Claudette Evelyn Martin Dies at 83

Claudette Evelyn Martin
Claudette Evelyn Martin (Submitted photo)

Claudette Evelyn Martin of Estate Work & Rest transitioned into eternal life on June 20, 2022. She was 83 years old.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Miriam Davis; brother Sylvan Watkins and sisters Leander Wynter and Emerille Lewis; and son-in-law Aaron Jeffers.

She is survived by her spouse, James T. Martin; daughters Marvelle Martin, Marvelyn Jeffers, Ann Marie Desouza and Colleen Martin-Silla; sons Ethelred Martin, Esmonde Martin,   Gladwyn Martin, James Martin, Gary Martin and Craig Martin; grandchildren Taj Martin, Cadell Martin, Lakeisha Bui, Latoya Jeffers, Mikhaila Jeffers, Jawanza Desouza, Janae DeSouza, Zakiya Martin, Jahquan Martin, Gary Martin Jr., Kai Martin, Akelah Lyons, Aliyah Martin, Joy Martin, and Kailee Sylla; great-grandchildren Isaiah Barnes, Imma Barnes, Iszack Bui, Idris Bui, Immanuel Bui, Aaron James Jeffers, and Michael Joseph; sisters Dorothy Tonge (NY), and Lorna Housen (NJ); nieces Pamela James-Stevens, Claudette Watkins, Mavis Watkins, Carolyn Joseph-Nathan, Lenore Brown, Shelene Roberts, Nadine Spencer-Elysee, Denise Lloyd, Dianne Regisford-Hamilton, and Fay Hoosen; nephews Nigel Brown, Bernel Petterson, Garfield Brown, and Kevin Housen; great-nieces Kessa Lake,  Terrez Proctor, Terry-Ann Stevens, Chyla Graham, Danyelle Elysee, Karrisa Matthew, Emielle Thibou, Shanuel Richards, Kevyncia Housen, Sherema Brown, Jahnai Joseph, and Leanza James; great-nephews Trevaughn Nathan, Travis Nathan, Trevor Nathan Jr., Conrad Drew, Cornell Drew, Kemo Hughes, Vivian Richards, and Jahir Walters; daughters-in-law Joycelyn Martin, Cheryl Martin, Albina Martin, and Lucia Mendoza-Martin; sons-in-law Derrick Desouza and Omaru Sylla; brother-in-law Joseph Housen; special friends Monica Jacobs (special daughter), Gertrude and Zephaniah Thomas, Patricia Richards and Family, John Dabrio, Jean Wade, Gloria Euzebe, Ruth Dublin, and Avril Frazer; cousins and other relatives to include David Bui, and many more too numerous to mention.

The funeral service will be held on Saturday, July 16, 2022 at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Frederiksted, St. Croix. Viewing will begin at 9 a.m., with the service at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Kingshill Cemetery.

James Memorial Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

81C Presents Steve Counselman Solo Art Exhibition, Opening Saturday

Image from “St. Thomas Golgotha, Cityscapes” by Steve Counselman. (Courtesy of 81C)

The new exhibition “St. Thomas Golgotha, Cityscapes” by Steve Counselman, opens Saturday, July 9, and features new paintings by an acclaimed Historic Charlotte Amalie based artist.

Opening reception hours are 5 p.m. to midnight, with Counselman on location at 81C throughout. Complimentary drinks served.

Charlotte Amalie based artist Steve Counselman has produced an inquisitive new collection of cityscapes featuring both familiar territory and worldly poetry. These paintings, featuring primarily sunsets over Charlotte Amalie, reflect bold creative license, spiritual homage, and tribute to a wondrous old town. This collection of fine art emotes to equal parts urban, tropical, and biblical themes.

