Archive for June 24th, 2013

CONCACAF funds grass roots footy

| 24/06/2013 | 0 Comments

Win in Concacaf-062213 (242x300).jpg(CNS): The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) has announced a new programme which provides grants to Member Associations for youth development programs across the Confederation in an effort to build the foundation for a long-lasting legacy of support.  “Win in CONCACAF with CONCACAF” boasts a budget of $4.1 million or 2013 and the goal is to fund grassroots development in each of the 41 member countries across the region. Member Associations may apply for grants to fund self-directed grassroots development initiatives, with the Confederation providing up to $100,000 dollars for each individual project.

“The main goal of every initiative conceived at today’s CONCACAF is to continue to empower the region through individual member development, by means of a sustainable strategy that will leave a positive and permanent imprint on our sport and region as a whole,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb. “This program, along with existing FIFA development resources and other developmental aspects addressed specifically through CONCACAF’s integral development program, helps provide a wide variety of opportunities for all Member Associations in our Confederation.”

A well-defined and meticulous follow-up process, spearheaded by CONCACAF’s Development Department, will assure that the program achieves lasting and sustainable impact.

In the larger, holistic context of development, officials said the Win in CONCACAF with CONCACAF projects will target youth and grassroots initiatives at the Member Association level, with the aim of addressing needs specific to each CONCACAF Member. These resources assure the availability of funding for one sector of the Confederation’s multi-faceted development plan, which also includes distinct emphasis on coaching licensing, marketing development, broader grassroots programming, and general coordination with broader FIFA development initiatives.

Central to the design of the Win in CONCACAF with CONCACAF template are the follow-up and sustainability elements incorporated into the plan, assuring that funding will go a long way towards building a brighter future for the associations that take part in the program.
The program has kicked off with a series of promising grants to over a dozen Member Associations that have already submitted proposals to CONCACAF, and been approved after a thorough evaluation process by the Development Department. The funds will be used for grassroots programming such as development of youth leagues and youth coaching initiatives in previously hard to reach or underserved areas of CONCACAF member states.

President Webb visited St. Kitts and Nevis on Saturday, June 22, where he personally delivered the first official check funding yet another well-designed Win in CONCACAF with CONCACAF project, set to be implemented in support of that Member Association’s soccer-playing youth.

 

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Disabled swimmer snorkels between Sister Islands

| 24/06/2013 | 4 Comments

P6200617 (270x300).jpg(CNS): Arizona resident and visitor to the Cayman Islands Adriane Grimaldi snorkelled her way between Cayman Brac and Little Cayman last week in 3 hours and 40 minutes. A distance of five miles, the journey is a tough one for any swimmer. Grimaldi’s water adventure was all the more difficult as she has only one hand and swims using just her feet. Visiting the islands with the Dive Pirates, a scuba diving group who regularly stay at the Brac Reef Resort, Grimaldi may be the first swimmer with a disability to complete the crossing between the Sister Islands.

Born without a right hand, Grimaldi, who has had no formal training, uses the snorkel fins on her feet instead of the traditional arm motion.  This is her 7th long distance swim and previous ocean adventures have included a 6 mile swim around the small island of Klein Bonaire in the Caribbean Sea and also a 1.5 mile swim from Alcatraz to the San Francisco Bay in California. 

She has a goal of swimming five seas before she is 50, and with the Pacific, Atlantic, the South Pacific and the Caribbean already ticked off the list, Grimaldi said she hopes to do a long distance swim in the Adriatic Sea to complete her goal.

P6200659 (266x300).jpgGrimaldi said that she swims not only for the love of swimming but also as an inspiration to kids in a group she started in 2001 called Special Blessings, a support group for Arizona children with limb differences. She has 33 families that are part of the support group, which also provides support for adults, including those who have suffered limb loss due to diabetes, motorcycle accidents and veterans with limb loss. 

“I’ve never let beingborn with one hand slow me down. It’s all about attitude. If you set your mind to it, you can achieve it,” Grimaldi said.

