Koki beach shootout
I feel sickened and saddened by this tragic event. I don't think that the effects of this are over by a long shot. I lost a 16 day rental, they said they didn't feel safe in the Smith Bay area and checked in somewhere else. I can just imagine how this will effect Coral World and all of the beach venders with the Cruise ships stopping there daytrips to the area. Such sadness and useless violence. I think that the violence of a few are going to hurt many of us for some time to come.
I was told by Kishma there today that yesterday, business was all but dead. There were two cruise ships that came in yesterday. She had one person show up telling her this,
"Every door on the cruise ship had a note under it this morning telling people NOT to go to Koki beach, but to go to Megan's Bay instead. I went there and hated it so I came here to see the people I love."
Meli and I went back today and got this news. While there speaking with Web, Kishma and Sasha, we learned that some reporters showed up yesterday to do some reporting. Now, the fact that the beach looked pretty much empty to the reporters is bad enough, they were promptly greeted by two "stupid kids", offering to sell them weed. OH, WHAT A GREAT IMPRESSION! Today though, the cop on his 4-wheeler was making trips back and forth, all day long (well, from 9AM to 4PM while we were there). He even got his picture taken by another reporter that showed up. It was framed nicely... Cop/4-wheeler right by the surf and the photographer down the beach, getting the patrons and trusty cop all in one picture.
Meli and I "shared the love" with our money today, doing our very small part in trying to keep good people and their contageous joy there at Koki beach!!!!!!!
Unfortunately, I think we all have known that it would take the death of a tourist to bring this thing to a head. The cruiseship and tourist industry have tremendous leverage here, and I hope they apply it long and hard.
For the Dir of Tourism to be on the radio today repeatedly calling this an "unfortunate incident" and talking about "mitigating the impact on tourism" seems incredibly insensitive. For the Lt Gov to say, "fortunately there was an officer in the area" --is farcical.
I hope the St Thomians get themselves over to Coki to support the local businesses there, and the demand for change. The photo and story in today's Vidaily about the crappy fence and officers sitting in their car was a joke.
Judge Denies Bail for Double Homicide Suspect
By Ananta Pancham — July 16, 2010
Using statements provided to police by three witnesses to Monday's deadly shootout at Coki Point Beach, V.I. Superior Court Judge James S. Carroll III found enough evidence to deny bail for 22-year-old Steve D. Tyson, who will now remain in jail until his trial.
Tyson is facing life in prison with two counts of first-degree murder...
You can read the whole article here: http://stcroixsource.com/content/news/local-news/2010/07/16/judge-denies-bail-double-homicide-suspect
Should we start taking bets on whose relative/attorney/government cronie gets this clown off on a technicality? They should probably just avoid all those costly legal fees and release him on his own recognizance... Maybe he'll see the light and reform his evil ways.
Does anyone know if the notion of placing a rotating LIVE webcam has been suggested as part of the UVI Gov't.
Coki Beach revamp project? If not - maybe this should be suggested to GOV De Jong & the VIPD.
On a related note, I am a frequent visitor to the isalnad of Dominica thus the appeal of the USVI, and found this link from the Cruise Cruitic message Forum, in a nutshell it suggesting per the Domincan Maguistarte that , "high officials run local drug trade ". I am NOT a USVI local but I do own an investment older condo in STJ. We almost bought in STT @ Sapphire Beach Resort & Sapphire Hill Village - what stopped us was the growing violent crime stats - we'd been real estate monitoring/ shopping STT & STJ since 2004 - looking at properties twice in 2004 & again this past FEB. 2010, ultimately we had a gut instuinct that STJ was a safer investment. Our decision to buy on STJ was at least 95% based on our perceptions and review of crime stats being relatively lower on STJ.
Can any long term locals speculate on the dynamics of the root cause (s) of what is perceived as, OR at least leaves the impression that government & local police are incompetent, turn a blind eye due to corruption (as in Dominca, LINK here
related to the (criminal offending) gang members themselves and turn a blind eye (or fear for their own lives). I am not dismissing nor minimizing the socio-economic contributing factors (like poor parenting, family values, illegitmate births) - even here in the 48 contiguous states that is a huge issue - BUT our violent crime RATES/ population stats in NO way compare with STT. *-)
While there is yet to be wide spread television media network/; cable news ocverage here in the mid atalantic region at least, you should be aware if you're not already that this topical discussion has gone VIRAL on Trip Advisor and it's partner site www.CriuseCritic.com Forum - at just a glance there are at least (and I am sure this is an underestimation) 20 threads on the various forum categories (from Caribbean/ STT/STJ portsof call board through Royal Caribean cruiseline whose Oasis ships holds a disgustingly number of about 5,000 passengers visting STT weekly) - there are an estimated minimum number of views in excessive of 15,000 on that forum alone, and this is NOT an over exageration. So expsure & awareness to the problem is out there and being read and discussed.
*excuse any typos I missed 😉
Welcome comments, speculation!
Have a blessed & safe weekend all.