Archive for October 14th, 2014

International drawing festival comes to Cayman

International drawing festival comes to Cayman

| 14/10/2014 | 1 Comment

(NGCI): October is Big Draw month in over 20 countries, with 280,000 people expected to join in over 1000 events. The Big Draw offers thousands of enjoyable, and mostly free, drawing activities connecting people of all ages with museums, galleries, outdoor spaces, artists, designers, illustrators and each other. This year Big Draw events at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands (NGCI) will highlight the power of drawing through the theme It’s Our World. The gallery will explore the world of drawing through a programme of activities which includes a student art exhibition, documentary film screenings, an interactive drawing lab, a family fun day, free drawing workshops for all ages, and drawing courses in Cayman Brac.

NGCI Communications and Public Engagement Manager, Kaitlyn Elphinstone, said: “This is the third year the National Gallery has hosted Big Draw festival events. The new National Gallery facilities have allowed us to offer a diverse range of engaging events and activities throughout the year, The Big Draw being one of them.”

See the full release and schedule of events below

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CI students in book writing project for Kenyan school

CI students in book writing project for Kenyan school

| 14/10/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Prospect Primary School students from Jayme Farrell’s Year 3 class helped to raise much needed cash for an East African school when they took part in the Write to Give Programme organised by the Canadian charity World Teacher Aid.  The first time a school from Cayman has participated in the writing initiative the kids worked with four other schools in Canada to write a narrative story.  Farrell’s class was chosen to write the end and the completed book was then published.

Students were able to buy and sell copies of the finished book to family and friends with the proceeds going to provide children in Lamolo, Kenya with a school and resources.

34 different books were written by students from the Cayman Islands, Canada, USA, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Netherlands and Switzerland, this year and more than 3000 copies were sold raising over US$45,000 for the Kenyan school.

“While participating in the programme, students learned the essential elements of a fiction text, generated interesting ideas with their classmates, and collaborated with schools in Canada,” said Farrell. “They thoroughly enjoyed writing the ending, especially since they were able to solve the main problem in the story, whilst creating a funny and interesting final thought to the book which would leave the reader with a smile on their face.  Through this initiative, students were not only able to develop their literacy skills, but also became global citizens, as they learned about other children’s cultures and needs in the world,” she added.

Prospect Primary School Principal Gloria Bell said it was an authentic and rewarding opportunity for students to make a difference in the lives of others.

“The students from Ms. Farrell’s Year 3 class are now celebrating their success as they share their books with their classmates, family and friends, here in the Cayman Islands. I would like to thank Mrs. Farrell for her leadership in this initiative and truly bringing literacy to life in her classroom.”

Education officials also got a copy of the book including the education minister Tara Rivers who said she was delighted to meet the talented students who co-authored it. 

“Such initiatives are truly important for the development of our students both academically and as global citizens who actively and positively contribute to the world around them.  I congratulate the students and their teacher on this success and I hope that more of our schools and students will get involved in such projects,” Rivers added.

World Teacher Aid is a Canadian charity dedicated to providing and improving educational opportunities in the developing world.  Their vision is accomplished through renovating existing schools and building new ones for internally displaced communities that have been uprooted from their homes.  Their current projects are within Kenya and Ghana.  Their Write to Give Programme is designed to empower primary school students to become published authors while giving back to children in developing nations.  To find out more about this charity and their Write toGive Programme please

The Prospect Primary School students’ book The Serenity Sombrero will be released on in early 2015 for purchase and a copy of the published book will be made available for the Cayman Islands Public Library Service

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Sir John A Cumber Under 9s defeat St Ignatius Prep

Sir John A Cumber Under 9s defeat St Ignatius Prep

| 14/10/2014 | 0 Comments

(CUC-PFL): The Under 9 youngsters from Sir John A Cumber opened their 2014/15 CUC Primary Football League (PFL) campaign with a 2-0 victory over St Ignatius Prep at the West Bay Town Hall Field Saturday, October 11. In the Group A Under 9 encounter, it was a tense first half as neither school could find the target. Coming off a commanding 4-0 win over Truth For Youth’s Under 9s last weekend, St. Ignatius’ forwards were finding it difficult to break down the Sir John A Cumber rearguard. In the 32nd minute, the breakthrough came as Sir John A. Cumber’s Drequan Kirchman opened the scoring squeezing a shot between the St Ignatius goalkeeper Jon-Paul Miller and the near post to the delight of his team mates.

