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Here is a great story for St. John and the territory today from The Source:
May 28, 2008 -- Drawing on unprecedented intra-governmental cooperation, Gov. John deJongh Jr. and U.S. Sen. John "Jay" Rockefeller IV announced plans Wednesday for a new school on St. John, which will end decades of ferry rides for the island's students.
"It is the right thing to do," Rockefeller said. "Maintaining the status quo was the wrong thing to do."
Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat who received the territory's Alexander Hamilton Award in February, said he lent his support to the initiative when he learned that St. John children had to take the ferry to go to Ivanna Eudora Kean High School on St. Thomas.
When the governor contacted Rockefeller about the issue, deJongh said, the senator's immediate response was "How can I help?" Rockefeller's family donated the land that launched the national park on St. John in the 1950s.
People want to be heard about this new dock! From The Source:
May 20, 2008 -- A crowd of frustrated and outspoken residents from around Hull Bay overflowed the Coastal Zone Management Commission hearing room Tuesday and eventually had to be cleared by a Port Authority security officer.
The hearing at the Cyril E. King Airport was set to review the proposal by Island Green to build a dock on Inner Brass Island, or cay.
However, many attendees, skeptical that the development would be limited to the dock, expressed suspicion that they were only seeing an application for part of a larger development in the works.
It is good to see citizens involved. The people of St. Thomas tend to think that the Brass islands are their islands, and I think that is great. They are very wary of developing this spot - this should be an interesting story going forward.
Well I guess it was bound to happen:
May 15, 2008 -- In a landmark decision Tuesday evening, the Coastal Zone Management Committee approved residential development for Thatch Cay.
The development will provide for slightly more than 100 dwelling units, and includes infrastructure for water, power, waste disposal and other utilities and amenities.
"The applicant's objective, as described in the environmental-assessment report, is to develop ... a world-class residential community on Thatch Cay," the recommendation noted.
While most of the staff findings recommended approval without raising any objections, the recommendation did limit the developer only to the dock proposed for this development.
"Staff finds that it will be necessary to minimize any further alteration of the seabed surrounding Thatch Cay," the report said. "As such, no additional docks will be permitted for any future development."
I can't say this is a good idea. There are only so few places left in the world - every one doesn't have to be developed. I can understand why the owners/developers would, but personally it would be great to just say enough at some point. It can be done.
From The Source - it seems like people are really getting fed up with the mail issues in the USVI:
May 6, 2008 -- Fed up with ongoing mail delays in the territory, Delegate Donna M. Christensen has asked for an investigation by the U.S. Postal Service's inspector general.
"Whether it is the extraordinary length of time it takes for packages and periodicals to get to customers or packages not being delivered at all, the situation has become intolerable," Christensen said, according to a news release from her Washington office.
In her letter to the inspector general, Christensen asks for the investigation and the return to the practice of the Virgin Islands processing its own mail instead of having it processed in Puerto Rico. The letter was co-signed with Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service and District of Columbia.
WAPA is looking for a rate increase:
May 8, 2008 -- After hearing the V.I. Water and Power Authority’s case for water and electric base rate increases, the Public Services Commission voted Thursday to postpone voting in order to gather more information and delay the impact on ratepayers.
WAPA Executive Director Hugo Hodge Jr. made an emergency request to increase the base water rate so WAPA can fend off the risk of technical default on $29.2 million in bond debt.
WAPA Chief Financial Officer Gregory Rhymer and Hodge said all payments are being made and there is no risk of any interruption in payments. The risk is of a technical default in the terms of the bond.
More here from the Source.