Register of interests
A Beaconite was not impressed by legislators’ recent bragging about their commitment to transparency when they voted to make the Register of Interests available to the commission of inquiry. If they want to be truly transparent, they would open the register to the public. Legislators’ financial interests shouldn’t be something to hide, and the secrecy surrounding the register is troubling. During the recent discussions in the House of Assembly, Premier Andrew Fahie implied that legislators don’t have the authority to change the format of the register decided by their predecessors. But this is simply not true. They do have that power, and they should revise the law and make the register public straightaway. Until then, individual legislators should prove their own commitment to transparency by publicly disclosing their financial interests each year even though it is not required. Voters, meanwhile, should watch closely.
Following the rules
Some residents were surprised and uneasy to learn that vaccinated residents who may have been recently exposed to a case of Covid-19 at a funeral in Sea Cows Bay will not be required to quarantine. However, this rule had been previously announced by the Ministry of Health and Social Development, and follows the guidance issued by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Besides, a Beaconite believes, anyone advocating for lifting quarantine restrictions on vaccinated tourists must also acknowledge the same protocol for residents. There cannot be two different standards.
A Beaconite drew some inspiration from photographing a celebration of poetry last week, and she loves that so many talented poets in the Virgin Islands continue to create beautiful works. Operating under the blanket of the pandemic — always knowing that Covid-19 is changing lives and permanently altering the world on a daily basis even when its effects aren’t as visible from the shores of the Virgin Islands — can stifle creativity. But the reporter was glad to hear that the newly built stage for the poetry reading is here to stay. She looks forward to seeing future showcases of resilient imagination.
Over the weekend, a Beaconite celebrated Passover, the Jewish holiday that tells the story of his ancestors’ escape from slavery in Egypt. Of the many Jewish holidays dotting the calendar, Passover is one of his favourites, filled with singing, games and lots of food. This year, its theme of freedom felt especially prescient. Unlike last year, when the Beaconite Zoomed into a 20-person videoconference for a virtual Seder — the ritual during which Jews tell the story of their journey from bondage — he gathered on Saturday at his friend’s deck overlooking Smugglers Cove, joined by about a dozen other people. He thought back to this time last year, when he still couldn’t quite grasp the onset of the pandemic, and couldn’t imagine how things might change, or how long, if ever, it would be before life reverted to normal. As an outbreak of coronavirus amongst attendees of a recent funeral shows, life isn’t entirely back to normal yet. Still, the freedom to eat, sing and laugh alongside fellow members of his tribe, all seated at the same table, felt especially sweet this year.
Bananas and plantains
Many may know the culinary difference between plantains and bananas. A Beaconite did a little research and learned some of the main differences between the two look-alikes. Plantains are high in complex carbohydrates and have more starch and less sugar than bananas. They are usually cooked and are high in nutrients. Bananas, meanwhile, are high in potassium.
Over on the west side of Tortola, things have felt rather calm and peaceful to a Beaconite who lives there. Very little traffic flows through her neighborhood, and most of it comes from tourists heading to the beach. In her downtime, she began practising yoga and doing some gardening. Using egg cartons and some soil, she planted a few rows of cilantro. What might normally take seven days to germinate in a more northern climate only took about three here. The plants only needed a bit of water each day. Once the babies are ready to replant, she’ll sow some pepper and basil seeds.