Archive for February 28th, 2012

Cop chopper out of action

| 28/02/2012 | 29 Comments

nathan.JPG(CNS): As a full scale search continued Tuesday on land, sea and air in the search for 30-year-old Nathan Clarke, the police helicopter was out of action for what officials described as operational reasons. As a result the RCIPS is working with the MRCU Unit using its fixed-wing aircraft for the search. Cayman Islands Helicopters has also been privately commissioned by friends of Nathan to assist. Meanwhile, the K-9 Unit and the police boats, along with dozens of civilian volunteers, have also been searching for the teaching assistant, who was last seen near Calico Jack’s on Seven Mile Beach three days ago. 

Clarke was last seen by his partner and friends walking towards the water’s edge near the bar wearing beige swim shorts at around 8.30 pm on Saturday, 25 February. Police are appealing for anyone who has information about Nathan’s disappearance to come forward. Superintendent Marlon Bodden is overseeing the enquiry and said an incident room has been established at West Bay police station and he asked anyone who has information to contact officers there.

"We would be particularly keen to hear from anyone who was on public beach early on Sunday morning at Calico Jacks for the 'off the Beaten Track‘ event. If you were involved in the event and saw anything out of the ordinary on the beach on Sunday morning, please call us now,” he urged.

Nathan’s friends believed that he was planning to walk along the beach towards his West Bay home. A few minuteslater his friends started walking along the beach in the direction of West Bay but they could find no trace of Nathan, the police said. They then all returned to their respective homes believing that he would return safe and sound later that night. But when he had failed to turn up or contact any of his friends or his girlfriend, he was reported as missing to police on Sunday morning.

“Since receiving the report Uniform, CID, Marine and K-9 officers from the RCIPS, assisted by members of the public and friends of Nathan, have conducted extensive searches along Seven Mile Beach and West Bay Road. The water searches have involved four RCIPS Marine vessels and divers. The areas between the Kittiwake site and Governors Beach have been covered, extending over 400 meters out to sea. On the land side, over 60 civilian volunteers and police teams have covered from Governors Beach to Salt Creek and the Dykes. The RCIPS K-9 Unit has also been heavily involved in the searching,” a police spokesperson said on Tuesday afternoon.

CCTV footage as well as telephone records are currently been reviewed to ascertain if they can be of any assistance in tracing Nathan’s whereabouts.

The spokesperson said that a Family Liaison Officer has been appointed by the RCIPS to ensure that Nathan’s girlfriend and his family, who are located in Europe, are kept fully updated with developments.

Information can be passed on the following numbers, West Bay police station 949-3999 or RCIPS tip-line 949-7777.

Friends of Nathan have also set up a FaceBook page and are appealing for financial assistance to keep the Cayman Islands helicopter in the air. Funds can be donated via PayPal, or local residents can visit Dukes restaurant on the West bay Road opposite the public beach where the police are still co-ordinating searches.

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GOAB can track workers

| 28/02/2012 | 43 Comments

staff entrance_0.JPG(CNS): Public sector workers are being closely monitored by the access system installed at the new Government Office Accommodation Building in Elgin Avenue. According to minutes from a senior civil service meeting, which have been officially released by the deputy governor as part of a new era of transparency, the system has the capabilities to record the attendance of employees who work in the building and their movements throughout the entire office block. Rich Sanfilippo, the facilities manager in the ministry responsible for the government’s new headquarters, said the system records the time employees arrive and leave as well as where they are going during the working day.

At a meeting with Acting Deputy Governor Mary Rodrigues and chief officers in the ministries and portfolios, the facilities manager revealed the capability of the office access system to recordworkers attendance at that location. He said it could provide reports to chief officers listing the time an employee arrives and leaves the office, as well as a detailed report of their movements throughout the entire building during a given timeframe, which can be synchronised with video footage.

According to the minutes, the chief officers welcomed this as a useful tool for periodic reviews and for following up on individual cases where attendance is a concern. They heard that reports could be automatically generated and sent to an appointing officer on a monthly basis for all employees but it was agreed among the civil service management that the reports would only be sent on request.

Staff movements was one of a number of topics discussed at a weekly meeting on 20 February and now revealed to the public at large.  This is the first time that minutes of a senior staff meeting have been released voluntarily to the media, making them available to everyone. Deputy Governor Franz Manderson has made history with his goal to usher in a new era of transparency in the administrative arm of government and allow the public some insight into the workings of the public sector.

