Archive for May 4th, 2009

“Sports for all through Football”

“Sports for all through Football”

| 04/05/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Olympic Committee sent a delegate, Dalton Watler, to the 12th World Sports for All conference in Malaysia in 2008 with all expenses covered by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). According to a release from the CIOC, this conference was attended by 505 participants from 96 countries and it focused on physical activity for young people, the role of sports in the world of information technology, sports challenges of ageing populations, sport for all and social justice, and the Olympic movement in Sports for All. The main recommendation at the end of discussions was the support of initiatives and research which address “Moving towards an active society”.

The IOC encourages all National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to host “Sports for All” events on a National basis to which they will contribute financially. The Cayman Islands Olympic Committee (CIOC) was invited to submit an application to host such an event in 2009. Watler was asked by CIOC to complete the application for Cayman based on his knowledge as Director of Sports and having attended the 2008 congress.

The application from the CIOC was approved and accepted by the IOC, with a partial contribution to the overall costs of the activity. The event will be “Sports for all through Football” and will be held in two stages. The first will be in all districts on May 30th with competitions for various age groups; followed by final games in George Town on June 6th for the best teams in each age group, physically challenged players and the over 40 age group. Overall participant numbers are expected to be 600 – 800.

This particular event represents a social justice for a larger group of people that would not usually play football due to its competitiveness and organizational structure. Participants will include men, women, youth and seniors. The event will teach the importance of healthy physical activity and interaction among people in an environment conducive to friendship and understanding regardless of peoples social, biological and ethnic differences.

The official organizers of the event for CIOC with Watler will be Ernie Seymour, National football coach and Roy Ebanks, Community football coach. Other partners will be the Cayman Islands Government Education Department, the Cayman Islands Football Association and the Cayman Islands Referees Association.

There will be no cost to participants and they will all receive T-shirts and refreshments. Awards will be given for the best team, the best player, the most disciplined, the most improved, and the team with the most achievements in Olympism – “Citius, Altius, Fortius” (“Swifter, Higher, Stronger”).

In addition to IOC and CIOC funding, other sponsors for the event include Progressive Distributors Ltd and Gatorade as well as Cayman Free Press. CIOC is very grateful for this support.

Please see the participant form in the newspapers which may be completed and returned to CIOC on Smith Road (9466984) or the Sports Department in Queens Court (9497082).

For further information please contact Team leaders as follows:
Ernie Seymour and Orvin Palacios for GT at 9271405.
Roy Ebanks for West Bay at 3210739.
Thiago Cunha for EE/NS at 9242814.
Elbert McLean for Bodden Town at 9257296.

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Woman seriously hurt in hit and run

Woman seriously hurt in hit and run

| 04/05/2009 | 7 Comments

(CNS): UPDATED – Tuesday 9:45 — Following the announcement on Monday that a women pedestrian was hit by a car that left the scene, police said this morning that after a medical assessment the victim has been airlifted to Jamaica for surgery to her knee and police are continuing to apeal for eye-witnesses. Police said yesterday that officers from the Traffic Management Department were investigating a hit and run which occurred on Mount Pleasant Road at around 8:30pm on Sunday, 3 May, in which a woman was injured. Police said that the vehicle which may have been a white truck did not stop at the scene.

According to police reports, the 911 Emergency Communications Centre received a call from a member ofthe public reporting that a woman who was walking had been knocked down in the vicinity of Neon Close. Police and medics responded to the location and found a 44-year-old woman requiring medical attention. The woman was taken to hospital and treated for cuts and bruises.

Police are now seeking witnesses as they stated the vehicle did not stop at the scene and officers are actively trying to trace the driver. Police say that it may have been a white truck which will require front end repairs. Anyone who witnessed what happened or has information about possible vehicles should contact the Traffic Management Unit on 946-6254 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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Jack says courts to decide

Jack says courts to decide

| 04/05/2009 | 44 Comments

(CNS): In a one paragraph statement, Governor Stuart Jack has broken his silence regarding the failure of two political candidates to meet the requirements on time for election under the 1972 Cayman Island Constitution section 19 1(g). Citing his statement as “clarification” the governor said he fully expects all candidates in the forthcoming general election to operate within the terms of the Constitution and the applicable laws of the Cayman Islands. “Should there be any cases of possible non-compliance with the legal requirements that would be a matter for the courts to decide,” he said.

