Archive for October 19th, 2009

Young leaders wanted

| 19/10/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The clock is ticking on nominations for the Young Caymanian Leader Award 2010 as the foundation says there are less than two weeks to go for people to put forward the names of Caymanians between the ages of 20 and 35 for this next year’s honour. “We rely entirely on the community to nominate young Caymanians for the YCLA,” said Melissa Wolfe of the Leadership Foundation. “Everyone knows an outstanding leader that deserves recognition.  The onus is on each individual to ensure that special person is nominated and therefore eligible for the Award. Photo Elroy Bryan the 2009 YCLA recipient.

Nominations for the Awards ceremony which is now a well-established annual event are open to anyone to name their young Caymanian, including parents, siblings, coworkers, fellow church members, friends or spouses and the deadline for 2010 is Saturday, 31 October.

 “Well-rounded and dedicated leaders surround us everyday and they are effective role models for our younger generation.  The Foundation was created so that the public can identify and honour them with a nomination,” added Wolfe.

Nominees for the YCLA must demonstrate strong leadership qualities through their personal and professional accomplishments.  Determining factors include character, professional achievements, community involvement and commitment to helping others.

Previous recipients include Olivaire Watler in 2000, Dax Foster in 2001, Sara in Collins in 2002, Steve Blair in 2003, Cindy Scotland in 2004, Jonathan Tibbetts in 2006, Canover Watson in 2007, Stephen Ryan in 2008 and Elroy Bryan in 2009.

The YCLA is decided upon by an Honorary Board composed of 15 prominent Cayman leaders who were selected for participation based on their established positions in the community as well as their ability and willingness to serve as role models for the younger generation.

The 2010 YCLA will be presented during the annual gala evening awards ceremony, which will be televised live on Cayman27 and is attended by hundreds of Cayman’s top community and business leaders.

YCLA information packages have been forwarded to the humanresource departments of major companies.  Nomination forms may also be obtained by calling Melissa Wolfe at 916-8335 or emailing or online at




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Directories soon come

| 19/10/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Cayman residents and businesses will soon be in possession of new telephone directories as Caribbean Publishing begins island wide distribution of the latest book. The new Cayman directory includes White Pages, Government Pages, Island Pages, Map Pages, Menu Pages, Yellow Pages and LIME information Pages. This year’s cover features “Gorgeous George”, Cayman’s very own Blue Iguana, in an effort to increase awareness and help preserve this endangered species. Distribution of directories will take place across Grand Cayman until 6 November, while directories will be delivered on the Sister Islands 9 through 13 November.

As is traditional, the first person to receive a directory was the governor, Stuart Jack, when  LIME Country Manager Anthony Ritch, along with Caribbean Publishing Company (CPC) Regional Sales Manager Chris Morgan and CPC Publishing Manager Diedre Solomon, presented him with a copy at his offices.

Speaking about the directories cover shot, Morgan offered his thanks to the National Trust. “We would like to say thank you to Mr Frank Balderamos, General Manager of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, and Mr Fred Burton, Program Director of the Blue Iguana Recovery Program, for providing the classic photo,” he said.

Cayman Islands Directory information is also available online at and on your mobile phone by going to in your cellular browser.

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Bodden gets UCCI top job

| 19/10/2009 | 60 Comments

(CNS): Following the unofficial announcement several months ago by Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush that he believed Roy Bodden was the best man for the job, finally the Board of Governors of the University College of the Cayman Islands has announced the appointment of the former UDP education minister as the new president. Berna Murphy-Cummins, chair of the UCCI Board of Governors, said Bodden’s appointment had followed a lengthy and vigorous process to find the right candidate.

As a popular choice in the community and among the faculty, even though Bodden received the blessing of the LoGB, his appointment is unlikely to be seen purely in political terms because of Bodden’s proven track record in academia. Cummins also said that Bodden was subject to a selection process that started with more than 130 candidates and included an interview panel of five board members.

