Archive for September 21st, 2011

Sea captains pose South Sound as cruise berth option

Sea captains pose South Sound as cruise berth option

| 21/09/2011 | 63 Comments

(CNS): A number of the Cayman Islands veteran mariners and sea captains met up last Saturday to open up public debate about an alternative location for Grand Cayman’s cruise berthing facilities. Choppy Delapenha made a public presentation suggesting that South Sound would prove a more suitable location for the port, based on a proposal by Captain Paul Hurlston and Captain Harris McCoy. The two captains have said that “a modern, secure cruise ship dock, capable of holding up to a dozen cruise ships” could be construction in the South Sound instead of George Town.

Disappointed that captains and seafarers have never been consulted by government regarding the maritime issues, Capt Hurlston and Capt McCoy have, on their own initiative, designed a port facility that could hold up to 12 cruise ships and twenty mega-yachts, which the premier has indicated he would like to attract.

Capt McCoy insisted that he undertook the project with his friend with no other interest than serving the best interests of the Cayman Islands. “I’m not representing anyone. I’m not promoting anything for anybody. This is just my idea from my many years at sea,” he said about the proposal, which was aired formally for the first time on Saturday evening at the Grand Caymanian resort.

The two veterans believe that the eastern-most area of South Sound has very few if any boaters and swimmers and the captains say that this, as well as the location's proximity to George Town, the Linford Pierson Highway, and the quick jump to North Sound via Grand Harbor, makes the South Sound option “irresistible”, they said.

They also stated that the site could provide the home dock being sought in the western Caribbean by Carnival Cruise Lines. “If Grand Cayman were to secure this contract with Carnival, not only could this idea go forward, but Mr Bush’s plan for a larger airport would fuse with this idea, for the crew members and passengers for Carnival would fly to and from Grand Cayman by the thousands,” they suggested.

In their alternative plan, the entrance channel to the proposed dock would be 500 feet wide and 40 feet deep. Captain Hurlston also spoke about the need for the latest security measures required in modern ports. “We’d be building this port from scratch and ports now require a lot of security measures. All these security features can be built into it,” he said. One aspect for security would be the fact that the port would only connect to the land in one point, allowing for security personnel to walk around the dock and keep an eye on that one land-sea union.

The two also envision two break walls built into the project, which they claim would protect one of the Island’s lowest points from flooding. 

The captains said the area also has a history of being a safe harbour during severe weather, which they said adds to their argument that the South sound should be considered as a genuine alternative to the capital. They dismissed two other spots on the island

“The Great Sound cannot work,” they both believe. “It would not pull away the traffic from Seven Mile Beach. As for Half Moon Bay, the weather won’t allow it to work and the distance to town is too great.”

Captain Hurlston also said they were not the first people to propose thislocation of a port in Prospect Point. “Captain Theo Bodden proposed a dock in the same area off Prospect Point years ago. I was against the idea in those days, but now I understand his idea to use the existing reef for a foundation for a pier. It’s a great spot close to town and to the airport,” Captain Hurlston said of the idea.

The proposal is unlikely to be well received from an environmental protection perspective, or from residents in the area, but as yet the plan has not been formally proposed to the government. At present the Cayman government remains in exclusive talks with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) to develop two finger piers and cruise berthing facilities in George Town. The MOU signed by the premier is still valid until November, when Premier Bush has stated he hopes to move to a heads of agreement with the Beijing firm and begin construction work shortly after.

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Bush aims for new “lawyers’ law” before year end

Bush aims for new “lawyers’ law” before year end

| 21/09/2011 | 87 Comments

(CNS): The current situation regarding the failure of the legal profession to agree on a revised legal practitioners’ bill is an unhealthy situation for the economy, the relationships between Caymanian and non-Caymanian lawyers and the legal profession as a whole, the premier said recently. The goal of crafting a law which protects Caymanian lawyers and meets the needs of the profession has proved difficult but McKeeva Bush says he has instructed local lawyers Sherri Bodden-Cowan and Theresa Pitcairn, who have been conducting research on the issue, to help draft a new bill.

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly earlier this month, Bush said he hoped to have a Bill available for circulation by November this year and further revealed that an alternative system for articles enabling local students to be called to the Bar without having to go to firms, was also being examine to address the issue of training in a more equitable and effective fashion.

