Activists not giving up

| 04/01/2012

dartswbroad_1.JPG(CNS): Despite the disappointing response from the government, and in particular the governor, to their petition to preserve the West Bay Road, local activists say they will be continuing to campaign this year in the hope that they can still prevent its closure, as well as on a number of other issues that they believe are threatening the Caymanian way of life. Alice Mae Coe, one of the organisers of the campaign and a founding member of the Concerned Citizens, said that despite the set-back, the activists would be continuing to try and save the road. The local campaigner said the group still had a number of ideas and plans for the year ahead and would not give up in their efforts.

Coe said the activists would continue to persuade government to consider the wider population in their decisions “rather than pandering to special interests groups without thought about the long term detriment to the Caymanian people and way of life,” she said. “It seems to get easier each day for them to forget that it is not just big developers and a few others they've been elected to represent.”

After submitting a petition of wellover 4000 signatures, which included a significant percentage of registered voters as well as residents and visitors, to Duncan Taylor he passed the petition to the premier as he said the issue of development is in the hands of the elected officials. Less than four days later McKeeva Bush signed an agreement with Dart to close the road.

The Concerned Citizens had joined with Save Cayman and the West Bay Action Committee to circulate the petition to “preserve the existing West Bay Road in its entirety in perpetuity as public vehicular roadway for the people of the Cayman Islands”, and while the 4000 names represented a mixed group of people, the campaigners say the premier was wrong to dismiss the signatures as people who were misinformed. Well over half were registered voters – two thirds of the number required to trigger a people’s referendum.

Captain Bryan Ebanks, a member of Save Cayman, explained that there was simply not the time or manpower for the activists, many of whom are also trying to balance busy lives and keep their heads above water in these tough economic times, to go door to door and collect the necessary 3500 plus signatures required to force a national ballot.   

Government has not yet passed the necessary legislation that would govern the parameters of a people’s referendum provided for in the constitution, so it is not clear how long a group would have to raise the required number of register voters signatures.

Although the petition submitted to the governor did not reach the 25% of the entire electorate required for the referendum, Ebanks said given the number of signatures it was still almost impossible to believe that the government could have dismissed it so easily. He said he was extremely disappointed that the governor just passed the petition over. “It’s clear that the mother country doesn’t care what we think,” Ebanks added.

Having only recently begun to get involved in grass roots activism, Ebanks said he believed the only thing that may make the premier think twice was a mass march of people. “I believe if we could get three or four hundred people to come out and show their opposition to this and the many other issues that we know people are concerned about the premier would be forced to think again,” he said.

The sea captain said however that he was pessimistic that the campaigners would be able to attract the numbers necessary to make the government sit up and take note.  He said people were generally apathetic about what was happening to them and their country as they simply don’t believe they can make a difference and are focused on the day to day struggle of trying to make ends meet.

Category: Local News

Comments (60)

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  1. Renita Ebanks says:

    It"s a pitty that caymanian don't have a say in their own country anymore…..but then again we've given our rights away also. Caymanian need to step up and take their rightful place as leaders of this island aqnd not voiceless by-standers. It's a shame that my daughter will grow up in a place that expats will have an advantage over her and will have more rights than her. We need to choose very wisely who we choose to represent us and lead us as a people. Or else they'll sell us out for a dollor or even less……it's so sad.

    • It's a pity all right says:

      It's a pity you can't spell pity, or dollar for that matter. Let's hope your daughter can spell those words.  If she can't, then she will indeed be at a disadvantage to expats because employers prefer to hire people who can spell, unless, of course, it;s for a manual labour or hospitality job. Yes, it's so sad that you actually think expats have more rights than Caymanians, when the truth is, expats have virtually no rights at all.  

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow, there are more comments on this road closure than on the violent crime articles.  Good to see Cayman has its priorities straight!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Crabs in a bucket!

  4. Anonymous says:

    West Bayers have voted a clean slate to place these people in power and give us the West Bay dictatorship to rule our country and affect our lives so we only have West Bay to thank for everything that this Government is doing. Thank you West Bay, you derserve what you have got.

