It all started last Thursday. Steve Kosiba checked the St. John Spice Cam as he does nearly everyday when the “NO” sign simply got on his nerves. For those of you unfamiliar with the “NO” sign, it popped up about a month ago on Cruz Bay beach. The sign informed people that there was no littering, soliciting, smoking, vending, camping, sleeping, loitering or animals permitted on the beach. The worst part, however, is that it was in full view of the popular Spice Cam.
So what did Steve do last Thursday? He fired off the following email to the territory’s commissioner and assistant commissioner of tourism. (He also copied us on the email.)
We are frequent St. John visitors with our families. We love your island. We especially love the “NO” sign on the St. John Spice Cam. With almost 19,000,000 visitors on this free advertisement for your island, don’t you think the sign should be moved 5 feet back? Do you know how many fans of your island visit the site daily among other local St. John web cams?
My wife and I are planning a 20 year anniversary trip next year. I’m sure I can find a day on the trip to help move the sign for you. I can get a shovel and a bag or two of concrete to move it. More than happy to help.
Five days later, the sign was gone. Well done Steve. Well done.
So how did the sign disappear so quickly? Well it turns out that the USVI Department of Tourism agreed with Steve.
“We didn’t want residents and visitors to get off the ferry, to get to beautiful St. John – We didn’t want them to see no, no, no, no,” said Monique Sibilly, assistant commissioner of tourism. “We didn’t want that to be the focal point. We do appreciate that people do not have their dogs running on the beach and such, but we preferred the sign be a little more friendly.”
While Monique hesitated to take credit for the sign’s removal, it was pretty clear that the department of tourism had a pretty good amount of influence in its removal.
So what prompted Steve to take his complaint straight to the top?
“Indiana weather,” he said. “We had a cold spell last week and I always try to visit a few local sites including St. John Spice Cam and your blog. It’s my coffee and St. John start to my day. I tend to also dislike dumb things. I shy away from them or call them out. I also don’t like the word ‘No.’
“Do you know how many blurry-eyed people stare at these web cams?” Steve continued. “St John Spice Cam has had almost 9 million visitors and it also has a dumb ‘NO’ sign. If they were smart they would replace the ‘No’ signs with a big beautiful ‘YES’ sign. YES: Skinny dipping.YES: Dogs on no leash. YES: Cartwheels and things that cause temporary brain injuries.”
Ok maybe not the brain injury part.
So you would think Steve would be pretty ecstatic now that the sign is gone. Well, we’re wrong.
“I’m kinda upset,” he said. “Next year I was planning on going to Woody’s Happy Hour with my shovel in hand to remove the sign and now it’s a no go.”
Something tells us Steve will find something else to pass his time on the island next year.
Want to view the Spice Cam or another on-island webcam? Click here to see a full listing of St. John webcams.