Archive for July 4th, 2011

Smart phones may make keys obsolete

| 04/07/2011 | 0 Comments

(NYTimes): Front pockets and purses are slowly being emptied of one of civilization’s most basic and enduring tools: the key. It’s being swallowed by the cellphone.  New technology lets smart-phones unlock hotel, office and house doors and open garages and even car doors.   It’s a not-too-distant cousin of the technology that allows key fobs to remotely unlock automobiles or key cards to be waved beside electronic pads at office entrances. What’s new is that it is on the device more people are using as the Swiss Army knife of electronics — in equal parts phone, memo pad, stereo, map, GPS unit, camera and game machine.

The phone simply sends a signal through the Internet and a converter box to a deadbolt or door knob. Other systems use internal company networks, like General Motors’ OnStar system, to unlock car doors.

Because nearly everyone has a cellphone, a number of start-ups, lock companies and carmakers are betting on broad acceptance of the technology. 

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Teens plead not guilty to bakery robbery

| 04/07/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Derek Simpson and Dan Kelly pleaded not guilty to robbery on Friday when they were formally charged with taking $400 from a West Bay shop at gunpoint in September of last year. The teenagers aged 18 and 19 years old are accused of a daylight robbery at the Caribbean Bakery, on Mount Pleasant Road in September of last year. Kelly and Simpson are also facing charges for possession of an imitation firearm as the two were said by the crown to by armed with a flare gun when the held up the local store. Police arrested the two teens on the same day that they are accused of robbing a female member of staff at the store.

The trial date has been fixed for 23 January 2012 and the two teens were bailed to return on that date.

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Active conservaiton and leisure diving combine

| 04/07/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Local dive operators and members of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association have introduced a new dive course for both residents and visitors to help in the fight against the invasive lionfish. The new one day PADI distinctive speciality course will enable those who pass through to become licensed culler of the species which is posing a real threat to local reefs. The 'Invasive Lionfish Tracker' educates divers about the Lionfish, including the essential facts about its progressive invasion of the North-western Atlantic and the Caribbean.

The course explains why action is required now to try and control the spiralling population and describes a practical way to safely and humanely capture and euthanize them.

Two dives are included in the course for practical application of the knowledge. Upon completion, students will be issued a new PADI c-card as well as a local culling license. Nets are used for capture in the course.

While no one can state categorically where the lionfish in the Caribbean came from, the best indication is that a handful of fish escaped from the aquarium trade, probably in south Florida or elsewhere along the eastern seaboard of the United States of America. With no effective local predators these few fish were able to establish a breeding population and the species invasion has spread from there.

Lionfish have followed currents up the East Coast of the United States and to Bermuda. After crossing the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas the fish expanded southward into the rest of the Caribbean, their eggs riding the currents westward to the Cayman Islands and now Central America.

While local dive professionals had been granted special permits issued by the Marine Conservation Board after completing a course offered by the Department of the Environment (DOE), it was not enough. The lionfish are both veracious eaters and rampant breeders, so the population continues to grow despite the dive industry and local resident divers’ attempts to cull the fish as fast as possible.

"Upon their arrival in Cayman we reached out to colleagues in REEF to see what could be done to assist in the regional data gathering efforts occurring at the time and to begin formulating any possible responses to theirpresence in Cayman waters. This has been an escalating response as the presence of lionfish has increased" stated Bradley Johnson of the Department of the Environment (DOE).

Jeni Chapman of Divetech brought the PADI Lionfish course to the attention of the DOE several months ago.

"The concept was to be able to get more people trained and licensed to capture lionfish, as we need all the help we can get. If all dive Instructors that teach courses every day could offer the Lionfish course, then we could recruit more help which would reduce some of the workload off of the DOE and enable the course to be offered every day of the year. Many visiting divers want to help so this allows them the option to do this," she said.

The challenge that was presented was that the Marine Parks Law does not permit the taking of anything, living or dead while on scuba, from the Cayman Islands waters. Before the course could be offered, it required approval from the DOE and the Marine Conservation Board to allow the course to be taught by local dive instructors.

