Tue, Dec 31st 2013, 04:00 PM
The Old Fort Bay Town Centre in Western New Providence recently held its annual Christmas Extravaganza Party to heighten awareness of the expanding high-end mixed retail centre and to showcase Christmas shopping specials at the many stores.
“We were delighted to see such a terrific and fun crowd,” said NPDCo real estate VP Jane-Michele Bethel. We feel it was reflective of the Town Centre’s uptick in foot traffic generally, sales more specifically, and the significant tenant increase through 2013. We have so much more to offer now and in 2014, more shops, Venetian West, a new, nearby residential development, the Old Fort Bay Preparatory school and a Shell Gas station.”
Old Fort Bay Town Centre Shops, anchored by Solomon’s Fresh Market West and The Royal Bank of Canada currently offer a very useful shopping mix boosted by this year’s new tenants: Naughty Johnny’s Bistro, Old Fort Bay Paediatrics, HG Christie Real Estate, Tangle Hair and Nail Salon and Calypso Kids Collection. They join, home decor furniture and effects, accessories and gifts from the Bahamas Design Centre West and The Island Store, art from The Gallery at Old Fort Bay, health benefits at Liquid Nutrition and Your Friendly Pharmacy, Sushi Rokkan for Japanese food, European men’s and women’s fashions from His Fashion and Benetton, Happy Pets Animal Clinic, BTC for the new 4G LTE and other top notch phones and services, Dermalogica Skin Centre, Going Places Travel, Keg Ranch Wine and Spirits and Touch Control high tech entertainment needs. One lucky shopper Ronnette Creighton won the $1,000 shopping spree in the Party Draw to spend as she likes in any of the stores.
For the Christmas Extravaganza Party Frank Macrito Fresh Market store manager supplied a jolly Father Christmas and Deli food and fruit platters; Mark Miller of Keg Ranch Wines paired these culinary delights with a fine selection of wines.
The Fresh Market store manager said his store was a treasure trove of Christmas goodies! “We have plenty of in-store specials currently and a large selection of Christmas foods and specialities including made to order Christmas Baskets. Our line of Waitrose products has also proved very popular especially with people who recognise the brand from England.”
Anthony Big ‘Mo’ Morley has expanded the market reach of his Gallery at Old Fort Bay, by supplying the pent up demand in the West for large statement pieces. Many of his current sales have been commissioned and his best sellers are his larger canvas works of art. The Gallery also shows the works of others and provides a range of frames and related services.
Also doing extremely well is the highly accredited and certified Touch Control home theatre design and install centre. Manager Ryan Bethell says their professional industry accreditations, word of mouth, service and product line, check all the right boxes for the residential communities in Western New Providence.
“When can you fit me in? Is the usual question once they see and experience the Home Theatre set up in our shop and see our credentials,” said Mr. Bethell. “That’s what they want – a top of the line home theatre professionally installed with back up service as needed!”
Benetton, staffed with doe-eyed beauties served customers late into the night leaving hangers swinging and shelves depleted. Owner Chinarae Pratt said Benetton clothing lines and accessories never fail to please.
HG Christie, the agents for office space at the Old Fort Bay Town Centre held on-going court in chic offices above Naughty Johnny’s Bistro. His fashion was also extremely busy. The latest lines in demand brand names such as Ralph Lauren, Faconnable, Kenneth Cole and Tommy Hilfiger are all available year-round and only at His fashion. Marketing manager, Etienne Christen said sales had increased steadily through the year but it was definitely holiday events that brought in a crowd.
Naughty Johnny’s the new restaurant and bar addition to the Town Centre Shops was packed all evening, with many of the guests reminded of his cousin, the popular Johnny Canoe formerly of the Nassau Beach Hotel on Cable Beach. Five members of The National Youth Choir sang a selection of popular Christmas songs and the evening came to a fitting fun end with a Junkanoo Rush Out performed by the Bahama Dancers.
Tue, Dec 31st 2013, 12:24 PM
For most people, the sentiment is the same, right about now they don't want to see another slice of ham or turkey or any of the fixings that come along with the Christmas Day meal, because for most of them that was just one meal among many that has left them feeling bloated and lamenting the fact that they've simply eaten too much.
With the eating that's going to come with the New Year's Day celebration, most people will be making a New Year's resolution to lose weight, or to simply cleanse their bodies of the damage they have done to their bodies in recent weeks.
Most people will make the decision to get in more exercise, and while the exercise is necessary, most people need to make a decision to change their eating habits, according to New Life Natural Vegetation Cell Food Ltd.'s herbal and alkaline nutritional consultant, Donnaveo Sherman. At New Life, they encourage people to let their food be their medicine and their medicine be their food.
