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onthespot
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January 20, 2012 8:25 pm  

ex ACT ly!


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stxfoodie
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January 20, 2012 8:33 pm  

Wouldn't it be nice to know what was discussed with whom? Sounds like the US Government and the USVI Governement screwed the pooch and all of us here will suffer the consequences for the next 20 years (if we live that long).


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blu4u
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January 20, 2012 8:36 pm  

More "food" i for though

t http://stcroixsource.com/content/news/local-news/2011/12/03/new-hovensa-ceo-sees-leaner-more-efficient-future

......"Hovensa would be open to a discussion around any alternative," Lever said. But Hovensa has had problems getting paid in the past and the owners are concerned about how to ensure all sides meet their obligations, Lever said. "Right now, we have an outstanding payment of $20 million past due from WAPA," he said. But "if the deal is good and not onerous to any one party, we would be amenable," he said.

APA purchases all of the fuel it uses to generate electricity and water from Hovensa, and high electrical costs have led some to call for Hovensa to revise its agreement with the V.I. government and cut its prices. Asked whether the refinery would consider such a reduction, Hovensa spokesman David Roznowski said the refinery sells fuel to WAPA at a loss now, charging about the same as it pays for the raw crude and absorbing the cost of refining it. "We lose $5 to $6 per barrel ... we lost over $40 million this year alone," Roznowski said.


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blu4u
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January 20, 2012 8:37 pm  

Wouldn't it be nice to know what was discussed with whom? Sounds like the US Government and the USVI Governement screwed the pooch and all of us here will suffer the consequences for the next 20 years (if we live that long).

Or who can't read/understand a one page P/L sheet? See above..

Hess/Hovensa invested so much over the years. The closingwas not a "knee jerk" reaction. Who will come in and re-tool? Who will enter into any sort of agreement with a "deadbeat" territory government??????


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JahRustyFerrari
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January 20, 2012 8:41 pm  

Healthy retirees would be a good idea. They would also have to be rich and stupid to move here.
Think about it for a minute:
.
You're retired, on a fixed income, maybe a pension and social security
Expensive air fares
Food (stale food) twice the cost of the mainland and maybe more with less selection. Milk now $7.00 a gallon.....$2.39 on the mainland last week.
Housing 2-4 times the cost of the mainland + high local mortgage rates
Unreliable electricity, 5-8 times the cost of the mainland and likely to increase with the Hovensa closing
Petrol, the same cost as the mainland but likely to increase with the Hovensa closing
House insurance, 15-20+ times the cost on the mainland, depending on your location on the mainland
Car insurance, 2-4 times the cost for less coverage and no liability
Poor Healthcare at best
Crime, Litter, no recycling....the list goes on.

Not all the facts but it certainly is NOT a retirees paradise by any measurement
Good place for a quick vacation.

WHATEVER....

We are NOT in the mood for St. Croix bashing right now. Nobody is begging your spoiled continental ass to come down here to live. This place is for people who want to live simple, like islanders. My mother recently passed away after living her entire life here...she was 95...so don't talk crap about how old people can't live here, they do it every day.

Nobody lives forever. When your turn comes, you die and go in the ground and no fancy medicine will save you, unless you consider being drugged up with tubes running into every orifice "living".

The best health insurance is to STAY HEALTHY. Live a happy, healthy life, then DIE...you don't have any guarantees, and your fancy Stateside hospitals KILL 300,000 people every year due to mistakes, bad medications, infections, etc, so STFU.

Right now we need positive people, and you are obviously not, and you obviously have a bone to pick, so STFU.

We'd rather walk and drink rum whole night than be bothered with the likes of you. This is exactly why we have a history of not catering to the tourism industry...don't need to cater to no spoiled, judgmental people who think they're so bloody superior to us.


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onthespot
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January 20, 2012 9:09 pm  

the mainland health care sector, and US citizens at large should do like your mom. Maybe not live as long, but live natural, and die natural. People been doing it that way since the dawn of man, and just the last century started to mess with things. I work with "non-viable" people, have done it for years. There is good money in it, but what a crap deal for the patient and their whole families. I agree with your post above... even though I work "for the other team". I hope to die natural some day, whenever that comes. I am at peace with that.


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JahRustyFerrari
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January 20, 2012 9:19 pm  

the mainland health care sector, and US citizens at large should do like your mom. Maybe not live as long, but live natural, and die natural. People been doing it that way since the dawn of man, and just the last century started to mess with things. I work with "non-viable" people, have done it for years. There is good money in it, but what a crap deal for the patient and their whole families. I agree with your post above... even though I work "for the other team". I hope to die natural some day, whenever that comes. I am at peace with that.

She was cared for by her family, at home, with the help of some really wonderful healthcare professionals. We did not send her off to some "facility" like "genetropo" will do to his parents, and like his kids will subsequently do to him.

I don't like it when people bash our health professionals. We have some very, very dedicated people here. They do the best they can with what's available. Thank you for all you do.


