Archive for October 9th, 2012

Boat captains wait on chief justice’s decision

| 09/10/2012 | 9 Comments

050 (244x300) (cpt bryan)_0.jpg(CNS): The dispute between the boat captains, the Port Authority and local developer Michael Ryan over the redevelopment and subsequent eviction of local boat owners from Safehaven was aired in the Grand Court Monday and Tuesday. Teams of lawyers argued the case before the chief justice, who is now deliberating the merits of the arguments. The country’s top judge, Anthony Smellie, said he would deliver his decision as soon as possible. In the meantime, the earlier injunction which stopped work at part of the site and allowed the captains to keep their boats at the dock remains in place until the new ruling is delivered.

The dispute between the parties focuses on the port’s deal with Ryan to redevelop the marina as a result of an earlier land swap and the captain’s concerns about both the temporary site and the dimensions of the new marina, which they say is not adequate for their needs.

Related article:

Captains get stay over Safehaven Marina

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Budget board appointed

| 09/10/2012 | 35 Comments

Woodybig.jpg(CNS): Government has appointed a supermarket boss and an accountant from the private sector to the Budget Delivery Committee (BDC), which has been created as part of the Cayman government’s commitment made to the Overseas Territories Minister in connection with this year’s budget approval. Premier and Finance Minister McKeeva Bush said he supported the request for the committee and hoped that the members would keep him informed about the situation with public spending. The committee, at the request of the FCO, is headed up by the deputy governor as head of the civil service and it will be responsible for monitoring and driving the operational delivery of the budget and the fiscal framework. (Left: Committee member Woody Foster)

Although made up mostly of civil servants, the board includes Dan Scott of Ernst & Young and Woody Foster of the Fosters Group, which the premier said he was very pleased about.

“I fully support the request by the Overseas Territories Minister that a Budget Delivery Committee be established,” Bush said in a release from the finance ministry.

“I am concerned to ensure that the civil service is able to properly coordinate the operational delivery of the budgeet. My government delivered a bare bones budget within a very tight fiscal frame which calls for significant administrative change in the civil service.”

He said that the BDC would keep him informed of the performance of the budget on a monthly basis. “I have asked for an economist and an accountant to perform similar functions for the past three years,” the premier added.

The BDC will meet monthly and its terms of reference will be published on the government’s website shortly, the release stated. Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, the BDC chair, said he would now be accountable for the delivery of the budgetary commitments made by the premier and approved by the Legislative Assembly.

“The purpose of the BDC is to assist me in carrying out this function. I am committed to ensuring that the BDC supports the Hon Premier in his role as minister of finance by keeping him fully informed of progress in the delivery of the budget and by giving him and his ministerial colleagues early warning of any significant changes to allow him and his ministers to make any necessary policy changes,” the deputy governor said, noting that the BDC is an advisory body which is accountable to the government of the day to assist with budget plans.

Governor Duncan Taylor also welcomed the announcement of the Committee.

“The 2012/13 budget, approved by the minister for the Overseas Territories and passed by the Legislative Assembly, aims to bring Cayman’s public finances back onto a credible and sustainable track. I am confident that the Committee, under the able chairmanship of the deputy governor and with the valuable input of respected senior members of the public and private sectors, will help drive the civil service’s operational delivery of the important demands which the budget have placed on it,” he said.

Taylor added that by providing timely and clear advice it will ensure that the Cabinet is fully informed so any policy adjustments to keep the budget on track can be made when necessary.

Working with the deputy governor and the two private sector members on the committee will be Financial Secretary Ken Jefferson, the Premier’s Chief of Staff Leonard Dilbert, Chief Officer of the Financial Services Ministry Dax Basdeo, Chief Officer of the Portfolio of the Civil Service Gloria McField-Nixon and Chief Officer Public Finance Sonia McLaughlin.

Serving as an ex-officio member of the committee is UK Economic Advisor Richard Holmwood.

