Archive for September 9th, 2013

Third crosswalk opens on West Bay Road

| 09/09/2013 | 30 Comments

(CNS):  In an effort to make the road safer for pedestrians, another crosswalk has appeared on the West Bay Road. Drivers are being asked to exercise caution as they approach the new crosswalk in front of the Westin Hotel. The National Roads Authority opened the crossing at the end of last month, and to reinforce the emphasis on safety, advance signs that indicate a pedestrian crosswalk ahead are located 360 feet on either side of the crosswalk. The crosswalk itself incorporates LED fluorescent yellow signs, and in-road LED lighting that activates when pedestrians press the button to cross the road.

There is also a 24-hour yellow advanced warning beacon to pinpoint to motorists exactly where the crosswalk is located.

Pedestrians using the crossing are reminded to look both ways for traffic and to give vehicles need more time to stop if the road is wet or slippery.

Kurt Tibbetts, the minister with responsibility for roads, urged drivers to pay attention to the signage and encouraged pedestrians to use the crosswalk instead of trying to cross at other parts of the road.  “It is important that we all work together to ensure that our roads are safe," Tibbetts added.

The crosswalk is the third to be installed on West Bay Road following the 2010 review on ways to improve pedestrian safety there. The first crosswalk was by the Strand Shopping Centre just before the Ritz Carlton, and the second was by the Camana Bay entrance and Royal Palms.

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Local boxers host Cuban fighters at invitational

| 09/09/2013 | 1 Comment

(CNS): The Cuban National Olympic team will arrive in Cayman on 12 September   to participate in the Dalmain Ebanks Champions Invitational, a boxing extravaganza being hosted by CIBA at Pedro St James on Saturday 14 September.  The boxing event will include bouts showcasing Cayman’s talent from our afterschool programme right through to Kendall Ebanks and Tafari Ebanks who will be taking on the best of Cuba’s boxers. Ebanks and Ebanks have recently been gaining some fighting experience at the Elite Continental Championships in Chile as well as preparation work in Florida where they were both successful in defeating the current Florida Golden Gloves Champions in their divisions.

Joined by Coach Nayon Anglin, in Chile the Cayman boxers took on some of the World’s Elite in the Continental Championships. Kendall Ebanks fought an intense toe-to-toe bout with Argentina’s best Alberto Palmetta and lost out on points of 30:25 while Tafari Ebanks fought Mexican Olympic favorite Sergio Chirino and although he also lost on points it was an extremely close decision with only three points between the fighters.

“It was a very tough competition. I am gutted not to have won my fight but this setback has only made me want to work harder and longer in order to reach success,” Ebanks said after the fight. Despite not making it through to the later stages of this prestigious competition both fighters are still determined as this was another building block towards the Olympics.

With the Cuban boxers among the best in the world there will be little rest of Cayman’s two hopefuls and a bout that will prove one of their toughest yet taking place on their home turf.
The event starts at 6pm and after the live boxing excitement, event guests can enjoy both a comedy show hosted by the Laughter Lounge and then the Mayweather vs Alvarez fight on the big screen LIVE from Las Vegas.

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Local associaiton recruits new swimming boss

| 09/09/2013 | 0 Comments

(CIASA) The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association has appointed a new Technical Director. Peter MacKay, the sports association’s director announced today that after an extensive search, Bailey Weathers has been appointed to take over from Ian Armiger, who returned to Loughborough University in the UK, after a successful year here in the Cayman Islands which saw Cayman Swimming regaining the strength and depth it was known for in years gone by. Weathers has extensive administration and coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level and also has years of experience working with the United States National Swimming Team.

“The depth of experience which Bailey is bringing to Cayman is impressive,” said Peter. “He has worked with swimmers of all ages and abilities including some of the best known names in swimming such as Rowdy Gaines, Peter Vanderkaay, Allison Schmitt and Eric Vendt. Bailey and his wife Susan arrive in Cayman on September 11th and CIASA is holding a Social on September 29th so that our swim family can meet and welcome them.”

