Archive for August 2nd, 2012

MLA calls for special Finance Committee

MLA calls for special Finance Committee

| 02/08/2012 | 11 Comments

ezz in LA press brf.jpg(CNS): The independent member for North Side has called on the premier, who is the chair, to organise a Finance Committee meeting of the Legislative Assembly and invite members of the private sector as well as civil servants. He said the premeir needed to engage all the country's stakeholders in the goal to address the mounting financial crisis. Ezzard Miller said the situation required everyone’s consideration and a touch of "truth serum" on how government could successfully balance the books without resorting to the paradigm shift of direct taxation. The MLA said a credible five year financial plan was needed to rescue the country.

Miller called for the meeting as the opposition to the premier’s proposed expat tax of 10% on the pay of work permit holders earning $36,000 per annum and above mounted this week, as both Caymanians and expats joined forces against the discriminatory policy.

“We need to sit down and engage all the stakeholders as well as the civil service and find a way to solve this without punishing the civil servants by taking away their benefits or the private sector with direct taxation,” he said. “We can't solve the problem in two days, two weeks or two months; we need a long term plan to bring the country back to stability.”

He said the premier should call the Finance Committee meeting as soon as possible and invite private sector leaders alongside public sector bosses to the meeting and have them contribute to solving the problems. Miller said the Finance Committee environment could help everyone understand the real parameters of the situation and the premier had to come clean about the real financial situation facing the country.

“We all need to drink a big glass of truth serum, and to develop this plan the committee needs to transcend government,” Miller added, pointing out that the UK’s economist should be invited back to Cayman in order to attend.

“The premier needs to be honest and open about the real budget. There can be no more fudging for political gain; we need to solve this crisis. The thing the premier must then understand is that that the first thing that has to go is his political patronage as we must address this culture of dependence that he has created.”

Continue Reading

Local health staff celebrate breastfeeding week

Local health staff celebrate breastfeeding week

| 02/08/2012 | 0 Comments

(CI Public health): The Cayman Islands has joined the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) in the celebration of Breastfeeding Awareness this week. World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year after the alliance launched the campaign to focus and facilitate action to protect, promote and support breastfeeding in 1992. Since then, each year, WBW has put the spotlight on various breastfeeding issues.  The 2012 Theme is “Understanding the Past- Planning for the Future”. 

It focuses on the progress that has been made on the implementation of the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding (GSIYCF) which was adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) ten years ago.

mplementing the Global Strategy effectively is essential to increase breastfeeding rates: in particular exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. 

According to a UNICEF report in January 2012, “In the developing world, progress in exclusive breastfeeding has been modest, improving from 32 percent around 1995 to 39 percent around 2010, a relative increase of about 17 percent. Prevalence has increased in all regions with available trend data except the Middle East and North Africa, and many countries have achieved substantial improvements. The Central and Eastern Europe/Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS) region has made particularly noteworthy progress”.

In the Cayman Islands, the Health Services Authority’s (HSA’s) Nutritionist Simone Sheehan said staff support themessage of early and exclusive breastfeeding with the introduction of appropriate complimentary feeding at around six months of age.
“We are consistently stepping up our efforts in relating this message to mothers of new born infants.”

She added that while breastfeeding is a learned behavior, it is important to remember that the journey to successful breastfeeding begins with the support of families, healthcare providers, employers, and by and large the community.

The Cayman Islands has many resources to support breastfeeding families. Each new mother is given an information packet which includes helpful tips and resources for their journey ahead. They also receive a contact list of group members whom they are encouraged to call with questions or concerns. These volunteers are experienced mothers or health care professionals.

Expectant mothers are also sensitized about breast feeding and its importance to both mother and baby, as well as other issues relating to pregnancy and lactation, through Parent Craft classes held at the Cayman Islands Hospital Mondays at 5:30 pm.
The Breast Feeding Support group will be on duty on Thursday, August 2 at 10am -12 noon at the Cayman Islands Hospital Women’s Health Clinic to answer any questions regarding breast feeding. Support will also be offered to mothers who are having any difficulty or concerns in breast feeding.

