Tactical embarrassment

It could have been a scene on a playground: Magistrate Dr. Velon John acted as the teacher, and the defendant and his alleged victim were reminiscent of two students who had just gotten into a sandbox scuffle. “What I want you to do is apologise,” Dr. John told the defendant, after his cousin, who had allegedly been assaulted, asked for the charges to be dropped. “I want you to come out of the box, look him in the eye, and apologise.” A Beaconite who regularly covers court found the judge’s approach amusing and effective: Court officers, police, and members of the public smiled as the defendant approached his cousin, shook his hand, and gave an apparently heartfelt apology before being discharged. “Let there be peace in the valley,” Dr. John said after the defendant left the room.


Beaconites — and other residents who pass near the Commercial Court to get from Waterfront Drive to Main Street — were out of luck this week, as the road was closed from Saturday. In spite of the inconvenience, which the Ministry of Communications and Works said will last about ten days, they were glad to see that work was under way in the area: The deep dip in the road at the intersection was a dangerous safety hazard. The ministry said the work will “facilitate the construction and installation of drainage in the area.”

Secret’s out

Another week, another travel list. That the Virgin Islands consistently tops the lists of the international travel press as a desirable place to visit shouldn’t come as a surprise to VI residents. This week the list-maker was The Huffington Post, which included Virgin Gorda on its roster of “Seven Caribbean Islands You’ve Never Heard of But Should Visit.”  VG sits in good company among “few places you should check out if you want to get away from it all without everyone else,” according to the website. The other islands — Bequia, Barbuda, Canouan, Culebra and Saba — hardly boast wide name recognition globally, but a Beaconite suspects that word about VG is getting around. “One of the largest islands in the BVI, Virgin Gorda isn’t exactly under-the-radar to Tortola-goers or yachters, but its exquisite beaches (and famous baths) are certainly worth a visit,” The Huffington Post gushes.

Lost and found, again

One Beaconite who seems to have a talent for leaving behind small items — voice recorders, pens, and the like — at assignments was once again pleased with residents’ diligence in returning such items this week. This time, the reporter left behind a lens cap at a community meeting. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be such a big deal, as many modern lens caps can be replaced at a fairly low cost. In this case, however, the missing cap was for her Canon 38-76 mm, a lens she likes to think of as “vintage” that wasn’t ever very popular with photographers and was discontinued in 1998 after only three years of production. The Beaconite was at a community meeting when one of the facilitators noticed her camera and asked if she was missing a lens cap. The woman then pulled the cap from her envelope of meeting-related materials — it seemed those facilitators weren’t sure who the cap belonged to, but were carrying it around in hopes of running into the photographer again. The reporter thanks residents for being so thoughtful, and she promises to try to be less forgetful in the future.


During a transaction at a bank on Friday, a Beaconite thought the teller gave her a few dollars fewer than she should have received. But he convinced her otherwise. A few hours later, she received a call from the bank, informing her that she had a few more dollars to collect. She was pleased to have some extra cash for a Friday drink, thanks to the teller’s honesty and diligence.