Swimmers, warm up your engines

Power_swim Capping a busy busy month of activities on the island, the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park's annual Beach to Beach Power Swim is Sunday.

The race includes four different events, all starting from Maho Bay.  There are short, intermediate, and long courses as well as a three-person relay. The fun begins at 8 a.m.

A new component to this years’ swim is the “Race for a Reason” fund raising challenge. Donations will be used to support the “Learn to Swim” program in the Park along with other projects and programs. Map05

All participants raising $100 or more for Friends get receive a Power Swim hat and the top three fundraisers will receive special gifts following the race at the Beach Party/Awards Celebration at Oppenheimer Beach.

  • Details about the Power Swim event are here

How the ‘Housewives’ found St. John

DinnerSt. John's Ingrid Ott-Zucker is the person who got Bravo TV's Real Housewives of New York" show to the island. 

The Virgin Islands Daily News reports that the island resident and media producer, approached the Bravo people, found locations for them to film, and pitched them to do the show in the VIs.

The second of the two St. John segments is set to air tonight, Thursday.  The Daily News says the island is featured as well as the villa where the girls enjoyed their "vacay."  The episodes were produced in late-November last year.

  • Ott-Zucker's Facebook page is here.
  • Ott-Zucker's company Web site: Ottworks
  • The Daily News story is here.
  • Video preview of tonight's episode is here.

Watch the Real Housewives do St. John

Ramona_Singer_bikini_Real_Housewives_New_YorkBravo has begun showing the two episodes of 'Real Housewives of New York' produced on St. John. 

The first ran last Thursday.  It was titled "Overboard."  The show's Web site described it as," The Housewives let their hair down on a St. John's vacay…" which indicates not only does have little taste, its promotions people also can't spell St. John. You can view the program online at http://www.bravotv.com/full-episodes.  It's Season Three, Episode 11.

Almost two dozen still photos from the episode are also available here. There are some nice pictures of St. John, but it's clear the show's not about the island.  It's about the girls.

The next segment, "Sun, Sand and Psychosis" is scheduled to debut at 10 p.m., eastern,  Thursday, the 20th.  "The Housewives toast to a fun (but totally dysfunctional) vacation!." You can get a preview here .

The Housewife pictured here is Ramona SingerExaminer.com thought we needed to see how a woman in her '50s is still getting it done, and described how.

VI Smoke-Free Act signed

Governor John deJongh Jr. signed the Virgin islands Smoke-Free Act this week but sent it back to the Senate for some tweaking.  He said some of the definitions in the law need fine tuning to be more specific.  Specifically there are exceptions for some 'private clubs' and 'enclosed areas' which should be clarified.

"Under the new law smoking would be completely prohibited from restaurants and bars as well as public venues including parks, beaches, playgrounds, retail stores and public transportation waiting areas," according to an analysis by the AARP. (Read its statement here)

The Virgin Islands Daily News said the Governor thought that making a violation of the smoking ban a misdemeanor 'criminalizes smokers.'  He urged the Senate to soften the penalty.

Read the Daily News' report of the No Smoking bill signing here

‘No Smoking’ coming to St. John

NosmokeThe Governor is expected to sign a bill prohibiting smoking in bars, restaurants, picnic areas and Virgin Islands beaches which are public parks. 

Health concerns about the effect of second hand smoke are behind the legislation which is heartily endorsed by St. John's At Large Senator Craig Barshinger.

During a hearing on the Virgin Islands Smoke-Free Act, the Senate's Heath Committee heard testimony that while smokers nationwide account for 20 percent of the population, but in the VI's the number is six percent.

"Smokers think differently from nonsmokers," Barshinger said during the hearing, the Virgin Islands Daily News reported.  "They think they're doing just something like listening to an iPod … but actually they're polluting the air."

During the hearing, the question of enforcement came up.  One thought is to have the Health Department handle it while it was also suggested that business owners could be the 'smoke police' and caution their customers to snuff it. 

So, Deputy Health Commissioner Lynette George, predictably suggested that the Department could hire enforcement officers.  Like a dog reacts to the word 'squirrel', the government’s ears perk up at the mere whisper of the word 'jobs.'

The St. John Tradewinds reported several island restaurant owners endorsed the Smoke-Free bill, not worrying it would hurt business.  But, obviously, the idea of them being smoke monitors has its own conflicts.

Gorgeous St. John weekend

Locals and visitors enjoyed a warm and sunny weekend the way they should. They went to the beach.

Alekxlight headed for Cinnamon Bay while Gerry Singer chose Trunk Bay. He brought a video camera and grabbed a 25-second slice of beauty. See it on YouTube here.

Cinnamon

Swim practice was on Singer's agenda, a tune up for the Beach to Beach Power Swim May 30th. He regret not bringing a camera because, "I stop swimming and look out at the scene … two deer walking along the beach." 

But wait, there's more.

"The late afternoon sunlight brought  softness to the vivid colors.  At the other end of the beach, a wedding was progress.  Beautiful people gathered together watching the bride in her flowing dress … I stay still for a minute or two taking in the scene before continuing my late afternoon swim," Singer wrote.

  • Gerry Singer's blog, St. John Life is here
  • More about the Power Swim is here