Archive for November 27th, 2012

Voters list passes 16,000

| 27/11/2012 | 87 Comments

vote here 2_2.jpg(CNS): With just over one month left to gobefore the register of electors closes for new voters ahead of the May 2013 General Election, Elections Supervisor Kearney Gomez said that voter registrations were, as expected, picking up. The deadline and cut-off point for people to register on the list so that they can vote in next year’s national poll is 2 January and Gomez said that, since Caymanians always seem to leave things until the last minute, the numbers of people coming into the office was growing. The latest figures show that 16,317 people — almost a 1,000 more than the number who voted in 2009 — are currently registered to vote in the next election. However, officials remain hopeful that more than a 1,000 more people will sign up before midnight on 2 January.

Now that government has settled the election question regarding the additional three seats and indicated how the 18 members of the Legislative Assembly will be returned, the way has been paved for the elections office to beginning preparations for the actual poll. Despite being some six months away, the official launch of the elections will take place on 12 December when the governor issues the election writs.

In the meantime, the office will be marking its last weekend outreach for people who wish to vote at the Market at the Grounds this Saturday and will also be present at local supermarkets for the last time. After that, people who are qualified but who have not yet registered will need to go directly to the Elections Office or contact the local campaign group Grasp Your Future. (See CNS ad for details). On Cayman Brac, people can register at Brac Executive Services, in West End.

Voters who will be working on election day, or are infirm, incapacitated or in long term care and who wish to take advantage of early voting via the elections office mobile voting units can contact the Office, which will shortly be working on the timetable for the mobile programme.

Gomez again urged everyone who wants to vote in the general election to get down to the office as soon as possible and get registered so that they can take advantage of their democratic right and join what he believes is likely to be a record turnout.

The office is now able to issue election cards, which streamlines the election process, but electors’ details must be correct to get a card. Gomez explained that voters do not need a card to vote but it will make the process easier. This could be especially relevant in George Town, where there are now six seats and a growing electoral roll. Since there is likely to be a long list of candidates fighting over those six seats, voting in that district may take time.

The office is also urging everyone who is already registered but who has since changed their address and moved districts to inform the office before the 2nd January because they could lose their right to vote.

For more information on the elections and voter registration, go to www.electionsoffice.ky

See related story on CNS:

Electors must reveal new address to keep voting rights

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Electors must reveal new address to keep voting rights

| 27/11/2012 | 8 Comments

poling staiton sign (213x300).jpg(CNS): The elections office is warning all registered voters that they must inform the office if they have changed their address since they joined the electoral role. Voters must cast their vote in the district in which they are resident by law and as a result they need to inform the registering officers in the district they have left and the one in which they are living in. Supervisor of Elections, Kearney Gomez issued a warning on Tuesday that voters could be taken off the register if they are listed as resident in a district but it is discovered that they have moved. He explained that under the election law an elector can only cast their vote in the district where they actually live and not where they were born or lived previously.

Gomez  said that registering officers will be checking their districts to ensure that everyone on their registers lives where they say they do and if they do not inform them of any change of address before 2 January people who have moved away without notifying the election authorities will be struck off.

“Failure to comply with the law will result in the elector being removed from the list as the registering officer is charged under the law wit ensuring that only those electors resident in the district in which that registering officer is appointed appear on the register of electors, Gomez said.

Other electors on the register can also object to voters being on the list with an incorrect address and challenge their inclusion. Gomez urged people to ensure that their details on the register are correct.

Those voters whose names, addresses and occupation are correctly listed can now apply for a new election card to replace those which expire on 31 December.  Electoral registration cards will not be issued to any elector who it is determined does not reside in the district in which he or she is currently registered,” he added.    It is not compulsory for voters to have the voter card but the elections office said that it streamlines the process.
For more information relating to the election process go to www.electionsoffice.ky
 

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Iconic local church celebrates 90 years

| 27/11/2012 | 0 Comments

Elmslie Church early 2000s (269x300).jpg(CNS): The Elmslie Memorial United Church celebrates 90 years since the construction of the distincitive white concrete block structure in 1922 next month. One of the oldest buildings in Cayman that is still in use, the church will be marking its nonagenarian year with a number of events leading into the holiday season. Situated on the waterfront in George Town this site has seen three churches built and destroyed before the construction of the current church. The building means a lot to many Caymanians particularly the family of the late Capt. Rayal Bodden who in 1920 had to travel to Jamaica and learn how to make concrete blocks for the construction of the church.

