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Created on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 09:09
Written by Press Release
One of the unmarked burials within the Cruz Bay free-colored cemetery in 2013. Photo by David Knight Sr.
Tucked away in a corner of Cruz Bay between establishments reflecting modern life in this little island town is the final resting place of six free-colored Danish West Indians who died in the 19th century. Although the cemetery is incredibly significant for myriad reasons, it had been all but forgotten until last month, when the Virgin Islands government joined forces with the St. John Historical Society to lead restoration efforts at this important site.
St. Thomas-St. John Historic Preservation Committee Commissioner David W. Knight Sr. is leading the initiative, which began March 19 with a clearing of the site, adjacent to Roger Harland’s commercial building and behind the Banana Deck restaurant.
“The site’s been totally desecrated,” said Knight. “The two markers that remain in the cemetery, which both date from the 1800s, are broken. Someone recently smashed one of the memorial plaques and attempted to access the burial.”
The HPC will bring together the State Historic Preservation Office, the SJHS, and any other concerned citizens or groups to help with the restoration, which will take an estimated three to six months and cost approximately $24,000.
Read more: St. John Historical Society, V.I. Historic Preservation Committee To Join Forces in Historic Cruz...
Created on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 08:50
Written by Tom Oat
Two of the island’s three car ferries were in operation last weekend. The third, “Roanoake” was out of service and appeared to be undergoing sandblasting and repainting while docked with its ramp in the mangroves on the south side of the Enighed Pond port.
With a callaloo of conflicting stories — and a few schedule lapses — regular customers of the three inter-island barge companies servicing the St. John-St. Thomas route have been expressing concern about the reliability of the inter-island barge service.
On Tuesday afternoon, April 8, a St. John rescue official called St. John Tradewinds from the Mister B barge operated by Boyson Inc. at about 2:30 p.m. to ask if the newspaper knew why the vessel had been waiting outside the Enighed Pond commercial port for almost one-half hour after arriving from Red Hook while waiting for room at the port’s bulkhead.
A regularly-scheduled commercial barge was off-loading at one of the three interior barge ramp spaces and only one space was available for the three vehicle barges regularly operating between St. John and St. Thomas to load and unload, according to an official of one of the barge companies.
“They were waiting for the dock to clear,” Cheryl Boynes Jackson of Boyson Inc. said of the Mr. B’s delayed arrival.
Repair Work Crowds Car Ferry Ramps
Crowded conditions in the port include a number of large vessels which have been undergoing extensive long-term repairs in violation of the V.I. government’s federal permit for construction of the port which prohibits major repair work on vessels.
Read more: Customers Question St. John-St. Thomas Barge Delays and Vessel Repairs in Port
Created on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 07:16
Written by Tom Oat
The remains of Seara Samantha James, the young St. John woman whose October 2011 death at age 21 was the result of “suspected foul play,” were buried on Monday, April 7, with little attention or further information from V.I. law enforcement officials.
While the unsolved murder of a stateside man in a St. John rental apartment in January has put the island in the national spotlight, the family of Samantha Seara James was left with few answers about her 2011 death despite new questions raised by V.I. law enforcement officials.
“There was suspected foul play,” V.I. Attorney General Vincent Frazer told the media on the day James was buried at the Cruz Bay Cemetery following a belated memorial service at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in Cruz Bay that had been announced on Friday, April 4.
Atty. Gen. Frazer did not return telephone calls from St. John Tradewinds for comment on what evidence indicated to authorities that James’ death resulted from foul play or a criminal act. The cause of James’ death has not been released.
The case is being handled by the Criminal Division of the office of the V.I. Attorney General.
VIPD officials were waiting for the Office of the Attorney General to release its opinion on the case before moving forward, Police Commissioner Rodney Querrard told the media on Monday, April 7, without any further information.
