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Archive for October, 2011

ST. JOHN FILM SOCIETY

Free Film Screening November 1, 2011
7:30 pm / St. John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay

BEATBOXING – THE FIFTH ELEMENT OF HIP HOP

Directed by Klaus Schneyder: 55 minutes, 2011, Documentary

The film celebrates the incredible art form of making music using only the human body through vocal percussion primarily involving the art of producing drum beats, rhythm, and musical sounds using one’s mouth, lips, tongue, and voice.  Linked to the hip hop movement and stemming from the hardship of poverty and the lack of instruments, a pioneer was inspired to imitate drum rhythms with his mouth – his brilliance creating the term ‘Human Beatbox.’

The documentary features artists from New York, California, Florida, Spain, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Belgium, Canada, Austria and Germany, who demonstrate their amazing techniques which often seem impossible to audiences at first sight, but see for yourselves….

LEARN SOMETHING NEW YOURSELVES  & BRING THE YOUNG ADULTS AND TEENAGERS, THEY WILL LOVE THIS FILM!

MEET THE PRODUCER ANGELA VISCIDO  AFTER THE SCREENING!

Angela Viscido is a videographer, editor, entrepreneur and president of Eclectrix, Inc., a full service multimedia company specializing in live performances.  Angela has been committed to the visual and performing arts for the past 29 years.  This includes starting a company to enhance talent in the actors, dance and music industries by creating and developing marketing visuals for the performers. Angela is currently working both in New York City and UK.

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Coming to St. John – The Taxi Ride from the Airport on St. Thomas

It’s a beautiful thing to arrive on St. John.

If you came by air, than it was probably a long trip: getting to the airport two hours before flight-time, going through security, shoes off, liquids in one-quart plastic bags, laptops removed, waiting for the plane, boarding, getting seated and most likely a long flight with a stopover somewhere or other.

You arrive at the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas. St. John is not far away. You’re ready to get down; get to your home, your villa, hotel – maybe get to the beach.

But, there’s one more leg to this journey and it’s usually not so pleasant  – getting from the airport to St. John.

You get your luggage, if you have more than carry on, and walk out to the street.

“Need a taxi?”

“Where you going?”

“Red Hook? Catching the ferry to St. John?

“Stand over here, wait.”

And you wait -  for a while on the sidewalk as other eastbound passengers line up -  load up your luggage, board the taxi, then wait some more people to arrive, until the van is stuffed to capacity with human beings and suitcases. Then finally, you’re on your way, all too often (but admittedly not always) in the control of a surly driver who seems to not like his job very much.

You want to get to Red Hook in time to board the next ferry that leaves on the hour. There’s a bit of traffic, it looks like you’ll make it, but just barely.

But no meh son, taxi gonna stop at this or that hotel to disgorge one or two passengers while you nervously look at the time. It’s almost guaranteed, you’ll get to the ferry terminal two minutes after the ferry leaves.

You pay the fare, you unload your luggage, buy your tickets and wait some more.

When the minute hand approaches the twelve once again, you load your luggage on the boat, cross Pillsbury Sound over to St. John arriving at the dock at Cruz Bay. Wait for your luggage, get it to the end of the dock, load up your luggage once again in another taxi, or some arranged vehicle and finally arrive at your destination. Unload the luggage for the sixth time that day and your here.

Hallelujah!

Believe me it’s worth it. But there is an alternative.

Slimo’s Limo

Here’s how this goes, for nearly the same price, mind you.

Off the plane, Slim Man himself or one of his friendly drivers meets you at the airport. Loads your luggage up while you sit in air-conditioned comfort sipping that cool drink that was waiting just for you. The driver takes you directly to Red Hook, no stops along the way unless you request it. (maybe you want to shop in St. Thomas or something)

Then it’s directly to Red Hook, onto the car ferry, cross the sound to St. John and right to your final destination. Easy, breezy sweet!

As they say here, “good t’ing!”

Slimo’s Limo
E-Mail: slimos.limo@yahoo.com
Cell: 340-344-3836
Office: 340-714-SLIM (7546)

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Caneel Hill Trail

Mario makes it to the top of Caneel Hill - No problem!

Want a St. John alternative to an indoor aerobic workout on a gym treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical trainer? How about a brisk hike up the Caneel Hill Trail?

