St. John Film Society Presents: “The Milagro Beanfield Wars”

The following is a press release from the St John Film Society. I’d just like to add a little note of local interest about one of the film:

The Denis Bay Connection
Some illustrious St. Johnians have lived at Denis Bay either as renters or caretakers. St. Johnian, Thomas Thomas, served as one of the first caretakers and Robert and Nancy Gibney were among the first renters, having leased the property in 1947. The late Carl Frank, the founder of Holiday Homes was also a caretaker. He passed on the enviable job to Peter Griffith and family. One of the Griffith’s daughters, Melanie Griffith, who is one of the stars in the Milagro Beanfield Wars, spent much of her childhood at Denis Bay.
Excerpted from St. John Off The Beaten Track

Press Release:

St John Film Society Presents:

Free Movie

7:00 pm Tuesday, September 1
Sputnik Bar
Coral Bay, St John

“Milagro” is the Spanish word for “miracle”
by Robert Redford (117 min) 1988
“Whimsical, yet credible”

This enjoyable tale of a small village’s fight over water rights is told with magical realism and humor. The residents of a small humble New Mexican agricultural community are threatened when big business appropriates their water rights to supply a posh housing development, thus depriving them of their one source of livelihood, crop raising. One man courageously stands up to fight the usurpers and causes division within the community.

Stars Ruben Blades, Sonia Braga, Melanie Griffith, Daniel Stern and John Heard.
” … a populist fable set in some beautiful New Mexican landscapes about one stubborn Chicano’s battle against an uncaring system.” The New York Times

Come early for Julietta’s famous rotis!

Seating is limited, so bring a beach chair if you’ll be late.  See You There!


Allawees AfterSchool Program
(Safe, Drug & Violence-Free Youth Activity)

St John Youth, ages 10 – 15, are invited to enroll now in an exciting 10 week program, sponsored by the St John Community Foundation and the V.I. Department of Human Services.
Sept. 14 – Nov. 19 Tues/Thurs 3-5:30 p.m.

Parents, Sponsors & Community Volunteers:
For more info contact Paul Devine at St John Community Foundation
(340) 693-9410, E-mail:

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St. John Virgin Islands: Bluzapalooza

St. John US Virgin Islands
Press Relase

Steve Simon Presents:



The Pizza & Pyramid Tour
October 21 through November 1, 2010

Starring Zac Harmon with Special Guests Deanna Bogart, Terry “Harmonica” Bean and Steve Simon, this 10 day tour includes a show at the U.S. Naval Base in Sicily, Italy and then on to Cairo, Egypt for command performances at the Pyramids, The  Cairo Opera House and the Cairo – American University.

For further information contact Steve Simon at 340-643-6475 or at
Check out

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St. John Virgin Islands: A Beach for Small Boats

Little Cinnamon
Little Cinnamon, a beach for small boats

On St. John, we have a lot of options when it comes to going to the beach. Some have facilities and some don’t. Some attract tourists in taxi-vans and some are rarely visited except by locals. Some can be reached by walking just a few yards from your vehicle and some can only be reached by walking trail.

That is, if you’re coming by land, but what about those that arrive by sea?.

In order to protect the undersea grasslands that have been decimated by anchors over the years, the National Park has instituted rules concerning anchoring at National Park park beaches. Generally speaking, anchoring is prohibited within the boundaries marked off by the white swim swim buoys that can be found at almost all the beaches. Small craft may enter these bays through the channel marked by the red and green buoys to pick up or discharge passengers, but cannot anchor within that area. Boats must either be hauled up onto the beach or moored or anchored outside the protected area, in which case you’ll either have to swim in or catch a ride. (leaving the dinghy operator with no other choice but to swim or stay aboard)

But hauling a boat up on the beach is problematic for all but the smallest dinghies. Most dinghies are simply too heavy to pull up to a safe distance on the beach where waves and tides will not threaten to take the craft back out to sea, minus captain and crew.

It used to be so convenient. If you had a small boat you could anchor in sand near the beach and have easy safe access. But boaters who would lay their anchors in the seagrass beds, ruined it for the rest and now no one can anchor right off the beach.

One Exception
A little known fact is that there is one National Park beach where you can still anchor close in. And its a beautiful coral sand, north shore, palm tree lined beach to boot. That beach is Little Cinnamon and it’s the only one of its kind on the north shore. Pull right up to beach and set your anchor, but be sure to watch out for patches of reef lying near the shore.

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St. John Virgin Islands: Tropical Update

It’s Monday morning and we on St. John are just about in the middle of the clusters of clouds and thunderstorms that are making up what was once Tropical Storm Ana; downgraded yesterday, she now has a case of tropical depression.