"Essentially it starts with the mind first, to want to change your eating habits to move away from eating food ... processed food, starchy food, meat-based food, dairy products that are not good for them, and is causing all this sickness," said Sherman.
The consultant said after making the decision to eat better, the next step would be for people to educate themselves about what they are putting into their body. Once they've made the decision to change their eating habits, they should begin by transitioning their bodies for a new life of eating by doing a body cleanse.
"You would want to transition if you want to make it permanent," said the herbal and alkaline nutritional consultant "Cold turkey is good, but not good for everybody. Everyone is not going to just jump into it. Some people who do jump into it find it more difficult because they are addicted to the foods they are eating... the meats, dairies and starches, so people need to slowly transition, depending on their condition, out of the food. Now some people may not have that luxury. Some people may have to go cold turkey because their life is actually dependent upon removing the poisonous substances from their daily diet."
At New Life the transition begins with a $50 consultation during which customers are educated and informed about the foods and the compromises they have in their system are addressed. Sherman says they show patrons the foods and herbs they need to be eating and the therapeutic package they would need to use to clean and clear their passageways of obstruction and disease-forming microbes, bacteria and viruses. Their goal, he said, is to alkalize (shift the pH level) in a person's body, which he says when done, does not allow disease to exist. He said diseases can only exist in an acidic environment and the only way to remove the acid from a person's body is to change their diet.
After making the decision to change their eating, New Life patrons undergo a cleanse utilizing either the ultimate quick fix New Life offers, the Ultimate Cell Cleanser, Chelation, Sea Moss and Healing Tonic.
Chelation is a heavy detoxification formulation which Sherman says is extremely bitter, but which cleanses not only the colon, but cleanses the liver and the kidneys. He said it removes poisons, toxins and heavy metals from the blood, along with an extraordinary amount of fecal matter out of the colon
"It [Chelation] does it on an intracellular level. It goes into the cells and starts to take the toxins and mucus out of the cells and increases the bowel movements to maybe four to six times a day, depending on how many meals a person eats daily. It's a very good cleanser. It's extremely potent and powerful."
According to Sherman, the Chelation should not be taken for more than a month at a time, and can be done every six months. A standard 16-ounce bottle with a three-ounce a day dose is approximately a week's supply. It's a cleanse the herbal and alkaline nutritional consultant advises be taken in the evening before retiring at night so that it can work while you asleep. He said the next day users would have a few bowel movements that may seem extreme for some people as it pulls the toxins and mucus out of the body. After those bowel movements he said the user would feel completely evacuated. He said it's so potent, that in some instances after voiding their bowels, some people have to return to the toilet because of the nature of the flushing effects of the herbs.
"The next protocol would be the Sea Moss because you want to nourish the body -- you want to nourish those cells back to health. You want to keep those cells clean, vibrant and mineralized. Sea Moss has 92 trace minerals in it and they say the body is comprised of 102, so I think that's a pretty fair trade in getting the body back. It also has fat-burning components to it, so it removes a lot of that excess fat that people would have accumulated over a period of time."
Between using the Chelation and Sea Moss, Sherman said he has heard some
people admit to losing up to 12 pounds in a week.
The Healing Tonic that he said is comprised of herbs, cleanses the blood and removes pathogens, microbes, and parasitical life forms out of the blood. He said for people plagued with hypertension and high blood sugar, the Healing Tonic helps to lower and normalize those conditions, as well as aids in kidney-liver function.
As patrons cleanse Sherman said people should start to understand what food is, and that they should be eating a raw food diet, which he knows most people won't adhere to. As a result, at New Life he says they steer people towards foods that are closely related to the foods they are eating that are close to the raw food lifestyle.
"Food should be alkaline in state, and we try to give people non-hybrid food -- food that hasn't been tampered with or haven't been cross-bred or genetically modified. At New Life they have a list of foods that they present that are alkaline forming or non-acidic as he said it's the acid that's causing all of the problems in people's bodies.
"Every time you eat something the body is not designed to eat, there is a process called Leukocytosis which is when you have an increase in white blood cell count because a foreign substance that does not belong in the body has entered the body. And you will notice people are always sick all the time because their immune system is being challenged on a daily basis because of the foods they're eating."
According to Sherman at least 90 to 95 percent of sickness in people is due to diet.
"Rarely is it external things, it is things that they put into the body that makes them sick," he said.
After telling people how to eat for three years, and where to get products New Life had to then show people how to eat. They essentially had to start selling items, including the introduction of a deli that has become very popular.
