The Port Authority’s decision to limit cargo operations to St. John from St. Thomas could mean problems for merchants on the small island. While construction gets underway to build new docks and a covered waiting area for the Red Hook ferry, the Authority has decided no container longer than 20 feet can be transported across the sound. Larger, and more economical 40-foot containers will have to come from Crown Bay or perhaps a yet-to-be-determined alternate port. "It will cost a lot more money to ship that way," Alan Johnson, a business man told the St. John Source. "It will put St. John merchants at a disadvantage" because their transportation costs will be higher.
Meanwhile, the Enighed Pond commercial port project is still in limbo. Dale Gregory, the Authority’s director of engineering, said the port should now be finished by June. Meanwhile, efforts continue to figure out how, and where, to dispose of the material dredged from the Pond that is now piled up along the sides. He said the Authority has asked the Army Corp of Engineers for permission to "temporarily" dump the material back into the Pond, the Source reported.
The owner of St. John’s Texaco station thinks this could be the last year for the business at its current location. Former Sen. Robert O’Connor said that it’s long been known the Enighed Port project would create the need to reconfigure traffic patterns at the intersection of the lower road and Centerline, and that would spell the end of the station where it is. "Texaco wants to maintain a presence in St. John," O’Connor told the St. John Source, and he expects the station to move sometime this year.
Last week’s price cuts by Delta Airlines apparently won’t benefit Virgin Islands residents or vacationers. The new pricing, matched quickly by American and U.S. Airways on competitive routes, applys only to flights in the 48 states. A spokesman for Delta Airlines told the Virgin islands Daily News there are no plans to expanding its new price program to the VIs. Both American and U.S. Airways are already offering some limited price reductions to the Virgin Islands.
The pace of growth and development in Coral Bay has prompted its community association to produce a two-page brochure about the importance of protecting the environment. "Runoff, erosion, sedimentation and bad land use" threaten the area, according to the document, available online at http://www.coralbaycommunitycouncil.org/. The Coral Bay Community Council meeting will hear about the matter from volunteer vision coordinator Terry Mahr. The group’s president, Sharon Coldren, said she hopes the brochure will persuade land owners to insist "that builders follow good procedures" such as clearing only for the footprint of a house and preserving trees and leaving guts undisturbed.
A new restaurant is coming to the Marketplace, according to a news release from the shopping center that also said merchants plan a sales promotion for next Monday, Jan. 17, from 3 to 6 p.m. No details about the planned eatery were offered. The Richard’s Grill space on the second floor has been advertised for lease for several months.
A magician and balloon artist will be on hand for the Festival activities which will also feature games, entertainment and discounts. The Artists Association of St. John will offer watercolor painting instruction. And there will be free popcorn for all!
New businesses showing and selling include Bite, the men’s clothing store, Nest & Co., offering gifts for the home and body; St. John Cabinets and Interiors and St. John Executive Suites, temporary and virtual office services. And, the Marketplace says, there is a new restaurant "coming soon."
The five-year-old free monthly VI "Virgin Voice" has won a deal to be distributed at the Cruzan Rum tourist welcome booth at the St. Thomas Airport. The publication regularly includes feature stories about St. John. The Web site is VirginVoices.com.