Archive for November 18th, 2010

Six deaths drive clamp down

| 18/11/2010 | 49 Comments

(CNS): One of Cayman’s top traffic cops has said that the current poor driving on the country’s roads has to be challenged. In the wake of the sixth road death of the year, last weekend, Inspector Adrian Barnett of the RCIPS Traffic Management Department is encouraging everyone to be responsible and realise that their actions have consequences as the police begin a road safety crackdown for the Christmas season. He said that if the community didn’t challenge the bad driving more familieswould be burying loved ones as a result of avoidable fatalities on the roads. The clamp down starts Monday and cops warn they will be focusing on drink-driving and speeding. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

“The fact is that drinking and driving and speeding cost lives,” said Inspector Barnett. “Too many people still take chances with their own safety and the lives of others on our roads by getting behind the wheel of a car when they are drunk, using our roads as race tracks or, in many cases, a combination of both.”

Barnet said that the latest road fatality was also the fourth hit and run when a driver made off from the scene, since the beginning of the year. “That’s why the driving behaviour we see day after day in this country needs to be challenged head-on. If we do not collectively challenge it the death and destruction on our roads will continue and more families will have to go through the heartache of burying their loved ones,” he added.

The traffic cop called on everyone in the community to join with the police and play their part in the forth coming campaign. “If you know someone who drinks and drives encourage them to use a taxi or a designated driver, if they don’t – call us; if you see anyone driving dangerously – call us. That call could help save a life.”

The RCIPS holds a road safety crackdown during the festive season every year and the 2010 seven week campaign of enforcement and education for all road users which will challenge bad driver behaviour and enforce the ‘don’t drink and drive’ message starts on 22 November.

High visibility patrols, static road checks, unmarked vehicles, radar stops and targeted operations will all take place throughout the campaign period to discourage and detect those who drink and drive, or engage in other inconsiderate or illegal road activities.

A programme of education will also take place and police officers will deliver road safety presentations in schools throughout the Islands in an effort to make young people more aware of how they can stay safe on the roads while on foot, on a bicycle or travelling in a car, police said.
 

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Scientists counting Cayman’s cryptic creatures

| 18/11/2010 | 4 Comments

(CNS): A team of NOAA marine researchers have been visiting the Cayman Islands this week as part of a global research project examining the importance of organism diversity to the resilience of coral reefs. The researchers have installed three ARMS boxes close to reef systems on the western side of Grand Cayman which they hope will attract different ‘cryptic’ creatures which are not normally observable to divers examining reefs with the naked eye. Part of the Sea Reef Census these special boxes will be removed after two years and the different species of cryptic organisms will be counted and indentified giving scientists a better understanding of the smaller life forms that could be crucial to the survival of reef systems.

Kerry Grimshaw and Max Sudnovsky from NOAA joined local department of environment staff this week to install the Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) which are some of the first to be installed in the Caribbean region. The sites chosen are already part of the DoE’s reef monitoring programme where coral cover, fish biomass and the presence of large invertebrates such as shrimps, crabs and lobsters are being measured. This special equipment however, will measure the creatures that are not easy to see as they are hidden deep within the corals on the reefs.

With the boxes installed on the sea bed close to existing reef systems scientists say the marine life will migrate towards the boxes and set up home. Then after two years they will be carefully removed with the creatures inside and taken to a lab where scientists will identify and count the various organisms.

The data collected from the ARMS will allow scientists to improve their understanding of reef systems and better monitor or predict ecological impacts of global climate change, ocean warming and acidification.

John Bothwell from the DoE explained that the project will be a boost to the information that the Cayman Islands is trying to collect about reefs. Importantly, he added that the researchers from NOAA will be able to do the specialist lab work which he said the DoE did not have the technical resources to do, to DNA test the organisms to identify what are expected to be a great, diversity of species.

He said that once the boxes were removed and the organisms collected it could reveal new information about which organisms are important to reef survival, which organisms are missing when there is a problem, whether it is the variety of creatures or a specific creature that is key to resilience in reef systems and other as yet unknown information.

