April 25, 2015

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Semi-annual Cayman Islands labour force survey resumes on April 26th

thumb_ESOBeginning this year, the Labour Force Survey reverts to its twice – a-year schedule. Since 2008, the LFS has been conducted only once a year (every October). The April round of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) which was last conducted in 2007 resumes this year and will commence on April 26 and end on May 26, 2015.

“The conduct of the LFS twice a year is expected to present a more accurate picture of the employment situation in the country as it takes into account the seasonality of employment opportunities,” stated the Hon. Marco Archer, Minister for Finance and Economic Development.

The LFS, which is implemented by the Economics and Statistics Office (ESO) seeks to collect data on the employed and unemployed persons in the Cayman Islands, as well as those who are not in the labour force. The last LFS conducted in October 2014 showed the labour force reaching 39,582 persons, of which 37,723 were employed while 1,859 were unemployed. The unemployment rate was estimated at 4.7 percent.

Trained interviewers from the ESO will visit a total of 1,400 randomly selected sample households in the three Islands over a four-week period. The ESO once again appeals to the public for its full cooperation with the interviewers, and to provide the necessary information, which will be collected under the Statistics Law (2011 Revision). The interviews are confidential, and no individual data will be used for publication or disclosed to parties outside of the ESO. ESO survey data are exempt from Freedom of Information.

For further information on any aspect of the survey, or results of previous surveys, contact the Economics & Statistics Office at 949-0940 or visit www.eso.ky

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Annie Mae Ebanks celebrates 21 Years at Cayman Islands Turtle Farm

Anni Mae EbanksCongratulations to Annie Mae (Betty) Ebanks, who celebrated 21 years of service at the Cayman Turtle Farm this March 25th.

Annie Mae is a Sales Clerk in Splash gift shop, and celebrated her milestone anniversary with a commendation from a customer.

Annie Mae made sure that the customer ended up with the perfect souvenir of her trip, going the extra mile to have the item delivered to the guest’s resort – which is on the other side of the island.

In gratitude, the happy guest wrote: “I visited the Turtle Farm last week and bought a few items in the gift shop. Inadvertently one of the items I had purchased was left behind. Annie had assisted me with the transaction and she was the one I called when I realized what had happened. When we spoke she assured me that she would do whatever it took to get my beautiful turtle mug to me. That same evening a very nice gentleman showed up at Morritt’s, mug in hand. I want to thank the Turtle Farm and Annie specifically for making my visit a very special experience.”

Thank you Annie Mae for going the extra mile and for your 21 years of kind service.

IMAGE: Annie Mae Ebanks Celebrates 21 Years at Cayman Turtle Farm

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DIGICEL welcomes announcement by St. Lucia NTRC of public consultation on LIME / FLOW merger

colm– Calls for model of duplicate assets divestiture to be considered

Tuesday 21st April 2015 – Kingston, Jamaica: Digicel today confirmed its strong support for the announcement by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of St. Lucia (‘St. Lucia NTRC’) of a public consultation process in relation to the merger between Cable and Wireless Communications (‘LIME’) and FLOW / Columbus Communications Inc. (‘FLOW’). The St. Lucia NTRC has invited members of the public / all interested parties to make submissions on the merger to the NTRC by Thursday 30th April 2015.

Digicel has previously publicly called upon the Regulatory Authorities in St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada to be mindful of the conditions imposed by the Regulatory Authorities in Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago; particularly in relation to the divestiture of duplicate fibre and related infrastructure assets created by the merger of LIME and FLOW’s networks. In its decision published on 27th March, the Barbados Fair Trading Commission (‘the FTC’) confirmed the view that the merger would create ‘… anti-competitive effects … in the Fixed-voice (landline) telephony and Fixed Data (broadband internet)….’ markets. Accordingly, the FTC imposed 14 separate significant conditions on its merger approval compelling LIME to promptly divest of significant overlap fibre assets in Barbados to a third party or parties to be approved by the FTC. These compulsory divestments include fibre assets relating to 27,000+ homes passed by the Karib Cable network and an additional 28,000+ homes outside of the Karib Cable network; but within the combined LIME / FLOW networks. The FTC also made its approval conditional on other specific conditions, including guaranteed consumer choice on service contracts, provision of pole and duct access to third party providers and retail price tariffing in the product markets affected by the strongly anti-competitive effects of the merger.

