Archive for December 15th, 2010

Plug-in hybrid will be allowed on Cayman roads

| 15/12/2010 | 22 Comments

(CNS): Although four wheeled electric cars still remained banned from the Cayman Islands roads, one local dealer is pleased that at least the new Chevy Volt will be allowed to take to the local public highways. This plug-in hybrid electric car also has a combustion engine, so it will not fall foul of the existing road traffic law, which does not permit NEVs and other electric vehicles with four wheels or more on regular roads. John Felder of Cayman Automotive, who has been campaigning for more than four years, said he was pleased that at least this vehicle could be imported and used on the highway. Still disappointed that the wider legislative changes have not reached the statute books, Felder said this was at least a step in the right direction.

CNS recently contacted the ministry with responsibility for vehicle licensing and traffic issues to find out when Cayman would likely see revised legislation that would allow eco-friendly electric cars on the road. Officials said they were hopeful that the law would be changed in “the very near future”. The ministry said that the traffic law has been revised and is being drafted. “However, the ministry had other pressing matters such as the Water Authority, Wastewater & Waste-to-Energy Laws that took priority,” a spokesperson said. “These are now resolved, thus the Traffic Law will be next on the agenda.”

Felder, who has been pushing hard for the changes, almost abandoned his plans to sell the latest electric vehicles here and turned his attention to Bermuda and Jamaica, where legislation has already been approved, because he said he has been waiting so long.

At one point, he said, Cayman could have led the way in electric transportation in the Caribbean but instead Bermuda has taken the lead, followed by Jamaica, where electric cars are taking off. As they remained stalled in Cayman, Felder said he continues to live in hope that things will eventually change and these greener vehicles will become a reality to offer eco-conscious drivers an alternative to petrol power cars.

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Churches pay tribute to local police officers

| 15/12/2010 | 7 Comments

(CNS): Five Church of God Chapel congregations in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac held appreciation services for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service last month to say thank you for the valuable service and “the dedication to sometimes a dangerous, and often a thankless job” the churches said. Each of the pastors encouraged the police men and women attending the various services to continue to uphold high standards and do their job. A strong word of encouragement was sent to the police that the church is in partnership with them in their fight against crime.

“Together with God’s help we can see the present situation turn around,” the church officials said in a release. “It is hoped that this public display of appreciation will cause others to be more appreciative and more supportive of the work of the men and women who put their lives on the line on a regular basis to protect us and our property and to become real partners with the RCIP.”

The members of the RCIP and their families were treated to a meal provided by the churches. Commissioner David Baines expressedhis thanks to the church for its appreciation of the RCIPS officers.

“Often it is the mistakes that are commented upon but the pastors in each church were able to recognize and thank officers for their services to the communities,” he said. “Those of us who attended the event left the services with heads high and a lighter step.”

The Chairman of the General Assembly of the Church of God Chapel, Mario Ebanks said the church wanted to send the message to the police and to the community in general that the congregations appreciate “our first responders” and protectors. “I trust that this event has been a strong encouragement to and motivation for the members of the force,” Ebanks added.

 

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A new exhibition shows off museums old bits

| 15/12/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A new exhibition at the National Museum has some unexpected artefacts on display as part of the National Museum’s series ‘From the Collection.’ Inspired in part by budgetconstraints and the ever present demand for display opportunities the new exhibition will allow the public to view some of the Museum’s 9,000 pieces that are in storage and will be staged in the Changing Gallery. Devil fish and 100-year old embroidery will sit alongside pieces such as the register with copper oxidized finish and oak base was produced in the early 20th century by the National Cash Register Company of Ohio but which rang up sales here in Cayman.

“With From the Collection we have turned adversity into opportunity. With funds limiting the number of more elaborate exhibitions we can launch, we decided to highlight the many unique and fascinating artefacts –which might not be easily paired with another exhibit and are mostly kept in storage .Some of the items have never even been seen by the public and we hope everyone enjoys this journey back in time,” said Exhibition Manager Wray Banker.

From the Collection opened on Friday, 3 December and will remain open until the end of March next year.

