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

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Son, Brother, Nephew, Cousin and Friend;

 Ashur Antonio Friday

Sunrise: 26 May 1980 ~ Sunset: 5 July 2012
He was the son of Raphael A. Friday (deceased)

He leaves to mourn:
Mother:  Patricia Friday-Bell
Sisters: Tanya Friday
                Melissa Friday
Aunts:   Lurdez Bell & Fam.
Marva Bell & Fam.
Brenda Pantophlet Bell & Fam.
Cynthia Friday & Fam. (USA)
Leonora Richardson & Fam.
Uncles:                 Chester Bell & Fam. (USA)
Samuel Friday & Fam. (USA),
Leonidas Friday & Fam. (SXM)
Arthur Richardson & Fam. (AUX)
Johnnie Richardson & Fam.
David Richardson &Fam. (Dukie)

Close Cousins:  Natassja Bell, Cyria, Nigel &Sharon Paul , Charleen Bell, Samantha Elson-Beaton, Orlando Elson, Martin & Lenore Bell, Deidre &Phedra Thomson,  Johnnie, Jason & Fabiana Richardson, Colin & Culmore Bell, David  & Danzell Richardson, Sekou Friday, Christian Richardson ,Jamila,Shadira & Michel Arrindell, James Hughes and many other cousins too numerous to mention.
Friends :  Joel Duzong ,Gerard Richardson, Franklyn Brown, RuebenThompson, Andrew Rombley, Chester, Danny, David, Jevon, Deidrick, Naldo, Rosendo, Teza, Nettie & Chrissie and others too numerous to mention.

He was related to the Todman, Friday, Bell, Thomson, Richardson, Paul, Elson, Hodge, Pantophlet, Jean Baptiste families
 The wake will be held at the family home on Wednesday July 11th 2012 evening at Waterfront Street 16 Colebay from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

The service of Thanksgiving for the late Ashur Antonio Friday will be held on Thursday, July 12th at the Praise Tabernacle Church in Cole Bay. Viewing and tributes: 2:00pm to 3:00pm. Service: 3:00pm. Interment: Cape Bay cemetery.
The family sincerely apologizes if in our time of sorrow any family names have not been mentioned.
The family kindly requests no visitors at the home after the funeral service.
The Management and staff of Emerald Funeral Home would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the bereaved families.

May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace


Forever with the Lord! Amen. So let it be. Life from the dead is in that word, ‘Tis immortality.

Charles Alexander Illidge also known as Charlieco or Lexan
(Son of the late Maria Illidge)

Born: 26th January, 1953 - Died: 30th May, 2012

Left to mourn:
His father: Wilmoth Gumbs
His children: Wilmert Mathilda,
                     Jennifer (Jetty) Mathilda,
                    Christopher Illidge

Grand children: Joel, Jaden & Jair
His ex wife: Carmelle Peniston

His brothers:     Fritzroy (Roy) Illidge & family
                           Leslie (Junior) Wilson & family
                           Russell Wilson – Holland
                           Douglas Wilson & family - Holland
                           Gregory Illidge & family - Curacao
                           Hubert (Ray) Dambruck – Holland
                           Irvin (Wendy) Gumbs - Aruba
                           Robert (Robby) Gumbs- USA
                           Junior Gumbs USA
His sisters:          Joylin Illidge &  family -Curacao  
                           Sandra Molenaar & family - Holland
                           Sheryll Dambruck & family
                           Ursula Boasman & family
                           Xiomara Gumbs –Webb - USA
                           Eula Gumbs - USA
                           Jessica Gumbs- Afghanistan                                             
                           Shirley Gumbs- USA
Sisters in Law: Midia Wilson Barry & Shahaira Illidge Sarabia
Brother in law: Ronny Webb-USA                                
His aunts & uncles: Wilma Richardson & family, Lydia Mills & family, Wilfred Illidge & family, John Illidge & family, Sylvia Gumbs & family.

Nieces & Nephews: Dino, Saska, Terry, Reynaldo, Arelys, Elisabeth, Francisca, Sherwin, Curtis, Valery, Trisha, Carlito, Germiane, Kevin, Gresha, Geon, Steven, Akon, Gabriela, Reangelo, Geshwyn, Iriesmayra, Charles, Ronda, Ozzie and his favourite newphew Marvin.

He was related to: Illidge, Gumbs, Mathilda, Wilson, Dambruck, Carty, Woods, London, Lloyd, Richardson, Webb, Peniston, Mussington & Whit.
A wake will be held on Thursday 7th June, 2012 from 7:00pm to 10:00pm at the Mills Residence; St. Peters #133 St. Peters rd.

The Funeral service for the late Charles Alexander Illidge also known as Charlieco or Lexan will be held on Friday June 8th, 2012 at the Philipsburg Methodist Church on Front Street. Viewing: 1:00pm to 2:00pm. Service: 2:00pm. Interment: Cul de sac cemetery
The Management and staff of Emerald Funeral Home would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the bereaved families.

May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace


Aldith Judith Codrington

6 Dec 1949 ~ 6 Aug 2012

She leaves to mourn:

Deborah ROLLE aka Sandy  (SXM)
Malika RICHARDSON-RAJI (England)

Leroy CODRINGTON (England)
Gregoire CODRINGTON  aka  Greg (SXM)

Daughter in Law:

Clara CODRINGTON & Family (Dominica)
Evell CODRINGTON & Family (SXM)
Isadora CODRINGTON- BRUNETTE & Family (Dominica)
Rubina CODRINGTON & Family (Guadeloupe)
Rubfin CODRINGTON & Family (USA)
Eve CODRINGTON & Family (Guadeloupe)
Sandra CODRINGTON  & Family(Antigua)

Carlton CODRINGTON & Family (England)
Coughbert CODRINGTON & Family (Miami)
Cleveland CODRINGTON & Family (SXM)
Walton CODRINGTON & Family (Dominica)
Peter CODRINGTON & Family (Miami)

Grand children:
Marc ,  Melissa  &  Mauricia RICHARDSON (SXM),
Vince & Vincia AULT (SXM)
Ayanna , Aysa¸S arah & Samantha CODRINGTON (SXM)
Deyquan, Dannielen & David RAIJ (England)

Great grandchildren:
Marco & Markyla RICHARDSON (SXM)

Diane, Mille, Emma BRUNETTE (Dominica)
 Caisha & Camira Codrington (SXM)

Steven CODRINGTON aka Sticky Banton (SXM)
Cleveland jr & casimir Codrington

Favorite Nephew:
Edward Sawarin

Favorite Niece:
Franisca SAWARIN –REID aka Zin (SXM)

Best friend:

Many more nieces and nephews,  great nieces , great nephews, great great nieces and great great nephews  too numerous to mention.