Digicel has submitted to ECTEL and to the NTRC’s in the affected countries that the merger of LIME and FLOW is, at the very least, every bit as serious a challenge to competition in key telecoms markets in St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada as it is in Barbados and that the anti-competitive effects of the merger are perhaps even more obvious in the OECS. Accordingly, Digicel submits that these OECS regulatory authorities must also very seriously consider the remedies of overlap assets divestiture in the OECS in order to address these obvious anti-competitive effects of the merger.

Digicel Group CEO, Colm Delves, commented; “We very much welcome this intervention by the St. Lucia NTRC and its commitment to a rigorous regulatory examination of the proposed merger. This matter needs to be very carefully examined and monitored by the regulatory authorities in the OECS countries.”

ABOUT DIGICEL
Digicel Group Limited is a leading global telecommunications provider with operations in 33 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific. After 14 years of operation, total investment to date stands at over US$5 billion worldwide. The company is renowned for delivering best value, best service and best network.

Digicel runs a host of community-based initiatives across its markets and has set up Digicel Foundations in Jamaica, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago which focus on educational, cultural and social development programmes.

Digicel is the lead sponsor of Caribbean, Central American and Pacific sports teams and individuals including the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt and Special Olympics teams throughout these regions. Digicel also sponsors the West Indies cricket team.

Visit www.digicelgroup.com for more information.

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US firm to aid newly-minted Jamaican cannabis market

Cannabis_sativa_leaf_Dorsal_aspect_2012_01_23_0830webBy Nelson A. King from Caribbean Life
A communications and marketing firm in Denver, Colorado says it is ready to provide services to the “newly-minted” Jamaican cannabis market.

Claiming to be advisor for cannabis reform in Jamaica, the Cannabis Global Initiative (CGI) said it is now offering a “full suite of services” to assist companies wanting to be among the first to do legal cannabis business in the Caribbean, and has opened a second office in Kingston, the Jamaican capital.

Legislation to make provisions for ganja reform was approved by the Jamaican Cabinet and tabled in the Senate in January 2015.

This Bill, the Dangerous Drugs Act 2015, and popularly called the Ganja Bill, opened the door to the emergence of new financial and commercial opportunities for companies who want to do business in Jamaica, CGI said.

“We work with businesses, municipalities, policymakers, and other cannabis-related entities in local, national, and international markets,” it said.

“Our team is highly specialized in all aspects of cannabis and have expert inside knowledge and experience on the regulatory framework which can be customized for most municipalities,” it added.

Since 2009, CGI said it has worked to bring regulation, decriminalization and retail sales to Colorado, and has been “at the forefront of creating the laws and regulation surrounding medicinal, edible and now legal cannabis.”

“With the opening of its second office and CGI’s longstanding relationships with the Jamaican government, policy stakeholders and the growing community, CGI is prepared to advise companies with placing their products and/or services in the first Caribbean country to legalize marijuana for medicinal use,” the statement said.

TessMaria Leon, director of client services for CGI’s Caribbean team, heads CGI’s Kingston office.

“We’ve created a robust offering to ensure the best companies are being represented and positioned correctly to do business in the Caribbean,” said CGI President Wanda James. “CGI has created a number of packages with several levels of service designed to introduce cannabis-related businesses to Jamaican culture, lifestyle and business infrastructure.”

For example, she said CGI’s “Genesis Package” offers businesses a comprehensive, highly-personalized introduction to Jamaica including meetings with key industry representatives, growers and resort owners, assistance with the negotiation and selection of retail, grow or commercial space, a private car and driver, and a local CGI representative to accompany them for hands-on guidance.

Other packages are customized for those who would like to establish political connections, need culturally-sensitive advertising or public relations campaigns, or assistance with navigating licensing issues and procedures, once the government makes licensing available, James said.

For more on this story go to: http://www.caribbeanlifenews.com/stories/2015/3/2015-03-02-nk-cannabis-cl_2015_3.html
IMAGE: en.wikipedia.org

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Classical Theatre of Harlem announces 15th anniversary

CTH-logo2The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) (Ty Jones, producing artistic director; David Roberts, managing director) proudly announces plans for its landmark 2015 season. The Harlem-based American theatre company will present its 15th Anniversary Celebration and Benefit Concert this spring, featuring songs from the musical “Witness Uganda,” winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters 2014 Richard Rodgers Production Award for Musical Theater; a free summer production of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest; and the winter holiday world premiere of a new CTH-commissioned musical, “The First Noel.”