For some time now local students have been complaining that securing articles with local firms is almost impossible and local lawyers continue to express concerns regarding promotion and training in the sector.

“It is important for law firms to continue to succeed but equally important for our Caymanian professionals to succeed,” Bush told parliament. “What I can guarantee young Caymanians who are needing to be articled and deserve a chance to make it as a lawyer in these Islands, a system will be put in place by my administration to make it happen.”

Bush said that for years Caymanian professionals have expressed their woes about lack of training, unequal treatment, victimization, glass ceilings and their inability to obtain articles.

“There is a draft report prepared by a subcommittee of the Bar Association which suggests that everything that Caymanian lawyers have told us for decades is true.  There is a perception among Caymanian lawyers that only foreign lawyers reap the economic benefits and successes from the offshore business, and that when the firms get a chance, they outsource jobs,” he stated.

There are also numerous concerns being expressed by the profession itself, in particular regarding the practice of Cayman law outside of the Cayman Islands. It is estimated that more than 132 attorneys currently practice Cayman law from overseas offices, as well as those in a number of foreign law firms with no connection to Cayman who hold themselves out as practicing Cayman law.  The legal profession has expressed concern that the “practice of law” is not adequately defined, which makes it difficult to claim any breach.

Bush explained that the larger law firms and the professional associations have been requesting that a modernized law be introduced to also regulate the issue of practicing certificates (where lawyers are located, and are ‘licensed to practice’ Cayman Islands law abroad), generate revenue in the Cayman Islands, and properly regulate the legal profession.

He said work had also been done on the concept of a “recognized firm” and an “affiliate” to ensure that effective control is maintained in Cayman over the global network of practice in Cayman law.

Bush said government intended to provide around six months from the date of passage of the new law so that every firm will have time to restructure in accordance with the new requirements.

“It is hoped that this process can be concluded on a timely basis, to enable us both to address acknowledged issues in the practice of Cayman law – both of a professional and an economic nature,” the premier stated, adding that Cayman must not overlook the prospects for better public governance and enhancements of the regulatory regime and revenue base.

See premier’s full statement delivered in the Legislative Assembly below.

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US ‘supercop’ talks about advising UK cops on gangs

US ‘supercop’ talks about advising UK cops on gangs

| 21/09/2011 | 28 Comments

(CNS): The man who is credited with turning around troubled police departments in New York and Los Angeles is featured in a BBC news programme today in which he talks about advising the London's Metropolitan Police on tackling gang violence. Former US police chief Bill Bratton voiced his disappointment at not getting the chance to run the UK capital’s police service but the home secretary said the post had to be held by a UK citizen. Bratton told the BBC's Hardtalk he had no quarrel with the decision, but said: "I would have liked the opportunity."

Although some had believed the UK prime minister, David Cameron, had wanted Bratton to take the top cop job, Bernard Hogan-Howe was named the new commissioner of the Metropolitan Police last week. Nevertheless, his advice has been sought by the UK in the wake of the recent riots there and Bratton is to be an informal adviser to the Home Office, though senior police officers have questioned the plan to have him advise on tackling gang violence.

Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said the British model of policing was fundamentally different from the American one.

But Bratton told Hardtalk, "Sir Hugh has his opinion, I have mine. I don't think there are significant differences between the goal of both police services, which is to reduce crime, fear and disorder.  I think we have a lot more similarities than differences and I think we have a lot to learn from each other."

He said he believed many aspects of policing in New York or Los Angeles could be transferred to London and other cities.

Bratton made his name in the US by combining a "zero tolerance" of petty crime, being tough on gangs and building a strong relationship with the law-abiding community.

Watch the full interview on Hardtalk on BBC World News Wednesday and see Hardtalk website here

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Supermarket turns to US for recycling programme

Supermarket turns to US for recycling programme

| 21/09/2011 | 6 Comments

(CNS): Although recycling programmes on islands remain close to non-existent a local supermarket is shipping its waste cardboard overseas in an effort to limit the amount of rubbish it sends to George Town’s ever-growing landfill. Every week, Foster’s Food Fair IGA is sending a container of about 40 cardboard bales weighing anywhere from 600-1100 pounds to a company in Miami called Miami Waste Paper. The US firm collects large volumes of recyclable paper and cardboard materials, and sells it as raw material mostly to tissue mills, boxboard mills, and overseas paper manufacturers.