The church took two years to build as Capt Rayal Bodden taught labourers how to make concrete blocks and embarked on his first attempt at building a church rather than his usual widely respected skill of shipbuilding. Plagued with hurricanes and devastation experienced by past church structures, the congregation pooled their resources to “build a church that would be expressive of their reverence for God, their loyalty to Christ and the progress which the gospel had made among them.”  T

he plans were for Elmslie to be in the shape of a cross, with a tower and belfry capable of accommodating 550 people. This was quite a task to build in 1920 nevertheless the upturned ship hull ceiling design showcased Capt Rayal Bodden taste in building ships.

The church is named in honour of Rev. James Elmslie who served as Pastor from 1846 -1863. Elmslie started six churches with up to 1000 members out of the 2000 inhabitants at the time. His work is seen throughout the Cayman Islands today with the nine United Churches.

On December 1st a Banquet dinner will be hosted at Cayman Prep School offering a time for celebration, fellowship and reflection. In true Christmas spirit the celebrations continue with an old time Celebration Bazaar at the church on December 6th beginning at 4:30pm. Lastly, on December 9th the Elmslie Church congregation invite you to the Anniversary Service at 10:30am and to the evening Sunday School Musical Performance at 6:45pm on the same day.

Officials from the church has extended an invitation to the  community to participate and join in the activities planned for early December. Please call 949-7923 for more information.

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Ministry forms committee to focus on violence

| 27/11/2012 | 6 Comments

domestic-violence.jpg(CNS): The community affairs ministry has formed a new national committee to deal with gender and family violence. A report on gender violence, approved by government some four years ago identified the need to re-establish a national entity to bring together stakeholders to address gender violence and related issues. A recent draft Crime Reduction Strategy report being compiled by the Cabinet Office also recommended the formation of such a committee as well. Officials said the new team will bring a holistic focus to issues of gender violence, family violence, child abuse, sexual assault, rape, sexual harassment and stalking.

Similar to the National Committee Against Domestic Abuse which operated from 2000-2003 and drawing its membership from a wide cross section of areas such as human services, education and youth services, judicial, police, rehabilitation, and marketing and communications, the committee consists mainly of government representatives. It will however, be incorporating representatives from non-governmental organisations to subcommittees as necessary.  

In a release from the ministry officials said it will work on improving systems by providing recommendations to government to develop policies, procedures, legislation, training, public education, and other responses to these  important issues.

Each member is equipped with broad knowledge and will serve for two years with an opportunity for re-appointment.

Following an overwhelmingly positive response from the various entities involved, I am pleased to announce the names of the 17 qualified individuals who have committed to this initiative,” said the Minister responsible for Community Affairs and Gender, Mike Adam. “With the recent launch of the 16 Days of Activism campaign, which seeks to eliminate gender-based violence, the timing could not be more significant.”

Co-chaired by the Ministry’s Senior Policy Advisor for Gender, Tammy Embanks, and Senior Policy Advisor for Community Affairs, Debbie-Ann Whittaker, the committee intends to improve institutional responses and resources for victims and perpetrators of gender and family violence as well as to coordinate public education on issues of gender and family violence and other related matters,” the release stated.

This year’s 16 Days of Activism campaign began on 25 November – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – and continues through 10 December – International Human Rights Day – to emphasise that such violence is a violation of human rights. This year’s campaign theme is From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence against Women.

 

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Jane Moon honoured by sailing federation

| 27/11/2012 | 0 Comments

moon (234x300).jpg(CISC): Well known on thelocal sailing scene, Jane Moon was recently honoured by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), receiving an ISAF Silver Medal for her Outstanding Contribution to the Sport of Sailing Worldwide.  The medal was presented to Jane by Goran Petersson, President of the International Sailing Federation, at the recent ISAF Annual Meetings, held in Dun Laoghaire Ireland and on the occasion of her retirement from ISAF after 18 years of service.  Jane first attended the ISAF meetings in 1994 and since then has not only represented the Cayman Islands but also the entire Caribbean and Central American Region at World level.

 Focusing on the issues of smaller countries in both development needs and elite competitive sailing and women in sport, Jane has also been recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), receiving The Women and Sport Achievement Diploma in recognition of her outstanding contribution in promoting the development and participation of women and girls in sport.