The released document  also shows that a legal expert has been identified to assist the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs in the review of legislation and policies in preparation for this November’s implementation of the bill of rights, which forms part of the Cayman Islands 2009 Constitution but which will not be officially enacted until the end of this year.

A report on proposed changes to the Public Management and Finance Law and the Public Service Management Law are also set to be circulated within the civil service, and it was also revealed that a flexi-time policy to manage public sector employees' working days will soon be taken forward and an official policy drawn up.

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Stomach bug still plaguing community

| 28/02/2012 | 8 Comments

stomache-ache-t15209 (241x300).jpg(CNS): Government’s public health officials are urging the community to practice good hygiene to help stem an on-going outbreak of gastroenteritis. Medical health officer Dr Kiran Kumar said that although there has been a decline in the number of cases during the past week ending 25 February another 85 cases had been reported. “Usually, we see between 15 and 25 cases of gastroenteritis per week at the Health Services Authority facilities, however,  in the week ending 5 February, we had 64 cases and for the following two  weeks 132 and 133,” Dr. Kumar  added. Since 5 February, 42 children and 5 adults were hospitalised and all have recovered. 

“During the same period (5 – 25 February), we tested 22 stool samples of which 11 were positive for Norovirus and 8 were positive for Rotavirus, thus indicating that we are experiencing a viral gastroenteritis outbreak,” the public health boss said.

See attached guidelines for advice on keeping the illness at bay

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Cubans repair boat but move on towards Honduras

| 28/02/2012 | 6 Comments

(CNS): A boat carrying 22 Cuban refugees was intercepted off the coast of Cayman Brac on Sunday night (26 February), the Department of Immigration has confirmed. Officials stated that 20 men and two women were aboard the vessel, which was spotted off Spot Bay around 6:50pm. The migrants, who originated in Manzanillo, Cuba, were informed by local authorities of the Cayman Islands’ immigration policies. The migrants requested, and were allowed, to perform minor repairs to their craft before they departed at about 11:15 that night, destined for Honduras, a government spokesperson said. Officials said that all 22 appeared to be in good health.

The refugees were monitored by immigration officers, and were last seen about 2:00am off the west end of Cayman Brac, travelling south-west.

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Striken cruise ship to be towed to Seychelles

| 28/02/2012 | 0 Comments

(BBC): The Italian cruise ship left adrift with more than 1,000 people on board after a power failure now faces a longer journey before reaching land. The Costa Allegra is being towed to the main island in the Seychelles, rather than a nearer island, and is not now due to arrive until Thursday. A fire in the ship's generator room on Monday caused it to lose all power. The ship is from the same fleet as the Costa Concordia, which capsized off the Italian coast in January, killing 32. A statement from the ship's owners Costa Cruises said that after checking with maritime experts, it had decided that the planned disembarkation on the smaller-but-nearer Desroches Island could not go ahead.

It said the facilities on the island were inadequate to cope with the arrival of so many people.
The statement also said it was not safe enough for the ship to dock in the small port and for guests to get ashore.

Go to article

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Petitioners keep up pace despite Bush’s position

| 28/02/2012 | 12 Comments

(CNS): Regardless of the position the premier has taken to wait until the May 2013 General Election for the ballot on the country’s voting system, organisers of the one man, one vote petition, which is designed to trigger a people’s initiated referendum this year, are still pushing ahead and keeping their eyes on the target. With close to 1,800 signatures, the petitioners have already passed the half-way mark to trigger the constitutionally sanctioned vote. An army of volunteers is growing to help promote the petition (contact details posted below) and organisers have set dates for meetings and established stations at a number of locations around the islands.

The first public meeting will be at the civic centre in North Side this evening, followed by a second meeting in South Sound on Wednesday evening. The petitioners are also beginning the door-to-door campaign and petitions are available in various shops and locations, including Book Nook, Four Winds Esso, Walkers Road Texaco, the Health Care Pharmacy and many others.

Those interested in signing the petition can call one of a number of volunteers, who will ensure a petition gets to them so they can sign. Ezzard Miller said anyone who has time to help is also being asked to join the volunteers and help keep the momentum going.

“We need foot soldiers to help, as this can be done,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do and I am comfortable that the premier will see the writing on the wall if we get enough signatures and move the amendments to change election law and implement one man, one vote before the next election,” he said.

