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Psalms 121;I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord which made heaven and earth.

We regret to announce the sudden death of

Born: July 12th, 1964
Died September 19th, 2010

She was the daughter of the late Alberic Narcisse HANSON of Colombier
She leaves to mourn:
Husband:                            Daniel RODRIGUEZ
Children:                             Daneris RODRIGUEZ
                                           Darineris RODRIGUEZ & family in Sto Domingo
                                           Damirkis RODRIGUEZ
Grand-children:                   Jader & Dariel RODRIGUEZ in Sto Domingo
Mother:                               Francisca De La ROSA HANSON
Father in law:                     Bernal INIRIO in Sto Domingo
Son in law:                          Hansel  Jaer JIMENEZ in Sto Domingo

Sisters:                                 Angelita HANSON de CARABALLO & family
                                                Maritza De La ROSA & family in Sto Domingo
                                                Carmen POLANCO & family in Sto Domingo


Brothers:                             José HANSON  BKA (Alberto or belto ) & family
                                                David HANSON & family
                                                Victor HANSON & family
                                                Josué HANSON & family
                                                Daniel HANSON & family
                                                Ezequiel HANSON & family
                                                Ramon POLANCO & family in Sto Domingo
Brother in law:                  Carlos CARABALLO
                                                Joselito, Alejandro, Anjito, Bitico RODRIGUEZ in Sto. Domingo

Sisters in law:                     Maria, Ysela, Luisa, Milagros RODRIGUEZ in Sto. Domingo

Aunts:                                   Raymonda De la ROSA in Sto. Domingo

Uncles:                                                Francisco De La ROSA in Sto. Domingo
                                                Pedro De La ROSA in Sto.Domingo

Aunts in Law:                     Adrienne HANSON

Nieces & nephews: Hector, Junior, Alexander, Iselo, Mabel, Angel, Albert, Danny, Gregory, Nilky             Ezequiel, Emmanuel, Alexis, Margarita, Angelita, Jeffrey, Marta  and many more too             numerous to mention.

Cousins: Viviane Gombs, Florentin Kingsale, Stanley, Francky, Sylvain, Hubert, Eugene & Claire HANSON, Janine Charbonnier, Yvette Miller, Liliane MAXWELL  and Many more too numerous to mention.

Also leaves to mourn:  The Pastors & members of Iglesia de Jesu-Cristo “Ecos de Salvacion” in Rambaud  & Iglesia Fuente Inagotable in Sto. Domingo
Many friends in St Martin & Sto.  Domingo too numerous to mention.

She was related to:      Hanson, De La Rosa, Rodriguez, Wilson, Polanco, January, Richardson, Gibbs, Carty, Vlaun, Ellis, Brooks, Philips, Van-Heyningen, Gombs, Chance, Cocks, Miller, Gumbs, Charbonnier, Maxwell, Vanterpool, Arsten, Bell, Caraballo, Kingsale,   And many more too numerous to mention.

Funeral arrangements for the late Clotride HANSON de RODRIGUEZ will be announced in a subsequent announcement.

The Management and staff of Emerald Funeral Home would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the bereaved families.

May Her Soul Rest in Peace




Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want

Marthe Augustine Hunt
Sunrise: August 27, 1915 ~ Sunset: September 14, 2010

She leaves to mourn:

Son: Dr. Emile Antoine Hunt
Daughter in law: Ramona Mercedes Martinez Hunt
Grandsons: Jeffery, Michael & Rafael Hunt  
Granddaughters: Nicole Hunt Jackson & Karen Hunter
Daughters in law: Kim Klyn & Darnee Hunt
Ex daughter in law: Hanna james
Great grandchildren: Antonio, Angelique, Sidney, Joshua & Matthew Hunt, Brianna  Walton & Michael Hunt Jr ., Tajan, Nia & Yana Jackson.
Brother: Isidore Hodge
Sisters: Pirette Hamel, Marcelle Hodge & Angel  White.
Many Nieces & Nephews too numerous to mention
Special cousins & caretaker: Gracita Thomas & fam.
Special cousins:  Natalie Richardson & fam., Nancy Bryan & fam., Sandra Panka, Micheal Hunt & fam., Bernice Thomas, Mireille Bryan,Pastor Desmond & Allen James.
Caretaker: Sonia Brown & Ruby Harriot
Many other relatives & friends too numerous to mention
She was related to the: Hodge, Duzang, Hunt, Rogers, Brian, Lake, Thomas, Lawrence, Gumbs, Richardson, White, Jackson, Hunter & Flynn families
The funeral service will held on Friday, September 24th, 2010 at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in French Cul de Sac. Viewing will be from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. Service will commence at 2:00pm. Interment will follow at the French Cul de Sac cemetery.

The Management and staff of Emerald Funeral Home would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the bereaved families.

May Her Soul Rest in Peace




L’ Eterne lest ma lumiere et mon saluts: De qui aurais- je crainte? L’ Eternel est le soutien de ma viede qui aurais- je peur? – Psaumes 27v1 

Joseph Dieusimene
Nee le 06 Janvier 1952

Decedee le 06 Septembre 2010
A Saint- Martin, France





























Le service funerarire :


· EXPOSITION  DU CORP:  2: 00  à 3 : 00 PM

The Management and staff of Emerald Funeral Home would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the bereaved families.

May Her Soul Rest in Peace





“Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days
Come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shall say, I have no pleasure In them;” - Ecc. 12:1

Gerline Maingrette-Blaise

Born: June 5th, 1993
      Died: August 19th, 2010


Mother: Maingrette Claudette B.K.A.  Joline (Haiti)
Step Mother: Julina Louis B.K.A.  T.C. (Saint Martin)
Father: Jean-Robert Blaise (Saint Martin)
Sister: Berline Blaise (Saint Martin)
Brother: Roberson Maingrette-Blaise (Haiti)
              Kevin Almé (Haiti)

God-Mother: Mène (Miami)
God-Father: Lauror Nickodème (Saint Martin)

Aunts: Mme Gerald, Alvie, Longin Anette, Gasnère Phébé, Mélicia Esperance
            Phébé Losta (Haiti)
            Phébé Tinette (Haiti)
            Longin Odette & family
            Longin Anne-Marie

Uncles: Phébé Cenet,
              Phébé Jouanet (Haiti)
              Phébé Senet (Haiti)
              Phébé Kenol (Paris)
              Phébé Jouakim (Paris)
              Phébé Jean-Baptiste (USA)
              Others to numerous to mention

Cousins: Jean-François Jocelyne, Jean-François Jeffry, Jean-François Marie-Josette, Phébé        
              Germina, Phébé Jean-Luc, Blaise Gilot, Irra Talita, Irra Martine, Irra Marc-Daniel,
              Irra Beatrice, Irra Valérie, Irra Antoine, Irra Jonathan, Noel Martha, Noel Cyril,                                  Phébé Rodrigue, Phébé Garry, Phébé Phito & Family (Saint Martin), Phébé Jean Tony (USA),
              Phébé Gracien (USA), Phébé Wilfrid & Family (Saint Martin),Phébé Vicker & Family (Saint Martin), Phébé Fritzner (Saint Martin), Phébé Mariane (Saint Martin), Phébé Cidrique (Saint Martin)
              Phébé Aboudou (Saint Martin), Phébé Cenor (Haiti), Phébé Manes St Maarten) and many others too numerous to mention.

Best Friends: Renilia Rollan, Marie Lauren, Carty Chantal, Wiline Sanon, Wakendell, Pierre Hol, Xavier…

She was a student of the Lycee Professionnel de Saint Martin.

Close Friends and neighbours: Anna Aka crip gyal, Paul Aka Sean Paul, Beatrice Aka Bébé, Dafné, Joana, Jimmy, Marie-France, Stacy & Kids, Roxane & kids, Jocelyne, Lisa, Leon & Sylvianne, Josette Aka voisine


The funeral service for the late Gerline Maingrette-Blaise will be held on Friday 3rd, September, 2010 at the Eglise Nazereen, rue de Coralita in French Quarter. Viewing will be from 2:00pm to 3:00pm. Service will commence at 3:00pm with interment at the St.Georges Cemetery in French Quarter.

The Management and staff of Emerald Funeral Home would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the bereaved families.

May Her Soul Rest in Peace




Psalm 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

It is with profound sadness we announce the home going of

Susannah Elizabeth Delaney-Ryan better known as Liz/Sis

Sunrise Jan 10th 1951 – Sunset Aug 27th 2010

Left to mourn:

Husband:  Charles O. Delaney 

Father:      Peter R.Skerritt in England

Children:  Sherolin C.Boirard-Delaney

                 Shaunetta C. Delaney

                 Shameda K. Delaney

                 Sheldon C. Delaney

Grand Children:  Ryne T. Boirard

                            Rhianna S. Boirard

                            Rasheema S. Boirard

                            Rayeesha S. Boirard

                            Ershaunio A. Delaney

                            Malia S. P. Delaney

Sister:                  Marion Skerritt *New York

Brothers:             Alfred Skerritt *Montserrat  

                            William Skerritt * Montserrat

Mother in law:    Yvonne G. Iles

Father in law:      Samuel A. Hodge

Son in law:          Ralph T. Boirard  

Sisters in law:     Barbara Charville, Sophia, Ghyslaine, Elderine Iles and Moyenva Bromet

Bother in law:     Edouard Arrindell (Eddie) *Virginia

Aunts:                 Frances Ryan *Montserrat

                            Mary Polly Ryan * England

                            Lydia Ryan *Montserrat

Nieces and Nephews, Cousins, God children and close friends too numerous to mention here and abroad.

Bishop: Michael & Annette Greenaway and members of the Victory Temple Church of God of Prophecy                        

Bishop:  Melroy Meade & Family and members of The Church of God of Prophecy in Montserrat
She was related to Delaney, Ryan, Skerritt, Boirard, Fenton, Hixon, Harney, Fagan, Allen, Silcott, Williams, David, Iles, Bromet, Artsen, Arrindell, Cassell, Kirnon, Charville, Charlmers, Barnwell, Sorton, Hodge, Godet, Rey, Harrigan & Smith families

The funeral service for the late Susannah Elizabeth Delaney-Ryan better known as Liz/Sis will be held on Tuesday September 7th, 2010 at the Victory Temple Church of God of Prophecy in Ebenezer viewing will be from 1:30 pm – 3:00pm service commence at 3:00pm with interment at the Cul-de-Sac Cemetery    

 The Family kindly Requests no visitors after the service.

 The Management and staff of Emerald Funeral Home would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the bereaved families.

May Her Soul Rest in Peace



God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble.

It is with deep sadness we announce the sudden passing of  our beloved son, father, grandfather, brother and friend

 Dasent Emmanuel Pemberton b.k.a “Ira” or “Brown”

Sunrise: 29 Nov 1942 ~ Sunset: 25 Aug 2010

Left to mourn are his father Mr. Renold Pemberton in Nevis
His eight children:
Michele Pemberton-Williams (Miami)
Dasent Browne Jr. (Germany)
Deserie Pemberton (Nevis)
Tracy Pemberton (St. Maarten)
Cordelia (Glency)Pemberton (Nevis)
Marguerite (Lisa) Pemberton - Isaac (St. Kitts)
Deora Pemberton (Nevis)
Natassicia Pemberton (Miami)

Sons in law: Christopher Williams (Miami) & Keeden Isaac in St. Kitts
Daughter in law: Lera Browne (Germany)

Grandchildren: Carrim Browne, Tiffani Browne, Adiah Budgeon, Dasente Browne,
Patrice Nisbett, Keeondre Isaac, Camille Williams, Christopher Williams Jr

His brothers:
Christian Pemberton (U.S.A.)
Don Pemberton (Nevis)
Pastor Eversley Pemberton (Nevis)
Glenn Pemberton (Nevis)
Godfrey Browne (Nevis)
James Pemberton (Nevis)
Paul Pemberton (U.S.A.)
Melville Pemberton (Nevis)

Deloris Browne (Holland)
Esther Pemberton (U.S.A.)

Favorite Brother: Don Pemberton in Nevis
Favorite nephew: Everson Powell in SXM
17 nephews and 11 nieces in SXM, Nevis, Holland, and the U.S.A.

13 sisters in law including Mrs. Vera Illidge, Beverly Milliard & Yvonne Pemberton in SXM
4 brothers in law in Nevis and Sxm 

Close friends: Ronald and Joyce Carty

Friends: Wanda, Nicole, Sinclaire, Nevile bka Top Secret, and many more too numerous to mention not forgetting the staff at the Airport Cargo Building and all of his loyal customers.

Mr. Dasent Emanuel Pemberton bka Ira, Browne, was related to the Pemberton, Browne, Williams, Isaac,
Powell, Nisbett, Budgeon, Milliard, and IIlidge families.

A Memorial Service will be held at the Emerald funeral home Chapel in Cay Hill on Thursday 02 August 2010. The body can be viewed from 9:00am to 10:00am. Service will commence at 10:00am.
 The body will be transported to Nevis for burial on Friday, September 3rd, 2010.  

The family will like to thank everyone for their support in this difficult time
of their mourning.

 The Management and staff of Emerald Funeral Home would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the bereaved families.

May His Soul Rest in Peace





Revelation 21:4  And GOD shall wipe away all the tears from their eyes and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.

It is with profound sadness that we announce the home going of Felicienne Hughes – Pieternella, affectionately known as “Rosey”
Sunrise: 9th June 1953 ~ Sunset: 6th September 2010
Left to mourn:
Husband:  Hector T. Pieternella

Children:  Antonia “Chema” Magloire (USA), Shawn Lokey, Kemani Austrie, Sharena Andrew

Step Children:  Ravie Pieternella & Family (Holland), Weiner Pieternella & Family (Holland)

Grandchildren:  Jazmine Magloire (USA), Kemiara Austrie, Jakira Austrie, Khayr Austrie

Brother: Gaymond Hughes (USA)

Sisters:                 Evangeline Hughes (Guadeloupe), Demeter V. Hughes

Daughters in law: Tamika Lake Lokey, Janet Austrie, Sabrina Vrutaal

Brothers in law:                Junior Pieternella (Curacao), Edsel Pieternella & Family (Holland)

Sisters in law      Gladys Klienmoedig & Family (Curacao), Elista Camille & Family (Curacao)

Close Niece        Laura Bryan & Family

Close Cousin      Brenda Hughes & Family (Anguilla)

Many Nieces, Nephews, and cousins too numerous to mention

God Son               Avery Brooks

Close Friends     Aurora Berkel, Noon Holaman, Kerell Maynard, Nadia Gumbs, Carmen Gumbs & Nadira Mohadeo
Care takers         Vera & Bernadine

The Staff at Ballerina Jewellers
                                Dialysis nurses and patients of the St. Maarten Medical Center

She was related to Hughes, Collidor, John, Romere, Pieternella, Austrie, Lokey, Andrew, Lake, Gumbs, Hodge & Connor families

The funeral service for the late Felicienne Hughes-Pieternella affectionally known as Rosey will be held on Monday September 13th, 2010 at the New Testament Baptist Church in Philipsburg.  Viewing will be from 2:00pm – 3:00pm. The Service commences at 3:00pm with internment at the Cul-De-Sac Cemetery.

There will be a Wake held at her home on Sunday September 12th, 2010 from 7:00pm – 11:00pm.

The family kindly requests no visitors after the funeral

The Management and staff of Emerald Funeral Home would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the bereaved families.

