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USVI Community Pulse

Major League Baseball Star and Virgin Islands Sports Mentor Alvin McBean Passes Away at 85



Alvin McBean.

Alvin McBean, a distinguished personality in Major League Baseball and a devoted advocate for youth sports in the Virgin Islands, passed away on January 31 at the age of 85.

Born in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, on May 15, 1938, McBean’s remarkable transition from a career in photojournalism to becoming a revered figure in baseball has profoundly influenced the sports community.

Initially embarking on a career as a photojournalist, McBean, at the age of 19, found himself at the Pittsburgh Pirates’ tryouts in 1957 in St. Thomas on assignment. Upon the encouragement of friends, he swapped his camera for a baseball glove, a decision that would lead to his recruitment by the Pirates in the following year.

McBean made his major league debut in July 1961 and by 1962 had become a key starting pitcher for the Pirates. His prowess was particularly notable as a relief pitcher, earning him a spot on the National League Latino All-Stars team and the title of The Sporting News’ NL Fireman of the Year in 1964.

His career saw him being picked by the San Diego Padres in the 1968 MLB Expansion draft, briefly playing for the Dodgers, before returning to Pittsburgh, and concluding his professional career with the Phillies in 1971.

Following his retirement from professional baseball, McBean dedicated his efforts to the advancement of sports in the Virgin Islands, serving in the Bureau of Recreation from 1973 until 2007. His tenure, which included a role as Deputy Commissioner, significantly impacted the local sports scene.

Calvert White, the Commissioner of the Department of Sports, Parks, and Recreation (DSPR), lauded McBean’s enduring impact on youth sports. “Alvin McBean’s unwavering dedication to nurturing young athletes and his legacy at the sports park that bears his name are monumental. His contributions will forever serve as a source of inspiration,” White stated.

Governor Albert Bryan Jr. also commended McBean’s service and dedication. “For over three decades, Alvin McBean was an integral part of the Virgin Islands’ sports and recreation community. His passion and commitment have left an indelible mark on our youth and the DSPR, enriching the lives of countless individuals and shaping the future of sports in our islands,” Governor Bryan reflected.

Alvin McBean’s legacy endures as a beacon of dedication to sports and community service, celebrated for his achievements on the baseball field and his influential role in fostering young talent in the Virgin Islands.

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USVI Community Pulse

St. Croix Central High School Shifts to Online Learning Due to Severe Weather



Following unexpected heavy rainfall that led to the premature closure of its campus on Monday, St. Croix Central High School has promptly adapted by moving to virtual learning for Tuesday, as announced by the V.I. Department of Education.

The decision came after students were released from school earlier than scheduled, a move necessitated by the rain’s significant impact on the infrastructure and daily operations of the school. This proactive transition to digital classrooms ensures that education remains uninterrupted, allowing students to connect with their educators via Teams during their usual school hours. Coursework and assignments will be managed and submitted using Teams alongside Schoology, ensuring a seamless continuation of the academic program.

The Department of Education is actively addressing the situation by conducting thorough cleaning and evaluations to make certain the school environment is secure and conducive for the return of its students and faculty. The goal is to welcome back the school community for in-person learning by Wednesday.

It’s important to note that this weather-induced adjustment is isolated to Central High School, with all other institutions within the district operating as per their standard schedule, unaffected by the recent climatic challenges.

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USVI Community Pulse

Unlocking $75 Million for Business Resilience: A Call to Action



The Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority (VIHFA) has unveiled an extraordinary opportunity for local enterprises with the launch of its Commercial Hardening and Financing, alongside the Small Business Mitigation programs. These initiatives, bolstered by a generous $75 million from the Community Development Block Grant-Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) Action Plan, are specifically designed to fortify businesses against the adverse effects of natural and human-made disasters.

A sum of $40 million is earmarked for the Commercial Hardening and Financing Program, with an additional $35 million allocated for Small Business Mitigation efforts. These funds aim to minimize operational interruptions and enhance resilience among the business community in the face of unforeseen challenges.

Dayna Clendinen, the Interim Executive Director and Chief Disaster Recovery Officer at VIHFA, strongly advocates for prospective applicants to partake in the forthcoming workshops. These sessions are crucial, offering vital technical support and guidance throughout the application journey.

The schedule for these informative workshops is as follows:

  • St. Thomas: Monday, March 4, at 6 p.m., located at the UVI Innovation Center in the SBDC Training Room.
  • St. John: Tuesday, March 5, at 6 p.m., hosted at the Julius E. Sprauve School Cafeteria.
  • St. Croix: Friday, March 8, at 6 p.m., taking place at the Sunny Isle Shopping Center in the Elections Office.

In addition to in-person gatherings, VIHFA will host two online townhall meetings for broader accessibility. These virtual engagements are slated for Wednesday, February 28, and Wednesday, March 6, both commencing at 6:00 p.m. AST. Pre-registration for these events is mandatory, with details available through VIHFA’s provided links.

For those ready to seize this opportunity, applications for the CDBG-MIT Economic Resilience and Revitalization Program are accessible online. Whitney George, the Management Assistant, is available for inquiries or assistance regarding paper applications or the application process at (340) 772-4432 Ext:3248, or through email at [email protected] or [email protected].

The application deadline is set for April 5, 2024, at 11:59 PM. This timeline offers businesses a substantial window to apply for this pivotal funding, a step forward in ensuring their growth and sustainability amidst challenges.

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USVI Community Pulse

UVI Gears Up to Host David Roberts for Prestigious 13D Business Leadership Lecture



The University of the Virgin Islands is setting the stage for the much-anticipated 2nd Annual 13D Business Leadership Lecture, which will be held at the UVI 13D Research and Strategy Innovation Center. The event, taking place on Monday, March 11, at 6 p.m., will spotlight David Roberts, a distinguished figure in the realms of singularity and innovation.

Renowned for his expertise in disruptive technology and exponential leadership, Roberts brings a wealth of knowledge from his tenure as a faculty member at Singularity University. His dedication to harnessing technological advancements for global betterment has made him a pivotal figure in shaping future leaders and innovators.

Dr. Pamela Moolenaar-Wirsiy, the Dean of Innovation and Student Success and Vice President of Institutional Advancement at UVI, shared her excitement for the lecture. “Hosting the second annual 13D Business Leadership Lecture underscores our commitment to fostering an environment of groundbreaking ideas and innovation,” she stated. The event is designed to spark revolutionary thinking and aligns perfectly with the visionary objectives of the 13D Innovation Center.

With a rich background that includes leadership roles in Singularity University’s Graduate Studies Program and an academic foundation from Harvard Business School and M.I.T., Roberts is uniquely positioned to guide discussions on artificial intelligence, bio-computer engineering, and the future of technology. His ventures have attracted significant investment from industry giants, including Kleiner Perkins and Vinod Khosla, highlighting his impact on the entrepreneurial landscape.

The lecture is open to the entire community, inviting local leaders, business professionals, and students to engage in a dialogue that promises to reshape perspectives and inspire innovative solutions for the challenges of tomorrow.

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