Archive for October 24th, 2012

FCO will force FFR into law

| 24/10/2012 | 186 Comments

British+Foreign+Secretary+Orders+Libyan+Diplomats+kEFrqWGeoCJl (220x300).jpg(CNS): The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is prepared to force the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility into local legislation if the Cayman Islands Government fails to live up to the commitment it made following the budget approval from London in August. Sources have told CNS that the UK is not going to allow the premier to alter the framework via additional clauses or by removing any of its content and is expecting the document to be passed into law during the forthcoming sitting of the Legislative Assembly. If not, it will push the FFR through via an Order in Council. However, CNS has learned that the legislation being drawn up will include changes to the original agreement.

The FFR which the premier signed in November 2011 commits the CIG to certain parameters, rules and systems regarding public finances. It also draws the statuary authorities back into the debt ratios ruling government borrowing, thus ensuring that the entire public sector spending is tightly controlled within a rigid framework. It means that authorities, such as the port and the airport, and government companies, such as Cayman Airways or the Turtle Farm, cannot borrow outside of the Public Management and Finance Law limits and will need to gain UK approval for any projects they engage in.

The premier has said publicly that he dislikes various elements of the framework and wants to change parts of it as well as introduce additional clauses. The UK, however, has been unequivocal about that and is insisting that the bill it expects to come to the Legislative Assembly in November is exactly the same as the document signed by the premier almost one year ago.

Despite this rigid position being taken by the FCO, the legislation is currently under review as McKeeva bush intends to make some alterations. The final bill has not yet been completed and there is no certainty that the document will be drafted during the forthcoming sitting, which opens on 5 November. Government has not said how long this meeting will last and no FFR bill has been circulated ahead of the meeting for public comment.

The constitution requires government to publish any new law it intends to present to legislators 21 days before the House sits. The premier has, however, ignored this provision in the past and so may still choose to bring his version of the legislation to the LA next month. Nevertheless, given the insistence by the FCO on the need for the FFR to be enshrined in local law exactly as Bush signed it, any law brought by the premier could be overridden.

An Order in Council is a statutory provision which forms part of the UK’s reserve powers as the colonial master of the Cayman Islands, enabling it to legislate for any of its overseas territories when it deems it necessary. The move is a last resort and is generally reserved for when the UK feels its interests are at risk.

In the case of the Cayman Islands, the mounting public debt and continued government operational deficits have led the UK to take steps to protect itself from the potential liability for that debt. Having relinquished some control in the 2009 constitution over financial matters, it has begun to claw back that control via the framework agreement and the recent conditions attached to the approval of the 2012/13 budget.

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Wolfhounds on the hunt

| 24/10/2012 | 0 Comments

men2 (231x300).jpg(CRFU): The CRFU Heineken 7’s marched on at South Sound Rugby Pitch on 13 October. Whilst the rain from the first weekend of action had long dried up the prospect of playing in the usually stifling Cayman heat didn’t arise as light winds and an overcast day meant perfect rugby playing conditions. In the men’s division it was the Peter O’Neill Wolfhounds who came out trumps a second week in a row with wins over the Cayman Pal Thunder and team Maples. Maples, who were ravaged by the Wolfhounds in week 1 thanks in no small part by a handful of tries from speedster Dave Acutt put up a more determined defense against the Wolfhounds but it was the Cayman Pal Thunder who seemed to cause the Wolfhounds the most difficulty with a dogged tackling and counter rucking at the breakdown. (Photos Caroline Deegan)

It was however yet again the likes of the Murphy Brothers, Paul and Jon who were simply too strong in attack and overcame the Thunder.

