Taxi costs going up

The island’s taxis were expected to be given approval to impose a $1 a person surcharge because of rising gasoline prices.  Andy Rutnik, commissioner of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, approved an increase of as much as $2.  It will be in force for three months, and then subject to review by the Department.

Hurricane Hole refuge registration

The National Park Service is accepting reservations for protection in Hurricane Hole during storms on a first-come-first-serve basis this weekend. Vessel owners must fill out forms for the free refuge permits at the Park’s maintenance facility, which is located just past Mongoose Junction on the North Shore Road. There is a storm chain at Hurricane Hole which can accommodate up to 60-foot boats. Hurricane season began Wednesday, June 1.

Maho-to-Hawksnest swim events attract 125

Powerswim2005Virgin Islands national team swimmers were the top three finishers in last weekend’s Beach to Beach Power Swim sponsored by the Friends of the Virgin islands National Park. Kieran Locke, 21, of St. Croix completed the 3 1/2 mile course from Maho Bay to Hawksnest along the north shore beaches in 1:11:42, well below last year’s winning time of 1:21:15. Other national team swimmers placing second and third were Josh Laban and Morgan Locke, both of St. Croix.  (Click onthe photo to see a larger picture.)

The Long Course-female race was won by Kathleen Laseter of St. John with a time of 1:44:15. The awards ceremony and barbecue at Oppenheimer Beach was hosted by Skinny Legs’ restaurant and owner Mo Chabuz. Funds raised by the event will help support the Park Service’s Learn to Swim program and the REEF Fish Count.

TV time for St. John

TwosomeLooks like the island is going to see some video crews this summer and get some more national exposure in November.  Thanks to Kenny Chesney.  Again. Billboard Magazine reports the entertainer of the year will appear in his first network special on ABC-TV the day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 23.  The one-hour "Kenny Chesney: Somewhere in the Sun" will include tracks from his concerts as we;; as "moments shot both on the road and at his home in the Caribbean."  Several unnamed celebrity friends, and even Mrs. C., are expected to make cameos in the show.

Chesney dinner puts restaurant on the map

The restaurant where Renee and Kenny had a wedding-eve dinner for friends and family has become a hot spot.  Smack in the heart of Cruz Bay, across from Joe’s and next to the Post Office, the relatively new Rhumb Lines has been mentioned in Star and People magazines, according to the Virgin Islands Daily News.  Thai fusion was the theme of the dinner and included pupu platters and samosas.  Jerome O’Connell, who owns Rhumb Lines, told the paper many customers have asked him about the event, and he is happy to tell them. Play your cards right, and he’ll even point out the table the happy couple shared.

It’s turtle time!

It’s turtle nesting season on the island.  Rafe Boulon, chief of resource management for the V.I. National Park, advises that if you see turtles nesting or hatching, leave them alone and turn off all distracting lights.  Most of the nesting activity occurs after dusk.  Also, don’t disturb the beach because the nests are not deep in the sand.