As summer approaches, a Beaconite is saddened by the thought that students in the territory still don’t have access to a public general library. She warmly remembers the days of heading to the library during her own childhood, then coming home and making a blanket fort under the dinner table with a stack of new books. The reporter has no doubt that early passion for reading paved the way to her current career, and she wants everyone to have that opportunity. In the absence of a permanent facility, she is pursuing the creation of a mini library. She is currently seeking a location for the approximately five-foot-by-seven-foot shed she hopes to construct. Any readers with location suggestions or who would be willing to donate books can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
As territorial waters open up and businesses begin offering “staycations” and discounts to residents, a Beaconite hopes to take advantage of some of the deals offered out there. A friend posed the possibility of renting a villa; others have invited her out to birthday party boat trips; and she is eyeing spa deals. The Virgin Islands has so much to offer its residents, and the reporter hopes that they can strengthen each other and keep money flowing within the internal economy.
A Beaconite supports government’s initiative to engage hotels and villas to quarantine returnees, but she finds it unfair that work-permit holders will have to pay for their mandatory quarantine while belongers and permanent residents don’t. To her, it seems hypocritical to say that if the government mandates quarantine, it should be responsible for providing quarantine facilities and food for some taxpayers but then charge others for the same measures. If this is the case, she certainly hopes that the rates are low enough to afford. People are already struggling, and those who may have responsibilities to address overseas yet maintain a job and continue to pay taxes here should not have extra burden placed upon them. She notes that a recent report by the United Nations Development Programme predicted that expatriate workers in the territory — especially women and children — would be disproportionately affected by the economic struggles of the pandemic. The report recommended various measures to assist them.
On Friday, a Beaconite got to see a side of Jost Van Dyke usually obscured from his view. Rather than heading for buzzing beaches and bars like Foxy’s and Soggy Dollar, where the Beaconite would spend the majority of his day surrounded by a touristy crowd, he spent Friday driving around with a nearly lifetime resident. As they slowly traversed an island seemingly brought to a crawl by the non-existent tourist economy, they stopped periodically to say hi to his guide’s many friends. In Great Harbour, a few people filtered in and out of Foxy’s spacious pagoda, which was mostly quiet except for some isolated bits of conversation. Someone dozed in a hammock along the side of the dusty road. While driving to the eastern end of the island, the Beaconite’s guide stopped his car to give a potted flower to a friend who was coming in the opposite direction. Everyone truly seemed to know everybody, and though the Beaconite is sympathetic to the businesses that are hurting from the lack of tourism revenue, it was impressive to see how tightknit the Jost Van Dyke community really is.