Limetree Bay agreem...
 

Limetree Bay agreement is hardly 'manna from heaven'  

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Alana33
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August 27, 2018 3:08 pm  

Op Ed from DN:
August 25, 2018

Politicians say that we are at a crossroads, facing economic hardship. But we are in a political year and promises are a comfort to a fool. The late, great Bob Marley once said, “Never trust a politician to grant you a favor, they will always want to control you forever.”

Politicians have looked upon the agreement between Limetree Bay Terminals and the Virgin Islands government as manna from heaven. However, when you read the document word for word, page by page, and do the math, it does not add up to manna from heaven.

Believe me, from the negotiation table of the government of the Virgin Islands and Limetree Bay Terminals, we got the falling crumbs of manna from heaven instead of a fair share whereby both parties benefit for the betterment of the people of the Virgin Islands. A dog is better off than we are, as a people under this agreement.

More than 50 years ago, two industrial giants, Harvey Aluminum plant and Hess Oil Refinery, established themselves on the south shore of St. Croix. In the 1960s, the industrial revolution took place in the Virgin Islands with the phasing out of the sugarcane industry on St. Croix.

The Krause Lagoon, the largest wetland in the Virgin Islands, was destroyed when lawmakers decided to vote in favor of developing the south shore of St. Croix as an industrial complex. Issues that we face today, such as jobs for locals, were the same issues 50 years ago. Leo Harvey promised to build an aluminum plant and dredge the south shore lagoon of St. Croix if the Virgin Islands government would give him 750 acres and award large tax subsidies.

Harvey also promised the aluminum plant development would create hundreds of jobs for local people. From the beginning of this deal, the community was locked out. The deal was kept quiet, according to the late Frits E. Lawaetz, who was a senator at that time. Public hearings were eventually held that would not allow the community to ask questions about the deal. It was later learned that the public hearing was a joke because the Unity majority in the Senate at that time and the governor already signed the deal in a secret session on Feb. 20, 1962.

To make a long political story short, senators were given the agreement to vote up or down with no changes allowed. Hundreds of people were imported to work at the aluminum plant. Harvey claimed local people were unskilled. For years, our government fought in court for the aluminum plant company to clean up the environment.

Meanwhile, hundreds of local people got sick, and some died, blaming the company. The mountain of red dust from the aluminum plant landed on rooftops of houses for decades, impacting the quality of life for residents downwind from the plant. When Hess Oil Refinery arrived on St. Croix in the middle of the 1960s, you would think our government would do a better job negotiating a good deal for the people of these islands.

Unlike the aluminum plant, Hess Oil Refinery built a training school, but few locals graduated. As a result, few locals entered the workforce of the oil refinery. Folks from other Caribbean islands who had the experience and skills with refineries got the jobs. Other workers were brought in from the U.S. mainland to make up the difference.

As Virgin Islanders, we must admit that the standard of living in the Virgin Islands had increased with the industrial development on the south shore of St. Croix.

However, we have paid a great price with the impact of the environment and our health. The first agreement with Leon Hess, and others in between including the present agreement with Limetree Bay Terminals and ArcLight, were not in the best interest of the people of these islands. The many tax exemptions the company received, and the other agreements in the proposal all favored the company. Beside all the benefit the company is getting from this government, the issue I believe is the impacts on the marine and terrestrial environments and on human health. You can’t put a value on human life.

For more than 50 years since the industrial complex came to exist on St. Croix, we don’t have a cancer registry in the Virgin Islands. Hundreds of residents have died from cancer. Besides some of the food that we eat, our air is filled with environmental toxins. We breathe the air every day. Sometimes when you are diagnosed with cancer, you might hear the doctor say environmental toxin. In other words, you can get cancer from the air, water, soil, living near industrial areas, etc. Believe me, the impact of the oil refinery on the environment is far-reaching.

