Archive for March, 2012

Jeffers cases postponed in face of murder appeal

Jeffers cases postponed in face of murder appeal

| 30/03/2012 | 0 Comments

Jeffers.jpg(CNS): Two pending murder cases against Raziel Jeffers (28) have been deferred until after his appeal of the conviction handed down last month for murder and attempted murder in connection with a gang related killing in West Bay almost three yearsago. The court heard Friday morning that Jeffers has been granted legal aid in order for his current attorney, Richard Barton,  to take his case to the higher court. The crown had been pushing to set a trial date for the two other cases pending against Jeffers relating to separate fatal shootings that took place in March 2010,  but it conceded Friday that the appeal would have to be heard first.

The prosecuting counsel noted that Jeffers’ appeal focuses on the key witness against him for the murder of Marcus Ebanks and the attempted murder of three other men in Bonaventure Lane. Jeffers was convicted in February of being one of two masked gunmen who opened fire on a group of young men sitting in the West Bay yard in July 2009. During the trial the crown’s case had relied on the testimony of Adryan Powell, who was 14 at the time of the shooting and who is now confined to a wheelchair as a result of his injuries, and that of Jeffers' former lover, 19-year-old Megan Martinez.

The mother of one of Jeffers' children, Martinez told the court during the judge alone trial that Jeffers had confessed to her that he had accidently shot Ebanks and the others when he was actually aiming for Jose Sanchez, a gang rival.

Martinez has also told police that Jeffers confessed other crimes to her during their time together and it is on this evidence that the crown will rely to prosecute Jeffers for the murder of Damion Ming, another gang rival, in Birch Tree Hill and number’s man Marcus Duran in Maliwinas Way.

The crown had attempted to try Jeffers for the shooting of the numbers man last May, alongside a teenager who was also accused of the murder. However, the West Bay teen’s attorney was successful in severing her young client and securing a separate trial.

The West Bay teen was acquitted of shooting as the judge said the crown had not proved the teen was involved in the killing. Justice Charles Quin said there was no evidence that young defendant was part of a joint enterprise to rob the victim or that he had been recruited into the crime by Jeffers.

Prosecuting counsel said Friday that the outcome of Jeffers' appeal would affect the position of the crown in connection with the Duran and Ming murder cases as both depend on the evidence of the same key witness.

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Corruption laws leave gap

Corruption laws leave gap

| 30/03/2012 | 41 Comments

bribery_1.jpg(CNS): As neither the UK Bribery Act nor Cayman’s Anti-Corruption Law are retroactive, neither piece of legislation can assist the RCIPS in 'certain' investigations, the police commissioner revealed this week. David Baines said local police were faced with “some difficulties” regarding current corruption investigations because the local law started on 1 January 2010 and the UK law, which can apply in Cayman, was also not enforced until that year. Although the police commissioner did not spell out the difficulties or offer any specifics on the investigations he was referring to, he pointed out that despite having two powerful laws at their disposal, the authorities still faced problems with corruption convictions.

Speaking during the question and answer session of Wednesday's Chamber of Commerce 'Be Informed' presentation on the UK Bribery Act and its potential influence here in the Cayman Islands, the islands’ senior police officer said that because the Cayman legislation had not come into force until 2010 and had at the same time repealed previous legislation it had “created some real issues for us”, as the police can only deal with the offences after the date, unlike the UK where old legislation has been left in place to deal with previous offences.

“We have some fairly significant issues that had taken place earlier,” he said, adding that the UK act could have been a way to address them, but although it was modern and appropriate legislation it could not apply to earlier issues either, so there was a gap that needed to be addressed for Cayman-initiated investigations that deal with incidents or offences that occurred before 2010.

The UK bribery act has a long reach, covering anyone with close connections to the UK, including overseas territory subjects with British passports, but, like the Cayman law, it is not retroactive.

Talking about the future and the use Cayman’s own anti-corruption law, the commissioner said that it sanctioned a number of practices that were culturally endemic in the public sector, so training for civil servants was extremely important. He said that when public employees enter data bases now a warning comes up about how the information can be used or released and points to a liability for prosecution if it is misused.

Baines said the police and immigration departments were where the most potential harm could occur but a training document would go out shortly to every public officer.

He said that the Cayman law had envisage not only an anti-corruption commission but an investigative team as well, but no money had been provided for either.

“So I am limited by the number of police officers,” the commissioner said, noting that he could not yet create an independent unit and was using police officers to conduct investigations.

