To: "Malinda" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: fight, for God's sake
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2014 20:39:18 -0400
Having heard about the fight to Save Coral Bay, in the East End of St. John, when I was in Cruz Bay St. John, where the ferries come in to the West, by St. Thomas, I believed that there was a fierce fight going on to stop development. The papers seemed to show a strong force of people leading this fight, and there are temporary tattoos and a Facebook page and experts and graphics people and other talent on board to make this a prominent issue.
Tonight, sailing into Coral Bay, naturally we stopped at Skinny Legs to share the music food and general vibe. I saw some tourist shops open, selling Coral Bay paraphernalia. I asked where the shirts were that said: 'Save Coral Bay' and both shop owners directed me to some place over inland, I guess. I am there by dinghy and I am not traipsing around. I thought that, right there in the harbor, they would be ideal places to educate tourists and show solidarity for this cause, but both times, the owners deferred. One said the Corps of Engineers would not let that happen to the mangoes. Also that the Americans should show that it matters to them first. Excuse me? That is a hippy reefer dream, if you ask me.
The other owner just waited until I was out of earshot to explain to the confused clientele that a small marina would be ok. Again, excuse me?? I felt like I was in the movie 'Dumb and Dumber'. Developers live to profit off this kind of inexcusable ignorance.
Having been in similar fights in the states, I know what fighting development entails. You have to do battle, because they will not concede without being forced to. As Frederick Douglas reminded Lincoln: 'Power accedes nothing without a demand-it never has and it never will.'
It doesn't take people from away to do the demanding, it takes people who will be hurt by it right here, to start the fire of conviction and to keep it blazing in people's hearts. Too little too late will not Save Coral Bay.
Who does it take to make this happen successfully? It takes parents who will see the place ruined for their kids. It takes people young AND old, who want to live a peaceful existence to see that the fight has come to them, no matter how far away they think they have escaped. There sometimes is never a place to run to if you don't stand up and fight for what you believe in. You can't retire from your conscience.
I was dismayed that these people seemed to mentally quit the effort before the fight has really begun in earnest. What in heavens name for? I have seen and heard enough: this plan is a disaster. Even more--it is a massive disgrace to anyone calling themselves a Coral Bay and a St. John resident.
And why should this even be happening? The island has miraculously managed so far to continue to be a jewel. This is 'paradise' as all the tourist crap will attest to. And this will terminate with the development of the marinas in the harbor. Who will you have to blame? YOURSELVES. YOU will have polluted your paradise. It's no good running away now--if you live here, the fight has come to your very doorstep.
Once the masses of catamarans take over your harbor the way they have taken over Road Harbor and other bays, you will carry the sense of failure and destruction with you.. Unless, of course, you make this fight personal. That means you stop caring about popular opinion and step into this fight and remind yourself and everybody else that this is not acceptable and you have to prevent it. That is the only way I know of, but sometimes it does actually work.
Don't think it is impossible. I have seen many MANY projects be successful when the whole community gets together. This is a fight for the whole island to fight but first, please, Coral Bay residents, make it YOUR fight.