Saturday, March 28, 2009

stupid Arecibo

Two decades ago a rum plant closed in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. This plant was on prime ocean-front property west of downtown, an ideal location for sensible beach-front development, promoting tourism, environmental protection, and desperately-needed recreational opportunities for those of us who live here.

In fact, there have long been plans to build tourism infrastructure in Arecibo, some of which has moved forward. The Camuy Caverns and Arecibo Observatory greatly improved their visitor facilities and experience in the last decade, and the city renovated the old lighthouse and built a theme park around it. There are some new and other improved hotels nearby. Slow progress is apparent. Then, the best opportunity of all appears, as the city finally removes the remnants of the rum factory and its intoxicated grounds. What are we getting on that beautiful beach front? A Home Depot and CVS Pharmacy.

This can only be described as lunacy, and quite evidently corrupt lunacy at that. If history teaches us anything, this lunacy will move ahead with little or no resistance. How can we take this sitting down. While we give away our prime real estate to major multinationals with no interest in the local community, we will destroy local hardware stores, and the local pharmacies, which were already on the margin, will likely be finished off by this incursion.


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