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CG isolated in vote debate

CG isolated in vote debate

| 30/03/2012 | 103 Comments

cline 2.JPG(CNS): Government back-bench MLA Cline Glidden struggled on Thursday evening to defend the current voting system or why the country would have to wait five years for one man, one vote (OMOV) in the face of so much support. Standing in for the premier at the Generation Now discussion on the introduction of the more democratic and equitable system, Glidden offered little justification for maintaining the current system and stuck to the UDP party line that a referendum before the next election would be too costly. He conceded, however, that if 50 percent of voters signed the petition calling for a November ballot, government would have to re-think its position.

Glidden stepped in at the last minute for the premier, who pulled out of the public roundtable in order to go to Cuba for a meeting with Cayman Airways management and executives. But the West Bay third elected member’s enthusiasm for the status quo appeared lacking compared to his boss, who remains a staunch supporter of the multi-member constituencies. As the only panel member apparently in support of the current system, Glidden admitted that, as a politician, it would be easier to represent a smaller constituency.

The UDP backbencher defended government’s position that it did not have the money for a referendum before the next election. In the face of suggestions to use the ‘nation building fund’ to cover the cost of the national vote in November, Glidden implied that the money was already spent or spoken for.

In his efforts to defend the current voting system, Glidden said demands would come from constituents for more services such as libraries or firestations, but this was dismissed by all of his panel colleagues.

Glidden also suggested that with the introduction of one man, one vote, people could be elected to office on very few votes. No one noted that it is already possible even under the current system for a person to be elected to high office by a very small percentage of the electorate. Glidden’s colleague, Deputy Premier Juliana O'Connor-Connolly, who is the second elected member for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, holds a powerful Cabinet post despite being elected by only 467 voters.

Isolated on the panel in his position and in the face of growing support across the country for the introduction of one man, one vote, Glidden said he was still not convinced that the people he represented wanted the system changed or that they would be better off in a single member constituency. The petition, however, already contains hundreds of signatures from voters in West Bay asking for one man, one vote and also for a referendum this year, not next.

He conceded that the decision was in the hands of the people, which was why the government had committed to a referendum on the issue next year.

But Glidden faced an uphill struggle as Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin, Ezzard Miller (the MLA spearheading the petition for the referendum), former Election Boundary Commission member Adrianne Webb and concerned citizen Dick Arch all favoured one man, one vote and said it should be introduced sooner rather than later.

With the exception of one question from the floor about the balance of population in future single member constituencies, the members of the audience contributing to the discussion were also clearly in favour of the introduction of the system before the next election.

Glidden made no argument against the point that one man, one vote is more equitable and more democratic and did not defend the possible situation that could occur in the capital if the premier does not concede to change the system before 2013 of George Towners having six votes at the next election.

Miller urged the people to go and sign the petition and show government that they wanted this system before the next polling date. He pointed out that, despite efforts for more than two decades to introduce one man, one vote, the common denominator that had prevented its implementation was McKeeva Bush.

Anyone wishing to sign the petition click here or visit Four Winds Esso in West Bay, Walkers Road Texaco, Book Nook or Pinnacle Condos on the West Bay Road. The petitioners are within just a few signatures of the 3,800 names required to trigger a people initiated referendum but organisers are still aiming to get close to 50% of the electorate in order to force government’s hand and simple introduce one man, one vote before the next election.

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Webb to run unopposed for CONCACAF top job

Webb to run unopposed for CONCACAF top job

| 29/03/2012 | 32 Comments

jeffwebb.jpg(CNS): The president of the Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA), Jeff Webb is certain to become Jack Warner’s official successor as president of the sport’s governing body in North and Central America and the Caribbean. CONCACAF said Thursday that Webb was the only candidate nominated for the top job and he will run unopposed in the election which will take place in Budapest, Hungary, next month at the FIFA congress.  Warner became CONCACAF's president in 1990 and quit last June 20 during a corruption investigation by FIFA. Webb will now finish out that term.

Warner and Asian soccer head Mohamed bin Hammam were suspended by FIFA the previous month after they were accused of offering $40,000 cash payments to Caribbean voters during bin Hammam's failed campaign to unseat FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
47-year-old Webb will now fill the final three years of the four-year term Warner was elected to last May and he said recently that he would build on the unity of the regional football association.

“I am humbled by the tremendous outpouring of support and encouragement received from so many of the member countries,” he said in a release from CIFA last weekend.  “It is this unity of the CONCACAF that will champion our success, and if elected, it is my intention to build on that unity through collaboration, transparency, integrity, engagement, and accountability.”

Webb has over twenty years in leadership positions in football, as president of the CIFA, FIFA Executive Committee (observer), chairman of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Normalisation Committee, member of the FIFA Transparency and Compliance Committee, deputy chairman of the FIFA Internal Audit Committee, and chairman of the CONCACAF Youth Committee.


