VIGILANT STILL ON THE LOOSE

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A story in Wednesday's V.I. Independent stating that fugitive Reuben Vigilant had been arrested less than a mile from his home Tuesday afternoon was untrue, law enforcement officials say.
"As far as I am aware, he has not been arrested," acting Assistant Police Commissioner Bruce Hamlin said. "As far as we are concerned, he is still wanted."
Officials at the territorial Marshals Office also confirmed that Vigilant continued to elude authorities late Wednesday afternoon.
"We, along with the Police Department and other agencies are still in the process of locating him," said a territorial marshal who asked not to be identified.
Police have circulated flyers of Vigilant and placed photographs of him at every counter at the Cyril E. King Airport should he attempt to leave the territory.
Acting Police Chief Jose Garcia said he has no reason to believe Vigilant has fled the territory.
An all-points-bulletin has been issued for Vigilant but so far, Garcia said, he hasn't been located.
"I don't have any record from any of our precincts of him being arrested," he said.
Garcia described Vigilant, 27, as a light-skinned male who is 5'8" inches tall and 136 pounds. Vigilant, a Dominican native, has black hair, brown eyes and a slight build. Garcia said he has worked as a mechanic.
Last Friday, a jury found Vigilant guilty of a 10-count charge that included attempted murder. On Jan. 2, Vigilant attacked his girlfriend with a machete, striking her 13 times as she lay on the ground in a fetal position. April Xavier,19, survived the attack but lost three fingers and a thumb – which was later reattached – and suffered severe injuries to her neck and head. Vigilant was arrested the following day.
Vigilant was present during the first day of the two-day trial but failed to turn up when the jury reached a verdict last Friday.
He had initially been held on $175,000 bail but was later released after Territorial Court Judge Ive A. Swan lowered his bail to a $25,000 property bond.

ACCOUNTABILITY BILL BROKEN UP AND APPROVED

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The Committee on Finance has split the 58-page Financial Accountability Bill into three sections to cover fiscal policies, economic stimulus and revenue enhancement separately.
During the committee meeting Tuesday, the $2.50 head tax on cruise ship passengers was removed from the bill as was the commuter incentive tax.
The head tax came under fire from members of the business community in May, causing Sen. Lorraine Berry, chair of the Finance Committee, to agree to hold off on passage of the bill until a meeting could be called between the groups concerned.
The meeting was held last Thursday and a task force will be formed consisting of cruise line representatives, members of the administration, representatives of the V.I. Port Authority, West Indian Co. Ltd. and members of the local chambers of commerce. The group is committed to coming up with a plan in the next 90 days.
Likewise the commuter incentive tax will be addressed by a cluster on tax reform – one of eight clusters that was formed after the economic summit in February. The recommendations will be submitted to the Finance Committee by July.
The three bills under the Financial Accountability Act were passed unanimously by the Finance Committee and sent on to the Rules Committee for consideration.

