Archive for October 1st, 2012

Local tobacco dealers are compliant, says minister

| 01/10/2012 | 4 Comments

TAU4179_0.jpg(CNS): Following the passage of legislation governing the sale of tobacco products in the Cayman Islands, dealers now need to be registered to sell cigarettes, cigars and other products and the health minister has said there has been a high degree of compliance with the law. Merchants were required to register from last year and there are now 153 tobacco dealers plying their trade officially in Cayman. “Business owners continue to be compliant with the law and its provisions and we wish to see this trend continue,” said Mark Scotland as the deadline for registration renewals for 2013 approaches.

Those wishing to continue selling tobacco have one more month left before the deadline for registration for 2013, officials from the health ministry said Monday.

“If anyone has any doubts about the legislation, or if anyone is still selling tobacco products without a registration certificate, please contact the Public Health Department to avoid prosecution,” he added.

Applications submitted after 1 November and up to 31 December will attract a late fee of an additional 50% of the registration fee. Applications submitted after 31 December and up to 31 January will attract a late fee of an additional 100% of the registration fee. If no application for renewal is received by 31 January, dealers will have to cease operation for 12 months before submitting a new application. The annual registration renewal fees are CI$500 for a retailer; CI$750 for a cigar bar, and CI$5,000 for a wholesale distributor.

Dealers need a completed renewal application form and a current Trade and Business License Certificate for renewal of registration. A form must also be completed for any changes in dealership since the last registration, such as contact information, location, ownership or trade of products.

“According to the Tobacco Law, everyone dealing with tobacco products must register annually and display the Certificate of Registration (similar to a Trade and Business License). Also, failing to re-new the registration in time will attract late fees,” Medical Officer of Health Dr Kiran Kumar advised.

Application forms and guidelines are available from the Ministry of Health and Health Services Authority’s website on www.ministryofhealth.gov.ky  and www.hsa.ky.  For furtherinformation contact Sarah Hetley, Tobacco Registrar, Public Health Department, Cayman Islands Hospital on 244-2889 or email at sarah.hetley@hsa.ky.

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Man denies supermarket sex assault

| 01/10/2012 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A man from Cayman Brac has denied sexually assaulting and attempting to assault a woman on three separate occasions at a supermarket on Cayman Brac. Ewart Rose pleaded not guilty on Friday in Grand Court to two counts of indecent assault and one of attempted indecent assault on the same woman at a local store. The offences were alleged to have taken place sometime between the 1 January and 31 October 2010. Rose was released on bail until his trial, which is now set for May of next year after an earlier trial date was lost due to a custody matter taking precedence in what is becoming an increasingly packed court calendar.

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YCLA seeks nominations for annual gongs

| 01/10/2012 | 2 Comments

456795_412628415432344_972346069_o.jpg(CNS): Nominations are now open for this year’s Young Caymanian Leadership Award, officials from the organization have announced. The annual awards ceremony depends entirely on public nominations and the foundation said people can begin to recommend young Caymanians now and up until the deadline for submissions which is 1 November. For the first time, officials stated, people can nominate directly on line. Nominees must be between the ages of 20 and 35 for the 2013 awards ceremony which is now in its 14th year. The gala dinner will take place on Saturday 23rd March at the Ritz-Carlton when the board’s choice will be announced.

“We rely entirely on the community to nominate young Caymanians for the YCLA,” said Melissa Wolfe of the Leadership Foundation as she urged people to send in their choices of those who deserve recognition. “Everyone knows an outstanding leader that deserves recognition.  The onus is on each individual to ensure that special person is nominated and therefore eligible for the Award.”

Anyone may nominate a young Caymanian, including parents, siblings, coworkers, fellow church members, friends or spouses.  Nominees for the YCLA however, must demonstrate strong leadership qualities through their personal and professional accomplishments.  Determining factors include character, professional achievements, community involvement and commitment to helping others.

“Well-rounded and dedicated leaders surround us every day and they are effective role models for our younger generation.  The Foundation was created so that the public can identify and honour them with a nomination,” Wolfe said.

Previous recipients include Olivaire Watler in 2000, Dax Foster in 2001, Sara Collins in 2002, Steve Blair in 2003, Cindy Scotland in 2004, Jonathan Tibbetts in 2006, Canover Watson in 2007, Stephen Ryan in 2008, Elroy Bryan in 2009, Collin Anglin in 2010, Natalie Urquhart in 2011 and most recently Garth Arch in 2012.

