St. John Film Society Press Release: “What’s ‘Organic’ about Organic?”


7:30 pm / St. John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay
What’s ‘Organic‘ about Organic?

Directed and Produced by Shelley Rogers:  59 minutes  / 2010 /  Documentary

What’s Organic illustrates that the organic food debate extends well beyond personal choice and into the realm of social responsibility.  It delves into the debates that arise when a grassroots agricultural movement evolves into a booming international market.  As the film moves from farm fields to government meetings to industry trade shows, we see how our health, the health of our planet, and the agricultural needs of our society are all intimately connected.


Shelley Rogers grew up in rural East Tennessee. Shelley has a Master’s degree in Media, Culture, and Communication from New York University and a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from Smith College. She has worked as a freelance Assistant Director/Assistant Camera on several independent film productions in New York City and has served as a production intern at the Media Education Foundation and in GOOD Magazine’s web video department. She believes it is our social responsibility as citizens in a democracy to stand up for our right to live in a healthy environment and have access to diverse, independent media. She maintains an urban existence in NYC by growing vegetables on her fire escape and composting her kitchen scraps.

Marty Mesh started his career as an organic farmer and now serves as an advocate for organic farmers throughout the world.  He volunteered countless hours of advice and input to this film because he feels that there is great potential for the film to empower and inspire audiences to support organic agriculture.

Josephine and Hugo Roller started Josephine’s Organic Greens on St. John in November 2006.  Despite island challenges of poor soil, harsh weather and cost of land, they have persevered giving St. John restaurants, visitors and residents a flavorful, healthy, local choice for organic greens and herbs.

Check out my cool Vieques photos and the new “Vieques” book!

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St. John Morning: An Incident at the Gym

Yesterday the ceiling fell down at the gym.

It wasn’t the whole ceiling, just one two-foot square acoustic ceiling tile. It fell down right above the bench press machine. It was caused by a build up of water from a leaking air-conditioner drain. A lady was using the shoulder press machine nearby, but nothing fell on her.

Looking at the debris on the floor, I remarked to the gym attendants, “I’m glad it didn’t fall on me while I was using the machine. It would have shocked the hell out of me.”

St. John fauna: iguana“That’s nothing,” she replied. “It’s happened before,” and then she told me the circumstances of the previous incident.

It seems that just moments after the ceiling tile came down, a big iguana dropped to the floor.

The attendant screamed. The iguana bolted. Someone opened the front door and the iguana rushed out onto the courtyard.

I guess that was even more shocking!

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St. John News: CBP intercepts vessel with over 300 kilos of cocaine

BYM Marine and Maritime News Virgin Islands 11/17/2011

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted a vessel carrying 10 bales of cocaine, weighing 709.4 pounds, near French Cap Cay this weekend.

Just past midnight Friday, a CBP maritime surveillance aircraft on patrol detected a “yola” type vessel with two outboard engines, center console, and three people on board, traveling on a northwest course without navigation lights.

The vessel was kept under constant surveillance by the CBP aircraft, observing that the vessel stopped in French Cap Cay, where two of the three individuals on board jumped in the water and swam toward the island.

They appeared to be carrying packages to shore. After they finished stashing the packages, they left the island and headed east towards the southern end of St. John …

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St. John Film Press Release: What’s Organic About Organic

Tuesday, December 6, 2011, 7:30 PM, St. John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay, St. John USVI
St. John Film is proud to present our next ‘On Screen/In Person’ screening of a thought provoking 59-minute documentary directed by Shelley Rogers with co-producer Marty Mesh.

What’s Organic About ‘Organic’ illustrates that ‘organic food’ extends well beyond personal choice and into the realm of social responsibility.  It delves into the debates that arose when the grassroots agricultural movement: organic farming, evolved into a booming international market, and reveals what’s at stake in creating and maintaining meaningful standards for organic production.

Each of the film’s characters is intimately connected to the organic world; they’re farmers, activists, and scientists. While many folks can easily endorse ‘organic’, the film takes the discussion beyond just shopping for another eco-label. As we glimpse into the lives of the film characters, we see how organic agriculture has the potential to solve many of our environmental and health problems. The film explores how organic farming can be used as a soil and air protection system, a healthy solution to toxic pollution, and an innovative means to combat global warming.

As the film moves from farm fields to government meetings and industry trade shows, we see how our health, the health of our planet, and the agricultural needs of our society are all intimately connected.  The film is a call to action, compelling us to look forward, towards a new vision for our culture and encourages us to ask, “How can we eat with an ecological consciousness?”

The post film discussion promises to be equally engaging with both the director Shelley Rogers and co-producer Marty Mesh present to provide personal insights into the filming process and to answer questions on the organic food movement.  In addition, Josephine and Hugo Roller from Josephine’s Organic Greens will be on hand to lend a local perspective on organic farming.

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St. John Sunrise

St. John Sunrise
A Colorful St. John Sunrise

I love early St. John mornings. Just before dawn, there is a brief period of silence as the tree frogs cease singing their songs and, I assume, go to sleep in the trees. Minutes later the birds begin their singing just about when the sky in the east begins to display the first light of day. Shortly after that there are those few minutes where the sky turns various shades of red, not always, but quite often. It can be quite spectacular. This morning I had my camera ready.

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St John American Cancer Society Relay for Life Car Stickers

The official St John American Cancer Society Relay for Life car stickers are here!  The logo which was designed by Grace Bartolucci, 17 a senior at Antilles School will be used in the marketing campaign for the St John Relay for Life.

The logos are available for a $5 donation and can currently be obtained at Connections and Woody’s.  Other locations soon come!  For our friends off island who would like to show your the event chairman

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Press Release: Ladies Night at La Plancha del Mar

Cruz Bay, St. John Friday, November 18, 2011, La Plancha Restaurant, Mongoose Junction

It’s Ladies Night at La Plancha del Mar! Featuring “Pretty Woman” with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere – Dinner and a Movie. Ladies put on your stiletto’s – dress to the 9’s and enjoy a 4 course gourmet dinner – complimentary champagne toast – with all the Pretty Woman of St John! $50 per person – optional wine parings for each course $25, alcoholic beverages a la carte – proceeds go to La Plancha’s St John Relay for Life Team!

At 10 PM the event will be open to the public for dancing and more fun – great raffle baskets too!

Call early for reservations – limited to 50 Pretty Women!   La Plancha del Mar 777-7333

+1 340.777.7333

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False Entrance

False EntranceBenner Bay is one of the calmest anchorages on St. Thomas. Locally called the Lagoon, the bay lies within a larger one called Jersey Bay.

Vessels coming in from the open Caribbean wishing to avail themselves of the tranquility of the Lagoon must enter through Jersey Bay before accessing Benner Bay. The southernmost portion of Benner Bay, however, is separated from the open sea only by a narrow shallow reef that may not be easily seen, especially at night. Every year sailors looking into Benner Bay and possibly seeing other boats resting peacefully at anchor, make the mistake of trying to sail directly into the bay and end up on the reef.

For this reason this reef lying between Cas and Patricia Cays has been dubbed “False Entrance,” and false entrance it is.

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