Jane continues to be an active sailor and with her crewmembers Lindsey Macfee, Tomeaka McTaggart, Nicolas Taylor and Kelly Hill is the current J22 National Champion and overall winner of the 2012 J22 Summer Series and is in top contention for the 2012 J22 Winter Series.

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CITA backs DoE on marine park plans

| 27/11/2012 | 16 Comments

25 Years Marine Parks Coral Reef.jpg(CNS): Despite recent indications that Premier McKeeva Bush, who is also minister of tourism, does not support the proposed expansion of the marine parks, the islands' private sector tourism body has publicly embraced the move to develop more secure marine environments for the future. The Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) has offered its backing for plans outlined by the Department of Environment to protect reefs and fish stocks that are threatened today as never before. CITA said that protecting conch, lobster and grouper is no longer enough; reef fish, stingrays, sharks, transient mammals, pelagics and coral reefs also need protection and without new measures the health of the reefs will continue to decline.

“A healthy environment and coral reef systems are Cayman's biggest asset and why hundreds of thousands of tourists, residents and businesses live in or visit our islands each year. Protecting the environment is not only good for the environment, but very good for all business and tourism in the Cayman Islands,” CITA said in a statement released Monday as the DoE consultation period on their proposals drew to a close.

“CITA believes that most Caymanians are in favour of protecting their future and heritage, but not as many are prepared to take the actions needed today to ensure that there is a tomorrow,” the association said, adding that it was critical that the marine parks do not stay the same as that would be a step backwards.  “The concept that the marine parks is 'taking away' is incorrect; the marine parks are giving back and the expansions proposed will do just that — give back more healthy reefs, more fishing stock and more opportunities to make a livelihood from the seas.”

Although not everyone agrees on the exact details on the proposed new marine parks when asked, most people want to retain the marine park system. The DoE has recently provided extensive evidence that the existing protections and reserves in place have had a positive impact but are no longer sufficient, given the mounting threats toreef health and fish stocks.

DoE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie has explained on numerous occasions during the last few months that the threats faced by the marine environment today are far worse than those it faced 25 years ago when the marine zones were created, including continuing development, invasive lionfish, coral bleaching, climate change and much more.

The DoE recently engaged in an extensive consultation process on the plans it has outlined. It will now spend the next few weeks developing a policy recommendation to present to Cabinet that will attempt to strike the delicate balance between the needs of the environment based on scientific research with the wants of the community, especially those who are fishing or make a living in local waters.

CITA said its members are concerned about what the reefs will look like in the year 2037, 25 years from now.  “We all know that time will come, but won't know until then if we protected enough, too much or too little — 2 of these outcomes we will be thanked for, the other held to blame,” the association said in a statement. “More marine park reserves means more fish for divers, for snorkelers, for fishermen, for the health of the reefs. This has been proven by the Department of Environment studies over the last 25 years.”

CITA called for resources to enforce and protect what is at risk under any new expansion of the marine parks to safeguard the environment from poachers and violators.

For more details about the marine park expansion contact the DoE on 949 8469 or visit www.doe.ky.

See Forum topic: Marine Parks issue … time to speak if you care

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Anglin admits drunk driving

| 27/11/2012 | 258 Comments

rolston good.jpg(CNS): In a surprise turn of events, the education minister has changed his not guilty plea to guilty part way through a trial relating to his arrest last May for driving under the influence of alcohol and careless driving. Ahead of the scheduled continuation of the trial, which started earlier this month, Roslton Anglin changed his plea this morning, admitting to both driving while drunk and driving carelessly. Anglin told the press outside the courtroom that his change of position on the charges had come after discussions with family and friends as well as prayer. The minister will be attending a drunk driving course and will return before  the magistrate for sentencing in March, the court heard.

Reading from a prepared statement outside the courthouse on Tuesday morning, Anglin apologised to the people of Cayman and said that he had come before the court and accepted full responsibility for his actions. He said he should not have been driving that night and, as a result, had decided to enter the guilty plea after much prayer and discussion.

The minister said it was in the best interest to put aside the issue so that he could continue to serve the Cayman people.

The minister limited his comments about the night in question because, he said, the case was not over yet, and the presiding magistrate, who had warned Anglin in the court to limit his comments about the case, still had to decide sentence.

Related articles and details of the single car smash on the West Bay Road in the early hours of 23 May:

Anglin told 3 stories say cops

Anglin denies drunk driving

 

CNS Poll: Should Rolston Anglin resign fromCabinet?