“From this number, three were short listed, two of whom were Caymanian and one a permanent resident,” she said. “Mr Bodden has proven leadership ability and experience in a wide range of senior positions, including the private sector, education and government. He is a respected scholar, with the rare ability to relate to people at all levels.”

Cummins noted that Bodden convinced the panel that he is a visionary leader with the experience and commitment necessary to conceive and communicate strategy at the highest levels, and to carry others with him. “The board has offered its full support to the new president and we look forward to a new start at UCCI,” she added.

The current education minister, Rolston Anglin, voiced his pleasure in accepting the Board of Governors’ recommendation.

“Mr Bodden takes over during extremely challenging times for UCCI. However, I am confident that he is the right person to be the president at this crucial juncture of the college’s history and development,” he said, and added that he hoped to see UCCI stabilized and reorganized to focus on the needs of students and the economy. “We anticipate relevant programme offerings that will distinguish UCCI, not only regionally but internationally,” Anglin said.

According to a release from GIS, Bodden himself shared his pleasure on his appointment with members of the faculty and staff at a gather on Friday where the announcement was made. “It is an honour to have been selected to serve as the next president of the University College of the Cayman Islands. The interview process was, by my own reckoning, one of the most meticulous, thorough and comprehensive exercises that I have experienced and it was conducted with exemplary professionalism,” he said.

Bodden said he had been “humbled” by the outpouring of support from persons across the Caymanian community throughout his candidacy. Looking forward to working with the Board of Governors, the faculty and students, he said he wanted to build an institution to which every person in the Caymanian community can feel that he or she is a stakeholder. “An institution which caters to the educational needs of the growing diverse society that is the Cayman Islands,” Bodden added.

Several months ago Bodden told the media that he would not accept the job before a full financial and organisational audit is conducted as he seeks to re-establish the school’s credibility.  “I will not take that up without a financial and organisational audit before I come on board. I am hearing that thingsare not quite what they should be, and I am not convinced that all the financial affairs are above board,” he had said.

Following Finance Committee last week when the acting Dean Brian Chapell appeared, it was understood that some attempts have been made to address the problems which Bodden referred to.

UCCI was at the centre of a scandal last year when the former UCCI president, Hassan Syed, resigned citing a serious medical condition before the release of an auditor general’s report detailing a series of “financial irregularities” in the president’s office involving credit card abuse, unauthorised expenditures and a controversial salary advance.

Soon after Syed’s academic credentials were revealed to be falsified, the UCCI accountant at the time, Khemkaran Singh, was subsequently blamed for the problems and replaced by the university’s Board of Governors, resulting in a 23 April 2009 lawsuit against the school, in which Singh claimed he was made a “scapegoat” for the problems.

In July Bodden said he was coming with no baggage and with his integrity. “I want this to be a clean break. I want to be clear and transparent,” he said.

Bodden has spoken of the need to improve accreditation at UCCI and is regarded as an advocate for the faculty to engage in academic research and peer review.

The author of three books, two of local political history and one of traditional Caymanian folk tales, he is one of few academics in Cayman that has grappled with the complexities of Caymanian identity and social history.

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Robbery toll increases

| 19/10/2009 | 29 Comments

(CNS): Police have confirmed that another daylight armed robbery has taken place today, Monday 19 October, at a shop on Sheddon  Road .This morning at approximately 10:40 a masked gunman entered the Alpha Outlet store on Shedden Road and demanded money. According to CCTV footage the man, who was wearing a hood over his face, did not escape with any cash and was said to have fled in the direction of Mary Street. Meanwhile, on Sunday a man escaped from an attempted robbery in Gun Bay, East End, though police said no weapon was involved.

The RCIPS confirmed that the man escaped his two would-be assailants by driving away, The incident was called into the 911 communications centre around 10:30 pm on Sunday evening.

Bodden Town CID detectives are currently investigating the Gun Bay incident and anyone with information can contact them on 947-2220.