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onthespot
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January 20, 2012 9:34 pm  

I know first hand how wonderful the health care team was for my brother's gf last year when she was passing from cancer. You could not ask for a better team, and she died natural, and the doctor was great and made available what he was able to, and facilitated death with dignity. I can't speak for the hospital, as I never dealt with them, but the home care team was AWESOME! All of them... even the ones that just answered the phones.


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HappyFace
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January 20, 2012 9:52 pm  

People with a pension/social security and some savings can retire on the islands and live very nicely. Old age, the cold weather kills the hell out of people with arthritis. Real Estate tax is cheap as compared to the North East. There is no heating bill, Car insurance is Cheaper. Medical care is fine on the islands, if you need a specialist you can go to the States. People in the States fly to NYC and other major metro areas for special care. Military retired do very well on the islands. One of the problems is Identity a lot of North Americans don't even know where ST Croix is. Maybe it's time to shake out all do nothings in the tourism board and put the money to good use in advertising.


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jbatl
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January 20, 2012 10:01 pm  

Why do think VP Biden was here over xmas vaction with out Dr. Biden and family????

I am all for conspiracy theories, but Dr Jill Biden and other members of the Biden family WERE here on the island with him during their vacation. My two eyes don't lie.


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blu4u
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January 20, 2012 10:26 pm  

Why do think VP Biden was here over xmas vaction with out Dr. Biden and family????

I am all for conspiracy theories, but Dr Jill Biden and other members of the Biden family WERE here on the island with him during their vacation. My two eyes don't lie.

Ok. I stand corrected. Sorry. I heard from another reliable source that he was on island for at least one or two days without his wife... Not true? Welp, my bad.

I'm NOT a fan of conspiracy theories. The timing fits, family or no family.


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Iris Tramm
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January 20, 2012 10:28 pm  

We'd rather walk and drink rum whole night than be bothered with the likes of you.

THIS!

This is why it is what it is.


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SunnyCaribe
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January 20, 2012 11:00 pm  

I understand the Bidens usually vacation on Water Island, and are building a house there. For whatever reason, they chose to come to StX this time.

And I agree that the shortcomings of our healthcare are usually overstated, but I'm all in favor of scaring away the fixed income hypochondriacs.


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Alexandra
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January 21, 2012 1:57 am  

I know I've been healthier overall since moving to STX 8 years ago. Warm weather helps people with a lot of maladies. We also have less of a cold virus season than the mainland. I used to feel sick at least 8 months of the year, for most of my life in Washington state. I know I'm not the only one for whom the island and climate is in itself great medicine.

I wasn't suggesting that the geriatrics in dire need of constant medical attention retire here. But people live longer and are healthier than a generation ago. Some retirees might love to come here for 10-15 years and return to mainland medical care when old age maladies ultimately set in to the point they can't do well here. But think of the great experiences and day to day life they could enjoy for those years in the islands!

One of the first properties I sold on STX was to a couple where the wife was a cancer patient. She was in remission for the 4th time when they sold everything and moved to STX. She had a couple years here where she enjoyed every single day to the fullest before the cancer returned and ended her life. But should she have remained on the mainland miserable for those years? Or was it the right thing to do to chase the dreams she'd always had and enjoy what was left of her life? I'd prefer to do it her way.

People don't have to be "rich and stupid" to move to STX. If that's someone's belief, why are they even on this discussion board where the process of moving here is the point of the conversation? Most people I know here aren't rich and most aren't stupid. They came for their own reasons. Some plan to stay indefinitely and some are on an adventure for a year or two or three. There are all kinds of reasons people do the things they do and travel where they choose to go.

If I were retiring and had the option of staying in an apartment in New Jersey until I was so decrepit I had to go into hospice... or I could come to the islands for that same time period.... I absolutely would choose the islands for those retirement years. How many of you would choose New Jersey instead?


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mminstx
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January 21, 2012 9:00 am  

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2118578/posts

...just wondering how the building of the Hess refinery on St Lucia is going now...*-)


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speee1dy
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January 21, 2012 10:59 am  

the air quality is not good here. the desert dust the by pass dust the pollutants in the air from WAPA and Hovensa. wrecks havoc on my husbands respiratory health.


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Iris Tramm
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January 21, 2012 11:04 am  

And I agree that the shortcomings of our healthcare are usually overstated, but I'm all in favor of scaring away the fixed income hypochondriacs.

Not even close to be overstated. Personal experience. JFL should be condemned.


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JulieKay
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January 21, 2012 12:26 pm  

Every time I go back to visit family in Texas, I get sick again. A few days on island clears it right up.

But even if I'm losing years off my life instead of gaining them, I'm where I want to be. And when it's my time - as my friend and I have discussed (tongue in cheek) - tie a rock to me and push me off the boat around Point Udall. No tubes and wires and bankrupting my family for me.

Living anywhere is a choice. There are lots of expensive and unhealthy places on the continent that people actively and aggressively live in ( Manhattan anyone? Orange County?). It's the perceived reward or benefit vs. the cost and the risk. If we want to attract more property owners and vacationers we can - there is nothing on island stopping us but our attitudes.


