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SENATE CALLS FOR CRISIS MEETING WITH GOVERNOR

Senators passed a motion Thursday demanding a meeting with Gov. Charles W. Turnbull to discuss the various crises — not just the fiscal one — facing the territory. They asked Senate president Vargrave Richards to set up the meeting by next week.
The motion, introduced by Sen. Almando "Rocky" Liburd, was in response to recent reports of Government House criticism of the Senate and by a letter from the governor stating that the senators had "inadvertently" omitted positions in the Personnel Division in the fiscal year 2000 budget. That was in the later part of a full day.
In a session which ran until 8:30 p.m. and had one senator speaking Spanish and another singing, the Senate moved through an ambitious agenda continued over from Wednesday.
It conferred the Virgin Islands Medal of Honor on Julian "The Hawk" Jackson, posthumously honored Andrew "Funkyman" Shacove, and honored and commended two island educators, George Newton and Mario Alfredo Thomas — all before 5 p.m.
The lawmakers rejected a bill to ban the use of incineration to dispose of solid waste.
They approved an amendment to the V.I. Code pertaining to the licensing of podiatrists.
And, after much debate, they sent back to committee a bill introduced by Sen. Gregory Bennerson which would make it a felony to furnish false information to peace officers during the investigation of a felony.
Virgin Islanders honored for contributions
Jackson, a native Virgin Islander who has always maintained a V.I. residence, won four boxing championships and held several World Boxing Association titles. At one point in his career, Jackson had a 93.1 knock-out percentage, the highest of any active champion at the time. Now retired from boxing, he is employed by the Housing, Parks and Recreation Department.
All the senators hailed Jackson as an ambassador for the territory. "He should be given a pension," Sen. Adelbert "Bert" Bryan said, citing the way Sammy Sosa is treated in the Dominican Republic and the stadium erected to the memory of Roberto Clemente in Puerto Rico. "He should be given land and a villa, and tax breaks like they give to Hovensa."
Andrew Kevin "Funkyman" Shacove, a popular WSTA radio personality, master of ceremonies and firefighter, was posthumously honored and commended. He died in January 1999.
George Newton was honored on his retirement after 26 years as an educator. He started his career teaching Spanish at the Lockhart Elementary School and retired as principal of the Joseph Gomez Elementary School. An active tennis player, he has represented the Virgin Islands in many tournaments.
The senators recognized Mario Alfredo Thomas for 33 years of service in physical education at the Charlotte Amalie High School — and approved the naming of the new Mario Thomas Track and Field Complex at CAHS in his honor.
Separately, Sen. Lorraine Berry introduced a resolution to honor and commend Faye Dorothy Moon for her 30 years of service in the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul choir and for her community service and dedication. The proposal inspired a contribution in song from Hansen and was approved by all but Bryan.
Amendments address many issues
Senators tacked two amendments onto a Government House proposal to appropriate $92,742 for two positions in the Personnel Division before passing the measure.
Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen successfully proposed a $4 million appropriation from the Indirect Cost Fund to repair St. Croix's sewage systems and $1 million for the Port Authority to repair the Ann Abramson Pier in Fredericksted.
Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg succeeded in attaching an amendment calling for a referendum in the November general election on whether to reduce the Senate size to 11 members from the current 15. The amendment requires the Legislature, if the public approves the reduction, to petition Congress to amend the Organic Act in order for the change to take effect.
Donastorg attempted, with Hansen's support, to add one requiring the Public Services Commission to investigate Vitelco's rates; the proposal, for which he has sought support repeatedly, again failed.
Bill on IDC makeup, quorum passes
The Senate approved Sen. Violet Anne Golden's bill to change the governor's powers of appointment to the Industrial Development Commission. The measure would repeal a law that allows two members to constitute a quorum. Golden's bill would reinstate prior legal requirements that the commission comprise seven members, five of them appointive, and that a quorum consist of four, of which no more than three can be from the same district.
