Archive for January 21st, 2013

CIMA releases new silver coin for collectors

CIMA releases new silver coin for collectors

| 21/01/2013 | 0 Comments

HEROESDAYCOIN2013 (300x300).jpg(CNS): Local and international numismatics have something new to look forward to with the production of a new Cayman Islands commemorative coin. The Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) has released the coin to mark the 10th anniversary of Heroes Day this month. Although the coins are legal tender, they are not minted for general circulation. Each commemorative coin is produced in limited quantity and is only available for a limited time. The Heroes Day coin has a limited mintage of 200 and no additional coins will be minted. With a face value of $5, the limited edition, silver coin captures some of the National Heroes Day themes celebrated over the years.

The coat of arms depicted in gold appears on the obverse side. On the reverse side, it bears images of several of Cayman’s magnificent Frigate birds. Known locally as the Man O’ War, these birds are inextricably linked to local fishermen. Three catboats are strategically positioned to represent the three islands. These boats, which were referred to as the pick-up trucks of the Cayman Islands in the days predating the automobile, also represent our heritage of seamanship.

The two statues – a father and son sitting on a ship’s deck and a woman holding the Earth in her hands – represent youth and gender equality. This combination also celebrates family. To tie all the elements together, the coin is wrapped in thatch rope made from the Silver Thatch palm, our national tree. This unique design was created by Kara Coe of Savannah, a young graphic artist attached to the Government Information Services.

The Cayman Islands National Heroes Day is the national celebration of the heritage and culture of the Islands. Over the past ten years, the events and activities surrounding the day have been used to celebrate a number of core themes. These have ranged from a commemoration of Cayman’s maritime past, our history in aviation and the development of our education system, to the significant milestones achieved by Caymanian women.

The Heroes Day coin will go on sale on Tuesday 22 January on a firstcome first serve basis. The sale price will be US$115.00 or KYD$93.72. It can be purchased from the Currency Division at the Government Administration Building on Elgin Avenue.

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Political coalition wants OMOV for May election

Political coalition wants OMOV for May election

| 21/01/2013 | 24 Comments

ballotboxref1 (268x300)_1.jpg(CNS): The group of political activists, the Coalition for Cayman (C4C), has called on members of the Legislative Assembly to honour the results of last summer’s national referendum and implement one man, one vote for the next election. However, the new minority government is unlikely to support the call as the deputy premier said last week that election preparations were already underway and it would not be possible to amend the election law in time for the national vote. Although at least four of the new minority government may privately now feel that one man, one vote in single member constituencies looks far more attractive to them than it did last July, it appears to be too late for a full scale change.

While there is probably not enough time to implement an education campaign for the change to single member constituencies, there may be time to change the law to provide for voters to have just on vote in all districts and allow the returning officers in multiple member constituencies to put through the top six candidates as being elected.

C4C has note spelt out if it supports that position but has said that, since the majority of the voters who participated in the democratic process on 18 July last year voted in favour of the referendum question, with five out of six districts voting for one man, one vote, the new government should honour that result.

“Caymanian voters have done their part by approving One Man, One Vote by an overwhelming 65%. We urge the MLA’s to honour our democracy, respect the will of our citizens and put country first by immediately implementing this mandate by Caymanian voters,” a spokesperson for C4C said.

The group which is still not calling itself a political party asked each and every MLA to publicly state their position on OMOV. With the opposition already committed to implementing the system if they are elected and the two independent members clearly in favour of OMOV, having initiated the people’s referendum before it was hi-jacked by the former premier, the question appears to be aimed at the five former members of the UDP who now hold the minority government.

McKeeva Bush has stated his opposition to both one man, one vote and single member constituencies, while Ellio Solomon has said he is in favour of a national vote, indicating that the UDP members now sitting on the opposition benches are unlikely to support the OMOV.

However, it is clear that the C4C hopes that the UDP split may allow those former members of the UDP who may now privately support the concept of a more fair and equitable voting system to speak out.

“The question is clear,” the coalition said. “Will you respect the overwhelming approval of this measure by Caymanian voters? If not, you have an obligation to our citizens to come clean and explain your decision.”

The referendum was carried by the majority last summer and was, in the end, a government and not a people's referendum, which constitutionally requires a higherthreshold. However, Bush ruled that the vote still had to be carried by a majority of the entire electorate and not the numbers who came out to vote. As a result the poll fell short of the high bar set by the premier after he called the snap referendum, which helped ensure its defeat, despite the widespread support for the introduction of one man, one vote for the next election.