“I am excited to have the opportunity to work with Cayman Swimming and to continue the great work which Ian Armiger started,” Weathers said. “In addition to the competitive age group swimming, the masters swimming and the learn to swim schools I am really looking forward to becoming more involved in the Open Water Swimming which, given the amazing Seven Mile Beach, must surely be among the best in the world.”

Interviews were carried out by a panel of CIASA Board Members and association members – Jim Fraser, Michael Lockwood, Ian Lambert, Christine Maltman and Pam Abbott and MacKay acknowledged the number of hours which they put in to ensuring the process was carried out efficiently and fairly.

“We are looking forward to seeing continued improvement in our swimmers and more competitive swimmers moving up through the various learn to swim programs. Onwards and Upwards!” finished MacKay.

The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA) is a volunteer, not for profit association dedicated to furthering the interests of all aquatic sports in the Cayman Islands. CIASA is the recognised Governing Body of aquatic sports in the Cayman Islands and is a member of FINA, UANA, CCCAN and the CIOC. For more information on CIASA please visit .

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Health at work focus of annual conference

| 09/09/2013 | 7 Comments

(CNS): With the Health Services Authority pressing the need for partnerships to make the Cayman Islands healthier and address the problem of increasing figures for communicable and avoidable diseases its annual conference will focus on healthy workplace environments.  This is the fourth time the HSA has joined forces with the health ministry to organise the specialist conference and the CEO of the HSA, Lizzette Yearwood, said this year’s theme, ‘Taking Care of Business: A Shared Approach to Workplace Wellness’ would speak to a large cross section of the Cayman population. Part of the HSA’s five year strategic plan is to work collaboratively with partners to actively engage the public in healthy lifestyle change to mitigate the impact of chronic disease and illnesses.

“Because of the broad nature of the subject matter to be discussed, we believe that this year’s conference should attract not only healthcare professionals, but anyone associated with health in the workplace,” said Yearwood.  “Anyone who is interested in ensuring that they have a healthy workplace in which their employees can operate will benefit, including human resource managers, office managers and business owners. It will encourage employees to learn more about what they can do themselves to improve their health while at work, so we hope everyone will attend.”

Osbourne Bodden, the new health minister explained why the theme was relevant to all. “We all spend such a large part of our daily lives in the workplace that it makes absolute sense for this year’s Cayman Islands Healthcare Conference to focus specifically on ways in which we can improve our health at work,” he said.

“This year organisers have invited an impressive line-up of health and wellness professionals who will be sharing their own vision for how we can stay healthy and even improve our health while at work. As the new Minister for Health, I am looking forward to being part of this annual event and eager to hear from the speakers, sponsors and delegates, who will provide valuable feedback as to how we can improve our health at home and in the workplace, resulting in a healthier community as a whole,” the minister added.

The Cayman Islands Healthcare Conference is due to take place from 17 to 19 October at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.  Registration is open and sponsorship opportunities are still available.

The Health Services Authority joins Health City as Premium sponsors, while Tenet Healthcare is the conference’s Premium Plus Sponsor. While there are still opportunities for sponsorship of this exciting event, the following organisations have also pledged their support: 21st Century Oncology, Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital, Cerner, Cayman First Insurance, Surgery Centre at Doral, Cleveland Clinic, Broward Health, the University of California – San Diego Health System, The Wellness Centre, Cayman Airways, Caymanian Compass, Sunshine Suites and Fast Signs.

Visit for more information.


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National choir looking for new voices

| 09/09/2013 | 4 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman National Choir is inviting new voices to join them as they begin their regular weekly choir practice this week. The Cayman National Choir was founded in 1977 with a small but enthusiastic and dedicated membership. It now has the support of more than 50, still enthusiastic, singers of all ages and from all walks of life. They are a harmonious mixture of Caymanians and expatriate residents, all of whom are proud to sing in Cayman's national choir. The choir is seeking new music lovers to join the members who enjoy singing together in particular male voices. There are no auditions, and sight reading skills are not required.

