Cruise brings cargo of books to Vir...

Cruise brings cargo of books to Virgin Islands children

ST. CROIX - A small group of smiling children from the Boys and Girls Club of St. Croix stood proxy for children across the island Tuesday as passengers from the Carnival Valor cruise ship donated more than 2,000 books to the community. Fran Geocaris, wh
V.I.'s GDP tumbles by two-thirds as...

V.I.'s GDP tumbles by two-thirds as payroll holds steady

ST. THOMAS - Though the territory's revenue dropped from $19.5 billion in 2007 to $6.8 billion in 2012, its annual payroll to employees has hardly budged from $1.1 billion, according to an economic report from the U.S. Census. In late 2012, between Octo
Brother of first suspect charged in...

Brother of first suspect charged in Frydenhoj shooting

ST. THOMAS - V.I. Police have arrested a second suspect in connection with a non-fatal shooting at the end of June near the Frydenhoj ballpark. Akeam Davis, whose brother - 41-year-old Michael Davis - already was arrested in connection with the shooting
Donastorg advertisement misstates o...

Donastorg advertisement misstates on tax liens

ST. THOMAS - Gubernatorial candidate Adlah Donastorg Jr. did not respond to the questionnaire for The Daily News Voter Guide, but in his paid advertisement, he answered "no" to the question about ever having tax liens. Upon further investigation, two ta
Senators decorate pay stub bill wit...

Senators decorate pay stub bill with amendments

ST. THOMAS - Senators tacked a number of unrelated amendments onto a bill at Monday's session. The bill, if signed by Gov. John deJongh Jr., would give government retirees the option of receiving either a paper check stub for their annuity payment or a


Land Development for Proposed Marin...

Land Development for Proposed Marina May Not Come as Fast as Marina

CORAL BAY ? The land and water development plans for the St. John Marina, The Yacht Club at Summer?s End, will be going before a single Department of Planning and Natural Resources Coastal Zone Management public hearing sometime in August ? but the developers acknowledge the land side development may not come as fast as the marina.

?Future development is pre-planned for the purposes of this application and will be implemented strictly on market demand,? according to the Earth Change Plan and Environmental Assessment Report for the Development of the Upland Areas of the St. John Marina filed with DPNR.

?This redevelopment project consists primarily of utilizing existing buildings for land based businesses ancillary to and supporting the adjacent marina in Phase I and the addition of several new buildings in Phase II? ,? the application reads. ?Ample off-street parking will be provided along with restaurants, Customs and Border protection office, marine office, marine security office, crew shower and locker facilities and apartments to support marina management.?

?The overall development will improve Route 107, add parking along the roadway and add improved pedestrian circulation and walkways, including raised pedestrian crossings and concrete sidewalks,? according to the report prepared by the developers.

?Interface With the Waterfront?
The ?interface with the waterfront/marina? on the narrow shoreline on the eastern portion of Parcel 13 Remainder, the Coccoloba commercial complex will include ?a covered shade structure at the marina entrance and improvements to the pedestrian crossing on Route 107,? the application reads.

The Coccoloba commercial complex ?consists of an existing set of buildings and improvements that currently function as a grocery store, assorted retail stores and an outdoor restaurant and bar facility,? according to the permit application.

?The proposed conditions will renovate this area, improve the restaurant use and add upgraded utilities and wastewater treatment,? the application reads.

?Subject to Shoreline Erosion?
The St. John Marina developers acknowledge the unstable nature of the narrow shoreline along the shoulder of Route 107, the main road to the southeast end of the island.

?To protect the roadway, the southern half of the project area shoreline has been previously armored with boulder rip-rap,? according to the permit application. Further to the south, gabion baskets have been placed along the shoreline indicating the southern portions of the property are subject to shoreline erosion.?

?Dense mangroves protect the shoreline to the north, but the area between the riprap and the mangroves consists of an erosion shorefront,? the permit application reads. ?There is a very narrow sandy beach behind which are eroded soils.?

?Many of the seaside maho trees along the shoreline exhibit erosion along their roots,? the filing continued.

Second Public ?Scoping? Session on ...

Second Public ?Scoping? Session on New St. John Public School Is Tonight

The V.I. government is conducting meetings to get public input into negotiations with the federal government concerning a land swap for more than ten acres of federal property across from George Simmonds Terrace at Hammer Farm on Route 10, above. The next meeting is Tuesday, July 29, at the Julius E. Sprauve School at 5:30 p.m.

One of the hundreds of workers who commute from St. Thomas to St. John had a simple question at the first ?scoping? meeting to plan the construction of a new public school on St. John conducted in May.

?Why can?t my child come to school with me on St. John while I?m working??

