Archive for July 4th, 2012

ICCI looks outside the family for new boss

ICCI looks outside the family for new boss

| 04/07/2012 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Dr Tasha Ebanks Garcia who will be taking up the post as president of the International College of the Cayman Islands this month will be the first person outside of the founding Cummings family to take on the job since ICCI opened its doors more than 40 years ago. Garcia will also be the youngest president to serve at ICCI, at only 38 when she succeeds Dr. John Cummings, who will retire this summer. Garcia who is also a part time TV host takes up the post during tough times when many students are struggling to pay for tuition and when the college needs to ensure the academic programme is in step with the needs of a sophisticated and ever-changing job market.

“I welcome this opportunity to be part of ICCI, as it has played such a strong role in providing higher education in this country,” said Garcia. “I have always been passionate about higher education and the impact that is can have in transforming lives and the fortunes of families into success stories. I am looking forward to becoming part of ICCI’s story.”

One of Dr Ebanks Garcia’s initial goals will be establishing a mentoring programme that would match new students with alumni and students in their senior year.
“It is not unusual, when engaging in tertiary education, to feel a bit lost at sea. But matching students with alumni, who have been through it and can provide guidance, can help students get on track and stay on track. So instead of feeling lost, they will feel anchored in support,” Garcia added.

The Board of Trustees unanimously supported Dr. Ebanks Garcia appointment along with the Cummings family who founded the college in 1970, says ICCI deputy chair Cathy Frazier.

“Dr. Ebanks Garcia personifies the inspiring, motivated, community-driven leadership that will be needed to lead ICCI to its next exciting chapter,” said Frazier. “She recognises the need for expanding the scope of education to students who may need extra attention, empowering them to be leaders and examples to others. Her academic qualifications, personal sensitivities, experience and professionalism will bring a new vitality and dynamic leadership to ICCI. We are all excited to have her join the college.”

For nearly 35 years, co-founders Dr. Hugh Cummings and then Dr. Elsa Cummings have held the president’s job.  A few years after Hurricane Ivan, Hugh Cummings’ eldest son, John, took on the job in 2008 to help rebuild the college and get it back on solid financial footing.

"I am extremely pleased that the Board has found such a wonderful and able replacement,” said Dr. Cummings. “She is exactly what the college needs at this point in time in its life cycle. All future, current and past students of ICCI, should now give Dr. Ebanks Garcia all of their support as she takes on this demanding job."

Over the course of four decades, ICCI is still the only institution which offers associates, bachelors and masters degrees in the country and is internationally accredited.

Before earning her PsyD, Dr. Ebanks Garcia worked in TV broadcasting and print media for several years, holding various roles in sales, human resource management and product management. Spending much of her spare time doing community service work with organizations such as Junior Achievement, Hope Centre and through the church she decided to return to school to eventually completing here PsyD in psychology at Alliant International University in California.

Last year, she joined the clinical team at The Wellness Center where she engaged in family therapy work that focused on working with families in divorce and included child custody evaluations for the courts. In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Ebanks Garcia is a programme facilitator for Passport2Success, an initiative that has been instrumental in helping at risk young people develop work place readiness skills and address barriers to success from a therapeutic perspective. She also teaches at ICCI part-time and hosts and produces Cayman27’s “Let’s Talk to the Experts”.

Dr. Ebanks Garcia plans to scale back her clinical practice to take on the president’s job full-time, she feels strongly that there are not enough psychologists willing and able to do child custody evaluations so she will be continuing that work as well as family therapy on a part-time basis at The Wellness Centre. With the start of the talk show season approaching Dr. Ebanks Garcia will continue to put the spotlight on Cayman’s social issues through her work on “Let’s Talk to the Experts”.


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Local unemployment climbs

Local unemployment climbs

| 04/07/2012 | 154 Comments

wall_street_journal_taxes_unemployed_people_to_blame_for_unemployment-460x307.jpg(CNS): Despite good news from the country’s experts that the local economy is improving, the government’s latest annual economic report shows that unemployment continues to climb, with over 1,700 Caymanians registered as unemployed – some 9.8% of the local workforce. Given that not all those who are currently out of work will necessarily register with the labour department, the real figure is likely to be considerably higher. According to the Economics and Statistics Office report, the labour force grew slightly at 0.8% in 2011 to 37,620 and although Caymanians benefitted the most, with the number of employed locals rising by 1.1%, the number of Caymanians out of work has also risen.