With civil servants now given the green light to sign petitions, and the opposition leader and the PPM throwing their weight behind the campaign, the goal of 5,000 signatures is in easy reach, the organisers believe.

Miller says Bush is hiding his responsibility to the people with his reaction to the one man, one vote referendum when he can see that across the country the tide is turning in favour of single member constituencies.

However, according to section 70 of the constitution, the premier has the power to control the vote date. Even if the petitioners can get wide support from the country for a November referendum, the premier probably can, under the constitution, choose to disregard the wishes of the people and hold out until May 2013.

Anyone wishing to sign the petition can contact any of the following volunteers:

Al Suckoo Jr                      916-1689    
Noel March                        916-1429    
Chris Goddard                  928-6534    
Betyann Duty                     916-1494    
Kent McTaggart                928-3449    
Bo Miller                            916-0003    
Sharon Roulstone           516-0220    
Marco Archer                    939-7474     
Edward Caudeiron          916-0157    
Terry Caudeiron               916-7895    
Ezzard Miller                     327-5757    
Arden McLean                  916-0630    
Woody Da Costa              916-2470    
PPM Office                        945-8292    
Gregg Anderson               916-6777           
Alden McLaughlin             916-3153
Bryan Ebanks                    916-3048           
Johann Moxam                                       

Vote in the CNS poll:

If the petition for one man, one vote triggers a referendum, how soon should this take place?

See petition below.

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Gruelling sailing during J22 Commodore’s Cup 2012

| 28/02/2012 | 0 Comments

J22 fleet.JPG(CISC): The annual J22 Commodores Cup was held over the weekend of 14th and 15th January 2012. Nine boats competed in the first major J22 sailing regatta of the year in what turned out to be one of the most gruelling Commodore’s Cup regattas for many years. The regatta was hosted by the Cayman Islands Sailing Club’s (CISC) Commodore who himself had, almost exactly a year ago, faced even more gruelling conditions in an expedition to Antarctic. The regatta was held in the North Sound in testing conditions.Five races were run on the first day and with 20+ knots of wind on the second race day, a long distance race around Booby Cay worth double points proved a fitting challenge to decide the winner.

Congratulations to Ciao! helmed by Tomeaka McTaggart and her crew for taking the honours. Ciao! beat Mike Farrington and his crew in Just Leaving by a single point, with his brother Simon Farrington taking the third place position. Meanwhile there was fierce competition in the middle of the fleet between Bruce Johnson, Jo Richards and John Carmichael with only six points separating them all.

Rank Boat SailNo HelmName R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total
1st Ciao! 6 Tomeaka McTaggart 3 1 2 1 1 4 12
2nd Just leaving 4 Mike Farrington 2 2 3 2 2 2 13
3rd Sunshine 3 Simon Farrington 1 3 4 3 3 6 20
4th Yahoo 9 Bruce Johnson 5 4 1 4 7 12 33
5th Mayhem 10 Jo Richards 4 6 6 5 4 10 35
6th Moonstruck 1 John Carmichael 7 5 7 6 6 8 39
7th Wreckless 14 Steve Adams 8 7 5 8 5 14 47
8th DMS 2 Raph Harvey 6 8 8 7 10 16 55
9th Onion Barj 5 Simon Dickson 10 9 9 9 10 18 65

Over the last year, the boats and crews have been competing for the honour of qualifying to participate in the Race Cayman 2012 regatta to be held 15th-18th March 2012 with competing crews from USA, Jamaica, Bahamas, UK, USA, Norway, Germany and South Africa.  Jane Moon and the Ciao! team are leading the final  qualifying event still to be completed (J22 Nationals) and the overall qualifying standings are as follows:

Boat Helm      Cum
1st Ciao! Jane Moon      70
2nd Just Leaving Mike Farrington      65
3rd Sunshine Simon Farrington      60
4th Yahoo Bruce Johnson      52
5th Mayhem Mark Edmunds      51
6th Moonstruck Mark Macfee      42
7th Wreckless Steve Adams      21
8th Calima Eduardo Bernal      17
9th DMS Raph Harvey      11
10th Onion Barj Peter Hayden      9
11th Scaramanga Ben Webster      8