Sir John A. Cumber added a second in the 47th minute albeit an unfortunate own goal on the part of St. Ignatius. St. Ignatius’ Jon-Paul Miller was outstanding between the posts as he thwarted the Sir John A. Cumber attack with some excellent saves throughout the game.
In the Under 11 game, the final score of 3-3 reflected an exciting encounter which thrilled the large contingent of parents and supporters gathered on the side lines. Sir John A. Cumber’s Arthur Fredericks opened the scoring for the boys in red but Daniel Novak responded almost immediately for St. Ignatius.

In the second half, Sir John A. Cumber’s Rashaad Powery blasted his school in front before Daniel Rivers once again brought his school level. St. Ignatius’ Matthew Lloyd-Hickey added a third to take the lead late in the game for the prepsters but Sir John A. Cumber’s Lewey Bodden had the final say in this enthralling encounter as he found the net with almost the last kick of the game to make it 3-3.

In the Group A Girls’ Primary Football League (GPFL) match-up Sir John A. Cumber Primary’s Stoyanna Stewart scored twice in the 12th and 22nd minutes and Hayleigh Sciamonte added a third in the 49th minute to secure the victory over an enthusiastic group of young ladies from St. Ignatius.

Other PFL results in Group A included Truth For Youth 2 vs. George Town Primary 0 (Under 9) and Truth For Youth 4 vs. George Town Primary 0 (Under 11).

In Group B it was Red Bay Primary 2 vs. NorthEast Schools 1 (Under 9); Red Bay Primary 2 vs. NorthEast Schools 2 (Under 11); South Sound Schools 0 vs. Cayman Prep 6 (Under 9); South Sound Schools 2 vs. Cayman Prep 2 (Under 11); Prospect Primary 4 vs. Bodden Town Primary 0 (Under 9); Prospect Primary 2 vs. Bodden Town Primary 0 (Under 11) and Triple C 3 vs. Cayman Brac 1 (Under 11).

In Group B of the GPFL, it was NorthEast Schools 0 vs. Red Bay Primary Primary 0.
The 2014/2015 CUC PFL and GPFL regular season continues this Saturday, October 18 with games at Prospect Primary, Savannah Primary, Bodden Town Primary, the Old Man Bay Field in North Side and the Annex Field in George Town.

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Local riders still in running for show jumping title

Local riders still in running for show jumping title

| 14/10/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Riders Isabelle Smith, in the Under 16 class, and CEA debutante, Chloe Fowler, in the Under 14 class represented Cayman at the third leg of the Caribbean Equestrian Association’s Junior Show Jumping Competition in Trinidad last month. In the individual competition, Smith placed 3rd in the Under 16s category, and Fowler placed second in the Under 14s category. After the team rounds, Trinidad were 1st  with 10 faults, Jamaica 2nd on 26 faults with Cayman coming 3rd by a difference of just one fault with 27. This means that this year, the pack is extremely tight and it is still anyone’s game. Overall Cayman and Jamaica are in joint first place with 9 points, and Barbados and Trinidad in jt third on 7 points. The final leg of the competition is set for November.

Each year, the four CEA countries, Cayman, Barbardos, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, meet once in each country to compete over four show jumping courses. Each time, they compete on horses loaned by the country hosting the event.  In September it was the turn of Trinidad to host the event. Barbados were unfortunately unable to attend the competition, which left Cayman, Jamaica and Trinidad fighting it out for points.