“This initiative is another way for Foster’s to continue to help the environment and build on the “green” mission that we are trying to achieve,” said Woody Foster, the Managing Director of Foster’s Food Fair IGA. “As much cardboard as we go through daily we found it necessary to find a way to alleviate some of the problems the island is currently facing with the landfill and amount of garbage that is placed there daily.”

He added that the supermarket’s slogan of “We Care” is more than just words. “It is the way we approach every customer and any project that benefits the community,” Foster said, adding that since the Cayman BECOME campaign the supermarket had been looking for other avenues to help the environment.

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DoE takes lionfish battle to Sister Islands

DoE takes lionfish battle to Sister Islands

| 21/09/2011 | 6 Comments

(CNS): As the invasive and resilient lionfish continues its colonisation of the local reefs, the Department of Environment (DoE) is hosting another lion fish culling course, this time on Cayman Brac, next Tuesday, 28 September, to recruit more people into the battle against the recent invader. Anyone interested in helping control this invasive fish species should attend this free course to earn their lion fish culling license. The US geological survey recently revealed that this fish is the first ever non-native marine fish establishing a self-sustaining population in the region.

Although other species of non-native marine fish have been sighted in the region before, until now none of these have demonstrated the ability to survive, reproduce, and spread successfully, experts have said. 

“We've observed sightings of numerous non-native species, but the extent and speed with which lionfish have spread has been unprecedented," Dr Pam Schofield, a biologist with the USGS Southeast Ecological Science Center in Gainsville said earlier this year. "Lionfishes pretty much blanketed the Caribbean in three short years."

The DoE, in partnership with other local NGOs as well as dive operators, has made a concerted effort to cull the fish and local restaurants have stepped up to the plate, literally, by placing the pervasive marine creature on their menus.

Divers have also been feeding the tasty fish to larger marine inhabitants of the local waters such as grouper to encourage them to start snacking on the lionfish and help in the cull. As an invasive species, the fish, which reproduces at an alarming rate, has no natural predators in these waters, hence the need to encourage resident fish to develop a taste for them despite their noxious spines.

There are well over 300 divers currently certified to remove the fish from Cayman waters who have now removed thousands of the creatures but more hands are needed. Although the invasion of the lionfish has been described as a national emergency for the country’s reefs, especially in the Sister Islands, the DoE has stated that because action was taken in the Cayman Islands fairly early into the fish's arrival in local waters, provided the culling efforts continue, the battle to keep the numbers down to a minimum can be won.

Given the rapid spread of lionfish through the Caribbean, the goal is not to eradicate them, as experts say it would be impossible, but to reduce their population.

The course starts at 7 p.m. in the District Administration Building’s conference room. For more information call DoE at 949-8469.

Meanwhile, the Marine Conservation Boardis reminding residents of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman to renew their spear gun licenses next week. Officials will issue licenses at the Department of Environment’s office in Creek, Cayman Brac on Wednesday, 28 September from 9am to 4pm and on Thursday, 29 September, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  They will be on Little Cayman at the DoE office in Blossom Village on Friday, 30 September from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Applicants must bring a completed application form, a police record (6 months old or less), previous spear gun license and the spear gun with all its parts. The applicant must appear in person and everyone should call 949-8469 to schedule an appointment.

A $50 application fee is payable upon issue of the license.

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Fidelity Fun Run off to a good start

Fidelity Fun Run off to a good start

| 21/09/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The 2011 Fidelity Fun Run Series got off to a great start with 141 runners and walkers taking part, supplemented by a number of pram passengers and four-footed companions. The weather was fine and there were a number of friendly competitive struggles within the ranks. Although several potentially high-ranking individuals did not compete for various reasons, overall and division results were formidable, with outstanding results from preteens as well as sextegenarians.

There was no stopping Marius Acker as he opened the action with a 10:56 clocking, giving future opponents a mark to shoot at. Conrad Proud took runner-up honours in 11:33, with Carl Grant claiming the third spot with an 11:50 performance. Tristan von Kirkenheim at 11:57 was the only other contender to break the 12-minute barrier.

Beth Schreader was also a comfortable distance ahead of the nearest lady pursuers, as she crossed the line ninth overall in 12:21. Second lady was Lauretta Bennett at 13:20, with Tracey Walker a few steps back at 13:26. Emma Byrnes at 13:55 and Pam Abbott at 13:58 rounded out the top 25 overall finishers.