May Her Soul Rest in Peace




Now that the Island-council elections of Friday, September 17, 2010 elections are over, it has also become extremely evident that there is a great uneasiness-, and barely controlled anxiety among the population of the island.
That our grassroots St. Martin movement is not the only one which very concerned about the future of St. Maarten-, and by extension of St. Martin as well-, is evidenced by 'others' expressing similar views.
Mr. Jeffrey RICHARDSON leader of the CPA-, for instance expressed this in an interview with Lloyd RICHARDSON, on Wednesday, September 22, 2010.
Unfortunately-, and as usual St. Maarten's 'most popular' talk-show host-, lacks either the intellectual ability to really understand the the depth of the appeal Jeffrey was making to all the leaders of the country-, or most probably-, he lacks the willingness to depart from his deliberately-, simplistic tactic to 'dilute'- and 'erode' messages he does not like.
Whatever the case may be-, it will be up to the management of radio-stations to decide whether or not-, they are going to demand a higher quality- and standard from their hosts in order to contribute to educating the citizens on island in understanding- and dealing with the most serious of issues in its recent history.
Fortunately-, there are others who have expressed concern and need for a 'concerted' effort in order to move this island forward.
(See attachments of Kingdom Intervention by the Daily Herald, Julian ROLLOCKS, DP Secretary general and Duncan VAN HEYNINGEN)
We too, agree that while the election is over, the real challenges have just begun....
In our opinion-, there is only one logical premise to start dealing with these challenges-, and to avert the reality of external intervention.
It is based on understanding the real significance of most fundamental reality- and specificity of this island.
; 'St. Martin- One island- One People- One Destiny.
In other words, regardless of 'frontiers'-, and of one 'side' being 'Dutch'- and the other being 'French'- , its native people share one- and the same past-, presence- and future-, and that whatever effects one 'side' of the island-, will also effect the other 'side'.
And while we agree with the slogan that we need 'all hands on deck', we better do such in a structured manner.
Looking at both 'sides' of the island-, there are no other citizens or nationals-, that bind-, connect-, and unite the island's past, presence and future like its native-, indigenous St. Martin people.
These people are linked by blood-, shared property-, norms- and values and are ancestrally rooted in the history-, and in the emancipatory development of this country like no others.
Consequently-, even far more than the colonial authorities-, they have been the 'most constant human factor' to date on the island.
This is not said to divide the residents as some always try to make belief.
Rather-, it is intended to point out to St. Martiners, that they have a more special role- and responsibility than any other citizens to take the initiative to appeal to all political leaders to urgently come together in an emergency session of sorts, because the country is at a very dangerous cross-roads that will affect all on 'both sides' of the island and its people, who have nowhere else to go.
As the grassroots representative of all St. Martiners on the island as well as abroad-, we therefore hereby make ourselves available along with others-, recommend all the political leaders to set a date- and venue for such a meeting.
As far as we are concerned the main objective should be very clear.
It will be to formulate the 'St. Maarten/ St. Martin- agenda', which will be a preparatory phase towards the ultimate unification of the island, into one sovereign entity.
This is the only logical status for the island that will comply with us being bound by one common destiny as one People.
Since time is of the essence-, we look forward for this contact to be made before November 11, 2010 'St. Maarten/St. Martin-Day'
Should you politicians fail to take your responsibility to the next level, do not be surprised to see others willing to intervene and taking us seriously into consideration as the people's stakeholder.
The choice is yours.
Until 11-11-2010 that is.

drs. Leopold JAMES
President grassroots St.Martin nation building- and unification movement.
And yes, that one...
Proud-, native indigenous St. Martiners, no apologies to make there.


The historic September 17 elections for Country Sint Maarten have come and gone. The political reality today is that the nation will have its first coalition government or partnership government to lead Country Sint Maarten during the first four-year governing term. The National Alliance (NA) obtained seven seats, the newcomer United Peoples (UP) party obtained six seats and the Democratic Party (DP) two seats for a total of 15 seats.

The process to form a coalition government has already begun. The coalition agreement that will result out of these discussions will contain the ideas and vision of both partners with respect to the first four-year governing period and will be a historic document in Sint Maarten politics, as the first Country Sint Maarten coalition agreement.

Although there are differences between the three parties that have been elected to the Island Council/Parliament of Country Sint Maarten, there is also common ground.

The negotiation process to reach an agreement must be based on the realities of the election result. No party should make unrealistic demands, because the election figures speak for themselves. The basis of any negotiation to form a new government should be on the national interests of the people and putting together the best governing program with visions of a Sint Maarten better in every way.

Two political parties working together do not necessarily mean that the visions of the parties will be compromised by working together. They are strengthened and enhanced to the benefit of the nation.

A combination of parties' best ideas, attitudes and vision can produce a governing programme that is more forward looking and comprehensive than the individual party manifestos/programs. The combination of ideas will help to create a much stronger Sint Maarten society to the benefit of the entire nation.

Both parties have set out on a journey with some policies in common and a shared desire to work together in the national interests. This should lead to a governing programme based on a progressive coalition that is inspired by creating a stronger cohesive Sint Maarten society.

Roddy Heyliger

On the eve of this historical moment in our constitutional and political development as a nation, over 19,000 voters will have an opportunity to go to the polls to vote for 15-Island Council members who will serve as our nation's first members of parliament in Country Sint Maarten.

A lot is at stake. The two to 3000 voters, who do not exercise their right to vote, should do so in this election. This is a historic election and your support is needed now more than ever. We are looking up at a more prosperous future for our island nation. Parties vying for the voter's support once they receive that support must act in the interests of a better future for all.

Policies, programs and projects must not lead to bigger problems in the longer term, as that would be a betrayal of the prospects and prosperity of future generations.

The additional responsibilities that our island nation will have on October 10, 2010, are an opportunity for us to move forward and up. We will have all the responsibilities to act on behalf of the nation and deal with the issues that directly impact our people's daily lives. The Government elected will be able to bring about change like no other Government has done in the past.

With the new responsibilities as country, there are also obligations and the right of the people to hold directly responsible those elected to Parliament for any failures that take place during the first four-year governing term of Country Sint Maarten.

Governing our island nation post October 10, means committing us to continuing to build-up a modern Sint Maarten equipped to face the challenges of the 21st century. Every nation faces complications, but during times of distress, only then comes to life the creativity of a nation to work hand-in-hand with stakeholders to take decisive action. Government will need to act early and ahead of the curve – anticipating events, rather than simply reacting to them.

The first four-year term will be about building up a stronger, fairer and more secure nation to see the country up through challenges and helping working families, pensioners, the unemployed and the youth with the pressures they face. Country Sint Maarten calls for a new way of thinking, a new approach, thinking outside the box in order to deal with the challenges being confronted by the common man on a daily basis.

Country Sint Maarten has to prepare for the challenges of the future. Various nations around the world face long-term challenges which include climate change, the ageing of the population, and long-term food and water supply. There are many issues that require the attention of legislators and it's up to parliamentarians to be ready to take on these issues.

On Friday, September 17 is D-Day, decision day. Let us as a nation go to the polls in a quiet and peaceful manner as has traditionally been he case and vote confidently for the party of your choice.

Roddy Heyliger

Fellow St. Martiner of every single race-, creed-, age-, gender- and nationality living on St. Maarten/Saint Martin or anywhere on earth.

Greetings of hope to you,

After having heard your cries of been denied and rejected for your ancestral-identity and rights, finally starting Monday, October 11, 2010, the much anticipated cultural St. Martin ID-card will be ready for being issued to applicants.
It has been a long time in the making-, and comes at a time, when its need is becoming extremely evident to most of you.
Example of that need-, is the great initiative taken on FACE-BOOK, by a young St. Martiner living in Belgium, drs. Mark WILLIAMS, to have all native indigenous St. Martiners living abroad-, being afforded the right to participate in elections held on the island.
This concept of the cultural St. Martin ID-card was taken to the next level when on Friday, July 23, 2010, the first symbolic cultural St. Martin ID-card was presented to Mr. Gregory ARRINDELL, host of 'It is about time' and Roving Ambassador of CACCI, operating out of New York.
The next recipient of our symbolic cultural St. Martin ID-card-, was the newly appointed Assistant US-Attorney, Mr. Martin BELL, whose father Mr.Chester BELL, is a 'son of the soil' and member of a very respected-, traditional St. Martin family with many lawyers-, and medical doctors in their midst.
The issuing of these symbolic ID-cards, had been long in the planning by the only grass roots St. Martin nation building movement headed by drs. Leopold JAMES.
It was yet another planned phase in the previously ongoing debate- and process of identifying the St. Martiner.
After for decades-, having encouraged public debate and Government's interest in this issue, the movement decided that the time had come to put a end to the debate in order to move on to the next level.
Unfortunately-, the Island-Government of St. Maarten led by Commissioner William MARLIN, missed a wonderful opportunity to give real-, and meaningful content to the process of constitutional development-, as well as formulating the island's first constitution. The entire St. Maarten Island-council failed miserably by in fact denying the existence of the very people (St.Martiners) after whom the so-called new country is now called.
Clearly-, this is a blunder of historical proportions-, and a total betrayal of all dead- living and yet unborn St. Martiners
Nevertheless- we praise the Lord, for a recent initiative which has been started in Belgium, using FACE-BOOK by a young, professional St. Martiner, drs.Mark WILLIAMS.
This global initiative has-, in fact emphasized even more the need for an ID-card for St. Martiners in order to be able to identify our follow St. Martiners, wherever they reside in theworld.
Also, the enormous interest as reported by CACCI's Roving Ambassador Mr. Gregory ARRINDELL for this ID-card, among St. Martiners in New York-, and around the world, will soon be honored.
For the record.
This particular cultural St. Martin ID-card is not a legal document-, and therefore does not infringe on the rights as derived from holders of the Dutch- or French or any other nationality.
It is a document to allow for people 'rooted' in the Traditional Period(1848-1963) on the island, to be able to demonstrate their cultural-ancestral St. Martin identity- and heritage.
Consequently-, and finally these people will have a proof to identify themselves as St. Martiners-.
In addition-, they will be able to build strong mutual ties with each other based on their common ancestral heritage-, and ancestral links to the island.
We also foresee an tremendous trend among St. Martin young people in particular to trace their roots- by means of genealogical research-, as well as even more work for St. Martiners like Mathias VOGES, Wilhelm PATRICK, Camille BALY, Daniella JEFFREY and others.
In other words-, we anticipate an enormous revival of our native St. Martin heritage- and with that for our ancestral civic human rights and rights as native people and host-population.
The term St. Martiner is not about St. Martin/St. Maarten being some-one's place of birth, but about the card-holders having ancestral ties to the island from the Landmark Tear 1963 or before.
Our nation building organization will also present certain persons, who are not ancestrally linked to the island, with special 'honorary' ID-cards with the same rights- and privileges as native St. Martiners.
There are many persons-, who have made a significant contribution towards the development of the people of this island- and who will be granted the respect of been honored with a cultural St. Martin ID-card..
Many hail from the Far-east-, Europe, the US- and especially from our own Caribbean region.
One of the great assets of this ID-card is that there are thousands- upon thousands of persons all around the world, with ancestral links to this island.
It therefore needs no further emphasizing-, that having such a 'network'- /data-base consisting of St. Martiners-, will serve as a very powerful- and extremely effective means to promote the common interests of these St. Martiners and to negotiate whatever benefits.
In that context-, the initiative taken by drs. Mark WILLIAMS to use the internet to promote the rights for indigenous St. Martiners living outside of the island,(in the diaspora) to vote in certain elections.
Making the identification of these persons now possible, will allow for the very first time in our history, St. Martiners living ANYWHERE in the world, to participate in- and to influence developments taking place in their ancestral home-land St. Maarten/St. Martin.
Consequently- and effectively an end would be in the make, of certain expats taking advantage of St.Martiners being a minority in their own land.
In addition-, such a powerful 'native-indigenous St.Martin constituency' will change the island's politics fundamentally, because politicians will now have to seriously consider us.
Having been part of the process-, before he entered into politics can contribute significantly to Mr. Jeffrey RICHARDSON, leader of the CPA to give real content to his party's main objective-, and vying for strong support from the St. Martin voters in the Friday, September 17

The party's platform is focused on 'Preserving- and strengthening the traditional St. Martin way of life-, its people-, in the spirit of the Concordia Treaty'
This will allow to develop a most powerful foundation for harmonious integration-, and inclusion of others with added value.
The office will start taking applications for the ID- starting on Sunday '10-10-10'.(between 10 a.m. and 12.00 p.m.)
Applicants are advised to take along copies of relevant documents, such as birth-certificates to the office located at the Windsor-lane # 3, Cole-Bay, tel 54 43512.
Once approved-, applicants will be directed to the company which will take the ID-pictures and make the ID-card, which will have a code.
Negotiations are presently taking place with various entities, in order to determine the benefits for the ID-card holders.
Applicants living abroad can contact us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.
Mr. Jeffrey RICHARDSON of the CPA has committed himself once elected, to sit with all stakeholders work towards a joint private-public partnership, in order to promote this project.
The reason for this joint venture between the CPA and the grassroots St. Martin nation building movement is clear.
Both subscribe the the same philosophy in terms of developing the island.
It is to preserve- and strengthen the identity and the traditional way of life of the native St. Martiner in the spirit of the Treaty of Concordia in order to form a strong foundation for inclusion of others in the process of St. Martin nation building- and unification.
It should not go unnoticed-, that with the exception of the CPA, ALL the other parties-, insulted and betrayed the St. Martin people, by refusing to recognize them in the constitution for 'country' St. Maarten.
Therefore-, left up to the leaders- and candidates of the DP, NA and UP parties, St. Mrtiners do not exist-, let alone that those with roots to the island-, who think that the exist and who happen to live on the French-side and/or elsewhere-, would never be afforded that sacred right.
At the same time these politicians bend backwards to reward non added-value, illegal immigrants with the most powerful rights, such as the right to vote and be voted for.
Persons, not of St. Martin heritage, but whose love for the island and its people can be demonstrated-, are emphatically invited to apply for an 'honorary' cultural St. Martin ID-card as well, because we embrace them as integral part of the St. Martin nation.

Copies to

For more information;
drs. Leopold JAMES, 54 43512/ 5204325
Jeffrey RICHARDSON, 5221574 / 5860043

Dear editor,

You are kindly requested to publish this letter for me.

This is to inform the people of St. Maarten that the poll published in the Today newspaper of Friday, September 2010 is a fraudulent one.
It was paid for by Theo Heyliger, backed by Richards Gibson, Ansari and other corporate sponsors.
From very reliable inside sources, I have learned that it has been completely manipulated and prepared in such a manner that mainly UP supporters were in on it.
I have this information from very good sources within the today company and from certain UP members who were part of this scheme.
It is done mainly in order to discourage people from voting for Jeffrey Richardson's CPA party which has been receiving growing support among St. Martin voters and others as well.
That is the reason, that Hilbert only focused all his negative progaganda against the brand new CPA, which is the smallest party, with no money, but with a very appealing message to people.
He did this instead of going after the two very large parties, the NA and the DP.
This alone, raises a red flag in terms of the anti CPA conspiracy executed by Hilbert Haar of the Today newspaper which is own and complete controlled by Richard Gibson.
In fact, this means that the big foreign business are not afraid of the DP and the NA, because they in fact are just like the UP and are not there to empower and protect the native St. Martin people.
This role has been championed by the CPA and many St. Martiners find it a very appealing message.
The Today newspaper also has been getting the feedback that even DP, NA and UP candidates are very sympathetic to the message of the CPA and are telling many of their supporters, to also cast votes for the CPA.
The so called poll by the Today lacks so much credibility that even Greg Richardson the # 3 of the UP this afternoon confessed to Wendell Moore, that he himself does not attach too much attention to it.
Mr. Haar in his hatred for Leopold James, who he blames as being the brain behind CPA, as if that is any concern to people, might have gone too far this time, when he mentioned that indigenous St. Martiners themselves do not care about being marginalized.
This is the biggest insult to any St. Martiner, on either the DP, Na or CPA party and can well backfire into the CPA getting even more sympathy-votes to send a message to all those who have no regards for native St. Martin people.
Our source also tells us that if the DP had paid more than the UP for setting up this deception, the outcome of the Today newspaper would have been quite different.
looking forward to this letter being published in order to bring balance in this matter.

Albert Martin

Dutch Member of Parliament (MP) from the Labour Party PvdA Jeroen Recourt, is questioning the integrity of members of the Main Voting Bureau who are also supported by members of the various polling stations, based on media reports of alleged irregularities.

The voting process on the island is carried out in the most transparent manner and upholds the highest standards found in any Western world political process. I can't recall when the integrity of the Main Voting Bureau has ever been brought into question and if so, that an investigation was carried out to bring to light any past irregularities.

Voters have the highest respect for the members of the Main Voting Bureau and the way they carry out their tasks and responsibilities.

The voting process on the island is regulated by law. The procedures are clearly defined and the members some of them who have been involved in the process for years are well aware of proper governance where voting is concerned.

It is a slap in the face for MP Jeroen Recourt to question the integrity of our voting officials and questioning whether the elections on the island were properly executed.

Recourt has proposed placing the island's Electoral Council under higher supervision.

His baseless rant is from newspaper clippings in Dutch media that are anti-Sint Maarten.

Recourt owes the Sint Maarten Main Voting Bureau and polling station representatives an apology.