For more information on Breast Feeding Week, Parent Craft classes and other activities planned for new mothers during the month of August, call Simone Sheehan on 244-2655. 


Continue Reading

BVI follows new UK tender rules for port project

BVI follows new UK tender rules for port project

| 02/08/2012 | 10 Comments

15.jpg(CNS): The government in the British Virgin Islands has announced its intention to launch an open tender for a cruise pier redevelopment project in that country. Like the Cayman Islands government, the eastern Caribbean island which is also a British Overseas Territory, has signed a similar fiscal framework agreement with the UK government and committed to following international best practice when it comesto public procurement. It is understood that the government had looked at giving the project to an interested developer without tendering but has reconsidered that position and opened up the process.

The islands premier, Orlando Smith said the move was in line with the UK agreement which the BVI has the Protocols for Effective Financial management which commits the BVI to acting in line with international best practices in public procurement.  “The cruise ship pier development is one of the important projects that has been under consideration for some time,” he said in an official release. By introducing greater transparency into the process for awarding large contracts, the premier said it was government’s intention is to ensure the most competitive offers and best value for public money.

In a situation not dissimilar to that here in Cayman the government had been hoping to sign a deal for the redevelopment with specific interested investor without a tender process but because of the UK deal it changed course.

Smith said because the country’s financial secretary could not confirm that attempts to “ensure a credible restrictive bidding procedure” were in line with the agreement the proper way to proceed was to stop the talks with the one developer and issue an open invitation.

“My Government is determined to include the people of the BVI in the process of modernising our territory – both in developing major new facilities such as the cruise pier and by operating in a transparent, efficient and cost-effective way. We will all be stronger as a result,” the premier said.

Despite warnings from the overseas territories minister that the Cayman Islands premier needs to get plans for the development of cruise berthing facilities, here, back on track with international best procurement practice, McKeeva Bush has stated on several occasions that he will be working with China Harbour engineering Company to build Cayman’s cruise port .

The Beijing based firm was selected by Bush, and has never tendered for the project, which has grown considerable since government first asked for expressions of interest from the private sector in developing the George Town cruise berthing facilities.

On his visit to Cayman earlier this year, OT minister Henry Bellingham said that the CIG must be in line with international standards for procurement before the UK could agree to the development going ahead. The governor has echoed those sentiments and stated that the auditor general and the chair of the central tender’s committee are advising the premier on how to get the process back on track.

However, comments from the premier who has referred to Alastair Swarbrick, the auditor general as the governor’s hit man on several occasions does not appear to be taking that advice.

Continue Reading

Stamps celebrate Cayman’s Olympians

Stamps celebrate Cayman’s Olympians

| 02/08/2012 | 11 Comments

cydonie (300x300).jpg(CNS): A set of new stamps went on sale at Cayman’s post office on Thursday depicting the country’s five Olympic athletes and swimmers who have attended the 2012 games in London. Cydonie Mothersill, who will be competing in 200m, is represented on the 25¢ and Ronald Forbes, who competes in the 110m hurdles, is depicted on the 50¢. The 80¢ shows Kemar Hyman, the 100m competitor. Shaune Fraser, who competed in the 100m and 200m freestyle is shown on the 75¢ and his brother Brett Fraser, who swam the 200m, 100m and 50m freestyle events, is depicted on the $1.60 stamp. 

set5 (300x300).jpgSince fielding an Olympic team in 1976, this is the first time that all five Cayman Islands athletes have qualified at the A standard for the Olympics. It is also the first time that three athletes will compete in track and field events for these islands. Cydonie is competing in the Olympics for the fifth time, making her the Cayman Islands' most enduring athlete at the Olympic level.

set3 (300x300).jpgMothersill, Forbes and the Fraser brothers are veterans at the Games, but this is a first for Kemar Hyman.

