ISLANDER SAYS WE WELCOME EVERYONE

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I usually don't respond to editorials, but I have to respond to Lois
Raynor's comments. Yes, the Virgin Islands has problems! Yes, Virgin
Islanders are addressing those problems, but it will take time. Like any other place in the world, we have our good and our bad. I'm sorry that you didn't have an enjoyable experience in our islands. However, I don't think you are being fair.
You stated that "youth turn to cocaine to ease the pain of
living…..crime….domestic violence…" As if Hawaii (where you live) is immune to all the social ills of the world. Well, the Associated Press reported that Hawaii has its problems, too! AP reported that Hawaii has prison over crowding, and the governor wants to release certain inmates early.
At the same time, police in Honolulu found an 81-year-old man murdered after being bound and gaged. It also said that the University of Hawaii School of
Public Health will lose accreditation next June, and the state Human
Services is under criticism for handling high profile child abuse cases since 1997. Also, outer island patients of Hawaii have to wait more than six weeks for M-R-I's. And that is only a few! So is Hawaii that "sterile?" I think not!
The point I am trying to make is simple….this is an imperfect world, and we can only do good with what we have.

Tourism is part of both of our economies; I, like many other Virgin
Islanders, welcome you and anyone who wants to visit or reside in our islands.
D. LAPLACE
American Paradise

READER FROM HAWAII RESPONDS

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Dear Source,
We went to St Thomas looking for good things. Hawaii is spoiled by concrete Waikiki and the Hawaiians are an endangered species.
We spoke only to residents and locals. We were distressed to see our future melting away.
We have lived and worked in many countries working on aid projects and teaching. We have seen enough to ensure that we are never rude or arrogant to anyone.
The treatment we received was born out of understandable resentment at blatant inequality. Those who prefer the ostrich position are in the majority and thus things will never change.
Lois Raynor

NICE TO READ SOURCE IN EUROPE

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Dear Source,
It is really great catching up with the local V.I. news while in Europe near Frankfort.
I use the GIRC roaming service supplied by Cobex and am able to keep up with the happenings in the Virgin Islands.
Herb Schoenbohm
News Director WRRA

TERRITORY NEEDS ‘MANAGERS'

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There is one major thing wrong with this territory. It needs to be managed. The territory is not being managed.
I have worked many many hours in different areas of this community to help to bring about positive change – change that will empower people and move us to higher heights, but our elected officials seem to think that because they were elected by the people, they have all the answers to all the problems, and constantly ignore those of us, who work for this community just because we love it.
The document presented at the Legislature's Economic Summit from the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce has all the information needed to get us out of this mess, but the problem lies in the two areas that I will address in my comments.
First, the administration needs to understand that change is inevitable, and it is needed.
Second, we must insist that government officials develop the will to manage the changes when they do occur.
LEGISLATIVE ISSUES:
— Implementation of a compulsory automobile law, now.
— Seriously address the wrongful discharge issue by reforming the legislation.
— Pass a realistic annual budget, making it mandatory for the executive branch to live within the constraints of the budget.
— Implement a road tax on all users of the roads in the Virgin Islands even if the taxi drivers pay 50% of what the rest of us pay. It is the only certain tax that we may get.
ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES:
— Government must have Public Relations experts who are clever enough not to have information on pay-cuts and pay increases appear in the press on the same day.
— The government is short on everything, supplies, vehicles, equipment, school books etc. therefore, reducing government then is left to those areas that must be privatized. I do believe that, over the years, enough has been said about that.
— To make an immediate impact on government's finances, the following changes must be made:
a) Payroll must be reduced and ALL hiring cease.
b) Reduction in payroll must come from pay cuts not layoffs.
c) Retirees should not be re-hired in Government.
d)Privatizing some areas in Government, thus reducing payroll, while the jobs will still be available.
e) Commissioners must be leaders – administrators must be managers
f) Government employees in leadership positions — . directors , administrators , managers. Supervisors must be retrained with the mind-set, which places emphasis on productivity.
g) Directors , managers, supervisors must be responsible and accountable for achieving the objectives set by their commissioners within the time line set for achieving these objectives.
h) When commissioners set objectives, they must contain certain components which would be used as a yard-stick to indicate whether the objectives are being achieved.
All over the United States "housing starts" is a main indicator that the economy is doing well. Housing is still the American Dream and everyone who has any sense of pride and forward thinking, tries to own a home. Here in the territory, unless you have 20% of the cost of a property you cannot own a home. Banks are finally lending money for raw land, but if one happens to get the down payment to purchase a piece of land, then what is the next step. It takes forever for them to get a building put on that land.
The banking industry is creating legislation that would help solve that problem. While I do not have all the details of the proposed legislation, I can tell you that the intent of the Bill is to make home loans available with a smaller percentage of the cost as the down payment.
Both of my sons own their own home in Atlanta, and this was accomplished because they could put down 5% of the purchase price.
This Bill is going to need the support of all segments of this community to get it passed, but I do believe that this could be another way to stimulate this economy. There are people in public housing who have been there since public housing came to these islands. Their parents, grandparents and in some cases great grandparents have all lived in public housing. I might add that some people in public housing are paying rents as high as some mortgages. The obstacle, in my opinion, is the lack of money for the down payment which have prohibited them from owning their home.
This territory has more studies than you can shake a stick at. What the authorities do with them is another story. I head the education cluster for the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce and we are making head-way, but I am concerned about the effort versus the implementation.
At this stage of life, I would rather spend some time combing the hair of a resident at Lucinda Millin Home, or telling kids about saving money, than doing another study.

