Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas - Virgin Islands Style!

So what do you do in the Virgin Islands for Christmas?

Well to start off, you hang your lights on palm trees.

Then you go to many a Christmas Party!

And finally on Christmas Eve, you have friends that are here without their families over for a Prime Rib Dinner!

After a good night's sleep, you get up and head to the dock with your passports to go to Jost Van Dyke and the Soggy Dollar Bar in the British Virgin Islands!

Then you have a White Elephant present exchange!

This was a Christmas not to forget!

I hope you too had a joyous holiday!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Road Center Lines No Come?

Often times driving here can be a little stressful.  Not only do you have to drive on the left with cars from the states (driver side still on the left, which puts the driver on the shoulder side of the road) along with our narrow and windy, hilly roads, but in many places the center double yellow is non-existant. There are often times when drivers stray into your lane. I worry if I were to get side swiped, who would be at fault if there were no center lines?  So I asked our local on-line newspaper, the St Thomas Source and here is the article:

V.I. Answer Desk: Drivers Must Contend with Unmarked Lanes for Now
Reader Ken Wiseman wanted to know when the government would paint center lines and lines indicating turning lanes on all of the island roads that are currently bare. So he asked the V.I. Answer Desk.
The response is: Not until there’s more money in the treasury. Or, put another way, no time soon.
That’s not to say that no striping at all is being done. Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls said any federally funded road project – which is most of the major ones – includes striping. For existing roads, he said, he tries to stretch local funds by prioritizing places where there are acute safety concerns, such as heavily trafficked or dangerous intersections on all three islands.
The current budget includes $1.5 million for striping roads – $750,000 for St. Croix and $750,000 for the St. Thomas-St. John district.
“We’re appreciative” that the Legislature appropriated the money, Smalls said, “but it’s a very small amount” compared with the work that needs to be done.
Public Works does not have the equipment needed for painting roads and has to contract private companies to do that work, he said. The department did have one striper for each district but the one on St. Thomas was destroyed in a fire at the heavy equipment facility in 2010, and the one on St. Croix was heavily damaged in a fire in 2011.
The two together cost $250,000, Smalls said. “It was a tremendous loss,” he said.
“We’re still working with the (insurance) adjustors” concerning the St. Croix incident, so there’s a little hope that eventually there will be some money for replacement, though it still may not be much. So unless and until the government’s overall fiscal health improves, there simply isn’t enough money to paint or repaint lines on all the roads and highways that need it.
In the meantime, is there concern over public safety?
“We recognize the importance of striping,” Smalls said.
Left unsaid: You can’t get paint out of a turnip.