Merry Christmas!

Ornament_1This is an ornament that adorns the Virgin Islands’ Christmas Tree on the ellipse between the White House and the Washington Monument.  The island’s tree, like those of the 50 states, DC and four other territories are each about four-feet high.  It is sponsored by the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce.

The exhibit is called the Pageant of Peace.

A real estate glut?

Forsale The number of houses listed for sale on the islands’ Multiple Listing Service increased at a pace of more than one a day in the last week.  As of Wednesday evening, it stood at 61.  Real estate sales people concede that while inventory is now 70 percent greater than it was a year ago, this is not a sign of impending weakness in the market.

"Our customers come from markets where they looked at dozens of choices before deciding on their last house purchase," said Mike McLaughlin, broker associate at Town and Country Real Estate. "The math is simple; more inventory = confident buyers = happy sellers."

The market is certainly still active.  I’m aware of a $1 million-plus, frame property, which has just been sold, after less than three weeks on the market.

Vote for the best bar and restaurant

Restaurant Real simple.  Use the Comments link below to nominate your St. John favorite.  The winners will get free ads on News of St. John, and we’ll do interviews with the owners. 

Tell us your picks for post-beach limin’, best meal value, and most fun place.

How to do some good

Here are some of the island’s community organizations and activities that we support.  Your holiday contributions will be welcomed.

Park ‘Friends’ seminars set

Friendsvinp The Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park organize dozens of fascinating workshops and activities during the winter season.  Upcoming events will feature author and photojournalist Cristina Kessler showing how to write a nature journal (Jan. 15), linguist Elroy Sprauve explaining interest patterns and expressions and the history of language on St. John (Jan. 22), and professional photographer Steve (buy his book!) on how to use your camera to make underwater photos (Jan., 22).  Session fees are $25-$70 for non-members of the Friends.  Call 340-779-4940 to register.

VI legislature to be Webcast

A non-commercial radio station, WIUJ (102.9FM) plans to broadcast sessions of the Senate on the Internet.  "The whole world will be able to hear what’s going on," Leo Morone, the station general manager told the St. John Source.  Live streaming of legislative hearings and meetings will begin next month, he said.  The Web site is www.wiuj.com.