Archive for March 27th, 2013

Annual oratorical contest winner announced

Annual oratorical contest winner announced

| 27/03/2013 | 0 Comments

winner.gifThe winner of the fifth Annual Oratorical Contest, hosted by the Optimist Club of George Town last Saturday, 23rd March, was David Forbes, a 15-year-old, Year 10 student from Clifton Hunter High School student. David will now represent the Cayman Islands at the District Level Contest in Jamaica. The local contest at the Harquail Theatre, provided a great opportunity for contestants from schools throughout the Cayman Islands to speak publicly for 4 to 5 minutes on this year’s topic "Why my voice is important". Contestants included students from: Cayman Islands Further Education Centre; John Gray High School; Clifton Hunter HighSchool; Prospect Primary School; George Town Primary School and Layman E Scott High School (Cayman Brac High School).

Contest Chairperson, Ms. Elaine Harris, said “the participants were courageous and outstanding in their orations. It is essential for us to empower our youth with the right skill set and opportunities, for we are not only encouraging success but we are also investing in the future leaders of these islands.”

Only 1 ½ points separated David from second place finisher Abijith Anu of Layman E. Scott High School, and even closer was the ½ point that put Abijith ahead of Jada Ramoon, also from Clifton Hunter High School.

The 1st place winner was awarded US$500.  The 2nd place winner received US$350.00 and 3rd place received US$150.00. Each contestant was presented with a certificate of participation, Oratorical Pin and an Optimist T-Shirt.  The top three contestants received monetary prizes and medallions.

Club President, Mark Ray, stated, “Once again we had a very high level of competition this year.  We are excited to have David represent us at the District level contest on the 13th of April in Jamaica, especially after our excellent showing in Jamaica in 2012 by Abijith, who won our Club competition last year.”

In Jamaica, David will have the opportunity to interact with and compete against other Oratorical winners from the region including countries such as Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, and St. Lucia.  The winner at the District level Contest will receive a US$2,500 scholarship.

Ms. Harris noted that Cayman’s Oratorical Contest would not have been possible without the efforts of the students, parents, teachers, the Oratorical judges, volunteers, sponsors and supporters, who included: Cayman Airways; NBS-Cayman; The Cayman National Cultural Foundation; Mr. Adrian Estwick, Department of Agriculture; Kirk Rowe and the KRI Dance Studio; Foster’s FoodFair and the Caymanian Compass.

The Optimist Oratorical programme was first conducted in 1928 and is aimed towards building confidence and public speaking skills. The contest provides a platform for youngsters to share their opinions publicly and an opportunity to speak to the world.

More than $150,000 in college scholarships funded by the Optimist International Foundation is awarded annually from this programme. Nearly 2,000 clubs worldwide participate in the Oratorical Contest each year.

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58 candidates enter fray

58 candidates enter fray

| 27/03/2013 | 143 Comments

renard.JPG(CNS): Nomination Day threw up only a few surprise candidates on Wednesday when 58 people put themselves forward for election in the 2013 national poll across all three Cayman Islands. Believed to be the highest number of candidates in modern history, the high figure had been anticipated as a result of the six seats up for grabs in the capital, where 7,500 voters will be returning representatives to the Legislative Assembly. As nominations closed at 3pm there were 21 candidates nominated to run in the capital of George Town, 14 in both West Bay and Bodden Town, five in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman and two in both East End and North Side.