“This will expand what we know about our reefs,” Bothwell said. “It is often not until a particular organism has dyed out or disappeared from a reef that we find out how important a species was. With this we can get to understand before it’s too late. …..We are looking at things we don’t even know are there.”

Grimshaw said that where NOAA has already begun measuring these cryptic organisms in other parts of the world a single ARMS box has been found to contain over 350 different species.

The project is being privately funded by a number or sponsors and the DoE became involved when Bothwell attended a symposium on coral reefs and heard the project leaders were looking for suitable sites in the Caribbean. Bothwell said Cayman was able to offer the location and in return the researchers from NOAA are supply the technical expertise which will, two years from now, add to the knowledge the DoE has about the diversity of the country’s reefs and help in the battle to protect and enhance them.

For more on the ARMS see the NOAA project website

 

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UK pledges to represent OT’s interests

| 18/11/2010 | 14 Comments

(CNS): Following the Overseas Territories Consultative Council (OTCC) in London this week the UK’s minister with responsibility for the territories has promised to represent their interests on the international stage. Henry Bellingham MP a Conservative member of the coalition government said the UK government was determined to improve and strengthen its relationship with the OTs. He also noted that the various departments of the UK government would also now be more closely involved in work relating to the overseas territories. The main council meeting took place on Wednesday when the OT leaders and the UK talked about rising crime, environmental issues and public finances.

In his communiqué about the OTCC Bellingham said the UK government valued its relationship with the Overseas Territories. “I had meetings with all the Territory leaders on Tuesday and chaired my first Overseas Territories Consultative Council on Wednesday. I was pleased to welcome over 250 guests to a reception that I hosted in honour of Territory leaders. Our discussions at the Consultative Council meeting have been wide-ranging, open and at times, frank,” the new FCO minister said.

“This week has been a clear demonstration of the desire of both the UK and the Territories to work closely together towards the security and prosperity of the Territories. I know that view is shared by my Ministerial colleagues. I am glad that no less than seven of my Ministerial colleagues from across Government were able to attend the Consultative Council. This clearly demonstrates that the Overseas Territories are a priority right across the Government, and not just in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office,” he added.

All parties agreed on the need to work together to help the commercial and economic development of the territories during the meeting a release from the governor’s office stated.

During their separate session on financial services and public finances, the UK and the Caribbean Territories and Bermuda agreed the importance of complying with international financial sector standards (on tax transparency, financial regulation and anti-money laundering/counter terrorism financing) and that these standards must be applied without discrimination. They also spoke of the importance of continuing to take action to return public finances to a sustainable footing and to work on a framework for fiscal responsibility.

In the criminal justice session in which all OTs took part there were discussions about rising crime including the issue of drugs and organised crime and about possible UK technical assistance to the territories in these areas. In the session on transport there were discussions about maritime and aviation safety regulations and the importance of meeting international safety standards. Territory leaders raised concerns about the cost of this and about Air Passenger Duty.

The environment was also an important topic of conversation and it was agreed that territory governments and relevant UK departments would work together to help manage the natural environment and the impact of climate change.

 

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Cayman mansion owner gets six years jail time

| 18/11/2010 | 54 Comments

(CNS): Following his guilty plea in a New York court this week, millionaire and Cayman resident Myron Gushlak has received a six year prison sentence for his part in a stock fraud. US District Judge Nicholas Garaufis handed down the sentence on Thursday before Gushlak was taken into custody. The Canadian banker had been charged with manipulating the share price of a communications company where he was a director. He has also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Gushlak’s $19 milllion Cayman home in Old Prospect Rd was recently set for auction with no reserve price but the sale was cancelled at the last minute.

According to media reports in the US, most of the details of the case against Gushlak had remained under seal while the Cayman resident had been cooperating with US authorities who were in pursuit of others reportedly involved in the scheme. However, this week the judge revealed that Gushlak’s cooperation had been “inconsistent” and had used the secrecy of the case “as a license to continue to deceive those with whom he conducted business.” Prosecutors have accused Gushlak of breaching his cooperation agreement.