 

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Taylor kicks Tempura to CoP

| 24/06/2013 | 34 Comments

_DEW9181.jpg(CNS): The Cayman Islands governor has confirmed that he does not have the power to order a criminal investigation into the allegations surrounding the controversial internal police probe, Operation Tempura, made by the former senior investigating officer on the case, Martin Bridger. In a letter to the Scotland Yard commander, Allan Gibson, Duncan Taylor said he was not in a position to call for an investigation into the investigation and Bridger must file his complaint with Commissioner of Police (CoP) David Baines, who will decide how to proceed. However, like the Metropolitan Police, the RCIPS is also conflicted  when it comes to the discredited but secret probe, which continues to cost the local taxpayer millions and millions of dollars.

“I have explained to Commander Gibson that my role, under the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009 and the Police Law (2010 Revision) does not extend to decisions concerning the initiation of criminal investigations,” Taylor said in a statement after sending his reply to Gibson on Monday.

“It is, accordingly, a matter for Mr Bridger to make such complaint as he wishes to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and for the Commissioner to then consider any such complaintand respond appropriately,” he stated.

In his letter responding to Gibson, the governor writes of his concerns over the leak of Gibson’s original letter to his office, which has been the subject of extensive media reports. He said that Gibson was not necessarily in possession of all of the facts relating to the probe when he recommended that a criminal investigation be opened into the conduct of those involved in the original investigation.

Following the letter to Gibson on Monday, more than six weeks after the Scotland Yard cop wrote to Taylor, the governor’s office issued a formal statement in which the governor summarises his letter and explains why he has decided to reveal the content of the correspondence.

“I have written to Commander Gibson of the Metropolitan Police Service (“the MPS”) in reply to a letter written by him dated 9 May 2013 and the subject of substantial media coverage,” Taylor stated. “Unusually for private correspondence of this nature, I have decided to summarise the substance of my reply in order to provide appropriate balance to the media coverage of Commander Gibson’s letter.  I have done so because of the wider currency given to Commander Gibson’s correspondence, it having entered into the public domain.”

Gibson’s letter was based on the conclusions he had drawn relating to the evidence received by the Metropolitan Police from Bridger, which is also corroborated by statements from former police commissioner Stuart Kernohan and former chief superintendent John Jones. Bridger has complained that the investigation need never have happened had certain facts not been kept from him by the local authorities. As a result, Bridger believes that not only was he was misled but so was the Met, which was his employer at the time when he was dispatched to Cayman to begin an internal police enquiry.

In the latest installment regarding the fallout from Operation Tempura, which led to a costly two year internal probe and included an array of shocking events, not least the unlawful arrest of a high court judge, the governor has effectively passed the decision to Baines.

From bungled trials to major litigation and pay-outs, the entire Tempura probe continues to be a costly fiasco for the public purse and, with several legal cases still winding through the courts relating to it, the bill continues to grow. While there is little stomach locally for further investment, the continued secrecy surrounding the probe may outweigh those concerns as the demands from the community for the entire truth about the operation to be revealed persist.

Although the governor is not in a position to order an enquiry himself, the RCIPS is also conflicted in the case. If Baines, after seeing the evidence, believes that a criminal enquiry is warranted then he would be expected to engage an independent police force to investigate the allegations made by Bridger.

The crux of the complaint by the SIO of Operation Tempura, Bridger alleges that he was never told that the assumed unlawful entry into Cayman Net News to look for evidence of a corrupt relationship between the late proprietor Desmond Seales and Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis was approved by senior officials.

Bridger has always said that he quickly discovered that Ennis and Seales were innocent of the original allegations but he had turned his attention to what he believed was a burglary perpetrated by senior police officers in their quest for evidence. He claims he was never informed that the governor, the attorney general and the FCO’s overseas territories security advisor were all aware of the plan to try and find evidence of the alleged corruption between the police and the local paper before they called in an investigation team.

Bridger has recently stated that had he been aware that what turned out to be a bungled late night entry into the paper’s offices was given the nod by Kernohan’s superiors, he would have left three weeks after the probe started when he had assured himself that the allegations against Ennis and Bridger were false.

