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Half Million dollars for whom?

It's 75° Fahrenheit  23.9 Centigrade in Crown Bay St. Thomas,
73% humidity. Overcast skies
Wind out of the North East at 10 mph.
Water temp: 79° in Charlotte Amalie  St. Thomas
We had Point 01 inches   of rain in the last 24 hours.
Doppler radar shows: Clear Skies
Satellite Photo Shows: Lots of clouds in the vicinity

The national weather forecast calls for Partly cloudy with isolated showers. Highs around 82. Northeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain less than 20 percent.

Cruise Ship News At Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal: Ruby Princess

At the top of the news on Thursday December 23 Christmas Eve eve

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.

The Governor sent a Holiday message to thank the members of the armed forces and to offer his hopes that the holidays are peaceful and full of happiness.  He reminds us all to look after the people in need and stop to check on people who need a helping hand or a neighbor to look in on them. Now more than ever it is time to give back to others.  The Governor said, regardless of how we celebrate the holidays let this be a time of hope and reflection on the many blessings we have received and the hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Good News from the Virgin Islands National Guard as the Major General Renaldo Rivera announced the 51st Public Affairs Detachment will return on Friday from their deployment at Guantanamo Bay Cuba.  They have been away since January of this year and on Friday – Staff Sergeant Shereen Grouby and Specialist Juanita Philip will return to St. Croix at 1:30 and Sergeant Athneil Thomas will come to St. Thomas at 2:30 – the community is invited to come to the airport and welcome home our soldiers.

How much does it cost for the non-essential government employees to take a day off?  The Daily News is reporting that the days off for Carnival Food Fair and the Inauguration will cost the territory 1.3 million dollars. There are 9,328 employees of the central government. – the Bi-weekly payroll is 18.4 million dollars. – One day is about 1.3 million. But that is not a perfect measure because administrative leave does not apply to “essential” employees or those on rotating shifts or anyone on leave. We have 22 paid holidays plus two days off for St. Thomas Carnival and two days off for Crucian Christmas Festival. Total cost of all the paid holidays – 28.6 million dollars.

Port Authority board met yesterday and decided to collect their own fees.  That job had been done by the Coast Guard but the Port Authority says they don’t always get all their money. At issue is 6.3 million dollars. From 2008 and 2009.  And another 3.3 million since October of 2010. That’s not chicken feed to the Port Authority. ZCG says they get to extract their costs from the fees before they give the money to the Port Authority and their costs are skyrocketing.

Virgin Islands Lottery picked the winners in the Extraordinary drawing. A half million dollars goes to the ticket holder of ticket 33461.  And 90 grand to the holder of 7709.  70 thousand to ticket 9807 and 50 thousand to 22677. 30,000 to ticket 30760.  And there are – of course hundreds of smaller prize winners.

Speaking of winners – add St. Croix’s Adriana Sydney, and on St. Thomas is Reema Daa to your list of lucky winners – they are the folks who drive home in a new Nissan Cube after Choice Communicaiton pulled their names from the 18,000 people who joined the raffle. Choice gave away 4 cars since August and two more last night.  Choice says the cars helped call attention to their new services and their new offices.  Choice offers high speed wireless internet connections throughout the Virgin Islands.

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.

Housing Finance Authority in the St. Croix office will be closed today at noon.  
Police records office will be closed today. They will resume service on the regular days next week.

Virgin Islands Carnival Committee has  for all band leaders  this evening at 5:30 PM at Virgin Islands Carnival Committee headquarters.

Crucian Christmas Festival reminds everyone that the Coney Island rides open in festival village on December 25 at 6:00 PM and there is a Christmas concert in Buddhoe Park Frederiksted on Christmas Day as well.  Sunday December 26 is the Miss St. Croix Pageant.

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.

Join Tommy Starfish as he makes his annual toy donation to the  Boys & Girls Club on  today from 3:00-5:00 pm  at Yacht Haven Grande.  We invite you to share in the excitement!  

Anacrusis Brass Quintet The St. Nicholas Brass will perform in Tutu Park Mall on Thursday December 23 from 6 to 7:30 PM – shoppers will be treated to the best holiday music on Brass.  Musicians are Clayton Emmanuel, Joseph Francis, Urbane Chinnery and Martin Lambkin and Warren Hendrickson.  The public is invited 6 to 7:30 PM at Tutu Park Mall.

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