A Beaconite had the privilege of attending the High Court hearing held last week to determine the legality of Mark Vanterpool’s resignation from the Fourth District. As she sat in court and listened to attorneys trade arguments back and forth, she couldn’t help wonder about the purpose of this expenditure of taxpayer money. On the one hand, by resigning and then changing his mind, the plaintiff treated his position as an elected member of the House of Assembly flippantly, disrespecting the constituents who took the time and effort to cast their ballot for him. Elected office should not be taken so lightly. On the other hand, the defendant’s refusal to swear him in and his insistence on taking the matter to court — followed by his apparently contradictory insistence that it is not a matter for the court — has seemed odd and petty at best. Overall the Beaconite feels that both parties have demonstrated a lack of reverence for the actual purpose of the legislature — to govern and to create policy that serves the needs of the people. As the hearing dragged through Friday and into Saturday — starting an hour late on both days, she might add — she felt that the people of the Virgin Islands deserve better.
A Beaconite has owned a car for a few months, but due to the arduous process of attempting to get both the car and herself properly licensed, she only started driving it this week. She has yet to really enjoy the newfound “freedom” everybody says comes from owning the car. It’s nice to be able to drive to and from the office and other assignments, but she intends to take any opportunity to beg someone else — anyone else — to drive. That way she can relax, use her phone and maybe drink a cocktail instead of being saddled with the responsibility of keeping herself and everybody else alive. There’s not much that’s fun about driving in the VI in her view. Mostly it seems to be precariously steep driveways and maddeningly narrow parking spaces that always seem to leave her a few centimetres away from crushing someone’s bumper. Plus, she suspects she’ll be shelling out a lot of money sooner or later. The Beaconite’s friend, who helpfully drove the vehicle to the Department of Motor Vehicles last week, thinks a strange sound means the transmission has a problem that a mechanic should check (which seems unfair, given that the previous owners spent more than $1,000 on other repairs shortly before she bought the vehicle). When it comes to driving, it seems the journey is only beginning.
When anyone asks one Beaconite how she is enjoying the territory, she responds, “I’m getting to know it.” Just like getting to know a person, learning the Virgin Islands takes time. The reporter hasn’t even climbed Sage Mountain yet, let alone travelled to Virgin Gorda or Anegada. Just the other day she saw wild flamingos in a salt pond for the first time in her life. Last week, she encountered a rock iguana on Guana Island. The first month she was here, she enjoyed the waters off Fallen Jerusalem. Her first full moon party was preceded by a magnificent sunset at the Bat Cave before heading to Trellis Bay. She’s seen bright green birds flying overhead and befriended cats. She’s growing some plants and potting flowers as you read. The tropics, she hears, does wonders to the mind, body and soul. So she’s uncovering little bits of gold. Slowly, but surely, she is uncovering each of nature’s little secrets.