EAST END TO GET WASTE WATER TREATMENT FACILITY, FINALLY

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After years of studies, reports, surveys and hearings – going back 23 years — the long- awaited wastewater treatment facility slated for the East End may finally become reality.
In a CZM Committee hearing Tuesday night, environmental engineer Mirko Restovic of Public Works said he felt like DPW was at the "last hurdle of a steeplechase."
The new facility will replace five outdated, overtaxed, malfunctioning treatment facilities.
The Mangrove Lagoon Turpentine Run wastewater collection and treatment project was initiated in 1976. In 1986, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and a Virgin Islands citizens committee developed a plan to replace the five malfunctioning sewage plants with one efficient facility for the treatment and disposal of waste, according to Kirk Grybowski, who served on the citizens committee 13 years ago.
The government didn't have the money to implement the plan and the permits eventually ran out. Since then the territory has been under an amended consent decree from the federal government, which requires the completion of the project by June 2000.
The new $30 million facility will be built with mixed federal and local funds — with larger amount coming from Environmental Protection Agency and the rest from the territory's Public Finance Authority, according to Restovic.
Restovic showed up for the hearing with boxes of old reports and a video that testifiers seemed to remember from other hearings.
"Oh, no, not the video," Grybowski commented.
Kenneth M. Kuhr, environmental engineer from Parsons Engineering Science Inc., provided testimony along with renderings of the proposed facility to be built at the Bovoni landfill.
Helen Gjessing, chair of the League of Women Voters Committee on Planning and Environmental Quality, said the Environmental Assessment Report on the project was excellent and though there were questions about some of the details, "We heartily support the beneficial aspects of the project, in particular, the elimination of partially treated sewage flow into Turpentine Run and Mangrove Lagoon. This will result in improved water quality, and ultimately lead to recovery of the Lagoon ecosystems. There are obvious socioeconomic benefits as well."
Some of the league's concerns were the integrity of the proposed outfall near Packet Rock, removal of the five obsolete treatment plants, and restoration of vegetation where the pipeline was to be laid.
The plans call for the sewage pipelines to run along roadways that Grybowski said flood and deteriorate from use by heavy trucks and equipment, which could cause the pipes to crack and leak.
Another concern expressed by the league and other testifiers was who would manage the treatment plant and how it would be monitored. Gjessing pointed to an Army Corps of Engineers' market feasibility study that notes, "The construction of a one-of-a-kind facility on St. Thomas would be difficult to maintain in view of the past history of operating and maintaining existing facilities."
Restovic said the plan included an apprenticeship program that would train people for the long term to run the plant.
Gjessing said the league favors the management of the new wastewater facility by an independent authority. The league asked the CZM committee to consider an informal post-hearing and pre-decision meeting so that information submitted during the seven-day comment period can be reviewed not only by DPNR staff and CZM members, but also by the witnesses at the hearing.
Paiewonsky asked Kuhr and Restovic to respond to the league's concerns.
Restovic said the project could be completed in less than two years. CZM Chairman Albert Paiewonsky quipped, "Is it a new policy of the government to give plenty of time to do this — you mean it's not an emergency — we don't have to have it done by hurricane season?"
Some in attendance said that after 23 years, the completion of a functional waste water treatment facility should be an emergency.