    • Anonymous says:

      Again, no this is not true.  It takes more than four MLA's to have a majority in the legislative assembly.

  5. Pop-Eye the sailor Man says:

    For all those who are so excited about the work that will be forthcoming from Mr. Dart

    please remember this!!   EVERY SLAVE WAS EMPLOYED!!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Let’s sit at work and go online and complain against anything that happens rather than doing our job!

    What a joke. Get a life and do your frickin job and stop wasting your employers money and everyone’s time. This is the main strip of stay over tourism on the Island. If anything, the entire road should be shut to tourists and pedestrian traffic only!

    This is a huge infrastructure deal (which the road is a small part of) which Cayman desperately needs and anyone who tries to scuttle the project needs to get their head out of their a$$.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL! Do you think the thumbs down are from people who don’t support the project or from people at work not doing their job? Now get back to work!

  7. Anonymous says:

    All I want o say is, WHY CAN'T I FIND A PICTURE OF DART ANYWHERE ON THE INTERNET? This man is so big in the business world, yet so reclusive? That scares the crap out of me! Gov't too fool! They forget that this is their blood lines inheritance they dealing with? In 10 years we are ALL going to have only DART currency to deal with, because am sure the UK is like, "take the damn island fools"!


  8. Anonymous says:

    It will go ahead no matter what you think. Airport will expand, Docks will expand, New hospital, new dump, new roads to built, more appartments/houses to build and that west bay road WILL BE closed for good and it is the best thing for the country. I am in favour for it. Get a life Activists.

  9. anonymous says:

    I think this article is really funny…

    "(they are) trying to balance busy lives and keep their heads above water in these tough economic times"

    Which means:

    "We are broke from lack of work and don't have money so we cant continue to protest against a project that will create jobs and make us money"!!!


    Hmmmm. 🙂



  10. Anonymous says:

    I'd like to see how many of the naysayers marching against progress are unemployed hungry and at risk of losing thier own homes. If Mr Dart wants to and is willing to spend money in Cayman I'd say let him. Show me someone else who's doing anything to help, show me another company Foriegn or Caymanian who puts as much of us to work and creates opportunities.

    Shut your mouth unless you have an alternative, you'd sooner have us all starve and be homeless just to get yor way, let him have that part of the road, it's useless after every major storm anyway and costs the Caymanian people a ton of money to repair.

  11. NeoSurvivor says:

    I applaud these people standing up for what they believe in;  they are not motivated by political agendas, they are not motivated by lining their pockets with the taxes and duties of others.  

    Regardless of whether I happen to agree with their stance or not, I applaud their efforts.  

    Sadly, I think the government will do as they please, even if the entire populace turned out to protest.  

    I feel that we no longer have a voice, but that doesn't mean we should be silent.  

    • Anonymous says:

      please park your car on that blessed strip of road when the next northwester blows through

      that beach is mine! Not !


      why we crying now ! from merrens plaza to harbour hieghts has been off limits to locals for three decades now.

    • so Anonymous says:

      It is better to remain silent and be thought of as a fool then to open your mouth and remove all doubt.  Fortunately for us on Cayman the biggest fools have the biggest mouths.  Easy to pick them out.  Unfortunately its hard to get anything done without their (help?)

