Dear Source,
I love St. Croix. I always have, and I always will. But it's not very likely that I'll ever return there. I moved to St. Croix in 1960 when I was 3 years old. I left in 1973, not by my choosing.
I've kept in touch with old friends who still live there so I'm aware of some of the island's problems. It seems to me that the powers-that-be on St. Croix are unaware, or in denial of its biggest problem: Crime. Safety.
People (tourists), will not go where they don't feel safe. Frederiksted, it seems, closely resembles Chicago in the 1930's. Now, whether or not this is fact or rumor doesn't matter. It still affects the decisions of people deciding where to take their vacations (i.e., take their money). People won't spend their money to travel to a place where they don't feel safe.
Tourism was the main reason that St. Croix flourished in the 1960s, and tourism is what it needs now. You need their money. And they are willing to give it to you. But you must give them what they want. What they want is to leave St. Croix with the desire to return. In the past, people would come down for a week or two, see how beautiful St. Croix and its people were, and stay — sometimes bringing their businesses with them, and therefore creating jobs.
I am a firm believer in self-governing. We were all taught right from wrong. Govern your own actions but influence your elected officials. They are supposed to work for you. Hold them accountable for their actions just like you are accountable for your own. You have the power. Use it.
Now, what good is throwing money at interisland ferries or casinos if there are no people to use them. And remember … this is your money.
Tourism is a highly competitive business. There's no question about that, but St. Croix's natural beauty, and its proximity to the mainland give it an edge. Use it. Clean up St. Croix. Reduce the crime and people will come back.
Mac Cawley

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