MARTIN PR RELEASES NEW USVI UPDATES

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USVI Acting Tourism Commissioner Magras Meets With Continental Airlines and TWA
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, JUNE 8, 1999 U.S. Virgin Islands Acting Commissioner of Tourism Clement "Cain" Magras recently met with Continental Airlines and TWA officials to discuss prospective plans to increase airlift service to the territory.
Representatives from Continental Airlines visited the U.S. Virgin Islands several weeks ago and met with Acting Commissioner Magras and president of the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association Richard Doumeng. Negotiations are underway to initiate a daily flight out of the New York area, which would increase the airlift service out of the territory's largest and most productive gateway.
"The meeting was very productive and encouraging," Commissioner Magras said. "Negotiations will continue in an attempt to lure Continental Airlines back to the U.S. Virgin Islands."
Last Thursday, Commissioner Magras met with representatives of TWA and Apple Vacations in St. Louis, Mo. Several opportunities were discussed including the emergence of a flight out of New York's LaGuardia Airport. TWA officials also expressed an interest in making St. Croix a mini-hub to take advantage of the refueling opportunities on the island. With TWA's interest in expanding its service into the Caribbean region, Commissioner Magras believes St. Croix would be an ideal location if the new airport runway expansion can be completed in a timely manner.
"Currently, larger jets cannot take off from the existing runway at St. Croix's Henry E. Rohlsen Airport with maximum passenger capacity and a full fuel tank," Commissioner Magras said. "The expansion of the runway is the most significant project underway to boost St. Croix's economy."
For more information about St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, call the U.S. Virgin Islands Visitor's Center at (800) 372-USVI.
V.I. Challenge Sponsors Contest to "Win A Virgin Island"
Enter the Online Skills Contest for Chance to Own Island's Title
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, JUNE 8, 1999 The Virgin Islands Challenge, a nonprofit foundation and the home sailing syndicate to Peter Holmberg, is sponsoring a Web-based (www.amcup.vi) creative skills contest to give away the title to one of the many smaller islets of the U.S. Virgin Islands. By making a $10 donation to the Virgin Islands Challenge, contest entrants may submit a creative new name for the beautiful island of Fish Cay (the current name), located off the east end of St. Thomas, for the chance to actually own it. A winner will be selected each month and will then advance to the final competition for the title of ownership to the island. Prizes will be awarded monthly to each of the finalists leading up to the announcement of the grand prize and runner-up winners on January 30, 2000.
The rules of the "Win a Virgin Island" contest are simple. Contestants can complete the electronic entry form on the foundation's Web site at: www.amcup.vi. For each charitable donation of $10, contestants will be allowed to submit one entry consisting of a creative new name for Fish Cay and a one-sentence explanation of the inspiration for the name selection. Donations should be made payable to the V.I. Challenge via credit card. The deadline for each monthly submission is the fifteenth of every month, now through January 15, 2000. Contestants must be at least 18 years old to participate, but there are no limitations on the number of entries a contestant may submit. All proceeds from this contest will benefit the V.I. Marine Program and activities of the V.I. Challenge.
A panel of judges will select a winner each month. Each of these monthly winners will receive a vacation package for two to the USVI and qualify as finalists for the grand prize. The vacation package includes: four-day/three- night accommodations at one of the participating hotels; round trip airfare; and meals at select local restaurants. Participating hotels and resorts include: on St. Croix: Chenay Bay Beach Resort, Danish Manor Hotel, Inn at Pelican Heights, King Christian Hotel and Sunterra Carambola Beach Resort; and on St. Thomas: Bluebeard's Beach Club, Elysian Beach Resort, Holiday Inn Windward Passage, Point Pleasant Resort, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, Sapphire Beach Resort & Marina and Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort.
The monthly winners will advance to the grand prize competition for the chance to win ownership of Fish Cay. These finalists must write a short essay (up to 250 words) due on January 26, 2000, on the following topics: "Why I would like to own my own private Caribbean Island, and what inspired the name I entered in the contest?" The grand prize winner and the first runner-up will be announced on January 30, 2000.
The grand prize winner will receive the ownership title to Fish Cay. This individual will assume responsibility for all real estate and property taxes for the island and any other taxes incurred in their local jurisdictions. Fish Cay is located off the Pillsbury Sound in Christmas Cove, an anchorage treasured by yachtsmen worldwide. The island is situated between St. Thomas and St. John and set in the backdrop of Great St. James Island. The island is easily accessible, less than a ten-minute sailboat ride from Cowpet Bay and the St. Thomas Yacht Club. Fish Cay, which rises 21-feet above sea level, features an idyllic white-sand beach, surrounded by beautiful turquoise waters brimming with corals, sponges and rainbow-colored fish.
The first runner-up will receive an exclusive five-night package to Auckland, New Zealand, for the America's Cup competition. The package includes: roundtrip coach class airfare from any U.S. continental gateway city to Los Angeles via American Airlines; roundtrip Pacific class airfare from Los Angeles to Auckland on Air New Zealand; roundtrip airport transfers in a private vehicle while in Auckland; five nights of hotel accommodations, including breakfast daily; a day of experiencing the excitement of the America's Cup racing inside the American Express New Zealand Cup Village; private "boat party" hospitality, which includes an on-the-water racing cruise, lunch and refreshments; an exclusive America's Cup souvenir merchandise pack; a visit to Auckland's Sky Tower for birds-eye views of Auckland, including the America's Cup race course; and the 12.5 percent New Zealand goods and services tax. Events South Pacific also offers several add- on packages to the runner-up for a fee.
The Virgin Islands Challenge is also running a concurrent land-based raffle to give Virgin Island residents and visitors the opportunity to participate in the contest. Tickets may be purchased at select locations on St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas.
For more information about the "Win a Virgin Island" contest, call the Virgin Islands Challenge contest information line at (340) 776-4800. For more information about St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, call the U.S. Virgin Islands Visitor's Center at (800) 372-USVI.