  12. Anonymous says:

    There is so much more to this road closure and its implications that people do not understand. or even consider, including our dunces in government.  For instance has anyone thought about the fact that right now through Camana Bay there is a single lane in each direction with absolutely nowhere for cars to pull off for emergency vehicles to pass.  This is a lovely and convenient design for Camana Bay but is detrimental to folks in need of emergency care in or around West Bay and for trying to get them to the hospital.  There are alson Police and Fire responses that get held up there.  How much worse is this going to be withmore of Darts single lane traffic that will certainly be more similar to Camana Bay  than to the West Bay Road that we know today…..Yes, West Bay Road is single lane traffic in both directions BUT with a middle lane and shoulders where vehicles can pull over to allow for emergency vehicles.  Thankfully we have that option now, but what is going to happen with Darts Persoanl Driveway?   Also what about when something like a pole being knocked down caused the entire island to be almost at a standstill because of road blockage to repair the pole.  While I am not so sure it was necessary to close the entire road it should be clear for all to see that proper long term planning for the benefit of all of Cayman is considered, not just accommodating one family.  I persih to think what wud have happened if there had not been the option to bottle neck the West Bay Road to try to get people in to work.  This insanity has got to stop.  Dart is here to get what Dart wants and he only needs to appease mc dum dum with a few dollars to hand out to his constituents to get everything he wants and mc dum dum thinks that will save the island.  Nowhere else on earth can one person or family own more of a country than the country itslef except here….Thank you mcgreedy, mcstupid, mcdart… name is on the pettition and I will stand with ALice Mae Coe thru the fight…..Cayman shall remain for Caymanians and residents and not succumb to special interest groups via mcdictator.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hate to be the dart to your balloon but the West Bay Road continues past Camana Bay and that area will remain uneffected.

    • Anonymous says:

      So funny how people like to blame Mac for how much Dart owns, like he's the one who sold him the land. I guess the Dart wasn't able to buy anything when the PPM was in charge..Lets see what happens next year went they get thier turn at bat, see it they try to run Dart out of Cayman or put thier hands out for his help as well. which is why they have nothing negative to say about this. Becuase they also know Cayman needs this deal..

      I can't wait till next year to see the same UDP haters turn thier anger on the PPM…

    • anonymous says:

      Everyone knows that the single lanes through Camana Bay have to be expanded to 2 lanes each way when the Government builds 4 lanes on either side of that development. That means when the road from Camana Bay to ALThompson becomes 4 lanes that area must be opened up. And I understand Dart has agreed to pay for the expansion just like he paid for the bypass in the first place. Find out what you are talking about before you speak. I think Cayman needs Dart alot more than Dart needs Cayman. We are the ones with the debt not him.

  13. Kmanlady says:

    For years we the the people of these beloved Islands with our trusting and kind ways have allow people of all caliber to come to live and work amongs us.  It is some those same people that are now forgetting and is in agreement with the Premier and the Dart group to take advantage of us to allow our birthrights and SOUL to be sold for the almighty dollars.  Before Dart and  his gronies came  here we survided the many hard times before, and why? we work together as a country and we trust in GOD.  why not now?.  Why sell (I should say. give away) our children and grandchildrens birthrights.  My people (Caymanians and not paper Caymanians) I  begged you please stand up for your democratic rights and save Cayman for Caymanians.  I say not paper Caymanians for the morjority of the status holders are only here to rape and destroy the country of it wealth and once it destroy they take flight back home, leaving you and I who have no where to go to deal the the what is left of the land (which will not be much once the Premier & Dart gronies are finish with it).

    Mckeeva Bush, please do not forget that you too are a Caymanian, and when the Dart Group get what they want they too will turn against you.  DART if you cannot live amongs us with owning us, please go home for your kind is not wanted here.

    if someone somewhere do not listen to us the people of this country, we will have no other choice but to become violent and destroy this country just like what the Bahamian did in yesterday year… we the people are tired of being suppressed and our voices been ignore.

    Caymanians, please stop thinking of the almighty dollar and come out and take our country back…We lived before we can do it again…All we have to do is pull together a country and trust in GOD not man…not the Premier or DART.

    May GOD have mercy on us





    • God have mercy indeed says:

      I have a hard time even comprehending how anyone can give thumbs up to this hate-filled, ignorant rubbish.  Seriously, folks, if this is the way the majority of you on this site feel, God needs to have mercy on us all because Satan has filled our hearts.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your xenophobic, ignorant post would be funny if we didn't know it was intended sincerely.  As it is it's scary and a shining example of Cayman's biggest flaw.  I hope for this country's sake you are elderly and your ridiculous opinions are consigned to history along with the other ranting hypocrites of your generation. If your views are shared by today's generation of Caymanians then I hope God does help you because the modern world will not.