However, this so-called clarification has not actually answered the fundamental question being asked by voters regarding the qualification of both Mark Scotland and Dwayne Seymour, UDP candidates for the district of Bodden Town who failed to declare their public contracts with government in accordance with Section 19 of the constitution.

The two candidates and the party as a whole have declared on a number of occasions that they believe Scotland and Seymour do now qualified as they have published their contracts, albeit some four days late. They have also claimed support for this position from both Attorney General Samuel Bulgin and Supervisor of Elections Kearney Gomez, both of whom say they have not made any statements that declare the candidates to be qualified.

As reported on CNS on a number of occasions, Gomez has said that the Elections office cannot state one way or the other over this issue as it is a Constitutional matter and not one governed by the Elections Law. Gomez confirmed that position in writing to all media houses on Friday (1 May) following a statement published as an advertisement in the local print media UDP General Secretary, which said that the elections office and the Attorney General had confirmed that Scotland and Seymour were entitled to contest the election.

In contrast Gomez said: “The Elections Office wishes to advise all media houses and the public that we have not confirmed to anyone one way or the other that any of the candidates in the 2009 General Elections are qualified or not qualified to be elected as members of the Legislative Assembly. This issue is not one to be determined by the Elections Office it is a matter for a court of law.”

The attorney general has also confirmed that his office has not said that the candidates are qualified as that will be determined by the Grand Court should there be a challenge following the election. The governor has now also added his comment which indicates that the law and the constitution must be adhered to.

Since the revelation on CNS that the two candidates missed the deadline for the constitutional requirement of declaring public contracts, the candidates’ eligibility to stand has been thrown into question.

Although it is anticipated that a number of Bodden Town candidates will challenge either of the two UDPcandidates if they gain enough votes that would see them elected, there could be a challenge by Bodden Town voters before election day as some legal experts believe there could be provision in the Constitution for that and have the candidates removed from the ballot.

Currently both candidates were duly nominated on 25 March — Nomination Day — because the provision in the Constitution did not have to be met until more than three weeks after that date. As a result, the two are on the ballot and there is no clear provision in either the Elections Law or the Constitution for their names to be removed, even if they are no longer qualified to stand for election.

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Obama announces crack down on use of Cayman

Obama announces crack down on use of Cayman

| 04/05/2009 | 16 Comments

(Washington Times): President Obama has detailed new plans to close off tax loopholes for large corporations and wealthy individuals, in the latest move by his administration. "We are beginning to crack down on Americans who are bending or breaking the rules, and we’re helping to ensure that all Americans are contributing their fair share," Obama said to reporters at the White House. Going after companies and individuals who funnel money to tax havens in the Cayman Islands or Swiss banks is just one part of the proposal.


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Power bills going up

Power bills going up

| 04/05/2009 | 85 Comments

(CNS): Grand Cayman’s power provider Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC) will be increasing its base rates by 2.4 percent starting on 1 June, which will appearing on that month’s customer bills. The firm power said a typical residential customer using 1000 kWh with a monthly bill of $195.00 would see bills go up by around $2.44 a month. The rate, in theory, must be approved by the ERA which issued a statement on Friday that suggested the increase was in-line with the power firm’s licence.

 “Under Condition 19.2 of CUC’s Transmission and Distribution Licence, an increase in electricity base rates is scheduled to take effect on 1st June, 2009 if the submission from CUC is verified by the ERA,” Philip Thomas Managing Director of the Electricity Regulatory Authority said.

In a statement Thomas explained that there are two basic components of consumers’ electricity bills – fuel factor and base rate. Following negotiations with government over its new licence signed in April 2008 the deal reduced the base rate by 38 percent and froze those rates until June 2009.  CUC said that it has not increased its bates rates for seven years but has invested significant amounts in infrastructure and improved the service. CUC customers will not feel that is the case however, following the huge hikes in the fuel rate last year owing to the increase in oil prices worldwide. Customers have in effect only enjoyed the benefits of the negotiated reduction for a few months and willnow face a further increase at a time when the community is feeling the economic pinch.

CUC, however, is within the terms of the agreement which allows for an increase in accordance with inflation. "CUC has not increased its base rates since August 2002” the power firm stated. “During that time the Company has invested CI $258.8 million in transmission and distribution as well as generation equipment, namely, new generators, substations, poles and transformers. This investment in infrastructure ensures continued reliability and additional infrastructure to meet customer growth.”

