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Barshinger News
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASES                    BARSHINGER IN THE NEWS   


Barshinger Hosts Energy Roundtable Discussions
On December 11, 2013 and January 10, 2014, the Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, chaired by Senator-at-Large Craig W. Barshinger, and UVI's Caribbean Green Technology Center hosted two Energy Roundtables at the University of the Virgin Islands on St. Croix. Barshinger said, "Our goal was to bring key players into one room, roll up our sleeves and work towards an Energy Plan that would be supported in Committee by my colleagues and implemented by the Executive Branch; a plan that we worked and agreed upon together." Attendees discussed Bills which saught to reduce the cost of energy to consumers, improve WAPA and power generation in the territory, amend Act No. 7075, enhance the Feed-in Tariff Act and other measures designed to incentivize energy generation, modify the Public Services Commission's structure and duties and help the Territory reach its goal of a diversified energy portfolio by Year 2025.

The Roundtables were attended by Senators Craig Barshinger, Judi Buckley, Diane Capehart, Donald Cole, Kenneth Gittens, Clifford Graham, Janette Millin Young, Myron Jackson and Sammuel Sanes; WAPA Director Hugo Hodge; VIEO Director Karl Knight; representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy Steve Halls and Jennifer DeCesearo; PSC Chairman M. Thomas Jackson; PSC General Counsel Tanisha Bailey-Roka; Legislature Legal Counsel Lisa Moorhead; and local experts and business owners Steffen Larsen, Gustav James and Steve Larchuck. Representatives from Senators O'Reilly and Hansen's Offices as well as the Office of the Delegate to Congress also attended.



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Barshinger Hosts 3rd Annual Food Drive
    Senator Barshinger hosted his 3rd Annual Food Drive for the Hungry and Homeless on August 3rd and September 7th, 2013 on St. Croix.  A total of 450 items amounting to an estimate $1750.00 was collected!  Senator Barshinger would like to thank Food Town, Plaza Extra West, and the St. Croix community for their contributions.  Food items were donated to Catholic Charities.  We look forward to supporting and assisting more non-profit meal providers next year!




30th Legislature Summer Interns
The offices of Senator Barshinger have two new interns for the summer.  Both students are participating in the Legislature of the Virgin Island’s Student Internship Program.  On St. Croix, 23-year-old Lorne Joseph, a Chemistry major at the University of the Virgin Islands, has joined the staff.  “I hope to gain a lot out of the experience,” Joseph said.  19-year-old Henna Ramchandani has joined the St. Thomas office.  She is a rising junior at American University in Washington, D.C., where she studies Public Relations and Political Science.


Barshinger Hosts Distrubuted Energy Grid Conference     
     On April 30-May 1, 2012 Senator Craig W. Barshinger, UVI's Caribbean Green Technology Center, the V.I. Energy Office and Senator Sammuel Sanes hosted a two-day Distributed Energy Grid Conference. The Conference was a milestone as it provided a forum for key individuals such as Mr. Hugo Hodge, Mr. Karl Knight and Mr. Ben Walter to dialogue directly with the public. Along with leading experts in the field of renewable technologies, they provided insight on the components needed to successfully alleviate the territory's energy crisis by adding renewables to the grid.  Representatives from EmpowerVI, Xtreme Power, Aeronautica, Carbon Visions, Samsung SDI and ProSolar VI explained that with a distributed grid consumers, particularly business owners with large plots of land and/or roof space, are allowed to utilize renewable technologies to power their homes and businesses. Consumers will also have the option to sell power to the Water and Power Authority in order to stabilize the grid. Most importantly, the public learned that our territory has the potential and resources to be a leader in this "movement" towards an oil-free, sustainable and clean future.  For further discussion on the subject, please go to cgtc.uvi.edu.




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Barshinger Hosts Food Drive on St. Croix
    Senator Barshinger hosted his 2nd Annual Food Drive for the Hungry and Homeless on February 8th and 25th, 2012. A total of 800 items amounting to an estimate $2,500 was collected! Senator Barshinger would like to thank Food Town, Plaza West, the Alfredo Andrews Elementary School, Claude O. Markoe Elementary School and the St. Croix community for their contributions. Food items were donated to Catholic Charities, My Brother's Table and Project Help. We look forward to doubling our collection next year!

