While attending the Fort Purcell cleanup last weekend, a Beaconite was truly impressed by the skill and speed of the various volunteers who hacked and sawed at the bush covering the historic site. Schoolchildren, adults and even the governor wielded machetes with confidence, uncovering the centuries-old fort. One Cadet asked the reporter whether it was difficult to “type the newspaper,” but typing and photography seemed to the Beaconite to be much less strenuous than Saturday morning’s cutlassing.
Better late than never
On Feb. 3, Beaconites arrived at work to find that their office had been burglarised. A few weeks later, the office was outfitted with an alarm system. Beaconites hoped this step would deter future burglary attempts. When the Beacon was burglarised a second time, shortly before midnight on April 21, the security system functioned properly: The alarm sounded, and the Beacon’s security company called the police. Unfortunately, Beaconites learned this week, the police didn’t respond at the time. The intruder, who had forced open a window, entered the office, damaged the security system, and opened a cash drawer before leaving. The next morning, a Beaconite found an office window wide open, and called the police himself. The officers who showed up then were prompt and professional as they took fingerprints and gathered other evidence. But Beaconites can’t help wondering what would have happened if officers on the night shift had responded when the alarm sounded — instead of leaving it to the day shift to respond to a second call about nine hours later. An arrest might have resulted. Fortunately, police have assured Beaconites that officers will be sure to respond the next time the alarm is triggered. Beaconites certainly hope so. With so many burglaries in the territory recently, surely the police can’t afford to miss a prime opportunity to nab an offender.
A Beaconite and his two children were roaming the streets of Road Town on Saturday afternoon looking for something to do. The first thing on the agenda was ice cream. This satisfied the kids — until they were covered in chocolate stickiness. Then it was time to clean up and find something else to occupy their time. They then walked over to Wickhams Cay I, where the Beaconite thought he might see someone flying a kite. Instead, they found several busted kites. So he patched them together. Soon they had two kites to fly from the discarded ones he had found. He even found spools of string on the ground. After about an hour of flying the kites, it was time to go. So he handed over the kite to a young girl whose kite had broken.
Last week, the Beacon published a commentary from contributor William Walker, who wrote a detailed assessment of the proposed West End ferry terminal. The piece, which is followed up in this week’s edition, included many facts and figures. One of them, though, was missing a zero. Mr. Walker noted after the letter was published that it included a small mistake: The letter estimated that one pile would be required for every 10 square feet for the part of the facility that is to be built over water. But the number should have been one pile for every 100 square feet, Mr. Walker said. Beaconites can understand the error, especially given the technical nature of the commentary. And they thank Mr. Walker and other writers for contributing.
Size and complexity
The cost to build a megayacht, a Beaconite was told, rises dramatically as the vessel’s length increases. Because boats resemble spheres in some respects, their interior volume increases as their length or radius increases. That geometrical rule roughly applies to reporting as well, a Beaconite discovered over the past several weeks of researching the megayacht industry for this week’s special report (see page one). A typical news story involves three or four sources, takes a few hours to write and usually comes to 400 to 800 words. The special report involved nearly six hours of interviews with dozens of sources, and it came to 5,368 words. Despite the extra complexity of the story, the Beaconite was interested to learn about this new industry and how it may affect the Virgin Islands. He is very grateful that all of his sources were so generous with their time and information.