Archive for January 5th, 2011

Robber loses ‘face’ and escapes empty handed

| 05/01/2011 | 14 Comments

(CNS): West Bay detectives said Wednesday that they are now investigating an attempted robbery at a local convenience store and are asking the public if they recognize this mask (pictured left). The rubber face mask was worn by a man who tried to rob L’s Grocery store on North West Point Road in West Bay on Tuesday afternoon at around 3.00pm. The suspect who was wearing the mask was armed with a machete when he entered the store and confronted the male cashier. The would-be robber tried to grab cash from the register but was unable to open it.

Police said the robber then ran from the store empty handed and is thought to have made off, on foot, across Aloe Lane directly opposite the store. Police officers who attended the scene and launched a search for the suspect recovered the mask and machete a short distance from the store.

The suspect is described as around 5’10” in height, light complexion and of skinny build. He was wearing a white or cream coloured long sleeved shirt, which had buttons and a flower pattern on the front, and light coloured full length jeans.

Detective Constable Nathan Turner, of West Bay CID, is appealing for anyone with information about the crime to come forward.

“This is a very distinctive mask,” he said. “If you know anyone who owns a mask similar to the one in the photograph, or you are a retailer who has recently sold one of these masks, I would be keen to talk to you. If you were in the area at the relevant time yesterday and saw the suspect either enter the store or run off after the attempted robbery please call West Bay CID or the confidential Crime Stoppers number – you could have informationwhich could assist the enquiry.”

Information can be passed to West Bay CID on 949-3999 or Crime Stoppers 800-8477 (TIPS).
 

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Rap not cause of crime

| 05/01/2011 | 51 Comments

While all types of violent music have some negative influence on young people, I would not go as far to say that it prompts one to commit serious crimes. I also think making such comments (as those made by the police commissioner recently) discredits all the hard work and commitment that persons such as local rapper and recent Grammy award nominee, Jason Gilbert, and his group “The iZ” and others like D.L.S. have accomplished.

Rap music has come a long way since the 1980’s and early 90’s when “gangster” rap music was much more popular. Many rap artists these days are actually entrepreneurs, often wearing business suits, most having their own clothing line, fragrances and record labels. A few even have ownership in professional basketball teams (NBA). Hip Hop artist Jay-Z was recently featured in Forbes magazine alongside billionaire Warren Buffet. Although most focus on wealth and fame, I think they also inspire young people to do something positive with their lives and to dream big.

There are a number of things that contribute to our young people committing crimes and rap music, in my opinion, is not the main reason. I am not suggesting that parents allow their children to listen to violent music, but not all rap music is bad. I personally feel that the main reason for the increase of crime among our youth today is the breakdown of the family and society’s lack of patience and tolerance in grooming our youth.

Looking on the Economics and Statistics website, it showed that in 2009 Cayman had 232 filed divorces and in 2008, 196 divorces were granted, the highest in 24 and 23 years respectively. Any single parent can tell you how hard it is to raise a family on their own, whether it is financially, physically or mentally.

I read a study online by Heritage Foundation (www.heritage.org) that said: “The absence of the father is the single most important cause of crime and the percentage of single-parent households with children between the ages of 12 and 20 is significantly associated with rates of violent crime and burglary.” Material things can be replaced, but a great father missing from home is irreplaceable.

Many studies show that the breakdown within the home can be detrimental to young people, causing many to commit crimes. If you do not believe in the studies, just look around and watch from experience. Where do young men learn to assault women? Many times they see it happen growing up right in their own home. Where do young people pick up drug and alcohol habits? From their parents, relatives or persons close around them — actually many teens have admitted that their first alcohol drink came from their parents.

Young people not working or attending full time school is another cause which bolsters crime.
We all know that idleness and too much free time causes young people to get into mischief.
I think poor modeling also has an impact on our youth: every person on earth has thesocial responsibility to be a good role model within the community. However, a lot of the bad habits that our young people pick up, they pick up from adults — foul language, selfishness, anger, negativity, just to name a few.

I think the lack of positive role models within our community also has an effect on our youth.
A recent poll done by Gallup/USA Today showed President Barack Obama to be the “Most Admired Man” for the 3rd straight year. Whether you like him or not, it is evident that he is a family man and demonstrates and conducts himself in a very professional and admirable manner, which is very appealing to the younger generation.

The reason we have so many young people looking abroad and being influenced from overseas is because of the lack of role models here in Cayman. I am not saying we don’t have some in Cayman — I personally know several of them — but it is not to a magnitude of what is really needed. We need more role models and leaders who stand out, Caymanian role models and leaders, who aspire to inspire this new generation.

