Strange comfort

Most of the Joes Hill road directly behind Road Town was closed to non-local traffic Saturday, and it was still under construction up to the Beacon’s deadline yesterday. Normally, one might consider the near-complete closure of a main transitway to be nothing more than a headache, but a Beaconite is thankful that the portion of pavement above the Joes Hill Manor Estate is finally getting attention. For many months, a hole in the east side of the road there has grown larger with each heavy rainfall. To alert drivers, a wide, highway-style traffic cone has stood on the edge of the hole. But the cone began falling into the hole as it expanded. More worryingly, the hole has no bottom: It simply drops out into thin air, giving passers-by a brief look at the struggling housing project through a window in the road itself. By the time of this writing, an excavator had cleared out the road around the hole, briefly reducing the way up the mountain to one lane. The reporter is glad to see such drastic effort going into a hole in the road, and he hopes that the repair stands. After it is completed, he thinks similar effort should be put into securing the affordable housing project below.




HOA transcripts

A Beaconite recently noticed that the YouTube page that broadcasts live House of Assembly sittings now includes printed transcripts for the public to view after the live sessions have ended. Though it is unclear to her when this function became available on the HOA videos, she sees them as a very beneficial addition. Not only do they promote accessibility, but they also allow viewers to find specific parts of a sitting with greater ease. One can use the “command F” function to search the transcript, which can help them find the place where a specific question was asked during the meeting. The reporter must note, however, that the transcript supplied is automatically produced. This means that sometimes the transcript can be partially inaccurate (though not due to any fault of the HOA). Therefore, it is imperative for anyone who uses it to only use it as a reference and make sure they actually listen to the audio in the videos as well. The reporter commends the HOA for utilising this function and hopes that the practice continues. After all, it promotes greater transparency in the Virgin Islands government, which is imperative to a properly functioning democracy. She notes that YouTube transcripts of sittings in other jurisdictions, including the Cayman Islands, have long been the norm.


Captain Climate

Premier Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley did not quite don a Batman outfit, but a Beaconite got the clear impression he sees himself as Captain Climate Change. During a press conference on Friday that at times channelled Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, the premier took on the international community, demanding much greater funding for the Virgin Islands in order to combat the gathering climate crisis. Indeed, he is even taking the battle to Gotham City — sorry, New York — where he will address the United Nations committee on decolonisation. Just back from a climate conference in Antigua before heading to the Cayman Islands and the United States, Dr. Wheatley warned of a “very active” hurricane season ahead. Will Hurricane Sowande succeed, or blow himself out? The Beaconite wishes him well in his struggle to right wrongs. Climate change is certainly a dire threat for the Virgin Islands, and the problem needs all the attention it can get on the world stage.