The owner of a construction company expects the island construction boom to last as long as 15 years. David Holzman told the St. John Source "hundreds if not thousands" of houses will be built and, "That’s a lot of noise for a long time."
Much of the work will occur where there is the least development, the East End and Coral Bay, where Privateer Bay and Dreekets Bay projects are underway. A new development at Point Rendezvous is also planned. Holzman said there are about 200 houses now being built on the island. Construction traffic is so heavy, again in the Coral Bay area where there is little infrastructure, damage to roads has become common. Concrete spills on the roadways are part of the causes of problems. The crush of work also is felt in Cruz Bay, especially at the end of the day. Workers crowd the ferries to St Thomas and construction vehicles can be backed up waiting to use the barge services.
The accident which killed a seven year old Sprauve School pupil last month has prompted action by St. John Rotary’s members. Some of are working create a school safety patrol program which would involve students in assuring their safety while crossing streets. John Fuller, a former president of the local Rotary, disclosed talk about the safety patrol project at a meeting last week which was addressed by a coordinator from Rotary Foundation. John Smarge told the meeting it’s his job to help members get funds and support from the Foundation for local projects, the St. John Source reported.
V.I. Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen will keynote this year’s annual meeting of the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park. Annual reports will also be offered by Park Supt. Art Frederick and Friends’ president Joe Kessler.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at its usual place, T’ree Lizards Restaurant at Cinnamon Bay Campground. On the agenda also is the nomination to the Friends board of directors of St. John residents Earl Thomas and Elsa Angel. They have been actively involved with the Friends’ Advisory Council.
For the next week or so, the V.I. Public Works Department is focused on getting rid of abandoned vehicles and discarded appliances on St. John. Commissioner Wayne Callwood said residents can prepare items for disposal by separating metal debris, and wood and plastic items. The collecting began in Coral Bay and targets different neighborhoods daily.
Sen. Craig Barshinger, a St. John resident and the newly-elected V.I. Senator at Large attended opening sessions of the legislative body and introduced three proposals. They were a bill to combat sexual harassment, a proposal requiring cruise lines to have one of their ships call on St. Croix for every seven which visit St. Thomas or St. John, and a bill to memorialize the young boy who was killed near Sprauve School recently. It would prohibit truck deliveries from some areas during certain times of the day.
The annual V.I. Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count on St. John reported almost 40 percent more birds than during the previous year’s census. Laurel Brannick-Trager, the group’s president, said at least 1,650 birds from 60 species were identified by the 27 counters. In 2003, the count found 1,180 birds of 56 species. One probable reason the count was higher, she told the St. John Source, was the participation of more experienced birders. It has been almost 10 years since a major hurricane (Marilyn in 1995, and that has helped the birds survive and their habitats to be secure. A third of the birds counted, she said, were of the gray king species, but rare birds were also seen including the tricolored heron, the Sora Rail and the yellow rump warbler, Trager told the Source.