15th Anniversary Celebration and Benefit Concert

On Monday, April 13, CTH celebrated its 15th anniversary with a very special event: the New York City premiere of Witness Uganda in Concert at Harlem’s world famous Apollo Theater Soundstage. “Witness Uganda,” a documentary musical by two extraordinary new Harlem artists, Griffin Matthews and Matt Gould, chronicles one man’s battle to find his place in a world full of injustice and inhumanity. The work asks, “Is changing the world even possible?” “Witness Uganda” will open Off-Broadway this fall and CTH is thrilled to bring its joyous and wrenching music to Harlem first. Proceeds will benefit CTH.

The host committee included Rodrick Covington, David and Monica Csatari, Frederick Davie and Michael Adams, Laurent Delly, Kwaku Driskell, Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews, Richard Habersham, Greg Mays, Joe Johnson, Ty and Jill Jones, Peggy and Ulrich Jorde, Jason and Yvonne Lee, Alex and Brad Linard, Greg Mays, Estela Ogiste, M.D., Ph.D., and Jason Ogiste, M.D., Billy Porter, David Roberts and Paul Di Donato, Zead Ramadan, Juan Ignacio Rosa, Ken and Kate Ruck, Donavin and Emilie Scott, Meredith Simmons, and Sue Suh.

CTH Under the Stars

For its annual free summer production, CTH proudly presents the classic “The Tempest,” directed by Carl Cofield. The production will run from July 3 through July 26 at the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park. Cofield helmed the critically-acclaimed production of Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones’s Dutchman for CTH last spring. He brings back many artists from that creative team to work on The Tempest, including: Christopher and Justin Swader (scenic design), Rachel Dozier-Ezell (costume design), Alan C. Edwards (lighting design), Eric Sluyter (sound design) and Ralph Stan Lee (stage management).

“What fascinates me about the play—and its iconic characters of Prospero, Caliban, and Ariel—is that it’s a theatrical gumbo, with an intricate blend of usurping villains, youthful romance, music, humor, and conspiracy,” said Cofield. “I am also intrigued by how the protagonist Prospero’s quest for justice leads him to become unjust himself.”

Sharing his concept for the CTH production, Cofield continues, “Prospero’s magical island could be anywhere. Our production references the enchanting island of Hispaniola, the island that is home to both the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The history of Haiti is nothing short of magical. This tiny Caribbean country won its independence by defeating three European superpowers: France, Britain and Spain, demonstrating the same fighting spirit found in Caliban, and the same longing for freedom as Ariel. The Tempest highlights the dynamics of freedom and captivity, imprisonment and rebellion, authority and tyranny. My hope is that after spending time with these characters, we learn something about ourselves.”

The Richard Rodgers Amphitheater is located in Marcus Garvey Park (enter at 124th Street and Fifth Avenue and walk south to the venue). Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Friday’s curtain is at 8:15 p.m., following Jazzmobile’s free concerts at 7:00 p.m. The venue opens for seating at 7:00 p.m. each night and 6:30 p.m. on Fridays.

“The Tempest” is presented by The Classical Theatre of Harlem and City Parks Foundation’s SummerStage festival. All performances are free and no tickets are required.

The World Premiere of The First Noel

December 2015 will see the CTH-commissioned world premiere of “The First Noel” from composer/lyricist Jason Michael Webb (Brooklyn Tabernacle, Broadway’s Motown the Musical, Violet) and writer/lyricist Lelund Durond Thompson (founder, YellaFella Entertainment and CTH Artistic Associate). The new Harlem-based holiday musical, which has been in development for two years, is designed to become an evergreen classic for years to come.

“Using their unparalleled skill and talent, Webb and Thompson have approached the work in two ways: first, by reimagining beloved existing Christmas songs to invoke new life and meaning; and second, by creating dynamic new songs designed to become holiday favorites for a new generation,” said Jones. “‘The First Noel’ will use music that crosses genres—from disco to rock to gospel—to tell a universal story of love and belonging.”

“The First Noel” follows three generations of a Harlem family affected by the tragic loss of a loved one. Time is slow to heal this family’s wounds until an unexpected visit from Grandma reveals some long-absent Christmas joy. This story is about how a community is healed, one family at a time, as everyday people do extraordinary things to help one another receive the gift of love at Christmas time.

December 2015 performance dates and location will be announced at a later date.