 A gathering of  family & friends will be held at Evelle’s home in Zorg en Rust, Dutch Quarter on Wednesday August 15th, 2012 from 7:00pm.

The funeral service for the late Aldith Judith Codrington will be held on Friday August 17th,2012 at the Christian Faith Ministries, Dutch Quarter (opposite Delta Petroleum gas station).Viewing & tributes: 1:00pm to 2:00pm. Service commences at 2:00pm. Interment: 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 Eternal Peace


OVER THE ATLANTIC:--- It has been more than 30 years since the late great reggae musician Robert Nesta Marley has departed, yet his legacy continues to inspire people the world over.

This week at 35,000 feet in the air I am on the inspired list having just watched the Kevin MacDonald film "Marley", a tribute to the life of the Jamaican and Rastafarian messenger of peace and goodwill.

As I traversed the globe from East to West in recent weeks, Marley's message of unity is particular poignant: "I don't really have no ambition you know. I only have one thing I'd really like to see happen. I'd like to see mankind live together. Black, White, Chinese, Everyone. That's all."

People are simply people - created in the image of God - yet we, our colonizers and, yes, our ancestors have concocted doctrines and diktats of division that continue to debilitate mankind, and we admittedly buy into the mess because of our ignorance.

We subscribe not to God's laws but to mankind's varied interpretations of "truth", not to mention conspiracy theories and misleading messages in the media that continue to prey on the educated and uneducated alike, retarding peace and progress on the planet.

Marley said that his life was only important if he can help "plenty people". He lived for people regardless of color, class or creed, after all he was the product of a White father and Black mother. "My life is for people," said Marley, who sung in Positive Vibration: "Why not help one another on the way (and) make it much easier. You just can't live that negative way, make way for the positive day."

As we watch world leaders behave like children in the halls of the United Nations General Assembly, hurling insults at one another year after year, we should take heed to Bob Marley's message of "One Love" which helped heal the political divide in Jamaica during a period of political violence.

And what about success and wealth at the height of a successful musical career? "Possessions make you rich?" he asked the reporter in the film, "I don't have that type of richness. My richness is life forever."

In every complexity resides the simplicity, and today, I am thankful for the airlines for helping to share the simple, yet profound messages of Marley to international audiences. It's exactly what he would have desired.

"We can make it work, let's come together and make it work."

Bevan Springer
New York Amsterdam News

Chronically ill patients often choose at-home care. Nursing is instrumental in at-home care. At-home care has been proven to be effective for patients who are chronically ill and recovering or who need special attention. Many types of aggressive cancer cause patients to require hospice at-home care after being diagnosed.

Whether it is colon, leukemia, breast or mesothelioma cancer, patients are required to seek a physician's help to improve their chances of their recovery by seeking out the right type of help and treatment. Patients typically will have a better prognosis when the disease is addressed and treated at early stages. Nurses facilitate treatment and coping.


Nurses Help Patients Improve Their Quality of Life

Nurses can help patients cope with and deal with side effects from treatment by easing their pain. When nurses provide care for cancer patients suffering from side effects, this is often referred to as palliative care. Nurses are instrumental in palliative care to help patients manage the physical effects of chemotherapy radiation and other treatments. Nurses can also help patients manage emotional aspects such as anxiety, depression and other emotional effects.

Nurses Find Resources for Patients

Nurses provide patients with resources and information to improve their care. For instance, pain management is important during cancer treatments. After treatments are complete or before the treatments begin, nurses may help cancer patients find resources for massages to temporarily relieve the pain. Massages are often offered for free and can help patients cope with the effects of cancer.


Nurses Inform Families and Friends About Support Systems

Families and friends are an important part of the support system. Many studies have shown that cancer patients heal faster with supportive care or comfort care from friends, family or other people suffering with the same illness. When adequate support is available, stress levels are reduced and cancer patients heal faster. Patients are recommended to establish a strong support system for this reason. Nurses are available to help families and friends learn how to be supportive in a non-judgmental fashion.


Nurses Help Find Services and Financial Resources

Nurses can help doctors find a doctor or treatment for cancer. There are treatment facilities all over the world. Nurses can help to identify the facilities and find the best facility for the patient's care type. Assistance for at-home care is often available. Nurses can give patients guidance on finding the best services and financial resources available.


Nurses Administer Medications


Nurses can help administer medications. In fact, this is the role that most people associate with nurses. Nurses monitor vital signs and check IVs to determine if the patient is responding to the treatments. They also can draw blood to determine white blood cell counts, red blood cell counts and hemoglobin levels. These levels are often affected during treatment. Nurses should always check these levels to ensure the patient is not at critical levels that may severely affect their health.


Nurses Do More than Administer Medications

Nurses are beneficial in numerous capacities. They not only administer medications, but they counsel. They listen and they offer resources. Nurses form long-term relationships with their patients that lead to better care. When patients feel safer and nurtured, their stress levels are lowered, and they can better handle anxiety and uncertainty.


Melanie Bowen

Le Premier ministre envisage de proposer au Président de la République de nommer M. Pierre-Franck CHEVET en qualité de président de l'Autorité de sûreté nucléaire.