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DoE wants all captive stingrays set free

| 09/10/2012 | 21 Comments

stingray-3 (295x300).jpgCNS): The director of the Department of the Environment made it clear last week that the government agency does not support any stingrays being held captive. Following an operation last week where the DoE team went to rescue four of the marine creatures, which were tagged at the Sandbar but had ended up in captivity at one of West Bay’s dolphinariums, Gina Ebanks-Petrie said that she wanted to see the other six at the centre released. In connection with offers by both of the captive dolphin facilities to introduce breeding programmes, the DoE director pointed out that, at this point, the numbers of wild animals was not so dire to justify holding any of them in captivity.

“While numbers are falling at Stingray City, the stingray population is not yet endangered enough to see them taken into captivity to breed them,” the director stated. “There is no requirement for a breeding programme at this stage.”

She pointed out that the situation at the Sandbar is not really normal as the creatures are attending because they are getting a free meal and are in a semi-captive situation already.

“We’ve been concerned for some time about the health of that population at the Sandbar because, although it’s a wild situation, the parameters are not normal,” she said, explaining that stingrays are usually solitary animals. “What we have is a collection of solitary animals there because they’re being heavily provisioned; they show up and they get a free meal,” she added.

The director said she was disappointed that Dolphin Discovery had chosen not to release six other stingrays back into the wild, despite DoE requests. The four that the facility gave up had been tagged at Cayman's best known visitor attraction, which is a Wildlife Interaction Zone and the only place where it is against the law to take stingrays from the water. As the stingrays tagged at the location can move in and out of the zone freely, it is not known when or where the rays were captured.

The facility agreed to release the tagged creatures following their discovery at the facility by a local vet. The dolphinarium is, however, at this stage still retaining six untagged rays taken from local waters.

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No word on who’s in charge

| 09/10/2012 | 98 Comments

GOAP (243x300).jpg(CNS): With the Cayman Islands premier travelling on business in the Far East and the deputy premier at a postal conference on the edge of the Arabian Desert, there has been no official word from government as to who is in charge and for how long. In the continuing failure of the government to keep the public properly informed regarding the whereabouts of its leaders and who is holding the fort at home, there has been no confirmation regarding McKeeva Bush’s current travel schedule or when Juliana O’Connor-Connolly will be returning from a postal conference in Doha, Qatar.

Although CNS has submitted questions regarding the premier, as is now customary the premier’s office has not answered those questions. It is assumed that Education Minister Rolston Anglin is currently acting as premier and CNS has asked for confirmation of that.

The deputy premier admitted she was at a postal conference in her message forWorld Postal Day but she did not indicate where that conference was in that public statement. It was confirmed by her ministry, however, that she is attending the Universal Postal Union’s 25th congress in Qatar but there are no details on when she will be returning.

Both the premier and his deputy have been criticised not only for the significant amount of official travel the two have engaged in over the past three years, but increasingly over the persistent failure to inform the public on the details of where, why, who and, above all, how much the trips cost.

With the country facing a continued economic slump and the government forced to raise fees and taxes, once again this year, to cover growing government expenses, the issue of costly overseas trips have come under the spotlight.

CNS has submitted freedom of information requests for the details of the trips taken by the country’s leaders and will publish the full documents if and when government releases the information under the law.

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UK female judge’s arrest shrouded in mystery

| 09/10/2012 | 0 Comments

constance (240x300).jpg(CNS): One of the UK’s very few black female judges has been arrested and questioned by police, according to various international media reports. Constance Briscoe (55) was reportedly arrested at her home in Clapham, south-west London, at the weekend by officers from Kent and taken to a police station for an interview. She has since been released on bail but authorities are saying very little about the investigation or on what grounds she was arrested. The daughter of Jamaican  immigrants to Britain, Briscoe became famous when she revealed details of child abuse and neglect suffered at the hands of her mother in a 2006 book.

“A 55-year-old woman was arrested on Saturday in Clapham, south London, interviewed by officers and bailed pending further inquiries,” a police spokesperson said, while the Office for Judicial Complaints in the UK confirmed she had been suspended.

