RIP Kandy Hyde

Sometimes, the fragility of life is shoved in our faces, and the injustice of someone so young being ripped away feels like a dagger plunged in the heart.

From what Facebook shows today, Kandy Hyde was one of those true noble souls who touched many, many lives and showed incredible bravery in the face of adversity. An FB post from her a week or so showed how tough she was.

I wasn’t lucky enough to have known Kandy. But I do know she fought hard. I know she’s left behind a husband and two young children. Our hearts goes out to them, and all of her friends and family, many of whom I do know.





Serious Taxi Accident in Sandy Bay

Not sure of the circumstances. On the New Times site (which will be live soon, I swear!) I promised a blog with a photo called “Taxi of the Week” — in fun. This didn’t look like fun at all. In fact, the ambulance with sirens on racing to the scene and the injured people (at least one of whom was treated at Clinica Esperanza) makes this decidedly not a taxi driver doing something nutty worth poking fun at — this was serious.

The accident was across the road from Melvin’s house in Sandy Bay, just after the turn-off to the beach. The taxi was apparently heading east when it left the road and landed against the base of the wooden house near the old Sandy Bay sign.

Here is a better pic, courtesy of Ashley Harrell, a friend and colleague who is on Roatan taking Spanish lessons so she can go work for the Tico Times in Costa Rica. How cool is that?

Container Opened — Hospital and Clinic Getting What They Need

Next Step: The License for the Pediatric In-Patient Center


On Tuesday morning, around 10:30 a.m., we spotted Nurse Peggy and mayor Julio Galindo outside the shipping container full of equipment and supplies donated by the Medical Mission of New Orleans for Roatan’s public hospital in Coxen Hole and Clinica Esperanza in Sandy Bay.

An hour or so later we were told the container had been opened and everything inside was being distributed to its intended recipients.

This is fantastic news, makes life easier for anyone on the island who needs medical services, and proves that our local officials are capable of stepping up and solving a crisis.



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!

Former Roatan Waiter Sentenced For Kiddie Porn Possession in Pennsylvania

Charles Lefebvre Sent To (ha ha) Fort Dix


I hope the federal prison in Ft. Dix, New Jersey, keeps Charles Lefebrve in with the general population for a while. And I hope some of his buddies behind bars read this and know exactly what Lefebvre was convicted of last week.

I hear they hate pedophiles in prison, and while Lefebvre wasn’t charged with molesting kids, what prosecutors found on his computer was sick and beyond twisted — including videos of men having sex with girls as young as six.

Lefebvre, 27, was living here on Roatan and working as a waiter, avoiding arrest, according to a Pennsylvania paper. In 2010 ICE nabbed him (still not certain where/how) so he could face possession of child porn charges in Eastern Pennsylvania federal court. On May 2, he was sentenced to 60 months in prison and hit with a $5,000 fine.

According to the docs, Lefebvre was busted when he used his own credit card to pay for a child-porn website called Illegal CP. When agents showed up at his house, he admitted having thousands of images on his computer he’d downloaded from LimeWire.

I just got the case file and I’m going to go through it today (there’s a lot more to tell you about this), but to give you an idea of how gross Lefebvre’s twisted mind was, I’m attaching this. It lets you know what Lefebvre’s tastes ran to:

Pretty sick shit. He’ll probably get what he deserves in prison.

Who knows what he did while on the island? If anyone has more information on this case, please contact me here. I haven’t seen this story in the Voice. I’d like to know what this sick f*ck was up to while he lived here among us.

Jack is Back! This Thursday Night at Lands End!

Jack Lewis Returns to Rock Roatan


Remember this dude? Jack, who apparently owned no shirts? The guy who played cover songs and entertained crowds all over West End about 3.5 years ago?

Sure you do. How could you forget?

Jack Lewis, the raconteur who recklessly rocked Roatan all those summers ago, is back on the rock. He’s performing at at open mic at Lands End, his old haunt, tomorrow night (Thursday, May 12) at sunset. He’s only here for a week, so don’t miss your chance. I’m heading down there with a melodica and a drum machine. Don’t miss it, kids.

Jack and Harmony at Lands End

I’d recommend that anyone and everyone with a sense of fun and humor attend. Lands End, a wonderful if under-utilized spot, is trailblazing a Roatan renaissance. The place is jamming again. Lionfish is on the menu, there’s a cool dive-master/ bartender (Joe) with great music and stories, a ring and a string and a hook, and a spectacular view at sunset.

SOL International Foundation held a big fundraiser there last Sunday, Mark Flanagan is starting up a Tuesday Quiz Night, and the place just generally contains a solidly fun and entertaining vibe that shouldn’t stay a secret.