For the V.I. government officials starting the formal process of acquiring a piece of property on Centerline Road in Hammer Farm from the U.S. government to build a new island educational complex, the question opened the discussion wide.

The Office of the Governor in partnership with the Departments of Education and Public Works will conduct the second public ?scoping? meeting and present the findings of the Phase I Archaeological Study for a suggested property for the school on Centerline Road across from George Simmonds Terrace on Tuesday, July 29, at the Julius E. Sprauve School cafeteria in Cruz Bay from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

The V.I. government is conducting the meetings to get public input into negotiations with the federal government concerning a land swap for more than ten acres of federal property across from George Simmonds Terrace at Hammer Farm.

Summer?s End Deemed Too Large for ...

Summer?s End Deemed Too Large for Coral Bay; Residents Say Plan Shows Lack of Boating Knowledge

Summer?s End Group Managing Partner Chaliese Summers and Partner Rick Barksdale.

CORAL BAY ? After years of talk and speculation about a marina planned for Coral Bay, last week?s announcement that Department of Planning and Natural Resources officials had deemed the application for Summer?s End Group?s proposed 145-slip project complete, sent tongues wagging from Mandhal to East End.

As DPNR begins the process of evaluating the project and scheduling public meetings ? expected to be in August ? Summer?s End Group?s plans for a large-scale marina, taking up most of Coral Bay harbor, and associated retail and hospitality development, are now available for review at Connections East and Keep Me Posted.

While many live-aboard boaters, recreational boaters and Coral Bay residents feel there is a need for a marina in the area, and welcome a pump-out facility and U.S. Customs and Border Protection office, many people feel Summer?s End Group?s plan is simply too big and inappropriate for the area.

?My first impression is that it?s way too big for Coral Bay,? said Stephen Hendren. ?The marina would take up three-quarters of the inner bay.?

?What they want to do is build a marina in the middle of the bay with a bridge to it,? said Dick Burks.
Summer?s End Group?s proposed marina ? with 46 slips for mega-yachts and 96 for smaller yachts ? does not reflect the needs or the wants of the community, explained Coral Bay Community Council President Sharon Coldren.

Last year CBCC hosted an intensive community planning session with American Institute of Architects (AIA) which looked at ways to develop Coral Bay while maintaining the area?s beauty and charm. Summer?s End Group partner Rick Barksdale took part in that planning session, yet his proposed marina doesn?t reflect what was discussed or recommended by the AIA experts, explained Coldren.

Moravian Church Wants Marina Plan F...

Moravian Church Wants Marina Plan From Opposite Shore To Share Harbor

CORAL BAY ? Moravian Church officials are hoping the developers of the St. John Marina, The Yacht Club at Summer?s End, proposed for Coral Bay Harbor will share in the bounty of the Lord ? in the form of the public waters of the harbor.

?That?s exactly the position we?re taking,? Moravian Church official Sam Rymer told St. John Tradewinds July 26.

In a telephone interview in April, the church official said the Moravian property encompassing the entire north shore of the bay was a ?better site? for a marina than any site on the south shore of Coral Bay where a stateside developer was proposing a marina at a then-undisclosed location.

Rick Barksdale, a principal of the development group proposing the alternate marina, Summer?s End Group, called Rymer?s remark ?an unsubstantiated and unqualified statement? since the Summer?s End group has not publicly identified the site it is proposing for a marina development.

The Summer?s End group had filed initial plans for its project with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) in April, but details of the plan were not released by DPNR until the application was deemed complete in mid July.

Marina Stretches Across Harbor
Now that St. John Marina plans are public, the Moravians have found Summer?s End is coveting public harbor waters more than half way across the inner harbor for their marina and proposing to relocate moorings from the southern area of the harbor into waters abutting Moravian land to the north.

On The Market: Affordable St. John ...

On The Market: Affordable St. John Homes Offer Options

Caribbean Cottage Retreat

Coqui Cottage

Saba Cottage

While luxury villas aren?t difficult to come by on St. John, a celebrity-sized wallet is usually needed in order to afford those sweeping North Shore views.

Saba Cottage, Caribbean Cottage Retreat and Coqui Cottage, on the other hand, are Love City homes you don?t have to be in the 1 percent to afford.

?Not everyone on St. John can afford a luxury home,? said Holiday Homes of St. John sales associate Sandra Mohler. ?Not everyone needs all that space or all those amenities which drive the price of a home out of your average person?s range.?

With a little bit of work, these three homes ? all available for less than $400,000 ? could appreciate in value, Mohler added.

?These options give people the ability to gain sweat equity while living and working on their home,? she said. ?All three of these houses are comfortable homes at the bottom of the price range on St. John, which can be improved or enlarged to make them more valuable.?

