Student to map island’s cemeteries

Helen Blouet will spend her summer on St. John looking for grave sites, headstones, and cemeteries. The doctoral anthropology student at Syracuse Universitywill be undertaking research which is mostly underwritten by the Park, said Ken Wild, the Park’s archeologist in residence.  Eventually, she expects to take her work will take her to St. Thomas and St. Croix, the St. John Source reported.  So far, she has found three burial sites at Salt Pond, including coral headstones.  "The terrain was difficult (on St. John) so it was very practical to have your own cemetery on your own property," she said.  And since land changes hands often, it’s likely some cemeteries have members of several families, the Source article said.  Blouet will use global positioning system technology to map locations of her findings.

What’s bugging St. John?

WildlifeGail Karlsson, a St. John-based consultant for the United Nations, has authored a book about the island’s wildlife.  Available on, "The Wild Life in an Island House" examines the critters of the island, according to an article by the St. John Source.  Her book features bugs, scorpions, mosquitoes, and how the food chain works and the role of insects in it.  One example explains why, for instance a strong thunderstorm often precedes a rain of termites.

VI chefs among best in Caribbean

The USVI Culinary Team placed second in the Taste of the Caribbean competition in Miami, sponsored by the Caribbean Hotel association.  Among the team members was Douglas Simmonds, a chef specializing in ice carving and garde manger at The Westin Resort St. John.  The team won the silver award for a menu including braised tri tip beef with gingered pineapple pork sausage.  Ric Ade, executive chef at St. Thomas’ Bolongo Bay Beach resort, led the group. 

The USVI team also earned the award for the most innovative offering, according to the Virgin Islands Daily News.  The dish was St. Thomain Shrimp Trio, included Angostura bitters-marinated and grilled shrimp, roasted corn salsa, spiced shrimp johnny cake, avocado shrimp seviche and aioli made with  bitters, the newspaper reported.

Gold medals in the competition went to St. Martin and Puerto Rico. 

Red Hook parking lot closes

The V.I. Port Authority has closed the parking lot at the Red Hook barge and ferry dock.  The move is part of the development of a new $9.3 million Marine Terminal at the location.  Space is needed for construction equipment and supply storage, so the lot has been put off limits for parking.  Temporary lots have been set up at the relatively nearby Kean  High School and the National Park Service facility.  Shuttle service between the temporary lot and the Red Hook terminal will be $1 each way.

New road paving begins

The Public Works Department expects to have three projects underway this week.  The first will pave Route 20 from Mongoose Junction to the post office.  Other jobs this week will include putting dopwn blacktop from FirstBank to Enighed Lane and on Route 201, from the area of W&W Fast Food to the Texaco station intersection.

Rendezvous condo project draws anger

Vocal opponents are protesting plans for a proposed 10-building, 44-unit condominium project on 5.6 acres above Rendezvous Bay

Atlantic Northstar LLC, the developer, told a meeting of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, it wants a group dwelling permit.  The land is currently approved for construction of 38 units.  The company said a condo complex would be less damaging to the environment.

Locals and off-islanders have received e-mails from Gretchen Labrenz of Cruz Bay Realty soliciting letters of complaint and objection to the project be faxed to Ms. Marjorie Emanuel at DPNR.  And an "emergency meeting" was organized by Nanci Shekleton, urging Fish Bay, Rendezvous and Gifft Hill residents to organize and consider hiring an attorney to fight the project.

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During the DPNR public hearing Charles McCallion, a partner in Atlantic Northstar, said, "We are not here to damage your island; we are not here to create problems – we are here as businessmen to develop what we have acquired legally." St. John attorney Brion Morissette reportedly replied, "This will not benefit the community.  It will only serve to maximize the off-island developer’s profits."

Labrenz said she is encouraging people in opposition to the Northstar plan to fax letters to Marjorie Emanuel at the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, office at the Cyril King Airport Terminal on St. Thomas (340) 714-9534.  The deadline for the public to comment is July 8.