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CAL passengers stranded in Honduras

CAL passengers stranded in Honduras

| 21/01/2013 | 10 Comments

images_41.jpg(CNS): A number of Cayman Airways passengers have been stranded in Honduras after the Goloson International Airport (LCE) in La Ceiba closed on Friday due to the runway being partially flooded from heavy rain. Officials from Cayman Airways confirmed today that flight KX 882 from Grand Cayman to La Ceiba and KX 883 La Ceiba to Grand Cayman were also cancelled on Monday as the runway conditions still did not meet Cayman Airways safety regulations. Although a CAL flight left Friday, it was unable to land and collect the passengers waiting to return to Cayman. The plan had been for those passengers to return today, but conditions in La Ceiba have not improved, so the passengers are still there.

“We are doing our best to accommodate our passengers by scheduling an additional flight tomorrow on the premise that the committed weather will be better, passengers are being re-booked and the change fees are being waived for the additional flight. Cayman Airways is to the safety and security of its operations, passengers and crew, and apologizes to all passengers for any inconvenience caused from today’s flight cancellation,” a spokesperson for the airline stated.

The extra flight KX 882 scheduled for Tuesday, 22 January, weather permitting, is expected to depart Grand Cayman at 10:45am arriving in Honduras at 11:05am and KX 883 is scheduled to depart at 12:05pm, arriving in Grand Cayman at 2:25pm. All affected passengers from today’s cancelled flight will be re-protected with that service as they were for Friday’s cancellation.

The regular weekly flights to La Ceiba will be operated as scheduled thereafter.

Passengers requiring more information are asked to call Cayman Airways reservations on 949-2311, your travel agent, or visit

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Students cool down as air con problems fixed

Students cool down as air con problems fixed

| 21/01/2013 | 4 Comments

(CNS): Officials from ministry of education have confirmed that problems with the air-conditioning system at the new Clifton Hunter High School have now been resolved. The ministry said that all buildings on the school campus are now being cooled and all services have returned to normal.  Prior to the notice that the system is now in working order the education minister had stated last week that fans had been provided during the time that the systems were down and although the windows at the school cannot be opened teachers were still able to carry on lessons. However, Rolston Anglin said that there were many design problems with the school which he had talked about at length in the past.

Anglin said that the buildings were substantially complete when he took office and there had only been scope for limited adaptations and having windows that open was not one of them. He said however,  that having portable fans available was one thing the ministry could and despite reports to the contrary did do.

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Mac’s travel bill revealed

Mac’s travel bill revealed

| 21/01/2013 | 130 Comments

Premier Swears Nov 6_0.jpg(CNS):Updated 3:45pm  –Over the last twelve months that McKeeva Bush held office as premier of the Cayman Islands he spent more than $350,000 travelling overseas and, combined with information from previous years, Bush spent almost $1 million on overseas travel while in office. Despite originally refusing part of a records request made by CNS regarding the former premier’s travel expenses because of the on-going police investigation, an internal review has successfully resulted in the costs being released. In a letter to CNS the chief officer in the ministry said he had reconsidered the situation and, taking into account the fact that the documents would have been released were it not for the police investigation, the ministry forwarded the documents to CNS Monday.

The spreadsheet reveals the costs for all airfares, accommodation and subsistence allowances for all trips taken by the then premier and his support during 2012, with the exception of his final trip to Jamaica after his arrest.

In the previous release of documents relating to a freedom of information request it was revealed that the then premier Bush had travelled to more than 34 nations. The request  revealed that between June 2009, a week after taking up office, when he visited Paris, London Washington and New York, until 15 October 2010, Bush had racked up a travel bill of over four hundred thousand dollars. But from January 2012 until November 2012 he added a further CI$350,091.89 travelling in the region and around the world.

A request which was released later on Monday filled in the missing years revealed that Bush has spent close to one million on travel throughout his period in office from the public purse.

The current premier and former deputy premier, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, has also been severely criticised for her travelling and the $200,000 she spent over the first three and a half years after she took office in 2009 as DP and minister for district admin, agriculture and works. However, McKeeva Bush spent more money on travel in one year alone than O’Connor-Connolly has since the last elections.

The former premier also criticised his predecessor at the tourism ministry, Charles Clifford, for racking up a $200K bill at the ministry, though it is understood that figure covered travelling expenses for all tourism ministry staff over the full four year term.