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

Steve Counselman. (Courtesy of 81C)

Whether or not one believes in the Divinity of Christ Jesus, one cannot deny the impact He made on humankind. The Bible teaches that the union or Spirit between God and humankind was broken with Adam and that Jesus came to restore that bond. For that Jesus was constantly harassed and forced to flee, and eventually put to death. It was Jesus who chose the time and place to sacrifice Himself by crucifixion in between two thieves. It was not “Jesus Christ Superstar” 2000 years ago. It was the brutality of the Roman conquerors along with the Jewish high priests who saw Jesus as a heretic and a threat to their dogmatic beliefs and way of life that ruled the day. According to Jewish custom, the Sabbath begins at sunset on Friday, and all work must be finished by this time. This is why the legs were broken on the two thieves, who without leg support asphyxiated. And Jesus who had already asphyxiated, was stabbed in the lungs with a spear where blood and water spilled out. For those who don’t know; the crucified died of asphyxiation which is when the lungs fill up with fluids and drowning occurs.

Image from “St. Thomas Golgotha, Cityscapes” by Steve Counselman. (Courtesy of 81C)

On the western rim of the geological amphitheater which surrounds the town of Charlotte Amalie where Solberg Road dead ends at Miller Manor, there, jutting into the western sky, are three telephone poles that remind me of that day on Golgotha. Sunset, when all appears peaceful and serene- as if nothing happened, just another day. And so, as a tribute to Jesus and His ultimate sacrifice I have painted these 12 paintings in an attempt to personalize His triumph over death and His ultimate promise kept. For the viewer: I have made my statement and the paintings speak for themselves now. Whatever conversation you have with them is yours alone. You have absolute license to have your own thoughts and feelings when you confront these paintings. What meanings you give and take from the paintings are yours, whether you choose to share them or not.

Image from “St. Thomas Golgotha, Cityscapes” by Steve Counselman. (Courtesy of 81C)

-Steve Counselman, Charlotte Amalie, June 2022.

Steve Counselman lives in the historic mansion once owned by General Santa Ana in the town of Charlotte Amalie where he derives inspiration from the people who live there as well as the myriad of townscapes and the happenings of living in town. Steve received a BFA at the University of Florida and works mainly in oils on panel, paper, and occasionally canvas and mixed media. His influences are many, both living and long dead. Presently his two favorites are George Bellows and Banksy.

81C is an event venue and art gallery in historic downtown Charlotte Amalie. The space is available for private and public pop-up event rentals and rotates art exhibitions every four-six weeks. Regular gallery open hours are every Wednesday 5-10PM and Sunday 2-8PM. Visit 81CVI.COM

Instagram & Facebook: @81CVI

Telephone (917)327-1561

Governor Issues Three Proclamations

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. has made three proclamation for the month of July. (file photo)

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. issued proclamations for July honoring and commemorating Gov. Juan F. Luis; French Heritage Week and Bastille Day; and National Sports, Parks and Recreation Month.

The governor designated the week of July 10-16 as “French Heritage Week,” and also noted in his proclamation Bastille Day on July 14, which marks the anniversary of overthrow of the Bastille prison on July 14, 1789 and was a major event of the French Revolution. Bastille Day is celebrated around the world as French Independence Day.

“St. Thomas is home to many French Caribbean people and their descendants who immigrated to the former Danish West Indies during the late 1800s through the 1960s, and people celebrate Bastille Day in the U.S. Virgin Islands with proud enthusiasm, primarily on St. Thomas,” Bryan wrote. “There is a week-long celebration called French Heritage Week that includes Bastille Day, and during this time hundreds of St. Thomas residents join together to celebrate French heritage with various planned community events. In the Virgin Islands, the French heritage community — many of whom came to the Virgin Islands from Guadeloupe, St. Barth’s and St. Martin — has played a major role in our culture and economic life, and continues to do so.”

The governor also issued a proclamation in observance of the birthday of the late Gov. Juan F. Luis on July 10. In 1978, Luis first succeeded Gov. Cyril King, who died in office, before becoming the territory’s third elected governor in 1978 and winning re-election in 1982 to become the USVI’s longest serving governor, from 1978-1987.

“The dignity and stature of the people of the United States Virgin Islands were immensely enhanced by Governor Juan Francisco Luis through his political service,” Governor Bryan’s proclamation says.

Bryan also issued a proclamation in recognition of July being National Sports, Parks and Recreation Month.