About The Classical Theatre of Harlem
The Classical Theatre of Harlem (Ty Jones, producing artistic director; David Roberts, managing director) is an American theatre company which tells stories as seen through the lens of the African diaspora and does work that honors the cultural legacy of the neighborhood in which it was founded. CTH combines original adaptations, music, and dance to present great classics of world literature as well as contemporary works that will stand the test of time, while being truly reflective of the diversity of ideas and racial tapestry that is America. Since its founding in 1999, CTH has presented works ranging from traditional classical playwrights (Anton Chekhov, Euripides and William Shakespeare), to established 20th century playwrights (August Wilson, Langston Hughes and Jean Genet) to new plays by emerging playwrights. CTH also proudly provides theater-based training and live theater experiences to Harlem youth and their families through its arts education program, Project Classics. The organization engages new audiences, provides artistic development of new work and gives exposure to emerging playwrights with its three free reading series: Future Classics, Playwrights’ Playground, and Revisited Classics. CTH is supported in part by Axe-Houghton Foundation, Casement Fund, City Parks Foundation, Columbus Foundation, Dramatists Guild Fund, Ford Foundation, Harlem Community Development Corporation, Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation, L & N Andreas Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, Office of NYC Councilmembers Inez E. Dickens and Mark D. Levine, Princess Grace Awards, Puffin Foundation West, SHS Foundation, and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone. Local business sponsors include: Art in FLUX, The Cecil, Harlem Shake, Lido, and Minton’s. Visit www.cthnyc.org and follow CTH on Twitter (@classicalharlem), Instagram (@classicalharlem), and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/theclassicaltheatreofharlem).
IMAGE: www.worldofmouth.co

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Shaggy helps to raise $33,000 for The University of the West Indies at 6th Annual Toronto Benefit Gala

Shaggy-2013-2From South Florida Caribbean News

Toronto, ON – The University of the West Indies hosted its sixth annual Toronto Benefit Gala, on Saturday, March 28, 2015, at The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, attended by over 400 guests.

The gala concluded on a high note as the audience was treated to a surprise live auction lot where Grammy award winning artist Shaggy, after receiving his Luminary Award, performed two of his hit songs, adding an additional Canadian $33,000 to the evening’s fundraising endeavours for the University’s scholarship fund, that also included a live and silent auction.

Donette Chin-Loy Chang, wife of the late Patron, G. Raymond Chang, and his children Brigette Chang-Addorisio and Andrew Chang, now Patrons of the event, greeted guests along with Lead Sponsor, Bruce Bowen, SVP Caribbean Region, Scotiabank; UWI Chancellor Sir George Alleyne, Vice Chancellor E. Nigel Harris, and Honorary Gala Co-Chairs Ryerson University President Sheldon Levy and Herbert Ho Ping Kong, Co-founder, Centre for Excellence for Education and Practice.

The evening, hosted by popular Caribbean media personality Michael Anthony Cuffe, Sr., began with a cocktail reception that brought out members of the media and leaders in arts, finance, academia, and law, and the diplomatic circle including: Her Excellency Janice Miller, High Commissioner for Jamaica to Canada; Jamaica Consul General Lloyd Wilks, Barbados Consul General Haynesley Benn, Consul General of Grenada Mrs. C. J. Augustine-Kanu, Consul General Trinidad and Tobago Dr Vidhya Gyan Tota-Maharaj, Consul General Antigua and Barbuda Ann-Marie Layne, men’s clothing guru Harry Rosen, (Toronto International Film Festival’s) TIFF’s Michelle Maheux, Deputy Police Chief Peter Sloly, musician David Rudder, The Honourable Margaret McCain, former Lt. Governor of New Brunswick, The Honourable Jean Augustine, Toronto City Councillors Joe Cressy and Michael Thompson, and Senator Don Meredith.

Rojel Bradford, a Jamaican, pursuing a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery Degree in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Mona Campus and a UWI scholarship recipient represented students admirably with a powerful and emotional address, expressing his gratitude for his scholarship and the impact it has on the lives of students.

Honourees celebrated at this year’s gala included:
 Luminary Award recipients The Honourable Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré, OQ and Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell, C.D.
 Chancellor’s Award recipients George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology, represented by President Anne Sado and Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Carnival, represented by CEO Denise Herrera Jackson.
 Vice Chancellor’s Award recipients Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director, Toronto International Film Festival and UWI alumnus Dr. Catherine Chandler-Crichlow, Executive Director of the Centre of Excellence in Financial Services Education.

The inaugural G. Raymond Chang Award, in honour of the late gala patron, was presented to New Brunswick native and retired Royal Bank of Canada executive Charles S. Coffey, O.C., who exemplified the leadership and ideals of Chang. Coffey is a champion of children and early childhood development, young people, Aboriginal peoples, women entrepreneurs, women in public office, as well as education and diversity.