The YCLA is decided upon by an Honorary Board composed of 15 local leaders who were selected for participation based on their established positions in the community as well as their ability and willingness to serve as role models for the younger generation, officials from YCLA stated in a release.

The 2013 YCLA will be presented during the annual gala evening awards ceremony, which will be televised live on Cayman27. Nomination forms can be obtained by calling Melissa Wolfe at 916-8335 or emailing ycla@candw.ky and nominations can be submitted online at www.ycla.ky

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Primary league kicks off with opening rally

| 01/10/2012 | 0 Comments

pflfinals2012 089 (237x300).jpg(CNS): George Town Primary schools’ football stars will be aiming to defend last year’s Opening Rally title as the 2012/2013 CUC Primary Football League season kicks-off this coming Saturday. The season’s opener takes place at the T.E. McField Sports Field at 9:00 am when the primary teams will compete for the first game title. It was only a year ago that George Town Primary edged Sir John A.Cumber Primary 1-0 in an exciting encounter to claim the Opening Rally, which marked the first of two titles for the boys from the capital, says Neil Murray from CUC the sponsors of the league.

D’Andre Rowe was the player who not only scored the winner for George Town Primary last year but who would also claim the finals ‘Most Valuable Player Award’ at the trophy presentation following the game. But GT have now lost Rowe who has moved on to high school, which could offer hope for the West Bay runner’s up. 

Last season George Town Primary also went on to lift the Under 11 Champions Cup in February 2012 once again defeating Sir John A. Cumber in the Final by two goals to nil.
This season’s opening games will see 15 schools competing including Cayman Brac which participates for the second year in a row. The games consist of 10 minutes per half with no off-sides and games must end with a winner. If games are tied at the end of the 20 minutes, penalties will decide the victor.

The first round of play is the group stage with schools being divided into three groups of four and one group of three. Schools play each other once in their respective groups with the two top teams from each group advancing to the second round – the knockout stage. From then, the semi-finalists are decided with the winners advancing to the final and the losers playing for third and fourth place.

The PFL Committee encourages fans to cheer on the young athletes at what they promise will be an exciting days competition.

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Anglin denies drunk driving

| 01/10/2012 | 0 Comments

rolly2.jpg(CNS): The government's education minister has pleaded not guilty to charges relating to a road traffic incident in May, including an accusation of driving under the influence of alcohol. Rolston Anglin is now scheduled to face trial next month in connection with a road smash that occurred near Avalon condos on the West Bay Road in the early hours of 23 May this year. Anglin is accused of exceeding the drinking and driving limit as well as driving without due care and attention. A third case of driving while impaired was also put before Anglin Monday, which the minster also denied. Represented by Steve McField, Anglin delivered his pleas from the dock in courtroom one early Monday morning. 

Reminding the magistrate of his client's position, McField requested a date in October so the case could be dealt with before before the Legislative Assembly resumed on 5 November. However, Magistrate Nova Hall pointed to the packed court scheduled and said that the earliest date she could offer was Tuesday 13 November.

Following the submission of his not guilty pleas, Anglin was bound over to appear on that date.

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British ministers’ private texts may be subject to FOI

| 01/10/2012 | 0 Comments

(The Guardian): UK Ministers' text messages as well as emails sent from private accounts could be subject to public scrutiny, the government has conceded. The Cabinet Office will shortly issue new guidance to ministers and officials, making clear that decisions on whether information is subject to the Freedom of Information Act depend on the nature of the information and not the format in which it is held. It comes after the Department for Education dropped a battle to prevent the release of details of an email sent by Michael Gove, the secretary of state, from his wife's private account. The information commissioner, Christopher Graham, ruled this year that the email should have been released following a request by the Financial Times.

The principle of the accessibility of ministers' texts and private emails was set out clearly last December by the information commissioner, who said: "Information held in non-work personal email accounts (eg Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail) may be subject to the Freedom of Information Act if it relates to the official business of the public authority."