Part of that essence is found in Lands End’s incredible staff, including the adorably silly Eva and her uncle, the immensely talented Adi. Adi plays bass for Brion James and at least one other project, and has single-handedly led the fledgling Roatan New Times to a level of visual professionalism and sophistication that was previously unimaginable.

Oh yeah. The first edition of our new Roatan magazine, The Best of Roatan 2011, hits the street in about 10 days. We’ll be folding up this little blog and tucking it inside our new project, Roatan New Times, and we’ll be unveiling our second issue sometime in June. That will contain a feature story you may have heard about before…I’m sure I’ll take some shit for it in West End, but oh well. It’ll also have a full-color restaurant section, a ton of satire, a profile of Brion James himself, and it won’t be just me writing for it.

We’ve sent the pages to San Pedro Sula, where La Prensa is printing our first edition this week. Very soon, the Bay Islands Voice will no longer be the only game in town. Excited? So are we. Stay tuned, folks. This is happening.

Finally, proof: Guanaja was actually called Bonacca


For a while now, I’ve had a few islanders chide me for using the name Guanaja to describe the large isle off our east end with the Hong Kong-esque settlement on the water where everyone resides.

The only reason it’s called Guanaja, they tell me, is because Spanish speakers cannot pronounce its real name (Bonacca, now the name of the afore-mentioned cay or key).

And, of course, as I’ve been told many times: Bonacca = Binaca: 


They have also hassled me for saying Semana Santa (it’s to be known as Good Friday or Holy Week) and other linguistic/cultural errors.

These separatists call themselves Roataneans or Roatanians (despite their adherence to the rule of the Crown, spelling is far from their strong suit), they are an impassioned and fervent bunch, and when my new magazine debuts this summer, you’ll be reading a lot more about them.

Here’s their flag:

After reading Julio’s assessment, check out this article from the London Times, published several years ago…

An Apology for the Cession of the Bay Islands by Great Britain to Honduras.

Published: July 10, 1860
  • From the London Times

The colony just ceded to Honduras is known as the Colony of the Bay Islands. It consists of a group of islands, six in number, lying off the northern coast of Honduras, and bearing the names respectively of Ruatan, Utilla, Bonacca, Barbarat, Helena, and Morat. The first of these names may, perhaps, recall to the reader’s mind the disputes pending some time since between this country and the United States, and which the present act of cession his brought to a close. Considerations which the Royal proclamation describes as “paramount motives of State policy” suggested the separation of this colony from the British Crown and the cession of the territory, to the neighboring Republic of Honduras — a resolution which was embodied in a formal treaty between the contracting Powers, and which has probably by this time been actually carried into execution. On the 21st of last month Mr. PRICE, the Commissioner appointed for the purpose, arrived at Ruatan, and there announced to the inhabitants of the colony the mission with which he was charged. He informed them that at an early day he should proceed to the consummation of his duty by delivering over the islands to the officers of the Republic commissioned to receive them, and published, therefore, official notice of the design, in order that all interested might govern themselves accordingly.

It is satisfactory to understand that the population of the colony have not received the intelligence without regret, and still more so to learn that their interests and inclinations have been consulted by a liberal proposal on the part of the Crown. At the beginning of the year a memorial was forwarded from the colony, praying that Her Majesty would be pleased to withhold the ratification of the treaty concluded with Honduras, and refrain from separating the connection subsisting between the British Crown and the Bay Islands. The memorial did not reach this country till the treaty had been ratified; but an offer has now been made to the colonists, by which the privilege of living under British protection will be placed at the command of all who desire it. Guarantees of a most comprehensive kind had already been obtained for the benefit of the settlers from the Honduras Government; but, if any of the colonists should be distrustful or dissatisfied, it will be at their Option to proceed to any part of the British West Indies which they may select A free passage will be provided for them, and for all their movable property; and on their arrival at their destination crown lands will be placed at their free disposal; so that, as far as the case admits, they will be protected from loss or damage.

We should look with some interest to the result of this proposition. It is not probable that the Republican Government would be ever disposed to oppress a body of settlers who would be among its most valuable citizens, not to mention that the guarantees provide ample security for civil and religious freedom, but the very offer of the alternative is sufficient to show the popularity attaching to British rule. The colonists who choose to remain under the Government of Honduras will be effectually protected against tyranny of any kind, — against arbitrary taxation, against conscription, and, as a climax of immunities, against passports. It is striking to observe the peculiar institutions against which English nature rebels. The settlers have not been content with stipulating for the use of their own language, and the preservation of those political rights which an Anglo Saxon carries every where with him. They seem to doubt whether the Republican Government, democratic though it be, may not watch too paternally over the movements of its people, and they bargain, therefore, by special conditions, that they shall be free to come and go as they please, without any of that intervention which the passport system involves.