"The Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor have suspended Constance Briscoe from the judiciary pending the outcome of the police investigation into the allegations against her. It would be inappropriate to comment further whilst the investigation is active," the office statement said.

One of the most well-known members of the legal profession because of the book and her appearance on the leading BBC television programme "Question Time", Briscoe’s profile grew with the publication of "Ugly", in which she detailed a traumatic childhood. Her mother took legal action against her daughter but a jury found in favour of the judge.

Briscoe, a mother of two, was called to the Bar in 1983 and is now a part-time judge. She has made no comment so far regarding the arrest and suspension.

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Kiwanis host younger leadership weekend workshop

| 09/10/2012 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A local service club will be hosting its annual leadership workshop later this month for sixty teenage students. Key Leader is a training event for 14-18 year olds in which the principles of service are used to build effective leadership skills, organised by the Kiwanis service club. In its sixth year the popular weekend event will take place at Saint Ignatius Loyola Hall on Walkers Road from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st October. It is a weekend experiential leadership programme for today's young leaders, organisers said, adding that students will learn the most important lesson of leadership that it comes from helping others succeed.

During the weekend, through carefully focused workshops, students have opportunities to learn leadership skills that will help them to change their schools, communities, and world for the better,” the club said in a release. “While exploring leadership in a whole new way, they will make amazing new friends and have experiences they will never forget. Positive, ongoing interaction with other Key Leader graduates offers continuing reinforcement, encouragement and growth of leadership skills.”

Kiwanis president, Kadi Merren, said: “The wonderful thing about Key Leader is that each year we have past attendees of Key Leader wanting to come back to the event to help others. They want to talk about the manner in which Key Leader has played a positive role in their own life and development. This cheque from RBC Wealth Management allows us to keep the Cayman Islands event unique in the world.”

Apart from a token application fee, Cayman Islands students pay nothing to attend. RBC Wealth Management meets the cost of the event which is about CI$175 per student. Celebrating its 40th year of service in the Cayman Islands, it donated CI$2,000.
Stephen Price, an Investment Advisor for RBC Wealth Management, presented the cheque.

“I am pleased to present this cheque on behalf of RBC Wealth Management to Kiwanis for its Key Leader programme. In the same way that RBC provides investment advisory services, we also invest wisely in the skills required by the young people of the Cayman Islands. The annual KeyLeader programme has a proven track record and we take great pleasure in being a sponsoring partner in this event.”

Parents of students in the age range 14-18 wanting further information can visit the Kiwanis website at and click on the Key Leader info link.


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Lions unite for breast cancer awareness

| 09/10/2012 | 0 Comments

breast-cancer-awareness.jpg(CNS): The Lions Club of Tropical Gardens launched its15th Breast Cancer Awareness and Education campaign with the annual church service Sunday and an Opening Ceremony at Camana Bay Monday night. The month was officially opened with the cutting of the ribbon by Dr Bogle –Taylor and Leo President, Loshana Lopez-Francis. Jennifer Ahearn, Chief Officer in the health ministry thanked the club for their continued support in educating the public about breast cancer.She said October provided an opportunity to be united for the cause and told the many survivors who were present that they were the heroes and inspiration for the campaign, as she offered the ministry’s continued support.

Lion President, Elva Smith explained that the Lions continued to work on getting the word out in the community about breast cancer prevention and early detection.  She said that the Club, was united for the cause, the theme for this year, and through its educational programs, awareness meetings and clinics, it will continue to make breast cancer education a priority.
Over 52,000 persons have benefited from the educational programmes, over 7,500 mammogram vouchers, sponsored by the LCTGhave enabled women to proactively assess their breast health and over 250 individuals have been assisted with health care and other related costs, both at home and overseas.

