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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesWhy Will the U.S.V.I. Go Down the Tubes?

Why Will the U.S.V.I. Go Down the Tubes?

Dear Source:
In my opinion, the United States Virgin Islands are in grave danger of going down the tubes for the following reasons:
1. CRIME: If only the powers-that-be would read the various Internet forums related to the USVI, contributed to by primarily visitors but also many residents, they would have a much better grasp on both the perception and the reality of crime here on a root level. The attrition rate of new police officers is enormous for many reasons and those such as Elton Lewis seem to twiddle strings and spout rhetoric as the home front burns.
To whom do you turn when your car is towed when it was parked in a legal parking space but the officer who tags you has a tow truck crony right around the corner who moves it 150ft to a place which the officer deems, "appropriate" and then you have to pay the tow truck driver $150 to release your vehicle? To whom do you turn when you see a police officer late at night, right outside your door, beating the living daylights out of someone and then, when you call 911 and they tell you the "matter is under control." It continues and you open up your door and the officer tells you, "get back inside or I'll shoot you." It all goes back to accountability.
2. EDUCATION: A shambles and a travesty, all in all. Every time it's an election year, work gets done, promises are made and everything then falls apart all over again until a next election year. Of course some children come from dysfunctional homes who need special assistance but why do we offer our teachers substandard salaries. Are we LOOKING to attract uncertified/substandard teachers? Even if only 3% of the total school population drops out in one year before graduation, that's 3% of our children falling into an abyss of crime. Anybody who reads any forums related to people wanting to relocate to the Virgin Islands cannot help but see that those with children are advised NOT to do so unless they are sufficiently affluent to place their children in private schools. Those who have come here and put their children into the public school system have, for the most part, had a very difficult time. NOT, I should add because of peer pressure per se. Kids are resilient and can adapt. The teaching is the problem and it all goes back to accountability.
3. HEALTH CARE. Why do so many longtime residents (20+ years) leave here as they get older? Why do so many former top-echelon government and private sector employees leave here as they get older? Why do some people who years ago bought property here thinking they would retire here decide to sell when they reach that certain age? The answer is simple. The USVI has never been able to offer a top-notch health care service compared to that which can be found on the mainland. It all goes back to accountability.
4. THE ECONOMY. WAPA is the biggest joke of all. The Virgin Islands consumers now pay not only the highest rate per KW under the US flag but also in the Caribbean. And the VI Government still owes WAPA about $16 MILLION but of course won't be shut off – but of course residences and small businesses will be shut off in a heartbeat! This last 20% increase is a real killer and is already resulting in higher prices island-wide in the general marketplace.
5. FINALLY. There are many places on the US mainland which have a warm climate and a much lower cost of living than the USVI. In many parts of Florida (removed from hurricane alley) there are countless home rentals available. $1100/month average for a 3BR 2BA with garage, fenced yard, central AC and heat (rates much lower than here) sometimes a pool but all within easy reach of supermarkets where everything is much lower than here. And hospitals and clinics abounding, all top notch!
IN SUMMATION. Just in my opinion and as a 22 year resident, I see it all slowly going down the tubes. Major changes have been talked about ad nausea over the years but the beat just keeps going on as the rest of the world changes and as the Virgin Islands continues to rest on a status quo of complacency which is simply out of touch.
Anna Clarke
St. Thomas

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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