In the "special" categories, a request was logged to check Russell Coleman's pram for performance-enhancing substances. Rumour was that he had greased the wheels
with Red Bull as he finished fifth overall in 12:09. Shaun Green and Wiggles clocked 13:51 to lead the Pet Division.

Age group leaders after the first go-round are as follows:

U12—-Katriona Williams/Reese Hoeksema
12-14–Tiffany Coe/Brandon Williams
15-19–Sheyla Torres/Tristan von Kirchenheim
20-29–Emma Byrnes/Carl Grant
30-39–Beth Schreader/Conrad Proud
40-49–Maria Leonce/Marius Acker
50-59–Vance Golding-South/Chris Sutton
60+—-Ann Elliott/Roger Davies

Another extensive turnout is anticipated for round two, scheduled for Saturday, 24 September — same time, same place.

Everyone is invited to join in,set your own pace, whether it be fast and furious, or taking advantage of a chance to stroll and chat with old friends.

Also fitness enthusiasts, weight watchers, persons training for endurance events — there's room for everyone!

Check for results and a recap of each outing.

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Third of world’s mining companies in tax havens

Third of world’s mining companies in tax havens

| 21/09/2011 | 1 Comment

Perthnow): More than one third of subsidiaries of the world's 10 leading oil and mining companies are listed in offshore tax havens or in jurisdictions allowing shady finances, according to a report published overnight. In all, 2,083 of the 6,038 subsidiaries (34.5 percent) controlled by the world's 10 leaders in these fields are listed in countries with so-called “secrecy jurisdictions, which have the potential to be used by companies in complicated ownership structures to shroud revenues and profits,'' the Norwegian branch of Publish What You Pay (PWYP) reported.

The study, titled “Piping profits: the secret world of oil, gas and mining giants,'' reviews the structures of energy goliaths ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, BP and Shell and mining groups Glencore International, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Baarick Gold Corporation.Alone, these companies pulled in combined sales last year of $1,824 billion, posted a net profit of $144.7 billion, and paid $106.9 billion in taxes, according to the report.

Listing divisions in offshore jurisdictions, can “hinder efficient markets, level playing fields and improved governance,'' the report lamented. “Even worse, the same structures can potentially encourage corruption and aggressive tax avoidance, so depriving citizens in least developed and emerging nations of manifold political, economic and social opportunities,'' it added.

See report here

Go to article

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Mud, sweat and beers for touch rugby champions

Mud, sweat and beers for touch rugby champions

| 21/09/2011 | 1 Comment

(CRFU): The climax of many a great Hollywood movie is often set against a backdrop of torrential rain, thunder and lightning. And so it was for the gripping finale to the Summer Touch Rugby season. A sudden and dramatic electrical storm around the South Sound Rugby Ground supercharged a glorious Finals Day of mud, sweat and beers. As the players became soaked in the tropical downpour it began to look like everyone had spent the day at Wet ‘n’ Wild. The season’s spoils were handed to the victors, and the defeated could drown their sorrows (quite literally) in the pools and puddles that covered the pitch. (Photo Caroline Deegan)

DIVISION 1 – In the first semi-final Appleby lined up against a Genesis Five Nations team that had been unbeaten all season and were odds-on favourites to win the Division 1 title. As the teams faced off it may not have been “Mission Impossible” for Appleby but it certainly looked like “Mission Extremely Difficult”. At the end of an even first half the scores were tied at 2-2. Then the heavens opened and, after an extendeddelay, the second half belonged to the Apples’.

Three unanswered tries gave them a stunning 5-2 win. The mighty Five Nations had been toppled. On the day it was nothing more than Appleby deserved. Fast and clinical in moving the ball up field, they asked questions that the Five Nations defence could not answer. They simply played the conditions better. Ever gracious in defeat though, Five Nations can reflect back on a highly successful season. 

In the second semi-final, Maples1 took on PWC. Maples1 had stumbled through their last three games of the season and questions were being asked as to whether they were a spent force. But I think it was Confucius who once said “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” (or was it Billy Ocean?) and so it was in this match. The electricity in the clouds matched the voltage on the pitch. It was frenetic. It was fractious. It was frisky. It was a display of clinical finishing and excellent defence that saw Maples1 win 6-1 with three tries a-piece for returning captain Marty Livingston and Jyoti Choi. 