"We essentially had to start to carry items, but a lot of the grocery stores are now carrying the products," he said. "We don't carry everything that the grocery stores have simply because we base what we carry on our nutritional guide. We only carry the stuff that we have in the nutritional guide, the grains, the different fruits and what not. The grains and packaged stuff we carry because it's kind of difficult for people to find most of those things. But most of the grocery stores carry them because there's a demand for them. And it takes some of the burden away from us because we can't supply the entire country."
After purchasing products Sherman said they should be able to prepare the food and they help customers by giving them recipes as they usually come in to purchase food from the deli which he said eventually leads to them preparing the food themselves.
"People are surprised at the diversity in the food and the way we are able to make up the different dishes and the fact that it's not difficult at all," he said.
If you're looking to adopt a new eating life in 2014, Sherman said it's not really expensive, because all they're doing is directing you to shop mostly in the produce section.
New Life which is located in Independence Highway Business Park on East Street South is open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
Amaranth greens - same as Callaloo, a variety of Spinach
Chayote (Mexican Squash)
Garbanzo beans (chick peas)
Izote - cactus flower/ cactus leaf- grows naturally in California
Lettuce (all, except Iceberg)
Mushrooms (all, except Shitake)
Nopales - Mexican Cactus
Poke salad -greens
Sea Vegetables (wakame/dulse/arame/hijiki/nori)
Spinach (use sparingly)
Tomato - cherry and plum only
Bananas - the smallest one or the Burro/mid-size (original banana)
Berries - all varieties- Elderberries in any form - no cranberries
Grapes - seeded
Limes (key limes preferred with seeds)
Orange (Seville or sour preferred, difficult to find )
Soft Jelly Coconuts
Soursops -(Latin or West Indian markets)
Sugar apples (Chermoya)
All-natural Herbal teas
Sea Moss Tea
SPICES AND SEASONINGS
PUNGENT AND SPICY FLAVORS
Pure Sea Salt
Powdered Granulated Seaweed
(Kelp/Dulce/Nori - has "sea taste")
100% Pure Maple Syrup - Grade B recommended
Maple sugar (from dried maple syrup)
Date sugar (from dried dates)
100% Pure Agave Syrup - (from cactus)
NUTS AND SEEDS (includes nut and seed butters)
Raw almonds and almond butter
Raw Sesame seeds
Raw Sesame "Tahini" Butter
Tue, Dec 31st 2013, 12:14 PM
The government has approved the sale of Esso (Bahamas) to Barbados-based SOL Group for "around $80 million", subject to requirements including that local gas station operators are "protected," Minister of State for Investments Khaalis Rolle has confirmed.
Yesterday, a prominent industry stakeholder, Freeport Oil Holdings Company Limited's (FOCOL) largest shareholder, businessman Franklyn Wilson, said the decision will "increase competition" in the petroleum sector.
The deal, which is understood to involve SOL acquiring the downstream (retail) side of Exxon Mobil's operations in The Bahamas, is thought to be part of a wider ranging buy-up of Exxon Mobil's assets in six other Caribbean territories.
It comes after SOL led a buyout of Shell's assets in numerous Caribbean territories over the past decade.
The approval decision is understood to have been reached in recent weeks, months after SOL and Esso had first sought government approval for their deal.
Earlier, the government indicated it had some misgivings about the arrangement reached between the two companies.
In September 2013, Rolle told Guardian Business that it was the government's position that Bahamians should get a "right of first refusal" in relation to any sale of Esso (Bahamas), saying that after meetings between the government, Esso and the potential buyers, the sale to SOL was "not a fait accompli".
"We believe that Bahamians should be given a chance to participate in the process. The biggest complaint we are getting is that Bahamians are not being given a chance to participate in the process, so we will evaluate it based on that premise," he said.
Yesterday, Rolle told Guardian Business that the sale was approved "based on certain conditions, of which one of the major conditions is the ongoing protection of Bahamian (fuel) retailers" who presently operate under a leasing arrangement with Esso (Bahamas).
As to the value of SOL's acquisition, Rolle said he could not recall exactly but believed it to be in the region of $80 million.
Also included as part of the conditions of the sale is a requirement that SOL would be responsible for any remediation of environmental problems that may arise as a result of the company's operations.
"The major component was ensuring that the existing retailers were adequately protected, that their relationship is intact now and into the future, and to ensure the government doesn't release anyone from any damage unforeseen and any damage that may have occurred, using the experience of Texaco and Rubis (the French multinational which purchased Texaco in The Bahamas in 2011)."
