Letter to the Editor: Amusement park money being wasted

There seems to be no good news lately coming from Government about the Cayman Islands and its present position.

A few days ago I read in the Compass news of how this present government gave $28 million to this failing park put up in West Bay that incorporated the Turtle Farm.

Well, I would like to shed some light for all the Cayman people to see. First of all, many of you have forgotten why the Turtle Farm was put in place:

1. To feed the people of this Island that love turtle meat. After all it is our national dish.
2. Because it became harder for Caymanians to go out to where we got turtles from in the past to bring turtles back to Cayman.

3. To release as many turtles back into the wild as we can so that in the future we would have turtles coming back to our shores like they did in the past.

I must at this time point out that the Turtle Farm that was first put in place worked and worked very well. We had a very good programme where we were making a little money from the Turtle Farm. Tourists and tour operators helped to make this happen and each year we released thousands of young turtles into the sea. It was so nice to see the turtle farm; the only one in the world working so well.

But it was not to last. The farm had two major changes; one by nature and one by man – both bad.

The storm Ivan damaged the farm and it was never built back on the old farm location. Instead, it was incorporated into this theme park like setting.

It was so easy to place the one-of-a-kind Cayman Turtle Farm into this new park with a bar, restaurant and shops. This was a big mistake.

Why did they not rebuild the damaged Turtle Farm like we rebuilt so many other things after the storm?

I will tell you why it was not rebuilt, because instead of the Turtle Farm standing on its own and making money as a separate attraction, if the park fails like it’s been doing, Government can say with ease that the Turtle Farm needs money and this will give them an excuse to use the money from our treasury to support a failing theme park.

We hear of all the fat salaries that are being paid, even large loans that are taken out of the Turtle Farm money, many under the table deals being made, bar tabs and God knows what else.

The Turtle Farm of the Cayman Islands does not need any of this extra crap. It only needs what the smart minds of these Islands placed the Turtle Farm in the location that they did. It worked and worked well. $28 million for what? In these hard times the present Government of these Islands does not know anything about wise spending. We the people of the Cayman Islands in the time of hardship need all the $28 million we can handle.

We love turtle meat, but ever since that park and the Turtle Farm has become one and the same, my people cannot get turtle meat like before.

And many cannot afford to buy it.

I know many of you forgot why the Turtle Farm was built. Here is a good reminder, once more, for food. Do not be afraid to speak out against what is wrong.

And remind all members of Government, including our wise leader, that they are our servants. A leader that puts his people first in all things is good and proper.

Emile S. Levy