Friday, May 30, 1997

US Virgin Islands

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


Senate President Lorraine Berry gets 1998 Budget.

The Senate President has received the governors proposed budget for 1998. She was joined by Senator Judy Gomez of the Finance Committee and the Post auditor Nathan Simmonds and Legal Council Arturo Wattlington, who are ready to begin examining the budget immediately. The Governor approved the proposed budget before he left for the Far East.

Current Conditions in Paradise:

Temperature: 84 Degrees in the shade Water Temp: 71 Degrees Skies: Crystal Clear, Occasional Cloud Beach: Perfect Swimming: Perfect Diving: Perfect Sailing: Perfect Drinks: Ready

Industrial Development Commission program to come under investigation

Senator Holland Redfield announced that the Committee on Economic Development will begin an investigation into the IDC tax benefits program. After Vitelco got a tax break, the Senators want to review the IDC and propose changes to the law governing tax breaks for companies. Senator Gomez has asked Louis Paiewonsky the acting director of the IDC to provide her committee with all the transcripts of the executive meetings that led to the decision to give Vitelco its tax breaks. This story isn’t over yet.

Airport Work Starting

The work to expand the Rholsen Airport terminal building is about to begin and there will be parking restrictions as the construction begins. The eastern third of the parking lot will close on Monday and alternative parking on the south side of the terminal next to Bohlke Airways and the new parking is paved and free.

FEMA Says Be Prepared

The Hurricane season is here again and while there are no storms today, getting ready is the order of the day. recheck your supply of boards, nails, tools, food, extra water and other hurricane supplies. It is time to restart your generator and make sure it is working properly. Make sure you have a good plan for your boat and plans for covering your windows. Stock up now on batteries and other supplies you need. There is no storm now, but the season has begun and it is time to prepare.

Committee to Revive Our Culture Festival

µ The Committee to Revive our Culture is in Emancipation Garden today all kinds of cultural activities. Arts in the Alleys is today all day. Downtown Charlotte Amalie will be alive with music, dancing and street art. It is time to party in the streets. Tonight is party time on the streets of town.

Caribbean Dance Company has a program on Saturday

The students have been dancing all year getting ready for this weekend^“s performances. The Caribbean Dance School is presenting its annual program this Saturday at the Reichhold Center for the Performing Arts and next Friday and Saturday at St. Croix Island Center.

Why Does an Ambulance Cost So Much

Senator Gomez wants to know why ambulance services costs 400 dollars which is two to three times higher than similar services stateside. Juan Luis Hospital points out that they have 6 operational ambulances not one as reported in other media and there was no comment on the cost of ambulance service.

2000 Residents get Checks

Lieutenant Governor Mapp says 2000 local residents will get refund checks from the liquidated assets of two defunct insurance companies. The funds should begin arriving this week in residents hands. Mapp says a similar distribution of assets from a third defunct insurance company should be processed soon.

UVI Summer Institute for Future Global Leaders

This is the third annual Summer Institute for Future Global Leaders opened Monday and runs through Saturday June 7th with 27 students from all over. There are representatives from Historically Black colleges in the US like Tuskeegee, Clark-Atlanta, and from both UVI campuses, the Univ. of the Netherlands Antilles, Univ. of West Indies at Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad. The students are examining topics like leadership, global business, culture and communication.

Water Island Report

Judge Makes Sprat Bay decision In federal court this morning Judge Moore heard arguments in a case involving land purchases on Water Island. As a matter of background, one part of Water Island was leased by Sprat Bay Corporation many years ago. That Corporation sub leased plots of land to a number of people with the idea that lease holders would build homes on that islands. While the government is selling land on Water Island directly to the lease holders at a fixed price of $17,500 per acre, the Sprat Bay Corporation is marking up the price of land to its sub-lease holders to approximately $50,000 per acre.

On one side in the case are the plaintiffs, who are sub-sub-lease holders. They want to buy their land for the government price rather than $50,000 per acre. They argue that all the leases expired in 1992. And Sprat Bay Corporation has no right to charge them additional fees for title to the land. They say Sprat Bay Corporation is not acting properly and charging exorbitant fees for the land

On the other side is Sprat Bay Corp. which argued that they are the legitimate title holder to all the land in that part of Water Island. They say they have made substantial improvements and they incurred legal fees to get title to the land and that the corporation has the right to charge whatever fees it likes as a mark up on the price of the land. They say all members of this corporation are getting the same deal.

This morning in Federal Court, Judge Moore heard arguments and rendered a decision. He said the plantiffs have no legal basis for claiming to be outside the Sprat Bay Corporation structure. Sprat Bay Corporation has a legal basis for charging people in their area whatever fees and assessments it must as a condition for them to buy their titles. He declared that Sprat Bay Corporation is treating all of its members in the same manner and these plaintiffs are no different.

So all of the Sprat Bay Corporation lease holders will have to pay a significantly higher price to buy the land under their homes. The lawyers for the plaintiffs are not going to appeal today^“s decision and it is not clear what recourse they have now that this decision has been given.

Coming Up:

  • Committee on Housing, Parks and Recreation has public hearings on the Home Roof Protection Program at the Senate Chambers at 6:00 PM
  • Joint Lions Committee has a 30th anniversary celebration at Palm Count of the Harbor View Hotel 6:00 PM
  • Dept. Housing Parks and Recreation Committee meeting in public hearings on the Govs Roof Replacement Program. 
  • 7:30 PM – CAHS Prom at Renaissance Grand Beach Resort Saturday There is a radio-a-thon from 9:00 AM – to 11:00 AM – There are discount tickets, and you’ll be able to hear music from the artists who will be in town in July for the Gospel in Paradise Concert. So tune in tomorrow from 9 to 11 right here on WSTA St. Thomas. 
  • Tomorrow Pee Wee baseball and La Leche baseball at the Kirwin Terrace Ballpark from 9:00 AM – to noon and in the he afternoon. 
  • The fire fighters have a fish fry for the World Fire fighter Olympics in Las Vegas. That’s today and tomorrow in Vendors plaza. On Sunday they’re at Brewer’s beach with 17 Plus.