And so, the Division 1 Final pitched last year’s Champions Maples1 against Appleby. Although the rain had stopped the pitched presenteda lot of surface water and it was a hard slog to get any kind of running rugby on show. Early scores in a one-off game are vital and Marty Livingston provided just that with an incisive break from just inside the Appleby half to touch down with a dive that Greg Louganis would have been proud of.

Further first half tries by Jyoti Choi, Mark Fagan, and Emily Davies stretched the Maples1 lead. Appleby weren’t going to give up without a fight and before you could say “Simon Raftopoulos” they had scored two of their own. The crowd became increasingly vocal and when Michelle Bailey got another for Appleby to make it 3-5 they dared to dream of a dramatic comeback.

However, Maples1 have been champions for the last two years for a reason – an ability to apply pressure, take their chances and protect a lead with great defence – technically three reasons I admit but you get the point. And so, in the face of a resurgent Appleby’s team, Maples1 increased their lead with three more tries to register a great 8-3 victory, Jyoti Choi getting MVP with a personal haul of four tries.
MAPLES 1 – Division 1 Champions.

DIVISION 2 CHAMPIONSHIP – As the rains fell to submerge the earth and thunderbolts crashed in the distance, it was as if Poseidon and Zeus themselves had taken front row seats to see the Trident Titans take on Happyfish Ticklers in the opening Division 2 semi-final. The Titans gratefully accepted this divine intervention and recorded an emphatic 10-0 victory. Brad Stephenson (3) and James Waters (3) were particularly pleasing to the watching deities.

KPMG1 played Maples2 in the second semi-final. They had beaten them twice before and were confident of a repeat performance in this game. However, Maples2 raised their game and gave KPMG1 a real fright. Marc Randall and Rebecca Palmer answered tries from KPMG’s Ben Blair and JS De Jager making the scores tied at 2-2 at the final whistle. In touch rugby tied games are decided by a system known as “The Drop-Off” where players are removed from the game at one-minute intervals until someone scores.  The first score wins – Sudden Death! As players were removed the gaps increased and eventually, with just four players on each side, Gerhard Albertyn made the decisive break to score and put KPMG1 in the final.

And what a Final it was. Division 2 has been the most exciting division this year and the Final didn’t disappoint. Two teams, Trident Titans and KPMG1 went at it hammer and tongs. No quarter asked, none given. As the score fluctuated the increasingly exuberant crowd was treated to some scintillating rugby.  The skills and handling on display made a mockery of the treacherous conditions and neither defence could get to grips, quite literally, with the opposition offence. 

The Titans had a try threat all over their team and James Waters (3), Lisa Bird (2), Riley Mullen (2) and Ashley Puschman (1) all registered scores. Interspersed between these were tries for KPMG1 by Neil Montgomery (2), Michael Sumares (2), JS De Jager (1), Phillip Fourie (1) and Ben Blair (1). Add them up and you get a final score of 8-7, the Trident Titans coming out on top. At the end, both teams looked exhausted knowing that they had put everything into the game, a great game to end a great Division 2 season.  
TRIDENT TITANS – Division 2 Champions.

The Division 3 play-offs were the first games of the days and as such preceded the rains. Deloitte beat Rawlinson & Hunter 5-3 in the first semi-final. Riley Mullen, Deloitte’s top scorers this season chipped in with a smartly taken hat-trick and the result, despite Rawlinson’s best efforts, never looked in doubt.

In the second semi-final Credit Suisse took on a KPMG2 side which had beaten them twice in the regular season, but Suisse went into the game equally confident having been the only team to beat league winners Deloitte all season. Not surprisingly, the game was very tight and in spite of tries by Martin Steyn, Dave O’Driscoll, and Neil Montgomery for KPMG2, Dave Bailey masterminded a 4-3 victory for Credit-Suisse in overtime.

The Final pitched Credit Suisse against Deloitte.  Suisse were hoping that lightning would indeed strike twice and that they would beat Deloitte for the second time in two weeks. Deloitte were equally determined to avenge their only defeat of the season.  The Suissers were without their talisman from last week’s match Ben MacDonald, and in an intriguing game they never really looked like troubling Deloitte who eventually ran out 9-4 winners.  Riley Mullen finished off a great day for him personally with a five-try haul, Dean Curtis (3) and Neal Ainscow (1) adding the extras. 
DELOITTE – Division 3 Champions.

