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PetersBrother
(@PetersBrother)
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August 8, 2009 6:37 am  

I know that I am not cognizant of your real situation, but I do know that government only works when responsible citizens participate and take action to make things better, and I'm not talking about storming the state house. All it takes to make things worse is for good men/women to do nothing.

Apparently your governor has monthly community meetings "to provide residents with an informal forum right in their neighborhoods so they can present their issues of concern and offer suggestions directly to the Governor." It does not appear from the pictures that very many people avail themselves of this opportunity to petition the Governor directly. It looks like the next one is September 2, 2009 at the Pearl B. Larsen Elementary School, St. Croix, 6:00 pm. Isn't that the school just across the street from where the murder took place? How appropriate is that? Do any of you believe in fate?

What would happen if there was a line out the door of concerned citizens and community leaders, along with reporters from the local media, waiting to bring this issue up to the governor? Maybe it would come to nothing, but maybe it could be the start of a movement. I have worked with elected officials before and they have a universal desire to the re-elected and thus to avoid bad press, such as blowing off a large number of registered voters who have a legitimate issue that needs to be addressed. How about presenting him with a "letter" as you call it with a couple hundred signatures, but instead of calling it a letter lets call it a petition for redress of grievances, which is your right under section 2 of your draft Constitution and the first amendment to the US Constitution. How much effort or courage does it take to sign a petition and attend a community meeting called by the governor? You just have to show up, and isn't that the first step to accomplishing anything?

Like I said in my previous post, everyone is in a position to influence their little part of the world. Isn't this something that you could be proud to be a part of? I don't know, but it seems to me that it could be the start of a campaign to at least make yourselves be heard.

Steve Des Jardins


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psychesteve
(@psychesteve)
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August 8, 2009 12:00 pm  

I am shocked and saddened by the news of Peter's senseless murder. I sang with Peter at Faith Rivera's Christmas concert in 2008 (our "Imagine" can be seen on YouTube). Peter was warm, caring, funny, and very encouraging of my beginning attempts to master the guitar. He agreed to be my guitar mentor and teacher when I began to spend the better part of the year in St. Croix. I was really looking forward to his friendship. Is any kind of a memorial charitable trust being established in his memory, either to promote music in St. Croix or to stop this idiotic violence? psychesteve


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Betty
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August 8, 2009 12:10 pm  

With the greatest respect to all of you who feel Peter's loss, he was a wonderful,incredible, inspirational guy, but this thread is not really about him or what he wanted. I think his death however is the straw that broke the camel's back for many of us who live here year round.

This is more about all of our individual frustrations with having to live in the virgin islands with horrific crime, horrible poverty, and horrible public schools which just help insure the cycle. I am all for fed's and media attention.


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Juanita
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August 8, 2009 1:57 pm  

Linda from Michigan,

I think a lot of the posters on here actually knew Peter personally. Doesn't mean his murder is any more or less important, just closer to home for many.

Juanita


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islandtyme
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August 8, 2009 2:58 pm  

I think his death however is the straw that broke the camel's back for many of us who live here year round.

Well said Betty!

It's time to stand strong and fight back with the same Passion Peter had for LIVING!!


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Irijah
(@Irijah)
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lmaceyko
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August 8, 2009 4:15 pm  

Let's all go tomorrow!!!


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Juanita
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August 9, 2009 12:14 am  

A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception within an online community.

Juanita


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Linda from Michigan
(@Linda_from_Michigan)
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August 9, 2009 1:44 am  

Juanita,
I know. I knew it when I posted. I met Peter when I was on-island before I got sick. And I feel the loss also. I understand that it doesn't become personal until someone in our realm is affected by (in this case) senseless crime. I guess I have taken the crime and corruption and the loss of lives personally before Peter's death. I just think we need to do something as a group of citizens to force the change before resorting to those things that will potentially destroy what is left of our economy. TV people (even Anderson Cooper) would do nothing but flame the fear. Maybe it would force someone in power to do something, but I don't think it would be an effective method. And it bothers me that people will complain about how bad it is in general, but won't take steps to make it better - then this happens and it's like - Bring in the Feds, have them take over - have them fix our problems.

