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MUST READ article - living here has become even more dangerous

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Juanita
(@Juanita)
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poodle,

Welcome!

Nice post. I must agree!

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Posted : July 16, 2009 1:22 am
DUN
 DUN
(@DUN)
Trusted Member

If by Francis, you meant the Lt. Governor?
He doesn`t care about homeowners insurance either!
He lets Crawford VI do claims adjusting here & get over on the insured!<I have a friend who worked for them & left as they were discusted on how they ran their operation/denied legitimate claims!
This is the same company(Crawford) that told all those people In la./Katrina to go f(_)(k off on their flood damage!
They did provide *some* wind damage insurance.
I was wondering if they are affiliated with AIG & getting government assistance??

OK,I vented!
Though,i won`t forget,or let them get away with it!

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Posted : July 16, 2009 1:29 am
poodle
(@poodle)
Trusted Member

Okay, now a response on Public Housing...

Has anyone reading this board taken the time to drive through multiple housing communities? Has anyone taken the time to meet, befriend, and interact within a housing community?

If any one of you had taken pictures of the public housing situation two years ago, you would see that nothing has changed. I happen to have a copy of the report that was not only given to the Governor, but also discussed photo by photo with him on December 16th, 2008, and he hasn't managed to get hardly a damn thing done. There is STILL a slide in one of the communities where kids are supposed to play, but the slide only has steps to nowhere. There is STILL a 1/2 mile of trash dumped in a West End Community that has not been handled, even though VIWMA has been called numerous times about the situation. There are still ball fields that only get mowed once a year whether or not they need it in housing communities.

Whose fault is this, and what should we expect out of co-inhabitants on our respective islands? If the Government can't have respect for it's citizens, then why should those very people have respect for anything in our community? Yeah, one can argue they should just have it, but if you were to live in those conditions, and some much worse, you too wouldn't give a damn. You too would think and behave in a manner that was only self serving, such as gangs and crime. In that world, though it is wrong, people get respect and value that is not coming from the community.

Get out there and find a small way to make a big difference. Our "housing projects" are our neighbors, and you might be surprised to find out how much more you have in common with them than not. Yep, there are bad ones, but the good outweigh the bad, just extend your hand.

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Posted : July 16, 2009 1:35 am
poodle
(@poodle)
Trusted Member

... Let's now talk about the Acting Police Commissioner Novelle Francis and his antics...be prepared...this is BAD...

Francis has apparently hired on Winsbut McFarland as a "contractor" for VIPD, this happened a week after Francis was nominated. McFarland has a history, one that could easily be related as to WHY we in the territory are under a Federal Consent Decree in the first place. Mind you, it's not McFarland alone, but he definitely has contributed. McFarlands past method was to "clobber a thug" as to teach him a lesson, then get him to court ONLY to have the case thrown out solely based on the method of getting the thug there in the first place. Hmmm, sounds like a drawn out family spanking to me...just a slap on the ass.

Now, McFarland is hired as a consultant, so he is NOT supposed to have any supervisory position over officers....ha...good luck with that concept...Apparently he is doing what he thinks best, so that means he is breaking Union Rules, Clobbering thugs, and thinking he is doin' just fine. WHY in the world did Francis hire this ex-vipd thug?

What about Bert Bryan? I've been told he too will be given a position on the force again...is this because he bullied Francis on a talk show? Is Francis giving him a position to keep him at bay?

If any of you readers are supporters of Crime Stoppers, did any of you notice that the location address in the last newsletter changed to 45 Mars Hill? Do you know where that is? That is the RAINBOW COMMAND of vipd. Francis moved it...Why? Yes, there is still the "hidden" office in another F'sted location, but the gall to change the physical address to the vipd is outrageous!

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Posted : July 16, 2009 1:55 am
poodle
(@poodle)
Trusted Member

Ok...one final rant, I think, for the evening...

Has anyone noticed that until 2 days ago that all Police Chiefs have been "silenced" since Francis became acting commissioner? There was a letter in The Source about a week ago, and I finally heard Police Chiefs speak out again on the radio/news. Is Francis SO immature and not ready for this job that he feels he has to put a gag order on anyone that would steal the limelight? Give me a break. Grow up, or get out of the job.

I personally want to hear from ANY dedicated law enforcement personnel, especially the ones that have the guts to state to the thugs that they will be caught. Rames is just a mouthpiece for the acting commissioner, so she doesn't count. I want to hear from Querrard and Benta that they are dedicated to returning our community to the highest level of safety as possible.