The stamps went on Thursday, 2 August and First Day Covers will be available for sale in a couple a weeks.  For more information, please contact the Philatelic Bureau at 946-4757 or email


set4 (300x300).jpgset2 (300x300).jpg

Continue Reading

Cayman remains cholera free as Cuban cases mount

Cayman remains cholera free as Cuban cases mount

| 02/08/2012 | 2 Comments

cholera-outbreak-cuba-Manzanillo.jpg(CNS): Three people have died and there have been more than 236 confirmed cholera cases, while approximately 1,000 patients have received medical attention in Cuba, according to the Pan American Health Organization’s latest report. Cayman’s public health boss, Dr Kiran Kumar, confirmed that cholera is not present here in Cayman and reminded the public who maybe travelling Cuba to take the necessary precautions. The medical expert pointed out, however, that the high level of sanitation locally will ensure that the disease could not get a hold even if it spread to our jurisdiction.

“There are no travel restrictions. If you have to go, take vital precautions such as ensuring hygienic food preparation, boiling or purifying all water, and washing hands often with soap and clean water. Travellers should also carry an ample supply of oral rehydration salts,” Dr Kumar said.

“Cholera is not present in the Cayman Islands and the chances of importation of cholera into Cayman are limited andeven if it occurs, our excellent sanitation and safe water will prevent its spread. In addition, we have adequate facilities and drugs to manage any case should importation occur.

Travellers to Cuba are advised to contact their doctor immediately should they develop watery diarrhoea and vomiting within five days of leaving. It is also important to state their travel history to their doctor. This advisory is applicable to travellers to Haiti and Dominican Republic, the two other countries in the region affected by cholera.

To ensure ultimate readiness, the Public Health Department held multi-agency preparedness meetings and Minister of Health, Mark Scotland, applauded the pro-active efforts by various agencies in monitoring the cholera situation in Cuba and taking the necessary steps to prevent, detect and manage any imported cholera cases.

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by ingesting contaminated food or water with cholera bacterium. It can take anywhere from five hours to five days for symptoms to appear after infection, but usually symptoms appear within 24-48 hours. Cholera infection is often mild or without symptoms but can sometimes be severe.

For more information please call the Public Health Department on 244-2621.

Tips for Prevention

  • Travellers to Cuba can greatly reduce the risk of contracting the disease by following these practices:
  • Drink only bottled, boiled or chemically-treated water and/or bottled or canned beverages.
  • Ensure that seals are unbroken when using bottled drinks.
  • Disinfect your own water: boil for one minute or filter the water and add two drops of household bleach or half an iodine tablet per litre of water.
  • Use bottled, boiled or chemically-treated water to wash dishes and brush teeth.
  • Use ice in your drink only if you know it was made from boiled or treated water.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and clean water.
  • Clean your hands before you eat or prepare foods, and after using the bathroom.
  • Eat foods that have been thoroughly cooked and are still hot, or fruit that you have peeled yourself.
  • Cook all vegetables. Do not eat salads or other raw vegetables.
  • Do not buy food or beverages from street vendors.

Continue Reading

Ernesto speeds on westward at 22mph

Ernesto speeds on westward at 22mph

| 02/08/2012 | 2 Comments

ernesto1.JPG(CNS): As the fifth tropical depression of the season became tropical storm Ernesto on Thursday afternoon, Hazard Management Cayman Islands said the storm which is located east of the Windward Island serves as a reminder that residents need to be prepared. The storm does not pose an immediate threat but it could do so by Monday. The government officials warned residents to check that they have a week's supply of non-perishable food and water, a portable radio, a flashlight, and extra batteries. At 4pm local time Ernesto was located about 295 miles eastof the Windward Islands with top winds 50 mph and moving at a speedy 22mph.

While hazard management stated that the storm is not yet a danger to Cayman it is heading our way. The NHC is also predicting that Ernesto will strengthen during the next 48 hours. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the centre mainly to the north and northeast.

Meanwhile, light to moderate easterly winds and seas will continue over the Cayman area for the next twenty four hours local forecasters said. Tonight there will be partly cloudy skies with a 30% chance of showers and possible thunder. Temperatures will fall to the low 80's. Winds will be east 5 to 10 knots. Seas will be slight with wave heights of 1 to 3 feet.

