Epiphany plans fund raiser

The Epiphany Theater Co. will stage its annual "fun raiser" August 26, 27 and 28 at the new community center at the just-opened Bellevue Village on Gifft Hill.  Auditions for the show, "Utter Nonsense" were scheduled this week, according to Carole DeSenne.  The show will include four comedies including one showing how a group of monkeys create Shakespeare’s works.      "It’s just fun. It’s good camaraderie and gives you something to do," said DeSenne.

Rendezvous Bay condos cut back

Late word from St. Thomas is that there will be a second public hearing on the request by Atlantic Northstar LLC to build condominiums overlooking Rendezvous and Fish Bays.  A representative of the developer told a Coral Bay Community Council Monday night that the project has been scaled down from 44 to 36 units.

The land is currently zoned to permit about 24 single family homes.  Word of the new hearing came on the heels of a petition drive by neighborhood residents and business owners protesting the project’s likely impact on the environment, runoff into the bays, and residential density.  One source reported 600 anti-signatures were collected while supporters of the developer were said to produce some 300 names.

Atlantic Northstar LLC is based in St Croix, where its interests include the gaming business and slot machines.  The company owns several properties on St. John, including a residence at Peter Bay, the Palm Plaza shopping center near the Westin resort, and a half-acre site on Lavender Hill overlooking Cruz Bay where it is developing 15 condominiums.  The $7 million condo project, to be known as The Lantern, will include a health spa, fitness center, motion studio and below-grade parking, according to a news release from the design company, William M. Karr and Associates.

Ferries checking IDs

In the wake of the terror attack in London, security precautions have been increased to require ferry passengers between St. John and St. Thomas to show identification. 

Both Transportation Services and Varlack Ventures are asking for IDs, the St. John Source reported. Some baggage being carried on the boats is also being screened, it was reported.   Barges between the two islands are not requiring IDs because they carry fewer than 150 passengers.

Mel Vanderpool, identified as the head of the Homeland Security Office in the VIs, said precautions are necessary because it is only a matter of when, not if, a terrorist act occurs.  "We already have terrorists living among us," he said, without offering details, the Source reported.

exhibit at Bajo el Sol

MoonovercruzSt. John’s world traveling/award winning photographer will be showcased all month at the Bajo el Sol gallery at Mongoose Junction.  The exhibit is called “Caribbean Essence” and includes Steve ‘s photos of the US Virgin Islands, as well as Nevis, the Dominican Republic, Grand Cayman, and other islands.  ’s latest book entirely focused on St John, “Living Art", has gone into a second printing.

4th of July Celebration a hit

Soca music, mocko jumbies, kids in costumes … just another 4th of July in Cruz Bay on St. John.  Hundreds of people wandered through the downtown streets, some sipping a tall cool one, others shading themselves in the bandstand, and most everyone smiling, according to an article in the Virgin Islands Daily News

The Celebration parade began at Noon, winding from Margherita Phil’s across from the barge dock, down to the ferry dock.  There were some 40 entrants.  Caneel Bay Resort again produced one of the most extravagant floats.  "Fish ‘n Paradise" featured about 40 employees and their children, dressed like fish and mermaids and sea urchins. The four hour party that followed featured entertainment from the Love City Pan Dragons, and the Caribbean Cultural Dancers. The traditional fireworks display over Cruz Bay was, in part, funded by the Westin Resort.

"Carnival to me is the parade when everybody comes out," St. John resident Jennifer Robinson told the St. John Source as she marched through the streets of Cruz Bay with the Middle Age Majorettes.

(This article contains links to photos on the Web sites of both the Virgin islands Daily News and the St. John Source.)

This just in …

Island source reports there have been 500 signatures collected in opposition to the Rendezvous condo project on top of Gifft Hill and Fish Bay.  "I don’t know what good they’re going to, however," he added.