February Chec negotiations continue

On 9 February it was reported that potential builders of a planned cruise ship port, China Harbour Engineering Company, would buy materials locally ‘as much as possible.’

George Town MLA Ellio Solomon said that negotiations between the government and the contractors were still under way with government trying to secure a number of requirements.

These included use of local contractors, purchase of all materials ‘at commercially reasonable rates’ and that incoming workers would be required to rent apartments or housing rather than living in ‘trailers’ as was the case in other China Harbour projects including those for Jamaica. On Tuesday, 28 February lobby group the Association for the Advancement of Cruise Tourism in the Cayman Islands sent a letter to the governor, the premier and all members of the Legislative Assembly urging the government to build a berthing facility post haste. The lack of these facilities meant Cayman was losing $100 million in revenue annually, they said.

Uninhabitable

More accommodation woes were reported on Monday, 13 February with the Cayman Islands Immigration Detention Centre, which had been shuttered for some time, having been described as ‘uninhabitable’ by the Cayman Islands Prisons Inspection Board. Temporary trailers were being used at the site to house an influx of Cuban boat migrants who had arrived in the Cayman Islands the previous October and November.

Prison spliff

On Wednesday, 15 February, it was reported that four ounces of marijuana had been found the previous Friday in the kitchen of the prison’s administrative office at HMP Northward. Three packages of ganja were discovered in a box containing garbage bags by the prison’s deputy director, Daniel Greaves. Prime suspect was a trustee who cleaned the office, but because the drugs had not been in possession no charge was brought. Forensic investigations were ongoing, said Mr. Greaves.

Iguana break

People who come across green iguanas on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac should not kill the reptiles themselves but contact the Department of Environment or the Iguana Hotline, it was reported on Friday, 24 February. Bonnie Edwards, who was involved in a survey programme, said that it may not be easy for untrained individuals to distinguish between the non-native greens and the indigenous rock iguanas.

“It would be a catastrophe if a rock iguana were accidentally killed,” she said. “It could also lead to criminal charges against a person who killed a member of the protected iguana species.”

Missing man

Searches were under way across the island for Nathan Clarke, who had gone missing on Saturday, 25 February at around 9pm after becoming separated from his friends in the area of Calico Jack’s on West Bay Road. Volunteers, family and friends joined Police searches for Mr. Clarke, it was reported on Tuesday, 28 February. On Wednesday, 29 February police said that a signal from Mr. Clarke’s cell phone had been picked up at 1am on Monday morning. A possible sighting was also received of a man fitting Mr. Clarke’s description flagging down a taxi or car at around midnight on Saturday, said police.

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