Queen Conch May Become USVI Official Seashell
By Bill Kossler — July 31, 2013
The shell of the queen conch, or Strombus gigas, will become the official seashell of the U.S. Virgin Islands if a bill approved in the Culture, Historic, Preservation, Youth and Recreation Committee becomes law.Sen. Donald Cole, who sponsored the measure, blew a hoarse note on a shell, in the traditional V.I. fashion, as he introduced the bill. No one opposed the measure and several testifiers spoke to the potential merits for tourism, for promotion of local jewelry made from the shell, and for environmental conservation
St. Thomas historian and storyteller Glenn “Kwabena” Davis said he supported the measure both to commemorate and celebrate an iconic cultural object and for its potential economic, environmental and other benefits.
“Along with food and jewelry, the conch shell as a horn was a symbol both of pride and of subjugation for Virgin Islanders,” Davis said. “During slavery it was the instrument that aroused those in bondage from sleep to begin their daily grueling work, then it announced their break time, return to work and end of the work day,” he said. “Later, however, it became a symbol of hope and much more,” he said, speaking of its uses as a call to rally or in an emergency or to announce the arrival of fresh fish to sell, among other uses.
“When seine fish were beating close, it called out the neighborhood to help the fishermen set, trap and pull in the school of hard nose, caraan, bonito and more,” Davis said….
Virgin Islands News
St. John homeowner slapped with $10,500 in fines for causing landslide
By Amanda Norris (Daily News Staff)
ST. THOMAS - Efforts by celebrated interior designer Anthony Ingrao to landscape the area surrounding his St. John home have inflamed his neighbors and saddled him with $10,500 in fines from the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.
Following a landslide at the Estate Denis Bay home in May, DPNR stopped construction and issued a notice of violation to Ingrao on July 18.
Ingrao must now develop a mitigation plan for the damage and stabilizes the construction site, according to DPNR’s building permits director Bevan Smith.
Meanwhile, Estate Denis Bay and Hawksnest Bay property owners have initiated discussions with Ingrao through attorney Rafael Muilenburg. The group cites insufficient permitting and damage that has already been done, or could be done if the project proceeds.
“It’s going to be a major clean up,” Smith said.
Permittees are required to call for a DPNR inspection before and during construction so that major events, such as the landslide, are avoided. In this case, an inspection was never performed, Smith said.
The department noted seven violations having to do with damage to the surrounding landscape or to instances where Ingrao went outside the scope of the permit issued for the project, Smith said.
The project cut into National Park Service land, caused the landslide after heavy rains in May, and raised concerns about sediment runoff affecting the nearby bays, Smith said.
Other violations include the improper use of wire baskets designed to hold large clumps of earth in place and the unpermitted construction of a mechanical room on the site, Smith said.
Virgin Islands National Park superintendent Brion Fitzgerald said the construction wiped out trees and damaged a large area of Park Service land below the site when the gabions collapsed. The damage runs the length of “several football fields,” Fitzgerald said.
The service is still working to calculate the extent of the damage and will have to employ a surveyor as well as an outside expert to determine the impact of sediment runoff, Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald said he is unable to comment on whether the National Park Service would be seeking fines or damages, but under normal circumstances the property owner would at least have to bear the cost of the consulting fees associated with assessing the damage.
Attempts to reach Ingrao were unsuccessful.
According to Ed Gibney, a surveyor whose home lies to the west of the Denis Bay property, the construction has cut 16 to 34 feet into the Park Service land at various points.
For Gibney, the greatest concern is that the project will reroute water over the ridge separating Denis and Hawksnest bays. This rerouting has the potential to create a gut that could wash out a handful of houses along the western side of the ridge, Gibney said…. read more
American brings back Virgin Islands deal
By Clara Bosonetto
American Airlines brings back its wonderfully affordable airfare offer to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
A round-trip rate of $283 is valid for travel finished on or before June 25, 2014.
Trips are permitted any day of the week, based on sale seat availability (every seat on every flight is not offered at the lowest rate).
The minimum stay requirement is any two nights…
Blackout dates on this offer are Dec. 15-Jan. 15, 2014 in each direction….read more
Message from Andrea E Leland – Yurumein Project
As we approach the final 10 days of our fundraising campaign, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the YURUMEIN Film Project. We’re setting a goal of reaching $5,000 by the end of this week. Can you help us get there? With this money we will complete the animation and color correction. Every donation – whether $10, $25, $100 or more – brings us a little closer to making YURUMEIN a reality. It only takes a minute to pledge.
TOP 10 REASONS TO PLEDGE TO YURUMEIN
#1 – You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you donated money to a good cause, and the recognition too!
For a $5 pledge, you will be personally thanked on the YURUMEIN facebook page.
#2 – You will be able to see the completed film.
With just a $25 donation, we will send you a private link to view the streaming version of YURUMEIN.
#3 – You’ll be putting the independent in independent filmmaking and help us make a film that is truly supported by the people.
A $50 pledge could earn you the Jankunú Play DVD, an independent Garifuna documentary by Oliver Green.
#4 – Garifuna music is phenomenal.
You will receive Rhodel Castillo’s album “In Exile” with only a $35 donation.
#5 – You’ll get a piece of art to put up on your wall!
For a $100 donation you will be rewarded with a signed print of my original artwork.
#6 – Are there any other crowdfunding campaigns that offer to treat you and three friends to an authentic Garifuna dinner?
Pledge your support for $500 and four guests will enjoy a delicious dinner at Garifuna Flava in Chicago followed by a private screening of YURUMEIN.
#7 – The Caribs of St. Vincent want the world to learn about their experience.
The YURUMEIN DVD and study guide come with a $50 contribution.
#8 – YURUMEIN tells a story that very few people have heard.
The GARIFUNA WARRIOR oil painting by artist Greg Palacio will certainly be a conversation starter and offer the perfect opportunity to teach others about the Garifuna people. Consider making our top contribution of $1,000.
#9 – Garifuna people worldwide deserve to learn about their history and the lives of their relatives in the Diaspora.
Pledge $75 and receive DVDs of both YURUMEIN and my previous film, , THE GARIFUNA JOURNEY.
#10 – See YOUR NAME on the big screen!
Donate $200 or more and we give you a special mention in the film credits along with a first edition, signed copy of the YURUMEIN DVD and the film poster.