Read more: Seara Samantha James Is Buried Two Years After Disappearance While Questions Remain
Created on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 07:11
Written by Tom Oat
There appears to be room for another vessel at the Loredon L. Boynes Ferry Dock in Cruz Bay, but is there room for two more? The V.I. Department of Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls has not been able to get the two franchised ferry operators to take possession of the new government-owned ferries which have been docked on St. Thomas since last fall.
Only one of the island’s two franchised passenger ferry companies showed up for V.I. Public Works Department-requested U.S. Coast Guard final inspection, safety drills and certification of the two new government-owned ferries on April 11 — and that crew didn’t try to pass a safety inspection.
“They didn’t necessarily fail the inspection,” said Lt. Cmdr. Bryson Spangler of the USCG St. Thomas. “They were just not ready.”
“They were working on the boat a little bit and they didn’t have time to practice; it can be rescheduled,” explained Lt. Cmdr. Spangler, who said the safety inspection is not time-consuming.
“They (the Transportation Services crew) admitted they weren’t ready for the drills,” Lt. Cmdr. Spangler told Tradewinds.
“They will reschedule,” the USCG official said. “We are ready whenever they are.”
“We also found they didn’t have a few of the necessary documents,” the USCG officer added.
“Everything was in order but they were missing a couple of pieces of paper.”
Read more: One Ferry Operator Delays USCG Tests, Second Operator Doesn’t Show Up
Created on Monday, 14 April 2014 05:05
Written by Jaime Elliott
Get ready for a night of music, dance and song as the teachers at St. John School of the Arts take the stage on Tuesday evening, April 15, at 7:30 p.m.
The SJSA Faculty Concert is sure to impress and entertain with instructors showcasing their guitar, steel pan, piano, flute, spoken word, drumming, violin, singing and dancing skills and more.
The evening will feature the talented Eddie Bruce, Jude Woodcock, Shikima Jones, Karen Samuel, Kim Sammartano, Mike Sorzano, Drapes Jensen, Alesia Georgiou, Luba Dolgpolsky, Jeune Provost, Abigail Rene, Kazumi Schaub and Kim Wild with special guests.
Anyone who attended last year’s SJSA Faculty concert will recall a night of high energy and inspiring performances with one highlight being Shikima Jones’ bring-down-the-house rendition of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary,” with Wild and Woodcock shimmying as back-up dancers.
The trio will be back again this year with Jones singing an Aretha Franklin number sure to get the crowd going once again.
Last year’s faculty concert was sold out so residents are encouraged to get their tickets early, explained SJSA Executive Director Kim Wild.
“We had a full house last year so people should get their tickets early,” said Wild.
Parents of SJSA students are encouraged to attend the faculty concert and bring along their children who will gain free admittance, Wild added.
“We have 10 free student seats for a child who comes with a paying adult,” she said. “It would be great if some parents came out to see their children’s teachers.”
The number of teachers — many of whom work at SJSA part time — who are taking part in the concert is a testament to the faculty’s dedication to providing arts education to St. John students, Wild explained.
Read more: SJSA Faculty Concert on April 15 Promises To Be Night To Remember
Created on Sunday, 13 April 2014 05:57
Written by Jaime Elliott
Views abound, below, at V.I. Friendship Villa perched on Great Cruz Bay, above.
Folding glass windows to bring the outdoors inside.
With its very own bulkhead sandy “beach” area, you’ll surely find it difficult to tear yourself away from the breath-taking views at V.I. Friendship Villa.
This six bedroom, six a half bathroom, Great Cruz Bay home offers the best of Caribbean living and is for sale for $4.9 million, explained Holiday Homes of St. John sales associate Abigail Schnell O’Connell.
“All the key elements of a superb vacation villa can be found at VI Friendship Villa,” said O’Connell.
The home is nestled on a 0.86-acre lot on a hillside overlooking Great Cruz Bay and is just a few minutes outside of Cruz Bay. The alabaster beaches of the island’s North Shore are only a short drive away as well.
The infinity pool and hot tub, above, is adjacent to the dining and TV room, below.
Read more: Enjoy Luxurious Living with Nautical Flair at V.I. Friendship Villa