VIERS Welcome New Group of Eco-camp...

VIERS Welcome New Group of Eco-campers to Lameshur Bay

VIERS eco-campers examine sea life collected for study, below, and attend outdoor classes, above.

Lameshur Bay ? With St. John Festival wrapped up and school another month away, students are descending to Lameshur Bay for the annual Eco-camps at V.I. Environmental Resource Station.

Owned by University of the Virgin Islands and managed by Clean Islands International, VIERS welcomes students each summer who come out to remote Lameshur Bay on the island?s south shore for three-day, two-night Eco-camps, where they learn about everything from mangroves to shore birds.

?In the Eco-camps this year, we?re focusing on birds and it?s been a real hit,? said VIERS Administrator Randy Brown. ?The kids are learning the difference between a bird and a bat and listening to different bird calls. They?re really been having fun with it.?

The eco-campers, from across St. Thomas and St. John, also spend time on shoreline walks where they search for and identify marine creatures like sea cucumbers and pencil urchins.

A recent morning found campers walking along the water?s edge at Great Lameshur Bay, heads bent down as they overturned rocks to reveal a trove of sea life.

Students took their findings to VIERS Manager Tony Blackwell, who helped them identify their find and deposit it in a bucket of sea water to show their fellow campers.

A Major Addition to Virgin Islands ...

A Major Addition to Virgin Islands Park

The National Park Service recently purchased the beach at Maho Beach and its surrounding hillside for the Virgin Islands National Park.
N.E.A. Grants Aim to Reach Those Wi...

N.E.A. Grants Aim to Reach Those With Limited Access to the Arts

A concerts series for veterans and an exhibition of work by artists with disabilities are among the projects awarded grants.
Stand-Up Paddle Boarding in the Vir...

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding in the Virgin Islands

Better than boating or diving, paddle boarding is a 360-degree experience, with vistas of land and sea all around.
A Rum Battle, a Tax Hangover

A Rum Battle, a Tax Hangover

Rum has set off a dispute between Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands over a tax the U.S. treasury collects on it.
Resort With Tents

Resort With Tents

To the Editor: Your article on the ecological tent resort at Maho Bay on St. John, ''Resort Option in the Caribbean: A Tent'' (Dec. 6), nicely celebrated the success of the concept, its execution and its endurance. In crediting the developer,...
Resort Option in the Caribbean: A T...

Resort Option in the Caribbean: A Tent

The island boasts an expansive national park and a few pockets of uninterrupted coastline, where one can set up camp.

UPDATE: Five on remand, two denied ...

UPDATE: Five on remand, two denied bail for money laundering and drug charges

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Five men who were allegedly caught laundering money in addition to being found with a substantial amount of cocaine, appeared before the Magistrates Court today, August 13, 2012. The session concluded with the men being remanded to prison until a next court hearing; two applications of bail were also denied by Magistrate Tamia Richards, who presided.
SOL: ?We are confident that we put ...

SOL: ?We are confident that we put in a very good submission?

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - The BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) today, August 13, 2012 opened bids for the supply of diesel, lubricants and gasoline for their engines and vehicles. The bids are to cover the period September 1, 2012 through August 31, 2014.
UPDATE: Court against man leaving t...

UPDATE: Court against man leaving territory for ?unnecessary? treatment

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- After being remanded to the Peebles Hospital for medical evaluation, Elrys Todman appeared at the Magistrates Court today, August 13, 2012, where he was instructed by Magistrate Tamia Richards, that the request for his case to be adjourned for him to be able to travel abroad would not be granted and his bail requirements would be increased.
MVP Rymer powers ?Canes to Champion...

MVP Rymer powers ?Canes to Championship victory!

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI ? The Hurricanes were crowned Eva Simmons Fast Pitch League Champions on Saturday August 11th, 2012 thanks to Kye Rhymer?s Grand Slam and some too hot to handle pitching from Neville Smith in a decisive 7-5 victory over the East Invaders in Game 5.
CCT improves service in Jost Van Dy...

CCT improves service in Jost Van Dyke

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI ? CCT would like to inform its valued customers that cellular service levels have been fully restored in Jost Van Dyke and surrounding areas. CCT's investigation in to the degradation in service revealed issues affecting one of the cellular sites used to provide service.
?Showtime ain?t sleeping!? says Jug...

?Showtime ain?t sleeping!? says Juggo

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - In an exclusive interview with Showtime Band member and vocalist Raul ?Juggo? Sprauve, Virgin Islands News Online was told that the band was ?very grateful that we came up and won again?, adding that ?The band really did good this year and we?re very happy that we came out victorious once again?.
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