July 12, 2020

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briefsAirport Plaza rental offices broken into

A number of rental car offices were broken into last Thursday (2) at the Airport Plaza during the early hours of the morning.

At least 4 businesses were hit when thieves allegedly broke into an empty store’s back door and went through the ceiling to gain access into the car rental offices.

We have no update on this story or on what was taken.

Over-development threatens Cayman’s Mastic Trail

“The Mastic Trail is a wilderness experience. It is a real hike in the woods. It is deep shade, old-growth forest and a stronghold for the Cayman Island’s Parrot. It is native songbirds, endemic and medicinal plants, and it is a good workout! It is lush green meadows; it is Cayman’s early history, it is a geology lesson. It is a complete change from brilliant waters, bright sunshine and beaches. It is a surprise. Most people, even some of those born and raised in the Cayman Islands, never knew that there was such a forest – yes, a forest – on this busy and well-developed island.”

From www.caymanwildlife.org/trail-mastic.html

Research scientist Michael MacDonald from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds spent three weeks in Grand Cayman last December assisting the National Trust for the Cayman Islands examine the Mastic Trail and its surrounding forest to see how valuable it is in terms of its carbon storage, water lens and tourism.

He said it was “a really valuable resource for Cayman.”

Paul Watler from the National Trust said last Wednesday (1) the Mastic Trail Reserve was in danger of over-development.

“We are under threat at the Mastic Reserve in terms of development. In terms of carbon, there are a number of trees here that store carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. There is also a water lens under the reserve,” he said.

The Mastic Trail Reserve is a historic footpath that runs from North Side to the southern end of Frank Sound Road. The National Trust of the Cayman Islands manages 834 Acres of the 1,300 acres.

There is also a proposed East–West Arterial road extension shown on a 2005 development plan that will cut across the southern portions of the Mastic Trail Reserve on its way to the Colliers area of East End. This road would also affect the Salina Reserve into which blue iguanas are released.

After the party a house catches fire

An investigation is underway when a house caught fire twice during the same night after a party at the house had finished.

Royal Cayman Islands Police Services (RCIPS) Chief Inspector Angelique Howell said, “Occupants of the house were asleep after having a party at the house Friday [26th April] night. They were alerted by smoke coming from a first floor bathroom. An occupant put out the fire/smoke and retired back to bed. Later on he was again alerted by neighbours and fire officers that the house was on fire.”

Fire officers from the Cayman islands Fire Service went to the house on Sunrose Street, North Sound Estate, after Emergency Services were called at approx.. 6:45am and put out the blaze.

The RCIPS are investigating.

Any one with information as to how this fire may have started is asked to call Detective Sergeant Berry at the BTPS on 947-2220 or Crime Stoppers on 800-TIPS (8477).

Rotary Central Science Fair wows

At the 7th annual Rotary Central Science Fair held on Saturday 27th April, 2013 at Camana Bay Arts and Recreation Centre, 125 students from several Cayman schools wowed the audience and judges with their science skills.

The science fair is an annual event to foster an interest for Grand Cayman students in science, scientific method of problem solving and the sense of accomplishment and discovery that comes with preparing a science project.

Students prepared their topics during the week of 15th–22 February (mid-term break).

Rotary Central’s Ravi Kapoor said more and more students were getting involved each year in the Fair. Pointing to five different categories he said people think it is just science – physics and chemistry. “Actually,” he said, “its computer science, botany, zoology, earth sciences. Environment is very important these days. And it’s amazing what the students can come up with in ideas as to how we can either protect it or better it,”

The Awards Banquet followed the Fair and 17 prizes were won including an Iguana Repellent from Sofia Eldermire.

Compass reveal there was another Port Agreement

The Caymanian Compass revealed in an article that Alastair Paterson, the project manager for the earlier proposed cruise berthing port agreement with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) had revealed to them that the signed (all pages carried the signature of former Cayman Premier McKeeva Bush) that was leaked to the media and other parties, “was merely a starting point and discussion document that had subsequently been redrafted.”

The Caymanian Compass confirmed they had a seen a copy of the agreement, “which is not signed, and is a working draft that was being developed as the negotiations on the project with CHEC were under way.

“In his interview with the Compass, Mr. Paterson did not suggest another signed agreement was in place. He said aspects of the original framework agreement had been renegotiated and all parties were working on a new document when the deal was scrapped,” the article said.

However, speaking at a media press briefing on Thursday (2), Tourism Minister Cline Glidden said neither he nor Chief Officer Stran Bodden, nor Cabinet, had seen any redrafted version of the framework agreement document.

“It does raise concerns,” he said, “if there is new agreement that supersedes the conditions of the old agreement that would be signed and binding by the premier and chairman of the Port Authority. It raises another issue for us because now we might have a new document out there somewhere that now has different agreements in it, which we know nothing about.”

He also said he found it strange.

“I sat in a meeting with the Port Authority lawyers, Maples and Calder, who had significant concerns about the confidentiality of the agreement leaked to the press, but never once made mention of any new superseding agreement,” he said.

Brac Group against alcohol misuse had large turnout for Walk/Run

Hundreds of persons took part in Community group Brac Against Alcohol Misuse’ (BAAM) launch of its walk and run held on Saturday, 27 April at Scotts Dock. Competitors had to start from there and go to the Old Airport and return back to the Scott Dock.

