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Solar Panel Image from Flickr Artist pixor.

Solar energy comes to federal building.

The US Midwest is bracing for what promises to be the worst winter storm in a long time. Winter storm alerts and warnings blanket the Midwest with expectations of snow, high winds and ice storms. Cities like Milwaukee, St. Louis and Chicago, are bracing for the biggest impact. The National Weather Service is predicting more than 18 inches of snow - that would be the most snow for one storm in at least a decade. The Weather Service issued winter storm warnings for 19 states, from New Mexico to Vermont, and blizzard warnings for six Midwestern states, including Missouri where there were predictions of as much as an inch of ice accumulation around St. Louis. Right now  New York City has 27 degrees and light freezing rain mist, same in Washington DC with 29 degrees.  St. Louis has 30 degrees and light ice pellets mist Denver has minus 8 and snow, St. Thomas North Dakota has  minus 15 degrees and expectations of snow.

It's 78° Fahrenheit  23.9 Centigrade in Crown Bay St. Thomas,
73% humidity. Clear Skies
Wind out of the East at 12 mph.
Barometric pressure is 30.07
No rain.
Doppler radar shows: Clear Skies - Satellite Photo Shows: Clear Skies

The national weather forecast calls for isolated showers. Highs 91. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent.
Cruise Ship News
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At Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal: Norwegian Sun, Oasis of the Seas
St. John SeaDream 1



At the top of the news on Tuesday February 1 Groundhog Day Eve

Senate Committee on Finance is meeting today to get an update on the revenue collections and projections from the Governor’s fiscal team.  The senators want a fiscal report on the condition of the government and the status of the Budget contingency and economic stabilization plan.  No other senate meeting are scheduled this week.

Place to be today is Bertha C. Boschulte School as the Marine Advisory Service  - Sea Grant extension program will unveil a huge colorful mural at the school’s entrance.  The mural is part of the Reef is Closer than you think community campaign. The unveiling is this morning and the mural will be on display from now on.

The Virgin Islands Port Authority has substantially completed the paving of the Cyril E. King Airport Runway on St. Thomas and has now begun the paving of the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport Runway on St. Croix Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors found several areas of pavement failure in the runway at the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport in an annual certification inspection last year.  "The majority of the runway that is being repaired was last resurfaced in the 1970's.  The repairs are necessary to ensure the safety of travelers and aircraft using the Rohlsen airport," said Hobson.  


Have you seen the solar panels on the south roof of the DeLugo Federal building and the Alexander Farrelly building.  The project at the Ron DeLugo building which is responsible for all federal buildings.  The 330 panels cost 1.1 million dollars but are only part of the picture. What you can’t see on the outside is all the new energy efficient lighting and motion controls that turn off unneeded lights, water flow regulators have been installed and sensors to limit unnecessary air conditioning. How much electricity will the panels save – about 21,000 dollars per month.

League of Women Voters had the senators over for lunch yesterday and a stern lecture about being frugal and prudent with the people’s money.  Stories of the lavish luncheon for senators after inauguration were met with explanations. It was not an expensive place, but a discount place and more than 500 citizens came to the luncheon. They all got to tell Senators their concerns. The event was so tight, they didn’t rent tables. Senate President Ronald Russell said the Legislature's new executive director, Pamela Richards, comes in with a mandate to "deal with the budget of the Legislature in a frugal and inexpensive way." Meanwhile League members want stiffer gun fines and penalties, revisions to the preemption rules; transfer zoning requests to an independent board or commission. The senators spoke about vocational and technical schools, senior citizens homes, and renewable energy systems.

The V.I. Police Department has its own theme song, "Don't Run, Don't Hide," which advises local criminals not to bother trying to get away because the police will get them. The song was written by local musicians for the action documentary “VI Cops,” which documents a night in the life of Saturated Patrol officers. It is about a minute and a half long and written and produced by Fusion Band, local Band-O-Rama and Road March Champions.



Here comes the smoking ban. As of February 10 it will be illegal to smoke inside a business or rest, it is illegal to smoke within 20 feet of a door or window on a public setting. Bars, rest and businesses will all have to enforce a smoking ban. When does it start, February 10.

St. Croix -  the D.C. Canegata Ball Park staff will close the softball and baseball fields from today through Wednesday – the staff is installing an infield stabilizer with sands, silt and clay that will make a firm resilient playing field and reduce dust.

Online registration is available for individuals interested in participating in a male empowerment conference at the University of the Virgin Islands February 8 on St. Thomas and February 10 on St. Croix. The conference, is for male high school juniors and seniors, and young men who want to return to the academic track. It is called : “Man-Up: Realize your Potential – Tools and Resources for Males on the Journey Toward a Successful Life.” The keynote speaker is Farrah Gray, a self-made millionaire by the age of 14. Also performing is songwriting duo Rock City who are V.I. natives Timothy and Theron Thomas. Go to UVI.edu

Big Thank You to the St. Thomas Rotary Club which is making a donation of virtual baby dolls to the St. Thomas Schools.  It is part of the “Baby Think It Over” campaign.  Girls are given the virtual babies to take home overnight.  They wake up overnight and need food and diaper changes and they cry and cry until they get the right care. The virtual baby keeps track of the virtual mother’s baby care and tallies the costs of taking care of a baby.  The idea is to give girls a dose of reality about the hard cost of baby care and perhaps discourage young ladies from getting pregnant at a early age. There are 49 new virtual babies being distributed at Bertha C. Boschulte School, Addelita Cancryn Junior High School and CAHS. They cost $28,000 and the rotary club paid the bill. The best Good News? The virtual babies really work.  Teen pregnancy is down in the Virgin Islands Since the first Virtual babies were introduced. Big Thank You to Rotary Club of St. Thomas

image photo credit: Solar panel 3 by pixor on flicr.com

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