Archive for October 5th, 2010

Dump goes out to tender

| 05/10/2010 | 34 Comments

(CNS): The much anticipated request for proposals to deal with the George Town dump has been officially released. Government is now inviting proposals for the redevelopment of the landfill – aka Mount Trashmore. Although it had previously expressed its preference for a Waste-to-Energy Facility (WTEF), it is also inviting tenders for Comprehensive Solid Waste Disposal Management Facilities (CSWDMF). According to a release from government, it is seeking an entity that will manage all waste generated in Grand Cayman through the establishment of a CSWDMF and WTEF, while enhancing the island’s recycling capabilities and producing green by-products such as biofuels and composting.

“All entities interested in providing a Comprehensive Solid Waste Disposal Management Facility and Waste-to-Energy Facility (CSWDMF & WTEF) in Grand Cayman should respond to the Request for Proposal (RFP) by noon, 19 November 2010,” the release from the Department of Environmental Health stated.

 “The George Town landfill currently receives all types of waste and recyclables. The existing method of land filling municipal waste is not sustainable,” government officials said.

 

Entities making a bid to solve what has become, at 80 feet high, one of the country’s biggest problems will also be required to provide future waste disposal management options for the Sister Islands.
 
“The issue of a RFP is a long anticipated and welcomed step in the process of redevelopment of the George Town landfill,” said the Minister with responsibility for public works, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly. “The Ministry is seeking an entity that will provide a practical and reasonable long-term waste management solution for the Cayman Islands.”
 
Mount Trashmore is considered the highest point on Grand Cayman at well over 80 feet and certainly its worst eyesore. As the dump has not been lined it has been leaking into the North Sound for several years, causing major pollution problems for the marine environment.
 
Tackling the dump has been a controversial issue for some time but more recently a group of activists under the banner of WISE (Waste Initiatives & Sustainable Environments) began a campaign to oppose the concept of mining and incinerating the dump as its sole solution. The group has instead suggested capping and remediating the landfill. WISE proposes turning to a new eco-waste management park elsewhere on the island, which would focus on composting, recycling, reuse and the reduction of waste in general with limited incineration and ultimately zero discarded or dumped garbage.
 
The activists have said that incineration will create further pollution, as will the mining of the current landfill, which will release dust and debris into the air as well as generate persistent bad odours during the lengthy period of mining, which they warn could go on for years.
 
However, the relocation of the waste management facility has caused controversy, with no district welcoming the idea of a new, albeit modem, ‘dump’ in its neighbourhood.
 
The tender invites proposals that will deal with the landfill on the current site and it is expected that the existing rubbish at the dump will be mined and burned in a waste to energy conversion and it is hoped that there will also be some recycling undertaken at the site.
 
Details of the RFP and tender packages can be picked up from the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) Administration office located at 580 North Sound Road between the hours of 8:30am to 5:00pm. All relevant documents will be provided in the tender package, contact DEH at 949-6696. Documents will also be available on the Government’s Central Tender Committee website, www.centraltenders.gov.ky
 
Interested parties must be mindful of the noon deadline on 19 November, as late submissions will not be accepted. Excluded from the RFP will be the collection of residential and commercial waste; this will still fall under the responsibilities of the Department of Environmental Health.

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Fosters hands over plastic bag cash to research centre

| 05/10/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): One local supermarket has collected $10,000 from the sale of plastic bags since it began charging for the bags in June this year. Foster’s Food Fair has now donated the money to the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) as part of its promise at the beginning of the BECOME campaign to give 100% of the money made from the plastic bags back into the community for “green efforts.” The number of plastic bags in circulation has dropped however, as increasing numbers of people have turned to reusable shopping bags to carry their groceries.

 
As part of its campaign to increase awareness on the importance of “going green” Foster’s said it had taken the first part of the money earned from the bags it sold and given it to CCMI to help conduct and facilitate research, education, conservation, and outreach programs that will sustain marine diversity for future generations.
 
A key component of CCMI’s strategy was realized in May 2006 with the opening of the Little Cayman Research Center. Flowing sea water, laboratories, a classroom, private and dormitory-style rooms, a sustainable off-the-grid bathhouse, and easy access to the reefs make this an important new research and education center.
 
CCMI provides students with the opportunity to learn about our marine ecology. There are conservation field-oriented educational programs in which students gain a better understanding of critical issues facing our tropical marine ecosystems.
 
