29 January 2013
First the weather:
78 degrees in Crown Bay St. Thomas
30.11 Barometric Pressure – rising
Wind from East North East at 21 mph – Under Cloudy Skies
No rain in the last 24 hours.
National weather service says: Partly cloudy with rain showers in the morning, then overcast with rain showers. High of 82F. Breezy. Winds from the ENE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
A broad upper level trough will continue to affect the region through tomorrow resulting in cloudiness and showers. In addition, a weak frontal zone is approaching the northern Virgin Islands and will pass south of St. Croix on Wednesday. Much drier air will spread over the region for the weekend under a building area of high pressure.
Cruise Ship News
Grand Princess, Carnival Dream, Disney Fantasy at Havensight Dock
Eclipse is at anchor
Carnival freedom and Oasis of the Seas at Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal:
At the top of the news on Tuesday January 29
Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. delivered his annual State of the Territory Address before a formal session of the 30th Legislature last evening.
He delivered sobering information: Our Gross Territorial Product rose in 2010. But it is still 7% below its peak in 2007. This is before the HOVENSA closure. Governmental tax and fee revenues remain 19% below their 2008 peak. Tourism numbers are up. cruise ship passengers arrivals are near pre-recession levels. Air visitors are up but visitor expenditures remain down significantly.
The new model of the economy is emerging. The Economic Development Authority has a large number of new applicants who have to get going within 12 months, not five years. He called small business the model of the future, not one big entity with thousands of employees but hundreds of smaller enterprises taking advantage of the high speed internet. He pointed to the RT Park with 21 new knowledge based businesses. This is the future.
The Governor noted milestone in the production and sales of Virgin Islands rum. Cruzan Rum reached a new high in rum sales. They also completed their waste treatment plant. Diageo and Captain Morgan full production this year in a new, state-of-the-art distillery at Renaissance Park.
The Governor called on HOVENSA to either sell the refinery to someone who will make gasoline again, or remove it and restore the land so others may use it. The Governor assured the community that the flow of fuel to the islands would not be interrupted.
The Governor said the territory faces a $50 million deficit and "substantial unfunded obligations". Our energy costs are high and drain cash from business and government. On the other hand WAPA is on a path to be fuel flexible in 18 months.
On the matter of Crime the governor pondered the problem, “How is it that one judge can release a defendant pending trial on the condition that he obey all our laws, and when the defendant is re-arrested and probable cause is found, that defendant is let out on the street again before ever having to stand before the judge who let him out in the first place. He continued, “Our judges simply must give greater weight to the fact that many of the defendants they are releasing are a danger to the community and these offenders should be kept in jail pending trial.” The Governor called on the Judicial system to be more vigorous in enforcing pre-trial detention. He wants the US Post Office to restore postal inspoectors to help stop the flow of guns into the territory.
The Governor called for the political will to create a semi-autonomous hospital authority that can streamline resources, share staff, consolidate purchases, and mitigate the increases in overall healthcare costs.
Senate President Shawn Michael Malone commented on the Governor’s address saying "The governor painted a very bleak fiscal picture that, unfortunately, overshadowed the positive, advances being made.
Malone said he did not hear any new austerity measures for the Executive Branch. He says the Legislature has really tightened things up and was listening to hear the Governor outline his austerity plans.
This week is Catholic School's Week at Saints Peter and Paul School. This year's theme is Catholic Schools Raise the Standards. Sts Peter and Paul School will be celebrating with prayers, Catholic Quiz Bowl, a campus clean up, our annual School March down Main Street. They have an open house for parents and guardians on January 30 from 8 am to 10 am as they serve breakfast to the parents.
The Latch Patch now offers classes called “Baby and Me” postpartum Yoga. The classes start on Wednesday January 30. Bring your baby to the “Baby and Me” postpartum Yoga. Call the Latch Patch at 779-9-7-99
You gotta love it when the dog catches the crook. Back on Thursday the burglar was breaking into an unoccupied apartment behind the Cruzan Wings restaurant in Estate Diamond west. The crook was observed in the apartment attempting to remove items. The Police Department told the crook to stop and come out. Nope. They repeated the order. The police warned that the K-9 dog would be next. The suspect still refused to comply and became more combative and agitated. They repeated the order to surrender. Still no. Then the officers sent in Nero - the canine police dog. Nero subdued the suspect. Dogs One, Crooks Zero.