The objective was that once a student passed the course, they could be issued the local Lionfish culling license. Following review, and with some inclusions from the local Marine Parks Laws, the course was approved.

"This was truly a collaborative effort in Cayman once again, with both public and private sector working together to address this threat. Both parties realized that fast response was needed and this new course will assist Cayman in its fight against the invasive lionfish," John Bothwell, Senior Research Officer of the DOE said.

Now any divers can contact their favourite dive operator and become part of the solution to help keep Cayman’s reefs healthy and balanced. Dive shops are also offering lion fish hunts as part of their regular schedule to assist in combating this problem for qualified divers. Many restaurants are now also offering lionfish in a variety of dishes.

Contact for more information.


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Cayman’s top judge promotes courts at global seminar

| 04/07/2011 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The country’s chief justice was flying the flag for Cayman’s legal system at a global conference in Singapore recently. Addressing some 250 other judges, Anthony Smellie said the purpose of Cayman’s representation was to send a clear message that Cayman’s courts recognize and adhere to international standards for resolving cross-border insolvency problems and that the courts will give the necessary cooperation in ensuring that the principles that should govern international insolvencies are applied.

“My aim was to explain to conference participants that our courts adhere to international best practices and that there should be complete confidence in our processes,” the chief justice said, adding that this also helps to ensure that Cayman’s courts and court-appointed officials will in turn receive full cooperation from other jurisdictions.

Although the conference was open to other insolvency professionals, the seminar at which the CJ presented his paper was aimed primarily at judges “from many other countries, including many of the jurisdictions with which our courts must relate when dealing with international insolvencies,” Justice Smellie explained.

“A review of the Cayman Islands cases will reveal that the aspirations embodied in the principle of universality and in the mandate in the case law for the collective enforcement of rights in insolvency and in bankruptcy have, for quite some time, been shared, recognized and enforced by the courts,” he told his international judicial peers.

During his presentation Smellie pointed out that judicial international co-operation was a well-established tradition in Cayman Islands jurisprudence.

Describing some of the important decisions made in complex international cases, Smellie said the Cayman jurisprudence could be expected to develop well in pace with the legitimate demands of the international financial markets within the wider global economy.

The full conference was attended by some 600 judges and insolvency professionals.
Moderating the chief justice’s panel was a past president of Insol, the organizers, Neil Cooper.  Other panelists presenting with Smellie were Justice Alasdair Norris of the English High Court; Justice James Peck of the US Bankruptcy Court and of the Southern District of New York (where many US-based insolvency matters are heard), and Justice Jonathan Harris, of the High Court of Hong Kong.

Chief Justice Smellie's paper

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Fire station expands to facilitate new trucks

| 04/07/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The government dug out the golden shovels recently in order to break ground on an extension of the Frank Sound fire station. The 1,700 sqft expansion will be large enough to house the station’s three new customised trucks and will also provide facilities for female staff.  The equipment was bought by the previous administration but had been stored in the US when plans for the Bodden Town Emergency Centre were abandoned. The trucks were recently brought to Cayman however to cater to the growing needs of the Eastern Districts, the Premier said.

Mckeeva Bush said that Bodden Town, North Side and East End had collectively seen tremendous growth by over 145 percent since the station was built in 1984, requiring provision of better public safety infrastructure. Since the trucks contain special electronics that need to be protected from the weather, the $250,000 expansion received the green light despite the economic crunch, he explained.

Thanking fire staff for their sterling efforts, Bush also revealed that a committee was to be appointed which would examine the viability of a voluntary or auxiliary fire service team serving in a supporting role.

Chief Fire Officer Dennom Bodden welcomed the expansion at the Frank Sound fire station but said it would not address the urgent and growing need to reduce the Fire Service response time to emergencies in the Bodden Town district, which has been experiencing rapid growth.

