Archive for October, 2012

RC Cayman buys Ritz-Carlton at own auction

| 31/10/2012 | 0 Comments

ritz training.jpgCNS Business): RC Cayman Holdings LLC secured ownership of the Ritz Carlton-Grand Cayman Resort Wednesday after the highest value real estate auction in the history of the Cayman Islands. The company which had seized ownership of the hotel from developer Michael Ryan bought the hotel at its own auction meeting at the reserve price of US$177.5 million, which it had set reduced from an earlier price of $250 million.The property was sold as a block, including the 136 acre resort with the nine-hole Blue Tip Golf Course and future development land. In a release, the new owners said they were committed to maintaining and enhancing the status of the resort as a world‐class destination. Read more and comment on CNS Business.

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Mac signs MOU in Philippines

| 31/10/2012 | 0 Comments

large.jpg(CNS Business): During his recent trip to Asia the Cayman Islands premier signed an MOU with a major conglomerate in the Philippines. Although government has not yet released the details of the deal with the San Miguel Corporation (SMC), a food corporation and majority shareholder in Philippine Airlines, it is understood to involve investment into Cayman Airways Limited (CAL). McKeeva Bush signed the deal when he was in Manila, which sources say could involve efforts by the Cayman government to assist the firm’s airline to expand its flights into the United States. However, this may be blocked by the FCO because of problems regarding safety standards in the country. Read more on CNS Business

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Cops keep up with community events in West Bay

| 31/10/2012 | 0 Comments

(CNS): More than 50 young people enjoyed a free night at the movies in West Bay on Saturday night courtesy of the RCIPS who were aiming to keep the youngsters off the streets and away from trouble. Tempted by free hot dogs, popcorn and pizzas the young people hung out with the neighbourhood cops at the Sir John A Cumber School hall for the special screening of Madagascar 3. “It was a great turnout and everyone seemed to have a fantastic time,” said PC Sharon Baillie. “This is just one of many initiatives in the West Bay area to provide our young people with positive choices,’ she added.

“Some of those who came along to see the movie might otherwise have been wandering the streets on Saturday night with nothing to do. It also provided us, in the neighbourhood police department, with yet another golden opportunity to interact on a one-to-one basis with the young people in the West Bay community,” Bailey said.

The food and drinks for the evening were provided by Ginos Pizzeria, Rackhams, Calico Jacks and Pappagallo restaurant. A number of private individuals within the West Bay area also contributed. 

The next event in the West Bay neighbourhood calendar is the much anticipated Christmas party. The date of the party is yet to be announced, but any members of the community who wish to become involved should contact West Bay police station on 949-3999.
 

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Charity hopes for successful annual fundraiser

| 31/10/2012 | 0 Comments

(CNS):  The National Council of Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) will be depending on Caymanians to tune in this Saturday to its 33rd annual telethon on Cayman 27. As its main fundraiser the charity depends on the cash raised during the marathon TV show to run its local programmes. This year the charity is targeting $130,000. Broadcasting live between pm and midnight from the Prospect Playhouse people can also listen to the show on Radio Cayman.  Entertainment includes a diverse range of local musicians and other artists who are donating their time.

There will also be an opportunity to win one of over 50 prizes donated by many different companies for those who phone in and pledge on the night.

“The success of our Radio/Telethon is vital to the NCVO’s ability to help the children who benefit from our programmes” said Janice Wilson, CEO.  “The community has always been very supportive of the NCVO and given the tough economic times and the increased need for our assistance, we need their support more than ever. We encourage everyone to phone in with their donations, and to joinus for a wonderful night of entertainment. Challenge your friends, co-workers and family members to match or beat your pledge.”

The NCVO is an independent, non-profit, charitable organisation working for the well-being of children and families in need of. Projects funded by the NCVO include: the Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home which houses children in need of care and protection for reasons such as neglect or abuse; “Miss Nadine’s” Pre-School which provides early childhood education for up to seventy 2-5 year olds; Jack & Jill Nursery which cares for up to14 babies, the Caring Cousins Fund which supplies lunches and snacks to school children and the John Gray Fund which assists first degree students with college related expenses.