CCTV footage on News 27 reveals the details of this morning’s daylight robbery in which the gunman failed to rob the store.

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Anyone with information of any crime can call 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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Police report firearms arrests but give no details

| 19/10/2009 | 3 Comments

(CNS): Two men were arrested for firearms offences on Saturday (17 October), police say. One man was arrested for suspicion of possession of ammunition and on the same evening another man was arrested for the offence of suspicion of possession of an unlicensed firearm. The RCIPS could not supply any other information and CNS does not know if the arrests were related or any details about where or when the arrests took place or any information about the suspects.

The police said the arrests resulted from police enquires and from proactive stop checks which have been increased in light of the recent increase in crime involving firearms. Both men remain in custody, and are being interviewed in relation to their possession of the items.

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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MPs want Christianity removed from OT constitutions

| 19/10/2009 | 69 Comments

(Daily Mail): The Government is being urged by a group of powerful MPs to axe references to Christianity from the constitutions of Britain’s far-flung outposts. To the dismay of Church leaders, the Foreign Affairs Committee is pressing for the change amid claims that references to traditional Christian morality could undermine gay rights in the overseas territories. The committee, chaired by Labour MP Mike Gapes (left), also objects to Christianity being singled out above other faiths. But the recommendation, which the Foreign Office says is being ‘carefully considered’, has provoked anger among Church leaders and politicians, with the Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Rev Michael Scott-Joynt, condemning the move as ‘spurious political correctness’.

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Bank bonuses under fire

| 19/10/2009 | 0 Comments

(IBT): Banks should consider their wider responsibility to society and "soft" government guarantees that have helped to support them before setting this year’s bonus payouts, the FSA said on Monday. As bonuses for bankers look set to jump in 2009, the comments were seen as a warning to Barclays and HSBC, who have avoided direct government help, as well as part-nationalised banks like Royal Bank of Scotland. "There is this wider question as to whether, given banks are arguably still in receipt of some form of underpinning, soft guarantee, they should recognise this in their bonus policies," Financial Services Authority (FSA) Chief Executive Hector Sants told BBC radio.

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Mac pleads for expat welcome

| 19/10/2009 | 135 Comments

(CNS): The need to be more welcoming to expatriate professionals and investors is essential to the future prosperity of the Cayman Islands, the leader of government business has said. McKeeva Bush made an impassioned plea to his fellow Caymanians to return to the harmonious relationship they once enjoyed with those who came from overseas, invested andcreated jobs in the Islands. Speaking at the official opening and dedication of the new Fidelity banking hall, he said his dream was to turn Cayman into the Singapore of the Caribbean.

He told the audience that his government had made a decision to address the many challenges that the financial services industry is facing in the area of immigration. He said he knew those in the industry were struggling with recruitment and retention and he would make policy changes to address those problems.

Although Bush said he was not talking about granting status, he said permanent residency would be part of the deal for some, as he said it was important that people could come here and make a life. Aware of the backlash from many parts of the community about the numbers of foreign workers in the country he said the community had to be sensible. Given the economic climate, the LoGB warned that without new investment and new business coming to the island there would be no new jobs for Caymanians.

“Government alone cannot make this turn around. We don’t have the resources,” he added, saying it was good to be a nationalist and he said he liked to think he was a nationalist, “but I like to think I am a common sense nationalist,” he observed.

The LoGB, soon to be Premier, said that the training of Caymanians was still a must and he would ensure that happened but noted that the training would do the country no good if there was no work for Caymanians to do. “What good in sending our children away to get a finance degree or an accountancy degree if there is not the work to do when they come back?” Bush asked.

He lamented the fact that firms had sent work to other jurisdictions because they had been treated badly with refusals on work permits and key employees as well as the time it took to get the permits. Sending the work to Canada and Europe would not help Cayman but when boards keep turning things down people get fed up and leave, which has had a serious impact on Cayman’s revenue generation, he said. Bush pointed out the direct link between local jobs and the investors who generate the money, and asked, if that man is not there to bring in the money, what happens to the Caymanian below him?

