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Created on Friday, 18 July 2014 05:38
Written by Tom Oat
The V.I. National Park is hoping to avoid staffing shortages which could leave the busiest VINP Beach without lifeguards on weekends at the consistently top-rated beach in the world.
A V.I. National Park Ranger who is also a certified lifeguard, is filling in for the summer season as the parks tries to keep lifeguards on duty at the popular Trunk Bay beach, above, with its underwater trail with one of the park’s three staff lifeguards on leave.
TRUNK BAY — Alert the media! Virgin Islands National Park Assistant Superindent Jayne Schaeffer wants to give the public plenty of warning about a potential lifeguard shortage at the the Number Two beach in the world.
The V.I. National Park has three lifeguards on staff to patrol the world-renowned Trunk Bay beach and to protect and serve the hordes of cruise ship passengers dropped there on any given weekday day.
As staffing levels and hiring throughout the National Park Service have been impacted by budget cutbacks, currently the Virgin Islands National Park has three lifeguards on duty which “works out okay with a little overlap,” Schaeffer explained.
But the senior lifeguard wants to take an extended summer break, and the VINP has not been able to complete the pending hire of a fourth, Schaeffer explained.
Read more: NPS Warns Public of Possible Lifeguard Shortage During Summer at Trunk Bay
Created on Thursday, 17 July 2014 05:36
Written by Jaime Elliott
EAST END — Four months after hosting a public meeting, Department of Planning and Natural Resources officials pledged to issue a determination on East Bay Beach Club’s Group Dwelling Permit application this week.
The proposed East End development drew strong criticism at a March 11 Group Dwelling Permit public hearing with residents questioning the project’s size and environmental impacts.
Plans at the time called for constructing a 28-unit beach club consisting of 16 three-bedroom and 12 four-bedroom units spread among one and two-story structures, a clubhouse and pool on the remote and largely undeveloped East End of St. John.
The eight-acre property is zoned R-1 (residential-1), which allows for the construction of two units per each half-acre, and developers requested a Group Dwelling Permit in order to cluster those 28 units on one portion of the land.
The development plans DPNR officials pledged to rule on this week look much different than the plans which were discussed at the March 11 public hearing, explained DPNR’s Division of Comprehensive and Coast Zone Planning Director T. Stuart Smith.
While Smith has been meeting with East Bay Holding Company owner Mark Davies since March, the latest development site plan will be the final one, he explained.
“We have been working with the applicant since the hearing to develop a site plan that is more aligned with the intent and provisions of the Group Dwelling Process,” said Smith. “Since that time there have been several iterations. The one that hit my desk yesterday is the final one that we will be reviewing.”
“It will either be accepted or denied, but there will not be any more revisions as far as the GDP process is concerned,” said the CCZP Director.
Read more: DPNR Pledges To Issue East Bay Beach Development GDP Decision This Week
Created on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 05:30
Written by Tom Oat
VITRAN Tunnel? The pair of catamaran-hulled ferries were briefly docked side-by-side in early July before going into service operated by the two St. John ferry franchisees, Varlack Ventures and Transportation Services.
The first full week of regular service by the new government-owned VITRAN ferries on the Red Hook, St. Thomas, to Cruz Bay, St. John, route started inauspiciously on Monday, July 7, and problems continued through the week while government officials hailed the introduction of the new vessels.
When the Cruz Bay 1 limped into Cruz Bay harbor before 6 a.m. Monday, after leaving Red Hook at 5:30 a.m. full of commuters, and carrying the latest edition of the St. John Tradewinds, it was apparent the vessel wasn’t running properly.
The captain didn’t attempt to turn the obviously crippled boat around before pulling up to the dock and couldn’t maneuver it sideways to berth so deckhands struggled to pull the stern of the 200-passenger vessel to the end of the ferry dock.
The crew then had to carry any luggage or cargo from the limited baggage space at the stern the length of the boat to off-load from the forward doorway — from which the passengers also had disembarked.
Mechanic Tackles First Repairs
A mechanic arrived within minutes to assess the problem with the Transportation Services operated Cruz Bay 1 — as franchisee Varlack Ventures prepared one of its regular ferries for the 6 a.m. run to St. Thomas.
The Cruz Bay 1 was back in service by the end of the day and both ferry franchise operators were running their respective 85-foot aluminum catamarans in their daily schedules — more than eight months after the $3.25 million vessels first arrived in the territory.
After Monday morning’s glitch, both ferry franchisees appeared to be incorporating the new vessels into their schedules until another interruption Wednesday night, July 9, which involved St. John Senator at Large Craig Barshinger as a passenger.
Read more: New VITRAN Catamaran Ferries Are Luxurious — But Not All Smooth Sailing
Created on Tuesday, 15 July 2014 05:28
Written by Tom Oat
The bulges on the necks and bodies of several of the gelded males are fat deposits, according to the island vet Dr. Laura Palminteri and Caneel’s donkey “caretaker” Oriel smith acknowledges some of the donkeys have a weight problem and he is researching an appropriate diet to deal with the problem.
NORTH SHORE — The good life is getting to at least one of the island’s signature donkey herds.
Living icons of the island’s agricultural past, several small groups of donkeys populate different areas of St. John, and a handful of animals in the most visible small herd which ranges from the Caneel Bay Resort have developed noticeable bulges under the skin of their hind quarters and sides.
The pronounced swelling has extended to the necks of several animals in the herd, which travels between Cruz Bay and Caneel Bay along the North Shore Road, creating large masses along the animals’ spines under their sparse “mane.”
“Fat on Well Fed Donkeys”
The bulges are “fat on well fed donkeys — especially breads and fruits,” according to Virgin Island’s veterinarian Dr. Laura Palminteri of Canines, Cats and Critters. who works on animals large and small in both the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.
Read more: “Jenny” Craig Would Probably Cut Pastries from Donkey’s Diet
Created on Monday, 14 July 2014 23:23
Written by Jaime Elliott
CRUZ BAY — V.I. Police Department officers arrested two men visiting from Virginia on charges of raping a woman they met during St. John Festival.
William Taylor, 26, and David Giles, 29, were arrested and charged with rape in the first degree after a victim positively identified both males as the two who sexually assaulted her.
The victim met the men in Cruz Bay during the recent celebration of St. John Festival, which includes late-night music, dancing and drinking.
“The victim first encountered the males while attending events at the St. John Festival in the early morning of June 28,” according to a prepared statement by VIPD. “During that time the males took the victim to another location where she was sexually assaulted and then returned to the Festival activities.”
The two weren’t arrested until July 4 when the victim saw the men in Festival Village, according to information from the VIPD.
Read more: Two Men Charged with First Degree Rape During St. John Festival
Created on Sunday, 13 July 2014 23:20
Written by Jaime Elliott
Pool and hot tub
Main level deck seating area
Enjoy commanding water views from the expansive covered decks at Riley’s Retreat, where you’re sure to enjoy plenty of evenings hosting dinner parties with friends and family as you watch the tropical sun sink below the horizon.
Sunset and water views are only two of the many features to discover at Riley’s Retreat, a six bedroom, five bathroom villa in Estate Pastory for sale for $1.445 million, explained 340 Real Estate broker/owner Tammy Donnelly.
Conveniently located only a few minutes away from the dining and shopping of Cruz Bay, Riley’s Retreat is nestled on a hillside in a quiet neighborhood where you’ll enjoy tranquility and relaxation.
The island’s famed alabaster North Shore beaches are also only a short drive away from this impressive villa.
Read more: On The Market: Enjoy Sweeping Water Views and Sunsets at Riley’s Retreat