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Weather in the World : thirty-three degrees in Washington DC, twenty-six in Philadelphia, Chicago has twenty-four degrees and snow Boston has twenty-one degrees with clear skies, Denver has thirty-six degrees right now it's -7 in Minneapolis, and -11 in paradise, Michigan.  Paradise Beach Manitoba -29 degrees.

78 Degrees in Crown Bay St. Thomas.  Under clear skies
76% humidity
Barometric pressure is 30.04 inches
Wind is from East at 20 MPH gusting to 25
Point 09 inches of rain in the last 24 hours.  We ended 2013 with 44.6 inches of rain all year long. That is not a record, but it is above average – which would be about 38 to 40 inches of rain in a normal year. 

National Weather Service is saying: Partly cloudy. High around 80F. Winds ENE at 20 to 30 mph.

A generally fair and stable weather pattern is expected to prevail across the Virgin Islands for the next few days. The trade winds will bring isolated fast moving showers from time to time. Mariners can expect trade winds up to 20 knots - seas will increase to around seven feet by tonight.

Cruise Ship News seven ships
Norwegian Epic, Freedom of the Seas, Disney Fantasy are at Havensight Dock
the Westerdam is at anchor.  Carnival Glory and the Royal Princess are at Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal and the Yorktown is visiting St. John

At the top of the news on  !!AIR – January 1st Wednesday

New day, new morning, new year. January first – 2014.  The year of 13 is over. Overnight ther was less gun fire to mark the turn of the new year.  Quieter on St. Thomas.  St Croix is deep in Carnival and their new year was market with lots of music in the village and on the pier.

Schools and the University continue to be closed. The courts are all closed today.  All banks are closed. Government offices are closed today.  The VI legislatures will continue to be closed until January 6, the post office closed and the innovative business centers are closed.  The Water and Power Authority is closed all day today.  Waste Management Authority closed all day. The Bovoni landfill is open only until noon today, same at Susannaberg. On St Croix, the Anguilla landfll is closed and so is Peter Rest, collection center.

On St Croix Cruzan Christmas Carnival is in full throttle.  The J’ouvert celebration started at 6 a.m. at the Hannah’s Rest intersection to Frederiksted town, turning left at Fisher Street and right on  King Street to the Carnival Village. Parking is prohibited on King Street and Fisher Street in Frederiksted until Noon. 

On Thursday at noon the Food Fair begins at the McBean Clock Tower. This year’s food fair is called "Gloria Joseph Food Arts and Crafts Fair."  Thursday is Latin night at 8:00 PM in the village. Also Thursday at 8:00 PM at Island Center they have the Calypso Monarch Finals. The children's parade is on Friday January 3 at 10am. The adult parade Sat January 4 at 10:00 AM on Sunday January 5 there is the Talent competition at the Palms at Pelican Cove and Carnival Fireworks late on January 5th

Sts Peter and Paul Cathedral will have mass at 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM and Spanish mass at 12:30.

Kwanza activities are in full swing.  Today is for Imani of Faith - on St. Thomas there's a United Communities Kwanzaa potluck at Brewers beach and on St. Croix on the Frederiksted water front they have a Kwanzaa observation, candle lighting and meditation celebration.

Let us clarify the scheduled for this week and next. Governor John DeJongh signed a proclamation issuing administrative leave to government employees
•       Today is a Legal Holiday
•       Thursday January 2 St Croix has Administrative leave all day
•       Friday January 3 the gov has issues Administrative leave 8 am – 5 pm- - territory-wide
•       Monday January 6, is a  Legal Holiday

Let's look at the year 2013 and review and see one happened.  On St. Croix the impact of the HOVENSA closure in 2012 was felt throughout 2013. The tax base was eroded.  Unemployment peaked at 13.7 percent in January of 2013. And on St Croix it swas 17.8 percent. Dozens of organizations that depended upon HOVENSA were impacted.  Country Day School, and Good Hope school had to merge.  Lots of small businesses like florists and caterers who depended upon the cash flow from HOVENSA suddenly found themselves out of business.  The Juan Luis Hospital continued a slide.  Chief executive Jeff Nelson resigned in January of 2013, after firing most of the nursing staff. Heart surgeon Kendall Griffith took over as CEO, but resigned in July, was talked back to his job while members of the board resigned.  The hospital ends the year without a board, without a finance team and still bleeding red ink.  Not only does the hospital owe the GERS and WAPA money, but the hospital needed interest-free advances from the government to meet payroll.  It remains to be seen whether the centers for Medicare and Medicaid will deauthorized the hospital.

GERS continued its financial decline. With 8500 retirees taking funds from the GERS, a reform plan was created but never passed. No change

2013 is the year Senator Alvin Williams pleaded guilty to racketeering, bribery and other offenses.  In 2013 Department of planning and natural resources enforcement director Roberto Tapia  and Police Sergeant Angelo Hill pleaded guilty to using their offices as a way to smuggle cocaine.

Is there good news out 2013?  The recession seems to have ended in the states which means tourism here is increasing, WAPA is making moves toward cheaper fuel and more solar energy projects and the murder rate is down.  2013, ended with a total of thirty-four murders compared to fifty-eight and 2012.  The murder rate is the lowest in ten years.

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