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HomeNewsArchivesLAND SWAP LAWSUIT GOES INTO NEXT WEEK

LAND SWAP LAWSUIT GOES INTO NEXT WEEK

Territorial Court Judge Alphonso Andrews decided Thursday to consolidate preliminary and permanent injunction arguments in the lawsuit against the Beal Aerospace-V.I. government land swap in an effort to speed up the proceedings.
The consolidated hearing will continue Tuesday morning and could take another three or four days to complete, Andrews said. The defense will have the weekend to take depositions of about a dozen witnesses listed by Ned Jacobs, attorney for plaintiff Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen. Included on the list is Department of Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Dean Plaskett.
Although the attorneys for the V.I. government and Caribbean Space Technologies, an affiliate of Texas-based Beal Aerospace Technologies that would own the land at Great Pond Bay, argued that they weren’t prepared to argue the merits of a permanent injunction hearing, Andrews cleared his calendar for next week to begin arguments.
Before the judge granted CST attorney Daryl Dodson’s motion to receive a list of the plaintiff’s witnesses and time to depose them, Dodson called the proceeding up to that point "trial by ambush."
On Oct. 8, Andrews granted Hansen and 19 other St. Croix residents’ request for a temporary restraining order against the land swap, which was approved by the V.I. Legislature three days earlier. Andrews ruled that Gov. Charles Turnbull violated the public trust when he sent the land exchange agreement to the Senate for approval.
The Legislature approved the land swap so that Texas-based Beal could acquire 14.5 acres of land, once the home of the Camp Arawak youth camp, for a portion of a parking lot. The lot will accompany Beal’s proposed $57-million world headquarters and rocket assembly plant near Great Pond Bay. In exchange for the Camp Arawak land, the government would receive acreage owned by Beal in Estates Whim and Grange Hill.
The plaintiffs contend that the Camp Arawak land was deeded to the people of the territory in 1974 to be developed into a park and therefore cannot be traded away.
In a seven-hour hearing on Wednesday, Andrews allowed CST lawyers to intervene in the lawsuit on the side of the government. Andrews also denied a motion to dismiss the case.
Meanwhile, testimony from Wednesday continued with the plaintiff’s witness, St. Croix ecologist Olasee Davis, on the stand.

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Territorial Court Judge Alphonso Andrews decided Thursday to consolidate preliminary and permanent injunction arguments in the lawsuit against the Beal Aerospace-V.I. government land swap in an effort to speed up the proceedings.
The consolidated hearing will continue Tuesday morning and could take another three or four days to complete, Andrews said. The defense will have the weekend to take depositions of about a dozen witnesses listed by Ned Jacobs, attorney for plaintiff Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen. Included on the list is Department of Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Dean Plaskett.
Although the attorneys for the V.I. government and Caribbean Space Technologies, an affiliate of Texas-based Beal Aerospace Technologies that would own the land at Great Pond Bay, argued that they weren’t prepared to argue the merits of a permanent injunction hearing, Andrews cleared his calendar for next week to begin arguments.
Before the judge granted CST attorney Daryl Dodson’s motion to receive a list of the plaintiff’s witnesses and time to depose them, Dodson called the proceeding up to that point "trial by ambush."
On Oct. 8, Andrews granted Hansen and 19 other St. Croix residents’ request for a temporary restraining order against the land swap, which was approved by the V.I. Legislature three days earlier. Andrews ruled that Gov. Charles Turnbull violated the public trust when he sent the land exchange agreement to the Senate for approval.
The Legislature approved the land swap so that Texas-based Beal could acquire 14.5 acres of land, once the home of the Camp Arawak youth camp, for a portion of a parking lot. The lot will accompany Beal’s proposed $57-million world headquarters and rocket assembly plant near Great Pond Bay. In exchange for the Camp Arawak land, the government would receive acreage owned by Beal in Estates Whim and Grange Hill.
The plaintiffs contend that the Camp Arawak land was deeded to the people of the territory in 1974 to be developed into a park and therefore cannot be traded away.
In a seven-hour hearing on Wednesday, Andrews allowed CST lawyers to intervene in the lawsuit on the side of the government. Andrews also denied a motion to dismiss the case.
Meanwhile, testimony from Wednesday continued with the plaintiff’s witness, St. Croix ecologist Olasee Davis, on the stand.