Tuesday, January 13, 1998

US Virgin Islands

[singlepic id=4817 w=180 h=40 mode=web20 float=left]Good morning! This is Alex Randall with Good News Headlines


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Governor Schneider Says State of the Territory is Good

The Governor delivered his annual State of the Territory last evening. The administration has completed negotiations on a bank loan to pay tax refunds and vendor payments. The 106 million dollar loan is coming from Union Bank of Switzerland and the Canadian Imperial Bank on terms that are more favorable than local banks. The legislature will meet in special session Wednesday and if they approve the loan, tax refunds and vendor payments could be here by month’s end. The Governor cited each department’s recent accomplishments. The Governor noted that the school drop-out rate is down from 4.3% to 1.9%. That’s the lowest drop-out rate in a decade. Teen pregnancy is also in decline. He noted that 4 schools have the Internet and 50% will be wired to the Internet by year’s end. He cited DPNR’s for new boat ramps, the Energy Dept.’s ball park lighting program, and the new government cable television channels. Human Services got good marks for the new facilities for disabled children and the new facilities at the Charles Harwood Complex.

The Governor made note of the financial team he has put in place and the progress in restructuring the territories debt. We need to work increase the rum tax from 11.30 dollars per gallon to 13 per gallon instead of reduce the rum tax as Washington plans. The Governor is looking for action to collect past taxes, sell the government’s 100 million dollar accounts receivable and get new revenue from parking meters. He also referred to new revenue from transportation and concessions on Water Island.

Today’s Photo: Rose and her friend Barbie Enjoy Warm St. Thomas Day

Current Conditions in Paradise:

Temperature: 82 Degrees at 12 PM Skies: Sunny, Occasional Cloud Chance of Showers: Slight to 10%: Water Temp: Perfect at 82 degrees Beach and Swimming Conditions: Sooo Perfect Sailing and Diving Conditions: World Class! Drinks: Ready

Senators Override Two Vetos but Can’t Change Business Laws.

Early yesterday the Senate met in full session and overrode two of the Governor’s vetoes. They unanimously passed the bill to perform random testing on our drinking water. The passed the Drug Dealer Liability Act and made it law. They did NOT override the Governors veto of the Uniform Limited Liability Company Act and the Uniform Limited Partnership Act. They also passed bills to prevent discrimination against retirees.

13 More Roof Projects

The Governor approved 13 additional roof reconstruction projects valued at 1.2 million dollars. More than 200 home and business owners have applied for the roof program and another 13 are slated to get replaced.

Two New Historic Landmarks

The delegate announced that the US Department of Interior has designated Fort Frederick and the St. Thomas Synagogue as national historic landmarks. The idea is to encourage preservation. Each site will get a bronze plaque announcing the designation.

Nuclear Waste Again

The delegate says that there is another cargo of nuclear waste about to pass by here again. The ship may pass through the Anageda passage between the US and British Virgin Islands or it may go between Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. In any case, the delegate has written to President Clinton to request that the US ban nuclear waste shipments through the Panama Canal and eliminate this passage near our islands. She says a nuclear waste accident here would be a disaster.

Illegal Aliens have January 14th deadline

Eligible aliens have a deadline coming up tomorrow when their immigration petitions are due under Section 245 I of the Immigration and Naturalization Act. If you are seeking legal status, your immigrant visa petition should be in by midnight on Wednesday.

Coming Up:

J. Antonio Jarvis School will dismiss students early today at 12:50 for the teachers and paraprofessionals to hold an in-service training workshop. Addelita Cancaryn Junior High School PTA will meet at 5:30 PM – at the Cafeteria with Dr. Luis Esquilin from the Department of Education speaking about the Terra Nova national testing systems. Elskoe and Associates are meeting today at Percy’s Bus Stop at 6:00 PM – * Barbados Association will meet at 6:00 PM – in the Legislative Conference Room St. Thomas Department of Education Office of Special Nutrition Programs is sponsoring the 2nd annual child and adult care food program on January 13th on St. Thomas from 1:30 PM – to 3:00 PM – and on the 14th on St. Croix from 10:00 AM – to noon

Corrine Van Renselaer – Promoting Local Artists

You know when the President came there was a lot of gift exchanges. Governor Schneider gave the president an oil painting by Eric Winter and The Color of Joy gave the first family some local art too. Local artist David Franke sculpted a ceramic figure of an iguana holding a golf club that was just right for our golfing president. Corrine Van Renselaer also gave the first family a watercolor map of the Virgin Islands. Corrine Van Renselaer says this is a positive step promoting the work of local Virgin Islands artists.

Posters and Essay’s Due

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest is coming up. Jr. High school and Senior High School students are reminded – this years topic is “What we can do to keep Martin Luther King dream Alive” Write about that in 250 words or less and have it ready for January 14th, typed and double spaced. Call 776-3966 There is also a poster contest and the topic this year is “Visions of Martin Luther King Dream” Posters are due January 14th

Water Island Report

WHAT! Water Island made it into the Governor’s State of the Territory Address. He is seeking new revenue from transportation to Water Island and from concessions on our island. Give the man a sobriety test. There are no concessions on Water Island and no sigh they are about to appear. Nevertheless, we are eagerly awaiting news of the transportation revenues from the Water Island ferry. This will be amusing. Stay tuned.

It’s your Good News! You tell us and we’ll tell everyone.