Tag Archives: st john news

St. John Flora: Horse Banana

St. John USVI Flora: Horse BananaThe banana variety seen in the above photo is locally known as the horse or donkey banana. It is a fatter than most varieties and here on St. John it is normally harvested while green. In this state it is a starch and is used as a provision food, boiled and served with native dishes.

The horse banana can also be allowed to ripen fully as seen in this photo and in this state the starches become sugars resulting in an exceptionally sweet banana treat.

St. John News

Haulover Bay has been added to the Virgin Islands National Park.

Thanks to the efforts of Lauren Mercadante and a group of like-minded St. John residents, Haulover Bay has been added to the National Park Service.

Lauren formed the not-for-profit St. John Land Conservancy and recruited donors in order to buy the is 3.5-acre narrow strip of land that runs from Haulover Bay on the north to Round Bay on the south. The Conservancy purchased the property for $800,000 and then transferred title to the Virgin Island National Park.

St. John Weather: High Surf Advisory

...HIGH SURF ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM THIS MORNING TO 6 PM AST THIS EVENING...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN JUAN HAS ISSUED A HIGH SURF ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM THIS MORNING TO 6 PM AST THIS EVENING.
WAVES AND SURF: NORTHERLY SWELLS BETWEEN 6 TO 8 FEET WITH BREAKING WAVES OF 8 TO 12 FEET.
* TIMING: THROUGH AT LEAST 6 PM AST THIS EVENING.
* IMPACTS: LARGE BREAKING WAVES WILL CAUSE DANGEROUS CONDITIONS THROUGHOUT THE SURF ZONE AND STRONG RIP CURRENTS. WAVE ACTION SURGING UPON THE COASTLINE AND HIGHER THAN NORMAL WATER LEVELS MAY POSE A THREAT TO LIFE AND PROPERTY.

St. John Live Music Schedule

Sunday 2/1

Aqua Bistro
Lauren Jones
4:30-7:30
340-776-5336

Beach Bar
8:00
The Violent Femmes’ Gordon Gano feat.
The Dirty Femmes!
8:00
340-777-4220

Concordia
Brunch with Bo
10:00 am – 1:00 pm
340-693-5855

Cruz Bay Landing
Jazz
5:00-8:00
340-776-6908

Miss Lucy’s
Jazz Brunch
10:00 am-2:00 pm
340-693-5244

Shipwreck Landing
Chris Carsel
6:30-9:30
340-693-5640

Virgin Fire
Sunday Night Jam
Hosted by Mark Wallace
7:00-10:00
340-244-9713

Update me when site is updated

A History of Religious Tolerance in the Virgin Islands

moravian church
Moravian Church in Coral Bay

A History of Religious Tolerance in the former Danish West Indies (now the US Virgin Islands)

Christianity arrived on St. Thomas with the first European settlers in 1666. The Lutheran Pastor, Kjeld Jensen Slagelse, who had run afoul of church authorities in Denmark, ministered to a congregation of some 100 parishioners, only half of whom were Danish Lutherans. The pastor also served as governor of the settlement when the original governor died.

This first expedition ended in failure due to high mortality from disease, hunger and raids by buccaneers and Pastor Slagelse sailed back to Denmark along with the few survivors of that ill-fated mission.

Pastor, Slagelse joined the next expedition to St. Thomas in 1671, but died aboard ship before reaching the island. He was succeeded by another minister, who died shortly after taking over the position. The third minister had to be sent back to Denmark for drunkenness. (The matter was turned over to the Danish courts where the minister argued that his drunken states were the result of the poor quality of rum: a white, unrefined, high alcohol content concoction known a “kill devil,” produced on the island.)

Life expectancy of Lutheran ministers, as well as for many of the other colonists, was quite short. During the first 100 years that the Lutheran Church conducted services on St. Thomas, there were 31 different ministers.

Lutheran services were originally held in the courtyard of the fort and all colonists were required to attend services regardless of religious affiliation.

When settlers sent back accounts of hardship and disease, the Danes, who were generally comfortable at home, became extremely reluctant to settle the new territories. Even prisoners promised freedom after six years of labor on St. Thomas responded to the offer with riots and mutinies. In order to recruit settlers, the Danish government and its representative in the colonies, the Danish West India Company, resorted to inviting foreigners to settle the islands. One of the incentives employed to entice foreigners to settle on St. Thomas was the prospect of religious tolerance.

The majority of these foreign settlers on St. Thomas were Dutch. So influential were these foreigners that a Dutch Creole, called Creolsk soon became the common language of St. Thomas and St. John.

