Tense standoff in Lamaha Gardens
November 6, 2002
Tensions remain high in the troubled neighbourhood of Lamaha Gardens after Monday's shootout. As you may recall one bandit was gunned down in a bed of award winning begonias.
That was bad enough but then a police pickup turned around in a resident's driveway and squished a delightful row of morning glories. When a sergeant was actually seen relieving himself in a thicket of organic roses that was the last straw hat.
The residents, incensed at the wilful destruction of their flora, dispatched their gardeners onto the road to protest. What many don't realise is that this has always been a tense community divided between those who have and those who don't have swimming pools. There were riots here in 1995 after one resident put in a 40 footer with heating, a move considered as very nouveau riche.
A similar fracas broke out a year later when a new home owner started constructing what looked like a lemon coloured fairy castle with turrets. He then used it to lob imported kiwi fruits at protesting neighbours' maids who were told to say the building would lower real estate values.
But despite the shootings, life goes on for the struggling community. One lady said she had taken her traumatised Siamese cat to Dr Beckles for psychotherapy. Another said she got shivers and ran under the bed anytime she heard a champagne bottle pop.
One man living next door to the bandits' safe house said the men had been very friendly and had lent him a top class corkscrew one time. They had even discussed the vintage of a cheeky little 1995 Argentinian sauvignon blanc. And he confessed to having rifled through the dead man's pockets to see if there were any more sublime Belgian chocolates he had once given his little son. "They would be wasted on the police", he told WR.
As the stand off continued yesterday ghetto music blared from top of the line speakers in protest at the police. A rebellious concerto by Mozart, an angry Beethoven symphony and a defiant overture by well known anarchist Benjamin Britten.
By 5 p.m. the men were out on the street, barricading the road with barbeque grills and confronting the heavily armed police with electric carving knives. This was all caught in a series of delightful water colours which will be on exhibition at Castel House Nov 12-15th. One resident said he saw no way out:
"We are prepared to die for our right to cook with wine."
More letters to the editor
The letters keep pouring in to the WR offices in response to nothing in particular
I am a well known city businessman and was hoping you could help sort out an argument I am having with my accountant. Are ransom payments tax deductible?
We sent this letter to Mcram and Rae
Thank you for your letter. The short answer is yes and probably no and just possibly yes maybe. It certainly qualifies as a business expense which can be deducted from revenue.
However the issue turns on whether this expense is directly related to the running of the business.
If you are kidnapped while at your business premises rather than at home this may be crucial. Obviously your death at the hands of kidnappers would affect the company fortunes. We suggest that if you are kidnapped you bring along some paperwork and work on it during your confinement. Then we could put it down as a business trip albeit with a hefty price tag.
Did I really hear former refrigerator repair man C.N.Sharma call the President impotent? How could he know? Please clarify.
There are many meanings for the word. Still we sent this letter to Roberto Persod, liaison to the President and this was his reply.
"We take Sharma's accusation very seriously and he can be assured of receiving an injunction in the next few days. Meanwhile the President remains firm in his stand against crime and will go to extraordinary lengths to halt the present situation. Make no mistake he will not wilt in the face of the opposition's propaganda and will stick rigidly to his guns. I hope this answers your question."