New face

The newest Beaconite, Allison Vaughn, hails from Arizona, where she previously covered business and philanthropy for the Phoenix Business Journal and tourism for Arizona Highways Magazine. A graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, she earned her degree in journalism and minors in sustainable tourism and digital audiences. Since her arrival, she has realised that the dry, arid heat of the Arizona desert where she was raised only partially prepared her for the damp, tropical climate of the Caribbean. Even after the sun sets, the air remains hot here — a strange adjustment for her as the temperature often drops nearly 20 degrees in the desert night. The rain, she noticed, even smells different. Such an observation may seem inconsequential, but for someone from the desert, where rainfall brings a lovely distinct aroma, it is among the little differences that contribute to the wonders and newness of this environment. Coming from Phoenix, the fifth largest city in the United States, the Beaconite is enthralled by everything these islands have to offer. The intersection between residents and tourists, as well as the relationship between the tourism sector and the island as a whole, are of particular interest to her. Since her arrival, she has also enjoyed passing wild chickens and roosters as she wanders through Road Town. In fact, she is still getting used to being awoken by the occasional cock-a-doodle-doo.


Good news, bad word

For both the Virgin Islands and the United States VI, big news came out of the 66th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday. From this territory, Donelle Smith copped a Grammy Award for serving as an engineer on the Barbie movie soundtrack, which won “Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media.” From the USVI, R. City member Theron Thomas won the coveted title of Songwriter of the Year in the non-classical category. In his acceptance speech, Mr. Thomas dedicated the win to his father, who he said died three years ago from cancer. Then, in a moment of exuberance — and in front of the whole world — he trotted out a special word often used in this territory and the USVI. “Virgin Islands in this [expletive]!” he shouted, using one of the worst bad words around. The word, in fact, is so bad that you won’t read it here. But it starts with an “M” and ends with a “T.” Most viewers, who would have been unfamiliar with this particular word, doubtlessly didn’t understand what had just happened. But the moment wasn’t missed here in these islands: The speech was immediately circulating on social media.


From the saddle

While scooting around on his 125cc steed on Tuesday, a Beaconite couldn’t help but marvel at the meteorological activity visible from Road Town to Nanny Cay, which could only be described as dramatic. Some errands needed some running during the day, so the reporter hunched over as best as he could to limit the sea’s hard gales from pushing his motorcycle into the opposing lane. The bike in question is limited to 125 cubic centimetres of displacement, of course, since that’s the law. In his mind, that makes it little more than a motorised bicycle: 125cc is just under 4.25 fluid ounces, making it one seventh the size of the Tressemé shampoo bottle in his shower. Despite the lack of grunt to really make getting around the island on two wheels easy, the Beaconite loves his little bike, and he understands that he has an obligation for upholding a semi-decent public appearance when riding it. That being said, he takes a grave stance of opposition against the many, many speedbumps around the island. Isn’t ensuring the safety of the territory’s roadways a job for the police? Without a metal cage around those who chose two wheels, scooter riders are very aware on the road (for the most part). Ask any one of them: Forcing every vehicle on Tortola to summit speedbumps only encourages drivers to attempt to make up time in-between.