Kenny and Renee say thanks

A week after the island’s biggest wedding in years, the St. John Times published a simple display ad.  “I’m pleased that the St. John community chose discretion  amid last week’s media chaos,” the announcement on page five read.

“Your actions kept this event private and for that we would like to express our deepest gratitude.  You all contribute to the remarkable atmosphere on St. John.”  The notice was signed, “K & R." 

The publisher of the Times confirmed the message was placed by Kenny Chesney and Renee Zelwegger, saying they appreciated the lack of news coverage of the event.

July 4th celebration begins

Seven steel orchestras rocked downtown Cruz Bay as a month of July 4th events began on island.  Steel pan players greeted arriving ferry passengers as well as locals who filled Cruz Bay Park for Pan-o-Rama 2005.

The event also offered locals and visitors the first chance to see the contestants vying for this year’s July 4h pageant titles of Miss St. John, St. John Junior Miss, and St. John Princess.  During breaks in the music, the contestants were introduced to the crowd.

Upcoming events:

June 17  Senior Variety Show at Winston Wells Ball Field
June18   Festival Bike race, National Park
                Festival Music Mix, Winston Wells Ball Field
June 19  Prince and Princess Selection, Winston Wells Ball Field

Governor OKs fuel efficient vehicle

It took a new law for Doug White, an architect and environmentally conscious citizen, to register his Low Speed Vehicle (LSV).  It is a four-wheel electric car which produces no emissions and is half the size of a regular car.  "I think this is great," White said after receiving his registration. Governor Charles Turnbull made registration legal when he approved a change in V.I. code to allow licensing of electric or solar vehicles which can travel at 20 miles an hour.  White had been trying to register his vehicle for five years.  Finally, after petitions from St. Johnians, a bill was introduced in the Senate to authorize LSVs.

Taxi costs going up

The island’s taxis were expected to be given approval to impose a $1 a person surcharge because of rising gasoline prices.  Andy Rutnik, commissioner of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, approved an increase of as much as $2.  It will be in force for three months, and then subject to review by the Department.

Hurricane Hole refuge registration

The National Park Service is accepting reservations for protection in Hurricane Hole during storms on a first-come-first-serve basis this weekend. Vessel owners must fill out forms for the free refuge permits at the Park’s maintenance facility, which is located just past Mongoose Junction on the North Shore Road. There is a storm chain at Hurricane Hole which can accommodate up to 60-foot boats. Hurricane season began Wednesday, June 1.

Maho-to-Hawksnest swim events attract 125

Powerswim2005Virgin Islands national team swimmers were the top three finishers in last weekend’s Beach to Beach Power Swim sponsored by the Friends of the Virgin islands National Park. Kieran Locke, 21, of St. Croix completed the 3 1/2 mile course from Maho Bay to Hawksnest along the north shore beaches in 1:11:42, well below last year’s winning time of 1:21:15. Other national team swimmers placing second and third were Josh Laban and Morgan Locke, both of St. Croix.  (Click onthe photo to see a larger picture.)

The Long Course-female race was won by Kathleen Laseter of St. John with a time of 1:44:15. The awards ceremony and barbecue at Oppenheimer Beach was hosted by Skinny Legs’ restaurant and owner Mo Chabuz. Funds raised by the event will help support the Park Service’s Learn to Swim program and the REEF Fish Count.