Scratching My Head…

Scratching My Head…

Over the past 24 hours, I read two things that made me scratch my head. I’m curious what you all think.

1. I was perusing the New York Daily News’ Page Six section last night – a section dedicated to Manhattan gossip and goings ons – when I came across this:

Tony Ingrao Architectual Digest

According to Architectual Digest, the AD100 list is “an arbiter of excellence. This exclusive list recognizes establishment icons and enterprising trailblazers whose work is as inspiring as it is influential. These are the men and women who are shaping the way we live—one building, one house, one room at a time.”


For those of you not familiar with Tony Ingrao or his architectural work, he’s been accused of building on and altering National Park land throughout the construction of a new home in Denis Bay. This construction also created a landslide that damages adjoining neighbor’s property.

Click here to read our past coverage on Tony Ingrao.

2. I also read in the Virgin Islands Daily News that several Public Works and VITRAN employees, including Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls, recently traveled to Kansas to meet with a contractor regarding the construction of 12 new buses that will operate on St. John and St. Thomas. According to the article, the buses will arrive in the Territory by June.

Where do I start with this one…

We have two brand spanking new passenger ferries just sitting over in St. Thomas. (See today’s earlier story for more info on this.) How about we figure out what’s going on with these ferries before hopping on a plane to acquire new buses … just saying.

Click here to read the full story in the Virgin Islands Daily News.

30 thoughts on “Scratching My Head…”

  1. Sounds like some people are more interested in their own good than that of St. John. Unfortunate when money and greed trump the better good. Thanks for keeping this in the forefront.

  2. Y’all sure are quick to throw someone under the buss no? Cause he’s made money? Do you guys think he did it on purpose? Honest that this guy said ” forget the park and rules were gonna do this anyway” not likely. Often most mistakes like that are made by accident if you’ve been around you would know this. Quite frankly the island needs guys like this it is one of the most expensive 2nd home markets in the world. No villas, no economy not that it’s big one now. Looks like people of less means getting pissy about someone with more. Is this editorial or advitoral? Do you really think he said hell with neighbors I don’t care I’m rich, the people who hired me are rich so the rules here don’t apply. Come on. Don’t be a hater. This is a hater piece. That’s what I think. There was no real journalism going on here except promoting this blog to the other people on island who are bored and wanna stain these people with no real information except public record and we all know accurate the system works there.
    I bet many people reading this blog are millionaires—-he paid the fine let it go- why is it a which hunt, the blogs self promoting indirectly to win over locals at expense of this guy is more me scratching my head. Most people in NYC aren’t gonna have time to respond to this blogs needs for information it’s not the times….especially when you setting him up to look bad…. Jumping to
    Conclusions is no bueno folks
    This is a guy that people can hate in easy especially those with less.

    • We don’t care how much money he has. We don’t want mega McMansions all over the island. Especially when they mess with national park land.
      Your English and writing skills need a lot of work Jay.

    • Have nothing against nice villas.
      Do have a problem with large structures that don’t reflect the spirit of St. John:
      His Dennis Bay “house”, Sarasusa( sp.)
      and Grande Bay!
      Been a consistent visitor since 70’s; and due to owning at Serendip for 11 years,
      we made over 50 trips.
      Stayed at Maho Camps at first and in Nogueira’s rental homes before and after our 11 years of owning our”piece of the rock”.
      BVI seems a lot smarter in not allowing these unsightly buildings–they look like prisons!
      Just my opinion.

    • Would you consider asking someone who is somewhat literate to translate your semi-literate screed into readable English? Thenkseverso!

    • I don’t care that he has money. I care that having money seems to be allowing him to disregard national park boundaries. Why just a fine? Why doesn’t he have to get back inside the boundaries of his own land?

  3. Thanks for the comment Jay. If you go back and reread the post, you will see the facts.

    1. Ingrao was supposedly named to the AD100 list.
    2. He was accused of altering and building on National Park land. That is a fact. That is why he was fined. Clearly he agreed because he paid it.

    This has nothing to do with money, the haves or the have nots. The Park is the island’s number one resource. Plain and simple.

    • I think the fine he paid was simply for violations on his own land – the DPNR explanation of reducing his fine was: ‘It turned out the referenced earth change was done on NPS property, hence, he could not have legally obtained an earth change permit.”.

      So the question is, who does have jurisdiction over destruction of park property, what regulations or laws were broken for unauthorized work on park land, and who does have authority to levy fines or charges.

    • Thanks for not deleting the post but you got busted. St. John needs all the 1%ers it can get, 1% ers are the ones who founded the park with a large donation no? In fact the only people who spend time there practically are people who can afford to loose money.
      The park is key but this that ” We are St. John attitude ” St. John is best place in the world” Y’all locals just come off a bit bitter at times…. People screw up on permits( intentionally some ) all the time -1000s times a day in cities – everywhere and don’t get bashed
      Your need news- negative news sells
      But don’t be offended no one jumped to call your blog back any business person would call your blog back in these circumstances, you think those of us who can afford to hang out down there aren’t busy working to pay the way..