CZM HEARS CONCERNS ON RITZ-CARLTON PROJECT

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The Ritz-Carlton has applied for a CZM permit to build 24 hotel roomsa hotel and 24 two- and three-bedroom villas at what is known as Bluebeard's Beach at Great Bay on St. Thomas' East End. Not everyone likes the plan.
The height of the proposed five-story units, protection of salt ponds, parking lots to be built on R-1 zoned land, beach access and the problems attendant to huge generating units were the major concerns expressed by testifiers at a Coastal Zone Management Committee hearing Tuesday night.
Attorney Edith Bornn, speaking "as a Virgin Islander," said, "We don't build buildings that high. And we don't build them that close to the water."
Bornn, who is also on the board of the League of Women Voters, said, "Remember the developers of what is now Sapphire? They didn't want to provide adequate easement for access to the beach, so we took them to court."
Erva Denham, president of the League of Women Voters, said that the Environmental Assessment Report for the project was "not user-friendly." There were pages missing and maps and plans that were not included, according to Denham, who called the omissions "intentional obfuscation." The league's position was that the "deficiencies (in the EAR) are so severe" it should be rejected by the CZM.
Bornn said Wednesday she faulted Planning and Natural Resources for allowing the application to even go to the CZM given the deficiencies of the EAR.
William M. Karr, the architect on the project, said he and representatives of the Ritz-Carlton had anticipated concerns and addressed them. He said that beach access during construction would be barred due to OSHA regulations, but that the Ritz would spruce up Mueller Bay for use during that time. He said later access would be provided to the Great Bay Beach, known locally as Bluebeard's Beach.
Karr also said the structures would be at least 50 feet from the beach and greater than 50 feet from the salt pond.
Bornn responded to Karr's offer to use Mueller Bay by calling it "an insult." Bornn said the gritty dark sand at Mueller Bay could not be compared to the white sandy beach at Great Bay.
Karr also said the Ritz representatives had tried to meet with various groups on the island that they anticipated might have problems with the plan. He said some met with them and some didn't. He also said they sent letters to 12 residents of the immediate area surrounding the proposed project, inviting them to a meeting at the Ritz to lay out the plan. He said eight responded favorably, and they never heard from the rest.
One of the neighbors, Vernon Morgan, testified that the generator at the current Ritz-Carlton hotel, with the soot and noise it generates, has made his life "hell" for the last six years. Morgan said he had been trying to get a meeting for those six years with representatives of the hotel and finally did recently. "That is not good corporate citizenship," Morgan said.
Morgan also had concerns about beach access, saying, "I taught my three children to swim at that beach. Every morning I take a walk, I put down my chair on the beach. I am concerned I will not be able to do that once all those nice things are put up there."
Part of the plan includes parking lots in an area that is zoned residential. Morgan said, "I will only see automobiles forever in my front yard."
Bob Phillips, vice president of new business development for the Ritz, said they were prepared to spend $10 million to promote the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Stevie Henry, vice president of the Environmental Association of St. Thomas and St. John, agreed with the league's opinion.
"The application should not have been accepted as complete," Henry said, adding that the plan is inconsistent with CZM and Planning and Natural Resources law because it allows for development within 100 feet of high water on the beach, within 150 feet of a mangrove ecosystem and within 150 feet of a salt pond.
According to Henry one parking lot appears to be within 65 feet of one mangrove area and within 45 feet of another.
Henry also said the parking lot is illegal anyway because the area it is supposed to be built on is zoned R-1.
Both the league and EAST said they were not against the concept of the Ritz expanding to the Great Bay location, but suggested the application must be submitted and the plan be scaled back.
Editor's note: For the full text of EAST's testimony, see Community/Data.