Tomorrow will be partly cloudy skies with a 30% chance of showers and possible thunder. Temperatures will rise to the low 90's with a heat index near 105° Fahrenheit. Winds will be easterly 5 to 10 knots. Seas will be slight with wave heights of 1 to 3 feet. The outlook is for generally fair conditions with light easterly winds from tomorrow afternoon.

For a complete list of items you should have in your emergency supply kit, and other tips for protecting your life and property visit Cayman; or stop by at the Hazard Management office in the Government Administration Building.


Continue Reading

Maples lead sprint for the touch title

Maples lead sprint for the touch title

| 02/08/2012 | 1 Comment

DSC_2742 (2).JPG(CRFU): Round 4 of the Cayman Summer Touch Rugby League was completed last week with thrills and spills on show for the massed crowds at the South Sound Rugby Ground. Here are the highlights:  When KPMG1 took on Ogier in Division 1, both teams were looking for their first win of the season. Hampered by notable absences in their playing squad, both teams have struggled to score tries so it was not surprising that this was a close game with some much at stake. It was KPMG1, inspired by a fleet-footed, yellow-booted Michael Sumares hat-trick, who notched up their first win of the season. Photos: by Caroline Deegan

Neil and Marida Montgomery, as good a husband and wife double-act since John and Yoko hit the sheets to proclaim “Give Peace a Chance”, drove KPMG1 forward and they also hit the sheets this time too – the score sheets that is! Ogier can hold their heads up high as they gave their all and returned tries for Kathy-Sue Alberga (2) and Brad Conolly. The final score 5-3 for KPMG1.

Sometimes in sport there are games that have a little bit extra when it comes to bragging rights. There is a connection between the teams that goes beyond simple rivalry. It is as if they share a symbiotic relationship, a sharing of their very genetic code. So extensive are their similarities, that it is their differences that define them. In football, there is the Old Firm derby between Celtic and Rangers, India v. Pakistan in cricket, and of course any (ex)Commonwealth colony against the beloved Motherland England. 

And so it was in Round 4 when the mighty Maples1 took on their younger, better looking siblings of Maples2 in a game of touch rugby that would live long in the memory. Maples2 shocked Maples1, the crowd and even themselves by taking a shock but deserved 3-0 lead through the superb Marc Randall, the splendid Sheila Crosby and the sensational Alex Robertson. Maples1 were in disarray, their frustration clearly evident from the volume emanating their bench. It is to their eternal credit that from impending implosion they managed to turn defeat into defiance and come back strongly with six unanswered tries.

The decisive blow came with their two tries scored by Carmel Harms and Jyoti Choi in the last seconds of the first half, bursting Maples2’s bubble with a giant prick. Perhaps Maples2 lacked the belief that they could beat their more experienced opponent, or perhaps they just ran out of steam but the eventual scoreline of 6-3 to Maples the Elder demonstrated two things. Firstly, Maples1 will not give up their title easily and secondly, Maples2 have arrived in the big time and can trouble any team in this division.

In a game that can be taken a tad too seriously at times there was one funny incident that bears repeating. With the game in the balance Maples1 were attacking 5 metres from the Maples2 line. Adam Huckle threw a long speculative pass in an attempt to free his wide runners. With a mind moving in Matrix-time, Mark Robson instinctively saw the pass, moved forward and caught the ball like Michael Jordan going for a slam-dunk. He quickly realised that this interception meant that, with the whole of the Maples1 team behind him, he had only to run 50 metres to score the Try of the Season. Off he set, with Maples1 captain Marty Livingston in hot pursuit. Now there have been some amazing sprinters in the world – Usain Bolt, Osafa Powell, Linford Christie, and Carl Lewis – but these two aren’t among them.

Kiwi Livingston, with a career high of second in the St. Patrick’s College, Wellington’s “Under 14’s sixty-yard Bare Foot Dash”, and Robson, third (of three) in the Chatsworth Infants three-legged Grand Final, were both locked in a race that would have the crowd out of their seats. Cue Chariots of Fire music.  So enthralling was the chase that it seemed as if they were running in slow motion. The race to the try line seemed to take forever. Now I’m not saying these guys aren’t quick but I’ve seen paint dry faster. 50 metres, 40, 30, 20, 10, the ground was being eaten up slower than an anaconda swallowing a donkey. What happened next I am not too sure?