During the team event in Trinidad both Smith and Fowler had tricky first rounds on challenging horses, picking up 6 and 9 faults respectively on the first day. After a course change for the next round, both riders returned to the arena and executed excellent clear rounds in round 2. The following day, Smith picked up 8 faults in the third round and Fowler picked up 4. As Barbados were unable to attend the competition, only three instead of the usual four round were required.

Coach Tracey Surrey, who accompanied the team to Trinidad said the riders expected some of the horses would be extremely forward going as they often come to show jumping off the race track. “Both members of the team knew this, came prepared and did well in their rounds. Riding borrowed horses is great experience for teaching you how to ride all different sorts of horses and that is why this competition is invaluable experience for our Cayman riders.”

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NCVO Struggling To Raise Cash

NCVO Struggling To Raise Cash

| 14/10/2014 | 15 Comments

(CNS): Officials from one of Cayman’s oldest charities that takes care of local children in need is struggling to raise the money it needs to keep its various programmes running. Ahead of its annual radio telethon later this month the charity said Tuesday that it was more than $50,000 short in funding for its main annual fundraiser. The NCVO will need to raise over $140k from the event in order to maintain the Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home, Miss Nadine’s Pre-school, the Jack and Jill Nursery, the John R Gray Memorial Fund and the Caring Cousins Lunch Support Programme.

Despite the high standard of living for many in Cayman hundreds of children are still living in poverty and difficult situations and depend on the NCVO services.

The charity has produced a fund raising video and is asking anyone who can help to contact the charity on 949 2124.

See more in the video here

See related story on CNS

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Parents urged to talk to kids about cyber bullying

Parents urged to talk to kids about cyber bullying

| 14/10/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Cyber and on-line bullying will be one of the areas of focus this year as officials mark bullying awareness month throughout October. Local experts said there is more to bullying than just teasing and if not addressed appropriately it can have lasting negative effects on the bullies and the bullied. The Family Resource Centre will be offering sessions to students about being cyber brave: taking a stand against online and cyber bullying and Miriam Foster the FRC programme coordinator urged parents to use the month as an opportunity to talk with their children about bullying and their online experiences. She said cyber bullying doesn’t allow children a time of respite or safe space to call home.

It can range from sending mean messages or threats, spreading rumours, posting unflattering pictures to pretending to be someone else online. “It is very easy to disconnect virtually and forget that there is a human being on the other side of that screen, “ said Foster. Social media is meant to be about connection, not about disconnecting and causing harm to others. As parents we need to stress the importance of cyber etiquette and encourage our children to be cyber brave and stand up to others or report inappropriate conduct. We all have a part to play.”

Organized by the Family Resource Centre (FRC), the celebration aims to educate the public on how to protect children from the effects of bullying, and to unite communities. With this objective in mind a number of activities have been organised throughout the month.

The Take a Stand Conference takes place on Wednesday, 15 October 2014 from 5:30pm-8:30pm at the George Town Public Library. This is organised as part of the Library’s lecture series and the FRC’s family skills sessions. The event will include interactive presentations, hands-on activities and information for children, teens, parents and employers. LIME staff will also facilitate computer safety and cyber bullying prevention sessions. Refreshments will also be available. The event is free but registration is recommended. To register, interested persons are asked to contact the centre at 949-0006 or email

On Friday, 17 October, persons from various organizations, companies and schools are encouraged to wear pink STOOD UP t-shirts and take a visible, public stance against bullying by posting photos on their Facebook pages. Shirts are now available for sale. $10 for adults and $5 for children.

On Saturday, 18 October – Stand Up Day, the public is invited to participate in the Business and Professional Women’s Club (BPWC) Silent Witness March at 12:00 pm. The walk will begin from Government Administration Building and end at the Legislative Assembly. Participants are also asked to wear their pink STOOD Up t-shirts.