Many of the current members do not read music, but everyone helps each other with the music.
Since Sue Horrocks was appointed Musical Director in 1998, the Choir has simply gone from strength to strength. Its highest points so far were, undoubtedly, sold-out performances of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, under the baton of internationally-renowned conductor Wayne Marshall, Faure's Requiem, The Magic of Broadway featuring Welsh soprano, Lisa Carlisle. Also, Haydn’s Nelson Mass and the last Mozart’s Requiem concert with Ron Corp as conductor with soloists from Juilliard.

For anyone interested in joiningTel. 916 4782, or email – musicroomcayman@yahoo

Would-be choristers can come along to the Monday night practice which starts September 9 from 7.30pm at Cayman Prep School on Smith Road.

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Tropical Storm Humberto rolls across Atlantic

| 09/09/2013 | 1 Comment

(CNS): A tropical storm which developed off the coast of the Cape Verde Islands in the early hours of the morning continued rolling across the Atlantic Monday at around 13 miles per hour but the storm was not expected to pose any threat to the region. Forecasters from the National Hurricane Centres predicted that the storm which was expected to strengthen would make a sharp turn toward the northwest and north-northwest Tuesday and Wednesday pushing it away from land and up into the Atlantic. Meanwhile, the local weather was expected to remain wet with the weather centre calling for cloudy rainy conditions associated with a stationary upper level trough west of Cayman.

Radar images show widely scattered showers over the Cayman area slowly drifting northwest a 50% chance of light to moderate showers and possible thunder was expected Monday night with cloudy to overcast skies and a 60% chance of light to moderate showers and possible thunder on Tuesday with similar weather conditions persisting through Wednesday evening.

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Accounts in for audit

| 09/09/2013 | 19 Comments

(CNS): Although government has once again announced that all of its agencies have submitted their accounts to theOffice of the Auditor General (OAG) by the 31 August deadline, as required by law, it is still a long way from publishing an entire public sector financial report on time. The new finance minister reported that the quality of submissions has improved this year but the auditor’s office has so far remained silent on that issue because although the majority of government agencies have submitted something to the office by the deadline for the last three years, the information has not met the required international standard and the office is still working on previous years accounts due to the poor standard of submissions.

It is now ten years since government completed a full set of accounts, and public spending transparency remains elusive, regardless of the time and effort spent on trying to improve government books, as well as the employment of additional staff and consultants, plus assistance from UK experts.

Despite the claims over the last three financial years from government officials that the state of accounting has improved, the most recent report from Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick reveals that the improvements have been very slow in coming and have not yet achieved the desired result of publishing a clear and transparent report that can be understood by the public and clearly shows how taxpayers' money has been spent.

The Public Management and Finance Law stipulates that government ministries, portfolios and offices, as well as statutory authorities and government-owned companies, submit their 30 June year-end financial statements to the OAG by 31 August each year. However, it is only in the last two or three years that they have come close to doing so. The introduction of the new law and the impact of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004 threw public accounting into disarray. This and a lack of leadership on the issue, in addition to a skills gap in government finance departments has meant that government books are still in shambles.

Nevertheless, Finance Minister Marco Archer announced that all government ministries, portfolios and offices – which total 15 agencies – and its 26 statutory authorities and government-owned companies, had submitted their 30 June, 2013 financial statements by the statutory deadline of 31 August to the OAG for review and examination. 

“On behalf of the government, I offer my congratulations to the oversight group – consisting of the deputy governor, the financial secretary, and chief officer of the ministry of finance – that supervised the achievement of this result; as well as to all other chief officers, chief financial officers and supporting staff, for another great accomplishment and for putting greater effort and focus on improving the quality of the financial information,” Archer said.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said he was delighted with the compliance because it solidified government’s top priority of “ensuring good governance, accountability and proper fiscal management”.

The auditor general is required to issue an opinion on the financial statements by 31 October but for every year so far since the PMFL came into effect, his office has had to go back time and again to government entities seeking more information before his staff could even begin to audit the accounts. Following the government statement this week, the OAG said it had no comment to make until it could "progress our work on the information we have received”.

In a recent report Swarbrick said the time had come for government to rethink the situation and recommended a simplification of the law because it was apparent the government would continue to fail to meet its own requirements if it did not. And, of greater importance, without change government could never achieve timely and transparent information for the tax payer, he said.