Whether it was a disturbance in the Force, a subterranean earth tremor, a butterfly flapping his wings in a Chinese rain forest, a tear in his adductor longus or whether a sudden inner ear infection affected his balance but, like Devon Loch in the 1956 Grand National, Robson stumbled and staggered as he closed in for the score. The crowd collectively held their breath. “He’s going… he’s going… he’s gone” they shouted in unison. With arms flailing, he dipped and fell crashing to the ground just short of the finishing line. Livingston finally caught him and made the touch by collapsing on top of him. Eternally grateful to teammates Finn O’Hegarty and Sheila Crosby who arrived like the 7th Cavalry they turned the loss of a certain try into, what can only be extremely optimistically called, a 50 metre gain. A quick O’Hegarty pass to Crosby and the try was finally scored. Mr. Bolt can sleep easy tonight.

The star-studded Stepping Stones were too much for DART running in 7 tries to 2. It was Wiki Hitchman who stole the show with a performance of style, guile and with a smile she rightly took the Most Valuable Player award.  Indeed, one of Stepping Stones most potent weapons is the girls on the team. Any good touch team uses all their resources and Stepping Stones exemplify this. Tries for Marsia Weder, Lisa Bird and Wiki Hitchman kept the scoreboard ticking over as Riley Mullen, Steve Henshaw (2) and Simon Raftopolous added the extras. Mat Bishop and the ever running Fiona Brander got the DART scores but it was too little to trouble a Stepping Stones team beginning to hit their straps.

Genesis Five Nations saw off the challenge of Trident Titans with a solid 6-3 win. Genesis Five Nations are struggling for numbers lately but Lisa Kehoe, one of the longest serving touch players, showed why she is one of the most dangerous players in the league scoring a fine hat-trick.  Mick Kehoe and Howard Byrne (2) got the others as Trident Titans could not get their game together at the pivotal times to put the Five Nations defence under pressure.

Harmonic continue at the top of the League 2 table with a hard fought 4-2 win over UBS. Orchestrated by Tim Rossiter, they bossed the game but were hit by a severe case of “juggle-itis” virtually any time they got near the try line. As if playing with a super-heated King Edwards or an incandescent Maris Piper, the final pass would be juggled and dropped just when it looked easier to score. At half-time Rossiter must have handed out some invisible oven gloves and things improved with scores from Kieron Lyons (2), Brad Cowdroy and Tim Fitzgerald. Unsurprisingly, it was the Irishman Kieron Lyons who managed to hold on to the hot potato longer than most to score his tries. Colm Moynihan and Dan Allard scored for UBS.

The Heineken Light Maidens dominated a submissive Rawlinson & Hunter giving them a strapping six of the best. Lisa Kehoe walloped them three times with Sharlee Henshaw, Vangie Raftopolous and Ashley Waters rubbing salt in the wound with one a-piece. Final score 6-1 – quite a spanking!

Walkers Blue Iguanas got their first win of the season with a 4-3 victory over Broadhurst, whilst Island Heritage maintained an unbeaten run with a solid 6-4 win against Campbells, two tries each for Marvin Gordon, Ian Robertson and Brandon Smith doing the damage.

Deloitte are building their season nicely with a second win on the bounce. The introduction of Robbie Cribb, Cayman National XV’s player, will add to their already burgeoning reputation and the other teams will do well to pay them some mind. They beat DMS 7-2.

Division 3
The battle for first and second place in Division 3 was resolved when Zolfo Cooper took on Delta Force and beat them 5-2. At the start of the match both teams were unbeaten and had both shown that they deserved to be at the top of the table with some smart play. Two tries from Marc Randall and one each for Tammy Fu, Loletta Hanna and Neil Coley did the damage as Delta force’s key strike weapons Rupert Bell and Jyoti Choi could only muster one each. The standard of touch rugby on display showed that the quality in the lower divisions is picking up and both teams can look for more success this season.