Along the south, west, and northwest shores of St. Croix, I have found on many occasions oil deposits that wash up on our beaches. For example, Manning’s Bay west of the refinery has sand that is black from pollution. The entire south shore of St. Croix is gone forever. It is the most polluted place in the Virgin Islands coastal waters. If senators had hiked with me on the south shore of St. Croix, they would have probably not voted for the agreement.

“From Lime Tree Bay to Sandy Point, once sparkling, translucent water now resembled watered down milk. Colloidal clays in suspension destroyed reefs and fish and made bathing repulsive. The entire estuarine faunal life wreathed in the throes of extirpation, if not already dead. Here and there, a few gray ghosts of once luxuriant mangrove cropped out of poisonous–looking mud. An entire living, breathing, self-perpetuating, interrelated cosmography now lay under roads, buildings, tanks, piers, pipes, and stacks belching offensive and deleterious effluvium into the summer sky,” wrote the late George A. Seaman.

With his last breath, Seaman said, “As I looked I felt a heavy depression in my heart. A great sadness filled me, as I realized it was too late in our blind, forward march to stay this hand of Esau. History and time have taught men nothing; he will still sell his birthright. So be it.”

I rest my case.

— Olasee Davis, St. Croix, is an ecologist at the University of the Virgin Islands. He is active in Virgin Islands historical, cultural and environmental preservation.


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singlefin
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August 30, 2018 2:09 pm  

So maybe an extreme global weather event is just what we need. Wipe out several billion to cull the herd and clean things up a bit.

Perhaps it’s all completely out of our hands. Maybe the planet works just like a self cleaning oven?

One thing is for sure though, all the glorious rain that’s been falling for the last two days has given me far to much time to chime in on this forum.


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ms411
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August 30, 2018 3:58 pm  

Anybody who has taken refuge from the sun under a shade tree should be able to tell you how much cooler it is in the shade. The world is replacing trees with concrete, glass, and steel which are basically multi story ovens.

Species become extinct every day due to change/loss of habitat. Humans are ingenious but not invulnerable.


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Fishbait
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August 30, 2018 5:40 pm  

IslandJoan, agreed! When the vast majority of scientists say that our current climate model is unprecedented AND caused by human activity I believe it. Science is always a theory, it is never 100%, that is the nature of it. But if my doctor said that 97% of doctors says this is the right treatment for you I wouldn't disagree with them!

To anyone who makes this argument, I always reply with the following:

Large scale industry and manufacturing did not exist prior to the 18th century.

The amount of humans walking the planet has increased exponentially from around 1 billion in 1800 to around 7.2 billion now.

So, these two factors combined most surely have had a negative impact on the environment, and hence, weather patterns and global climate change.

We DON'T KNOW if humankind will be able to deal with it!!!!

We see daily that the weather is definitely changing - stuck patterns of weather are causing REPEAT events in the same locations, whether it be rain, snow, heat or cold, or fires. You see it on TWC every day!

Environmentalists are not "constantly shouting"! They are trying to help!!! (now I"m shouting because this is a sore topic for me. All the naysayers out there bug the heck out of me)

Not to drift to far off topic, but the environmentalists are constantly shouting about how every human endeavor is leading to “global warming.”
Global warming & cooling has been taking place since man first walked on this planet, and our species has been able to overcome and adapt to each change, ice age and all.
I’m sure humans are affecting the climate, but the point is we’ll deal with it as we have before, in fact with all our technological advancements, better than before. Even WAPA manufactures mass quantities of “drinking water” from our surrounding sea water for instance.
This is not the end of the world, the sky is not falling... or is it?


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islandjoan
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August 30, 2018 5:53 pm  

Yes I forgot to mention all the concrete, glass and steel. So true!

Anybody who has taken refuge from the sun under a shade tree should be able to tell you how much cooler it is in the shade. The world is replacing trees with concrete, glass, and steel which are basically multi story ovens.

Species become extinct every day due to change/loss of habitat. Humans are ingenious but not invulnerable.