As the day came to a close trophies and beers were handed out to the champions, a fitting reward for another great season of touch rugby.  Later in the week the players attended the end of season dinner where they paid tribute to the individuals whose performances stood out during the season. Thanks must go to Jacques Scott, Six Senses Eco Tours, Cayman Islands Rugby Club, Cayman Distributors, Fat Fish Adventures, Kirk Freeport, Happyfish, Agua Restaurant & Lounge, and The Reef Resort for donating wonderful prizes and, in particular, to Travel Pros who provided an amazing prize of a flight and three-night stay at Pico Bonito, Honduras with a rafting trip, lunch and massage at The Yoga Retreat. The lucky winner was James Grant of Ernst & Young.

Division 1 Player of the Year (Male) – PHILIP FOURIE (Genesis Five Nations) and JYOTI CHOI (Maples 1)
Division 1 Player of the Year (Female) – LISA KEHOE (Genesis Five Nations)
Division 2 Player of the Year (Male) – TIM ROSSITER (Harmonic)
Division 2 Player of the Year (Female) – FIONA BRANDER (Happyfish Ticklers)
Division 3 Player of the Year (Male) – RILEY MULLEN (Deloitte)
Division 3 Player of the Year (Female) – MICHELLE BAILEY (Credit Suisse)
Best Newcomer (Male) – RILEY MULLEN
Best Newcomer (Female) – LAURA CAHIR
Best Referee – JUSTIN COLGAN
1549 tries were scored over the entire season.
349 games of touch rugby were played this summer.
242 different players crossed the white line to score a try.
31 times Neal Ainscow scored for DART making him the highest try scorer over all three Divisions. I think he dived for 94.6% of them!
6 tries was the most scored by one player in a game. Stuart Geddes of Appleby did it twice, against Ogier and DMS.
27 tries were conceded by Genesis Five Nations during the regular season making them the meanest defence in the league.
14 times Michelle Bailey of Credit-Suisse scored, making her the highest scoring female player.
3.6 seconds was all it took for Etienne Duvenage of PWC to run around the entire Maples1 defence to score the fastest try of the .
453,285 touches were made during the whole season (more or less).
1 middle-aged man celebrated his first ever try in rugby by pulling his shirt over his head and jumping up and down like a schoolboy. Nice one fella!

*Some of these figures have not been audited by an independent third party and may be entirely bogus.


Division 1 Semi-Finals   
Genesis Five Nations 2 v. 5 Appleby
Maples 1 6 v. 1 PWC
Division1 Final   
Maples 1 8 v. 3 Appleby
Division 1 Plate   
Ogier 7 v. 3 Walkers Blue Iguanas
DMS 3 v. 2 TeamLIME
Plate final cancelled due to bad weather
Division2 Semi-finals   
KPMG 1 3 v. 2 Maples 2 (KPMG1 win in the drop-off)
Trident Titans 10 v. 0 Happyfish Ticklers
Division2 Final   
Trident Titans 8 v. 7 KPMG 1
Division 2 Plate   
UBS 3 v. 4 Harmonic
DART 5 v. 2 Campbells
Plate final cancelled due to bad weather 
Division 3 Semi Finals   
Deloitte 5 v. 3 Rawlinson &Hunter
Credit Suisse 4 v. 3 KPMG2 (C/S win in the drop-off)
Division 3 Final   
Deloitte 9 v. 4 Credit Suisse

Division 3 Plate    
GCM 7 v. 0 Queensgate Grizz’s Old Fellas
Island Heritage 3 v. 4 Ernst & Young

Plate final cancelled due to bad weather


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Sharks upset Wolverines going into playoffs

Sharks upset Wolverines going into playoffs

| 21/09/2011 | 0 Comments

(GCFFA): Last Saturday, a competitive spirit was felt at the final games of the regular season for the Dart Women’s League organized by the Grand Cayman Flag Football Association. The Lone-Star Jager Monsters ensured their standings in playoffs with their win against the Pythons, and for the first time this season, Hammerheads Lady Sharks kept the previously undefeated Domino’s Pizza Wolverines in deep waters. The first game saw Lone-Star Jager Monsters with a 12-0 win over the Pythons.Michelle McTaggart, who started off the season as quarterback and then went to play receiver for a few weeks, has returned again as the starting QB for her team. Still trying to find her throwing groove, McTaggart threw a fifty percent average with 10 out of 20 passes completed.

