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Island marketer wins award

The owner of St. John’s Kate N Design has won recognition for a brochure she designed for the Westin resort and Villas.  The marketing piece was in the shape of a waiter bottle and has a map on it to show guests where they can safely run, Kate Norfleet told the St. John Source. Norfleet won a Silver citation for the brochure in judging by the American Advertising Federation’s regional competition.  Norfleet, a member of the Advertising Club of the Virgin Islands, was one of four of the club’s members to win honors in the contest.  The other three are on St. Thomas.

Grande Bay rezoning request protested

The developers of the Grande Bay Resort condominium project heard angry reactions this week to their plans for their Cruz Bay development.

Bay Isles Associates requested a zoning change for two small land parcels which are part of the venture. The plan is to open a 10-12 table restaurant and a retail shop. But area residents who attended a Planning and Natural Resources zoning hearing objected.

Parking was the main issue, according to a report of the meeting by the St. John Source. Residents also complained about the condo project in general, anticipating noise, traffic congestion, and blocked views of the bay.

St. John architect Rob Crane said Grand Bay’s authorization was possible only through "a loophole" in Coastal Zone Management Rules. He complained development is stressing the island’s infrastructure, saying developers are "making money and we’re paying for it."

The reason for the zoning request change, from waterfront-pleasure to residential-medium density, was not clear, even to Grande Bay’s representatives. Kelly Frye, a partner, told the Source it was necessary to have the entire land area under the same zoning category.

Weddings a winner for Westin

The manager of the Westin Resort and Villas says the past season was one of the best ever, and summer doesn’t look too bad, either.  Matt Balcik told the St. John Source, "The summer looks like 85 to 90 percent occupancy."  Even September, he added, is 60 to 65 percent booked.  Balcik said St. John has become a ‘hot’ location, and the growing wedding business helps, too.  He estimated the resort hosts as many as 70 nuptials a month.

Property managers at villas also said the season was good.,  Robin Clair said the winter season at the four-unit Estate Zootenvaal was "non-stop.  It was beautiful, wonderful."  And Lauren Morrissette said her 10-room Estate Lindholm bed and breakfast is booked solid through July 4.

Chesney has building plans

Mrs. Inquiring Iguana, watching TV, before she left on a 10-day-trip to Ireland,  reported … "On NBC’s TODAY show, Matt Lauer said "Apparently they got married on a hill where Kenny wants to build another house.  Then they went to the house he already has.  A small party of about 35."  Mrs. I.I. added, "There was no ‘s’ in St John … NBC got it right!"

AP has details

"The wedding reception was held Monday night
at Chesney’s house in the gated community of Peter Bay, on the north
side of the island. Guests could be seen milling around a garden where
there was an outdoor buffet and light music playing.

"The couple and about 45 guests gathered Sunday night at Rhumb Lines
restaurant in downtown Cruz Bay, the main town on the island, according
to restaurant employees." Full story.

Chesney-Zellwegger: a done deal

TwosomeEntertainment Tonight: "ET has confirmed that Oscar-winning actress RENÉE ZELLWEGER and country star Kenny Chesney
have tied the knot! The surprising couple were married on Monday on the
beautiful island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where the
singer has a home. In a short, 15-minute ceremony performed by a female
preacher in front of a small group of family and friends, the bride
wore CAROLINA HERRERA, one of her favorite designers, while the groom was reportedly barefoot. Both laughed and cried during the ceremony."  More

Air Taxi eyes November takeoff

St. John Air Taxi hopes to begin flights in about six months.  David S. Brown, chief executive, said he is negotiating for a landing spot near Enighed Pond and permission to build a ramp there.  Earlier reports indicated the airline would operate out of the Creek and near the Caneel Bay dock.  The air taxi is expected to charge as much as $900 for an hour of flight time, according to the St. John Source.  The Grumman Goose airplane can carry eight people.  "It’s like a street car for the Virgin Islands," Brown said, indicating the flights run operate continuously from St. John to St Croix to St. Thomas, and so on. He said the planes will not operate at night.

Pooch power raises nearly $20K

Wagapalooza2005The 9th annual Wagapalooza was a winner.  Dozens of four-legged contestants competed in categories like best trick, best costume, and most talented during the day long event held at the Winston Wells Ballpark in Cruz Bay.  Jennifer Dale, a spokeswoman for the organizers of the event, said about 30 dogs participated in judging.  (If that number is accurate, it is substantially fewer than last year.)

[Click on the photo for a larger version.]

Despite hot temperatures (Just like last year when the event was held at Skinny’s in June!), several hundred people sat in the bleachers and along the periphery of the field. Funds raised through sponsorships, T-shirt and beverage sales, and animal adoption fees will benefit the continuing operation of the St. John Animal Care Center. The event raised an estimated $20,000, according to one source.  The St. John Source covered the event Sunday.

Harley criticizes Government again

Island administrator Julien Harley is blaming the island government for the failure of the St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee to approve a $200,000 plan to upgrade the VI. Environmental Resource Station

The proposal was to have been reviewed at a CZM meeting this week, but because one of the three members was not present, there was no quorum.  So, there could be no approval.  Rather than criticizing the missing board member, attorney Brion Morrisette, who was off island, Harley found fault with Government House, according to the St. John Source

There are two vacant positions on the CZM panel.  "Names have been given … 2 1/2 years ago," added Madeline Sewer, another member of the Board.  "That’s long enough to be waiting." 

Improvements planned to the VIERS facility at Lameshur Bay include adding a classroom, upgrading the septic system, and planning construction of a conference center.