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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 1, 2010

Dear Sir,

A significant number of wealthy non-Bermudian homeowners have purchased condominiums and villas that were built (or are being built) by hotel properties in critical need of cash flow. (It is important to note, here, that every hotel that has proposed development in Bermuda for the past 20 years has absolutely required such a source of funds to make its plans viable. We will see no hotel development without associated high-end real estate sales.)

Now Government has said to the prospective buyers of such homes (apart from at Tuckers Point) wealthy people with an infinity of choices about where to spend their time and money that, even if they elect not to put their homes into a hotel rental pool (ie: choose not to allow strangers to use their homes when they are not here ... the prevalent choice among those who can afford these high end homes), the owners, themselves, will not be permitted to use their homes for three quarters of the year. They cannot come here and spend their money. They cannot come here and host scores of friends to spend their money and support our economy. Their houses must sit empty for three quarters of the year. And we may only expect to see these owners in our shops and bars and restaurants and attractions and taxis for 90 days out of each year... no matter how often they might want to be here ( ... if they choose to buy at all under such a constraint. Most will not.)

This limitation, in turn, makes the value of these properties lower, as they will be less desirable to people who don't want to be told that they may not use their own homes for such a large portion of every year, despite having paid millions of dollars for them including substantial payments to the Bermuda Government. So hotel developers that might have been able to build here partly on the strength of the cash to be generated by proposed real estate sales will see less potential benefit from doing so.

Personally, I am at a loss to understand how we, as a country, benefit from this policy in any way at all.

The only possibility I can even guess at is that someone expects that the value of resort homes will, as a result, be low enough for a wider spectrum of Bermudians to be able to purchase them ... but in that case, the value to the developers will be too low to make them useful in funding new development, so they and the hotels are unlikely to be built at all.

I remain mystified and would welcome an explanation of the rationale for such a restriction.

CRIS VALDES-DAPENANovember 30, 2010

Warwick

Dear Sir,

It has long been a pet peeve of mine that it is impossible to buy fresh carrots in Bermuda with the exception of those few weeks during the year that they are available from the local farmers. I consider fresh carrots to be a food staple like potatoes or onions. They should be available year round and not be a desperate search over the island when they are in season!

Your newspaper article on November 30, page13, entitled “Fresh is Best: Carrots”, expressed the massive health benefits from this veggie, primarily “Carotenoids”, which according to the article “protect against a variety of serious illnesses”. The article goes on to list heart disease and many cancers among the diseases carotenoids protect against.

While recently in a Canadian grocery store, I took note of the variety of packaged carrots available in the produce department. Amongst these were fresh sliced, and pared “baby” carrots as well as the shredded types we already get here in the stores. My understanding is the local farmers insist on the carrot embargo due to a fear of importation of some sort of bug which may live in whole, freshcarrots. Fair enough, but my question is why can we not have the cleaned,washed sliced and “baby” versions imported? If the shredded ones are acceptable, why not these?

LOOKING FOR CARROTS December 6, 2010

Paget

Dear Sir,

Why, why, why do we allow our PLP government to continue to sell off our land to foreigners?

Your paper today carried on page four under “Report from the House” that the leases at Morgan's Point and Southside will be extended to 262 years!

I am outraged that the remaining prime Bermudian land could be going back into non- Bermudian hands after 70 years waiting for us to get it back!

Mr. Editor, after this land sale what will we have left to sell to the foreigners? I am a PLP supporter but that does not give them the right to sell off Bermudian land just to make a profit or pay back the debt they created.

Mr Editor, I am putting foreign purchasers of land here in Bermuda on notice. If I ever take charge I will do my best to repeal that legislation and will take back the land for all Bermudians, and create a big national park.

CHARLES SPANSWICK

City of Hamilton

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Published December 07, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 11, 2010 at 12:18 pm)

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