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Rundown comes of age, if not quite maturity

Rundown comes of age, if not quite maturity

| 29/03/2012 | 5 Comments

images_32.jpg (CNS):CNCF’s annual comedy revue will be celebrating 21 years of comic antics when the team take to the stage next month. The show, created by Dave Martins, retains its original format under the current writer and director, Henry Muttoo who is continuing with the traditional irreverent look at life in Cayman. Many of the show’s regular cast members have returned and are joined by a number of newcomers whom the organisers say are adding to the ‘knee-weakening’ and ‘belly-busting’ humour. Original cast member, Harwell McCoy also comes ‘home’ to the show with two vintage performances, in the mirage roles of “Mr. Premier” and “Q Brown, PhD, PhD, DTh, QC, MBE”. 

Other familiar Rundown players in this year’s show are Fritz McPherson, Giselle Webb, Priscilla Pouchie, Judy Singh and, joining the cast for the first time, Jacoline Frank, Vijay Singhera and Kevin Morales complete the multicultural mix for which Rundown is justifiably famous.

Henry Muttoo, said, “Writing the show has given me a much clearer understanding of Dave Martin’s creative talents. To use a Shakespearean quote, Dave is ‘… a great observer and he looks quite through the deeds of men…’ The challenge has always been locating the comedy in situations, which if we stress over them, would otherwise drive us all absolutely insane.”

Muttoo described Rundown as an institution and said people had been suggesting topics – mainly of a political bias which he said shows how attuned residents are to what’s happening around them.

“Once January rolls around, we get constant calls asking about the show – even the media call and write us for the scoop on topics being played, opening date, and so on. And not only the media but well–known personalities, mentioned in past shows, will even enquire if they ‘are in it again’ and are quite disappointed if they are not mentioned,” he added.

According to a CNCF source, the organisation, was not going to do the show this year but, “we got a leaked document from a source, which shall remain unnamed, who we understand – although this has not been confirmed – works at a firm which has a roof that lets in rain. That ‘someone’, whose name has been redacted, had plans to bring a no-confidence motion against CNCF for mis-management of Cayman’s laugh time so, we had no choice but to plug the leak by going ahead with the show,” the source revealed.

Rundown opens on 12 April as part of Cayfest – the Cayman Islands National Festival of the Arts – and plays for two weekends Thursdays through Sundays.  It then returns for its finale over the weekend of 4 – 6 May.

The opening night performance on Thursday 12 April promises to bea sold out affair and tickets for this show are available exclusively from the PTA of the George Town Primary School. 

Cheyenna Stewart, fund-raising chair of the PTA, asked what better event there was to raise money for the school than Rundown.

“The show is so well known and loved that selling tickets will be a breeze. Added to that we will also be assisting the show to play to a full house of patrons who will no doubt spread the good word and by doing so, assist CNCF,” she said.

“We are grateful for the opportunity and wish to thank CNCF and our generous sponsors, Jacques Scott and Foster’s Food Fair, who each donated items for the event. The funds raised will go towards a playground for the school. We have chosen this project to coincide with the new building being constructed at George Town Primary. We feel the time is now to focus our attention on accomplishing this much needed project for our children as George Town Primary does not currently have a playground,” she added.

See details below

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Ditch tape and expect quiet season, say experts

Ditch tape and expect quiet season, say experts

| 29/03/2012 | 14 Comments

me0328tape (295x300).jpg(CNS): Experts from the US National Hurricane Center in Miami are advising people to stop taping up their windows in the face of an approaching storm. They say it leads to false sense of security and actually increases danger.  NHC director Bill Read advises using shutters or impact-resistant windows instead. as tape does not protect your windows. "At best, it’s an inconvenience. At worst, some people have the illusion that they’re safe," he said, noting that people can get severely hurt because tape can create larger and deadlier shards of glass. Meanwhile, this forthcoming season could be the quietest one for three decades, according to early hints from Colorado State experts.

William Gray and Philip Klotzbach said the tropical Atlantic Ocean is cooler than normal and the La Nina weather pattern is giving way to El Nino. Their first official hurricane forecast comes out 4 April and it will show that the Atlantic hurricane basin will likely have less activity than the average 1981 to 2010 season.

In the past 30 years the average hurricane season has seen a dozen named storms, six hurricanes, more than a third of which have been considered major. Gray and Klotzbach will announce the numbers for 2012 next week.

However, if a storm does hit the NHC officials joined consumer advocate groups this week to encourage residents to ditch the window tape.

“Our goal is to break this myth,” said Read.