Gibson had indicated that he believed there was evidence of possible criminality but in his letter to the Scotland Yard senior cop Governor Taylor said Gibson had not received all of the “material of potential relevance in relation to the complaints” about the investigation.

“Against this background, Commander Gibson’s views as to the merits of the allegations must be treated as significantly qualified both by reference to the conflict he has identified and the limited material received by him, particularly given the gravity of the allegations,” the governor stated before making it clear that the question should be turned over to Baines to deal with.

See both Taylor’s statement and his letter to Gibson below.

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Thieves steal turtle meat

| 24/06/2013 | 33 Comments

turtle meat (255x300).jpg(CNS): The police are on the hunt for thieves who reportedly stole an undisclosed but reportedly significant quantity of turtle meat from the Cayman Turtle Farm over the weekend. Officials from the farm said the theft was discovered early Monday morning (24 June) and reported to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, which is now conducting an investigation. The CTF said it remains the only legal source of turtle meat in the Cayman Islands but it made no further comment on the break-in. It is not clear how the thieves managed to gain entry to the meat storage areas or exactly when they broke in.

Anyone with information on the break-in or about people attempting to sell turtle meat is asked to contact the RCIPS West Bay Police Station at 949-3999 or Crime Stoppers on 800-TIPS (800-8477)

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Baroness to deliver special lecture at UCCI

| 24/06/2013 | 2 Comments

baroness scotland.JPG(CNS): The UCCI has announced that UK peer Baroness Patricia Scotland, who was recently appointed to the local Judicial and Legal Services Commission, will be delivering a lecture at the university next month as part of a special distinguished lecture hosted by the UCCI board chair Berna Cummins. Baroness Scotland served as the UK government’s attorney general from 2007 until to May 2010 and was the first woman to hold that position. She was also the first black woman and at 35 the youngest lawyer to be appointed a Queen’s Counsel.  Currently a full time lawyer in the UK after being shadow AG until 2011, she is an expert in constitutional law, anti-corruption and human rights, among other issues.

From 1999 – 2001 she was the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where she was responsible for the Overseas Territories.

The lecture is scheduled for the evening of Tuesday 30 July at 6-30pm at the college’s Sir Vassel Johnson Hall.

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New minister picks up healthy living message

| 24/06/2013 | 60 Comments

2013 Healthcare Conference announcement .JPGCNS): The new health minister, Osbourne Bodden, made it clear that his ministry will be picking up where the previous minster left off when it comes to focusing on lifestyle issues to combat Cayman’s growing communicable disease problem. Announcing the dates for Cayman’s 4th annual Healthcare Conference, which will take place from 17 to 19 October this year, he said Caymanians were still following an unhealthy lifestyle and need to take on board the messages that the conference will deliver on prevention by following a healthy diet and enjoying regular exercise. Bodden said getting the nation healthier is a priority of his new Ministry.

“The findings of our 2012 Healthy Nation survey have thrown into sharp focus that we are still leadingunhealthy lifestyles, such as continuing to smoke, eating unhealthy foods and not participating in regular exercise,” he said at a press briefing announcing the conference.

“We therefore anticipate that the Healthcare Conference will help to inform the audience about ways in which they can improve their health. Targeting wellness in the workplace, it is hoped that the conference will go a long way to improving the health and wellbeing of all employees across industries,” he added

This year, organisers have built the health conference programme around the theme: Taking Care of Business: A Shared Approach to Workplace Wellness.

“The workplace is, after all, a location in which we spend a large part of our day, so it is an excellent place to focus our energies, health-wise,” Bodden stated. “If we get Cayman leading a healthier lifestyle we hopefully cut down the prevalence of diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.  This will go a long way to reducing expenditure for the private and public sector in the long term.  We also need to address the serious situation of growing obesity in our young people and we hope that this conference will also lead to corrective action in that area and ensure that employers and our schools address this matter urgently,” the new minister added.

CEO Lizzette Yearwood explained that the conference is for everyone and not just health care providers.

“Drawing on our experiences from previous conferences, as well as recent healthcare surveys that show the prevalence of non-communicable diseases in Cayman, we realised that this year’s conference ought to be as inclusive of as wide a section of the public as possible,” she said. “We hope that everyone will see the relevance of the presentations and attend."