The overall number of unemployed was 2,353, with the unemployment rate rising by 0.1 percentage points to 6.3%. The number of Caymanians unemployed reached 1,732, resulting in a Caymanian unemployment rate of 9.8% in 2011. As expected, the unemployment rate for non-Caymanians was lower at 3.1% with 621 people recorded as unemployed.

One of the main factors affecting the unemployment of local workers as opposed to foreign nationals was the continued shrinking employment activity in the construction sector, which fell by 6.3%. Related manufacturing, mining and quarrying also fell by 7.5% and there was a fall of over 10% in administrative and support services, where many locals are employed.

At the close of the year, work permits had contracted by 2.9% from the 20,452 recorded a year ago to 19,852.  By 31 March this year, according to the immigration website, the number had fallen again slightly to 20,309.

The rising levels of unemployment set against the numbers of work permits continues to cause concern, however, and during the budget debate the independent member for North Side, Ezzard Miller, warned government to keep a closer eye on unemployment levels among local workers because of the long term implications.

Miller said that government needed to get a grip on the number of unemployed Caymanians given that the over-employment rate was running at 60%. As the government is depending on work permits for funds, it is tempted to ignore the rate of unemployment among local workers. He said this was a vicious circle because government then had to spend more on social support for those who are out of work.

Unemployment is also particularly high in Cayman among young people leaving school and college, where unemployment levels are believed to be around 35%. In the ESO’s latest report on the labour force, which was released in May, only 55% of those aged between 15-24 who are currently in the workforce are employed. More than 50% of the country’s unemployed have been without work for 12 months or more, while almost one in every six has never had a job.

Related story on CNS Business

Cayman economy improves

See ESO report below.

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Jailed fraud suspect also faces civil suits

Jailed fraud suspect also faces civil suits

| 04/07/2012 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): David Keith Self, who is currently on remand at HMP Northward facing multiple charges relating to financial crimes, has also been served with three civil suits regarding his alleged fraud and misappropriation. The white collar suspect is being sued for more than US$1 million that he is said to have stolen while working as an insurance manager on Grand Cayman. Last month local attorneys Campbells filed three suits on the suspect in his jail cell on behalf of the victims of the suspected crime — Landis insurance company, Landrin Insurance Corporation and Warco Insurance. Read more on CNS Business

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Cayman rugby celebrates

Cayman rugby celebrates

| 04/07/2012 | 0 Comments

sw11b (235x300).jpg(CRFU): The Cayman Rugby Football Union celebrated its 2011/12 local rugby season with their annual player’s dinner on Friday 29 June. The traditionally all male affair which is now open to female rugby players and more recently guests and partners, was attended by over 200 people at Ristorante Papagallo. Guest speaker for the event, Shane Williams MBE, was a big hit with the local rugby fans answering questions on his professional and international career and making himself available for autographs and photos whenever asked.

The focus of the evening being the opportunity to join with friends, family, colleagues and team mates in order to celebrate a year of all things Rugby in Cayman and to give thanks to the volunteers, staff members and sponsors without whose support the continued successes of Rugby in the Cayman Islands would not be possible.

Successes, to name but a few, included Cayman’s rise to being ranked 2nd in the Caribbean at Rugby 7’s, 4th in the Caribbean in Men’s XV’s and 66th in the IRB World Rankings and 1st in U19’s Men’s Rugby.

On Saturday 30 June Williams also took part in the John Gibson Hangover match taking on the Cayman U19 squad before their departure to Mexico to compete at the NACRA U19’s championship where the team will be looking to retain their Championship earned on home soil.

No doubt the Hangover Match was not Williams’ biggest test since his retirement from international rugby in on 3 December 2011 but having come out of professional retirement to take a contract in Japan with the Mitsubishi Dynaboars in June, Williams showed all the flare and skill which saw him named IRB International Player of the year in 2008 and will no doubt be a huge inspiration for the U19’s on their Mexico adventure.

2011/12 player awards:

Most improved female player (Sponsored by DMS Offsore): Valerie Coerver
Female players’ player award (Sponsored by Stuarts Walker Hersant): Joanne Ziegler
Female player of the year (Sponsored by Heineken Light): Joan Murphy
Junior male player of the year (Sponsored by CRFU Angels): William Hayward
Most improved male player (Sponsored by Artifacts): Yohann Regnard
Men’s Player of the Year (Sponsored by Magners Cider): Marco du Plessis

The Club Person of the Year award, which is awarded to the individual who volunteers the most time and effort to Cayman Rugby, went to Mark Lea for his dedicated service to the Cayman Rugby Union in keeping the South Sound rugby pitch manicured and marked throughout the season.
The CRFU would like to give a special thank you to all their Partners & Sponsors for the 2011/12 season especially;
Platinum Sponsors: MAPLES, Heineken, Z99, IT Outsource, Hews, Caymanian Compass, International Rugby Board, North American Caribbean Rugby Association, Cayman Islands Government Department of Sport, CIOC