The pledge line sponsored by LIME is 946-6136 and entertainment will be provided by Gone Country; Sea N’ B; Hi Tide; Barefoot Man; Andy Martin, the Allenger Family, GordonSolomon; Mona Lisa Tatum; Suckerbox; Joan Wilson; I Am; Little Magic Trio; Dry Run & Jeff Alban.  For more information or to make a donation to the NCVO prior to the Radio/Telethon, contact the NCVO at 949-2124 or ncvo@candw.ky, or log onto www.ncvo.org.ky
 

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Local phone company offers free calls to the US

| 31/10/2012 | 11 Comments

hurricane-sandy-br_2382797b.jpg(CNS): People with LIME residential landlines will be able to call the United States today for free. The company is offering customers ‘15-family minutes’ free Wednesday (31 October) between mid-day to midnight so that they can call loved ones in the USA who are dealing with the damage caused by the passage of Hurricane Sandy. One of the largest storms to ever strike the east coast of the US, it has disrupted the lives of millions of people. LIME said that it was offering the free 15 minutes talk time as a “humanitarian gesture” for those who have family impacted by the natural disaster.

“We wanted to give everyone the opportunity to call and check with family and friends that they are okay following the dreadful effects of the storm,” said Anthony Ritch, Cayman’s General Manager for LIME.

Superstorm Sandy caused billions of dollars worth of damage when it made landfall on Monday and pummelled the Northeast coast, killing at least 55 people. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it could take four or five days before the city's subway, which suffered the worst damage in its 108-year history, is running again.

Consolidated Edison, New York's power company, said it would be four days before the last of the 337,000 customers in Manhattan and Brooklyn have electricity again and it could take a week to restore outages in the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and Westchester County. Floodwater led to explosions that disabled a power substation Monday night, contributing to the outages.

John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Newark International Airport in New Jersey reopened Wednesday morning with limited service. New York's LaGuardia Airport remains closed.

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Six education goals targeted

| 30/10/2012 | 64 Comments

rolllly 3.jpg(CNS): The government is seeking input from the public at large on its new five year strategic plan, in which it has identified six goals for the future of local education. Launching the public consultation period on his policy, the education minister said he wanted to give everyone a voice in the education system. Officials explained that the strategic goals derive largely from current key priorities in education and are meant to sustain the progress made since the inception of the Education Stabilisation Plan. Leadership, early education, higher standards, skills for learning, life and work, safer schools and parents' engagement are the six goals on which the reform of the education system will be based.

“I want everyone to have their say in our education reform and to ensure that the Strategic Plan fits our needs as a country,” Rolston Anglin stated Monday.  “During the consultation, I encourage everyone to fill out the survey … so that we can hear what you think our education system needs to make it better.  If you think your point is minor, we still want to know about it as it may be something crucial that we have overlooked and need to include in the plan.”

This plan, which is now in the third phase of consultation, will be the road map for improving the local education system over the next five years, and according to the chief officer in the education ministry, reflects feedback from a range of focus groups over the last two months.

“There were 13 groups in all, with some 218 participants and some 44 survey participants. As this plan is a transition from the January 2011 Education Stabilisation Plan, it also draws on the feedback from hundreds more of our educators and parents who helped to shape that earlier plan,” Mary Rodrigues said.

Although the usual stakeholders have been involved in the consultation so far, Rodrigues said  that this time students were also involved as well as teachers and parents.

“Too often strategic plans for education are developed just by adults deciding what is in the best interests of our students. We spoke with students from primary schools, CIFEC, the Passport2Success Programme, and the Youth Assembly,” she said. “They were engaged, insightful and ready to share their views on what matters to them, and how we can make things better.”

The plan originally started out with five strategic goals but grew to six after consistent feedback that parent involvement needed its own separate goal statement.

Officials said that a detailed implementation structure has been developed to ensure that the plan translates into results, but now the wider public needed to have its say to make sure nothing important has been missed and to make sure the key elements to improvethe system have been captured.

The public consultation will run for two weeks, ending on Friday 9 November. Anyone who wishes to find out more about the changes that will take place and to give their feedback should visit www.education.gov.ky or email educationreform@gov.ky. Here you will find the draft strategic plan along with other supporting documents and the survey, which the ministry wants as many as possible to complete.

See draft plan here.

Take part in the survey here.

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Cops injured during courthouse arrest

| 30/10/2012 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Two police officers were injured this morning inside the George Town courthouse when they tried to arrest a suspect. According to an RCIPS spokesperson, the two men are  being treated in hospital for their injuries. “One officer sustained a hand injury and the other a knee injury,” as they tried to arrest the man in relation to an aggravated burglary. The suspect is understood to have been attending court on another matter but as he left the courtroom at around 10:00 Tuesday morning the officers tried to arrest him on the burglary charges and a fight broke out in the lobby area of the upstairs courtrooms.