Full list of candidates:

George Town (21)

Alden McLaughlin (PPM)
Kurt Tibbetts (PPM)
Marco Archer (PPM)
Joseph Hew (PPM)
Lucille Seymour (PPM)
Kenneth Bryan (PPM)

Dr Frank McField (IND)
Derrington “Bo” Miller (IND)
Matthew Leslie (IND)
Stefan Baraud (IND)

Roy McTaggart (C4C)
Sharon Roulstone (C4C)
Winston Connolly (C4C)
Jacqueline Haynes (C4C)
Jude Scott (C4C)

Ellio Solomon (UDP)
Mike Adam (UDP)
Jonathan Piercy (UDP)
Walling Whittaker (UDP)
Renard Moxam (UDP)
Rayal Bodden (UDP)

West Bay (14)

Woody Da Costa (PPM)
Ray Farrington (PPM)
Capt. Bryan Ebanks (PPM)
Dalkeith Bothwell (PPM)

Cline Glidden (PNA)
Rolston Anglin (PNA)

Tara Rivers (C4C)
Mervin Smith (C4C)

McKeeva Bush (UDP)
Capt Eugene Ebanks (UDP)
Bernie Bush (UDP)
Velma Powery-Hewitt (UDP)

Dwene Ebanks (IND)
Andrea Christian (IND)

Bodden Town (14)

Alva Suckoo (PPM)
Anthony Eden (PPM)
Osbourne Bodden (PPM)
Wayne Panton (PPM)

Errington Webster (IND)
Charles Clifford (IND)
Gregg Anderson (IND)
Vincent Frederick (IND)
Arnold Berry (IND)

Theresa Pitcarin (UDP)
Chris Saunders (UDP)

Richard Christian (PNA)
Mark Scotland (PNA)
Dwayne Seymour (PNA)

East End (2)

Arden McLean (IND)
John “Johnnie” McLean Jr. (IND)

North Side (2)

Ezzard Miller (IND)
Joey Ebanks(IND)

Cayman Brac and Little Cayman (5)

Juliana O’Connor-Connolly (PNA)

Moses Kirkconnell (PPM)

David Allen Bodden (IND)
Maxine Moore (IND)
Lyndon Martin (IND)

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Cayman ride out late Princeton attack

Cayman ride out late Princeton attack

| 27/03/2013 | 0 Comments

CNM v P 1 A (223x300).jpg(CRFU): The Cayman National Men’s XV squad put to bed any fears of a 2nd poor show of form against a younger, less experienced US College side when Princeton University came to town last week. This time last year Cayman welcomed Dartmouth College and only the Cayman Select sides (made up of players ineligible or not selected to make up the national squad) had any success against their Dartmouth counterparts as the series ended 2-2 with Dartmouth taking the bigger scalp of the Cayman National XV twice. It was an experience the Cayman players clearly learned from as Cayman won the Princeton series 3-1. Photos by Caroline Deegan

The opening game on 18 March between the Cayman National XV and Princeton was a bruising, ugly affair with Cayman racking up a massive penalty count but still managing to keep the Princeton players off the score board. The Game ended 32-0 and although Princeton started brightly up front in the forwards, some big hits from the Cayman backline left the Princeton boys a little gun-shy in attack. The mounting penalty count kept Princeton involved in the game with 3 Caymanian’s sin binned with yellow cards and 1 player red carded for continual infringement at the breakdown but the numbers advantage did little to aid the Princeton efforts.

The 2nd fixture on 19 March between a Cayman Select side made up of Advance Fire and Plumbing Buccaneers and John Doak Architecture Iguanas (dubbed the “Iganeers” by local commentator Koro Vakauta) took on a Princeton B XV which featured some honorary Princetonians in the form of Vanassio Tokotokovanua, Edward Westin, Stuart Geddes & Shaun Gerrard but regardless the Iganeers played a much more controlled game than their national counterparts and marched out a 34-5 win with Princeton buoyed by their first score of the tour. Cayman’s major highlight coming in the form of a hat-trick of tries from Justin Wight home from college for the holidays.

CNM v P 1 B (500x275).jpgThe 3rd Test (21 March) yet again against the Princeton B XV, was to be the highlight of the Princeton Cayman Islands adventure as a Queensgate Pigs Trotters and Century 21 Cayman Storm combined forces team (dubbed “the Porm”) took on a Princeton B XV featuring some faces from the Buccaneers who had earlier piled the points on the visitors in the form of Addae Andrews & Stefan Prior.