Gold Sponsors: DART, Greenlight RE,

Silver Sponsors: PWC, KPMG, Cayman Rehab Services

Bronze Sponsors: Fidelity, Clan Construction, Krys Global, DHL, Queensgate, John Doak Architecture, Cayman Islands Helicopters, Global Captive Management Ltd, Comfort Suites, Water Authority


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Sharks feed and Subway stings

Sharks feed and Subway stings

| 04/07/2012 | 0 Comments

(GCFFA): Week five of the Dart Women’s League within the Grand Cayman Flag Football Association saw first-time losses and first-time wins for some teams. Zulu Warriors continue their success after beating Maples Bliss 6-0 last Friday night at the Camana Bay Field. Quarterback duties for the Warriors were shared between Jessica Pawlik and Dionne Whittaker. Pawlik completed 12 of 26 passes with one interception thrown, and Whittaker completed three of six pass attempts, also with one interception thrown. EmilyVakauta caught the lone touchdown pass for the Warriors, and was also dominant in the middle, receiving four more balls.

When Whittaker wasn’t filling in as quarterback, she showed her versatility, receiving the ball five times, helping to bring her team down the field.  The Warriors’ defense was led by Wendy Torres, who had four tackles, followed by Whittaker with three tackles. The momentum for Warriors was high, as Maggie Ebanks, Nadisha Walters and Agueda Broderick each had an interception, but it was Broderick’s pick that nearly led to a defensive touchdown. The team could have advanced their score, but Maples Bliss was able to stop the Warriors from scoring in the second half.

Frustration and butter fingers on the Maples Bliss team contributed to their inability to move the ball past the 40-yard marker. Quarterback, Ellenor Berry, completed 10 of 20 pass attempts, with three interceptions thrown.

Camille Solomon caught five of Berry’s passes by cutting through the middle and the quick-footed Marleena Smith caught two balls. Berry tried to spread the ball amongst other players, and when an option wasn’t available, she utilized her speed and ran the ball to help her team advance down the field.

Dianerra Whittaker had a great defensive game with five tackles, but fumbled and collided with her teammates on key interceptions.  Maliqui Awe had four tackles, followed by Isatou Sey with three tackles and an interception. Sey’s interception was a big moment for Maples, as she picked the ball right in front of the end-zone, preventing the Warriors from another touchdown. Krishan Welcome also had two tackles and an interception, and Smith added to the defense by sacking the quarterback twice.

Subway Stingers started off Saturday’s games with their first win and shut-out against Lone Star JagerMonsters, with a final score of 13-0.

Subway’s quarterback, Christina Pineda is steadily improving her game, completing 13 of 24 passes with one interception thrown. Long passes to Latoya Cover and Joanne Remillard, who both sprinted the ball in around 30 yards resulted in touchdowns for Subway. Keisha Anglin was another favorite for Pineda, as she also added five catches on offense. Sasha Tatum also contributed to the score by catching a ball in the end-zone for conversion points.

Subway Stingers played a solid game on defense as the petite Remillard locked down Renee Thompson from JagerMonsters in the corner, with four tackles. Anglin also added four tackles to the defense. Sasha Tatum and Latoya Cover each came up with an interception, stopping the JagerMonsters from advancing past the 40-yard line.

Offense was the biggest problem for Lone Star JagerMonsters, as they were unable to move the ball down the field. Quarterback Tricia Miller completed 10 of 21 pass attempts with two interceptions thrown.

Center player, Erin Marshall was open in the middle often, receiving four of Miller’s passes. Renee Thompson caught three balls, mostly down the sideline, but was stopped short of advancing for JagerMonsters.

The defense of Lone Star kept knocking throughout the game as Laura Watler led the team with three sacks to the quarterback. Christina Ravdas had three tackles, followed by Renee Thompson and Nickey Martinich with two tackles each. Thompson also came through with a pick in midfield.

Hot 104.1 Cheetahs had a close game with Burger King Wolverines, but came up short with a final score of 6-14. Cheetahs’ quarterback, Kimberley Rivers completed six of 17 passes with one interception thrown. Jamesette Anglin is proving to be a favorite receiver for Rivers, catching three passes. Shalisa Barnett was right behind Anglin with two catches.