It said its operating expenses have increased significantly from CI$67.6 million in 2002 to CI$135.1 million at the end of 2008 while it still had to cut base rate as a result of the negotiations with government. Despite this the firm said it has maintained a high level of service and reliability during this period investing in transmission and distribution as well as generation equipment, such as new generators, substations, poles and transformers.

“ However, if CUC is to maintain this high level of service and reliability, and remain an economically viable company, then CUC has to be able to continue to make investments in equipment and maintenance and offer a fair return to shareholders and bondholders who finance the company’s growth at rates reflecting that return,” the firm stated.

The ERA said CUC has submitted its calculations to the ERA which indicate an average increase in base rates of 2.4percent and it is subject to verification by the Authority but following that verification the new base rates will be implemented and remain at that level until 1 June, 2010.  

CUC has also submitted a Cost of Service Study to the ERA which may result in reallocation of rates among customer classes. These changes would be designed to provide an equitable distribution of costs between all classes of customers based on the services actually received. CUC also noted that it now has 24, 518 customers compared to 19, 1 98 in 2002 when it last increased its base rate. 


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PPM promises better air service to the Brac

PPM promises better air service to the Brac

| 04/05/2009 | 31 Comments

(CNS): The minister with responsibility for Cayman Airways, Charles Clifford, announced on Cayman Brac Friday, 1 May, that as soon as the island was fully open for tourism later this month, the airline would resume plans for non-stop flights from Miami to Cayman Brac and also that CAL’s recently leased cargo plane would provide a dedicated cargo service to the island. He further announced that in the last three months government had transferred the ownership of the property slated for the Little Cayman airport to the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) to pave the way for that redevelopment to recommence. (Left: LC Airport)

Speaking at a PPM rally at Stake Bay on the day that Cayman Airways Express resumed flights to the Sister Islands following two days of cancelled flights after both Twin Otter aircraft were grounded, Clifford apologised on behalf of the government for the inconvenience. He said they had supplemented service to Cayman Brac with additional jet flights, and had identified a Twin Otter in Atlanta which they had leased for a month, but that if they had to extend the lease of that aircraft they would do so.

The Twin Otters are hardy aircraft that are very suited for landing on the airstrip on Little Cayman.

Speaking of contraversial plans to build a new airport in Little Cayman to replace the privately owned airstrip that the Express Service currently uses, Clifford said that MLA Moses Kirkconnell had pushed the issue on behalf of the residents of the Sister Islands. He said that funding for the redevelopment of Owen Roberts International Airport in Grand Cayman would include funding to build a new airport in Little Cayman.

Prior to Hurricane Paloma, CAL had leased a fourth 737 aircraft to service a number of additional gateways, Clifford said, “but also very importantly to provide non-stop service from Miami twice a week to Cayman Brac.” The minister noted that these flights had already been loaded into system for the winter schedule, and they had been poised to begin in December. However, Hurricane Paloma had hit the island in November (which had destroyed all the island’s hotel accommodation and damaged most of the condos) and so they had had to suspend the scheduled flights.

But Clifford assured Brackers that as soon as there was a full reopening of tourism on the island with opening of Alexander Hotel in the West End of Cayman Brac later this month and additional rooms were back online, “You will have that non-stop service from Miami twice a week.”

He said the airline had recently leased a smaller cargo aircraft, not just to provide cargo service from Miami to Grand Cayman, but also to start a dedicated cargo service to and from Cayman Brac.

According to a CAL release, Cayman Airways Express resumed operations into the Sister Islands as of 3:55 pm Friday with the leased Twin Otter aircraft, which arrived on Grand Cayman that day. It will remain until the mechanical repairs are completed on both of the airline’s own Twin Otters, which are expected to be back in service within two weeks.

According to Cayman Airways, there will be some changes to the regular schedule for the Express flights, but for the most part, flights will be operating as previously scheduled. Passengers who had previous reservations have all been contacted and re-booked accordingly.

“Our Sister Islands customers are very important to us and we are pleased to get our Express service back in operation,” said Cayman Airways CEO Designate Olson Anderson.
Acting Chairman of the CAL Board of Directors , Johnny Brown, echoed that sentiment, adding, “It was a tremendous team effort to locate a replacement aircraft in such a short space of time for our valued Sister Islands customers, and we do apologise for any inconveniences caused to them.”

Cayman Airways reservations can be reached by calling 949-2311 and bookings can also be made online at

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