The Porm were dominant in the early exchanges and indeed were 17-0 up after only 10 minutes of playing time. The game looked to be heading for a score similar to a cricket match before the Porm took their foot firmly off the gas and only managed 1 more score before the half time break to ring in a score of 22-0 before the Princetonians and their honorary Caymanians responded with 24 points (15 of which were from Stefan Prior and Addae Andrews). The winningscore coming from a strong run from Stefan Prior with the last play of the game to leave the Porm shell shocked.

The final test of the Princeton series saw a resurgent Princeton side, clearly more acclimatized and gelled after a weeks’ worth of training in South sound taking on a Cayman National XV intent on playing a cleaner, more controlled game but the change of focus did not improve Cayman’s fortunes on the scoreboard. Cayman could not find the defensive weaknesses the 2nd time round and the scores were only 5-5 at half time. Moreover Cayman continued to infringe at the breakdown allowing Princeton a “pressure release valve” when Cayman got within scoring distance and indeed Cayman saw yellow once more and were reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes of the fixture.

It was only a concerted 2nd half effort late in the 2nd half the game which saw Cayman score thanks to Fijian lock Severi Tabuaniwera to take the game to a final score of 10-5 and seal a series 3-1 win over Cayman’s visitors.

Pictures (by Caroline Deegan)
Pic1 – Vanassio Tokotokavanua and Eddie Westin line up their tackles against Princeton
Pic2 – Phil Fourie runs from the base of a scrum to feed Simon Crompton

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UDP Lite reveal new name

UDP Lite reveal new name

| 27/03/2013 | 52 Comments

purple.JPG(CNS):  With purple already picked out as the campaign colour, the new tourism minister finally let the cat out of the bag late Monday on the official name that he and his minority government colleagues will be using for their election bid. Cline Glidden revealed that the current Cabinet ministers and the YUDP’s former leader, Richard Christian, would be running as a team under the moniker of the People’s National Alliance (PNA). Planning to launch their campaign after Easter, the group is expected to be just six strong. However, last week Deputy Premier Rolston Anglin pointed to possible alliances with other candidates, including those on the C4C ticket or independents.

Making his contribution to the adjournment debate as the Legislative Assembly drew to a close, Glidden spoke about the events of December 2012 and his change of plan about public office.

The West Bay representative had originally planned to step away from the political scene and return to the private sector once this administration was over as a result of a much earlier rift with former premier McKeeva Bush. A backbench UDP MLA at the time, Glidden has never commented publicly  on the obvious divisions between himself and the then premier in the wake of the GLF debacle over the cruise port talks, long before Bush’s arrest, which led to the break-up of the UDP government.

During the LA adjournment debate, Glidden said that the arrest of Bush andthe events that followed in December had led to breaks in loyalties and the end of friendships. However, his interest in politics and public service had been rejuvenated by his short time as a cabinet minister and being in a position to actually “follow proper process”, he said — referring to criticisms made of the previous administration, of which he too had been a member.

With this reinvigoration for public office, Glidden said he was happy to be running with the new team, which includes the current premier, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, his West Bay running mate, Deputy Premier Anglin, as well as the remaining cabinet ministers, Mark Scotland and Dwayne Seymour, who will be joined on the ballot sheet in Bodden Town by former YUDP leader Richard Christian.

The public split between the UDP and the People’s National Alliance will be a key factor in the forthcoming election as it will also lead to a split in the vote and more mudslinging on what may or may not have happened in the past. Speaking on Rooster’s talk show last week, Anglin said that he and his cabinet colleagues did the right thing when they joined with the opposition to support the PPM leader’s no confidence vote in government, given the circumstances. Despite making their own chances for re-election that much more difficult without the support of the party machinery, Anglin insisted it had been the right thing to do.

Since the split Bush has hit out at what he seesas the disloyalty shown by his former colleagues, and they are likely to be in his sights as targets throughout the campaign, especially in West Bay, where Anglin and Glidden are already the butt of an unofficial slogan, “Don’t vote for cut throats”.

