Archive for June 3rd, 2009

Emergency landing at airport

| 03/06/2009 | 21 Comments

(CNS): Updated 6:30 pm Thursday 4 June –-The Cayman Islands Airport Authority (CIAA) has this evening confirmed that a cargo plane made an emergency landing this afternoon at Owen Roberts International Airport (ORIA) just before 3pm. All airport emergency services were put on standby and the IFL aircraft, which was sub- contracted to Cayman Airways, landed without incident. It is understood that the emergency was triggered as a result of landing gear problems on the aircraft. Meanwhile, two CAL pilots suspended over a low fly incident earlier this year are now back on the job.

Two of Cayman Airways pilots had been suspended over a low fly display during the retirement of one of the flag carrier’s planes. The incident was captured on film and an investigation was instigated by the airline about whether safety regulations had been breached.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI) said on Thursday 4 June that it has completed its investigation into the reported low fly-by conducted with a Cayman Airways aircraft (Boeing 737-200) at the Owen Roberts International Airport on January 23, 2009 which confirmed that the aircraft was operated below the minimum altitude prescribed. It said it had identified deficiencies in Cayman Airways’ flight operations authorisation procedures, and air traffic control procedures at the Cayman Islands Airports Authority. 

As a result, CAACI said that the organizations involved have amended their respective procedures to mitigate against this type of occurrence happening again. It said that the Air Traffic Controller’s licence was reinstated without condition and the licenses of the pilots concerned were reinstated following their compliance with requisite CAACI directives.




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Island Boy Gil cools off from Hot 104.1

| 03/06/2009 | 17 Comments

(CNS): Another morning radio show line-up has changed with what seems to be the acrimonious departure of Gilbert Nicoletta aka Island Boy Gil from dms broadcasting’s station HOT 104.1. dms has refused to offer any details regarding Nicoletta’s absence from the air other than saying he is no longer working at the station. But comments made by the former radio jock on his own Facebook page indicate that his departure was not a necessarily an amicable one and he is currently in New York.


Nicoletta has posted a number of cryptic comments on his Facebook page that seem to refer to his former employers in a less than favourable light and that he has taken some issue regarding his employment to the Department of Employment Relations.

Nicolette began his time with dms broadcasting at the launch in April 2005 as the breakfast time show host onX107.1 before moving across to HOT 104.1’s as the morning dj there with co-host Jules. He has now been replaced by D-Docta who was presenting Hot’s evening drive time show. Dms said that the new morning show will be called “The Morning Grind with D-Docta and Jules” and will air weekday mornings from 6 to 11 am.

“I am very excited to be jumpstarting Cayman every morning,” said D-Docta.  “We have big plans for your morning commute.  Jules and I have some interesting new features for The Morning Grind that are sure to fire up your day.  All I can say is…get ready to jump and wave, Cayman,” 

New features include “The Pepper Pot”, a rundown of both local and Caribbean entertainment, an overview of headlines from around the region called “The 411” and “Auntie Julia’s WTF Story”, a collection of weird news that the morning team has collected. “Along with bringing our listeners the best mix of Caribbean music to perk up their morning, D-Docta and I will be informing Cayman of what’s hot in our region as well as around theworld,” said Jules. “I’m particularly excited for ‘Julia’s Daily Horoscope’ and our ‘Shout-Outs’ segment.” 


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Teenage boy faces burglary and drug charges

| 03/06/2009 | 8 Comments

(CNS): A 15-year-old boy was charged with eight offences in court this morning (Wednesday, 3 June) following a burglary in West Bay last week. The teenager faced charges for burglary, various traffic offences and drug offences. He has been granted bail with strict conditions and, as a juvenile, the boy cannot be named. The charges come as a result of an incident which took place on Powell Smith Drive that was reported at 11.25am on Thursday, 28 May.


Homeowners alerted police to the break-in at their house where officers discovered that the offender had gained entry to the house by prying open a window and that keys to a vehicle had been taken from inside the property, the car had been stolen and some other items had been taken, including a riding helmet.

Investigations by detectives from West Bay CID resulted in the youth being arrested and the vehicle being recovered.

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 ofup to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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New ombudsman is a woman

| 03/06/2009 | 19 Comments

(CNS): UPDATE 2:50pm Wednesday — A Londoner of Guyanese descent has been appointed as the new Complaints Commissioner. She will be the second person to hold the office in the Cayman Islands and is expected to take up office at the end of July or the start of August. Nicola Williams, an experienced criminal law barrister and former Commissioner with the Independent Police Commission for London and the South East of England, a novelist and a member of Mensa, has been appointed by Governor Stuart Jack to replace Dr John Epp, who will be returning to private practice.

With nearly 16 years as a barrister in private practice at all levels of the courts, Williams has successfully acted in a variety of serious trials before all levels of the judiciary, including murder trials, and Commonwealth death penalty appeals before the Law Lords in the Privy Council. She is a former lay adviser to the Race and Violent Crime Task Force of the Metropolitan Police, and a member of the Society of Black Lawyers.

