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Created on Thursday, 20 June 2013 04:09
Written by Jaime Elliott
The island’s lone road connecting Coral Bay and Cruz Bay continues to degrade and erode.
As a section of heavily damaged Centerline Road continued to worsen last week, residents, not satisfied with promises from government officials, called for immediate action.
A portion of Centerline Road located near the Upper Carolina subdivision turnoff was first undermined during heavy rains in October 2010. Since then, the road has continued to degrade with a mid-May rainfall sending a large portion of the asphalt tumbling over the hillside. That latest damage left only one lane passable in the area, which affords only limited visibility.
Centerline Road is the sole paved access road into and out of the Coral Bay area, which means that all traffic — school buses, commuters, VITRAN buses, concrete trucks, delivery vehicles, tourists and more — passing between the growing town of Coral Bay and Cruz Bay drives over the continually crumbling section of the road.
Almost three years later, the only action taken by government officials to fix the road so far has been to place orange cones and barriers in the area. Following the May damage, DPW borrowed signs and a solar-powered flashing light warning of the upcoming single lane from V.I. National Park.
The delay in repairing the roadbed has been blamed by government officials on the tedious process of applying for funds from the Federal Highway Administration. This portion of Centerline Road is one of three areas of the roadway and a section of Fish Bay Road which are all considered by DPW to be part of the one project seeking funds from FHA
Finally, last week the federal agency approved DPW’s project application.
DPW was set to advertise for bids on Monday, June 17, for the project and hoped to pick a contractor by July with work projected to begin in September. Engineers surveyed the damaged area last week and plan to stabilize the damage section of roadway as the first phase of construction, DPW Commissioner Smalls explained in a prepared statement from Government House.
“We recognize this road poses a serious concern to the motoring public on St. John,” Smalls said in the release. “We recognize the critical nature of this road and we are going to be doing everything within our powers and resources to implement the necessary safety measures to alleviate the concerns and fears of St. John motorists.”
Read more: DPW Issues Bids for Centerline Road, But Residents Want Action Now
Created on Wednesday, 19 June 2013 15:04
Written by Malik Stevens
Left to Right: Valedictorian Careem Albert, Kwasi Browne, Salutatorian Nicole Morrisette, Weston Patrie, CJ Scatliffe, Mariah Scheer, Kelvin Small Jr. and Maggie Wessinger.
Trayser Field was filled Thursday evening, June 13, as teachers, family, friends, alumni and supporters gathered together at Gifft Hill School for its 11th commencement ceremony.
Eight students were celebrated and given diplomas, “marking an end to a chapter in their lives and the beginning to another,” as class Valedictorian Careem Albert said.
Careem, who is heading off to attend Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, was joined by class Salutatorian Nicole Morrisette, who will be attending the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Rounding out the class were Kwasi Browne, Weston Patrie, CJ Scatliffe, Mariah Scheer, Kelvin Small Jr. and Maggie Wessinger, all of whom will be attending various colleges in the fall.
The ceremony was kicked off with Pomp and Circumstance played by the Love City Pan Dragons while the young graduates marched onto the field carrying white flowers in their hands, which they carried to honor their former classmate Nekwan Sprauve who passed away during their 9th grade year.
Welcoming remarks were given by GHS Head of School Judy Chamberlain, right before keynote speaker, LaVaughn Belle, was introduced by her good friend and school supporter Janet Cook-Rutnik.
Upon taken the stage Belle, who is an artist, teacher and activist, said that she was honored to have been invited to take part in the ceremony. Despite her excitement Belle was also a bit nervous, she explained.
“What do I say to inspire you guys, to be charming but meaningful at the same time,” Belle asked herself.
Although she was battling nerves, her words were indeed moving and inspirational. Belle urged the graduates to find their calling in life; find something in life that makes them loose track of time; something that makes them forget to eat; something that makes sleep look like a distant stranger.
To bring her point home she used the example of a mango tree. Belle told the graduates to plant their seeds now and to nurture them.
“Plant your seeds in the sun, not in the shade like many do out of fear and watch in grow,” she said.