The trail begins just a bit up the North Shore Road from Mongoose Junction in Cruz Bay. You obtain an elevation of almost 800 feet in less than a mile making it a rather steep climb. Don’t believe the National Park informational sign at  the trailhead that reads 0.6 miles to Caneel Hill. I believe they’re referring to the distance to the Caneel Hill Spur Trail that intersects the Caneel Hill Trail about a third of the way up.

I was successful in convincing my good friend and now workout partner, Mario, to accompany me on the hike, which he resisted at first, but then thoroughly enjoyed.

Local Virgin Islands National Park Service  contractors and the trail is clear and easily passable. Swales have been constructed to manage erosion and large flat stones have been placed like stairs along the steepest areas.

Near the top of the hill is a wooden bench with a great view to the north, but about 100 yards further up at the summit is a viewing tower with one of the most magnificent vistas on St. John. Here you can cool down taking advantage of the mountaintop breezes before either continuing further on the trail which eventually leads to Caneel Bay, like us, just head back down to Cruz Bay the way we came.

One caveat, be careful of loose stones on the trail which are significantly more of a problem going down than going up.

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Trunk Bay St, John Virgin Islands Rainbow

Rainbow seen from the Trunk Bay Overlook

trunk bay overlook

Trunk Bay 8:00 AM - Nobody on the beach

It was a particularly beautiful morning at Trunk Bay. I arrived early in the morning and swam until about 8:00. No one was on the beach the whole time. I showered and walked back to my car at the parking lot and there were seven taxis there already, but not a soul on the beach and not a fare in sight.

The water was still warm, but the occasional cold currents that came in from around Trunk Cay foretold the end of our Virgin Islands summer.

I noticed a squall heading east through the channel from Tortola and waited at the Trunk Bay Overlook hoping for a rainbow and I was rewarded for my patience. I did the same at the Caneel Bay Overlook, but a rainbow didn’t form there. The sun went behind some large clouds so I called it a day, but am pleased with the photos that I did get.

trunk Bay Morning Rainbow

Rainbow Seen from Trunk Bay Overlook

Squall seen from Caneel bay

Squall Seen from Caneel Bay Overlook

Rainbow

pelican and squall

St. John News
St. John’s Roller Moving up in Laser Radial Sailing
By AARON GRAY (Daily News Staff)
Published: October 20, 2011

U.S. Virgin Islands sailor Mimi Roller (Hugo and Josephine Roller’s daughter) is starting to make a run in the Women’s Laser Radial Division, taking a third-place finish in the second of two races Wednesday at the Pan American Games sailing competition in Puerta Vallarta… Read more

Blue Flags Raised Over Four Virgin Islands Beaches
By SEAN McCOY (Daily News Staff)
Published: October 20, 2011

ST. THOMAS – A blue flag denoting green eco-symbolism soon will fly over four Virgin Islands beaches.

The Virgin Islands have been awarded four Blue Flag designations by the Blue Flag International Jury.

The Blue Flag is an internationally recognized voluntary eco-symbol that means a beach or marina meets stringent water-quality, safety, educational and management standards. The symbol has been awarded to more than 3650 beaches in 44 countries worldwide.

The first four Blue Flag beaches in the Virgin Islands are at beaches highly impacted by human use – Lindbergh Bay and Great Bay on St. Thomas; Pelican Cove on St. Croix; and Trunk Bay on St. John.

The beaches were chosen because they are popular but still remain beautiful with work and education… Read more

 

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Kenny Chesney writes a Poem for the Ghost From Jost

The “Ghost from Jost (Curtney Chinnery)” is always writing and reciting poems for his fans and for a change someone has written something for him. And not just anyone, but renowned country western singer/songwriter Kenny Chesney. Ghost’s fan base never ceases to amaze me.

Curtney Chinnery, performance poet and artist was a major contributor to the St. John book,  Tales of St. John and the Caribbean

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When I first arrived in the Virgin Islands, turtle sightings were rather rare. At that time turtles were hunted for their meat, their shells and their eggs. A 1973 law, protected the turtles in US water and prohibited the harvesting of their eggs. Since then, most other Caribbean nations have either banned or limited turtle hunting and now, at least for the Green and Hawksbill species, they seem to be rather plentiful

Nonetheless, the illegal poaching of turtles continues to some degree and some nations like the British Virgin Islands have established a legal season for hunting turtles for subsistence purposes. In the BVI turtles are used primarily for their shells as decorations, while their meat is consumed mostly by indigenous islanders.

