A big crowd filled the Coral Bay ball field Saturday afternoon, November 15, for the St. John Rib Cook-Off in support of St. John Rescue. The annual fundraiser netted more than $8,000. In the end, it was Team Skinny Legs that took first place.
Jim Kujawa was definitely sharing with friends.
CORAL BAY ? BBQ grills and smokers were fired up in the Coral Bay ball field on Saturday afternoon, November 15, for the second annual St. John Rib Cook-off, a fundraiser for St. John Rescue.
A total of 10 teams battled it out for the coveted Golden Grill at the tasty fundraiser which also featured a cornhole tournament and netted more than $8,000 for the volunteer emergency response organization.
Sean Olson of Team Skinny Legs took the crown from last year?s winner Tourist Trap. Olson began cooking his ?sweet and sexy? spiced slow-smoked St. Louis style ribs at 2:30 a.m. for the 4:30 event and was popular with the crowd as well as the judges.
Second place went to Nathan Bohning of Asolare whose Thai marinated ribs with banana ketchup was another crowd favorite. Marc Kaye and MJ Foody of Aqua Bistro took third place for the second year in a row.
The large crowd enjoyed ribs cooked up by East/West Catering, Sam and Jack?s Deli, Cafe Concordia, Boozie, Fatty Crab and Jeff and Dan and the Tourist Trap.St. John Rescue officials were still tallying the amount raised at the event but were hopeful that they raised well more than last year?s $8,000 total.
Veterans, event organizers, volunteers ? and even a service dog from Team River Runner ? pose for a group photo at the famous Trunk Bay overlook.
CINNAMON BAY ? Although the week?s weather threw a few wrenches in Team River Runner?s plans, the group?s 21 wounded veterans managed to enjoy kayak trips while forging bonds, cultivating leadership skills and soaking up the beauty of St. John.
TRR hosted its annual leadership program on St. John November 2 through 9, just when a spate of wet weather and rough seas hit the island. Despite less than perfect conditions, the veterans were still able to head out on kayak adventures, tour Annaberg Ruins and more during their week based at Cinnamon Bay Campground.
?We had some torrential rain and rough surf,? said John Schuld, who helped organized TRR?s St. John trip. ?We?ve had to cut some of our kayak trips short. What we do then is fill in that time with some leadership courses back at camp.?
TRR is an adaptive kayak program founded at Walter Reed Army Medical Center by Washington D.C. area paddler Joe Mornini.
A retired special education teacher, Mornini launched the program with a few donated kayaks stored in his garage in 2004. Today TRR has 40 chapters ? mostly started and run by veterans who met Mornini in the Water Reed pool ? at VA hospitals across the country.
TRR has been hosting leadership trips to St. John for six of the past seven years. For the past four years, the trip has been organized by former St. John residents John and Brandi Schuld, who have also been able to make the trip self-sufficient thanks the popular Chaotic Kayak annual fundraiser.
Coral Bay Harbor (taken from Friends of the VINP Facebook page).
CORAL BAY ? About six weeks after the St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee okayed a mega-marina for Coral Bay, the Save Coral Bay campaign has managed to raise more than $60,000 for legal fees while spearheading a multi-pronged attack on the project.
On October 1, Summers End Group was granted a Major Land and Water Use permit by the St. John Coastal Zone Committee to construct a 145-slip marina taking up 28 acres of submerged land in Coral Bay harbor.
The project faced strong opposition by many Coral Bay residents and visitors, who launched the Save Coral Bay campaign and Fund on October 4. Since then, the group of community activists with support from Coral Bay Community Council, as well as across the country and the world, has raised in excess of $63,000 through a www.GoFundMe.com site.
Last week ? jut a day after Governor John deJongh signed SEG?s permit and sent it to members of the 30th Legislature urging their approval ?Save Coral Bay announced its cooperation with the St. Thomas-based Virgin Islands Conservation Society to initiate legal action against the marina development.
The Save Coral Bay partnership with VICS was announced in a press release issued on November 12. The two groups crossed paths following the August CZM hearing on the SEG marina, explained Save Coral Bay organizer David Silverman.
