Festival printing schedule
Because of the August Emancipation Festival holidays Monday through Wednesday, the Beacon won’t publish next week. The temporary office in Pasea will reopen next Thursday, however, and advertising and editorial deadlines will return to normal for the Aug. 16 edition. Beaconites wish readers a happy Festival.
Complaints about poor customer service are too common in the Virgin Islands. However, a Beaconite has noticed a very positive standard among many customer-oriented businesses in the VI: the willingness to be informally helpful with problems. The Beaconite has dealt with a host of car- and phone-related issues in the last two weeks, and employees at various businesses — ranging from Smiley’s Garage to Nibbs Auto Sales & Parts to Digicel — have all been prepared to inspect and diagnose problems before any contracts are signed or payments are made. Each of those businesses provided some degree of free help to reach a solution to one of the Beaconite’s cacophony of recent technical problems, and for that he is thankful. The “customer service smile” may be lacking in some businesses here, but the more substantive openness to actually helping a customer is often easy to find.
Many in the Virgin Islands love Kenny Chesney, and the feeling is mutual. The laid-back, United States-based country singer’s Love for Love City Foundation has, with the help of volunteers, helped rebuild Jost Van Dyke, including the clinics, the customs dock and the school, and donated a 3,000-gallon-per-day watermaker. And he’s not finished. For his latest move, he has announced that he will donate all proceeds from Songs for Saints, his new album featuring Ziggy Marley and Jimmy Buffett, to the recovery effort. While a Beaconite is thrilled about this, she would also like to gently point out that there’s still one thing missing: an appearance by Mr. Chesney himself in concert. There were hopes of that happening on New Year’s Eve at Foxy’s Tamarind Bar, but they were dashed, so the time is now. Imagine a live outdoor show in Great Harbour, JVD, featuring Mr. Chesney as the headliner and with any number of opening acts from here, other Caribbean islands, Nashville and beyond. Perhaps even Messrs. Marley and Buffett will want to help the cause and put in appearances. The Beaconite predicts tickets would sell out in days, if not overnight. Fans would want to fly in from all over the world to experience such a once-in-a-lifetime, feel-good event. The concert could no doubt raise millions for the recovery effort, and the sight of thousands of visitors crowding the beach would send a definitive signal to the world that the VI is back in business. Even the Beaconite would pay to see it, and as a rock critic in another life, she objects on principle to ever paying money to see live music. So think about it, Mr. Chesney, before you say “adios to Jost.”
Last week, the BVI Electricity Corporation invited members of the media to witness the opening of tender documents for the supply of fuel. During this display of transparency, the BVIEC released a lot of details about the bids received — including specific dollar amounts proposed for each year and for each product. A Beaconite who attended greatly appreciates that the corporation can be so transparent with journalists and, therefore, the public, about contracts that will end up totalling eight figures. She urges other public agencies in the VI to do the same.