“When will our people understand this?” he asked. “We must allow sufficient people in to build a stronger industry so the next time the world hits a downturn the Cayman Islands will be much stronger than we are today. That’s what my administration wants to do,” he said. “Immigration must change. It has been the problem child for all developing territories, but we can’t allow it to be our doom. We must allow the money to come in and that means working with people from all walks of life.”

He asked employers recruiting from overseas to be careful and to choose the best people but he made it clear that he believed Cayman could not grow and sustain its own people without outside investment.

He lamented the continued criticism in the press and the attitudes of people on the blogs and talk shows but pleaded with the audience to get on the blogs and say how important it was to work with and welcome those from outside who could make us wealthy again. “I am passionate about this as I have been talking about this for six months and for some people its same old same old,” he exclaimed. “If you treat people bad they leave and it’s unnecessary.”

He said it was the anti-foreign sentiment not the foreigners that would undermine Cayman’s economy.

“Caymanians I speak to you because we can destroy this thing and we have gone far enough” he said, begging people to stop the animosity. “Let them come and move and live and go to church where they want and flirt with who they want it is none of immigration’s business.”

“We can build this country into the Singapore of the Caribbean,” Bush said. Admitting that Cayman was not the ‘only girl on block’, he lauded the technology, the infrastructure and the professionals who could help grow the economy if they were made to feel welcome.

“Trust the government, this one anyway,” he laughed. “We will ensure Caymanians are trained and moved up but we need to retain a harmonious society … we must be welcoming in and out of the workplace.”

While preaching to the converted, as the guest list at the Fidelity opening ceremony which honoured national hero Sybil McLaughlin was dominated by those from the financial industry, Bush faces some of his steepest opposition from his own constituents in West Bay, who have persistently lamented the fact that the trickle down from foreign investors has been sorely lacking for them.

In the last few weeks, too, the UDP back benchers have been vociferous in their objections to expatriates taking work from Caymanians. During Finance Committee, the representative from Bodden Town, Dwayne Seymour, severely criticised foreign musicians from taking work from Caymanians and even raised his own vested interests when he complained that foreigners were allowed to set up security firms and compete against local Caymanian firms such as his own. Elio Solomon has also been deeply critical of foreign workers who are perceived as taking jobs from Caymanians.

Over on the opposition benches, the independent MLA for North Side, Ezzard Miller, has said he is fundamentally opposed to any new immigration policies that allow foreigners to gain any kind of residency rights.

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African children denounced as “witches” by pastors

| 19/10/2009 | 1 Comment

(Huffington Post): The nine-year-old boy lay on a bloodstained hospital sheet crawling with ants, staring blindly at the wall. His family pastor had accused him of being a witch, and his father then tried to force acid down his throat as an exorcism. It spilled as he struggled, burning away his face and eyes. The emaciated boy barely had strength left to whisper the name of the church that had denounced him – Mount Zion Lighthouse. A month later, he died. Nwanaokwo Edet was one of an increasing number of children in Africa accused of witchcraft by pastors and then tortured or killed, often by family members. Pastors were involved in half of 200 cases of "witch children" reviewed by the AP.

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Smoking bans reduce heart attacks and disease

| 19/10/2009 | 0 Comments

(New York Times): Bans on smoking in places like restaurants, offices and public buildings reduce cases of heart attacks and heart disease, according to a report released Thursday by a federally commissioned panel of scientists. The report, issued by the Institute of Medicine, concluded that exposure to secondhand smoke significantly increased the risk of a heart attack among both smokers and nonsmokers. The panel also said it found that a reduction in heartproblems began fairly quickly after a smoking ban was instituted and that exposure to low or fleeting levels of secondhand smoke could cause cardiovascular problems.

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