I felt I had to respond to Mr. Jayson Parrilla's recent comments concerning the development of Great Pond by Golden Gaming. First I wanted to point out that it might have been a while since Mr. Parrilla has visited the site as considerable effort has been put in to clean the site. Yes, unfortunately there are people who consider this area a dumping ground and follow behind any cleaning and conservation efforts to immediately despoil it the with their trash and laziness but that is not the fault of the site and its resources, or diminish the value of the area, just those individuals!
On this point we do agree, the people of St. Croix do need to "wake up and smell the coffee". They need to quit being so short-sighted and apathetic and take a stand to protect the heritage and resources that truly make St. Croix an island paradise. To this end, Mr. Paul Golden's plans are questionable at best. I have attended a number of public hearings on the matter and was surprised to see that Mr. Golden consistently changed the plans in question as well as completely ignored letters of concern from the public, questions of feasibility from local DPNR officials and even documents from Federal Ecological Service offices that raised issue with the planning and long-term viability of such a development, really, any development, at Great Pond.
And of course we always return to the job issue. There is no question that the local economy needs help, but no one will ever convince me that a temporary "shot in the arm" from construction and a few seasonal tourist-based and maintenance jobs counteract tampering with an acknowledged historic and ecologically sensitive area. Mr. Parrilla doesn't seem think that cultural heritage, gorgeous green space, tranquil sea views and beautiful star-filled nights, fishing hatcheries, tourism dollars from birders and outdoor enthusiasts, clean water or fresh air benefit the people of the VI I could not disagree more. The only thing that will hurt the VI is selling ourselves and our resources to anyone who comes asking and asking with one hand out for required monies from the VI coffers no less!
We can work with developers, although I'm not sure Mr. Golden is the right one, to find suitable areas to build. There are a number of places that make perfect sense (although a six OR eight story monstrosity has no place on the island) and that do not endanger the pristine beauty and future of the big island.
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