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Funny money on island

The owner of Ronnie’s Pizzeria at Boulon Center says he got taken in by some bad dough. 

Ronnie Klingsberg said a counterfeit $20 bill, in his business’s deposit bag, was spotted by FirstBank.  A spokesman for the Police Department, Thomas Hannah, told the St. John Source, "It (phony bills) happens periodically." The bank caught the bill, but Klingsberg didn’t. On second look, he said, "When you looked close, it looks like graph paper."

Stuck in the 90s on St. John

ST. JOHN, US Virgin Islands (MarketWatch) – Remember life in the slow lane? I’m reliving it on St. John in the Caribbean.

I know. You’ll give me no sympathy. But think how the Internet has changed your life  and your job and maybe you’ll appreciate the challenges of the 5,000 people who live on this remote island.  More (registration required)

(This is a column I wrote for MarketWatch.com while working remote on St. John.)

45 minutes at downtown parking lot

Cruzbaylot45mins_1Everybody likes to talk about it, but the island administrator, Julien Harley, has done something about downtown parking. 

Several weeks ago he said there would be changes at the  lot across from the Post Office, and there have been this week.

Some parking space lines have been repainted and several signs posted announcing the new policy.  The rule is now 45 minutes for everyone, and one Fish Bay resident said it’s working. "Two thirds of the lot seems to be used most of the day, so I can pop in and out and get my errands done," he said.  Previously, all day parkers occupied most of the spaces.

Good night for the cats and dogs

The fund raiser to reopen the St. John Animal Care Center was sold out and appeared to raise tens of thousands of dollars.  Valerie Peters organized the event.  She works at the Westin Resort and persuaded the Starwood Hotels management to make the ballroom available. She also worked with chefs from the Westin and Caneel Bay to prepare menu items and came up with the idea for the "animal decor" in the room.  Many attendees wore animal masks and costumes.

MaskeradeTickets went for $100 each, generating $15,000 just for the dinner.   There were dozens of donated items sold at silent auction (at left, bidders inspecting the merchandise) at prices from $25 to hundreds of dollars. (A silver-and-turquoise necklace, crafted by Mrs. Inquiring Iguana, sold for $150.) There were almost two dozen other items auctioned after dinner, with the top prize being a week-long trip to Umbria, Italy. It went for $6,500.  Proceeds will be used to operate the Center’s neutering and animal adopting programs. 

Doginjail

Anybody want a puppy? 

More about Buffett and Chesney

Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett did sing at least one song together at this week’s concert for Philip Morris executives at the Westin Resort, St. John.  One person who watched the show from the beach, outside Buffett’s custom-made tent (lighting grids, huge amplifiers, generators) said, "I heard Kenny.  And I saw his hat."  Another report said Eric Clapoton was in the audience. And the boat people at the shoreline were having a great time … lots of skinny dipping and topless dancing on deck,  sources tell the Inquiring Iguana.

Another star sighting

Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell kicked back on St. John this week, at the Westin Resort. Locals say he’s another reason there were security guards at the hotel Monday and Tuesday. The St. John Source reported Powell was seen in shorts and a T-shirt on a chaise lounge after he, too, appeared at the conference of Phillip Morris sales executives. (Jimmy Buffett’s concert last night.) Powell said he was appearing "in a personal capacity". He was due to return to DC Wednesday.