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Thursday, July 7, 2022
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STX HAS A LOT GOING FOR IT, WARTS AND ALL

Dear Source,
Myself, my wife and two young daughters recently visited St. Croix and had a great time and will return.
The roads are better than five years ago – our last visit – and things look more prosperous at every level, including the beautiful, first-class airport. And the auto license plates have dropped the "America's Paradise" theme and adopted something more realistic. It says to me the USVI is somebody's home, not just a fantasy from a travel brochure.
This is a small thing to focus on out of all the things we saw and experienced, but it signifies a notable change in attitude.
We met courteous, friendly people everywhere who possess an uncommon forthrightness and sincerity. We are familiar with the crime "problem" on the island, being daily Source readers and were fully informed by local merchants of same in detail. My guess is many tourists are unprepared for an encounter with islands that are a modern society complete with today's unfortunate difficulties.
There is poverty, there are drugs, there are people desperate enough to commit any crime to survive, but this is everywhere. There is plenty of blame to go around but again, as elsewhere, there is always blame ready and waiting to be distributed.
God made only so much Caribbean beachfront and of that even less under the American flag. The business people we talked to know this and their calm, optimistic outlook proves it. St. Croix has a great deal more going for it than sunshine, Brow Soda and guava tarts, as wonderful as these are.
Sincerely,
Pete Pappentick
Philadelphia, PA.

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Dear Source,
Myself, my wife and two young daughters recently visited St. Croix and had a great time and will return.
The roads are better than five years ago - our last visit - and things look more prosperous at every level, including the beautiful, first-class airport. And the auto license plates have dropped the "America's Paradise" theme and adopted something more realistic. It says to me the USVI is somebody's home, not just a fantasy from a travel brochure.
This is a small thing to focus on out of all the things we saw and experienced, but it signifies a notable change in attitude.
We met courteous, friendly people everywhere who possess an uncommon forthrightness and sincerity. We are familiar with the crime "problem" on the island, being daily Source readers and were fully informed by local merchants of same in detail. My guess is many tourists are unprepared for an encounter with islands that are a modern society complete with today's unfortunate difficulties.
There is poverty, there are drugs, there are people desperate enough to commit any crime to survive, but this is everywhere. There is plenty of blame to go around but again, as elsewhere, there is always blame ready and waiting to be distributed.
God made only so much Caribbean beachfront and of that even less under the American flag. The business people we talked to know this and their calm, optimistic outlook proves it. St. Croix has a great deal more going for it than sunshine, Brow Soda and guava tarts, as wonderful as these are.
Sincerely,
Pete Pappentick
Philadelphia, PA.