Archive for December 4th, 2012

UK cannot exempt Dart from the FFR, say activists

UK cannot exempt Dart from the FFR, say activists

| 04/12/2012 | 11 Comments

yard-sign-1 (240x300).jpg(CNS): The former tourism minister, Charles Clifford, has said it would be scandalous for the UK authorities to make the proposed ForCayman Investment Alliance an exception to the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility. Clifford, who is one of the leaders of the  a campaign to stop the proposed relocation of the Grand Cayman landfill to Bodden Town, said it would be an “inexcusable precedent which would effectively ensure that the FFR is ignored”. The group believes the deal is not compatible with the new Public Management and Finance Law, and Clifford said if the Dart deal passes, it will mean the framework is nothing more than “meaningless window-dressing”.

“The Dart deal is incompatible with all the principles used to motivate the adoption of the FFR,” Clifford stated in a release from the coalition this week, following the news on CNS that the UK views the proposed Dart mega deal differently from usual procurements and the attempt by government to give the port project to a Chines firm without following a proper procurement process.

This raised concerns among coalition members and Clifford said that exempting the FCIA deal would make a mockery of the need for competitive tendering, the test of ‘best value for money’ and the idea of public procurement complying with international best practice and of the rule of law — the main driving forces behind the adoption of the FFR into the PMFL.

Clifford and other members of the Coalition to keep Bodden Town Dump Free said that the present government was never elected or mandated by the people to sign the FCIA agreement and that it suffers from “an almost total absence of credibility”.

A former representative for Bodden Town, Clifford said the people of the district must be treated fairly.

“At minimum this involves allowing the Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) to carry out the necessary studies to determine the most suitable site for managing the landfill on Grand Cayman. The conclusion could very well be the current site in George Town.”

Clifford pointed to the EAB’s advice to government to identify “the optimal waste management solution for the country through an assessment of alternatives”, in compliance with international best practice and including the site selection process, as opposed to the current limitations to only examine the proposed Dart site in Midland Acres.

With a number of straw polls and widespread public dissatisfaction with the current administration, Clifford said that the UK cannot allow a deal of this magnitude to go through five months before the next general elections in the face of the FFR and with widespread opposition.

“This administration considers the principle of good governance nothing more than a nasty nuisance, with Premier Bush accusing the governor of frequently using it ‘as an excuse to derail us',” Clifford added.

Other members of the group, including Coalition Chairman Alain Beiner, called on the FCO and the governor to stand up for the UK’s proclaimed ideals of good governance and the rule of law, otherwise the coalition may be forced to turn to the courts. “We’re counting on the UK to do its duty, but if it’s negligent in ensuring respect for our environment and our laws, the Coalition will certainly consider legal action,” Beiner said.

Gregg Anderson, another coalition leader, noted that whether crown land is ‘swapped’, sold or given away, it is still a significant public asset and the true value can only be determined by open tender.

Members say the deal includes major public projects, which all local firms should be able to compete for, openly and transparently, with all proposals considered. The Coalition has insisted that concerns raised by the Central Tenders Committee over the Dart proposal for a landfill in Bodden Town during the RFP process in December 2010 remain today.

“The CTC rated it the worst of all tenders considered, and its technical team expressed ‘grave concern’ about the impact of a dump in ‘an environmentally sensitive area’. How can the same proposal now be acceptable; how can it be compliant with the FFR?” asked Anderson.

The coalition also pointed to recent comments by the new president of the Chamber of Commerce, who warned that the business body would not support projects which did not follow proper procurement practices.

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C4C reveals committee

C4C reveals committee

| 04/12/2012 | 119 Comments

jude scott0.jpg(CNS): The recently launched political group that insists it is not a party has revealed the names of its executive committee, which will be tasked with selecting candidates for next May’s general election and shaping the public advocacy group. The Coalition for Cayman stated that anyone who declares as a candidate or campaigns to elect a political candidate will not be allowed on the executive committee, which means those with political ambitions that have been appointed to lead the new group will need to step down before they run for office.

The C4C has come in for significant public criticism since its launch last month because of the ambiguity of its definition as well as its attack on the concept of party politics rather than the politicians. It described itself in the latest press release as a public awareness and advocacy group.

In the short release the C4C announced that James Bergstrom and Jude Scott would be co-chairs of the group, while Kris Bergstrom, Clarence Bothwell, JC Calhoun, Jacqueline Haynes, Randy Merren, Johann Moxam, Gary Rutty and Emmiel Scott would serve as committee members.