Nonetheless, it’s windy and stormy.  It’s a nice day to stay at home and cool out.

Meanwhile, Bill is now a hurricane and the forecast is for him to continue strengthening.  Bill appears to be taking a northerly turn and hopefully he’ll pass our longitude at a significantly safe latitude sometime Friday morning.


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St. John Virgin Islands: Virgin Islands Under Tropical Storm Watch

St. John Virgin Islands: TS Ana Update 5:00 AM Sunday 8/16/2009
St. John is now officially under a tropical storm watch as are the rest of the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the islands of the northern Lesser Antilles, Montserrat, Antigua, Barbuda, St. .Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla, St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius.

A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 36 hours.

The 5:00 update from the National Hurricane Center places the center of Tropical Storm Ana about 43 miles south of St. Croix at 5:00 PM on Monday with sustained winds of about 40 mph with higher gusts.

TS Bill
The 5:00 five day forecast from the National Hurricane Center places the center of Tropical Storm Bill about 200 miles north of us early Friday morning as a category three hurricane (winds 111 to 130 mph). Keep in mind that five day forecasts are fairly unreliable, so stay tuned.

Tropical Wave Invest 90
Just so we have something else to worry about an area of disturbed weather with the potential for tropical development is lurking in the Atlantic off the African Coast with computer models predicting a track towards we.

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St. John Virgin Islands: Tropical Update

The Fun Begins

TS Ana
Tropical Depression Two has intensified to become Tropical Storm Ana, the first named storm f the Atlantic Hurricane Season. The none to accurate five day forecast places the storm near St. John and the Virgin Islands sometime Monday night at tropical storm strength (winds 39 -73 mph) Ana now packs sustained winds of 40 mph with gust up to 50 mph. The public advisory as of 11:00 AM today reads, “…interests in the Leeward Islands…the Virgin Islands…and Puerto Rico should monitor the progress of Ana. A tropical storm watch may be required for portions of the Leeward Islands later today.”

Tropical Depression Three (Bill?)

Now right behind Ana is Tropical Depression Three, which should become Tropical Storm Bill later today or early tomorrow is presently forecast to be in our vicinity as a category two hurricane (winds 96 -100 mph) on Thursday morning.

Invest 90 (Claudette?)
And if this isn’t bad enough for you, right behind these to villains lies Invest 90,an area of disturbed weather that has the potential for tropical development and whose forecast track also places it near the Virgin Islands.

Keep a weather eye!

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Sahara Dust: Birds, Bees, Hurricanes and Tropical Depression

St. John, Virgin Islands
Being that its hurricane season here in the Virgin Islands, I’ve been monitoring several internet weather sites to keep abreast of any developing adverse atmospheric conditions. In pursuing this, I learned of the role played by Sahara dust in the formation of hurricanes.

The area affected by this hot, dry and dusty air coming off the Sahara Dessert on the continent of Africa even has a name. Its called the Sahara Air Layer or (SAL).

It seems that the SAL impedes the development of tropical storms. This is what happened to Tropical Depression Two, which never (yet) turned into the expected first named storm of the season. However, the absence of Sahara dust in the vicinity of the extensive tropical wave now off the coast of Africa (90L) is what makes this gathering of thunderstorms more likely to experience organization and to perhaps threaten us next week.

The Birds and The Bees
I have also observed how the dryness in the air and lack of rain which has characterized our weather here on St. John for the last several weeks has affected the behavior of some of our more common tropical fauna. My old enemies, the thrushies, seem to be more aggressive in stealing my mangoes

The dry air has also made bees more creative in searching for water as can be witnessed by anyone daring enough to bathe in our outdoor shower. The second the water is turned on, dozens of bees swarm about attracted to the water, even if steaming hot. They’re not aggressive, have never stung anyone (yet), but it is rather unnerving to be standing naked taking a shower closely surrounded by swarms of buzzing bees.

Another plus for the Sahara dust and its resultant dryness is the relative absence of mosquitos. These pesky insects depend on standing water to breed and without it, their numbers decrease dramatically.

Tropical Depression
My friend, John Gibney, who spent most of his life on St. John, once remarked that the Sahara dust affected his mood and when the condition broke followed by a hard rain he would feel noticeably better. Thinking about it, I believe I feel the same way.

This is not too far-fetched, as certain weather conditions in the world are commonly known to effect peoples mood. This has often been said about the Santa Anna winds over California, the Kona winds over Hawaii and the The Tramontana winds over Spain, France and Italy. This tendency for certain winds to influence mood has been attributed to the production of positively charged ions by certain wind conditons.