Cooperation and religious tolerance began with the Dutch being allowed to use the Lutheran Church inside the fort to conduct services until they were able to build a church of their own.

By 1675, the Dutch and French Reformed Churches had built churches just to the east of the fort.

Jews and Catholics were granted freedom of religion in 1685. In the e­arly 1700s, an Anglican Church was set up to serve English settlers and in 1736, the Moravians established a slave mission on the island.

St. John Events

elephantSt. John Film Society presents: ONE LUCKY ELEPHANT

At the St John School of the Arts in Cruz Bay – 7:30 pm

Screen shot 2014-02-02 at 8.43.39 AMTen years in the making, ONE LUCKY ELEPHANT follows the poignant journey of circus producer David Balding as he tries to find a nurturing and permanent home for Flora, the 18-year-old African elephant that he rescued as an infant, raised as his “daughter” and made the star of his circus. David’s love for Flora is put to the ultimate test when he realizes he made a terrible mistake keeping her as a solo elephant, and decides to retire her from the circus after 17 years of performing.

Knowing Flora will outlive him, and with his health and finances becoming an issue, David sets off on a quest to find a home for Flora can live freely with other elephants. This complicated task begins with Flora’s final circus performance in St. Louis and takes us on an emotional trek across America, then to Africa and back.

We follow David’s journey as he discovers just how difficult it is to find a proper home for an elephant in a world that reveres these animals for their majesty yet slaughters them for their ivory, adores them as cuddly Dumbos yet brands them “rampaging creatures”.

ONE LUCKY ELEPHANT raises critical issues about the well-being and future of the hundreds of thousands of endangered and exotic animals kept in captivity, the over development and destruction of their natural habitats, our intense and often damaging relationship with wild animals, and how all these issues have impacted the life of one very lucky elephant.

Come early to help set up the chairs! Thanks in advance!

St. John Live Music Schedule

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

Castaway’s
Karaoke Night
9:00
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

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Sunny, with a high near 78. South southeast wind around 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.

Update me when site is updated

Description of the Charlotte Amalie Harbor – 1701

Charlotte Amalie Harbor, St. Thomas USVI
Charlotte Amalie, seen from Hassel Island

Description of the Charlotte Amalie Harbor in 1701, written by the Dominican missionary Père Labat, also known as “the pirate priest.”

“Denmark, being almost neutral in the wars of Europe, the port of St. Thomas is open to all nations. During peace it serves as an entrepôt for the commerce, which the French, English, Spaniards and Dutch do not dare to pursue openly on their own islands; and in time of war it is the refuge of merchant ships when pursued by privateers. On the other hand, the privateers send their prizes here to be sold when they are not disposed to send them to a greater distance. Many small vessels also proceed from St. Thomas to the coast of South America, whence they bring back much riches in specie, or in bars and valuable merchandise, In a word, St. Thomas is a market of consequence.”

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Island Profile: Gary Emmons Keeps ReSource Depot on Track
By Lynda Lohr — May 4, 2014

With a job as manager and “chief cook and bottle washer” at Island Green Living Association’s ReSource Depot, St. John resident Gary “Buddha” Emmons found his niche.

The ReSource Depot is a place to drop off unwanted construction materials and household goods that include everything from toilets to brass bric-a-brac. For example, ReSource Depot has two containers filled with just windows.

“We get a little of any and everything,” Emmons said.

It’s also the spot where frugal folks go to buy what they need or want. The purpose is to keep items out of the V.I. Waste Management Authority’s Susannaberg Transfer Station.

He wants to get the word out to those who may not be in the know about this island treasure, which is located across Gifft Hill Road from the V.I. Waste Management Authority Transfer Station. Emmons said he’s bothered when he sees perfectly good items left at the island’s Dumpsters when they could find a new home with someone who’s looking to save a few dollars…

Update me when site is updated

The Gateway to the Caribbean

Cruise Ship at St. Thomas
The Gateway to the Caribbean

‘The place that is on the way to every other place,’ is the mariners terse way of describing St. Thomas. When he lays his course for any part of the Caribbean Sea, the tip of his horny finger points to St. Thomas. To call the little island the gateway to the Caribbean is not mere poetic fancy. The shortened and best course from England to any Central American port, for steam or sail, is by St. Thomas. The route from Spain to Cuba or Mexico is by St. Thomas. For the lines from the United States to Brazil, the most convenient port of call is St. Thomas. To go from the Greater to the Lesser Antilles one goes by the way of St. Thomas…

– William Drysdale, Harpers Weekly,
January 20, 1900, “The Gateway to the Caribbean”

Update me when site is updated

Hassel Island

Fort Willoughby Hassel Island
Fort Willoughby Window – Hassel Island

Before 1860, Hassel Island was not an island at all. It was a peninsula connected to Frenchtown by a low-lying spit of land. Its strategic location at the southwest entrance to the Charlotte Amalie Harbor, led both the Danes and the British (during the British occupation of the Danish West Indies in the early 19th century) to construct fortifications to defend the harbor.