In pool B of the Men’s division a reversal of fortunes saw the CML Ama Tsotsi, ravaged by injury, playing week 2 of the tournament with a skeleton squad. The Ama Tsotsi succumbed to the Queensgate Pigs Trotters yet still managed to see off the plucky Patron Barbarians. The win for the Pigs Trotters saw them march into their first final of the 7’s series in what promised to be a very tough match for the Wolfhounds who had so far had a relatively easy run of games.

men1 (500x401).jpgThe 5th place final of the day was secured by the Barbarians whilst the Ama Tsotsi, finalists from week 1 had to settle for 3rd place over the Thunder.

The Men’s final between the Pigs Trotters and Wolfhounds did not live up to top billing as the Pigs Trotters collapsed under huge pressure from the Wolfhounds to see a lackluster shut-out loss with the only consolation being 12 tournament points for the 2nd place finish. Wolfhound captain Dan Bond led from the front for the Wolfhounds turning over ball at the breakdown to give his speedsters ample opportunity to attack the Pigs Trotters try line.

women1 (464x500).jpgIn the Women’s division the Global Captive Management Cayman Storm continued their impressive run of wins over the Global Captive Management Pigs Trotters and Global Captive Management Iguacaneers (joint Iguana and Buccaneer team). The Storm, with a good mix of strong runners are proving too much to handle for the Pigs Trotters and Iguacaneers who have both eventually succumbed to continual pressure up the middle of the park and out wide as the Storm are able to retain ball possession to see out the games.

The Iguacaneers, yet to secure a win put up a much better attacking performance in week 2 but couldn’t find their way to the try line as was the case in their week 1 performance. Whilst the Iguacaneers defensive qualities continue to impress, a lack of out and out fliers is stifling their opportunities to put points on the board. The Pigs Trotters meanwhile, whilst suffering a host of injuries are managing just fine with 2 wins over the Iguacaneers as they look for their players to come online as the season progresses. 
 

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Stingray swimmers make a spooky splash

| 24/10/2012 | 0 Comments

Key Leader 034 (300x278).jpg(CNS): Members of the Stingray Swim Club were pitted against members of the Camana Bay Aquatic Club (CBAC) at the weekend in a ‘spooky splash’ meet just ahead of Halloween involving a cross section of local swimmers, from seasoned CARFITA athletes such as Alex McCallum and Catrionae Macrae alongside new comers to the competitive swimming team. “It’s always a good experience to compete in an environment which is different from that which you train in; against swimmers whom you do not train with,” said Coach Andy Copley.

“We had a number of personal bests swum at the meet, one – maybe more – new SSC record set, and CARIFTA qualifying times were made … and some qualifying times which had already been made were lowered. It’s early yet in the swim season, but we are training hard and getting faster. Exciting stuff, ” he added.

SSC President, Brenda McGrath said the Stingray team had a great morning with some strong swims against great competition. We especially liked the spooky awards. Now we are now looking forward to the Michael Lockwood Memorial Swim Meet (Pirates Week) which is a full, three day meet, and takes place between the 14 to 18 November as well as our trip to Kingston, Jamaica for the Jamaica Christmas Open  14-16 December which will give our older swimmers some good long course experience.”
 

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Critical thinker offers words of advice to YCL

| 24/10/2012 | 0 Comments

utf-8''DSC_3999 (233x300).jpg(CNS): One of the world’s experts in critical thinking and mental toughness training led a workshop in the Cayman Islands this weekend. Steve Siebold spent last Saturday helping charter members of the Young Caymanian Speakers Bureau hone their critical communications skills in preparation for the upcoming launch of the new arm of the Young Caymanian Leadership Foundation. Officials said the speakers bureau will provide schools, clubs, businesses and youth-focused initiatives access to role models ready to speak about their passions and beliefs. Aligned with leadership development, the goal of the bureau is to amplify the voices of these young role models. 

Siebold has appeared on television and radio shows and featured in newspaper and magazine interviews internationally. Two of his four books on mental toughness are international bestsellers and are considered by many experts to be the gold standard in the growing field of psychological performance training.

The Young Caymanian Leadership Foundation hosted Siebold, in partnership with YCLA sponsor, The Ritz-Carlton, for a day-long session.

