Archive for October 10th, 2012

Members of US House Science Committee mocked

| 10/10/2012 | 0 Comments

RachelMaddow2011_p.jpg(Huffington Post): Rachel Maddow ripped Republican members of the House Science Committee on her Tuesday MSNBC show, contrasting their science-related comments to the scientists who won the Nobel Peace Prize. Maddow's producers played a clip of Rep. Paul Broun telling supporters that evolution and the big bang theory "are lies straight from the pit of hell." Broun is a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. "This is a person who is actively involved in shaping science policy in America," Maddow said. She pointed out that Rep. Todd Akin also serves as a Republican member of the House Committee on Science. Akin caused a firestorm for saying that in cases of "legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut the whole thing down."

Representative Dana Rohrabacher is also on the committee. According to Maddow, Rohrabacher once suggested that temperature fluctuations on earth million's of years ago were due to dinosaurs flatulence.

"Today, the Nobel Prize committee awarded scientists for discoveries in physics, tomorrow they'll award scientists in chemistry. Meanwhile our American elected federal officials on the Republican side of the House Committee on Science will keep our nation on the cutting edge on scientific and technological breakthroughs through the magic of farting and the pits of hell," Maddow said.

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Trolly donation for hospital magazine appeal

| 10/10/2012 | 0 Comments

WAITING FOR JOSEPHINE CART HANDOVER 008.jpg(CNS): The ‘Waiting for Josephine’ hospital magazine appeal that was launched earlier this year has received a much needed shot in the arm with the donation of a sturdy magazine delivery trolley. In August Heather Haines read about the appeal and wanted to help.  When she heard that volunteers were having a strenuous task delivering the heavy magazines throughout hospital halls, she kindly offered to sponsor a delivery cart.  The cart was sourced by Tanya Foster of Fosters Food Fair who brought it in with one of the supermarket’s shipments.  From there it went to artist Jim Lochner of Vision Marketing/Signs of Paradise to receive signage. (Photo: L-R Heather Haines, Jim Lochner and HSA Information Manager Sharaine Chin)

Lochner was the original creator of the Waiting for Josephine logo and Vision Marketing donated all the artwork and signs.

The ‘Waiting for Josephine’ magazine appeal is an on-going drive that supplies the George Town Hospital waiting rooms and auxiliary services with magazines. As well as supplying the reading materials for the patients, their families and friends, the drive is also a means for people to recycle their magazines, rather than throw them in the garbage when they’ve read them.  Because people take the magazines, it is important that theyreceive a constant and plentiful supply.

The public is encouraged to drop off their magazines in assigned bins at Books & Books and the Cancer Society. From there they are taken to the hospital and sorted into piles for weekly distribution. There are over 15 wait areas in the George Town Hospital alone. Add the district clinics, the dental and vision centre and this amounts to a lot of waiting areas that benefit from a constant supply of reading material.  Faith Hospital in Cayman Brac also receives magazines on a regular basis.

Related article: Waiting for Josephine hospital magazine appeal

To learn more about this charitable magazine campaign or to get involved contact:

Carol Hay: chay@britthay.com or 526-6932

Health Services Authority: sharaine.chin@hsa.ky or 244-2857

Cancer Society: info@cics.ky                                                      

Megan@booksandbooks.com

Connie Godet (Cayman Brac): connie.godet@gov.ky

 

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Cayman’s football boss falls ill on flight to UK

| 10/10/2012 | 3 Comments

jeffrey-webb-story-getty.jpg(CNS): Cayman’s footballing boss and CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb has been hospitalized in London after falling ill on his way to the UK to speak at a conference, the sports news organisation ESPN has reported. Webb was due to speak at the Leaders in Football event at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea’s football ground in the British capital but the 48-year-old man was taken ill on his flight. Leaders in Football host David Davies told the opening session on Wednesday that the 48-year-old was unable to attend as he was unwell. Details of Webb's condition have not yet been revealed.

Webb took over as head of the North American governing body in 2011 following bribery allegations levelled at his predecessor Jack Warner.

Webb had been due to speak about how CONCACAF was planning to change its image and become more transparent in the wake of the corruption scandal which had involved Warner. Other speakers at the two-day conference include Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis and several current and former players.

See ESPN Report
 

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50% of local mental health issues down to depression

| 10/10/2012 | 0 Comments

Depression (245x300).jpg(CNS): In the Cayman Islands, depression accounts for 50 per cent of mental illnesses the health minister revealed in his message to mark World Mental Health Day on Wednesday, 10.October. Cayman joins the World Health Organization (WHO) in observing the 20th anniversary to raise public awareness about mental health issues with the focus on depression. “There is no health without mental health,” Mark Scotland said. “It is the foundation for an individual’s well-being, and the promotion of good mental health helps people to maintain healthy lifestyles,” he added as he pointed to the task force established by his ministry to address the problems here in Cayman regarding the treatment of sufferers.