In the middle of the century, a steam powered marine railway began operation on the peninsula and in 1860, the Danish Government had the connecting isthmus excavated and dredged creating a channel between Charlotte Amalie Harbor and Crown Bay, changing Hassel from a peninsula to an island. The newly-created channel was dubbed Haulover Cut because fishermen used to haul their small vessels over the isthmus rather then have to row or sail around the peninsula.

In the 1930s and 40s, the Paiewonsky family acquired most of the island from the Department of the Interior.

In 1977, the Paiewonskys gave Fort Willoughby to the people of the Virgin Islands and later sold their other holdings on Hassel Island to the National Park.

From “St. Thomas USVI” by Gerald Singer

Read more about Hassel Island

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Carnival Cultural and Food Fair a Day of Joy
By Molly Morris — May 1, 2014

Under a perfect cloudless sky, Emancipation Garden was alive with the energy and camaraderie of the annual Carnival Committee Cultural and Food Fair on Wednesday.

This year the fair was called “Charles and Joe’s Flamboyant Garden,” honoring brother farmers Charles and Joseph Leonard, and the joy was contagious and abundant.

Charles Leonard, proprietor of Best Fresh Farm, has earned more awards than he can remember for the bounty he produces each year on his two acres, most recently at the Bordeaux Farmers Rastafari Agricultural and Cultural Food Fair in January…. read more

Sea coral protein may protect against HIV
Published April 30, 2014
FoxNews.com

A newly discovered protein found in sea coral may help prevent HIV infection, Medical News Today reported.

Discovered in feathery corals collected off the north coast of Australia, these proteins are called cnidarins and are able to block HIV without leading to resistance to other HIV drugs. This ability makes cnidarins ideal for inclusion in anti-HIV microbicides, such as gels and lubricants.

Theoretically, women would be able to use these anti-HIV gels and lubricants as protection, without having to rely on a condom.

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) tested the protein on various lab strains of HIV and found them to be remarkably potent. The proteins appeared to bind to the virus and prevent it from penetrating the T cells in the immune system— the first step in the virus’ transmission.

Co-investigator Dr. Koreen Ramessar, an NCI research fellow, said this is “completely different from what we’ve seen with other proteins, so we think the cnidarin proteins have a unique mechanism of action.”

The research was presented at the Experimental Biology 2014 meeting on April 29. The scientists hope to produce the proteins in larger quantities in order to test them more thoroughly.

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
Brother Nature
9:00
340-777-4220

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

Isolated showers. Sunny, with a high near 81. East northeast wind 13 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Update me when site is updated

St. John Marine Life: Parrotfish

Adult Parrotfish

Parrotfish are still plentiful on the reefs around St. John and that’s a good thing. These brightly colored fish are easy to identify because their teeth are tightly packed together and are on the outside of their jawbone giving them a parrot-like beak. It is this feature which enables the parrotfish to scrape algae off the of coral and rocks found on the reef. This process called bioeriosion has important benefits for the coral reef environment.

First, coral needs to have a clean place to grow. Rocks covered by algae would not be suitable for the beginning of new coral structures. Second, coral covered by algae could not survive and third, the scraped off algae passes through the parrotfishes’ digestive system and is excreted as sand, which comprises a good deal of the sand found on St. John beaches. One parrotfish can produce as much as 200 pounds of sand in a year.

Parrotfish in bagBefore parrotfish go to sleep, they secrete a mucus cocoon around themselves within which they spend the night.

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Below Average Hurricane Season Predicted
By Lynda Lohr — April 11, 2014

There was good news Thursday from the Colorado State University hurricane prediction team. Researcher Phil Klotzbach said he thinks the upcoming season will see a below average number of storms.

“The tropical Atlantic has anomalously cooled over the past several months, and the chances of a moderate to strong El Niño event this summer and fall appear to be quite high,” Klotzbach said in a press release issued Thursday. “Historical data indicate fewer storms form in these conditions.”

