Archive for September 12th, 2012

Jamaican watch-dog pushes politicians for clarity

| 12/09/2012 | 4 Comments

GregChristieP20060919IA.jpg(CNS): Greg Christie, Jamaica’s contractor general, has demanded clarity from politicians there about what it is they want from his office. In a frank, open letter addressed to the prime minister and opposition leader he has asked exactly what it is that the government wants from his office. Pointing to the country’s terrible reputation for corruption, the failure of successive governments to heed his recommendations and the recent courtroom battles against him by government, he asks them to decide once and for all if they want him to do his job or close down his office.

Christie pulls no punches in referring  to the hypocrisies by politicians on both side and the efforts by a government minister to fight him in the courts about what the law entitles his office to do and what it does not. The contractor general also points out that the politicians are the ones with the power to make the laws so it’s up to them to clarify them and decide what it is that they actually want from his office.

In the seven page letter, the public official who is tasked with monitoring government contracts in Jamaica said  that the time had come for the “Executive and Legislative arms of the Jamaican State to publicly clarify precisely what role, if any at all, the Office of the Contractor General (OCG) should play, within a national system of institutionalized and independent checks and balances, to ensure that Government commercial transactions will withstand the highest levels of scrutiny and probity.”

Pointing to the numerous recommendations he had made, none of which had been acted upon, Christie wrote:

“In the interim, and while, as a country, we appear to remain apathetic or unwilling to proceed in a decisive, deliberate and expeditious manner with the requisite reforms to the country’s good governance structures, and its anti-corruption institutional framework, Jamaica continues to be perceived, by the international commercial community, as well as by its bilateral and multi-lateral partners, as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.”

Obviously frustrated by the attempts by government to stop him from doing his job,Christie is forcing government and the opposition to declare their hand and either support good governance or close him down.

Asking the elected government to make up its mind about whether or not they want him to do his job, Christie demands clarity from both sides of the parliament and, in the face of government legal action against his office, in order to save tax payers money he asked them to make up their minds about having an office that monitors value for money and good governance or not.

See Christie’s letter below.

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Budget dominates deputy governor’s meetings

| 12/09/2012 | 22 Comments

(CNS): According to documents released by the deputy governor’s office recent meetings since July between Franz Manderson and senior public officials were dominated by the outstanding budget. According to the most recent released minutes from the 13 August meeting which took place one month ago no other issues were discussed. Back on 31 July the budget was again the only point of discussion including the possibility of cutting the running costs of the new government building. On 6 August however the civil service bosses found time to discuss a number of other issues including the auditor general’s report on the use of fuel cards by public servants.

They also spoke about the proposal for a register of interests for civil servants the use of the GAB in a hurricane, a dress code for civil servants, and the CNCF cultural day as well as the budget

See minutes below from July and August meetings

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Minister calls on head teachers to raise standards

| 12/09/2012 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Despite a record year for year 12 students leaving school with 5 or more Level 2 passes, as well as some progress when it comes to standards in English and maths for year 6  primary school students, the education minister told school leaders  recently that that this represented progress but not the ultimate goal. “We are not where we need to be yet, in terms of standards. As school leaders the choices you make must come down to what is best for the children under your care,” Rolston Anglin said at a recent meeting ahead of the start of the new school year.

“Our work, your work, will not be done until every child makes appropriate progress, every child succeeds.”

Anglin thanked school leaders “for embracing and supporting the ambitious school reform agenda” that has been on-going for the last three years, despite the challenges but reminded them of the need to raise standards.  The minister encouraged school leaders at all levels to promote the importance of maths and English as fundamental and foundation skills and to believe that children need these skills and are capable of achieving them.

“Improving standards and having clear and unequivocal expectations about achievement are critical to moving our education system from good to great,” Anglin stated.

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Young people tune out from junk food

| 12/09/2012 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Young people who have been participanting in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme will be drinking more water, avoiding junk food and eating less pastries and sweets. The youngsters pledged to ‘love their bodies’ after observing Caribbean Wellness Day on Saturday,8  September marked by an early-morning beach hike. The event which also served as the launch of the local youth group’s 2012 – 2013 Award year. The ‘Dukers’ also reviewed hand-outs which that outlined health issues such as smoking, drugs, alcohol,healthy eating and vitamins.

‘Love That Body’ was the theme of the health and fitness day event. Issues discussed included nutrition, physical activity, mental health, and substance abuse, and environmental health. As physical recreation is a primary activity component of The Duke of Edinburgh’s programme, the Caribbean Award Scheme Sub-Regional Council (CASC) encouraged all members to integrate Caribbean Wellness Day as a special event.

Healthy eating and physical activity is being promoted throughout the region as the best prevention for heart disease, Type II diabetes, strokes, childhood obesity, high cholesterol or high blood pressure.  Especially so, as more young people are falling victim to these diseases – which are largely lifestyle related.