Barshinger Hosts Hate Crime Meeting on St. Croix
     Senator Craig Barshinger hosted the Hate Crime Bill Town Meeting on November 10, 2011 at the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix Campus. Constituents were invited to discuss the proposed Hate Crime Prevention Act of 2011 and its relevance to the Territory. "Hate Crimes" are those violent crimes that are motivated by bias against an entire group.
    Senator Barshinger stated “I consider this legislation an integral component of any society, but particularly one such as our own, comprised of a great variety of people. This legislation will ensure that Hate Crimes are named for what they truly are and in turn, do not escape the reaches of our local judiciary.”
    At the meeting, constituents were provided with a brief introductory presentation on Hate Crime Legislation after which time, the floor was open to discuss opinions, concerns and suggestions. Changes to the Act will be submitted based on the outcome of the meetings held on all three Islands.


Barshinger Hosts Noise Ordinance Meeting on St. Thomas
    Senator Craig W. Barshinger  held a town meeting on Monday, October 24, 2011 on St. Thomas to address noise issues on that island, particularly in the Red Hook area. This was the second in a series of three meetings to address various complaints of noise issues. The meeting took place on the Marlin Deck of American Yacht Harbor in Red Hook from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. About 50 individuals attended the meeting including representatives of the V.I. Police Department. Residents and business owners expressed their concerns with the current noise ordinance - Act 6930, the Noise Pollution Act. The representatives of the V. I. Police Department said their agency is having difficulty enforcing the law as it is currently written. For one, they do not have the noise meters to check the sound levels when responding to calls of noise pollution. The senator received various suggestions from attendees to improve on the current law, including allowing the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs to work with the Police Department in enforcing the law. All suggestions will be reviewed and incorporated into an amendment to fix the Noise Pollution Act. The final Noise Ordinance Town Meeting will be held on St. John on November 3, 2011.





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Barshinger Hosts Fredensborg Town Meeting
     The Office of Senator Barshinger hosted the Fredensborg Town Meeting on October 4, 2011 at the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix Campus.  Residents of Old Fredensborg were invited to discuss their opinions and concerns regarding purchasing and owning the land on which they reside.
     Senator Barshinger proposed that the government sell this land to the residents of Fredensborg. He said, “These individuals are Virgin Islanders who have formed a viable and safe community, and have built homes to raise their families for the past 30 years since the days the land served as housing for laborers at the Bethlehem Sugar Factory. They should have the opportunity to purchase the land that they have homesteaded. They should not be reduced to fearing that their homes will be destroyed at the whim of the Government. Both parties will benefit from this arrangement; these Virgin Islanders will own their homes, and the Government will collect additional revenue from their property taxes.”
     The Legislation being drafted by Senator Barshinger's office provides that the land be sold to the residents at fair market value and that they bring their homes into compliance with the building codes over a ten year period.
    The meeting was attended by over 80 members of the Fredensborg Community who showed their willingness to work towards a better future for themselves and their families.


Barshinger Hosts Noise Ordinance Meeting on St. Croix
    On August 11, 2011, Senator Craig Barshinger hosted a Noise Ordinance Town Meeting at the UVI Great Hall on St. Croix. About 40 individuals were in attendance, learning how best to control noise according to the Noises Ordinance Act.  Members of the Police Department explained the act to those in the audience and what they were doing to enforce it.  Residents were able to voice their concerns and have them addressed by the Police and Sen. Barshinger.  A similar town meeting was scheduled on St. Thomas for August 22, 2011 but was canceled due to Tropical Storm Irene.



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Barshinger Attends State Legislatures Conferences at Harvard University
    Senator Craig Barshinger attended a three-week Senior Executives in State and Local Governments Course at Harvard University from July 11, 2011 to July 29, 2011.  The course was a professional development course that provided much useful information to the senator to carry out his duties as a legislator. He was able to network with other government officials from all over the United States and market the territory as well.

Senator Barshinger Hires Summer Students on All Three Islands
    Although the Legislature did not have its regular summer program this year, Senator Craig Barshinger hired three summer students to work in his three offices from his personal allotment. The summer students are Javon Knight, who worked on St. Croix; Odelle Baptiste, who worked on St. Thomas, and Kamaria Penn, who worked on St. John. These students received a wonderful job opportunity where they could earn some money while learning about the functions of the Legislature and the At-Large Senator office.

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Senator-At-Large Sponsors Black History Essay Writing Contest
    During the month of March Sen. Craig Barshinger sponsored a Black History Essay Writing Contest at two elementary schools in the territory.  This is the second year Barshinger has sponsored this event to encourage reading and writing among young children in our community.  5th and 6th grade students at Yvonne E. Milliner-Bowsky Elementary School on St. Thomas and the Alexander Hendersen Elementary School on St. Croix recited their essays with great enthusiasm at both presentations. Yolinette Velazquez was the overall winner on St. Croix.

        

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