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New Era at Cruz Bay Taxi Stand, VIPA Says
By Lynda Lohr — November 29, 2013

After a lot of back and forth between V.I. Port Authority Director Carlton Dowe and numerous St. John taxi drivers at a meeting Friday at the Legislature building on St. John, Dowe finally decided that 40 taxi drivers a day will be able to operate at the Cruz Bay ferry dock.

“Whoever comes in first will go first,” Dowe told the taxi drivers after several questions about the order in which the taxi drivers would get jobs.

The taxi stand will open at 6 a.m.

Initially Dowe said it would close at midnight but he later amended that to 11 p.m. He said no one would be allowed to sleep overnight in their taxis in order to be first in line.

Drivers with taxi medallion numbers one through 40 will work Sunday, the first day the change begins. Those with the next 40 numbers will be on duty Monday with the rest of the 162 medallion holders working sequentially at 40 per day.

Taxicab Commission Director Judith Wheatley said that if more taxis are needed, the dispatcher will call the next set of numbers beginning with the first on the list. If that person wasn’t home, she said the dispatcher would call the next one until he found enough available to meet the need.

Dowe said initially the number would stand at 20 but after several taxi drivers indicated that 20 was probably not enough to meet the ferry dock need, he agreed to up it to 40. Only some of them will be stationed at the dock, with the rest waiting to be called from the Enighed Pond parking lot.

Those taxi drivers who are not assigned to the ferry dock on a given day will still be allowed to work at other locations across the island….

…Dowe said the Port Authority will no longer allow double parking along the waterfront as is now the practice. He said the taxi drivers will still have use of the 13 parking spots along the waterfront allocated to taxis.

Taxi drivers and all others who use the dock will be charged $10 per day for unlimited trips, to be paid to the dock master stationed at the dock. Dowe clarified after the meeting that although villa management companies may have several people making pickups at the dock, each person picking up guests will have to pay $10 for unlimited pickups.

He didn’t offer any solution for how the villa managers will pick them up since double parking is not allowed. The next nearest parking lot, located across from the post office, has only a handful of spaces available. Normally long-term parkers take up most of the spaces but a V.I. Waste Management project has closed most of those.

Dowe did say that people picking up villa guests will no longer be allowed to stand at the head of the dock with signs bearing the guests’ name. Instead he said a voucher system would be put in place. He did not elaborate on that…. Read full article

Fortsberg Trekkers Brave Rainy Skies
By Lynda Lohr — November 29, 2013

Intermittent rain didn’t deter nearly 50 people from attending the 30th annual 1733 St. John African Revolution Commemoration, which started with an observance on Cruz Bay Beach and included stops at the V.I. National Park Visitors Centers at Susannaberg and Catherineberg, at Guy Benjamin School and ended with the traditional trek up to Fortsberg….

…The event commemorates the Nov. 23, 1733, uprising by St. John slaves against the plantation owners in what was then the Danish West Indies.

The tour stopped at key spots that factored in the uprising, including Fortsberg, at which the slaves overcame the Danish gendarmes to seize control of the island for six months until the French came from Martinique.

“It’s important to remember where we came from,” said St. Thomas resident Caron Berry as she waited for historian Gilbert Sprauve to begin his presentation at the Visitor Center.

Sprauve told those gathered that the Danes kept good records of the event, a boon to researchers seeking to find out what happened rather than rely on word of mouth. Sprauve said the work done by John Anderson for his book, “Night of the Silent Drums,” was also a big help.

St. Thomas resident Sele Adeyemi also did a lot of research on the subject and his book, “The 1733 Revolt,” which was published in 2003, provides a raft of information on the subject.

“The Akwamu were principal players in the 1733 revolution,” he said…. read full article

St. John Events Saturday November 30

Coral Bay Thanksgiving Regatta
All Classes: Traditional, PHRFI, PHRFII, IV24 & Pursuit
More Information, contact Steve 340-513-4955
More Information, contact Steve 340-513-4955

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