“Our local parks and beaches are often our first experiences in nature, our introduction to a favorite hobby or physical activity. They are, also, places to gather with friends and family, spaces to celebrate life’s special moments, spots of respite and healing, sites that connect us with essential community services, and so much more,” he wrote. “Local parks have been essential throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with many community members finding a new appreciation for the essential spaces that the Department of Sports, Parks and Recreation manages, and the high-quality programs that the cepartment provides.”

The proclamation also recognizes July 16 as “Parks and Recreation Professionals Day.

“Sports, Parks and Recreation professionals perform many unseen tasks that preserve, maintain and restore our open spaces, cultural zones, beaches, sports facilities and parks for all to enjoy,” the governor wrote.

The Bryan-Roach Administration is investing in the territory’s people, infrastructure and future through transparency, stabilizing the economy, restoring trust in the government and ensuring that recovery projects are completed as quickly as possible. https://transparency.vi.gov

Open Forum: Lt. Gov. Roach Reflects on Emancipation Day

The iconic statue that symbolizes freedom in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (File photo)
The iconic statue, this one located in Cruz Bay, St. John, that symbolizes freedom in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Source file photo)

It is with great reverence for the history of our territory and people, that I join a proud  Virgin Islands community in commemorating Emancipation Day which honors the  ancestors and their commitment to liberty. July 3, 2022, marks the 174th anniversary  of the Emancipation of the African people in the Danish West Indies.  

On this day, we celebrate the bravery, courage, and strength of our ancestors who rose  up out of bondage to demand their freedom. Their legacy remains in our hearts and  minds when we reflect on their fearless stance against the oppressive slave trade. 

I often reflect on the acts of enslavement endured by those who came before us. By  engaging in this type of reflection, I am encouraged by their sacrifices and treasure  their commitment to obtaining their freedom. This journey is not one that can ever be  overlooked, forgotten, or diminished. Their quest for freedom required unwavering  resilience and formidable perseverance. 

My gratitude is bestowed onto our ancestors, who paved the way for the liberties that  we enjoy today, even though we continue to face acts of injustice and issues that impact  our well being as a society. We must continue to hold fast to the revolutionaries, heroes,  and sheroes whose efforts for liberation offer hope and are a part of our unique history.  

We remember and honor trailblazers of this endeavor such as General Buddhoe and our Fireburn Queens, Mary, Agnes, and Mathilda for their fearless vision. 

As Virgin Islanders, we are guided by the bold, unwavering, and deep-rooted legacy of our ancestors. May we lift them up for their actions taken on July 3, 1848 and do our  part to come together and keep hope and faith alive for future generations to come.  

Happy Emancipation Day! 

– Lt. Gov. Tregenza Roach

Open Forum: St. Thomas-St. John Chamber Calls For Harbor Dredging

A cruise ship docks at the WICO dock on St. Thomas. During the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic the sight of cruise ships at the pier has become a memory. (Shutterstock)
A cruise ship berths at the WICO dock on St. Thomas in 2020. (Shutterstock)

According to the West Indian Company Limited, 21 Oasis class ships were turned away in the current fiscal year, causing harm to the economic health of the territory which is sustained, in part, by cruise passenger spending, gross receipts taxes collected on tourism spending and a passenger head tax collected by the Virgin Islands Port Authority. 

The St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce estimates the economic losses incurred from the Oasis class ships bypassing the WICO dock as follows: $23,000,000 in lost gross passenger and crew spending, $1,200,000 in lost gross receipts tax collected to the General Fund, and $1,700,000 in lost head tax collection to VIPA and WICO.  

Moreover, for every tourism dollar spent in the Virgin Islands, there is a multiplier effect as it circulates in our local economy. Our losses are, therefore, significantly higher than the lost gross passenger and crew spending as a result of the 21 Oasis class vessels that could not enter the main harbor safely and dock at WICO.  

The Port of Charlotte Amalie faces another imminent danger as a direct result of not performing even basic maintenance dredging, which has not occurred in many years; which is a requirement of every WICO berthing contract for the ships docking at port.  

The channel is constricting/threatening the ships currently traversing the harbor and docking at WICO. According to a representative of WICO, a ship could run aground in the channel based on deteriorating conditions and the build-up of sand silt from wave action and yearly storm surges.  