BOARD OF TAX REVIEW TO MEET

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A hearing of the V.I. Board of Tax Review is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Friday, June 11. It will be held at the Public Services Commission Conference Room at Barbel Plaza.
Contact Mr. Walter I. Challenger at 774-4750 ex. 2304 if you have any questions.

PRE-REGISTRATION FOR FISHING TOURNEY

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An anglers' meeting and pre-registration for the annual Fathers' Day Fishing Tournament will be held at 7 p.m. June 10 at the Frenchtown Community Center.

BOARD OF TAX REVIEW TO MEET

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The hearing of the V.I. Board of Tax Review is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, June 11. It will be held at the Public Services Commission Conference Room located at Barbel Plaza, St. Thomas.
Contact Mr. Walter I. Challenger at 774-4750 ex.2304 if you have any questions.

CPA PERMIT FEE DUE DATE

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The V.I. Board of Public Accountancy reminds all certified public accountants and CPA firms that the permit fee for the period of July 1, 1999, to June 30, 2000, is due by June 30.
The fee is $25 and can be paid by cash, check, or money order made payable to the Government of the Virgin Islands.
For further information contact the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs at 773-2226.

BASTILLE DAY KINGFISH TOURNAMENT BETTER THAN EVER

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Count down to the 1999 Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament – a community-oriented day of fishing fun that has grown to draw the highest angler participation and deliver the largest cash and luxury prize booty of any one-day inshore tournament in the Virgin Islands. These prizes and more await winners of the annual Bastille Day Kingfish Tournament, set to begin at 5:30 a.m. Sunday, July 11, at St. Thomas' Hull Bay Beach.
New this year, a Vitel Cellular-sponsored $2,000 cash prize goes to the angler catching the Largest Kingfish, while a Federal Express-sponsored $750 cash prize is awarded for the Second Largest Kingfish. The Third Largest Kingfish nets $500 for the lucky angler. New too, is the prize of a 10' Caribe inflatable dinghy with 8HP Yamaha engine for the Best Captain, sponsored by Offshore Marine.
Anglers of all skill levels are invited to enter, and everyone comes away a winner. "We're expecting more than 350 anglers this year and are grateful for the positive response we've received from all our sponsors," says Monica Lester, tournament director. Thanks to sponsors Coors Light, distributed by Bellows International, Offshore Marine and Vitel Cellular, all anglers will receive an official Bastille Day/Guy Harvey T-shirt. Sponsor Federal Express will provide all anglers with official Bastille Day Tournament hats. The generosity of these sponsors also makes possible the low entry fees – $35 for adults, $20 for juniors ages eight to 16. And depending on age, all anglers can quench their thirst from Noon until 2 p.m. at either a Coors Light or Snapple open bar.
First organized by the Northside Sportfishing Club in 1987, the tournament benefits the Joseph Sibilly School, St. Thomas Rescue, The American Red Cross and The Victim's Advocate Program. Anglers from throughout the USVI participate in the tournament, as one of many activities celebrating French Heritage Week. Fishing starts at 5:30 a.m. and ends at 12 noon, sharp. While the weigh-master and judges go to work, participants can unwind with friends, family, neighbors and spectators to the beach side sounds of live music at Larry's Hull Bay Hideaway. The party continues into the evening, with the Awards Ceremony starting at 8 p. m.