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Law won’t be enough says NT

| 01/10/2012 | 14 Comments

side-environment.jpgCNS): Even if the much needed National Conservation Law is passed, Cayman will still need to protect far more of its dwindling natural habitat. Carla Reid, chair of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, says the organisation needs to buy more land in the face of the relentless development and is in desperate need of resources to help it do that. Although the Trust is criticised at times for not advocating loudly enough for the environment, Reid told CNS that it is doing what it does best, which is buying land to protect it from the bulldozer.  But with a dwindling government grant and more charities than ever competing for a smaller donation pie, that job is getting tougher.

“People see our lack of advocacy as a weakness but what we do is buy the land,” Reid said. Although she acknowledged that advocacy and activism is important to raise awareness of essential issues and gain support for environmental protection, the only sure fire way of protecting any land at all in Cayman is for the Trust to own it. “We are not environmental policemen and we are far more effective by buying up the land that is under threat.”

The Trust currently owns just  5% of the islands’ natural land and historic built sites, which it manages and protects and is keen to buy much more, but it cannot do so without the assistance of the community. However, with a growing numbers of unregulated and unofficial charities as well as government agencies now competing for private donations, not to mention the continual annual cuts to its budget, the Trust is struggling to keep up with the purchases it needs to make to protect even some of Cayman’s most precious and critical sites.

From the Mastic Trail to the Botanic Park, important natural sites are under threat from potential development surrounding them and the only way sure way to secure these and the future of other sites is to buy the land so that it cannot fall into the hands of developers.

Reid noted that laws can very easily be changed or overridden by government, as demonstrated by the recent removal of protection for Salt Water Pond on Cayman Brac as a result of an amendment to the Animals Law. However, once the land is owned by the Trust it can be protected in perpetuity.

In the face of continued warnings about the dwindling habitat for some of Cayman’s most iconic and unique national symbols, such as the parrot and the ghost orchid, the Trust believes that in order to meet the government’s own target of zero extinctions, as set out in the Department of Environment’s own National Diversity Action Plan, then the habitat of these and other species has to be given protection of the kind that not even the proposed conservation law can provide.

Reid said she would like to see government lead by example and vest some critical crown land in the Trust to deal with some of the most impending threats. In particular, Reid pointed to the George Town forest andthe crown land there in an effort to save the ghost orchid and other species at the site which are found only there and on the brink of extinction.

During the past fiscal year the Trust has managed to purchase 118 acres of land in the Mastic Reserve, a further 23 acres for the Salina Reserve and two critical acres in Little Cayman to add to the holdings on the Salt Rocks Nature Trail. But over the last three years the Trust has lost around $100,000 over the last three years from its annual grant from government and depends more than ever on the community. It has around 600 members making annual donations but needs to desperately increase its membership not only to raise the much needed cash but to have more people be more aware about the real threats Cayman’s environment faces.

Reid warned that without greater and more consistent financial support the Trust will struggle to even survive and if it cannot continue then all of the work it has done so far will be lost. In addition, it is the ownership of certain lands by the Trust as a part-funded government entity that enables the Cayman government to comply at all with its many international obligations regarding the environment.  As a result of the land it owns and more importantly protects, the Trust ensures the country is at least partially compliant with treaties such as the conventions covering wetlands, bio-diversity, fragile eco-systems and the environmental charter.

The future, however, is precarious, not just for the Trust but the lands and species it protects.

Reid noted that if the Trust cannot carry on doing its work in the continued absence of a conservation law and even with it, the natural and historic environment of the Cayman Islands will be lost to the bulldozer. 

“For everything we have done in the past to mean anything we have to survive,” she added. “We aim to have 10% of Cayman’s land protected by 2020, which wouldn’t be difficult. If government gave us the wetlands in Little Cayman, for instance, then we would almost be on target,” Reid said.

In the meantime, however,  the Trust is calling on the community to help them “Conserve Cayman”  with a new campaign where people can donate to help purchase specific land. The organisation is also trying to recruit more members to join the fight to save the environment. With annual individual membership only $30 a year, Christine McTaggart, the Trust’s general manager, said they have made it as easy as possible for new members as they can now sign up and pay on-line.  

“Given the current economic circumstance and the competition from other causes, people don’t see the work of the Trust as pressing – but it is; it is critical, especially in the face of increasing development,” she said.

For more information and to sign up as a trust member go to the National Trust for the Cayman Islands

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