    • Anonymous says:

      What’s a “gronie”?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Its the Immigration system that has you starving. Even if Dart goes ahead Caymanians, very few will get work. Construction wise Caymanians YES ,but in the long run with the hotel and tourism..NOT US! 

  15. Anonymous says:

    Come election time 2013 these are the same folks that's gonna say," see what i told you ,UDP in for four years and didn't accomplish one thing."…………cliff jumping would probably be the best thing for these people!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Are the 30 West Bayers with machetes and new steel-toe boots still clearing Dart's land, or were they only hired for the photo-op?

  17. Anonymous says:

    I hope to hell someone in these islands who is not afraid of McKeeva and his backlash and who has enough money to not be threatened will stand with us cause obviously there are some serious idiots on this rock calling themselves locals.

    Yes, crime is horrible and lots of bad shit is happening to these Islands but that don't mean that we should bend over backwards to the first pimp and sell everything we hold dear because some people can only see green. WTF? Really? You want to march about crime, then go right ahead, but don't knock us, the people who also care for this little rock!! We'd march with you for Crime, anytime you ready to go!

    Don't you dare try to make it seem like we have no reason to be fighting for this because we do!! I want my children and grandchildren to be able to drive this stretch of beachfront and stick their heads out the window and enjoy the sea, sand and sun through every sense like i use to do and still do! How much more do we need to wreck 7 mile beach? Are we that greedy that nothing is important to us anymore but the almighty dollar? You need money, build a church and then call Mac for some 'donations'! Simple.

    For all of you looking work, take your ass to the nearest fast food restaurant, gardening company, anywhere and get a damn job. There is work here but if you feel you're tooo big or special for it then lock yourself in your house and shut the F&%# up!

    I hope to hell that something good happens with this because I would hate to loose my life by attaching myself to Dart bulldozer, cause I'm ready to do it if I have to. I would call every media outlet on this planet and let them know how our government and Mother country representative has no regard for the people. I guarantee you that my International friends alone would bombard this island and help me where my own local people would have failed me. They're not afraid to march, they're not afraid of backlash. They are confident in their knowledge that THEY are the ones who are paying these people to run THEIR countries.

    Mr. Dart if you care so much for Cayman why not Go East ? Tons of pristine beaches up there for you to use. Dang you so rich you could helicopter your guests from the airport to East End or better yet, order a fleet of Limos to carry them there. Oww or you build a nice rail station in the sky to keep them happy. 

    Mr. Dart if you care so much for these Islands and how we Islanders feel then why don't you reconsider your decision? If you trying to double your riches on that Hotel why not hire someone to build an underground walkway like Altantis has, that's something new and interesting that's not in Cayman, you could make a killing. You could even tax us locals to use it too!

    Please Mr. Dart, it's obvious our elected officials are all slippery eel like animals who would more than happily give you everything Caymanian to make you happy but I implore you to please reconsider. Please. Please. 

    • Anonymous says:

      People sticking their heads out looking at the beach and bikinis is the main reason there are so many accidents in front of Public Beach!!

      I am on that beach during the week for many hours, and so I see how many cruiseshippers cross that road looking the wrong way while dump trucks are flying by checking out the water. it would take more than one hand to count all the accidents i've seen there too. What's wrong with having a beach without the sound of traffic??If you want to look at the water, take 10 minutes out of your day, park and walk up there!!


      Look at the Los Angeles beaches for example – even in a huge city they can have a car-free road along miles and miles of beach which attract walkers, runners, skateboarders, and everything else that entails a healthy, active, FUN lifestyle. 

  18. Anonymous says:

    The truth is that West Bay Road is a digusting eyesore that runs right along the country's most beautiful natural resource. Drive down it on a nice day and watch all the families trying to get across to go to the beach.  You can easily wait 5-10 minutes in the exhaust fumes to cross that road and you take your life in your hands when you do.  It would be a vast improvement to the country if they shut the whole thing, put a jogging or cycle path down the middle and planted a few trees around it and then widened the bypass.