  4. Jay,

    “Do you really think he said hell with neighbors I don’t care I’m rich, the people who hired me are rich so the rules here don’t apply.” <– Yes, and probably verbatim. Yes, I know him, and know people who do and have worked for him, and that sounds EXACTLY like him! Good call!

    Plenty of people have very successful large villas here without destroying the properties of others and of the Park. If local officials are too scared to respond to rich a-holes like this [oh noooo, they hired a fancy lawyer with a nice suit!], I hope mother nature fills in with a well-placed lightning bolt or super-localized earthquake.

  5. So, 1%ers should be allowed to do whatever they damn well please, because we St Johnians will all have to go back to a less materialistic lifestyle if we don’t fall at their feet? WTF?
    Yes, there is corruption elsewhere in the world; yes, people build hideously ugly houses in beautiful places–and people also murder and rob and rape. SO?

  6. Maybe we can use the buses as a ferry, have them go around an island pick up people and then put the bus on the car barge and we won’t have to worry about the new ferries?

  7. Sorry for spelling errors, I’m working 20 hrs a day to support your economy with our 4 / 7 day visits we do each each year yes I’m a 1% er. The mega mansions that support your 110 villa management companies that employ the people who live on the Island. Bonny your phony reverse snobbery is transparent.
    208 feet is interesting amount of land to assassinate his character. Bonny your silly and obviously feel inferior to people of means and probably have too much time on your hands. Lose the reverse snobbery guys, people feel it when they visit. 208 square feet, Jesus we should arrest some for the attitude and service they provide on the island. Out of the 4500 who live there how many depend on mega manson to live. Classic whitch hunt, so they have a nice suite who cares? 208 sq feet….. Backwards mentality no wonder half the houses are for sale, the business are all in the red and the business recycle owners like horrible run restaurant. Good luck. I hope to lay out some concrete there soon and support people who need jobs, I’ll be sure look the part for approval from snobby locals who wanna bitch about the very people who pay thier own way.
    Hope this guy get 10 more projects on St John, in fact, were may hire him…

    • This was very helpful, and it certainly promoted some deep thought regarding the conversation. I guess, if anyone wants to encroach onto property that is not theirs it is no big deal. Only in St John do property boundaries matter. Yeah. Got it.

  8. Alright, let’s take this pompous windbag’s rants one piece at a time.
    “No villas, no economy not that it’s big one now.” Not everything has to be NY’s Upper East Side or Chicago’s Golden Mile. It’s not big for several reasons including the geographic restrictions of the VINP. Well, they are restrictions for the other 99%.
    “the people who hired me are rich so the rules here don’t apply.” No one hired him. This is his personal home. Have you read any of the previous stories reported by many media outlets?
    “I bet many people reading this blog are millionaires…” Most of the people who care about STJ and the VINP are the average middle class working families who work for and support you 1%ers.
    “… you think those of us who can afford to hang out down there aren’t busy working to pay the way.” See the note above.
    “…except public record and we all know accurate the system works there.” And if they worked to this guy’s advantage, you would be touting them as a legitimate means of exonerating him.
    “In fact the only people who spend time there practically are people who can afford to loose(sic) money.” I know many of the people I’ve met in STJ. In fact, I’ve been to many of their US home. They, like me, can’t afford to lose their lunch money. Your sheltered existence in your gated community has put you out of touch with the regular people who support your 1% life style.

    “I’m working 20 hrs a day to support your economy…” Oh Boo Hoo. By the way, it’s not our economy. It clearly is owned and operated by you 1%ers.
    “…208 square feet…” This is noted numerous times in your rant. The other poster referred to an acre of land being the equivalent to a square that is 208 feet by 208 feet. That is 43,560 square feet. Your 208 square feet can be described as a rectangle 10 feet wide and 20.8 feet long. If you are going to make an argument, take a moment to see if what you are saying makes any sense.
    “…who wanna (sic) bitch about the very people who pay their (sic) own way.” Yet another ridiculous suggestion that only the rich pay their own way.

    This guy’s reckless disregard for the surrounding properties has caused great damage to the National Park. No matter who donated the land, it now belongs to the people of the United States. The suggestion that someone built across the property line on someone else’s land as an accident does not even pass the “giggle test.” The very minor fine he was given was, perhaps, the smallest line item on that project’s budget. If course he paid it. He probably paid more last month for the electric bill.

    Let’s talk about a journalist’s job. I’ll bet you are one of those people who think the job is to tell the truth. It’s not! A journalist’s job is to tell us what they know or what other people have told them – and that may or may not be the truth. By the way, most of them are not 1%ers, but they have a fairly good command of grammar and punctuation.

    • Thanks for your comments Jigm20.
      Couples things you should know big shot.

      1. It’s the Gold Coast not Gold Mile – not sure if you’ve been there. Not my thing- don’t care for upper east side either- I’m more if a east village guy.

      2. I own a media company so I’m more than confident that I know what a journalist job is- thanks

      3. This 1%er is a high school drop out, that’s my favorite one 🙂 hence spelling no- hence that I don’t need to take the time to spell properly cause in don’t need to, I don’t half to either

      4. I also speak 2 languages and play 2 instruments with no lessons nor can I read or write music.

      Thought you might wanna know exactly what your judging smart guy also know I’m not even 40, will be 37 soon I’m sure that one you love…..

