Year in Review: Everything that Happened in 2005

Review 2005 by St. John Tradewinds Headlines

Issue: January 3, 2005
Red Hook Construction To Begin; Heavy Cargo Moves to Crown Bay
The Virgin Islands Port Authority will begin construction of a new $9.3 million ferry dock with an enclosed passenger terminal, new barge ramp and vehicle parking area known as the Red Hook Marine Passenger and Cargo Facility on Jan. 10.

Fletcher Pitts: St. John Sailor, KATS Educator and Friend
A memorial service was held for Fletcher Pitts at Johnsons Bay Beach in Coral Bay on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2005, at 11 a.m. The local sailor and educator died of heart failure on Christmas Day at the Roy Lester Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas. He was 51-years-old.

Issue: January 10, 2005
CZM Permit Application Filed for 116-Slip Coral Bay Marina
“I think there is an obvious need on St. John for a marina facility to accommodate the large boating population, including a much needed pump-out facility. After all, St. John is the only major island in the U.S. or B.V.I. that does not have a marina facility.” – Attorney Brion Morrisette

Issue: January 17, 2005
Local Musicians Entertain Hundreds During Pig Roast Benefit for Aisha
In true St. John fashion, the island community, from Coral Bay to Cruz Bay, came together to raise funds to benefit St. Johnian Aisha Christian. Christian, 21, was recently diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma and is currently undergoing treatment at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y.

Issue: February 14, 2005
No Charges To Be Filed Against Driver In Schoolboy’s Enighed Traffic Death
No criminal charges will be filed against Sinclair St. Luce of St. Thomas, the driver of a delivery truck that struck and killed 7-year-old Javon J. “J.J.” Alfred in an Enighed intersection onDec. 22, 2004.

Issue: February 21, 2005
52 Couples Renew Wedding Vows in Valentine’s Day Gathering

Issue: February 28, 2005
110 Pounds of Cocaine Recovered; U.S.V.I. Boat Reported Sunk in Vieques
Puerto Rican authorities recovered 110 pounds of cocaine, worth an estimated $10 million, on Vieques, after a U.S. Virgin Islands-registered boat sank in the area, according to a Puerto Rico Police Department FURA (Fuerzas Unidas de Rapida Accion) official.

Jeremy Zuber Takes First Place in Ninth Annual 8 Tuff Miles Road Race

Parking Garage To Be Built this Summer; Residents Still Suggest Alternatives
After 15 years of discussions, the $3 million, 82-space parking garage and vendor’s plaza planned for construction across from Cruz Bay creek will be under way “sometime this summer,” according to Keith Richards, assistant to Gov. Charles W. Turnbull for capital projects.

Issue: March 7, 2005
72 Illegal Immigrants on Catamaran Intercepted by U.S.C.G. Off St. John
The 72 people aboard a 47-foot French-registered catamaran intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard 1.5 miles off St. John on Saturday morning, Feb. 26, were illegal immigrants, according to U.S. Coast Guard (U.S.C.G.) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) officials. The passengers consisted of 69 Haitians, two people from the Dominican Republic, and one French national, according to USCG Lt. j.g. Eric Willis.

Reliance Housing Unveils Plans For Calabash Boom Development

Issue: March 21, 2005
St. Patrick’s Day Parade Fun in Cruz Bay

V.I. Reefs Called “Best in Caribbean”
Dr. Sylvia Earle Reports Signs of Hope After 35 Years
“The brain coral is in pretty good shape – it’s the best I’ve seen anywhere in the Caribbean.” – Dr. Sylvia Earle Marine Biologist

Issue: March 28, 2005
St. John Blues Festival Rocks Coral Bay

Issue: April 4, 2005
88th Anniversary of Transfer Day Celebrated
< The U.S. Virgin Islands marked the 88th anniversary of Transfer Day, March 31, when the United States took power over the islands from Denmark.