This donation will focus on providing 12-16 year old government school children with Eco courses that are designed to begin the education process, support school curriculum activity and essentially open the minds and eyes of our students in the Cayman Islands.
 
“This first donation is one of more to come in helping the community realize the importance of protecting our environment, educating our youth and how important it is for all of us to be a part of this movement,” said Woody Foster. “We at Foster’s Food Fair are committed to the sustainability of programs that educate our children as they are our future, and we strive to be part of a “greener” community.
 
“As we approach our 30th Anniversary we would also like to once again thank all of our valued customers for their continued support over the years and for granting us the opportunity and privilege to serve our community,” he added.

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Fosters hands over plastic bag cash to research centre

| 05/10/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): One local supermarket has collected $10,000 from the sale of plastic bags since it began charging for the bags in June this year. Foster’s Food Fair has now donated the money to the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) as part of its promise at the beginning of the BECOME campaign to give 100% of the money made from the plastic bags back into the community for “green efforts.” The number of plastic bags in circulation has dropped however, as increasing numbers of people have turned to reusable shopping bags to carry their groceries.

 
As part of its campaign to increase awareness on the importance of “going green” Foster’s said it had taken the first part of the money earned from the bags it sold and given it to CCMI to help conduct and facilitate research, education, conservation, and outreach programs that will sustain marine diversity for future generations.
 
A key component of CCMI’s strategy was realized in May 2006 with the opening of the Little Cayman Research Center. Flowing sea water, laboratories, a classroom, private and dormitory-style rooms, a sustainable off-the-grid bathhouse, and easy access to the reefs make this an important new research and education center.
 
CCMI provides students with the opportunity to learn about our marine ecology. There are conservation field-oriented educational programs in which students gain a better understanding of critical issues facing our tropical marine ecosystems.
 
This donation will focus on providing 12-16 year old government school children with Eco courses that are designed to begin the education process, support school curriculum activity and essentially open the minds and eyes of our students in the Cayman Islands.
 
“This first donation is one of more to come in helping the community realize the importance of protecting our environment, educating our youth and how important it is for all of us to be a part of this movement,” said Woody Foster. “We at Foster’s Food Fair are committed to the sustainability of programs that educate our children as they are our future, and we strive to be part of a “greener” community.
 
“As we approach our 30th Anniversary we would also like to once again thank all of our valued customers for their continued support over the years and for granting us the opportunity and privilege to serve our community,” he added.

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Chamber works to promote Brac as conference centre

| 05/10/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): As part of efforts to promote the Sister Islands as a destination for conferences, retreats, and board meetings the Chamber of Commerce and the Sister Islands Tourism Association have come together to organize a Brac Business Weekend. The goal is to connect Grand Cayman residents interested in investment and business opportunities with Cayman Brac business leaders. Over the course of the weekend the potential for a variety of business opportunities on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman will be highlighted.

 Earlier this year chamber council members met with the Sister Islands Tourism Association (SITA) in an effort to establish a consistent and long-term partnership that will help to drive investment to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. According to the council it was decided that with the support of the members, businesses could be encouraged to think of the Sister Islands as a destination for conferences as well as a possible home for outsourcing with internet and communications technologies at a click of a mouse.
In response to these discussions, a Brac Business Weekend which will take place over the weekend of October 29 – 31, was developed. It is hoped it will highlight the economic strengths and innovative possibilities available for local and overseas investors to these Islands.
The Brac has recently seen the refurbishment and rebuilding of much of its hotel accommodation and these will feature as part of the weekend with a Trade Show being held at the Alexander Hotel and a BBQ and receptionat the Brac Reef Resort.
Special tours and dive packages will also be available. The whole weekend will be dedicated to showcasing what both Islands have to offer the would-be investor and visitor.
“The Chamber is pleased to have SITA as a member and we look forward to working with them to promote both the Brac and Little Cayman as a tourism destination and exciting investment opportunity,” the Chamber stated. “The Brac Business Weekend is only the beginning of a number of initiatives that we hope will inform Grand Cayman business owners and other external investors to the possibilities and innovative qualities of economic development in these beautiful Islands.”
 For those Chamber members who are interested in finding out more about this and other Sister Islands growth initiatives contact wil.pineau@caymanchamber.ky or call 9498090 ext. 122

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Divers’ lives saved in search and rescue op

| 05/10/2010 | 14 Comments

(CNS): Three people are thankfully still alive this afternoon after they became separated from their dive boat and ended up on the outside of the reef in rough seas. A successful search and rescue operation was launched at around 11.40am this morning after police were informed that two visiting divers and their 33 year old dive instructor from a company called “Living the Dream” were missing. The group had been diving in the North Sound area near to Stingray City when they became separated from their dive boat. When staff realised that they were missing they raised the alarm. The Joint Marine Unit immediately deployed Niven D, captained by Senior Police Constable Hugh Bush.