Le Président de l'Assemblée nationale et le Président du Sénat sont saisis de ce projet de nomination, afin que la commission intéressée de chacune des assemblées se prononce dans les conditions prévues par le cinquième alinéa de l'article 13 de la Constitution.

Entre le 19 septembre et le 20 octobre 2012, 7 vols avec violences sont commis dans l'agglomération de Marigot au préjudice de piétons, essentiellement de touristes. Les malfaiteurs agressaient les victimes pour leur dérober leurs bijoux en or et n'hésitaient pas à user de violence pour parvenir à leur fin.
Après recueil des plaintes et recoupement des affaires, 4 individus sont formellement identifiés. Le 22 octobre 2012, une opération d'interpellation, menée sous la direction des militaires de la COB de St Martin avec l'appui du peloton d'intervention de l'EGM 22/6 de Bouliac et des militaires du peloton de surveillance et d'intervention de la compagnie de St Martin, conduit au placement en garde à vue dans les locaux de la COB de St Martin des 4 individus recherchés.
Au cours des perquisitions, les enquêteurs retrouvent un scooteur volé quelques temps auparavant. L'enquête permet également de déterminer qu'un des individus est impliqué dans le vol d'un véhicule commis au cours d'un cambriolage commis en août 2012.
A l'issue de leur garde à vue, deux individus font l'objet d'une convocation en justice pour le 20 décembre 2012. Le troisième individu est incarcéré à la maison d'arrêt de Basse Terre dans le cadre de la mise à exécution d'un mandat d'arrêt pour une peine de 3 ans ferme. Le quatrième individu est quant à lui placé en détention provisoire dans l'attente de son jugement.
L'enquête a permis de mettre en cause un cinquième individu, déjà mis en cause dans des vols à main armée et incarcéré à la maison d'arrêt de Basse-Terre.

Le Président de la Collectivité de Saint-Martin rappelle aux transporteurs de marchandises et de déchets de -3,5 tonnes et de + 3,5 tonnes que pour l'exercice régulier de leur activité de transport, ils doivent déclarer celle-ci à la Direction du transport de la Collectivité de Saint-Martin.

En effet, le décret n°99-752 du 30 Août 1999 relatif au transport routier de marchandises et les délibérations annexes prises par le Conseil Territorial de Saint-Martin exigent l'inscription au registre de transport de marchandises.

En vue de la déclaration préalable d'activité, les entrepreneurs concernés sont invités à fournir les documents suivants:

  • L'identité de leur entreprise (Fiche INSEE, copie des statuts s'il y a lieu)
  • L'identité du responsable de l'entreprise (pièce d'identité)
  • Justificatif de domicile (facture EDF, TELECOM ou EAU)
  • Permis de conduire de catégorie C, EC du gérant et / ou chauffeur (s)
  • La conformité des véhicules (attestation d'assurance, carte grise, et procès-verbal de contrôle technique)
  • Certificat de Capacité Professionnelle Transport Marchandise

Pour le dépôt de leur déclaration préalable, les transporteurs de marchandises et de déchets doivent se présenter aux bureaux du transport, situés au 2nd étage de l'immeuble du Port commerce de Galisbay-Bienvenue, et ouverts de 8h30 à 12h30 du Lundi au Vendredi. Toute information relative à la constitution du dossier de déclaration et d'inscription au registre sera apportée aux transporteurs concernés.

Conformément à l'art .11 du décret n°98-679 relatif au transport par route de déchets, les entreprises non déclarées surprises en infraction s'exposent à une suspension de leur activité.

Par ailleurs, une formation de régularisation à la capacité professionnelle des entrepreneurs de transport de marchandises de + de 3,5 tonnes, se déroulera, le Lundi 08 Octobre à 17h à l'immeuble le Raisinier et sera poursuivie du 09 au 12 Octobre 2012 au Centre Culturel de Sandy-Ground.

Toute personne intéressée pourra se faire inscrire directement auprès du formateur « CABINET COACH », jusqu'à 16h45 à l'ouverture de la formation le lundi 08 Octobre 2012 à L'immeuble le Raisinier - Galisbay, rue du Boulevard Docteur Hubert PETIT - 97150 SAINT-MARTIN,.

Cette formation est destinée, en exclusivité aux entrepreneurs déjà en activité, ou ayant entrepris auprès du Bureau du Transport une demande d'inscription au Registre des Transporteurs Collectivité de Saint-Martin – 97150 Saint-Martin.

Le Premier ministre se félicite de l'accord obtenu aujourd'hui avec les principaux syndicats signataires de la convention médicale sur l'encadrement des dépassements d'honoraires. Cet accord pourrait être unanime dans les prochains jours et marquer ainsi le rassemblement des toutes les parties concernés (assurance maladie, médecins, organismes complémentaires) autour de l'objectif de maîtrise des dépassements d'honoraires. Le montant des dépassements d'honoraires a ainsi plus que doublé en vingt ans, passant de 900 millions d'euros en 1990 à 2,5 milliards d'euros en 2010.
Cet accord, qui traduit un engagement du Président de la République, va permettre de renforcer l'accès aux soins de tous les Français et de limiter les renoncements aux soins pour des raisons financières. Il met en place un dispositif renforcé et sécurisé de sanction des dépassements d'honoraires excessifs. Les personnes les plus fragiles, notamment les bénéficiaires de la CMU complémentaire et de l'aide à l'acquisition d'une complémentaire santé (ACS), ne pourront plus se faire opposer de dépassements d'honoraires. Cet accord met également en place un nouveau contrat d'accès aux soins par lequel le médecin adhérant s'engage à geler ses dépassements en contrepartie d'un meilleur remboursement de ses patients par la Sécurité sociale. Enfin, il engage une revalorisation de la médecine de secteur 1, notamment du médecin traitant, qui joue un rôle essentiel dans le suivi, la prévention et la qualité des soins. L'ensemble de ces mesures vise à faciliter le « parcours de soins » des Français.
La démarche du gouvernement, fondée sur la concertation, a fait la preuve de son efficacité. Le Premier ministre souligne le sens des responsabilités des partenaires conventionnels, qui ont ainsi répondu à une attente forte des Français.

