While I was away

As you perhaps know I was away on vacation for a while, and was happy to immerse myself in different environments, languages, landscapes and cultures, only to return to Aruba, jet-lagged, but happy to be home.

While away I still kept up with news from the island, and the following is a partial list of random thoughts I had while away, reading island news, from a distance.

The Ostrich verdicts: While many felt the verdicts underplayed the severity of the offenses, they still resulted in guilty sentences. The offenders were publicly disgraced, and while I agree that the sentences were astoundingly light, the general prosecutor also saw it necessary to give it another try in the case of Sevinger, who allowed the free-for-all under his so-called watch, Susebeek, who as a government employee enriched himself beyond restraints, and Arends who played shameless cockamamie games, for profit.

These people were publicly disgraced and we all hope the message is clear that we’re not OK with corruption. You can get away with some, but not forever.

The Ostrich case isn’t over yet. I understand the defense did a better job than the prosecution, I hope for a tikkun, a repair, in round two.

AVP, falling apart: Parliamentarian Santos do Nascimiento finally showed some integrity by abandoning AVP, the party he joined for reasons I never understood. As a constitutional scholar he should never have joined that old-school, has-been organization. But he did it, alas, and is now an independent member of parliament. As a thinker and an intellectual he will have ZERO impact if he doesn’t join Accion 21, and MAS, to form some kind of UNITED opposition front. He will disappear as a solo flyer; he will survive if he joins forces.

I was also pleased to read Muzanine Wever’s excellent post regarding her retirement from AVP. She quoted her mom, the late Mary Wever, and made some very good points.

She resigned in view of the hug AVP gave convicted felon Sevinger, who will astoundingly remain in Parliament, despite the disgrace, and Gerlien Croes better show character herself, instead of mouthing about humiliation and disappointment. She was brought into AVP with the hope of becoming the future party leader, but the green team is frozen in time, and past its prime. She needs to move on, to clearly state her dissatisfaction with the old, misguided leadership.

Utility rates reduced

Congratulations to AHATA and all other political unions and organizations, who pressured GOA relentlessly into rolling back the temporary-turned-permanent price increases. We are getting a reduction of over 7%, which is good enough for me. The Unions, CUA, and the AHATA CEO worked tirelessly, which proves that when you join forces, you post accomplishments.

The next Storm Cloud

The threat of a travel advisory against Aruba, is real. GOA must regulate the watersports industry, ASAP, as promised, following the untimely, tragic death of a young visitor, sliced open by a boat propeller, last year. GOA promised to move on safety regulations and as expected, did nothing.

Now facing a real US government threat, we must act fast: Start with the repeatedly suggested installation of propeller cages, $300 stainless steel contraptions, that can save lives in situations where Palm Beach watersport operators get into swim zones, and launch from beaches. Following a number of avoidable tragedies, we would like to see propeller cages become a reality. Then you can check insurance papers, certifications, first-aid capabilities and licenses, but do the cages first.

See you tomorrow.



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May 01, 2023
Rona Coster