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islandjoan
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August 30, 2018 5:53 pm  

(tu)(tu)(tu)

IslandJoan, agreed! When the vast majority of scientists say that our current climate model is unprecedented AND caused by human activity I believe it. Science is always a theory, it is never 100%, that is the nature of it. But if my doctor said that 97% of doctors says this is the right treatment for you I wouldn't disagree with them!


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ironheadUSVI
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August 31, 2018 2:36 pm  

Do you ever go to the beaches?
I grew up here and have seen profound changes
How many times are your STX beaches labeled as unsafe to swim due to ENTEROCCI BACTERIA?
No Sargassum?
No degraded reef systems?
Do you live upwind or downwind?

The point is that you can't continue to degrade the environment and not have consequences
Where do you get your drinking water from?

Yes, I do go to the beaches. And fish off the south shore. I still can't find the black beaches he is lying about.


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islandjoan
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August 31, 2018 4:39 pm  

They might be at that little island off Hovensa or maybe Campo Rico beaches? I have never seen any black beaches either.

Yes, I do go to the beaches. And fish off the south shore. I still can't find the black beaches he is lying about.


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sunshinefun
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August 31, 2018 6:38 pm  

They might be at that little island off Hovensa or maybe Campo Rico beaches? I have never seen any black beaches either.

Yes, I do go to the beaches. And fish off the south shore. I still can't find the black beaches he is lying about.

If there is any blackness west of Hovensa near Campo Rico, its probably molasses waste from Cruzan Rum. They used to dump right into the ocean.


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singlefin
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September 1, 2018 1:41 pm  

Tourists would pay to swim in Cruzan Rum.
Who am I kidding... I know I would.


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AandA2VI
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September 2, 2018 3:36 am  

You can see the black streak from the air. I have a drone shot... will see if I can find it.

*** The views and opinions expressed in my posts are soley those of A&A2VI and other like minded islanders. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the majority or any/all contributors to this site. Have a GREAT DAY!


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AandA2VI
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September 2, 2018 3:47 am  

I’ve come to believe that the residents of this island are very accepting. That’s a great attribute to have for many reasons, however many of the problems we have here wouldn’t exist if the people were less so.

In other words, we accept the poor road conditions, limited health care options, intermittent electrical service, unethical politicians, and so many other things often debated about here.

Things could be different.
But then things would be different.
Classic catch-22 situation...

Unfortunately, that's true.
The majority of newcomers just aren't invested nor involved in long term, become activists nor vote.
I've always believed that "squeaky wheel. get grease."

As sunshinefun stated:
They're here for:
Yup...here for a good time, not a long time.

Hard times come, they move on and while they're here, they're either not aware or don't give a crap 'cause it's not their problem.
No offense intended BTW.

Yea but also hard for a newcomer to want to make a useful difference with the them vs us mentality that’s shoved in your face daily. It gets old quick, trying to talk sense into some people when things don’t have to be so hard or so broken down. Work smarter not harder DOES NOT APPLY HERE lol. Lawd forbid I talk about something eco/animal related. I’m not bahn here so don’t try to come in here telling us what to do. Why you care more about dogs than people? I mean WTAF. The lack of island pride disgusts me daily. You can’t say there is pride because all you have to do is look around. Like today when I picked up a nasty bag of trash that someone tossed out onto the road, unknowingly filling my car with fire ants and then took it to the dump where more disgusting humans left stuff that can’t be disposed of, not even IN the bins. I mean how hard would it be to man the trash stations? Mapp promised jobs right? Puts someone at each place. Look how amazing the site in STX and Mahogany looks. Oh wait no, can’t suggest that. Not born here, just a “colonizer”. I WISH I could not give a crap about the horrible things that happen here. Ignorance is bliss.. kinda wish I had some of that. I think a lot more transplants would be a lot more willing to help if it was actually allowed instead of being seen as trying to change culture. Sometimes, culture needs changing.

