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New street lighting coming to the Virgin Islands

28 degrees in NYC, 23 in Chicago with snow, 22 in Denver and 27 in Philly.  St. Thomas Missouri – 21 degrees and St. Thomas North Dakota 12 degrees.

It's 75° Fahrenheit  26.7 Centigrade in Crown Bay St. Thomas,
76% humidity. Clear Skies
Wind out of the North East at 7 mph gusting to 28.
Water temp: 79° in Charlotte Amalie  St. Thomas
We had a trace  of rain in the last 24 hours.
Doppler radar shows: Clear Skies – the cloudiness is moving out  
Satellite Photo Shows: Cold air north and west of us pushing out warm moist air south of us... Ripe conditions for clouds  and possible showers.

The national weather forecast calls for Mostly cloudy. Scattered showers in the morning...then isolated showers in the afternoon. Highs around 82. Breezy. Northeast winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Cruise Ship News 5 ships!
At Havensight  Dock – Glory, Norwegian Epic and Freedom of the Seas
At Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal: Solstice and Queen Mary 2

At the top of the news on Wednesday December 22  

Good News from WAPA as they begin the process of installing newer brighter state-of-the-art energy efficient streetlights on each island.  The new LED streetlights are made by Cooper Lighting and they are called the  Lumark RC LED Cobrahead Luminaire – WAPA picked this one from ten bids submitted looking for life span, brightness, wattage, warranty and the company’s reputation.  The new streetlights will save as much as 75% of the electricity and last six times longer than the present streetlights. The first of the new lights at 100 in Cruz Bay St. John,. 373 along Main street and Veteran’s Drive St. Thomas and 500 on Queen Mary Highway St. Croix.

HOVENSA’s trouble with the catalytic cracking unit is having an impact in the US. That system makes gasoline and it is one of the largest refineries in the world making 500,000 barrels per day of fuel, aviation fuel, diesel and gasoline.  With the Cat Cracker out of action, production is down by a fifth and that means the price of gasoline is sharply up in east coast locations.  Up as much as 11 cents per gallon in New England and fuel supplies in the North east are running short.

Governor John DeJongh says he will join the Hearts in Service Association and the New Visions Ministry serving meals to the homeless at the second annual Christmas feast in Emancipation Garden – The day starts with the Challenge of the Carols in Emancipation Garden in the wee hours, then Emancipation Garden will be the site of the lunch between Noon and 3:00 PM at the bandstand. The Governor says “The Christmas season is when it is especially important for us to show our love for the less fortunate neighbors and spread some holiday cheer.

Good News from Juan Luis Hospital where the Board is close to hiring a new CEO.  Jeff Nelson is the candidate and the Board is ready as soon as the background checks are complete.  The board is taking no chances, making a complete check of all his resume entries. FBI Background check, verification of awards on his resume, and verifying what ranks he held in past jobs. Nelson is regarded as a turnaround expert, skilled in taking troubled hospitals back on track.

Good News from Carnival Cruise lines – their revenues are up showing overall demand from cruise ship vacations is up.  Carnival reported a 29% increase in net income. This is another sign of the recovering economy. Bookings are up and revenue is also up with passengers spending more on the ships on each cruise. Carnival is big in the Virgin Islands with ships that operate as Princess lines, Holland America and Carnival cruise brand names.

The Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) chose initial siren sites with high population concentrations in low-lying areas that are at risk for tsunamis, in St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John, for implementing a system which will sound automatically if a tsunami warning is generated by the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center or the Puerto Rico Seismic Network.  VITEMA will be reaching out to resorts and the private sector about purchasing their own warning sirens that can tie into the system.

Is the phone book going to be obsolete? Land line phones are on the way out as 27% of American households have no wired phone.  The use of cell phones has been growing rapidly and as people adopt cell phones as their primary phone, the landlines go away. in 2007 only 14% of households were cell only and in this last year 27%.  And among younger people 4 out of ten have cell phones only. If the land lines go, the phone books are right behind them.

Housing Finance Authority in the St. Croix office will be closed on Thursday at noon.  
Police records office will be open today but closed on Thursday – note this is a change of plans. They will resume service on the regular days next week.

Virgin Islands Carnival Committee has an important meeting for all past village booth operators and anyone else who wishes to have a booth at Carnival 2011 – CAHS Cafeteria at 5:30 PM – potential changes in the village schedule will be discussed. Bands – your meeting is December 23 at Virgin Islands Carnival Committee headquarters at 5:30 PM That is Thursday of this week.

Energy development in Island Nations offers tips to save energy in the holiday season.  Use LED lights on displays and decorations to save energy.  Remove grease and dire from light bulbs to increase output at no additional cost.  Turn down the water heater to 120 degrees and install a timer to limit when the heater is making hot water. If your computer uses a screen saver then it never goes into its power saving mode. Turn off equipment overnight and on weekends – no point running things when no one is using them like copiers, monitors and computers. When printing, make double sided copies to save paper and energy and look for energy star products when you shop.

E. Benjamin Oliver School Band Boosters have their annual Community Birthday calendar for sale.  A total of 1000 calendars are available and they will be sold on December 28, 29 and 30 at FirstBank waterfront, FirstBank Port of Sale Shopping Center. and FirstBank tutu. Next week. $5. For more information call 775-2000.

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