The team expects nine named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 and Nov. 30. Of those nine storms, researchers expect three to become hurricanes and one to reach major hurricane strength with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater…. read more

St. John Live Music Schedule

Friday 4/11

Aqua Bistro
Steven Sloan
5:30 – 8:30
340-776-5336

Beach Bar
John Sutton
9:00
340-777-4220

Castaway’s
Mikey P
9:00
Dance Party
11:00
340-777-3316

Barefoot Cowboy Lounge
T-Bird
7:00 – 9:00
340-201-1236

Cinnamon Bay
Eddie Bruce
6:30 -8:30 – Drumming
340-776-6330

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
Aussie Guitars
The David T Carter Duo
6:00 – 9:00
340-779-4982

See Weekly Schedule

St. John Events

St. John Singers

St. John Concert
Emmaus Moravian Church in Coral Bay
Friday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m.

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Sunny, with a high near 76. East wind around 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

 

 

 

Update me when site is updated

Old Wife

St. John Marine Creatures: Queen Triggerfish
Old Wife (Queen Triggerfish)

Old Wife used to be plentiful on the reefs around St. John. They were easy to catch, whether by line, spear or trap. I used to catch a lot of them when I fished commercially on St. John back in the days. Now, you hardly see them at all.

Selling them was another story. Although a tasty fish, their tough skin presented a problem. First off, they needed to be skinned instead of scaled and not everyone had that particular skill, leading many to avoid buying them.

The other problem was that fish lacking scales and/or fins were forbidden to the congregation of the Seventh Day Adventist Church as well as to the zero observant kosher Jews on the island at the time. This is debatable as some people take the position that Old Wife does in fact have tiny scales over their skin, although not readily discernible.

The problem was solved when I discovered that Eric Christian, who operated the only real restaurant on St. John in those days called Eric’s Hilltop, featured Old Wife soup on his luncheon menu. Eric would buy all the Old Wife I could supply and, by the way, when Old Wife is boiled, the skin comes off easily.

St. John Live Music Schedule

Castaway’s
Karaoke Night
9:00
777-3316

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

High Tide
Steel Pan
Happy Hour 4:00 – 7:00
714-6169

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

Shipwreck
Chris Carsel
6:30 – 9:30
693-5640

Virgin Fire
Gypsy Jazz
Hot Club of Coral Bay
6:00 – 9:00
779-4982

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Swimming could help spur USVI’s tourism industry
Published: April 1, 2014

Creating a national sports policy for the Virgin Islands has been in the news lately, with the Senate Committee on Culture, Historic Preservation, Youth and Recreation holding hearings about the topic on both St. Thomas and St. Croix in recent weeks.

Sen. Myron Jackson, committee chairman, is drafting a bill to be vetted that would create a policy to help sports move forward in the territory.

Swimming should be an integral part of a national sports policy in the Virgin Islands. Let’s face it, we are surrounded by water. No matter what happens in the Virgin Islands, we have to travel places and are transported either on the water or over it. In most areas of the Virgin Islands, we are never more than a few minutes from either the Caribbean Sea or the Atlantic Ocean. It’s common sense that we should embrace our island’s innate gifts, and swimming in the Virgin Islands is one of them.

Swimming is an ideal sport to attract tourism to the Virgin Islands. Currently, the Virgin Islands hosts the annual Beach to Beach Power Swim on St. John and the annual St. Croix Coral Reef Swim. These are both ocean swims that attract many hundreds of people to the Virgin Islands…. read more

Man drowns during attempt to swim from Coki Point to Thatch Cay on Saturday night
By ALDETH LEWIN (Daily News Staff)
Published: April 1, 2014

ST. THOMAS – The body of a drowned man was recovered near Thatch Cay on Sunday.

The man had set off about 4 p.m. Saturday with a friend to swim from Coki Point to Thatch Cay, according to V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources Environmental Enforcement Assistant Director Jessica Magras Parris.

“His friend made it over, but he didn’t,” she said.

Ricardo Castrodad, spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan, said the federal agency got the call that a swimmer was reported missing the next day.

“We got a call around 10 a.m. Sunday of an individual that had gone swimming with a friend in the area of Coki Point,” Castrodad said. “They were caught in the current and separated and the survivor was able to make it to Thatch Cay where he reported spending the night and then got to St. Thomas the next day and made the report.”

The Coast Guard was providing support for the St. Thomas International Regatta on the East End, and diverted a vessel from the regatta to help look for the man.