To get more information on the activities planned for this month visit the Lions’ website at

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Recovery celebrated at awards banquet

| 09/10/2012 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The community affairs minister congratulated a group of 20 local people on the road to recovery from addiction at a special banquet recently. The individuals all received certificates honouring them for accomplishments in recovery from substance abuse, Friday (28 September) at the end of recovery month. “Thank you for believing in yourself and thank you for having the courage to take the first step on the road to recovery,” Mike Adam told the group who between them received rewards for Outstanding Contributions in the Community, Continued Dedication to Ongoing Recovery for Six or More Years, Most Active Alumni, and Best Dressed but all participants received recognition certificates for Success in Recovery.

"Recovery Month helps to spread the positive message that prevention works, treatment is effective and people can and do recover, and that the benefits of recovery are significant and valuable,” said Judith Seymour  the Department of Counselling Services director. “It  is important to recognize people who are in recovery, who have achieved healthy lifestyles and are now contributing in positive ways to their communities."

Hosted by Department of Counselling Services (DCS), other activities in Recovery Month promoted the societal benefits of prevention and reassured residents that there is effective treatment for persons and families suffering the effects of addiction.  Activities also focused on society’s negative perspective of, and stigma towards, affected persons while encouraging community participation in an effort to reduce these issues.   

For information about services offered by The Counselling Centre, call 949-8789, 949-0006 for the Family Resource Centre or contact Caribbean Haven Residential Centre at 947-9992.


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Goff takes world title at US jet-ski contest

| 09/10/2012 | 1 Comment

(CNS):  Some of the Cayman Islands Watercraft Association riders were given a warm welcome at Owen Roberts International Airport Monday night when they returned back home after a week-long competition participating in the Ijsba World Finals in Lake Havasu, Arizona. The crown came out to welcome Vanjae "VJ" Ramgeet, Jordan “JJ” McLean and Gary “GJ” Whittaker and their World Finals, support group after a very successful finals for Team Cayman. Roshad Goff the Cayman Islands Watercraft Association Expert Class Champion won the coveted world title in his division to win 1st overall Title in the Amateur Stock Class and 4th place in the Pro Stock Division.

Roshad Goff will be returning home this weekend where fans are expected to be greeting the new champion. Meanwhile, Javier Medina has returned to University in Florida.
Alongside Goff’s win Cayman’s other riders did well too with each rider qualifying and placing amongst the top ten in each of their respective classes.

Last year’s World Champion Jordan "JJ" McLean rode in 2 classes  at the World Finals Expert Limited & Pro-Am Limited  –  along with CIWA's National Champion 1st  Amateur Class, Javier Medina who rode in the Novice Limited, they placed in the top 10 in the world, however they were both unfortunate to have some mechanical failures and errors with their crafts which caused them their chance to make podium finishes at this year’s meets. However, the two riders still walked away with titles in the ranks of the top Ten riders worldwide.

Gary "GJ" Whittaker 2012 Jet Around Cayman Winner and CIWA National Championship Series 2012- Expert Class 2nd Place winner, finished with an impressive 4th Place finish in the Expert Limited division.

Vanjae "VJ" Ramgeet – CIWA's National Championship Series – Novice Class 2012 – 2nd Place winner – Rode in 2 classes with very impressive performances in both classes, VJ finished 5th in the Novice Stock Class and 7th in the Amateur Stock Class.

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Candidate supports death penalty for rebellious kids

| 09/10/2012 | 0 Comments

Charlie Fuqua.jpg(Huffington Post): Charlie Fuqua, the Republican candidate for the Arkansas House of Representatives who called for expelling Muslims from the United States in his book, also wrote in support for instituting the death penalty for "rebellious children." In "God's Law," Fuqua's 2012 book, the candidate wrote that while parents love their children, a process could be set up to allow for the institution of the death penalty for "rebellious children," according to the Arkansas Times. Fuqua, who is anti-abortion, points out that the course of action involved in sentencing a child to death is described in the Bible and would involve judicial approval.

While it is unlikely that many parents would seek to have their children killed by the government, Fuqua wrote, such power would serve as a way to stop rebelliouschildren.

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