“The Executive Committee will be responsible for setting and managing the organizational structure of Coalition for Cayman, and also for creating bylaws that will protect the purpose and integrity of the group,” the group stated in the release.

“No individual who has declared as a political candidate or is a sitting MLA or is actively involved in a political campaign to elect a political candidate may be on the executive committee or serve as the chairperson of a subcommittee or working group,” it said. Should a member of the executive committee or a chairperson of a subcommittee or working group declare as a candidate, that person will no longer serve on that committee. However, C4C said they may continue to be a member of the Coalition and serve on sub-committees and working groups.

Political campaign activities will not be permitted at Coalition for Cayman sub-committee or working group meetings, C4C said.

“Our purpose is to unite our country, provide a forum for your voice and ideas to be heard, and to elect independent leaders with integrity who will always put the country first,” said Jude Scott, co-chair of Coalition for Cayman. “Putting the country firstis best accomplished by engaging all the great and diverse minds in our country to focus on real solutions and real leadership to get our country back on a healthy, sustainable course.”

It has still not been made clear if the coalition will fully fund candidates it endorses or how it will be defined under the elections law in terms of political parties. The group has not stated whether candidates will be asked to promote specific policies or how the candidates will be endorsed by the group. Questions about how C4C will guarantee the integrity of its endorsed candidates has also not been fully explained.

While there is widespread support in the community for an alternative to the incumbent UDP government and the previous PPM administration, it remains to beseen if, given the mixed public response, C4C will emerge as the group that will satisfy the disaffection with the status quo among the growing number of voters expected to be registered to vote in the May 2013 election.

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| 04/12/2012 | 0 Comments


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cns headline new story alert test

cns headline new story alert test

| 04/12/2012 | 0 Comments

testing new alert mechanism – not published

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Pension thief gets 5 years

Pension thief gets 5 years

| 04/12/2012 | 35 Comments

cocaine-basics.jpg(CNS): The former manager of the Cayman Chamber of Commerce pension plan has been sent to jail for five years after pleading guilty to stealing more than $289,000 from the fund between April 2009 and June 2011 to feed a serious cocaine addiction. Justice Charles Quin described the crime by Robert Shultz as “one of the most serious breach of trust cases to come before this court.” Although Shultz was given a 25% discount because he admitted his offence, the judge gave no further discounts for mitigating factors as he said Shultz had systematically stolen money people were saving for their pension. He added that, given the circumstances of the theft, he needed to impose a sentence that reflected the gravity and was an effective deterrent.

The judge said he was not convinced that Shultz's alleged remorse or his claim that he wanted to pay back the cash were genuine as the defendant had attempted to abscond while on bail some four months after his confession. Shultz was caught by immigration officers trying to board a cruise ship in George Town. After that, he was taken into custody in March of this year and has remained in HMP Northward since.

As he handed down the five year term, Justice Quin ordered that the time served be taken into account.

Related article on CNS:

Addict admits 289k pension fund theft

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Taylor Laser champion once again

Taylor Laser champion once again

| 04/12/2012 | 0 Comments

Taylor powers through the chop (295x300).jpg(CISC): The 2012 Compass Marine National Laser Championships were held in the North Sound by the Cayman Island Sailing Club (CISC) over the weekend of 24th and 25th November. The wind conditions remained strong throughout the regatta ensuring exciting fast sailing.Compass Marine was the new sponsor for this event “We are really happy to be sponsoring the most significant dinghy competition in Cayman’s sailing calendar” said Mike Farrington, owner of Compass Marine. “The Laser is the largest Olympic sailing class in the world and we are lucky to have a substantial fleet here in Cayman. Eighteen boats out on the water is a good turnout. Especially pleasing is to see more youth sailors competing than ever before.”

The national championships are sailed in two classes: Standard rig and radial rig for lighter sailors.

Nick Taylor ran away with the Standard class with 7 bullets out of 7. Coaches Raph Harvey and Kelvin Browne followed in second and third. Taylor has now won four of the last five National championships only failing last year when he was beaten by just one point by Harvey. Reigning champion Raph was quick to praise his arch rival Nick.

“He had the control and fitness levels needed for these conditions and I just couldn’t match him on the downwind legs. We will miss Nick when he returns to his native New Zealand at the end of the year. He has brought a lot to the fleet in his time here”.

Eduardo Bernal emulated Nick in the radial class with 7 wins out of 7. Youth sailors Shane McDermot and Thomas Bishop took second and third. Jesse Jackson who recently won the Laser class in the youth championship took fourth place.