Gushlak will face another sentencing hearing in December in relation to other conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering charges.

According to Gushlak’s websites, he relocated from Canada to the Cayman Islands in 2000 and is the managing director of Bluewater Partners, a small Cayman based merchant bank.

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Man guilty of GBH after stabbing victim in neck

| 18/11/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): A man who was due to face a grand court jury trial Thursday morning for attempted murder has now pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of GBH and will be sentenced next month. Twenty-six year old O’Neil Robinson was charged with stabbing a woman in the neck at her home in George Town earlier this year. Following his guilty plea Justice Smith dismissed the jury and adjourned the case until 17 December in order to allow for a social enquiry report to be submitted before sentencing. O’Neil was remanded in custody to Northward by the judge.

According to police reports issued at the time Robinson was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder at the home of the woman who sustained serious neck injuries after she called the emergency services.

The judge was lenient on missing jurors today when twelve failed to show up for the selection. Justice Smith said he would give them a chance this time but issued a warning that if they do not return for the nextrequired appearance he would be issuing fines, which is prescribed in law as $500.

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Crews called to house fire in Prospect

| 18/11/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Fire Service was out in force this morning (Thursday 18 November) as crews were called out to extinguish a fire that was burning inside what appeared to be an unoccupied building in George Town. The property where the fire caught was behind a house on Marina Drive, in Prospect. A rescue unit and two fire trucks responded to the 911 call made this morning and officials have confirmed that an investigation is now underway. It is understood that no one was hurt and the CIFS described it as a minor fire. Although CUC trucks were seen close by officials have not confirmed if it was an electrical fire. (Photos by Dennie Warren Jr)

Check back for more on this story later.

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Cops charge teen burglar for bar break-in

| 18/11/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Police have charged a teenager with burglary following a break-in at a West Bay bar. The nineteen year old was arrested in the early hours of Monday morning near Kelly’s Bar in Birch Tree Hill buy officers responding to a report of the break-in. The teen suspect burglar was due to appear in court Thursday morning but police say they are still looking for a second man in connection with the incident. When police arrived at the bar at around 2:50am they saw two suspects fleeing from the bar. Officers gave chase and managed to apprehend and arrested the one of the men but the second man escaped.

A police spokesperson confirmed that the other man, suspected to be involved in the break in, remains at large.
 

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Sister Islands World Diabetes Day Lighting Ceremony

| 18/11/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A short walk around the Stake Bay Loop at 4.15pm on 14 November kicked off the World Diabetes Day event on Cayman Brac. This was followed by the blue lighting of the Cayman Brac Museum to create awareness that an increasing number of people are being affected by diabetes. In her welcome address, Thelma Galbraith of the Cayman Islands Diabetes Association-Sisters Islands quoted President Jean Claude Mbanya of the International DiabetesFederation,, who said, “World Diabetes Day is about mobilizing the global community to produce a powerful voice for diabetes awareness. We want all concerned to take the necessary action to control an epidemic that affects the lives of over 300 million people in the world today.”

Galbraith said, “All concerned means the patients, care givers, relatives and friends, nurses, doctors and pharmacist, the government. Everybody. We are proud to say we have one of the best health care system in the Caribbean and a government that cares for its people.”

Acting Premier Juliana O’Connor Connolly applauded the small learning group for their contribution to our islands and was extremely pleased that it continues to make a significant impact on the global battle against this disease.

World Diabetes Day was introduced in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to the alarming rise in diabetes around the world. In 2007, the United Nations marked the Day for the first time with the passage of the United Nations World Diabetes Day Resolution in December 2006, which made the existing World Diabetes Day an official United Nations World Health Day. The theme for 2009-2013 is Education and Prevention. The slogan for 2010 is: “Let’s take control of diabetes. Now”.

The Sister Islands group meets every second and last Thursday at the Faith Hospital Conference Room at 7.00pm.