As well as the three days of presentations, the organisers have introduced workshops that will cover the concept of ‘Info to Action’ and the chief officer in Bodden’s ministry, Jennifer Ahearn, explained what they hoped to achieve. 

“These sessions will present and expand on the theme in more detail, bringing together perspectives from a broad range of individuals, including healthcare providers, general practitioners, patients, and other stakeholders, in an attempt to build a bigger picture of health issues facing people in Cayman today.  The session results will then be presented to the delegates on the final day of the conference during an overview session," she said.

The conference is free to attend and open to the public. Registration is mandatory and will begin Tuesday 2 July through the conference website.For more updates on speakers, sponsors and the programme check the conference website or the Facebook page.

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Dolphins are not healers

| 24/06/2013 | 31 Comments

(aeon): Dolphins are smart, sociable predators. They don't belong in captivity and they shouldn't be used to 'cure' the ill. Imagine this. Jay, an eight-year-old autistic boy, whose behaviour has always been agitated and uncooperative, is smiling and splashing in the pool. A pair of bottlenose dolphins float next to him, supporting him in the water. Jay’s parents stand poolside as a staff member in the water engages him in visual games with colourful shapes.

She asks him some questions, and Jay, captivated by his surroundings, begins to respond. He names the shapes, correctly, speaking his first words in months. With all this attention Jay is in high spirits; he appears more aware and alert than ever before. A quick, non-invasive EEG scan of his brain activity shows that it is indeed different from before the session.

Jay's parents, who had given up hope, are elated to have finally found a treatment that works for their son. They sign up for more sessions and cannot wait to get home and tell their friends about the experience. They are not surprised to find that dolphins have succeeded where mainstream physicians have not. Everyone believes that dolphins are special — altruistic, extra gentle with children, good-natured. And any concerns the parents might have had about the welfare of the dolphins have been allayed by assurances from the trainers that they are happy and accustomed to the role they are playing. After all, as the parents can see for themselves, the dolphins are smiling.

‘Jay’ is a composite character drawn from the dozens of testimonials that appear on dolphin-assisted therapy (DAT) websites, but stories like his, stories about the extraordinary powers of dolphins, have been told since ancient times. Much of our attraction to these creatures derives from their appealing combination of intelligence and communicativeness, and the mystery associated with the fact that they inhabit a hidden underwater environment. Dolphins are the Other we’ve always wanted to commune with. And their ‘smile’, which is not a smile at all, but an anatomical illusion arising from the physical configuration of their jaws, has led to the illusion that dolphins are always jovial and contented, compounding mythological beliefs that they hold the key to the secret of happiness.

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Rankin faces charges over illegal workers

| 24/06/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Although local businessman and former UDP party official Mario Rankin, had claimed that he had addressed the issues relating to his arrest last year concerning alleged immigration offences, the crown is still pressing ahead with its case against him. The former owner of the Brick House and related bars, which he acquired following the eviction of the previous owner, Harri Lalli, appeared in Summary court last week charged with various offences and more than 30 counts of employing a person in contravention of the work permit laws and for operating the business without the right licenses. Since his arrest, Rankin has protested his innocence and has threatened to take legal action over his arrest, which he says was unlawful.

Waide DaCosta appeared for Rankin during his first courtroom appearance last week and had the proceedings adjourned until August.

The 38-year-old local man has implied that the immigration raid at his home in Prospect last year was merely a cover and is still waiting to discover why the authorities have taken such an interest in him.

Rankin has threatened to take legal action against the authorities owing to a number of allegations he has made about his arrest and the way the raid was conducted, including the presence of two UK police officers that are unrelated to the immigration department. This has given rise to Rankin’s suspicions that the authorities are fishing for something else. Rankin is known to be close to the former premier McKeeva Bush, who is currently facing various corruption charges and is still under investigation in relation to a number of other alleged corruption offences.

Rankin said that all of the immigration issues were dealt with, as he had paid fees to expedite the process when he took over the restaurants, and that If there were any issues relating to the hand-over period, these were down to the failure of the immigration department where Rankin once worked.