We as a nation need to start encouraging our children more and instilling positive things into their minds on a consistent basis; it has a negative influence on them when all they hear is negative things. I do not think we encourage our children enough to dream big, think positive, instill into them that they can do anything they put their minds to. Growing up I did not have much confidence in myself until other people took notice of my potential and started encouraging me, and I suspect many young people are going through the same thing today.

When I attended school, I recall one teacher telling me that I wouldn’t become anything. I also had people comparing me to family members who had certain addictions. We need to let our children know that their past, neighborhood, race, wealth or educational background does not affect their future.

Not to my surprise, the same study done by the Heritage Foundation, which I truly believe to be accurate, stated that “Neighborhoods with a high degree of religious practice are not high-crime neighborhoods.” I do not think that anyone can argue that the principles and morals that Christianity teaches us have been diminishing within our community.

Many of our elders will tell you that Cayman has changed significantly, and although I believe in change, there are just some things, such as our moral integrity, personal responsibility and community involvement, that should not change.

I call upon families, fathers in particular, to take your rightful place in society, to shelter your sons and daughters from destroying themselves. Teach them the right morals and principles that will help them to be successful in life and help build their characters, that will not allow them to bend under negative influence. These things cannot be taught in colleges or universities but can only be obtained within a loving home. In doing so, we will build a stronger community in the fight against crime, both locally and internationally.

Richard Christian is the president of the Young United Democratic Party (YUDP) and was responding to comments made by Police Commissioner David Baines in a presentation at the Caribbean Conference on Economic Co-operation held at the Ritz Carlton last month.

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Fire damages home of man charged with rape

| 05/01/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The West Bay property in which a man accused of raping an underage girl was believed to be living has been damaged by fire. Tyrone Roswell Ebanks appeared in court on New Year’s Eve charged with the rape of a sixteen-year-girl, who police said was grabbed from her bicycle as she rode along Powell Smith Drive in West Bay at 6pm in the evening of Monday, 27 December. Ebanks is said to have dragged the teenager into a nearby house, where he raped her. While Ebanks remained in police custody on New Year’s Day, a fire was reported at the property where he is said to have lived but police have stated that there was nothing to indicate the fire was set deliberately. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

Following information revealed to CNS that the New Year’s Day fire was at Ebanks’ West Bay home, CNS asked the RCIPS for details on the blaze. A police spokesperson confirmed that a property had been partly destroyed by fire in West Bay during the early hours of 1 January.

“Around 2:05am on Saturday, police and fire services attended a report of a fire at a house in the West Bay area,” the RCIPS spokesperson said. “As with any damage caused by fire reported to the Police/Fire Department a full investigation will be undertaken. At this stage of the investigation, there’s nothing to suggest or indicate ‘suspicion’ that the fire was deliberately set. The fire related to a portion of a house occupied by a person that was absent from the premises when the report was made.”

Ebanks (44), who was arrested on the same night as the attack, was charged with rape and defilement of the teenager.

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Kittiwake scuttled at last!

| 05/01/2011 | 43 Comments

(CNS): After morethan seven years of planning and numerous twists and turns the Kittiwake was finally scuttled yesterday in front of an excited crowd on the beach and the water. The slow, controlled sinking took more than four and a half hours but it was in the last few moments that the show really took off when the former US naval vessel began to disappear under a cascade of bubbles into the water to her final resting place. The ship which will create a new artificial reef and dive attraction will open for business tomorrow even though it still seems to be very close to the surface. Pictures taken yesterday (below) show people standing on the vessel which appears to be just a few feet below at its highest point. (Photos Dennie Warren Jr)

Officials say that the wreck will settle to around 15 feet below the water, even though it appears to be higher than that at present. The vessel has not sunk down to the level expected yet as a result of recent shifting sand which has raised the sea bad and the air pockets which were expected to be removed Thursday.Organisers said that within a short time the Kittiwake will drop a few feet further and then over the coming weeks and months settle down to a lower depth. 

Forming a new marine park the Kittiwake is expected to attract divers and fish creating a new underwater environment off the coast of Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach. The 47-foot-tall ship’s expected depth was around 62 feet down and the top deck was always meant to remain relatively close to the surface making it accessible for snorkelers as well as the divers who will be able to go further down and appreciate the full wreck.