    Why anyone would petition for its preservation is beyond me. I get the feeling these people would whine about anything if it involved the government and wealthy property developers

  19. Snap Back To Reality says:

    Go ahead, keep fooling yourselves. You will end up seeing nothing at all when it is all built up on both sides.

  20. Anonymous says:

    If these activists put their energy into standing up/fighting crime then I could stand on their side. All this sounds like is broken record cause they didn't get what they wanted.

    • Anonymous says:

      When the youth see our "leaders" selling out for the Dollar they figure that crime does pay.  If our leaders set a more responsible example we might not have so much crime.

  21. Anonymous says:

    These are great news! We need you to keep fighting for this social injustice, and nothing is a done deal. Many people are concerned and upset about the development proposed by the present government, and these voices need to be heard. The decision to close West Bay Road is not made in the interest of the population, but only in the interest of a very small group. It is reassuring to see that some people really care for the island, don't accept as the truth what the media and the government tell them, and are active in their community.

  22. Anonymous says:

    As a Caymanian, I am all for those (like the DART group) that would invest heavily in quality infrastructure for the future of the Cayman Islands at a time when there are no other competing offers.  Some may recall this same land parcel was for sale for almost a decade with no other takers.  Anyone might have acquired this other than the Dart Group.  What sets them apart is that at their considerable expense, they are building a new road and roundabouts away from the beach where the West Bay Road should have been all along.  The beach is not being moved.  The only objection that I can fathom is from those handfuls that camp along that short stretch over Easter long weekend.  For them, it may require they burn a few more calories carrying the stew from their vehicle to their "heritage" camp site by the sea grapes.  I am disappointed that there are Caymanians that would sound the battle cry to preserve this heritage of laziness.  There are bigger gorillas in the room which are more worthy of our protesting energies.  

  23. Anonymous says:

    moving the road is wrong, period…its in the interests of a private concern, not in the best interests of the public…..protests should continue and be more forceful, why stop at the governors office? contact the UK….enoughof this nonsense….if dart wants to build a hotel, he could have done it in camana bay either on the canals or on the beach side or even on the big empty lot next to the gas station on west bay road….if he wants to builda hotel on  the site of public beach, build a bridge across the road like the hyatt an the ritz had to…….just because the beach is not as deep or attractive, thats not the publics problem, its darts

    same with the dump – its not like it wasnt there when he went and bought all the land adjacent, now he wants to relocate it……..same with west bay road, its not like it wasn't there when he did a sweet deal with thomas for the marriott and the lands in yacht club

    they can print all the glossy brochures they want….."forcayman"….come off it… a bridge, leave the road……simple…..

  24. Anonymous says:

    My way of life now is I’m starving. Shut the f&$# up and let the work begin so people can feed their families.!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:


    • Wow! says:

      Where the hell you feed your family from this work starting? Only the chosen FEW will get anything out of this work and Cayman will lose PLENTY – oh sorry, you are one of the chosen few, so "Shut the f&$# up" and let us fight for what is ours, even if it is NOT yours!

    • Sunlight Please says:

      To – My way…

      You havenot seen Hunger Yet, just wait till the power to be tightens the noose…..

    • Anonymous says:

      You think there is a lack of jobs here?

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe if you were not so rude you would have a job.

      I also wonder how many Blackberry phones you have you your "starving" family.   

    • Anonymous says:

      What percent would be caymanians?  I'm bettin not many

    • Pitta Patta says:

      I hope the activists do not give up. This deal only benefits Dart & Mckeeva Bush. If they cared about Cayman & what is best for Caymanians they would build the hotel, extend the bypass & leave our West Road alone! How is closing part of the West Bay road benefitting Caymanians? How is closing the road providing jobs? The jobs will be provided by building the hotel & the road extention NOT CLOSING the road!

