Limetree Bay agreem...
 

Limetree Bay agreement is hardly 'manna from heaven'  

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Alana33
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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.

120 Replies
Gator's Mom
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Actually tourists go on cruises to eat and drink. Enough said but we know the "end" result.

If it weren't for an attorney on the east end STX with a high sense of environmental and civic responsibility, we'd have a misfortunate tourist resort on an important ecological and cultural property - we've blocked the container resort and the glamping resort to name a couple recent proposals.

The VI government gave approval for both to begin with.

singlefin, that post was pretty darned funny

My fave:
Tourists only go on cruises to empty their bowels and dump trash on tropical islands.
- Tourists should only step on a dock, hand us money, and then immediately leave.

Reply
ms411
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Who is the "we" who blocked container resort and glamping resort and why did they block it? Didn't see them on senate calendar.

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janeinstx
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Love the use of “Blast Range”

Sounds like someone’s been watching too much CNN again.

(tu) People that have no idea of how things really work...

(tu)

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Gator's Mom
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East End A neighborhoods rallied. Both developers' plans were proposed for the same tract of land. The first plan was a container resort, the second was a glamping resort. Both had a large restaurant/bar in their proposals.

Proposed septic system was not adequate for either projects' footprint and too near the ocean and a salt pond - on a spit of land right across from Buck Island. Also the land is a culturally and archeologically sensitive location where Taino artifacts have been found.

Both plans had been approved by DPNR. We learned of them through notices we received from developers that a new resort would be constructed near our properties. Attorney represented us and filed complaints with DPNR on behalf of residents citing environmental and cultural impacts. Did not get to senate. So far.

There were some really interesting people involved both on island and off.

Who is the "we" who blocked container resort and glamping resort and why did they block it? Didn't see them on senate calendar.

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ms411
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Thanks. When was this?

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Gator's Mom
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2014 and 2016

Thanks. When was this?

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Ca. Dreamers
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Love the use of “Blast Range”

Sounds like someone’s been watching too much CNN again.

(tu) People that have no idea of how things really work...

(tu)

(tu)

CD

Reply
islandjoan
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That wasn't nice...geez....

The same gloom and doom posters consistently find nothing but negatives about almost every subject. They should just crawl back in their holes and go away.

Reply
stxdreaming
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Actually tourists go on cruises to eat and drink. Enough said but we know the "end" result.

If it weren't for an attorney on the east end STX with a high sense of environmental and civic responsibility, we'd have a misfortunate tourist resort on an important ecological and cultural property - we've blocked the container resort and the glamping resort to name a couple recent proposals.

The VI government gave approval for both to begin with.

singlefin, that post was pretty darned funny

My fave:
Tourists only go on cruises to empty their bowels and dump trash on tropical islands.
- Tourists should only step on a dock, hand us money, and then immediately leave.

@Gator's Mom - I am a bit confused at this. While I understand and agree that we need to be more aware of how we are living and the impacts that our daily lives have on the environment, it seems that you appear to have a bit of an extremist view...

For example;

The computer you are using to contribute to this forum...was probably made of plastic and metal by someone in Taiwan on minimum wage??

The cell phone you use to live your daily life is also made of plastic and metals...

The clothes you have on are probably not made of recycled bio grade material and was produced by someone in China making $2 a week....

The house you live in; are you 100% off grid? Did you build your house in such a way that you are recycling the water that you use?

It is very easy to have a high moral view, but I think we need to look at ourselves first before we pass judgement.

Could be wrong, just my thoughts.

Reply
Gator's Mom
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I am only, in my highly cynical way, pointing out to critics of the STX refinery that the number of cruise ships and tourists (and the debris they leave behind) in the volume experienced on STT/STJ is as damaging to the local environment as the refinery and other industrial plants on STX. Just different environmental risks, impacts and horizons.

Actually my house has solar power, a cistern, solar hot water and a septic tank .... and was built many years ago so it has no current environmental impact that occurs with recent building. Come to think of it, I do drive an electric car, too. However, for me, being green is only effective if it saves me money and makes my life easier.

Bagging up a few plastic bottles and shipping them to FL is not a long-term solution - it just moves the problem into someone else's neighborhood. But I do like the optics so kudos to local volunteers.

I remain a devoted user of all things plastic (except straws) and I love my throw away clothes from Target.

Actually tourists go on cruises to eat and drink. Enough said but we know the "end" result.

If it weren't for an attorney on the east end STX with a high sense of environmental and civic responsibility, we'd have a misfortunate tourist resort on an important ecological and cultural property - we've blocked the container resort and the glamping resort to name a couple recent proposals.

The VI government gave approval for both to begin with.

singlefin, that post was pretty darned funny

My fave:
Tourists only go on cruises to empty their bowels and dump trash on tropical islands.
- Tourists should only step on a dock, hand us money, and then immediately leave.

@Gator's Mom - I am a bit confused at this. While I understand and agree that we need to be more aware of how we are living and the impacts that our daily lives have on the environment, it seems that you appear to have a bit of an extremist view...

For example;

The computer you are using to contribute to this forum...was probably made of plastic and metal by someone in Taiwan on minimum wage??

The cell phone you use to live your daily life is also made of plastic and metals...

The clothes you have on are probably not made of recycled bio grade material and was produced by someone in China making $2 a week....

The house you live in; are you 100% off grid? Did you build your house in such a way that you are recycling the water that you use?

It is very easy to have a high moral view, but I think we need to look at ourselves first before we pass judgement.

Could be wrong, just my thoughts.

