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2020 REVIEW: September, trouble in the bay

2020 REVIEW: September, trouble in the bay

Sunday 27 December 2020

2020 REVIEW: September, trouble in the bay


With the schools going back after a disruptive year and Covid cases still low, we could all admit to being lulled into a false sense of normality.

Islanders even received a financial boost with the first £100 ‘Spend Local’ cards arriving through the post.

Our focus turned to the new hospital again with the news that the protracted process - more agonising than watching 'Nativity 3' - had whittled the shortlist down to two sites: Overdale and the People’s Park. 

Those who had vehemently opposed the People’s Park the last time, including Constable Simon Crowcroft, dusted down their battle plans. 

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Pictured: And then there were two: the Hospital selection saga entered its final phase.

Out west, overnight parking at coastal camping hotspot Le Port was made illegal following complaints about noise, fires, litter and drinking. St. Peter, which is the governing authority for the car park, brought in the ban between 23:00 and 05:00, which would be enforced by honorary officers. Anyone that didn’t comply was handed a £75 fine.

A far more opaque threat in St. Ouen’s Bay was the presence of a dangerous chemical in its groundwater, streams and ponds. Although PFOS had been in the water for years after it was sprayed as an ingredient of firefighting foam at the Airport, it was only in September that the efforts of campaigner Sarah Simon - who tested her own blood for presence of the toxin - reached an Islandwide audience. 

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Pictured: PFOS campaigner Sarah Simon, who she believes that residents in St Ouen’s Bay have been poisoned by foam sprayed at the Airport.

When it came to the pandemic, islanders would have to get used to rapidly changing anti-covid measures from now to the end of the year, both in response to cases but also as the island’s testing capacity grew. In September, anyone arriving in Jersey from a 'green zone' now had to take two covid tests - one on arrival and another five days later - but they didn’t have to isolate in between. 

Working out which zone a country was in and whether you could travel there would become a new pastime for the next few months, until a child brandishing a red pen got their hands on the official map and went crazy.

Also, waaay back in September, the Health Minister announced plans to make wearing face masks in indoor public spaces compulsory. Deputy Richard Renouf said that he hoped that the necessary legislation would be in place by the beginning of October. In the end, it didn’t happen till December, prompting many to ask why it had taken so long. ‘Delays in law drafting’ was the Chief Minister’s answer.

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Pictured: A gang of smugglers were sentenced for their part in an audacious importation attempt foiled by ‘Operation Lion’.

In the courts, seven people were sentenced to a total of nearly 74 years behind bars for their involvement in an audacious drug smuggling operation in June 2019. Their attempt to bring in nearly £1m of cocaine, MDMA powder, ecstasy tablets and cannabis using a chartered yacht was foiled by the most complex drugs investigation ever undertaken by Jersey Police and Customs officers.

Finally, a BASE jumper who leapt from one of the cranes at the Waterfront was spoken to by Police – but was then free to go because he didn’t break any laws. The daredevil jumped from the crane, used n building the Jersey Development Company’s Horizon apartments, as dusk was falling and the short leap was captured by video and posted on social media. Against the backdrop of the strangest year in decades, most people still thought it was utter madness.

READ MORE...

January, the calm before the storm

February, covid creeps in

March, it hits and we lockdown

April, getting to grips with life under lockdown

May, Jersey’s bubble bursts

June, the flight of the Condor dockers

August, court cases, real housewives and grenades

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