Roddy Heyliger

The 'good' is actually 'excellent'.
Like in few-, or in any places in the world, elections on the 'Friendly-island', are a wonderful- display or respect-, fun-, friendship-, overcoming even very deeply held political differences-,fought out in fierce debates- and in other ways.
Traditionally, our election-days have become a time to come out-, make use of one's democratic right- and to enjoy a real social event.
As St. Martin people- and politicians alike-, elections are something most definitely for us all to feel proud about and to preserve.
The 'bad' is multifaceted and has many faces.
The buying of votes for instance-, is undisputed- and is a 'curse' on any real democracy.
This practice is very devious-, and anti-democratic, since it prevents political parties from being able to be objectively judged on real issues- / ideologies.
As such campaign reform must address this practice.
With a very few exceptions here as well, access to radio-and t.v.-programs during campaign is mostly based on the party having lots of monies- in order tp pay to get its message across.
While having full understanding for the owners of the stations- and the various talk show hosts to capitalize on that demand, fact is that, they too contribute towards a great disservice to the people.
Reason being that they themselves-, for the sake of money, make themselves 'prostitutes' and willing accomplice in denying the public getting information from all political parties.
In our opinion, there must be a balance found for them to make (lots of )money, and at the same time to have certain 'time-slots' available as a community-service to allow the public to listen to the message of all registered political parties.
When a public takes vital information on insufficient information,such can have devastating social consequences !
Therefore this 'bad' should be addressed in reforming how we conduct campaigns on the island.
Another 'bad face' of the campaign method on the island-, has a very, very dangerous potential.
It is the result of a practice started- and kind of 'copyrighted' by the DP-party over the course of many decades.
Placing naturalized candidates on the lists in the hope to attract votes from that particular group-, or 'constituency'
For years it worked well-, in the sense that the main 'benefactor' was the DP-political party.
However, the NA which has long suffered by being labeled an 'anti-foreigner' party by the DP, has not only caught on-, but has taken it to the 'next level'.
With the number of expats-, and naturalized citizens on the island expanding-, they are now realizing that they can in fact hold all the political parties 'hostage' to their (national-) wishes.
This practice-,is now clearly back-firing on all parties-, because it is making many of their own St. Martin members- and supporters very, very uneasy to say the least.
Clearest example is the label of 'Judas' pinned on William MARLIN.
While many people might not like this label-, it can not be denied that it represents a very strong anger and potentially explosive sentiment among a growing number of St. Martiners, that better be recognized- and addressed.
Practically all politicians-, in private conversations admit that this situation- of 'foreign intervention' has become a very serious threat to the people of this island, including the politicians themselves, because naturalized citizens have been allowed the possibility to totally take over politics on the island.
And with that 'political take-over' comes the total control of government and of everything on the island.
This to us is the most ugly- and most dangerous aspects of our political campaign.
It is time therefore that we realize that we are at a very crucial cross roads in this aspect as well.
Our strong recommendation would be for all political leaders of both sides the island to recognize the above-mentioned issues-, take on their responsibilities-, rise to the occasion and come together to chart a new way forward.
A new 'Unified St.Martin Order' aimed at restoring- and respecting the St. Martiners as 'key-constituents' and placing them at the 'core' of our very existence and development as St. Martiners- and as a country.
In ending, we think it needless to emphasize that our grassroots St. Martin nation building- and unification movement will once more make itself available- for this coming together of our political leaders and/or lead the way if necessary.

drs.Leopold JAMES
President St. Martin grass roots nation building movement
And proud-, native indigenous St. Martiner.

Dear Editor,

Please allow us, the Board of the St. Maarten Pride Foundation, some space in your well respected publication to respond to the United People's Party's (UP) recent press statement on the Ring-road project.

In its press statement the UP board mentions that the Ring-road project was outlined in the Development perspective St. Maarten Philipsburg Greater Great Bay Area or as it is commonly referred to the Almere Plan.

St. Maarten Pride Foundation would like to point out the following; The Development perspective or Almere Plan was compiled some 7 to 8 years ago and much has changed on St. Maarten in general and in and around the Great Salt Pond in particular, over these past years. Successive Governments, of which Mr. Heyliger of the UP was a member, have for instance allowed a great deal of filling-in of the Great Salt pond, contrary to recommendations in the development perspective, making the drawings and proposed location of the Ring-road in the document unrealistic and thereby undermining the intended purpose of the project. The Ring-road project as it is now being carried out therefore greatly differs from the suggestions made in the Almere Plan.

The UP board's article goes on to state that "...the plan... was developed through analysis and sessions with stakeholders, including environmental organizations". This paragraph seems to insinuate that St. Maarten Pride Foundation somehow approved of, or recommended the construction of the ring road during the information session held by TKA and the Almere group in 2003, this insinuation is entirely misleading and inaccurate at best. The development perspective itself contradicts the UP Party's implication; The following stakeholders have been consulted about the development vision described in this report ... ... ... ... . Their wishes have been noted by TKA, and as far as possible taken into account during the formulation of this Development Vision. Development perspective St. Maarten Philipsburg Greater Great Bay Area" (TKA, Architecture & Urban Design, 2003)

In additional attempts to justify the ring road project UP's board cites that the governing program of 2007-2011 states that "Government will pursue the expansion of the road network by removing various traffic bottlenecks at the intersections as well as the expansion of the road network with new links". ".......major road connectors that will be pursued are the causeway across the Simpson Bay Lagoon and the projected ring-road around the Great Salt Pond". A goal Commissioner Heyliger no doubt ensured on including in this program. Various government policy plans, government commissioned reports and independent studies have however, identified the alarming number of vehicles on St. Maarten as the primary cause of traffic congestion, a fact which the UP board skillfully chose to omit from their press statement.

The Tourism Master Plan of 2005, for instance, provides recommendations and specific proposals aimed at alleviating traffic congestion in the long-term including proposals on:
• Raising road or registration tax with excessively large cars more highly taxed,
• Introducing a regulated public transportation system with proper bus stops and related amenities,
• Regulating the car rental sector to limit the number of rental vehicles and the issuing of new car rental licenses.

With the number of vehicles on the island increasing by a significant percentage each year, as is presently the case, the planned road network expansions including the Ring-road will cease to meet traffic capacity needs in less than 5 years unless government takes measures to curb the increase of vehicles on the island and improve public transportation.

In addition to the aforementioned, research and experience in many countries shows that increased road capacity is very quickly filled with what researchers have dubbed "induced vehicle traffic"; people tend to abandon public transportation and carpools when additional road space is made available, through new road construction or linkages, thereby resulting in more cars on the road and subsequently more traffic congestion.

Building new roads without taking additional measures to curb the increase of vehicles on the island is therefore merely a very temporary measure and consequently an ineffective and unsustainable strategy for resolving the island's traffic congestion challenges.

No comprehensive traffic or road network study for St. Maarten has been carried out within the last fifteen to twenty years despite the tremendous growth the island has faced during this period. Government of which Mr. Heyliger has been an active member, for some eleven years by his own account, has not taken any measures regarding the comparatively more cost- effective proposals aimed at alleviating traffic congestion in the long-term, including proposals listed in the Multi Annual Policy Plan, The Tourism Master Plan and the Carrying Capacity Study, even though these recommendations or studies may very well dispel or nullify Mr. Heyliger's and Government's perceived need for the Ring Road project.

Mr. Heyliger was in office when the aforementioned comparatively more cost- effective proposals aimed at alleviating traffic congestion in the long-term were presented, the Foundation can therefore only wonder as to why Mr. Heyliger did not pursue these measures.

Questions such as how projects such as the Ring-road and the Bridge across the Lagoon will be funded are conveniently left unanswered. The Foundation reminds the UP Board and Mr. Heyliger that real leadership involves taking often politically unpopular but much needed decisions, to in this case perhaps introduce one of the aforementioned measures to alleviate traffic.

St. Maarten Pride Foundation deems it unfortunate that Mr. Heyliger and evidently the board of his new Party as well, prefer to propose and carry-out cosmetic solutions to St. Maarten's (traffic congestion) challenges through extravagant projects which do very little to actually resolve the issues at hand.

The UP's statement continues with rhetoric about what it deems to call "progress", "that progress comes at an Environmental cost" even going as far as to state that "without progress always, like it says in our coat of arms, St. Maarten is nowhere".

These UP statements about progress indicate that the Party's board members do not understand the dynamics of the topic, as "economic development and progress" on St. Maarten or anywhere else for that matter will not remain viable in the long run if the environment is not sufficiently protected.

The Party's baseless accusation that St. Maarten Pride Foundation is selective in the projects it chooses to criticize and find fault with is a blatant and obvious attempt to marginalize St. Maarten Pride Foundation and its concerns.

St. Maarten Pride Foundation and its partner Foundations have been advocating environmental protection, working to create environmental awareness and providing environmental education for over ten years now and will continue to do so in the years to come.

St. Maarten Pride Foundation


This letter serves to announce that I am resigning from the Presidency of the Commission in charge of youth affairs, culture, and sport. I am sure that this will not come as a surprise to you, seeing that, from December 2008, on several occasions, I have drawn your attention to the fact that I grew more and more uncomfortable with the little consideration you had for the Commission and its role, the little regard you have for democracy and the manner in which decisions were taken. In fact, the Commission is not to you what it should have been, a place where thoughts and ideas are being formulated and fashioned and actions to be taken are being determined especially with regards to the youth.

I am an elected official, member of the Island Territory Council, like you.

I'd like to remind you that we have been elected by the people to serve the people and not to use the people to our advantage and satisfy our personal ambitions. Your actions are leading our young community to a downfall and one would have to be blind not to see it and that's in every field.

Allow me to remind you of some cases.

What have we done in favour of the youth? We have talked and talked some more, but you have never considered it worthwhile to consult with the youth in the districts like I had recommended that it should have been done.

You even refuse to admit that the youth is left up to themselves, and so they are blamed for all the wrongs that are occurring in the community.

In the RSMA (Adapted military service) file, I proposed a joint action with the CLSPD, prevention group against delinquency. What have you done since? Nothing at all ! This means to me that you don't believe in seconds chances for the young people who are in difficulty that live here, where ever they came from. Do you know, Mr President, that this kind of approach has been proven to be successful in different countries and even in some metropolitan towns.

When I requested help to reward the young people involved in sports, your answer was also negative... and your excuse was that there's no money. Yet for other things, like different contracts, money is always there. What about the contracts given to a private business to take care of the sport infrastructures? Up to today our Commission has never seen any « cahier des charges», we don't have a clue on what is really going on.

After two years of work with the DDJSS about inclusion, through sports, of so many young people, it seems that we have worked for peanuts. What about the 20% fund promised by the Collectivity? What has become of the documents necessary for the homologation? Did we work for nothing?

The results are here: from 2007 till today, the funds allowed to youth programs have gone down from 1,2 million Euros to 350.000. Is this is YOUR politic for thousands of youngsters? It's a shame!

In other fields, Mr President, I also have questions.
Whereas our Commission, in agreement with the concerned departments, had decided not to grant a new authorization for a private individual to occupy the public domain in the area of Grand-Case, you, in your own right decided to over rule our collective decision. The request that we had previously turned down, you approved and had us look like a bunch of fools. And then, you have the nerve to send the requests emanating from locals, which you clearly discriminated against.

In the matter regarding public water and the board in which I sit, a recent audit shows that the price of the water in Saint-Martin is 2.6 times more expensive than in Guadeloupe or than on Dutch St. Maarten. Our people are held hostage by these prices, so when are you going to confront this situation?
You are mute on this important matter in which lots of money is being wasted and lost and the same goes for many other matters. But to whose benefit?
Definitely not in benefit of the people of Saint-Martin that you say you love so much!!

In the bid regarding the airport of Grand-Case, as a member of the board, I deeply regret that we are not, in fact, part of the decisions. Even if you have the power to act, don't you think it would be wiser to let the Island Council give his opinion on such important matters which will engage us for years?

We are elected officials, we have commissions that cannot give us information to make a right decision for our population. The majority group meetings never prepare the Territorial Council as it ought to be, so I will no longer attend these majority meetings.

As an elected person I don't even have the agenda of the Executive Council, so I don't even know when it concerns the Commission that I preside! And like most of my colleagues we learn things from third parties or by the media.

I have been elected by the people of Saint-Martin to work on their behalf and not on our personnel agendas. There is not a day that passes without having many of them express themselves about how they feel and about the functioning of our Collectivity. And your way of being president of the Collectivity is more than I can continue to bear and be silent about because it is, in no wise, respectful to the initial commitment of our programme announced during the election campaign.

It is to them that I owe my trust and respect.
It's on the basis of that engagement that I remain Island Counsellor to serve my fellow compatriots and them alone.

Jean David Richardson
Territorial Counsellor

Congratulations to our elected Members of Parliament and our Governor and Deputy Governor. Congratulation to our future Ministers

I've been reading a lot of comments online about the elections and the feelings of those who post
Many have not yet realized the importance of the elections and many don't seem to know the
changes that have come about.
Many are still talking about who will be in power and who will not be in power.
This last part is the sad part.

WE, the PEOPLE are the ones with the POWER and WE must NEVER relinquish that POWER.
WE voted for 15 Parliamentarians to represent US. It is the hope that all 15 will do so, whether
from the opposition benches or not. When WE believe that WE are not represented properly, WE must tell them. They will make mistakes, because they are human and we could forgive them.
There are many ways that WE can bring them all in line. The question is, will WE be ready and willing to do so, when the time comes. Will WE continue to see things through the eyes of politicians or will WE tell the politicians what WE see.The Parliamentarians are there to work for our Country, for US.

Quite some years ago, I made a suggestion and only when one party got 'shafted' did it see the
need for such a change.
A few years later, I suggested another improvement to the system and I repeat that suggestion,
because I believe that change is necessary.
We are heading to Country status and we should not be represented by someone 'brought along' by others.

Let those who get the most votes overall be the elected ones.
This gives a small party like the CPA a chance to get a seat in the future and gives a voice to those
who share its views.

I believe this can lead to building a stronger Country St. Maarten in the future.
Blessings to all.

Clifton R. Wilson
Committed to Country St. Maarten

Friday, September 1, 2010 will go down as '10-10-10-10''
The newest ten-, indicates that we will then be 10 days away from '10-10-10' (October 10, 2010).
While magical date of '10-10-10' was projected to mean entering some 'Walhalla- status' of sorts-, or some 'Brave New World' according to St. Martin's 'award-winning' and popular talk show-host-, for other people-, it is becoming more like a very scary 'dooms-day'-scenario.
Just days after the 'green-machine' of 'T.O'. has taken control of the 'new' DP-UP coalition (= the 'United DP'-party), finding suitable candidates for the various ministerial positions seem less simple that formulating the DP-UP coalition accord !
It appears that running a Government-, which is closely monitored by 'Ulanda', is quite different from running a political campaign and/or ruling over a 'plantocracy' of subservient-, 'plantation dwellers'.
Meanwhile the 'Constitutional clock' is ticking non-stop.
On Friday, October 1, 2010, the clock will read '10-10-10-10' and then there will be no more Netherlands-Antilles (RIP).
While that was the explicit desire-, and intent of many politicians-, they still have to figure out quite a number of challenges facing the people of 'Country' St. Maarten come '10-10-10'.
Like what you wonder ?
Well-, what about the travel procedures between the islands, which up till such time were part of one- and the same country, the Netherlands-Antilles ?
What about having an emergency needing specialized medical care in Curacao ?
What also about having properly screened,- and put in place of the new Commissioners-, who will become Ministers come '10-10-10-' and have to run the island under very-, very difficult circumstances ?
Meanwhile-, according to the 'school-children', the NA seems to be suffering from serious 'internal hemorrhage', with various members 'jumping ship' and 'King' William-I's 'scepter' being 'under siege'.
Again-, all of this and more with just 10 days to go............
While-, against that backdrop of total confusion and 'unreadiness'-, the Dutch Government knows exactly what deal they have got on a 'silver-platter' with the BES-islands.
They have already in place an ID-card, which will be used to screen exactly who is welcome on their BES-islands and who not.
Consequently-, we should not become victims of any 'optional delusion', thinking that because we can see Statia -, and Saba from Jack's place, that we can simply take a trip there.
Forget that quick, quick.....
That WAS the case in the past.(pre-'10-10-10')
Come '10-10-10' those islands will simply represent the highest parts of the Netherlands-, which itself lies on the European continent.
Nostalgia already setting in ?
Wipe your tears, because the clock has now begun to 'tick' .
Friday it will tell us how late it is; '10-10-10-10'.......
And oh yes,
Who was the one again, boasting- and claiming 'victory' for having brought home the 'beef' ?.....
William-, or Sarah-, or the drs.-, or Duncan ?
Who ?
Fair is fair.
Those responsible for 'delivering us the goods', certainly deserve 'due recognition' !

