For those of you who still feel uneasy of the thought of St. Croix and St. Thomas separating and worry about how we (St. Croix) will survive
THINK AGAIN! In actuality the separation has already taken place. Numerous goods and services opportunities that once were available "throughout" the territory (St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John) are now only available in St. Thomas and St. John. While we witness St. Croix stores daily "going out of business" with the Sunshine Mall experiencing empty retail space, the Tutu Park Mall bathes in the splendor of being nearly filled to maximum capacity.
Take for example the emergence of new franchises that offer extensive cost-savings measures for V.I. residents that live within the St. Thomas/St. John region. First there was Office Max, then came Price Smart. While Home Depot is completing its final phase of construction, Sears opened its doors for St. Thomas/St. John residents. However, if the residents living on St. Croix (the big island with little savings and no new franchises) desire to shop at any of these new franchise stores, they need not look to American Airlines or Eagle because they no longer offer inter-island travel. If they choose to take the seaplane, they are limited to 20 pounds in cargo. Minus the weight of most women's purses, this leaves 15 pounds to spare. Oh, well! I guess there will be no stoves or refrigerators going on any seaplane to St. Croix.
Now, don't think that I forgot about the possibility of shopping via the ferry. I am sure for anyone who does not get seasick and does not mind waiting 90 minutes to get from Christiansted to Charlotte Amalie (which used to take 18 to 20 minutes on American Eagle) the ferry is a convenient mode for inter-island travel. I'm just not sure how convenient it would be to transport a newly purchased appliance from Sears.
What does this all mean? It means if you live in St. Thomas, St. John or Water Island you will enjoy the pleasures of shopping without having to book a flight to Puerto Rico. It means that you not only have a place to save money, you have opportunity to earn money as well. All of these new businesses mean new jobs. It also means that if you live in St. Croix you are separated from taking advantage of any of these new business opportunities. No new business no new jobs. Going out of business going to lose jobs! Get the picture, St. Croix?
It seems as though many of our St. Croix senators are working so hard in St. Thomas to better the lives of those residents that they have forgotten about the St. Croix District that elected them. So again, I say if you are living in St. Croix and oppose the idea of separation Think again! At this point we have nothing further to lose. We only have new businesses and new employment opportunities to gain.
Oneida D. Granger
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