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Created on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 12:46
Written by Jaime Elliott
Alan Armstrong and Christian Williamson
BELLEVUE — Archaeologists last week kicked off the first wave of discovery in a project expected to take about four years at the historic Bellevue Estate property on Gift Hill Road.
The land is owned by St. John Community Foundation and under a long-term lease to St. John Historical Society, which plans to construct a cultural and historic center at the site.
SJHS members envision the center as an elegant island-style building with a climate controlled archive and exhibit area as well a meeting space.
Before SJHS can get moving past the planning phase of the project, however, Northwestern University Ph.D. candidate Alan Armstrong will take a closer look at what’s on, and in, the ground at this historically-rich site.
Armstrong, along with Syracuse University graduate student Christian Williamson, arrived on St. John July 14 to get started on a two-week archaeological dig of the Bellevue Property, the former site of a Dutch cotton plantation dating to around 1720.
Read more: Archaeologists Dig Into Bellevue Estate History
Created on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 12:42
Written by Tom Oat
The miracle of modern internet technology may bring a decision on a marina development to Coral Bay in record time if the St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee deliberates on the proposed 145-slip project over the internet.
After decades of talk, the V.I. Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) has deemed the permit application for the first true St. John marina to be complete and the permitting review process is officially under way.
With the five-member St. John Coastal Zone Management Committee still stuck at three members, DPNR officials are hoping the three can meet electronically to review the application for the 145-slip project which has been year’s in the planning, Anthony Richards, DPNR Major Permits Coordinator told St. John Tradewinds on Friday, July 18
“We are going to try Skype,” Richards said of the plans to use the internet conferencing system to conduct their deliberations.
Read more: St. John CZM May Go High Tech To Review Coral Bay Marina Plan in Electronic Meeting
Created on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 11:56
Written by Tom Oat
Rendering of The St. John Marina – Waterside View
Coral Bay — “The center of the St. John Marina is located at approximately 18°20’36”N, 64°42’50”W,” according to the Environmental Assessment Report for the “St. John Marina, the Yacht Club at Summer’s End.”
A marina development group has proposed to construct a 145-slip marina on a dock extending 500 feet from the shoulder of Route 107 on the south shoreline of Coral Bay Harbor. The road would remain unchanged.
The two main sections of fixed docks and piers in the marina design are proposed to extend more than 850 feet along the shoreline from north of Island Blues south past Coccoloba Shopping Center and more than 500 feet into Coral Bay Harbor.
Summer’s End has also proposed 19 associated moorings in the outer harbor in a development plan encompassing a large portion of the existing mooring area of Coral Bay Harbor.
“The marina consists of a total of 145 slips in two zones: Zone 1 or North Club, with 96 slips of varying dimensions and Zone 2, or South Club, consisting of 49 slips of varying dimensions, 12 moorings and minor revetment repair and red mangrove planting along the shoreline immediately adjacent to the marina,” according to the EAR for the project.
The St. John Marina Site Map
Management of Mooring Field
“The applicant is entering into an agreement with DPNR and will take over the management of the mooring field in cooperation with DPNR,” the document continued. “The applicant will organize the mooring field and replace all the anchors and moorings with properly designed and installed moorings that will have negligible impact on the sea floor.”
The project also calls for the establishment of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in the marina’s shore component. The EAR is on file with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources Coastal Zone Management and at the Elaine I. Sprauve Library
Read more: St. John Marina Plan Will Change Coral Bay — Both on Water and on Shore
Created on Monday, 21 July 2014 05:52
Written by Amy Roberts
Mature male deer, such as this nine-point buck, above, are harder to spot. Photo by Dr. Caroline S. Rogers
Island deer are not shy about grazing in yards, above , and train their young early how to forage.
“What’s up with the deer?”
That was a question posed by David Keplinger, a retired park ranger who was visiting St. John this spring.
When Keplinger worked in the Virgin Islands National Park from 1981 through 1992, he said he rarely saw deer. This spring he was seeing them every day browsing peacefully along roadsides throughout the national park.