“The Speakers Bureau is being developed in response to our audiences, who expressed a desire for us to do more to reach young people, particularly in light of the growing pressures being imposed on them,” said Young Caymanian Leadership Foundation director, Jackie Hansen. “The solution was to strengthen our message and amplify our voice, which we will be doing thanks to our alumni and their willingness to be a part of this initiative. Saturday’s training was simply the icing on the cake for a group who have already answered the call and who have been sharing their wisdom and message of hope to our youth.

“Wewere thrilled to have had the opportunity to learn from the best and we are looking forward to our speakers sharing the professional techniques which make the top speakers around the world so effective and in demand,” she added.

Local community leaders gave generously of their time to open the workshop by setting the scene on the importance of role models for the islands’. Mark Scotland the minister with resposnisbility for youth reflected on the need for the Young Caymanian Leadership Awards and the Speakers Bureau and Wil Pineau, CEO of The Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce addressed the requirement for role models in business. Reverend Randy Von Kanel of Cayman Islands Baptist Church (Savannah) stressed the importance of moral values and ethics for the islands’ young people and the development of their character.

Siebold held a highly interactive day’s training programme, working with the alumni to develop their speaking skills, captivate their audiences and deliver a persuasive message. 

Garth Arch, YCLA 2012 Award recipient, said the bureau is an exciting addition to the YCLA programme. “The training provided by Steve Siebold was insightful, and we were very fortunate to have someone with his experience and talent working with us,” he added.

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No woman, no try

| 24/10/2012 | 0 Comments

no woman no try (300x275).jpg(CRFU):The first Annual Charity Touch Rugby Tournament sponsored by Stella Artois took place Saturday underthe floodlights at the Camana Bay sports field. Raising money for the “Feed Our Future” organization that provides school meals to underprivileged children, eleven teams played in two pool groups to determine who went forward into the semi-finals and final. Mixed teams, with three men and three women, played under an interesting variation on the usual rules with a try scored by a woman counting double. This often proved decisive as the games were hard fought and usually close. The teams that utilized their female contingent the best were likely to win. (Photo Mark Robson)

Pool A comprised Harmonic, Broadhurst, Team RoRo, Baker-Tilley and the imaginatively-named No Woman No Try. The latter boasted a superstar line-up genetically engineered to play the game with speed and precision and were the pre-tournament favourites. So keen were they to dominate this event that they were secretly seen practicing complex manoeuvres the night before that would have made the D-day landing looks simple by comparison – clearly a fun charity event is serious business for these guys.

Early pool wins served notice to the opposition that they were in-it-to-win-it but they were given a confidence sapping slap in the face with a sobering 2-3 defeat to newcomers Baker-Tilley.  Largely unknown to the touch rugby world Baker-Tilley, captained by Gareth Wilkinson, dominated the Pool and stormed into the semi-finals with four wins out of four playing fast and furious rugby. Team RoRo were pretty in pink although I’m convinced their kit was meant to be all-white but for an errant pair of red underpants in the pre-game kit wash.

The perky pinks played the pastel purples of Broadhurst in a kit clash that required sunglasses to be handed out even though the game was at night-time.  It was a colourful match that delighted the crowd. Harmonic played some great rugby too but were up against it with some of the powerhouses on show.

In Pool B the matches were extremely tight. The Rainbow Warriors, composed of mainly Kiwis and South Africans, were dressed to distress in multi-coloured hippy spiral tie-dye shirts. The crowd could not be sure if they were dressed ironically or whether their psychotically disturbing outfits were actually still in fashion back in their homelands. Either way, no game was easy and they had close wins over Maples and Team UBS to secure a 100% record.

The rest of the teams Ernst & Young, Touchy Feely, and The Ticklers all played out excellent games with most scores determined by the odd point or too.  With some creative accounting done in the “Points Difference” column, the accountants of Team UBS secured second place over Maples despite both teams finishing equal in the group with three wins, one draw and one defeat.