      Nothing more satisfying then coming from nothing and making it.
      How’s my spelling. Hope your college degree paid off for you, sounds like few teachers, educators commenting above too.

      It’s even more satisfying to see the ” educated” puff them selves up with that hidden inferiority complex while comparing themselves to the others, it’s like compensating for not ever making money or something…

      I bet your one of those.

      Hope you don’t regret that’s fancy degree you got… I’m sure it’s helped you along the way.

      As for this witch hunt.
      I’m done.

      Please don’t resent people who are successful financially or where shoes and tie or have a boat or have a big house. Please don’t assume all people with money are asses and think they can do what they want.

      That’s what this is about.

      Jumping to conclusions.

      That guy like me and many others could have busted his ass for many years to be able to afford a house like that here and if not who cares. You all don’t get to decide who comes here or not. If they don’t fit in to your country backward mentality let them be.
      Why don’t you go after the people who sold him the land cause they didn’t pick the St. John approved residents? Ha!
      That’s basically your logic here – you know that, right.

      Or better yet-
      Why don’t you buy the house from him and burn it down if you all hate his MC mansion so much. That’s America right?

      You could do a classic St. John fundraiser in chocolate hole….with all the middle class people you think live here.

      This is America’s Paradise!

  9. As a charter boat owner I am constantly reminded of this illegal construction every time I take guests up the north shore and have to explain why there is a giant tear into the earth into the National Park. The owner did know about this construction as he ordered it. The owner wanted to be able to see the sunset from his house so he ordered the earth removed towards the west that ripped right into the National Park. Now every time it rains there are landslides and NPS and DPNR were forced to take action. A 10K fine for a project that large is an easy payoff and we have seen this with every large development in St John where the owners build larger then they where authorized as the fines are so low its easier to pay the violation then follow the regulations. (IE, Grand Bay being to tall, Sirenusa larger then projected).
    Why does someone with a lot of money get to come here and feel like they can do whatever they want to this community? We are called Love City for a reason, its about respect, not seeing it here!

    • Tom-
      Sure your paying all your taxes with charter boat business too to the government like all the other local business in St. John too. Right? You all pay the 10% of gross no?

      Come on….

      • Jay
        Not sure where all your anger is coming from, sounds like you need to get out of the cold and come down here to warm up. What does my gross receipts tax have to do with this article. I run a responsible business in St John and much of my time is spent giving back to the community. If you run media company come down at the end of July and help promote a fundraiser my business runs that brings wounded veterans to St John every November, we would love the support!

  10. Jay – who is the hater here? You obviously have no idea what you’re talking about. I know for a fact the guy wanted a view of St Thomas and knew he was directing his contractors to destroy Park property so he could have that view. That is morally, ethically and legally wrong. But, it sounds like you’re ok with his actions because others do bad things too? If you can bribe people to them what you want, does that make it ok in your book?

    As a fellow member of the 1%, your elitist attitude makes us all look like dicks. The 1% who made this park happen are nothing like this guy, and from what I’ve read in your rants are nothing like you either.

  11. So Jay, if your neighbor wants to put on an addition or build a garage and they “accidently” stray 208 feet onto your property, you wouldn’t care, right? Just sayin!

    Having lots of money makes you luckier than most people. It doesn’t make you any better!

  12. I suspect that “Jay” has a least one big axe to grind. Maybe St John has been disappointing to a self-made One-Percenter who hates nature? Could his fortune, if it exists, stem from some really revolting activity, like mountain-top removal in Appalachia?

  13. Jay you are totally missing the point. You don’t understand St Johnians or the lifestyle. I’m fact you are disrespectful of it. I don’t think SJ is going to fall apart if you don’t come in & save it. You are destroying it. With your buildings & attitude. Don’t go away mad….just go away.

  14. “Jay” is not here to express a studied opinion…..he’s here to rant and hate, which, is all too easy to do, for some people, behind the anonymity of a keyboard.

    My suggestion: ignore him.

    He’s just not worth it.

  15. We’ve been coming to St John’s for our vacations for many years, we love the island and the National Park in all its pristine beauty. We are middle class retirees, nowhere near the 1%. The rules that protect the environment are meant for us all, unless you adhere to the Leona Helmsley line that the rules are only for the “little people”!

  16. I hope the natural beauty of the land set aside as a National Park on the island of St. John will be preserved.

    It was given in trust and should remain so.

    Fines should be much higher and NO permit should be issued EVER to those who want to encroach on public land.

    Why don’t people who want to destroy the pristine natural beauty of the island and build McMansions and McCondos go to another place already “spoiled” by over-development?

    There are not very many islands left on this earth like St. John, USVI. Let’s do what we can to preserve National Park lands for our generation and the ones to follow.

  17. A earlier under-designed retaining wall collapsed and dirt went onto NPS property.

    The old wall was removed and a new better-designed wall was built within the Owners’ property.

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