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Weather in the World : 22 degrees in Philadelphia with clouds, New York has 29 and clouds in Boston 24 and clouds upstate New York in Fayetteville, 15 degrees with light snow. In the place they call Paradise Michigan -2 degrees

79 Degrees in Crown Bay St. Thomas.  Under clear skies.
76 %  humidity
Barometric pressure is 30.01 inches
Wind is from East North East at 11 MPH
Trace of rain at WSTA in the last 24 hours. 

National Weather Service says :  A fair weather pattern will continue across the Virgin Islands today as a high pressure ridge dominates the region. Patches of low level moisture in the trade winds will bring occasional showers. Winds from the east at 10-15 miles per hour.
Across the local waters, winds to 18 knots and seas to six feet in north-northeast swells
Sun and clouds mixed. High 77 to 80 . Winds ESE at 10 to 20 mph.


Cruise Ship News the Norwegian getaway, Carnival conquest, Royal Princess are at Havensight Dock  over at the Austin Monsanto Marine Terminal we have the Eclipse and Allure of the Seas


Headlines : 

At the top of the news on  !!AIR – March 5 wednesday
The Almeric Christian Federal Building in St. Croix is set to become the first federal building to achieve zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually. Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, got a contract from the General Services Administration to install energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy The goal is 100 percent Net Zero Energy. The three-story, 57,000 square foot Federal Building  will save over $13 million over the next two decades.  Half million saved in year one.

On St. Thomas the Main Street revitalization construction is supposed to begin in May – right after Carnival.  But maybe not. There is litigation over the bidding process. Chamber President, Sebastiano Paiewonsky-Cassinelli said, "The Main Street Enhancement Project may not start in May as planned due to factors beyond the control of Dept. Public Works.  He says the revitalization is critical and construction delays will have a devastating impact on downtown merchants. They want the enhancements in place as quickly as possible with the least disruption. He calls the economic news from Downtown troubling:  Several long standing boutiques have decided to not renew leases, or open new stores.  Cartier is vacating Main Street after 25 years. Two other stores not opening. It costs less to lease the store and keep it closed than open it and lose money. Paiewonsky-Cassinelli went on to say, "Competing destinations throughout the region have completed massive capital improvements to attract more visitors and stimulate their economy. While our merchants have seen retail sales decline 20% - 60% in recent years. What’s the problem? traffic congestion, crumbling sidewalks and lack of amenities. 

The Senate committee on finance addressed the street lighting. They passing a bill to increase the portion of property taxes that goes to streetlighting from four percent up to six percent. WAPA CEO Hugo Hodge said six percent means $2.1 million. That is not enough. He would prefer a $5 to $7 surcharge for street lighting.

Coastal Zone Management Commission St Croix approved plans for WAPA to begin construction of their propane storage tank system on the big island. On St. Thomas the decision meeting is this evening at 6:00 PM at DPNR. VITOL the propane supplier is paying for the storage tanks and WAPA expects the conversion to propane to save them some 90 million dollars per year.

Here comes Ocean Thermal Energy.  The Senate President will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation to conduct a feasibility study  of the potential benefits of installing a whole new concept in energy. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion makes a renewable energy power plant and Seawater Air Conditioning facilities. We have the right conditions for this to really work. Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation plans to spend more than $1 million to conduct the necessary research. The Memorandum of Understanding will be signed this morning at the Legislature and at 1 o'clock there will be a presentation on the technology.

The governor issued a proclamation acknowledging the work of the national Association of social workers. This years theme is all people matter. The governor announced that the month of March is social work month in the US Virgin Islands.



Commissioner of Agriculture Louis Petersen and Commissioner of Public Works Daryl Smalls invite all farmers, fishermen, and concerned citizens to a meeting at 5:00 o'clock this evening at the Small Business Development Center in the Nisky Center. to provide updates and other pertinent information concerning the construction/renovation project at the Rothschild Francis “Market” Square and the Sanderilla Thomas bungalow. For more information call 774-5182. This evening at 5:00 PM at Small Business Development Center 

The other day we told you about the increase in Marine tariffs the Port Authority charges ferry companies. The community is invited to a public hearing to discuss proposed changes to the Authority’s marine tariff on Friday, March 7 at 9 a.m. Port Authority’s Administrative Building conference room near the Cyril King Airport on St. Thomas. The inbound wharfage and outbound wharfage fees are set to increase from $.85 to $2.  Inbound and outbound wharfage each will be increased from $1 to $3. Not for cruise ships or ferries on the St. Thomas/St. John route.  Port Authority has not increased these fees in 20 years.  The new rates will be effective April 1.

This is the week of prayer. Today is Ash Wednesday – On St Croix there is a special Week of Prayer service at New Testament church in Whim.  On Friday, The World Day of prayer services is at Lord God of Sabbath Lutherans Church in Christiansted at seven p.m. Friday, for World Day of Prayer on St. Thomas and there is special at Holy Family Catholic Church in Tutu.

UVICELL Center has a free SAT Prep class for high-school students. Starts Saturday March 15 on UVI St. Croix and St. Thomas campuses.  Your 10th or 11th grade student with a GPA above 2.0 should take this class. – They get assessments and practice exams and pointers on time management, anxiety relief, and test-taking tips. Big Thank You to Dale LeFebvre, of Oson Inc, - making the class free. Submit an application to UVICELL by Friday of this week. Friday March 7th.  Space is limited. First-come, first-serve basis. Call 693-1106 or visit http://cell.uvi.edu.

And here comes good news and the National Park Service. They issued a report on visitors and spending. As of 2012, they say 645,000 people visited the Virgin Islands spending almost $79 million. The park visitors support some 980 jobs in the territory. The park includes the well-known St. John facility as well as Hassel Island, and on St. Croix Buck Island, the Christiansted historic site and salt River Bay National Historical and Ecological Park. St. John gets the most visitors. The Park service report says 483,000 visitors, but the Friends of the Park did their own research  -  they think the numbers closer to 822,000 visitors. Clearly a lot. On St. Croix the Christiansted national historic site gets more than 126,000 visitors and they spend about $8.8 million in St. Croix.

Finally this - a chance for you to make some good news. The family Resource Center is at a stress point. Their funds are so short that are on the verge of closing and that would mean no women's shelter on St. Thomas or St. John. Donations are needed right now. You can help. Call this number 776-STOP that's 776-7867. 776-STOP the family Resource Center need your help right now.

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