Other exhibits worth visiting are the permanent galleries namely The Natural History and The Cultural History Gallery. These have been totally revamped for the Museum’s reopening 2009. For more information on these as well as special Museum activities, visit www.museum.ky
 

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Family services host job fair for unemployed clients

| 15/12/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): With local unemployment figures continuing to increase the department of children and family services has joined the fight to try to get people back to work, according to a government release. Nearly 20 jobseekers and potential employers attended a job fair hosted by the department’s STARSS (Support Towards Autonomy Retraining and Self-Sufficiency) programme recently. Coordinator Cassandra Parchment said the fair was held to help participants land actual employment. However, there was no indication on the release that any of the attendants had actually secured a job from the half dozen employers who came to meet the job-seekers, though officials said the fair had assisted.

“We felt it was a good way to help our clients to get connected with potential employers and possibly land jobs following their training under the STARSS programme,” Parchment said.
STARSS is a career development programme run by the DCFS for its clients. The programme assists the with their job search by improving self-esteem as well as practical training in resume writing; communication skills; customer service; dressing for success; interviewing skills; conflict management; work ethics; budgeting and stress management.
DCFS Director Deanna Look Loy encouraged the attendees to use the skills they learned through the STARSS programme to do well on the job.
“It is sometimes easier to land a job than keep it; use the skills you have been taught to resolve any conflict that may arise in the workplace, and always ensure that you observe the dress code of any organization where you work,” Look Loy said.

The director also asked the employers to be patient with the participants as they were just getting back into the workforce and were still engaged in a learning process.

Six companies and the Department of Employment Relations participated in the fair. The companies included Ritz Carlton; Cayman Distributors Limited; CL Flowers and Sons; Superior Auto; AL Thompson Limited, and Fosters Food Fair IGA. Cayman Distributors Human Resource Manager Cindy Downing said the company participated in the fair in an effort to play its part in supporting the community during this tough economic time, when many are out of work.
“We have a few positions available that we are now advertising; we know it would probably be a good place to find persons who are interested and motivated to work,” Downing added.

STARSS client Tatiana Ow said the STARRS programme and the job fair had been helpful in preparing participants to re-enter the work world and said she was more hopeful of gaining employment in the near future.

 

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Clock ticks on tobacco dealer compliance

| 15/12/2010 | 0 Comments

(CNS): With the remaining provisions of the Tobacco Law coming into effect on 1 January 2011 tobacco dealers must register by 31 December 2010 in order to continue operating legally. So far 112 retailers, five wholesale distributors and two cigar bars have registered to sell tobacco products officials said Wednesday. Health officials have also given traders an extension until March next year to comply with the part of the law that requires health warnings to cover 30% of the display and packaging. Importers are being urged not to import anymore tobacco products that don’ comply with the law.

According to the Tobacco Law, everyone dealing with tobacco products must register annually and display the Certificate of Registration (similar to a Trade and Business License). Healthcare facilities, educational institutions and recreational facilities are not eligible to trade in tobacco products.
“Unless registered, it is illegal to operate as a tobacco dealer,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar said.

A one-off non-refundable application fee of $100 applies, while yearly registration fees are as follows: CI$500 for a retailer; CI$750 for a cigar bar, and CI$5,000 for a wholesale distributor. Although some provisions of the Tobacco Law such as banning smoking in public places went into effect on 31 December 2009, other provisions were delayed to give businesses ample time to get to know them.

Tobacco dealers also are reminded that all tobacco products on sale must have a clear and graphic health warning that covers at least 30 percent of the display area. “Wholesale distributors have requested an exemption until 31 March 2011 to allow for the sale of existing tobacco products which do not meet the requirements of health warnings on the packaging, to which I have agreed,” said Dr. Kiran Kumar.

While granting a concession to dealers, Dr. Kumar urged dealers not to import anymore products that do not meet the requirements under the Tobacco Law.

In addition to new packaging and display requirements, the Tobacco Law also bans the sale of single cigarettes. Cigars, however, can be sold as single units when placed in a plastic bag with a health warning on it or accompanied with a printed health warning in a clear plastic bag.

Application forms for tobacco dealers’ registration as well as copiesof the Tobacco Law and Regulations are available from the Public Health Department at the Cayman Islands Hospital. These documents are also online at www.gis.ky For more information call Annadurai Richards at 244-2621 or 244-2648.
 

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Burglars steal charity cash

| 15/12/2010 | 23 Comments

(CNS): The police have begun an investigation into a burglary at an Eastern Avenue store where the culprits stole three charity collection boxes containing money for local causes including local churches and a young child with learning difficulties. Sometime in the early hours of Monday morning the burglars broke into the shop where they took he money from the till and cash in pouches inside the office. Police said this was a particularly mean crime to steal fro charities and churches and implored people to come forward and assist with information.