Organisations are welcome to walk with their club banners during the march. Although BPWC organizes this annual event for domestic violence, it is now being extended to victims of bullying since these relationships are parallel. Following this, speakers will share their personal stories on bullying.

There will also be a chance to paint tiles as part of the Peace Wall that FRC is hoping to erect by next year. A slogan was also developed during Peace Day this past September, Bullying: Just Kids Being Kids, Until It’s Your Kid! This slogan will be displayed at various locations throughout the districts.

Later in the month, US anti-bullying campaigners Kirk and Laura Smalley the founders of the organization Stand for the Silent will also be in Cayman to present educational sessions providing tools for children, parents, and educators to help prevent bullying.  The Smalleys will give two Be the Difference presentations per day from October 20 to October 24 at the Family Life Center on Walkers Road at 9am and 1pm. 

These free presentations are open to students, parents, educators, and concerned community members.

Stand for the Silent was started in 2010 by a group of students from Oklahoma State University after they heard the story of Kirk and Laura Smalley’s son, Ty Field-Smalley. At eleven years old, Ty took his own life after being bullied for over two years.    Kirk and Laura’s mission is to bring change to kids’ lives and bring awareness to bullying and the real devastation it causes. They have spoken with nearly one million children and have been invited to speak at numerous conferences on bullying.

Rooster 101 and Z99, are sponsoring the campaign and the Smalley’s visit, Jennifer Steele of Hurley’s Entertainment said it was wonderful to be able to bring such dynamic speakers with such a powerful message to the Cayman Islands. “The Smalley’s tragic story was really the genesis of Be the Difference Cayman.  I knew that bullying happened everywhere, and that fact was really brought home to Cayman with the story of Ezra McLaughlin who committed suicide as a result of being bullied,” said Steele.

John Gray High School has already reserved 400 spaces at the workshop and other public and private school administrators are encouraged to reserve space for their students. 

Reservations and more information about the events are available on 945-1166

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McCallum swims to victory in annual CUC 800M

McCallum swims to victory in annual CUC 800M

| 14/10/2014 | 0 Comments

(CIASA): Competition in the 26th Annual CUC 800m Sea Swim saw Stingray’s Iain McCallum and CBAC Coach Chris Dart in a stroke for stroke swim all the way to end, with McCallum edging Dart out to take first in 9.56 minutes, just .03 ahead of Dart’s 9.59 time. Eddie Weber came in third in 10.09 and first female to finish was Ella Plunkett in a time of 11.23. "The CUC Sea Swim has been a favourite fixture on the CIASA open water calendar for the past 26 years, and the swimming community is grateful for CUC’s commitment to the ongoing growth and development of the sport,” said Michael Lockwood, CIASA President. 

Taking place on Saturday, October 11th, conditions were beautiful – even if a little on the hot side for spectators. 128 swimmers started the swim (127 finished) and spectators walking the beach really got in to the spirit of the swim with loud cheering from the beach – urging on swimmers to make the most of the conditions and sprint to the finish.

While all the swimmers deserve congratulations for competing, special mention must be made of the two athletes who competed in the 60+ Age Group – Barb Peterston and Frankie Flowers – showing once again that the sport of swimming is one which athletes can take part in for many, many years.

Handing out awards at the end of the swim was CUC’s Richard Hew, ably assisted by daughter Lauren; and Sophia and Isabela Watler (daughters of CUC’s David Watler).

Swimmers received a goody bag and t-shirt; and refreshments and Subway Sandwiches were also provided at the end of the race.

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Cayman not fully prepared for Ebola

Cayman not fully prepared for Ebola

| 14/10/2014 | 68 Comments

(CNS): Around 80 people showed up at a public awareness meeting at the hospital on Monday night to hear what plans the local health and other government authorities have in place to deal with a case of the deadly Ebola virus, should it reach these shores. Dr Kiran Kumar the medical officer of health said that people shouldn’t panic as he believed the possibility of the virus coming here was still very remote as he admitted that plans to deal with a possible case were not yet finalised. He said discussions were still underway about where any infected person could be held and assessments had yetto be completed regarding the protective equipment and resources that would be needed.