The Coast Guard would close the channel and the insurance companies would red flag our harbor and bar ships covered from coming into it. Our cruise industry would be at a complete standstill while permits to dredge are secured, a lengthy multi-year process.  

The harbor pilots have expressed concern, as well as cruise ship captains, about the risks of navigating entry into our harbor because of the failure to regularly undertake maintenance dredging. The heightened danger to cruise ships of running aground or scraping bottom has never been higher.  

If a ship runs aground now it will have a catastrophic effect on all the businesses dependent on cruise ships and all the governmental agencies that depend on the revenues from ship calls, including WICO, GERS and VIPA. This is an unacceptable risk that must be rectified immediately. The Virgin Islands’ position as a reliable partner to the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association would forever be damaged to the benefit of our  regional competitors like St. Marten and St. Kitt’s. 

The administration needs to secure the necessary permits and funding to immediately commence both maintenance dredging for the basic safety of the current fleet of cruise ships arriving weekly; and as importantly to initiate the permitting and funding to dredge the harbor channel and turning basin to allow Oasis class ships safe entry to our harbor and dock at WICO. The dredging of the Crown Bay channel could be done at the same time.  

The success of the Port of Charlotte Amalie requires government investment. Commencing and completing dredging would have an electrifying effect on the tourism economy; leading to more ship calls, massive passenger spending circulating in our economy, head tax increases, increases in gross receipts tax, and new employment and investment.  

It will give WICO the commercial flexibility to sign long-term berthing contracts with our cruise partners and once again recapture its premiere position as the best dock in the region; berthing the biggest and best ships debuting in the region that currently bypass WICO for regional docks that can accommodate the larger-sized ships. The stakes could not be higher and failure to act is not an option.  

– Shaine Gaspard, president, St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce; John Woods, president-elect; Sebastiano Paiewonsky Cassinelli, past president; Richard Berry, past president; Abe Tarapani, member, Chamber of Commerce Cruise Ship Committee; Filippo Cassinelli, board member, Chamber of Commerce Cruise Ship Committee. 



BD-22-300-3001-72

DEPARTMENT OF PROPERTY AND PROCUREMENT
Government of the Virgin Islands

Request for Proposal: BD-22-300-3001-72

Pursuant to Chapter 23, Title 31 of the Virgin Islands Code, the Government of the Virgin Islands, Office of the Lieutenant Governor is requesting proposals from qualified firms to Provide Territorial Reappraisal Services in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Proposals will be received by the Department of Property and Procurement, Division of Procurement via the GVIBUY eProcurement system, accessed through the following link: https://gvibuy.buyspeed.com/bso/.

Proposals will be accepted no later than 4:30 p.m. Atlantic Standard Time on Monday, August 15, 2022.

Prospective respondents must be registered with GVIBUY to gain access to GVI solicitations. For more information, please contact us at (340) 774-0828 or via email at gvibuy@dpp.vi.gov.

Anthony D. Thomas
Commissioner

Voter Registration Deadline for Primary Election is July 7

(Shutterstock image)
(Shutterstock image)

Supervisor of Elections Caroline F. Fawkes informs the public that the deadline to  register to vote, to be eligible to participate in the Aug. 6 Primary Election, is Thursday, July 7.

Pursuant to V.I. Code 18, Chapter 5, voter registration is closed for a period of 30 days immediately preceding, and five days immediately following, each election, Fawkes said in a press release announcing the deadlines.

In addition, the Elections System of the Virgin Islands has extended voter registration hours effective Tuesday, July 5, to Thursday, July 7. Fees for lost or stolen Voter ID cards will be waived. The extended voter registration hours will take place at the respective  Elections System offices:

St. Croix and St. Thomas:
July 5 and July 6 – 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
July 7 – 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

St. John:
July 5 and July 7 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, contact the Elections System on St. Croix at 340-773-1021, and on St. Thomas at 340-774-3107.

The offices are located in Unit 26 at the Sunny Isle Shopping Center on St. Croix; at 9200 Lockhart Gardens, above Banco Popular, on St. Thomas; and in Suite II of the  Market Place on St. John.

For more information, visit www.vivote.gov.

 

Atlantic Industries, Inc.