I truly understand these are deeply systemic issues. I know it will take radical ideas and efforts to make a change - and it may get worse before it gets better - there will be much, much resistance to change - even if it change for the better. But tell me what I missed that had been tried. What has been seriously suggested by a concerted voice, followed through, and what was the govt's (including VIPD, VI Administration, and Legislature) responses? Why do we think (other than the whole nepatism thing) that someone else knows better how to fix our problems? It's just that someone else will do it as just a matter of fact, as opposed to having an emotional connection to the problem and/or the fix.


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Novanut
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August 9, 2009 1:52 am  

As a future STX islander, I have been following this thread with interest. Not because I knew Peter but because I know about the violence that can ravage small towns. I am coming from a similar sized town in Southeastern New Mexico that is known for its alien invasion as well as its crime and corruption. I have the most sympathy for Peter and his friends and family but his passing, and the others who have passed needlessly before him should not go without comment to those who have the power to change the way crime is handled.

To illustrate, here is the website created by concerned citizens as a 'watchdog' for the questionable activities of local government. www.talkroswell.com. If you go there you will see very similar circumstances of which you are now experiencing. I post this, not to illustrate that corruption is akin to your island but to illustrate that it is rampant from small towns up to the president and his czars.

I will arrive on Tuesday, Sept. 1 and will be happy to attend the governor's meeting on the next day, if that comes to pass, to show my support for radical change in the way crime is handled in STX. I wish to live in peace on the island but will fight for honesty, fairness and common sense. If there is a petition to be signed, I will sign. If there is a march on government, I will march. Our country is, by any standard, out of control and I will do what I can to help bring it back to some sense of normalcy so the thugs can be put where they belong and the people can, once again, live in paradise the way paradise should be lived.

Thank you for this opportunity,
John


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dntw8up
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August 9, 2009 2:56 am  

And it bothers me that people will complain about how bad it is in general, but won't take steps to make it better - then this happens and it's like - Bring in the Feds, have them take over - have them fix our problems.

I don't think average citizens should be expected to risk their safety to remedy our very dangerous thug problem. We are afraid to go out after dark, too scared to patronize our friends' businesses, worried about family members when they aren't with us. We are victims of the crime problem, and victims aren't responsible for eliminating the criminal behavior that makes us victims.

Taxpayers fund the government, and the government is responsible for citizen safety. If our government can't do what citizens have paid it to do, our government has a responsibility to taxpayers to seek assistance to meet its obligations. It is one thing for people to help one another after a natural disaster, but the average person on these islands has absolutely no ability to remedy our thug problem. The thugs have demonstrated their willingness to kill indiscriminately, and the only steps the average person can realistically take to "make it better" is to hold hands and sing Kumbaya. A "human chain of peace and love" is fine if you live in some parallel universe, but only boots on the ground and superior firepower will prevail over our thug problem.

I choose to live in the Caribbean in planning for my infinite future, to try to grow accustomed to the heat...


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Novanut
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August 9, 2009 3:08 am  

I'm not a gun owner and never have been. But if history is any indication of settling confrontational situations then it may be time for the citizens, here and where I now reside to take the necessary measures to protect themselves/ourselves. I don't know what the laws are in STX concerning guns and concealed carry but I am familiar with states who do have such laws and the statistics seem to indicate that citizens who are armed tend to decrease the likelyhood of violent crime when the thugs know they/we're 'packing'. Just MHO.


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dntw8up
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August 9, 2009 3:32 am  

I don't own a gun, I don't want a gun, and I don't want people as scared as me to have a gun. Too many of us are at the point now that if we all had guns, a strange noise in the middle of the night might end with a dead family member who got up to pee.

There are people well trained to apprehend, incarcerate, and convict thugs, and those people should be brought here and authorized to do what they do best. Our thug problem is not unlike a roach problem, and our attempts to solve our thug problem have been like ineffective attempts to combat a roach problem. The only way to eradicate insidious pests like thugs and roaches is to watch and wait, and when they crawl out of their hiding places smash them flat.

I choose to live in the Caribbean in planning for my infinite future, to try to grow accustomed to the heat...