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CAF aims to raise aids awareness

| 27/11/2012 | 1 Comment

(CNS):  With the continuing lack of awareness in the Cayman Islands about HIV, the Cayman AIDS Foundation will be holding a procession on Friday from the Cricket Pitch to Heroes Square, where the charity will then host a celebration with local artists, bands and tributes to remember of those who lost their battle with AIDS related illnesses. CAF has joined forces with the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority and the Red Cross to have a greater impact on the services being offered to people living in the Cayman Islands. The HSA will be conducting free HIV tests on 3-7 December at various locations.

”There is need to have a greater presence in the Cayman Island’s community because there is still a lack of awareness and education on HIV and AIDS,” CAF stated, adding that it is continuing with the United Nations’ 2011-2015 theme of Getting to Zero. Getting to Zero encompasses Zero new cases, zero AIDS related deaths and zero in stigma and discrimination. The 10th annual World Aids Day is Sunday 1 December but the public is encouraged to join Friday's procession and celebration.

CAF is a non-profit organisation established to improve the quality of life for people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. CAF continues to work within the Cayman Islands community to educate people about HIV and AIDS, safe practices, promoting regular HIV testing, preventing discrimination against people who are infected, and providing support for people living with HIV and AIDS. For more information on CAF or on our World AIDS Day initiatives, email info@caf.ky.

Free testing will be available at the CAF office at 22 Caymanian Village on 4th and 6th of December.  A schedule with all locations and times will be posted on www.caf.ky and on their Facebook page. Be on the lookout for CAF members and volunteers, who will be giving out educational materials and free condoms during November and December.

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Swim association introduces official national records

| 27/11/2012 | 0 Comments

swimming (244x300).jpg(CNS): The president and Technical Director of the Cayman Islands Swimming Association CIASA has established new, all inclusive CIASA Swimming Records. Once the association has properly compiled the times they will be used as a reference to develop a list of National Records held by Caymanians swimmers. “With the assistance of CIASA Director Adrien Royston we are delighted to release the first set of CIASA Swimming Records,” said President Peter Mackay. “This is something which our new Technical Director Ian Armiger has been instrumental in introducing and these records will now make it easier for us to produce a comprehensive listing of Rankings and of National Records.”

Thanking Coach Ian and CIASA Director Adrien Royston for the time they have spent putting these records together Mackay added, “Reviewing historical data, compiling it and checking it over and over is a time consuming job but having these records – and ultimately the rankings – will help move the sport of swimming to one which is transparent and affords all competitive swimmers, registered with CIASA and swimming for a recognized club the opportunity to see how they rate compared to their competition.”

“This has not been an easy task,” said Coach Ian Armiger. “The records are posted on the CIASA website www.ciasa.ky and are listed by age group, event, club, meet the record was set in etc. As can be expected, when going back through historical documents to develop records such as these, we may have made some mistakes. We hope that all CIASA members – past and present – will review the records and if they see any inaccuracies will let me know so that they can be corrected.”

The criteria for holding a CIASA Record are as follows:
– CIASA registered member and/or competes under a CIASA recognized Club
– CIASA designated meet (must meet FINA Officiating Standards)
– Overseas licensed meets

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New budget revenue measures now in place

| 27/11/2012 | 11 Comments

Tax-Squeeze_HiRes (194x300).jpg(CNS): All of the new draft revenue measures to help balance this year’s budget are expected to be in place by the end of this week, the premier said in a statement released from his office Friday. In an email to the finance industry sent last week, the government outlined the measuresthat will see the financial services sector in particular digging deeper to help produce the surplus budget agreed between the local and UK governments. McKeeva Bush said that with the passage into law of the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility and the balancing of expenditure reductions, Cayman was in a stable budgetary position in comparison with other major economies. He said his government would continue to engage with industry as it works towards improving the budget development process.

“I thank the Ministry, as well as all involved in this multifaceted process, for working toward achieving our mutual goal of a stable national budget, and a continuously healthy financial services industry. I particularly thank Legislative Drafting for its work in preparing multiple pieces of legislation under a tight timeframe, and with limited staff,” the premier said.

“As the public is aware, the process of developing a budget involves many moving parts, chief of which are revenues and expenditures. For the 2012/13 budget year Government placed a renewed emphasis on expenditure reductions, which have mitigated the revenue measures that are now in consideration,” he said, despite the fact that operational expenses in this year’s budget remain the highest in Cayman’s history.
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