If you ask, most people are likely to describe St. John as a quiet, peaceful Caribbean island. But to some residents and even vacationers, a growing number of bars and restaurants offering live music have become a problem.
And if you've had dinner at La Tapa or Fatty Crab and found it impossible to be heard by your partner because a a blaring SUV is crawling along the street, then you have a first-hand experience with the problem.
The St. John Chamber of Commerce has is concerned about the issue. "Business owners or musicians … are directly impacted by the confusing ordinance and the erratic enforcement," the group said in a recent statement.
"Some asked if the laws applied to cars with massive sound systems and felt that should also be addressed, as they can be extremely disruptive when driving around and also parked," the Chamber added. "The Night Club license is a big issue and also needs to be looked at to protect both the businesses who desire to have them and the residents who are impacted by them."
Sen. Craig Barshinger agrees. He wants to amend the law. The Senator says it is too subjective. "What is enjoyable noise to one person (That's a concept!) may be considered a noise disturbance by another."
Furthermore, he says passage of the law included $100,000 for the police department to acquire decibel meters so police could enforce the law. However (to anyone's surprise?), "The VI PD cannot say where the meters are or where the money went," Barshinger said.
"There are some people who wish to party until dawn every night, and others who wish to have peace and quiet after 9 pm," he said. "Some would like quiet for most of the year, but at Carnival time they want to enjoy the bands pumping out the music. No one is 'right' or 'wrong' on this subject. It is a matter of discussing it and arriving at a shared standard."
Barshinger will conduct a public hearing about noise Thursday evening at the new Legislature building in Cruz Bay.
11 thoughts on “Senator: Police can’t explain missing $100K”
Please do not kill what has been part of the culture of the island for ever to accommodate the complaints of a select few that are moving to the St. John from the main land and want to change it to be how they see fit. The ability to socialize openly and freely has been what makes St John and the VI unique. Frankly this is part of the appeal for most people that visit the Islands.. It is insane to think that you can move to a small island like St. John and not have to deal with the sounds of music or the sounds of an SUV passing by! There are much more pressing issues to address… ie Corruption,crime,energy,environment,Jobs,youth programs, EDUCATION! When in Rome do as the Romans do or go home! You wouldnt change the language because some spanish speaking people settled on the island. They would have to learn the native language!Thank you! Stop playing politricks!
Cars/SUV’S are for transportation NOT for annoying those around them.
Whether we were born here or moved here doesn’t change the fact that we need sleep, so we can be productive and healthy. We are all US Citizens with a right to be here, and a right to respect when it comes to late night/early morning “cultural expressions” that shake our homes with noise. This is not about culture – it is about common respect which we all must give and receive on this small island. Our tourism livelihood and local quality of life depends on people getting sleep and having peace, and while there are many issues, noise is very relevant. In the case of the missing $100K – it directly relates to corruption and crime.
Misleading picture of Mitch and Chris contributing to noise pollution. Carnival is carnival that is understandable, but SUV driving by in November is not.
Re Jah Spice and Island Girl’s comments.
I agree 100% with Island Girl about common respect regarding noise levels, and on the corruption and crime on the missing 100K. Jah Spice you must not pay close attention about changing languages to accommodate Spanish speaking people, recorded phone messages are both in English and Spanish in all 50 states, and instruction booklets for various items are in English and Spanish, press 1 for English and press 2 for Spanish…but you are right when you say learn the native language, and we can blame our liberal government for this.
So, when did Virgin Islands culture come to include massive electric amplification? Don’t remember it in the 1950’s. Don’t remember it in the 1960’s. Don’t even remember it until the mid-1970’s, just about the time a lot of “culture” from elsewhere began to dominate what had been here.
At one point, culture was created in the present, but alas, how could we possibly contribute to culture now with all of this electricity. It must have been you elliot who poo pooed Dylan at the ’65 Newport folk festival, culture-less slob that Dylan. Just FYI the first loudspeaker was invented in 1877.
I’m SHOCKED that the police misplaced the money! 100K for meters have you lost your mind…..Why not use the money water quality in Cruz Bay
“Erratic” enforcement of sound laws? The boom boom boom of highy amplified unintelligible (except for repetetive profanity about your sister, mother, etc.) NEVER gets addressed by the police. Instead, they go after other people. I wonder who that might be? Over in Coral Bay, the end of the boom boom boom on many evenings was heralded by automatic gunfire at 2:00 or 3:00 AM. Glad that’s over (for now, anyway). Any cops ever follow up on that? No? Why?
Oh, and Jah, no. It is RESPECT, and I have no respect for a thug (or wanna be thug in training) with his hand on the volume pumping out profanity. It ain’t allowed in Hull Bay. Believe me, and the police don’t HAVE to enforce it. The community, as always, handles enforcment on the Northside.
On the mainland a sound pressure meter at radio shack sells for around $60