 
Within a matter of minutes the Marine Unit crew spotted the missing divers approximately 200yards outside the reef in extremely rough water and about a quarter of a mile from their
dive boat. Officers brought the divers – two men and a woman – aboard the Niven D and transported them back to shore where they were checked out by paramedics.
 
“Thankfully none of the divers were injured,” said Inspector Bennard Ebanks, the officer in
charge of the Joint Marine Unit. “They were all understandably very tired; the sea was rough and the swells were about 5-6 feet in height; fighting those kinds of waves would sap anyone’s
strength. “The dive company did exactly the right thing by raising the alarm as soon as they realised that something may be wrong. Their quick thinking combined with the fact that we were able to deploy so quickly most likely saved the lives of the divers today,”
 
He explained that the visiting couple (aged 32 and 22) from Arizona had arrived this morning by cruise ship and were only visiting the Cayman Islands for one day. “They were both left extremely traumatised by the ordeal but are very grateful to everyone involved in their rescue,” he added.
 

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Minister commends Lions on cancer awareness

| 05/10/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The health minister has said that the Caribbean region is not sharing in the global trend of increasing survival rates in breast cancer sufferers. Speaking at the official opening of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is sponsored annually by the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens, Mark Scotland commended the NGO for its work. He said Cayman was fortunate to have the Lions, who were at the vanguard of improving survival rates through the promotion of early detection. He added that he hoped the work of the HSA to establish a cancer registry would also improve survival rates.

Mark Scotland’s full message:
 
A few decades ago breast cancer was not a significant public health concern in Latin America and the Caribbean. However – and ironically so – with socio-economic advances, the prevalence of breast cancer has also increased, reaching a point where people should start taking note.
 
Even more compelling is the fact that our region does not yet share the positive global trend of increasing survival rates. This encouraging development is thought to be the result of improved treatment and detection – exactly the two aspects in which Caribbean countries were found to be lacking in a 2002 PAHO study.
 
As a region, our mortality rates are high primarily because of inadequate screening and treatment management, according to the report. And even today it is evident that much work remains to be done.
 
Fortunately for Cayman, and specifically for the Ministry of Health, we are privileged to have the support of dedicated groups of volunteers such you Lions Club of Tropical Gardens stalwarts. By increasing women’s access to frequent screening, you are definitely in the vanguard of the effort to tackle one of our region’s key concerns.
 
But I hope that your – and others’ – help will not end there. As with almost every complex health issue, there is always more to be done, such as strengthening local surveillance of all cancers.
 
To this end my ministry has been working with the Health Services Authority, the Public Health Department and the Cancer Society to establish a local cancer registry. And I hope that your organization will also become involved in this endeavour.
 
Providing cancer patients and their doctors with current information and statistics will help them select the best treatment options. Furthermore, pointing to environmental risk factors and high risk behaviours unique to our population will also help health professionals and volunteers focus their efforts on meaningful prevention strategies.
 
Another area that can never have too many hands on deck is raising awareness. Let us not assume that everyone knows about breast cancer, how to detect it and how to minimize risk factors.
 
As we mark the start of the 2010 Breast Cancer Awareness Month today, breast cancer remains the most common cancer in all women. Clearly there is still much left to learn, understand and do, but I am thankful that we are working to reduce the problems together.
 
Breast cancer is indeed a powerful adversary, but it can never defeat compassion. And so I commend the Lions Club for continuously highlighting this important medical issue and for supporting patients and their families. I also thank other campaign partners for their valuable assistance.
 
We welcome your efforts and hope to continue our purposeful partnership for years to come.
 
 
 

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Minister says teachers key to country’s future success

| 05/10/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The education minister paid tribute to teachers today (Tuesday 5 October) in a message marking UNESCO’s International Teachers’ Day. Rolston Anglin said the country would only succeed if children were taught by motivated and knowledgeable teachers. But members of the profession, he said, did not always get the recognition they deserved, and said that he wanted to say “thank you” to all of Cayman’s teachers and for the contributions they made to the country’s children and the impact this has on building the nation. He also called on parents to work with teacher and actively participate in their children’s education.