Drs. Leopold JAMES
President SNBF/ Association L' Esprit de Concordia

williammarlin24122009The Hague:--- The St. Maarten delegation headed by leader of government and commissioner of constitutional affairs William Marlin has lots to rejoice over now that they have crossed the final hurdle on Thursday in the Netherlands during the Round Table Conference(RTC) meeting. Moments after the meeting was concluded Marlin said Thursday, September 9th, 2010 marks a historic day in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. But in particular for the people of St. Maarten, as it was concluded and agreed upon at the Round Table Conference, that St. Maarten and Curacao would become countries. For St. Maarten this process started some 10 years and almost three months ago, when the majority of our people voted in the historic referendum to leave the Netherlands Antilles.
During Thursday's ceremonies, Marlin said he asked the meeting to observe a moment of silence in memory of the Late Councilman Vance James Jr. who "did not make it to the promised land". Vance was one of the three leaders who rallied the people of St. Maarten during the June 23rd 2000 referendum to "step out" of the Netherlands Antilles and become country.

"Against all odds, we have made it to the finals and passed the test. The immediate reaction 10 years ago, by the Dutch Government and Members of the 2nd Chamber, was that St. Maarten could not become country. But we didn't give up, we never lost faith." Marlin said.
"I have always said that the constitutional future of St. Maarten is bigger than any one politician or political party. And for that reason I have always remained loyal to Team St. Maarten and believed that one day, St. Maarten would become country." Marlin continued.

"Today marks the end of this process to become country and on 10-10-10, one month from today it will be a New Beginning! a new beginning for the people of St. Maarten, We have a new country to build, together." The island's leader said.

Congratulations are in place for all the persons who have given so much of their time, expertise and energy to help Team St. Maarten accomplish this goal on behalf of the people. All the Ministers, State Secretaries, Advisors, Staff of the Secretariat, members of the different Kingdom work groups and all members of the Island Council, past and present, particularly those members of the present Island Council, who have supported the process over the past weeks, to enable us to adopt the Constitution of St. Maarten unanimously and to sign off on all the organic laws, Meetings were held on the day of the passing of the hurricane, on Saturdays and on certain days until late in the morning, even until 3:15 a.m.

During the Round Table Conference, copies of the English version of the Constitution of St. Maarten, bound in leather, were presented to all delegation leaders, members of the different Kingdom workgroups and to Robert Vennix who helped in making the final adaptations to the constitution, making it the most modernized and progressive constitution in the Kingdom.

A copy was also presented o former Commissioner of Constitutional Affairs, Mrs. Sarah Wescot-Williams, to Mrs. Mavis Brooks Salmon, Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary of the Netherlands Antilles, who has been appointed the first Vice Chairperson of the Council of Advice for Country St. Maarten and the first Governor for Country St. Maarten, Mr. Eugene Holiday.

Eugene Holiday, Dennis Richardson, Richard Gibson and Joane Dovale Meit deserve special recognition for the exemplary work given to Team St. Maarten.
For now, let us all join in the celebrations as we prepare for 10-10-10, the day St. Maarten will become country.

Tomorrow, God's willing, after our return from the Netherlands I will address the people of St. Maarten live via radio and TV at 5:00 p.m.

Philipsburg:--- Police are busy investigating the killing of a man whose body was found on the road in the vicinity of Le Grand Marche. It is believed that the man was shot to death.
On the scene on Wednesday night around 10:45pm was police spokesman Ricardo Henson. Henson confirmed that police discovered the body of dead man on the road. The police spokesman said he was unable to confirm who the victim was and who exactly is responsible for the killing. More information on this murder investigation will be given in a subsequent article.

julesjames22092010SINT MAARTEN:--- Pelican Resort Club, no stranger to adversity, is facing another crisis and its general manager is speaking out for the first time. Since its rebirth in 1996, after the original developer sent the resort into bankruptcy, 12,000 Pelican timeshare owners, employees, Board Members and Royal Resorts Management have persevered for progress. The Pelican Resort is once again facing hard times, but this time from a very unexpected source.
After 12 years of harmony and progress, the Home Owners Association (HOA) Board of Pelican Resort Club initiated unusual strategies including a battle with their long-time ally, Royal Resorts Management. The Board has embarked on an unprovoked defamation campaign, based mostly on untruths and manipulated facts aimed at harming Royal Resorts Management's reputation among timeshare owners.
It has also made a number of financial decisions that are putting the entire property at risk, including defaulting on loan payments that could result in the foreclosure of Pelican Resort Club. This would not only have a negative impact on Royal Resorts, it would devastate the club's timeshare owners who have so much invested.
The Pelican Resort Club is one of several Royal Resorts Management properties in the Dutch Antilles including Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten. Pelican Resort's General Manager, Mr. Jules James– a native St. Maartener, President of the St. Maarten Timeshare Association, and more than 20-year veteran of the hospitality industry – has expressed concern for the future of the property.
"I don't know what the HOA Board is hoping to accomplish by their actions," said James. "The Board's decisions have caused us to reduce the workweek to four days for all employees and discontinue all improvement projects for the property. These decisions have negatively impacted timeshare owner satisfaction, damaged employee morale and our relationship with the labor union, and made it very difficult for us to continue rentals and sales," he noted.
James continued: "I accepted the offer to lead Pelican Resort Club based on the quality and integrity of Royal Resorts and Richard Sutton. As part of my recruiting process I was required to go to Cancun, Mexico to learn about the company and meet the team members. They intentionally had me stay in the oldest Royal Resort property so I could see what a 31-year-old resort should look like and how it should operate. By the second day of the visit I knew this was a company I wanted to be a part of. Every owner and guest was happy, the service excellent, the staff members terrific, and everything looking new."
Pelican's HOA Board changes every year through an election by the timeshare owners. The current Board has sought increased control over the day-to-day operations and to place responsibility for all their challenges on Royal Resorts Management and its Directors.
"I have worked for several resort management companies and I have never seen a company so committed to the timeshare owners and resort staff as Royal Resorts Management," states James, adding:
"When oil prices spiked unexpectedly in 2008 and we needed cash, Royal Resorts voluntarily deferred six months of fees without interest to protect the resort and the payroll. After the recent earthquake in Haiti, Royal Resorts Management provided US$30,000 to our Haitian workers with families in need. Recently the uninsured mother of an employee needed an air ambulance from St. Kitts to San Juan and Royal Resorts Management paid for it. Whenever the Pelican Resort or its employee's needs something I know Richard Sutton (Royal Resorts, Founder and Chairman) and Richard Corso (Royal Resorts Caribbean, CEO) will be there to help. I am very proud to be a part of the Royal team."
Pelican Resort relies heavily on its management company. Royal Resorts Management provides all of the operating and sales systems including: accounting, front desk, human resources, training and development, IT, engineering and e-commerce.
"Pelican does not have the resources to stand on its own," James said. "An owner, who is now an HOA Board Member advised me that my job was safe even if they get rid of Royal. While I appreciate his vote of confidence, I don't think he understands how this Board's actions are placing the entire resort in jeopardy. I quickly realized they do not understand what Royal does to keep Pelican Resort running.
"The Pelican must have the support of a qualified management company. We rely on Royal for the most fundamental systems including all of our reservation, front desk, and POS systems, most of our rental business, and even credit card processing. I really thought we had solved this problem with the Board when their Antillean attorney recently opened a Board Meeting emphasizing the trust and confidence the Board felt as a direct result of the remarks of the Forensic Auditors. These auditors, according to the Board's own attorney, had removed doubt and reinstated the Board's confidence in Royal Resorts.
"Pelican Resort has been operated as an open book since 1997 – and the auditors reported as much to the Board," noted James.
Royal Resorts Management provides Pelican Resort corporate resources and support that would not otherwise be available to a single-location resort. Department experts from Finance, IT, Engineering, Maintenance and Housekeeping work side by side with Pelican staff to provide continuous training and development.
"After I was hired, I was sent for a full month of comprehensive training that Royal has developed over 30 years. I was amazed by what I learned and the possibilities that were inspired," said James. "Many of our local St. Maarten staff have been to Cancun for similar intensive training and more are scheduled every year."
Pelican Resort has been steadily progressing in quality and financial strength since the 1996 bankruptcy and the timeshare owners' 1997 hiring of Royal Resorts Management. Twelve positive years together led to not so lucky number thirteen. "We entered 2010 in great shape," continued James, adding:
"Renovations of the 30-year-old villas were underway and receiving rave reviews. Our debt load was decreasing and all of our loans were current. Owner satisfaction and employee morale were great. Even our sales and rental business was steadily growing. Our timeshare owners enjoy one of the lowest Maintenance Fees in Simpson Bay and we are still being asked to cut payroll expenses and resort maintenance.
"The long-time local staff hopes the Board will soon recognize the impact of their actions and the critical contributions of Royal Resorts Management," he added.
With 35 years of resort management experience, primarily in Cancun and Riviera Maya, Royal Resorts Caribbean operates three properties in the Caribbean with more than 350 employees. The company manages more than 40,000 timeshare intervals for nearly 20,000 families and provides a variety of services for resorts including full operations management, vacation ownership sales and vacation rentals.
Aside from Pelican Resort Club and its newest property in St. Maarten, the Pelican Marina Residences, Royal Resorts Caribbean manages Costa Linda Beach Resort in Aruba and the Royal Sea Aquarium Resort in Curaçao, which is located on a private island right next to the world-famous Curaçao Aquarium.
The company is also in negotiations with a number of additional resorts facing operational challenges due to a range of factors including the economic downturn.
The Royal Resorts Group was founded in 1974 in Cancun, Mexico. Now with over 60,000 members, Royal Resorts has been listed among the top-rated resort companies in the world since 1975. The resorts have received the coveted Five Star Rating from Interval International every year since 1983 when that rating was first established. Since 2008, they have also been classified as Premier Resorts in the Interval International Resort Recognition Program, the highest distinction awarded to resorts that offer an outstanding vacation experience.

GREAT BAY:--- With the increase of rain showers on the island, the Collective Preventive Services (CPS) reported that from January 2010 to September 24, 2010, it was recorded 96 confirmed cumulative dengue fever cases.
Of 349 persons who have been tested. Two of those cases were diagnosed by the French labs on the North side of the island.
During the same time-frame, January to September 2010, 15 persons were admitted to the Sint Maarten Medical Center of which 13 were confirmed dengue fever cases and two were negative.
PS is appealing to the general public to be vigilant in taking the necessary steps to prevent mosquito breeding in order to avoid mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever from developing further and getting out of control.
Measures that residents must take to prevent mosquito breeding are:
Debris, old tires and stagnant water in yards has the potential of becoming breeding sites for mosquitoes and should be removed.
Residents are therefore strongly advised to take action making sure to keep their yards free of stagnant water; clean out their roof spouts; and disposing responsibly old tires, empty drums, buckets, jars, birdbaths, boats, plant containers, paint cans and other items that can collect water around your home and businesses.
In the case of where containers are used for storing water, residents should keep these covered. Inlets and outlets of cisterns must be covered with a mosquito net or cloth to prevent mosquitos from breeding in the water. Persons should also ensure that their windows and doors are properly screened and wear protective clothing.
Contractors on job sites are advised to empty buckets and cover water storage drums and have the site cleaned up at the end of the work day of anything that can hold water even plastic bags.
Mosquito fogging is not effective during periods of rainfall as it doesn't allow the chemical to remain long enough to be effective. Frequent fogging can cause mosquitoes to build up a resistance to the used chemical to control the mosquito population.

Philipsburg:--- The Philipsburg Methodist Church proudly presents their annual concert entitled, "Men's Night of Praise Concert" which is fundraising event organized by two classes of the church in aid of church missions.

This special concert will feature a talented male line up of artists from the church such as Chester York, Jeffrey Richardson, Isidore York, The James Brothers, Don Froston, The Men's Fellowship Group, Raymond Benjamin, Leroy Van Stralen, Dion Gumbs, Marvin Dollison, Celestial Voices, Willy Thomas, MNOP Band and Reverend E. Lloyd Brisset singing songs of worship along with some surprise artists.

This concert take place this coming Saturday, October 2th at 7:30pm at the Philipsburg Methodist Chapel. Tickets are only $10 and can be bought from any member of the organizing committee and at the door.

Philipsburg:--- Students attending primary and secondary schools on the Dutch side of the island has at least one more day at home since the EOC is yet to take a final decision as to when school would reopen. Acting Lt. Governor and Chairman of the EOC Reynold Groeneveldt said one of the main reasons a final decision was not taken on Tuesday was because the island is under storm watch as tropical storm Fiona approaches the island. St. Maarten and the neighboring islands just experienced the passing of hurricane Earl on Monday morning. While the damages were not catastrophic the cleanup crew including police had quite some work to do in preparation for the category 2 hurricane when it passed. Groeneveldt said school might reopen on Thursday but that decision will be taken in their next meeting on Wednesday. He made clear that so far St. Maarten is under storm watch and there is no curfew in place. Residents are asked to exercise caution during the passing of the storm.
However, an assessment was carried out on Tuesday with respect to the situation at schools on the island.

Teachers are hereby requested to report to their respective schools on Wednesday morning in order to prepare their classrooms.
Schools are to reopen on Thursday, September 2nd.

Philipsburg:--- The White & Yellow Cross Baby Clinic as of September 1 is under the direct guidance of Youth Health Care within the Collective Preventive Services. The Baby Clinic services have been discontinued at the White & Yellow Cross Building at St. John's Ranch as of September 1 and for the time being will continue to be offered in Madame Estate, Amsterdam Shopping Center #26 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and in Cole Bay at the Charles Leopold Bell School on Tuesday and Thursday. To confirm your appointment please call 543-0295 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday or 554-6079 on Tuesday and Thursday or the Youth Health Care at 542-2078 or 542-3003, 542-3553.

Philipsburg:--- Island council member Frans Richardson has submitted a request to the main voting bureau to recount all the ballots that were cast on Friday at all the voting districts. Richardson motivated this request based on the amount of invalid votes. The public meeting was adjourned pending the arrival of the ballots.
SMN News will bring you more on this story later today.

GREAT BAY:--- The Main Voting Bureau will be meeting on Wednesday, September 1 to discuss the validity of the lists of candidates.
The meeting is open to the public. It will be held at the Dr. A.C. Wathey Legislative Hall at the Government Administration Building 11.00am.

This report outlines the activities of the Nature Foundation post hurricane Earl and tropical storm Fiona.
On Tuesday August 31st the Nature Foundation Chief Marine Park Ranger was contacted by the Air Traffic Control Tower of the Princess Juliana International Airport concerning a possible oil spill in the Simpson Bay area. The report was radioed in to the tower by a pilot of a landing aircraft. An on-water survey was subsequently carried out by the Nature Foundation and no oil was found in the water, although significant debris and runoff was detected. Surveys concluded that the pilot possibly mistook runoff and dislodged particles as a result of the passing of hurricane Earl as an oil slick. Follow up surveys were conducted on Wednesday September 1st and Thursday September 2nd with no oil being present in the area.
On Thursday September 2nd Nature Foundation staff carried out a survey of the mooring installations of the Marine Park. All moorings were found to be intact with the exception of the newly placed Isabella Reef (N 18̊̊ 01.119' W 063̊ 07. 039', working depth 93 ft). Some minor maintenance of dive moorings was conducted by Nature Foundation staff.
Nature Foundation Staff carried out an in water survey of Great Bay Beach and the Capt. Hodge Pier as per the request of the St. Maarten Harbour Master. Some debris was found and cleared by Nature Foundation divers and a report was sent to the St. Maarten Harbour Master.
Once visibility clears the St. Maarten Nature Foundation will assess the damage caused to the island's offshore coral reef ecosystems due to the passing of hurricane Earl. Surveys will be conducted and subsequent cleanup efforts will be initiated on offshore reefs once deemed necessary. Surveys are scheduled to commence on Monday, September 6th 2010. Coral Reefs act as a buffer, protecting coastal areas from severe flooding caused by storm surge.

The Junior Chamber International St. Maarten had their official visit of NOM President Mr. Dave Martinus, of the JCI Dutch Caribbean, from Aruba. During his visit, Mr. Dave Martinus attended the installation ceremony of 5 new members (Chantal Daniel-Lake; Roxana Williams; Samantha Hassell; Alice Peterson; and Georgino Barnes) to the organization. It was also an honour for him, along with JCI local President Ms. Corinne Isaac to award JCI Senatorship to four local members (Jerome Chittick, Maria Henry, Cordella Joseph-Brooks and Sandra Hazel).
Mr. Martinus will also met with local JCI Board members

We are a membership-based nonprofit organization of 200,000 young people ages 18 to 40 in 5,000 communities and more than 100 countries around the world. Each JCI Member shares the belief that in order to create lasting positive change, we must improve ourselves and the world around us.
We seek targeted solutions to the unique problems in our communities to build a better world, creating global impact.