This year, the theme is Depression: A Global Crisis. Depression affects more than 350 million people of all ages in all communities and is a significant contributor to the global burden of disease. Although there are known effective treatments for depression, access to treatment is a problem in most countries, and in some countries fewer than 10 percent of those who need it receive such treatment.

See minister’s full message below

 

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Still time to nominate for NT’s conservation gongs

| 10/10/2012 | 2 Comments

ghost orchid2.jpg(CNS): There is still time ahead of the National Trust’s gala fundraiser next month for the public to make nominations for the inaugural Governor’s Conservation Awards. Tickets are now on sale for the dinner, which will include a live auction with a variety of unusual lots, as well as the awards recognising achievement in historic and environmental conservation. National Trust General Manager Christina McTaggart encouraged people to go to the Trust website to nominate a person, business or organisation that deserves recognition for their work in conservation before the new deadline of 12 October and to order tickets for the dinner.

The 25th anniversary gala and inaugural awards will take place on Friday 2 November at the Grand Old House and hosted by Jay Ehrhart. The auction lots include a private dinner for eight at the Governor's House with Governor Duncan Taylor, an original remarque Cayman Islands map by artist and conservationist Guy Harvey, a Costa Rica eco-adventure, a Key West spa vacation, and a holiday at a vacation home on the pink sand beaches of Harbour Island, Bahamas.

Exclusive one-of-a kind mystery auction items are also expected to cause a buzz as well as the "Wall of wine and rum" raffle, which will be a first for Cayman, and gives both the general public and gala guests the chance to support the Trust by donating bottles for the raffle at Blackbeard’s and Big Daddy’s stores.

Also new this year, the Garden Club, Trisha’s Roses, Every Bloomin’ Thing and other participants in the “Decorate for Charity” feature, will be judged by the governor’s wife on their Trust-themed table designs.

To book a table or buy tickets contact Basia McGuire at 749-1129 or bmcguire@nationaltrust.org.ky

More information and forms are available at www.nationaltrust.org.ky

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Dart deal should be revealed

| 10/10/2012 | 55 Comments

dart shovels.JPG(CNS): The public has a right to see the details of the deal between government and the Dart Group before it is signed, the independent member for North Side has stated. With the government expected to ink the main agreement with the country’s largest investor, the Dart Group, before the end of this month, Ezzard Miller says the deal should not be secret and has called for it to be published in the public domain. He has also called for any side letters that may have been signed with the UK that clear the agreement from needing to meet the requirements of the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility (FFR) which the premier signed with the FCO last year.

“If government has a side letter permitting this agreement, then we need to see that as well as the deal,” the North Side member said, adding that he did not believe the preliminary deal regarding the Esterly Tibbetts Highway swap meets the FFR. “The government negotiated a side deal for its strategic policy statement which had been drawn up before the premier was forced to sign the FFR, so is there one for this deal? And if so, the public should know as this deal cannot meet the requirements of that framework.”

He also questioned why the public had not seen the report by PricewaterhouseCoopers analysing the proposed project and whether or not if provides value for money for the Caymanian people and the public purse. The report was completed in April and Miller said he believed that it had raised concerns, which is why the negotiations have continued on for longer than government wanted. “But no one outside government’s inner circle and Dart has seen it,” he added.

Miller pointed out that the main agreement is a complex deal which is going to have far reaching implications for everyone in Cayman. The ForCayman Investment Alliance includes various land swaps between the crown and Dart, the Esterley Tibbetts Highway extension and related roads, the redevelopment of public beach, a new five-star resort on West Bay Road, the closure of a strip of that road, duty and tax concessions, cash donations to government and the moving of the dump to Bodden Town.

The land swaps plus the road developments and closure will lead to a significant increase in the value of the land that Dart will own. In addition, the parameters of the deal may have changed significantly since its announcement in the spring of last year and Miller said that before the government signs, the entire proposal should be made public.
The independent member was concerned that politicians and not the government’s technical staff have been too closely involved in this worrying deal.

“We have deals being negotiated by the wrong people,” Miller said. “We are dealing with public land and it should be the technocrats not the politicians that work out the details. Why are the Cabinet ministers all involved in these talks? How can ministers objectively negotiate such a deal? There are no checks and balances here.”

This is a point which has been raised by the auditor general in other reports he has conducted that involve government procurement. Alastair Swarbrick had pointed to concerns over the interference of politicians in technical issues and negotiations on contracts, which he has said leaves the system open to risk of abuse.

Miller said that if government intends to dispose of public assets there should be complete transparency so the people know what they are giving up and what, if anything, they are gaining.

Despite the letter from the Anti-Corruption Commission indicating that there was no wrongdoing regarding the $5 million donation that was given to government by Dart in thewake of the preliminary deal regarding the West Bay Road projects, signed last December, Miller pointed out that the payment had still not been properly explained. “What exactly is it for, what did Dart purchase with it and where is the invoice?” the MLA asked, as he has done previously.

Miller said there were a significant number of issues and controversies surrounding the deal and it now needed to come into the open. The public should get to see every detail of the final proposal before government commits the country to something that could have very far reaching repercussions, the independent member stated.

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