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Utila East Wind - November 2005 Edition

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Stories picked from the Headlines

Hurricane Wilma's Destruction

Yachts in East Harbor - Click to enlarge
Waves roll into the usually tranquil bay causing sailboats to rock violently
Waves at Trade WInd Estates - Click to enlarge
The surf pounds Trade Winds Estates
Sandy Bay Flooded - Click to enlarge
Waves cover the streets of Sandy Bay
Enjoy the Surf - Click to enlarge
Boys, out with their long-board, jump into the furious surf.

Hurricane Wilma, narrowly missed a direct hit on the island, but still made her presence felt, her waves caused damage to many docks and heavy rain flooded the streets..

Wilma, the strongest Atlantic hurricane on record, brushed closely past Utila offering just a taste of its awesome power. Destructive waves, rising seas and storm force winds hammered the island which escaped relatively unharmed, bar a few docks.

“It was the worst we've seen since Mitch” said Mayor Alton Cooper, who along with the rest of the community had been tracking Wilma’s progress as she approached from the east, a category 5 hurricane. Islanders rushed to buy supplies and board up while the authorities evacuated the Cayes and issued advisories.

“They did a great job providing us with beds and food at the public school” said Mrs.. Munoz, evacuee from Pigeon Caye.

Wilma's wrath eroded the public beach, divided Coco Locos bar and tore planks out of most docks. Water pipes were ripped out and low-lying areas were also flooded. The storms aftermath brought a flurry of activity with everyone pitching in to help. Municipal workmen made quick work replacing the beach and the whole community managed to get the island ready for business as usual in just a few days.

“We shoveled sand in buckets off the street in front of the house… all day,” said Nadine Jackson of Sandy Bay.

With the ferry and planes out of action many were marooned on Utila, “I was supposed to be in Barcelona proposing to my girlfriend but I got stuck on this rock!” said Thomas White, stranded tourist.

The ferry was stuck in the mud in the lagoon and did not resume service until seven days after Wilma hit. However travel was possible by the Friday when planes began ferrying passengers.

The most lasting effect of Wilma was the temporary closure of its too most frequented bars, Tranquila and Coco Locos. “I feel a bit lost, where am I am supposed to go and drink beer now,” said Elliot King, tourist.

El huracán Wilma por un poquito no le dió un golpe directo a la isla. Pero su presencia se hizo sentir, sus olas causaron daños a muchos muelles y su lluvia abundante inundo las calles..

Wilma, el mas fuerte huracan en la historia del Atlantico, pasando cerca dandole a Utila una pequeña probado de su fuerza. Olas destructivas, mar arasante los vientos que solo tocaron algunas bares y unos pocos muelles.

“Es lo peor que hemos visto despues de Mitch,” dijo el alcalde Alton Cooper, quien con la ayuda del resto de la comunidad a seguido de serca el progeso y el acercamiento desde el este, de Wilma como huracan categoria 5. Los isleños se prepararon y basearon los supermercados mientras las autoridades evacuaro los cayos.

“Ellos hicieron un buen trabajo dondoles camas y comida en la escuela publica” dijo el Señora Muñoz que fue evacuado de Pigeon Caye.

Wilma llevo y ensucio parte de la playa publica, dividio el bar de Coco Loco y rompío algunas tablas de muchos bares. El agua fluyo en muchas areas y los trabajadores municipales hicieron un trabajo rapido reparando los tubos en la playa y en toda la comunidad para dejarla lista y limpia en unos pocas dias.

"Nosotros sacamos baldes de arena de el frente de nuestra casa todo el dia” dijo Nadine Jackson de Sandy Bay.

Con el ferri y avionetas fuera de servicio muchos se quedaron atrapados en Utila “Yo tenia que estar en Barcelona para encontrarme con mi novia pero me quede atrapado en Utila” dijo Thomas White, turista.

El ferri estaba atrapado en la laguna hasta que reanudo sus servicios hasta siete dias despues de que Wilma pego. Los viajes en avion se reanundaron hasta el viernes. Aftecto temporalmente a los bares más frecuentados Tranquila y Coco Loco cerraron.

Rock and Poll, Dr John

DR John and his dog Sue - Click to enlarge
Dr John with his dog Sue

Should his column stay or should it go? That was the question posed to our readers last month and the response was overwhelming, Dr. John certainly has the island fired up!

After five months of printing his controversial subject matter the situation reached a head and complaints were coming in thick and fast.

“We are a religious island, you girls should be ashamed for printing that filth,” said Edwin Jackson, to East Wind editors. It seemed the only way to resolve the matter was to find out what East Wind readers really wanted in a readers poll.

Thank you to all those who took the time to cast their vote either online, in person or through the ballot box in Henderson’s. Votes were officially counted live on HQTV on the 23rd October alongside a heated telephone debate over the morality of the column in question. “Don’t worry, he wont give you a lethal injection tomorrow if you don’t vote for him” said presenter Annie Bodden during the show.

Results were unanimous however, Dr. John won a landslide victory, an amazing 2070 votes came in, 63% in favor of the column staying. As with any poll of this nature those who felt strongly could cast any number of votes in any number of ways.