He also added that upgrades to the West Bay fire station were also needed in order to be able to accommodate female staff.

Local construction company Barnes Construction Ltd was awarded the contract for the Frank Sound expansion.


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NDC offers workshops to prevent drug abuse

| 04/07/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS):  Along side the work it does measuring the use and impact of drug abuse in the community the National Drug Council is also working to reduce misuse as well. “A lot of our work is behind-the-scenes, such as research and policy development. However, one of our most important mandates is preventing drug use. To this end, we have developed a number of new initiatives to address substance abuse in our communities,” NDC Coordinator and Executive Director Joan West-Dacres said. Aside from publishing an educational booklet designed for use in the classroom and home which explains the concepts and negative impacts of substance abuse the NDC hosts workshops for parents, teachers and workers.

These educational initiatives are multi-faceted and target youth, parents, teachers as well as employers. They are all aimed at reducing the negative impacts on of drug use, misuse and abuse.”

Since January of this year around 170 people who have participants in the various preventative workshops. “The feedback to date has been very positive. Participants have reported they have found benefit in participating,” West-Dacres added.

There are three different training work shops Parents as Preventers Training teaches parents the signs and symptoms of substance use and abuse and the sessions are conducted upon request at public and private schools in Grand Cayman. Teachers as Preventers Training points out some of the early warning signs of substance abuse, as well as providing them with the information and skills that can help them take a positive approach in dealing with pre-teens and teens in their classrooms. The workshop focuses on what is happening locally with drug use and young people, reading the signs and creating a positive classroom environment.

Finally the workplace training highlights the benefits of a drug-free workplace and encourages workers with alcohol and drug problems to seek help. This workshop is conducted upon request.

The NDC, an independent statutory body, was set up under the National Drug Council Law (1997), to assist government in reviewing drug use trends, formulating and developing drug prevention and rehabilitation policies and programmes; conducting drug-use surveys and spearheading public education.

For more information on the NDC’s programmes, go to or call 949-9000 to schedule a workshop.  Or visit them at #17 Caymanian Village, North Sound Way.


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Driver guilty of reckless death

| 04/07/2011 | 25 Comments

(CNS): A jury of five men and two women has found Veramae Watson (50) guilty of causing death by reckless driving. Watson was convicted on Friday, 1 July, of killing bus driver Edwin Edwards in 2007 when the trailer she was pulling became detached from her Jeep Cherokee along Bodden Town Road near Caribbean Haven and careered across the road in the path of the bus. The jury found that the defendant had not taken proper care to secure the home-made trailer, which was full of rocks. During the week long trial the jury heard that Watson had tried to secure the badly fitting tow ball and donut attachment on the trailer with bungee cords (rubber straps).

During the trial the court heard Kenneth Ferguson for the prosecution and Clyde Allen for the defence narrow down the case for the jury to the simple question of whether Watson had taken due care and attention to secure the trailer or whether she had acted either recklessly or dangerously in the way she had attached it.

On 21 September 2007, Watson was driving her car and the trailer towards George Town having come from East End. Just before she reached Caribbean Haven the trailer came loose and heading into the path of Edwards who was driving the number 4 bus to East End. According to the evidence, the driver was driving above the speed limit and in his efforts to avoid the trailer he swerved and hit a tree. He died in hospital in Jamaica around ten days after the smash from his injuries.

During the trial the jury was shown demonstrations and various expert evidence was given about the strength of the straps used by the defendant. However, the crown claimed that the use of incompatible equipment secured with inappropriate straps was a reckless and dangerous act, despite the claims of the weight the straps could stand by the experts.

Ferguson noted that it would have been obvious to any careful and competent driver looking at the equipment used that as it was incompatible, it was unsafe and that the rubber straps were clearly insufficient to secure the two parts.

Allen said that Watson was driving neither recklessly nor dangerously. A witness had testified driving behind Watson for some time before the accident and had been frustrated by the speed she was driving as the witness was late for the airport.

