Jeanne damage assessed

The Federal Emergency Management Administration estimated the damage from Hurricane Jeanne was about one-third what island authorities initially estimated. FEMA put the total losses to territory roads, power lines and sewers at $2.5 million, according to a report by the Virgin Islands Daily News. The VI government originally put the damage at $6.4 million. The island government also estimated St. John had a little more than $70,000 in damages. The federal government is expected to pay 75 percent of the cost of repairs.

Roughing it in Paradiseland

The New York Times Travel section raves about a few days’ stay at Concordia, despite the compost toilet and hand-held shower fed by a hand pump. “We woke up in heaven,” wrote Janet Piorko. “To our left, waves crashed against a rocky shore; to the right, a placid bay was dotted with sailboats. Driving was an adventure. “Dodging donkeys and goats, as if we were in a theme park – call it Paradiseland,” she added. Read the article here (sub. req.)

What planet is Jane Israel from?

Our report that a consultant’s study found the average hotel-stay visitor to St. John spends $635 a day brought a howl from one reader.

Dear Frank;

On what planet is Jane Israel (the consultant) from? Has she ever stayed, or for that matter paid for, a hotel stay on St John? Has she ever had 3 meals on the island? $ 40.00 for breakfast, $45.00 dollars for lunch, 100.00 for dinner. Forget drinks! St John has 2 of the most expensive hotels in the region! It costs me over $ 7000.00 for a week to stay on the island! Caneel Bay alone does $ 50 million. Do the math. I’m there every year since 1992! I think the fresh air and beautiful scenery has gotten to them. :-)

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Real estate market update

For the second time in a month, the asking price of a multi-million dollar home on St. John has been reduced. Originally listed at $3.25 million, a 2-bedroom/2-bath with no pool, 12-year-old Peter Bay property has been cut to $2.975 million, according to the Multiple Listing Service. Otherwise, there was little market action. No homes taken off the MLS, nor any added. The week ended with 43 properties on the market. In other categories, the inventory of land increased by two lots to 138. Condominium offerings were steady at 7, timeshares increased 2 to 83, and commercial/business properties were unchanged at 8.

Island time doesn’t change

While the mainland is shifting to island time, the Virgin Islands do not. From now until April, St. John time will be an hour ahead of the east coast.

Domestic Violence demonstration

A small procession of men, women and children walked from Mongoose Junction to the waterfront Friday night as part of St. John’s Take Back the Night Against Domestic Violence observance. Supporters carried candles and wore purple ribbons. Iris Kern, director of The Safety Zone, and the march’s sponsor, told the Virgin Islands Daily News, “It is to honor those who have been killed and to really raise public awareness” to domestic violence.