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    Ellen Lampert-Greaux lives in Petite Saline and is the editor-in-chief of Harbour Magazine for Saint Barth and Saint Martin. When she's not organizing the St. Barth Film Festival, or writing for various magazines including Live Design, MACO, and All At Sea, she turns her all-seeing eye upon local happenings.

    October'08

THE WINDS OF CHANGE

Here is it mid-October and I’ve been so busy watching my home-boys on the way to the World Series (Go Phillies!), and Barack Obama on his way to the White House (equally astonishing), that I haven’t had much time to write. But it seems to be that maybe, finally there are winds of change in the air in the US, and things might be a little different for the next eight years. When it comes to Saint Barth, its also time for change, and I hope the island is a little more like Obama than McCain! But it seems that lack of concern for Main Street, tax cuts for the rich, and insider deals that reap large returns, are not limited to the Big 8. For example, if the Chicago school system did away with classes on a certain day of the week (say Wednesday…), I am certain that Obama would find funding for day care centers so that working mothers would have a clean, safe place to leave their kids; while McCain would say the government has no role in day care, its up to the mothers to find a solution. Read between the lines and guess what happened in Saint Barth when the French national school system did away with classes on Wednesday mornings! I know my political beliefs are naïve, but I would really like to see Saint Barth rise to new challenges. Respond to the needs of all residents and not just the rich. The environment is a perfect example. Did the president of the island’s territorial council really say that solar panels and wind turbines are ugly and disfigure the landscape? Or did I hear incorrectly during his interview on Radio Saint Barth last Saturday? Better solar panels and the promotion of clean energy than a satellite dish on every house—I have never heard any local politicians complain about those, and talk about ugly! Charm is being plowed under in the name of progress (or is it simply greed…). Backroom deals, land sales, handshakes among the rich and powerful. None of these will help improve our air quality or decrease traffic on our roads, which are in serious need of repaving. Please don’t get me wrong, I think Saint Barth is one of the best places on earth, but there is always room for improvement. And when the winds of change begin to blow, better that they create energy by turning the blades of a wind turbine that just stirring up the same old dirt!

    More to come,

    Ellen Lampert-Greaux
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