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Created on Friday, 25 July 2014 00:00
Written by Jaime Elliott
Roller and McComb, sitting center, with their supporters at Eco Serendib.
Rendezvous Bay — A recent fundraising feast held at Eco Serendib Villa and Spa, a luxurious, eco-friendly St. John retreat, netted $30,000 for local sailors Mayumi “Mimi” Roller and Kayla McComb in their pursuit of the 2016 Olympics.
The largest contribution, $25,000, came from Dr. Cool, a local air conditioning and appliance business based on St. John. Roller and McComb hope to represent the U.S. Virgin Islands in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the newly evolved 49erFX class.
Dr. Cool, a subsidiary of U.S. Facilities, has been serving the U.S. Virgin Island’s air conditioning and kitchen appliance needs since 1999, offering the finest products and service. Contributions such as this one, however, are what truly set the company apart.
“Giving back locally is a vital part of Dr. Cool’s commitment to St. John,” said Jim Dobrowolski, President and CEO of U.S. Facilities. “We are proud members of the USVI community and having our flag on the world stage at the Rio Olympics would be an amazing honor.”
Read more: Dr. Cool Brings $25,000 to Table for Local Olympic Hopefuls Mimi Roller and Kayla McComb at Eco...
Created on Thursday, 24 July 2014 23:58
Written by Tom Oat
The parents of the internet businessman found dead of stab wounds in his south shore apartment in January are asking for the public’s help after months of holding back so as not to interfere with the V.I. Police Department investigation of their son’s murder.
Ro and Jim Malfetti of New Jersey, are asking for help in finding out who killed their son, James Malfetti III, 41, a successful internet entrepreneur who had settled on St. John to pursue his love of water sports while growing his businesses.
“There has been no progress in our son Jim Malfetti’s murder investigation,” the Malfetti’s e-mailed St. John Tradewinds. “There has been no action taken and no communication from the USVI PD.”
“We are at a standstill right now,” the Malfetti’s wrote. “Have you heard anything at all regarding his murder? Is there word on the street? Can you connect us with someone that may have some answers?”
The Malfettis brought in their own private investigator shortly after their son was murdered. When they subsequently offered a reward for information, it conflicted with the reward limit for the U.S. Virgin Islands the Crime Stoppers tip program.
Read more: Family of Slain Young Businessman Seeks Information on Investigation from VIPD
Created on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 12:46
Written by Jaime Elliott
Alan Armstrong and Christian Williamson
BELLEVUE — Archaeologists last week kicked off the first wave of discovery in a project expected to take about four years at the historic Bellevue Estate property on Gift Hill Road.
The land is owned by St. John Community Foundation and under a long-term lease to St. John Historical Society, which plans to construct a cultural and historic center at the site.
SJHS members envision the center as an elegant island-style building with a climate controlled archive and exhibit area as well a meeting space.
Before SJHS can get moving past the planning phase of the project, however, Northwestern University Ph.D. candidate Alan Armstrong will take a closer look at what’s on, and in, the ground at this historically-rich site.
Armstrong, along with Syracuse University graduate student Christian Williamson, arrived on St. John July 14 to get started on a two-week archaeological dig of the Bellevue Property, the former site of a Dutch cotton plantation dating to around 1720.
Read more: Archaeologists Dig Into Bellevue Estate History
Created on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 12:42
Written by Tom Oat
The miracle of modern internet technology may bring a decision on a marina development to Coral Bay in record time if the St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee deliberates on the proposed 145-slip project over the internet.
After decades of talk, the V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) has deemed the permit application for the first true St. John marina to be complete and the permitting review process is officially under way.
With the five-member St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee still stuck at three members, DPNR officials are hoping the three can meet electronically to review the application for the 145-slip project which has been year’s in the planning, Anthony Richards, DPNR Major Permits Coordinator told St. John Tradewinds on Friday, July 18
“We are going to try Skype,” Richards said of the plans to use the internet conferencing system to conduct their deliberations.
Read more: St. John CZM May Go High Tech To Review Coral Bay Marina Plan in Electronic Meeting
Created on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 11:56
Written by Tom Oat
Rendering of The St. John Marina – Waterside View
Coral Bay — “The center of the St. John Marina is located at approximately 18°20’36”N, 64°42’50”W,” according to the Environmental Assessment Report for the “St. John Marina, the Yacht Club at Summer’s End.”
A marina development group has proposed to construct a 145-slip marina on a dock extending 500 feet from the shoulder of Route 107 on the south shoreline of Coral Bay Harbor. The road would remain unchanged.
The two main sections of fixed docks and piers in the marina design are proposed to extend more than 850 feet along the shoreline from north of Island Blues south past Coccoloba Shopping Center and more than 500 feet into Coral Bay Harbor.
Summer’s End has also proposed 19 associated moorings in the outer harbor in a development plan encompassing a large portion of the existing mooring area of Coral Bay Harbor.
“The marina consists of a total of 145 slips in two zones: Zone 1 or North Club, with 96 slips of varying dimensions and Zone 2, or South Club, consisting of 49 slips of varying dimensions, 12 moorings and minor revetment repair and red mangrove planting along the shoreline immediately adjacent to the marina,” according to the EAR for the project.
The St. John Marina Site Map
Management of Mooring Field
“The applicant is entering into an agreement with DPNR and will take over the management of the mooring field in cooperation with DPNR,” the document continued. “The applicant will organize the mooring field and replace all the anchors and moorings with properly designed and installed moorings that will have negligible impact on the sea floor.”
The project also calls for the establishment of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in the marina’s shore component. The EAR is on file with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources Coastal Zone Management and at the Elaine I. Sprauve Library
Read more: St. John Marina Plan Will Change Coral Bay — Both on Water and on Shore
Created on Monday, 21 July 2014 05:52
Written by Amy Roberts
Mature male deer, such as this nine-point buck, above, are harder to spot. Photo by Dr. Caroline S. Rogers
Island deer are not shy about grazing in yards, above , and train their young early how to forage.
“What’s up with the deer?”
That was a question posed by David Keplinger, a retired park ranger who was visiting St. John this spring.
When Keplinger worked in the Virgin Islands National Park from 1981 through 1992, he said he rarely saw deer. This spring he was seeing them every day browsing peacefully along roadsides throughout the national park.
Except for the East End of St. John past Haulover — which is still “goat country” — and Ram Head on the southeast tip, deer are everywhere, according to ecologist Gary Ray.
“Deer put a lump in the throat,” said Ray. For him, it’s not just because they’re dainty and wild and evoke childhood memories of Bambi.
It’s because they’re a non-native species that’s browsing on the vegetation, according to Ray. With no natural predators, their population is growing and changing the balance of the island’s ecosystem, Ray explained.
Non-native Species Browsing
“Their diet is critical. Deer have a broad diet, but they’re selective,” according to Ray. Deer like to “graze” (eat herbaceous, grasslike plants) as well as “browse” (consume shrubs and trees, more woody plants), he explained.
“The ground layer is dominated by tiny seedlings, baby shrubs and trees. How many seedlings can one deer remove in a day? We don’t know. In certain areas there are almost no seedlings.”
“I hike all the time. I keep mental notes on how many times I see deer,” Ray said. “If I go on a loop for three to four miles, I’ll see about eight deer, in groups of one to two.”
As he hikes, Ray notices the plants deer prefer.
A blood stain on North Shore Road on Friday morning, July 11, was probably the result of a vehicular collision with a deer — although the carcass had been removed.
Read more: St. John Deer Are Home on the Range — Especially at Caneel Bay Resort