“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” … Not always.
In recent weeks we have noticed, with a certain degree of satisfaction, that we have not been noticing certain nuisances around Grand Cayman that heretofore have been irritating us to no end. As far as our quality of life is concerned, it certainly has been “addition by subtraction.”
Green iguanas: Nearly two months into the Department of Environment’s “great green iguana cull,” the once-ubiquitous lizards are noticeably scarcer. It wasn’t long ago that it seemed you couldn’t pass a sunny patch of grass, shady tree canopy or anything remotely climbable without startling a half-dozen juvenile iguanas or drawing a disapproving glance from a wizened “elder statesman” of the species. Now, the most-concentrated congregations of the invasive pests are occurring where they should – at the George Town landfill, where Cayman’s contracted cullers had deposited nearly a quarter-million iguana carcasses, as of the end of last week.
Roadside refuse: Grand Cayman’s NiCE crews are doing nice – make that fantastic – work rejuvenating our island for the holidays and the winter high season for tourism. According to the Public Works Department, it is expected that when the National Community Enhancement Winter Project ends this week, 502 people will have participated in picking up litter, cleaning up public spaces, repainting road markings … in general, buffing, polishing and spiffing up the country for Christmas. Their efforts are making a significant positive impact on our community. One can only hope that Cayman’s resident (and visiting) “litterbugs” take inspiration from the newly spic-and-span surroundings and stop treating our island as their personal rubbish bin.
Menacing motorbikers: We’ve written often, and directly, about Cayman’s roving bands of motorbikers who flaunt traffic laws and police authority, while jeopardizing the safety of themselves and everyone unfortunate enough to share the road with them. We may be speaking charitably out of an abundance of holiday cheer, but it seems that the highest-profile of antisocial behaviors by this group may have abated somewhat. Certainly, in regard to recent front pages of the Compass, we have highlighted positive and lawful activity by motorbikers and motorcyclists, including the RCIPS’s officially sanctioned islandwide ride, and the 16th annual Toys for Tots motorcycle motorcade organized by Keith and Casey Keller.
Snug Harbour burglaries: Following a string of thefts targeting homes, Snug Harbour has had no reported burglaries since this past May. (In April alone, 13 burglaries were reported in the neighborhood.) Police give credit to alert members of the local Neighbourhood Watch group, who stay in close touch and keep a sharp eye out for suspicious activity.
Hurricanes and heat: Especially after last year’s active hurricane season, we are grateful that we escaped this year with no major hurricanes approaching Cayman or impacting our neighbors. We are also happy that seasonal patterns have already knocked temperatures down a few degrees Fahrenheit from summer highs (and spared us from regular daily rainfall).
We look forward to the return of Christmas breezes, reduced air-conditioning bills and the ability to throw open doors and windows and sit in absolute Caribbean comfort.
At the risk of overreaching, perhaps, there are a few more things that we would gladly add to the above litany of adieus or adioses. At the top of our list would be a dramatic reduction in bureaucratic baby-sitting, red-tape entanglement and the meddling in our local economy by international know-it-alls. (Yes, Brussels, we ARE talking about you.)