Browse our selection of St. John, Virgin Islands & Caribbean Books
Powered by MaxBlogPress  

Archive for the “Life on St. John USVI” Category

St John Virgin Islands stories, events, happenings, photos -everyday life in Love City, St. John USVI

St. John USVI Flora:Black Caper

When landscaping your property on St. John, a good idea is to think native plants. They’re just as attractive as expensive exotic plants shipped in from Florida nurseries and present far less problems. They are drought resistant. You don’t have to irrigate or water. They’re pest resistant. You don’t have to constantly spray with poisonous chemicals. And in the event of a powerful storm they may be broken or knocked over, but they will come right back  after the storm subsides.

The black caper (Capparis cynopallophora) is a good example of a beautiful native tree that thrives in dry forest conditions. Native to both the Virgin Islands and Florida, some St. Johnians have unnecessarily purchased them from Florida nurseries and had them shipped to St. John.

Black Caper Flowers and Seedpods

The black caper flowers open white and later turn pink

black caper juvenile leaves

The juvenile black caper leaves are quite different that those of the mature tree

black caper pink flowers

The flowers of the black caper are pleasantly fragrant as well as attractive

Black caper seed pod

Seedpod

seedpod partly open

Partially open seedpod

opened seedpod

The red-colored inside of the black caper seedpod

St. John and Virgin Islands News

USA Today published their choice for the top five U.S. Virgin Islands dive sites:

St. Croix: Frederiksted Pier
St. Thomas: Cow and Calf
St. John: Eagle Shoals
St. Croix: Butler Bay
St. Croix: Cane Bay

St. John Happenings

St. John Live Music Schedule

St. John Weather

Isolated showers before noon. Sunny, with a high near 82. East wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.

Update me when site is updated

Comments Comments Off

st john south coast

Chocolate Hole, Devers Bay and the south coast of St. John

St. John News

Guy Benjamin School to Close

St. John and Virgin Islands Happenings

Green Building in the USVI

St. John Live Music Schedule

St. John Weather

Isolated showers before noon. Sunny, with a high near 82. East wind 15 to 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.

Update me when site is updated

Comments 1 Comment »

St. JOhn Flowers of Spring

Virgin Islands News

Researchers explain bioluminescence in Salt River Bay

Volunteers Clear Almost 100 Bags of Trash from Hassel Island

V.I.’s John Jackson KO’d in Fifth

St. John USVI Happenings

St. John Live Music Schedule

 St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 82. East wind around 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Update me when site is updated

Comments Comments Off

St. John Live Music Schedule

Saturday 6/7

High Tide
Jason Laurence Jones
5:00 – 8:00
340-714-6169

Ocean Grill
T-Bird
6:00 – 9:00
340-693-3304

Rhumb Lines
Lauren
7:00 – 10:00
340-776-0303

Skinny Legs
Hot Club of Coral Bay
6:00
340-779-4982

See Weekly Schedule

St. John Weather

Isolated showers before noon. Sunny, with a high near 79. East wind 15 to 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Update me when site is updated

Comments Comments Off

throt·tle verb
1 – to choke or strangle (someone)
2 – to defeat (someone or something) easily or completely
3 – to not allow (something) to grow or develop

It seems that Choice Communications has chosen an appropriate term, “throttling,” to describe their practice of slowing down their delivered internet speed to a veritable crawl as punishment for going over an allotted amount of download data.

The practice of throttling by Choice is well hidden, actually, it’s not mentioned at all, as far as their advertising and website is concerned. On the Choice website they even boast: “You don’t have to sign a mega contract to get unlimited megabytes! Get all the data you need from Choice Wireless, no strings attached.

data speed offer

Deceptive Advertising?

There are, in fact, some strings attached. The threshold for throttling is 75 gigabytes per month, a number that can easily be reached if one uses the internet for downloading large files, playing games online,  or streaming such things as You Tube, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, etc. If you’re not using the internet for these things, it makes little sense to pay for high speed.

Speed TestAfter being throttled after a mere ten days of usage my data was slowed to .14 mbps or 1/35 of the “seemingly promised” speed offered by choice. Believe me, this is REALLY slow! If you depend on the internet for business, this can be quite frustrating and damaging to your business.