He said Watson had taken due care by using the straps to ensure the trailer attachment was secure. He also stated that having already driven the trailer from George Town to East End without incident, she had further reason to believe the trailer was safe. Moreover, Allen said, there was no evidence that his client had looked at the trailer attachment and thought, "This is not safe but I’m driving it regardless," as he asked the jury to find his client not guilty.

However, offered two possible counts based on causing death by either dangerous or reckless driving, the jury found Watson guilty of causing death by reckless driving.

Watson is listed to be sentenced on Friday, 8 July, in Grand Court five.

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Cayman nets 23 medals at island games

| 04/07/2011 | 1 Comment

(CNS): With eight gold medals the Cayman Islands came ninth at this year’s Natwest Islands Games in the Isle of Man. Team Cayman will be coming home with a haul of 23 medals after also netting seven silvers and eight bronze medals. Aside from winning three golds, Carl Morgan also leapt to a games record with a 15.68 in the men’s Triple Jump. Morgan won gold in the long jump and 100m relay. Robert Ibeh also took gold in the men’s 100 metre sprint, silver in the 200m and earned gold in the team 100m relay. Off the track Panav Jha won two golds in the men’s tennis – one in the singles and one in the team event. While Caroline Heal won gold in the women’s squash singles and a bronze in the team event and Edison McLean also took gold in the skeet.

See full results here.

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Former T&C premier’s assets frozen worldwide

| 04/07/2011 | 18 Comments

(Turks & Caicos Sun): The assets of Michael Misick, the former Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, have been frozen world-wide. Documents obtained by The SUN revealed that on June 23rd, 2011, Chief Justice His Lordship Gordon Ward made the order to freeze all of Misick’s assets, including bank accounts here and overseas, his personal residence in Providenciales, parcels of land throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands, two condominiums, a cinema in Providenciales which still carries a variation of his ex-wife Lisa-Raye McCoy’s name, and several credit cards. The freezing order, which was made by Special Prosecutor Helen Garlick, clearly states: “This Order prohibits you Michael Misick, the alleged offender, from dealing with all of your assets wherever they may be situated in the world and in whosever name the same assets may be held.”

It goes on to state: “This Order prohibits all of the persons, real or otherwise, named…from dealing with all or any of the assets in which the alleged offender has an interest whether directly or indirectly wherever they may be situated in the world and in whosever name the said assets may be held.”

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Cultural foundation calls on novice fashion designers

| 04/07/2011 | 1 Comment

(CNS): With the start of Cayman’s own couture season the Cayman National Cultural Foundaiton is calling on would be fashion designers to sign up for its Fashion Designer Workshop this month. The week long fashion class will be taught by Cayman’s own Fashion Institute of Technology trained designer, Kidan Brooks, who will introduce participants to the elements of fashion design including inspiration, research, developing ideas and portfolio presentation, computer aided design,  marketing and collection structure. The workshop is designed for all legal residents of the Cayman Islands, 16 years of age and older, with creative flair, a passion for fashion and the ability to express ideas visually.

The workshop cost $200 which includes the training and the chance to have their designs showcased at the exclusive Fresh Launch Party later in the year and on the catwalk at the FRESH Cayman Couture fashion show next year. Attendance at all sessions is mandatory and the workshop is a prerequisite for any designer hoping to show their collection at the April fashion event.

The CNCF did say the requirement to attend the workshop may be waived, in rare instances, depending on the designer’s portfolio. To be considered for the waiver, the designer must submit their portfolio to the CNCF Office by the 16 July or, electronically to  In the event that the waiver is granted, the designer will still be required to pay the fees and fill out the Application Form and the Agreement Form.

The workshop runs from Monday 18 to Friday  22 July from 7 – 9 pm and then on Saturday 23 July from 10am – 12 noon and  1 – 3 pm. An all-inclusive application fee of CI$200 is payable on Monday, 18 July at the start of the workshop.

For further information, kindly contact Virginia Foster, the Administrative Assistant, at
947-5477 or at


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