Francis goes before the senate Thursday PM on STX. We gotta make it clear what we want from him...after all, they can't shoot ALL of us for speaking up!

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Posted : July 16, 2009 2:09 am
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

poodle i drive through the projects from 5 corners to downtown everyday of the week sometimes twice a day,it's faster, and the last time i saw that level of misery was in the north mpls ghettos, that the feds made them tear down,that whole area from 5 corners to downtown is prime real estate

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Posted : July 16, 2009 2:13 am
poodle
(@poodle)
Trusted Member

Who gives a shit if it's prime real estate? People who live in housing communities don't have a right to live on prime real estate? How 'bout we get PRIME POLICE to curtail the issues? Just because a person lives in a project doesn't mean they have to live tucked away someplace...that to me is equivalent to saying that gays have a certain place to live, and they'll have to deal with the cards the government deals them.

Shame on you...think grander...think like a minority...

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Posted : July 16, 2009 2:24 am
poodle
(@poodle)
Trusted Member

Well, yet another post...guess I'm in the mood to let it all out...

William's Delight. Considered the roughest Community on STX. Well, there is so much family history and humiliation in the community, that they actually stopped the tearing down of the community. Why? Because there is a lost sense of pride that has resurfaced, and residents who were born and raised there can not fathom the idea that their homes will be torn down and replaced with 200K homes, just to get rid of the thugs. Pay attention, thugs are thugs, they don't care where they live, as long as they can steal from you or sell you drugs.

BRAVO to William's Delight: They are taking back their community.

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Posted : July 16, 2009 2:32 am
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

no i've said before darling that it should be move from the projects into home ownership, tear down the damn things and get them into affordable home ownership, there is pride in ownership that whole area could be redeveloped and famlies with children should be located by the hospital and high schools for convience, community daycare would able the parent to work, think about it and chill out, zanax works wonders

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Posted : July 16, 2009 2:38 am
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

Shame on you...think grander...think like a minority...

Any white statesider is a minority...lol

I don't think unlimited free or mostly free housing works. I think give people a year to get on their feet and then move on. Everyone needs help as some point in their lives, but when its unlimited are you really giving some charity? I don't think so. Everyone needs to and should want to stand on their own two feet or how to you respect yourself.

As a bookkeeper I'm consisently hit up by employees wanting me to lie on their forms about how many hours they work. If they work too much they have to pay more to housing or possibly get kicked out. Do you see the kind of system this creates for the lazy or greedy.

I love the idea of charity but when it comes to free housing, food, etc...their needs to be limits by the govt and responsibility of those receiving it.

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Posted : July 16, 2009 2:41 am
mminstx
(@mminstx)
Advanced Member

Was not able to access the Source article to see what reasons, if any, were given for the federal pull-out, but, mark you this, here is one reason-and it is now sour grapes because ATF thought they would get a free pass on this from VIPD and the AG's office:

ATF agent charged with murder (DAILY NEWS)
By CORLISS SMITHEN and MEGAN POINSKI
Thursday, January 8th 2009

ST. THOMAS - Exactly four months after he shot and killed his neighbor at the Mahogany Run Condominiums, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent William Clarke on Wednesday turned himself in to authorities on a warrant charging him with murder.

Clarke, 33, has been charged with second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and using a dangerous weapon. He was released on bail Wednesday and is still on duty as an ATF agent.

Just before 10:50 a.m. on Sept. 7, Clarke shot 44-year-old Marcus Sukow outside the condominium Sukow shared with his girlfriend. Sukow, an employee of a local company contracted by the V.I. Waste Management Authority, was taken to Schneider Hospital. He died there hours later.

Immediately after the fatal shooting, the V.I. Police Department launched an investigation. Those findings were forwarded to the V.I. Justice Department, where they translated into the Nov. 26 warrant for Clarke's arrest. The warrant was signed by Superior Court Judge Leon Kendall, who found probable cause to uphold the charges.

According to police records, Clarke voluntarily entered police custody three hours before appearing before Superior Court Judge James Carroll III Wednesday morning. The warrant set his bail at $100,000, but Assistant Attorney General Ernest Bason asked Carroll to reduce Clarke's bail to $50,000 and to release him after he posted 10 percent of that amount. Carroll granted the motion, and Clarke was able to go free after the hearing.