Philipsburg:--- The annual International Coastal Cleanup is set to kick off this Saturday, September 25th at the Mullet Bay Beach from 7am-10am.
St Maarten PRIDE foundation invites everyone to this annual event that is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year around the world. Yearly many volunteers take part, which also includes students who receive community service hours for their participation in the 4 hour cleanup event.
Each year hundreds of volunteers come out to take part in this beach clean-up and we are hoping for an even better response this year' says UTS Marketing and Communication Officer, Ivy Lambert. 'We try to assist the Pride foundation in their efforts as much as we can. We donated funds earlier this year but we can collaborate in different ways as well. This time we took a different approach. Our beaches are our islands' gems and we need to do all we can to keep them beautiful. UTS is trying to do its part to encourage people to get involved as well. The amount of trash collected will be weighed and recorded, so we wanted to reward the person(s) whom collect the most trash on Saturday with a free Chippie phone.'
The International Coastal Cleanup is the largest volunteer one day event worldwide, with over half a million volunteers in over 100 countries taking part last year.
The International Coastal Cleanup is not only about cleaning up our marine trash and keeping the oceans clean, volunteers must record every piece of trash on a special data card, this detailed information is sent on a later date to the Ocean Conservancy to be compiled in a worldwide report. Upon arrival in the morning, volunteers sign in at the beach and to collect a ICC data card which will be given out along with the cleanup tools.

All over the world, biological diversity, or biodiversity is under serious threat. According to some recent studies on a global scale 13.6% of bird life, 22% of mammals, 31% of amphibians, and 27% of reefs are threatened or in danger of extinction. This is as a result of the impact of several areas of human activity, including tourism, on the ecosystems found in forests, wetlands, savannah, jungles, coral reefs, mountains, seas and polar zones among others. The World Tourism Organization's "Vision 2020" estimates that this year alone, international travel will reach the 1.006 billion mark and will jump to 1.561 billion by 2020 at an annual growth rate of 4.1%. These figures show a strong growth of the tourism sector that has a significant effect on the conservation and sustainability of biodiversity, and the resulting danger of this translating into serious environmental challenges – particularly as it concerns the inordinate use of limited resources like land and potable water. Add to these, the huge pollution and waste which activities in this sector generate, exceeding the quantities that a particular area might be able to withstand, and the relationship between tourism and biodiversity could be seen as antagonistic.
The picture becomes even gloomier if we consider that tourists are more and more attracted to destinations where Nature and the environment have remained relatively untouched. Although this attraction could be fatal, tourism and biodiversity are not foes unto death. To the contrary, for tourism to continue to grow in a sustainable manner, it has to assume its responsibility in defending, preserving and ensuring a critical balance with our biodiversity. Let me put it bluntly: tourism needs biodiversity; but biodiversity does not necessarily need tourism. However, the more we respect and take care of Nature, the more we would be able to enjoy its beauty and guarantee our survival as a species.
The United Nations General Assembly declared 2010 as the "International Year for Biological Diversity". The theme of this year's World Tourism Day is in recognition of this proclamation that arose from the deep concern for "the social, economic, environmental and cultural implications of the loss of biodiversity, including negative impacts on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, and stressing the necessity to adopt concrete measures in order to reverse it."
The Secretary-General of the UNWTO, Mr. Taleb Rifai, in his World Tourism Day address, noted that "Recognizing the value of Earth's natural capital to its long-term sustainability, the tourism industry is called upon to protect and sustainably manage biodiversity. A healthy tourism industry depends on a healthy resource base, and sustainable growth in tourism means increased funds for conservation."
He further added: "Safeguarding biodiversity is an urgent challenge that concerns us all – the international community, governments, companies and travelers – but it is not too late to act."
Action, indeed, speaks louder than words, and it is in this respect that the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau has been partnering with environmental protection groups such as the Nature Foundation, and EPIC to disseminate information and educate particularly our youth about the importance of biodiversity to tourism and the delicate balance which should be struck between both. It is also in this vein that I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Pride Foundation which has organized the International Coastal Clean-up campaign scheduled to commence at Mullet Bay on Saturday, September 25th, with more clean-ups planned for the rest of the month and the first two weeks of October. May I seize this opportunity to urge everyone to find time to participate in these clean-ups as a demonstration of their awareness of the need to care for our environment.
However, I would like to stress that private sector initiative alone is not enough; government must enact legislation to protect and strengthen biodiversity, maximizing the benefits and minimizing as much as possible the environmental costs of tourism. Of course, this calls for planning, education and financial support for NGOs dedicated to the noble cause of conservation.
Those businesses operating in the tourism sector also have a responsibility to ensure that our biodiversity is not compromised as a result of their operations. It is morally, ethically and it should be legally wrong for businesses to set up shop with utter disregard for the impact their operations would have on our biodiversity. Such impact studies should be mandatory before they can be issued operating licenses.
Also, tourists need to be educated in ways of achieving sustainable tourism and about the real benefits that can be derived from the conservation of our biodiversity. Respect for the nature and culture of the host destination should be paramount for a rewarding tourism experience.
The paradox that tourism offers by, on the one hand growing rapidly due to the attraction of natural and cultural sites, while on the other hand, posing a dangerous and even deadly threat to the same attractions, can be resolved through the concerted effort of all stakeholders.
We need to urgently find ways to strike a balance between tourism and biodiversity in such a manner that economic development and the protection of the environment would no longer be viewed as mutually exclusive, incompatible and in opposition to each other, but as two sides of the same coin. Happy World Tourism Day, St. Maarten!

The New Structure in Country St. Maarten

Two Naval Criminal Investigative Service Agents (NCIS) from Mayport, FL provided training to approximately 40 officers from the Curacao and Aruba Police Corps (KPC and KPA), upon invitation of the U.S. Consulate General Curacao, last week. The agents are representatives of the NCIS Major Case Response Team (MCRT). The course was classroom oriented, but also involved practical exercises to employ the skills learned. The officers developed an understanding of both the role and value of evidence; learned to identify potential evidence and basic evidence collection techniques; learned basic crime scene and evidence documentation techniques; and developed an appreciation for crime scene preservation and contamination issues.
NCIS together with KPC and KPA leadership are looking into future evolutions of the same training in order to get more officers exposed to the basic Crime Scene Investigative (CSI) techniques.
The training was very well received and an excellent opportunity to strengthen the strong relationship between the NCIS and law enforcement authorities on the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.

votingbureau01092010Philipsburg:--- The leader of the Concordia Political Alliance Jeffry Richardson has a lot to rejoice over after he won yet another battle in the Court of First Instance on Wednesday. Jeffry Richardson founder and leader of the Concordia Political Alliance (CPA) took the head of the voting bureau to court to have Fritz Leo Richardson added as the number two candidate on the CPA list and to also give Richardson a Dutch national who was born on Aruba the rights to vote and contest the September 17th election.
Judge Van Veen ruled that the CPA must be given the necessary time to fill in all the necessary forms to add Richardson as the number 2 candidate on the CPA and submit it by Friday this week. In an invited comment Jeffry Richardson leader of the CPA said the civil registry has to give him all the necessary forms to fill in and if that is done he will finalize the new list for the CPA with the second candidate added and submit as ordered by the judge.
Pleading for the CPA was Attorney at law Zylena Bary who asked the court to allow her client Fritz Leo Richardson to vote as well as to become a candidate in the CPA list to contest the September 17 election. Bary pointed out to the judge that her client registered at the civil registry on July 16th while the voting registry closed on August 6th, she said the acting head of the civil registry mislead the leader of the CPA when she told him not to add three of his candidates to the list because according to her they were not registered, one of which was Fritz Leo Richardson. Bary said if the chairman of the main voting bureau has no problem allowing Fritz Leo Richardson the rights to vote then he should also be able to allow the CPA to add him as a candidate on their slate.
Representing the island government was the chairman of the main voting bureau Reynold Groeneveldt who told the judge that according to the law Richardson was supposed to register at the civil registry five days after he arrived on St. Maarten and that Richardson has been living on the island since 2008. Groeneveldt also asked the judge to declare the case of Richardson null and void since the injunction was filed against the chairman of the main voting bureau and not the island government. The acting Lt. Governor and chairman of the main voting bureau said that the problem Richardson is faced with was not caused by a mistake made by the acting head of the census office. Groeneveldt also told the court that the leader of the CPA Jeffry Richardson should have added Fritz Leo Richardson to his list even though he was told verbally that the candidate was not registered at the civil registry. Even though the lists from the various political parties were submitted on August 18th the validation of those lists only took place on September 1 2010.
Groeneveldt told members of the media that all four list have been validated and that they would all be contesting the September 17 elections. Groeneveldt said when the committee of the main voting bureau met last week they noticed that there were some minor mistakes with some of the candidates. He said the parties with the mistakes on their list were notified and the necessary corrections were made.

arrested05092010Philipsburg:--- The major joint control between the French Gendarmes and the Dutch Police assisted by the VKS, Marechausse, Fire Department, Custom Department, Health Department and Coast Guard which was planned and being executed prior to the passing of Hurricane Earl is continuing.

checkincar05092010Due to hurricane Earl the controls were temporarily put on hold. Now that the situation on the island has normalized the controls are back in full swing. On Saturday evening September 4th commencing at 10.00 p.m. a general joint control between the French Gendarmes and Dutch police was held at the four major border crossing points namely in Low lands, Union road/Bell View, Belvedere-French Quarter and Oyster Pond-Coralita.

controls05092010During these controls several cars were stopped and checked to make sure they were in proper working order and had all necessary documents. The cars and occupants were searched for weapons and drugs. Drivers and passengers were also controlled in regard to their status on the island. Many cars towed and fines were given. Persons not staying legally on the island were taken to the police station and held for immigration purposes. The controls lasted until the early Sunday morning hours. A summary of all actions taken by the police during this control will be given at a later date.

dqprojectboard07092010Dutch Quarter:--- On Monday 6th of September Minister Patrick Illidge made good on his promise to clean up the Natural Spring on the main road in Dutch Quarter. After hearing the complaints of residents in the area that included incidents of persons slipping and falling, the Minister of Traffic, and Telecommunication and Post took the initiative to get the area cleaned and upgraded. The project will be executed by Windward Roads NV and will consist of the construction of a safety wall, proper drainage and road repair in the surrounding area. Additionally some of the young men of the area will be employed for the duration of the project.

dqresidents07092010Persons and entities contributing to the project include Committee to elect Patrick Illidge, International Liquor & Tobacco Trading, Postpaar Bank NA & Dr. Glen Bryson of the Dutch Quarter Medical Clinic.

Philipsburg:--- Commissioner of Personnel Affairs Xavier Blackman told reporters on Thursday that the department of personnel affairs is busy placing people in the new organization of country St. Maarten. Blackman said the current procedures can be considered as delicate since they are not only dealing with numbers but they are dealing with people with different jobs and situations. Blackman said with the approval of the social charter they have gotten clearance to begin the placement process.
As for the new salary scales the commissioner said the salary scales of 2011 was approved by the executive council and it will go into effect as of as 2011. The commissioner said a number of corrections were made since they inserted the cost of living adjustments since this was not done in the past years. The new system will be brought up to date with the approval of the salary scales. Blackman said the re-numeration policy that was introduced in 2008 the salary scales were indexed to January 1 2010.
The commissioner said an agreement was made with the trade unions to pay out the salary increase for the period of 2006 -2007 to the general salary indexation which was supposed to take effect on January 1 2010. Persons who were employed between 2006 -2007 and is no longer working for government might be entitled to a payment of involving the increase which will be done in the form of a lump sum payment. Blackman said there are number of ways they are using to deal with the backlog. The island government is also planning to hold some ceremonies to recognize the persons who would not continue to work with government come 10/10/10/. The first ceremony is scheduled to take place this Saturday.

canteenworkers14092010Marigot:--- Workers from the Caisse Territorial des Cuvres Scolaires (Cuisine Centrale) began a go slow action on Tuesday morning along with representatives of their unions.. The workers as well as three members including the secretary general of UTG and UGTG Saint Hillaire Mave were among the workers who stood alongside the Rue de Spring awaiting a response from the CTOS members of the school canteen and the Collectivity of Saint Martin.
workers14092010Mave told SMN News that it has been months now the unions have been requesting documents from the CTOS and the Collectivity of St. Martin to evaluate their member's salaries and benefits but those documents are not forthcoming. "We have asked for the documents since the Month of May and to date we cannot get them. We also notified the President of the CTOS Karine Mills that we would have been coming today to get the documents but when she saw the go slow action she took off and left." Mave said the President of the Collectivity received them on Tuesday to inform them that he will meet with them from October 4th to 8th to begin their side of the negotiations.
ctso14092010SMN News learnt that the union did not give the CTOS and the COM the usual 'preavis' to begin industrial action and thus the students who are dependent on school lunches would suffer. However, Mave said the letter they sent to the CTOS telling them that they were coming for the relevant documents is the preavis.
While on the location the assistant to the CTOS president Karine Mills and another administrative worker approached the union with a letter and an envelope containing some documents. Mave said the letter basically asked the workers to return to work pending the negotiations with the CTOS, and the unions on Wednesday morning at the Evelina Halley School in Marigot. He said the workers did not go back to work on Tuesday but they would be meeting with the CTOS members on Wednesday.
unionreps14092010Workers on the scene said the elected officials of the COM has used their power to regulate their friends and families who are working for the Collectivity salaries so that these persons can receive proper benefits when they go on pension.
"We are working now and we can hardly pay our bills, workers here have a salary to depend on now and they still cannot make it at the end of the month, but the real squeeze they would feel it when they go on pension said another worker. Those in power are robbing the workers while enriching themselves and we are not going to allow this to happen anymore" another worker said.

Philipsburg:--- The voting population on St. Maarten would be heading to the various polling stations throughout the Dutch side to cast their votes in favor of the party and or candidate they deem fit to manage the affairs of St. Maarten when the island takes up its new status on October 10.

Contesting Friday's election are the National Alliance headed by the leader of government William Marlin, the United People's Party headed by island council man Theodore Heyliger, Democratic Party headed by island council lady Sarah Wescott Williams and the Concordia Political Alliance headed by Charles Jeffry Richardson.
The following are the various polling stations which will open at 8am and closes at 7pm.

1. John Larmonie Center
2. Sundial School
2A. House of Detention
3. Sint Maarten Senior Citizen Recreational Ctr.
4. Sister Marie Laurence School
5. Dutch Quarter Community Center
6. Milton Peters College
7. Rupert L. Maynard Center
8. St. Maarten Academy
9. Celebration Palace
10. Raoul Illidge Sports complex
11. Charles Leopold Bell School
12. Leonard Connor School
13. Simpson Bay Community Center
14. Belvedere Community Center
15. Melford Hazel Sports 7 Recreational Center
16. Methodist Agogic Center
16A. Sint Maarten Home

SMN News will bring you updates throughout the day on Friday, Election Day. Photographs of the voters and candidates will be posted during the day while we will do our utmost best to bring you the results as they come in during election watch night. Keep logging on to SMN News on this election-day for updates and results as it becomes available to us.

Election Address – Country St. Maarten--Acting Governor Reynold Groeneveldt, Chairman of the Main Voting Bureau

My fellow St. Maarteners,

On Friday, September 17, 2010; the elections for a 15-member Island Council which will later become the first Parliament of Country St. Maarten, will take place. Polling stations will be open from 8 o'clock in the morning until 7 o'clock in the evening.
The Executive Council has designated 16 polling stations, at which voters may cast their ballots.
It is important that persons exercise their democratic rights to cast their vote on Friday, September 17.
Allow me; to use this occasion, to call on all eligible voters to come out on Friday upcoming and cast their vote, together we determine the future course of St. Maarten, at this most important time in our history. You will be electing the first Parliament for Country St. Maarten. This is a historical moment and everyone eligible to vote should be part of this very important process.
In accordance with article 40 of the Voters Regulation (Publication Sheet 1979, No. 2, as amended), every employer is obliged to provide his or her employee, who is eligible to vote on Friday, September 17, 2010, at least four (4) consecutive hours off from work, between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., in order for that employee to cast his or her vote.

This obligation does not apply if the employee has four (4) consecutive hours off from work, within the hours in which he or she can cast his or her vote.

In some districts the number of voters has been reduced. I therefore urge all persons eligible to vote in the upcoming elections, to carefully look at their voting cards, before election day, and to acquaint themselves with the polling station in their respective district, at which they will be expected to cast their votes as in some cases this may have changed.

Be absolutely sure where you have to go and vote, especially if you are new to the area, if you have never voted at that specific polling station before or if you are a first time voter.

Voters should be in the possession of a valid ID card, a valid passport or a valid driver's license, and their voting card when going to the polls. At each polling station there is a President of the voting bureau who is in charge of the polling station. Voters must at all times follow the instructions of the President of the polling station. On entering the polling station the voter must identify him or herself by means of a valid identification document. A voting ballot will then be issued to the individual. The voter must then proceed to cast their vote behind the curtain and finally place the fold ballot into the silver bin in the center of the polling station before exiting the room.