Her experience includes sitting on the Virdi Enquiry Panel, which found that the Metropolitan Police Service had discriminated against a police officer on the grounds of his race. Williams is also a member of the Bar Council Equality & Diversity Committee (from January 2008), and a trustee and mentor of African Caribbean Diversity, a group of black professionals who aim to make a positive contribution to the African and Caribbean communities and to the economy of the UK.

In February 2000, she was a contributing lecturer on “Comparative Policing Strategies” in Ankara, Turkey, which was sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Council, in co-operation with the Turkish National Police.

A woman of many talents, Williams is the author of the legal thriller, “Without Prejudice”, published in 1997 in both the UK and US. She was the 1991 recipient of the Cosmopolitan Woman of Achievement Award (Professions category), and has been listed three times (1998, 2007-8, 2008-9) as one of the 100 most influential black people in the UK. Earlier this year she was appointed to the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP), and is the former chair of the London Regional Advisory Council of the BBC.

Williams’ accomplishments include public speaking, and she was keynote international speaker on behalf of the IPCC, NACOLE 2005, presenting a paper on dealing with police complaints in an age of international terrorism; she also made a presentation at the Gloucester Conference in June 2006 onthe effect of the Somersett decision on current race and criminal justice issues in the UK. In addition, she has taken an active involvement in the Speakers for Schools programme, which encourages young people from disadvantaged and under-represented communities to enter the legal profession.

The first commissioner for the Cayman Islands, Dr Epp, whose five-year term expires in mid-July, will be re-joining the private sector as a litigation lawyer with local law firm Conyers Dill & Pearman.

In a release, the governor states that the new Commissioner “will lead the Complaints Commissioner’s Office to new levels of service for the Cayman Islands … On behalf of the people of the Cayman Islands, I would like to express a warm welcome to Ms Nicola Williams.”

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Turks and Caicos corruption report with Governor

| 03/06/2009 | 4 Comments

( The final report of Britain’s probe into corruption in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) has been completed and handed to the Governor Gordon Wetherell. But it won’t be made public until month end. The report is expected to support the recommendations made in the interim report to suspend the Constitution in the British Overseas Territory for two years and have the United Kingdom (UK) impose direct rule.

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Young musician gets airtime

| 03/06/2009 | 2 Comments

(CNS): Known to his friends as “Jiggz” 16 year-old Cameron Bodden of George Town is becoming Cayman’s latest star since local radio station Hot 104.1 got a listen of the talent young man’s work and began playing his song “Mi Wa Know” on air regularly. Working from his home with only a laptop and a microphone, Cameron wrote and recorded the reggae song in just two weeks. 


When HOT 104.1 Street Team Captain Yvonne McField heard the song she says she was instantly impressed. “When I learned of his age and that he had no previous experience in recording, I was doubly surprised.  I thought that the song would be a hit on the airwaves, so I passed it along to HOT 104.1 Programming Director, Chuck Taylor.” 

Taylor also recognized Cameron’s talent and put the song in the regular rotation on HOT 104.1. 

“Cameron is incredibly talented for a musician and songwriter his age,” said Taylor, “When Yvonne sent me his demo recording, I thought it was one of the bigger reggae artists from the Caribbean!  ‘Mi Wa Know’ has been well-received since its debut on HOT 104.1 and we are excited to hear future music from Cameron.” 

Inspired by his newfound success, Cameron is currently devoting most of his time to writing and recording new music for his friends and fans to enjoy.  Fans of the song can request “Mi Wa Know” by calling the station’s hotline at 943-1041 or by visiting the station’s website,   


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Cruise ships pollute more than aircraft

| 03/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(MNN): Much has been made of the carbon emissions of commercial airlines. Comparatively little has been said about the pollution coming from cruise ships, though a recent study found that the large boats emit more pollutants per passenger than planes. Of course, there aren’t as many ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet as there are planes in American Airlines hangars. It’s only natural that airplanes get the majority of the press when it comes to pollution.

But air travel is (arguably) a necessity of modern life. It’s a practice in logistics: getting from point A to point B. Judging by the usual demeanor of fellow economy class passengers, no one is relaxed or filled with enjoyment when traveling on an airplane. Cruises, on the other hand, have an element of frivolity.

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Hurricane forecast goes down

| 03/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(WSJ): Forecasters have trimmed the expected severity of this year’s Atlantic hurricanes, saying they expect a "slightly below average" season. The season, which began Monday and runs through Nov. 30, is expected to feature 11 named storms, including five hurricanes, two of which will be intense, with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater. Forecasters said the reduced forecast is based on a cooler-than-normal tropical Atlantic and the greater potential for a weak El Niño during the bulk of the hurricane season.


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UK MPs demand tax haven crackdown

| 03/06/2009 | 0 Comments

(Accountancy Age): The UK government is being urged by MPS to crack down on offshore tax havens and corruption to ensure poor countries gain the maximum benefit from their own resources. The plea comes from the House of Commons committee on international development and is in its latest report warning that the third world must not see its aid programmes reduced as a result of mistakes made causing the economic crisis. The report said developing countries loose billions of dollars a year to tax evasion by international companies as they seek to raise revenue.

