Festival schedule

The Beacon won’t print next week because of the August Emancipation Festival holiday. Advertising and editorial deadlines will return to normal leading up to the next edition on Aug. 11. In the meantime, check in with bvibeacon.com for updates. Beaconites wish everyone a happy Festival.

West End terminal

Beaconites are glad that the Recovery and Development Agency is listening. After soliciting feedback on the West End Ferry Terminal project during public consultations in February, the agency said most concerns focused on the proposed building’s aesthetics. So the RDA decided to take a poll. Residents have until tomorrow to go to https://bvirecovery.vg/poll/west-end-ferry-terminal/ and vote for one of three designs for the facility: “Futuristic and Organic Option A; Classic Modern Option B; or West Indies Option C.” The website lists pros and cons of each design option. Beaconites commend the RDA for working so closely with the public, though next time the agency should consider bringing various options to the table from the start. Beaconites hope residents will weigh in, and that the RDA will disclose the final vote tally in the coming days. Other government agencies, meanwhile, should take note.

Regressive tax

A Beaconite applauds the government’s decision to slash the tax on remittances by 50 percent. From the beginning, she has opposed this shockingly regressive tax, which seeks to balance government budgets on the backs of some of the territory’s most underprivileged residents, most of whom have no voting rights. The levy seems particularly cruel now that the cost of everything from food to electricity is skyrocketing, the economy is still lagging after two years of the pandemic, and everyone is struggling more than ever. Eventually, the Beaconite would like to see the tax gone completely. If government still needs to fill its coffers after that, she suggests it start with collecting from the numerous financially stable residents who can afford to pay their tax bills, but choose not to for whatever reason.

Direct flights?

A Beaconite was pleased to hear the premier say that discussions for direct flights to the United States mainland are continuing and that there should be an update soon. The territory has been looking forward to some good news in this area for a while now. When the reporter speaks to tourists, many of them express their frustrations in not being able to travel here directly from the US. She hopes that direct flights will make it easier for tourists and residents alike, and that the prices for such flights won’t cost an arm and leg.

A sizzle in a drizzle

After a two-year hiatus, the Summer Sizzle fashion show made its return over the weekend. The runway at Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park provided the perfect stage for a dramatic comeback that showcased the latest fashions. A Beaconite was impressed with the confidence of the youth models and is sure she would not have had the bravado to own the stage like they did when she was their age. The crowd offered them warm encouragement that set the rest of the evening on a good note. The movement, colour and shapes of the clothes at this year’s showcase were inspiring, and the reporter looks forward to seeing those trends reflected in local shops. Even though the group of photographers at the end of the runway had to occasionally scatter to protect camera equipment from passing showers, spirits remained high. The Beaconite is thrilled to see another VI staple event make a successful post-pandemic return.