In addition to J22 Racing, Race Cayman 2012 will include the Open and Western Caribbean Optimist Championships with young sailors visiting from Bahamas, Jamaica, BVI, USA and Russia.   The Regatta is supported by the Ministry of Health, Environment, Youth, Sports and Culture, HSBC Bank (Cayman) Ltd, Flowers Bottled Water, Cayman Islands Sailing Club and the J22 fleet owners.  Further opportunities for sponsorship are available by contacting Rick Caley

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Local models recruited for cayman fashion event

| 28/02/2012 | 1 Comment

starwarscatwalkmor.jpg(CNS): The Cayman National Cultural Foundation has recruited over forty local models for its April fashion event. The novice models will walk the runway for competing local designers Jacqueline Bleicher, Shirley DaCosta, Melissa Dilbert, Virginia Foster, Mara McBean and Sandra Lichtenstein. Guest designers Kidan Brooks and Jawara Alleyne will also present their latest collections during the event. “Over seventy female and male models reached out to the FRESH 2012 Production Team and CNCF with an interest in participating in the event,” said Production Manager Kareem-Nelson Hull who was very pleased with the turnout at the model casting.

“The chosen models represent the 41 flavours of FRESH 2012; they are all of different ethnicities, complexions, body types and ages with each model bringing a unique element to the event. The 41 ladies and gentlemen chosen to rip the runway and event floor demonstrated attributes of an aspiring model, including a solid sense of fashion, a high level of poise and grace and of course a fierce and confident runway walk,” he added.

The models attended a photo shoot earlier this month with local photographer David Goddard. It was their first official appearance as a FRESH 2012 model.

Event Manager and photo shoot director Patrice Beersingh feels the models are excited to be involved in a major fashion event such as FRESH 2012.

“They are eager to learn more about the modelling industry and FRESH 2012 is the perfect avenue for them to build relationships with people in the business. Already, photographer David Goddard has expressed an interest in shooting a number of the girls outside of the event and it just proves how much of a positive impact FRESH 2012 can have on the models.”

Now in its fifth year, FRESH is the longest running fashion event in the Cayman Islands and is a part of the CNCF’s annual Cayfest series of events celebrating all things Caymanian.  The production of the event is being led by five local volunteers with Kidan Brooks, Design Manager; Brian Trickett, Marketing Manager; and Nasaria Budal, Public Relations Manager, rounding out the remainder of the team.

A number of pre- and post-show events are scheduled around FRESH  and the public is encouraged to check Facebook and Twitter for updates about the event and to learn more about the models and designers.

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Teen hospitalized following West Bay smash

| 28/02/2012 | 2 Comments

(CNS):  A 19-year-old man was taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital late last night with serious injuries after the car he was driving crashed into a wall in West Bay. The single vehicle smash occurred just after 11:05pm on Monday (27 February), police said on Tuesday morning. The teenager was driving a Ford Explorer on Bosun Bay Road, near to the New Testament Church when the car left the road, crashed into a wall and came to rest on its side. The car was extensively damaged and the driver sustained head and leg injuries. The man remains in hospital but his condition is described as stable.

Enquiries into the cause of the crash are on-going and any witnesses should call West Bay police station on 949-3999.

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Teacher’s learn to improve student’s behaviour

| 28/02/2012 | 0 Comments

class08.jpg(CNS): Teachers from schools across Grand Cayman have been expanding their own education with a specialist training programme that helps educators influence positive behaviour in school. The National Programme for Specialist Leaders in Behaviour and Attendance (NPSLBA) is designed to be a catalyst for positive change in school. The18 month long training programme was developed in the UK by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) for all professionals in the field of behaviour and attendance and was rolled out here in February 2009.

Handing out certificates for their participation in the NPSLBA course recently the Minister of Education Rolston Anglin said the programme is a step in bringing quality education to Cayman’s young people. “By equipping our teachers with the tools and resources they need to provide the best classroom experience for all students, we are creating an environment of consistent learning,” he said.

Sean Cahill, the policy advisor for behaviour said the NPSLBA has not only provided local staff with a rich learning experience, but it has equipped them to work effectively with colleagues in influencing the working practices that will support improved outcomes for our most challenging students.

Throughout the Cayman Islands, participants have been responsible for taking the lead on initiatives such as ensuring that school based discipline and student behaviour policies are in place across both the primary and secondary sectors, developing and implementing support systems for students displaying behavioural Difficulties, delivering training on conflict and confrontation, and developing rewards and incentives to promote positive behaviour.

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