“Around 11 a.m., we located the body of the other swimmer who had been reported missing,” Castrodad said. “We were able to recover the body and transfer the person to DPNR personnel via boat to boat transfer.”

The body was found near Thatch Cay, he said…. read more

Man found dead Saturday after swimming near Hull Bay
Daily News Staff)
Published: April 1, 2014

A man was found dead Saturday of an apparent drowning near Hull Bay.

The incident was called into 911 at 12:37 p.m. Saturday as a water rescue/dead on arrival at Dorothea Condos.

St. Thomas Rescue Chief Joseph Cranston Jr. said the volunteer rescue workers had a boat in the water, but the body washed to shore where it was recovered.

He said it was a man, believed to have been swimming when he was swept out to sea.

Cranston said the body was recovered just around the bend from Hull Bay.

“It washed back up to shore, it went out to sea and then came back in on the current,” he said.

Cranston said the seas on the northside of the island were particularly rough and dangerous for swimming.

“The seas were very rough, especially the one down in the Hull Bay area,” he said…. read more

2 charged with cultivating pot after neighbor alerts authorities
By FIONA STOKES (Daily News Staff)
Published: April 1, 2014

ST. CROIX – Two young men have been released from jail on unsecured bonds after being charged with cultivating marijuana.

Eachan Simon, 25, of Mars Hill, and Claudiston Sonson, 21, of Estate Plessen, both appeared before V.I. Superior Court Judge Harold Willocks on Monday morning and were advised of their rights after being arrested and charged Saturday with cultivating marijuana, destruction of evidence and possession of a controlled substance.

According to court documents filed by Police Officer Darryl Walcott, he and his partner were called to a disturbance Saturday afternoon in Estate Grove Place and when they arrived they met a woman who complained that someone had tampered with plastic she had covering her window, and may have been trying to break into her home.

The woman also told police that her neighbors had been growing marijuana in their backyard.

When Walcott and his partner went behind the home, they saw Sonson walking along the fence line towards the back of the property where he began pulling up what was later confirmed to be potted marijuana plants.

According to police, he was ordered to stop pulling up the plants because they were now considered evidence. Sonson, however, continued pulling up the plants and was soon joined by Simon, who pulled up additional plants which they threw over the fence in the direction of the officers, according to the court documents.

Walcott and his partner called for assistance and the two men were arrested. Walcott said a total of 44 marijuana plants were seized…. read more

Innovative could soon lose 17 channels, including MTV, BET and Comedy Central
Daily News Staff)
Published: April 1, 2014

If a threat made by Viacom/MTV Networks is made good, Innovative customers will be without 17 channels today. Despite the threat, the channels were still available to Innovative customers at press time early this morning.

Innovative Cable officials were doubtful the threat will be carried out Monday afternoon, however, and are keeping customers informed on the status of the negotiations.

Viacom/MTV Networks has been in negotiations with the National Cable Telecommunications Cooperative for some time. The cooperative is a nonprofit organization that negotiates programming fees on behalf of about 1,000 cable television providers across the country, including Innovative Cable.

According to Innovative officials, Viacom/MTV Networks are demanding fee hikes that amount to about 40 times the rate of inflation, according to Innovative officials.

“These price increases would be excessive especially in our current economic situation and extremely burdensome and unfair to our Innovative Cable TV Customers,” an Innovative written statement said…. read more

V.I. Charter Boat Rule Passes U.S. House
By Source Staff — April 2, 2014

The Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014 passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday with a provision allowing V.I. charter boats to carry more than six passengers, according to Delegate Donna M. Christensen and Gov. John deJongh Jr., who both praised the development. The bill still needs to pass the Senate and be signed into law.

In a statement on the floor of the House, Christensen praised Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster and ranking member Nick Rahall for including language in the bill that would clarify a problem that has hurt the charter boat industry in the territory.

“This is something our charter boat industry has been advocating for at least 20 years,” Christensen said on the House floor. She said when the Passenger Vehicle Safety Act was passed in 1993, it limited the number of paying passengers that may be carried aboard uninspected vessels. “Because of the existing rule, our once thriving charter yacht industry has migrated to the British Virgin Islands and estimates of revenue losses to the USVI economy range from 70 to 100 million dollars annually,” she told the House…. read more

St. John Weather

Scattered showers, mainly after 2am. Partly cloudy, with a low around 74. Northeast wind 9 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Update me when site is updated

St. John Snorkel: Kein Bay to Ditleff

     fish dem-9

rendezvous bayThere’s a series of rock ledges along the coast between Klein and Ditleff Bays that provide shelters for hundreds of small colorful reef fish. The ledges are in shallow water and the fish are always there and can be observed by snorkelers without having to dive into deeper waters. In addition to reef fish, I’ve seen lobsters, shrimp and crabs nestled under the ledges.

