|Reporter's Notebook (August 16, 2012)|
|Thursday, 16 August 2012 09:21|
What gov’t won’t let you read
The Beacon has posted on its website two documents on the proposed airport expansion that government has so far refused to release to the public: the 2011 Master Plan for the BVI Airports Authority conducted by the Louis Berger Group, and the Runway Expansion Impact Assessment, which was completed by the firm Kraus-Manning and a team of consultants. The documents detail much of the research that was conducted before officials decided to expand the runway at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport. They also investigate the potential economic, social and environmental impacts of the project. After efforts to obtain the taxpayer-funded documents through official channels failed, Beaconites were able to obtain them from a source who believes in government transparency. See bvibeacon.com to read more.
The language of music
Kassav, a band that sings mainly in a French-based Creole language, had some difficulty communicating with the crowd on Aug. 4 at the Festival Village. But this didn’t stop attendees from grooving to the band’s music. They waved flags and rags in the air and moved to the band’s every command. A Beaconite was pleased with the band’s performance — and with the audience’s enthusiasm, despite the language barrier.
The music, the late nights, the tramps and the parades — all was good during August Emancipation Festival. But something else stood out to one Beaconite, who was taking part in the events for the first time: the food. Throughout the Festival season he enjoyed delicious conch patties and stew, rotis and mouth-watering barbecue. Kudos to all the food vendors for making Festival a culinary success.
A Beaconite who recently completed a two-part special report about the proposed runway extension at Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport spent lots of time on Beef Island making observations and interviewing residents. Though the Beaconite saw several lizards and plenty of bird life, he wasn’t really sure what was under the water. A lot, it turns out. This photo, which shows Mary Ann Syms snorkeling near a large piece of brain coral, was taken at a reef near Long Bay to the west of the airport. The photographer, Chris Syms, co-owns De Loose Mongoose and the Beef Island Guest House with Mary Ann, his wife. Mr. Syms said the Long Bay reef is particularly healthy, adding that he hopes it won’t be affected if the runway is expanded.
How old are you?
A Beaconite was surprised when a defendant in Magistrates’ Court said he didn’t know how old he was. He doesn’t mean to be a jerk, but here’s a helpful reminder: When attending court for a criminal matter, make sure you tuck in your shirt, speak politely to the presiding judge, and know your birth date.
A Beaconite has lived in the Virgin Islands for two and a half years without a car, and he has gotten around pretty well thanks to the kindness of strangers. The reporter has hitched rides in the full spectrum of vehicles in the VI: two-door Suzukis packed with kids and luggage; pickup trucks filled with fish; a cherry picker used to fix telephone lines; police cars; a safari crammed with students; and a government minister’s Land Rover. So when the Beaconite finally gave in and bought a jeep himself, he was glad to be able to return to favour to another hitchhiker in need. The man didn’t need to go far — from the Department of Motor Vehicles into Road Town — but the Beaconite was happy to oblige. He’s grateful for the rides he has received and though he has a car, he may need the occasional ride in the future.
Rising and shining
One Beaconite, who has lived in the territory for nearly two years, decided to take part in two Rise and Shine tramps for the first time: one in Road Town and the other in East End. She came away from both events exhausted, but she was very pleased with how well her fellow celebrants behaved, especially considering how much alcohol flowed at both events. Some of her friends even brought children to one of the tramps: They had a safe, fun time, and then fell asleep on the drive home.