Bush has said that the former UDP members have fallen into the trap of the UK’s deliberate efforts to divide and rule with their conspiracy against him.

Although the former premier faces criminal charges on eleven different counts, ranging from theft to offences under the anti-corruption law, he has emphatically denied any wrongdoing. Bush continues to insist that his legal difficulties are a conspiracy against him personally for the stand that he has taken against Cayman’s colonial masters, which he claims will be revealed in time when he is vindicated.

Despite the current divide and whatever the outcome of the vote in West Bay on 22 May, there is still considerable speculation that several members of the new alliance would return to the UDP fold post-election if they retain their seats.

Given that all of the members of the new party were long-standing and original members of the UDP and part of an administration where questions were raised about due process, good governance, transparency and integrity long before the former premier’s arrest, their eleventh hour distancing may have come for too late to aid their election chances.

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Teen arrested for cop assault

Teen arrested for cop assault

| 27/03/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): A 19-year-old man was arrested yesterday on suspicion of causing GBH and damage to property, in connection with an incident last weekend in East End in which a police officer was injured. The young man remains in police custody as the investigation into the incident continues. Meanwhile, the officer from the Uniform Support Group who suffered the head injury remains in critical care in what a police spokesperson described as a serious condition. The RCIPS confirmed yesterday that he was hurt while monitoring a crowd at the Pirates Cove bar in East End. However, the management of the local bar issued a statement on Tuesday denying that the officer was hurt on the premises of the bar.

It is not clear how the officer was injured and police continue to investigate the entire circumstances, but he was hurt while monitoring the crowd that had gathered at the establishment. 

“Reports suggested around 100 people were in attendance,” the police said. “The officer was struck while he was monitoring that crowd outside the premises. He was standing directly across the street when he was struck,” the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service spokesperson added.

The USG officer and his colleagues were called to the location after local officers had first attended the scene, where burning tyres and drug use had been reported. When the officers from Bodden Town police station returned to their police patrol vehicle, they discovered that the tyres had been cut and called for back-up. It was then that the officers from USG arrived on the scene and stayed to monitor the large crowd at the Pirates Cove.  At some point, while carrying out this duty, the officer was struck on the head.

The bar issued the following statement: "The Management of Pirate's Cove Bar would like to give our sympathies to the family of the officer that was injured while on duty Saturday morning. We wish the officer a full and speedy recovery. We would like to clarify that contrary to reports made by the media, the incident did not occur on the premise of the bar. We hope that the facts of the incident will be circulated in the future rather than misinformation. We continue to corporate with the police and look forward to the speedy apprehension of the person(s) involved."

Anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident and has any information which could assist the police should contact Bodden Town police station on 947-2220, the RCIPS tip-line 949-7777 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477(TIPS).

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Regional FOI conference sets precedent

Regional FOI conference sets precedent

| 27/03/2013 | 0 Comments

ICO.gif(CNS): For the first time, Caribbean governments and civil society have come together to discuss access to information, public participation in governance, and access to justice at a landmark conference held in Kingston, Jamaica. Representatives from eleven Caribbean countries attended the “Regional Conference on Freedom of Information in the Caribbean: Improving Management for the Environment,” including Information Commissioner, Mrs. Jennifer Dilbert and Deputy Information Commissioner, Mr. Jan Liebaers. “Not only has Cayman passed legislation, but we have legislation that is operational and being enforced by the ICO. We have found that in many Caribbean countries, while they had the law on the books, the law was not enforced and we were able to provide guidance,” said Commissioner Dilbert.

At the close of the two-day conference on 21st March, 2013, governments, civil society, and media announced the decision to launch a Caribbean network on freedom of information to support processes to improve standards for access to information in the region.