Her measure also allows appointed members to continue to serve after their terms expire until their successors are appointed and confirmed.
The senators also approved the appropriation of $2.3 million for construction of a long-term mental health facility next to the Eldra Schulterbrandt facility in the Tutu area on St. Thomas.
And they approved without dissenting debate a lease on St. Croix for Junie's BBQ Chicken.
Trouble on the line
At one point, Bryan asked why he couldn't get long distance on his office telephone. He said he only got a recording in Spanish. Other senators said they were having the same problem, but had thought they were dialing wrong. Wrong.
They learned that the government's bill from the service provider, Telefonica Larga Distancia de Puerto Rico, had not been paid. Richards pledged that payment would be made on Friday and that service would resume.
Zoning request approvals
Rezoning was approved for:
– The V.I. Housing Authority to develop home sites for low- and moderate-income housing.
– Willis Todman to allow wholesale trade warehouse uses in Estates Bovoni and Frenchman's Bay on St. Thomas.
– Development of a beauty supplies shop and barber shop on Kronprindsens Gade near Percy's Bus Stop on St. Thomas.
– Relocation of the Taste of Margarita's restaurant, owned by Emile Heywood, in Fredericksted.
– The George family to develop six single-family lots in Frenchman's Bay.
– Paul Horsford to subdivide his one-acre parcel in Estate Constitution Hill on St. Croix.
– Construction of a supermarket by Das Corp. in Estate Fredenhoj on St. Thomas.
– Tommie and Paula Broadnax to expand an inn in Estates Golden Grove and Orange Grove on St. Croix.
Zoning variances were approved for:
– The Baptist General Conference to build a school, conference center and bookstore in Estate Caldwell on St. Croix.
– Leo Sibilly, to allow retail trade, personal, professional, business and government services in Estate Elizabeth near Sib's Bar and Restaurant on St. Thomas.
– Estate Richmond to legalize a non-conforming use as a commercial warehouse on St. Croix.
– Marciano and Vilma Danois to operate a beauty shop in their home in La Grande Princesse on St. Croix.

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Senators passed a motion Thursday demanding a meeting with Gov. Charles W. Turnbull to discuss the various crises -- not just the fiscal one -- facing the territory. They asked Senate president Vargrave Richards to set up the meeting by next week.
The motion, introduced by Sen. Almando "Rocky" Liburd, was in response to recent reports of Government House criticism of the Senate and by a letter from the governor stating that the senators had "inadvertently" omitted positions in the Personnel Division in the fiscal year 2000 budget. That was in the later part of a full day.
In a session which ran until 8:30 p.m. and had one senator speaking Spanish and another singing, the Senate moved through an ambitious agenda continued over from Wednesday.
It conferred the Virgin Islands Medal of Honor on Julian "The Hawk" Jackson, posthumously honored Andrew "Funkyman" Shacove, and honored and commended two island educators, George Newton and Mario Alfredo Thomas -- all before 5 p.m.
The lawmakers rejected a bill to ban the use of incineration to dispose of solid waste.
They approved an amendment to the V.I. Code pertaining to the licensing of podiatrists.
And, after much debate, they sent back to committee a bill introduced by Sen. Gregory Bennerson which would make it a felony to furnish false information to peace officers during the investigation of a felony.
Virgin Islanders honored for contributions
Jackson, a native Virgin Islander who has always maintained a V.I. residence, won four boxing championships and held several World Boxing Association titles. At one point in his career, Jackson had a 93.1 knock-out percentage, the highest of any active champion at the time. Now retired from boxing, he is employed by the Housing, Parks and Recreation Department.
All the senators hailed Jackson as an ambassador for the territory. "He should be given a pension," Sen. Adelbert "Bert" Bryan said, citing the way Sammy Sosa is treated in the Dominican Republic and the stadium erected to the memory of Roberto Clemente in Puerto Rico. "He should be given land and a villa, and tax breaks like they give to Hovensa."