Although government hasn’t issued any travel bans and there are no plans to do so yet, Kumar urged people not to go to the West African countries where the virus has taken a hold be it for humanitarian or any other reason. He said there was just one resident in Cayman from Liberia which has seen around 2500 people die from the disease and 14 from Nigeria where eight people died and where the virus appears to have been contained.

Kumar noted that only three people have passed through Cayman’s airports since the beginning of the year that had come from West Africa so the country does not have any real cause for concern regarding travel from the impacted countries. However, he said that public officials will monitor closely the situation in Texas to see how many people who have been quarantined will test positive for the virus. Several dozen people in the Dallas areas were isolated as a result of coming into contact with either the nurse Nina Pham who is now infected or the patient she cared for, Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who was the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States.

Kumar confirmed that if anyone is diagnosed in Cayman they will be treated here and the hospital is seeking to identify an entirely separate unit somewhere on the hospital grounds or nearby where a treatment centre come be isolated. He said that by the middle of next week the public health department will know exactly what equipment it needs from the WHO recommended list to enable the local hospital to cope in the first few days before it would expect to receive support from international health agencies.

“According to WHO we need to have personal protective equipment etc. and a facility. We are working on all those things and taking stock of items on the list and we will order what we haven’t got.”

The doctor said that all government agencies from those involved in border control to hazard management have been meeting and brainstorming about the best way to keep the virus out of Cayman but also how to tackle a case if a person infected arrives here and he said there is a skeleton plan although it is not yet fully formed.

“We have contingency plans and have identified how we could deal with a case but we have not come to any final conclusions,” Kumar said.

Outlining the details of the disease its spread and its mortality rate which was confirmed Tuesday as 70% by WHO Dr Kumar pointed out that those caring for patients in the last stages of the sickness are the most vulnerable.

So far experts on the disease have indicated that those with casual contact during the early part of the contagious period with someone who has Ebola do not appear to be contracting the virus. Dr. Julie Fischer, an associate research professor of health policy at George Washington University has told the US media that the “casually exposed arenot getting sick,” which is reassuring for successful containment in the US.

Health experts claim the disease is hard to catch, that an infected person is not contagious until symptoms appear and that Ebola is spread by close contact with bodily fluids such as blood, sweat and saliva. No evidence points to anything else.

Nevertheless, health care workers are at high risk and have been hard-hit during this outbreak. They are the ones dealing with patients at their most contagious and even following strict protocols two nurses in western countries have caught the disease from patients.

If an infected person arrives in Cayman, while those who come casually into contact with the patient may not be at risk, the health care workers at the hospital who are assigned to that patient are at themselves at increasing risk as the patient gets sicker. Dr Kumar confirmed there would need to be training to ensure staff can protect themselves, and how to wear the protective bio suits. He said it was important to know not just how to put on and wear the protective suits but how to remove them and dispose of the suits after treating Ebola patients, safely. It is understood that the Dallas nurse was exposed to Ebola during the removal process.

Cayman is not yet screening patients but the West African nations impacted are exit screening and the US and European airports are also beginning to screen. This means that anyone carrying Ebola would have gone through at least two screenings before they arrived in Cayman.

Kumar admitted that it would not be possible to say Cayman will not get a case but the chances he said were remote. He said if there was a case Cayman would cope but admitted that no one could know what would happen if there was a worldwide epidemic of the virus.

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Sea front restaurant robbed

Sea front restaurant robbed

| 14/10/2014 | 44 Comments

(CNS): Two masked men armed with what appeared to be guns made off with a cash register as well as cash and the possessions of both staff and customers at a popular George Town ocean front restaurant Monday. Police say that they received a report of an armed robbery at the Fish Shack on North Church Street in down town George Town just before 11pm. The men entered the premises and demanded cash from a staff member and during the course of the robbery they took the cash register belonging to the business as well as cash and cell phones from employees and a customer. The robbers made off on foot onto Wahoo Close off North Church Street with around $600 in cash.

