Here are Rona's thoughts (from her column)
What do you think?
WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH THE ORANJESTAD HARBOR. At the beginning of the year the islandís container harbor moved to Barcadera, and as a result, the large multi wheel trailers hauling those containers, which have been clogging Oranjestad for decades, now get loaded and off loaded away from the heart of town. We no longer have to wait for them while they get in and out of traffic at the entrance to the Oranjestad harbor. How do you spell relief? You spell it Barcadrahhhh.
SOÖ.. What do we do now with the enormous Aruba Ports Authority terrain?! They have been cleaning up poco-poco, demolishing warehouses, they even hosted a few concerts, but long term and in a perfect world what shall be done with the space??
Do we build condos, shopping malls, restaurants and bars in the space cleared up along the waterside, leading into town? Do we clutter the urban layout with kiosks, and flea markets, street vendors and Dr. Coco coconut water stands? Yes? No?
That is the question now facing Ing. Jossy Figaroa, the director of APA, and I am praying only for knowledge of the universeís will for Aruba, and hoping Figaroa will muster the power to carry that out.
At a press conference Figaroa stated that no one company will be granted the rights to develop, and that he is seeking many partners, each developing a portion of the project. He encouraged Arubans to come up with ideas. He said that the investment money has to come from a bona fide source. He said he doesnít wish to compete with downtown merchants and revealed his wish list: Boutique hotels, Condos, high-end residences, a theme park, entertainment venues, maybe a financial center.
I mentioned earlier a perfect world. If there is such a thing. What would I have done? I would build a park, a promenade, exercise trails, biking lanes, soccer fields, and skatepark, to improve the quality of life for people in Oranjestad. I would also build a super Concert Arena so that the music festival and their pesky cousins can stay off the beaches and entertainment may unfold in a contained, controlled environment, no stinky toilets on the beach, no empty beer cans, no cigarette butts, just pristine, clean sand, and the mess created by the festivals may be relegated to the special arena build in the old harbor.
I can dream. Itís a free country, I can fantasize, and it doesnít cost you anything!