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Drug Court needs cash

| 03/06/2009 | 4 Comments

(CNS): Given the fact that the illegal global drugs trade is the second biggest economic industry in the world after arms trading, there is a certain irony that drug rehabilitation projects are notoriously underfunded.  Cayman’s own drug rehabilitation court is no exception, and even though it has proved itself to be an effective tool in addressing the community’s drug problem, it does not have its own source of funding and it is at the mercy of numerous other agencies’ financial woes. With the government about to prepare the new budget for 2009/10, Catherine Chesnut, the Drug Rehabilitation Court (DRC) Co-ordinator, is hoping that the project may be given consideration for its own money.

“Drug court works,” said Chesnut, explaining that it is not a soft option but a combination of treatment and coercion that helps people to address their dependency and stop committing the crime that they’re driven to in order to fund a habit. “It is a mixture of carrot and stick that makes the court a success. Treatment alone does not necessarily work and we have proven over the last twenty years, with the exceptionally high levels of recidivism among Cayman’s prison population, that punishment alone does not work.”

Her goal is supported by the Chief Justice, who stated that according to US statistics recidivism as a result of DRCs fell by more than 50%. “Today we have nine graduates from the programme whose progress we will be monitoring,” Anthony Smellie said. “As the reach of Drug Courts increase globally, Cayman is proud to be amongst the leaders in the Caribbean to have a specialized drug court programme in place. There is, however, a designated level of funding needed to increase the capacity of the programme which we do not yet have.” 

Chesnut explained that the DRC is a voluntary option for non-violent offenders only who plead guilty to their crimes, and since its inception in October 2007 to the end of 2008, 116 people had applied to join the programme instead of going to jail. Of those applicants 78 were accepted and 45 people are still in the scheme with 9 having just graduated from the final stage, but some 34 did not complete the programme. However, with well over half the participants still working their way through treatment, Chesnut said this is a definite success.

When people are under the supervision of the drug court they are not committing crime or costing the tax payer money sitting in jail. Chesnut said that the police themselves have noticed a difference when known offenders have been placed under the DRC supervision because of declining crime rates, which they say always increased in the past when habitual, drug-using offenders were released from jail.

Chesnut said that a huge percentage ofthe people in Cayman committing crime have drug or alcohol problems and the idea is to divert those people from the criminal justice system. But while it is cheaper for offenders to be dealt with this way rather than prison, there is no direct funding yet available for the project.

She explained that to provide the necessary treatment for the offenders and to assist them with securing accommodation and work, the DRC is dependent on a number of different agencies that have their own funding problems, from the various social services department, including housing, counselling, employment and health services. If they don’t have the money the drug court can’t function, she said.

“We do have a few corporate sponsors and the money for the recent awareness campaign (the DRC’s first ever PR campaign) has come from the FCO, but the DRC has no money of its own to spend on treatment of the offenders,” said Chesnut.

She explained there were many unique things about the DRC that added to its success. Aside from the threat of returning to jail for those that do fail, she said there were also rewards. The court has recently started funding things like movie tickets or vouchers for pizza and grocery stores, but she said often the recognition clients receive when they move through the levels also has huge value.

“When called out by the judge, our clients are certainly not happy but equally when they graduate from each phase and the magistrate steps down from bench to give the people their certificate that makes them very happy,” Chesnut said.

Currently both Nova-Hall and Margaret Ramsey-Hale are the magistrates involved with the drug court and they take on a different role that they would in a regular court setting. Together with the other parties involved they form specialist individual programmes designed to meet the needs of each of the offenders that become clients of the project. Chesnut said the rehabilitation is at least one year but for some people it can take a lot longer and the cornerstone of the project is honesty.

“The nature of addiction means people will slip but we are concerned with dishonesty not for drug use,” explained Chesnut who said no one will be sent to jail for using a drug but they will if they lie about it. “They are better off coming clean rather than trying to hide it,” she added.

The four phase programme is intense and once an offender enters the DRC the department of counselling services will assess their drug dependency problems. “Once we understand the addiction we begin treatment,” Chesnut added. “We take an individual approach to each and every case and hold the hands of participants right the way through.”

Some offenders will require residential treatment which means they go to Caribbean haven. However, Chesnut noted that the women’s wing there although it was opened it is not functional. And she also noted that and there are no residential treatment facilities for juveniles with drug problems.

Where people live once they become part of the DRC is very important Chesnut explained as they cannot be treated if where they plan to stay puts them at risk. “It is incumbent on offenders to ensure they move from the area where there problems have occurred we can’t treat people in the midst of a diseased area.”

Chesnut believes that with more investment and resources the DRC could make a significant impact on Cayman’s drug problems and the resulting crime. DRCs have been proven to work around the world and there are over 2000 in North America but Caymans DRC is one of only three in the Caribbean region. Recently President Barack Obama said: “I have been a proponent of Drug Courts since my days in Illinois, and I will continue to support these programmes as president.”

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