EAST'S REVIEW OF EAR FOR RITZ-CARLTON PROJECT

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June 7, 1999
St. Thomas Committee
Coastal Zone Management Commission
c/o Department of Planning and Natural Resources
Foster Plaza
No. 396-1 Annas Retreat
St. Thomas, VI 00802
Re: Ritz Carlton Hotel Environmental Assessment Report (#CZT-2-97L&W)
Dear Sirs:
Thank you for this opportunity to comment on the above-referenced permit application. Members of the Issues Committee of the Environmental Association of St. Thomas/St. John had the opportunity to review this permit application and would like to submit the following comments for your consideration.
General Comments:
1. The Environmental Assessment Report (EAR) does not utilize the most recent format that was adopted by the CZM Commission. It is the understanding of the members of the EAST Board that DPNR staff spent considerable time and effort making significant alterations to correct the deficiencies in the original EAR Guidelines; however, this application was deemed complete and was circulated for review with the old format.
2. There is no market analysis demonstrating the need for more hotel space on St. Thomas. When several hotels on St. Thomas are experiencing difficulties with occupancy, there should be greater attention to the actual needs that will be satisfied when coastal resources are committed to development. Had the application been submitted pursuant to the updated EAR Guidelines, a market study demonstrating the need (or lack thereof) for additional hotel facilities on St. Thomas would have accompanied the application.
Stormwater Runoff/Erosion and Sediment Control:
1. Ms. Julie Wright, Water Quality Program Supervisor at the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service, examined the deficiencies of the EAR with regard to measures which would mitigate construction and post-construction stormwater runoff and erosion and sediment control. Her findings were incorporated into a letter to the Coastal Zone Management Commission. Of significant import are:
* Runoff calculations, provided in the Appendix, need to be re-calculated utilizing correct hydrologic soil group and curve number information, as provided in the 1995 Virgin Islands Environmental Protection Handbook. Specifically, Cramer soils are hydrologic soil group C (not A), curve numbers for open space range from 86 for poor condition to 74 for good condition and curve numbers for low brush and grass range from 77 to 65 (i.e. a curve number of 49 is WAY TOO LOW). This means the developer has significantly under-estimated the present and future runoff rates for the site.
* Some of the sediment control practices described are inappropriate for use in the Virgin Islands, specifically the use of hay bale berms. The use of this practice has been discontinued in many areas of the states and is discouraged by the EPA because it is particularly ineffective. Here in the Virgin Islands where we have high intensity rain events and steep slopes, this practice is particularly useless.
Other considerations include:
2. The Erosion Control discussion in the EAR seems to indicate that the entire area will be hand-cleared. Clearing should be limited to the areas around the Hotel buildings, and the Pond areas should be left in their natural state. A landscaped buffer can be created around them.
3. Finally, there is no monitoring plan incorporated into the EAR, a necessary measure to ensure that marine resources are not degraded by runoff from upland construction.
Environmental Impacts:
1. The terrestrial survey conducted for this project was a preliminary one, and was done on about 10 acres of the total 27 acres. Only the "Old Bluebeards Beach" property, which had already been disturbed, was examined during this survey. A long distance visual inspection was done of the hillside, and noted that the hillside should not be disturbed. The hillside area and other areas not inspected are proposed to be impacted with hand clearing and parking lots.
2. The EAR only spoke about the Tree Boa and not even the two cactus species that were identified in the survey, and which are listed on the local endangered species list. Without a complete terrestrial survey of the entire site, the applicant cannot adequately address rare and endangered species.
3. There was nothing that indicated that there was a recent marine survey of Great Bay. The applicant used old reports from 1970 to 1986. Since that time, there have been hurricanes which could have altered the marine environment. The EAR only discussed Vessup and Muller Bay. There was no discussion of Great Bay, where the bulk of the new development will be located.
4. Nothing was stated about water quality. The applicant has not indicated what the present effect of the existing Hotel on water quality is. They should have tested the water in Great Bay, particularly for possible effects of the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) effluent disposal via irrigation on Great Bay.
5. The applicant indicates that 5.9 acres are to be used for WWTP effluent irrigation, but gives no information regarding specific types of vegetation to be used to insure that the effluent used for irrigation can be completely disposed of on-site.
6. Again, there is no monitoring plan to assess the impacts of the project on the water quality of Great Bay and determine if the erosion and sediment controls are working correctly.
7. There was no assessment of the parking lot runoff effects on the two existing mangrove ponds. EAST reviewers did not see any details of an oil separator at the points were runoff leaves the roads/parking lots and flow to Great Bay and the two ponds.
Zoning/Land Use Considerations:
1. The parking facility on Parcel 5-34 is not permitted. The parcel is zoned R-1, and does not permit the construction of ancillary facilities for commercial development.
2. One parking lot appears to be within a gut that drains into the South Pond. Alteration of the gut should not be permitted.
3. The existing operation does not encourage employee use of existing parking spaces. Instead, employees are encouraged (expected) to use the roadside adjacent to the hotel for parking. The applicant has not indicated whether this project will alleviate the current employee-parking situation at the hotel. DPNR should ensure that parking is made available to the employees.
