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.

a poem

lament

the air is different now
even at six am the back hoes clatter on the hillsides
chunking away at the earth with voracious steel jaws
as if they want to devour everything in sight
even at nine pm the cement trucks roll in the dark
pouring, pouring, pouring
filling up the soft green spaces with their concrete cargo
the night breezes at catherinberg are hollow now
as if the soul of the place has been choked
by the constant belching of suv’s

beneath the feet of strangers

the air is different now
i feel its hollow spaces everywhere

             

  Bev Melius
                Excerpted from the St. John Sun Times

Who is the condo developer?

The Washington Post reported that a St. Croix-based company, trading as Atlantic Northstar LLC, spent heavily, and unsuccessfully, to persuade the  District of Columbia’s city council to approve slot machine gambling in the nation’s capitol.  That is the same name of the company which is asking for permission to develop condos overlooking Rendezvous Bay.

Thye newspaper said "Atlantic Northstar … pumped nearly $300,000" into a political action committee to win approval for slots. "Atlantic Northstar directly paid dozens of D.C. residents hundreds of dollars for circulating petitions in December. The firm also delegated administrative tasks for the PAC to a variety of Scott employees in the Virgin Islands, among them Hoolae Paoa, a Hawaiian man who has a 21-year criminal history, including convictions for assault and felony theft," the Post reported ((http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A11195-2005Feb9?language=printer). 

There is, however, no confirmation the Rendezvous Bay-related Atlantic Northstar LLC  is the same as the St. Croix firm cited by the Post.