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Commentary: Puerto Rico is the canary in the Caribbean coal mine

July 21, 2017
Commentary: Puerto Rico is the canary in the Caribbean coal mine Overwhelming debt for states and municipalities has become almost commonplace in the United States today. First it was the city of Detroit, which filed for bankruptcy in July 2013, claiming a debt load of $18-20 billion. In the last few weeks, state budget crunches in Illinois and Connecticut have caught national...

Commentary: The urgent need for a public anti-corruption task force in the US Virgin Islands

July 10, 2017
Commentary: The urgent need for a public anti-corruption task force in the US Virgin Islands On June 30, 2017, the US Virgin Islands Inspector General issued a 76-page written report with scathing findings, entitled Audit of the Department of Education’s Inventory Controls over the School Lunch Program. Among these findings was that $920,000 had been spent on food management software...

Letter: Recent corruption arrests in USVI likely only the tip of the iceberg

July 3, 2017
Letter: Recent corruption arrests in USVI likely only the tip of the iceberg The US Virgin Islands public has been informed that there were recent arrests of three individuals on corruption charges involving the alleged misuse of over $2 million in federal funds associated with the REAL ID program. The individuals arrested, of course, will have their day in court and are entitled to...

Barbados economist says USVI on track to fiscal stability

June 26, 2017
Barbados economist says USVI on track to fiscal stability BRIDGETOWN, Barbados -- Caribbean economist Jeremy Stephen has praised the US Virgin Islands government’s recent efforts to correct the fiscal imbalances that have challenged its treasury for successive administrations. Stephen, who has been reviewing the financial outlook of the USVI in light of...

USVI public and private sectors advance plans to improve cruise experience

June 15, 2017
USVI public and private sectors advance plans to improve cruise experience ST THOMAS, USVI -- The US Virgin Islands is advancing plans to improve its visitor experience for cruise ship passengers. This progress comes out of the second meeting of the Ports of the Virgin Islands -- Charlotte Amalie Task Force held earlier this month. At the heart of the matter, reported USVI...

USVI agency focuses on becoming impact investment hub for the Caribbean

June 5, 2017
USVI agency focuses on becoming impact investment hub for the Caribbean NEW YORK, USA -- The US Virgin Islands Specialist Economic Development Agency, the University of the Virgin Islands RTPark, (UVI RTPark), is focused on becoming an impact investment hub for the Caribbean. As the financial world shifts to embrace mission-oriented investing, the RTPark's...

Former USVI senator searches for the identity of the '1855 mysterious mulatto from the Danish West Indies'

May 30, 2017
Former USVI senator searches for the identity of the '1855 mysterious mulatto from the Danish West Indies' ST CROIX, USVI -- The people of Denmark and the US Virgin Islands – art historians, museum directors, archivists, researchers, former colonial families, genealogists, and the general public – are being asked to help uncover the identity of arguably the most mysterious woman in European colonial art.

CBP advises on summer travel to the US and the Caribbean

May 26, 2017
CBP advises on summer travel to the US and the Caribbean SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- The Memorial Day weekend kick starts the summer travel season. US Customs and Border Protection has invited travelers to learn the guidelines concerning international arrival at any port of entry, particularly those arriving from international destinations into Puerto Rico...

USVI, Airbnb sign first tax agreement in the Caribbean

May 22, 2017
USVI, Airbnb sign first tax agreement in the Caribbean ST THOMAS, USVI -- The government of the US Virgin Islands and Airbnb have confirmed the first tax agreement in the Caribbean, which will allow the platform to collect the territory's 12.5 percent hotel room occupancy tax on behalf of hosts and remit the funds to the Virgin Islands Bureau of...

USVI governor greatly concerned by legislature's errors

May 17, 2017
USVI governor greatly concerned by legislature's errors ST THOMAS, USVI -- Problems with legislation considered during last week’s special session were largely due to errors made at the US Virgin Islands Senate. In a letter sent on Monday to Senate President Myron Jackson, Governor Kenneth Mapp responded to concerns raised on the Senate floor.

USVI raises minimum wage on par with highest rates in the US

May 13, 2017
USVI raises minimum wage on par with highest rates in the US ST THOMAS, USVI -- The minimum wage in the US Virgin Islands will join the top ten states in having the highest minimum wage in the United States. Beginning on June 1, 2017, the administration will raise both public and private workers minimum pay to $9.50 per hour, putting it on par with New York...

Landmark USVI horseracing deal stalled

May 5, 2017
Landmark USVI horseracing deal stalled ST THOMAS, USVI -- Lack of timely action by the legislature may jeopardize a $30 million private investment in the US Virgin Islands’ horseracing industry. Amendments to the landmark agreement ratified last year with local casino operator VIGL to revitalize the territory’s horseracing industry...

Six boaters rescued off the USVI

April 25, 2017
Six boaters rescued off the USVI SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Coast Guard rescue crews, a Good Samaritan vessel and the crew of the cruise ship Zenith rescued six men on Monday during a search and rescue operation involving three vessels in waters between St Thomas and St Croix, US Virgin Islands. One boater was...