Some disaster management officials are guilty of advising residents to use tape on their windows. Read said when he started working in the 1970s, taping windows was still advised in hurricane brochures. That advice was eliminated from brochures in the 1980s, “but it still persists today,” he said.

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Minister encourages people to grow their own food

Minister encourages people to grow their own food

| 29/03/2012 | 27 Comments

backyard farm visits(104) (294x300).jpg(CNS): Following the sale of some 19,000 plants and seedlings at the three Agriculture Shows held over the last few weeks officials say that backyard farming is taking off again in Cayman and the ministry is urging more people to get involved. The agriculture minister is encouraging residents to get back to basics and grow something in their backyards to put on their respective dinner tables. “People would be surprised by the amount of food that can be harvested from a relatively small space,” Juliana O’Connor-Connolly. “Since we live in the tropics, we can grow most all year long. As food prices rise, these types of mini-farms take on new economic meaning.”

During the 60s and 70 many people grew their own mangoes and breadfruits but as the population grew fewer people planted trees. Then hurricanes Ivan and Paloma destroyed many fruit trees sending people to the stores for their mangoes and breadfruit. More and more people are once again buying and planting mango and breadfruit trees with the department of agriculture reporting a surge in demand in particular for mango trees.

Alongside the growing popularity of these trees more amateur farmers are turning their hands to cassava, pumpkins, yams, and sweet potatoes

Ministry officials advised that a 10’x10’ bed or plot can supplement at least a family of two throughout the growing seasons. Multiply the number of people you’d like to feed in your family by that 10 X 10 figure, and that’s roughly the amount of growing space you will need to supply your family with fresh vegetables and herbs. O’Connor-Connolly also noted there is generally much unused garden space in people’s backyard. Many of these plots would make suitable spacesfor a food garden.
Using grow-boxes and allowing children to see where food comes from is also very important,” the Minister said. “Plus, what’s better than going out in your yard and picking fruits, vegetable and herbs from your own garden? They are fresh, and are organic, for the most part. Obviously, locally grown food is fresher, and there is satisfaction in seeing how it’s grown.”

She added that backyard farming is one step in building a local food economy, food security and a more sustainable way of living.

Grow box requirements and construction:

Select an open, sunny area to locate your grow box. Prepare the area by removing all weeds, large rocks, etc.
Materials: 1. Lumber, 2. Nails, 3. Ground cover. Recommended Size of Box (LxWxD): 12' x 5'x 6" for shallow rooted crops OR  12' x 5’ x 12" for deep-rooted crops
Grow box growing medium (soil)
The following materials are recommended in the ratio given: 1 part Promix, 1 part Peatmoss and 1 part top-soil: Mix ingredients together thoroughly before filling your grow box.
Fertilizer requirement: One (1) tablespoon Triple Super Phosphate per hole at planting plus weekly applications of a soluble fertilizer e.g. Miracle-Gro or Phostrogen, at the recommended rate.
Pest control:  The best approach is "nature's alternative". Often the best – and cheapest – way to control garden pests is not with chemical pesticides. Nature provides many pest repellents such as shallot, mint, marigold and onion which when mixed in with crop plants can give effective pest control without harming beneficial insects or polluting the environment. Other useful ways of getting rid of pests include:
sprays of non-detergent insecticide soap;
regular scouting for pests and hand picking them; and
if pesticide is needed, protect the beneficial insects by using bio-pesticides (e.g. Dipel) and horticultural oils.
If pest presence is high, natural method is not very effective. In this case call the Department of AgricultureCrop: cabbage (different varieties), pak-choy, broccoli, cauliflower, tomato (different varieties),  cucumber, shallot, beets, and peppers (different varieties).

For more information contact Department of Agriculture 947-3090 or Email: ciagriculture@gov

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Emergency staff tackle mock gas leak

Emergency staff tackle mock gas leak

| 29/03/2012 | 0 Comments

Gas 9.jpg(CNS): Local emergency workers were put through their paces yesterday in a mock emergency exercise in which they were called out to a simulated propane ‘incident’ at Home Gas Ltd. Fire and medical services joined the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and Home Gas representatives at the scene, where the accident scenario was an uncontrolled release of gaseous liquids. Chief Fire Officer Dennom Bodden said, “Although table-top and actual emergency exercises are conducted periodically, this is the first coordinated response of this magnitude involving the propane plant.”

About a dozen vehicles were on the scene included EMT ambulances, fire tankers and a ladder truck. Although a portion of Walker’s Road was closed for a short time, no evacuations were carried out during the exercise.

