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LET’S STICK TO THE ISSUE

Joe Elmore’s distress is understandable, but the Source’s Open Forum is just that – it puts people’s true nature out in the open. Sometimes that can be a good thing.
Having failed to prove any benefits of their monstrous highway dreams for Charlotte Amalie’s waterfront, the champions of Plan 8 have been driven to attacking the integrity and motives of the other side.
Russell Prendergast’s attack on Jose Ortega is not the first such personal assault. Others have accused the Chamber of Commerce of opposing Plan 8 for strictly selfish reasons, a former chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission for not caring about the Charlotte Amalie’s historic resources, and the League of Women Voters for being negative.
For over 20 years, organizations and individuals have been pleading with the V. I. Department of Public Works (DPW) to give serious consideration to congestion-solving alternatives that are less destructive and costly than filling in the harbor for a four-lane divided highway from the Frenchtown Post Office to heaven knows where.
In those 20 years, from the "Lineal Park Mitigation Plan" to the present Plan 8, not once has DPW afforded serious consideration to recommendations for one-way loops, a park and ride shuttle system, paid curb-side parking in town, staggered work hours, water ferry services, etc., etc., as an integrated whole. Instead, they have taken them up in isolation, and dismissed each one as impractical.
I have been in the fray all along, and I have not noticed many "architects looking for a job"; not on our side anyway.
Mostly those who offer alternatives to the highway are thoughtful St. Thomians who are concerned about increasing sprawl and ugliness, and fearful for the loss of the historic connection of the handsome town of Charlotte Amalie with the beautiful St. Thomas Harbor.
Personally, I am totally frustrated with the lack of foresight of our DPW "highway experts."
I am disgusted with the failure of past administrations to Plan anything; always grabbing at federal funds for quick fixes that are not solutions at all.
So, I say thanks to those who, like Jose Ortega, continue to show us that there is a better way.

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Joe Elmore’s distress is understandable, but the Source’s Open Forum is just that - it puts people’s true nature out in the open. Sometimes that can be a good thing.
Having failed to prove any benefits of their monstrous highway dreams for Charlotte Amalie’s waterfront, the champions of Plan 8 have been driven to attacking the integrity and motives of the other side.
Russell Prendergast’s attack on Jose Ortega is not the first such personal assault. Others have accused the Chamber of Commerce of opposing Plan 8 for strictly selfish reasons, a former chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission for not caring about the Charlotte Amalie’s historic resources, and the League of Women Voters for being negative.
For over 20 years, organizations and individuals have been pleading with the V. I. Department of Public Works (DPW) to give serious consideration to congestion-solving alternatives that are less destructive and costly than filling in the harbor for a four-lane divided highway from the Frenchtown Post Office to heaven knows where.
In those 20 years, from the "Lineal Park Mitigation Plan" to the present Plan 8, not once has DPW afforded serious consideration to recommendations for one-way loops, a park and ride shuttle system, paid curb-side parking in town, staggered work hours, water ferry services, etc., etc., as an integrated whole. Instead, they have taken them up in isolation, and dismissed each one as impractical.
I have been in the fray all along, and I have not noticed many "architects looking for a job"; not on our side anyway.
Mostly those who offer alternatives to the highway are thoughtful St. Thomians who are concerned about increasing sprawl and ugliness, and fearful for the loss of the historic connection of the handsome town of Charlotte Amalie with the beautiful St. Thomas Harbor.
Personally, I am totally frustrated with the lack of foresight of our DPW "highway experts."
I am disgusted with the failure of past administrations to Plan anything; always grabbing at federal funds for quick fixes that are not solutions at all.
So, I say thanks to those who, like Jose Ortega, continue to show us that there is a better way.