hostage siege

| 20/04/2009 | 6 Comments

(CNN): Police in Jamaica have captured an armed man who had barged onto a passenger jet at an airport, robbed passengers and held six crew members hostage Monday, Jamaica Information Minister Daryl Vaz said.  The gunman, described by Vaz as "mentally challenged," seized the Boeing 737 late Sunday at Sangster International Airport in the resort city of Montego Bay and demanded passage to Cuba. (Photo: Jamaica Observer)


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