A polcie spokesperson revealed that between 4am and 6.30am on 13 December burglars entered Young World Fashion, 117 Eastern Avenue, George Town after smashing through a glass window to the side of the premises and damaging the electrical breaker box located on the outside of the building to turn off the power to the building.

The suspects then stole cash from a register and the donation boxes with undetermined amounts of cash intended for the Anglican Church, the Missionary for the Poor and the third for a local child with learning difficulties. They then went inside the main office and stole monies from several pouches some of which contained the day’s takings. The offenders left via the broken window.

The officer in the case said this was a particularly mean theft stealing charity donations intended for good causes and local churches and urged people to come forward with information. The Police are appealing for any witnesses or information The Police are appealing for any witnesses or information to contact George Town CID on 949-4222 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477
 

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Regulator warns of scams using forged CIMA letters

| 15/12/2010 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) is warning the public not to fall for scams where the con artists are using forged letters that appear to have come from CIMA. The country’s financial regulatory authority says it has come across false documentation used by scammers that include fraudulent letters, purporting to be from CIMA itself on forged CIMA letterhead, with a fictitious signature. CIMA said that many of the most recent cons asking people to assist in the movement of large sums of cash have involved a fictitious entity called Mercury Bank and Trust Ltd Int’l but said people should not respond to any requests of this nature.

“Be on guard against unsolicited emails from persons seeking assistance to move large sums of money, or requesting that you act as next of kin for a deceased client, in return for a substantial portion of the funds,” CIMA said urging members of the public not to respond to any correspondence of this nature.

The emails usually claim to represent ‘banks’, including ones in the Cayman Islands, soliciting the person to open an ‘account’ to receive the money. However, to open the ‘account’, they must first pay an ‘activation fee’ and deposit money to satisfy a minimum balance that the ‘bank’ requires. CIMA’s experience has been that such correspondence is an attempt to defraud the person receiving it and such ‘banks’ and ‘accounts’ are fictitious.

Persons who carry out these advance-fee scams will go to any lengths, including forging government documents, to convince people that the transaction is legitimate and to give credence to the fraudsters’ request for more money to obtain officially-required clearances.

“Among the documents that have recently come to CIMA’s attention in connection with these scams, are fraudulent letters, purporting to be from CIMA itself. These letters, on forged CIMA letterhead, with a fictitious signature, sought to give the impression that the promised money was being withheld on CIMA’s instructions until certain documentation was provided,” the authority stated.

To help alert people to such fraudulent operations, CIMA maintains alist of Websites with Cayman addresses that are not registered or licensed by CIMA. This document lists entities that claim through their websites that they are banks or other financial institutions located in the Cayman Islands but which CIMA has determined do not physically exist here and are not licensed or regulated by CIMA.

People can view this list in the Enforcement / Information and Alerts section of CIMA’s website, www.cimoney.com.ky. The list currently covers over 50 entities. Mercury Bank and Trust Ltd Int’l has been on the list for some time.

All banks operating in and from the Cayman Islands must be licensed by CIMA. Updated lists of these licensed banks can be viewed on CIMA’s website in the section: Statistics and Regulated Entities / Banking. Alternately, one can search for the particular entity using the Search for Entities feature at the top of each page of the website.

Anyone who receives offers from someone claiming to represent (or to have a connection with) a bank based in the Cayman Islands, or if they have concerns that they may be dealing with a entity that purports to operate from the Cayman Islands but which is not on CIMA’s list of regulated entities, can alert CIMA by emailing ContactCompliance@cimoney.com.ky.
People should also contact CIMA if they receive correspondence that purports to be from CIMA in connection with any scheme to transfer money from any alleged Cayman account.
 

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Still 16 territories on decolonization 50th anniversary

| 15/12/2010 | 15 Comments

(CNS): Presiding over an organization that has surged from 99 members in 1960 to 192 Ban Ki-moon said yesterday that it was the United Nations declaration on indpendence, made fifty years ago that helped to make this virtual doubling possible. He said that in 1960 only four African countries were represented at the UN, compared to more than 50 today. While many events helped shape the change few were more important than the adoption of the declaration on decolonization. However Ban said the process of decolonization is not complete. 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories remain on the list of the Special Committee which includes the Cayman Islands.