St. John Live Music Schedule

Banana Deck
Steel Pan by Lemuel Samuels
6:00 – 9:00
693-5055

Beach Bar
Flipswitch
9:00
777-4220

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

High Tide
Island Girl
Happy Hour 4:00 – 7:00
714-6169

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

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

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

Ocean Grill
Chris Carsel
6:30 – 9:30
693-3304

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

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

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Education officials seek feedback from parents about closing Guy Benjamin School on St. John
By ALDETH LEWIN (Daily News Staff)
Published: March 12, 2014

V.I. Education Department officials met with parents last week about the possible closure or re-purposing of Guy Benjamin School in Coral Bay, St. John.

“We have not made a decision yet, this was just to get feedback,” Education spokeswoman Ananta Pancham said.

Education officials said the final decision depends on how many students register for the upcoming school year.

The school has seen a steady decline in enrollment during the last few years, and the Education Department is having trouble justifying the financial expense to keep the doors open to serve only a few students, particularly when the students can be taught at Julius Sprauve School in Cruz Bay.

At a Parent Teacher Organization meeting on Thursday, St. Thomas-St. John District Superintendent Jeanette Smith-Barry said enrollment at Guy Benjamin has dropped from a high of 112 students to the current 55.

Despite the school’s declining number of students, it still costs the same amount of money – $1.1 million annually – to operate the school, according to the department.

It costs about $2.3 million per year to operate Sprauve, according to Education Commissioner Donna Frett-Gregory. Benjamin has only 15 employees compared with Sprauve’s 44.

Sprauve poses some concerns – it is located in the center of Cruz Bay and is surrounded by bars and traffic – but it does have a maximum capacity of 729, more than enough to absorb the 55 Guy Benjamin students…. read more

St. John Weather

Isolated showers before 8am. Sunny, with a high near 77. East southeast wind 13 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 10%.

 

 

Update me when site is updated

Hurricane Hole Mangrove Snorkel

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The seas on the south were exceptionally calm making the ride over to Hurricane Hole quick and comfortable. The video and stills were shot with a Canon G15 in an underwater case.

hurricane hole mangroves
Red Mangrove

spotted trunkfish
Spotted Trunkfish

Mnagrove and Roots
Mangrove Environment

St. John Live Music Schedule

Beach Bar
The Carpet Baggers
9:00
777-4220

Castaway’s
Karaoke Night
9:00
777-3316

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

High Tide
Steel Pan
Happy Hour 4:00 – 7:00
714-6169

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

Shipwreck
Chris Carsel
6:30 – 9:30
693-5640

Virgin Fire
Gypsy Jazz
Hot Club of Coral Bay
6:00 – 9:00
779-4982

St. John Virgin Islands Weather

Isolated showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 75. East wind around 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

St. John and Virgin Islands News

Natasha Barnard models Ranifly BikiniVirgin Islands Swimsuit Designer Featured Again in Sports Illustrated
In the small island town of Coral Bay, St. John, swimsuit designer Rani Keohane is making big things happen. Her swimsuit line, Ranifly, was recently featured for the second time in Sports Illustrated, and she was also featured on GrindTV’s website in a piece on swimsuits for active women.

Ranifly swimsuits are coveted by women of all shapes and sizes thanks to their durability, comfort, and Keohane’s ability to create custom suits that flatter any body. She hand selects her fabric from a secret source in small batches and makes swimsuits in various styles, ensuring each Ranifly suit is unique.

“The suits are reversible, and we have hundreds of fabrics to choose from,” said Keohane, who makes the suits right in her Coccoloba complex shop.

Ranifly swimsuits can be purchased off the rack at Keohane’s Coral Bay shop and at various other St. John retailers, or ordered custom in the shop or online at www.raniflybikini.com.

Keohane’s success story begins with her simply trying to solve a problem: how to stay comfortable while working long days as a charter boat crewmember.

“I was working on boats and could never find anything that fit or was comfortable for the whole day,” she said. “I was always getting headaches from the suit pulling on my neck. So I started designing suits I could work in.”

Coworkers and friends took notice of Keohane’s designs, and immediately started placing their orders.