The UWI Toronto Benefit Gala is a signature event that honours Canadian / Caribbean individuals and organizations as well as global citizens whose body of work has impacted the Caribbean. The event is also the largest fundraiser for the UWI, in Canada. Since the inaugural event in 2010, over 200 scholarships have been awarded to outstanding academic students in dire financial need across the region.

IMAGE: Shaggy

For more on this story go to: http://sflcn.com/shaggy-helps-to-raise-33000-for-the-university-of-the-west-indies-at-6th-annual-toronto-benefit-gala/

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CONCACAF Announces 2015 Hall of Fame Inductees and President’s Award Recipients

FEAT_PRESIDENTS-AWARD-MEDIUM-RES-DAV_7902The Confederation honors exemplary figures for their contributions to football

Nassau, The Bahamas (Wednesday, April 15, 2015) – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced today the induction of three individuals, each of whom represent the best of football in the region, into its Hall of Fame.

The honorees are Rafael Callejas, President of the Federacion Nacional Autonoma de Futbol de Honduras (FENAFUTH); Andres Constansia, an accomplished player and executive from Curacao; and Aaron Padilla, an outstanding player, who has contributed greatly to football’s growth in Mexico.

CONCACAF also presented the President’s Award to Mexico and the United States for their gold medal wins at the 2012 Olympic Football Tournaments, capturing the men’s and women’s competitions, respectively.

”The Hall of Fame is the perfect occasion to honor prominent individuals such as Rafael Callejas, Andres Constansia and Aaron Padilla, each of whom have impacted the history of the sport and our Confederation,” said FIFA Vice President and CONCACAF President, Jeffrey Webb. “Whether on or off the field, their passion, dedication and spirit for the beautiful game, have enlightened CONCACAF and molded the region’s football to what it is today. I am sure their legacy will continue inspiring the sport’s growth.”

President Webb, alongside FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, presented awards to each of the honorees. With the addition of Callejas, Constansia, and Padilla, the CONCACAF Hall of Fame has grown to 36 members. The ceremony also featured global football figures, including Luis Figo, Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein and Michael van Praag, among numerous others in attendance.

The 2012 Olympic Games marked the first time that two teams from the same confederation won gold in men’s and women’s football. Thanks to their impressive performances, the Mexico men and United States women merited CONCACAF’s highest honor.

“I am extremely proud of the Mexico men’s and United States women’s Olympic teams,” President Webb expressed. “They reached the pinnacle of the sport, demonstrating their outstanding talent and the greatness of the CONCACAF Member Association’s football to the world. Our 2012 Olympic Games gold medal winners are the embodiment of the Confederation’s efforts. Their achievements should encourage all Member Associations to continue developing the game across our region.”

The Confederation’s XXX Ordinary Congress and XXI Extraordinary Congress will be held Thursday at the Atlantis Resort in Paradise Island, The Bahamas.

2015 CONCACAF Hall of Fame Inductees

Rafael L. Callejas Romero
President of the Federacion Nacional Autonoma de Futbol de Honduras (FENAFUTH) on two occasions, 1984 and 2002-2015, Mr. Callejas dedicated himself to strengthening football’s foundations in the country. His efforts have yielded tremendous success in numerous areas, directly impacting youth football through the growth of grassroots initiatives and various youth programs. In addition, Callejas has improved the sport’s infrastructure, while advancing a FIFA Goal Project. Under his leadership, Honduran national teams have participated in two FIFA World Cups (2010, 2014), two Olympic Football Tournaments (2008, 2012), two FIFA U-20 World Cups (2005, 2009) and three FIFA U-17 World Cups (2007, 2009, and 2013.)

Andres Avelino Constansia
Born in Curacao on November 10, 1936, Mr. Constansia has worked tirelessly on behalf of football for more than 50 years. He started as a player for Jong Colombia, before taking coaching and executive positions within his beloved club. Under his supervision, Jong Colombia captured numerous Curacao league and Netherlands Antilles Championship titles. Through his commitment and dedication to football’s development, Mr. Constansia served as President of the Federashon Futbol Korsou (Curacao Football Federation) and the Nederlands Antilliaanse Voetbal Unie (Netherlands Antilles Football Union), was a Caribbean Football Union board member and sat on FIFA’s Financial Committee. He was also inducted into the Curacao Sports Federation’s Hall of Fame.

