Jet Blue hears VI supporters

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The effort begun by Mark and Nanci Shekleton to encourage people to send e-mail to Jet Blue urging them to begin service to St. Thomas has had some impact.  One the readers of NewsofStJohn said he got a cordial, if uncommitted reply.  "we appreciate your interest in St. Thomas,  USVI as a future JetBlue destination," the message to Franco Fellah read. "As a growing airline, JetBlue is continuously evaluating  new cities to serve."  Another reader commented on the item, saying that he sees Jet Blue flying NY to San Juan for less than $100. "If Jet Blue offers fares for under $200 to STT, I can come down four more times a year," he said. That, "would be quite a boost to the economy." Contact Jet Blue at http://www.jetblue.com/speakup/questions.asp

Maho Bay founder plans development

SelengutThe founder of Maho Bay Camps has begun selling one-acre lots near his resort for new villas.  And Stanley Selengut has a $20 million construction plan too for land he owns near Concordia to include dozens of villas, a yoga center, restaurant, recycled arts center, and some eco-tents, according to the St. John Source.  The winner of honors, awards and praise for his environmentally-friendly Maho Bay development, Selengut told the online newspaper he is first and foremost a businessman.  Now 75, Selengut said he owns land near Maho as well as six acres on the road that runs toward Lameshur where he hopes to build a shopping area, parking garage and condominiums.

Road crews pave around utility pole

Crews from the Water and Power Authority are expected this week to replace a utility pole which is smack, dab in the middle of the newly built Enighed Pond access road.  Authority executive director Darlan Brin said he asked WAPA three months ago to move the pole.  "We couldn’t wait," said Brin, according to the Virgin Islands Daily News.  So, the paving company from St. Croix worked around the pole, paving the roadway and putting orange-and-white barricades around the pole.  "There bluntly was a coordimnation problem," said Glen Rothgeb, chief operating officer of WAPA.  "We are aware we should have had the poles removed," he said according to the Daily News.

Lots of houses for sale, still

CliffhouseThe number of residences offered through the Multiple Listing Service now stands at 66, at least 20-25 percent more than a year ago.  And while the MLS listings did get as high as 69 a few weeks ago, there has been movement of properties on and off the list, and agents say pricing is holding steady.  Of the houses listed currently, 14 are priced at $1 million or less, and about 90 percent of them are on the Coral Bay end of the island.  The $1-$2 million range is where the action is, 26 properties are offered, again most Coral Bay-ish until you get to $1.5 million when Fish Bay and Chocolate Hole residences appear.  The least expensive listed property is a 1-bedroom, 1-bath Carolina house priced at $500,000.  The other end is Cliffhouse (pictured), a 4-bedroom, 4.5-bath Peter Bay property, with hot tub and pool, priced at $13.9 million.

Cocolaba business for sale

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Already?  Islandia Real Estate is offering a gift shop located in the three-month-old Cocolaba Shopping Center in Coral Bay.  Big Fish, owned by Genoveva Rodriquez, is a gift shop featuring t-shirts, handmade bracelets and jewelry, coffee beans, spices and informal island apparel.  There’s also a selection of "Jimmy Buffet items," according to the St. John Source. Rodriquez is the wife of Jim Phillips, the developer of the shopping center.Asking price for Big Fish is $55,000. 

NY Times highlights hiking trails

IslandSunday’s New York Times edition spotlights 20 hiking trails on island, "suitable for anything from short jaunts to two-hour treks – that wind through hardwood forests past natural springs, lofty cliffs, cactus patches and decaying sugar plantations."  The 2.2 mile Reef Bay Trail gets a special mention, thanks to the petroglyphs.  The Times recommends Caneel Bay Resort and the Westin Resort as places to stay.  BTW, Caneel’s prices are quoted as $450 to $11,50 a night in season, while the Westin’s asking $669 to $1,879.  Here’s a link to detailed hiking information, and here’s the National Park Service’s map of the island