The first semi-final was between Baker-Tilley and Team UBS. Given their respective results in the pool stages, no-one gave Team UBS a realistic chance but sport can wonderfully confound the most ardent of armchair expert and UBS scored first and early and then hung on to their lead with their renowned defence as Baker-Tilley ran out of time and ideas. The 3-2 score a reflection on the spirit within their team, Joanne Remillard a stand out player in defence.

The second semi-final saw No Woman No Try take on Rainbow Warriors. This game was always going to be frantic and so it proved. These players know each other very well from previous encounters in varying incarnations and No Woman No Try, with Neal Ainscow in the ascendency, came out victorious this time, the final score 2-1.

The hour may have been late but there was a party atmosphere as the noisy crowd, fuelled with heady anticipation, prepared for the grand finale. Could Team UBS pull a second rabbit out of the hat and claim victory or would No Woman No Try prove the pundits right and secure the title they so cravingly desired?

It proved a bridge too far for Team UBS as their opponents used electric pace to dominate the game. No Woman No Try with their tried and tested driving plays pinning back the UBS defence, they unleashed those well-rehearsed killer moves closer to the line. The score was close and the match tense, but frustration got the better of some of the UBS players causing referee Mick Kehoe to give one of them time for some inner-contemplation and reflection on the sidelines for the persistent questioning of his decisions.

No Woman No Try was only one-up at this point and the exclusion deflated UBS as they leaked more tries, and the final score was 5-1 to No Woman No Try. Special mention must go to the girls on the team – Jo Ziegler, Sharlee Henshaw, Chandra Friesen, and Lisa Bird who played brilliantly demonstrating that if ever there was a team aptly named then No Woman No Try is it. When asked about the event, Captain Jyoti Choi said, “The lights were great and it was fun to try out something different. We’ll definitely be back next year to defend our title.”

Organiser Mat Bishop said, “I am delighted that we were able to put this tournament together to help children in Cayman that are in need. Stella Artois were fantastic to help us put on this event. There is a very strong Touch Rugby community here and this type of event gives us the chance to enjoy our sport whilst giving something back to the community.”

Everyone agreed the tournament was an enormous success with just under $3000 raised for “Feed Our Future”. Stacey Vandevelde from Feed Our Future said, “We are very grateful for the help this tournament has provided”.

The tournament is indebted to the wonderful support of sponsors Cayman Distributors, Stella Artois, and Black Trumpet. Organisers would also like to thank Dart Enterprises and DJ Chris Jackson for their contributions to the night.

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Port talks limited to GT and Spotts

| 24/10/2012 | 0 Comments

cruise ship beautiful.JPG(CNS Business): The government’s negotiations with China Harbour Engineering Company for the development of cruise berthing facilities have been confined to George Town and Spotts, sources close to the talks told CNS Business this week. Speculation that a deal has already been signed by the premier was dismissed Wednesday but sources stated that the talks could lead to a full agreement shortly that would not include the development of piers in either West Bay or Cayman Brac. In addition, sources state that the cost of the project is now estimated to be around $220 million, contrasting with recent estimates that it could exceed $300 million. Read more on CNS Business

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No shakes for Cayman after tremor in deep ocean

| 24/10/2012 | 12 Comments

(CNS): Therehave been no reports of anyone feeling the short quake which occurred in the Cayman region this lunch time. However, at a depth of more than 20 miles under the ocean and more than one hundred miles away it comes as no surprise. A spokesperson for Hazard Management confirmed that the 5.4 magnitude quake which happened at 12.56 pm on Wednesday some 101 miles SSW of George Town was one of many small tremors that can occur in the ocean around Cayman. “There have been no reports that the tremor was felt by a single local resident and there was no tsunami threat at any time,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Costa Rica's a 6.5-magnitude quake struck the Guanacaste region only 5 miles from the popular tourist town of Nicoya, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. At the beach of Matapalo, an hour drive from Nicoya, residents said they heard a roaring sound when the quake struck. The region suffered an even more powerful earthquake last month, when a 7.6 earthquake rattled the same coasts, causing panic, evacuations and minor damage.

