Miss BVI Beacon

Beaconites are pleased and proud that frequent Beacon contributor Anika Christopher won the Miss BVI Pageant on Aug. 6. They also applaud her platform of spreading climate change awareness, which is badly needed in the territory. Ms. Christopher is not the first Beaconite to win the territory’s main pageant crown. She follows in the footsteps of Linnell M. Abbott, who founded the Beacon in 1984 and served as editor and publisher for 25 years. Beaconites are thrilled to see Ms. Christopher maintaining the tradition, and they wish her the best of luck. They also look forward to seeing what she does with her reign over the coming year.

New worst airline?

Last year, a Beaconite got an unwelcome taste of InterCaribbean Airlines’ legendarily abysmal customer service when the carrier stranded him for two days in the Dominican Republic. And from reading numerous complaints on social media, he knows he’s not the only one to be treated badly by the company. So this week, he was glad to read that at least one Caribbean government is addressing the problem head-on. Guyana Aviation Minister Juan Edghill threatened the airline with government sanctions if it doesn’t cut back on its frequent delays and cancellations, according to regional news reports. Mr. Edghill reportedly said that senior government officials met last week with InterCaribbean representatives, who blamed the ongoing problems on issues with crewmembers and other internal matters. The airline, he added, committed to improving, in part by adding aircraft. “If they don’t fulfil those obligations that they made last week Thursday, we will have to step in and take additional actions or possible sanctions,” the minister reportedly told Demerara Waves Online News, adding, “The airlines cannot just make money and people suffer. They have to be able to have the social contract with the passengers fulfilled.” Given that the same issues have frequently affected Virgin Islands travellers, the Beaconite wonders if leaders here should take a similarly strong stance. Given his own problems with the airline, he hopes they at least consider it. Travellers who have tried to contact InterCaribbean officials in the past doubtlessly will not be surprised that the airline did not respond yesterday to a request for comment.

Hot, hot, hot

While July was the hottest month on record in modern history, high temperatures have continued into August. A Beaconite has heard reports of people being rushed to the hospital after suffering heat poisoning in the Virgin Islands during the August Emancipation Festival. The issue is unfortunate, scary, and not spoken about enough. While most people are accustomed to staying indoors during the hot summer months, activities like the annual festival often motivate people to stay outside in the sun for hours on end. Many of those people are also dancing, expending energy that increases their body temperature, and losing water through sweat. Many people also drink alcohol during celebrations, which further dehydrates the body. The combination of these factors creates an atmosphere where some may push their bodies past the limit, resulting in heat and alcohol poisoning. The Beaconite believes these issues should be addressed publicly before each festival season to ensure all people enjoy the festivities while remaining safe. Participants should also be mindful and ensure their health remains a priority, even during times of celebration. Additionally, perhaps the territory should consider water stations or installing more areas of shade along Waterfront Drive to help people stay out of the sun and stay hydrated.