The fact that Aldershville Center for the Aged is closed and falling into disrepair is distressful. In my opinion, senior citizens aged 70–90 should be able to socialize near home. Why should the elderly of Frederiksted have to ride to Christiansted to socialize? Occasional outings are fun, but long rides tire many elderly people.
The office building adjoining the Frederiksted Health Clinic has a small tree growing in the cornice (molding) near the fire escape and the woodwork is losing paint and deteriorating. The lack of maintenance on this building is despicable. The government leaves relatively new buildings that it owns, closed up and abandoned but rents office space for various agencies. Why?
Why is the park for the Frederiksted Public Library and the one across from Aldershville Center in disarray: benches in disrepair, untended trees and nonfunctional lights? The beachfront in this area is a wonderful swimming area which is rarely used. Tourists should be encouraged to use this area along with the Frederiksted Beach, which is occasionally affected by sewage discharge.
Doesn’t the Frederiksted fish market deserve running water for the fishermen who no longer have the Est. La Reine fishermen’s facility available for cleaning and selling their fish? Why is the dock for the Frederiksted Fish market deteriorating? It was rebuilt less than 15 years ago. It is dangerous. You can seriously twist your ankle if your foot gets caught in a hole in the walkway or, trip and fall directly into the sea, since some 8’ x 8’ openings in the dock have no protective grating. No one should be securing a boat on an unsafe walking surface. If it is not repaired, the dangerous areas should have barriers erected around them. The fish and vegetable markets are historic sites and both should receive regular maintenance.
Are there really funds for restoring Durant Castle? If not, take the sign off the building. If so, when will the work begin to replace this historical, architectural hallmark that was destroyed by fire during the last decade?
Birdland/Cumberland Castle and other Labor Union owned ruins need brush and trees cleared. Don’t any Labor Union members own trucks and saws to clear trees out of buildings they own and are letting deteriorate to the point the workmanship will be lost forever — the beautiful coral, sandstone and wood workmanship, manually crafted by our African ancestors.
Why don’t property owners keep the buildings that Our Town Frederiksted so dutifully “Scraped & Painted”, approx. 5 yrs ago, free of bushes, litter, trees and vines? They are responsible for the condition of their properties. Why has no one started a coalition of Frederiksted town property owners to help organize & maintain the upkeep of the historic properties we are losing? If an owner cannot maintain a property, why keep it as an eyesore? Sell it to someone who wants to keep well-maintained property. Slave-owners may have owned the buildings in the 17th to 19th and early 20th century. However, many of the properties passed into the hands of our local, African population. Consequently, many of us of African descent are responsible for the dilapidated state of the Town of Frederiksted and for ignoring, losing and eradicating the talents of our ancestral artisans. Why?
Part III tomorrow,
For the sake of the Community,
LeVelle T. Henry
Est. LaGrange, Frederiksted, St. Croix