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Cayman is ideal location says Dr Shetty

| 18/11/2010 | 24 Comments

(CNS): Cardiac surgeon Dr Devi Shetty has said the Cayman Islands is the perfect jurisdiction to launch a medical tourism product. The doctor, who has proposed to build a 2000 bed health city somewhere on Grand Cayman, says medical tourism will work here because of its proximity to the US, which has an expensive and badly managed health system. Cayman, Devi says, offers the perfect alternative place for Americans looking for inexpensive quality treatment as it is a secure, well-developed country known to the US public. He also said the Cayman government’s willingness to both facilitate the movement of international healthcare workers and amend the necessary legislation will open the doors to this lucrative industry.

Speaking at the country’s first national healthcare conference at the Ritz last week, Shetty said that the health care business is the second biggest industry in the world and still growing. The Cayman Islands is well positioned to capitalise on business from the entire United States, the doctor stated. With $2.5 million of the world spend of $4.trillion on healthcare spent in the country, Cayman would only need to attract a fraction of the patients to sustain a medical tourism sector, the doctor said.

He pointed to the likely changes in the United States to a more socialised form of medicine, and with an ageing population this would lead to waiting lists for treatment that would see US residents looking elsewhere for healthcare, and Cayman was the perfect place. Dr Shetty also indicated that, as the population in the US grew older, those elderly people would be looking for affordable assisted living where they would have access to healthcare at home that could offer the same environment to what they were used to in the States

He described Cayman as the world’s best kept secret, and because government was willing to be flexible over medical workers, he would be able to charge up to 60% less for care here in Cayman than the patients would pay in the US.

Dr Shetty also said that because Cayman is attractive the world’s leading doctors and surgeons would want to live and work here. He said this was not just about Indian doctors, as he said they were well paid and well looked after in their own country, but it applied to those from the US as well.

Shetty said he had no plans to flood Cayman with Indian workers as had been suggested, as that would be short sighted. He said the priority would be to give work to Caymanians in the first instance in every sector but thousands of jobs will eventually be created by medical tourism.

In his presentation about the possibilities for a medical industry for Cayman, Shetty also pointed to the idea of the jurisdiction becoming a hub for biotech-research. He said if Cayman were to give status to a few Nobel laureates working in the field then they would come and do their research here. The doctor said that here were numerous scientists and researchers looking for places to work where there were no archaic laws holding them back. Shetty said, however, that he would not be conducting any stem cell research at his facility once it was built.

In a question and answer session after his presentation at the Ritz Carlton on Friday afternoon local doctor Steve Tomlinson questioned Shetty’s figures and said he did not think his model would work and that the Indian doctor’s assumptions about the situation in the US were incorrect.

Others also queried why elderly people would come to Cayman for treatment when the cost of living here was so high and considerably cheaper in Florida.

Shetty pointed to the issue of care in the home, which he said was unaffordable in the US. He acknowledged that the cost of living in Cayman was similar to the US but he said the patients would make savings on the treatmentand care which they simply could not get in America.

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Cayman resident in fraud case

| 18/11/2010 | 10 Comments

(CNS):The owner of the house in Old Prospect Rd which was due to be auctioned without a reserve price has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering. According to the New York Post, prosecutors say Cayman resident Myron Gushlak was involved a $90 million fraud linked to a financier and television show host considered to be Germany’s Jim Cramer. The judge said the men ripped off investors in a “pump and dump scheme” but many details of the case still remain secret. The auction of Gushlak’s home, set for 3 November, attracted considerable media attention. However it was cancelled at the last minute reportedly because of low interest but the agents have not officially given a reason.

News of Gushlak’s, guilty plea to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to launder money charges emerged Wednesday during a hearing in Brooklyn federal court. Because he has been cooperating with federal and state investigators, along with regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission, information about his guilty pleas had been kept under seal by judicial order and much of the case is still secret.

According to Gushlak’s websites he relocated from Canada to the Cayman Islands in 2000 and is the managing director of Bluewater Partners, a small Cayman based merchant bank.

Go to New York Post article

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