The affidavit from Cpl. Mario Stout that supports Clarke's arrest describes the following series of events on Sept. 7:

Sukow and his girlfriend went to breakfast together early in the morning. When they returned to the Mahogany Run condominium they shared, the couple began arguing. She picked up her keys and walked outside, and Sukow continued yelling at her.

She walked to her vehicle and tried to reverse out of a parking space where the vehicles were tightly parked. As she did this, Sukow walked to his truck to get some items, which included a flashlight. A neighbor who was going out for a run spoke to Sukow, and Sukow asked him to stay out of his business.

Another witness saw Sukow in the middle of the street trying to keep his girlfriend from leaving - and striking the left front light of her vehicle with a flashlight.

Clarke, who lived in unit downstairs from the couple, was walking to his vehicle and asked Sukow if things were all right.

Sukow's girlfriend asked Clarke for a ride to the condominium community's guard gate. She got into Clarke's sport utility vehicle, and Sukow asked her to get out.

Sukow also asked Clarke to remove his girlfriend from the SUV. The witness who saw Sukow hitting his girlfriend's car with the flashlight said he saw Clarke's door open and then saw Sukow hitting the door with his flashlight.

Sukow's girlfriend said Clarke then opened a black bag with his left hand, pulled a gun out with his right, and shot Sukow several times from inside his car.

The other witness said Clarke drew his weapon and told Sukow to step aside. Sukow stood there with his arms by his side when Clarke shot him several times, the witness recalled.

After the incident, the ATF's Internal Affairs Office launched an investigation and placed Clarke on paid leave. That investigation wrapped up before November, but the ATF has refused to release the finding of that investigation.

Clarke returned to active duty on St. Thomas after the investigation finished. According to discussions in court on Wednesday, Clarke was at one point transferred to the ATF's Miami office, where he now works.

Attorney Kerry Drue, who is representing Clarke, told Carroll that her client returned to the Virgin Islands and surrendered as soon as he learned about the warrant.

Drue told the court that Clarke is still an active ATF agent in Miami. As a condition of his release, he is allowed to keep his duty firearm and travel for work, Carroll ruled on Wednesday.

ATF spokesman Carlos Baixauli did not return Daily News telephone calls seeking more details about Clarke's employment status on Wednesday.

Carroll required Clarke to report to the probation office on Wednesday. As the case continues, Clarke must report to probation once a week by telephone.

"You are also allowed to leave the court's jurisdiction to return to Miami to your current employment and maintain your current address," Carroll said.

In the months since the shooting, Sukow's girlfriend, Margie Duncan, has been hoping this day will come.

"I just want to see justice done," Duncan said on Wednesday.

Clarke will be arraigned on Jan. 15.

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Posted : July 16, 2009 2:44 am
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

I would still like to know under what conditions the feds would seize control against the territorial government's wishes, and come here to establish and maintain law and order. Would a mass slaughter of tourists do the trick? Is it just local U.S. citizens who don't matter to the federal government?

Supposedly the territory is among the most murder-ridden communities in the world. Not just the U.S., the world. If our elected officials are unable or unwilling to act in the community's best interests, what options do citizens have? Waiting until the next election will cost many people their lives, and most residents don't trust the VI government precisely because the same ineffective individuals that have held office before are the only candidates on the ballot. We need protection from violent criminals now, whether the VI government wants us to have that protection or not. We are entitled to a safe place to live, even if bringing that safety to the islands bruises egos and stirs up racist sentiment. The VI government is unable to protect us from violent criminals, so they should be forced to accept federal assistance to establish law and order. I don't care about the race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs of those federal agents, as long as their friends and families are not Virgin Islanders. Thugs here thrive precisely because they are protected by friends and family, and we are so small that almost everyone is friend or family. It is certainly clear that the VI government doesn't want any outsiders telling them what to do, but on the issue of personal safety, the VI government no longer speaks for the people of the VI.

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Topic starter Posted : July 16, 2009 2:53 am
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

The ATF did not think they would get a free pass but were fed up with the local govt response to this, they did their review and found nothing out of line. A whole federal agency pull out of the VI because of this. I'm sorry but if they felt this guy was in the wrong they would have fired him and help to press charges. You can easily get fired for much less.

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Posted : July 16, 2009 2:56 am
poodle
(@poodle)
Trusted Member

Hi Betty,

I have attended the Housing Meetings, and what you say is right, and what you say will happen. Nope, no more freeloading. But, know that not all the people living in housing are free loaders.