The businesses, which were known as Brick House, Dog House, Brew House and Oar House, were taken over by Rankin last year but they were recently re-sold to new owners, who are currently renovating the premises.

Aside from the immigration allegations, employees at the Brick House and related business had also complained to the labour agency that the former owner, Lalli, had failed pay pensions, health and vacation entitlements but some are now understood to have now made the same complaints about Rankin also failing to meet his obligations as an employer.

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Prison boss starts new job

| 24/06/2013 | 17 Comments

Lavis.JPG(CNS): The new prison director took up what is arguably one of the toughest jobs in Cayman on Monday. The UK corrections expert, who arrived in Cayman on Friday, officially started this morning and faces a facility that is in desperate need of investment and new policies. In the wake of damning report conducted last year by the UK’s prison inspectorate, which condemned both the prison itself and its management, Neil Lavis has a very difficult task ahead of him. The problems at HMP Northward, in particular, as well as the situation regarding juvenile offenders have all been well documented for years but the local authorities seem powerless to address the issues at the prison, which seems to fuel crime on the island rather than address it. (Photo courtesy of Cayman 27)

Lavis will be facing an overcrowded, poorly managed, under resourced and decrepit facility where rehabilitation, drug treatment and educational opportunitiesare still significantly lacking. The report described HMP Northward as barely fit for human habitation and described a shocking environment of mismanagement, drug abuse, bullying and violence, victimization, poor and inhumane treatment of inmates and a pressing need for significant investment and a radical review of governance structures.

Well aware that he has his work cut out for him, the Welsh prison professional has said that the report by the inspectors, which revealed a myriad of serious problems, will be his starting point but he will need to put structures in place so he can deliver on the report’s recommendations.

Describing the report as “a snapshot” of where the islands’ jail house is, Lavis told the local TV news station that the report lays out a clear action plan to move forward. “The first thing I’m going to do is make sure we have structures in place for delivery,” said Lavis in a brief interview with Cayman 27. "The HMI report is something I need to concentrate on but it’s pointless me focusing on that if there is no follow up.”

Lavis replaces Dwight Scott, who was retired by local authorities last year and comes in the wake of changes to the prison structure started by the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs. However, with the changes to the government structure following the 2013 May election, the prison now falls under the new Home Affairs Ministry held by the premier.

Related article on CNS and UK prison inspectors' report.

Prison-conditions-shocking

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Red Cross issues warning over taped windows

| 24/06/2013 | 22 Comments

Hurricane_tape_on_windows_myth_20120402015710_320_240.JPG(CNS): The Red Cross is urging local residents not to tape windows during any storm warnings that might occur this season as part of their hurricane preparedness. Encouraging people to take meaningful steps to prepare and protect themselves, the local arm of the international non-governmental organisation warned that while masking or and duct tape may be an important element in a disaster supply and recovery kit, they are absolutely useless in making windows and glass doors “safer” during a storm. To emphasise this, the charity has begun a “Go Tapeless” summer campaign locally to raise awareness of the folly of taping windows.

“This is a terrible myth that has cost lives for far too long,” explained the CIRC Disaster Manager, Danielle Coleman. “The idea behind it is that putting tape — be it masking or duct — on the window or glass door will somehow make it 'safer' because it will reduce shatter. This is false. Putting tape on windows and glass doors not only gives people a false sense of security, but can increase the risk of accidents and fatalities because the shards of glass will likely be much larger,” she warned.

The “Go Tapeless” campaign, which was created by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes in the United States, was launched at the National Hurricane Conference in Orlando last year.

“It’s a brilliant campaign, and one that remains timeless until such time as this practice has been all but eradicated from our practice and consciousness,” Coleman said. “Tape continues to be an important component of pre and post disaster kits, but it’s important that people also understand the limitations of some of these tools. The CIRC is more than happy to assist those who have questions on how to build a disaster kit, or create a family disaster plan, and our services are free of cost and open to all residents of our Islands."

For more information on how to create a disaster kit or family emergency plan, contact the Cayman Islands Red Cross on 949-6785 ext. 22 or dm@redcross.org.ky.

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