“They were so comfy and people loved them,” she said. “They’ve developed into being some of the most comfortable and flattering suits. Once people wear them, they’re hooked.”

In the 12 years since Keohane began making her own swimsuits, her business has grown in popularity, and today her easily recognizable designs are prolific on St. John’s beaches. Keohane works with her assistant, Sarah Swan, to come up with ideas for creative new styles, and Keohane engineers the suits to ensure their comfort and durability — hallmarks of Ranifly bikinis.

“Sarah will come up with something she thinks is really creative, and we’ll tweak it so that it’s functional too,” said Keohane. “That’s the part I do — I’m the mechanic. We don’t follow trends; we follow function, and we’re creative within that functionality. We try to be innovative. We’re trendsetters.”

Ranifly’s clientele ranges in age from teenagers to women in their mid-60s, and she’s made flattering, comfortable suits for every type of body.

“We get to make people feel good about themselves, and feel comfortable and confident at the same time,” said Keohane. “Bikinis are really hard. It’s a struggle for people to find something that works for them. We enjoy helping people leave happy and satisfied.”

To learn more about Ranifly, visit www.raniflybikini.com or contact Keohane at ranifly@gmail.com

Coral Bay Residents Cool to Idea of Clustered Housing Plan
By Lynda Lohr — March 12, 2014

Many of the approximately 75 Coral Bay area residents gathered Tuesday for a Planning and Natural Resources Department group dwelling permit hearing on an East End project called East Bay Beach Club were definitely cool to the idea.

“This is a textbook example of pure greed-driven projects,” St. John resident Doug White said at the meeting held at Guy Benjamin School in Coral Bay.

White and many others who attended the hearing wore black T-shirts with “Do Not Approve” blazoned across the front.

White, an architect and proponent of green building, has a house at the Privateer Bay development. His home is on one of what he said was nine lots with houses on them at the largely undeveloped and remote area that sit adjacent to the proposed project.

East Bay, with Marc Davies and Clark Bottner as principals, plans to build a 28-unit development on eight acres. It would have 16 three-bedroom units and a dozen four-bedroom units. The buildings will have one unit downstairs and another upstairs. The project also includes a club house and a pool.

The property sits adjacent to the Privateer development and will be accessed through Privateer’s privately owned roads. Privateer resident Barbara Crowder said the easement given to East Bay allowing it to use the Privateer roads prevents commercial development…. read more

Police Release Information in March 2 Villa Death
By Source Staff — March 12, 2014

Police have released additional information in the March 2 death of a female who was visiting St. John with her husband.

In a news released issued Tuesday, police identified the dead woman as 41-year-old Kimberly Lapsley.

According to the initial report, officers interviewed Lapsley’s husband, who said he and his wife were on vacation from Virginia and had an argument in the villa where they were staying. The husband told officers that, after the argument, he slept outside the rental property in his vehicle. The next morning he tried to enter to the villa but could not gain access. He called for assistance to get inside and once inside discovered the unresponsive body of his wife.

Detectives investigating the case said the autopsy has been completed and investigators are awaiting toxicology results. The V.I. Medical Examiner’s Office is the entity that sends and receives the toxicology report. Once that office receives it, they contact the police.

Detectives said the case is still under investigation and they will continue to interview anyone who has any information on the couple. Anyone with information can call detectives at 1-340-714-9834, or 1-340-715-5522, or call 911 or the anonymous tip service, Crimes Stoppers USVI, at 1-800-222-8477.

Tips also can be sent by texting “USVI” plus the message to CRIMES – or 274637.

Judge deems murder suspect a flight risk, sets bail at $750K
By JENNY KANE (Daily News Staff)
Published: March 11, 2014

ST. THOMAS – The man who police said stabbed a St. Thomas woman and left her body in a wrecked car made his initial appearance in court on Monday.

Adisa Bertrand, 33, appeared before V.I. Superior Court Judge Kathleen Mackay to be advised of his rights on first-degree murder and other charges. A butcher knife was among the items found in the vehicle containing the body of 24-year-old Shantee Seivewright on Friday night.

Seivewright was lifeless when V.I. police recovered her body at about 10:15 p.m. Friday from the wrecked vehicle. She had suffered several stab wounds that were not related to the wreck, according to police.

Slightly more than three hours later, police arrested Bertrand.

During Monday’s hearing, more than two dozen sets of eyes were on Bertrand. Family and friends of Seivewright lined the courtroom benches, some of them shaking their heads and some of them crying quietly.

Bertrand, who wore an oversized red jumpsuit, shivered in his seat, looking back at the crowd a handful of times.

