Archive for August 26th, 2014

Cayman lets lead slip away against favourites

| 26/08/2014 | 4 Comments

(CNS): Cayman may have stunned their Jamaican opponents and their home crowd on Monday night when Leo Ebanks opened the scoring against the favourites just five minutes into the match followed two minutes later by a second goal from Elijah Seymour but they were unable to hold onto the surprising advantage. In the end the national team lost five three to Jamaica on match day two of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Under 17 Boys Group 1 qualifiers at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.

The Jamaicans responded to the Cayman attack and in the 15th minute Alex Marshall puled the first goal back and a second just three minutes later to even the score board. However, Cayman’s Captain Zachary Scott gave his side the advantage again when he scored in the 25th minute.

The young squad was however unable to maintain the lead when Jamaica lifted the pace and were rewarded with Marshall getting his second goal in the 62 minute to one again level the score. Ajeanie Talbot got the lead in the 75th before Marshall scored his hat-trick and game clincher in the 92nd minute of play.

In the other match in Group one Guadeloupe defeated the US Virgin Islands 5-0 while Cayman will take on that team Wednesday evening hoping to pick up at least 3 points before they are out of the tournament.

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Police warn drivers to take care as schools re-open

| 26/08/2014 | 17 Comments

(CNS): As government and private schools will all be re-opening fully next week the police are warning drivers to take extra care when students are coming to and from school. Students will also be walking to and from schools and crossing the roads as the school buses pick them up or set them down so motorists are reminded to stop when the buses do and wait until they move on. Police urged drivers to be extremely cautious when approaching school zones and to obey traffic lights when flashing. It is an offence to exceed the speed limit of 15mph in school zones with ticketable fines starting at $200.

But for every 1mph over the speed limit an additional $20 will be added to the $200 fine up to a maximum of $500. It is also an offence under the current Traffic Law to fail to give ample clearance to a school vehicle or overtake such vehicle while it is engaged in setting down or picking up passengers.  It is a ticketable offence which carries a fine of $150.00.

“Motorist should treat every student as their own and to respect every student as they would expect others to treat theirs,” said Inspector Barnett of the Traffic Management.

Meanwhile, the District Commander, of the Eastern Districts, Chief Inspector Brad Ebanks added that there will be an increase in the police presence on the streets as the Schools reopen in Savannah, Bodden Town, Frank Sound, North Side and East End.

“There may be delays in the school zones due to new students and advice the motoring public to exercise caution when travelling through these areas,” he said. “Officers will be on locations to minimize traffic congestion and ensure that the law is adhered to.”

He also urged motorists not only to follow the law but to be cautious and courteous.

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Grand Cayman suffers lunchtime power loss

| 26/08/2014 | 14 Comments

(CNS): Customers across Grand Cayman suffered power blackouts for several hours on Tuesday when CUC had problems with the loss of power generation at its North Sound plant. The technical problems impacted homes and businesses in George Town, Seven Mile Beach, Bodden Town, West Bay and North Side when more than 5500 of CUC's 28,000 customers suffered rotating power outages between 11:38 am and 2:05 pm though most blackouts were less than an hour long, a spoksperson for CUC said. Apologizing for the loss of supply she explained that the power outages were down to a temporary shortage in generating capacity.

This was due to the sudden loss of one of the company’s generating units. This then triggered a cascade in loss of other units. "CUC’s maintenance crews worked as quickly as possible to return the generating units to service in a safe manner and to restore power to all customers," the firm's spokesperson added.

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Former turtle farm provides example for CTF

| 26/08/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): A former sea turtle farm in the Reunion Islands in the Indian Ocean has successfully transitioned into a respected research centre where groundbreaking science is conducted but remains one of the islands' top tourist attractions. It also maintains the cultural heritage of the islands and their involvement with turtling, while continuing to employ people, according to Neil D’Cruze from World Animal Protection. See video

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Ex-health minister director at new air ambulance

| 26/08/2014 | 70 Comments

(CNS): A new air-ambulance service that will be doing business with the Health Services Authority, Health City Cayman Islands, as well as Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital will be housing a Cessna Citation Ultra V jet on Grand Cayman dedicated to providing air medical services 24 hours per day, seven days per week, according to the firm, Aitheras Aviation Group. Mark Scotland, the health minister during the previous administration, is now a director of the firm, which was founded in 2005. A recent report by the auditor general had raised concerns about the management of such services, on which government spends more than three-quarters of a million dollars per year.

According to a release from Aitheras Aviation Group, its air ambulance will be based at the Island Air hanger at the Owen Roberts International Airport. Describing itself as Cayman’s first air medical provider, it has partnered with Dr Steve Tomlinson and the Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital to provide critical care transport personnel for all air medical transports. In addition to the jet on Cayman, a backup Citation is being stationed in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

A report by the auditor general published in 2013 examining how government deals with medical emergency airlift during the financial year ending June 2012 stated that there were 71 medical evacuations via the government health insurance company, CINICO, costing government US$814,623. Alistair Swarbrick had raised concerns over unlicensed operation of a ground handling service, uncertainty over medical personnel, political interference, a lack of proper public tendering and a failure to document proper procedures by the HSA, CINICO and the CIAA.

Whether or not this new service will make a difference to government costs or whether it will be focused entirely on those covered by private insurance has not been stated but in a release Scotland, who was described as being "instrumental in establishing the company" here in Cayman, said it would reduce the time it takes to get patients to the care needed.

“By having a plane based on Grand Cayman, Aitheras will significantly improve the response time for air ambulance services. We are also glad to be working with Chrissie Tomlinson Hospital to use local personnel for the medical transport,” he stated.

Aitheras Aviation Group, LLC is based in Cleveland, Ohio and has transported patients to over 38 countries. The company operates 13 aircraft specially configured for medical transports as well as executive charter. It is an on-demand aircraft operation that arranges for transports from anywhere around the world. The Aitheras call centre and crews are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to dispatch immediately available aircraft.

Mitch Stanaland is the company’s Operations Manager and he now has an office on Airport Road. 

See the auditor’s report on the Management of Air Ambulance Services below.

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Our unsung heroes

| 26/08/2014 | 36 Comments

In the indecent haste to discard the civil service 3.2% cost of living allowance (COLA) many unsung heroes have been left behind. There are many government workers who do not show up on the radar screen of employee awards who daily give the people of the Cayman Islands free labour. Whether shortened lunch hours or uncompensated weekend workloads, there are many that go without regularly.

Daily days of extra minutes to hours can become astronomical over a year. Days in lieu cannot pay CUC or the supermarket. There are many uncompensated gifts of labour from all branches of the civil service from the economically depressed.

It must stop.

There should be a work to rule until those who receive the highest salaries face up to this inequality. They cannot comprehend the fragile existence of month to month pay life. Improbable as this may be, the unpaid must become the unreasonable.

Unpaid work in the private sector would find employers before the labour tribunal. In the criminal court this is called obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception, more frequently applied to unpaid hotel bills. The cutbacks have overstayed their welcome in the hotel of free civil service labour.

If there is any intention to discard long serving, long suffering government employees or limit their compensation, it should only happen if free labour comes to a halt or arrears paid up.
A better start would be a higher salary reduction the higher the salary. Lower salaries would see a 1% reduction and highest salaries a 10% cut.

People are not beasts of burden to be taken to the abattoir of economic convenience.

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