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Big Kahuna

BREAKING NEWS: Hovensa Is Closing – It’s Not Good Folks

UPDATE: Gov. John de Jongh described the loss of the territory’s largest private employer as “a complete body blow” for the U.S. territory of about 108,000 people.

He said Hovensa generated a minimum of $60 million a year in revenue for the government, which recently laid of hundreds of public workers due to a budget crisis.

“Given what we’re going through right now, this is the last bit of news that I wanted to hear,” he said in a teleconference with reporters.

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Hovensa announced early Wednesday morning  that it will immediately commence shutdown of its refinery on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Following the shutdown, the complex will operate as an oil storage terminal.

“We deeply regret the closure of the Hovensa refinery and the impact on our dedicated people,” Hovensa President Brian Lever said in the statement. “We explored all available options to avoid this outcome, but severe financial losses left us with no other choice. We will provide significantly enhanced benefits for those union and salaried employees who are impacted and will work closely with the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands to ease the transition for the rest of the community.”

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Holy crap! That will result in the layoffs of many Crucians to begin with. Also many villas are rented and paid for by Hovensa. All these families will be leaving island unless they can find work elsewhere, in this economy. You’re talking about killing the local economy of St. Croix potentially. Then it could impact the remainder of the USVI by losing millions upon millions in tax revenues by Hovensa. We’re already broke.

And what if anything will that do to the price of gas and our WAPA Leac charges? If we don’t get our fuel from Hovensa where will we get it from? Gas prices could go up dramatically? Which would mean LEAC could go up dramatically? And WAPA’s credit rating was just downgraded again which could mean higher costs for fuel and payment upfront?

Anyone know how this closing could or will impact us? If so please comment in.

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Big Kahuna

From Our Absolutely BIZARRE Department!

Glacial Energy, one of St. Thomas’ largest employers is under fire from the state of Texas. This absolutely wild and bizarre lawsuit has been going on for quite some time and is frankly dumbfounding to even read.

This is an article taken from NBC (below) which outlines the crazy allegations of funnelling most of Glacial Energy’s profits to fund a Blood Diamond operation in the Congo. Sounds like a movie doesn’t it?

A lawsuit in federal court in Dallas claims more than $20 million from electricity customers in Texas and 15 other states has gone to finance “blood diamonds” in Africa.

The lawsuit alleges power retailer Glacial Energy has run a “money laundering operation” which has secretly funneled almost all of its profits to a mining operation in an area of the Congo known for “blood diamonds.”

The lawsuit accuses Glacial of being a “racketeering enterprise” whose “true business” is to “launder money to fund mining in the Congo.”

In 2006 and 2007, the lawsuit alleges Glacial declared only 3.8 percent of its profits, funneling 96.2 percent to pay for the mining operation.

Glacial declared only 3.8 percent of its profits, funneling 96.2 percent to pay for the mining operation, reports NBC.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

Ok so this sounds completely ridiculous right? I have friends that work for Glacial and I’m sure a lot of people are going to be shocked by this article published by NBC.

Remember folks, don’t shoot the messenger on this (that’s me) because I can’t even fathom this being true.

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Big Kahuna

Thank You VIFD!

The Virgin Islands Fire Department of St. Thomas faught a volcano of a fire last night and into today at or near Bovoni dump. Witnesses say the fire was utterly massive. Great job guys!

Photo by Richard Hanscom, Sr.

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Big Kahuna

Another Senseless and Tragic Murder In St. Thomas

*****UPDATE*****

I have confirmed from a reliable source that Tim was being dropped off by the owner of the Big Kahuna when two men approached the car on each side wearing ski masks (it is not known if they were there waiting or if they followed them).

Fights incurred on both sides of the vehicle, the owner fought off one assailant who ran away the other had a gun and shot Tim numerous times. The incident happened between 10pm-11pm. Assumptions are that the murderers were there to rob them but who knows.

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We woke up this morning to news of a ridiculously mindless and scary tragedy that happened on St. Thomas during the night; an employee of the Big Kahuna in town was allegedly followed home or he interupted his house being robbed and was shot and killed. This is all the information we’ve heard and if you know of anything different please comment in.

RIP Tim, manager of Big Kahuna…

Yes, I realize there is violence all the time on this island, but this strikes a different chord. This is a scary day. 

Our heart felt condolences go out to Tim’s family, he did not deserve this.