Une opération judiciaire réalisée le 05 septembre dernier, à Sandy-Ground avait abouti à l'interpellation de 3 personnes soupçonnées d'avoir participé à une série de vols à main armée commis au cours de l'été dernier dans les quartiers de Sandy-Ground et de Marigot. Deux des individus interpellés avaient été déferrés en Guadeloupe où ils ont été placés en détention provisoire. Les investigations réalisées consécutivement à cette opération judiciaire ont abouti à interpeller au cours du mois d'octobre les derniers membres de cette bande.
La première interpellation est intervenue le 09 octobre dernier à Capesterre Belle Eau, en Guadeloupe, où un mineur de 17 ans originaire du quartier de Sandy-Ground avait été placé en famille d'accueil suite à différents délits commis à St Martin. Cette interpellation, réalisée conjointement par la brigade de recherche de St Martin et la compagnie de gendarmerie de Pointeà- Pitre, a abouti à la mise en examen et au placement sous contrôle judiciaire de l'intéressé, pour quatre vols à main armée avec arme à feu commis à St Martin entre le 27 juillet et le 23 août 2012.
Une seconde interpellation, réalisée par la brigade de recherches de la gendarmerie de Saint-Martin, le peloton d'intervention de l'escadron de gendarmerie mobile de Bouliac et le concours du Psig de St Martin,est intervenue le 20 octobre 2012 à l'encontre d'un mineur de 16 ans. Celui-ci, soupçonné d'avoir incité les autres mis en cause à participer à des vols à main armés, est lui même mis en cause pour sa participation à 8 vols à main armée commis entre le 19 juillet et le 23 août sur des commerces de Marigot, Sandy-Ground, la Baie Nettlé, à Concordia et Agrément. Il est par aiellurs soupçonné d'avoir récemment commis des vols à l'arraché de bijoux dans l'agglomération de Marigot. Déferré en Guadeloupe le 21 octobre, l'individu a été placé en détention provisoire après avoir été mis en examen par le juge d'instruction ayant délivré une commission rogatoire à la gendarmerie pour enquêter sur cette série de faits.
Ce sont au total 10 vols à main armée commis au cours de la période estivale qui ont été résolus grâce à cette enquête. Trois des quatre mis en cause, deux majeurs et un mineur, ont été placé en détention provisoire ; le quatrième, mineur, fait l'objet d'un contrôle judiciaire en Guadeloupe, mais risque néanmoins d'être condamné à une peine de prison.
Depuis le début de l'année 2012, trente deux vols à main armée avec arme à feu ont au total été solutionné grâce au travail d'investigation du groupe « vol à main armée » de la brigade de recherches de la gendarmerie de St Martin. Ces investigations ont conduit à l'interpellation par les escadrons de gendarmerie mobile qui se succèdent sur le territoire et le PSIG de St Martin de vingt et un individus mis en cause pour vol à main armée. La plus part de ces mis en cause ont été déferrés et incarcérés en Guadeloupe.

In the free Intro to Budgeting public workshops I gave in the districts of Dutch Quarter, Hope Estate, Cole Bay, and St Peters in collaboration with S.I.F.M.A and the "Department of Community Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs" from August 28th to September 24th, one of the questions I asked the attendees was what is inflation. Practically all of the persons answered that it is the rise in prices or the rise in the cost of living. Another question I asked the attendees to write down an answer to is what in their minds they believe money to be. Many of the answers made me smile and giggle. Despite the smiling and giggling however many of the answers would indicate that we have a lot of work to do. It is my belief that just as you need a license to be able to drive a vehicle one should have some sort of license to be able to use money. I don't need to convince you of this because if you look at what is happening globally, enough evidence surrounds us.
First of all, inflation is not rising prices. Rising prices is a symptom of inflation. Let me explain by way of a simple example from Chris Martison. "Suppose you are on a life raft (with a number of other persons) and somebody on board has an orange that they are willing to sell for money. Only one person in the raft has any money, and that's a single dollar. So the orange sells for a dollar. But wait! Just before it sells you find a ten dollar bill in your pocket. Now how much do you suppose the orange sells for? That's right, ten bucks. It's still the same orange right? Nothing about the utility or desirability of the orange has changed from one minute to the next, only the amount of money kicking around in the boat. But what would happen to the price if suddenly ten persons suddenly realized that they also have an orange and they are also willing to sell it? It would mean now that the total supply of oranges will be eleven (11) and the total amount of money within the raft will be eleven dollars ($11) which will bring the price right back to $1 per orange. And what's true within a tiny life raft is equally true across an entire nation. So we can make this claim: Inflation is, everywhere and always, a monetary phenomenon. Chris goes on to say: inflation is caused by the presence of too much money in relation to goods and services. What we experience are things going up in price, but in fact, inflation is really the value of your money going down simply because there's too much of it around." Chris is on the right path to explaining inflation but he left out a critical component which will be addressed in the following paragraph.
How does this too much money come about? This is why reading various literatures for different points of thoughts are so critical because each part solves a piece of the puzzle. Thomas Greco explains how this "too" much money comes about. Greco goes on to explain that too much money comes about from improper issuance of it in the economy. But how is that accomplished and who might be responsible? "These are the possible inflators of money: Private counterfeiters, Central banks, Commercial banks, and Central governments. The vast majority of money however is created by commercial banks by the process of lending it into circulation. They have the power to make loans (issue money) on either a proper basis or an improper basis. It is not the amount of money per se that causes inflation, but the basis upon which it is created. Loans made on an improper basis have the effect of inflating the money supply. What would be an improper basis? An improper basis is any loan that does not put goods or services into the market either immediately or in the very near term. Commercial banks play a dual role. They act both as "depositories" and as "banks of issue." In their role of depository, banks lend out depositors' funds (your savings and mine) to those who have need of them. That may be for either consumption or the creation of new productive capacity (capital formation). When they do this, these deposits are temporarily no longer available for the depositor to access it. As banks for issue, they (should) create new deposits (money) on the basis of short-term commercial bills that accompany the delivery of goods to market. That's the way it is supposed to work. In practice, however, banks these days make little distinction between these two roles and commonly create deposits (money) by making loans to finance both the flow of goods and services into the market as well as making loans that take them out of the market. When a bank makes a loan for the purpose of financing consumer purchases or for investment in long-term productive assets, those newly created deposits, as oppose to using (existing) depository deposits (existing money), are inflationary because 1) consumer purchases do not accompany the delivery of goods and services to the market place and 2) long-term productive assets usually deliver goods and services to the marketplace only in the distant future, or not at all." –Adapted from: The End of Money and The future of Civilation, Thomas H. Greco, pages 62-64 -
The bottom line is that only the monetary authority can cause inflation and only the monetary authority can stop it. The piper must be paid; the only question is, who will be made to foot the bill?