?VICS, along with hundreds of other individuals and agencies, took the initiative to comment on the Summers End Group application during the CZM Public Hearing in August,? Silverman said. ?Following that meeting we stayed in touch, hopeful that the St. John CZM Committee would do the right thing and deny the permits due to their significant environmental impacts.?
10 days after the General Election of November 4, 2014, Senators and Senators-elect to the 31st Legislature of the Virgin Islands met, organized, and appointed their leadership team. In essence, the membership will consist of an effective mixture of seasoned and veteran policy makers. The proposed 11-member Majority has formed along Democratic Party lines and have agreed to honor the "gentlemen's agreement" of previous Legislatures that have passed the presiding gavel between districts. This period in our history where the leadership of the 31st Legislature has been established is the perfect time in which the gavel being passed to the St. Croix District is well-timed and strategic. The challenges confronting St. Croix have reached a critical stage and additional focus can only assist in generating much more needed relief. Senate President, Senator-elect Neville A. James stated, ?My colleagues have recognized the experience that I possess and have granted me the opportunity to lead this body. I have given much thought to the discipline that should be exercised by the members of this institution, and we have organized in a manner that lends to the strengths of each committee chairperson and members of Central Staff.? Majority Leader, Senator Sammuel Sanes stated, ?The districts have very specific needs and as Majority Leader, have committed to ensure that the needs of the districts are met.? He continued, ?The Territory needs leadership and stability, and this 31st Legislature will be the force for change that these islands desperately need in order to move it forward for the benefit of the residents of these beautiful islands.?
The victim was found in this modern, cliffside rental home on the East End of St. John.
PRIVATEER BAY ? An insurance company owner from Nashville, Tennessee, Edward H. Netherland, was found dead with a head wound Tuesday morning, November 18, in his isolated rental home at the farthest reach of the undeveloped luxury subdivision at Privateer Bay on the East End of St. John. ?I saw him Monday afternoon,? the owner of property in the same undeveloped subdivision as the lone rental house told St. John Tradewinds newspaper. ?The next morning the girl came to clean up and he was slumped over dead between the bed and the outside wall.??It looked like a tussle and they hit him or he hit his head,? the neighboring property owner told Tradewinds. ?It wasn?t like (the house) was ransacked ? his wallet was gone; his watch was gone.??I don?t think they knew he was there,? the long-time St. John resident surmised. ?This guy didn?t go out.??This is an isolated spot,? the neighboring property owner said of the modern house which hangs off a cliff on the north shore of Privateer Point on the East End of St. John with a porch cantilevered far above the shoreline overlooking Tortola.??He was renting,? the property owner said. ?He never locked his doors. He was on the phone 10 hours a day,?
Kenneth Mapp wins gubernatorial run-off election for the U.S. Virgin Islands.
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS ? Ken Mapp, an Independent, won a decisive victory over longtime Congressional Delegate Donna Christensen, a Democrat, in a runoff for the Governorship of the US Virgin Islands. Unofficial election results published on the Board of Elections website has Mapp and his running mate, Osbert Potter, with 63.89% and Christensen at 35.87% with 89.19% of the votes counted. Stateside, Christensen, who has been a Delegate for 18 years, was the favorite prior to the general election on November 4, but Mapp won that race in an almost 8 point upset although he did not attain the 50% plus one required to avoid a runoff.
?Delegate Christensen was a worthy opponent and I commend her for her almost two decades of service working in Congress and respect her patriotism and love for the people of the Virgin Islands,? Mapp stated. ?I spoke the Delegate last night and have asked her that in the future months, if I could seek her counsel as Osbert and I begin our work to on the many challenges our Territory faces. I look forward to all Virgin Islanders coming together and working to build a better future for our people.?
Mapp has served in government for almost 30 years including as a Lt. Governor, Senator and positions such as the Director of the Public Finance Authority, Commissioner of Insurance, Chairman of the Banking Board and Administrator of the Foreign Sales Corporation.
The Harvard-educated Mapp?s platform includes job creation, lowering high energy costs and rebuilding the Virgin Islands economy.To learn more about Mapp-Potter?s positions, visit www.mapp-potter.com