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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, July 18, 2024


Undercurrents: Time’s Running Short to Solve Democrat Members Mystery

You think the Virgin Islands Republican leadership is in confusion? The Democrats don’t even know who all their local leaders are. As of Monday, they had yet to release the names of the members of the Territorial Committee.

Undercurrents: V.I. Prisoners Held in Controversial Facility

National justice watchdogs are highly critical of the stateside prison system now housing most of the territory’s inmates, charging that a lack of security makes the facilities dangerous.

Undercurrents: We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know, and What We Don’t Know Can Hurt

Here’s a prediction for 2016: It will be the year that the boring, esoteric topic of climate change finally gets real for Virgin Islands residents.

Undercurrents: Unprotected Residents Await Health Insurance Coverage

Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter, also commissioner of Banking and Insurance, said providing access to individual health care is at the top of his agenda but it is also proving to be a most difficult task.

Undercurrents: Corrections Struggles to Provide Mental Health Care to Inmates

More than a quarter of the prison population is classified as “mentally ill.” All of them have special needs and all, by federal mandate, must be isolated from the rest of the other inmates.

Undercurrents: ‘Dyslexia’ is a Word, Not a Sentence

Dyslexia puts people at a distinct disadvantage in learning to read and, since our education system is primarily reading-based, at succeeding academically.

Undercurrents: With Funding in Reach, Centennial Commission Gets Serious

Plans for the Transfer Centennial Celebration in 2017 are off to a slow start, but promise to pick up speed once the funding is actually released – unless they get bogged down in politics.

Undercurrents: Port Authority and Taxi Association Approach Intersection of Interests

The V.I. Taxi Association and the V.I. Port Authority appear to be working out their differences on a couple of fronts.

Undercurrents: Interior Hires Climate Change Coordinator for Territories

The U.S. Interior Department’s Office of Insular Affairs recently hired John Magistro to fill the newly created position of climate change coordinator for a number of territories, including the USVI.

Undercurrents: Researchers Finger V.I. Estates Most Vulnerable to Climate Change

Although experts agree the Virgin Islands is late in taking climate change seriously, you might be surprised by how much research is happening. One project identified the USVI's high-impact areas.

Undercurrents: Taxi Industry Heading toward Independence

If proposals pending at the V.I. Port Authority and at the Legislature are any indication, the territory is shifting toward removing controls on its taxi industry.

Undercurrents: LEPC Inches towards Relief from Grant Restrictions

With the territory’s murder rate more than 10 times the national average, it’s small wonder Justice Department officials have been concerned about federal anticrime funds that seemed to go missing.

Undercurrents: LEPC Troubles Strain V.I. Nonprofits

Several local charities have been cut off from federal funding and their representatives say they don’t exactly know why. Problems go back years, following reports of discrepancies with LEPC grants.

Undercurrents: The Good News is Revenues are Up …

A regular Source column, Undercurrents explores issues, ideas and events developing beneath the surface in the Virgin Islands community.

Undercurrents: V.I. Taxpayers Rich with Artifacts

The territory has enough artwork, period furniture, silver dishes and historical artifacts squirreled away in government buildings to sponsor its own Antiques Road Show series.

Undercurrents: Invaders Slither Across St. Croix’s West End

The red tail boa, a subspecies of boa constrictor usually found in Central and South America, seems to be making itself very comfortable on the western end of St. Croix.

Undercurrents: Ethics Commission Would Draw the Lines for Public Officials

Prohibitions and restrictions on government officials are detailed in scores of ethics statutes across the nation. Former Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone says, “We’re the only place in the U.S. that doesn’t have one.”

Undercurrents: When is a Bribe Not a Bribe?

While there have been attempts to curb government corruption, both the blatant and the subtle, the collective public will seems only half-hearted. Thirty years ago, the territory had a Commission on Ethics and Conflict of Interest.

Undercurrents: Government Keeps Close Tabs on Gas Stations but Can’t Make Them Operate

The enforcement of strict regulations protects the territory against pollution from gas stations' underground fuel tanks. As for aesthetic pollution above ground – that’s another story.

Undercurrents: Medicaid Expansion Presages Healthier Bottom Line, More Robust Community

While the national debate still rages over Obamacare, in the territory it has resulted in widening the scope of Medicaid and giving thousands of people access to basic medical care they didn’t have before.


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