News next door
Sometimes Beaconites have to find the news; other times it finds them. On Monday, Virgin Gorda recycler Julie Swartz of Green and Clean VI was next door to the Beacon’s temporary office in Pasea to collect recyclables from TICO. The business gathers glass from wine club members and passes it on to Ms. Swartz to haul to Virgin Gorda, where she crushes it and gives it another life. Though recycling on Tortola is largely limited to such small-scale operations, Ms. Swartz and others are working to expand opportunities on the island soon.
Go there now
One of a Beaconite’s favourite photographs that she’s taken since arriving in the Virgin Islands was a hilltop view of the south side of Norman Island taken months after Hurricane Irma when the islands had just started to green up again. With waves crashing in a deserted aquamarine lagoon, surrounded by bare, grassy hillsides, it was one of the few locations in the Virgin Islands where she has experienced a wilderness utterly unspoiled — not a roofless house, derelict car or squawking chicken in sight. She enjoyed showing it off to friends and relatives via social media as a view of the VI as its finest. She didn’t know the name of the place at the time, but she later found out it was part of Money Bay. When, this weekend, she found herself invited to a camping trip to that very spot, she was excited to see it up close and personal. True to her expectations, almost all weekend — save for the unexpected arrival of a catamaran near the end — the Beaconite and her fellow campers had it virtually to themselves. However, as seen with the recent uproar surrounding the government’s banishment of the Willy T in favour of a planned development, it seems clear that Norman Island will not remain unspoiled forever. One friend, a former charter captain who navigated to the spot, said, “If they develop this island, Money Bay will be the first to go,” explaining that the spot will become a prime area to clear in favour of transporting building materials. So get there and enjoy it while you can. The Beaconite and her friends even left a hammock there waiting for you.
A Beaconite occasionally likes to take a break from his angry screed against government’s lack of transparency to point out little improvements throughout the territory. He noticed this week that someone, presumably a member of the Public Works Department, painted arrows and lane lines, pictured above, on the road in the Waterfront Drive/Administration Drive intersection. This makes driving there easier, so great job. Arrows and lane lines are good.
A Beaconite who hung out in Cane Garden Bay over the weekend is happy to see that Tortola’s signature beach has started to bustle again. Though there is certainly much more work to be done — and many buildings have yet to be repaired — several bars and restaurants are up and running, and a visitor hanging out on the beach can almost feel as though Hurricane Irma never happened. The Beaconite also noticed that a new wall has been constructed between the ocean and the village’s beachfront graveyard. Though this solution may not last in the long term, he believes it is a step in the right direction at a time when waves have been washing among the graves. He wishes the village the best of luck as it continues its recovery.