— November 15, 2016 Dear Editor: On Friday, November 18th the Virgin Islands Legislature will be meeting in the Fritz Lawetz Conference Room in the Rules and Judiciary Committee to hear testimony on Bill Number 31-0184; the Virgin Islands Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA). You may wonder why the State Director of AARP Virgin Islands has taken the time to write a letter to the editor advising all Virgin Islanders that this is happening. What makes this …

Photo by Ginny Dargan

— You love your community and you want to give back. Have valuable skills and tons of experience. So what is your next step? Where do you begin looking for a volunteer opportunity that will be a good fit for what you would like to do and your lifestyle? Volunteering is a noble way of providing services to your friends and neighbors. But what exactly do you want to spend your personal time doing for others? One way you can find …

— Written by Public Affail Wednesday, 28 May 2014 15:55 St. Croix—Senate President Shawn-Michael Malone hosted a Senior Citizens’ Mock Session on Tuesday, May 27, 2014 in the Frits E. Lawaetz Legislative Conference Room on St. Croix as part of activities associated with Older Americans’ Month. Virgin Islands seniors debated bill No. 30-2014 – an Act seeking to amend the Virgin Islands Code as it pertains to the Government Employees Retirement System. Seniors representing the 15 Senators on the floor were; …

— Things are looking shaky for Virgin Islands government workers who are at or near retirement. The Government Employees Retirement System is headed for bankruptcy in less than a decade due to insufficient contributions, a declining ratio of employees to retirees and lower-than-expected interest income. In 2013, a government task force recommended possible fixes such as increasing contributions, setting a minimum retirement age and prohibiting people from collecting a pension while still working. “About 8,200 government retirees buy goods and services …

—   As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) rolls out across the US, the Virgin Islands will also be making significant changes to its health care delivery system as a result of the legislation. Ending months of public speculation, Governor John P. DeJongh announced in July that the VI would expand the VI Medicaid Program instead of participating in a health care insurance exchange. The decision came as a direct result of almost 2 years of in-depth study by his Health …

— The U.S. territories aren’t usually the topic of conversation or a hearing in Congress, but thanks to two companion bills, Congress may soon be addressing new benefits to the outlying territorial jurisdictions. Senate Bill 1237, also known as the Omnibus Territories Bill will be discussed in a hearing on Thursday, July 11th. The bill was introduced in late June by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and covers a myriad of issues that are …

— Clean energy As part of its continuing interest in environmental concerns in the Virgin Islands, AARP is supporting efforts to find waste-to-energy solutions for the territory. After a recent meeting with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and local waste management officials about recycling, AARP is working with organizations such as St. Croix Recycles, the Virgin Islands Recycling Partnership and Energy Development in Island Nations to help develop ways to cut down on trash that ends up in the territory’s landfills and …

— New jobs and new revenue streams were all part of the focus of the discussions held on the UVI campus in St. Thomas as Judith Enck, Regional Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator took part in a recycling stakeholder meeting in late February.   “Think of it as a commodity and NOT as waste,” stated Judith Enck as she talked about the possibilities that are associated with recycling materials that are routinely thrown away. “There is not only funding streams, but …