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Big Kahuna

Plane Crash In St. Thomas

UPDATE from Jake: 

They took off runway 28, the tower called them for smoke on left engine and they turned back. On the way back the engine caught on fire and melted the control wires and that shut-off systems. As a result the hydraulic system stopped working so landing gear didn’t come down until 100 feet from ground. As a result of not having the hydraulic system there was no brakes, that’s why they ended up in the street.

That’s what I heard from a close friend of the crew.

This Plane somehow managed to land or swerve off the runway and into the street. I don’t know the details so if you do comment in but a plane in the road is never a good sign.

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Big Kahuna

No Smoking Law Goes Into Effect Today But…

There is a 3 month “grace” period until it’s a punishable offense.

So what’s that mean to bars/restaurants? It means you can continue to let people pollute non smokers for 3 more months or just take action today, post signs and get rid of smoking in your establishment. One way or another it all ends in February.

Read all about it here.

Here are some highlights:

 the act prohibits smoking:
- In enclosed areas of public places, which includes all restaurants, bars, casinos and other places of employment;
- Within 20 feet from any point of service or waiting line; and
- Within 20 feet of all outdoor public transportation stations and platform shelters opened to the public.

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Big Kahuna

Murder Case Dismissed Against ATF Officer

Senior Sitting Superior Court Judge Edgar J. Ross dismissed the case on a motion by the defense saying that government prosecutors had failed to prove that Sukow was the person who died, said Vincent F. Frazer, the attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Holy freakin’ cow Batman, the USVI Government couldn’t prove who died? Are you kidding me? There was only one person who died but they still couldn’t get their act together? They had over two years to prepare. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not siding on this on the murder but don’t you think the government would at least be able to prove the guy actually died?

“It is truly a first- or second-year prosecutor screw up,” a source close to the case said. “The judge did exactly what the law required.”

The government cannot appeal the ruling, the source said.

But Frazer said that his department was considering its next course of action, which could include an appeal.

“We respectfully disagree with the judge’s ruling,” Frazier said. “We believe the court record will reflect that the People showed a distinct and indisputable connection between the body autopsied by Dr. Francisco Landron and the man who was shot and killed by William Clark.”

Only in St. Thomas!

Read the full story here

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Big Kahuna

St. Thomas Closed for Business

UPDATE: Now hearing that back ups are coming in to help the ships dock. There’s a ship currently docked at Crown Bay. Hopefully Tuesday business will resume as normal…everyone to their blenders and store counters, stat! It’s a fabulously sunny day on St. Thomas!

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At least it appears to be this morning.

Tuesdays are always big ship days on St. Thomas – usually five or more. Today is no different; five cruise ships are ready to dock…although the foggy details we have are the harbor master/ship pilots are on strike and refusing to help dock the ships.

What’s this mean for St. Thomas? 10,000 fewer tourists spending money today on t-shirts, restaurants, pina coladas, bars, gifts…you get the gist…

Heck St. Thomas don’t need no stinkin’ cruise ship tourists dollars ;)

Anyone have any details on this?

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Big Kahuna

Human Services Department Opens Shelters Territorywide

The Department of Human Services announced Wednesday shelter openings for persons needing assistance during the inclement weather. The following shelters have been opened:

· St. Thomas Project STRIVE Senior Center at the Knud Hansen Complex as of 11am

· St. John Bethany Moravian Church at 4pm · St. Croix St. Croix Educational Complex at 4pm

The department advises persons to bring the following if deciding to utilize a shelter:

· Special foods for dietary needs

· One complete change of clothing

· Sleeping bag and pillow

· Rain gear

· Toiletries

· Medications and first aid supplies

· ID and other valuable documents

· Games, cards and toys (for youngsters)

· Battery powered radio

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Big Kahuna

SEVERE WEATHER ALERT: Forecast for Wed Oct 06 08:07 AM EDT

Saint Thomas, VI
“THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN JUAN HAS ISSUED A FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR St. Thomas & St. John, United Virgin Islands UNTIL NOON AST”

AT 802 AM AST…NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS OVER SAINT THOMAS MOVING TO THE NORTH NORTHEAST AT 15 TO 20 MPH. EXPECT OFF AND ON SHOWERS THROUGH THE DAY WITH MAXIMUM RAINFALL RATES OF AN INCH AND HALF PER HOUR WITH THE HEAVIEST SHOWERS. THIS COULD CAUSE ADDITIONAL FLOODING PROBLEMS IN THE NORTHERN VIRGIN ISLANDS.

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