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Inauguration of Governor John DeJongh and Lieutenant Governor Gregory Francis and Good News about homicide rate and Peacefulness is the virtue of the week
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At the top of the news on Tuesday January 4

Yesterday the Governor was re-inaugurated – Governor John DeJongh and Lieutenant Governor Gregory Francis are now in their second term.  

The day began with a church service at Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral where Bishop Herbert Brevard called for the protection of human rights and pleaded for the maintenance of our beautiful paradise environment, saying “It came from God’s hands clean and beautiful.”  The crowd moved to Emancipation Garden for the Inauguration where it was standing room only in Emancipation Garden.  Former Senator Roosevelt David gave opening remarks, then Lieutenant Governor Gregory Francis was sworn in and delivered an address thanking the Governor for giving the office of Lieutenant Governor an important role in the government.  Atty Paul Hoffman introduced the Governor and Rhys Hodge administered the oath of office.

In his speech, Governor DeJongh thanked his wife and family for their support and Commended Cecile DeJongh for her work in the community.   The Governor said, ”We are blessed to live in the greatest democracy the world has ever known.”  He said he “wants to insure that the next person who stands in his place in 2015 is leader of a Virgin Islands that is the envy of others everywhere, a Virgin Islands that embraces all regardless of race, religion, place of birth or economic status, a Virgin Islands that is safe, a Virgin Islands that takes better care of its elders that reaches out to those most in need and that provides real opportunities to its young and to all who work hard. But to get to that place requires that we find our way through the dangerous passage of 2011.”  The Governor called for more government efficiency and asked us to step out of our comfort patterns to attract more new business to the territory

The inauguration continues today with ceremonies on St. Croix – with a church service at 11 am at    Friedensthal Moravian Church and an open house reception at 1:00 PM at Government House.  Wednesday the activities continue on St. John with a church service at 3:30 PM at St. Ursula’s Church in Cruz Bay and an Open House at the Battery at 4:30 PM.

The Governor has issued Administrative leave –on St. Croix today from 8 am to 5 pm.  Tomorrow on St. Croix and St. John from 8 am to 5 pm and on Friday there is administrative leave territory-wide from 8 am to 5 pm for the children’s parade. Saturday is the adult Parade.

OK the bad news first.  2010 set a record for the most homicides in Virgin Islands History - 62.  The Good News, the rate dropped in the second half of the year. And the rate at which the police are "clearing" the crimes, identifying the culprit and making an arrest, is on the rise. Police Commissioner Novelle Francis said aggressive police tactics and better cooperation between citizens and police are making the difference.  The increasing use of "saturated patrols," has had a major impact. The anti-gang task force has also been effective.

Francis pointed to the ironic situation in which the suspected perpetrator in shooting become the victim in the second, then the perpetrator of the second was killed in retaliation in the third and when the dust cleared, four people the police believed to be killers were themselves killed. In a sad sense, they are removing each other from the scene.

Social Security Representative is usually on St. John on the first Wednesday but due to inauguration activities that Social Security Representative meeting is  POSTPONED TO NEXT WEEK.

Virgin Islands Taxi Cab Commission  reminds all owners of taxi medallions that if you are the owner of a medallion that ends with the number ONE you must visit the Taxi Cab Commission this month to update your files. Only medallions ending with the number ONE in January.

The Board of Education is now charging a fee of $25 for processing and printing certificates. Paper certificates will cost $25 and ID cards will cost $15, each duplicate certificate will be an additional $10.

The Crucian Christmas Festival village is open today – In festival village Digital band is on stage from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM and Onion and the three cylinder band from Antigua from Midnight to 2:00 AM.  

The Calypso monarch finals are tonight at Island Center for the Performing Arts.  On stage will be top performers: Morris "King Generic: Benjamin, Gemma Noel, Campbell "King Kan" Barnes, Chantal "Lady Peaches" Barnes, Cedrick “Spade” Brookes, Arthrur "Lord Galvanize" Brown, "The Mighty Pat" Samuel Ferdinand, Alford "Thunder" Romney among others. The Calypso Competition is tonight.

J’Ouvert starts at 5:00 AM wed morning and the Food Fair Arts and Crafts air is at noon tomorrow at the McBean Clock Tower. Children’s parade is Friday and the Adult Parade is Saturday.

The virtues project is an initiative of the Children and Families Council and the Community Foundation – Each week will teach us Virtues. This week it is Peacefulness.  Peacefulness is being calm inside. Take time for daily reflection and gratitude.  Solve conflicts so everyone wins. Peacefulness is giving up the love of power for the power of love.  Peace in the world begins with peace in your heart.  
You are practicing peacefulness when you...
•         Create inner peace with daily reflection or prayer
•         Use peaceful language even when you are angry
•         Speak gently and respectfully
•         Avoid harming anyone
•         Appreciate differences
•         Find peaceful solutions to every problem

I am peaceful.  I use peaceful words and find fair solutions when differences arise.  I find my inner peace and it will carry me gently through the day.

Thank You

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