All voters must strictly confirm the articles of law pertaining to the elections. Article 134 of the penal code of the Netherlands Antilles states: "he who intentionally impersonates another person, and participates in a legally prescribed election, is punished with a prison term of a maximum of one (1) year". The general public is also requested to take note of article 131 of aforementioned penal code, which states:

'He who, during a legally prescribed election, obstructs a person from casting his vote, freely and unhindered, is punished with a prison term of a maximum of one (1) year".

Although no order to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages was issued. I am requesting the general public and businesses respect these regulations and prevent the excess sale of alcoholic beverages, prior to, during and just after the elections.

Government cannot legislate or do not intend to obstruct any one from consuming alcoholic beverages; but limiting the use of alcohol contributes in safeguarding the safety of our community and creating an environment, wherein all eligible voters may, in a quiet orderly and sober manner, cast their vote, after a solemn period of reflection and meditation.

As is also usually, the case, some party supporters would be in a more jubilant mood, on election night, once election results are in favor of their respective party. Again we urge all persons to conduct themselves in an orderly fashion and at all times respect and adhere to the instruction of the Police and other law enforcement officials.

So, in the interest of maintaining law and order and safeguarding security for the general public, it is also deemed prudent not to provide opportunities for the sale of alcoholic beverage, during this time as well.

The taking of photographs with (camera phones, video cameras) inside of polling stations is not allowed especially at the time the voter enters the polling station. Cellular phones must be turned off prior to entering the polling stations and must remain turned off during the period of time while the voter is in the polling station.

Concerning election night itself: I, as chairman of the Main Voting Bureau, will be releasing the results of votes cast at the polling stations, as soon as these are received and the numbers are tallied. The customary way of doing so is with the assistance of the G.I.S. during live simultaneous broadcast via St. Maarten Cable TV special events channel 20 and local radio stations. As usual the Election Watch program will also be present too provide the viewers and listeners with background information, analysis and commentary on the results of the elections.

In closing I urge all voters to make use of their democratic right and to participate in these very important elections to elect and Island Council of 15 members which will become the First Parliament of Country St. Maarten. I wish all parties participating in this election all the best and I expect that we will have a safe and orderly election as is the customary here on our beautiful Island St. Maarten.

Philipsburg:--- With Friday's last island council election over and no outright winner. Politicians from the three major parties that contested the elections are now busy talking behind closed doors to form a coalition.
SMN News learnt that the leader of the United People's Party Theo Heyliger has met with the leader of the Democratic Party Sarah Wescott Williams to discuss the two coming together. However, the politicians who are working behind the scenes have so far remained tightlipped. Reliable sources say that most of the DP party membership wants the DP and UP to work together but there are a few of the members and candidates who do not want to work with the UP simply because the UP leader and elected members lacks knowledge of the constitutional process.

Sources close to the party said the DP leader is looking to become the first PM for the St. Maarten. While there a rumors speculating the two parties have reached a deal SMN News learnt that even though the red and green parties have engaged in talks there is no signed document to say a coalition has been formed.
SMN News also learnt that talks between the National Alliance and the Democratic Party have also taken place. One source said that the NA and UP have shown willingness to work with the DP but there is no solid offers made to the DP leader by either of the two party leaders.
On Sunday afternoon the leader of the National Alliance and his candidates met at the parliament building on Back Street where they discussed the outcome of the election as well as how the party intends to proceed.
Efforts made to reach the leaders of the three political parties proved futile up to press time. The politicians who were elected on Friday has until October 5th to form their government since it is on that date the new island council members would have to be sworn in.

sarahtheo19092010Philipsburg:--- The leader of the Democratic Party Sarah Wescott Williams and leader of the United People's Party Theodore Heyliger has signed a declaration of intent to work in the best interest of St. Maarten. According to the president of the Democratic Party Michael Ferrier the agreement was signed at 8:04pm at Shore Pointe Cupe Coy.
A press release from Ferrier states that "We the undersigned, Theodore E. Heyliger of the United People's Party and Sarah A. Wescot-Williams, leader of the Democratic Party have agreed in principle to form the first government of Country St. Maarten.
Parties declare that they will do all in their power to bring about a stable and effective government in the best interest of Country St. Maarten and its people.
Agreed on this 19th day of September 2010."
The declaration was signed by T. E. Heyliger, S. A Williams and witnesses were Franklin A. Meyers and Michael J. Ferrier. Both witnesses are the presidents of the two parties.

Antigua:--- The Caribbean Business Awards is a bbusiness recognition awards program based in the Caribbean for the Caribbean focused on emphasizing the often overlooked business acumen of the region in the global market place. Supported by the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce (CAIC), eentry is open to all businesses; it celebrates excellence, achievement and innovation in the Caribbean business world.

Founders Derrick & Janice Sutherland said: "With the current economic climate, businesses and individuals alike have to find ways to differentiate themselves and expand their reach into as many markets as possible maximizing all opportunities. The Caribbean Business Awards is the ideal vehicle to demonstrate that they are not just the best locally but Caribbean wide"

Now open for entries, the Caribbean Business Awards is set to become the premier recognition program for the Caribbean business community and generate public acknowledgment of the achievements and positive contributions of organisations and business people throughout the Caribbean Diaspora.

The awards will highlight innovation and excellence within the business community, providing benchmarks for organisations and individuals seeking to excel in the way they do business.

The benefits of the awards are numerous;

  • Provides insight into best practice initiatives within the Caribbean region.
  • Allows organisations to demonstrate their progress within their chosen field.
  • Highlights an organisations' excellence not just within their home country thereby promoting the organisation and increasing business, but also within the wider Caribbean community and globally.

Culminating in a Gala Awards banquet, activities will be supported by an extensive promotional campaign aimed at all major business sectors in the Caribbean. Award categories will cover a range of business activities covering Management, Sales, Marketing, Customer Service and Technology and are open to individuals and businesses alike.

Carol Ayoung – CEO of the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce: "The Caribbean's importance to the international economy is often unappreciated, despite continued growth even in tough times. Our region suffers when we fail to recognize that every business and individual efforts contributes to a greater whole. Utilizing the CBA's we hope to change the perception that the Caribbean is just a great place for tourism, we're also a great place to do business"

More information about the program and how to participate can be found at

hasselhoef22092010Philipsburg:--- The projector coordinator of the Brooks Tower Accord extension process Tiara Hasselhoef in an interview with SMN News said that at least 82% of the persons who received a BTA permit the first time registered for the extension.
Hasselhoef said so far 3,549 persons out of the 4,300 already registered while registration is ongoing and will last until September 30th at the Salvation Army building. However, the BTA team is waiting on the Lt. Governor to sign over 1000 of the permits before they can be distributed. Hasselhoef said they have sent over 1000 of these permits for signature but she does not have any idea as to why they were not signed and if the elections had anything to do with the delay. Already some 671 of the BTA extension permits were given out and arrangements are now being made by the Minister of Justice and the government of country St. Maarten to see how country St. Maarten would continue the process.
Hasselhoef said while the signatures they are awaiting is delaying the entire process they also did not get any permit from those persons who were to register via sole proprietorship. The project director said just about 100 people applied for sole proprietorship and she also has no knowledge as to why economic affairs did not proceed with the process. Hasselhoef said they started late with the sole proprietorship process and when the applicants saw the delay they got people or employers to sign for them. She said the economic affairs falls under local government and even if they know what causes the delay they are not allowed to speak about it.
Asked if the change of government will affect the BTA process, Hasselhoef said the Minister did not make a policy or agreement with political parties instead her agreement is with St. Maarten and the federal government. She said the BTA process has to go on for a period of time based on the agreement and those persons who received the first permit has until November 2 to file for their extension. She said while the island government can change the arrangement with economic affairs and the departments locally they would have to respect the agreement reached between the federal government and St. Maarten.

PHILIPSBURG – The University of St. Martin's (USM) General Education Development (GED) Tutorial Program exams will be held during the week of October 25, 2010. The deadline to register for this exam is Monday, September 27, 2010 at USM. All re-testers are urged to bring their previous results when registering.
The exams consist of a battery of tests in five subjects namely English Reading, English Writing, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. Students need to pass exams in all five subjects to qualify for the GED Diploma. The GED Tutorials for the Fall semester at USM have started. Registration for GED Tutorials for January 2011 is on-going. Persons interested in more information about registering for the exams or tutorials can contact Patricia Arrindell at 542-5171 ext. 1002 or visit the GED Tutorial Program's office at USM. USM is the only recognized GED testing center on St. Maarten.

franklynandfritz24092010Maho:--- Several dignitaries and other invited guests gathered at the Maho Sonesta Pavilion on Thursday night to bid farewell to the Governor General of the Netherlands Antilles Fritz Goedgedrag. Among the invited guests were former Lt. Governors of St. Maarten Franklyn Richards, Ralph Richardson, Matias Voges, and the host acting Lt. Governor Reynold Groeneveldt.

Incoming Governor Eugene Holiday and his wife was also part of the gathering.
In his farewell speech Governor Goedgedrag told the gathering that ten years after the people voted for separate status the moment has arrived largely because of St. Maarten's persistence to reopen the constitutional discussion. St. Maarten he said has proven to be the driving force for change, and while the process took a long time, the people of the island will soon be rewarded.
Goedgedrag said over his eight years in office he has always done his best to discharge his duties to the people of St. Maarten even though his work and efforts might not be visible to the people because Governor's work behind the scenes.

speech24092010The governor said once the Netherlands Antilles is dismantled, the boundaries between the different parts of the Kingdom in the Caribbean will be more numerous and complex. He said the there will be new borders between Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and the Netherlands. He said the State will be responsible for Saba, Statia and Bonaire while the European Union will eventually run between the islands.

Goedgedrag said his hope is that these borders will not form barriers for the people of these islands which will prevent them from seeing each other. He said if that were to happen then it would be a step backward for the citizens of the Kingdom and as human beings.
The outgoing governor said he also hoped after the constitutional reform the island would continue to deal openly with each other and to further aim for better cooperation between the countries and to offer better hospitality to each other.

Goedgedrag said he also hopes that this constitutional reform will draw the different countries closer since they all share a common destiny.
govenors24092010He warned that while St. Maarten has received the status they so badly wanted then they must know that the work here has just begun. He said the time now is to use the constitutional process the island has just won to promote prosperity for the island's inhabitants. He also advised the leaders to put the autonomy in the service of the people since no one can live in a constitutional structure and neither can anyone eat it. He said politicians have the complex task to form the new constitutional arrangement that would better suit St. Maarten and the people's interests.

Marigot:--- Based on a flyer that was distributed throughout Marigot that stated a motion of confidence will be presented against the President of the Collectivity Frans Gumbs at the next territorial council meeting.
The flyer contains names of several elected officials that are part of the majority that is expected to vote in favor of the motion if and when it is presented. Names such as Daniel Gibbs, Louis Jeffry, Jean David Richardson, Marthe Ogoundele Tessi and Annette Philips are on the flyer which said there are other elected members of the council who would be supporting the motion.
SMN News learnt that the brain child of the motion is first vice president Daniel Gibbs who is at odds with the president and senator Louis Constant Fleming. Already all three parties have spoken openly about their indifferences especially surrounding Semsamar.
Just recently Gibbs presented a motion to have the senator removed as president Semsamar which was accepted by the board members of Semsamar. SMN News learnt that senator Louis Constant Fleming has filed an injunction against the motion that was presented and accepted by the board members of Semsamar. That court case will be heard on October 13 in the courts of Basse Terre. According to well placed sources the "procuration" (proxy) that was used as a vote was from someone who already resigned from the municipal council in Guadeloupe thus eliminating that person's right to vote.
It is further understood that President Gumbs is aware of Gibbs plans and has thus postponed two scheduled council meetings. A council meeting it is understood was scheduled to be held on September 23 and it was postponed to the end of this month. SMN News learnt that Gumbs indicated to the council members that there is nothing for them to discuss at a council meeting except the issues surrounding the TGCA taxes.
Efforts made to contact the persons whose names appeared on the flyer proved futile up to press time.

pelicanbeach31082010ST. MAARTEN--- Pelican Resort Club and Pelican Marina Residences in St. Maarten say goodbye to Hurricane Earl with relatively minor damages mostly contained to the resorts' extensive gardens and shrubbery. On Sunday, Aug. 29 and Monday, Aug. 30, 2010 Hurricane Earl – the first major hurricane of 2010 to impact the Caribbean – passed 25 miles Northeast of St. Maarten as a Category 2 storm.
Royal Resorts Caribbean CEO Richard Corso remained on-site throughout the entire storm. He credits the hard work and preparedness of Pelican Resort's staff for protecting the resort and owners' interests ensuring the safety and comfort of guests.
Despite high winds and heavy rain, Pelican Resort's staff attended to the needs of its nearly 500 on-property owners and guests. Led by General Manager Jules James, the staff worked around the clock to ensure safety, and also coordinated the in-house food and beverage teams to make certain everyone was comfortable and fed. Although Mr. James is new to the company by Royal Resort's standards (less than three years), the native St. Maartener is the President of the St. Maarten Timeshare Association and is a tremendous addition to Royal Resorts Management team.
Damage from the storm was primarily contained to the resorts' extensive garden area. The rains and flooding brought employee transportation to a halt, but by 6 a.m. workers arrived at the resort on foot and began the task of cleaning the grounds and readying the pools and beach for anxious sun worshippers who had been stuck indoors for the previous 36 hours. By 6:30 a.m. this morning, Royal Resorts Sales Director Jozef O'Niel was driving around the island picking up workers in need of transportation.
"I am very proud of the staff," said Richard Corso, CEO of Royal Resorts Caribbean, who stayed on-property throughout the storm to assist with the implementation of safety measures.
"There is a lot of preparation for a potential storm in the Caribbean. We have been working almost non-stop for the last two-and-a-half days and everyone continues to perform with a great attitude and the highest concern for owners and guests," he added.
Hurricanes are nothing new for Corso and Royal Resorts staff members. Royal has been operating resorts in the Caribbean since 1977.
pelicanhotel31082010"It kind of brings back memories of Hurricane Wilma in 2005. I look around and see everyone pitching in," said Corso. "Our Financial Controller (Ricardo Iman from Merida, Mexico) is sweeping up leaves and debris, and our Sales Managers (Lance Vaugh and Ric Corsello from Cancun) are cleaning and hauling away trash. Accounting and sales teams work right along side the operational staff to take care of the guests," he added. "It is the Royal way."
The infrastructure of Pelican continues to improve. During the storm the resorts maintained continuous power and AC through its generators. The TV signals and guest wireless services were virtually uninterrupted.
As of Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 31, 2010), the pools are open and all services have returned to normal. Sun bathers have tucked their toes back in the sand, but high tides have resort management suggesting guests stay out of the ocean until tomorrow. Concierges have already invited all the guests to tonight's Rum Party at 5:30 p.m. to bid farewell to Earl.

roymarlin17052009Cay Hill:--- Island Council member Roy Marlin was rushed to the St. Maarten Medical Center on Tuesday suffering from chest congestions and high blood pressure. SMN News learnt that the island councilman was admitted to the medical institution for treatment.
In an invited comment President of the Democratic Party Michael Ferrier confirmed that the councilman took ill on Tuesday complaining of chest pains and that his blood pressure was high.

