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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, August 18, 2022
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BLESS THE WATCHDOGS

In attending a couple of Coastal Zone Management hearings this week, we were impressed by the depth of research and knowledge that had gone into reviewing the Environmental Assessment Reports issued by the applicants for permits to build a hotel and a wastewater-treatment plant.
Our first thought was, "Thank heavens for these public-spirited citizens who put in countless hours to protect the public interest." Our second thought was, "Who will carry on their effort?"
Helen Gjessing, a retired biology professor, presented a review that won praise from the engineers on one of the projects. Attorney Edith Bornn, who has donated untold hours to environmental and other important causes, raised other salient points.
We couldn't help but wonder what state this island would be in if not for the efforts — freely given — of these two women and others like them.
It was interesting to note no media other than St. Thomas Source covered these important hearings on two projects that could have a far-reaching impact on St. Thomas.
But even if there had been no media coverage, those two women, along with Erva Denham, the president of the League of Women Voters, and Stevie Henry, the vice president of the Environmental Association of St. Thomas, were there. And they would have been there, no matter what.
It was heartening to hear a young person like Henry offer expert testimony on one of the projects. We hope he will keep up his work with EAST.
We ask our readers to try to imagine what this island would be like if it weren't for these guardians of the public interest. We also ask our readers to say a sincere thank-you the next time you see one of them on the street.
With all the self-serving people out there looking for ways to promote their own agendas, we are lucky to have people who have volunteered their time year after year to be our watchdogs. Please consider becoming one.

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In attending a couple of Coastal Zone Management hearings this week, we were impressed by the depth of research and knowledge that had gone into reviewing the Environmental Assessment Reports issued by the applicants for permits to build a hotel and a wastewater-treatment plant.
Our first thought was, "Thank heavens for these public-spirited citizens who put in countless hours to protect the public interest." Our second thought was, "Who will carry on their effort?"
Helen Gjessing, a retired biology professor, presented a review that won praise from the engineers on one of the projects. Attorney Edith Bornn, who has donated untold hours to environmental and other important causes, raised other salient points.
We couldn't help but wonder what state this island would be in if not for the efforts — freely given — of these two women and others like them.
It was interesting to note no media other than St. Thomas Source covered these important hearings on two projects that could have a far-reaching impact on St. Thomas.
But even if there had been no media coverage, those two women, along with Erva Denham, the president of the League of Women Voters, and Stevie Henry, the vice president of the Environmental Association of St. Thomas, were there. And they would have been there, no matter what.
It was heartening to hear a young person like Henry offer expert testimony on one of the projects. We hope he will keep up his work with EAST.
We ask our readers to try to imagine what this island would be like if it weren't for these guardians of the public interest. We also ask our readers to say a sincere thank-you the next time you see one of them on the street.
With all the self-serving people out there looking for ways to promote their own agendas, we are lucky to have people who have volunteered their time year after year to be our watchdogs. Please consider becoming one.