Emilio Kalmera

Honorable Minister Marlin,

St. Maarten Pride Foundation has taken notice of the recent (and on-going) filling-in of the Great Salt Pond. The Foundation has no objections to the construction of a Drag Strip or a Cricket stadium on Sint Maarten. Pride does however strongly object to any and all filling-in of the Great Salt Pond, including the filling-in which has taken place for the construction of the proposed Drag Strip and the filling-in for the proposed Cricket stadium.

The Foundation would like to remind the Minister of the following:

  • That the Preamble of the Constitution of Sint Maarten states: “WE, THE PEOPLE OF SINT MAARTEN”, (are)“…DETERMINED to care for the perpetual maintenance of nature and the environment”;
  • That Article 22 of the Constitution of Sint Maarten states that: “It shall be the constant concern of the government to keep the country habitable and to protect and improve the natural environment and the welfare of animals”;
  • That Netherlands Antilles laws on the protection of nature and environment have been taken over by Sint Maarten including the Landsverordening grondslagen natuurbeheer en –bescherming (P.B. 1998, 49)”;
  • The “Eilandsverordening natuurbeheer en- bescherming Sint Maarten (A.B. 2003,25)”.
  • That emission norms or standards have been drafted and implemented for Sint Maarten. “Lucht & Geluid, Water, Afvalwater, Afval, Afval, Eindrapport Milieunormen, 2007”.
  • That Sint Maarten is party to several international and regional environmental agreements, treaties and conventions. The following conventions, to which Sint Maarten is (indirectly) bound, are of significance to the protection of the Great Salt Pond;
  1. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). (1992)
  2. The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat. /The Ramsar Convention/ Convention on Wetlands. (1971)
  3. The Convention on Migratory Species, (CMS or Bonn Convention). (1979)
  4. The Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) Protocol of the Cartagena Convention, (1990)

The Foundation is objecting to the filling-in of the Great Salt Pond based on the following reasons;

The Great Salt Pond played a prominent role in both Sint Maarten’s and the Kingdom of the Netherlands’ history due to its immense size and its central location, particularly in the wide scale salt mining industry which started with the Dutch around 1631. Salt was collected from the Great Salt Pond and subsequently exported all over the world or locally used to conserve food. The last commercially significant salt reaping occurred in the 1940’s. Many Sint Maarteners are descendants of people who worked in the Great Salt Pond during and after slavery, a fact which makes the Pond an important aspect of the island’s and the Kingdom’s heritage.

  • The Great Salt Pond was identified and designated as a monument by the Executive Council of the Island Territory of Sint Maarten (BC Decision 040308, Arch nr. 1172-08) the monument was officially registered in 2009; in doing so, government acknowledged the cultural and historical significance of the area and committed to protecting it;
  • The construction of the Cricket stadium, as it is currently proposed, will destroy a large portion of the Great Salt Pond National monument ;
  • The Foundation is of the opinion that an undesirable precedent would be set if Government destroys an area which has been identified and designated as a national monument based on its cultural/ historical significance.

The entire Great Salt Pond serves as a natural cache for much of the run-off water from surrounding hills. Government commissioned reports have advised government to expand the island’s rain water storage capacity. Even partially filling in the Great Salt Pond will significantly reduce water storage capacity and is likely to have drastic consequences for the surrounding areas as excess run-off water will lead to additional flooding of the already overburdened districts adjacent to the pond.

Sint Maarten’s ponds (including parts of) the Great Salt Pond have been recommended for protection in reports such as The Ponds of Sint-Maarten, (Ecovision, 1996) and many other studies which concluded that the ponds are of ecological and environmental importance.

  • The entire Great Salt Pond is of crucial importance for the survival of many species of birds, fish and other wetland life; It is an important feeding, breeding and nesting area for numerous species of migratory and resident birds.
  • BirdLife International (de Vogelbescherming) has recognized the Great Salt Pond as one of the Caribbean’s “Important Bird Areas (IBA)”. IBAs are places of the highest global priority for bird and biodiversity conservation.

“Great Salt Pond IBA is in south-central St. Maarten, on the outskirts of the capital Philipsburg....This IBA is significant for its population of Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla). Up to 5.800 gulls congregate at the IBA prior to the breeding season. About 50 pairs of Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) breed .... within the IBA.”

(St. Maarten, Important Bird Areas In the Caribbean, Key sites for conservation, BirdLife International, 2008)

The area is also of importance for the:
  1. White-cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis) a regionally threatened species experiencing declining populations due to habitat restriction,
  2. Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) which is found on only four other Lesser Antillean islands due to habitat restriction,
  3. Caribbean Coot (Fulica caribaea) a regionally threatened species experiencing declining populations due to habitat restriction,
  4. Sint Maarten’s national bird, the Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), with up to 60 pairs known to breed in the Greater Great Bay Area.

In addition to the aforementioned it should also be noted that the proposed location of the Drag Strip is in close proximity to a number of residential areas. Emissions and Noise pollution will likely exceed the norms for Sint Maarten as compiled in the government report: “Lucht & Geluid, Water, Afvalwater, Afval, Eindrapport Milieunormen 2007”.

