JosÚ P Ribas
First of all this week, I would very much like to introduce our new acquisition,
JosÚ P Ribas, who will be contributing his expert local knowledge of the nature
here on the islands of Ibiza and Formentera to our publication each Saturday
with his intriguing weekly column, Island Ecology.
Every subject has its professional jargon and instinct is the nose of the mind.
JosÚ was born and breed here on the island in the San Antonio area of Ibiza
and ever since he could stand up straight he began to go out and roam and discover
his beloved island from top to bottom.
JosÚ is now chafing at a bit to explain all where he will eventually forge
a more-than-useful alliance with a well-thought-out strategy to offer a definitive
guide to nature and the particular environment of these two exquisite islands
for the benefit of our would-be readers.
We all experience Ibiza in a unique way and its his all-embracing involvement
in his cherished island's cause and patent passion that has stirred JosÚ to
come forward and offer his time to write a weekly article on the living character
of our wonderful island.
I utilized my first dozen or so winters living here on Ibiza by using my precious
time walking the countryside, back lanes, hills and seashores with JosÚ and
my cameras getting phenomenal images that may never be possible to capture on
film ever again. I probably, because I had the time and patience, have the one
of the best photo-stock and selection of both colour and black and white pictures
that exist in the whole wide world.
I remember one morning during a wintertime when JosÚ came to my home to ask
if I wanted to go fishing. I got my two fishing rods and hooks together but
JosÚ just had a piece of string in his trouser pocket. We went to the local
fish market and spent 300 pesetas to buy a kilo of Jarret (a local fish) to
use as bait and JosÚ said at the time: "If we don't catch any fish then
we can always cook and eat what's left of these."
We drove over to Cala Coral on the western coast of the island, which is a
favourite fishing place where I really enjoy because of the Technicolor scenery.
We both had a lovely relaxing day but I unfortunately didn't catch too many
fish with either of my rods, simply because, I was far too busy setting up my
cameras and tripod to take some awesome photographs of the spectacular surroundings.
JosÚ caught most of the fish by using the piece of string from his trouser
pocket as a line and putting some of the Jarret as bait on a fishhook that he
borrowed from me. He then began to wander along the coastline and amongst the
rocks looking for places where he said the good fish would be living because
of the fertile vegetation on the shallow seabed.
Beside catching the majority of the fish, JosÚ took a penknife out from his
jacket pocket and proceeded to take the shells that were clinging to the rocks
by the seashore and put them into the plastic bag with the Jarret that we had
brought at the fish market that morning.
On our way home it was getting dark when JosÚ suddenly commanded me to stop
the car while he got out and disappeared up the side of a hill. He returned
shortly with an armful of wild asparagus, which we took home with the fish we
had caught and the shells that JosÚ had collected from the rocks.
We got home and I went into the hen house to find some fresh eggs to make an
omelette with the asparagus. We emptied the shells and made a stock out of their
guests, boiled the fish and when cooked added some rice and we both thoroughly
enjoyed a delicious meal washed down with a bottle or two of vino payes (local
made wine) for an initial total day's outlay of only 300 pesetas.
We all have our darkness within and on a much harsher note of the so-called
free world, I feel that I should write to record and finish off the horror story,
which I wrote about last week.
On Tuesday of this week another prisoner, a drug trafficker and murder, Juan
Raul Garza, became the second man in nine days to be executed by the American
federal government. Garza, 44, was given a lethal injection in Terre Haute,
Indiana, without the fanfare that accompanied the first execution of Timothy
James McVeigh, the Oklahoma bomber, there last week.
Juan Raul Garza, 44, a Mexican-born murderer and drug lord, was strapped to
the same padded stretcher as McVeigh, the Oklahoma bomber and killer of 168
people, before being given a lethal combination of injections.
Only 70 journalists requested accreditation to cover the execution in Terre
Haute, Indiana, compared with 1.600 who travelled there to report on McVeigh's
Garza, whose smuggling ring operated from Texas, was convicted of shooting
an informant and ordering the deaths of two other men. Prosecutors said he was
responsible for another five murders, four of them in Mexico.
As with the McVeigh case, there have been only a small number of calls from
members of the public for Garza to be shown mercy but the death penalty opponents
in America and abroad have used his plight to try to win support for their cause.
The US Supreme Court said it had rejected Garza's appeal for a stay of execution.
His lawyers had argued that the judge had not told the jury that life without
parole was a sentencing option. They also claimed that Garza was the victim
of racial discrimination because 17 of the 19 men on federal death row were
black or Hispanic.
The federal death penalty was reintroduced by Ronald Reagan in 1988 but it
has taken until now for prisoners to be executed because of the time needed
to exhaust the appeals process. Last year, Garza's execution was postponed by
the Clinton administration pending the completion of a Justice Department inquiry
into the fairness of the federal death penalty.
There is concern among some American diplomats that the continued use of the
death penalty is harming relations with foreign countries but White House sources
have said President Bush, who as Texas governor oversaw 152 of the 247 executions
in the state since 1982, is convinced of the value of it.
At the weekend, Governor Rick Perry, Mr Bush's successor in Texas, vetoed a
bill that would have prevented juries from sentencing mentally retarded killers
to the death penalty.
Concern about the retarded being executed heightened at the weekend when Jerry
Townsend, 49 but with the mental capacity of an eight-year-old, was released
from jail after serving 22 years for six murders and rape which he had not committed.
DNA evidence proved that he was innocent although he pleaded guilty.
Garza's last dwindling hopes of remaining alive appeared to rest on Mr Bush,
to whom he had sent a request for his sentence to be commuted.
Cessation: When will the powers that be understand two wrongs will never make
a right and for whatever reason it's barbaric to plot and premeditate to end
another human beings life?