*** The views and opinions expressed in my posts are soley those of A&A2VI and other like minded islanders. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the majority or any/all contributors to this site. Have a GREAT DAY!


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AandA2VI
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September 2, 2018 3:48 am  

So maybe an extreme global weather event is just what we need. Wipe out several billion to cull the herd and clean things up a bit.

(tu)(tu)(tu)

And less humans reproducing.

*** The views and opinions expressed in my posts are soley those of A&A2VI and other like minded islanders. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the majority or any/all contributors to this site. Have a GREAT DAY!


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singlefin
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September 2, 2018 10:08 pm  

My comment about “culling the herd” was chock full of sarcasm. Can’t believe you triple thumbed-up that one AandA2VI.


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stxdreaming
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September 2, 2018 11:03 pm  

IslandJoan, agreed! When the vast majority of scientists say that our current climate model is unprecedented AND caused by human activity I believe it. Science is always a theory, it is never 100%, that is the nature of it. But if my doctor said that 97% of doctors says this is the right treatment for you I wouldn't disagree with them!

To anyone who makes this argument, I always reply with the following:

Large scale industry and manufacturing did not exist prior to the 18th century.

The amount of humans walking the planet has increased exponentially from around 1 billion in 1800 to around 7.2 billion now.

So, these two factors combined most surely have had a negative impact on the environment, and hence, weather patterns and global climate change.

We DON'T KNOW if humankind will be able to deal with it!!!!

We see daily that the weather is definitely changing - stuck patterns of weather are causing REPEAT events in the same locations, whether it be rain, snow, heat or cold, or fires. You see it on TWC every day!

Environmentalists are not "constantly shouting"! They are trying to help!!! (now I"m shouting because this is a sore topic for me. All the naysayers out there bug the heck out of me)

Not to drift to far off topic, but the environmentalists are constantly shouting about how every human endeavor is leading to “global warming.”
Global warming & cooling has been taking place since man first walked on this planet, and our species has been able to overcome and adapt to each change, ice age and all.
I’m sure humans are affecting the climate, but the point is we’ll deal with it as we have before, in fact with all our technological advancements, better than before. Even WAPA manufactures mass quantities of “drinking water” from our surrounding sea water for instance.
This is not the end of the world, the sky is not falling... or is it?

And which pharmaceutical companies or insurance companies influence the 97% of these doctors?


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AandA2VI
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September 3, 2018 1:06 am  

My comment about “culling the herd” was chock full of sarcasm. Can’t believe you triple thumbed-up that one AandA2VI.

Believe it, we have a mass extinction happening right now as a direct result of humans actions. I do believe it’ll be after my time on this planet but there will be a huge culling of the human race, already starting it would seem. Might not wipe us out completely but maybe to a manageable level. The earth will be here looooong after humans are gone and she’s better for it IMO. Sorry, not a fan of our species at all, I look around and see what we’ve done and it just fills me with sadness. We really don’t belong in this ecosystem. We’re the only animal to blatantly destroy the very thing that gives us life.

*** The views and opinions expressed in my posts are soley those of A&A2VI and other like minded islanders. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the majority or any/all contributors to this site. Have a GREAT DAY!


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singlefin
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September 3, 2018 11:20 am  

AandA2VI,
Wow.
Thats one heck of an outlook on things.


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islandjoan
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September 3, 2018 12:39 pm  

AandA is just saying what is - it's a sobering and sad reality.

AandA2VI,
Wow.
Thats one heck of an outlook on things.


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terry
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September 3, 2018 2:07 pm  

AandA2VI, what are you doing about it?

Have you given up your car?
Have you given up electricity, I'm guessing not since you are on the internet.
Have you given up your phone?
Have you given up going home to see family, or having family and friends come see you? That takes Jet fuel!
Do you grow your own food? Do you know how much diesel fuel the farmer burns to grow it? The it has to be trucked to the warehouse, the trucked to the distributor, the trucked to the port, the shipped to the island, then trucked to the distribution center, then trucked to either the store or the restaurant so you can drive there to get it.