The screws are being tightened, as they should. But, those who qualify for housing should not be tucked away behind a landfill or quarry. Most of the people who qualify are aged, and have no current computer/job experiences that could keep up with the times. Think maybe about your very own grandmother, could she get "on line" and perform they way a kid born in the 80's does? No. Don't penalize the portionof the public that was caught in a different era. Yes, penalize the little "moms" who aren't old enough to have kids...they can get a job, and they should. But please, don't lump all housing people into one sad category, there just isn't one blanket for the deranged...

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Posted : July 16, 2009 2:57 am
trw
 trw
(@trw)
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well that would interfere with the drug/gun imports, can't have that can we now

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Posted : July 16, 2009 3:00 am
dntw8up
(@dntw8up)
Trusted Member

mminstx,

You said, "...sour grapes because ATF thought they would get a free pass on this from VIPD and the AG's office..."

Sounds more like a vendetta for the feds nailing a crooked VIPD officer:

"One version of events, according to court documents filed in March, says witnesses observed Sukow striking Clark's door with a flashlight and Clark drawing his weapon and firing it "while Mr. Sukow stood there with his hands at his side."

But another eyewitness, whose statement was only entered into the record last week, claims when Duncan did not exit Clarke 's vehicle, "Sukow then turned towards Special Agent Clarke's vehicle, swinging the flashlight in (a) chopping manner, (and) charged at the vehicle. His face was red and he was spouting profanities. I could see the driver's side door was ajar."

...Following the April hearing, Gomez ruled against transferring the case to federal, or District Court, apparently siding with the prosecution that what provoked the shooting matters. However, when Gomez issued the ruling he did not have the latest eyewitness testimony before him that described Sukow as a charging, profanity-spouting, weapon-wielding man. Apparently, the police did not provide it – or so the witness claims at the end of her statement.

"I was interviewed by the Virgin Islands Police Department about my observations of the shooting incident, but the officers did not document my statement," the document states.

While it’s up to a jury to decide which eyewitness testimony prevails, the reported absence of the recently submitted eyewitness account during the judge’s decision-making process suggests an oversight at best, or a vendetta at worst.

Murphy suggests the possibility of the latter.

"I have also heard from both federal agents and a VIPD officer," Murphy states, "that they believe the prosecution of Agent Clark is 'pay-back' for an earlier ATF prosecution of a VIPD officer."

The link to the full article is in the first post of this thread.

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Topic starter Posted : July 16, 2009 3:05 am
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

I would take my grandmother in in a heartbeat. I would not let her live in public housing. Of coarse mines 96 and still run her own insurance agency.

I really can't imagine the culture here letting their grannies live in public housing either. It does remind me of where I grew up where whole families will stay together under one roof.

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Posted : July 16, 2009 3:05 am
poodle
(@poodle)
Trusted Member

dntw8up,

That question you pose is exactly why the territory is under a federal consent decree...unfortunately we have to wait 4 more years before thefeds come in, reasoning that they gave VIPD 5 years notice to get their shit together, and that to me means 4 more years of gun violence and gang-related deaths, not to mention retaliation for crimes reported by concerned citizens who are to believe that they are secure in confidentiality.

The Feds will come back, I believe, but it will be under a Martial Law situation. I say, why wait, bring them to us now. USVI and VIPD are out of control, so much that they are delusional. Bring in the feds NOW I say

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Posted : July 16, 2009 3:07 am
poodle
(@poodle)
Trusted Member

Can y'all see that there is no clear answer? Not until we in the USVI follow all the same guidelines that are accepted as normal by normal USA jurisdictions?

We all need to speak stronger and stick to the changes needed to make us right.

Heck, I want to continue to drive on the left side of the road, I want to continue taking all the holidays offered, and I want to continue to avoid daylight savings time...

But, if I were asked to give up all the little quirks that make the Virgin Islands special, I would most definitely do so. There is nothing so special about having coke-heads waiting on me (not to mention giving money to all the businesses that participate in the coke-head mentality)' , nor being required to sign a piece of paper because I inquired who actually owns a business ( so the biz owner KNOWS who is questioning their practices)...

The USVI is so screwed up, but to a detriment. Screwey is ok on some levels, but not when it comes to public safety...

Anyone planing to watch the Francis confirmation Thursday night? I hope to get on the list to speak/ask questions...