The Cheetahs defense saw much more action, as Jennifer Cotarelo intercepted a ball in the middle, maneuvered past four Wolverines players and sprinted up the sideline for a 30 yard defensive touchdown. Amanda Nelson caught a second interception, but slight hesitation stopped her running in a second defensive touchdown as Jahzenia Thomas was able to tackle Nelson just yards from the end-zone.

Adding to the Cheetahs defense was Sophia Dilbert with five tackles, Cotarelo with four, and Tonia Ebanks-McLaughlin with three tackles. Brittni Ebanks and Nelson each had a sack on the quarterback.

Although Burger King Wolverines struggled in the first half of the game, they were able to pull through with two touchdowns in the second half.  Antoinette Lewis, quarterback for the Wolverines, completed 18 of 28 passes with two picks thrown.

Carrie Barnett shone on offense for the Wolverines, catching five passes including two in the end-zone for touchdowns. Beneica Thompson also had five receptions, followed by Joni Wood with four. Alex Terry added conversion points with her catch in the end-zone.

Missed flags were the biggest problem for the Wolverines’ defense. Alexandria Saintvil led her team on defense with three tackles, followed by Shinette Rhoden and Natalee Dyke with two tackles each. Jessica Ebanks came through on the defensive end with one interception.

The biggest upset of the day saw the undefeated Androgroup Killa-Panthers defeated by Hammerheads Lady Sharks, 6-0.

One of the most consistent quarterbacks this season is Christina Hefner of Killa-Panthers, who completed 19 of 30 passes with one interception thrown.  Hefner’s favorite receiver continues to be the elusive Cassandra Bodden, who had five receptions. Caron Murphy followed with four catches and Alicia Dixon helped her team chip down the field with three receptions.

On defense, Janique Samson led her team with four tackles, followed by Suyen Coe and Gillian Roffey with two tackles each. Delicia Ebanks and Stephanie Watler snaked past the offensive blockers and came up with a sack each.  The Killa-Panthers had some chances to turn the score around with interceptions, as Gillian Roffey snagged two, followed by Ebanks with one pick.

Hammerheads Lady Sharks didn’t have much to say on offense, but their strong defense kept the team in the lead. Quarterback Hong Nguyen completed nine of 18 passes, with three interceptions thrown.

Lilia Conolly had four receptions and the lone touchdown was from Judy Rivers, who span past the defense to run the ball about 30-yards into the end-zone.

Rivers showed her dominance on defense with an incredible nine tackles, followed by Conolly with five tackles and Zoenief Walker with three. Nguyen sacked the quarterback twice, and Walker and Serena Yates managed to pull off one sack each. Conolly also had an important interception on Alicia Dixon, that saved what could-have been a much-needed touchdown for the Killa-Panthers.

Week six of the Dart Women’s League within the GCFFA begins Friday evening at 8pm at the Camana Bay Field with Lone Star JagerMonsters versus Hot 104.1 Cheetahs at 8pm. Neither team has won a game yet this season. Saturday morning’s games begin at 10am with the Burger King Wolverines against the Androgroup Killa-Panthers. Both teams have lost only game yet this season. 11am sees Hammerheads Lady Sharks against Zulu Warriors, tied in team standings, on field 1, and Subway Stingers versus Maples Bliss on field 2.


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Expert and novice swimmers join in local meet

Expert and novice swimmers join in local meet

| 04/07/2012 | 0 Comments

ry%3D400 (267x300).jpg(Stingray Swim Club):  The Caledonian Swim Meet, hosted by the Stingray Swim Club of Grand Cayman at the Lions Aquatic Centre was a resounding success, the club said. There were swimmers from four local clubs or swim schools, from two different islands, featured swimmers from 4 – 44 and included one Olympic Swimmer – Mr Darren Mew. The meet’s events took place over 4 days, allowing a wide array of events – 50m sprints, 200m medium distances and 1500m long distances to take place.

High points winners were – Girls: 6 & Under Veandra Robinson, Brac Barracudas (BB); 7-8 years Stephanie Royston, Camana Bay (CBAC); 9-10 years Alison Jackson, Stingray (SSC); 11-12 year, Kavanagh Lambert (CBAC); 13-14 years Coral Tomascik (CBAC) and 15 & Over Bethany Cleaver (CBAC). The Boys winners were – 6 & Under, Lachlin Lambert (CBAC); 7-8 years Corey Westerborg (SSC); 9-10 years Zachary Moore (CBAC); 11- 12 years Rory Barrett; 13-14years Simon Butler and 15 & OverAlex McCallum.

