Halo to Rich Nice, who is originally from St. John and is a three-time Grammy and Tony award-winning music producer, for giving women musicians a big opportunity to shine. He credits his sisters as his muses for his new compilation, “Sip & Chill,” which features 30 female artists.
Nice has strong musical family: His uncles Ray and Roy Chesterfield were in the Eddie and the Movements band, which became the phenomenal Jam Band.
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Pitchfork to V.I. Port Authority Executive Director Carlton Dowe for misleading the public about the Port Authority’s financial status. First, he claimed the Port Authority is in such dire straits that allowing free parking at the Enighed Pond, St. John, dock could “put the agency at risk of default on its bond obligations.”
VIPA anticipates collecting $306,000 a year in parking fees at that lot.
Realistically, that amount is merely small change in the realm of V.I. government finance, so Dowe’s wailing about losing it raises questions about VIPA’s fiscal management and its handling of its many properties.
Next, even while the parking lot controversy was still boiling, Dowe launched a plan for VIPA to go into a multimillion dollar hotel business deal by leasing land to a hotel developer.
Then, he further clouded any clarity about VIPA’s true financial picture by committing $1.6 million to the first phase of a massive expansion of Rohlsen Airport.
In all the funding fog that Dowe is generating, why hasn’t the VIPA board noticed the most prominent thing that’s missing? Passenger jets. There are so few arriving, the runways are full of weeds.
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Halo to Governor Bryan for vetoing the Senate’s bill that would give the St. Croix Career and Technical Education Center all the fees the V.I. Police Department collects for firearms and ammunition licenses. Vocational education is important, but so is human life, and this year so far, more than 40 Virgin Islanders have died from gun violence. Bryan rightly said these funds should go toward gun control.
There seems to be plenty of stray money floating around here, there and everywhere in the V.I. government, so the senators should be able to find money for the training center.
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Halo to the British Virgin Islands for setting strong regulations and strict protocols for arriving passengers to follow when the border opens Dec. 1. From the very beginning the BVI leadership has recognized and acted upon the need to prevent COVID-19 from spreading, with good results compared with many other jurisdictions.
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Pitchfork to The V.I. Waste Management Authority officials for failing to see what their noses should be able to tell them. Astonishingly, they don’t know where haulers are dumping waste from septic systems on St. Thomas.
Every time you think the Waste Management officials could not do a worse job, they show us they can.
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Pitchfork to Governor Bryan for whip-sawing GERS by raising hopes with an initiative to save the system but then not following through with it and leaving the pension system even closer to disaster.
In June, Bryan made a big announcement that he was forming a blue-ribbon task force that in four months would produce a plan to solve GERS’ funding problem. Well, it’s been five months now and where’s the plan? Nowhere. The better question is: Where’s the task force? It, too, is nowhere — because the governor has never appointed anybody to it.
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Halo to Rotary members in the four St. Croix Rotary Clubs and the Rotaract Club for creatively raising public awareness of the need to eliminate polio world-wide. They lit up the King Street side of Government House in red and projected the End Polio Now logo on the building and got plenty of positive attention to the cause.
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Halo to Kevin D’Amour, 19, of St. Thomas for not only winning the silver medal in the men’s recurve division in the Online Archery Cup of the Americas tournament but also for showing the graciousness of a true champion by praising the competitor who beat him (just barely, by one point).
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Dumb Desperado Award this week goes to the St. Thomas man who managed to parlay a simple motor vehicle violation into a felony weapons charge. His trouble began when police noticed he did not have a front license plate and pulled him over. That might not have been a big deal, except that marijuana smoke wafted from his window, and when the cops took a look, they found he had an illegal gun, a .357 magnum, in the car. How much brainpower does it take to understand that if you’re doing something illegal, don’t call attention to yourself by doing dumb stuff like tooling around in a car without a license plate? Fortunately, many miscreants just never learn.