The suspects were described as having dark complexions. They were said to be tall and slim and both villains were wearing dark coloured clothing, including hoodies and long pants. No shots were fired and no one was injured, an RCIPS spokesperson stated.

Anyone who was in the area at the relevant time and saw or heard anything suspicious is asked to contact the George Town Police Station at 949-4222, the RCIPS tip line at 949-7777 or Crime Stoppers at 800-TIPS (8477).

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Lawyer: Roadblocks illegal

Lawyer: Roadblocks illegal

| 14/10/2014 | 119 Comments

(CNS): A local criminal defence attorney has filed a complaint with the director of public prosecutions and the police over what he says is the illegal temporary detention of drivers during police roadblocks and checks. Peter Polack told CNS that he believes the frequent checks set up by the RCIPS where they randomly detain law abiding motorists are unconstitutional. He said the human rights now offered to the Caymanian people under the Constitution are not being protected by either the police, the attorney general or the home affairs ministry and the people need to use the law to hold them to account. He said that the police have other ways to check licence infractions and do not need to pull over law-abiding drivers.

“The police traffic check points for vehicle coupons is, in my view, illegal and a complaint has been made to the DPP for unlawful detention,” Polack said.

The lawyer explained that he and many other drivers were detained by officers, despite committing no crimes, in a traffic check close to the cricket ground in George Town at about 10:30 pm on Saturday 11 October.

“The Constitution guarantees freedom of movement and the police should only stop the citizens of this country in any public place on suspicion of commission of an offence. The Department of Vehicle Licensing has an available database with any expired coupons andthe police should not be detaining citizens for this purpose," Polack said.

"The Constitution guarantees the people of the Cayman Islands certain rights, which they must enforce as they cannot rely on the attorney general, the commissioner of police, the minister of home affairs and premier to protect them from obvious and open breaches of their human rights by the very same persons sworn to protect them.

“Recent examples require voters to demand people first. Those who endorse this behaviour or fail to denounce this conduct should feel the lash of the electorate on Election Day,” the attorney added.

In his complaint to the DPP Polack points out that the member of the RCIPS who stopped him and other drivers displayed no visible identification or number as he was wearing a dark protection vest.

“In reply to my query as to the reason for the stopping of my vehicle and detention I was advised that this was a 'coupon check'. Persons who were observed being stopped in an extensive line of traffic late at night were not advised of the reason for their temporary detention,” he noted.

Polack pointed out that the coupon checks and the temporary detention are unnecessary because of the DVL records to which the police have access. But worse, he claims, these stops amount to a breach of section 5 of the Constitution, which provides that no one shall be deprived by government of liberty and security of the person. He also said that Section 5 (3) says anyone detained has a right to be promptly informed of the detention without having to ask.

The lawyer warned the DPP that the roadblocks also amount to a breach of section 13(1), which provides that no person shall be hindered by government in the enjoyment of his or her freedom of movement, that is to say, the right to move freely throughout the Cayman Islands. He added that the Penal Code requires those employed in the public service to protect and uphold the constitution, not breach it.

Nor is Polack alone in his concerns about the police road blocks. The former minister for community affairs and memebr of the previous UDP Cabinet, Mike Adam, said he too has had concerns about the road checks for some time.

“This impromptu coupon check is a third world practice that causes harassment for the motoring public. Needless to say, while one is unlawfully detained it provides the opportunity to detect other offences i.e., DUI, Seatbelt, Window Tinting,” Adam said.

The police do have the power to stop and search people if they have genuine reasons to suspect someone may be involved in criminal behaviour, especially in relation to drugs. But it is unlawful for police to merely stop people in the hope or on the off-chance that they might have committed a crime.

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