Bernard McGrath, Managing Director of Caledonian and a long-time supporter of swimming was on deck at the Lions Aquatic Centre on Sunday 24th to watch the final races, revelling in the excitement of the relays – including the Masters’ relays – and to present High Points' trophies to the Age Group

Winners: “I was delighted with the turnout on Sunday,” he commented. “There was a great atmosphere of excitement in the air and it crossed every age group, from the under 6s to the Masters. We appreciate the hard work that Stingray Swim Club put in to this meet every year to make it such a resounding success and we look forward to seeing faster times, more swimmers …..and particularly more Masters Swimmers in 2013.”

In addition to the many, many Personal Best times recorded by the swimmers (PBs in swimming lingo), there were some new records set. Stingray Swim Club saw three of its club SC records fall to Corey Westerborg who, thus far this season has set 10 new club records! In this meet he set new SSC Records for the Boys 7-8 years 100m Free, 50m Breast and 100IM. And two new Lions Aquatic Centre Pool records were set by CBAC’s Zorora Motomba in the Girls 9-10 50m Free and Coral Tomascik in the Girls 13-14 50m Free.

Stingray Swim Club President, Brenda McGrath was delighted with the success of the meet: “Coming close on the heels of our early membership registration drive it was encouraging to see a number of our new members competing and completely ‘immersing’ themselves in the swim club. I would like to thank Meet Directors Melanie Solomon and Pat McCallum, the SSC Board Members who assisted them and all the volunteers who officiated, timed or acted as marshals. Without our volunteers we simply can’t put on these meets and so it is important that they all know how much we, and the swimmers, appreciate the donation of their time to swimming.”

Heading in to the summer will see Stingray Swim Club action slow down a little – however there will be a great deal of activity at the Lions Aquatic Centre with Government Camps, a Stingray Swim Club camp and training taking place throughout the summer. Additionally a team of 9 swimmers is attending the Saint Petersburg Aquatics’ Long Course Invitational – July 6-7-8, 2012; Senior Swimmer Geoffrey Butler will be competing in the British Nationals this summer and brothers Alex and Iain McCallum will be competing in the 1st FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships, being held in Canada.

For information on Stingray Swim Club visit our website

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New particle discovery could be Higgs Boson

New particle discovery could be Higgs Boson

| 04/07/2012 | 0 Comments

higgs-boson-elusive-particle-energy-range_45598_600x450 (300x276).jpg(BBC): Cern scientists reporting from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)have claimed the discovery of a new particle consistent with the Higgs boson. The particle has been the subject of a 45-year hunt to explain how matter attains its mass. Both of the Higgs boson-hunting experiments at the LHC see a level of certainty in their data worthy of a "discovery". Prof Joe Incandela, spokesman for the CMS, was unequivocal: "The results are preliminary but the five-sigma signal at around 125 GeV we're seeing is dramatic. This is indeed a new particle." he told the Geneva meeting.

The results announced at Cern (European Organization for Nuclear Research), home of the LHC in Geneva, were met with loud applause and cheering. Prof Peter Higgs, after whom the particle is named, wiped a tear from his eye as the teams finished their presentations in the Cern auditorium. "It's really an incredible thing that it's happened in my lifetime,” he said.

Prof Rolf Heuer, director-general of Cern, commented: "As a layman I would now say I think we have it. We have a discovery – we have observed a new particle consistent with a Higgs boson. But which one? That remains open. It is a historic milestone but it is only the beginning."

A confirmation that this is the Higgs boson would be one of the biggest scientific discoveries of the century. Scientists would then have to assess whether the particle they see behaves like the version of the Higgs particle predicted by the Standard Model, the current best theory to explain how the Universe works. However, it might also be something more exotic. All the matter we can see appears to comprise just 4% of the Universe, the rest being made up by mysterious dark matter and dark energy.

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Broken water main on Shedden Road

Broken water main on Shedden Road

| 04/07/2012 | 4 Comments

water leak.jpg(CNS): The Water Authority has reported a broken main on Shedden Road, near the Anderson Square. Repairs are expected to take between 4 to 5 hours to complete, during which time service will be interrupted for customers located on Shedden Rd, from the McDonald Restaurant to the junction of Harbour Drive. Motorists are asked to note that the section of Shedden Road in the area of Anderson Square will be reduced to one lane in order to accommodate the necessary repairs. Motorists are encouraged to use an alternate route where possible. Traffic signs will be posted in the general vicinity and all are asked to drive with caution.

The Water Authority appreciates the patience and understanding of the motoring public as they continue to provide services to all of their valued customers and apologizes for any inconvenience this restoration may cause.

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