We can understand the indisposition of the colonists to transfer their allegiance. * * But the position of these islands was peculiar; our presence there was the source of litigation and quarrel, and it is probable that by making them over to a species of neutral Power we have destroyed a crop of political embarrassments. Prudence counseled the measure. We can hear no more now of the “Central American question,” and, if the advantage has been purchased at some expense to the settlers, we must do our best to indemnify them for the damage. After all, a settlement in the West Indies must be a pretty good exchange for one in Utilla or Bonacca.

The most notable point in the transaction is its novelty — a point all the more remarkable considering the multitude and variety of our possessions in every quarter of the globe It argues something for our tenacity of principle and our equity of administration, that we have so very rarely lost or ceded any territories once acquired. We have outlived the lust of acquisition, and we look, perhaps, with too much indifference at the present day on possessions which our ancestors regarded with pride and our neighbors with envy; but it cannot be said that the dominions of the British Crown have been exposed to dismemberment or decay. In no part has the fabric of our colonial empire been suffered to crumble. The triumphal edifice is in good repair, and if our policy has been modified it has been for the advantage of colonists and the mother country together. We have no fear that the cession of the Bay Islands may form a precedent, nor can we see any reason for regretting the occurrence. We have not retired from inability to remain; we have not aggrandized a dangerous rival; we have not abdicated any national duty. All we now hope is, that the final arrangements may be executed to the satisfaction of the colonists, and that they may not be losers while others gain.

Soundtrack: the sound of two Royal hands, wiping themselves clean.

And then, after reading that article (extremely stilted language, no?) I saw a link to this.

Wow. It makes me feel as if, no matter how discombobulated Cooper may be growing up, he has a chance to be president or prime minister — or anything — because I know his mom is every bit as awesome as this chick was.

Anthony’s Key Resort Article from 1971

AKR Story from Iowa Newspaper


Thanks to the readers interested in Roatan history. I’m not sure how to get this stuff on the Roatan History forum — please feel free to share this freely. 

I was told AKR has been open since 1969. This report jibes with that estimate.

Check out the misspelling on the inset map.

Cool article, if a tad bittersweet. Here’s a guy who wants to keep the island “as untrodden as possible” and doesn’t want Roatan to become a “booming center of tourism.” So he opens a resort…

Today in Roatan History

Stories describe frustration with Honduran rule, finding buried treasure


Not a member of the Roatan history chat group (is it still active?)  but I recently unearthed a few articles about Roatan I hadn’t seen before.

By the way, today is the 152nd anniversary of the end of British rule over the Bay Islands.

Here is a New York Times piece from 1988 featuring an interview with Julio Galindo. The article focuses on the islander’s trepidation about the onslaught of “Spaniards” from the mainland, and bashes Britain for abandoning them all those years ago. Pretty interesting stuff. Great quote from Galindo, talking about the anniversary of April 22, 1859 (that’s when the islands went back to the Spanish): ”We think it’s a day we should all mourn.”

And as a special bonus, here’s a September 1969 story from a Eugene, Oregon newspaper about an unlucky duo who came to Roatan hoping to get their hands on some pirate booty:

Rally For Ed’s Laundry?

Long-time Sandy Bay Fixture Considers Closing His Doors


When I stopped in to speak with Mister Ed at his laundromat the other day, he was anything but happy. It was a gorgeous Roatan afternoon, the sky blazing and brilliant, and a set of yellow sheets flapped happily in the breeze.

“It’s nothing more than crookedness,” he said from the porch of his pink house, “nothin’ but crookedness.” According to Ed, no matter what he does to save energy, his RECO bill keeps rising. It’s to the point that he and his wife are seriously considering closing the business since it’s barely profitable.

“No matter what I do, it just keeps going up, going up,” he said.

It’s hard to picture Sandy Bay without Ed’s Laundry. As Ed says himself, it’s not as if he doesn’t have a bunch of customers. A lot of people would be disappointed, he concedes.

“Sure, we’re still busy all the time. I don’t want to close. But we are talking about it right now.”

Maybe we can get some musicians to band together and throw together a concert for Ed, and help him pay one month’s RECO bill (which Ed told me was over L6,000 last month).

On the Living-in-Roatan chat group, RECO’s own Richard Warren posted this on Monday:

“RECO bills are higher this month because energy consumption continues to rise with warmer weather and diesel prices are higher tracking world crude oil price increases. A comparison between February and March energy consumption and fuel prices are as follows:
February consumption (March bill) ……. 4,768,087 kwh
March consumption (April bill) ……….. 6,033,409 kwh
Consumption increase….. 26.5%
Average diesel price February ……….. 55.86 lps/gallon
Average diesel price March …………… 60.60 lps/gallon
Fuel price increase….. 8.5%
RECO “Rate” increase from February to March … 0.0 lps/kwh”