4. The heights of the buildings obstruct visual access to the shoreline from adjacent properties. However, there was no discussion of the visual impacts or aesthetics of the property with regard to the surrounding community. The applicant does not address colors and blending in with the natural environment. Further, the proposed structures are taller than most that have been permitted on St. Thomas since the Coastal Zone Management Law was approved in 1978. To illustrate the severity of the impact, the tops of two buildings are at an approximate elevation of 80 feet, but the highest point of any of the elevations behind them is only 53 feet. Thus these buildings rise almost 30' above the highest elevation behind them. All proposed structures should be limited to three stories in height.
5. Pursuant to standards approved by the Coastal Zone Management Commission and proposed in the DPNR draft Virgin Islands Development Law, development should not be permitted (a) within 100 feet of mean high water on a beach; (b) within 150 feet of a salt pond; or (c) within150 feet of a mangrove ecosystem. One parking lot appears to be within 65 feet of one mangrove area and within 45 feet of another. The pool, beach house and Building D are also within 100 feet of the 1960 mean high water line, as depicted in the applicant's drawings.
Fiscal/Infrastructural Impacts:
While EAST bemoans the lack of a quantitative assessment of the traffic impacts of the proposed project on the public road system, the organization acknowledges that the project's probable impact is negligible. Further consideration should be given to the following:
1. The impact of the new development on the Bovoni dump has not been explained. The abi
lity of the dump to absorb the quantity proposed to be generated by this development, in addition to the current volume should be examined in light of the dump's capacity.
2. The fiscal impacts of fire and police protection and emergency health services are not quantified.
Social/Economic Impacts:
1. Under Social Impacts section, the EAR discusses public beach rights and states that the developer will dedicate part of Vessup Bay and Muller Bay beaches as a permanent public area. However, it is silent about Great Bay. On page 18, in the EAR, the applicant states that there will be vehicular control and security for the main beach area (Great Bay). By being silent about recreational use of Great Bay, the EAR gives the impression that there will be restrictive access to the beach at Great Bay. The applicant should be required to clearly address the use of the old Bluebeards Beach Club beach by the public.
2. Among social impacts not discussed:
* The physical isolation of another beach frequented by the public with the construction of large buildings, creating a visual and psychological barrier;
* The impact that such isolation will have on those who have traditionally utilized the project's beachfront for recreational activities; and
* The opportunities for local residents to become incorporated into the mainstay of the Territory's economy. The extent to which this is possible should have been quantified by utilizing information from the existing operation. If this has not been done to date, the social impacts of having to import workers from other areas should also be examined.
3. The fact that Ritz Carlton is currently an IDC beneficiary is not discussed. The economic benefits discussed in the EAR should also present an alternative scenario which depicts the economic benefits to the Territory if current IDC benefits are extended to the properties proposed to be developed.
Miscellaneous Comments:
1. There is nothing specific about the new Reverse Osmosis (R/O) intake except that a new one might be needed. This is crucial, but the applicant does not supply sufficient data for this to be given a permit.
2. The EAR discusses a boardwalk between the two properties, but provides no details. EAST is unsure how is this to be permitted.
3. An April 24, 1999 letter from the applicant states that the Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) has a capacity of 80,000 gallons per day (gpd) with an average use of 32,000 gpd and peak days of 50,000 to 52,000 gpd. The letter further states that, with the new units, the usage will double. Thus, the applicant will have to expand the existing WWTP to 100,000 gpd to handle projected peak flows. It is not clear whether or not the existing plant will be expanded and how it will be done.
4. There was no sign-off from the Division for Archaeology & Historic Preservation. The one submitted only addressed the removal of the existing foundations, cistern and slab and not the new project. The Cultural Resources Survey submitted was for a proposed marina in Muller Bay. There was no study for the Great Bay area.
Alternatives to the Proposed Development:
There are several alternatives that have not been considered. Among them is a reconfiguration of the project with lower building profiles, further setbacks from environmentally sensitive areas, and conformity with the Zoning Law. This is one of the most important sections of the Environmental Assessment Report, and should not be given the short shrift that it has received in the past.
The Environmental Association of St. Thomas/St. John is of the opinion that the proposed project is inconsistent with the development, environmental and amenity policies of the Coastal Zone Management Act, and as such, should be denied. It is the opinion of this organization that this application should not have been accepted as complete, since it did not meet the CZM criteria for completeness in Terrestrial Resources, Rare and Endangered species, Marine Resources, Water quality including monitoring, WWTP effluent disposal, Visual Impacts, and no sign-off from the Division for Archaeology & Historic Preservation. The inadequacies for all of these items were addressed above.
EAST does, however, believe that if properly planned, this site can be developed in a manner that is consistent with the Virgin Islands Coastal Zone Management Act and which will serve as a beneficial expansion of the Territory's economic base. Proper planning must begin with an Environmental Assessment Report that is consistent with the new format that was approved by the Coastal Zone Management Commission, proceed by addressing all pertinent areas of potential impact, incorporate an appropriate monitoring plan, and culminate with a project that is consistent with the goals and policies of the Virgin Islands Coastal Zone Management Act.
Respectfully submitted,
Executive Board
Environmental Association of St. Thomas/St. John
Environmental Association of St. Thomas/St. John
Ritz Carlton Review

