Drag racing is back
Early on a recent Tuesday evening, a Beaconite drove to the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport to pick up an arriving colleague. While he was waiting, he heard screaming engines, and he realised that cars were drag racing on the straightaway in front of the airport. He wasn’t terribly surprised. The dangerous practice was commonplace before the government installed a traffic-calming island in the road a few years ago. But that island was later removed for reasons that were never clearly explained, and the drag racing has now resumed. The Beaconite was discouraged: The racing has resulted in wrecks and serious injuries in the past. But he had a shot of hope when he noticed a police officer nearby. Surely, he thought, she would put a stop to the illegal racing. But she didn’t seem to notice it. Instead, she was busy writing tickets for people who were waiting in their cars in front of the airport. He understood that she had a job to do, but he also felt that the racing cars — which were loud and obvious and deadly — surely were a much bigger problem than the parked cars — which were, well, parked. So after the officer finished writing a ticket, he approached her and reported the drag racing. She at first seemed sceptical that it had even occurred, but after he insisted she advised him to call 311 the next time he witnessed any racing. Then she took a step that surprised him: She called 311 herself and walked away, apparently to report the drag racers to the police. The Beaconite appreciates that she took action, and he understands that officers probably have their own beats and mandates. Still, the experience left him scratching his head and wondering about police priorities. If the officer had simply taken a brief break from writing tickets and walked across the parking lot to the road, he is certain the racers would have quickly dispersed. His colleague arrived shortly thereafter, so the Beaconite didn’t see what — if anything — happened next. But he drove extremely carefully as he pulled out of the airport parking lot.
A Beaconite is always excited when new experiences pop up along his journey through life. As such, last week’s tsunami drill in Road Town was another event on his list of “things to experience,” and he was looking forward to it. When the sirens around Road Town blared, however, he grew slightly nervous since he has watched YouTube videos of actual tsunamis in Japan and Thailand. During the exercise, he climbed a hill above Road Town with a group of other people who left their offices to respond. Everyone was panting as they clambered up the steep hill in the scorching mid-morning heat, and the Beaconite had some Armageddon thoughts. For instance, what if a tsunami occurred at night? Imagine running up the hills in the dark. Eventually, the police said it was okay to return to the offices, and his adrenaline rush subsided to thinking about lunch. A quick chat with a few friends in Road Town later lightened his mood since they have been accustomed to such exercises for years. Now, he is glad to know what to do in the event of a real tsunami.
There has certainly been no shortage of opportunities for the public to hear from election candidates over the past week. A Beaconite can hardly believe the Virgin Islands is already within a month of Polling Day, and she knows she will plenty busy until then. It has been interesting getting to meet more of the candidates and hear their perspectives on the best way forward for the territory, though it has entailed being out on the campaign trail until nearly midnight quite a few evenings. She hopes the rest of the season will be engaging — and more civil that it has been in recent days.