Despite his efforts to fight off the law enforcement officials, the man was arrested, not only on suspicion of aggravated burglary, but also for assault and resisting arrest.

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Nominations invited for 2013 royal gongs

| 30/10/2012 | 22 Comments

queen300.jpg(CNS): With the New Year only two months away, Governor Duncan Taylor is inviting people to submit local nominations for the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2013. As always, the top royal gongs, such as OBEs and MBEs, are considered in the United Kingdom while recommendations for the Certificate and Badge of Honour are considered here in Cayman. Members of the public should submit names of people supported by a persuasive account of their outstanding, innovative, self-sacrificing services or achievements. Royal gongs require performance or service, officials said, that lift them above those of others performing similar services.

People making nominations are asked to make every effort to fully complete all the relevant sections of the nomination forms. Once completed, the form should be submitted, under confidential cover, to the Governor’s Office.  While all recommendations will be acknowledged, the Governor’s Office cannot enter into correspondence about the action taken on them.

Nominations must be received by Monday 12 November and forms can be requested by e-mail from penny.knight@fco.gov.uk. Copies can also be found on the Governor’s Office website (www.ukincayman.fco.gov.uk).  

For any further information please contact the Governor’s Office on 244 2401.

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Teen arrested for theft of car parts

| 30/10/2012 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A 19-year-old man suspected of the theft of car parts has been arrested after he crashed into a lamppost while attempting to escape the police. Shortly after 4:30am this morning, Tuesday 30 October, the RCIPS received a report that two men were attempting to steal car parts from a garage premises in Seymour Drive, George Town. When police officers arrived at the scene they saw a Honda Civic speeding away. The officers signaled the driver of the Civic to stop but when he failed to do so they continued to follow the car. The Civic then drove into School Road where it crashed into a lamppost. The driver ran off from the scene but the teenage passenger was arrested on suspicious of theft.

A search of the vehicle uncovered a number of car parts, including a bumper, headlights and indicator. Police enquiries have confirmed that these items had been stolen from Outpost Street earlier in the night.

Chief Inspector Frank Owens is once again urging car owners to be vigilant following the recent spate of car part thefts, and asks that anyone who sees any suspicious vehicles or activity contacts the police.

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Local environmentalist turns to kid’s fiction

| 30/10/2012 | 5 Comments

Martin Keeley_LR (227x300).jpg(CNS): Teacher, environmentalist and storyteller, Martin Keeley, will be hosting a story session for young book-lovers and their parents later this month when he will also be reading from his new children’s book, "Oscar and the Royal Avenue Cats". The local author, who is Director at the Cayman Brac campus of the the University College of the Cayman Islands, where he teaches environmental science, has turned to fiction in his latest work and the adventures of a group of city cats. Previously, Keeley’s work had focused on the environment as he is heavily involved with the National Trust and has been International Education Director for the Mangrove Action Project for the past 15 years.

His initial work on developing and implementing  a primary school text book, "Marvellous Mangroves in the Cayman Islands" (published in 2000), has led to mangroves being an integral part of the Year 5 curriculum in Cayman. And he has led the translation and adaptation of the curriculum to more than eight countries world-wide, from Honduras and Nicaragua to Brazil and Sri Lanka.

Keeley is currently working on the iguana census program as well as the turtle patrol and nesting analysis on the Sister Islands.

Following the success of another non-fiction book, "Fragments: Poetry and Photography" (published in 2011), Keeley began working on his first collection of short stories for children, "Oscar and the Royal Avenue Cats".

In the book every city street is home to a group of city cats, and the small street called Royal Avenue is no exception. Though the rapidly growing metropolis sprouts around it like a concrete jungle, Royal Avenue remains relatively untouched. Most of the original families moved out of the neighbourhood long ago, but one tomcat has lived there for some eighteen years. His name is Oscar and he is the undisputed king of Royal Avenue.

Growing up in a rapidly changing world has made Oscar smart and tough, a real leader. He bears scars from many battles and the other cats on the two-block street all look up to and respect him. As day fades to night, Oscar firmly puts them in their places. These are the adventures of Oscar and his merry band of Royal Avenue cats.

Keeley will be reading from and signing copies of his first collection of short stories for kids at Books & Books in Camana Bay on Saturday, 10 November.

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