The constitution of Sint Maarten states the following: “It shall be the constant concern of the government to keep the country habitable and to protect and improve the natural environment and the welfare of animals”.

It is for this reason inexcusable and incomprehensible that Government would commission the filling-in of the Great Salt Pond in the first place, moreover, that government would do so without following the proper stakeholder consultation, research and permitting procedures.
Activities such as the illegal dumping of sand into the Great Salt Pond should not be condoned or legalized by Government after the fact. The Foundation therefore calls on Government to take appropriate measures towards the removal of the illegally dumped sand and the restoration of the effected areas. Additional measures such as the drafting and implementation of a Zoning Plan for the Great Salt Pond should be taken immediately to prevent any more filling-in of the Pond.

Sint Maarten Pride Foundation reserves its right to review, revise and resubmit these objections in the event that permit requests are submitted for the filling-in of the Great Salt Pond.



Sint Maarten Pride Foundation

The impact of climate change will only be evident over the long term, spanning many election cycles, while the costs of preventive actions will be huge and must be paid up front. You cannot wait to see if it will happen, because then it would have already been too late, and the costs will be much more.

Sint Maarten has to start planning today for climate change. It must be placed on the political agenda today! Some may say what silliness is this, but climate change is real and it won't be going anywhere.

Climate change: refers to the long-term shift in overall weather conditions over a period of time. The type of impact varies per country. The warming of the earth changes weather patterns, increasing the severity and frequency of extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and hurricanes. Higher temperatures causes the ice caps in the North and South poles to melt which results in an increase in sea-levels around the globe, therefore threatening low-lying areas. Other impacts will be on the natural habitats of animals and plant species, and effects on food crop production.

Everybody is aware of the investments that must be made when building a home or a business with respect to the threat that hurricanes pose to our islands. Your structure must be able to sustain a category three hurricane minimum. Hurricane Luis thought us a lesson to invest.

Planning and preparing for climate change is the same thing. However, there is a difference. The investment is made for the long-term, and for the sustainability of future generations of Sint Maarteners. It is an investment into our children and their children's children, by maintaining a secure sustainable living environment for our future generations.

To ensure that Sint Maarten is prepared and ready for climate change threats and opportunities, a dedicated organization should be established – "Sint Maarten National Climate Change Secretariat (SNCCS). This should fall under the Office of the Prime Minister.

The objective of SNCCS is to coordinate climate change policies across government agencies and ensure that plans are prepared and progress tracked and monitored. The secretariat would also deal with climate change issues within the Kingdom and with international organizations. The SNCCS would also coordinate local mitigation and adaptation responses to climate change.

Our country is a small island with very limited natural resources. The impact of climate change, including sea level rise, will be very serious, and therefore we need to take the issue of climate change very seriously. Climate change presents opportunities, but we have to prepare for the challenges.

Climate change is not only a government issue. It is also an issue for the private sector and the non-governmental organization sector. A permanent committee on Climate Change needs to also be established by the Parliament of Sint Maarten. Parliamentarians also have a role to play in preparing the nation for the long-term impacts of climate change where investments in preparation have to start within this decade.

With respect to mitigation measures, small steps are being taken. The private sector must be commended for taking initiatives in wind and solar energy as well as LED lights to lessen our countries foot print on the environment. These are steps in the right direction to run energy efficient operations and facilities. The past UP-led Government and the current NA-led Government have indicated initiatives related to alternative clean energy solutions. The public, private and NGO sectors need to come together to develop the "Sustainable Sint Maarten Blueprint (SSxB)," an initiative that represents a national effort to reduce our energy dependence.

Besides mitigation measures, the next major effort is adaptation measures. As a low-lying, densely populated island in the tropics, we are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. These impacts according to international studies that have been carried out are temperature extremes, heavy rainfall events, sea rise levels, stronger hurricanes etc.

If we had the SNCCS, one of the first steps would be to undertake vulnerability studies to better understand long-term physical impacts such as sea level rise, temperature increases etc would have on our country. Uncertainties remain on the extent of climate change and the timing in which it will unfold, hence the importance of having an SNCCS, and planning from now.

Sint Maarten is not immune to climate change. It is very much a concern to us and the wider Caribbean region.

Roddy Heyliger

rolandtuitt31102012Philipsburg:--- Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt told reporters on Wednesday during the Council of Ministers' press briefing that he informed the Dutch Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations Liesbeth Spies that the government of St. Maarten intends to reopen the discussions on the debt relief for St. Maarten when the new government takes office next week. Minister Tuitt said that he informed the Minister that since 10/10/10 the promises that were made by the Netherlands were not kept. These promises were to establish certain departments that were not on St. Maarten and to also provide technical assistance and guidance to establish these departments locally. He said thus far neither Curacao or the Netherlands have maintained their promise regarding the debt relief and assistance.

Tuitt said that the Dutch government wants St. Maarten to remove the Turn Over Taxes (TOT) from all citizens residing in the BES islands. The Finance Minister said the discussion on this matter is ongoing, however, he wants the Dutch government to reopen the discussion on the debt relief for St. Maarten and make good on their promise to provide assistance and guidance to St. Maarten since 10/10/10.

The Finance Minister said that most residents on the BES islands purchase their goods at one location on St. Maarten and St. Maarten does not keep records of how much TOT the BES islands resident's pays to St. Maarten. He said he would have to get the information and data from the BES islands now that they are in discussion about the elimination of TOT for the BES islands. He made clear that St. Maarten would only consider and grant the request of the Dutch if they agreed to the demands of St. Maarten regarding debt relief and technical assistance in building certain departments locally.

TEMPO Turn 7 Contract Finalized --- $300,000.00 already paid out.

The Finance Minister also confirmed on Wednesday that the contract with TEMPO for Tempo Turns 7 is complete and the government of St. Maarten has already paid out the sum of $300,000.00 to TEMPO while they will pay the final $100,000.00 when the shows are completed.