KPMG2 leapfrogged into second spot with a 5-3 win over struggling Ernst & Young. Ian Roberton scored three to bring his season tally to eight. Miguel Lopez scored the other two.

Credit Suisse bounced back from last week’s defeat with a fine victory over LIME. Dave Bailey, vying with Queensgate Grizz’s Old Fellas’ Dennis Hunter as the oldest player in touch rugby, was the most influential player on the pitch and not only scored two tries but also won the MVP award.

But anything Bailey can do, Hunter can do too. His performance for the Old Fellas against GCM was so outstanding the ref awarded him the Player of the Match. Unfortunately, GCM had just enough in the tank to steal a 4-3 win against the Division’s perennial losers.

Continue Reading

Sook expects evan more from Frasers

Sook expects evan more from Frasers

| 02/08/2012 | 0 Comments

200m semis    31  jul 12 094 (247x300).jpg(CIOC): Doctor Sook Yin-Eccles is the swimming manager for the Fraser brothers, Shaune and Brett at the London Olympics and she believes that they can only improve in the world rankings. Brett is now 12th fastest 200 metres freestyler on the planet and world ranked 15th in the 100m free and 32nd in the 50m. Shaune is 20th in the 200m and 16th in the 100m. That is a fantastic achievement for the two from such a tiny country as the Cayman Islands. Although this was Shaune’s third Olympics and Brett’s second, they are only 24 and 22 respectively and still have plenty of time for more Olympic glory if they choose to continue to the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. 

“The boys did tremendously, they are in the top 20 in the 100m and 200m free and Brett is in the top 32 in the 50m. So there you go, we are in the top level and coming from such a small country I cannot tell you how proud I am of them.

“There will be more coming from them in the future so watch out for them. This is not the end, it’s the beginning. Our boys are swimming against really seasoned Olympians with more experience.

“A lot of the others come to the Olympics and don’t even make it past the heats. Rio is just going to be the icing on the cake. This was just a taste of something special that is going to happen.”

Sook has received plenty of messages of support from the Cayman Islands. She also hopes that the much vaunted 50m pool becomes a reality. “The emails I’ve got from the little swimmers at Stingray Swim Club and the Camana Bay Swim Club are tremendous,” Sook added. “They are so delighted that local homegrown boys are doing so well. They have been asking me for their autographs and pictures. It has really given the kids a boost and soon we’ll have Ian Armiger coming to be our national director and I think he will revamp the programme.

“Hopefully, the Ministry of Sport will support us and I hope the sponsors are doing their job and asking us what we should do to make the swimming programme better. We are on the map right now, thankfully due to the two Fraser boys.

“I think the Olympic Committee is behind us and hopefully this will get us the 50m pool we so desire.”


Continue Reading

299 turtles killed after systems failure at Farm

299 turtles killed after systems failure at Farm

| 02/08/2012 | 23 Comments

10383794.jpg(CNS): A break in a main pipe that carries sea water to the Cayman Turtle Farm last month resulted in the death of 299 of the Farm's young animals. The turtles were killed because of a backup systems failure in one of the large commercial farm tanks. The loss is the first incident of its kind in the Farm’s 40-plus years in existence, officials said, but it had led to an improvement in the crisis response and resiliency systems. As a result, during last week’s blackout when seaside pumps were out of operation for the entire morning, the farm got through the outage without any loss of turtles. Nevertheless, the facility's staff are all said to be extremely upset about the death of so many animals.

“We lost some 299 turtles, which were all between the ages of three and five years old," the Farm said in a statement about the incident. “This loss has been very upsetting to the management and crew members involved in responding to the incident. Although a significant number, this represents less than 5% of the total number of turtles at the Cayman Turtle Farm and the turtles lost were not part of the Cayman Turtle Farm’s breeder stock.”

The problems began for the farm around 11am on Monday, 16 July, when the main seawater pipe sprang a leak and began flooding the road it runs under. In order to repair the crack the decision was made to cease pumping sea water into the farm through the main pipe system.

