Year in Review: The top stories in March 2011

Tourist numbers 

March opened with the good news that both air and sea arrivals in Cayman were the highest they had been for years.  

Figures for January, revealed in March, showed that there had been 1,400 more air arrivals in January 2011 than in January 2010, and the highest recorded number of passengers arriving by air since 2001.  

Cruise arrivals were also on the up – the best they had been since 2008 for the month of January. 

 

Theft 

Thieves, either impersonating tourists or really cruise ship tourists, strolled into a jewellery store and walked out with two expensive pieces of jewellery kept in a glass cases without anyone noticing.  

They stole a 15-carat diamond tennis necklace and an 18-carat gold setting tennis bracelet. 

 

Turtles 

Animal rights activists in Canada were up in arms over the planned killing of seven green sea turtles that had been sent from the Cayman Turtle Farm to the University of British Columbia for research purposes years earlier. 

The final stage of experiments on the turtles were due to be carried out, which would culminate in the death of turtles. 

The UBC Animal Research Group protested the killing of the turtles and approached the turtle farm to alert authorities there of the university’s intentions, unaware that the facility in Cayman breeds turtles for their meat. 

The turtles were taken off their death row when a UK-based a 

quarium group offered to house them. 

 

PAC chair 

Independent legislator for North Side Ezzard Miller resigned as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, which reviews government audits. He cited a lack of support from his fellow committee members, most of whom had not shown up at meetings in recent months. 

People’s Progressive Movement MLA for the Sister Islands Moses Kirkconnell took over as chairman of the committee. 

 

OB-GYN rates 

Obstetricians in Cayman reacted to a huge hike of $40,000 a month in their malpractice insurance rates.  

The increase meant that from 1 March, they were paying $162,360 a year. Six years earlier, the rates had been $14,000. 

On 18 March, lawmakers voted to pass legislation to create a cap of $500,000 on non 

economic damages in medical negligence court cases.  

Health minister Mark Scotland said the cap was necessary to cut the escalating medical malpractice rates for local doctors, especially OB-GYNs. The amendment to the law was also part of an agreement with Dr. Devi Shetty, who plans to build a medical tourism centre in Cayman. 

weeting Bush 

A McKeeva Bush online imposter set up a Twitter account, posting comments on a variety of ironic subjects, including giving shout outs to George Towners who wanted to move to West Bay so they could vote for him. The McKeeva-Bush345 tweets led the real Premier Bush to issue a statement via his press secretary and to make a later statement in the Legislative Assembly to clarify that he did not have a Twitter account. 

McKeeva-Bush345 went on to change the Twitter account to state it was a parody. 

 

Census 

Preliminary findings of the 2010 census showed that more than half Cayman’s residents live in George Town. Bodden Town, however, is booming, the census showed, with its population growing by an astounding 79 per cent since 1999. 

Overall, the population of Cayman grew by more than 39 per cent since the last census, with the total population of the three islands in late 2010 being 54,878. 

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