Young people from the ages of 14 to 25 are invited to join The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.  For further information, please contact Katherine Jackson at 925 5291 or email deacayman68@yahoo.com.
 

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Top 6 advance to flag football playoffs

| 12/09/2012 | 1 Comment

images_35.jpgGCFFA): The regular season of the Dart Women’s League under the Grand Cayman Flag Football Association came to an end last week, with the Androgroup Killa Panthers positioned in the lead and favored to sweep the playoffs and swipe the championship from last year’s winners, Hammerheads Lady Sharks. Friday Night Lights began with Androgroup defeating Maples Bliss 19-6. Androgroup’s quarterback, Christina Hefner, kept her team on offense most of the time, dominating the field and completing 18 of 37 pass attempts.

Heather Roffey led her team to victory with two touchdown catches in the end-zone and three more receptions. Cassandra Bodden is looking to keep the lead as the offensive player of the year with nine catches, including one in the end-zone for a touchdown. Alicia Dixon, Gillian Roffey and Janique Samson each had two receptions, and Dixon caught a ball for conversion points.

It was a game of interceptions for Androgroup, as Heather Roffey, Bodden, Suyen Coe and Samson each had a pick on defense. Stephanie Watler led in tackles with three, followed by Bodden, Samson, Coe and Gillian Roffey with two tackles each.
  Maples Bliss had a rough game against Androgroup as quarterback Ellenor Berry was pressured into quick passes, completing just eight of 19 attempts with four interceptions thrown.

Isatou Sey and Diannera Whittaker each had three catches, followed by Sheyla Torres with two. Annique Holness ran a punt return all the way into the end-zone that resulted in the only points for Maples.

The Bliss defense had to work hard to stop Androgroup, but too much time on defense resulted in fatigue and mistakes. Somali Hall, the league’s leading defender, led in tackles with five, followed by Berry with four. Torres had two tackles and two sacks, and Marleena Smith also added a sack. Whittaker and Sey also contributed to defense with two tackles each.

Games continued on Friday night with Hammerheads Lady Sharks shutting out the Hot 104.1FM Cheetahs 18-0. Lady Sharks quarterback, Hong Nguyen was on her passing game completing 15 of 25 attempts with three interceptions thrown.

Judy Rivers had a reception in the end-zone for a touchdown, and Nguyen ran in the second. Jennifer Leggett’s interception resulted in a defensive touchdown for the Sharks. Rivers had three more catches, as did RebeccaLucas and Lilia Conolly.

Leading on defense was Lucas with four tackles, followed by Rivers, Leggett and Ivana Powery with two each. Ivana Powery added a sack, and Sarrah Kidd also had a pick on defense. If Lady Sharks keep the momentum going, they just may face Androgroup in the finals to defend their championship title.

For a new team with 80% of the players who have never played flag football before, making the playoffs was a huge accomplishment for the Hot 104.1FM Cheetahs. Quarterback duties were shared between Jamesette Anglin, who completed six of 14 pass attempts and Tracey Seymour, who made one of five pass attempts and two interceptions thrown.

Jennifer Cotarelo led the offense with three catches, followed by Jessica Richards with two. Seymour, Sarafina McField and Darrah Jervis each had one reception. Although their defense is one of the best in the league, the Cheetahs need a major overhaul of their offensive strategy to make it anywhere in the playoffs.

Leading on defense was Amanda Nelson, with an incredible six sacks and three tackles.  Cotarelo also had three tackles, followed by Seymour and Tonia Ebanks-McLaughlin with two each. Sara Dixon also added three sacks, and picks were made by Ebanks-McLaughlin, Anglin and Cotarelo.

  Saturday morning was the last time Subway Stingers and the Lone Star JagerMonsters would see the field this season as both teams didn’t make the playoffs. Zulu Warriors beat the Subway Stingers 19-0, with quarterback Jessica Pawlik completing an impressive 30 of 42 pass attempts and one interception thrown.

  Leading the offense for Zulu was Maggie Ebanks with six catches, including one in the end-zone for extra points. Schmarrah McCarthy had her best game of the season, catching all three touchdown passes for the Warriors. Treveen Stewart caught five balls and gained major yards for her team by eluding Subway’s defense with her swift hip movements. Emily Vakauta continues to be a dominant force on offense, catching four balls, as did Agueda Blake.

  Zulu didn’t have to spend much time on defense, as Subway lacked any major progression. Tanjana Campbell had two sacks and an interception, and Ebanks added the next interception. Adrianna Christian also had a sack, and Blake had the most tackles with two.