“The poll was ridiculous, you could vote as many times as you like” said Jim Warren of Sandy Bay. “We love Doctor Johns column, its hilarious. If you don’t like it, don’t read it!” said Rosa….. “Normally my son never reads anything but as soon as the paper arrives he reads Dr. John straight away.” She said.

So, back by popular demand this month, find out what advice Dr. John has to give on page 16…. if you want to that is..

¿Deberia esta columna quedarse o irse? Esta fue la pregunta que hicimos a nuestro lectores el mes pasado y la respuesta fue abirumante, Dr. John ciertamente la isla se ha manifesto.

Despues de cinco meses de publican sus temas controverciales la situación alcanzó un alto grado de quesas que unieron de todas partes.

“Somos una isla religiosa, y ustedes muchachas deberia de darles vergüenza de publicar una columna tan sucia” dijo Edwin Jackson a los editores de East Wind. Pareció que la unica forma de resolvar este tema fue el le averiguar que realmente quieren los lectores.

Gracias a todos los que tomaron su tiempo para emitir su voto en persona o atravez de la urnia en la tienda de los Hendersons. Los votos en HQTV el 23 de octubre gandose tambíen un acatornado debate sobre la moralidad de dicha columna. “No se preocupen, no les daremos una injeccion letal mañana si no votan por el” dijo la presentadora Annie Bodden durante el show.

Los resultados fueron evidentes, los votos unieron 63% a favor a la columna a quedarse, 2070 votos en total. Como en cualquier corna de esta naturaleza los votos pudieron ser depositados de un montón de maneras.

“La urnia fue riducula se pudo votar tantas veces se quisiese,” dijo Jim Warren de Sandy Bay. “Nos gusta la columna del Doctor Johns, si no le gusta, no la lean,” dijo Rosa “... por lo general mi hijo nunca lee nada, pero una vez que el periodico viene el la lee de immendiato!” dijo ella.

Asi, de relreso por demanda popular este mes, averigue que consejo tiene que dar Dr. John en la pagina 16, si quiere leerla.

News in Brief

Tranquila Troop on Tour

Tranquilla Bar Logo

Managers of Tranquila bar left the island for a well deserved last minute holiday on October 12th. Regular customers were not so enthusiastic about their sudden departure as the popular bar closed. Distraught customers were spotted roaming the streets at a loss for what to do. To add insult to injury Tranquila was hit by Wilma, delaying the reopening until Thursday 27th October, after a total closure of fifteen days.

Keller Nominated for Prestigious Award
Nominated for this years Copan Award was resident artist, Neil Keller, creator of the Jade Seahorse. Pipped at the post by Honduran singer, Jeronimo Anderson, Mr Keller's loss created quite a stir. “They passed up a privilege not giving the award to me” said Mr. Keller who attended the ceremony in Tegucigalpa. Also infuriated by the decision was award winning Demo Esperanza, who showed his dissatisfaction by throwing his own award at the judges offices after the event.

Utila Princess

Marooned Princess
The Princess ferry had a run of bad luck last month. She broke down due to engine problems and then grounded on a shallow mud bank while seeking shelter from Wilma in the Lagoon. Here she was marooned throughout the storm as the heavy seas in the hurricanes aftermath made the crossing to the mainland too treacherous. Service of the unlucky ferry was not resumed until Tuesday 25th.

Help Available!
Doors are open to everyone at the rehabilitation centre ‘Delitorar Allantico’ in La Ceiba, just turn up! A full time phycologist is on hand to provide treatment in addition to daily, hour long visits by a general doctor. Once a month a neurologist attends the clinic and together the team treat a variety of illnesses from depression and low self esteem to substance addiction. “We recieve no government help and raise all funds ourselves, we feel passionate about helping people” said Mr. Montoya, President of the Board. For more information visit the clinic (half a block east of Casa Del Niño) or call 986 7979.


Island wide recycling scheme on the way
A recyclables collection service for dive shops and businesses on Utila will soon be available thanks to Dan Spatz, Watersports Manager and Troy and Edith Bodden. With financial assistance from US Aid they aim to distribute 50 gallon plastic barrels across the island to collect plastic bottles and aluminum cans and ship them to the mainland aboard the Bodden's cargo boat, Prime Time. “The minimal income will pay for a three wheeler bicycle to pick up the trash” said Mr Dan Spatz, who hopes to have the collection scheme up and running within a few months. Until then you can bring clean plastic bottles and aluminum cans to Watersports for recycling.

Pepe Lobo

Pepe Lobo in town
Presidential candidate Pepe Lobo visited the Island on Sunday 9th October as part of his national election campaign. A National Party march and rally was organized in his honor and was well attended despite the early start..

Municipality News

Alton Cooper - Utila Mayor - Click to enlarge
Alton Cooper
Utila Mayor

What a relief we were spared from the worst of Wilma’s wrath! Her affects were felt however and I would like to congratulate everyone on their impressive and speedy efforts to return the island to normal.