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CINICO claims 80% satisfaction rate

| 24/10/2012 | 2 Comments

customer-satisfaction (287x300).jpg(CNS): Although the results of a recent survey have not yet been made public, the CEO of the government’s health insurance company has said the research shows the organisation is on the right path. Following the completion of the multi-phased market research project aimed at gauging customer satisfaction which included a series of focus group discussions and an online survey among CINICO’s public sector customers, Lonny Tibbetts said while there was work to be done things were improving. The result show that more than 80% of customers were satisfied with their policy the government company boss stated adding that the full results will soon be posted on CINICO’s website.

“There is a real sense from the results that the service we are providing at CINICO is improving and that it will continue to improve,” he said. “I am heartened in particular by the statistic that 83% of CINICO members are ‘very/somewhat satisfied’ with their CINICO insurance policy, so we are definitely on the right track.

“The results have highlighted three areas in particular on which we will focus our energies – processes, the organisational culture and communications. In this respect, we will be gearing up to improve aspects of our service such as the speed of the claims submission process, our responsiveness to requests and communications between CINICO and its members,” Tibbetts added.

Local public relations and marketing firm, Tower Marketing, conducted the various stages of the research.  “We were happy to work with CINICO as this important research will provide valuable information which can be used to make informed, strategic decisions for the future direction of the organisation,” Lynne Byles, Managing Director of Tower Marketing, said.

The survey result will be available on www.cinico.ky shortly officials said.

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Hurricane Sandy on course for Kingston

| 24/10/2012 | 0 Comments

sandy3.JPG(CNS): Jamaica was being pounded by rain Wednesday lunchtime as Sandy became a hurricane. The Category one hurricane was located around 30 miles south of Kingston at 1pm local time. With maximum sustained winds of 80mph and higher gusts the storm was moving towards the capital at 14mph. The National Hurricane Centre in Miami warned that additional strengthening was still possible before Sandy made landfall on the south coast. Hurricane force winds currently extend outward up to 25 miles with tropical storm force winds extending a further 140 miles. Forecasters said 20 inches of rain was possible in some areas of Jamaica which could produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides.

Despite Sandy’s path being well to the east of the Cayman Islands local forecasters warned of very high seas. The hurricane is currently around 270 miles se of Cayman Brac and is expected to bring heavy showers which could lead to flooding of low-lying areas, especially over the Sister Islands.  

Fresh to strong east to northeast winds, and very rough seas are expected in Cayman over the next two days, peaking near nine feet and a marine warning remains in effect.
Meanwhile, in Jamaica the airports were closed and cruise ships changed their itineraries as Jamaicans were subject to a 48-hour curfew in the major towns to keep people off the streets and in an effort to deter looting while hundreds of people have moved to shelters to wait out the category one storm.

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Teenager charged with rape

| 24/10/2012 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Police have charged a nineteen-year-old man with rape following an incident in Prospect in the early hours of Saturday morning. The teenager appeared in court Wednesday and was remanded in custody to HMP Northward ahead of his next appearance in Grand Court. He was arrested by police after fleeing the scene of the reported rape of a woman, who was known to the man, in a car at around 4:00am on 20 October. Police officers chased the vehicle signalling for the teen to stop. As the car sped into the North Sound Estates, it drove off the road into bushes and the officers immediately arrested the man. Meanwhile, police said that a victim who was stabbed n George Town on Friday remains in hospital but is now in a stable condition.

The 49-year-old man was stabbed in the early hours of Friday morning in Kingbird Drive, George Town and a 25-year-old man who was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder remains in police custody.

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