  Despite finding out at the last minute the team wouldn’t have their quarterback to work with, Subway Stingers fought hard until the end. Anna Nyaundi, who never played QB before, stepped up for Subway, and completed four of eleven pass attempts with one interception thrown. Nikki Ebanks gave the position a try, completing no passes but one of her three attempts was also intercepted. Sophia Dilbert quarterbacked in the team’s last offensive possession, completing one of three passes.

  On offense, Joanne Remillard caught three passes, and Keisha Anglin followed with two catches.

 It was the hard work from their defense that kept Subway in the game. Nikki Ebanks had an outstanding game with eleven tackles, followed by Dionne Anglin and Nyaundi with four each. Remillard had three tackles and one interception. Shivonne Mitchell also slipped past Zulu’s blockers to add a sack to Subway’s defense.

  Although just missing the playoffs, the Lone Star JagerMonsters held the Burger King Wolverines to a tie game 6-6. Erica Bosch quarterbacked for Lone Star, completing 16 of 37 pass attempts and five interceptions thrown.

  Tricia Bell caught three balls, including the team’s only touchdown. Monique Roberts and Renee Thompson followed with four catches each. Melanie Lewis had three receptions on offense.

  Leading the defense was Thompson with six tackles and two interceptions. Bell also had a pick on defense. Devon Smith followed with four tackles. Roberts had two sacks and Laura Watler added one sack.

  The Burger King Wolverines, once favored as theteam to win the championship this year, are in desperate need of their starting quarterback Antoinette Lewis to return to the field if they expect to be a threat in playoffs.

 Alex Terry continues to quarterback for the team, completing seven of 21 pass attempt with two interceptions thrown. Lewis did have a brief moment as quarterback, completing her only pass attempt.

Beneica Thompson had three catches including one in the end-zone for the Wolverines’ lone score. Carrie Barnett had three receptions, followed by Jah Thomas with two.

On defense, the Wolverines were relentless. Terry led the defense with five tackles. Alexandria Saintville and Shinette Rhoden each had four tackles and one interception. Terry also had two interceptions and Barnett had one. Despite a tight defense, the Wolverines need to gain back their starting quarterback to be a contender for the championship.

The Dart Women’s League takes a break this weekend as the top six teams prepare for the playoffs. The team’s that made the playoffs rank from the top as follows: Androgroup Killa Panthers, Hammerheads Lady Sharks, Burger King Wolverines, Zulu Warriors, Maples Bliss and the Hot 104.1FM Cheetahs. Playoffs begin at the Camana Bay Field on Friday, September 21st at 8pm with the Wolverine’s meeting the Cheetahs on field one and Maples Bliss versus Zulu Warriors on field two. Hammerheads Lady Sharks and Androgroup Killa Panthers have automatically advanced to the second round of playoffs. 
  

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Cops start cell phone campaign

| 12/09/2012 | 27 Comments

Leafleting motorists Weds 12 sept (254x300).jpgCNS): The local police were out and about on Wednesday morning issuing mock traffic tickets similar to the ones officers will be issuing once the ban on using a mobile phone while driving without a hands-free device comes into effect next week. From Friday 21 September the partial cell phone ban will see offenders fined $150 for a breach of the law. In order to prepare drivers the RCIPS started handing out leaflets which look like the tickets they will be handing out once the law comes into effect. Aiming to educate drivers about the new law the police said however that people should be well aware the phone ban was coming given the wide coverage it has had in the media.

“The fact that the partial cell-phone ban is part of the new Traffic Law should not come as a surprise to anyone,” said Acting Superintendent Angelique Howell. “After all, it has achieved substantial media coverage over recent months and has been a hot topic of conversation throughout Cayman, where cell-phone use and texting is a huge part of everyday life for most people. We welcome the new legislation and we are sure that it will have a huge impact in helping to reduce the deaths and injuries on our roads – after all people who text and talk on the phone are clearly not concentrating on their driving.”

Howell explained that the leaflets were to remind motorists that the new law is about to come into force and how much they will be out of pocket if they chose to ignore it.

“To help people get ready for the new law Digicel and LIME are partnering with the RCIPS to offer a 25% discount on all hands-free devices. This discount will take effect immediately. We hope that this substantial discount will encourage people to get their hands-free kits before the ban comes into effect. The cost of a device ismuch less than the cost of a $150 fine.”

The Traffic Law 2011 does have some exceptions to the cell phone driving ban. People can still use a cell phone if they have a hands-free device. They can also use their phones to call 9-1-1 in an emergency when it is unsafe or impracticable to stop and park. The law also provides an exemption for police officers using cell phones whilst driving. But the RCIPS has issued a clear instruction to officers not to use cell phones whilst driving police vehicles unless they are stopped in a safe location. Officers who do not follow this instruction will face disciplinary action.

In all other cases if people have to make or answer a call they should pull over to the side of the road and come to a complete stop – but only if safe to do so. However, stopping at a traffic light or a stop sign does not count as being stopped for the purposes of making a call!

