Archive for August 14th, 2009

Anderson returns to cockpit

| 14/08/2009 | 28 Comments

(CNS): In the wake of persistent rumours over the last few weeks that Olson Anderson who had been CEO (designate) of Cayman Airways had wanted to step down for the management post and return to the cockpit, the national flag carrier has finally confirmed that he will not be replacing the former CEO Gilles Filiatreault as planned. The CAL board has now announced that the airline’s new acting CEO is Fabian Whorms.

The Board, now headed by Jude Scott, made the announcement of Whorms’ appointment on Friday afternoon, (14 August) and said he would take up the acting position with immediate effect. Whorms is the current Vice President of Maintenance & Engineering at Cayman Airways and has 15 years experience with the airline, and more than two decades in the aviation industry.

The new board of directors said they were looking forward to working closely with the shareholder, “(ie government) management and staff of the airline.

Following Mike Adam’s “retirement” in December 2006 after some two decades at the airline, Patrick Strasburger an American airline industry expert took up the post but departed after less than 18 months. He was then replaced by Gilles Filiatreault a trouble-shooter within the airline profession who took a short contract for six months in October 2008 with Anderson as designate. The idea was that when Fillatreault left in the spring of this year Anderson would be ready to take up the helm.

However, this did not happen and there have been indications for some time that Anderson was not interested in taking the top job and wished to return to his position as a pilot.

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Hurricane season moves into peak period

| 14/08/2009 | 2 Comments

(CNS): As the second tropical depression of the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season dissipated today, (14 August) the Deputy Director of Preparedness at Hazard Management Cayman Islands (HMCI) reminded residents that we are entering the peak period of the season for storm activity.  Historical statistics show a dramatic increase in tropical cyclone activity beginning in early August and a steep decline in activity towards the end of October. Ninety six percent of the major hurricane days on record have occurred within this window.


Although TD2 never made it to the first named storm of 2009 there are still weather systems churning around the Atlantic and anyone of them at anytime can build in intensity as a result the Deputy Director Omar Afflick reminded Cayman’s residents to be prepared. “If you don’t have a family plan in place already it is not too late to put it together now,” he said adding that hurricane information kits are available at the HMCI office or can be downloaded from

Afflick also reminded residents to trim back trees on their property and make sure they have an emergency supply of canned food and water that can last for a week. “Ideally you should have at least a gallon of water per day for each person in your house. Preparation is the key. It is too late to install hurricane shutters or scramble for batteries for your portable radio when a storm is bearing down on the Cayman Islands,” he observed.

Afflick also encouraged residents to plan where they will stay in a hurricane well ahead of time. “If your home is strong, elevated and away from the coastline then it is probably the best place to ride out a storm. If you determine that your property is not strong enough, or if the location in which you live makes it vulnerable then plan to evacuate. At this point you still have a number of options, but you have to choose one.”

He said hurricane shelters are certainly an option to consider and the list with locations is available on the Cayman Prepared website.

“Every district has a shelter that is specifically designated as an Emergency Medical Centre (EMC). If you have an existing medical condition that might require treatment during the passage of a hurricane then this may be the appropriate choice because there are medical personnel on hand. Remember when winds reach tropical storm strength ambulances willnot move until the winds subside to a safe level and this could potentially be over 24 hours.”

Government shelters will not take pets, so Afflick suggested pet owners who want to stay with their animals should contact someone with a resilient property and ask if they would be willing to put you and your pets up during a hurricane. “Reaching out and asking someone to do this for you can be a daunting prospect, but remember they can only say no and you must have an established plan in place before the storm strikes. Where ever you decide to weather the storm, identify the location ahead of time and confirm that the space will be made available to you to shelter in the event of a hurricane,” he added.







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Lions to spread message on bone health

| 14/08/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Following the success and public interest in the last meeting the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens is hosting another   Osteoporosis awareness meeting. Aside from offering key information on the condition the service club said it will give free vouchers to those that qualify for bone density exams. Osteoporosis is a thinning of the bones that occurs over time for most people. Although, most common in women, it can also affect men as they age.

The club will hold its next meeting on Thursday, 27 August at the John Gray Memorial Hall starting at 7.30pm where there will be a panel of medical practitioners who will speak on risk factors, symptoms and prevention of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease that weakens the bones and robs individuals of their independence. Osteoporosis occurs when bones lose minerals, such as calcium, more quickly than the body can replace them, leading to a loss of bone thickness (bone mass or density).  As a result the bones become thinner and less dense, so that even a minor bump or accident can cause serious fractures.  People cannot feel their bones getting weaker.  In fact, they may not know that they have osteoporosis until they break a bone.  A person with osteoporosis can fracture a bone from a minor fall, or in serious cases, from a simple action such as a sneeze or even spontaneously.  Women can lose up to 20 percent of their bone mass in five to seven years after menopause. Osteoporosis is associated with 1.2 million bone fractures each year.