Dr. Carolyn Gomes, chairperson of the Access to Information Advisory Stakeholders’ Committee and Executive Director of Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) said, “freedom of information is the most powerful tool for ordinary citizens to arm themselves with the information they need to change their lives. Launching this freedom of information network will build opportunities for collaboration, learning and capacity building among information commissioners, civil society and media across the region.”

Countries reviewed the status and effectiveness of freedom of information laws, the number of requests for information being made in each country, and institutional structures for implementation and enforcement. Jamaica is one of seven Caribbean countries (Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Cayman Islands) to have freedom of information laws in force. Five countries have draft laws pending, and Bahamas and Guyana have passed laws but they are not yet in force. Gaps in implementation were noted in Belize, Antigua, and St Vincent and the Grenadines, which have laws that have not yet fully been utilized by the public.

“Freedom of information laws ensure that citizens can access official documents from their governments and give them a voice in decisions that directly impact them and the environment,” said Danielle Andrade, Legal Director of the Jamaica Environment Trust.

The conference was funded by the Cayman Islands Information Commissioner’s Office, The Commonwealth Foundation, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Organisers included the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), World Resources Institute (WRI), The Access Initiative (TAI), Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ), The Mona School of Business and Management, and the Access to Information Unit of Jamaica.

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CIAA presents CARIFTA track and field Team

CIAA presents CARIFTA track and field Team

| 27/03/2013 | 1 Comment

2013cariftateam.gif(CIAA): On Monday, March 25, the Cayman Islands Athletic Association (CIAA) formally presented the 17-member 2013 CARIFTA track and field team that will be representing the Cayman Islands at the 42nd CARIFTA Games in Nassau, Bahamas between March 29 and April 1. The athletes were introduced at the official gathering of CARIFTA athletes, parents and CIAA officials at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex, which was hosted by long-time sponsors of the CIAA and track and field, Caribbbean Utilties Company, Ltd. (CUC), prior to the team’s departure. CIAA President Dalton Watler, emphasized in his opening remarks the importance of Cayman’s youth participating in sporting activities, which he believes builds good character.

Vice President of the CIAA Bernie Bush, presented the team to the media and commended the athletes for their dedication and hard work in achieving the qualifying times and distances. He anticipated a good showing from the Cayman contingent as in previous years, and expressed the Association’s appreciation to the coaches, parents and many volunteers who worked tirelessly to prepare the athletes for this important regional competition.

President and CEO of CUC, Richard Hew, said, “Our long relationship with the CIAA has produced regional and international champion athletes of whom we are extremely proud. The greater pleasure, however, is knowing that for every champion produced there are hundreds of Caymanians who are better citizens today because they participated in the CIAA programme that built character in their developing years. For this we congratulate and thank the CIAA Executive, its coaching staff and numerous volunteers and we look forward to continuing our relationship for many years to come.”

Mr. Hew congratulated the athletes on their achievements and urged them to always perform at their best. 2013 marks 34 years that CUC, the main corporate sponsors of the CIAA, has been involved with the Association and its endeavours, particularly the CARIFTA Games. Mr. Hew expressed CUC’s pleasure in being able to assist with the development of the CIAA and the Islands’ outstanding athletes over the years.

The 17-member team leave for the Bahamas on Wednesday.

Representing the Cayman Islands at this year’s event will be:

Under 17 Girls:

Lacee Barnes – Shot Put, Discus
Daneliz Thomas – Javelin

Under 17 Boys:

Tahj Lewis – 800m, 4x400m
Jamal Walton – 200m, 400m, 4x400m
Duval Gregory – 4x400m
Jeavhon Jackson – 4x400m
Rashaun Connolly – 4x400m
Daviel Foster – Javelin
Javdon Nelson – 100m

Under 20 Girls:

Ashleigh Nalty – High Jump
Tiffany Cole – 800m
Ameilia Gillespie – Pentathlon
Pearl Morgan – 100m

Under 20 Boys:

Brandon Johnson – 200m
Troy Long – 200m
Jorel Bellafonte – 800m, 1500m
Alex Pascal – Javelin