Aaron Padilla Gutierrez
Born in Mexico City on July 10, 1942, Mr. Padilla was known for his unlimited stamina and uncanny ball control during a distinguished playing career. He represented Mexico in two FIFA World Cups (1966, 1970), playing in six games. Beyond the football pitch, his passion and dedication led him to fulfill important roles within Mexican football. Mr. Padilla has been a leader within the Federacion Mexicana de Futbol Asociacion (FEMEXFUT), guiding its Disciplinary Committee (1992-2002) and the Referee Committee (2006-2012), eventually becoming an advisor to the Federation’s presidency.

Previous CONCACAF Hall of Fame 2013 inductees include: Ariel Alvarado (Panama), Jesus Martinez (Mexico), Lincoln “Happy” Sutherland (Jamaica), and Joseph Ursulet (Martinique).

CONCACAF President’s Award
United States Women’s National Team
The U.S. women won a third consecutive gold medal and fourth overall at the Olympic Games, defeating Japan, 2-1, in the 2012 final.

Mexico Men’s Olympic Team
Mexico added Olympic gold to its expanding resume of FIFA titles, posting a 2-1 victory over Brazil in the 2012 final. Mexico has also won two U-17 World Cups (2005, 2011) and one Confederations Cup (1999).

Previous 2013 President’s Award recipients include: Carlos Ruiz (Guatemala), Ian Gaynair (Belize) and Woodrow West (Belize).

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Are Pit Bulls ‘dangerous’? A Vet’s perspective on treating banned breeds

1350744.largeBy Dr. Patty Khuly Vetstreet.com From Care2

Since 1990, Miami-Dade County, the municipality in which I reside, has required that all veterinarians post a prominent sign in English, Spanish and Creole with the following verbiage:

“BOTH PURE AND MIXED BREED PIT BULL DOGS ARE CLASSIFIED AS DANGEROUS. IT HAS BEEN ILLEGAL TO ACQUIRE A NEW PIT BULL DOG SINCE JANUARY 1, 1990. Section 5-17.1, Miami-Dade Code.”

So you understand, that means Pit Bulls and mixes thereof are 100 percent illegal. But that doesn’t mean veterinarians are on the hook for having to report their patients or tattle on their owners. Though we can be fined $500 every day we fail to display this sign, we’re otherwise not required to play the role of Pit Bull police.

But that doesn’t mean we’re comfortable with this arrangement.

For starters, many veterinarians are opposed to the kind of breed-specific legislation exemplified by this so-called “Pit Bull law.” After Miami-Dade enacted it, hundreds of municipalities followed suit, ushering in a wave of dog-breed bias on the basis of appearance alone. To which, many veterinarians responded: “Where’s the science? Is there any credible evidence to show these dogs are more dangerous than others?”

Focus on Individual Dogs, Not Breed Stereotypes

In a sweeping study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association in 2000, the following conclusion was reached: “Although fatal attacks on humans appear to be a breed-specific problem (Pit Bull-type dogs and Rottweilers), other breeds may bite and cause fatalities at higher rates. Because of difficulties inherent in determining a dog’s breed with certainty, enforcement of breed-specific ordinances raises constitutional and practical issues. Fatal attacks represent a small proportion of dog bite injuries to humans and, therefore, should not be the primary factor driving public policy concerning dangerous dogs. Many practical alternatives to breed-specific ordinances exist and hold promise for prevention of dog bites.”

This led the American Veterinary Medical Association to publish a statement on the subject titled Why Breed-Specific Legislation Is Not the Answer, which aptly echoes the sentiments of most veterinarians I know: Dog-breed stereotypes and breed-specific legislation will not keep our communities safe from dog bites. Focusing on individual dogs with a prior history of violence and teaching citizens how to recognize risky human-canine scenarios will.

Despite what seems to be a steady, science-fueled rollback of many of these laws in recent years, Miami-Dade County, among many others, remains staunchly protective of its ban in the name of “protecting citizens.”

The Oath Above the Law

I don’t have to like it. Still, I do have to live with it. As do so many veterinarians all over the country. Because here’s the thing: Pit Bulls have not gone away. They continue to live among us in the company of humans who — knowingly or ignorantly, gleefully or fretfully — flout the law. And legal or not, Pit Bulls still need veterinarians. Which naturally begs the question: How do we handle the potential clash between local government and caring for dogs who live in our communities?

The answer will surely differ from veterinarian to veterinarian, but by far the most common approach among veterinarians I know personally is one that effectively looks the other way. These laws don’t charge us with any enforcement responsibilities. And we have an oath to comply with — one whose provisions most of us believe supersede any such local laws.

