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November 25, 2005

Protestors Stop Shoppers at Starfish Market

This just sounds very counterproductive:

Nov. 23, 2005 Truck driver Shaka Anthony was at Starfish Market Wednesday to join the checkout lane slowdown spearheaded by St. Croix activist Mario Moorhead and his followers.

"It's just the right thing to do," he said.

About a dozen protestors paid for bottled water with pennies at the slowdown, but Anthony did not give a concrete answer when the Source asked him what the issues were surrounding the event.

"I don't know. I'm just here," he said.

He said he lost a day's pay - usually around $450 per day - to attend the protest.

Moorhead was not one of the people who tied up the store's checkout lanes. Instead, he remained outside. He refused to comment on the issues, but St. John Administrator Julian Harley said later that the protest leaders met with the FBI via video conferencing. He said they wanted to know why the police had named suspects in the David Geiger murder case, but not in Esther Frett's alleged rape.

This is the second protest against Starfish Market, St. John's largest supermarket and by many accounts, a store that's extremely generous when it comes to donating food for community events.

More here from the Source.

Posted by afinta at 09:08 AM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2005

Beach Bar raid

Okay - this is not factual reporting, but second and third hand rumor (that is what the Coco-Tel is for, no?). A raid did happen - was it IRS, FBI, DEA - I don't think we know that for sure. Here is some of what the Coconut Telegraph has heard (if you can add to this please do some in the comments or send me an email) - some of this has been redacted:

The IRS, FBI and possibly DEA raided the Beach Bar early AM with about 25 assorted officers from PR along with a big helicopter (also from Homeland Sec. in PR).

The owner is:

a) upstairs in his wharfside apt throughout
b) arrested and carried away
c) fled in his boat and being looked for

depending on who you talk to.

The Beach Bar just opened for biz and the bartender upon opening said
"First round is on me!"

Files, records and computers were all seized and carried
away in the copter which landed in the national park
ball field across from Mongoose Junction. One entire copter load was boxes of evidence. Second trip to pick up officers. Copter has being buzzing all over town since 7 AM.

and...

..the paper says IRS. Never heard of the IRS sweeping in with guns and helicopters. Heard the owners took off the night before.. ... (a friend) was sitting outside (St. Thomas dining spot) the night before and overheard a guy on the phone telling someone they need to leave by boat right away as the FBI was coming for them the next morning. The person told them to go to JVD and a boat would be there waiting for them and they should go to Cuba...

Posted by afinta at 12:23 PM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2005

VIPA Denies New Ferry Company Fee Waivers

The St. Thomas Source is reporting:

Nov. 16, 2005 -- The V.I. Port Authority Board on Wednesday denied the Island Lynx's request to waive almost all local marine tariffs for the operation of its fast ferry service.

The waivers would have allowed the company to avoid pay pilot or wharfage fees, as well as ship dues, at VIPA owned boat terminals.

"The waivers are being sought to reduce the operating costs of the proposed ferry service during the critical start-up period and initial years of operation," R.C. Siebengartner, the company's manager, wrote to VIPA in early October.

Island Lynx, a new year-round, high speed, inter-island ferry, is scheduled to start service between the territory, Vieques, and Tortola in December--replacing the V.I. Fast Ferry Salacia, which has been whisking residents between St. Thomas and St. Croix for the past six seasons. Boston Harbor Cruises, Salacia's parent company, said they would temporarily pull their operation out of the territory, as Island Lynx could prove to be financially damaging competition.

Posted by afinta at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2005

Recent Crimes Casting a Pall Over St. John

That is a headline from the St. Thomas Source this morning. This is just very hard to read and even say out loud. The article has a run down of the recent strife. Roy Innis sounds like a man who has his head on straight - let's hope he can bring some sense to all of this.

Posted by afinta at 08:15 AM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2005

Second Look at Sailboat Yields Big Cocaine Find

Hey now!

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands (ICE) -- A second look at a cocaine-carrying sailboat intercepted by the Coast Guard in May and about to be auctioned off netted almost 1,800 pounds of cocaine.

ICE special agents, along with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and officers of the U.S. Virgin Island Police Department discovered 1,764.4 pounds of cocaine hidden within the walls of a 49-foot sailboat, the British-flagged vessel S/V Gio, docked at the Port of St. Croix.

More here.

Posted by afinta at 06:09 AM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2005

Feds deny full waiver for USVI charter boats

Who knows what the economic and long term effect will be of this law, but is doesn't sound very encouraging:

ST THOMAS, USVI: Congressional Delegate Donna Christiansen announced Wednesday that the US Department of Homeland Security will not grant a waiver to charter yacht boats in the Virgin Islands from the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) requirement that all vessels transmit a passenger and crew manifest to US Customs and Border Protection prior to arrival at a US port.

Delegate Christiansen requested the waiver when it became known that the regulation would soon be enforced. Charter yacht boaters who make trips to the British Virgin Islands are especially concerned about the requirement to transmit a manifest as early as 96 hours, but not later than 24 hours prior to departure.

In a letter to Delegate Christiansen, Asst. Homeland Security Secretary Pamela Turner wrote that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) "recognized a need to accommodate the industry you represent, as well as the industry in the Great Lakes and Southern Florida where multiple voyages can occur within a 24 hour period, CBP has instructed its ports to exercise prosecutorial discretion and waive the 24 hour turnaround time for vessels that are engaged in 'short-turn' voyages."

From CaribbeanNetNews - more here.

The physical realities of the proximity of the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, make laws like this extremely inconvenient at the least. It is going to be a challenge to enforce. Let's hope it doesn't prove to be an economic burden too.

Posted by afinta at 10:40 AM | Comments (0)

November 06, 2005

Archeologists at Fort Christian Discover Bodies

Here is an interesting story from the St. Thomas Source:

Nov. 4, 2005 Archeologists excavating at Fort Christian on St. Thomas Friday uncovered the remains of one and possibly two people.

"We identified a tooth, which speaks to a small child," Historic Preservation Office director Myron Jackson said.

Archeologist David Brewer said the site also contains several bones.

"There's a definite possibility there may be more than one person buried," he said.

Brewer said the initial discovery was made by the agency's archeological technician, Patton Mulford.

Brewer said he and his team were working on test sites to see what existed when Friday's discovery revealed itself.

Jackson said all burials will be treated with respect and disturbed as little as possible.

More here.

Posted by afinta at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)