When asked by SMN News where did the government of St. Maarten find the monies to finance TEMPO, Minister Tuitt said the monies were taken from what was budgeted for Tourism.

When SMN News asked the Minister of Finance if St. Maarten is getting the amount of coverage it is paying for and if he knows how much monies the French side of the island paid into TEMPO Turns 7, Tuitt said that he does not know how much the French side contributed but he assured that there are people checking the shows to ensure that TEMPO delivers what it promised based on the signed contract.

No Increase of TOT --- Overhauling of Tax System.

Both the Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt and Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams assured reporters on Wednesday that the government of St. Maarten has not taken any decisions on increasing TOT to fill the budget gaps and clear debts for 2013. Tuitt said that he is still of the opinion that if everyone pays their fair share of taxes then St. Maarten would have more than enough monies in its coffers to cover its budget expenditures. Tuitt said right now St. Maarten is faced with the debts of the past two years. However, he intends to discuss the matter with the CFT and to see if it is possible for St. Maarten to spread its debt over a five year period.
Wescot Williams added that the news about the possible increase of TOT created quite a panic within the community. She said so far the Minister and Finance and her have been discussing the restructuring of the tax system.


Philipsburg:--- The Court of First Instance ruled in favor of the people who were victims of Christian Kingdom Cooperative (CKC) on Tuesday. The court found that the Central Bank was negligent in supervising CKC even though they knew that the operations of the bank were in jeopardy for over four years. The judge in his ruling said the Central Bank sat down and did not intervene.

The Central Bank did not respond to the court's request to show what type of measures they took when they found out that the savings of the CKC membership was in jeopardy.

The court dismissed the case that was filed against the government of St. Maarten since they found that the successor of the Central Bank also involves Curacao. Basically the joint Central Bank of the Netherlands Antilles is under Curacao and St. Maarten. However, the court issued a strong warning to the government of St. Maarten indicating to them that they can be held liable in the future if they fail to ensure that the Central Bank has an insurance in place for all banks and insurance companies on the island.

The plantiff also sent a letter to the Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt to advice the Central Bank not to appeal the verdict rendered against them. CKC declared bankruptcy in the year 2010. In the letter, one of the account holders pleaded with the government of St. Maarten to consider the type of message appealing the verdict would send to the inhabitants of St. Maarten should another bank file bankruptcy, while appealing the verdict would hinder the good governance policy.

Click here to view the Court decision rendered on October 30th, 2012 against the Central Bank.

Click here to view the letter sent to the Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt.

newcayhillschoolroadopen30102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Head of New Projects Development & Planning at the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Kurt Ruan, on Tuesday evening said that the access road to the Hillside Christian School Asha Stevens Campus in Cay Hill will be accessible to vehicular traffic of teachers and parents as of Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday the road infrastructure was inspected which allowed for the okay to be given for its usage. The road is a one way road and is only accessible from the entrance road (Jackal road) leading to the Sint Maarten Medical Center.

stabbingfillin24102012Dutch Quarter:--- On Monday October 29th, 2012 at approximately 01:10 am police patrols and detectives were directed to Madrid road in Dutch Quarter for a stabbing incident. On the scene the investigating officers encountered two young men with initials S.E.B. and J.A.G. both from Sint Maarten who were bleeding from stab wounds. S.E.B. suffered a stab wound to his chest J.A.G. a stab wound to his back. In first instance the victims refused to cooperate with the investigation however later stated to the officers that they were involved in a fight with another youngster who used a piece of broken bottle to stab both victims. The incident took place at a bar on that same street. On the arrival of the officers the suspect fled the scene. Both victims were treated on the scene by paramedics and transported to the Sint Maarten Medical Center for treatment. This case is under investigation.

KPSM Police Report

confiscatedrevolver30102012Fort Willem:--- On Monday October 29th, 2012 at approximately 10:05pm, several police patrols and detectives were sent to Fort Willem road to investigate a situation whereby at least four gunshots were fired. When the patrols arrived on the scene the saw a small white vehicle with the license plate P-7859 parked on the side of the street with the doors open. A man that was sitting in the car took-off running when he saw the police approaching. Three other men that were standing in the immediate vicinity of this car remained standing. As the investigating officers exited their vehicle they saw a silver colored revolver on the ground next to the car. All three men standing on the scene denied having any knowledge as to who this weapon belonged to or where it came from. The weapon was confiscated for further investigation by the Forensic Department. All three men with initials D.M. (29), M.J.E. (20), and J.W.E. (16) were arrested on the scene and taken to the Philipsburg Police Station. During a search of the vehicle a brown leather bag was found. This bag contained several small plastic bags containing marijuana prepared for distribution. The marijuana was also confiscated for further investigation.

KPSM Police Report

Sucker Garden:--- On Tuesday October 30th, 2012 at approximately 12:30am several police patrols and detectives were directed to an apartment building located at Pin Cushion Cactus Drive #17 for a fire. On the scene the investigating officers saw that an apartment on the upper floor of the building was on fire. The fire department arrived on the scene and put the blaze out. The owner of the apartment with initials J.J.H. stated that he left his home at approximately 08:00 pm and all in was in order. He has no idea what could have caused the fired. The Forensic department is busy collecting evidence to determine the exact cause of the fire.

KPSM Police Report

In response to the need for country Sint Maarten to have a National Library in place, the SER by way of an advice letter to government recommends the Philipsburg Jubilee Library to be designated the National Library of Sint Maarten. This follows the usual state of affairs in many Caribbean countries, where the main public library carries the additional national tasks, consisting of collection and preservation of all publications produced in the country or authored by its citizens, providing universal access to the national collections, and seeking cooperation with and offering support to similar institutions nationally and internationally. A National Library is a cornerstone in the cultural and educational development of each newly formed country.

As the advice states: "The SER is of the opinion that the establishment of a National Library is of crucial importance for the further development of the country and its people." The initiative to submit an advice to this effect to government originated with SER member and WICSU/PSU representative William Reed, and was unanimously carried by the council.

