Welcome (?) to St. John


No See Um, an island blogger, snapped this ironic photograph at the ferry dock.

"T_e C_o_n J__el __ t_e Ca_b___."

No See Um's blog has lots of other funny and even irreverent items. Read it here..

St. John can do a lot with a little

Steve Black e-mails this additional thought:

"Thanks for the posting and whatever you can do to get the word out is greatly appreciate.  The one thing that I did with my thinking was to look for inexpensive and very doable projects. 

"For instance, can you believe that the traffic pattern roundabout for the customs parking lot and villa greeters will cost only a can of paint and a couple signs, but will decrease traffic through town by about 40%? 

"That the making of sidewalks on both sides of the streets can be done with very little, along with lights in the trees to make the area far less scary. 

"We don't need plans which cost a lot and will never be done, we need to fix this town today."

St. John marina plan underway

Several St. John business people have formed a corporation called Love City Marina. They hope to create a new Virgin Islands marina at Enighed Pond, the commercial port which is used by the island's car ferries.

St. John resident Steve Black announced his intention during this week's Town Meeting about development options for the Cruz Bay waterfront.

Love City Marina In a prepared statement, Black pointed out that, "There is not one place on St. John, where a boater can come in, tie up, to have a meal at a restaurant, do shopping, or do provisioning for their boat," he asked. "St. John offers no services for boaters and this must change."

"While the BVI’s have become successful, we have become known for our neglect of boaters.  Our island’s businesses get nothing from boaters, the Port Authority gets no fees for their coffers, and an entire economy is lost to somewhere else.  Why should St. John be the only island in the Caribbean without a marina?" He added, "We have some engineers and architects to further design this

Block's testimony included submission of a number of artists conceptual drawings and sketches of the possibilities for Cruz Bay development.  You can see them here (courtesy of Black).

Black offered no further details about prospects for a marina, but he had lots of other ideas including:

  • Dedicating the the Customs Parking Lot to ferry pick up and drop off use.
  • Creating sidewalks on both sides of the road from Nature's Nook to Mongoose.
  • Developing a Vendors Village at Enighed Pond to include markets for fish, meat, and vegetables
  • Building an amphitheater that could be used for special events and the St. John Festival/Carnival.
  • Read Steve Black's prepared statement. Click here.

What’s up on the St. John waterfront?

Stj-town-meetingIt looks like the arrival of the St. John Planner has come at just the right time as talk gets serious about how to develop the waterfront in Cruz Bay.

A Town Meeting is planned at the Westin for Monday night.

 There will be a presentation of the Cruz Bay Creek design plans by VI Port Authority and architect Robert De Jongh.  Also to be heard will be presentations of alternative plans by other individuals and groups, plus discussions about Enighed Pond development and parking.

A flier says the meeting's objective is to get "public input on what works for our waterfront."

Coral Bay drivers: out of luck and gas

The Domino service
station in Coral Bay is still closed and likely to stay that way. 

'business issue' is the reason the fuel tanks are dry, according to the
Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, the St. John Source

The Source also quoted the Island Administrator, Leona
, saying, "It looks like they have … financial problems.  I know
they got rid of all their employees in St. John."

service stations on St. Thomas are also shut down.

This leaves
Cruz bay's E&C Service as the only gas station on the island.  A
gallon of regular is priced around $3.33.

Vic’s back to work

The M/V Capt. Vic is back in business ferrying trucks and cars from Red Hook to St. John.  The round trip price is now $45.

An official of Love City Car Ferries Inc. said Vic was "completely refurbished" in Alabama. Llewellyn Sewer said, "It's like new," also cleaner and faster and now offering "guaranteed on-time departures."  The St. John Source has more.

Outlook for hurricanes this season worsens

The nation's foremost hurricane forecasters believes there is a two-out-of-three chance that a big storm will track in to the Caribbean this year.  In their latest storm outlook forecast, William Gray and Phil Klotzbach say, "We foresee a very active hurricane season in 2010."

Back in December, the Colorado State University forecasters said six to eight hurricanes could be expected.  In their June 2 outlook, that number has risen to 10, with the number of 'major hurricanes' rising from three to five.

The possibility for at least one major storm, category 3-4-5) tracking into the Caribbean stands at 65%, compared to an average of 42% during the last century.  The area included ranges from Trinidad to the south, the Virgin Islands to the north. Martinique on the east to Cuba on the west.  That's a big area.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Wagapalooza pictures, puppies and people

Waga_1 A barking good time was had at the Winston Wells ball field Saturday night at the Animal Care Center's annual Wagapalooza.

The island-wide 'talent' and 'dress up' show for cats and dogs brought out hundreds of people and their pets.

Bob Schlesinger of Tropical Focus Photography was on hand for the fun. See more of Bob's work at http://www.stjohnweddingphotographer.com/.

A fan of big dogs, the Inquiring Iguana was taken with the big fellow on the pretty girl's lap.  Scheslinger reports the dog is 'Hoss,' competing in the Best Lap Dog competition.
Waga_3 Bobi Stallbaumer's
big boy held the title in the 2008 and 2009 shows, but lost this weekend to this fella.

There's a photo album with lots of Schlesinger's Wagapalzooa pictures 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.

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