Read more: Eight Graduate in GHS Class of 2013
Created on Tuesday, 18 June 2013 04:18
Written by Jaime Elliott
It’s time to celebrate! The 2013 St. John Festival is in high gear already and some of the most popular events are right around the corner.
This year’s theme, “Come and Explore the Cultural Scene for Festival 2013,” is an apt invitation for everyone to come out and enjoy the food, music and entertainment on tap in Cruz Bay all month long, leading up to the big parade on Thursday, July 4.
Pan-o-Rama got the festivities underway on Saturday, June 1, in Winston Wells ball field when pan groups from across St. Thomas joined the renowned Love City Pan Dragons for an evening of electrifying music.
This past weekend saw action for both the young and young at heart. Senior citizens strutted their stuff on stage at the Winston Wells ball field on Friday, June 14, during the Senior Variety Show which honored Alice O’Conner.
St. John cyclists hit the hills on Saturday morning, June 15, for Festival Bike Race which kicked off at 8 a.m. at the V.I. National Park ball field.
On Sunday, June 16, five lovely young ladies were set to dazzle the audience during the St. John Festival Princess Show at Winston Wells ball field. Eight-year-old Shaquilla Lewis, a second-grader at Jane E. Tuitt School; nine-year-old K’Lah Jacobs, a Guy Benjamin School fourth-grader; 11-year-old GBS fifth-grader Liliana Farrell, 10-year-old Cha’de Rhymer Brumant, a fifth-grader at Ulla Muller School; and Faith Marie Sweeney a nine-year-old Ulla Muller fourth grader were sure to sing, dance and show off their impressive talents to the huge crowd. (See next week’s St. John Tradewinds for photos and a full story on the St. John Festival Princess Selection Show.)
Read more: Come Explore the Cultural Scene for Festival 2013
Created on Monday, 17 June 2013 11:07
Written by Jaime Elliott
Governor John deJongh, Lt. Governor Gregory Francis, Theodora Moorehead pose with government officials and Moorehead family members on Monday, June 10, at the official grand opening ceremony & dedication ceremony of the enighed pond marine facility.
The sound of the conch shell echoed over the water as the Mr. B chugged into the Enighed Pond barge facility on Monday morning, June 10.
Emmanuel “Mano” Boyd, on conch, and Shikima Jones, singing both the U.S. and V.I. anthems, helped kick off the official grand opening and dedication ceremony of the Theovald E. Moorehead Marine Facility Administrative Building.
A crowd of about 80 people, including Moorehead family members, some of the late entrepreneur and senator’s prodigies and the territory’s top brass gathered under a few tents at the new facility on Monday morning to officially wrap up the final phase of the decade-long project of moving barge traffic from the Cruz Bay Creek to Enighed Pond.
“It’s almost hard to remember how chaotic it was in downtown Cruz Bay when the barges would load and unload,” said Senator at Large Craig Barshinger, one of several legislators who attended last week’s ceremony.
Construction symbolically kicked off in June 2003 with a groundbreaking ceremony. After extensive environmental work, construction of the cargo port continued through 2006. The facility officially opened to cargo traffic in April 2006 and construction of the administrative building, the final phase of the project, began in 2012.
It is fitting that the new administrative building — which will handle all cargo traffic entering the island and includes modern office space and public restrooms — is named after one of the true pioneers of St. John.
Moorehead, the second St. Johnian ever elected to the V.I. Legislature, served his island from 1956 through 1971. A U.S. Army veteran, for which he served 11 years, Moorehead opened Mooie’s in downtown Cruz Bay in 1956 and launched Moorehead Real Estate in 1966. In 1970, he founded Moore’s Corporation, serving as president and was instrumental to the economic growth of St. John.
Not long after the establishment of the V.I. National Park, Moorehead led a protest against the Department of Interior’s proposal to acquire privately owned property within park boundaries by condemnation. Moorehead both spearheaded a petition and traveled to Washington, D.C. to lobby U.S. Congress to squash the proposed amendment.
Moorehead also had the vision to foresee an active future for what was a quiet, sleepy island during his day.
“This port represents the fulfillment of a 30-year-old dream,” said Barshinger. “Theovald Moorehead had the vision that St. John would grow and grow it did.”
