Good news of St. John

Rotary St. John’s Rotary Club meets every Friday at the Westin Resort

I’ve been a guest a few times and it’s a great group, maybe 15-20 people each meeting. The membership includes a lot of business owners who give freely of their time and resources to make things better.

At a recent meeting, Rotary members talked about some of their activities. 

Bob Schlesinger, a terrific photographer – and Club Secretary – summarized the meeting in the groups; weekly newsletter (which he produces).

The first topic was a recent St. John Youth Committee rally in which scholarship information was made available so seniors can start planning on applying.

Bill Willigerod updated the group on Rotary scholarship winner, Claudia.  Her almost perfect GPA and major in psychology were pretty impressive.

Sharon Coldren reported Sputniks in Coral Bay will be starting a Learn At Lunch program.

Miles Stair and Geri Kotas explained the Reading in the Library program that Rotary volunteers at, Thursdays from 9-11 a.m.

Dave Carlson explained a challenge presented by St. Ursula's Church food program for the elderly.  He persuaded Starfish Market to donate the store’s refrigerators that are being replaced as part of the store’s renovation.

Stoplights!!!!!!! on St. John

Light It’s happened. 

The island which prided itself on NOT having a stoplight,now has several thanks to construction of the Roundabout where South Shore and Centerline roads meet downtown.

Kayre Carney at Islandia Real Estate posted this photo of the construction site.

Roundabout “We saw the installation of temporary traffic lights,” she said. "No one paid a bit of attention to (them).” 

And despite the lights, well, don’t say technology reduces labor costs. Carney says, “Now have traffic directors with whistles."

Ana fizzles, Bill misses

Bill It’s been a case of hurry up and wait for the past five days.  Last Friday, islanders began making serious preparations, anticipating Tropical Storm Ana might turn into something nasty. 

Doug Benton, owner of Crabby’s Water Sports in Coral Bay, said in an online post, “The sounds of power drills and saws could be heard in the distance yesterday.  Screens are coming down, items are being secured.”  He also said folks were “making plans for our pets — trying to figure out the best way to keep them safe and comfortable while being cooped up during these events.”

But Ana ran out of gas and passed about 6 miles southwest of St. Croix, bringing some mild rain and wind to St. John.

Then attention turned to Tropical Storm Bill. It quickly grew into a Hurricane and is now classified as a Category 2 with winds of 110 miles an hour. And while it looked for a while that Bill might be a problem, by Monday it’s projected track was north and east of St. John.  Folks sighed a bit, but Ana’s wake up call was enough to motivate people to begin nailing things down, stocking up on water and beer, and remembering they live in the middle of the ocean.

StormCarib.com said Bill will likely pass 360 miles northeast of St Thomas by 6 p.m. Thursday. “Tropical storm force winds extend currently out 150 miles and even if they extend 200 miles on Thursday, the only effects felt in the Northern Antilles, other than a huge sigh of relief, will be swells. Hopefully, that will continue and it will miss the Virgin islands.”

BillDeb and Jay at Live de Life said, “We'll probably still get some rain and wind, but it shouldn't be anything major. We'll still be keeping an eye on all the weather forecasts to see if they are right and we're keeping the storm shutters up, just in case.”

Meanwhile, Marty Beechler at Islandia Real Estate showed that entrepreneurs just want to have fun.  On the blog, he wrote, that Bill’s turn to the north is a good thing, “ I am relieved that we will be spared the wrath of Hurricane Bill but now what am I going to do with all these tee shirts?!”

Funny stuff in the paper

The latest and greatest isue of the St. John Sun Times includes an incident log for St. John Rescue, the island’s fine all-volunteer emergency medical services group.  Two of the calls in June strike me as funny.

"June 19 to North Shore Road for a motor vehicle crash.  Patient refused treatment and police took into custody." (Maybe the patient could have avoided 'custody' by going to the Clinic.)

"June 24 to Mail Center for a superficial wound from a letter opener.  Administered first aid."

Ana has arrived

Bill 1:40 p.m. Monday Update:  The ferries are running normally, and the St. Thomas airport is open.  No plans to close, according to the Port Authority.

8 a.m. Monday:

So far, not awful. “Just rain and gusts of wind,” according to the Live de Life blog. “A little snotty out here this morning but it could be worse. The winds are 20+ sustained and a few gusts above that. Lots of rain, but the main track of Ana went way south so that's a good thing.”

The Islandia blog linked to Intellicast for hurricane information.  It’s quite good.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Bill has grown it winds to 75 miles an hour and has become Hurricane Bill.  The latest forecast track shows it passing to the east and north of the Virgin IslandsBermuda appears to be the target.

Ana may miss

Ana Update: Good news

Late Sunday, the National Hurricane Center downgraded Ana to a tropical Depression – and the forecast track now looks to take it south of St. John.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Bill – a more serious storm – is now looking like it will pass north.

Stay tuned.

First hurricane of the season?

Hurricane A reminder that this is Hurricane Season has popped up off the west coast of Africa.

The National Weather Service says, "The depression could be close
to hurricane strength in a few days."  It would be named Ana.

Tropical Depression #2 appears to be no threat to St. John, now. Forecasters expect the center of the storm to pass about 800 miles away from the Virgin Islands early next week. 

Here are a few storm resource links.  Keep 'em handy.