Race Officer Andrew Moon congratulated all the sailors but had special praise for the youth sailors. “It’s great to see these youngster’s who have come up through the youth sailing programme giving the adults a run for their money in the top dinghy event of the year. Conditions were not easy and they showed both skill and stamina in coming through a two day regatta with such success.”

The next major dinghy event is the ever popular East End regatta scheduled to be held over the January long weekend. The sailing club also hosts monthly dinghy racing on the first Sunday of every month. For more details contact

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Party Vs. Independent

Party Vs. Independent

| 04/12/2012 | 23 Comments

The debate over what political configuration is best for the Cayman Islands has now evolved into a Party vs. Independent show-down between the Coalition for Cayman (C4C) and the two prominent parties, namely the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Peoples Progressive Movement or "Progressives". The opponents of the party system have initiated a movement to drive out party politics by essentially endorsing what they refer to as independent candidates in the 2013 elections.

While it is the constitutional right of any group to campaign on what they consider to be the issues most important to the voters and wider population, it is important to consider the argument being made in order to assess whether or not the point being made accurately identifies the origin of the issues, or is there a more sinister and hidden agenda?

One should consider that individuals approached by the C4C have been promised more than just an endorsement; individuals have been promised financing, campaign support, access to political strategists and marketers among other things. It therefore my opinion that this level of involvement in a candidate’s campaign extends far beyond simple endorsement, and I would conclude that the C4C will also heavily influence the candidate's manifesto and position on the issues. This directly contradicts the very foundation of the C4C movement and is a characteristic of party politics and political parties.

The Constitution

Section 49 (2) of the Cayman Islands Constitution states: “Where a political party gains the majority of the seats of the elected members of the Legislative Assembly, the Governor shall appoint as Premier the elected member of the Assembly recommended by a majority of the elected members who are of that party.”

Section 68 (2) of the Cayman Islands Constitution states: “The elected member of the Legislative Assembly recommended by a majority of the elected members of the Assembly who are members of any opposition political party whose numerical strength in the Assembly is greater than that of any other opposition political party … ”

Section 68 (7) of the Cayman Islands Constitution states: “In this section 'opposition political party' includes a group of members of the Legislative Assembly in opposition to the Government who are prepared to support one of their number as their leader.”

Subsequent sections deal with the possibility that no political party wins a majority of the seats, however the main point being made here is that the existence of political parties is acknowledged in our constitution, and it was this same constitution that received a 62% majority approval in 2009. It is clear therefore that the majority of Caymanians voted to adopt a constitution which accepted the existence of a party system.

It seems logical therefore that the C4C would announce their intention to change this aspect of our constitution should they win a majority in the upcoming elections, and I question their sincerity and have to wonder if they are simply using the anti-party sentiment to incense the voters who are undoubtedly UN-happy with the way the current UDP administration is managing the countries affairs.

It is easy to link every major disappointment and failure to the party system simply because the UDP is a party. If the C4C is serious about stamping out party politics they must kill it at the root and propose constitutional amendments. If these changes are not forthcoming, we are left to question whether or not they are sincere in their hatred for party politics or if they are simply ‘playing politics’.

Party Perspective

Political parties exist like any other organization that seeks to maintain an orderly, disciplined, coordinated and efficient work-force. Consider the average company and the many resources that are organized and working for that company to accomplish its strategic goals. If the company did not have employees who have signed an employment contract, who know what the organization's goals are and know what is expected of them, how successful would that company be?

Imagine if individuals (independents) simply showed up to work each day and did what they felt was necessary without consulting or agreeing to work together. Would that not be completely counter-productive and expensive? This illustrates what will likely happen should the country decide to elect 18 politically independent individuals who operate on 18 different agendas, each one believing that their agenda is more important than the others. Ask yourself, which agenda do we follow? Or do we follow 18 separate agendas based on the C4C philosophy?

Campaign Expenses

Section 67 of the Elections Law states the following:

Limitation on election expenses

67. (1) Election expenses shall not exceed the sum stipulated in subsection (2).

(2) The maximum amount of election expenses to be incurred in respect of a candidate at an election shall be –

(a) where the candidate does not belong to a political party, or there is no other candidate belonging to the same party at an election in an electoral district, thirty-five thousand dollars; and

(b) where the candidate is not the only candidate belonging to a party at the  election in an electoral district, thirty thousand dollars.

This results in an unfair advantage for C4C candidates who choose to operate in the same manner as a political party but by declaring that they are not a party they are able to increase the allowed expenses per candidate from $30,000 to $35,000 per candidate, and this will translate into an added benefit for the entire “group” of independents. 

