4th of July Celebration a hit

Soca music, mocko jumbies, kids in costumes … just another 4th of July in Cruz Bay on St. John.  Hundreds of people wandered through the downtown streets, some sipping a tall cool one, others shading themselves in the bandstand, and most everyone smiling, according to an article in the Virgin Islands Daily News

The Celebration parade began at Noon, winding from Margherita Phil’s across from the barge dock, down to the ferry dock.  There were some 40 entrants.  Caneel Bay Resort again produced one of the most extravagant floats.  "Fish ‘n Paradise" featured about 40 employees and their children, dressed like fish and mermaids and sea urchins. The four hour party that followed featured entertainment from the Love City Pan Dragons, and the Caribbean Cultural Dancers. The traditional fireworks display over Cruz Bay was, in part, funded by the Westin Resort.

"Carnival to me is the parade when everybody comes out," St. John resident Jennifer Robinson told the St. John Source as she marched through the streets of Cruz Bay with the Middle Age Majorettes.

(This article contains links to photos on the Web sites of both the Virgin islands Daily News and the St. John Source.)

This just in …

Island source reports there have been 500 signatures collected in opposition to the Rendezvous condo project on top of Gifft Hill and Fish Bay.  "I don’t know what good they’re going to, however," he added.

a poem


the air is different now
even at six am the back hoes clatter on the hillsides
chunking away at the earth with voracious steel jaws
as if they want to devour everything in sight
even at nine pm the cement trucks roll in the dark
pouring, pouring, pouring
filling up the soft green spaces with their concrete cargo
the night breezes at catherinberg are hollow now
as if the soul of the place has been choked
by the constant belching of suv’s

beneath the feet of strangers

the air is different now
i feel its hollow spaces everywhere


  Bev Melius
                Excerpted from the St. John Sun Times

Who is the condo developer?

The Washington Post reported that a St. Croix-based company, trading as Atlantic Northstar LLC, spent heavily, and unsuccessfully, to persuade the  District of Columbia’s city council to approve slot machine gambling in the nation’s capitol.  That is the same name of the company which is asking for permission to develop condos overlooking Rendezvous Bay.

Thye newspaper said "Atlantic Northstar … pumped nearly $300,000" into a political action committee to win approval for slots. "Atlantic Northstar directly paid dozens of D.C. residents hundreds of dollars for circulating petitions in December. The firm also delegated administrative tasks for the PAC to a variety of Scott employees in the Virgin Islands, among them Hoolae Paoa, a Hawaiian man who has a 21-year criminal history, including convictions for assault and felony theft," the Post reported ((http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A11195-2005Feb9?language=printer). 

There is, however, no confirmation the Rendezvous Bay-related Atlantic Northstar LLC  is the same as the St. Croix firm cited by the Post.

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 Amazon.com, "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.