The good news is that osteoporosis can be prevented.  The following five steps can optimize bone health and help prevent osteoporosis.  (1)Get the daily recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D. (2) Engage in regular weight bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise. (3) Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol. (4) Talk to your healthcare provider about bone health and (5) have a bone density test and take medication when appropriate.


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Brewer takes a light approach

| 14/08/2009 | 1 Comment

(CNS): After going easy on the earth with its recycling initiatives the Cayman Islands Brewery Ltd (CIB) is going easier on the body too with the launch of CayLight. Described as a “Premium Light Beer” by the brewery it has an alcohol content of 3.4% is only 95 calories and light on carbs. James Mansfield, Commercial Manager of CIB said the brewery was thrilled to deliver its second product and was proud of the new beer which he said had been “beach tested and taste approved.”

“We are very proud of CayLight as we have used our environmentally intelligent brewery to produce an extremely light beer whilst maintaining a great taste,” he said. “The whole team is proud to introduce CayLight and we encourage all local customers to support us in our mission to look after our country’s environment and support our country’s economy.”

The brewery noted that CayLight is being produced with the same environmental philosophies as Caybrew and comes in the same returnable bottle. Encouraging consumers to keep up on the returning of empties he brewery pointed people towards its collection partners, at Liquor for Less in George Town, Divers Down in East End and also the Brewery in Prospect where a return fee of .8c a bottle or CI$2 per box will be paid to the bottle returners.

The brewing team, Landell Brown, Kemar Golding and Andreas Moerl said they were delighted with the new product.  “We have created a beer which is very low in calories – 95 and carb count which for a light beer of 3.5 was a pleasing challenge,” said Moerl.  “We are very pleased with the flavour and look forward to CayLight taking its place alongside the active lives in Cayman which we all lead.   Cayman now has a light beer of which it can be proud and by drinking it, Caymanians are also supporting local business growth and protection of the local environment.”

CayLight sales representatives Peter Carlowe, Jarrett Nicholson and Matthew Leslie will be running promotions around the three Islands.  If you would like to sample CayLight you may visit the brewery between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. CayLight  is now available in all liquor stores and bars nationwide.

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Extension on public consultation on DPI

| 14/08/2009 | 2 Comments

(CNS): In response to a request from the private sector, the Information and Communications Technology Authority (ICTA) has given stakeholders more time to give input on a public consultation document, “A Policy for Deep Packet Inspection and Similar Technologies”. The original closing date of 28 August has now been extended to 29 September. However, internet service providers (ISPs) must still respond to questions put to them in the document by the original date of 28 August 2009, ICTA Managing Director David Archbold said in a release.

The public consultation was launched on 28 July 2009 (See Public consultation on potentially invasive technology. Following the request for a one-month deadline extension, the ICTA determined that responses by the ISPs regarding their current use of DPI, planned future use, and whether they currently use traffic management technology that control customer bandwidth, and a detailed description of the ISP’s internet traffic management policies (25 a-d) should still be made by the original date of 28 August.

Responses to the questions (25 e-g) for all other stakeholders, including the general public, as well as any other general comments, may be submitted up to 28 September 2009.

The release said that this revised timetable would allow stakeholder more time to consult and prepare responses, whilst also giving the ICTA timely information on the current and planned status of deep packet inspection and similar technologies in the Cayman Islands. It also will permit the authority to seek any necessary clarifications of service providers’ responses to questions prior to the closure of the more general comment period. It is hoped that this will allow the authority to more rapidly reach a determination than would be the case if all deadlines were to be extended.

The document can be downloaded from the ICTA website.

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Local firm seeks nominations for altruism

| 14/08/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Local telecommunication provider LIME is looking for a thoughtful young person who used even a part of their summer holidays to make a positive difference in the lives of others. The firm is looking for nominations from the community for an altruistic youngster who put others before themselves so the firm can reward their efforts with a special award and prize.

The company has announced that it will be providing a prize for an individual, between the age of 13 and 21, who spent even a part of their summer holidays giving voluntary service to a charitable cause or organization, performing community service or working on an initiative designed to benefit the less fortune.

“LIME has always been a strong supporter of the youth and we think that young people who actually use their spare time to make things better for others should be rewarded and highlighted as an example for their peers,” said Tony Ritch, Country Manager for LIME in Cayman Islands.

Nominations close on Monday August 31 ans any member of the public can submit nominations to LIME by describing the contribution made by the nominee in 300 words or less.  Nominations can be sent via email to or they can be dropped off at any LIME retail location.



