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Created on Saturday, 18 May 2013 04:06
Written by Tradewinds Report
Steve Simonsen congratulates GHS student John Spinale on being awarded the first annual visual arts scholarship.
On Thursday morning, May 9, Gifft Hill School headmistress Judy Chamberlian awarded the first ever Steve Simonsen Visual Arts Scholarship at the school’s Upper Campus.
The scholarship honors the long-time St. John artist and GHS teacher Simonsen, while recognizing a student who has demonstrated a commitment to, and excellence in, the area of visual arts, explained Chamberlain.
The award was given to John Spinale, for using his gifts to enrich the arts programs of GHS.
“For the past three years, Spinale has impressed us with his creativity and professionalism,” said the GHS head. “He has created videos celebrating a variety of GHS programs and dedicated untold hours in service to the school helping produce fundraising videos. He has become the unofficial go-to resource for teachers needing help with video projects and is always generous with his time and expertise.”
Created on Friday, 17 May 2013 04:05
Written by Jaime Elliott
Now in its third year, Sisterhood Agenda will implement “SHE: Sisters Healthy and Empowered,” in celebration of National Women’s Health Week on Friday, May 17, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Franklin Powell Park in Cruz Bay.
Sharing space with VITEMA’s outreach event during the day, Sisterhood Agenda will provide SHE activities, health information, and coordinate fitness demonstrations for residents in the Cruz Bay park.
Health issues such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, stroke and heart disease are familiar concerns for St. John residents, explained Sisterhood Agenda president Angela Coleman.
“This is a fun event, but one that also has a purpose,” said Coleman. “We can be healthy and empowered by making good choices.”
Created on Thursday, 16 May 2013 04:02
Written by Jaime Elliott
Angie Smith, owner of VIVA! Villas and now Sunshine Jeep Rental, poses with a few of the company’s new vehicles.
When Angie Smith ran into trouble hunting down Jeep rentals for her villa clients, she decided to open her own rental business.
With little to no parking on St. John, however, the V.I. government had stopped issuing rental license plates for new agencies.
Not one to take no for an answer, Smith, who owns VIVA! Villas, kept her dream alive, filing applications each year.
That was a decade ago and Smith, with her recently issued business license in hand, has opened the island’s newest Jeep rental — Sunshine Jeep Rental.
“With the villa rentals we also book activities and Jeep rentals for our customers and we just found that we weren’t always able to locate vehicles,” said Smith. “We wanted to keep the business on St. John and we found there was a need for another rental agency on the island. So about 10 years we put in for a Jeep rental license plate request.”
“At that time the government was not issuing any Jeep rental plates due to the inadequate parking,” she said. “I basically stalked them. Every year I wrote a letter to the director of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.”
“Finally with the new parking lot, I put more pressure on them and they finally issued more rental plates,” said Smith.
While Sunshine Jeep Rental, located across from the Islandia Building in Cruz Bay, mostly rents to VIVA! Villas customers, the company is open to the public, Smith explained.
Read more: VIVA! Villas Owner, Angie Smith, Opens Island’s Newest Jeep Rental
Created on Wednesday, 15 May 2013 04:00
Written by Jaime Elliott
Thanks to a collaborative effort by volunteer Burnell Shively, St. John graphic artist Kate Norfleet and board members, Coral Bay Community Council has a new, and its first, logo.
In lieu of its own identifying logo, CBCC officials just used the group’s name on its letterhead. Now, with a vibrant graphic in lush green and bright blue colors, CBCC’s logo depicts the recognizable shape of Coral Bay harbor surrounded by a heart.
“We didn’t have a logo before,” said CBCC President Sharon Coldren. “We just hadn’t invested the time and the effort to develop one. We got along with a letterhead and used ‘CBCC’ when we needed to.”
New part-time resident Shively decided that wasn’t quite enough, Coldren explained.
“Brunell, a new seasonal resident who is a graphic artist, volunteered to work on this for us with Kate [Norfleet],” Coldren said. “Kate has always been willing to help us, but she’s so busy and has limited time. With Brunell willing to put in the time needed for this and working with the CBCC board and Kate, it just all came together.”