Referring to the Tramontama, the principal character in Victor Hugo’s poem, Gastibelza, says: “Le vent qui vient à travers la montagne me rendra fou..” (“the wind which comes across the mountains would drive me mad.” And he Colombian writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, wrote about the Tramontana bearing the seeds of madness.

All in all, however, I would venture to guess that hurricanes and mosquitos would depress me way more than positive ions.

I hear the thrushies screeching. Better go check my mangoes.

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St. John Film Society: Press Release

Hello Film Society Friends

We hope you’ve been enjoying your summer. For those of you still on island, there are some exciting activities and events to partake in; the kind that make you feel good about living on St. John!

This week, we are delighted to share some additional information with you (below) about these events happening right here in your community. But first…

The St John Film Society would like to announce our first “Double Feature Delight!” Please join us in Cruz Bay next Tuesday at 7 pm, for two fantastic short films about recycling and the “stuff” we consume.

Tuesday, Aug. 18
7:00 PM
Marketplace, 3rd Floor
Cruz Bay


by Jeremy Kaller (33 min) 2006

The history of the recycling movement in the San Francisco area, starting with the first Earth Day celebration in 1970.


by Annie Leonard (20 min) 2007

The way you look at all the stuff you accumulate may change forever. Lighthearted and educational.

***And special guests from St John’s Recycling Forum!***
Please visit our website for details.

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St. John Community Foundation: Press Release


Youth Summit & Rally For Peace & Change

Tonight – Friday, August 14, from 5:30 – 9 p.m. at the National Park Field

Please come out and support the Youth of St. John as they creatively present their thoughts and dreams for a better St John!

Bring a dish to share in the Pot Luck dinner if you like. Come support our youth, catch up with old friends, and meet new people!

Allawees After School Program
(Safe, Drug & Violence-Free Youth Activity)

St John Youth, ages 10 – 15, are invited to enroll now in an exciting 10 week program, sponsored by the St John Community Foundation and the V.I. Department of Human Services.
Sept. 14 – Nov. 19
3-5:30 p.m.

Parents, Sponsors & Community Volunteers:
For more info contact Paul Devine at St John Community Foundation
(340) 693-9410, E-mail:

“Advocating, Inspiring, and Empowering Fellow Youth”
The St. John Youth Committee Positive Summit and Rally for Peace and Change

Who:    The Villagers of the St. John Community…youth, adults, elders, government officials, socio-political activists… anyone who cares about the Youth of St. John
What:    Positive Summit and Rally for Peace and Change … empowers the youth of the island and    provides an opportunity for youth to engage in a dialog that defines problems and finds solutions.
When:     August 14th, 2009; 5:30 — 9:00 pm
Where:    The National Park Ball Field in Cruz Bay across from Mongoose
Why:      It is time for change!  The youth of the island need to know that they are loved and supported by the St. John village.  This is the time for empowerment, social activism, and the end of mediocrity and apathy.  The new dawn is here!  Join us in our quest to affect positive change on St. John.
“We cannot always build the future for our youth…but we can build our youth for the future.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

Show the Youth that You CARE !!!
· Come Out and Show Your Support
· Sponsor Our Village Potluck (feed 2 or 40) Please bring a dish to share
· Be a youth sponsor and purchase a sign for $150 featuring a positive word of endearment for St. John’s Youth
· Sign Up to be a Volunteer
· Host a table with Valuable Youth Information


Hadiya Sewer – 344 2106 – e-mail:

Bonny Corbeil at 693-5874 – email:

Paul Devine – St. John Community Foundation: 693-9410

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St. Thomas Blues Festival: Press Release

Steve Simon Presents

The 1st Annual St. Thomas Blues Festival

Friday – January 22, 2010 – 8:00 PM -At The Reichhold Center
The magnificent amphitheater on the grounds of the University of the Virgin Islands


Blues Music Award Nominee – Curtis Salgado

International Blues Challenge Winners – Trampled Under Foot

Two Time Blues Music Award Winner -Eden Brent


Contact The Reichhold Center at

or call the Box Office at 340-693-1559

$50 For covered seats in Zone “A”

$30 For uncovered seats in Zone “B”  &  Zone “C”

Go to

Or Contact Steve Simon at


Or call Steve at

The 1st Annual St. Thomas Blues Festival is brought to you by Johnnie Walker – The U.S.V.I  Department of Tourism – Merchants Commercial Bank – Metro Motors – Blues Revue – XM Satellite Radio – Pirate Radio – Sunny FM – Isle 95 – Mongoose – Theodore Tunick & Company – Mafolie Hotel and The Steve & Helen Simon Foundation

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