Leading on offense for the Jager Monsters was Christine Bisnauth, who had four receptions, including one for a spectacular 60 yard run that resulted in a touchdown.  Melanie Lewis was McTaggart’s next favourite target, receiving three balls including one touchdown catch.  Renee Thompson, Christina Hefner and Kristin Kipp each caught a ball on offense as well.

The Monster’s roared on defense, as many of the players saw much defensive action. Leading on defense was Christina Ravdas with four tackles, followed by Kayleigh Jennings, Thompson and Tricia Miller each with three tackles. Kipp had two tackles and Bisnauth, Lewis, Colleen Cummings and Monique Roberts each came up with one tackle. Roberts also came up with an interception, and Jennings and Miller sacked the Pythons’ quarterback twice.

With the final game of the season wrapped up, the Pythons were unable to secure a win which may have placed them in the playoffs. Although the team is made up with mostly rookie players, they showed a tremendous learning curve and competitive ability as the season progressed. Quarterback Carrie Barnett completed only five of 15 pass attempts, and Carla Martin and Violet Powell-Whittaker also tried to step in as quarterbackwith one foiled attempt each.

Tajae Grey led the Pythons’ offense with three receptions, followed by Carla Martin with two.  The usual running plays the Pythons adapt for runner Sheyla Torres did not take flight against the Monsters, who played aggressive defensive against the Pythons.

Leading on defense for the Pythons was Karina Chiari, who came up with four tackles. She is followed by Grey, who also had a great game on defense with three tackles and one interception. Powell, Torres and Barnett each had two tackles to add, and Powell also sacked the Monsters’ quarterback one time. Barnett also came up with the second interception for the Pythons.

In the second game of the day, the Lady Sharks showed their predatory nature, coming up with an 8-6 win over Wolverines. Quarterback for Lady Sharks, Bobeth O’Garro had great executions with 13 out of 18 passes completed, including one touchdown pass.

O’Garro’s favorite receiver was Scimone Campbell, who caught both the touchdown pass and two extra points. Campbell is also the well-deserved recipient for the GCFFA’s Offensive Player of the Year. Serena Yates, Lilia Connolly and Sophia Foster also received two passes each, and Maggie Ebanks and Katherine Maw contributed with one catch each.

On defense, the Lady Sharks circled around the Wolverines, blocking passes, halting running plays and allowing them only two advances past the 40yard marker. Dionne Anglin had another great game on defense, using her long limbs to snag flags and made four tackles. O’Garro follows her on defense with two tackles, and it was a dedicated team effort from Campbell, Yates, and Ebanks who added one tackle each. Yates also got through to the Wolverine’s quarterback, sacking her once.

For the Domino’s Pizza Wolverines, it wasn’t a lack of players returning back to school that led to their defeat, the receivers were simply dropping good passes from their quarterback Antoinette Lewis, ranked number one in the league. Lewis had an unusually rough game, with only 15 of 29 passes completed, and one touchdown pass thrown.

Alexandra Terry reached out for a well-placed ball in the end-zone, achieving the lone score for Wolverine’s, and also had three more receptions to her game. Benecia Thompson also caught four balls, followed by Dionne Whittaker and Shamar Ennis with two catches each. Nadisha Walters and Schmarrah McCarthy also added to the game with one reception each on offense.

The Wolverines did better on defense, making crucial stops close to the end-zone, which stopped the Lady Sharks from adding to their lead. Shinette Rhoden had her best game yet with five tackles, as did Ennis, also with five tackles. Jahzenia Thomas added four, followed by McCarthy and Agueda Broderick with three tackles, Alexandria Saintvil with two, and Eleanor Berry with one tackle. Broderick also sacked the Lady Sharks quarterback twice, and Thomas contributed with another sack. Depending on how both teams do in this Saturday’s playoffs, they are likely to meet each other in the finals if both teams play up to the same form they have shown all season.

Playoffs begin this Saturday, 24 September at the Camana Bay Field at 10am. Hammerheads Lady Sharks, currently in second position, will be playing the third-seeded Lone-Star Jager Monsters in the first game. The top-seeded Domino’s Pizza Wolverines will face Androgroup Killa-Panthers in the second game. The winner of each game will meet in the finals, the following Saturday.