The idea for the logo was inspired by CBCC’s “universal message,” Coldren added.
Read more: Coral Bay Community Council’s New Logo Shares Love for the Land
Created on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 04:43
Written by Bob Malacarne
On Tuesday, May 7, St. John became the first island in the Caribbean to have an Oxygen Generator Systems Inc oxygen generator.
With a way now to produce its own oxygen, that means no more trips to St. Thomas or St. Croix to purchase oxygen for the island’s emergency services agencies.
Service manager Mary Grace Keenan, from the manufacturer Oxygen Generator Systems Inc, traveled from New York to install the generator and to train St. John Rescue members in its use and maintenance.
The oxygen generator was purchased for $60,000 through donations by private benefactors and through the efforts of the Rotary Club of St. John, the Rotary Club of Buckhannon, West Virginia, Rotary e Club of Puerto Rico, The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International and Rotary Districts 7020, 6530 and 7000.
Now St. John EMS, Fire Service, National Park Service, and, of course, St. John Rescue have access to an unlimited supply of oxygen right here on St. John.
Members of St. John Rescue will be trained and will then establish a schedule for the filling of oxygen bottles during the week.
Having medical grade oxygen available on St. John will save time and money for all agencies.
St. John Rescue members are proud to be serving the community by providing the best possible life saving services to residents and visitors.
Of course the group is always in need of donations to help ensure that St. John Rescue can keep providing emergency medical services. Please consider a donation or consider joining the dynamic organization.
For more information check out www.stjohnrescue.org.
Created on Monday, 13 May 2013 04:29
Written by Chuck Pishko
Dr. Roy M. Schneider, Commissioner of Health and our beloved Miss Myrah Keating-Smith at the Clinic dedication ceremony 30 years ago. Notice who’s holding on to the chair. Photo Courtesy of Andromeada Childs
On Thursday, May 16, Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center on St. John will celebrate 30 years!
This is a real milestone for St. John because of the clinic’s professionalism and medical service to all St. John residents. More so, MKSCHC is now affectionately called “The Clinic.”
Health care here had always been a major concern on the island. Historically cholera and typhoid fever epidemics raged in the 1800s. Dr. Hans Hornbeck spent seven years as District Physician of St. John (1825 – 1832). He was then appointed as the King’s Physician for St. Thomas.
Intermittent medical services were offered after that until the government instituted the island Administrator-Physician position which was adopted in 1909. Unfortunately, the official government involvement didn’t solve all the problems.
A long-time Cruz Bay resident, Benjamin T. Rhoades, wrote a letter to his daughter on October 20, 1935 stating “but the Commissioner (Dr. Arthur I Edison) here made some kind of break nearly causing a riot so has got himself disliked by some of the natives. The people in Cruz Bay held a party and dance the other night; of course they made considerable noise and they kept such affairs up until daybreak. The Commissioner sat up with this gun handy. I believe your brother lives in Maywood; the Commissioner and wife came from there. Wonder if he (your brother) is acquainted with him. A.I. Edison, M.D. also kept a drugstore. Don’t think if there should be an uprising, we would be disturbed.”
Interesting times but not for doctoring. Dr. Edison did establish a seven bed emergency room. Also, the old Customs House became a maternity clinic.
Shortly arrived on the medical scene was Miss Myrah Keating-Smith. She was professionally trained at Tuskegee Institute and the John Albion Andrew Memorial Hospital, School of Nursing in the United States and after a two year orientation with Dr. Knud-Hansen of St. Thomas, began her long and successful medical career on St. John.
Nurse Myrah successfully delivered more than 500 children in her midwifery career. She was well-received island-wide by everyone who appreciated her medical skills and the peace and solace that she displayed. They often commented, “If Miss Myrah is here all will be well.”
She was humble and knew to “give God the praise and glory.” Nurse Myrah and her twin sister, Meada, worked in tandem with God’s help to maintain the health of all St. Johnians. Miss Myrah would tend their ills while Miss Meada would make sure that they had nourishing food and a healthy lifestyle.
Nineteen years ago Miss Myrah went to her just reward and her monument on the hill continues to grow in the level and quality of medical services offered; a fitting memorial for a true St. John medical pioneer.