21 February 2013
First the weather:
78 degrees in Crown Bay St. Thomas
30.02 Barometric Pressure – rising
Wind from East at 26 mph – Under crystal Clear Skies
No rain in the last 24 hours or point 0 inches of rain. 2.07 inches so far this year.
National weather service says: Partly cloudy with rain showers. High of 79F. Breezy. Winds from the South at 15 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 20%.
Moderate trade winds will continue across the Virgin Islands through at least tonight as an area of high pressure drifts further east into the Central Atlantic. The Virgin Islands will see a drying trend today and tonight. High temperatures will reach the middle 80's.
Cruise Ship News:
Silouette at Havensight Dock
Westerdam and Ruby Princess at Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal:
At the top of the news on Thursday February 21
In an environmentally friendly effort to cut costs, Senate President Shawn-Michael Malone has set a goal of reducing the Legislature's paper usage by half. Malone sent a paper memo telling department heads to plans for cutting both paper and copier use by March 1. Paper and copying costs make up a sizeable portion of the Legislature's budget, Senator Malone said and new technology makes it obsolete. The Legislature will work to make more documents available on the body's web site: www.legvi.org. "We want to get to a point where documents circulated are immediately scanned in and available for review electronically," the Senate President said. "This increases transparency and participation in the democratic process."
Commissioner of Planning and Natural Resources, Alicia Barnes, told the committee on Culture, Historic Preservation, Youth, And Recreation that she has two libraries and not enough staff to run both at once. The Charles Turnbull regional library is about to open in late March. She had to close the Enid Baa public library just to make the move. The new Turnbull facilities include computer labs, videoconferencing, an auditorium with digital projection, sound equipment, and display cases Taino pottery, tools and ornaments on display. But not the staff to run it. She has no body to operate the digital archive or the microfilm lab. The archives stay back at Baa library and will not be accessible –no one is working there. She has about a quarter million dollars to staff the new Turnbull library. She needs 1.5 million more to do it right.
Port Authority board met. Carlton Dowe’s reported on repairing Bornefield - the harsh reality is that once the work began it was clear there was a great deal more to do than they had expected. The long-range plan is to move residents to a new location uphill from Bornefield and demolish the units. Board members asked why pay to repair them when you plan to tear them down. They did approve $20,000 to finish the demolition of the partially demolished building Bournefield. Meanwhile Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson Doty told the board that the merger of American and US Airways will probably not affect the Virgin Islands since they have noncompeting routes. The board approved a new 25 year lease with Lindbergh Bay Hotel, and indicated there might be a new entity may take over the Island Beachcomber.
Washington is creating fiscal uncertainty. Remember the fiscal cliff. We have another one. On March 1st, automatic federal budget cuts go into effect. Less federal money. And our National Park is sure to get cuts. Park Service spokesman Jeffrey G. Olson said “be prepared for reduced hours and services and fewer hours for visitor centers, shorter seasons, and possibly closing of camping, hiking and other recreational areas when there is insufficient staff. Consider the impact on this community where the park’s pumps $123 million into the economy and helps create 2,400 jobs.
The idea of HOVENSA being for sale jumped ahead of the reality. While everyone is hopeful this will come about, it has yet to be actually put up for sale. What is clear is that Hess Oil Company made a decision long ago to get out of the gas station business and more recently to get out of the oil refining business. Their other refineries are for sale. Stay tuned.
Chamber's Business After Hours is this evening from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the East End Plaza across from the Red Hook Dock.
Independent Citizen Movement Political Party is having a meeting to elect new officers This evening at 6:00 PM at Aryans Bar and Restaurant.
From this evening through Sunday WAPA and Island Roads Corporation will perform nightly excavation work from 7 pm to 6 amin the area of Hibiscus Alley and Dronnigens Gade connecting conduits into manholes. Fortress Electric will be installing underground high voltage power lines from the Lutheran Church at Norre Gade to Hibiscus Alley at Dronnigens Gade from 6 pm to 6 am and there are nightly excavation near the De Lugo Post Office at Norre Gade this week.
Today math counts as Junior high and middle school mathletes from all islands compete in the district math counts competition today. On St. Thomas eight schools and fifty-three students are competing A big thank you to the Department of Education and Rotary Club Two who sponsor St. Thomas MathCounts. Meanwhile on St. Croix some 70 students from sixth through eighth grade are showcasing their math skills in algebra, geometry, problem solving and calculations. The top six mathletes and the top team will advance to the State MATHCOUNTS in St. Thomas in March.
This evening, the Forum presents Dava Sobel speak about her latest book, “A More Perfect Heaven.”
It’s a play about Nicolaus Copernicus. And the events that convinced Copernicus to publish his “crazy” ideas concerning the Earth’s motion. Actors Carl Williams and Garry Bryan will perform a portion of the play on stage tonight. Dava Sobel’s presentation is at 7 pm at the Prior-Jollek Hall of Antilles School campus Tickets are available Reichhold, Dockside Bookshop, Interiors at Fort Mylner and Home Again in Red Hook.
This weekend, on St. Croix, at the University’s Great Hall, the 42nd annual orchid show. The St. Croix Orchid Society will host an “Orchid Wedding.” They will honor longtime orchid growers Doris Gardine and Jeanette Fabio. Accredited judges from the American Orchid Society will judge the blooms. Some 30,000 species of orchids exist and many are grown here in the Virgin Islands. The show will be held from 3 to 5 PM PM on Friday 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturday and 9 AM to 3 PM on Sunday.
Coming Up Friday the African Diaspora Youth Development Foundation, will honor Mr. Wilbur "Bill" LaMotta at the 30th Annual Nab Eddie Bobo Black History Month Lecture at UVI. The music will all be by Bill La Motta. Including the University Choir singing "Alma Mater by The Sea.” Ray LaMotta and Neomie Toussaint Williams will perform several LaMotta compositions. Irving “Brownie“ Brown will highlight his LaMotta discography, There will be poetry readings by two students who are Poetry Out Loud Finalists - Junia Washington and Isis Collier. Refreshments will be served. That’s Friday at 6:30 PM at the Administration Conference Center building on the St. Thomas campus. And if you can’t be there, listen to WSTA we will bring it to you live. WUVI will rebroadcast it on Saturday.
Today - Senator Barshinger has a Committee hearing to assess the state of energy in the Territory and the new solar additions on St. Croix and St. Thomas. Barshinger said, "The time for finger pointing has passed. Our residents want and deserve action. My committee will work together with WAPA and the V.I. Energy Office to achieve a common goal of bringing renewable, reliable and sustainable energy to the Territory."