Under sunny skies with temperatures in the mid-80s, the ninth annual Ruby Rutnik Softball Tournament for girls’ high school teams was played this weekend on St. John. Friends and players’ parents were on hand in the bleachers at the Winston Wells Ballfield in Cruz Bay. The games began Friday night with the Antilles School, which Rutnik attended, beating Eudora Kean High School. Andy Rutnik, father of the daughter who died in an automobile accident almost a decade ago, credited the owner of Starfish Market for the tournament. "David Mugar said that it would be a good way to remember her," Rutnik said. Proceeds from sponsorships and donations help finance the Ruby Rutnik Scholarship Fund.
Robert Allen, the new Postmaster on St. Thomas, says things have gotten better since he arrived from New Jersey a month ago. "I have already had phone calls remarking on the improved service (on St. John)," he told the St. John Source. His claim was challenged by Cidney Hamling, owner of Connections. "In the past six months it has steadily gotten worse," she said. Priority mail is delivered after two or three weeks, and one Saturday two weeks ago, she said 10 mail bags and boxes arrived, containing December and January magazines.
Postmaster Allen, a 20 year veteran of the Postal Service, said he observed operations during his first three weeks. Now, he has developed recommendations and forwarded to his supervisor, on Puerto Rico. "The problem here is logistics," he said. St. Thomas district mail is routed through Jacksonville, Fla., then to Puerto Rico, and then to St. Thomas. However, it is not sorted on the big island, something Allen thinks should be done. "One sorting machine can do the work of 100 individuals," he told the Source.
The three-day 9th Annual Ruby Rutnik Memorial Softball Tournament will be played beginning Friday, April 8. Proceeds from sponsorships of innings and T-shirt sales go to fund annual $2,500 scholarships awarded to four college-bound Virgin Islands girls. Since 1997, there have been 17 such awards. The games feature competition between girls’ softball teams from the islands. They are in memory of Ruby Rutnik, a daughter of St. John’s Janet Cook and Andy Rutnik who was killed in an automobile accident while she was attention American University in Washington, DC.
Workshops on how to care for orchids and controlling pests in the garden will be highlight of the first annual St. John Flower and Garden Show, Saturday, April 16th at the Marketplace. Along with the classes and exhibits, at least half a dozen florists and landscapers will be "showing and selling," including St. John’s Alfredo’s Nursery, Coral Bay Garden Center, and Today’s Flowers. They will be displaying varieties of plants, herbs, palms, bougainvilleas, ferns, cactus, vegetables and fruit trees. Three St. Thomas-based plant businesses will also exhibit, and a botanical group form St. Croix is planning to attend, according to Jennifer Dale, general manager of the shopping center. "I can’t believe the excitement that has been generated by putting up just one banner," she said.
The 3rd annual St. John Blues Festival showcasing women blues artists continues through Easter Sunday, Organized by St. John’s Steve Simon, Coral Bay saw the kickoff of the five day events with an opening party at Island Blues, followed Thursday night by a party at Mongoose Junction. Weekend events include a blues parties at Shipwreck Landing and Skinny Legs in Coral Bay. The big Festival concert is set for Saturday night at the ball field in Coral Bay. Performers include Shemekia Copeland, Renee Austin and the Nectar Blues Band. Sponsors include Theodore Tunick & Co., Coors Light and Jolly Dog Trading Co.
“It is an honor to welcome all these renowned Blues artists to the United States Virgin Islands for this internationally acclaimed event,” said Tourism Commissioner Pamela Richards said. “It is wonderful that each year The St. John Blues Festival has helped to support the quality of life in our islands by providing scholarships for our children as well as this year providing support for woman in need through St. John’s Safety Zone.”
"On Good Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Virgin Islands is supposed to be dry," said police department spokesman Thomas Hannah. "For seven hours, we want everyone to refrain from drinking alcohol," he said, the Virgin islands Daily News reported.
Good Friday is the only day alcohol sales are restricted by the V.I. Code, whether it’s in restaurants, bars, or across the store counter. Hannah said the territory’s law has no authority over individuals drinking.
The Easter holiday extends through Monday on the island. All local government agencies and schools will be closed, as will be the telephone and cable company offices. Most retailers will be open during the weekend and Monday.