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April 23, 2004

Some news and open thread

We tried to get a lot done recently before our annual trek to NJ. Some things are done, a lot is planned, and some is coming soon. The newest thing is VirginIslandsMLS.com - a site for virgin islands real estate news and resources.

We also got free classified ads running, but the uptake has been a little slow. We expect that to increase once we get our relocation section up (which should happen is some form by June 1, 2004).

The other bigger plan is a total revamp to the back ends of Caribbean-On-Line and Virgin-Islands-On-Line, which will add a lot more functionality to the site including user photo albums, forums, reviews, comments, an interactive FAQ, etc. This may not happen until the Fall though, or maybe even closer to the end of the year.

Feel free to discuss and ask questions on this thread -



Posted by afinta at 11:27 AM | Comments (1)

We're getting some new buses!

Here is some news that should make Caribbean author Harry Pariser happy:

V.I. sets sights on 10 new buses after $1.4 million federal payout
Thursday, April 22nd 2004

The V.I. Public Works Department is in negotiations to purchase 10 buses to replace much of its aging VITRAN fleet after receiving a delayed payment of more than $1.4 million from the federal government.

Combined with $1 million in reprogrammed federal highway funding, the money will be used for improvements in public transportation throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands, Public Works Commissioner Wayne Callwood announced Wednesday.

Click here for the rest of the article

Posted by afinta at 11:17 AM

April 14, 2004

Taste of St. Croix

A little late but wanted to mention that through a certain friend I was invited to be a judge at this year's Taste of St. Croix at the Divi last week. Overall a well put together and well attended event, I hope it was a success as a fund raiser. We had a great time with our contingent from St. Thomas and St. John including chefs from The Stone Terrace, Chateau Bordeaux and other local restaurant owners and food and wine folks. Met a lot of people, managed to embarrass myself in front of the Lieutenant Governor, and saw some fool jump in the Divi pool naked in front of 800 people. It seems everyone made it to the casino after but I am not a gambler so I mostly watched the action and hopefully spread some good luck around while waiting at the bar for hours on end for a beer.

Posted by afinta at 02:05 AM | Comments (3)

April 07, 2004

More on Antilles

Tanya Mannes has written a way too flattering account of what happened with Art Scott at Antilles. I guess you have to be tactful at times, but the article is really a bunch of mush. This isn't a personal attack on Tanya - I just wish some of the people she interviewed would have let fly a bit more.

The only positive quote she got was from Art's assistant headmaster Chris Teare - from what I am told someone who Art created a job for. There are no dollar figures attached to what Antilles is paying the people he fired, or for how much he is going to receive from his contract. I only heard negative comments on Art's tenure here, from a lot of long time residents. It seems like it was a failure. Why can't that be said?

Posted by afinta at 06:07 PM | Comments (2)

April 02, 2004

Antilles Loses Headmaster

Some of the island intrigue (here on St. Thomas anyway) of the last few months has been surrounding Art Scott, the (former) headmaster at Antilles. Well, Art is now gone. Here is the letter that went out to families:

Dear Antilles School Parents, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and Current Students, 

This letter is to inform you that Art Scott has chosen for personal reasons to step down from his position as Head of School. While some elements of his tenure at Antilles have been controversial, the Board recognizes the skills inherent in Art's many years of broad-based academic and leadership experience, and the valuable contributions that Art has brought to the Antilles School community. In particular, Art‚s committment to educational excellence has revitalized the Board‚s resolve to provide the best education we can to our young people.

Ted Morse, Antilles School Academic Dean, faculty member, and Head of History Department, has accepted the Board‚s request to become Acting Head through the balance of the 2003-2004 academic year.  Ted joined the faculty of Antilles School in 1996. He currently holds a national position as Assistant Chief Reader for American History for the Advanced Placement Program, administered by the College Boards. Before joining Antilles School, he was Chairman of the History Department of the Kent School, a private college preparatory school in Connecticut, and went on to serve on the faculty of two high schools in the New-York-Connecticut area.

Ted will begin his duties as Acting Head on Monday, April 5, 2004. The Board is pleased that Antilles School has on its existing team an individual with Ted Morse‚s qualifications and enthusiasm, and commends his willingness to take up these significant responsibilities while continuing his role as a faculty member. We are certain that our terrific faculty, staff, parent body and student body will also step up to support Ted Morse during this transitional period.

Looking ahead, the Board of Trustees has formed a search committee to formulate strategy in finding a Head of School for the 2004-2005 academic year and beyond. The committee includes a number of Board members plus the President of the PTA. We will also be soliciting and including input from faculty, staff, parents and other constituents. As the search strategy evolves over the next several weeks, the Antilles School community will receive further bulletins from the Board.

Yours respectfully,

Bob Schmidt
President, Board of Trustees
Antilles School

Posted by afinta at 08:17 PM | Comments (1)

St. Croix to roll out the red carpet for Danish tourists

ST. CROIX - With the inaugural charter flight from Copenhagen arriving on St. Croix on Friday, hotels, restaurants and retail businesses across the island are preparing for the arrival of 236 Danish tourists - and their money.

Click here for the whole article

Posted by afinta at 06:53 PM

Cost-U-Less reports sales jump

Same-store first quarter sales jumped 15.3 percent from year-before at Cost-U-Less Inc., the Pacific island discount retailer.

Cost-U-Less operates Costco-like stores in island markets. It has two stores in Hawaii, two on Guam, one in American Samoa and one in Fiji. It also has a store in California, two in the U.S. Virgin Islands and two in the Netherlands Antilles.

First quarter sales were $50.1 million compared to just $42.3 million a year before, an increase of 18.3 percent. The same-store comparison produces a smaller number by excluding the Dededo, Guam, store, closed a year ago due to damage from Supertyphoon Pongsona.

"In some markets," CEO Jeff Meder said, "improved economies from more tourism have driven higher sales, while in other markets, better execution has led to increases."

Posted by afinta at 06:35 PM