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New head for VITEMA

It's 75° Fahrenheit  27.7 Centigrade in Crown Bay St. Thomas,
64% humidity. Clear Skies
Wind out of the North East at 8 mph.
Water temp: 79° in Charlotte Amalie  St. Thomas
We had a trace  of rain in the last 24 hours.
Doppler radar shows: Cloudy skies but not much rain in these clouds.  
Satellite Photo Shows: No storms on the horizon.

The national weather forecast calls for Partly cloudy. Isolated showers in the morning. Highs 85. Northeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.

Cruise Ship News At Havensight  Dock – Grand Princess and at Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal: Ruby Princess and Azamara Journey

At the top of the news on December  2 Thursday

Governor John DeJongh had no choice - Mark Walters was on loan from FEMA to the VITEMA for two years and that times ends at the end of December.  Now the Governor has appointed former Police Chief Elton Lewis to head VITEMA.  Mark Walters presided over the transition of VITEMA from a component of the Adjutant General’s command to a free standing agency of the government with a cabinet seat.  Walters also saw the redevelopment of VITEMA with the new 911 service and consolidation of all activities in their new headquarters in St. Thomas with state-of-the-art technology and communications.  Now Lewis will take over an agency that is totally transformed.  Lewis was Police Commissioner from March of 2003 to January of 2007 – he has also worked for FEMA, US State Department, and the Virgin Islands National Guard where he rose to the rank of Colonel.

Governor John DeJongh also announced at his press conference yesterday that the new administration will focus on economic development and stemming the tide of crime.  The government may have to be leaner and smaller. The Governor already called for the undated resignations of their cabinet members, along with all exempt employees serving under the pleasure of the governor. This is normal at the time of a transition. He is also looking at the structure of the government's various semiautonomous agencies, including the V.I. Waste Management Authority, Water and Power Authority and the local hospitals. The Governor no longer has the benefit of federal stimulus monies and the capacity to borrow additional funds is limited.  

WAPA is struggling with a cable problem.  They held a series of rolling blackouts yesterday as workers installed a new cable to link unit 18 to the grid, but with that power off, there was not enough to go around, so we got a round of blackouts. Hugo Hodge said they are expecting to get Unit 23 back on line by Christmas eve which will help deal with the demand for electricity.

Here comes the Housing Authority  with community revitalization projects on St. Croix.  is also a neighborhood meeting on Thursday December 2 at the St. Croix Campus Great Hall. They are planning revitalization of the community around at JFK Housing, D. Hamilton Jackson and Ralph deChabert Public housing communities. Tonight on St. Croix at the UVI Great Hall.

The V.I. Port Authority is postponing its scheduled meeting planned for this evening with the tenants of the Bournefield housing community until further notice. The board gave the tenants four months to move out and the equivalent of six months' rent to help pay for a new place to live. Bournefield has been subject to flooding  and many units have a sewage back up health hazard. Tonight’s meeting was supposed to allow the tenants to discuss their concerns but it is postponed while the Port Authority works with the Housing Finance Authority and  the Housing Authority until they have enough information to have a informative and productive meeting with options to assist with relocation.

Friday – a chance to learn about Public relations as the American Advertising Federation speaker series hosts a luncheon featuring Public relations.  The event is Friday At Noon at  Room with a View at Bluebeard’s Castle You’ll have a chance to hear from the Head of PR for Waste Management Authority Stella Saunders, the head of PR  for the Police Department Melody Rames, WQAPA spokesperson Cassandra Dunn and UVI PR head Patrice Johnson.  Friday at lunch at Room with a View at Bluebeard’s Castle – for tix call 774-8478.

The fifth annual Virgin Islands’ Woodworkers’ Expo – featuring works from members of the St. Thomas/St. John Woodworkers Society and the St. Croix Wood Artist, Inc. group – will offer sessions on St. Thomas and St. John in December. Friday,  Saturday and Sunday  The Woodworkers’ Expo is the ideal place to purchase holiday gifts.

Pistarckle Theater has their new show “American Buffalo opening Friday at 8:00 PM.  with a champagne reception. This is the show that made Al Pacino famous, played in the Virgin Islands byu George Silcott Jr. Champagne reception opening night is Friday December 3, the Pay as you can night is December 4. – show continues December 10, 11, 16, 17 all at 8:00 PM at Pistarckle Theater call 775-7877

Here’s a chance for you to make some Good News for the people of St. Lucia.  There is a container full of relief supplies in St. Thomas that needs to get to St. Lucia and the relief committee is holding a fund raiser party to get the funds to move the container.  Saturday December 4 at 9:00 PM at the Governor’s headquarters opposite Frenchtown Post Office – Music by Cool Sessions Brass and Nature Boy, Admission is $10 with lots of food and drink. Bring a donation of canned goods and non-perishable items. Saturday December 4 at 9:00 PM at the DeJongh headquarters.

Also Saturday – a Classical concert on Water Island as Julian Gargiulo returns to Water Island for a one night concert Saturday December 4 at 7:00 PM. Take the ferry from Tickles at 6 or 6:30.   The classical piano concert is free.

The Governor also took time yesterday to wish the members of the Jewish community a Happy Chanukah – the festival of lights began last night at sundown. For eight days the Jewish community will remember the events of 167 BC when the Maccabee family retook the city of Jerusalem and rededicated the temple – there was not much oil for the lamps but it lasted 8 days and they commemorate those 8 days with the lighting of the menorah. Hence the festival of lights.  

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