Philipsburg:--- The Prosecutor's office has sent a letter informing the Attorney General Dick Piar in Curacao of the findings involving prosecutor Jan Bart Develing and the traffic accident he was involved in on Saturday afternoon. Prosecutor Develing was arrested and spent almost six hours in custody shortly after the accident.
The letter was sent on Wednesday. Press Prosecutor Rienk Mud told SMN News that his office is still awaiting the police report from the police department regarding the accident which took place in the Middle Region. Mud said the only the reason the letter sent on Wednesday was because of the curfew on Monday and Tuesday due to the passing of hurricane Earl and tropical storm Fiona. Mud explained that the prosecutor's office also did not have electricity due to the hurricane and as such they were not able to communicate this information before. Mud said the Attorney General will take a decision on the course of action against his colleague Develing based on the letter that was sent to him.
Mud also explained that the attorney general has to be careful when taking decisions to sanction a federal officer of the law. Mud said no one can be suspended when there are no serious crimes committed and even though Develing is a public prosecutor he also deserves a fair trial.
The press prosecutor said his colleague Jan Bart Develing admitted to being involved in the traffic accident and he also gave his office the reason he drove away from the scene of the accident. According to Develing he was not sure if he was the main contributor to the accident or if it was someone who wanted to rob him. Mud said his colleague also said he took a split second decision to drive away from the scene simply because he was fearful and his intention was to call police the moment he got home which is not far away from the scene of the accident.
Mud further explained that based on article 9 of the traffic ordinance of the Netherlands Antilles gives a person 24 hours after an accident to report it to the police. However, Develing was stopped moments after he left the scene and was arrested by police. Mud also explained that Jan Bart Develing was not the traffic prosecutor some two years now and that he admitted to them and the police that he drank three beers prior to the accident and that was the reason police smelled alcohol on him at the time. He said the police conducted the sobriety test at the police station and they found that Mr. Develing was fit to drive. Mud also explained that the Dutch justice system does not have any other means to text drivers who are suspected of being under the influence of alcohol.
Apart from the letter that was sent to the attorney general by the prosecutor's office the police department has to continue their investigation into the accident. Mud said when the report is submitted to them they would have other colleagues outside of St. Maarten study the report and then they would decide if Prosecutor Develing will face prosecution for the offence he committed on Saturday. Mud said one of the reasons they have chosen to allow outside experts to study that report is to make sure Develing is treated fairly while justice is served.
Asked if the prosecutor's office was trying to cover up the case or if there is any type of class justice given to Prosecutor Develing, Mud responded by saying absolutely not and to avoid such accusations they have decided to send the letter to the attorney general so that he can decide on a course of action while they will also take other measures based on the police report.

governors05092010Philipsburg:--- The Management Team of the KPSSS invited its members and members of the VKS to a social gathering at the Philipsburg police station.
This gathering was organized to express gratitude to the officers for the great job they have been doing under the challenging circumstances. Both Acting Lt. Governors Mrs. Rachnilda Lynch-Arduin and Mr. Reynold Groeneveldt were also present during this event and expressed words of gratitude and encouragement to the officers.
The Chief of Police Commissioner Peter De Witte was not present because he is off island on official business. He was represented by the Acting Chief of Police Commissioner Carl John. The officers were treated to snacks and drinks after a small speech by Commissioner Carl John and both Lt. Governors.

illidgeican07092010Dutch Quarter:--- On Monday 6th of September The DQ Community Council Center and the I Can Foundation received Fls. 1000.00 each from Minister Patrick Illidge towards purchasing of food items and educational material for the benefit of the youth who attend and reside at the two institutions in the Dutch Quarter District.

jeandavidrichardson08092010Marigot:--- Territorial Councillor Jean David Richardson has sent a letter to the President of the Collectivity which was also sent to the media informing that he has resigned from the Commission of Youth, Culture and Sports Affairs. Richardson said that he is sure that the President of the COM will not be surprised by his letter since he already drew his attention to the uncomfortable situation since the President has shown little consideration for the commission and its role. Richardson also accused President Frantz Gumbs of not having any regard for democracy based on the manner in which he took decisions. He also reminded the president that he is an elected official and a member of the territorial council.
Richardson said in his letter "I'd like to remind you that we have been elected by the people to serve the people and not to use the people to our advantage and satisfy our personal ambitions. Your actions are leading our young community to a downfall and one would have to be blind not to see it and that's in every field."

The territorial councillor reminded President Gumbs regarding the failures of the elected officials.

"What have we done in favour of the youth? We have talked and talked some more, but you have never considered it worthwhile to consult with the youth in the districts like I had recommended that it should have been done.

You even refuse to admit that the youth is left up to themselves, and so they are blamed for all the wrongs that are occurring in the community.

In the RSMA (Adapted military service) file, I proposed a joint action with the CLSPD, prevention group against delinquency. What have you done since? Nothing at all ! This means to me that you don't believe in seconds chances for the young people who are in difficulty that live here, where ever they came from."

Richardson complained about the lack of finances to sustain the youth programs he suggested but the President he said has always said there was no money, yet there is money to finance other activities or to give contracts to private entities.
Richardson accused President Gumbs of overturning an agreement made by the commission regarding domain land.

"Whereas our Commission, in agreement with the concerned departments, had decided not to grant a new authorization for a private individual to occupy the public domain in the area of Grand-Case, you, in your own right decided to over rule our collective decision. The request that we had previously turned down, you approved and had us look like a bunch of fools. And then, you have the nerve to send the requests emanating from locals, which you clearly discriminated against."

"In the matter regarding public water and the board in which I sit, a recent audit shows that the price of the water in Saint-Martin is 2.6 times more expensive than in Guadeloupe or than on Dutch St. Maarten. Our people are held hostage by these prices, so when are you going to confront this situation?
You are mute on this important matter in which lots of money is being wasted and lost and the same goes for many other matters. But to whose benefit?
Definitely not in benefit of the people of Saint-Martin that you say you love so much!! "

The letter continues to attack issues regardin the Grand Case Airport
"In the bid regarding the airport of Grand-Case, as a member of the board, I deeply regret that we are not, in fact, part of the decisions. Even if you have the power to act, don't you think it would be wiser to let the Island Council give his opinion on such important matters which will engage us for years?"

We are elected officials, we have commissions that cannot give us information to make a right decision for our population. The majority group meetings never prepare the Territorial Council as it ought to be, so I will no longer attend these majority meetings.

As an elected person I don't even have the agenda of the Executive Council, so I don't even know when it concerns the Commission that I preside! And like most of my colleagues we learn things from third parties or by the media.

I have been elected by the people of Saint-Martin to work on their behalf and not on our personnel agendas. There is not a day that passes without having many of them express themselves about how they feel and about the functioning of our Collectivity. And your way of being president of the Collectivity is more than I can continue to bear and be silent about because it is, in no wise, respectful to the initial commitment of our programme announced during the election campaign."

The Hague/Philipsburg:---The vote by the chamber of the second chamber that allows St. Maarten and Curacao to move forward with its country status as scheduled for October 10 is another boost for the island during the RTC meetings which is scheduled for Thursday September 9th in the Hague. Representing St. Maarten is its leader William Marlin and the team of experts and advisors along with former commissioner of constitutional affairs Sarah Wescot Williams.
The motion presented by the PVV to stop the process was voted down with the PVV and Sp voting in favor.
The Kingdom Law on the Movement of persons, considered to be the most important of the four motions which was submitted by the VVDE was carried with 73 votes in favor with 63 against. The members of Parliament was asked to vote individually with a simple "yes or no answer" The motion on the debt reorganization was also rejected with only the PVV voted in favor of its motion.

Leader of the Democratic Party and former commissioner of Constitutional Affairs Sarah Wescott Williams who joined the delegation on Tuesday said that the final hurdle has been cleared for St. Maarten's coveted country status after 10 years, two months and 17 days of work. Wescott Williams said after much sacrifices, trials, and disappointments the time now is to make a success of new country which is in the hands of the people of St. Maarten.

The former commissioner of constitutional affairs said the people of St. Maarten deserves to be congratulated for the decision they took in 2000 and congratulated for their steadfastness and endurance during the past 10 years and finally for their confidence in their leaders to see the process through. Wescott Williams said the work for St. Maarten has only now begun and that the people have the chance to mold and shape the nation into what they want it to be. She also acknowledged that building St. Maarten would take time but the people will see the fruits of their labour.

billboard09092010St. Peters:--- One week away from the September 17 elections persons from within the community of St. Maarten has begun vandalizing bill boards belonging to political parties. SMN News camera lens captured photos of a huge billboard belonging to the leader of the National Alliance William Marlin that was destroyed the same evening it was put up next to the St. Peters gas station. Marlin is currently in the Netherlands finalizing the discussions with the Kingdom partners for St. Maarten to achieve its country status.

Philipsburg:--- Police are currently investigating the drowning death of a one year old baby boy who died around midday on Thursday in the family's Jacuzzi in Beacon Hill.
According to information reaching SMN News the toddler mother left him alone for few minutes and he somehow got out if the house and crawled in the Jacuzzi. The child was found by his mother shortly after. The hysterical mother drove the child to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The child's grandfather Mr. Harry Bosch confirmed the tragic death of his grandchild. Police could not be reached up to press time for comment on the incident.

GREAT BAY:--- The Office of Disaster Management is urging the public to closely monitor the progress of major Hurricane Igor which is approaching the North Eastern Caribbean islands as of Sunday.

Igor is expected to make a turn to the Northwest on Tuesday. The powerful hurricane on Sunday had wind speeds of 140 miles per hour with high gusts.

The Office of Disaster Management will continue to monitor the progress of this powerful hurricane very closely until it safely passes the island at a comfortable distance.

Philipsburg:--- "I would like to officially endorse the youngest candidate in the early Island Council elections for St. Maarten, Stuart Johnson. He is an outstanding educator and professional. The former Senator and Member of Parliament for the Island Territory of Saba Mr. Ray Hassell has publicly endorsed Johnson who is running on the slate of the Democratic Party of St. Maarten. Johnson is running as the seventh candidate, with the other twenty-two candidates under the leadership of Mrs. Sarah Wescot-Williams. "Stuart has the drive, the determination, and the decisiveness to represent the people of St. Maarten by helping to lead them into the new Country status and beyond," remarked Hassell. "I have been able to follow Mr. Johnson throughout his educational journey especially since, he has never forgot to give back to the communities of St. Maarten and Saba by volunteering."Hassell also served as the Vice President of the Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles and served for twelve years as a member of parliament. He was a strong coalition partner, who was dependable, trustworthy, and loyal, and had the respect of all members of parliament. "Surely, I would be there every step of the way for advice and guidance in the campaign trail for Mr. Johnson, as we need young professionals to be in Government. Once elected by the support and confidence of the voters, I will be available to guide him on related matters and to continue fostering a closer relationship with the Island territory of Saba and Country St. Maarten," said Hassell. He went on to say, "Johnson has strong Saban family roots, and has always been able to come back to his second home." Now surely isn't the time for us to divide but we must unite by showing confidence in the ability of our young professionals. The Netherlands Antilles as a Country will be dissolved, but our cultural and family ties on all of the respective islands will never be broken. "I am urging the people of St. Maarten, and those residents able to vote from Saba, to support Johnson's candidacy. He has always been committed to working in the best interest of everyone and he would be able to do so even more in Government," concluded Hassell.

stuartjohnson14092010Philipsburg:--- "As we approach the final days in this short campaign, for first parliament of Country St. Maarten it is imperative we embrace commitment, experience and professionalism," remarked Stuart Johnson candidate number seven on the Democratic Party of St. Maarten. Johnson's platform launched weeks ago focuses on his commitments in Education, Crime, Culture, Youth, Sports and the Environment. "If all this has been done out of Government, imagine what we can do, together in Government as a united people," remarked Johnson.
Johnson also has launched his redesigned web-site which focuses on the issues and solutions affecting soon to be Country St. Maarten. For further information you may visit his facebook page as well as the campaign web-site which www.wevotingjohnson .com.
As an educator committed to the issue of education, I cannot imagine, why an issue such as the salary scale increase has gone unnoticed by this Government. "I find it a pity after years of hard work and dedication by all teachers, this Government has failed to deliver on the commitment of providing what is rightfully due to teachers this year again," Johnson said. "Are we going to keep waiting for a New beginning, which will never begin?"
Johnson is an educator himself working in the public school system, and called on the Windward Islands Teachers Union to "do the right thing," as the legal entity representing teachers. Questioning the silence of the matter Johnson said, "No stone will be left unturned, as what is due to teachers should be given to them and promptly too." Johnson said in closing, "We've got a Country to build, and a people to protect" as we head into our new Country status this should be the motto.

deweerschool15092010Hope Estate:--- The agreement to expand and maintain the Genevieve De Weever Primary School was finally signed on Wednesday by Leader of Government and commissioner of education William Marlin and the contractor from FM Contracting that will begin the construction work and maintenance that will cost the island government and USONA a total of 3,157,232.12 Antillean guilders . The project which is expected to last about one year is to build five much needed class rooms said the commissioner of education. Marlin said the maintenance for the school falls under division A and will cost Naf. 1,592,903.88 while division B which is to improve and construct the second floor will cost Naf 229,613.04. Marlin said the total cost of the project will cost Naf. 3,157,232.12.
Principal of the school Mrs. A. Doncker Rogers said the expansion and upgrading of the Genevieve De Weever School has taken 15 years before the project could be realized. She said she was involved in lengthy discussions to have the project realized. Doncker-Rogers said the importance of education is something they could not put aside and when one wants to educate a child they can do so under a tree and achieve the same results. However because of the hurricanes and other natural disasters it is necessary for educators to have secure building which is conducive to learning. She said because of their determination to educate they held on to the wooden building and containers that are being used as makeshift classrooms.
discussions15092010Doncker said when the construction begins the students attending the school as well as the teachers will face some inconveniences. The intention is to move at least four of the classrooms to the University of St. Maarten while the construction takes place. The school principal said she has a resilient staff will cooperate to make the inconveniences as pleasant as possible for the staff, students and parents as they are sure the end results would be in the interest of everyone.
Head of New Projects Kurt Ruan also said they have been working on this project for years but somehow it took years before it could have been realized. Ruan said on several occasions when he would see Doncker on the road he could not provide answers as to when the project would have been finalized.
williamstudents15092010Commissioner of Education William Marlin said some 15 years ago government bought the property in Hope Estate to construct a few buildings for social projects, including the Genevieve De Weever School, another sets of classrooms for early stimulation students and the senior citizens home. Marlin said when he entered government in 1994 was to make sure schools and other facilities are built the same way investors are leasing and purchasing land for privatized businesses. He said back then one of the excuses that were used was that government did not have land space to construct schools. Marlin said 15 years ago just two days prior to election then a few persons gathered to conduct the ground breaking ceremony to construct the current building that housed the school. He said it is like a leap of faith that now again two days before this election they gathered to sign off on the agreement to expand and maintain the school. Marlin said unfortunately when he left government in 1999 the plans that were in place to continue the expansion was either aborted or shelved.

firetraining16092010GREAT BAY:--- Twenty-two fire fighters this week will conclude their two-week training exercise in emergency techniques, according to Section Head Prevention, Preparation, and Education & Training of the Fire Department ing. Silvanico Pauletta.

At the end of the course, the participants will receive a diploma "Manschappen A- Hulpverlening," which is recognized within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and is part of the standardized rescue techniques testing within the Kingdom.

The exam is according to the curriculum of the Dutch Fire Department Exams Board (NBBe).

On September 6 personnel of the Fire Department started a two-week training course related to emergency rescue. The course allowed the personnel to be tested with respect to their existing skills and how they handle their personal safety.

Within the two-week period, the fire personnel have covered exercises in motor vehicle accidents (stabilizing of the incident); rescuing persons from buildings with structural damage caused by an earthquake or persons trapped under a tree and teamwork.

fireclass16092010The personnel have been taught how to use their skills and equipment during natural disasters and weather related-emergencies.

Sessions have also been held between the different operational leaders of the emergency services in order to better coordinate the emergency response during an incident.

This upgrade comes at an opportune time at the height of the hurricane season where fire fighters need to be prepared to deal with any eventuality.

A theoretical and practical exam is part of the course. The course is part of the training cycle 2010, which has been organized by the Fire Department and its counter-part, twinning partner, the Fire Department from the Dutch Municipality of Dordrecht.

governorvotes17092010Philipsburg:--- Voters on St. Maarten seemed determined to have their voices heard on Friday as they braved the scattered showers and cloudy skies and made it to the various polling stations to cast their votes.
Cheer leaders from the National Alliance dominated most of the polling stations shouting "white is right, we are the best so forget the rest." While cheerleaders of the United People's Party were shouting back saying that this is the time to go UP.The Democratic Party supporters looked dissappointed, some of them hardly looking at the voters in the face as the approached the polling stations.

Several candidates from the various parties gathered at the Milton Peters College as they wooed voters to support them and their party, among the first set of voters to cast their votes at the MPC was the number three candidate on the National Alliance slate George Pantophlet with wife and son, Rhoda Arrindell from the UP slate with her husband and mother. Christopher Emanuel and Jean Boasman were also at the MPC. Lourdes Lake from the Democratic Party slate seemed to have replaced her party leader Sarah Wescott Williams who normally camps out at the Milton Peters College.
marlinfamily17092010Just before 11am leader of the National Alliance William Marlin made it to the polling station flanked by his wife and two daughters. Several of the cheerleaders who were standing outside waving the National Alliance flag then escorted the Marlin family inside MPC where he casted his vote.
Marlin told reporters shortly after that Friday's election is a historical one and while he is confident that the people will vote for his party he is not going to predict the outcome of the elections. Marlin said the voters have seen his dedication and they saw all what he has done for St. Maarten since entering government just over a year ago. Marlin said had it not been for his determination to secure the date for country status then there would not have been any elections. He urged voters to make use of their democratic rights and head to the polling stations if they have not done so as yet.

sarahvote17092010At the St. Maarten Academy the number 8 candidate from the UP slate Richard Panneflek and Brenda Wathey stood there with their group encouraging voters to vote for the UP. While former acting Lt. Governor Millicent De Weever was there dressed in her red shirt supporting her brother Petrus Leroy De Weever.
rhoda17092010At the Lionel Conner School Acting Lt. Governor Reynold Groenevelt casted his vote just before 11 am when he was doing his regular rounds inspecting the booths. In front of the school gate was the number two candidate from the UP slate Gracita Arrindell with a small group of cheerleaders. At that polling station the National Alliance cheerleaders also dominated the actions there even though the candidates were not there to push them along. Large poster of Jean Boasman from the National Alliance slate was seen at the entrance of the Lionel Conner School followed by a huge poster of his party leader William Marlin.