Using political meetings as an example, it is a safe assumption that, just as we witnessed recently, the C4C will host public meetings consisting of the usual costly giveaways, food, lighting and sound, television and radio coverage etc. It would not be practical for each C4C endorsed candidate to host his or her own meeting but by not declaring that they are a party they are able to pool their campaign funding and extract a competitive advantage over the party candidates.

In Bodden Town for example, four C4C candidates will have a total $140,000 in potential expenses and the UDP and Progressive candidates will only have $120,000 for each party, despite the glaring similarities between their campaign machinery and the C4C machinery. I would therefore encourage the Elections Office to conduct their own assessment of this situation and assess whether or not the C4C would be in breach of the law by not registering themselves as a party.

Are Parties Really Bad?

Are political parties bad for Cayman? In order to answer this question one only has to examine the most significant pros and cons.

A political party operates based upon an agreed manifesto or agenda. Every single item listed in this document represents the important initiatives the party will focus on for the four years following the election. There can be no mistake what the party will introduce and the manifesto acts as a balanced score-card with which to grade the party's performance.

The party is elected based upon the public’s acceptance and desire to adopt the manifesto as a national plan for the next 4 years. In the case of independent candidates, each independent will bring forth his or her own manifesto and is elected based on his or her perceived ability to convince the elected government to adopt the manifesto and incorporate it into the national plan.

It is easy to see the difficulty in achieving this, especially if the parliament is made up of 18 independent members. Every single issue could be potentially debated and discussed with no overall consensus and position being achieved. This is a step backwards, and returns us to the days where every single motion in the House requires the mover to solicit support, often times making compromises and promises that the public is not aware of and which may actually be to the detriment of the country.

Party members spend many months developing and executing their strategy; they work as a team, and each member’s role is pre-determined. This is important because it eliminated the guess-work involved in forming the government and deciding who will become the premier. One only has to look back 3 or 4 election cycles to the days of independents, when the voters did not know who would be leading the country and forming the government until the election was over and the negotiating and horse-trading was completed.

Recent history even saw an agreement achieved and when the election-weary members went home to rest thinking they had a deal, several of their number decided to change the established agreement and set out to make a deal with the new opposition. The government then woke up to the news that their agreement had fallen apart as they slept and a new government was taking over. Independents bring uncertainty and instability and it appears that C4C is either oblivious of this danger or simply chooses to ignore it.

Splitting The Vote

Perhaps the most troubling of all differences is the effect that independent candidates will have on the outcome of the election. The UDP currently maintains a core group of supporters and these individuals can be expected to cast their votes for the UDP. There are other undecided anti-UDP voters who, for various reasons, will vote for either all independents or split their votes between the PPM and Independents. This splitting up of the non-UDP vote will result in the UDP getting more votes overall and they will win their seats simply because the C4C convinced them to split their votes between the PPM and C4C. It was exactly this scenario that played out in 2009 and we are doomed to see a repeat if the C4C continues its quest for political power. Their efforts would be better served supporting one of the two parties, effectively lending support and votes.

The C4C needs to be what it set out to be, which is an advocacy group not a political party. This simple fact seems to have escaped the public’s attention and the motives and aspirations of C4C are becoming more and more blurred and obscured by the rhetoric and superficial promises being made by the C4C. I am not sure they will stand up to the scrutiny and focus of the voters because, as they begin to reveal the inner workings of their organizations, the public will quickly realize that C4C operates just like a political party, and that their motives are not so pure and unselfish. 

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CIS wins the RBC Inter Schools sailing regatta

CIS wins the RBC Inter Schools sailing regatta

| 04/12/2012 | 0 Comments

Racing was close (240x300).jpg(CISC): On Friday 23rd November, close to 50 sailors representing nine schools (Red Bay, Savannah, Cayman Prep, Prospect, Georgetown, St Ignatius, Cayman International School and Outer districts a combined East End and North Side Primary team) battled it out in the North Sound for the right to be crowned 2012 National School Sailing Champions.The racing was always very close and after 24 races only 7 points separated the top 5 schools. Cayman International School took first place with 20 points, second were a much improved Red Bay Primary with 23 points and Cayman Prep were third with 24 points. Outer Districts were just outside the top 3 with 26 points and Savannah took fifth with 27.

