Archive for April 22nd, 2009

West Bay four target UDP

West Bay four target UDP

| 22/04/2009 | 20 Comments

(CNS): Four of West Bay’s independent candidates, who are running as a group hoping to overturn the United Democratic Party’s hold on the district, launched their collective campaign on Saturday night setting out some of their beliefs and concerns. Although the four have differing views on a number of subjects they have one very common thread, which is their belief that the current incumbents have failed in their duty to represent the district. (Left: Paul Rivers from the West Bay four)

While Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush, the first elected member for the district, and his colleague Rolstin Anglin hold their seats with significant majorities, getting well over half of the vote in the last election, the West Bay four, not unlike other independent candidates will have their eyes on the slightly more vulnerable seats held by Cine Glidden with just over 48% of the vote and Capt Eugene with just over 46%. Well over half of the West Bay voters did not use any of their four votes on these two candidates and, hoping to gain those and a lot more, Woody Da Costa opened the evenings proceedings to a large crowd in the parking lot opposite Foster’s Supermarket.

Having proved he was an articulate and assertive potential candidate at the previous evening’s Chamber Candidate District Forum, Da Costa, introduced by the West Bay four’s committee chair Attlee Ebanks,outlined his desire to change policy across the board to address Cayman’s fundamental social problems and inequities that had resulted from the uncontrolled and rapid development of the islands. He said the existing career politicians had all had a hand in this and the UDP had nothing to offer but failed promises.

“We need a new development policy as the rapid growth has not been welcomed by all and has revealed inequities. We need to strengthen the economy, not because that is the objective in itself but because a strong economy will bring happiness and comfort for all,” he noted, explaining that over the coming weeks of the campaign he would present his specific policy ideas. Da Costa said he was running for office as he wanted to help write a new chapter in the history of West Bay.

Lana Mae Smith criticised the incumbents for what she said was poor representation and said that their excuse of not being in government was not good enough. She said they were too busy working on their own affairs and not attending to the issues of their districts. “How do you collect a full time salary when you only give part time representation?” she asked rhetorically. She lamented the state of the district, which was even more of a problem because of West Bay’s role in the tourism industry and recalled the days when people used to aspire to live in West Bay as it was the best district.

Smith also focused on what is becoming her defining policy, that of the environment, as she is one of the only candidates to openly embrace the full content of the National Conservation Bill. She said if the environment could talk it would be crying. “Here we are in paradise and we are abusing our natural environment,” Smith lamented. “As the world is embracing and understanding green issues, our representatives are developing and developing.”  She added that the time had come to champion the environmentand that started with passing the National Conservation Bill. She said Cayman needed sustainable development not the unbridled development of the past, motivated by kickbacks.

Reginald ‘Choppy’ Delepenha took to the stage with a PowerPoint presentation that revealed the extent of development in the area and the increase in population and noted that West Bay had seen more growth than any other district but the district had been neglected by its MLAs and agreed with Smith that the part time representation couldn’t work anymore.

“We need leaders that will put you first,” he said. “Not people who look after foreign developers.” He asked how many people worked at the Ritz Carlton to which no one admitted, and he said with jobs at less than $5 an hour he was not surprised. Delepenha said he was not against development but it was time to see it benefitting the people of Cayman. Concerned about the problems caused by unemployment and poverty, he said people needed a hand up not a hand out. Calling on the people to vote for him and his three colleagues he told them not to be afraid (referring to past allegations of voter intimidation in the district) as there was no need of that fear anymore.

Introduced by Ebanks as "the lion", Paul Rivers, who his often heard lamenting the issues impacting ordinary Caymanians on the local radio talk shows, took to the podium last. Demonstrating his skills as an orator he told the people that if they elected him they would have a lion fighting in their corner. He said he was not afraid of victimisation and not afraid to fight for his people.

He said the tomfoolery of the existing representation had to stop and people had a choice: they could vote for more of the same foolishness or they could vote for change on what he described as "judgement day", 20 May.

“Our future should not be locked in bondage,” he said. “We need our lions share and we need it now.” He spoke about the mounting social problems of unemployment and disaffected youth in the district and the changes to the tourism industry that had seen Caymanians almost removed from the product. He recalled a time when people would visit the first time as tourists and return as family. But he said, “The kindness of Caymanians had become our weakness as the predators have come among us.” He called on the people not to vote straight but to vote smart and that if the system was going to be changed, the people needed to change the players.

Speaking on their behalf at the close of the meeting, Ebanks said that all four would not be taking bribes but taking a pay cut as they had agreed to take 15% of their MLAs salaries if elected and place it into an account to be used for projects specifically for West Bay.


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Crash witnesses sought three weeks after the event

Crash witnesses sought three weeks after the event

| 22/04/2009 | 2 Comments

(CNS): Police on Cayman Brac are appealing for witnesses to a car crash that ended in an assault. The crash occurred in the vicinity of Surf Lane at around 1:20 am on Sunday, 29 March. Police and paramedics responded to the scene where a 22-year-old man was found to have severe facial injuries. CNS understands that a single passenger in the car is married to a 30-year-old man, a pedestrian at the scene, who was arrested on suspicion of assault causing grievous bodily harm, and that the victim, who was the driver of the car, is her nephew.

CNS also understands that the car swerved off the road through several yards, destroying a gazebo in one of them. Police say the victim was taken to hospital and currently remains receiving medical care.

Police said it has become clear that there were a number of people present in the area following the accident. Officers are anxious to speak to anybody who saw the vehicle involved in the crash in the area that night, including bystanders at the scene following the crash. They are particularly keen to trace anyone who called 911.

“We need the assistance of the community to help us get to the bottom of this incident,” said Sergeant Matt Dawson. “A young man has suffered some severe facial injuries and it is vital that the person/s responsible are brought to justice. It is extremely difficult for the police to effectively investigate crimes such as this without the assistance of the public and I would urge anyone who saw anything at all to get in touch with the police. All information received will be treated in the strictest of confidence.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sergeant Dawson on 948-0331 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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