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August 25, 2020 · 2:12 pm

New Megastore Threatens Blacktip Landfill

Blacktip Island visitor Chrissy Graysby browses the landfill’s home appliance section.

Blacktip Island visitor Chrissy Graysby browses the landfill’s home appliance section.

Blacktip Island residents turned out in dozens Thursday to protest plans for a Lowest Depot do-it-yourself superstore slated for the island’s northern tip.

“We have the dump for all our DIY needs,” said protestor Palometa Fischer. “If they build this monstrosity, it’s the beginning of the end. Next we’ll have fast food, a cinema, hell, even a golf course. People move here to get away from those things.”

“It’s part of the island’s charm,” resident Piers Plank said. “I’d rather pick through my neighbours’ leavings than patronize some corporate monolith. If the landfill doesn’t have it, you don’t need it.”

Not all residents agreed.

“I think it’s brilliant,” said newcomer Ginger Bass. “Charm is charm, but not when your freezer dies or you want to build a festive patio out back. Then you need a proper bricolage.”

Lowest Depot spokesperson Sheena Goode belayed the protestors concerns.

“We have no desire to ruin Blacktip Island’s unique character,” Goode said. “We don’t see it as merely selling appliances and building supplies. Our goal is to bring ease and convenience and quality of life to Blacktip Island. At our usual low, low prices, of course.”

Some residents worry the new store will destroy the sense of community the landfill fosters.

“We have no parks or piazzas or any sort of public space here,” Blacktip Haven resort owner Elena Havens said. “The dump is our de facto piazza, where people from all walks of life can gather. It’s a very nurturing place. Losing that would be tragic.”

Other residents echoed Havens’ sentiments.

“Making a dump run is family time,” Olive Beaugregory said. “We let the kids pick out something special for themselves while we hunt for any sundries we might need. Then we break out juice and sandwiches, cheer on the dump chickens and throw rocks at the rats. It’s affordable family fun. No megastore can offer that.”

“We need to reuse, repurpose and recycle the junk we have rather than import more,” Club Scuba Doo’s general manager Polly Parrett said. “Our dive boats are built 100% from parts and pieces salvaged from the landfill. We used to hand craft all our scuba rental gear from repurposed landfill items, too, but that became problematic. Our attorney still won’t return our calls.”

Lowest Depot’s Goode said land clearing for the new store is scheduled to begin Monday.

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Blacktip Times Launches Inaugural Issue

Thanks to generous donations from Skerritt Construction and the Divemaster’s Local #138, The Blacktip Times community news journal has become a reality.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Times editor and publisher Samson Post said. “This island’s needed a voice for years, something to really anchor our community, but the devil’s always been in the financial details.

“It feels good to finally get everything tied off. Blacktip is one of the best tropical islands around, with a lot more going for it than just beaches and margaritas and scuba diving. We aim to let folks know that.”

The Blacktip Times will be published weekly, and will focus on island news, business, entertainment and sports, Post said.

“Our goal is to provide fair and objective coverage of the community, for the community, from the Pinnacle to Mango Sound, from Spider Bight to Eagle Ray Cove,” Post said.

“We won’t play favorites, whether we’re covering our best friend or our biggest financer. If we ruffle some feathers in the process, well, that’s an inescapable part of quality journalism. We’re going to cover this island like a Cat 5 storm surge, leaving no stone unturned.”

Post also stressed the need for Blacktip Island’s 100 or so residents to be involved in the newsgathering process.

“If you see news happening, call or text our news hotline,” Post said. “There’s not many people here, but if we can find enough happening, we’ll make the paper a daily.”

The Times is one of a growing number of Caribbean island community newspapers being published in electronic-only format.

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