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The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) has deployed the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system in the St. Thomas-St.…

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With schools across the territory getting ready for a Sept. 2 opening date, V.I. Education Commissioner Donna Frett-Gregory told the community the Education Department is focused on "putting in the framework we need to support our students, our teachers and our administrators."

 
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This Election Should Be About Real Change
Oct 29, 2010 - 04:10

This Election Should Be About Real Change

Whether it's administration, policy, direction, transparence or truth, we as a community have to realize a Chang is needed.

The relationships I have developed over the years and the love and respect for the environment compels me to speak out.With the world economy on the verge of who knows what, I feel like Noah, the signs are there, "It is going to Rain".

Everywhere I have traveled in the Caribbean, those countries are trying to preserve and protect their forest areas for their future generations. Realizing that land on an island is a limited natural resource, we need to put restrictions on overdevelopment, especially, in ‘Eco’ sensitive areas. Even countries that could swallow up our total territory are trying to preserve their forests and to promote agriculture for self-sufficiency.

When I first saw the news report about the Annaly Development Project, it made me sick to my stomach. With the “rain forest” being subdivided, Great Pond and William and Punch sited for development, Annaly is our last undeveloped forest area...a secondary forest from after the sugar cane era that took decades to grow. The current NOAA predictions for future hurricane seasons will be more intense. If and when we have another “Hugo” or worse, Annaly will look like Point Udall.

Now there is talk of a large land owner in the Cane Bay area is lobbying for a similar bypass, that owners of Williams and Punch development are advocating a loop around the Rainbow Beach area, their's is to loop around the Cane Bay Beach area.

All can agree that there has to be some development; and if left to a vote, most would prefer to look for an alternative to selling off all the prime land. Here are some suggestions made by students and concerned alike.

St. Croix could be the educational center of the Caribbean offering instruction from Art to Zoology. This would not only bring in students and their family members, we would also be developing trade schools for our own children, so that we could be exporting skilled trades men and women across the world. With all the claims of the seven flags and the diversities of out culture and history, we should be creating an enviable marketing package selling cultural and intellectual products: art, crafts, music, literature, curriculum, fashion, etc.

There are many creative businesses and environmentally sound options to the deforesting and to massive construction, ex: agricultural venues and eco-tours featuring architecture, history, farming techniques, culture, plants and herbs, birds, etc.

There are studies that support the benefits trees have on the human psyche, especially in the area of recovery. It has been suggested that if the medical services were up graded that many people from around the world would come to our shores for both health care and recuperation.

The Annaly, great pond, punch and Williams projects and, others like it, bring up a lot of questions about the feasibility studies which have been done. For one, we have yet to solve all our solid waste management issues and, in addition, fix all the roads, traffic and non-point pollution control problems. With a land and water use policy, these issues could be answered; but, this may not happen until there is a self-governing territorial status here creating controls for how the land is sold and used.

Why would someone come here seeing the quaint beauty of the island and act so selfishly because they have the means and money to change this place into ‘everywhere else’ just because they can?

They are showing no concern nor compassion for the people here. Instead of them discovering and embracing our unique culture, they are forcing people off the land, and they are using the laws just to buy what they want. The talk is that some of our politicians are not able to think outside the box because their minds are stuck in the pockets of the investors. There is a saying in scripture which says, “What good is it that a man possess the world and lose his soul?”

The question asked me by the youth, “What kind of future are they planning for us when land will be scarce and too expensive for us to ever own any property here?

The planned developments are bad enough, but the growth would be more acceptable if the plans were to include our returning retirees, graduates, and successful local professionals who would like to have a first or seasonal home here. Instead the plan is to create exclusive gated communities.

Ivan Butcher II
St. Croix