Public registers poll
Last month, the premier announced that the Virgin Islands would join the other overseas territories and crown dependencies in working with the United Kingdom to implement public registers of beneficial ownership by 2023. A recent Beacon online poll tackled the topic, asking readers whether owners of VI companies should be made public. As of Tuesday, 62 votes had been cast. Twenty-three voted “Yes, but only under certain conditions;” 22 voted “Yes, always;” 18 voted “No, never;” and one was not sure. The poll was unscientific, but its results show a very narrow split between opinions, suggesting that even as the territory and the world move closer to making company owners public, there are still many factors to be considered along the way.
A Beaconite was glad to put a pin in an extensive report on an ongoing court case involving partners in the failed BVI Airways deal. After reading some 400 pages of legal documents and distilling that information into a comprehensive story, the reporter is fairly well versed in the project’s history. The next stage in the case involves a Washington DC judge’s ruling on what additional efforts the Virgin Islands government can pursue as it seeks to find evidence of a DC attorney’s alleged conflict of interest. Reporting on such issues takes a significant time investment from reporters, editors and page designers. The Beaconite is grateful to work at a newspaper that values the type of coverage that helps make the facts about such issues a little clearer to the public. She encourages readers to check out the story.
This week, a Beaconite developed a new respect for journalists who dedicate themselves to covering the court beat. Although he was used to occasionally walking over to Johns Hole to catch an interesting case, or, more recently, logging on to Zoom to listen in on a recent arrest matter, this week was the first time he had sat through lengthy trial proceedings. Having reported on the matter for months, the Beaconite was knowledgeable about the case from the trial’s outset, which just made the revelations in the evidence more interesting and the lawyer’s presentation of the material more impressive. The Beaconite’s admiration for court reporters, though, was really cemented when he sat down to write his story, which took about three more hours than he had anticipated. It requires a lot of balance to write with style and tone while ensuring that every sentence in the article is supported by the sworn testimony, especially when one is not allowed to record inside the court. His handwriting looks like chicken scratch, and he has never studied law. The Beaconite looks forward to finding more trials that pique his interest.
Please forgive the punny headline, but a Beaconite is trying to make light of a somewhat traumatic car crash in which she was recently involved. The brakes on her car gave out on the hill down to Cane Garden Bay, and the vehicle quickly sped out of control before pinballing off the road barrier and crashing to a halt on the bank. The reporter was grateful to walk away from such an incident almost completely unharmed — and grateful that no one else was hurt. She would like to offer a sincere thank you to the community members who heard the crash, rushed to the scene, and helped clear the road.
With curfew still in effect and the beginning of October past, a Beaconite decided to spend some time each day revelling in her favourite horror movies until Halloween. She created a calendar and invites anyone to join the marathon. Keep Covid-19 creepy!