The nice Choice representative that I spoke with when terminating my Choice service explained that Choice does indeed warn customers that they will be throttled if they use more than 75 Gigabytes. It’s quite a stretch, but here’s how he explains it:

It seems that at the very bottom of the page, just underneath the blue banner bar touting:

NO CONTRACTS – NO CREDIT CHECKS – NO OVERAGES – NO LIMITS

No Overages

In the small print, clicking on “terms and conditions,” paragraph six, section (e) explains that:

We may, without liability, limit, interrupt, terminate, or refuse to provide a Service for the following reasons, or for any other good cause: … (e) if your Service is used in a manner that is excessive or unreasonable with respect to volume or length of calls when compared to the predominant volume or length of call of other Choice customers in your geographic area, or …

Actual Speed
Looking at the Choice website, it may seem that Choice is offering a variety of different speeds for different plans. The high speed plan seemingly offers a speed of 5 mbps. In fact, the speeds are often quite less than advertised.

The discrepancy was explained to me by a Choice customer service representative, who I called to ask why my internet speed was so slow that it was ineffective for video streaming even though I was paying for a high speed of 5 mbps. (I was not being throttled at the time)

“No sir,” the rep said, “we offer speeds of up to 5 mbps.”

Notice the difference in explanation of promised speed offered by VI Broadband offering “speeds of at least 5 mbps.”

“Up to”

VI broadband

At least

In short, if you are considering applying for new or changing you current internet provider, beware of deceptive advertising, poor service and high installation costs. Check thoroughly before choosing an internet provider to make sure that they really do meet your needs at a reasonable price.

St. John Live Music Schedule

Banana Deck
Steel Pan by Lemuel Samuels
7:00 – 9:00
340-693-5055

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Ike
6:30 -9:30
340-201-1236

Concordia
Wayne Clendenin and Pamela Love
4:30 – 6:30
340-693-5855

High Tide
Erin Hart
5:00 – 8:00
340-714-6169

Inn at Tamarind Court
Brother Nature
6:30 – 9:30
340-776-6378

Island Blues
Gann – Solo guitar
7:00 – 10:00
340-776-6800

Miss Lucy’s
Rich & Greg
6:00 – 9:00
340-693-5244

Morgan’s Mango
James Anderson
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-8141

Ocean Grill
Chris Carsel
6:00 – 9:00
340-693-3304

Pickles
T-Bird
6:00 – 8:00
340-776-6908

Skinny Legs
Lauren Jones
6:00 – 9:00
340-779-4982<

Spyglass
James Milne
5:00 – 8:00
340-776-1100

See Weekly Schedule

Update me when site is updated

Comments Comments Off

View of Sahara Dust at Great Cruz Bay

Sahara Dust causing gray skies and obscuring the view of St. Thomas from Great Cruz Bay on St. John

Sahara Dust

The Sahara Desert in northern Africa covers a vast landmass almost as large as the United States. Dust Storms sometimes with winds of hurricane force can send up plumes of dust that can be carried by the prevailing winds, such as the Trade Winds, for thousands of miles. So much dust from the African desert has made it’s way to the Caribbean that almost all of the soil found in the Bahamas and the Florida Keys has African origin.

The situation has gotten worse since the 1970s due to poor farming practices in Africa, climate change and the use of four-wheel drive vehicles in the desert that breaks up the hard crust of sand normally found on the surface.

Sahara dust is believed responsible for an increase in childhood asthma in its path and the recent decline in the health of Coral Reefs in the Caribbean, which is thought to be caused by the fungus, Aspergillus, found in the dust.

- See more at: http://seestjohn.com/st_john_life/life-on-st-john/st-john-weather-sahara-dust-conditions/#sthash.J4eIodn4.dpuf

The Sahara Desert in northern Africa covers a vast landmass almost as large as the United States. Dust Storms sometimes with winds of hurricane force can send up plumes of dust that can be carried by the prevailing winds, such as the Trade Winds, for thousands of miles. So much dust from the African desert has made its way to the Caribbean that almost all of the soil found in the Bahamas and the Florida Keys has African origin.