Turtle season In the BVI runs from December 1 through March 31 and allows for the harvesting of both Hawksbill and Green Turtles, but hunting Loggerhead or Leatherback turtles is prohibited and the collection of turtle eggs is banned.

The hunting, storage, and slaughtering of turtles is a cruel business and in today’s modern Caribbean where turtles serve better as tourist attractions than for decorations or dinner, many people would like to see Turtle hunting completely prohibited.  A Facebook group has been established to try to End Sea Turtle Hunting Season in the British Virgin Islands

BVI Law Concerning Turtles
1) No person shall

(a) disturb, remove from the fishery waters, expose for sale, sell, purchase or have in his possession any turtle’s eggs;
(b) interfere with any turtle nest or turtle that is nesting;
(c) remove from the fishery waters, expose for sale, sell, purchase or have in his possession any undersized turtle or catch a leatherback turtle or loggerhead turtle on which there is a moratorium;
(d) set within 100 meters of the shores of the Virgin Islands any net, seine or other article for the purpose or with the intention of fishing for, catching or taking a turtle; and
(e) fish for, remove from the fishery waters, or at any time have in his possession, expose for sale, sell or purchase any turtle from 1st April to 30th November in every year or as otherwise stated by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette and in a newspaper circulating the Territory.
(2) In this regulation.
(a) “turtle” means the whole or any part of a turtle;
(b) “undersized” means a carapace (shell) length less than
(i) 24 inches for green turtle
(ii) 15 inches for hawksbill

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St. John Orchids
For whatever reason, more rain, a change in temperature perhaps, pure chance, when I returned back to St. John so many of my orchids were in bloom at once. A cool welcome back home.

I have one area where I keep orchids attached to drift wood and in small pots. Here just about every one was in bloom. In other areas I have orchids attached to tree trunks and several of these were also blooming. I don’t do anything as far as caring for them, just leave it to nature and so far, so good.

     
   
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Frank Bay Sunset

I took a swim at Trunk Bay this afternoon, which, by the way is a delightful experience especially late in the day, when there’s hardly anyone around. There was a wedding happening when I arrived at the beach. Two musicians were performing for the wedding party. I took a long swim and then changed my clothes. (For those of you who like the Trunk Bay afternoon experience, but like me would rather not drive back all sandy, remember that the showers are turned off somewhere around 3:30. With no running water to wash off with, you might want to bring a bottle of fresh water as an alternative.)

I had a nice conversation about Reggae music with taxi driver and music promoter and old friend, Spencer, who I met on the way to the parking lot, after which I headed home.

The sun was going down and it promised to be a beautiful sunset. I kept looking for an appropriate spot to get a clear photo, but it wasn’t until I reached Frank Bay that a real opportunity presented itself.

I braved an attack of sand flies that seem to enjoy the beach in the late afternoon and notwithstanding, caught a few good shots.

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“The Ghost from Jost,” came by yesterday. He was beat up as usual, this time from a run in with a coconut palm. Apparently he took a job cleaning coconut palms at Caneel Bay and it didn’t work out all that well.

The ghost is a true culture man and normally an excellent climber, in his day that is. I used to see him sleeping or sometimes writing up in the crown of some coconut palm as if he was lounging in some fluffy stuffed sofa. But that was some years ago and he hasn’t been climbing for some time.

Anyway, Ghost takes on a job cleaning trees for Caneel Bay Resort. This means cutting down dead fronds and removing coconuts that might fall on some tourist potentially causing injury to the tourist and probably a law suit for Caneel.

The first palm to be pruned is not one of the newer Samoan dwarf varieties but an old traditional palm tree, tall and wide at the top near the crown. There’s a ladder leaning against the tree that goes up about a quarter of the tree’s height.

Besides the obvious impediments for a good safe climb, like not having climbed in seven years and being 58 years old, the Ghost makes another bad move, he eats a the big breakfast offered to him finishing five minutes before the climb.

Ghost writes:
“Begin my climb by removing my sneakers and started up the ladder to where my climb began. Around my waist was a rope that held a small chain saw. My intention is to pull the saw up so that I could use it to cut what needed to be cut.