 
Rolston Anglin’s full message: Teachers impact children, and those who impact children impact the world. On this, International Teachers’ Day, I join with UNESCO and my colleagues from around the world in acknowledging all of the dedicated and hardworking teachers in our classrooms. Teaching is a truly noble profession. We look to our teachers to pass on knowledge and values, citizenship, sportsmanship and social skills to our children, to prepare them for their working life and further education.
 
As a country, we can only achieve our goal of having every child succeed if our children have access to motivated and knowledgeable teachers. 
 
All of us have benefited from the contributions of teachers; all of us are able to point out a teacher who left a lasting impact on our lives, sometimes because they encouraged us to believe in ourselves, because they made learning fun, because they were able to explain something we could not understand before, or simply because they were the caring, compassionate human beings we aspired to be when we grew up.
 
However, this most important of professions does not always get the recognition it deserves. Therefore, on this special day, on behalf of the Ministry of Education, the Department of Education Services and the Government of the Cayman Islands, I would like to say “thank you” to all of our teachers, for all of your contributions to our children and the impact this has on building our nation.
 
I also ask parents and the wider community to join me in thanking our children’s teachers today. I encourage you to work with our teachers to ensure your children’s success by actively participating in their education.
 

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British satirical magazine pokes fun at Levers case

| 05/10/2010 | 4 Comments

(CNS): Private Eye, the UK’s leading satirical current affairs magazine, which takes an irreverent look at government, politics, celebrity and everything in between, has also taken a swipe at the Privy Council and the removal of former Cayman Islands Grand Court judge, Priya Levers. In the latest edition (1 October) of the magazine that makes sure the British establishment never takes itself too seriously, an article in its ‘Legal News’ section observed the law lords’ decision. The magazine said they had "to rule on the possibly sensitive question of whether it amounted to misconduct for a Cayman Islands’ judge to have criticised her fellow judges for their apparent difficulty in arranging to hear cases after lunch.”

Suggesting that visitors to the Royal Courts of Justice in London on a Friday could conclude that the “affliction may not be confined to the Caribbean”, Private Eye said the original tribunal had branded the judge’s (Levers’) observations as “wholly in appropriate” but the Privy Council, which never sits on a Friday afternoon or even on a Friday morning, had downgraded the criticism to simply being “inappropriate”.
 
Private Eye is edited by Ian Hislop and offers a blend of humour, social and political observations and investigative journalism. Published fortnightly, the magazine is read by over 700,000 readers and is the UK’s biggest selling current affairs magazine. Since its first publication in 1961, it has been a prominent critic of public figures deemed incompetent, inefficient or corrupt.
 
The magazine has been criticised for its style and its willingness to print defamatory and controversial stories. This was reflected in its once prominent libel lawsuits, for which it became notorious. The magazine maintains a large quantity of money as a "fighting fund" and Hislop has become the most sued man in Britain.
 

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UK prisoners to be forced to work for their keep

| 05/10/2010 | 17 Comments

(The Independent): Prisoners will no longer live a life of "enforced, bored idleness" and instead be forced to work to pay compensation to their victims, Ken Clarke said today. The Justice Secretary said he wanted prisons to become "tough places of hard work and reform" and ensure more private firms are brought in to rehabilitate offenders on a payment by results system. Too many prisoners existed in a system where getting out of bed was "voluntary" and instead they should work nine to five jobs to gain a trade or skill, he told activists at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham. Mr Clarke wants private firms to create the jobs for criminals and is even looking at the possibility of creating purpose-built workplace prisons.

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Comic actor Norman Wisdom dies aged 95

| 05/10/2010 | 0 Comments

(The Guardian): Big in Albania, and huge in the affection of generations of his fans, comedian Sir Norman Wisdom, one of the last great survivors of the music halls, has died aged 95. His deceptively artless comedy, usually based on his role as "The Gump", a downtrodden, sad faced little man in a battered cap and a deplorably ill-fitting suit, concealed immense technical skill, superb comic timing, and a sharp business mind. Although best known as a performer, he was also a talented song writer. His family announced that he died peacefully in a nursing home on the Isle of Man, where he had lived for the last 30 years.

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