Reply
stxdreaming
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I am only, in my highly cynical way, pointing out to critics of the STX refinery that the number of cruise ships and tourists (and the debris they leave behind) in the volume experienced on STT/STJ is as damaging to the local environment as the refinery and other industrial plants on STX. Just different environmental risks, impacts and horizons.

Actually my house has solar power, a cistern, solar hot water and a septic tank .... and was built many years ago so it has no current environmental impact that occurs with recent building. Come to think of it, I do drive an electric car, too. However, for me, being green is only effective if it saves me money and makes my life easier.

Bagging up a few plastic bottles and shipping them to FL is not a long-term solution - it just moves the problem into someone else's neighborhood. But I do like the optics so kudos to local volunteers.

I remain a devoted user of all things plastic (except straws) and I love my throw away clothes from Target.

Actually tourists go on cruises to eat and drink. Enough said but we know the "end" result.

If it weren't for an attorney on the east end STX with a high sense of environmental and civic responsibility, we'd have a misfortunate tourist resort on an important ecological and cultural property - we've blocked the container resort and the glamping resort to name a couple recent proposals.

The VI government gave approval for both to begin with.

singlefin, that post was pretty darned funny

My fave:
Tourists only go on cruises to empty their bowels and dump trash on tropical islands.
- Tourists should only step on a dock, hand us money, and then immediately leave.

@Gator's Mom - I am a bit confused at this. While I understand and agree that we need to be more aware of how we are living and the impacts that our daily lives have on the environment, it seems that you appear to have a bit of an extremist view...

For example;

The computer you are using to contribute to this forum...was probably made of plastic and metal by someone in Taiwan on minimum wage??

The cell phone you use to live your daily life is also made of plastic and metals...

The clothes you have on are probably not made of recycled bio grade material and was produced by someone in China making $2 a week....

The house you live in; are you 100% off grid? Did you build your house in such a way that you are recycling the water that you use?

It is very easy to have a high moral view, but I think we need to look at ourselves first before we pass judgement.

Could be wrong, just my thoughts.

So you are against two companies wanting to build resorts on STX due to environmental and cultural impacts, you do not want tourists coming to the VI due to the negative impact they bring, yet you only like to be "green" if it "saves you money and makes your life easier"? Would this be a fair summary?

Regarding the statement that your house was built many years ago; are you suggesting that at the time your home was built, it didn't have any environmental impact?

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daveb722
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Omg go away... Dream of some other paradise please, meeting you would be nauseating.

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stxdreaming
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Joined: 1 year ago

Omg go away... Dream of some other paradise please, meeting you would be nauseating.

lol, I assume you are the lawyer representing Gator's Mom fighting against proposed resorts.

Reply
AandA2VI
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So just to get things straight, according to our usual discontented posters:

- We’re all just animals, several billion of which need to be removed immediately, and those who are left should choose to never reproduce. Human beings really don’t belong anywhere in this ecosystem.
- We need to stop all construction and live under shade trees.
- People are the cause of global warming, it never took place before humans walked on the planet.
- There are mysterious black beaches somewhere on STX, only visible to those who want to see them.
-“Island pride” does not exist anywhere in the USVI.
- The local government does not govern.
- Reality is “sad”
- People who don’t agree with the points of view of certain individuals posting here are either delusional optimists or deniers. (I guess im included in that group)
-There is no freedom, safety, confidence, or support in the USVI.
- Stop eating meat, but it’s ok to spearfish and pull lobster from our protected reefs.
- We all need to be altruistic. Working to better ones own life is folly.
- Don’t drink ground water, especially with a straw.
- We all need to be “squeaky wheels” for the environment to get the greese, but not the kind of greese made from any petroleum products that are made in a dirty refinery.
- Get out and vote, but only for who we tell you too.
- Cruzan’s have absolutely no environmental concerns whatsoever.
- Nobody thinks STT is better than STX.
- Tourists only go on cruises to empty their bowels and dump trash on tropical islands.
- Tourists should only step on a dock, hand us money, and then immediately leave.

And my favorite,
- The best place to live in the USVI is the east end of STX (which I’ll admit I am partial to) but only because attorneys live there (which I do not agree with). But living anywhere near the island of STX is completely foolhardy because the entire island is inside an imaginary “blast range”

I don’t think these are the things this “vimovingcenter” site was designed for.

I do believe you forgot...
- Only the all wise and all knowing single fin is allowed to have an opinion and THAT is the only opinion that is correct on VIMC. Newbs should learn this. Totally relevant.

Inciting argument and then shaming those who rise to the occasion? Are you insane? Maybe it’s time to put down the keyboard for a while. Some of this shit is taken so far out of context it’s laughable.

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Alana33
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😉

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singlefin
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AansA2VI
It took me awhile to review this entire thread and compile that list. I was hoping it would enlighten you, and some others, of how over-the-top some of the statements were.

I am neither “all wise” or “all knowing” but “inciting arguments” is surely your specialty. I will agree with you however, much of it is “laughable.”

Reply
SkysTheLimit
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AansA2VI
It took me awhile to review this entire thread and compile that list. I was hoping it would enlighten you, and some others, of how over-the-top some of the statements were.

I am neither “all wise” or “all knowing” but “inciting arguments” is surely your specialty. I will agree with you however, much of it is “laughable.”

I for one took no offense and thought it was a hilarious observation of how off topic a thread can get!!!!!!

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dougtamjj
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(tu)

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speee1dy
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Singlefin, your compilation was great.

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Alana33
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Alana33
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No comments?

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