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poodle
(@poodle)
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August 9, 2009 3:39 am  

dntw8up,

Thank you for stating the reality. I agree with you, that a chain of love and peace is a fabulous gesture, but it's not going to get to the root of the problem. I do not believe that ANY of our thugs are going to participate in the chain, therefore we will not be able to enlighten them. I'd be willing to bet they will be sleeping during the chain time, in order to get ready for the next night of criminal activities. The chain is good for the youth, if the parents bring them in support of the cause, if the parents open their eyes to the reality of our territory.
Boots on the ground is the answer, and that was an initiative by McCall, but we can't seem to keep them here.
We recently had 5 stateside recruits, officers with experience who were willing to ONLY be patrolmen/women, but we have already lost three of them.Why? Is it because the co-officers they were assigned to work with made it clear they weren't wanted? That the USVI does things their way? Probably. LindaFromMichigan has done a great service to us by having the VIPD contact Michigan Troopers, and it will be noted by VIPD that they may even entertain the idea...but until VIPD performs by the books/law, any officer who comes here to find employment will find they really are not wanted. SharkHunter was on the message board a while back, and made sure to mention that one of the recruits, Bennerson, was named officer of the month. That, I believe, was done to keep at least one of the two remaining recruits here, keeping the whole initiative from being a total waste of money and a huge flop.

Here's an alternative idea for "boots on the ground". Know your neighbors, really meet them. Share phone numbers, watch out for each other. Call them if you suspect anything odd, and they will do the same for you. Forget the neighborhood watch program, as it is run by VIPD, and they never answer their phone or return calls. Take it upon yourselves to have a working network for suspicious activity. It might seem to only help your particular neighborhood, but if we all do it, consider it a rounding up of cattle. The thugs will be forced to perform their crimes in a tighter and tighter area, then they can be picked up...


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Trade
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August 9, 2009 3:50 am  

I knew an ex-police officer who moved down here from the States. When I asked why he didn't become a cop here he said the first thing he needed to know was that a fellow officer would "watch his back." He said that would never happen here & he didn't have a death wish.

~Trade~


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Ross
 Ross
(@Ross)
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August 10, 2009 8:16 pm  

this is so horrifying. peter was a good friend of the family, i went to school with his kids. he came to thanksgiving at the beach every year with his fiance tanya. he will be missed dearly.

i am in disbelief right now. i see police stops for every 6th car, valid sticker or not. in the avis this morning, mugshots of criminals on house arrest. there needs to be more police patroling, more police stations, less random stops for registration and more rounding up of criminals, actually prosecuting them and keeping them in jail. if we don't have room here, i'm sure other states do. we need to get the island back from these scumbags and stop letting them run wild.

I like to bet that if they find these guys and capture the gun it the gun, will have come from the police wapons room.


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Ross
 Ross
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August 10, 2009 8:31 pm  

I like to bet that the gun or guns came from the VI Police Dept wapons room. But we will never know. These islands need to make some examples of some of these bad guys and send a clear mwessage out. Maybe time to head back to the dark ages. I figure that there are 500 bad guys on the island out of 60,000 and that not that many to clean up. All I know is if it happened to my wife or kid I'd be the worst nightmare the island has ever seen and nobody would be safe .

I feel very sad as we all hoped things would start to turn around in St Croix But I guess it's the same old BS from the Gov. on down.
My heart goes out to both Peters, To his family and friends and Peter the Greek, as he must be beside himself it just the worst.


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antiqueone
(@antiqueone)
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August 10, 2009 10:26 pm  

I looked at the Day of Judgment in the Avis this Sunday. Almost every one of them had charges dismissed or were given probation or some such foolishness. What kind of message is THAT sending? How about sentencing them to community service?????


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trw
 trw
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August 11, 2009 3:20 am  

benta was on the radio trying to say is was a hit not a robbery,peter called in the next day to set the record straight,so the police chief is trying to blame the victim,someone needs to raise some serious hell over that one


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DixieChick
(@DixieChick)
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August 11, 2009 9:18 am  

Heard it was a hit as well and that makes me sick. and even if it was (which i dont think so) they criminals are still carrying guns and going into a place where children could have been. Hopefully hell is what the guys who did this will get and anyone who doesn't come forward with info. has a reward been offered yet with crime stoppers???