RANDY'S BISTRO: A FEEL -GOOD PLACE

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Randy's Bistro Al Cohen's Plaza, Raphune Hill.
Dinner Mon.-Sun. 5-10:30 p.m.
Late-night menu Mon.-Fri. 10:30 p.m.-1 a.m.
Lunch Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
European, American, seafood. $/$$. Cards: MC, V, AX.
777-3199 or 775-5001.
Ambiance: *****
Food: ****
Service: ***
A "bistro" is defined as "a small wine shop or restaurant where wine is served." Randy's is all of the above. He has taken a large square room and mixed wine racks, restaurant and kitchen in a pleasing array.
In the adjoining module, he has a full bar, unisex toilet and some additional seats for bar or restaurant use. In fact, the night I visited, all areas were being used by patrons enjoying their food and drinks.
The environment was most pleasant, not too cold, but enough A/C to handle the full room of warm bodies and any other BTU producers. The toilet was clean, all the fixtures worked. The seats were most comfortable and encouraged one to sit, relax, eat and enjoy the company of whomever. While it was a bit dark to read the menu, there was a candle provided each table.
For an appetizer I tried the mussels. In a wine sauce, of course, since it is a bistro. While Randy's mussel dish cannot compete with my favorite from far off Terrigal, Australia, where an appetizer of mussels in garlic cream sauce made me totally forget my main course. The mussels were nice and plump, and the liquor cried out for bread to soak. Almost a meal, and surely a most palate-pleasing appetizer.
The bread was nice and hot with a good crust, but obviously cut with a butcher knife. I would suggest it be served as a baguette for the customer to tear according to their desire. The accompanying olive oil dressing was excellent with a hint of garlic and pepper.
Those who like to soak oil and sauces such as the succulent wine/muscle broth would appreciate a bit more substance in the bread. Those who are crust freaks will be most satisfied.
My main course was pasta with Italian sausage. The penne was firm, yet thoroughly cooked — just the right vehicle for the sauce. The sauce was thick and rich with, for me, just the right mix of herbs to produce a most enjoyable flavor without causing my stomach any problems. The sausage, unfortunately, left something to be desired.
Randy has chosen to go the lean and mean, dietician/cardiologist route on the sausage. While the slices are OK, and there is a hint of flavor, the meat comes off like a flavored hunk of sawdust. I am sure someone into food to fill spaces would rave on the combination, but down and dirty dining hearty Italian it isn't.
The service was according to one's expectations. Personally, I rate a restaurant on the wait staff's ability to fulfill my desires, not theirs. It really is not hard to start a check for every couple and any lazy cretin who assumes one check for a party of three couples and a single is obviously a lazy cretin in my book.
Another primary is water. As a Westerner, I was brought up on branch water. If a restaurant cannot give me safe water from the tap and forces me to purchase bottled water, I must question the ice, the cleanliness of the dishes and possible E. coli on the salad makings.
Finally, there is the matter of the tip. It is my discretion to tip, not management's. I really did not care to pay 15% on a pumped-up bill due to the waiter's refusal to bring me safe water. The one item, which he did score on, was attention. The waiter was punctual and quick with the food and clearing used dishes.
The dessert I tried was the brownie with ice cream. Excellent. An honest-to-gosh moist brownie with killer flavor, and an ice cream which did not melt to foam. A most fitting finale to a meal.
Randy's at Al Cohen's Mall is a participant in the Rotary East Dine Out program. If you don't already have a book, you are encouraged to get one from any Rotary East member or Color of Joy at American Yacht Charter, Red Hook. This fine dining program introduces you to some of the better restaurants on St. Thomas during the summer months allowing for a free second entree, drink or dessert, depending on the establishment. (See St.Thomas Source/ Community/ Organizations)
In summary, Randy's Bistro is an excellent place to eat and drink as it has a good location, safe parking, a most pleasant environment and an adaptable mix of eating areas. The food can be excellent, and the service can be very good. I will definitely keep it on my list; however, if I eat there again, the waiter will work on my terms.
Editors' note: We are using a pseudonym so that restaurateurs will not be able to identify the reviewer and try to influence the review.