See the leaflet below

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Tempura boss battles AG

| 12/09/2012 | 58 Comments

Bridger 24_0.jpg(CNS): The discredited UK investigation into alleged corruption in the RCIPS is still costing the public purse. The Attorney General’s Chambers is currently running up more legal fees as it engages in a legal battle with Martin Bridger, the former senior investigating officer of Operation Tempura, over the use of documents from the much maligned police probe. Bridger is battling with the Cayman authorities regarding the use of documents that were gathered during the two year plus enquiry. However, the details of the civil dispute remain under wraps as the trial, which began Tuesday, is continuing behind closed doors with the public and media barred from observing the latest chapter in the fall-out from Tempura.

The controversial internal police probe began in 2008 as a result of an alleged corrupt relationship between Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Ennis and the late Desmond Seales, who owned the local news publication, Cayman Net News. The investigation took many twists and turns and involved the unlawful arrest of a Grand Court judge, who was awarded significant damages, allegations of burglary, as well as the sacking of the police commissioner at the time, Stuart Kernohan, among others. It has cost the public purse in excessive of more than $10 million but no charges of corruption were ever successfully filed against anyone.

Since then, the fallout from the enquiry has continued to plague the police and authorities as law suits, various complaints and allegations have flown between the relevant players, including senior investigating officer Martin Bridger.

CNS understands that the current trial involves the attorney general’s attempt to prevent Bridger from exposing records that he has in his possession from the investigation that the former Scotland Yard cop is threatening to expose in connection with his own complaints and Kernohan’s law suit.

It isunderstood that the RCIPS does not hold all of the records from the initial investigations and many documents were retained by Bridger. These are believed to include sensitive information, such as other allegations so far unrevealed, statements from witnesses, phone records and other files.

The AG is now spending more public cash in order to prevent the content of those records reaching the public domain.

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Veteran marathon runner aims big for HSA

| 12/09/2012 | 1 Comment

images_36.jpg(CNS): One of Cayman’s veteran long distance runners will be competing in the Cayman Islands Marathon this December hoping to raise cash to upgrade and create a fully equipped, state of the art chemotherapy unit for the HSA which will serve all cancer patients in the Cayman Islands. Derek Haines will be competing in the islands annual 26 plus mile run on 2nd December to raise as much as he can for the planned facility. Although costs for the whole project have yet to be finalised the fit out will include four infusion chairs and medical equipment which Haines hopes to cover.

The facility when completed will allow local cancer sufferers to receive treatment on island lessening the need to travel and having the bonus of being close to the support of family and friends.

"Many of us have friends and family who have suffered from this potentially killer disease and I believe it is a very worthwhile and important project for the Cayman Islands," Haines who will be approaching local companies for help said.

A company that invests $5,000 will have a plaque prominently displayed at the facility and so far DART, Ernst and Young, ESSO, HSBC Foundation, Ogier, P.W.C. and the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman have agreed to support.

For each pledge of $25 individual sponsors can enter a contest guessing Haines finishing time with the closest winning 6 bottles of champagne.

In the past two Cayman marathons alone Haines raised over CI$100,000 which have been used to  purchase a bus for Special Olympics, a vehicle for Cayman Hospice and the rest going towards Rugby development.

"I am a member of Rotary and have enjoyed the full support of the membership over the years in this annual event,” Haines said. “The bottom line is that I am running anyway so if I can raise a few dollars for a really good cause that is both a bonus and the motivation to ensure I finish. I am having to work hard on the sponsorship though as the fit out will not be cheap."

Haines who turns 64 in October will be trying to win the over 60's trophy for the fourth successive year. He clocks up between 50 to 60 miles each week by running to and from his home on South Sound to his work at Camana Bay; plus longer runs at the weekends.

He can be contacted at derek.haines@dartcayman.com
 

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Teenagers arrested for burglaries

| 12/09/2012 | 0 Comments

crime_scene_0.jpg(CNS): Police have a 13-year-old boy from West Bay in custody after he was arrested following a break-in at an address in Anderson Road. The young suspect was arrested by police following the report from the resident, who arrived home on Tuesday afternoon around 2pm to find his door had been forced open at the West Bay address. The man discovered that a quantity of tools had been stolen from his home and when police responded, a number of stolen items were found nearby. The 13-year-old was arrested later the same day in connection with the incident on suspicion of burglary. Meanwhile, police also arrested a 19-year-old in connection with a North Side burglary.

Police said that a vigilant member of the public reported seeing a suspicious vehicle outside an empty house in Old Robin Road. When the police arrived at the scene a car was still outside location and officers discovered that the house had been burgled. Several electrical items, which had been taken from the house, were recovered from the car. The officers then began a search of the area and a short time later arrested a 19-year-old man on suspicion of burglary.

Both teens are currently in police custody as enquiries continue.
 

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