During the sinking event crews flooded the rusted hulk of the 2,200-ton ship with some 200,000 gallons of water through holes bored in the side so that it would settle on the sandy seabed in an upright position allowing light to flow through the vessel from all angles. Although it leaned a little during sinking divers who were monitoring the scuttling said it had in fact landed on its keel as intended.

The ship, which during its naval history assisted US submarine operations around the world, arrived in Cayman on Christmas morning having been anchored among other rusty ships of the James River Reserve Fleet, aka the "Ghost Fleet," in Virginia.

Divers will be attaching mooring lines to the wreck on Thursday before the new attraction opens for the public officially on Friday. Anyone wishing to dive in the new park can contact a list of

The scuttling which was a significant event for Cayman’s tourism business was filmed by a collection of international media as well as various TV channels such as National Geographic and Discovery.

Anyone wishing to dive in the new park can contact a list of licensed operators on the website as well as view pictures and video of the sinking www.kittiwakecayman.com.

 

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Turks and Caicos get ‘royal’ popstar treat

| 05/01/2011 | 0 Comments

(Contactmusic.com): Soul superstar PRINCE thrilled holidaymakers in the Turks and Caicos Islands on New Year’s Eve (31Dec10) by putting on an impromptu show as the clock struck midnight. The Purple Rain hitmaker spent the holiday weekend on vacation at the sun-soaked Amanyara resort, with members of his band. And when the time came to ring in 2011, the singer delighted fellow guests by playing a short set to see in the New Year. A source tells New York Post gossip column Page Six, "Prince is a regular guest at the resort and was staying with his band. He got up at midnight and did an impromptu session of three songs, including 1999."

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Premier travels in style

| 05/01/2011 | 164 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Island premier returned home on New Year’s Eve in style after a personal trip to the Bahamas. McKeeva Bush, along with family and friends including MLA Cline Glidden, landed at Owen Roberts on a private Gulfstream IV aircraft. According to the premier’s press secretary, the premier has no ownership of the private plane but has offered no details on who had lent the luxury aircraft to Bush and his party. (Photos by Dennie Warren Jr)

When asked by CNS whether the premier or government had any ownership in the jet, Charles Glidden said, “The premier has no financial or ownership interest in the private jet to which you refer. The premier was on a personal trip and returned on a privately owned aircraft.”

Formerly registered in Cayman, the private plane now appears on the Isle of Man aircraft registry. And according to on-line records, the plane appears to belong to Pillar Securisation SARL.

This type of high altitude high speed twin turbofan jet aircraft is at the luxury end of business travel. With a long range it can seat up to 14 passengers and fly almost 5000 nautical miles at a time.

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Rotary Sunrise’s 10Ten10 photo competition winners

| 05/01/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): With the refreshing auspices of an easterly breeze, the winners of the 10Ten10 Photo Competition – “A Day in the Life of the Cayman Islands” – gathered to receive their prizes accompanied by parents, grandparents, siblings and other relatives and well-wishers. The prize-giving ceremony took place on Saturday, December 11th, at the Cecile Crighton Community Park in Spotts-Newlands, a fitting location as both the park and the competition are projects of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman Sunrise. (Left: Jagger Linford – overall winner for the 5-9 age group)

On hand to make the announcements and to congratulate the very talented winners were three of the four partner organizations for the 10Ten10 Photo Competition. They were represented by President Michael Levitt of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman Sunrise; Natalie Urquhart, Director of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands; and Frank Balderamos, General Manager of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands and Rotary Sunrise Youth Director. President Andrea Stevens of the Rotary Club of Cayman Brac was unavoidably absent due to a social that the club was hosting for the Senior Citizens of Cayman Brac.

In the 5-9 age group, the winners and categories were:
Mason Oelschlager – Close-Up
Daniel Grant – Floral
Jagger Linford – Reflections (overall winner for the age group)
Cassidy Amesbury – Lines
Gioenne Rocero – Water
Shania Williams – Animals

In the 10-14 age group, the winners and categories were:
Abijith Anu – Floral (overall winner for the age group)
Raven Leslie – Reflections
Halley Manderson – Animals
Erin Welds – Lines
Erin Welds – Water
Connor O’Dea – Close-Up

In the 15-18 age group, the winners and categories were:
Demetria Jennings – Water
James Christian – Floral
James Christian – Close-Up
Keristin Scott – Animals
Kenneth Salcena – Reflections
Kathleen Gracey – Lines (overall winner for the age group)

Each category winner received two tickets to the Hollywood Theatres in Camana Bay as well as CI$50 in iTunes gift cards. The two young photographers who won in two categories each received double the prizes. To crown it all, the overall winner in each age group, in addition to the theatre tickets and gift cards, received a state-of-the-art 12.2 MP Nikon S510 camera with HD video and still imaging, along with one memory card. The value of each camera is just over US$200.

