15 November 2012
First the weather:
83 degrees in Crown Bay St. Thomas
75 % humidity.
29.90 Barometric Pressure – rising
Wind from all over the East at 14 MPH. Under Mostly Clear Skies.
No rain in the last 24 hours. 31.10” so far this year.
National Weather Service says: Partly cloudy with 20% chance of rain showers in the morning, then clear with possible rain showers in the afternoon. High of 82F. Wind from the ENE at 10 to 15 mph.
A slot of drier air will move in from the east which will limit the shower activity across the local area and allow a little more sunshine to make it through. Maybe some brief showers from time to time.
Cruise Ship News Carnival valor at Havensight Dock and the Ruby Princess at Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal
At the top of the news on Thursday November 15
Good News from Washington DC where Delegate Dr. Donna Christensen announced that the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill she sponsored so that appeals from the Supreme Court will go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court instead of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision was unanimous. The U.S. Senate has to approve. She said the House took the first step in making the Virgin Islands Supreme Court just like every other high court in the states and territories. One more step in the journey for further local self-governance.
Governor John DeJongh left the territory Wednesday to participate in two days of meetings with the Board of Directors of the Jobs for America’s Graduates program. JAG will be recognizing six individuals and organizations that have gone “Above and Beyond” in commitments to the work of Jobs for America's Graduates.
Senate Committee of the Whole had to deal with a court decision that said it was unconstitutional for insurance companies to be required to have a local agent to counter sign policies. The court decision was in 2006 – the law has been on the books since then leading to confusion and increased costs since insurers have had a local resident on staff to sign policies and they had to be paid. The correcting legislation will come up in the next session November 19 and 20.
The Bureau of Economic Research reported to senators on the Living Wage report. Some 25 percent of local residents lived in poverty - twice the national poverty rate of 13 percent.
The living wage report says to meet basic housing, clothing, food and transportation needs, a single resident needs to earn $10 per hour, at 40 hours per week, with employer-sponsored health insurance. That figure increases with children and child care expenses, so that one parent with benefits and a single child must earn $16.28 per hour. Two employed adults with a child must earn a combined $23.96 per hour or about fifth thousand dollars a year. If a couple supported two children, the family would need a combined wage of $28.75 an hour or close to sixty thousand dollars a year to make ends meet. The study recommends an immediate raise to $10 per hour for all government workers and increase that to $12 per hour within three years.
Sen Alvin Williams and his staff were in court yesterday to plead not guilty to nine counts of racketeering, bribery, corruption, soliciting kickbacks, wire fraud, misuse of campaign funds and using public funds to pay for college courses while a staff member did the work. Also in the case is Ace Development, is now part of the racketeering, bribery and conflict of interest bribery indictments. The company is owned by Alvin Williams and other family members. Staff member Gary Sprauve was arrested yesterday and charged with racketerring, fraud, obtaining money by false pretense and offenses relating to public records and money.
We had 16 cases of dengue fever so far in November. There were four cases on St. Thomas, seven on St. Croix and five on St. John. BUT the address information was poor so we don’t know if one location is the source of the dengue. Dengue fever in nearby Puerto Rico has reached epic proportions. Fighting Dengue means killing mosquitoes and depriving them of places to breed.
• Use insect repellent containing DEET, when outdoors.
• Cover infant cribs with cotton mosquito netting
• Replace damaged screens on windows and doors - keep mosquitoes out.
• Empty standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels.
• Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly.
• Drill holes in tires so water drains out.
• Keep children's wading pools empty when not in use.
The Enterprise Zone Commission will deliver a presentation on the Frederiksted Collaborative Town Plan at a town hall meeting this evening at 6:00 PM. Speakers are Nadine Marchena Kean from the Enterprise Zone Commission and Cusa Holloway an Enterprise Zone Specialist – That’s 6:00 PM at the American Legion Hall Post# 133 on Prince St in Frederiksted. For more information call 773-6499, ext. 234,
Independent Citizen Movement Political Party 6:00 PM Aryans Bar and Restaurant everyone welcome.
The Division of Real Property Tax will continue the sale of delinquent properties on St. Croix today and continuing Friday. Registration is at 8:00 AM and the auction begins at 9am Bidders are not allowed to register since the auction began.
Helping Others in a Positive Environment is giving away turkeys to the first 100 families who receive one or more of the three chronic disease screenings along with the HIV test. This starts on today on St. Thomas St John and on Friday and Saturday on St Croix. For more information call 777-1611, Free turkey – just take the health screenings.
Paradise Jam tickets are available to local residents at a special low price. And the tickets for the Thanksgiving day games are free. – bring the whole family to the basketball games.
First Lady Cecile de Jongh reminded all moms who use the text4baby text message service that it is time to RSVP for two upcoming baby showers that she is hosting in both districts, for new and expecting mothers and fathers. The baby showers will be held on Sunday, November 18th on St. Thomas at the Family Connection Center in the Tutu Park Mall, and on Sunday, December 2nd on St. Croix at the Government House Ballroom. Both events are from 3 to 5 PM. RSVP - call 773-1404 if you plan to attend. Mrs. de Jongh also reminds pregnant women and new parents to sign up for the free text4baby text messaging service by texting “BABY” or “BEBE” in Spanish to 511411.