Bush’s travel expense spreadsheet reveals that many thousands of dollars have been spent from the public purse on airfares and accommodation for himself and the accompanying delegates on the 18 trips he took during 2012. The document also reveals several significant cash transfers on to Bush’s government credit card without explanation. Although a payment for some $17,000 paid to the card was debited, several more transfers to the credit card, totalling around $70,000, have been made and remain unexplained.

The alleged misuse of his government credit card is believed to be at the heart of one of the investigations currently being undertaken by the RCIPS in connection with Bush’s arrest in December. Although this was cited as the reason why the FOI request was first refused, the ministry confirmed Monday that the police did not believe the release of the spending details would hinder their enquiry.

Bush is expected to return to police custody for further questioning next month, having been was bailed in December, but the police have not yet revealed the actual day that the former premier will be back to face a further grilling in connection with his arrest for theft and offences under the anti-corruption law.

See details of Bush’s travel expense for 2012 below and see additional document covering 2009-2011.

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Jamaican court overturns decision against Howell

Jamaican court overturns decision against Howell

| 21/01/2013 | 0 Comments

Hilton-Delroy-Howell_0.jpg(CNS): The Jamaican court of appeal has overturned a decision by a summary court judge in a civil dispute in which Delroy Howell and his business partner Kenarthur Mitchell were ordered to pay millions of dollars to the owners of  a company he formally owned. Howell who also was the former owner of the local Quik-Cash stores here in Cayman had appealed the decision handed down by Justice Brooks and he was granted that appeal on Friday. The order, which has now been set aside related to First Financial Caribbean Trust Company Limited. According to a release from Howell on Monday, the appeal court will be giving the reasons for its decision at a later date.

Howell’s successful appeal comes just days after Jamaica's Supreme Court had re-imposed limits on four of his companies. The Jamaican Gleaner reported that an order restraining the transfer or disposal of assets valued up to US$3.4 million that formed part of the contested lawsuit was made last week after hearings lasting 10 days.

On Wednesday, lawyers had asked for Howell to be excluded from the freezing order but the request was denied. The current US$3.4 million freeze, affects the proceeds of a transaction between First Financial and JN Money Services regarding the sale of Howell's QuikCash business in Cayman.

The first injunction had frozen assets of close to US$14 million, but the defendants' attorneys wrestled the figure down to around a quarter of the original sum in several court appearances. The defendants deny any wrongdoing and are also fighting a related court case in the Turks and Caicos Islands over control of First Financial Trust, with director of the trust company Judith Wilchombe.

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Red Bay’s U9s record first win in Playoffs

Red Bay’s U9s record first win in Playoffs

| 21/01/2013 | 0 Comments

pflplayoffs190113 11 (294x300).jpg(CUC-PFL): Among the top stories emerging from the third day of playoff games in the 2012/2013 CUC Primary Football League (PFL) this past Saturday were Red Bay’s Under 9 team recording their first win and South Sound Schools continuing their unbeaten streak. In the Under 11 competition, Cayman Prep came out on top once again and “giant-killers” from last week NorthEast Schools, taste defeat at the hands of St. Ignatius Prep. In the Under 9 Consolation Cup, Truth For Youth triumphed over Triple C 2-0 and Prospect Primary squeezed past George Town Primary 2-1.

In the Under 9 Champions Cup, Cayman Prep defeated Savannah Primary 6-1 compliments of a hattrick from Joshua Small, an own goal and a goal each from Gabriel Todd and Pierce Terry with Adrian Godfrey scoring the lone goal for Savannah Primary; South Sound Schools held out against St.Ignatius Prep 4-3 thanks to goals from Lucas Carter, William Dyer, Aidan Hew and Diondre Wright with Liam Walton, Nathan Trickett and Jonah Sigsworth replying for St. Ignatius; Cayman International Schools came back from being a goal down to beat NorthEast Schools 3-2; and Red Bay Primary secured their first victory in the Playoffs after defeating Sir John A. Cumber Primary 1-0 with Noel Squire scoring the winner.

It was goals galore in the Under 11 Consolation Cup as Savannah Primary and Prospect Primary drew 3-3 and Cayman International School and South Sound Schools drew 3-3. In the Under 11 Champions Cup, St. Ignatius Prep got back to winning ways with a 5-0 demolition of NorthEast Schools, Sir John A. Cumber were awarded full points after Bodden Town Primary could not field a full team, Grace Academy drew 1-1 with Red Bay Primary thanks to a Gunnar Studenhofft equalizer after Red Bay had taken the lead through Jeremiah Solomon and Cayman Prep edged out George Town Primary to keep their unbeaten streak alive with goals from David Pitcairn and Aaron Jarvis after going behind to Joshua O’Garro’s superb opener.

