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Petroglyphs set to be protected

An agency of the United Nations is considering classifying the Reef Bay Petroglyphs as a World Heritage Site, a decision that would be "monumental," according to park archeologist Ken Wild.  The Site designation is reserved for "places on earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity," he told the St. John Source.
The rock carvings are important because they indicate a joining of
Amerindians from the Lesser Antilles and those from the Greater
Antilles, the Daily News reported.  The Petroglyphs date from 1000 to 1400 A.D.

Busy season for weddings

Memorial Day weekend is primetime for St. John weddings.  One marriage planner on island has been conducted three ceremonies a day.

Jacqueline Johnson, travel director for Conde Nast Bridal Group, told a St. Croix business meeting weddings are good business.  Live music, flowers, transportation for a bridal party of a dozen or more, a welcome cocktail party, rehearsal dinner and reception — "It’s a gold mine," she said.

Erica Hebert, a wedding consultant on St. Thomas, agreed, telling the Virgin Islands Daily News, "May used to be dead.   Now it’s sizzling."  Steve Bornn, marketing director for the V.I. Tourism Department, said weddings are also an opportunity for repeat business. "If they have a good wedding, they are going to talk about it," he said, according to the Daily News. Couples return for anniversaries, and bring their kids and friends, he said.

Westin hosts VI Culinary team prep

The first meal cooked by members of the VI Culinary Team was a success, according to people who attended a fund raiser at the Westin to help finance the competitors’ entry in the annual Taste of the Caribbean later this month in Miami.  Team chefs included Andrew Power and Rodney Rightenburg of Caneel Bay, along with three other chefs from St. Thomas and St. Croix. They were selected by a cook off. 

Ingredients used in the "test" dinner at the Westin included hot whit chocolate, handmade marshmallows, banana leaf and local pumpkin.  "We’re making 30-some different items for 40 people," team captain Ric Ade said, according to a report of the event in the Virgin Islands Daily News.

Pastory for sale

Pastory_2
A few weeks after being refused on plans to build what was described as a 6-story condominium project, the owners of Pastory Gardens have decided to sell.  Development of the site is being used as a tease in the real estate listing. "The successful restaurant and mini golf are just the beginning of possible uses of the great views of St. Thomas and the level site."  Asking price:  $6,900,000.  "This site is a unique opportunity for mixed use (business and retail)," the listing offering said.

DeJongh fund raiser on St. John

Dejongh
Days after announcing he is running for Governor, a fund raiser for John deJongh was scheduled for Monday night on St. John by Steve Simon.  Simon is best known on island for producing blues and jazz festivals.  Simon called deJohng "for the only governor candidate that cares about St. John. 

Running on the Democrat ticket, the financial advisor and former Finance Department commissioner has also been president of the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce. DeJongh has "devised a five-year plan to improve the education and police departments, increase development and tourism in the territory and resolve the myriad financial challenges in government," the Virgin Islands Daily News reported. The St. Thomas businessman ran four years ago, too.

Teen wins Power Swim

A record 142 swimmers challenged courses of varying difficulties as part of the 3rd annual Beach-to-Beach Power Swim sponsored by the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park.  The longest route competition was won by Annie Myrvang, a 15-year-old from St. Croix, according to the St. John Source.  "I started swimming when I was 12," she told the online newspaper, calling swimming "my favorite thing to do."  Myrvang completed the course in 1 hour 18 minutes 7 seconds. 

High school art teacher Lisa Etre, a St. Johnian, swam the short course with her son.  She said, later, "C’mon, you live on an island with water like this.  You have to swim."  Race results.

Ten Tables gets a rave

The St. John Sun Times’ Stephanie Hammett rated the new chef and his work at Ten Tables, "10 stars." 

She dined recently at the second-story eatery, overlooking the former car barge dock, in the company of the executive chef at Asolare.  "The entire restaurant possessed a perfect setting designed for an intimate dinner to suit anyone," she wrote.  Chef Paul Trujillo plans to start a new menu in a few months, focusing on broth, seafood and vegetables, she reported. Hammett had a rack of lamb, while her partner chose stuffed jumbo shrimp.  "Both were fabulous," she said.

Morgan’s special night

South American Grill Night was a hit for our favorite restaurant (next to Zozo’s, Lime Inn, Panini Beach, and Joe’s barbecue).  Mega-steak night is what some locals call it. 

Morgan’s Argentine owners served one of the specialties of their country, four different types of steak, all served at the table, on a grill.  "Steak is a very Argentinean thing," said one of the owners, Carlos.  "We eat steak at every meal in Argentina.  It is always cheaper to eat meat."  Carlos indicated mega-steak night was a test event, but the St. John Sun Times-eans who attended said  "It was a winner.

Real estate scoreboard

Cliffhousea_2There are 23 houses listed for sale with asking prices of $3 million or more.  Two of the five most expensive properties are in the Peter Bay development. 

"Cliffhouse", priced at $13.95 million is the priciest house on island.  "Complete privacy with sweeping views of Jost Van Dyke, Tortola and turquoise waters, verdant hillsides and distant island shores," according to the listing.

MLS stats for 5/19/06

  • Houses:  110 (up 6 from 5/10)
  • Commercial:  26 (unchanged from 5/10)
  • Condos:  43 (unchanged from 5/10)
  • Land lots:  251 (up 2 from 5/10)