Above Average Forecast For Hurricane Season
Experts are predicting a “very active” hurricane season this year, particularly for the Caribbean, according to Steve Parris, the deputy director of V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency for St. Thomas and Water Island.

Issue: April 11, 2005
Gas Prices Soar

Issue: April 18, 2005
New $2 Baggage Fee on Ferries Now in Effect

Issue: May 2, 2005
2005 Wagapalooza Fun Attract Large Crowd

Issue: May 16, 2005
Subway Celebrity Jared Fogle Visits St. John>

Chesney Weds Zellweger on St. John; World, Islands Friends, Surprised

Issue: May 30, 2005
Parking Garage Set for Summer Start

Grande Bay Expansion Needs Rezoning
“We had no idea there was a zoning problem before; we found out long after we made the plans.” – Kelly Frye, Construction Manager/Limited Partner, Bay Isles Associates, LLLP

Secret Negotiations for 430-Acre Maho Property?
Details about private negotiations involving the National Park Service (NPS) trading its interest in the 430-acre Maho Bay in-holding to a New York billionaire do not have to be released to the public, according to an NPS spokesperson.

Issue: June 13, 2005
Former St. John Administrator William E. Lomax Passes

Issue: June 20, 2005
Landmark Oscar’s Convenience Market Closes Doors on 20 Years of Service

Issue: June 20, 2005
Festival 2005 Food Fair Honoree: Sonia Sprauve Shares Love of Cooking, Crafts

Issue: June 27, 2005
Beautiful Royalty Highlights Food Fair

St. John Domino Stations Out of Gas; Long Lines Form at Cruz Bay’s Texaco

Alleged Hate Crime Shocks Community; FBI Investigating
Esther and Jerry Frett told authorities that they awoke in their home on the East End and found racial slurs and profanity written on the gate to their house, along with markings of hanged stick figures on the windows of their car, according to V.I. Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Thomas Hannah.

Dockside Finished; Owners Await Occupancy Permit from DPNR
“There is a parking shortage in Cruz Bay … and the developer understands what DPNR’s concerns are—the parking spaces.” – DPNR Commissioner Dean C. Plaskett

Issue: July 11, 2005
Businesswoman Robbed, Beaten at Home
Perpetrators bind and gag Hard Labor resident after demanding money

St. John Festival 2005: Culture and Music Will Strive

Alma Viola Smith Wesselhoft Passes
Alma Viola Smith Wesselhoftof St. John was born at Mary’s Point, St. John, on Dec. 15, 1926, and died at the age of 78 at her Cruz Bay home on Tuesday, July 5, 2005, after a brief illness.

Issue: July 18, 2005
Three Recent Truck Accidents Warrant Concern

Issue: July 25, 2005
65 Burglaries This Year; Police Admit Crime Is Difficult To Solve

Issue: August 8, 2005
Homicide Ends Life of Devoted Mother, V.I.N.P. Administrator Georgia Gottlieb

Bar Wars: 14 teams competed at Bar Wars 2005.

Issue: August 22, 2005
Ferry Tickets Up $1 Each Way To Offset Increasing Fuel Costs

Summer Occupancy Highest Ever; Island Resorts and Villas Near Full
“Every month since the first of the year has been better than we expected.” – Rik Blyth, Managing Director of Caneel Bay Resort

Reliance Submits 72-Unit Calabash Boom CZM Application; Developer Addresses Concerns About Impact of Affordable Housing Plan

Issue: September 5, 2005
Three Suspicious Fires Singe Love City in One Day

Reported East End Rape Under Investigation; Police Upping Presence Across St. John

Residents Demand Answers on Crimes From Officials at Emergency Meeting

Issue: September 19, 2005
New Police Vehicles Delight Police Department

Taxi Fares To Increase 20 Percent Effective Oct. 1

Issue: October 3, 2005
Territory Unifies To Seek Answers on St. John

Melvin “Bully” Chinnery Laid To Rest in Cruz Bay

116-Slip Coral Bay Marina LLC’s CZM Application Deemed Incomplete Again
“I am going to make an appointment to see Mr. Somme to clear this up.” – Managing Director Robert O’Conner, Jr., Coral Bay Marina LLC