LOCAL FENCERS OFF TO P.R. OLYMPIC FESTIVAL

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Six members of the Blades Fencing Club and the St. John Fencing Club leave St. Thomas Wednesday for two days of "friendly" competition in an Olympic Festival event being hosted by the Puerto Rico Olympic Committee.
The multi-sport festival takes place Thursday and Friday in Guaynabo. Representing the U.S. Virgin Islands in fencing will be Sanna Said, Sandy Said, Johan Brookes, Jared Etsinger, Mark Hansen and Dan Depuy. The Said sisters, Brookes and Etsinger are all teenage students but have been accepted for participation.
The Puerto Ricans are holding the festival as "a warm-up" for the quadrennial Pan American Games that Canada will host July 23-Aug. 8 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
"It's not a qualifying event for international competition," Blades president and coach Joyce Bolanos said of the festival. "But it's an excellent opportunity for our members to get experience and exposure against other fencers in the region."
Fencers from Aruba, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and South
Africa will also take part. Competition will be in all three fencing weapons — foil, epee and saber. The Virgin Islanders will fence in the men's and women's foil categories.
"Support from the V.I. Olympic Committee and American Airlines made it possible for us to represent the territory in this event," Bolanos said.
The festival immediately follows the week long Central American and Caribbean Fencing Championships that conclude today (Wednesday) in nearby Aguadilla. It is anticipated that many fencers who traveled to Puerto Rico for the CAC competition will stay on to take part in the festival.

FORMER RESIDENT STILL IN THE LIMELIGHT

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Remember Flavio Briatore? The Flavio Briatore who owned the St. Thomas Benetton stores and Club Z back in the mid-‘80s?
Well, there he is, big as life, in a photo in the May 26 issue of the Italian magazine Oggi with his significant other — supermodel Naomi Campbell.
Briatore, now one of the major players in Formula One motor racing, lives in London. The Oggi caption says the photos — featuring Campbell, Liz Hurley and Elle McPherson — were taken at a recent birthday party in London for designer Valentino.
The photo of Campbell and Briatore describes him as her "inseparabile fidanzato." Italian speakers say "fidanzato" translates as fiancé but could also mean boyfriend.
Flavio Briatore is (and has been for 10 years or so) one of the power brokers in Formula One. In the early ‘80s, according to a Formula One maven in St. Thomas, he parlayed his relationship with Benetton into becoming team manager of the then-fledgling United Colors of Benetton Formula One Team. (At that time, by the way, he had never actually been to a Formula One race; his expertise was in marketing.)
During his tenure at the Benetton team, his lead driver, Michael Schumacher (now with Ferrari) brought the team two championships (1994-1995). Briatore left Benetton in 1997; they hired a new team manager in 1998 who failed. In 1999 the youngest Benetton, Rocco Benetton, took over the team, which has not yet returned to the glory days of Flavio Briatore and Michael Schumacher. Briatore, our maven reports, was out of Formula One for a year or so but is now back in two forms. First, he is the supplier of the so-called "Supertec" engine (which is a Renault-based engine, formerly the best engine in Formula One but now in its dotage) to his old team, Benetton, to the Williams teams and to a new team, BAR. Second, Briatore has control over certain contracts of certain Formula One drivers, and acts as agent of some kind. Flavio Briatore, a true wheeler-dealer on the world stage…. and he's got Naomi Campbell to boot. And to think it all started here in sunny little St. Thomas!

DELEGATE ATTENDS MENTAL HEALTH FORUM AT WHITE HOUSE

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Virgin Islands Congressional Delegate Donna M. Christian-Christensen returned to Washington, DC to join Mrs. Tipper Gore and Vice President Al Gore at the White House Conference on Mental Health Monday June 7.
The conference, held at Howard University and the White House, highlighted mental health care in America and sought to chart a course for how this nation will move forward to address mental illness which affects many American families.
Christensen joined Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Dr. Sue Bailey of the Department of Defense, Dr. Margaret Hamburg of the Department of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Don Vereen of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in a panel discussion on the role of primary care physicians in the prevention and treatment of mentally ill patients. Primary care physicians are often the first point of contact for people with mental illness.
"The subordinate position of mental health in the wellness paradigm is rooted in the fact that because of stigma, the lack of knowledge of the providers, and discomfort in dealing with it, mental health has been separated from physical health. To effectively deal with mental illness, we have to put the whole person back together, in concept, in practice, and in coverage," Christensen said.
Christensen stressed the need for training of primary care physicians to better care for mentally ill patients. "We must do more in training both in medical and other health professional schools and continuing medical education, to increase awareness and expertise in the treatment of mental health."
The Delegate also recommended that substance abuse be acknowledged as an important component of mental illness. "If we want to raise the level of health in this country, we have to achieve parity for mental health, including substance abuse, or health care costs will continue to rise."
President Bill Clinton issued an executive order directing parity in reimbursements for mental health coverage in medical insurance plans covering Federal Employees and introduced several mental health initiatives and programs currently being undertaken by the Administration. The conference concludes with a town hall meeting with the Vice President and Mrs. Gore.