The situation has gotten worse since the 1970s due to poor farming practices in Africa, climate change and the use of four-wheel drive vehicles in the desert that breaks up the hard crust of sand normally found on the surface.

Sahara dust is believed responsible for an increase in childhood asthma in its path and the recent decline in the health of Coral Reefs in the Caribbean, which is thought to be caused by the fungus, Aspergillus, found in the dust.

St. John Events

St John Film Presents: Blackfish

A scene from Blackfish

ST JOHN FILM SOCIETY PRESENTS: “Blackfish”
DATE: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 TIME: 7:30 pm
PLACE: St John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay
Suggested donation $5.00 or become a 2014 SJFS Member ($35. individual, $50.00 family)

Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that has taken the lives of several people while in captivity.  Director-producer Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry.

Many of us have experienced the excitement and awe of watching 8,000 pound orcas, or “killer whales,” soar out of the water and fly through the air at sea parks, as if in perfect harmony with their trainers. Yet this mighty black and white mammal has many sides – a majestic, friendly giant, seemingly eager to take trainers for a ride around the pool, yet shockingly – and unpredictably – able to turn on them at…

St. John Live Music Schedule

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Erin Hart
6:30 – 9:30
340-201-1236

Castaway’s
Karaoke Night
9:00 pm – 2:00 am
340-777-3316

High Tide
Chris Carsel
6:00 9:00
340-714-6169

Inn at Tamarind Court
Steel Pan
6:30
340-776-6378

Island Blues
Karaoke
8:00
340-776-6800

La Tapa
Sambacombo
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-7755

Morgan’s Mango
Greg Kinslow
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-8141

Ocean Grill
Lauren Jones
6:00 – 9:00
340-693-3304

See Weekly Schedule

St. John Weather

Isolated showers before noon. Sunny, with a high near 83. Southeast wind 6 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.

Update me when site is updated

Comments Comments Off

Trunk Bay Sea Grapes

Sea Grape Flowers at Trunk Bay

St. John Events

May 31 (Sat) BEACH BAR BEACH FEST- Don Dilego and Bree Sharp 9PM

Come and enjoy the first annual Beach Bar Beach Fest – a fun filled day on the Wharfside Village Beach celebrating our eclectic little paradise island. Events all day for the kids, events all night for us big kids. Our beach will be filled with face painters, caricature artists, popcorn and cotton candy, traditional Caribbean story telling (1PM), Moko Jumbie, fire dancers, limbo dancers, fire breathers, beach massages, traditional arts and crafts. Ferries back to STT at 12:30, 01:30 and 02:30AM. It’s gonna be great!

Don and Bree’s stage is gonna be on the beach!! How cool is THAT?!?!

St. John Live Music Schedule

Beach Bar
BEACH BAR BEACH FEST
All day Event with Don Dilego and Bree Sharp
777-4220

High Tide
Jason Laurence Jones
5:00 – 8:00
340-714-6169

Ocean Grill
T-Bird
6:00 – 9:00
340-693-3304

Rhumb Lines
Lauren
7:00 – 10:00
340-776-0303

Skinny Legs
Hot Club of Coral Bay
6:00
340-779-4982

See Weekly Schedule

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 82. East wind around 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Update me when site is updated

Comments Comments Off

pan meets jazz

St. John Live Music Schedule

Beach Bar
Inner Visions
9:00
777-4220

High Tide
Mikey P
5:00 – 8:00
340-714-6169

Island Blues
Brother Nature
8:00
340-776-6800

Morgan’s Mango
Lauren
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-8141

Ocean Grill
Rascio on Steel Pan
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-3304

Rhumb Lines
Erin Hart
7:00 – 10:00
340-776-0303

Shipwreck Landing
Tropical Sounds
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-5640

Skinny Legs
Chris Carsel
6:00
340-779-4982

Spyglass
James Milne
5:00 – 8:00
340-776-1100

Virgin Fire
Inner Visions
5:00 – 8:00
340-779-4982

See Weekly Schedule

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Balance Needed Between Oppenheimer Beach Use and Neighbors’ Concerns
By Jaime Elliott — May 30, 2014

A balance must be found between the community’s need for recreation facilities and neighbors’ concerns about noise and crowd sizes at Oppenheimer Beach, according to several testifiers at a Committee on Culture, Historic Preservation, Youth and Recreation hearing at the St. John Legislature Building in Cruz Bay Thursday night, which drew about 70 people….

