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loretta's response
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Page 1 of 1Total of 4 messages
Posted by:Oct 25th 2002, 11:33:23 am
KimberlyPosted on behalf of Jamie and Kathy Pratt, who were unable to get on the board this morning:

Friends of Harbour Island:

A struggle has emerged between people such as Loretta and her husband Andrew, who wish to populate Crown land between Bay Street and the bay with shops and restaurants, and people such as the Pratts, and others who own property on the island and seek to maintain the peace, quiet and beauty of the area surrounding their special homes. To be sure, both sides have reasonable positions, the parties on both sides are reasonable people, and there is no doubt that Harbour Island is well served by both groups. The local people make up the cultural fabric of the island and define what the island is – a wonderful and very special place. The outside homeowners also contribute greatly. For example, we have been homeowners for 12 years, and have rented the Blue Dolphin that entire time, generating well over $100,000 in rental income. Every one of those dollars and much, much more has been invested in the island, helping to provide support for a long list of island businesses and friends – Betsy Higgs, Herman Higgs, Thomas Higgs, Cody Cartwright, Tommy Gibson, Gregory Higgs, Randall Johnson, Otis Johnson, Shelto Johnson, Franklin Barry, the Sawyer family, Bernice Thompson, Baldwin Carey, and many, many others. The Blue Dolphin dock is currently being used as the main dock of the island fishermen until the original fishermen’s dock is restored. Indeed, both sides rely greatly upon each other. We are in this together for the long haul, and there is no need for a struggle.

Is there a way that the needs of both parties can be met? We believe that several principles must be honored in an attempt to find a solution. First, any existing rules or regulations of the Bahamas that govern the use of Crown land must be understood and followed by both parties as well as the key decision makers on Harbour Island. Decisions regarding this issue should not be made on the basis of convenience, friendship or business interests without regard to the laws established for the benefit of the community. Second, the rights of the parties involved must be preserved. Legally-established shops have the right to operate as long as they respect the rights of those around them – such as the right to quiet, the right to privacy, and the right to a clean and safe environment.

We hope that following these uncontroversial and basic principles will lead to a solution that can be accepted by both parties. In the event that large differences of opinion still remain, we offer some judgments concerning what we believe to be in the best interest of Harbour Island.

The strip of Crown land between Bay Street and the bay extending from the Little Boarding House to the fishermen’s dock is one of Harbour Island’s most valuable assets; it is the first impression new arrivals have of Harbour Island. Just think how many artistic renditions have been made of the Bay area, both of the homes and the view. Preservation of this strip of land would ensure beautiful harbour views from Bay Street for homeowners, islanders, visitors, artists and others; likewise beautiful views of the island from the vantage of the bay; and a peaceful, clean, and tranquil environment for the Island’s “front door.” Populating this strip with shops would compromise this valuable asset. A short trip to Nassau illustrates what can happen if shops are allowed to take over, and I think we all agree that one Nassau is enough. Presently, Loretta’s is the lone shop on this strip of land. If it were decided, as we are suggesting, that this strip was to be preserved, we would agree to cover the costs of moving Loretta’s shop to a more suitable location – one where she could be located next to other shops, a place where such commercial activity is common and accepted. There, she could operate her new restaurant and play music without interfering with the neighbors. All successful municipalities have areas zoned for commercial activity so that these kinds of activities can prosper. Likewise, they have areas zoned for residences where a more quiet and peaceful environment is maintained. Harbour Island should be no exception.

If it is decided after careful consideration of all these issues that the strip of land between the fishermen’s dock and Loretta’s current location is appropriate for shops, we suggest that these shops be required to conform to strict rules of quiet, cleanliness, and sanitation. These requirements would help to ensure that the rights of the proximate homeowners would be preserved, and that the attractiveness of the area would be reasonably maintained. We would also strongly suggest that the strip of land between the Little Boarding House and King Street be declared strictly off limits to commercial activities of any kind. This land is directly in front of some of the oldest and most beautiful homes in the Bahamas, and under no circumstances should these assets be compromised.

We hope and pray that our comments will establish a basis for thoughtful communication between islanders and outside homeowners. While we may come from different backgrounds, there is no doubt that we have very much in common, not the least of which is the future of Harbour Island, a very special place indeed.

Jamie & Kathy Pratt
Posted by:Oct 21st 2002, 02:23:47 pm
KimberlyDear Kimberley,

I am writing the following in the hope that you will be able to post it on the site in reply to "Loretta's response". I am in Singapore and have been trying to post a reply for the last 4 days - maybe it's just an Asian hiccup! Would much appreciate your help as I have offended the Brilanders with my poor choice of words and wish to offer my apologies.

"I must apologise for my inappropriate choice of words in describing Loretta's place of business, it was thoughtless and I honestly did not mean to offend anyone by this, least of all Loretta. For this I am deeply sorry and offer my sincere apologies.

Please be aware that my opposition to the Johnson's application for a restaurant license is in NO means a personal attack against them. Loretta and my family have shared a civil and neighbourly existance for the last few years and I hope we can continue to do so. As Bahamians we ALL have the right to speak out for what we believe in and to pursue the legal channels available to us". Tanya

Thank you Kimberley for your help,

Posted by:Oct 17th 2002, 07:05:49 pm
moo mooI wish you all the best Loretta. I woke up this morning Jonesing for a nice bowl of souse, I drove by but to my dissapointment you were closed!!! when do you plan on opening? I will be your #1 customer. Keep your chin up and dont let people get you down.... GOOD LUCK!
Posted by:Oct 17th 2002, 06:36:55 pm
LJAllow me to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Loretta Johnson and I am a born Bahamian by blood. I have lived in Harbour Island all my life and I know no other home. And furthermore, I am the owner of this so called “Shack” that my dear friends: “Tanya Crone, Kathy Pratt & Others so gladly stress. Have it dawned to anyone on this board that “TC” is the lady from Heartsease because her name is “Tanya Crone” and I know that she would take pride in calling my business place a “shack”. But I have news for her and everyone else, because it was in this same “shack” that I babysat for her children. What dignity she has? I have never done any harm to such people and I think that it is ridiculous for such people like they, to dictate to the locals who lived in Harbour Island all their life. By the way, I was granted a temporarily license to open my souse house because of the annual Regatta. For that whole weekend locals and others from abroad partied just like the tourists who come annually for Christmas. I did have music but that was typical for that weekend because at every corner in harbour island music was blastering. My business place have been there since 1993 and I can honestly say that for those nine years, business was very slow however I stayed with it and now I think it is time for me to try something new. My opposing neighbors met me here and they will go and leave me here because at the end of the day when they have made a fortune for renting their homes they all leave. We can do away with people like these because it is evident that people like these have money at heart and not Harbour Island, which they claim to love so dearly. There are many “shacks” on bay street that sell straw goods, food and local fruits. If they can call my place a “shack” that tells what they think about the locals on Harbour Island. It seems that we locals are look upon as “nobodies” but this will change and it will change soon.

A pleasant day to all and Loretta’s Souse House will OPEN.

Best Regards,
Loretta Johnson

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