After the prizes were distributed, everyone remained behind to mingle, socialize and enjoy refreshments that included a sumptuous spread of salad, fruit, chicken and sirloin prepared by Rotary Sunrise President Michael.

Of particular note are the four winners from Cayman Brac: Daniel Grant, Abijith Anu, James Christian and Keristin Scott. Keristin and her mother attended the prize-giving ceremony. Daniel Grant and James Christian (who won both the Floral and Close-Up categories in the 15-18 age group) were later presented with their prizes on the Brac by President Andrea Stevens of the Rotary Club of Cayman Brac and by President-Elect Andrea Bryan of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman Sunrise.

The 10Ten10 Photo Competition project was conceived by President Michael and orchestrated by President-Elect Andrea Bryan of Rotary Sunrise. Rotarians and prospective Rotarian Finley Josephs, as well as Rotary Sunrise’s partners, were all thanked for their hard work in bringing the project to fruition.

Rotary Sunrise was chartered in 2002 and has members who are mostly young professionals from Cayman and 24 other countries. They have fun contributing to the Cayman community and meet for breakfast at 7 a.m. on Wednesdays at the Grand Old House.

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Wheelabrator faces tall order

| 05/01/2011 | 5 Comments

(CNS): The company that will now own and operate Grand Cayman’s landfill has a daunting task ahead tackling Cayman’s rubbish but the firm bills itself as being up to the job. Wheelabrator Technologies says it is a world leader in theconversion of municipal solid waste into clean energy. Having pioneered the waste-to-energy industry in the US when it designed, built and operated the first commercially successful facility in Saugus, Massachusetts, in 1975, the firm said it has converted more than 164 million tons of municipal solid waste into 86 billion kwh of energy. However, so far the firm has been shy in responding to press enquiries about how it will approach its latest and possibly most challenging dump here in Cayman.

The contract with the Cayman Islands government, announced on Christmas Eve, also requires the firm to address the condition of the existing landfill and introduce a recycling programme. The tender required that the winners of the bid to generate electricity and other "green energy" by-products in an “environmentally friendly" way, accept all types of waste, handle newly generated waste, and effectively manage and reduce all existing landfill waste at the George Town landfill site.

With the firm silent and officials from government revealing that there are still significant matters to discuss, the future of Grand Cayman’s waste management is not yet clear.

Speaking to CNS on the eve of the announcement, the chair of the technical committee, Canover Watson, said that the approval by central tendering of the technical team’s choice was merely the first step on a road to a complex solution. Negotiations with CUC, which will use the energy, as well as the financial negotiations with government are still to be completed. However, Wheelabrator was selected because of its resources and experience.

Nevertheless, there are many people in the community that still have concerns that the focus on waste-to-energy is the wrong solution. WISE, an advocacy grouped formed in 2010 to campaign for an entirely new multi-faceted approach to the country’s garbage problems, also pushed hard for the landfill to be capped and moved. However, in the tender process government made it clear that its preferred option was to keep the landfill on the current site.

Responding to government’s selection, spokesperson and project coordinator, Theresa Broderick, said the community still needed more information on what exactly has been proposed. WISE, she noted, had not speculated on who the service provider might be but had been concerned with the environmental issues, the regulatory processes and the long-term sustainability of any approach taken.

“WISE Cayman remains primarily concerned about the necessity to thoroughly assess and properly address the environmental issues of the existing dump which must involve a Site Characterization Study and its resulting remediation recommendations regardless of any waste-to-energy component,” she said. “WISE also remains sceptical on the adequacy of the existing site if, indeed, the landfill is to be responsibly remediated and, if indeed fully comprehensive facilities incorporating a combination of waste management methodologies, inclusive of recycling, are to be sanctioned to a level expected of a developed nation.”

She said that the activist group hoped that government has found a winning solution but the organisation would be following the developments in relation to the award and intended to gauge public opinion on the issue.

“Over the next couple weeks, WISE Cayman will conduct a random national public polling to ascertain the level of understanding of this issue by residents and voters alike and also the expectations of how their interests should be served,” she added.

There are concerns that the mining of the landfill could have serious environmental implications as no one knows exactly what is in the landfill, aka Mount Trashmore. What is certain, however, is that it’s full and that going forward Cayman must take a new approach to its trash by reducing the amount it generates and recycling as much of the trash as possible.

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