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CeeLCee
(@CeeLCee)
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August 11, 2009 2:53 pm  

Seriously?! Screw the tourists?! Who the heck do you think is responsible for infusing money into our economy! I completely agree with Captain Ed. I am so tired of people in the islands thinking that money for public services comes from the magical money tree. It comes from tax payers - its comes from the businesses that pay the taxes - and the majority of those businesses are tourism related! (and my i add that those who have been holding out their hands for generations are not the taxpayers I speak of). Not to mention that fact that the majority of the donations and community service to the NGO non profits, that are so desperately needed in our community, are by these businesses, business owners, their employees and the snow birds that come down here.

Too often the "locals" turn their noses up at us because we are white. THAT is the biggest part of the problem. They are quick to call us outsiders - you weren't "bahn ya!" - but they are all too happy to take our almighty dollar when it benefits them.

I am actually a very positive person. I have done alot for the community on St Croix (and will continue to do so), volunteering my time, fundraising, etc. I was so in love with the island when I moved here because I felt that everyone got along. I find myself more and more tired and disillusioned these days with the "us and them" divisiveness that is just getting worse.

But to "screw the tourists" is only going to make things worse here... because then there will be no more magical money tree and then the real problems will begin. Think about this people!


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Ross
 Ross
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August 11, 2009 6:54 pm  

I'd like to bet that the guns used in this murder were from the VI Police dept weapons room, But we will never know well we.
Its time these liberal judges start making examples out of these thugs. I say return to the dark ages and put the hurt on those who just blame society for all there problems. I say use a gun in a crime do Federal time as they and they alone hand out the licenses to manufacture guns in the first place as well as ammo. Take it out of the local judges hands if they don't have the stones for it and demand mandatory life sentences. No deals. They would have hung these guys in the BVI a few years ago in Public. This is 1st degree Murder.If this had happened to my wife or child I would be the worst nightmare this island has ever seen. No one would be safe.

My heart goes out to both Peters to his family and friends and to Peter who has such a joy for life and was really enjoying his new business. I know this must be a terrible time for him. Makes me want to look for a better island


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Betty
(@Betty)
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Posts: 2047
August 11, 2009 11:56 pm  

Yep, when it comes to personal safety I say screw the tourist. But we're doing in these islands is not working its always been bad and I honestly believe its getting worse. I don't know what the solution is but the last thing I'm worried about is the tourist. I want to feel reasonably safe on the island I live on. Don't want to worry about being robbed every time I go out.

I don't know that the solution even involves anything that affects the tourist but they are way down the list of what I am worried about. And yes it could well affect my income but I think that is MUCH more preferable to more loss of life.


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vroberge
(@vroberge)
Advanced Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 266
August 12, 2009 9:16 am  

To anyone interested. This is an open invite from the chamber.

SPECIAL EVENT

BUSINESS AFTER HOURS

PRESENTS COMMUNITY COLLABORATIONS

BUILDING A SAFER ST. CROIX WITH OUR

LOCAL CITIZENS, BUSINESSES, NEIGHBORHOODS AND ORGANIZATIONS

THURSDAY, AUGUST 13, 2009

PALMS AT PELICAN COVE

5:30 P.M. TO 7:30 P.M.

The St. Croix Chamber of Commerce is joining with the Community Integration Team (CIT) of the Virgin Islands Police Department, the USVI Department of Tourism, the St. Croix Foundation and the St. Croix Hotel and Tourism Association to co-host a Community Collaboration to build a safer island.


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stxscuba
(@stxscuba)
Active Member
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Posts: 7
August 12, 2009 5:31 pm  

So Betty and lrijah and others of the "screw the tourists" persuasion, what do you do for a living? I'm guessing that you're intelligent people who wouldn't shoot yourself in the foot so you must not be in any way associated with tourism. But you might not fully understand how much tourism does for these islands, even for those not directly in the business. So what do you do? It's pretty easy to say who cares about a few "t-shirt vendors" from the anonymity of an online "handle" with nothing in the profile. When I state my case for tourism it's pretty clear that I have a vested interest. I sign my name to my posts.
Capt Ed Buckley
St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures


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