Although more entities have managed to meet the date as each year passes, with information slowly getting better from the statutory authorities and government-owned companies, core government finance officials are still woefully behind and it is understood that the audit office is still working on the previous year’s accounts for the ministries and portfolios.

The audit office also said recently that the country is still several years away from being in a position to publish its full set of consolidated accounts.

See most recent reports from Swarbrick relating to government finances below.

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Local filmmakers start work on short thriller

| 09/09/2013 | 6 Comments

(CNS): Set here in the Cayman Islands, The Devil You Know is a new short film written and directed by local filmmakers, Badir Awe (Left) and Trevor Murphy, who are looking for sponsors and actors as pre-production work begins. The film will tell the story of a hit-man who comes to Cayman for a job but things don’t go exactly as planned. Filming is scheduled to begin in late October and the creators hope to have the film ready for submission to the international film festival circuit in spring 2014. Co-director Badir Awe said he was excited to get the ball moving on the project, working with local cinematographer Agustin “Froggy” Gonzalez and producer Judy Singh.

Casting starts this month with an open casting call on Saturday and Sunday 21 and 22 September  from 1pm to 6pm at the Harquail Studio Theatre, located behind the Harquail main stage theatre. However, interested local actors can call the casting director, Susie Robinson on 546-7641 or email

The production is seeking the following characters:
Vanessa – Female, late 20's – early 30's. The target and main character.
Bishop – Male, 30’s – 40’s the hit man and main character.
Josh – Male, late 20's – 30's. Minor role.
Renee – Female, late 20's – early 30's.
Isabelle – Female, late 20's – early 30's.
John Doe – Male 30’s – 40’s. Mystery man.
Victim – Female, late 20's – early 30's. Minor role.

The filmmakers said they were grateful for the support of the Cayman National Cultural Foundation’s Grants for the Arts programme but they still need sponsors, including an ‘Executive Producer’ with credit and exclusive on-set and screening privileges.

For information email or contact Judy Singh on 926-6502.

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Cops charge suspects for handling stolen goods

| 09/09/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The RCIPS have revealed that another three people have been arrested and charged in connection with handling stolen goods from a commercial break-in earlier this year. A police spokesperson said Monday that the three suspected offenders were all due to appear in court later this month regarding the charges, which hold that the three had taken possession of goods stolen during a burglary in Crewe Road at Cayman Contractors on 17 June. The two men and one woman, aged 29, 30 and 43, are expected to appear in court on 24 September.

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10,000+ customers hit by weekend power outages

| 09/09/2013 | 2 Comments

(CNS): Over ten thousand homes and businesses were without power for significant periods over the weekend when a major road smash, adverse weather and lightning strikes cause outages from West Bay to East end. CUC crews battled around the clock to get customers connected but some ended up being without power for more than six hours. The trouble started with a car smash in the early morning hours of Saturday, 7 September when a car knocked down a CUC pole along Linford Pierson Highway. The crash took a main transmission line and two distribution circuits out of service affecting customers in South Sound and all areas east through Prospect Bodden Town, East End and North Side as maintenance work prevented the power company from re-routing power.

“Customers experienced service interruption of varying durations from 1:21 am to 5:37 am. The impact due to the loss of the transmission circuit was more severe than normal as the alternate routing of power through the Rum Point submarine cable was not available as maintenance work was being conducted in the Rum Point Substation,” CUC said in a statement released Monday. “CUC personnel responded to restore power to all areas through the submarine cable while the replacement of the pole and equipment at the scene of the accident was carried out.”

The pweor firm added that its Crews worked throughout the early morning hours and into the afternoon on Saturday when repairs were completed at 1:30pm.

Then a major lightning storm on Sunday crossing Grand Cayman took out two distribution circuits at the South Sound substation which serves parts of South Sound, Walkers Road and Crewe Road. Customers in that area were out for approximately one hour before Crews could make the necessary inspection and repairs to restore the power in a safe and efficient manner.
In addition crews also battled with isolated and in some instances much longer outages due to lightning strikes that damaged specific distribution transformer equipment in the districts of West Bay and Bodden Town.


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