Jan. 1, 2006 Idle, the Source mascot, needed little luring this year to come down from his sea grape tree to offer 2006 wishes for some of the territory's more prominent personalities, and some comments on their 2005 performance.
Idle said he apologizes for some redundancy from last year. He can only say in his defense that some of his 2005 wishes just didn't come true. But some, he's happy to report, did!
The 26th Legislature
— last year he wished senators the political will to, once again, approve the Animal Anti-Cruelty bill. This came true. Congratulations for the action — but not the political shenanigans that brought it about.
For 2006, he wishes the senators:
the integrity to enact meaningful legislation designed to improve the lives of average Virgin Islanders, instead of spending most of their time, money and energy working on getting re-elected or serving the people who pay for their re-election.
a deep pit to bury all those hatchets.
to observe this from Robert Burns' Ode to a Louse: "Oh wad some power the giftie gie us / To see oursel's as others see us!"
The six freshman senators — see "integrity" above.
Sen. Lorraine Berry — to make good on her statement that the press — and therefore the public — will "get the information they have requested before the end of the year." (Please note: It is the end of the year, and the senator's individual budget allotments, requested since last January, have not yet been made public.)
Sen. Craig Barshinger — a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence Senate Presidents.
Sen. Adlah "Foncie" Donastorg — a copy of the Carnival Committee's financial records, along with an audit of Vitelco's finances going back 10 years. Congratulations on successfully sponsoring the Animal Anti-Cruelty bill for five years.
Sen. Louis Hill — the perseverance to shepherd through upcoming public forums on the 2007 Constitutional Convention. And congratulations on staying on top of the anticipated GERS debacle.
Sen. Norman Jn Baptiste — in previous years we hailed the senator's oratory and wished him a year's tuition to the Actors Studio. For 2006, we retract those wishes. He must have taken us seriously.
Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone — congratulations on decreasing the endless number of press releases flowing from his office. (That's changed.)
Sen. Juan Figueroa-Serville — an oversized satchel to store all that rhetoric before it hits the floor.
Sen. Ronald Russell — good luck in getting St. Thomas moved to St. Croix.
Sen. Celestino A. White Sr. — a continuing blissful marriage to his political partner, Senate President Lorraine Berry. Idle also hopes the good senator will follow in the footsteps of Sen. Malone on those press releases.
For some of our other illustrious leaders and notable institutions, Idle wishes:
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull — the grace to decrease the amount of his raise request and defer its implementation to the next governor. Also, the good form to earn what he's already making by showing up somewhere in the territory occasionally, while still in office.
Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards — the wherewithal to take a really close look at the potential pitfalls of the new health insurance proposal.
Delegate Donna M. Christensen — good luck in getting her chief financial officer bill through the U. S. Senate, now that it has passed the House of Representatives.
The Carnival Committee — the character to reveal its finances, and therefore remove the taint of deception that colors the Virgin Islands' proudest cultural event.
WAPA Executive Director Alberto Bruno-Vega the intelligence and will despite legislation that was not designed to do so to choose a small-power provider that will truly be of the 21st century in using reliable, affordable, renewable energy that will help the territory get away from the use of diminishing, costly and ill-gotten fossil fuels.
The governor's financial team congratulations on your secret pay raises. Idle hopes you use the money as inspiration to finally provide residents who are entitled to it and paying for it with a transparent and functioning financial management system.
V.I. Inspector General Steven van Beverhoudt — the heart to keep going despite growing evidence that no one cares least of all V.I. juries if their public servants steal from them.
Pubic Services Commission — that some of the commissioners who appear not to understand their legal task start serving the public instead of the power brokers.
Former radio personality and attorney general Iver Stridiron — to step back up to the microphone. Idle misses his dulcet tones gracing residents with informed spin.
Tourism Commissioner Pamela Richards — another year's supply of bright pink "While You Were Out…" phone call message pads and the fortitude to return those calls.
KQS radio owner and animal activist Randy Knight — congratulations on perseverance in lobbying for the Animal Anti-Cruelty bill and, for 2006, continuing support for the Animal Care Campus.
Humane Society Executive Director Joe Elmore — ditto.
Community activist Jason Budsan — a groundbreaking for the new library in Tutu; a permanent staff for the Dorothea Fire Station; open books for government entities. And congratulations for a sustained spirit. Dream on!
The V I. voters — the intelligence and will to look beyond "idle" (pun intended) promises and to choose leaders that can and will actually lead, rather than line pockets. It's an election year. THINK.
V.I. Port Authority Executive Director Darlan Brin — some way to fund the long-awaited waterfront apron enhancement project. And the same pink "While You Were Out…" telephone message pads.
Idle also wishes:
Godspeed, or maybe slow down in some cases, to potential gubernatorial candidates: Sen. Lorraine Berry, John de Jongh, Sen. Celestino A. White Sr., recently retired Judge Edgar Ross, Kenneth Mapp, James O 'Bryan, Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards, IRB Director Louis "Lolo" Willis, Ike Williams, and Wayne "Facts Man" Adams. Idle also hopes some of them will stop using their positions to shamelessly campaign for office.
And from the Source — we wish in 2006 that:
justice officials, both local and federal, will finally provide real answers on the alleged hate crimes that made the news in 2005.
we never have to write another headline about a young person, or anyone, having been murdered. (Same as last year.)
— that the 26th Legislature will inform us ahead of time of all meeting cancellations and meetings and keep them short, sweet and to the point. (See shamelessly campaigning for office above.)
— WAPA employees and all other government employees who are stealing and helping others to steal power, money and time from the territory's residents be prosecuted.
— we get phones that work and competition for that service. (See "start to serve the public instead of the power brokers" above.)
— that the winds of the Virgin Islands may never rise above the "trade winds" category.
— that the waters surrounding the Virgin Islands will never again be polluted with sewage runoff from an antiquated system and that our beaches are protected for the use of the people.
that classes for the territory's children will meet every day they are scheduled with no days lost to lagging summer maintenance, violence, arson, mold, or bad weather. And we hope the teachers show up, too.
— that the young men of the Virgin Islands learn to settle their disputes without guns. (Same as last year.)
— that the public start pay
ing attention to the Kids Count Data Book and reverse the trends of ignorance, poverty, abuse and neglect that are ruining our children's lives.
— that the U.S. Treasury Department and the White House settle on fair, realistic rules that clarify and leave the Virgin Island's EDC program intact. (Same as last year.)
— that the endangered sea turtles, coral reefs and fish species in the Virgin Islands be left in peace to renew and multiply. (Same as last year.)
And, to the people holding the power in the Virgin Islands: May you stop abusing that power, understand the government is the people and that you owe your jobs and livelihoods to those people. Stop the blatant self-serving maneuvers and start putting principles into government and business. Let us truly live in paradise.
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