GOVERNMENT & POLICE NEWS

VIPA Issues Advisory to Drivers Using CEKA Airport Road

Motorists are advised to exercise caution when traversing the Cyril E. King Airport Road due to ongoing road repairs.

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Three events are slated for the opening of the school year – V.I. Fathers Back to School Barbecue and Fun Day on Saturday, Aug. 27; the Back to School Days of Prayer on Saturday , Sept. 3, and Sunday, Sept. 4; and the V.I. Fathers March on Sept. 6, the first day of school for public schools in the territory. Organizers are encouraging fathers to take their children back to school starting on the first day.

 
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Beach Advisory for January 17-20

The Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) announces that the Beach Water Quality Monitoring Program, which evaluates weekly water quality at popular swimming beaches throughout the territory by sampling for enterococci bacteria and turbidity, which is a measure of water clarity, advises the public of the following:

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2017-01-20 20:20:22
St. Thomas Starring in Upcoming HGTV Show

Two upcoming January episodes of the popular HGTV series “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” are expected to feature St. Thomas and several local professionals.

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2017-01-20 18:28:46
Democatic Party State Chairwoman Calls for Senator Elect to be Seated in Legislature

The Democratic Party of the Virgin Islands is concerned that more than one week after the 32nd Legislature has been sworn in, the seventh St. Thomas seat remains vacant.

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2017-01-20 17:42:32
Local news — St. Thomas
Marine Activist Rik Van Rensselaer Dies

Feb. 22, 2007 -- Long-time marine activist Rik Van Rensselaer died Feb. 17 in a Del Rio, Texas, hospital after a brief illness. He was 73.
Before his death, family members solicited donations to help Van Rensselaer get treatment at a clinic in Mexico. (See "Community Volunteer Needs Help for Alternative Cancer Treatment.")
Van Rensselaer made his mark on the Virgin Islands through a variety of organizations, including as president of the V.I. Charteryacht League and the V.I. Marine Industry organization. His latest endeavor was the V.I. Marine Action Group. He also served as president of the Antilles School Parent-Teacher Association.
In 1978, Van Rensselaer sailed into St. Thomas, where he ran charters aboard his 52-foot ketch, Flute, until 1991. He co-owned the commercial and residential contracting firm AVR Ltd.
"He immediately got involved," said St. Thomas resident Nick Bailey, who said he knew Van Rensselaer from the time he first arrived on St. Thomas. A bill to regulate mooring and anchoring soon came before the Legislature, and Van Rensselaer quickly became a leader in presenting the boaters' position, Bailey said.

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"He had a tremendous ability to motivate people to a common cause," Bailey said. "He was a natural leader."
No matter what the issue, Van Rensselaer approached it with an uncommon sense of fairness and integrity, Bailey said. When an issue arose about the headmaster at Antilles School, he said, Van Rensselaer kept people focused throughout a long and hard battle.
Jeannie Kuich, who chartered in the same era as Van Rensselaer, called him a person who cared about getting children involved in sailing and the marine industry.
"And he was a real dynamo and an excellent speaker," she said.
His former wife, Corrine Van Rensselaer, served as his caregiver in his last months. She said Van Rensselaer was tremendously optimistic and compassionate.
"He was always helping people to help themselves," she said.
Several weeks ago she asked him what he loved about the Virgin Islands. He told her it was "the freedom, the water, the people and the opportunities for them," she said.
Over the years, Van Rensselaer served as founder and president of Columbus 500, formed to coordinate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' voyage to the New World in 1492. From 1991 to 1998, he founded and co-owned Dynamic Construction.
Additionally, Van Rensselaer was instrumental in the formation of the Hassel Island Preservation Trust, which served to preserve, protect and promote the historical significance of the island. He was also a founding member of Nazareth by The Sea.
Born in Glen Falls, N.Y, Van Rensselaer grew up in New Jersey. In 1958, he retired from the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant. He subsequently worked in the concrete, water and sewer industries at Interpace and Mancrete, both in New Jersey.
He is survived by six children. They are Skye and William Van Rensselaer and Stephen Carpenter of St. Thomas, Richard Carpenter of Atlanta, Katherine Carpenter of Los Angeles and Margaret Jones of Bloomington, Ind.
He is also survived by a sister, Stephanie V.R. Koven, of Mountainville, N.J., and a brother, Robert Van Rensselaer, of Mendham, N.J.
Three nieces survive him. They are Serena Koven O’Connor of Oldwick, N.J., Stephanie Koven Katz of New York and Serena Van Rensselaer of West Shokan, N.Y. He also had two nephews: Theodore Koven of Springtown, Penn., and Miles Van Rensselaer of Lopatcong, N.J.
He is survived by 11 grandchildren. They are Ian Tracy, Chelsea Tracy, Penelope Van Rensselaer Carpenter, John Van Rensselaer Carpenter, Elizabeth Pride Carpenter, Molly Carpenter, Daniel Carpenter, Charlotte Jones, Miles Jones, Katherine Jones and Charlie Jones.
A memorial service will be held at 3:30 p.m. March 26 at Nazareth by the Sea Episcopal Mission at Cabrita Point. A short walk to the water's edge will follow the ceremony, where some of his ashes will be scattered. The service will conclude with a reception at the church.

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