What’s in a name?

A Beaconite arriving at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport early this week was pleased with the overall arrival process. It was quick and easy, and the immigration and customs officers were polite and efficient. However, two things troubled him. First, the immigration officers were not wearing nametags or other identifying markings. The Beaconite believes it should be standard practice for border officers to be identifiable. This allows customers to provide feedback about their performance. The government, after all, recently launched an online system designed to give the public an opportunity to provide such feedback about all public officers. But how can anyone comment about an officer whose name they don’t know? In fact, this doesn’t just apply to immigration personnel. If government is serious about its feedback system, all public-facing public officers in the territory should wear a nametag. The second thing that troubled the Beaconite at the airport arose when he tried to leave through a door clearly marked “Exit” next to the bathrooms. The door was locked. It doesn’t take an expert to understand the fire hazard that exists when doors marked “Exit” are not, in fact, viable exits. Given that the airport presumably will be increasingly busy as the direct Miami flights gain traction, it is more important than ever that the facility operate at international standards of safety and service.

Weather predictions

It seems that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather predictions are not accurate enough for the territory: Government plans to create a national meteorological station to serve the territory rather than relying on the 200-year-old American weather bureau. Many residents turn to the NOAA for their Atlantic Hurricane Season weather updates and warnings, and the territory receives its daily weather information from the meteorological station in Antigua. It’s unclear if there is currently anyone trying to predict the weather professionally within the territory (though a Beaconite argues that captains, farmers and fishers are probably the most reliable sources), and it seems strange that it has taken this long for the territory to conceive of such an idea. Though the Virgin Islands is a small territory, advancing in science and technology is crucial, and this seems like a step in the right direction. The reporter is not sure where the office for the new weather station will be located, but given the ever-increasing issues with suitable office (and educational) spaces, she hopes government plans to build a dedicated centre — preferably one that can withstand hurricanes, especially if officials intend to store data there.

Poker run

A Beaconite enjoyed seeing her home of Cane Garden Bay abuzz this weekend with the second annual One VI Poker Run. This was the second year the fundraiser took place, and supporters certainly seemed to embrace the new event. She remembers how packed the beach was last year, and attendance was high again for the poker run’s return. The territory’s schools could certainly use the financial support from the event, which organisers said amounted to $20,000 last year. The reporter remembers what it was like seeing fan-favourite annual events gradually return in the years after the onset of the pandemic. Because she moved to the Virgin Islands only a few months before the start of the pandemic, those reintroductions were the first time she got to experience many of those events. One particular favourite of hers was seeing a full-fledged August Emancipation Festival for the first time. It’s exciting to see a new staple being added to the calendar, and considering the outpouring of interest shown in the first and second year, she wouldn’t be surprised if this poker run becomes another such staple.