Bad roads, bad drivers

Vehicles have suspension systems for a reason: to allow them to navigate bumps in the road. Some Tortola drivers, however, apparently believe that minimising vibrations should take precedence over the safety of others on the road. On countless occasions, a Beaconite has driven around a bend and come face to face with a driver who would rather straddle the centre of the road than navigate through even a minor pothole. This dangerous habit is particularly common on Joes Hill. Yes, the tarmac is crumbling across the roadway, but that does not give drivers the right to drive into the wrong lane. In fact, it is far more dangerous for a driver to alter their direction or speed without warning than to allow their suspension system to deal with the bumps as it was designed to do. But the reporter has frequently noticed cars swerving maniacally and slaloming through potholes. Drivers who participate in this reckless behaviour should re-examine their priorities and ask themselves if avoiding a bump is worth the risk of a head-on collision. He can assure them that it’s not.


Bird count

It’s almost that time of year again: the National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count hosted locally by the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands. Two counts are typically held each year: one on Tortola and one on Anegada. A Beaconite encourages anyone who is interested in bird watching or would like to experience it for a day to contact the NPT and participate. The reporter has tagged along for multiple counts in the past few years and has seen some rare birds in Anegada. One of her favourite — and more common — birds is the American kestrel (pictured above), known locally as the killi killi. With distinct facial markings and an affinity for perching atop dead tree branches, kestrels are easy to spot. The reporter also enjoys the flock of green parrots that sometimes make its way into Luck Hill or the Queen Elizabeth II Park.


Panto the town red

A Beaconite performed in last year’s pantomime of “Aladdin,” but this weekend marked the first time she got to enjoy the show from the audience. It was a delightfully light-hearted event. The people she viewed it with agreed that the extensive props and humour were a boon this year. Treasure Island was one of her favourite books growing up, and while the story certainly deviated far from the original plot, it was great fun to watch, especially with the little nods to Virgin Islands life that were dotted throughout. The Beaconite went on opening night, and she believes the cast did a great job, especially considering that actor Adrian Francis had to stand in at the last minute for one of the titular roles. The actors’ commitment certainly went unquestioned, even when that meant some of them had to take a pie to the face. She remembers how much work it takes to put on a play with all the bells and whistles, and she thanks everyone in the cast and crew who volunteered their time to bring the community a little extra holiday cheer.