There were 80 registered walkers, 12 runners and over 300 persons overall who took part in the event.

BAAM’s chairperson, Elsa Annie Rose Scott, a Community Development Officer in the Department of Children & Family Services, said, “This turnout was more than we anticipated and we hope this positive response continues as we strive to address alcohol misuse among our youth.”

“BAAM is a community effort against the misuse of alcohol on the island. The idea was born out of a deep concern about the alarming increase in the number of alcohol-related injuries and even death in the past few years in Cayman Brac. BAAM is a coalition of individuals from our community and is open to all persons that want to be part of this effort to save our community, our future, from the many ills of alcohol misuse,” she added.

In a press statement BAAM announced:

“Alcohol is an established risk factor in over 60 different disease conditions ranging from acute intoxication, to cancers of the mouth, throat and intestines. Alcohol is a leading cause of liver cancer and cirrhosis of the liver as well as pancreatitis. Persons who drink heavily are prone to develop malnutrition and anemia.

“Unfortunately the effects of alcohol misuse extend beyond the user and also impacts on his/her social environment, family, workplace and the wider community.”

BAAM’s strategy is to educate the public about the health and social risks associated with alcohol misuse and encourages individuals and families within the community to choose to use alcohol more responsibly. The group also aims to work closely with the law enforcement agencies to see that Cayman Island laws and regulations concerning the use of alcohol are strictly enforced in the community.

Pines Retirement Home Manager leaves “under a cloud”

Sue Nicholson, manager of the Pines Retirement Home in George Town, Grand Cayman has left her job in what has been described as “a cloud of suspicion”.

This was after a discovery of “financial irregularities” at the Home found in the accounts.

A statement from the board on Thursday was confirmed that KPMG are undertaking a forensic audit and a report is being prepared for the authorities. Maples and Calder are assisting in the recovery of the missing funds.

John Nicholson, husband of the ex-manager also released a statement stating that his wife had resigned from the Rotary service club she had been a member of in the wake of her leaving her employment. He said he was working with the Pines board to ensure any missing money would be returned.

Lynda Mitchell has assumed the role of interim manager at the home.

“Lynda has a wealth of experience in managing residential programs and holds an MBA in global management. Lynda has worked in the Cayman Islands for over 12 years and is well known within the community and Government,” the board said. “The Pines remain committed to providing the best possible care for the elderly and look forward to the continued support of the local community.”

The Pines is a non-profit charitable organization established to provide residential accommodation for the elderly. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II formally opened the Pines in 1983 as a Retirement Home, primarily to meet the needs of independent elderly citizens during their retirement. Over time the emphasis has moved to the provision of nursing care in response to the needs of the community and the high care requirements of many of its residents.

At present, The Pines accommodates approximately 35 residents in its residential care programme. The core component of this programme includes nursing care that is provided by a team of Registered Nurses, Enrolled Nurses (or Licensed Practical Nurses), and Health Care Assistants who attend to the medical, physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of the residents. Care plans are formulated and a full history is taken. This is an ongoing process and relatives and friends are encouraged to participate in care planning. Residents also receive medical care from physicians assigned to The Pines by the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority and from the private sector.

Internships to begin at Cayman Islands Hospital

Speaking at Thursday’s (2) press briefing, Health Minister, Mark Scotland, announced a delegation from the Caribbean Association of Medical Councils (CAMC) had come to Cayman in March to assess the George Town hospital and the Health Service Authority and had now confirmed the facility had been approved to begin internships for medical students.

Eight trainee doctors from around the Caribbean, including Caymanian medical students, can now do a year’s rotation at the George Town Hospital in one of four specialist areas.

Scotland said the students will start this July and a registrar will now be appointed to oversee the programme and help the interns through their rotations.

It will cost approx. half a million dollars but to become a training hospital adds to its stature, he said.

Former premier blamed also for airport delay

Cline Glidden, Cayman Islands Tourism Minister, said at a political election meeting last week that former Cayman Islands premier, McKeeva Bush, was also behind the delay where the Airport board spent more than 12 months trying to avoid following the proper tendering process and attempting to persuade the Central Tenders Committee that the airport project should go to a specific company.

Glidden said he found that this project, one that could be financed directly as the airport has the funds, was delayed by Bush’s determination for a specific company to get the work. He said it was a wasted opportunity that could have boosted the economy.

Bush has also been blamed for the delay in the new cruise berthing facilities because of his insistence in awarding the project to China Harbour Engineering Company ands foregoing the mandated tendering processes.

CIAA/UCCI Air Transport Conference

The Civil Aviation Authority  (CIAA) of the Cayman Islands partnered with the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) to host the International Air Transport Association Conference recently here.

Aviation staff completed a 4-day course to help them understand the framework that has shaped the aviation industry.

Richard Smith, Director-General of Civil Aviation said it was a milestone for Cayman, as these types of courses are usually held overseas.

“It should increase the customer relations. Now staff is aware of what is important for customer satisfaction. So throughout it’s beneficial to the industry as a whole, not just the service providers but to the passengers, the recipient of those services,” he said.

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