Jazz in the Moonlight

MoonlightThe fourth annual season of Jazz in the Moonlight concerts, produced by Steve Simon, kicks off Saturday at the Westin Resort. Trumpeter Eddie Russell and his band will be the featured performers.  Russell is a native Crucian and is known in the business as "the heart and soul of Caribbean Jazz."  St. Thomians can also easily attend the show by taking a special ferry from Red Hook direct to the Westin.  There’s more information on the Web site at jazzinthemoonlight.com.

Rotary fund raiser

St. John Rotary’s annual "Flavors" benefit was scheduled for last weekend at the Westin Resort.  A $100 ticket, payable at the door most likely, gave attendees the chance to rub shoulders with politicians, business people, a few vacationers, and lots of other nice people – as well as the chance to nibble at offerings from almost 20 of the island’s finest and most creative restaurants.  Rotary supports a number of good works including the Pan Dragons, the Virgin Islands Environmental Resource Station, and Kids and the Sea .  Music was provided by Cool Session Brass.

All clear on the beach

The Planning and Natural Resources Department says the waters of St. John are again safe for swimming.  New bacteria tests have found it’s OK to splash around in Hart Bay and Chocloate Hole, according to the St. John Source.  Runoff from the hills following Hurricane Jeanne was blamed for the bays’ pollution.

Real estate update

The real estate market continues to observe island time: a little gets done here, a little gets done there, but not much overall.  The latest Multiple Listing Service shows 43 residential properties, the same as two weeks ago. A $1.565 2-bedroom/2-bath with pool at Saunders Gut came off the MLS, while a $795,000 2-bedroom/1.5 bath, no pool property at St. Quaco and Zimmerman was added.

The Commercial Listings gained a property. Adding more focus on the growing commercial development of Coral Bay, the site of the old Pickles Deli, near the triangle turn, is being offered at $2.45 million.  "Use of the name not incl," according to the MLS.

In other categories, the inventory of land increased by five lots to 143. Condominium offerings, up 1 to 8, timeshares increased 10 to 93, and commercial/business properties now total 9.

Pressure on to ease threat to EDC

V.I. Republican Party leaders were reported on their way to Washington to consult with Bush administration officials on changes to the Economic Development Commission program.  New residency and source-of-income restrictions included in federal legislation threaten the $100 million dollars in revenue the territory receives from EDC companies, according to the Virgin Islands Daily News.  The rules go into effect next year.  The CEO of Bridge Capital, and a former U.S. attorney, told the paper the administration wants to be assured EDC tax breaks are given only to true Virgin Islands businesses, and that it is not costing the federal treasury money.  David Nissman said one strategy would be for the local government to prepare a local statute incorporating those kind of rules for the program.

Liquidation sale at Richard’s

RichardsgrillBilled as the island’s oldest (and only) steakhouse when it opened, Richard’s Grill on the second floor at the Marketplace has been closed for some time. Inventory from the restaurant, including wine, beer, liquor and restaurant-sized containers of food will go on sale Friday from 10:30am to 3pm.  Odds and ends like cheese boards wooden skewers will also be sold. "A good opportunity to stock up for the holidays," said Barbara Tyne, a spokesperson for the shopping center.  "There will be gifts for all who buy something significant and the goal is to sell it all," she added.