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Election campaigns kick-off with flurry of meetings

Election campaigns kick-off with flurry of meetings

| 27/03/2013 | 2 Comments

voteforme_1.gif(CNS): Election campaign action went into full swing on the eve of Nomination Day in West Bay with the launch of the UDP’s district campaign and the first public meeting of the two C4C candidates Tara Rivers and Mervin Smith. Tuesday evening will see the UDP formerly introducing its West Bay team that will be going up against not only the usual collection of independents but at least two of its former members and for the first time four PPM candidates, as well as the new coalition team.  The UDP meeting starts at 7-30pm at Ms Beulah Yard on North West point Rd while Rivers and Smith will be meeting the district opposite Fosters Republix at 8pm.

After Nomination Day the action for both the UDP and the C4C had been set to move  to the capital but the UDP has cancelled the meeting to launch their fight for control of Cayman’s largest district as aresult of the expected bad weather. The five coalition candidates will launch their George Town platform at ALT’s parking lot on Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile,  in East End Arden McLean a former member of the PPM and more recently an independent will be starting his bid to return to the legislature for the fourth time, onWednesday, in what looks likely to be a head to head fight with John McLean Jr who although having declared as an independent as well, has received the endorsement of the UDP. McLean will launch his campaign from Pac-a-Sac store at 8pm.

Both the PPM and the interim government team, who have not yet revealed their name though they are understood to be running under a national alliance of some kind, will be beginning their formal campaigns after Easter.

The PPM will begin its the national launch on 8 April at Grand Harbour next to the Royal Bank where all fifteen candidates will be formally introduced to the voters.

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Students join job shadow programme

Students join job shadow programme

| 27/03/2013 | 0 Comments

job-shadow.gif(CNS): Junior Achievement of the Cayman Islands launched its Job Shadowing Programme earlier this month with Dart Cayman Islands as the pilot private sector organization. The Job Shadow Programme is an international Junior Achievement programme, praised for its success in motivating students to focus on their studies. Job Shadowing allows participating students to experience a ‘day at work’ and highlights the day-to-day connections between academic studies and careers. It exposes students to different careers by placing them in a workplace environment and pairing them with a mentor in that organisation for the day. “We were pleased to be invited to pilot this new Junior Achievement initiative locally,” said Glenda McTaggart, Learning and Development Manager at Dart.

She added, “The students were exposed to the wide range of career opportunities available within the Dart Group of Companies, and gained an understanding of how their classroom learning transitions to the workplace. We hope this experience has highlighted the importance of doing well in school and transferring that success to the workplace.”

The Job Shadow Programme targets students who are in year 11, a pivotal point in determining their career path.  By having direct access to mentors who are employed in their chosen areas of study, participants were able to discuss career path options for the profession they were considering.  Participants also saw firsthand how work readiness skills such as communication and teamwork are used every day in the workplace.

Mark VanDevelde, Chief Executive Offer at Dart, shared his personal career journey and facilitated a question and answer session with the students, who were then teamed up with their Dart mentors. Mentoring teams included: Information Technology, Building Operations, Construction, Customer Service and Horticulture. 

Students also participated in a group lunch and discussion led by Jackie Doak, Chief Operating Officer at Dart, who highlighted the importance of having a good educational foundation, relating this to her own personal experiences.

At the end of the Job Shadow experience, students expressed their excitement and enthusiasm for the entire experience with words such as “awesome”, “really cool experience” and “not ready for it to end!”

Teresa Owen-Foster, Programme Director of Junior Achievement commented, “We are pleased with the outcome of the Job Showing Programme at Dart and feedback from the students has been encouraging. The Job Shadow experience gave them some real, practical insights into their career selection and development. We want to thank Dart for its continued support of Junior Achievement in the Cayman Islands and we look forward to having other companies participate in the Job Shadowing Programme.”

Dart Cayman Islands encompasses a number of businesses that operate in Grand Cayman and is also the developer of the Town of Camana Bay.

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