Generous sponsor support also enables the Tournament to reward anglers catching the largest kingfish, but also those reeling in the Largest Jack, Largest Barracuda, Largest Bonito, Largest Tuna, Largest Mackerel and Largest Dolphin. In addition to Best Captain, there are also prizes for Best Boat, Best Female Angler, Best Male Angler, Best Junior Female Angler and Best Junior Male Angler!
Hawaiian Tropic, Hurricane Cove Bungalows and Worldwide Travel Inc. are donating a three-day, two-night Nevis get-away weekend. Fischer's Cove Beach Resort in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, as well as many of St. Thomas' and St. Johns' finest resorts are also donating overnight stays.
A Captain's Meeting and Registration will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Larry's Hull Bay Hideaway on Friday, July 9. Entry forms can also be obtained from E&M Grocery, Bryan's Electrical and Neptune Fishing Supplies.

GLITZ AND GLAMOR AT FRENCHMAN'S REEF

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The glitz and glamor of Paris came to St. Thomas Saturday night when Givenchy put on a fashion show and launched its latest male fragrance "Pi" at the Marriott's Frenchman's Reef Resort.
The audience ‘oohed' and ‘aahed' as a host of statuesque models strutted down the catwalk, pausing every now and then to strike a pose. Later, guests milled about, munching on hors d'oeuvres and champagne as models dressed in astronaut suits handed out perfume samples.
Givenchy's latest female fragrance, "Organza," was also showcased throughout the evening.
But the purpose of Saturday night's gathering – which drew about 300 people including a surprise appearance by Sinbad – was twofold.
The cost of the $30 tickets and all proceeds from the silent auction were donated to four local nonprofit agencies tasked with fighting abuse in the community. Kidscope Inc., Victim Advocate Program, the Family Resource Center and the St. Thomas/St. John Humane Society, all benefitted from Saturday night's event.
Dellia Holodenschi, area manager for the Caribbean for Parfums Givenchy, estimated that the event raised over $2,000 for each nonprofit organization. She said this is the first time Givenchy has held such an event.
"When I was thinking about what I could do with " Pi," I said how can we do this when there are so many problems in the community," Holodenschi said, adding that the philosophy behind the new fragrance is all about men challenging the limits. "Every time I come home there is another headline about a cat burning on St. John or the rape of a young lady."
Holodenschi decided to use the perfume launch/fashion show not only as a way to introduce Givenchy to the public, but also as a way to boost the resources of nonprofit advocacy agencies, many of which are operating on a shoestring budget.
Michal Rhymer, executive director of the Family Resource Center, praised Holodenschi for creating an evening of fun and entertainment that will also serve a greater cause. Rhymer said Holodenschi initially approached her with the idea of a fundraiser in light of the recent rash of rapes and sexual assaults that have plagued the community.
"I hope we can have a repeat because it is such a good idea," Rhymer said.
During the program, Assistant Director of the U.S. Humane Society Dennis White played a short video that linked animal abuse to the crime and violence against humans. White stressed the need for agencies fighting all types of abuse and violence in the community to work together.
Victims Advocate Executive Director, Lynn Falkenthal, said badly needed funds were raised Saturday night.
"Dellia came to the agencies that help fight abuse in the community not only to launch the perfume but to support the agencies in the community," she said. "It's a wonderful way to bring people together and help support community agencies."