Pitchfork to Governor Albert Bryan Jr. who left the territory for a week for parts unknown and for reasons unknown. His PR posse sent out a press release saying only that he was “out of the territory” and Lt. Gov. Tregenza Roach would be the acting governor. The fact that the governor went somewhere is not the problem, it’s the secrecy surrounding it.
Some people worried that he was sick and needed medical care off-island. Some people wondered whether he was interviewing for a big federal job now that Democrats are running things in Washington. Some people wondered if he was somewhere secretly getting tutoring to get his grades up after the public gave him a disappointing report card (The Daily News, Feb. 17-22, Opinion Pages).
The irony is that the uninformative press release concluded with this statement: “The Bryan-Roach Administration continues to be committed to transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in government, and ensuring the disaster recovery is completed as quickly as possible.”
Come on, Governor, “transparency” does not mean “invisible.” Be up front with the people. If you want to take a vacation, just say so.
Halo to the V.I. Bureau of Internal Revenue for setting up a dedicated hotline — 340-714-9325 — to help residents with questions about stimulus checks.
Pitchfork to UVI President David Hall and the UVI Board of Trustees for calling for more, more and more money at a time when the V.I. government has less, less and less to give. Hall and the UVI Board of Trustees want a $7.1 million increase because the $33.3 million the university got last year just isn’t enough.
Nobody wants to skimp on education, if indeed education really is what the extra $7 million is for, but why can’t Hall and the board do what every other part of the government and the private sector have to do when funds fall short? Cut spending, not hit up the V.I. taxpayers.
Halo to the V.I. Health Department, especially epidemiologist Esther Ellis, for a smooth COVID-19 vaccination process, making the goal of having half the population, or 50,000 people, vaccinated by July 1.
If the goal is not reached, it likely will only be the result of a general suspicion of all vaccines, not because of our government’s failure to deliver. Naysayers gotta nay, but this is too important for hesitancy. Consider this: The territory has zero cases of polio. Why? Because as soon as the Salk polio vaccine became available in the 1950s, people gladly took it, and now we have herd immunity.
Pitchfork to DPNR’s CZM Division staff for missing mandated deadlines, leaving a V.I. judge no choice but to order the government to grant a permit for a 120-foot-long floating bar off the coast of St. John. Superior Judge Denise Francois criticized the Coastal Zone Management Division under the Department of Planning and Natural Resources for “sluggish administrative action.”
Dumb Desperados of the Week are the three passengers nabbed at Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix recently and charged with smuggling in big bundles of marijuana. Their ineptitude was so impressive, they could teach a master class in How to Get Caught at a V.I. airport. For example:
1. Have an arrest record for serious crimes like armed robbery.
2. Pack numerous large bundles of marijuana in your luggage.
3. Fly to the V.I. wearing clothes reeking of weed and attracting attention.
4. When you land, run and hide the evidence in a garbage can in an airport restroom.
5. Forget what dogs, including the K-9 drug sniffers, love, love, love to smell: garbage cans!