Roatanians Back Home After Ordeal

Here’s a link to a story about the six men who were stranded in the Caribbean after their boat, Miss Janice, capsized en route from the Cayman Islands to Roatan on July 17.

They spent the next nine days (yes, you read that correctly) on an inflatable raft before being rescued by an oil tanker. Then that tanker couldn’t get them to Houston for more than week, so they stayed on the ship nearly as long as they were in the water.

Roatan New Times hopes to bring you an exclusive interview with Ted Woods and Michael Garcia, now safely back on the rock after flying home from Houston.

The surnames of the Cayman men clearly illustrate the connection between our islands — two Welcomes and an Ebanks!


UPDATE re: comments

Thanks for the comments.
To clarify: The clinic is NOT “being shut down.” Peggy is shutting the clinic down until the government officials provide her paperwork necessary to operate the upstairs of the clinic and open a shipping container.

Additionally, demanding that this page include a filter to censor comments goes against basic journalism, truth, justice, and the American way. On this blog, and in my magazine, people have a right to say what they want, no matter how asinine it is. Thanks for reading, everybody. Hope to get another magazine out soon!

New Locations Where You Can Find Us!

As of yesterday, there are a few more places you can find THE BEST OF ROATAN 2011 –the first issue of the start-up mag Roatan New Times:


•The gift shop at Anthony’s Key Resort

Aboard the Galaxy Wave ferry

and if you’re a guest at these resorts, you’ll probably see a stack of them:

•Barefoot Cay

•Infinity Bay

•Parrot Tree Plantation

12 Years Ago Today

Remembering Columbine After All These Years


I remember working in the office of The Onion in Lower Downtown Denver, next door to Coors Field. It was a normal Tuesday;  I was changing a CD on the boombox, right around lunchtime. That’s when I got a call from my friend Steve Freeland, telling me to turn on the television. 

By the time I made it home, the local news stations were crazy with chaos. There were members of the “Trenchcoat Mafia” getting arrested a few blocks away (no connection), conflicting reports about the numbers of dead and injured, footage of students falling from windows and running outside, panic all over their faces, parents freaking out…I’ll never forget that evening. Even late into the night there was no way of telling what exactly had really happened or how many had been killed.

To wit: look at the headline in the Post. Only 15 people died that day, but the scene was so horrific, no one had an accurate count when the paper went to press.

That headline in the Rocky (“Heartbreak”) didn’t feel nearly strong enough to encapsulate what had happened, but the paper took home a Pulitzer the next year for Breaking News Photography.

In the days that followed, Denver looked and felt like it had taken a gut-punch. I remember grocery shopping in Wheat Ridge, a suburb several miles north of Columbine, watching customers and cashiers break down and bawl on each others’ shoulders. It was such a monumental, unfathomably violent and unpredictable event — it felt like the whole city was struck by a comet of hurt. Everyone, it seemed, was affected.

At the time, I was freelancing for the Denver Post and I recall that it took a couple weeks before any of my editors was able to take a phone call from me. 

Even us jaded cynics at The Onion were stunned out of our comedic stance. It was hard to write about anything entertaining or funny for a long while. Finally,  just less than six months after the tragedy, the Madison office sent us a story that we ran in the Denver/Boulder edition.  I know laughter helps healing, and I’m glad it ran, but  I can remember wincing when I first saw it.

Today, a dozen years later, Columbine is giving students the day off. For the parents of Cassie Bernall, Steven Curnow, Corey DePooter, Kelly Fleming, Matthew Ketcher, Isiah Shoels, Rachel Scott, Dan Rohrbough, Danial Mauser, John Tomlin, Lauren Townsend, and Kyle Velasquez, and the family of teacher Dave Sanders, this must be an awful day. 

And remember, dozens of other students still bear the bullet wounds they received on that morning of insanity.

I saved those newspapers because they represented not just a historical day in Denver, but a day where more than a little bit of innocence evaporated forever, after which things were never the same. Even though I didn’t know anyone involved in the tragedy, it illustrated how even a major city like Denver, Colorado, could suddenly feel small and vulnerable.

Roatan Dropped From Celebrity Roster Next Year

According to this travel piece in USA Today, Roatan will lose one cruise ship  for at least 2012-2013. The 2,884-passenger Celebrity Silhouette is dumping Costa Maya in Mexico as well, and replacing the two stops with Labadee, Haiti, and Falmouth, Jamaica.

The Silhouette will launch July 23, leaving Hamburg, Germany, heading for Rome. It will do some more Mediterranean sailing before cruising to its new home — Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. But it won’t be coming here as it does its Western Caribbean tour.

View From the Edge

Here are a few snapshots of an amazing view.

This is what you see when you go past Camp Bay. At the eastern-most point of the island, you’ll find a small clearing where the whole Helene/mangrove-channel thing spreads out before you like a buffet table of greenery, followed by (since it’s so hazy) grayed-out silhouettes of the little-known islands of Borat (evidently a film star in its own right) and Barbarella (where Jane Fonda and Duran Duran own a beach resort).