…While Oppenheimer Beach is owned by the Virgin Islands government and overseen by the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation, covenants on the land prohibit any businesses on the property, restrict the use of amplified music, call for the gate to be closed to vehicles at all times and more…

…The beach and concrete structure on the land is the site of Sports, Parks and Recreations’ summer camp, numerous nonprofit fundraising events – as well as weddings and birthday parties – and should be coveted by the community….

…But with so much of St. John, and most of the island’s beaches, restricted in use under the authority of the National Park, there is a lack of adequate community recreational sites, according to Phillip “Grasshopper” Pickering, one of the residents who testified before the committee regarding public use of Oppenheimer Beach.

“The closing of numerous venues has made Oppenheimer the only place we have left,” Pickering said.

“Where on St. John can a for-profit group have gatherings?” he asked. “We used to have Pond Mouth and they took that away. We used to have Hawksnest Beach and they took that away. We used to have Maho Bay and that is gone – even Frank Powell Park.”

“Oppenheimer was the last hope to have a fun-filled musical experience,” said Pickering, a member of the reggae band Inner Visions.

Located between Hawksnest Bay and Peace Hill, the white sand shoreline of Oppenheimer Beach was deeded to the people of the Virgin Islands in 1980 by the daughter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb. When Oppenheimer bought the property from the Gibney family in the 1960s, the deed included several covenants protecting the area, explained testifier Eleanor Gibney, who lives down the beach from the Oppenheimer facility.

“The deed included reasonable restrictions including prohibition of businesses, allowing only a single family structure and having first right of refusal if the property was offered for sale,” said Eleanor Gibney, whose parents sold the property.

The land was transferred to the V.I. government in February 1980 and has been operated under the authority of the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation since. Hurricane Hugo destroyed the original structure on the property with a new building constructed following the storm.

Trouble began when that building began to be frequently rented out and often for inappropriate uses, Gibney explained.

“There would be heavily amplified music, frequent fights and gunfire in the surrounding streets with police summoned to the area repeatedly,” she said. “There were many activities that were inappropriate and even a ‘Girls Gone Wild’ show filmed there. For the Gibney family, the deed restrictions had come to the forefront.”

The Gibney family is asking for fair and consistent rules for the facility, Eleanor Gibney added.

“Our concern with the music is the volume of the music, not the type of music,” she said. “We are asking for fair, consistent and respectful rules.”

Use of Oppenheimer Beach is now restricted to nonprofit groups and individuals between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. with no amplified music allowed.

Pickering said that, despite those covenants in place, if people want to have live music at Oppenheimer Beach, they should be allowed. “I understand there are some clauses in there, but this is what the people want,” he said.

“The people should be the ones who decide what happens there. I don’t want to hear what one woman wanted when she deeded the land and I don’t want to hear what one woman wants now.”

Emmanuel “Mano” Boyd, who also testified at the hearing, said the community needs a space like Oppenheimer Beach to host live concerts.

“St. John needs such a place because the Park has so many restrictions,” said Boyd. “We St. Johnians feel pushed back. This was willed to the people and should used by the people …

…The biggest issues at Oppenheimer Beach are the noise levels and the crowd sizes, explained Teri Gibney, who lives next door to the facility and operates a small business renting two cottages on her property.