Except for the East End of St. John past Haulover — which is still “goat country” — and Ram Head on the southeast tip, deer are everywhere, according to ecologist Gary Ray.
“Deer put a lump in the throat,” said Ray. For him, it’s not just because they’re dainty and wild and evoke childhood memories of Bambi.
It’s because they’re a non-native species that’s browsing on the vegetation, according to Ray. With no natural predators, their population is growing and changing the balance of the island’s ecosystem, Ray explained.
Non-native Species Browsing
“Their diet is critical. Deer have a broad diet, but they’re selective,” according to Ray. Deer like to “graze” (eat herbaceous, grasslike plants) as well as “browse” (consume shrubs and trees, more woody plants), he explained.
“The ground layer is dominated by tiny seedlings, baby shrubs and trees. How many seedlings can one deer remove in a day? We don’t know. In certain areas there are almost no seedlings.”
“I hike all the time. I keep mental notes on how many times I see deer,” Ray said. “If I go on a loop for three to four miles, I’ll see about eight deer, in groups of one to two.”
As he hikes, Ray notices the plants deer prefer.
A blood stain on North Shore Road on Friday morning, July 11, was probably the result of a vehicular collision with a deer — although the carcass had been removed.
Read more: St. John Deer Are Home on the Range — Especially at Caneel Bay Resort
Created on Sunday, 20 July 2014 05:47
Written by Jaime Elliott
Aerial view of the two-pod L’Autre Monde villa, above, and one of two pools, below.
Built with entertaining in mind, L’Autre Monde offers hosts and their guests plenty of space to mingle and, when desired, to enjoy the utmost in privacy as well.
This four bedroom, four and a half bathroom custom built villa boasts breath-taking water views over Great Cruz Bay and is for sale for $5.25 million, explained Islandia Real Estate/Sea Glass Properties broker associate Lynn Giovanna.
Meaning “another world” in French, L’Autre Monde truly takes one far away from the hustle and bustle of life, yet its Great Cruz Bay location means you’re only a few minutes’ drive to the shops, dining and nightlife of Cruz Bay.
“L’Autre Monde is located in the Great Cruz Bay neighborhood with protective covenants and restrictions and private dinghy dock access,” said Giovanna. “This well maintained neighborhood is very popular for short term rentals. It is a wonderful area for a morning jog or evening stroll and you are just a few minutes from town, shopping, grocery stores, restaurants and North Shore beaches.”
From the spacious deck at L’Autre Monde, soak up sunset views and watch as the lights of St. Thomas twinkle to life in the distance. Areas of the deck can connect to span the length of the entire villa, which is separated into two distinct wings.
Read more: On The Market: L’Autre Monde Will Wisk You Away To “Another World”
Created on Saturday, 19 July 2014 05:41
Written by Press Release
Netfa Romain, right in photo, interviewing Rashawn Ross (trumpet player) of the Dave Matthews Bandfor an upcoming episode of “USVI Ambassadors with Netfa Romain.”
ST. THOMAS—Award winning multimedia journalist, director and producer Netfa Romain has embarked on a journey to explore the talents and success of people from the United States Virgin Islands. USVI Ambassadors with Netfa Romain — is set to premiere on CBSTV2 on Saturday, July 19, and will be hosted by multimedia journalist Netfa Romain for an eight-week run.
An influential voice in U.S. Virgin Islands journalism, Netfa Romain has teamed up with the USVI Department of Tourism to tell stories of U.S. Virgin Islanders who are true ambassadors to the territory. Romain sits down for in-depth interviews with key players from the worlds of business, entertainment, art, and sports who all call the U.S. Virgin Islands home.
“It is my hope that these stories will inspire the young and the young at heart in the territory. All of our interviews are insightful and will show how nice our talented people truly are.” Romain said “This is a passion project that has been in the works for nearly three years, starting first as a small idea to it now becoming a reality. It’s been a great journey telling the stories of our ambassadors.”
Read more: “USVI Ambassadors With Netfa Romain” To Premiere Tonight on WMNS CBSTV2