The final group games in the 2012/2013 PFL Playoffs continue this Saturday, January 26 at the TEMcField Sports Field with some key matchups as schools jostle for position in their quest to finish in the top four in each competition and move on the semi-finals on Saturday, February 2.

In the Under 9 Consolation Cup, George Town Primary play Triple C (9:00 am) and Truth For Youth go up against Bodden Town Primary (10:00 am). In the Under 9 Champions Cup, Cayman International School face Red Bay Primary (9:00 am), Savannah Primary meet South Sound Schools (10:00 am), St. Ignatius Prep play NorthEast Schools (11:00 am) and Sir John A. Cumber Primary play Cayman Prep (11:00 am).

In the Under 11 Consolation Cup, Truth For Youth play Prospect Primary (Noon) and Savannah Primary meet South Sound Schools (1:15 pm). In the under 11 Champions Cup, its George Town Primary versus NorthEast Schools (Noon), Sir John A. Cumber Primary versus Red Bay Primary (1:15 pm), St. Ignatius Prep play Cayman Prep (2:30 pm) and Grace Academy play Bodden Town Primary (2:30 pm).

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Local doctor finally gets top health job

Local doctor finally gets top health job

| 21/01/2013 | 15 Comments

Dr Jefferson 5 (223x300).jpg(CNS): Dr Delroy Jefferson has become the first Caymanian to hold the post of Medical Director within the Health Services Authority (HSA). Jefferson was acting in the post before being formally awarded the post at the end of 2012, according to a release from the HSA. He joined Faith Hospital in Cayman Brac in October 1998 as an anaesthetist and was subsequently appointed as Medical Officer in Charge and Deputy Chair of the HSA Board of Directors. In 2005 he left Cayman Brac to undertake his residency training at the University Hospital of the West Indies, with fellowships in anaesthesia, critical care and pain at McGill University, University of Cambridge and University of London.

He rejoined the HSA in July 2008 as a Consultant Anaesthesiologist and Intensive Care Specialist, while establishing the HSA’s first pain clinic in August 2008.

Dr Jefferson said he was excited to take up the job when many positive changes were being undertaken within Cayman’s healthcare system.

“How to provide top quality affordable healthcare for all is one of the biggest challenges any country faces,” he said. “I am therefore delighted to be part of such a dynamic organisation as the Health Services Authority at a time when the Authority is so geared to further improving services and the quality of its healthcare provision. I am sure the position will not be without its challenges but I look forward to working with the excellent team of professionals at the HSA to ensure we continue to improve our service offering.”
HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood said Dr Jefferson has been an invaluable part of the HSA team since he first joined the Authority.

“We are extremely pleased that a doctor of his calibre has agreed to take on the role of Medical Director. We are also delighted that we have been able to offer the position to a Caymanian who has dedicated his training and practice to the field of medicine,” she said. “We look forward to a long and productive relationship with Dr Jefferson as we strive to enhance our services at the HSA.”

Dr Jefferson has experience in public sector management and policy as well as strategic and board development and has served on several boards and committees regionally and internationally. He has lectured in numerous courses internationally and has authored peer reviewed publications. He obtained a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of London and is now concluding studies leading to the Doctorate of Business Administration from the Swiss Management Institute. 

He is also a member of the European Society of Anaesthesia, the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the International Association for the Study of Pain, the National Association of EMS Educators, the American College of Physician Executives and the International Policy Governance Association.

He is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Cayman, Sunrise. Dr Jefferson is a Past President and Director of International Service of the Rotary Club of Cayman Brac and has obtained several leadership awards including one for strategic leadership.

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Cops record fall in crime

Cops record fall in crime

| 21/01/2013 | 35 Comments

baines3.jpg(CNS): Despite the recent spate of robberies and street muggings, the RCIPS has reported further falls in crime levels in Cayman for 2012. The latest police statistics reveal a significant fall in serious crimes in 2012 by 17% over 2011, which was also lower than 2010. Robberies, one of the islands’ most pressing crime issues, fell by almost 42% last year, with 39 reported incidents compared to 67 in 2011. With only one fatal shooting, which happened in December, the police saw the lowest murder rate in Cayman for many years. In his speech at the opening of the Grand Court last week, the attorney general commended the police commissioner and his team for “an outstanding job” keeping a “tight grip on anti-social behaviour and law and order.”