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Dartmouth leave Cayman happy

Dartmouth leave Cayman happy

| 29/03/2012 | 0 Comments

caydart2 (283x300).jpg(CRFU): Dartmouth University wrapped up its spring tour to the Cayman Islands on Saturday 24 March by once again beating the Cayman National XV this time by 10 points 28-18. The second straight loss to the younger Americans leaves questions hanging over the Cayman teams’ preparations ahead of their 2015 World Cup qualification process which starts on 7 April when Cayman take on Jamaica in Kingston.  Dartmouth proved to be the better team in the final 20 minutes, making another late comeback to secure the win and a perfect record for the 1st XV on the trip. Photo Caroline Deegan

Cayman marched into an early lead in the game thanks to an early showing from the Cayman forwards which utilized driving mauls off the lineout and powerful scrummaging but it was outside of the set piece that Cayman showed their weaknesses as Cayman could not capitalize on a 15-8 half time lead.

Following an early penalty to take the score to 18-8 in the 2nd half the Dartmouth defense began to strike back, completely stifling the Cayman attack so that the local boys would not add any more points to their tally for the rest of the game. Using their stingy defense as a catalyst, The Big Green began their comeback, with flyhalf Will Lehmann getting the try after a great run from center Clark Judge. Hughes would make the conversion to tighten things up at 18-15.

Moments later, he would add another penalty to make it a tie game at 18 all. The game winning score came a mere 5 minutes later, with wing Kevin Clark going in for what would be the deciding score. Hughes would add another conversions to make the score 25-18 and then mere minutes later he would make his third penalty of the day to extend the lead to 28-18. The penalty would bring his point total to 13 for the day, and by making it a two-score game, ensure the victory.

Although the Cayman National side could get no joy from the Dartmouth tour the Cayman Rugby club was buoyed by 3 consecutive victories over the Dartmouth 2nd XV with the biggest win going to the stellar Cayman U21 side 41-0. The second of the Cayman Club select games against the Dartmouth 2’s was a closer affair for the Dartmouth boys who lost by 7 points 34-27 with a Kyron Lyons interception try being the difference between both sides.

The 2015 World Cup Qualification process kicked off in Mexico on 24 March and Mexico hammered the usually dangerous Jamaican’s 68-14. The loss bodes well for Cayman’s chances in Jamaica but the Mexicans will be hard to handle on home turf on 21 April having been buoyed by the spectacle of a World Cup opening match featuring 2015 Rugby Ambassador and 2003 World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio and 2011 Rugby World Cup final referee Craig Joubert.

In Dallaglio’s own words “Believe me, Mexico is a very patriotic nation. If you could bottle what they have over there and give it to a few other countries, they would be a lot better for it!”

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Elite beat out visitors in CFU club match

Elite beat out visitors in CFU club match

| 29/03/2012 | 0 Comments

football_0.JPG(CNS): Elite football club has put itself in a favourable position to advance to the next round in the CFU Club Champions after beating the visiting Bermuda team Tuesday night. Elite beat North Village Rams 2-I thanks to goals from Rene Carter, in the 13th and 66th minutes. Although Jason Lee was shown the red card and sent off in the 39th minute the Rams’ Keishan Bean managed to put one on the scoreboard for the visitors in the 60th minute at the match played at the Annex Field. Evidently frustrated however, Bean also managed to get a red car after the final whistle.  Kofi Dill, from Rams and Marvin Boothe from Elite also received yellow cards. (Photo courtesy of Cayman27)

The next match in the tournament will take place tonight Thursday, 29 March at  7:30pm when Elite faces off against George Town. Elite will move on with a win or a draw but only a win will do for George Town after they only managed to hold the Rams to a nil-nil draw at the weekend.

The Elite match line up was as follows:
20 – Dereck Rivers
6 – Alex Belcher
9 – Marvin Boothe (16 – Cardiel Hydes, 76’)
8 – Jose Luis Bush (88 – Chris Welcome, 89’)
13 – Rene Carter
14 – Benjamin Cupid
18 – Darvin Dixon
2 – Jedd Ebanks
7 – Abijah Rivers (Cap.)
10 – Jairo Sanchez
23 – Dwayne Wright (5 – Javier Medina, 87’)
Head Coach: Gregory Ebanks

North Village Rams line-up:
1 – Jason Williams
11 – Tyrell Burgess
5 – Kofi Dill
23 – Sean Fubler
19 – Logan Alexander
14  – Jason Davis
15 – Devaun Degraff (cap.) (12 – Vernon Tankard, 66’)
20 – Kaiwon Dill (23 – Jemeiko Jennings, 58’)
7 – Ralph Bean Jr.
17 – Keishan Bean
10 – JasonLee
Head Coach: Shaun Goater


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