Issue: October 10, 2005
Heavy Downpours Flood Public Schools Already Sorely in Need of Maintenance

NPS Denies Authority To Approve Maho Bay Estate Development
The National Park Service has informed New York billionaires James and Marilyn Simons that they could not grant permission for the requested dock, roadway diversion and wetlands drainage for Estate Maho Bay, according to Joe Kessler, president of Friends of the V.I. National Park.

Issue: October 17, 2005
Duncan, Spurs Close USVI Visit at Caneel Bay

New Cruz Bay Parking Garage on Road to Reality; $200,000 Appropriated from St. John Capital Improvement Fund
“I am happy to get the $200,000—don’t get me wrong—but I put in for $2 million, which would allow the construction of a multilevel parking structure in Cruz Bay near Inspection Lane, with tennis courts on top of the parking structure.”

Barge Owner Punches Out Newspaper’s Window; Police Won’t Make Arrest

Jambalaya Cook-Off Raises Funds for Hurricane Katrina Victims

Issue: October 24, 2005
Temporary Substation Adds to Coral Bay Police Presence

Issue: October 31, 2005
Burned Businessman Is Homicide Victim; Teenage Son Critically Injured in Home Arson and Attack
David Geiger, a painting contractor, was found dead in his bed, severely burned, and his son, Nathan, was found suffering from a head wound and multiple lacerations when the V.I. Fire Department responded to a report of a fire at their Grunwald home.

Port Authority Gives Unspecified Spaces to Dockside
Meanwhile, Patrick’s is told to move from two parking spaces in the VIPA parking lot.

St. John Featured in Major U.S. Travel Magazine and The New York Times

Issue: November 7, 2005
50 Years of Educaring

Governor Vetoes $200,000 Allocation For Parking Garage at Tennis Courts

Emotional Memorial Service for David Geiger on Cruz Bay Beach

Issue: November 14, 2005
Grande Bay Rezoning Request Approved

Unstaffed Coral Bay Police Substation Ineffective
“There was no police response,” said one witness after the Island Blues armed robbery. “The substation is located practically across the street and no one was there.”

Issue: November 21, 2005
IRS Agents Descend on Beach Bar with Guns in Tax Investigation
“They barged into my house with shotguns, and I’m, like, ‘Woah man, if you’re looking for guns and drugs, that’s not my deal.’” – Alan MacPhee, owner of The Beach Bar

Twenty-five Illegal Immigrants Arrested in Joint Operation

Issue: November 28, 2005
Lettsome Wanted for Murder; VIPD Says Geiger “Case Is Solved”

With 5 Percent Arrest Rate, VIPD Cites Decrease in Crime, Increase in Arrests
“Staffing is an issue throughout the VIPD. Until we are able to acquire competent people on the force, it will always be an issue.” – VIPD Commissioner Elton Lewis

Issue: December 5, 2005
Renell Lettsome Arrested for David Geiger’s Murder; Two others are sought for attempted murder of 14-year-old Nathan Geiger

Alleged Hate Crime Investigation Ongoing, Completion Expected in Two to Three Weeks

Deadliest, Costliest Hurricane Season On Record Comes to a Close

Patron Shot at Coral Bay’s Island Blues

Issue: December 12, 2005
Rezoning Request for Grande Bay Vetoed by Governor
“I have decided not to approve this bill because the development would likely increase noise pollution in the residential neighborhood, exacerbate the parking situation, and create unpleasant and unhealthy impacts on residents in the immediate surrounding area,” Gov. Charles Turnbull wrote.

Issue: December 19, 2005

“We have to have a formal opening, and the governor’s schedule is so heavy right now that we can’t get a date in December.” –Carol Henneman, V.I. Port Authority spokesperson

Issue: December 26, 2005