What is YOUR answer???

Do you know what was on of the big selling points of the automobile? Pollution control. Think of the big cities with thousands of horses or oxen sitting , peeing and dying in the streets.


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singlefin
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September 3, 2018 6:04 pm  

“A sobering and sad reality”

Really ???

I think we’re pretty fortunate to be living in the age we do. I even own a “Life is Good” t-shirt.
But seriously,

I can’t conceive spending so much precious time peering into an abyss of negativity and hoping for worst case scenarios. I don’t classify us as animals. I have faith in humanity, the vast majority of it anyway. Human history may be littered with screw-ups, but we do learn from our mistakes and eventually we do the right thing.


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islandjoan
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September 3, 2018 10:16 pm  

Singlefin, I am most definitely not hoping for worst case scenarios, but I am a realist and it is clear that humans are f&cking up the planet regardless of what optimists or deniers think.


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Alana33
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September 3, 2018 11:36 pm  

Total agreement, islandjoan.
I was seriously appalled they voted to create a pipeline for offloading fuel thru a reef system and removing corals.
Black beach here = Dirty beach.
Not volcanic Black beaches.

For some reason, it seems that STT and STJ are more committed to environmental concerns that STX.

Now I might be wrong but when we seriously oppose things and attend hearings there is a great community opposition and standing room only.

Often we win.
But we commit and continue to fight.


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dougtamjj
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September 3, 2018 11:49 pm  

“A sobering and sad reality”

Really ???

I think we’re pretty fortunate to be living in the age we do. I even own a “Life is Good” t-shirt.
But seriously,

I can’t conceive spending so much precious time peering into an abyss of negativity and hoping for worst case scenarios. I don’t classify us as animals. I have faith in humanity, the vast majority of it anyway. Human history may be littered with screw-ups, but we do learn from our mistakes and eventually we do the right thing.

(tu)


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janeinstx
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September 3, 2018 11:53 pm  

And yet here you are adding to the problem. How do you live with yourself knowing that every day you are a contributor to the problem?

Believe it, we have a mass extinction happening right now as a direct result of humans actions. I do believe it’ll be after my time on this planet but there will be a huge culling of the human race, already starting it would seem. Might not wipe us out completely but maybe to a manageable level. The earth will be here looooong after humans are gone and she’s better for it IMO. Sorry, not a fan of our species at all, I look around and see what we’ve done and it just fills me with sadness. We really don’t belong in this ecosystem. We’re the only animal to blatantly destroy the very thing that gives us life.


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Alana33
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September 4, 2018 1:14 am  

What problem?

Seeing something?
Having an opinion?
Doing research and discovering facts?.

All I have to say is that while AandA2 have moved here they've had their hearts here in the VI.
.

I'm 12th generation.
The bays, beaches, sea and land life, the freedom, safety, confidence and support I was luckily allowed, your children or future generations shall never see or experience.

Please try to make a difference in a positive environmental way

For your children's children y'all better figure out what kind of planet you want to interact with


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Scubadoo
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September 4, 2018 1:47 am  

Total agreement, islandjoan.
I was seriously appalled they voted to create a pipeline for offloading fuel thru a reef system and removing corals.
Black beach here = Dirty beach.
Not volcanic Black beaches.

I'd like to know who's bright idea it was to bury a 30inch sewer line under all of Sugar beach only 50 feet from the water line. Any now the beach is gone and the sewer line is under water, manholes and all, leaking into the sea. Or the sea leaks into the sewer. Well, I guess it was the 70s. Condo row developers probably paid for it on the cheap. And now we get to pay for it all over again to move it where it should have been in the first place. At least there is a project to move it. St. Croix Coastal Interceptor Relocation Project Was supposed to start last summer. Although I don't know how far they've gotten with it, Irmaria probably threw a wrench it that one too.


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