But that doesn’t mean we’re always OK with it — nor are some of our clients. When a Pit Bull walks through the hospital’s doors, some of our waiting room’s human occupants will occasionally make snide remarks, move away, ask to be offered access to a “safer” location or make some other such show of indignation. And for our part, we’d rather not be asked to take sides.

In other words, “Leave me out of it!” is the usual refrain. As far as I’m [legally] concerned, the dog might as well be any other Terrier or mix thereof. That’s how I refer to them on local county licensure paperwork anyway.

After all, I reason, Pit Bulls are more of a breed type than an actual recognized breed. Therefore, “Terrier mix” is a perfectly appropriate and lawful interpretation of the dog’s physical characteristics, even if it is a little less precise than I’d be inclined to offer in any other legal climate.

Fortunately, it seems likely that most municipalities will eventually see fit to restore Pit Bulls to the list of the legal. This includes Miami-Dade County, too. But until then, I will continue to treat a breed that, in my experience, holds no special claim to the designation as “dangerous” dog.

For more on this story go to: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/a-vets-perspective-on-treating-banned-breeds.html#ixzz3VAUQEOio

Related story:
Do Bans on pit bulls really work?
By Lisa Spector From Care2
The city of Platteville, WI is considering a proposal that would ban all Pit Bulls, Pit Dogs, and Pit Bull Terriers. Care2 member Kieryn Aigner was so upset about the ban that she started a petition targeting her city demanding that the ban be reconsidered.

The Humane Society of the United States states why Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) doesn’t work and misses the scope of the problem. Their website states:

“Most breed-specific laws are created as a misguided response to a dog bite incident or attack. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has found that no breed is more dangerous than another.”

The Humane Society and the AVMA are not alone in their beliefs. American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) also expresses concern over the use of BSL, calling such legislation “ineffective” as a way to decrease the amount of dog bites.

Certified dog and cat behavior consultant Steve Dale goes on to cite examples that show why BSL doesn’t improve community safety:

In 2008, the Dutch government repealed a 15-year nationwide pit bull ban after a government study demonstrated that the ban was ineffective.
A year later, Italy repealed their ban, with both countries instead concentrating on supporting responsible ownership.
Denver enacted their ban in 1989. Since then, the rate of hospitalizations in Denver due to dog bite related injuries has been higher than nearby breed neutral Boulder, CO.
In 2013, a national study in Canada found that BSL wasn’t an effective tool to lower dog attacks. However, public education, and dog owners taking responsibility for their pets has proved extremely effective.
For example, in Calgary proactive public education programs resulted in a 50 percent decrease in reports of dog aggression. An important focus of these programs is humane education in schools.
A peer review summary, recently prepared by the American Veterinary Medical Association Animal Welfare Divsion, reports that limiting ownership of specific breeds has been suggested by some to reduce injuries, however there is no evidence that breed-specific bans reduce the rate or severity of bite injuries in the community.

Their survey based data stated “it is inappropriate to make predictions about a given dog’s propensity for aggressive behavior based solely on its breed,” since there is so much variation within breeds.

The environment, the target, the conditions the dog was kept in and the training methods used were all more contributing factors than the specific breed.

They further that “Pit Bull type” dogs carry a strong stigma, but controlled studies have not identified this breed group as disproportionately dangerous. Further more, there is much ambiguity of the Pit Bull type as a “breed.” The Humane Society of the U.S. is concerned that the term “Pit Bull” usually encompasses three separate breeds, along with any mixes of those breeds.

As Aigner states in her Care2 petition, “Veterinarians and other professionals working with dogs routinely admit that American Bulldogs, Presa Canarios, Dogo Argentinos, and Boxers are commonly mistaken as Pit Bulls when bites are reported because it is challenging when it comes to classifying a real pit bull.”

Sign the Don’t Bully My Breed petition, and let’s convince Mike Denn, City Ordinance of Platteville, Wisconsin to reconsider the ban on Pit Bulls.

If there is an issue you care about in your community or worldwide, you can start a Care2 petition like Kieryn Aigner. Care2′s community of activists will join you in your cause and help you make a difference.

For more on this story go to: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/do-bans-on-pit-bulls-really-work.html#ixzz3VAV0i79b

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CONCACAF to organize first Annual Women’s Football Day in May

FEAT-Development-LogoThe Confederation aims to unite all Member Associations to celebrate women’s football throughout the region

Miami, FL (Friday, April 10, 2015) – The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) today announced the celebration of its first annual Women’s Football Day on Saturday, May 23, 2015.