“Several hundred thousand gallons of fresh sea water are required to be pumped into the farm on a continuous basis to maintain daily operations and ensure the safety and optimal living conditions of the sea turtles housed at the Cayman Turtle Farm, and this water flow ceased during the diagnosis and repair of the pipe break,” officials explained.

Repairs began but finding a major break required heavy equipment, external contractors, additional manpower, layers of fiberglass work followed by concrete work. It took many hours to complete and the pipe was not back in action until 10pm that night.

“While repairs were being made, alternative water pumping systems were obtained and put into place in efforts to maintain adequate water levels and some water circulation in the turtle tanks,” the Farm said but as a result of problems with the back-up system the turtles housed in one of the tanks had died.

“Immediately after repairs were completed and water pumping operations returned to normal, the management team at the Cayman Turtle Farm met to review the incident and put improved mitigating procedures and systems into place based on the lessons learned,” officials added.

The Farm is now implementing new procedures and emergency back-up water supply systems to avoid the loss of any turtle in future. The core water pumping and piping system is being monitored and some key valves that failed are being replaced.

“The responsible stewardship of the animals in our care is a responsibility that we take very seriously and our crew works hard and diligently every day to ensure that safe and optimal operating conditions are maintained. We remain saddened by this recent loss – the first of its kind in the Cayman Turtle Farm’s 40-plus years in existence but we are energized about improving our crisis response and resiliency systems moving forward,” the Farm stated.

Despite the sad loss, a spokesperson for the Farm added that the facility was seeing a good number of hatchlings survive this nesting season, which is good news as the Farm has been struggling with its breeding programme for several years. 

“There is new life in the midst of the sadness,” the spokesperson said.

Continue Reading

Open letter to premier

Open letter to premier

| 02/08/2012 | 62 Comments

I am a Caymanian and I have never faltered in my belief that our nation is full of kind, loving and hardworking people.  For the first time, however, I lost sight of that belief after attending your meeting on Wednesday night. I found myself leaving that meeting, not with an understanding of why direct taxation is the best way forward for the Cayman Islands, as you had promised would be the case; rather, I found myself exiting the auditorium with my head in my hands apologizing to every expat I crossed for the way in which they were treated by my elected officials and your supporters.

During this meeting I watched in horror as an expat sitting next to me, who came only to listen and not speak, was threatened with physical violence by a supporter of this policy who was voicing her opinions over the PA system.  My horror was exacerbated as those who oppose this policy were constantly interrupted and not given the same opportunity to have their voice heard. 

The nail in the coffin for me was when you yourself responded to the questions of a Caymanian woman not with an answer but with the words, “Little girl, you’ve had your turn, now give the microphone to someone else.”

For you to accuse the members of a peaceful Facebook group of being ill tempered and incapable of having a calm and measured discussion, then sit by the wayside as your supporters exhibit that very same behaviour before your eyes is outright disrespectful, never mind hypocritical.

I would like to point out something which may have gone unnoticed at Wednesday’s meeting.  Not once did an expat stand and say, “I will not pay this tax,” or ask why they should have to pay taxes to support our country.  Rather they offered alternatives, voiced concerns about the way in which we are governed, and expressed genuine concern for the future of the Cayman Islands.

There washowever one person who stood before you and dared to say that Caymanians should share, if not bear, the burden of our current financial woes.  This person was not an expat as you may suspect; rather a young Caymanian.  I stand beside my fellow countryman in that belief, although I disagree that direct taxation is the way forward.  As was so rightfully stated, this is our mess and we should be the ones to clean it up.

That is truly the Caymanian spirit of which I have always been so proud.

Our forefathers built this country through hard work and dedication, and that is a quality which still exists in most Caymanians today.  Never once have the Caymanian people looked to take the easy way out of a tough situation.  This is something which you yourself have commended us for when referring to the way in which our country was rebuilt after the devastation of Hurricane Ivan.

Why then, I ask, does the current administration so adamantly put forth their hand and ask for other people to pay our debts?

Continue Reading