BATI BLEKI BUZZ, November 4th, 2015

HELICOPTER HEADED FOR MALMOK. From the clearing activity in the Salina across from the Ritz Carlton Aruba, it was evident to the neighbors that some new business is checking into the area. Surprise, it’s a helipad, which has just been granted permission to operate in a residential area. Apparently this whole exercise of going to the airport by car, getting on a plane to 10.000 feet and skydiving in tandem, takes too long, and in an attempt to speed things up, the ParaJumpers decided to recruit Caribbean’s Heli Center to pick clients up and drop them off, right at the site.  We’re just the aerial taxi drivers, says John Ooster who was instrumental in setting Caribbean Heli Center up for the necessary paperwork. Of course, the neighbors will complain, he adds, but we promise to be quiet, operating a EURO 120 Colibri helicopter with minimal noise. Anyway, I understand that both the Ritz Carlton Aruba and the Boardwalk Small Hotel do NOT share John’s enthusiasm, and they are totally surprised by the new addition to the neighborhood, no matter how low the helicopter’s operating noise. John reassures me that the Kite Surfers and Windsurfers are in no danger from rotor blades, but then from a housekeeping point of view, get the mops and dusters out, the whirlwind lobby dust factor was just raised considerably. As far as the government granting the permit to operate a helipad in the Salina, rest assure that no impact study was ever made, and that no neighbor was ever asked for input! Silly question, why not relocate the business to the area past Arashi Beach?!

AMBULANCE AT $250 AN HOUR. Did you know that as a tourist, god forbid, if you are caught in an accident and require a ride to the emergency room by ambulance, the cost would be $250 charged to your credit card?! And I can tell you from my own experience in 2013, when I was the victim of a hit & run incident, it is not a comfortable ride. So, if tfu-tfu-tfu, you are in a pickle, take a taxi or bum a ride, because the ambulance will set you back $250, which even the ambulance drivers think is highway robbery, much too much!!

HIGH HEEL GLAMOUR WALK. CILO Aruba orchestrated a clever fund-raiser last weekend, a high heel glamour walk, around the block at Renaissance Marketplace. I saw a handful of excited divas in high heels and pink anything from ribbons to tutu, take off for the ten minutes spin, having made a donation to the Mary Joan foundation. The Mary Joan Breast Cancer Support Group, sustains the more than 50 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed each year on Aruba. The not-for-profit foundation, named after Mary Joan who died at the age of 32, has been active for the past fifteen years, and Femke Beeren, the owners’ representative at CILO Aruba reports she had the fund raiser in mind for a few years, and she intends to host it every year from now on…