Later in the afternoon at the Belvedere community center there was an array of colors. Three of the four leading parties had a fair amount of people encouraging voters to support them. Richelda Emanuel a candidate from the Democratic Party slate and a supporter of the National Alliance told SMN  News that there were strong supporters of the United People's Party paying voters if they would produce a photograph to show they voted for the UP leader. " I am here looking at the ATM and how its working said" the National Alliance supporter. Emanuel who was standing just about 18 inches away from the UP supporter said she witnessed when the youngsters in the area produced their photos taken with a cellular phone and was paid.

Normally voters was supposed to leave their cellular phones and cameras outside of the voting booth since the chairman of the main voting bureau said no one is supposed to enter with a camera of cellular phone. However, those at Belvedere said the president of that polling station said they were not allowed to take away or search anyone to see if they were following the rules laid down by the main voting bureau.

Scenes on Election Day--- Scattered Showers and Cloudy Skies is not Hampering Voters Turn Out.

CAY BAY:--- With the passing of Hurricane Igor, the rough seas have caused the GEBE power plant to reduce the output of the sea water cooled engines as the cooling units are becoming clogged with seaweed and sand. Unfortunately a mechanical problem developed on engine #18, one of the radiator-cooled engines this morning. The power plant technicians are currently opening up the engine to determine the extent of the problem as well as the duration of the necessary repairs.
The power plant may need to resort to load shedding if the repairs cannot be completed by Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. when the demand begins to rise with the opening of the many businesses, schools, and other organizations. Updates will be posted as the situation develops and more information is available. GEBE is urging residents and businesses to prepare for possible load shedding by protecting sensitive electronic equipment to prevent any damage, check surge protectors and back up power units as needed. And when in doubt, plug it out.
Here are some tips to prepare for an electricity outage:
  • Unplug any sensitive electronics to avoid damage.
  • Turn off all lights and electrical equipment. Leave on only one light or radio to alert you when the power has been restored.
  • Try to minimize the time your fridge and freezer are open to keep the cool air in.
  • Gather any flashlights and check spare batteries.
  • Be careful if you decide to use candles. Do not leave them unattended.
  • Prepare by equipping your house with automatic power failure safety lighting so that it does not go dark when the power goes out. That gives you time to locate your flashlights and other items.

Great Bay:--- The young and the elderly are the two focal groups the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau is targeting for involvement in the various activities it has lined up for the celebration of this year's World Tourism Day, which falls annually on September 27.
The activities kick off on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 with award-winning environmentalist Rueben Thompson of the EPIC Foundation giving a tour and a presentation to the students and teachers of Sr. Borgia School.
In an attempt to get "locals to experience St. Maarten" as Mr. Gus Priest head of Product Development at the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau put it, several groups will participate in the 12-meter race, which is popular among tourists and also visit the seaside Nature Park in Cay Bay for an exciting horseback riding tour.
An island tour will also be organized for senior citizens on September 24th which will include a complementary lunch.
The theme of this year's World Tourism Day is "Tourism and Biodiversity".
"That is why we focused on the youth and the elderly," said Priest. "The youth will inherit the land, and the elderly still have a lot of wisdom to impart regarding our island's bio-diversity."
Priest disclosed that other activities planned include a Radio Quiz with "attractive prizes" that will be aired on September 27th on PJD-2 Radio Laser 101, PJD2, and Pearl FM. On that same day, Tanny & the Boys will be providing entertainment to welcome all visitors arriving at the Princess Juliana International Airport, who will also get a taste of the island's famed brew, Guavaberry.
The curtain will be drawn on this year's World Tourism Day with a gala dinner at which the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Awards will be announced. The dinner will be held at the Westin Resort.
"This is always the highlight of our celebrations of World Tourism Day," noted Director of Tourism, Regina LaBega. "This year's award as usual is being kept under wraps so that it will come as a complete surprise to the recipient."

frans22092010Philipsburg:--- The main voting bureau has decided to stop the recounting of the ballots that was casted on Friday September 17th saying that the recount will not make any significant difference to the outcome of the election.
The decision to halt the recount was taken on Tuesday night after the members of the main voting bureau made their concerns known. Ever since Monday when Frans Richardson made the request the members of the main voting bureau were overheard grumbling saying the request to recount all the ballots was unnecessary and a waste of tax payers monies.
On Tuesday Richardson was asked to waive his decision by the main voting bureau who said they can check the ballots of the districts that raises concern but Richardson said he wanted a total recount and that his request was not based on him losing or gaining votes. He said already the recounted has shown that there were lots of mistakes and that people who were not elected could have gotten into office. Richardson said a number of people have been complaining and when asked if a recount was ever done he was told that the main voting bureau has never taken on such an exercise. Richardson said this is outrageous and if St. Maarten wants to do things right they would have to start now and not continue with their old ways of doing business. Furthermore, the law gives citizens the right to request a recount and also gives the main voting bureau the right to over-rule the request of the citizen.
"When the ballots were being recounted we saw a number of inconsistencies and mistakes that were made, ballots that were counted as invalid were in fact valid votes at the different polling stations. In one district seven votes were given to the wrong candidate while in another district there was one case 30 votes were given to the wrong candidate. Also in the Cole Bay area a number of votes belonging to the National Alliance were not even counted." Richardson said that the decision taken by the main voting bureau is rather unfortunate because there was about five or six more districts that had to be recounted and it is his belief that the recount would not be in favor of those conducting the recount. He said this is the first time in history a recount was requested based on the law.
Also expressing displeasure at the decision taken by the main voting bureau Louie Laveist, Laveist said that stopping the total recount is a violation of the democratic rights of the voters who participated in the election.
The island council man said a recount was requested and in his opinion that is what should have been given to the people of St. Maarten. He said the main voting bureau should not be the ones to decide whether or not they would continue with the recount. Laveist said he was informed that because of the recount a candidate that participated in the election now has an opportunity of becoming a parliamentarian and for him that makes a huge difference for that person.
In an invited comment the chairman of the main voting bureau Reynold Groenevedt said that the recount was not stopped. He said those districts where a total recount was not done the blank and invalid votes were checked. Groeneveldt said the law states that while a citizen and voter can ask for the recount the main voting bureau can decide whether or not to grant the request.
mainvtinbureau22092010Furthermore, the chairman explained that the case of Jesus Richardson and Octavio was identified since Friday evening based on the process verbal and that is not something that was identified through the recount. Groeneveldt said while Richardson said his reason to ask for the recount was based on the amount of invalid votes two other candidates Silveria Jacobs and Leona Marlin indicated to the main voting bureau that there might have been problems at the Belvedere Community Center, Charles Leopold Bell School and the Melford Hazel Community Center and the members of the main voting bureau counted the ballots from those districts ballot by ballot.
Groeneveldt said he also intends to send an advice to the main voting bureau for future elections because they need to train and regulate the system better so that it can function better. Groeneveldt said it is his opinion that those people who began working from 6am and sat in those polling stations all day until 7pm when the polling stations closed should not be the ones counting the ballots. The main voting bureau needed to have fresh people who are not tired from a long day of work."It is unfair to those people who worked all day to count the ballots they are tired and obviously rushed the matter to get out of the polling stations."
The chairman said those persons who are not happy with the decision taken can take their concerns before the judge for further satisfaction.
Furthermore the ballot by ballot count is stalling the process the chairman said. He said letters have to be sent out to those persons who were elected so that they can get their credentials together so it can be validated before they are sworn in on October 5th.

leonamarlin24092010Philipsburg:--- The head of the census office on St. Maarten Leona Marlin is furious at the statements made against the census office as it relates to the issuance and controls over passports on the island. Marlin who has been at the helm of the department since 2005 said ever since she took office there has been no incidence of fraud at her department and she wants to know based on what the Dutch has made their analysis of the department.

Marlin said ever since she took over the helm of the department they have been following all of the guidelines and rules laid down by Holland. She said in addition to that all of the audit reports have been positive. "The census office gets audited twice a year and all of our reports are positive since 2005. Marlin said passports always falls under the Lt. Governor and since there would be no more Lt. Governor the task will fall under the Governor's cabinet."

Marlin said the article which was published in one of the daily newspapers said the governor will be responsible until the office is professionalized. "She asked what do they mean by professionalized. When these people want to talk then they need to define what they are talking about." Marlin said Holland has always been talking about the census office database.

Marlin further explained that the database of the census office is not quite up to par but St. Maarten island government has been investing monies to regulate the problems. She said even though the passport belongs to the State they are not offering St. Maarten any financial assistance with the upgrading and or assistance to regulate the database. "The problem with the database began since 1997 when they did the transfer, back then not all the information in our system was transferred to the new system and up until now Holland has not returned to conduct an analysis of the system neither did they conduct any upgrades." She said whatever was done since 1997 was done at the expense of the island government. "There have been no attempts by those that own the Dutch passport to rectify any of the problems the census office is facing. While we don't have the expertise to correct these problems ourselves we have hired people to assist in correcting the problems. A specialist was brought in from Bonaire while another person was also brought in from the Netherlands to check the system."

Marlin said the BES islands have received all the assistance from the Dutch Government to optimize their database in accordance to what Holland wants. The department head said the Dutch wants to send people here to work for a specific period of time but these people are not interested in providing the necessary training to the employees of the census office who have been working hard to prevent fraud and all other types of irregularities.

Marlin said based on the information she gathered in their last meeting was that St. Maarten and Curacao would not be getting the assistance the BES islands are getting to clean up their database. Marlin said she is of the opinion that if Holland wants all the civil registries in the Antilles to be up to par then they would provide the same services and equipments to St. Maarten for that to take place.
The department head said two civil servants from the census office will be leaving to Holland next week for additional training on how to clean up databases.

Philipsburg:--- The police zero tolerance and immigration officers assisted by VKS conducted a raid on Thursday morning at an address in Well Road. Police Spokesman Ricardo Henson said the raid was conducted after police received information that narcotics and possible fire arms were hidden there. Taking part in the operation was the chief public prosecutor Hans Mos and acting judge Mr. Luijks. Henson said the raid did not yield any positive results. However, one person was arrested at the scene for residing on the island illegally.

The controls continued later down in the evening in the areas of Cape Bay and Philipsburg. During these controls 7 persons from Jamaican, 3 from Guyana, 1 from the Dominican Republic and 1 from St Lucia were brought in because of their illegal status on the island.

In other news the police patrols have been directed on at least on two occasions to the St Peters/ South Reward area to intervene fights in which students were involved. During these fights no-one was injured, however, the students were all brought to the police station and severely reprimanded concerning their behavior. The police department has decided to again start focusing on students in the school areas.

Philipsburg:--- The leaders of the United Peoples Party Theodore Heyliger and the Democratic Party Sarah Wescot Williams who formed the coalition government last week has sent a letter to the chairman of the executive and island council Reynold Groeneveldt informing him that he should ensure that the sitting executive council does not take long term decisions that would affect country St. Maarten's budget. The two leaders said the current executive council will be in office until October 5th and they should not take decisions such as entering into long term contracts for garbage collection, the issuance of licenses in the public transportation sector, entering into financial agreements that may have a long term effect on the budget of country St. Maarten. The appointments of new personnel in key functions, entering into long term rental contracts, awarding of construction contracts for infrastructural projects and other such matters.
The letter further states that they are expecting that the acting Lt. Governor in his capacity as Chairman of the Executive Council will guard against any of these matters taking place.

The coalition partners said they expect cooperation for the sake of good governance and the incoming government being able to adequately commence its governing term without being confronted with decisions taken which may affect the ability to properly govern.

Philipsburg:--- "No one is currently in custody for the murder of Clemencia Julot" says public prosecutor Rienk Mud. Mud said the TGO team detained two persons last week, a male and female and they have been released since police do not have enough evidence to keep the suspects in custody much longer.
Mud said the police are working diligently and endless hours to solve the Julot case but they need more help from the community if we are to solve the brutal murder of 21 year old Clemencia Julot.
The public prosecutor also explained that since they are exhausting so much and manpower on this particular murder investigation, the investigations of other murder cases have slowed down. Mud said they have not neglected any of the murder investigations currently being investigated but much focus is placed on solving the Julot murder investigation. "This young girl who was in the bloom of her life was brutally murdered and we are doing all we can as law enforcement to bring those responsible for her death to justice" Mud said.

peterdewitte14072010Philipsburg:--- Four police officers are now the subject of an investigation that is being conducted by the police internal affairs to determine if the officers sold their votes. SMN News learnt that at least four police officers received monies from the United Peoples Party in exchange for their votes. SMN News learnt that two officers, a VKS and a civil servant working at the police station went to the UP head office in Pointe Blanche to control a crowd that was misbehaving. The source said when the officers reached the scene they were invited inside the office and monies were offered to them. SMN News further learnt that later that day someone working at the UP office called the officers informing them that their monies were ready to be picked up. "At that point the two police officers identified as C.L.R.C and A.M. sent the VKS R.J Sr. to pick up their monies. The person at the UP office gave R.J four envelopes containing $300 for each of the officers, but R.J got greedy and he opened the envelope supposedly belonging to the civil servant identified as G.W and distributed it among the two officers and himself." SMN News learnt that when G.W did not get her share of monies she contacted the UP office and she was informed that her envelope was also picked up. SMN News learnt that at that point G.W freaked out and began using obscene language saying she needed her share of money to pay her rent. The source said at that point the watch comander intervened and brought the matter to the attention of the acting chief of police.
Sources close to the investigation say that if internal affairs is able to prove that the officers sold their votes then they will be suspended or fired depending on what comes out of the investigation.
Chief Commissioner of Police Peter De Witte confirmed that while he was off island the acting chief of police Carl John initiated the investigation based on constant rumors. De Witte said the investigation currently taking place is more like a fact finding investigation. "We need to know if they were given monies and for what" De Witte said.
Earlier SMN News released an article which stated that officers of the law were part of the crowd of people that was seen at the UP head office in Pointe Blanche seeking monetary and electronic gifts in exchange for their votes. SMN News learnt that some officers requested flat screen televisions while others asked for laptops and blackberries.

Philipsburg:--- It now appears certain that matters to be regulated by ordinance (law), because they are classified as "organic law" will be passed by a majority in the island council of St. Martin, mostly without any debate or deliberation.
Surely there are several such ordinances that the DP feels without too much ado can be passed by the island council because of a number of reasons:
  1. The time constraint due to the Round Table Conference on September 9th 2010
  2. The possibility to amend these ordinances in the near future
  3. The similarity if not outright duplication of existing regulations
However, there are matters that no amount of time pressure should relegate to "routine" matters.
In other words, it cannot be expected that the faction of the Democratic Party, as eager as we are to cooperate with reaching the finish line of 10-10-10, will rubberstamp matters such as the joint Central Bank and joint currency with Curacao.
The urgency that the government of St. Martin attempts to convey, in our opinion is nothing more than a smoke screen to cover up other actions by government that continue unabated.
Government ignores the concerns regarding the state of the Great Salt Pond and the failed Ring Road and sand fiasco.
Government ignores the garbage collection and the awarding of the garbage contract(s), most probably until after election to award the contract as a political trade-off.
Government perpetuates the public transportation mismanagement.
Who is governing by the way?
What does Heyliger say to these matters? He aptly maneuvers under the radar, promises another new dawn after barely a year of a NA/Heyliger government, and puts the blame for the ills of government at the foot of his coalition partner, the National Alliance.
To secure the coveted 10-10-10, the government of St. Martin accepts verbal abuse from some politicians on Curacao; accepts supervision by the placing of a CFT official on St. Martin and accepts Dutch assistance to clean up the tax office and bring in the "millions on the road".

breakerbox01092010Philipsburg:--- A host of firemen and fire trucks responded to the government administration building on Wednesday morning when one of the breaker boxes that is located outside of the building caught fire.
Spokesman for the fire department told SMN News who was on the spot that they basically had to secure the area and the building until GEBE was able to send someone to fix the problems with the breaker box. The fire department spokesman said that the main cause of the fire is that water got to the box either during the passing of hurricane Earl or from the rain from tropical storm Fiona.