“The most serious problems are the loudness of the music and when there are huge numbers of people with no respect for my property,” Gibney said. “Having alcohol and loud music and 400 people there disrespecting the whole area, that’s hard to live with.”… read entire article

No Money for St. John Vendors Plaza or Territorial Park
By Jaime Elliott — May 30, 2014

Despite a bill passed in June 2011 appropriating $300,000 from the St. John Capital Improvement Fund for the construction of a vendors plaza in Cruz Bay, the funds were never allocated and the structure was never built…. read more

St. John Weather

Scattered showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 82. East wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Update me when site is updated

Comments Comments Off

sandy cay trail, bvi

Trail on Sandy Cay, British Virgin Islands

St. John Live Music Schedule

Banana Deck
Steel Pan by Lemuel Samuels
7:00 – 9:00
340-693-5055

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Ike
6:30 -9:30
340-201-1236

Beach Bar
Flipswitch
9:00
777-4220

Concordia
Wayne Clendenin and Pamela Love
4:30 – 6:30
340-693-5855

High Tide
Erin Hart
5:00 – 8:00
340-714-6169

Inn at Tamarind Court
Brother Nature
6:30 – 9:30
340-776-6378

Island Blues
Gann – Solo guitar
7:00 – 10:00
340-776-6800

Miss Lucy’s
Rich & Greg
6:00 – 9:00
340-693-5244

Morgan’s Mango
James Anderson
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-8141

Ocean Grill
Chris Carsel
6:00 – 9:00
340-693-3304

Pickles
T-Bird
6:00 – 8:00
340-776-6908

Skinny Legs
Lauren Jones
6:00 – 9:00
340-779-4982

Spyglass
James Milne
5:00 – 8:00
340-776-1100

See Weekly Schedule

St. John Weather

Scattered showers, mainly before noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 82. East wind 14 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Update me when site is updated

Comments Comments Off

St. John Flora: Wild Tamarind

Wild Tamarind Flower

On my website, I once wrote:

“I hate wild tamarind. They’re ugly, untidy and unruly. They spread rampantly and take over the place. They’re prejudiced and intolerant. They grow close together and won’t let any other plants live in their neighborhood.

They’re resilient and tenacious. Their sturdy taproot goes straight down into the earth and holds on tight. They can withstand drought, flood and even come back after a fire. There are no insects, predators or diseases that can cause them any significant harm.

They’re hard to get rid of. If you cut them down, they’ll grow right back. If you try and pull out the small one, you’d better have a lot of time and a lot of patience. If you try and dig out the big ones, you’d better have a good hoe-pick and a strong back.”

Nonetheless, their flower is kind of pretty!

The Ghost vs the Wild Tamarind

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Sahara Dust Impacts Territory
By Source Staff — May 28, 2014

Dust from the Sahara Desert has caused an air pollution alert to be issued for the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to Alicia Barnes, commissioner of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.

The dust causes the skies around the Virgin Islands to be hazy, reducing visibility and resulting in poor air quality, Barnes said in a statement issued Tuesday night.

The cloud is raised from dust storms in Africa and a rise in the warm air. These sandy dust particles are transported by prevailing winds from the North African desert westward over the Atlantic Ocean across the Caribbean.

Carlos Anselmi, a meteorology intern at the National Weather Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico, confirmed that there are traces of Sahara dust over the territory and that the satellite indicates it will show a stronger presence over the next week.

While the haze may not be an immediate threat, people with allergies or respiratory ailments should remain indoors when possible and consult their physicians or health care professional for further guidance, Barnes warned.

Sahara dust storms pass through the region several times a year, but mainly in the spring and summer months. While the dust can be a nuisance and even a health threat, it is also known to hamper the development of tropical storms…. read more

 St. John Live Music Schedule

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Ike
6:30 -9:30
340-201-1236

Castaway’s
Karaoke Night
9:00 pm – 2:00 am
340-777-3316

Coconut Coast
St. John Flutes
5:30 -7:00
340-776-6944

Cruz Bay Landing
T-Bird
5:00 – 8:00
340-776-6908

High Tide
Lemuel Callwood Steel Pan
4:00 – 6:00
340-714-6169

Ocean Grill
David Laabs
6:30 – 9:30
340-693-3304

Pickles
Michael Beason Open Mic
6:00 – 9:00
340-776-6908

Rhumb Lines
Shane Meade & the Sound
7:00 – 10:00
340-776-0303

Shipwreck
Chris Carsel
7:00 – 10:00
340-693-5640

See Weekly Schedule

Update me when site is updated

Comments Comments Off

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