USVI governor submits bill to attract financial service industry

April 20, 2017
USVI governor submits bill to attract financial service industry ST THOMAS, USVI -- US Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp has submitted for legislative approval The Virgin Islands Financial Services Improvement and Corporate Modernization Act of 2017 (FISA 2017). In a letter to Senate President Myron Jackson, the governor wrote the act will “modernize...

USVI governor calls for improvements to cruise ship visitor experience

April 14, 2017
USVI governor calls for improvements to cruise ship visitor experience ST THOMAS, USVI -- The governor of the US Virgin Islands has called for the private and public sector to work together to improve the experience for cruise passengers visiting Charlotte Amalie. During the inaugural gathering of the Ports of the Virgin Islands – Charlotte Amalie Task Force...

Demand for luxury properties throughout Caribbean region report significant growth in 2016

April 12, 2017
Demand for luxury properties throughout Caribbean region report significant growth in 2016 SEATTLE, USA -- The Expedia group, the world’s largest online travel agency, has reported that travel demand to luxury properties throughout the Caribbean increased in 2016. When compared to 2015, overall demand for four and five-star rated properties throughout the Caribbean...

Commentary: Native US Virgin Islanders should be entitled to Danish citizenship

April 11, 2017
Commentary: Native US Virgin Islanders should be entitled to Danish citizenship US Virgin Islanders who officially reside in the islands and can trace their ancestry back to the Danish era (1671 – 1917) should be entitled to automatic Danish citizenship, whether they decide to renounce their United States citizenship or obtain dual citizenship of Denmark and the United States.

Open letter to the prime minister of Denmark

April 11, 2017
I hereby make this formal appeal to the people of Denmark for the granting of automatic Danish citizenship to Virgin Islanders officially residing in the Virgin Islands of the United States who can, with documentation, trace their ancestry in the islands to the Danish era (1671-1917).

United Airlines to increase summer flights from Houston to USVI

April 8, 2017
United Airlines to increase summer flights from Houston to USVI NEW YORK, USA -- United Airlines will boost air capacity to the US Virgin Islands (USVI) this summer. Following talks with United Airlines executives in Chicago this week, USVI Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty reported the carrier will increase its frequency of flights from Houston...

Former USVI senator presents arguments for Danish reparations and apology

March 31, 2017
Former USVI senator presents arguments for Danish reparations and apology ST CROIX, USVI -- League for league, square mile for square mile, the Caribbean archipelago is the world’s most international region. There, since the 15th century, the Old and New Worlds have collided and the world’s people -- Native Americans, Europeans, Africans, and Asians...

People and partnership needed to keep Caribbean competitive, says CHTA head

March 29, 2017
People and partnership needed to keep Caribbean competitive, says CHTA head ST THOMAS, USVI -- The head of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has called on the region to work together to ensure the Caribbean remains one of the world's leading destinations. Delivering the keynote at the annual general meeting of the US Virgin Islands...

Hydroponic solar greenhouses promote food security in the Caribbean

March 27, 2017
Hydroponic solar greenhouses promote food security in the Caribbean WESTPORT, USA -- Connecticut-based Alquimi Renewables has formalized an exclusive long term licensing agreement with engineering firm Megalo Solutions Inc., of Phoenix, Arizona, to supply and construct off-grid hydroponic solar greenhouses, which will promote food security throughout...

US Coast Guard offloads $44.5 million of seized cocaine in USVI and Puerto Rico

March 23, 2017
US Coast Guard offloads $44.5 million of seized cocaine in USVI and Puerto Rico SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- The US Coast Guard offloaded approximately 929 kilograms of cocaine on Tuesday in St Croix, US Virgin Islands, and another 400 kilograms of cocaine on Sunday in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The offloads come after two recent at sea interdictions in international...

Suspect in custody in connection with rash of fires in USVI

March 1, 2017
Suspect in custody in connection with rash of fires in USVI ST THOMAS, USVI -- An FBI official has confirmed that a suspect is in custody in connection with a rash of fires overnight on St Thomas, one of which destroyed the United States Navy’s Recruitment office in Nisky Center. The Virgin Islands Fire Service reports that its personnel from...

Letter: Ensuring future prosperity for the US Virgin Islands

March 1, 2017
Letter: Ensuring future prosperity for the US Virgin Islands Without a doubt, former Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr. experienced serious challenges during his administration and I profoundly respect the efforts he made to mitigate the impact the Great Recession and the loss of Hovensa had on the Virgin Islands economy.  Nevertheless, as we are now...

Newly released etiquette book for men by former USVI senator receives stellar reviews from critics

February 25, 2017
Newly released etiquette book for men by former USVI senator receives stellar reviews from critics Manly Manners: Lifestyle & Modern Etiquette for the Young Man of the 21st Century by fashion designer and former US Virgin Islands senator Wayne James is garnering stellar reviews from the publishing industry’s most discerning critics. Besides offering comprehensive instruction on etiquette...

USVI governor issues executive order to reduce operating costs to protect essential services

February 16, 2017
USVI governor issues executive order to reduce operating costs to protect essential services ST THOMAS, USVI -- By executive order, US Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp has taken major steps to reduce the cost of government operations, given that cash revenues flowing into the treasury are insufficient to meet current expenses. Noting that the 32nd Legislature continues...

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