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Posted : July 16, 2009 3:41 am
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

cokeheads on stx oh surely you jest,lol you sound way bitter poodle,even worse than me, take it all tounge in cheek and remember you live in a 3rd world banana republic, this place will never change, it's all get what you can get while the gettin is good and your side is in power

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Posted : July 16, 2009 4:19 am
film
 film
(@film)
Advanced Member

I like the sunset a lot, and the beach, and the soft sand, also the water is so blue. I like that also. When people say bad things I close my eyes and think about the blue water. It is okay to close your eyes and think good things.

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Posted : July 16, 2009 5:15 am
poodle
(@poodle)
Trusted Member

trw, you be funny...

I have worked in the past with your friend @ Carambola...And I admire how he is able to be non-participant with the job MO...beyond that...

If you had attended the meeting with VIPD and the CIT a few months ago, you would have seen for yourself the commonality between residents in the wealthy neighbors and residents in the housing communities. I saw both sides light up with a common complaint, and for me it was emotionally moving.

It's a shame that the CIT fell apart.,as this was a group of citizens that both government house and vipd endorsed;: that is until Francis took over as acting commissioner...there was a movement encouraged by a local pastor to not only involve the wannabees who showed up once a month for meetings, but there was a also a few people in that group who worked with the housing communities to have their concerns voiced. That is all gone now, and the CIT is back to kissing butt for vipd. The Gov was warned of the inevitable breakdown of the group he vehemently supported, but the Gov did what he thought he needed to ....

Apparently there was a letter written to the Gov about the mistake he was making in nominating Francis for Commissioner...Does anyone want to read that letter?

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Posted : July 16, 2009 5:16 am
Linda from Michigan
(@Linda_from_Michigan)
Trusted Member

I'd be interested.

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Posted : July 16, 2009 5:23 am
Uttica
(@Uttica)
Advanced Member

I personally love driving through the multiple housing communities whenever I get the chance. I like to look at all the expensive cars that I can't afford. Mainly because I am working to pay a mortgage and my own bills.

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Posted : July 16, 2009 10:37 am
Linda from Michigan
(@Linda_from_Michigan)
Trusted Member

There are people living there that are hard working. There's some of those that feel trapped there. Think about it - if that was all you could afford - what do you do? If you don't believe you can do better - or should - or are being held down by bad choices you made, but don't realize or are willing to give it up - what do you do? Especially when you see no body gives a crap about fixing the problems there. And I'm not talking us well educated transplants. It's a different mindset. Alot of the people I know that live in these communities were either raised here on the island or are from down island. There are some that are trapped in relationships that may force them to remain down. It's hard to break free. It can be done though. And easier if there is a support system in place.

And as to directing money's into home ownership opportunities or dispersing the rentals around the island (I take this to mean private homes) the USDA does offer loan programs for that. Think about it - you own some property down here. You are looking to rent it out while you wait to retire or for 2nd income. Are you going to charge a reasonable enough rent that even with subsidy you will make what you want? And if that is the case, we still have fair housing laws - you can't discriminate if you don't want "that element" in your home.

I agree that public housing doesn't need to be [ Tucked away behind a landfill or quarry]. We all deserve dignity and respect as human beings.

So why not make these new housing places "GUN FREE ZONES" and have active managers on site that follow through with the rules. Find grant money and offer training programs for some of these people to bring skill sets up to a higher level. Incentivize them - they complete training program for x amount of time they get x amount off rent for each month they attended. Limit the time they can live in public housing. Make sure that there's not 6 people living there when it should be just 3.

Years ago I wrote a business plan for a transitional housing facility It offered a 1 - 2 year max time allowed to stay - applied for funding but wasn't successful at the time. It was for those women w/ kids wanting to get out of abusive relationships or off the welfare rolls. They signed a contract stating that they would not allow the abusive person on property or they would lose their housing. Also, a portion of their rent went into an escrow account, that upon successful completion of their housing contract they would receive that portion back to use as a down payment somewhere else or for a home. There were joint programs between different social service agencies. Lessons in child care, general budgeting and finance, a co-op day care - if you couldn't afford to pay, you had to exchange some hours for some day care. A community garden with training to put up food. But if you violated your contract (written to each person's special situation) you were given notice and released from the program. Later, I found a similar program had found some private funding. It assists those who want to change and gives them the boundries and support that they need to make that change.

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Posted : July 16, 2009 12:06 pm
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