Vote for the best bar and restaurant

Restaurant Real simple.  Use the Comments link below to nominate your St. John favorite.  The winners will get free ads on News of St. John, and we’ll do interviews with the owners. 

Tell us your picks for post-beach limin’, best meal value, and most fun place.

How to do some good

Here are some of the island’s community organizations and activities that we support.  Your holiday contributions will be welcomed.

Park ‘Friends’ seminars set

Friendsvinp The Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park organize dozens of fascinating workshops and activities during the winter season.  Upcoming events will feature author and photojournalist Cristina Kessler showing how to write a nature journal (Jan. 15), linguist Elroy Sprauve explaining interest patterns and expressions and the history of language on St. John (Jan. 22), and professional photographer Steve (buy his book!) on how to use your camera to make underwater photos (Jan., 22).  Session fees are $25-$70 for non-members of the Friends.  Call 340-779-4940 to register.

VI legislature to be Webcast

A non-commercial radio station, WIUJ (102.9FM) plans to broadcast sessions of the Senate on the Internet.  "The whole world will be able to hear what’s going on," Leo Morone, the station general manager told the St. John Source.  Live streaming of legislative hearings and meetings will begin next month, he said.  The Web site is www.wiuj.com.

Inner Visions at Maho Jan. 3

The Inner Visions Reggae Band plans a number of appearances at Maho Bay this winter.  The first date for the just-returned-from-world-tour group is Monday, Jan. 3.  Details at www.maho.org/maho.htmlInner Visions also plans to return to its performing roots by playing at Fred’s in Cruz Bay Wednesday or Friday nights. Call 776-6363 to confirm the schedule.

Inner Visions also has a date for New Year’s Eve.  The band will perform at Foxy’s Famous Ole Year’s Party on Jost Van Dyke.  Details at www.foxysbar.com.

Changes rile local residents at meeting

Dozens of people who attended a meeting to talk about how St. John could affect a new VI Constitution ended up hearing complaints from native and Caribbean-born residents that they don’t have opportunities.

"The bottom line is we have some racial problems," Monique Matthias told the Island Council Planning Committee session at the Legislature building.  She and other locals complained that the Committee’s work was excluding them, and they didn’t like it, according to a report published by the St. John Source

Matthias said vacation villas include advertisements only for restaurants like the Lime Inn, owned by mainland transplants.  She claimed, "There’s no card for Uncle Joe’s Barbecue," a Cruz Bay eatery known and loved by locals as well as visitors. Grasshopper Pickering said locals can’t get jobs in restaurants and shops.  Another woman said that with commercial space rents going for thousands of dollars a month, she has no chance to sell baskets.

The Committee had hoped the meeting would generate information to create a draft document related to the Constitutional Convention scheduled for 2006.  However, after several hours of discussion, the Source reported,  "The people at the meting voted to scrap (that idea).  It remains unclear how the project will proceed."