Andrew Kevin "Funkyman" Shacove, a popular WSTA radio personality, master of ceremonies and firefighter, was posthumously honored and commended. He died in January 1999.
George Newton was honored on his retirement after 26 years as an educator. He started his career teaching Spanish at the Lockhart Elementary School and retired as principal of the Joseph Gomez Elementary School. An active tennis player, he has represented the Virgin Islands in many tournaments.
The senators recognized Mario Alfredo Thomas for 33 years of service in physical education at the Charlotte Amalie High School -- and approved the naming of the new Mario Thomas Track and Field Complex at CAHS in his honor.
Separately, Sen. Lorraine Berry introduced a resolution to honor and commend Faye Dorothy Moon for her 30 years of service in the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul choir and for her community service and dedication. The proposal inspired a contribution in song from Hansen and was approved by all but Bryan.
Amendments address many issues
Senators tacked two amendments onto a Government House proposal to appropriate $92,742 for two positions in the Personnel Division before passing the measure.
Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen successfully proposed a $4 million appropriation from the Indirect Cost Fund to repair St. Croix's sewage systems and $1 million for the Port Authority to repair the Ann Abramson Pier in Fredericksted.
Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg succeeded in attaching an amendment calling for a referendum in the November general election on whether to reduce the Senate size to 11 members from the current 15. The amendment requires the Legislature, if the public approves the reduction, to petition Congress to amend the Organic Act in order for the change to take effect.
Donastorg attempted, with Hansen's support, to add one requiring the Public Services Commission to investigate Vitelco's rates; the proposal, for which he has sought support repeatedly, again failed.
Bill on IDC makeup, quorum passes
The Senate approved Sen. Violet Anne Golden's bill to change the governor's powers of appointment to the Industrial Development Commission. The measure would repeal a law that allows two members to constitute a quorum. Golden's bill would reinstate prior legal requirements that the commission comprise seven members, five of them appointive, and that a quorum consist of four, of which no more than three can be from the same district.
Her measure also allows appointed members to continue to serve after their terms expire until their successors are appointed and confirmed.
The senators also approved the appropriation of $2.3 million for construction of a long-term mental health facility next to the Eldra Schulterbrandt facility in the Tutu area on St. Thomas.
And they approved without dissenting debate a lease on St. Croix for Junie's BBQ Chicken.
Trouble on the line
At one point, Bryan asked why he couldn't get long distance on his office telephone. He said he only got a recording in Spanish. Other senators said they were having the same problem, but had thought they were dialing wrong. Wrong.
They learned that the government's bill from the service provider, Telefonica Larga Distancia de Puerto Rico, had not been paid. Richards pledged that payment would be made on Friday and that service would resume.
Zoning request approvals
Rezoning was approved for:
- The V.I. Housing Authority to develop home sites for low- and moderate-income housing.
- Willis Todman to allow wholesale trade warehouse uses in Estates Bovoni and Frenchman's Bay on St. Thomas.
- Development of a beauty supplies shop and barber shop on Kronprindsens Gade near Percy's Bus Stop on St. Thomas.
- Relocation of the Taste of Margarita's restaurant, owned by Emile Heywood, in Fredericksted.
- The George family to develop six single-family lots in Frenchman's Bay.
- Paul Horsford to subdivide his one-acre parcel in Estate Constitution Hill on St. Croix.
- Construction of a supermarket by Das Corp. in Estate Fredenhoj on St. Thomas.
- Tommie and Paula Broadnax to expand an inn in Estates Golden Grove and Orange Grove on St. Croix.
Zoning variances were approved for:
- The Baptist General Conference to build a school, conference center and bookstore in Estate Caldwell on St. Croix.
- Leo Sibilly, to allow retail trade, personal, professional, business and government services in Estate Elizabeth near Sib's Bar and Restaurant on St. Thomas.
- Estate Richmond to legalize a non-conforming use as a commercial warehouse on St. Croix.
- Marciano and Vilma Danois to operate a beauty shop in their home in La Grande Princesse on St. Croix.