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Senate Committee Approves Sea Chest Lease  

It's 77° Fahrenheit  74% humidity. partly cloudy skies
Wind out of the North East at 11 mph  
Barometric pressure is 29.99 and rising  
Water temp: 78° in Charlotte Amalie  St. Thomas
We had  no rain in the last 24 hours.
Doppler radar shows: Mostly Clear Skies  The Satellite Photo shows: Clear Skies

The national weather forecast calls for  Mostly cloudy in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. Scattered showers. Highs 84. Northeast winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts to around 30 mph. Chance of rain 50 percent.

On this Wednesday March 23 we welcome to:  Solstice and Norwegian Pearl - - to Havensight  Dock  Eurodam and Adventure of the Seas  - - to Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal

At the top of the news on Wednesday March 23  

Senate Committee on Planning and Environmental Protection met yesterday to consider a Coastal Zone Management permit for Sea Chest to extend their lease for 20 years. Ace Sea Chest plans to remove the trailers they have used for years for storage and they will replace them with a new structure that allows them to store goods on pallets.  They also plan to move the entrance of the store to the side that faces Veteran’s Drive and expand the interior of the store.  Senators were enthusiastic saying the company has been there for the people of the Virgin Islands for many many years – 63 years to be exact - and deserves to expand and continue to provide services.
The full Senate will meet today to consider all the bills passed by the rules committee. The bills to address the government’s financial woes are on the agenda. The 1 increase in the Gross Receipts Tax, 2% increase in the Hotel tax, cruise passenger head tax a number of nominations and more.

Virgin Islands Public Services Commission met last evening hearing the woes of the St. Thomas St. Croix Ferry line that says it can’t operate.  Their one ferry is underutilized with few people taking the ferry except during holiday times. And they can’t make enough money to repair engines and perform maintenance on the ferry.  They can’t pay their dues to PSCx or cover their costs – operators say the ferry is losing $200,000 per month The PSCx also extended the time for the two ferries operating between St. Thomas and St. John to submit their capital improvement plans and their audited financial reports.

WAPA says their water levels are at a low and they are implementing water conservation schedules.  From 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and again from 10:00 PM to 5 AM there will be reduced or no water in Kirwan Terrace< Lindberg Bay , Contant, Anna’s Fancy, Altona, Solberg, Upper Hospital Ground, Bergs’ Home, Paul M Pearson Gardens and Estate Thomas and Tutu High Rise. Schools in those neighborhoods will continue to have water.

We all need to help our own Sondria Pemberton.  She has a film in a competition and we all need to vote for her film. Go to this web site: and vote for the tropical day movie.  Our Sondria has 256 votes and the leader has 500 votes.  If we all go and vote for our own, she will win and that’s good news.

The Enterprise Zone Commission is hosting a series of estate planning seminars today it Gertrude’s Restaurant on Hess Road. at 6:00 PM and on St. Thomas on Wednesday March 30 at Windward Passage Hotel also at 6:00 PM.

St. Croix Board of Elections is holding a Town Hall Meetings this evening at St.. Gerard’s hall on St. Croix at 6:00 PM  They will continue on Thursday at the UVI Great Hall also at 6:00 PM. The topic is the election process and the doors are open to the public to ask questions and get answers.

Nearly 100 Virgin Islands students will have the opportunity to learn more about navigation, physics, marine biology, history and water safety when the World Ocean School visits St. Thomas this week. Senator Shawn-Michael Malone is sponsoring the student sailing trips aboard the antique schooner, The Roseway, which is visiting St. Thomas. Malone said that there were a variety of opportunities in the marine industry for Virgin Islands students to include careers as biologists, boat captains, mechanics, divers, tour operators, ship builders and engineers. There is a chance to take a tour of the Roseway Wednesday evening next to  Crown Bay Marina from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday for a free tour of this historic floating classroom.

UVI is asking everyone to vote for UVI in the Home depot “retool your school” contest.  There are $150,000 in grants available to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities * that gets the most votes for on-campus improvements. The voting is open from now until April 22  - go to and vote for UVI.

This is Tsunami Awareness week in the Virgin Islands and tomorrow the Virgin Islands will hold a tsunami response exercise designed to evaluate local response plans, increase preparedness, and improve coordination throughout the region.  The exercise, called CARIBE WAVE 11, will simulate a widespread tsunami warning and watch situation throughout the Caribbean which requires implementation of local tsunami response plans
Take this opportunity to review the Family Emergency Plan. "When earthquakes occur, it's too late to prepare for them. You might not be with your family, your children might be at school or you could be at work. It is very important that families plan and know how they will reunite  how they will contact each other in emergency situations. First identify an out-of town contact, a long-distance phone may be easier than a call across town. Be sure everyone knows the phone number and they have a cell phone, coins, or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact. On your cell phone, program that person as "ICE"  that means In Case of Emergency.  

So TODAY around 9:00 AM you may hear or see a message that a tsunami warning has been issued for all of the Virgin Islands. But it’s just a test to make sure that the tsunami warning system works on all three islands. So tell your friends and family: It’s not a real emergency, Do not evacuate your home. Do not call 9-1-1, So remember, on Wednesday, “Don’t stress, it’s just a Test!”

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