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jbatl
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January 21, 2012 6:19 pm  

I understand the Bidens usually vacation on Water Island, and are building a house there.

VP's brother owns land there.


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CareDriver
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January 21, 2012 6:43 pm  

According to a conversation between two passengers, documents left behind and a brief web search... here's apparently where the problem started.

Reference: www.highbeam.com/doc/1p2-27421174.html
.com/doc/1p2-27421174.html

In 2008, the territorial gov't put pressure on Hovensa to provide more money to its political process, via their "delegates".

In 2009 when this cash failed to materialize, the ter gov't turned Hovensa into the EPA for violations which had historically been formerly dismissed by the same as "acceptable business practices". In turn, the EPA showed up again, and commenced a very detailed inspection. The inspectioned discovered many hidden, disguised and in plain sight violations. Although many violations were deplorable, one of the more egregious violations was the failure to federally comply with the proper disposal requirements of contaminated Earth, pursuant to a standing EPA order. The Earth in question had been contaminated back in September 2004 when a 3 compartment, 9,000 gallon tanker truck of jet fuel, being delivered to the airport, overturned on Route 68, spilling its contents. The EPA's final ruling on the spill was:
1) A large fine.
2) Significant regulatory change in day to day business practices.
3) Modification to the road of the delivery route.
4) Removal of all the contaminated ground.
5) Remediation and disposal of this ground pursuant to the EPA's "best practices" available at that time.

In 2010, the EPA's final ruling revealed that #5 had been "grossly neglected". Multiple parties were responsible to comply with this order. Hovensa was the lead party and charged with making and keeping the records on file, and to make them available upon demand. Apparently, one of the contributing parties did not fulfill their obligation to contract a third party disposal company to treat and properly dispose of the contaminated Earth. With no record of a formal disposal contract in place, the EPA "refined" Hovensa for failing to comply with mandated record keeping practices. This fine, grouped with many other fines was bargained down to a final consent decree of $10.2M. The consent decree also mandated $700M in capital improvements take place over the next decade.

In 2011, Hovensa made the following payments:
1) $5.125M to the Federal Gov't.
2) $250k to the VI Gov't.
3) $4.875M placed into an escro account for "pet" ter gov't projects.

In early 2012, Hovensa will comply with the primary purpose of the consent decree which is to dramatically reduce emissions.


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stt007
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January 21, 2012 9:41 pm  

Jahrustyferrari,
Not sure where you got your price comparisons from but they are way off.


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CareDriver
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January 21, 2012 11:30 pm  

VI Daily News; January 19, 2012. www.virginislandsdailynews.com/news/epa-consent-decree-remains-in-effect-1.1260080


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maybeislander
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January 22, 2012 3:51 am  

I am so sad to have Hovensa closing. We had some great dreams for living here. We were moved here by Hovensa about 3 weeks ago. We just got our car here last week. I keep hoping someone says, "just kidding". This place is wonderful. For all of you people who have had the benefit of living here for a few years, please count your blessings. I know there are many disadvantages of living here. I know I have NOT discovered all the disadvantages, yet there is a little bit of magic about the place (potholes included).

This forum is great. Thanks to all!


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Alexandra
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January 22, 2012 4:21 pm  

I am so sad to have Hovensa closing. We had some great dreams for living here. We were moved here by Hovensa about 3 weeks ago. We just got our car here last week. I keep hoping someone says, "just kidding". This place is wonderful. For all of you people who have had the benefit of living here for a few years, please count your blessings. I know there are many disadvantages of living here. I know I have NOT discovered all the disadvantages, yet there is a little bit of magic about the place (potholes included).

This forum is great. Thanks to all!

Ouch! I'm so sorry Hovensa has put you through a move when they had to know for some time they were planning this. They'd pulled job postings off their website a while back. Many of us hope that they will not be going through with the closure and that a solution will be found to keep them operational for a while longer. This can serve as a wake up call to the government and the citizens to DIVERSIFY THE ECONOMY ASAP!!! It'd be nice to have a few years to develop other businesses and have advance notice for a planned time frame for shutting down the refinery if that is to be the ultimate outcome so people aren't caught in the lurch as they have been with so many Hovensa employed home owners desperate and panicked about what they can do with the situation as it exists right now.

I'd received quick calls from half a dozen couples I'd sold houses to in recent years, all of whom now believe they need to try and get their homes sold. But then a few of the listing appointments were postponed a few days... so I hope that they've been told by their supervisors that it may not all be over for the refinery just yet and to not jump too fast to get their houses on the market when they'd be selling at a loss anyway. It's a hope, but not a certainty or even an expectation. I think everyone is trying hard to read between the lines of what we see happening with an eye towards seeking any hopeful signs at all.


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jbatl
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January 22, 2012 4:47 pm  

Alexandra, your posts are a joy to read and spot on target. I hope you will keep contributing to the forum as we go through this crisis.


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