      Closing the road only benefits Dart (& Mckeeva Bush financially) because his property will triple in value. The bypass extention will also raise the value of Dart's land where the road goes through. It is definitely a win-win situation, win for Dart & win for Dart (& let's not forget Mckeeva Bush)!

      I support Dart building his hotel & I support him extending the bypass because that will provide jobs (mostly for his company though), but leave OUR road alone because closing a road does NOT provide jobs! Who do they (Dart & Mckeeva Bush) think they fooling?

      • Anonymous says:

        Of course closin gthe road benefits Dart, it's just one part of the deal. No one every said the he wanted to close the road to benefit Caymanians, he want that part of the road to increase the value of his development and is willing to give a lot in return.

        Sure stop the road closure, then it's not worth it for Dart to invest as mush as he is so he pulls out and everyone losses..

        Nothing is free, in this world you have to give A$$ to get A$$..

        • Pitta Patta says:

          Hasn't he been given enough already? Believe me when I tell you that he will soon own all of us, we will all soon be working for Dart & HE will TELL us how much he will pay us! If you think things are bad now, just wait until then!

          Why give him the WB road when we are giving him everything else? His land which the bypass extension will be going through will triple in value! Isn't that enough? What are we getting? If you would just open your eyes you will see that it is very little in comparrison. 

          Anyway, one day you will not need to open your eyes to see the real reasons for Dart's "generosity" because it will hit you in your face, but by then it will be too late.

          If you think that Dart means you & the Cayman people any good I'm real sorry for you, because Dart is interested in Dart only & what he can get for Dart (himself). Why are we so naive & gullible? We never learn, UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE! BYE-BYE!


          • Anonymous says:

            The only pattern I see is that DART generously pays the required fee and then some.  Complaining about a successful bidder after a property has been listed for close to a decade is laughable.  In reality it will be decades before DART's heirs approach break even on Camana Bay (ifever) and the custom designed parks and landscaping they have added immeasurably to Grand Cayman's offerings will never turn a profit.  It's not always about money, it's about daring to do something right for mankind; even then, we can always count on some simpleton to flail their arms in the air and instigate some master conspiracy theory, because they can't understand the motivator.  It is sad that so many Native Sons are skeptical of the concept of philanthropy.  Ask yourself how many towns, developments, or parks are attributable to Cayman's wealthiest families and created for their fellow man without any expectation of profit?  They don't exist.  Now go to any Cayman fundraiser and look around the tablesand see who is donating their time, and filling those seats to raise funds.

    • Anonymous says:

      You starving, yet you got INTERNET ACCESS? Yup, you a Dart supporter all right. Got your priorites mixed up. Go get some coconuts and sell 'em by Caymana Bay so you can eat then! Dummy.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Oh Please where are the people campaigning againt the rising crime…It's not a road closure thats threatening the Caymanian way of life it's all the stick up kids and hoods running around..


    Let's march against them…

    • Sigh says:

      Let's march against old people who are stuck in the past, too.

    • Anonymous says:

      but that would mean marching against themselves

    • Anonymous says:

      Add CUC to the list and you'll have most of Cayman supporting you

    • Anonymous says:

      So true – where are our community activists at night? Are they home with kids making sure they do their homework?

      And if they don't have kids in school are they working together to patrol our streets to take control of them again and keep kids out of trouble. You worry about looking at a piece of sand and swimming? I worry about going out at night, stopping at a gas station or forgetting to lock my door when I get home because of guns, thieves and wanna be gangsters.

      I am not saying you are wrong to want to protect your beach, but the way of life I grew up with was more about a safe community and the demise of that is what I am concerned about.

      it's all about priorities.

      • Anonymous says:

        They are too old to go out at night. They sit around their smoke pans trying to get rid of the mosquitoes while they eat some bottlers, breadfruit and fish rundown with a little heavy cake for dessert…You know they protested against MRCU getting rid of mosquios. Mosquitos are part of Cayman Culture and heritage…Don't anybody touch their mosquitos or they will march and protest to the Governor!