Safety First

Friday, April 16, 2010

St. Peter's Bay's Big Coming Out Party Marred

It probably got lost in the mail or something but this blogger did not receive an invitation to the grand opening celebration of St. Peter's Bay. I wonder why ...   However, those who did get one will have to wait a little longer for the party originally scheduled for today owing to an untimely and tragic death in the developer's family. Readers of this blog are quite familiar with this blogger's feelings on the controversial groynes at St. Peter's Bay, but on a very human level, let me take this opportunity to express sincerest condolences to the bereaved. Unfortunately, this passing will be forever linked (as pictured above in yesterday's edition of Barbados Today) with the official opening of this condo project that has so radically transformed the sleepy little village of Road View, St. Peter just a mile south of Speightstown.

It is amazing to read some of the headlines and comments that have heated up the local media this week: "STONEWALL," "Conspiracy theory," "danger," "racism," "negligence," etc.   Yet, if you have been following this blog for any length of time, you know that the controversy now revolving around St. Peter's Bay and it's main developer and his family did not start with the events of this past week.  For those of us local to the area  it all started with the way St. Peter's Bay went about acquiring the lands upon which it is built and how they have subsequently treated those lands.  Particularly in this regard, with respect to the groynes which many locals believe have destroyed beaches and private property between St. Peter's Bay and (and including) Mullins Beach.  This view has been scoffed at as "pure ignorance" by St. Peter's Bay main developer, even though three coastal engineers (two of them from outside of Barbados) concur with us.  Of course, St. Peter's Bay has in it's corner the powerful support of Barbados' Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU), even though the latter is still reeling from revelations of corruption in high places within its midst.

Regardless of how I say this I know I am going to end up in trouble but it is not the intention of this blogger to offend anyone or be insensitive to anyone's current plight, but there is a teaching moment here from which we all can benefit.  That lesson is that not because we are powerful and may have a lot of money and influence are we given the right to abuse the environment and each other as St. Peter's Bay has done, now with the blessing of successive Barbados governments.  There are always consequences for such actions.  Some of those consequences are quite physical as we now see in the landscape between the new condos and Mullins Beach, but others can be spiritual, and hence less readily discerned as this blog alluded to last year in a post entitled: The Turtles Are Praying.

Keep in mind that this world did not start with those of us who currently occupy it.  We can still learn from the collective knowledge and experiences passed down by those who occupied and managed it before us.  In Buddhism and Hinduism there is the concept of Karma which approximately equates the common saying: what goes around comes around eventually.  Among people of the Abrahamic faith traditions (Christians, Muslims and Jews) that concept is best expressed in the Old Testament passage which speaks of  the Lord "... punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation..." (Exodus 20:5 NIV).  While not claiming that there is a direct causal relationship between the groynes and the events of this week, we should all take pause to consider both the temporal and eternal consequences of all our actions.  This blog continues to call for the removal of the groynes at St. Peter's Bay.
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