Thank you to the Municipal Emergency Committee, including the fire department, municipal police and policia preventiva for being so willing and ready to help. Also to Mike Rose and Jernigan Cooper for providing a fantastic service evacuating the cayes and to Troy Bodden for his generous aid in repairing the road in Sandy Bay.

Chepes Beach was badly eroded during Wilma and municipal workers repaired the damage as quickly as possible. My apologies to everyone for the disruption to the towns water supply, storm repair was unfortunately delayed whilst we waited for the necessary parts.


Utila Municipality has been recognized as having the highest standard of living in the country! These are fantastic findings acknowledging the improvements we have all seen in our health service, education, water supply and general lifestyle. It is safe to say that Utila has progressed more than any other municipality in Honduras during the past four years.


A grand stone laying ceremony took place for the much talked about desalination plants on the 12th October. Thank you to those who attended and showed their appreciation, it was a great turn out and visiting parties were made to feel very welcome.


The sanitation project is well underway, every single home on the island and the cayes will benefit from this several million dollar programme. Representatives have begun house calls to identify the needs of the community.


Campoñado is currently being paved over, a much needed landfill operation!


As you all know the election is coming up at the end of November, please do not hesitate to approach me with any questions or concerns. I feel I have learnt a lot over the past four years and am proud to represent the community that I love. Together we can look forward to building an even better Utila.


A pesar de haber sufrido los efectos de Wilma, queremos felicitar a todos por los esfuerzos y velocidad, con qi trabajaron para volver a lo isla a la normalidad.

Queremos agradecer al comiti municipal para emergencias, el departamento de bomberos, a la policia municicial y preventiva por su disposición y ayuda brindada. Tambien queremos agradecer a Mike Rose y Jernigan Cooper por su fantastico servicio de evacuacion de los cayos y a Troy Bodden por su generosa ayuda en reparar la calle en Sandy Bay.

La Playa de Chepes fue bastante erosionada durante la tormenta pues los hombres de la municipalidad hicieron un buen trabajo reparandola rapidamente.Mis disculpas a todos aquellos domnificados la interrupcion del servicio de agua coriente, reparan el sistema tomara tiempo ya que no contamos con los partes necesarias.


Utila ha sido reconocida como el municipio con el mejor nivel de vida de todo el pais. Es fantastico encontrar que funciona bien al servicio medica, el area educcional, suministio de agua y nivel de vida en general. El posible decir que Utila ha progresado en los 4 ultimos años mucho mas que otros municipios.


La ceremonia de colocación de la primera piedra, de la tan hablada planta de desalinaziacíon, se llevo a cabo el 12 de octubre. Gracias a todos los que atendieron y mostraron su apreciacion, fue un gran momento, y todos los visitantes se los hizo sentir muy bienvenidos.


El proyecto sanitario esta encaminado, cado hogar en la isla o en los cayos se beneficaria con este proyecto de inversion de varios millones de dolares. Representantes municipales han comenzado a censor casa por casa para determinar los necesidades de la comunidad.


Actualmente campoñado esta siendo repamientado. Una operacion tan necesitada de relleno!.


Como todos ustedes saben los elecciones serán a finales de Noviembre, por favor no duden en acercase a mi con preguntos y dudas. Siento que aprendí mucho los ultimos 4 años y estoy orgulloso de representar a lo comunidad que amo. Junto podemos construir una mejor Utila.

Como todos saben las elecciones son al fin de noviembre por favor no dude en hacarme preguntas y darme sus ideas. He aprendido mucho en los ultimos cuatro años y estoy muy orgullozo en representar a la comunidad que adoro. Juntos todos podemos ver hacia adelante para construir una utila major. Mucho mejor todavia!


Desalination Celebration

Desalination Plant Stone Laying Ceromony  - Click to enlarge
Alton Cooper and other dignitaries share a toast at the new Desalination Plant stone laying ceremony

The grand stone laying ceremony for the two million dollar desalination project was held on the 12th of October on Western Path. The day kicked off with speeches from an array of visiting dignitaries with Utila’s Mayor, Alton Cooper, receiving a standing ovation for his impressive oration.

The crowds were then treated to three well-rehearsed Polka dances performed by Public school kids who donned bright, traditional costumes for the occasion.

Refreshments followed the laying of the stone and everyone milled around enjoying the sun on the virtually mosquito free meadow. The plants were donated by the Spanish government and once up and running should provide the island with an unlimited supply of fresh water.

Uque ponía el proyecto de dos millones de dolares para la planta desalación fue sostenido el 12 de Octubre en Western Path. El día empezo con discursos de un arsenal de los dignatarios que visitaban al Alcalde de Utila, Alton Cooper, una ovación de pie por su impresionante oracion.

Entonces trataron a las muche hombres al pozo con tres bien ensayados Bailes de Polka realizado por los estudiantes de la Escuela Publica quién puso los trajes brillantes, tradicionales para la ocasión.

Los refrigerios siguieron despues de poner el tor de la piedra y todos gozaron en los alrededores bajo el sol en virtualmente el prado libre del mosquito. Las plantas fueron donados por el Gobierno Español y una vez arriba y funcionando debera proveer a la isla con una fuente ilimitada de agua dulce.

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