The crime statistics make encouraging reading for 2012 as most crimes are falling, with the notable exception of the possession of imitation firearms, wounding, rape and aggravated burglary. In total 628 serious crimes were reported to the police, which is 131 less than those reported in 2011 and almost 200 less than those reported in 2010.

Overall 2,659 crimes were reported in 2012, which is a drop of 367 separate crimes, with a 12.13% fall over the last twelve months when compared to the previous year.

See latest crime statistics here.

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Five won’t deal with rollover

Five won’t deal with rollover

| 21/01/2013 | 50 Comments

immigration office_9.jpgCNS): The current government will not be bringing any significant amendments to the immigration law, the deputy premier has confirmed, because the bill is not ready to bring to the Legislative Assembly before the parliament is dissolved in March. This means that the situation regarding the controversial seven year term limit, known as "rollover", will be left in the hands of the next administration. Around 1,372 foreign workers are currently on temporary exemption permits, introduced as a short-term fixed to avoid the feared exodus of hundreds of workers throughout 2012. However, with no sign of the necessary overhaul of the law, the next administration will have only a few months to deal with the issue or face the same problem.

Speaking at the government press briefing last week, ahead of the minority government's trip to London to speak with the FCO about Cayman’s budget and cash flow issues among other things, DP Rolston Anglin said that the immigration amendment bill was nowhere near ready for the Legislative Assembly and would not be dealt with before the May general election.

Although the UDP administration madenumerous changes to the immigration law after it took office in 2009, the main reform of the law has continued to be under review and the controversial rollover policy, which limits workers to just seven years, has remained in force.

However, because a significant number of people come to work in Cayman in 2005, the year after Hurricane Ivan, many of them were due to be rolled over last year under the immigration law’s seven year term limit on work permits. Between October 2011 and December 2012 close to 3,000 work permit holders were facing rollover, many of them working in tourism and unlikely to get key employee status, leaving the industry with a potentially serious staffing crisis.

The immediate problem was solved when government introduced the short term fix with the termlimit exemption permit, valid for up to two years. But many of those temporary fix permits begin to expire this year, and while employers could be facing the same potential problem before the beginning of the next high season, in reality a large percentage of the exemption permits were managers, professionals and financial service workers.

More than half those facing rollover applied for the TLEP and almost 90% were granted, and at the end of 2012 close to 1,400 were in Cayman on the special stop-gap permit.

How the next government intends to deal with the rollover problem as well as the continued level of foreign workers in the jurisdiction as unemployment continues to rise among Caymanians remains to be seen. The opposition leader, the former premier and the current minority government have all stated that they favour changing the rollover policy. The only politician currently in office who remains in support is Ezzard Miller, the independent member for North Side, who says he wants to see the current immigration law  properly enforced.

The immigration review team, which has been working on the law on and off since 2009, also recommended the end of rollover. It is not clear yet if the amendments will lead to all workers being allowed to stay long enough to apply for permanent residency, which is where the authorities will place what barriers it feels are necessary to prevent significant numbers of foreigners becoming Caymanian, a position now supported by the opposition PPM.

There were 16,147 work permits holders on the island at the end of 2012, and combined with government workers, key employees and those working by operation of law, there was a total of 20,112 foreign non-permanent workers living in Cayman, well over half of the labour force.

The situation remains a difficult one for government and is likely to form a key issue of the election campaign. With work-permits generating a significant chunk of government revenue, there is little motivation for government to cut the  number of foreign workers and address the growing rate of unemployment among Caymanians, which is hovering around 10%, as it will be undermining its own earnings. Despite the increase in unemployment over the last two years, the number of foreign workers has been climbing again since a low of 19,106 at the end of 2010.

The largest numbers of foreign workers here still c,ome from Jamaica with nationals from the neighbouring island making up 40% of all overseas workers. The next largest group of workers is Philippine nationals, who make up 13% of the foreign workforce, following by those from the UK who account for just 9%. The largest number of permits is still held by those at the bottom of the socio-economic pile, or what are termed as the elementary occupations such as domestic helpers, caregivers, kitchen, laundry, beach attendants as well as labourers and cleaners.

For more immigration statists visit the immigration website

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