Customers were lined up to fill their gas tanks during the grand opening of Racetrack Gas Station on South Shore Road on Saturday, April 19.
After going from three gas stations to one for the past several years, St. John now has a second gas station with the long-awaited opening of the Racetrack Gas Station on the east side of the renowned Jacob?s Ladder hill on Southshore Road between the Westin Resort and Cruz Bay, on Saturday, April 19.
The construction of the purported $1 million gas station on a long narrow strip alongside the steep two-lane road is an engineering marvel, with towering concrete retaining walls creating the space for the pumps and tanks.
Additional commercial space is being developed between the new station and the neighboring St. John Market in the neighboring commercial center adjacent to Guinea Grove apartments and the Westin.
Special guests gas jockeys, above, were on had to serve customers for the opening.
It wasn?t that long ago, but it may be hard to remember what the Enighed Pond waterfront looked like before the construction of the wastewater treatment plant and subsequent port. These late 1990s Tradewinds file photos, above and below, show when the waterfront area across South Shore Road from what is now The Marketplace, was a dumping ground and junkyard.
The V.I. Port Authority will be meeting with the island?s marine operators to take control of the indiscriminate usage of the Enighed Pond Port facilities, according Carlton Dowe, Executive Director of the V.I. Port Authority.
?Those boats that are doing repairs have to leave,? Dowe told St. John Tradewinds on Tuesday, April 15. ?We will meet with the operators to discuss what activities can be conducted.?
?There are some challenges and we will be meeting on the 29th of the month,? Dowe said. ?The usage is managed by the port?s marine manager.?
Permit Allows Incidental Repairs
The federal Army Corps of Engineers, which issued the permit for the construction of the port, restricted work in the port to ?incidental? repairs, according to VIPA officials.
Since the construction of the port in the former salt pond, residents of the Contant neighborhood on the south shore have complained that the operators of several island marine companies have conducted repairs of vessels not in service at the port for lengthy periods of time.
Senator Donald Cole (center) hears from constituents in Coral Bay at a town meeting at GBS on April 16.
The fate of the Guy H. Benjamin Elementary School and transportation issues topped the list of concerns expressed at the Tuesday evening, April 16, town meeting in Coral Bay.
The meeting, hosted by the Coral Bay Community Council, drew about 40 participants, many of whom shared their opinions and concerns. Members of the 30th Legislature and their representatives traveled from St. Thomas to hear from their constituents.
Much of the talk at the two-hour meeting centered on a pending decision by Governor John P. deJongh as to whether Guy Benjamin School can stay open as a public elementary school. Because of a drop in enrollment, caused in part by the transfer of the kindergarten and first grades to the Julius E. Sprauve School in Coral Bay, Gov. deJongh is expressing concern about the $1 million he says is needed to keep the school open.
One alternative, being promoted by the Department of Education and some lawmakers, is converting Benjamin School into a an early learning center. Senator Tregenza Roach says a model already exists in the school system at the Jane E. Tuitt School in Savan on St. Thomas.
?The idea of the early childhood center was the most promising,? Sen. Roach said.
This V.I. Police Department officer tried not to write a parking ticket for the operator of the safari bus parked in the recently-designated waterfront parking spaces reserved for ?Licensed Villa Company? on Thursday, April 17, but the unattended bus had been parked there in the early morning hours to await a pre-arranged tour and the driver could not be found.
A veteran St. John police sergeant and the former chief law enforcement officer of the V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources official were sentenced to short federal prison terms April 17 for smuggling more than 15 pounds of cocaine.
Retired Police Sergeant Angelo Hill and DPNR Environmental Enforcement Chief Roberto Tapia received 21 months and 70 months, respectively. Hill pleaded guilty in December 2013 to drug conspiracy charges. Tapia pleaded guilty to racketeering related to drug trafficking.
Chief District Judge Curtis Gomez sent Hill and Tapia away after telling both men they did a lot to save themselves more time behind bars than they could have gotten by cooperating in the prosecution of other defendants.
Credit for Testifying Against Others
Judge Gomez credited the cooperation each defendant gave investigators after their arrests in handing out the sentences. Hill otherwise could have received up to 84 months under federal sentencing guidelines.
Tapia was facing life in prison, Gomez said.
The two men were arrested in May 2013 after a team of local and federal law enforcers used surveillance methods to track the course of a day-long drug smuggling operation on May 17. Six other individuals were arrested in the course of that investigation.
Seven kilograms of cocaine were confiscated from a backpack carried by Tapia after he made a trip from Cruz Bay by ferry boat after a rendezvous with Hill on St. John.
Pilates Worx studio owner and instructor Melissa Luterek demonstrates an exercise on the Pilates reformer.
For anyone feeling pain in their back, knees, wrists, ankles, or anywhere really, Melissa Luterek could hold the alternative to surgery.
Luterek recently opened a spacious, air conditioned Pilates Worx studio in The Lumber Yard bringing 17 years of Pilates instruction experience with her to Love City. She has been working with patients suffering from arthritis, scoliosis, sciatica, herniated disks, carpal tunnel and more.
It was an injury she suffered which first introduced Luterek to Pilates. Originally from the East Coast, Luterek was just about to begin a four-year dance scholarship at Marymount Manhattan College, when she blew out her knee, she explained.
?I was a professional dancer and just before heading off to college for dance, in my very last audition, I blew out my knee,? said Luterek. ?The doctors said I would never dance again and that I needed surgery.?
Undeterred, Luterek put on a brace and showed up to dance school anyway.
?My instructor told me I couldn?t perform on stage with the brace,? Luterek said. ?She told me I had to go take Pilates classes two or three times a week. I danced for four years on that knee and after college decided to get certified in the use of Pilates.?