Déjà vu on many levels

I feel like we already visited the issues-du-jour many times before, and we are just doomed to repeat, disastrous situation, eternally.

The first is an item in Noticia Cla, announcing that a group of investors is ready, with a realistic plan to invest and develop San Nicolas. I welcomed the news item until I saw that Mark Levine was at the helm of the project.

Not again.

I have to say with great certainty that this is just a case of luft gesheften, air business, that only lives in Levine’s head and if allowed time and space will hurt locals and disappoint them, again.

Levine already tried that trick in SN before, with a large plot of land, where he was going to develop affordable housing.

He sold a similar story, in which he had a group of American investors, hush-hush, ready to invest.

At the time, we believed everything and everybody, and the project was allowed to take off, but it fizzled within two minutes.

A group of investors? A bunch of old drunk businessmen. I remember talk about Levine being a member of some secret society, the Masons?  The Order of Skull and Bones? The Illuminati? Where ‘his network’ who claims family and charity as cornerstones values, sits around in full costume regalia with medals and ribbons to fantasize about exotic projects, the so-called Aruba Economic Development Alliance (AEDA).

I say baloney!

Parliamentarian Marisol Tromp aired a clip on 24ORA where she reminds us that two years ago, MinPres promised, in parliament, to handle the ATV/UTV situation. She presented a document with recommendations designed to address road safety, and nature preservations. Then nothing happened.

Tromp questioned MinPres and two more ministers this week, regarding that issue, quagmired and not making any progress. Tromp on 24Ora

Another area totally neglected by GOA is safety on the water. We already raised a number of urgent alarms in the past caused by severe injuries by waverunners/jetskies. The suggestion to install steel propellor cages has been gathering dust.

Last weekend another nightmarish situation, the worst, a waverunner disappeared while the Police was hosting a song festival.

One young man was rescued from the water after four hours of swimming, his father remained missing. The boat that collected the young man insisted on going back ashore for unnecessary medical assistance, instead of remaining in the water to continue the urgent search.

They say that when something catastrophic happens, its not just one single thing, that causes it. It’s a series of small, seemingly insignificant and unrelated breakdowns, that contribute to a total disaster.

Waverunners/Jetskis rented on our beaches are not equipped with location finders, or any other technology.

We have no fat cats in airconditioned offices, sitting across TV screens to monitor the level of waverunner/jetski business, and wonder why two people have not returned, after four hours.

I know for a fact that all big companies track their vehicles, to make sure business is conducted efficiently, and that drivers aren’t taking their families to the beach on their employers’ dime.

The vendors on the beach will just charge you more, if you exceed the 20 minute rental time, it doesn’t even dawn on them to go look. We have no spotters on Palm Beach, our visitors are totally at their own risk.

For every local fisherman lost, private boats rush to join the search, in this case, not a single private craft was recruited to the mission.

Is there an official protocol, that outlines swift and multi-faceted reaction?

The blue life vests are useless against the blue color of the ocean. Neon orange and yellow are much more visible.

The waverunners/jetskis painted black, blue and gray, are invisible from the air.

The tragic story did not receive any coverage, it was kept hush-hush, while the active search was going on. But the active search is over. The Colombian Navy is in charge from now on, and still there is minimal talk about the incident, for fear of its damaging effect on our bread and butter.

And what about the broken-hearted visiting family. A successful entrepreneur, 51, reportedly very fit, takes his extended family on vacation at a luxury resort on the island, and never gets to go back home. Why aren’t we all asking what happened to him?? And what can be done to make the Palm Beach watersport experience less dangerous.



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September 08, 2023
Rona Coster