The Vancouver Sun from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on June 6, 1998 · 41
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The Vancouver Sun from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada · 41

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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Issue Date:
Saturday, June 6, 1998
Page:
41
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John MacLachlan Gray D6 Crosswords D12 Trends section D13 R 71 W SATURDAY J V r.w. 11 n A Y Y BESTCOPY SECTION D EDITOR NICHOLAS REBALSKI 605-2141 FAX 605-2521 E-mail nrcbalski u pacpress.southarn.ca THE VANCOUVER SlIN SATURDAY, MAY 30, 1998 The man who would be I f SWaMm sjWis Somewhere in the Caribbean Sea, one man's dream is taking shape: New Utopia, says Prince Lazarus Long, will be a country built on concrete stilts above a coral reef, an artificial island where greed is good and tax is a dirty word. At least, that's the idea ... TIM HULSE THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY f fc ee that one? It's bigger than Grand Cayman," h (T says Prince Lazarus Long, pointing to a blob on the map pinned to the wall in front of us. The blob, which sits in the northern M Caribbean to the southwest of the Cayman Islands, represents the Misteriosa Bank, something most people would call a reef but that Prince Lazarus prefers to call an underwater island. It's the largest of three reefs in the area that together add up to a surface area of 740 square kilometres. The prince first came across their existence about four years ago and they were exactly what he'd been looking for in order to bring to fruition a remarkable scheme which he first hatched a decade ago. At their shallowest point, they're only 30 centimetres or so beneath the sea. More importantly they lie more than 160 kilometre&from any other country, which means they're in international waters. And Prince Lazarus has laid claim to them as the site of his planned capitalist paradise: New Utopia. Later this year, if everything goes to plan, a construction company will begin pouring piles at 10-metre intervals on to these virgin reefs. Then precast-concrete platforms will be placed on top of them, and on top of these a city will be erected. Plans for the initial stage of development include 1,200 apartments, a 350,000 sq ft shopping mall, five hotels, a bank, a 150,000 sq ft medical centre, a casino, a convention centre and a university offering scholarships to students from every country in the world. There will be no taxes in New Utopia, with the single exception of an import duty on consumable goods, nor will there be any kind of welfare system. A constitutional sovereignty, the country will be run by a board of governors appointed by the Prince himself. Currently these governors are scattered around the world, awaiting the time when they can formally take up their posts. All of them, the prince says, are experts in their chosen fields. The first phase of construction is scheduled to be completed by September of next year and on Dec. 1, 1999, the new country's first birthday celebrations will be held. Prince Lazarus will be crowned and will bestow titles upon those who have helped to make New Utopia a reality- A host of celebrity guests will be invited who will be able to watch the inaugural New Utopian speedboat grand prix and generally marvel at this glittering monument to free enterprise. Maybe they'll take a ride on one of the numerous water taxis that will ply the city's canals, or maybe they'll just go for a stroll in the park and admire the huge, three-sided water wall at its centre. This will be the veritable totem of New Utopia, for each of its sides will represent one of the new country's main sources of income: the banking and insurance industries; a state-of-the-art anti-aging medical centre; and tourism. That's the plan, at any rate. At the moment, New Utopia is more science fiction than science fact. Indeed, it sounds like the deranged idea of a raving crank, but in fact it's being put together by a man with a successful record of entrepreneurship. Prince Lazarus has no doubts that his new realm will il,i)j!JMiiytijijwmjiiii i pi. ii i . jamqini ? ''7 .- -v "V; i $ : t K ,1, ''t ft 4 Imagine a city state in the middle of the Caribbean, made possible by 21st-century technology and surrounded by, and interspersed with, canals of clear, blue water, a clean and beautiful place to live and raise families. h ST Visualize, if you, will, an oasis in t J the middle of the ocean: office buildings, hotels, theatres and shopping centres, sitting slightly above l , the sea in neat rows surrounded by greenery and flowers. This is a new country, which wilibe built in a moderately tropical sea, a ' perfect climate, a paradise: Utopia! ;!; Words of welcome from the official web site of the principality of New Utopia. LAZARUS LONG: "There is nothing, no law, that can stop me." rise from the sea. "There is nothing, no law, that can stop me," he says. "If for some reason it's slowed down or postponed, I'll still make it happen. It's something that needs to happen. We were talking in the unlikely setting for the headquarters of this grand enterprise, an unprepossessing house in a quiet cul-de-sac in Tulsa, Okla. In the ramshackle living-room that is the nerve centre of the operation, a flag of New Utopia is draped on the wall (blue, with a white star surrounded by gold laurel leaves), and beneath it sits a computer, which for the moment is the only means of reaching the principality of New Utopia. It currently exists simply as a web site, a virtual country floating in the ether of hyperspace, but any day now, if everything goes to plan, it will start to become a physical reality. JEFFREY AARONSONNetwork Aspen "Pioneers have always ended up either full of arrows or with a lot of real estate," the 66-year-old Prince says as he sucks on his pipe. "I've done both in my time, but this time I'm gonna end up with all the real estate. I'm pioneering something I can be proud of. I hope to have a lot of fun. I've had a lot of fun so far in putting it together, and at my age it's the sense of achievement that's important, not the money." The Prince, formerly known as Howard Turney, was born and raised in the small town of Bowie, Ariz. As a young man, he cowboyed for a while and spent a little time in the services before embarking on a life as an entrepreneur. "It took me a few years to realize that I had more intelligence than the average person, and more imagination," he says. SEE LAZARUS, D2 INSIDE BGOKS A Certain Justice An anthropologist chronicles the Dclganuiukw case and gives her verdict. D? Grafton's Alphabet Crime novelist Lawrence Cough reviews N is for Noose. D7 Woman to Women Max Wyman profiles essayist and autobiographer Jill Ker Conwav. Dll J.R.R. Tolkien A new fairy tale presaging his masterworks is an engaging dorgy fable. D9. BEAT GOES ON The Kerouac File Part genius, part peripatetic bum, Jack Kerouac, who died sad and drunk in 1969, has an estate now worth about $10 million US. Predictably, that has sparked a bitter legal row among some descendants. It's enough to make a guy hit the road. D5 REVIVALS YOU CAN DANCE TO Life after Disco In the late 70s and early '80s, Debbie Harry set the world alight as the lead singer of Blondie, with songs such as Heart of Glass. After a stint at jazz stylings and a new lease on health, she has decided to resurrect the band she made famous. A new album is planned for the fall and an international tour is imminent. D3 DEBORAH HARRY TRENDS A Growth Industry People who don't have the time to run their own households arc hiring others to do just about anything. Professionals will now feed us every day of the week, pamper our pets, and buy or deliver items. It's a growth industry, where even the doggie doo scoop-ers can make enough to buy trendy condos. D14 i

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