“Finishing the job will require a continuing dialogue among the administering powers, the Special Committee, and the peoples of those territories,” he said. “The United Nations is committed to fulfilling the Declaration’s great promise.
In 1960 over 100 million people lived in conditions of colonial oppression and exploitation, denied their fundamental human rights. “The Declaration was a light of hope, but making good on its promise to end colonialism seemed like a far-off goal for too many locked in the struggle for independence. Now, 50 years later, the vast majority of States have achieved this goal,” he said at a meeting to celebrate the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.
The Declaration affirmed the right of all people to self-determination and proclaimed that colonialism should be brought to a speedy and unconditional end. It states that the subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, contravenes the UN Charter and impedes the promotion of world peace and cooperation.
Two years after the adoption of the Declaration, a Special Committee on decolonization was established to monitor its implementation.
Ban cited many lessons learned fromthe process, including the need for commitment and persistence, the spirit of solidarity that travelled across the globe, and the realization that independence is part and parcel of global interdependence, which now requires a new kind of solidarity to eliminate poverty and hunger, protect the environment and deal with violence in and between societies.
“Decolonization re-made the world – in our minds and on the ground,” he concluded. “It showed the tremendous power we have to shape the world for the better. Let us continue to build on that remarkable achievement, and realize in full the spirit of the Declaration.”
Speaking on behalf of General Assembly President, Ambassador Sylvie Lucas of Luxembourg said since 1945 more than 80 former colonies had become independent, joining the UN as sovereign States, and she extended a special greeting to those nations today but she said the world had yet to turn the page on colonialism once and for all pointing to the remaining 16 Territories. The Special Committee, she stated, should continue to promote cooperation with the administering Powers and, in consultation with the peoples of those Territories, develop innovative, tailored approaches to ensure the right to self-determination.

 

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Drug council campaigns for designated drivers

| 15/12/2010 | 7 Comments

(CNS): The National Drug council has called on people who intend to go out drinking this holiday season to appoint a designated driver and take care of them. Encouraging people not to drink and drive over the holidays, the NDC said several local restaurants and bars have agreed to provide customers complimentary soft drinks in return for being the agreed driver for their party. The council also reminded those hosting private parties to make sure there is a choice of soft drinks for those not drinking alcohol. By appointing designated drivers and taking care of them the NDC said they will in turn take care of everyone by keeping drunk drivers off the road.

“Designated Drivers are hugely important to keeping our roads safe during the holiday season”, said Joan West-Dacres, Executive Director of the NDC. Designated drivers only need to identify themselves to the server at participating bars and restaurants to receive free soft drinks for the evening.

“This programme would not be possible without these types of private partnerships. We are appealing to all road users to take responsibility and to always put safety first. Don’t make this holiday season one to remember for all the wrong reasons. Designate a driver, and let’s all work together to prevent further deaths and serious injuries on our roads over the festive season,” added West-Dacres.

She also called on hosts to be responsible and to ensure those who are designated drivers are looked after at office and house parties. For those parties with no designated driver, the NDC recommended booking a taxi before going out.

The NDC also reminded people who are drinking that they can still be over the limit the next morning. “Even if you feel okay to drive you may still be over the legal alcohol limit and could risk a fine or imprisonment, the NDC said in its holiday survival tips. “Remember your body gets rid of roughly one standard drink – that’s one beer, standard mixed drink, or a glass of wine — per hour.”

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Farm releases only eight turtles into wild

| 15/12/2010 | 25 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Turtle farm released only eight yearling green sea turtles into the wild last month at Seven Mile Beach, despite the release being an important part of its conservation efforts. Sending the new crop on their way, however, Turtle Farm managers said most of the animals return annually to the Cayman Islands to nest and will lay an average of between 500 and 1,000 eggs per year for the next 20 years. The latest group made their way across the sands, instinctively imprinting the local landscape, before gaining the water to begin a new life, officials said. The turtles may now go as far afield as Central and South America, and even the coastal waters of Florida, going some way to assist the survival of the endangered species.

Managing Director of the Cayman Turtle Farm: Island Wildlife Encounter, Tim Adam, described the release as “a kind of culmination and a confirmation of what we do, of what we want to achieve". He said, "We are making a difference here and in the world around us, and that is something Cayman can be proud of.”

Each year the farm releases a number of young turtles during the Pirates Week Festival and members of the public enter a raffle for the opportunity to be the ones that send the turtles back to the ocean.

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