Mitzie Bailey from RBC presented the trophy to the CIS sailors. “On behalf of my colleagues at RBC I wish to congratulate the members of the Cayman Islands Sailing Club for staging another successful RBC Inter Schools Sailing Regatta.  This year’s regatta was the largest ever with nine schools signed up for the competition. At RBC, supporting our youth is one of the core areas of focus for our community involvement programs.   Here in the Cayman Islands, we’ve chosen to support the efforts of the Cayman Islands Sailing Club because we believe that athletic training is critical to helping young people realize their full potential”

Head Coach Raph Harvey praised all the sailors. “The standard of sailing skills has continued to rise so that you can sail longer courses with greater control of the boat. That is why the races were all so close. I would like to especially mention Red Bay Primary who have competed in all the RBC championships and this year they trained hard, got themselves organised and came out and only just failed to take the trophy. Also we are thrilled to have representatives from East End and North Side for the first time.”

Sailing Club manager, Rick Caley, thanked RBC for their continued support. “This is the longest running event in Youth sailing and RBC has been on board from the start some 14 years ago. The standards continue to improve and we are grateful for the continued support of RBC.”

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Top Gun Gunnar seals win for Grace Academy

Top Gun Gunnar seals win for Grace Academy

| 04/12/2012 | 0 Comments

pflplayoffs210112 043 (300x295).jpg(CUC- PFL): Two first half strikes by Grace Academy’s Gunnar Studenhofft and a third from Jaden Ebanks were enough to see off a spirited George Town Primary in a thrilling Under 11 encounter at the Annex Fieldthis past Saturday. Leading 3-0 at halftime, the points seemed all but secure for the West Bay outfit but a determined second half display from George Town Primary, led by Joshua O’Garro, kept the game close. A goal by George Town’s Jordan Summerville in the 41st minute and a second from the boot of Joshua O’Garro in the 51st minute set up a tense last few minutes, which saw some resolute defending from Grace Academy.

With George Town Primary piling on the pressure in search of an equaliser, the Grace Academy rear-guard and midfield held firm and secured the victory and a valuable three points.

In the day’s second Under 11 game at the Annex Field, NorthEast Schools defeated Cayman Brac 5-0 thanks to two goals apiece from Lamoy Moodie and Jaheim McLean and a single strike from Jaiquan Miller, which took an unfortunate deflection off a helpless Cayman Brac defender.

Other results from Group A were Cayman International School 0 vs. Savannah Primary 0 (Under 9); Cayman International School 0 vs. Savannah Primary 0 (Under 11); St. Ignatius Prep 2 vs. Truth For Youth 0 (Under 9); and St. Ignatius Prep 9 vs. Truth For Youth 0 (Under 11).

In Group B it was Prospect Primary 0 vs. Red Bay Primary 3 (Under 9); Bodden Town Primary 4 vs. South Sound Schools 0 (Under 9); Bodden Town Primary 1 vs. South Sound Schools 3 (Under 11); Cayman Prep 10 vs. Triple C 1 (Under 9) and Cayman Brac 0 vs. NorthEast Schools 5 (Under 11).

The 2012/2013 CUC PFL regular season concludes this Saturday, December 8 with games being played at various primary school venues around the Island. The featured games will be at the Annex Field where two undefeated teams, Red Bay Primary and Cayman Prep, clash for the Under Group B Under 11 title and in West Bay at the Town Hall Field where Sir John A Cumber Primary host St Ignatius Prep.

To view the current 2012/2013 CUC PFL standings, visit CUC’s website at On the home page, go to “About Us”, navigate to “Community Involvement” and click on “Primary Football League”.

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Security guard denies attempted murder

Security guard denies attempted murder

| 04/12/2012 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A 25-year-old Jamaican man who was working as a security guard in Cayman has denied trying to kill a 49-year-old man, whom he stabbed in his own home, claiming it was self-defence. Jerwayne Dean Bradbery pleaded not guilty on Friday to both attempted murder and wounding with intent. The victim told police, however, that he was lured to the house in the morning of 19 October after he received a phone call from a woman whom he believed to be his friend asking for medicines. When he arrived at the George Town address, the man said he was stabbed in the chest by Bradbury. The defendant says he believed the man to be an intruder as he entered his home and defended himself with the knife he was using to cut cabbage.

His victim, who was hospitalized after the incident in a critical condition, received emergency surgery and was on a ventilator for some time afterwards, though the court heard he is now in a stable condition. The victim received a 2.5 inch stab wound in the chest and the crown claims it was a deliberate act as Bradbery believed the victim was having an affair with his wife.

Although Bradbery was granted bail under strict conditions, including an electronic tag, the defendant was unable to raise the necessary bonds and has been remanded to HMP Northward awaiting trial, which is currently set for August next year.

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