In any case, after leaving the end of the ladder behind me, my climbing method was walking using hands and toes only. Almost to the head of the tree I notice that the rings are getting smoother causing me to change the method of my climb. I now had to lean my entire body against the tree with both legs clamping the trunk and extend my arms grabbing the tree. This method is called leg lapping. which I now had to do until I got to the top.

However, just before I made it to the top, the trunk started to get fatter, causing me to exert all the energy I could. Finally I reach the top, I grab a branch with the intention of pulling my body up into the crown.

Suddenly I felt my muscles tightening up from my neck, arms and legs. What I started to feel, I had felt before and from experience I decide quickly to vacate. Making sure that the rope around my waist holding the chain saw would not interfere, I began my slide down the tree when both my arms and legs started to lose strength. Feeling my strength leaving I made the slide the quickest I ever slid down a coconut palm and was relieved the moment my feet touched the ladder, which I carefully climbed down. But about 10 feet before the grass, all physical strength left my body and I fell off the ladder.

I have never felt anything like what I felt while lying on my back looking up at the the top of the tree that I had just slid down. For about five minutes, I couldn’t even raise my hands and my legs wouldn’t respond either. I was finally able to crawl to the trunk of the tree, remove the rope and put on my sneakers. Then I went to the boss to let him know that I am not going to finish the job

I had been away so I never saw Ghost’s original injuries, but his rapid slide down the tree had taken off enough layers of skin that those areas of his body that contacted the tree, legs, arms and chest, normally a dark brown were raw and pink. The Ghost had been treating the wounds with aloes and amazingly there was no sign of infection and it looked to be healing nicely.

Curtney Chinnery, aka The Ghost from Jost is a writer and poet and contributor to the collection of St. John stories, “Tales of St. John and the Caribbean.”

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ST. JOHN FILM Society – PRESS RELEASE – OCTOBER 13, 2011

Free Movie Night: BEATBOXING – THE FIFTH ELEMENT OF HIP HOP

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2011 at 7:30 PM, St. John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay
St. John Film Society launches its ‘On Screen/In Person’ screening series with a lively 55 minute documentary directed by Klaus Schneyder and produced by Angela Viscido, which celebrates the incredible art form of making music using only the human body. The evening is sure to arouse the Beatboxer in all of us, and especially in Virgin Islands musicians looking to perfect their personal style of the ‘Human Beatbox’.

Beatboxing started as part of the Hip Hop movement in the late 1970’s stemming from the hardship of poverty and lack of instruments.  A pioneer was inspired to imitate drum rhythms and musical instruments with his mouth – his brilliance creating the term ‘Human Beatbox’. Hip Hop artists picked up on the approach which is now a global
phenomenon fueled in part from the sharing of Beatboxing knowledge and styles via websites and internet tutorials.

The film documents the history and evolution of this incredible art form starting with its genesis within Hip Hop culture and its use in various musical fields in countries across the world.  Four generations later, Beatboxing has become a multilingual, diverse and technically complex form of expression.  The documentary features artists from New York, California, Florida, Spain, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Belgium, Canada, Austria and Germany, who demonstrate their amazing techniques.

Our post film discussion will be led by Producer Angela Viscido, who will provide personal insight into the documentary filming, the people in it and the future of Beatboxing as a legitimate, sustainable musical format.

SAVE THIS DATE FOR OUR NEXT “MEET THE FILMMAKER” SCREENING EVENT:
Tuesday December 6th: WHAT’S ORGANIC ABOUT ORGANIC?

All screenings take place at the St. John School of the Arts in Cruz Bay, 7:30 pm.

For more information about upcoming films, St. John Film Society or to become a Film Society member visit: http://www.stjohnfilm.com

*On Screen/In Person is made possible by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Regional Touring Program and the Virgin Island Council of the Arts. St. John Community Foundation is our fiscal sponsor.

The mission of St. John Film is to inspire a positive appreciation for the history, culture and environment of our US Virgin Islands by establishing a free monthly film series open to and for the benefit of our local community.  We present independent films that celebrate the human spirit with a focus on the Caribbean.

Media Contact:  Kathy Guidi
340-201-9919
stjviff@gmail.com

St. John Film Society www.stjohnfilm.com
Please respond to this email address: *stjviff@gmail.com*
Contact phone: *340-201-9919*

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Brought to you by Gerald Singer, St. John US Virgin Islands (USVI)