A Virgin Islands Story

Children playing, Jost Van Dyke, BVI

The following events took place some years back and illustrates a unique Virgin Islands experience.

Macy’s in NYC, that is, THE Macys on 34th Street, the one where the REAL Santa Claus comes to greet children at Christmas time, was a great place to shop for housewares back then, when St. John housewares shopping was just about non-existent and St. Thomas offered only limited (and expensive) options. Additionally Macy’s was offering a special shopping service in which they would consolidate shopping from various departments and arrange for shipping. So being that I had a newly built villa to furnish, I choose to avail myself of this convenient and affordable offer.

After spending a couple of hours, going from department to department choosing items for the villa, I proceeded to the check out counter to pay up and arrange for shipping. But when the shipping destination came up and proved to be the Virgin Islands, the lady at the counter informed us that Macy’s only shipped with UPS, which had only very expensive options for the Virgin Islands. When I asked if it would be possible to ship through the US Postal service, I was told that it couldn’t be done.

Why not? I asked.

“That’s just our policy,” she explained.

Meanwhile this pretty young black lady, also working for Macy’s, apparently overheard a snippet of our conversation.

“Where are you from?” she asked.

“The Caribbean,” I answered.

“Me too,” she replied.

“Where?” I asked

“Oh, an island in the British Virgin Islands. You probably never heard of it,” she answered.

At this point, I noticed her name-tag that displayed the last name Parsons.

“Let me guess, I ventured. “I would say you’re from Tortola, probably Brewers Bay.”

“Oh, my God!’ she exclaimed. “How did you know?”

“Well, I have this friend from there, Delbert, and I know that the Parsons name is an important one on Brewers Bay.”

“Oh, my God!” she repeated, “Uncle Delbert!”

She then turned to the lady that was attending to us and said that she would take care of us. When we explained our situation, she told us not to worry.

“There’s a post office right on the fourth floor. Tony, a Jamaican who works here, can take your things up there and we’ll arrange everything, no problem a’tahl.”

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Whales Sighted Off of Cruz Bay

Beach-to-Beach Power Swim Ranked No. 19 in World’s Best 100 Open Water Swims
By Source Staff — February 25, 2014

Openwaterswimming.com, the leading Web site dedicated to open water swimming, ranked the Friends’ Beach-to-Beach Power Swim number 19 on their list of the World’s 100 Best Open Water Swims. This is an international list, and it also placed third among the 17 U.S. open water swims that made the list…. read more

Strong Cruise Growth in US Virgin Islands
By the Caribbean Journal staff

The United States Virgin Islands saw strong growth in cruise tourism in 2013, according to data from the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

Cruise passenger visits to the USVI grew by 4.9 percent last year, with a total of 1,998,579 cruise passengers.

That was among the largest improvements of any Caribbean destination with complete annual reporting from 2013.

It was also a marked improvement over the previous year, when the US Virgin Islands experienced a 5.2 percent reduction in cruise tourism compared to 2011.

In 2012, the USVI welcomed 1,904,468 cruise passengers, according to CTO data.

V.I. AG’s office reviewing federal cockfighting law
By JENNY KANE (Daily News Staff)
Published: February 24, 2014

ST. THOMAS – The rules on cockfighting have changed in the United States, and V.I. officials are seeking clarification on what effect the changes to federal law will have on the lack of any laws in the Virgin Islands that prohibit cockfighting.

The only law pertaining to cockfighting in the V.I. Code pertains to taxing it as an entertainment when admission is charged, which up until now has implicitly made it legal in the territory.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama signed the 2014 Farm Bill, also known as the Agricultural Act of 2014. As of last week, a provision in the bill makes it a federal crime to attend an animal fight, including a cockfight, and a separate crime to bring a child under the age of 16 to an animal fight.

The former could be punishable by up to one year in prison and a $100,000 fine, and the latter by up to three years and a $250,00 fine. During a cockfight, roosters are placed in pen and left to fight each other until one of the two dies. By themselves, their fighting generally is not enough to be fatal, so those who own the roosters often place razor blades on the legs of the animals, according to the website of the Humane Society of the United States.

Though most states in the nation outlawed the practice years ago, several of the country’s territories, including the Virgin Islands, maintain laws that allow cockfights to take place.

Under the V.I. Code, cockfighting is considered entertainment – along with circuses, horse races, theatrical performances, boxing matches and concerts – that is taxable when an admission is charged to attend…. read more

St. John USVI Live Music Schedule

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
Erin Hart
7:00 – 9:00
201-1236

Castaways
Karaoke Night
9:00
777-3316

High Tide
Chris Carsel
6:00 8:00
714-6169

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

Island Blues
Karaoke
8:00
776-6800

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

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

Ocean Grill
Lauren Jones
6:30 – 9:30
693-3304

See Weekly Schedule

St. John Weather

Scattered showers, mainly before noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 76. East wind 13 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

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