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Tax cheats on OECD radar

| 14/08/2009 | 0 Comments

(WSJ): The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is proposing to greatly strengthen an informal tax-information body as a way to crack down on tax cheating internationally.  At the 1 September session in Mexico, it will press to turn the Global Forum on tax-information sharing, a loose grouping of 84 nations, into a formal international institution with a permanent staff of examiners. The forum would review whether members are aiding one another in cases involving tax evasion internationally and living up to tax agreements.


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Lady lions pamper residents at the Pines

| 14/08/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Members and friends of the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens treated the residents of the Pines Retirement Home to a morning of ‘simple pleasures’ recently when the lady lions offered manicures and hand massages, hair a and “sing-a-long” session. Part of the work of the Lions Geriatrics and Social Services Committee, the service club members visit with the Pines residents every second Saturday of each month from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Members of the community and relatives of the residents are invited to attend and join with the Lions in making these visits extra special for these residents. Not forgetting the staff the Lions presented them with a basket of fruit as a token of the Club’s appreciation for their unfailing service to the residents of the home and  one nurse who was celebrating her birthday received a cake. The Lions also presented a gift of 24 bibs to the residents of the home.


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Accounts system under fire

| 14/08/2009 | 55 Comments

(CNS): Chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and independent MLA for North Side, Ezzard Miller, says that it is time for government to dump the Public Management and Finance Law (PMFL) as it has failed to deliver the necessary information on government spending. Even though the introduction of PMFL was once supported on both sides of the Legislative Assembly, the lack of a full set of government accounts since its introduction has lead to growing support for a return to the old method of accounting.

Under the PMFL government departments are required  to file with the auditor general not only annual accounts but also output statements, which detail the delivery of goods and services giving what is meant to be a more accurate and accountable representation of how public money is being spent. Under the system departments are also using an accrual method of accounting, which measures the performance and position of a department by recognizing economic events regardless of when cash transactions occur.

Auditor General Dan Duguay said it gives a more accurate reflection of the true state of finances of a government entity. With the growing backlash against the demands of PMFL, which has been criticised for being too expensive, not designed for a small jurisdiction, too cumbersome to meet, and above all pointless as so few departments have managed to meet its demands, Duguay warned against throwing the baby out with the bath water.

“If we stopped using the accrual accounting method that would be a backward step, but I think there is room to adapt the PMFL to work better for us,” he said. “We can perhaps reduce some of the demands and irritants required, suchas quarterly reports which are not necessary, but overall we need to give it a chance to work.”

Duguay explained that because so many government departments are failing to complete their full annual reports with the output statements, the public and the politicians have yet to enjoy the benefits of the PMFL.  “The problem we have is that it has not worked yet,” he added explaining that if the output reports were coming in people would have a far greater understanding of how public money is being spent. “We need it to work for people to understand its benefits. The reason why this law was introduced was because the politicians asked for more information on revenue streams so they could make better decisions and more effective expenditure.”

Duguay acknowledged the criticism that it is more expensive to create this type of annual report. “But then good information always costs more,” he added, saying that the problem here was not so much with the principles of PMF but with the fact that not all government departments are  doing what is required of them. “The thing is many of them are managing it so I don’t accept that it is too difficult.”

However, Miller says that it is the PMFL which has prevented government from getting any accounts information for more than five years. “We have no idea what our assets or liabilities really are, because we haven’t had the accounts, and no matter how good the principle might be it’s not working. So what is the point if we can’t get the information we need?” Miller asked. “We can’t produce accounts under it so we have to get rid of it.”

He said that PMFL had created unnecessary government bureaucracy with added expenses and the country was not deriving any of the benefits promised because the accounting information simply has not been provided to the Legislative Assembly.

He noted how cumbersome it had made the Civil Service, indicating that government employees were once paid salaries and then they performed the duties of their department. Miller said that today if we need Lands and Survey to do something for another government department, for example, not only do we pay the staff salaries, the department requesting the work also has to pay a fee for that work, which he said was absurd.

Above all, however, Miller was concerned that what should have produced more accounting information had in fact produced a lot less. “I see a lot of wings flapping, but there ain’t no birds flying,” he noted, adding that it was time for birds to start flying, in other words, for accounts to be produced. Miller said if that meant returning to the old system then that’s what should happen.

“If this law worked then the accounts would be done,” he lamented. “What is the law doing? We cannot get away from the fact that since we introduced this we have not had a full set of government accounts in five years.”

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Court paves way for suspension of T&C constitution

| 14/08/2009 | 11 Comments

(BVI news online): Former Premier Michael Misick has lost his appeal against moves by the United Kingdom government to suspend the constitution of the Turks and Caicos Islands and impose direct rule. A three-member panel at the Court of Appeal in London on Wednesday delivered a final judgement in the case, paving the way for Governor Gordon Wetherell to officially take over the management of the affairs of this British Overseas Territory.

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