When Rubis purchased Texaco's assets in The Bahamas it was required to take on responsibility for environmental remediation efforts relating to Texaco's operations. Asked specifically what environmental damage already incurred SOL might become responsible for, Rolle emphasized that no such damage has to date been identified and the condition is more of a precautionary measure.
Franklyn Wilson, chairman of Sunshine Holdings and Arawak Homes, and the largest shareholder in FOCOL, which purchased Shell's assets in The Bahamas, said he was not surprised at the government's decision.
"I would say that I think we anticipated the granting of this approval, after all, Exxon is one of the largest companies in the world and you are dealing with one of the largest companies in the region, so there is no obvious reason why the approval would not have been granted.
"As it relates to the impact of it, it's increasing competition, there's no question about that and from our point of view the industry will have to respond."
Asked what form this response might take, Wilson said that it was hard to say given that the industry is in "such a state of flux".
"A lot of things are changing, including the increase in taxation, so I can't say with any degree of certainty or a high degree of confidence right now as so much is up in the air."
In July, the arrangement reached between SOL and Exxon Mobil began to be made known in the regional media, and it is believed that the government may have been unhappy with the fact that an agreement to sell the Esso (Bahamas) portion of the operation may have been reached without consulting it.
The SOL Group describes itself as the "premier supplier of petroleum products to the Caribbean basin", operating across more than fifty-five companies in nineteen countries. The company is managed from a corporate head office in Barbados.
The group and its SOL Petroleum subsidiary are owned by Sir Kyffin Simpson, the businessman who holds the Suzuki franchise for the entire Caribbean region via his Simpson Motors business
In 2005 the company acquired Shell's assets in the Eastern Caribbean, Guyana, Suriname and Belize, becoming a licensee of the Shell brand, which meant that all across the region SOL was the authorized distributor of Shell products and services to customers.
In 2009 the company "solidified its presence across the Caribbean", unveiling its first SOL service station in Haiti before moving on to the markets of Anguilla, St. Kitts, St. Maarten and the British Virgin Islands a year later. The group has since introduced SOL-branded stations in Suriname as well as in St. Lucia and Barbados and in 2009 it purchased Shell's aviation business.
An email sent to Esso (Bahamas) Country Manager Valentino Hanna seeking comment on the approval was not returned up to press time.
Tue, Dec 31st 2013, 12:04 PM
With cost overruns more than tripling to allow the New Providence Road Improvement Project (NPRIP) to be completed, lender the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has been prompted to scrutinize what led to those unexpected increases.
In its 2012 Development Effectiveness Overview report, which looks at whether the IDB has made "sound investment decisions", the Washington, D.C.-based IDB points to The Bahamas as a "small country with big lessons" for how similar projects are conducted by the bank elsewhere in the Americas.
It stated that based on its analysis of challenges in executing the road project in New Providence, construction costs for the NPRIP were "underestimated because risks were not properly identified and quantified."
There were also delays in the project's implementation due to the original contractor ending up bankrupt.
"[This] contributed to the cost overruns being magnified. Rising construction costs are one of the biggest challenges to building infrastructure in urbanized and densely populated areas: The need to accurately estimate these costs in a complex environment where works will have to be adapted to changes in site conditions," the report stated.
To mitigate against such problems in the future, the IDB has suggested expanding its technical assistance for agencies in countries implementing similar projects, to ensure that risks are properly identified, measured and given to the best party to manage.
Despite the setbacks, NPRIP is expected to reduce traffic congestion, improve road safety, decrease pollution and lead to "a better quality of life on the island". Traffic accidents and road fatalities are also expected to drop by 15 percent upon completion of the project.
"So the benefits outweigh the problems -- but addressing those problems is critical to ensure that such projects proceed more smoothly and rapidly in the future," according to the report.
In 2001, the IDB supported the government's plan to "expand the country's road network and strengthen the institutions governing the transport sector". It called for the construction of 15 kilometers of new roads and repair of another 7 kilometers in a heavily urbanized area.
"Shortly after the start of the civil works, the contractor went into receivership and all construction work stopped. After two failed tenders to hire a new contractor, the government changed the bidding terms to take on some of the construction risks and the project finally resumed in 2007 after a new contractor was hired to complete the unfinished work," the report also stated.
"By then, costs had increased and additional civil works were added to the original plan, such as drainage and water pipes along the roads to prevent flooding. So, in 2008, the IDB approved a supplemental loan and construction works resumed."
And last year, the IDB approved a second supplemental loan for the project, bringing the bank's total financing for the project since 2001 to $270 million, more than triple the original cost estimate.