NOTICE TO ESTABLISHED
VIRGIN ISLANDS BUSINESSES

ATLANTIC INDUSTRIES, INC, a participant in the Virgin Islands Economic Development Incentive Program of the US Virgin Islands, has a procurement requirement to purchase goods and services locally in the Virgin Islands to the maximum extent practicable and regularly purchases the following types of goods and/or services:

Office Supplies
Aluminum
Janitorial Supplies
Fasteners
Freight Forwarding and Shipping
Trucking

Contact Person: Khristeene Sealey
Contact Number: 340-772-0030

If you are an Eligible Virgin Islands Supplier as defined in the Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission’s (“VIEDC”) Rules and Regulations but are not on the VIEDC’s list of Eligible Suppliers, you are encouraged to request being added to the list by having your business certified by the Chief Executive Officer of the Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission. Applications for certification may be obtained online at www.usvieda.org or by contacting the VIEDC Office. Completed applications should be filed with the Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission at:

ST. CROIX OFFICE
Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission

116 King Street, Frederiksted
St. Croix, Virgin Islands 00840
(340) 773-6499
OR
ST. THOMAS OFFICE
Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission

PO Box 305038
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands 00803
(340) 714-1700
OR
Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission
8000 Nisky Shopping Center, Suite 620
St. Thomas, VI 00802

Fintrac

NOTICE TO ESTABLISHED
VIRGIN ISLANDS BUSINESSES

Fintrac a participant in the Virgin Islands Economic Development Incentive Program of the US Virgin Islands, has a procurement requirement to purchase goods and services locally in the Virgin Islands to the maximum extent practicable and regularly purchases the following types of goods and/or services:

Water
Office Cleaning
Office Supplies
Office Equipment Maintenance
Office Equipment
Local/long distance telephone services
Internet services

340.776.7600

If you are an Eligible Virgin Islands Supplier as defined in the Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission’s (“VIEDC”) Rules and Regulations but are not on the VIEDC’s list of Eligible Suppliers, you are encouraged to request being added to the list by having your business certified by the Chief Executive Officer of the Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission. Applications for certification may be obtained online at www.usvieda.org or by contacting the VIEDC Office. Completed applications should be filed with the Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission at:

ST. CROIX OFFICE
Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission

116 King Street, Frederiksted
St. Croix, Virgin Islands 00840
(340) 773-6499
OR
ST. THOMAS OFFICE
Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission

PO Box 305038
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands 00803
(340) 714-1700
OR
Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission
8000 Nisky Shopping Center, Suite 620
St. Thomas, VI 00802

Westin St. John Hotel Company d/b/a the Westin St. John Resort Villas

NOTICE TO ESTABLISHED
VIRGIN ISLANDS BUSINESSES

WESTIN ST. JOHN HOTEL COMPANY d/b/a the WESTIN ST. JOHN RESORT VILLAS, a participant in the Virgin Islands Economic Development Incentive Program of the US Virgin Islands, has a procurement requirement to purchase goods and services locally in the Virgin Islands to the maximum extent practicable and regularly purchases the following types of goods and/or services:

Food products – Paper products – Beverage products – Plumbing parts – Cleaning supplies – Mechanical supplies – Electrical supplies – Office supplies – Building materials – Printing services

PLEASE CONTACT JESSICA LIKENS – (904) 234-4071
WESTIN ST. JOHN RESORT VILLAS

 If you are an Eligible Virgin Islands Supplier as defined in the Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission’s (“VIEDC”) Rules and Regulations but are not on the VIEDC’s list of Eligible Suppliers, you are encouraged to request being added to the list by having your business certified by the Chief Executive Officer of the Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission. Applications for certification may be obtained online at www.usvieda.org or by contacting the VIEDC Office. Completed applications should be filed with the Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission at:

ST. CROIX OFFICE
Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission

116 King Street, Frederiksted
St. Croix, Virgin Islands 00840
(340) 773-6499
OR
ST. THOMAS OFFICE
Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission

PO Box 305038
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands 00803
(340) 714-1700
OR
Virgin Islands Economic Development Commission
8000 Nisky Shopping Center, Suite 620
St. Thomas, VI 00802