Loan guarantee

A Beaconite would like to voice agreement with Premier Dr. Orlando Smith’s reasoning for accepting the United Kingdom’s loan guarantee and the conditions that come along with it. He believes Dr. Smith has done a good job of stressing one of the most important points with regards to the guarantee: It facilitate access to loan funding that could offer immediate help to the most disadvantaged members of society. He understands that some people are hesitant to make a choice they feel will lead to reduced elected sovereignty, but the Beaconite doesn’t believe for one second that the current UK government has hidden aspirations to reassert control over the Virgin Islands. And he believes pushing that narrative here to win political points and cause controversy only hurts the less fortunate people in the territory who may stand to gain the most from living in a financially flush VI. Also, based on his own perusing of the UK conditions, it seems like most of the requests are good-governance measures that would only help the territory’s financial planning, due diligence and procurement processes.



Surfing dreams

For a decade, a Beaconite has dreamed of learning to surf, but she has also spent most of that time living 500 miles away from the ocean. Having moved here, she thought her time had finally arrived. However, as she recently discovered, it takes more than mere proximity to the ocean to learn to surf. It also takes time, transportation and moral support. She has discovered that the Virgin Islands’ most popular surfing beach is usually crowded with people she already knows, most of whom are much better at surfing than she is, and not all of whom are going to be forgiving of her frequent beginner’s mistakes — and the Beaconite is self-conscious enough to begin with. It’s also not exactly centrally located, especially without reliable transportation. Many local surfers have been extremely encouraging and invited her to surf with them. However, often they can only go surfing at the most crowded times, or don’t have transportation themselves. She has hopes of finding a buddy who is on her same level, who can motivate her, who has transportation, and who also has time to go to the beach when it is populated by strangers who are bad at surfing (or even better, no one).



St. John

A Beaconite made the trek over to St. John over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed a smattering of white sand beaches, good restaurants and even a lengthy, American-esque St. Patrick’s Day celebration (as in, there were throngs of boozy visitors decked out in plastic shamrock glasses and green glitter). But one aspect of the trip that was less than ideal? The post-Irma ferry schedule from Tortola to St. John — or the lack thereof. In order to get over to the island, the reporter had to take a boat from the Tortola Pier Park to Charlotte Amalie, then from Red Hook to Cruz Bay, totalling about four hours. She recognises the many challenges to resuming normal ferry schedules between every island, especially considering the fact that some Customs and Immigration buildings were destroyed. But she also knows many people who would gladly line up to take the Tortola-St. John ferry if it were available again. Until then, luckily boats appear to be running from Red Hook at a pretty fast clip — and there’s a row of slot machines in the ferry terminal to make you forget about the wait.


Lessening the litter

Last week two children who had noticed a litter problem in Trellis Bay decided to take matters into their own hands. Owen and Lily Graham, who are 11 and 6, spent their Saturday morning filling eight bags of trash in the area. Beaconites are impressed by the kids’ effort, and hope that other residents will follow their example.