Read more: Enighed Pond Marine Facility Administrative Building Officially Named in Honor of Theovald Eric...
Created on Sunday, 16 June 2013 04:08
Written by Jaime Elliott
The entrance to Wild Jasmine, above left. Relax by the pool and soak up expansive water views, above right.
Nestled in the serene area of East End, St. John, Wild Jasmine affords the utmost in privacy and laid-back Caribbean living.
This five bedroom, five bath villa is for sale for $1.1 million, explained Islandia Real Estate broker associate Karye Carney.
Soak up sweeping views of Coral Bay harbor from Wild Jasmine, located in the upscale subdivision of Privateer Bay Estates. Lounging on the expansive decks, the hustle and bustle of Cruz Bay will feel a world away. But the funky town of Coral Bay with its charming restaurants and shops is only about 10 minutes away.
“The villa’s pristine East End location with deeded access to two beaches, paved roads, underground utilities and exclusive owner use of the rustic but delightful Privateer Bay Beach cottages located directly on the sandy waterfront makes Wild Jasmine special,” Carney said.
Amenities at Wild Jasmine include underground utilities, paved roads, deeded access to two private beaches and owner use of rustic beach cottages at Privateer Bay.
The villa is laid out in two separate buildings, centered around a central pool and sun deck with lush landscaping and towering palm trees, explained Carney.
“The best feature of the property is privacy,” said the Islandia Real Estate broker owner. “With two separate living buildings, Wild Jasmine is idea for two families with kids. Both buildings have stairs leading to a central pool and sun deck surrounding by palm trees.”
The two units at Wild Jasmine include five bedroom suites, one kitchen, two living areas and an office. The Caribbean charm of Wild Jasmine includes tiled floors throughout both buildings and pops of bright color on the walls.
Inside the south building find an open and airy great room with an exposed beam ceiling and beautiful sets of hard wood doors which open to the breeze and view. The kitchen, with hardwood cabinets and plenty of counter space, will have you whipping up gourmet meals at home.
The north building boasts its own spacious deck, open living area and wet bar. The bedrooms are spread out of two floors over the two buildings.
If you’re looking for a true Caribbean sanctuary nestled in a pristine area, don’t miss the chance to call Wild Jasmine home.
“Anyone seeking a home with a casual, open air connection with the natural surroundings will love Wild Jasmine,” said Carey.
For more information call Islandia Real Estate broker associate Carey at (340) 513-1960.
Created on Saturday, 15 June 2013 04:05
Written by Jaime Elliott
It’s that time of year again.
June 1 marked the official start of the 2013 Hurricane Season and forecasters are calling for an active six months before the season officially ends on November 30.
Philip Klotzbatch and William Gray of Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project, which has been issuing hurricane predications for the past 30 years, are calling for 18 named storms, nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes of category three or higher this year, according to the group’s Extended Range 2013 Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Forecast, issued on Monday, June 3.
Klotzbatch and Gray’s June 3 forecast predicted the same number of storms which the two called for in the group’s first report issued in April.
The predictions are above average than the median determined from 1981 through 2010, according to the Klotzbatch and Gray forecast.
“Information obtained through May 2013 indicates that the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season will have more activity than the median 1981-2010 season,” according to the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project forecast. “We estimate that 2013 will have about nine hurricanes (median is 6.5), 18 named storms (median is 12.0), 95 named storm days (median is 60.1), 40 hurricane days (median is 21.3), four major (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes (median is 2.0) and nine major hurricane days (median is 3.9).”
The lack of an El Nino event, which helps to inhibit hurricane formation, and high sea surface temperatures, which contribute to hurricane formation, point to an abundance of activity this year, according to Klotzbatch and Gray.
“We continue to foresee a very active 2013 Atlantic hurricane season,” according to the CSU Tropical Meteorology Project forecast. “We anticipate an above-average Atlantic basin hurricane season due to the combination of an anomalously warm tropical Atlantic and a relatively low likelihood of El Niño. Overall, we are predicting a very active season for the Atlantic basin in 2013.”
2013 Hurricane Names
Read more: Forecasters Call for “Very Active” 2013 Hurricane Season