Mackay set Bertrand’s bail at $750,000 and said he is a flight risk and danger to the community.

Bertrand, who has been living in the Chocolate Hole area of St. John for the last seven years, is in the territory illegally, making him an even greater flight risk, according to V.I. Assistant Attorney General Sigrid Tejo-Sprotte. He originally is from Dominica, Mackay said….

 

 

 

 

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St. John Snorkeling: The Mangroves

Snorkeling The Mangroves

Mangrove Sea Life
You can snorkel right up to the mangroves. Don’t wear fins for this snorkel. Taking care not to kick up sediment, look inside the tangle of roots. You will be astounded by this vast nursery for tiny fish, such as miniature, blue tang, French grunts, yellowtail snapper, butterfly fish, jacks, damselfish, sergeant majors, parrotfish, old wife, fry and barracuda. The dense, shallow environment of the mangrove roots offers an exceptionally wide variety of baby fish safety from the appetites of larger fish as well as a thick soup of nutrients provided by the decay of mangrove leaves and twigs.

The more you look, the more you’ll see – small colorful corals and sponges encrusted to the mangrove roots, oysters, baby lobsters, shrimp, crabs, sea cucumbers, sea urchins and conchs. You may find it amusing to observe the tiny barracudas, some just an inch or two long, exhibiting the same fierce behavior as their larger counterparts, lying almost motionless in the water waiting for the opportunity to dart out and devour fish that are even tinier than themselves…. read more

St. John Events

Cultural Evening in the Park

A weekly changing showcase of cultural pageantry, dance and music highlighting the history of the islands through the arts. Under the supervision of Dr. Edie Bruce; musician, dancers and artists are performing every Friday night December through April at Cinnamon Bay, beginning at 7:30 pm.

Love City Live
Rockers All-White Beach Party at Cruz Bay, St. John beachfront. 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. This ultra-sexy DJ beach event sets the tone for Love City Live!’s high-energy weekend. Attendees will be treated to complimentary Caribbean hors d’oeuvres, premium cash bars and an abundance of hot reggae tunes.

St. John Virgin Islands News

Campbell, Gaspar are Olympians from Virgin Islands
Verge to coach U.S. free-skiing team

The Virgin Islands Olympic Committee announced this week that two skiers with Sun Valley ties, Jasmine Campbell and Veronica Gaspar, have been nominated to represent the U.S. Virgin Islands at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia in February.

On Monday the International Ski Federation (FIS) officially confirmed that Campbell, 22, formerly from St. John, Virgin Islands, met all qualification requirements to participate in two alpine skiing events, giant slalom and slalom, at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

She is the daughter of John Campbell, who represented the Virgin Islands in alpine skiing at the 1992 Winter Games in France. Jasmine along with parents John and Jen, and brothers Ryon and Ross, moved to Sun Valley when she was nine.

Jasmine Campbell came through the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation program and is currently training with the SVSEF in preparation for the Olympics.

Gaspar, 18, also from St. John, graduated from the Community School and Sun Valley Ski Academy in June 2013. Having been accepted to attend college at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Gas-par elected to take a year off and compile the necessary five FIS qualifying finishes to make the Olympics

Jewels of the Virgin Isles: Victor Provost
By Loán C. Sewer, Special to the Source — January 24, 2014

Jewels of the Virgin Isles is a feature series profiling Virgin Islanders in the diaspora who are excelling in their respective fields and/or positively representing the USVI abroad.

“There was no single moment that launched my career, simply a series of small steps, friendships and lots of hard work,” says Victor Provost, a master steel pan player from St. John who has turned his childhood passion of music into a full time profession.

Provost is a Virgin Islands ambassador, sharing his pride and cultural heritage with audiences around the world, but he always makes time to go back to his source, the Virgin Islands community…. Read more

St. John Live Music Schedule

Aqua Bistro
Stephan Sloan
5:30 – 8:30
776-5336

Beach Bar
Don Dilego & Bree Sharp
9:00
777-4220

Castaway’s
Mikey P
9:00
Dance Party
11:00
777-3316

High Tide
Mikey P
7:00 ish
714-6169

Inn at Tamarind Court
Chris Klein & the Boulevards
6:30
776-6378

Island Blues
Brother Nature
8:00
776-6800

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

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

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

Skinny Legs
Chris Carsel
Plus Comedian Tim Hofmann!
6:00 – 9:00
779-4982

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

St. John Weather

Isolated showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 77. East northeast wind 17 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

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