This initiative, which was presented at the CONCACAF “Let’s Develop Women’s Football” seminar held in October 2014, in Philadelphia, will aim to unite all 41 Member Associations to celebrate women’s football throughout the region.

“This day is dedicated to recognizing the passionate, fearless, and devoted members of CONCACAF’s elite women’s teams, and inspire the younger generation to take the game to new heights,” said CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb. “As we embrace a new era in women’s football, we aim to further develop the talents of female players in our Confederation and will continue to empower the women’s game through initiatives such as this one.”

Scheduled to kick-off at 11:00AM EDT, several activities will be organized at CONCACAF’s Member Associations with support provided by the Confederation. Women’s Football Day will strive to achieve the distinction of being the first occasion that all of CONCACAF’s members will simultaneously organize a women’s football activity.

Through this initiative, the Confederation aims to accomplish three objectives:

Generate awareness about the transformative power of women’s football for girls and women
Promote and encourage continued investment in women’s football
Unite every Member Association in creating a memorable day of women’s football
CONCACAF will assist its members with the preparation and execution of their activities. Three specific activities will be recommended to the Member Associations:

Girls Grassroots Festival
3 v. 3 or 5 v. 5 Tournament
Football Skills Challenge
Member Associations will be encouraged to organize one of the three activities but will have the opportunity to administer an activity of their choosing, with CONCACAF at their disposal for guidance and assistance.

Further details regarding the initiatives of CONCACAF and its Member Associations for Women’s Football Day will be provided in the coming weeks.

For more information, please contact development@concacaf.org.

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Health City Cayman Islands celebrates first anniversary

health-city-caymanCAYMAN ISLANDS (April 9, 2015) – Health City Cayman Islands celebrates its first anniversary of providing quality and affordable healthcare this month.

Since the state-of-the-art medical facility received its first patient 12 months ago, Health City brought life to the shared vision of renowned cardiac surgeon Dr. Devi Shetty, and Ascension, the world’s leading non-profit healthcare system, by recording several medical milestones.

“From the outset we were able to celebrate many firsts in highly specialized surgical procedures and CABG-at-Health-City-medical-team_824x467innovative healthcare solutions, both for the Cayman Islands and the Caribbean region,” recalled Dr. Chandy Abraham, Health City’s Facility Director and Head of Medical Services.

Anniversary highlights include more than 2,200 patients seen and more than 200 surgeries and pioneering procedures performed. Among them were life-saving heart surgeries for 16 Haitian youth performed free of charge by Health City surgeons (in collaboration with Digicel and Have a Heart) and the successful installation of artificial heart pumps (LVAD – Left Ventricular Assist Device), a Caribbean first. In addition to the admission of 150 young Caymanians slider-doctor-sandeep-02into the hospital’s internship program, medical oncology services were added to Health City.

“I had a complete shoulder replacement. My recovery time was really, really fast, and the recovery overall was fantastic,” said local musician Ed Solomon. “The experience there was really, really good. It was so good, that I wanted an extra week in the hospital. I would recommend (Health City) to anyone. They are exceptionally good.”

Over the year, the hospital’s value was also welcomed by grateful tourists: “I feel incredibly blessed Health-City-Lab-824x467that we were given better healthcare, possibly than we could have received in the States here at this hospital,” said Colorado resident Charlotte Walton whose husband Ric received emergency cardiac treatment while vacationing in the Cayman Islands.

And it wasn’t just the brand new medical facilities which impressed the visitors: “The kindness that was shown to us, and the care that (my husband) has received since we’ve been here, has been more than just medical care. The people have been so kind, and faithful. They have not only given us good care, but have prayed for us…we’ve just been very blessed.”

slider-internal-14Dr. Abraham said striving to provide outstanding and compassionate care throughout every aspect of a patient’s hospital experience is at the core of the Health City experience. The next 12 months, he projected, will prove to be “equally exciting with new innovations and developments that bolster the services for local residents, and attract an increasing number of patients from the Caribbean, and the wider Americas who are electing to choose the Cayman Islands as the leading solution for their healthcare needs.”

An essential component for its success, he asserted, was the passionate staff and community hosts: “We express our grateful thanks to the people of the Cayman Islands for their continued support. It has been a humbling experience to see Health City Cayman Islands become part of the Cayman community so quickly and how many lives have been saved because of the work of our dedicated staff.”

SOURCE: http://www.healthcitycaymanislands.com/health-city-cayman-islands-celebrates-first-anniversary/

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