Local News
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By Cécile Lucot
    Cécile Lucot has been living in St. Barths for 9 years. Originally from Bordeaux, this professional journalist has been the editor-in-chief of St-Barth Magazine for 6 years. She is he press agent for Jeet Singh and his rock group Dragonfly. She writes regularly for regional magazines such as Mer Caraïbes and Tropical, and once or twice a month presents a synthese of the local news on St. Barths Online.
  July 4th, 2003 - #2
  Hurricane Season Blows In
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  Professor Gray and his staff at the University of Colorado are specialists in the study of hurricanes and tropical storms. As they do every year, they have already announced their predictions for the 2003 season that officially started on June 1. The researchers predict quite a bit of activity, calling for the formation of 12 tropical storms and eight hurricanes, of which three will be of major importance. But even if these predictions sound scary at first, it is important to remember that chances are rather slim that the storms will actually hit St-Barth. Looking at last yearŐs tropical storms, 12 were important enough to be Ňnamed,Ó while four developed into hurricanes, but none of them approached the waters of the Northern Islands. Ana, the first tropical storm of the 2003 season, formed on Easter Monday, 250 kilometers Southwest of Bermuda but its path never menaced St-Barth. This first storm formed so early that the season debut was noted by scientists as one of the earliest since 1967. For the past three years, St-Barth has been spared from hurricanes and tropical storms in spite of predictions by experts for active seasons. This means that residents and visitors have enjoyed a long run of good weather. In fact, the Caribbean summer is cooled by light breezes with the sea often as smooth as a lake, to the advantage of water sports, such as water skiing, wake boards, and jet skis, that are harder to enjoy in the winter months. According to the old-timers of St-Barth, the island will be spared from hurricanes again this year. LetŐs hope they are right!
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  Summer in St-Barth
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  After the dance recitals and concerts that mark the end of the classes, the islandŐs schools have closed their doors until early September. During the summer, lots of families take off for a month of vacation before heading back for the opening of the school year. Compared to the months of December and January, traffic flows freely in the streets of Gustavia. The summer tourists, compared to those of the winter season, are more likely from France. They enjoy the tranquility that reigns in the summer months, when even the beaches seem deserted compared to the winter crowds. At Town Hall, the calm is relative, as the islandŐs officials are not on summer vacation. At the municipal council meeting on June 27, they voted to accept the fiscal audit for last year. They also signed the agreement marking the islandŐs official role as arrival point for the Transat Ag2r 2004 Lorient-Madeira-St-Barth. This biennial transatlantic race sets sail in mid-April in Lorient, Brittany, then it heads toward St-Barth after a 72-hour stopover on the island of Madeira. An unusual race, with all the same size boats, teams of two have designed by Jean-Marie Finot and Jean Berret in 1984. In 2004, the sailors will use the new, 10.5 meter Figaro Beneteau boats introduced to the racing circuit in 2003. With the same rigging, the same sails, and the same safety equipment, the boats are basically identical. The difference comes with the choice of itinerary based on weather patterns, and the slightest error can make or break the race. The municipalityŐs technical services office takes advantage of the quiet summer months to undertake major projects such as the restoration of certain streets in town, and the rebuilding of the quay General de Gaulle. Along Rue Courbet, for example, city water pipes, electric lines, and telephone cables are being moved underground before the street is covered with paving stones, inspired by the former Swedish style. The principal dock will be under construction all summer, as its infrastructure is reinforced and covered in granite. There will also be new housings the entire length of the dock for water, electricity, and telephone/internet hook-ups for yachts. The work should be completed with the new services up and running by early November.
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  More to Come
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  Cécile Lucot
  
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