Great Cruz Bay’s S. Donald Sussman was among those quoted in a New York Times story about the Virgin Islands’ tax break designed to encourage new businesses to locate in the islands and hire employees. The Times reports federal agents have been questioning workers and neighbors about when the last time the owners were in residence. The newspaper reported the current IRS inquiry into the EDC program has allowed some island residents to “dodge an estimated $400 million in federal income taxes.”
Sussman, a successful hedge fund manager, has 10 people helping him manage money in an office on St. Thomas.
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The edge of Tropical Storm Jeanne passed to the south Tuesday night and Wednesday. The government is hoping to have schools reopen Monday. However, at least a few classrooms probably will still be closed while workers shovel mud and debris resulting from the torrents which rained down on the islands at mid-week. Department of Public Works crews have been attending to roads and downed trees.
The Commissioner of Tourism issued a statement saying the islands “remain open for business and continues to welcome visitors.” Cleanup efforts are expected complete by the weekend, said Pamela Richards. All airports, seaports and govern ment offices are open, she said.
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The V.I. National Park in St. John has dropped its admission charge at Trunk Bay for Saturday. It’s the Park’s way of observing a nationwide Public Lands Day. “It’s a good time to bring the family and enjoy the snorkel trail,” Beulah Dalmida-Smith, the Park’s spokeswoman, told the St. John Source. While children under 16 are always free at Trunk Bay, adults are charged $4. Dalmida-Smith said the Park has dropped its admission charge to visit the Annaberg Plantation. The money collected did not justify the cost of a fee collector, she said.
A pair of Virgin islands police officers, both of whom live on St. John, have been assigned duty five days a week in Coral Bay. The Department’s director of crime prevention activities, Kenneth Blake, told members of the Coral Bay Community Council that Alvin Wesselhoft of Coral Bay and Lorraine Sprauve of Cruz Bay will be on patrol Tuesday through Saturday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. They have been assigned the duty for almost two weeks, but “vehicle problems” prevented them from going on patrol, according to the St. John Source. In remarks, Blake blamed some of the recent crime problems on construction workers being paid low wages. He also encouraged Coral Bay businesses to install security cameras.
The United States Postal Service is soliciting formal proposals for a new main post office on the island. A formal request for submissions was published by the St. John Source. It invites developers to propose a building that is “approximately 5,100 square feet on a site of approximately 52,000 square feet” within an area bounded by North Shore Road, the 104 Junction, Centerline Road and Wharfside. That suggests there are no plans for a mid-island facility or Coral Bay substation. Acceptable proposals would include a long term lease, or a new building constructed to U.S. Postal Service specifications. Offers will be accepted until Oct. 22.
Unofficial results of Saturday’s primary voting show St. John resident Craig Barshinger with about 47 percent of the ballots to win the right to contest for the VI Senate’s At Large seat in the general election in November. His victory was a virtual landslide as his closest opponent garnered just 19 percent.
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