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Rollover comes as relief to tourism sector

Rollover comes as relief to tourism sector

| 21/09/2011 | 4 Comments

(CNS): The news of a proposed temporary lifting of Cayman’s seven year work permit term limit, commonly known as the rollover policy, has been welcomed by tourism and real estate sectors which have both persistently pointed the finger at the policy as one of the critical problems facing their industries. Tourism would have been particularly hard hit over the next twelve months without the reprieve as hundreds of employees were facing rollover. Very few work-permit holders at the lower end of the pay scale have been given key employee causing serious challenges for the tourism sector.  The Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) said the news of the rollover reprieve came as a relief for many local businesses.

“With the numerous challenges that both industries have faced during the economic downturn it is a relief for businesses to have the pressure of rollover removed, even if only on a temporary basis. If this had not been addressed there was tremendous concern over the economic loss that our country would continue to face,” the industry body stated in a release on Tuesday.

Trina Savage-Christian, Executive Director with CITA now hopes that the real discussion might begin. “We would now like to see a much more in depth look at how Cayman’s Immigration law affects the tourism industry, in particular how key employee and permanent residency applications are assessed,” she said. “In general the higher paid workers within the industry such as general managers may well have made it to key employee, but there have been plenty of lower paid staff within the tourism industry who have been just as key to an organisation, but who have had their key employee application turned down.”

Savage-Christian would like to see business owners have a much greater say in who is allocated a key status within their organisations because they are best placed to decide which members of their staff truly went above and beyond the call of duty.  CITA would like to see such individuals, perhaps servers, cooks, concierge or valet car workers who do much more than what their job description entails and go ‘above and beyond’, given the opportunity to stay on island and continue to contribute positively not only to their employer, but to the economy, the community and to the guest experience of visitors.

CIREBA president Jeremy Hurst agrees that the system needs to be changed. “At CIREBA we are not proposing that all immigration controls are removed, far from it. We believe that the Islands should be selective to attract good people. It worked well before for the Islands and it should work again,” he said.

Hurst believes that the rollover policy prevented people from putting down roots as they had no real incentive to stay and blend in with Caymanian society, something that made Cayman strong and unique in the past. He also worries, as an individual heavily involved with service clubs, that some individuals are merely joining such organisations to simply tick the right boxes on their permanent residency applications, lacking a true incentive to help the community.

“The rollover policy has detrimentally affected the very people who we aretrying to retain, i.e. middle management, who could and would invest in Cayman by buying propertyand giving to the community if they had the opportunity but are put off from doing so because they had no security of tenure,” he stated. 

The drop in Cayman’s population has led to all time high vacancy levels in the apartment rental market, which, said Hurst, has resulted in rents falling drastically. Both of these factors have had a negative effect on the economy as a whole. “This suspension should hopefully help reverse that trend and build investor confidence,” he added.

In agreement with Savage-Christian, Hurst also believes that the key employee aspect of current immigration policy has been misapplied and that it should not be relegated to a benefit for just skilled professionals mainly in the financial services industry.

“I think that any skilled worker who shows commitment to the Islands should be given an opportunity to receive residence,” he said. “We need to get back to looking at individuals who are good for the Islands as a whole, not just a particular business.”

CIREBA is calling for the term limit policy in its entirety to be permanently scrapped, or at least see the period of time an individual must break their residency in order to be granted another work permit reduced from a year down to three months. Individuals who have to leave for a year are unlikely to come back to Cayman because of the cost of uprooting their families. “Doing so would give an immediate and much needed boost to the economy,” the organisation as stated.

Both CITA and CIREBA have submitted a request to the Premier to have representation on the review committee in order to provide insight into the particular needs of their industries.

Just over a week ago the premier made the surprise announcement that the controversial policy would soon be suspended once he had discussed the issue with Cabinet and crafted the necessary legislative changes to bring to the Legislative Assembly. Bush said that a commission will be formed to examine the impact that rollover has had on the economy and analyze the pros and cons. It will be expected to come up with a report and recommendaitons for a new policy to help balance the conflicting issues facing the Cayman Islands community when it comes to immigration.

The challenge government faces is how to offer security of tenure to employees who are needed in order to instil confidence in the business community and economic drivers, while at the same time limiting the numbers of expatriates that can become Caymanians to prevent the local population from losing control of the political landscape.


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