The SER stresses that not only should the budget and subsidy of the Philipsburg Jubilee Library reflect the newly added tasks, the building and physical infrastructure should be brought up to par with the National Library status as well. "Furthermore, the board stressed the necessity to adapt and improve the Library's infrastructure and building to be able to successfully carry the additional responsibilities and execute the additional tasks. The board expressed a clear feeling that the present accommodation of the Philipsburg Jubilee Library is insufficient for its current tasks, and certainly a new or renovated building would be necessary to successfully carry the National Library tasks."

The SER advice was submitted to the Prime Minister in the form of an advice letter on Friday, October 26. The full text is downloadable from

Philipsburg:--- When the Saint Martin United Ministerial Foundation (SMUMF) was introduced to the concep of TEMPO, Board saw it as an ideal opportunity to reach the
masses for Christ since it is the Church's mandate to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. However, the Church's message has to be a consistent one to our youth as well as to the general public. TEMPO TURN 7 is being promoted as a total package with one night devoted to a religious celebration. SMUMF has no direct influence over the content and qualrty of the entertainment or the artistes during the other trightr and as such is unable to give its blessing to TEMPO's anniversary program. SMUMF believes in using the media to present the gospel of Jesus Christ. This gospel message, in whatever form however, must not be mixed with aspects of entertainment that go against biblical principles.

SMUMF Press Release

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Central Committee of Parliament will meet in public session on November 02. The Minister of Justice will make a presentation about the Justice Park.

The meeting will take place on Friday afternoon at 2:00pm in the General Assembly Chamber of the House of Parliament at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The Minister of Justice had requested the meeting with the Central Committee of Parliament.

The central committee session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 120, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the Internet, and also via

theyliger04032012The armed robbery last week Friday of the L'Escargot Restaurant owners and two tourists is once again a wake-up call for the Sint Maarten community and law enforcement officials.

I wish the owner Joel Morand and his wife Sonya Morand much strength as they both recover from their injured sustained in the armed robbery.

The husband suffered a gunshot wound to the back and ear while the wife suffered a broken ankle.
I have known the owners since I was a young boy and have always enjoyed there great cuisine. The restaurant is part and parcel of our tourism sector and has grown with the tourism industry over a period of 40-years.

Crime seems to be escalating with additional armed broad-daylight robberies taking place on a near daily basis. Something has to be done and I call on the Minister of Justice to present a plan with respect to dealing with the spate of armed robberies.

Theo Heyliger
Leader of the United Peoples (UP) Party
Former Vice Prime Minister

Philipsburg (DCOMM):--- Parents of elementary school children are invited to attend an information session being offered by the Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs.
The workshop for parents entitled 'Individual Education Plans – How to partner with your child's school' will be held on Thursday, November 1, 2012 at the Training and Development Center (TDC) above UTS in Philipsburg (Codville Webster Road #2) from 7:30pm to 8:30pm.
The target group of this workshop is parents of children in primary school who are experiencing learning difficulties in the school setting. Parents will also be provided with information on how to partner with the schools and SSSD to ensure the academic success of their children who are experiencing learning difficulties and/or behavioral challenges.
An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is a documented plan including individualized goals with measurable objectives, adaptations and/or modifications where appropriate, the strategies to meet these goals, and measures for tracking student achievement in relation to the goals. It also documents the special services being provided as these relate to the student's identified needs. The IEP serves as a tool for collaborative planning among the school, the parents, the student (where appropriate) and SSSD.
The facilitator of this workshop is Ms. Doreatha Cook, M. Ed. Ms. Cook is an educational consultant in special education advocacy, administration and disability management for ages birth to adulthood. Ms. Cook received her M. Ed in Early Childhood Special Education from Auburn University and received her degree as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst from Pennsylvania State University.
According to SSSD officials, parents are urged to attend and take advantage of the tips and recommendations that Mrs. Cook will be highlighting. Seating is limited and parents are encouraged to be on time. The workshop is free of charge and refreshments will be provided.
The Student Support Services Division is the referral point for the public and subsidized schools on St. Maarten. Programs and/or services that fall under the auspices of SSSD includes: Speech Therapy Services, Psychological Services, Counseling Services, Social Work Services, Educational Diagnostic Services, Career Guidance Services and Parent Education. The motto of SSSD is: "If every child must learn, then every parent, family and community must be a part of the process."

sjacobsatschoolmanagerssummit30102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Ministry of Education Culture, Youth and Sports hosted the Education Summit for School Managers and Coordinators. This Summit is part of the 3rd installment of the 'Turning Challenges into Stepping Stones' Summit series.

Approximately 50 school managers and coordinators from both primary and secondary schools were invited to present their challenges and solutions for the improvement of Education on St. Maarten.

The school manager's summit was held at the University of St. Maarten. The format for this summit differed from the teacher's summit in the sense that school managers were asked to present their challenges and solutions on three topics: Communication, Finances, and Personnel.

Each School had a maximum of eight minutes to present their challenges and solutions. Specific challenges such as shortage of qualified personnel, high turnover of teachers on a yearly basis and insufficient funds for day to day operations and teacher qualification were frequently reoccurring topics.

A large consensus of Managers and Coordinators are in favor of drafting local teachers by way of starting recruitment drive.

Suggestions for a teachers training college were also mentioned.

Another focal discussion point at the summit was that of the FBE exit exams and the total FBE structure in the primary schools.

The high school managers expressed concern over the lack of local input in the national exams.

Closing remarks were rendered by the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs, who thanked the school Managers and Coordinators for their honesty.

In addition some of the challenges presented were immediately addressed by the Minister with updates about their status and progress.

The Minister stressed on the importance of having the input of all stakeholders in education as this would be a key component in implementing sustainable changes to the current educational system.

pjiaestaffduringcprtraining30102012SIMPSON BAY:--- Staff of the Princess Juliana International Airport operating company (PJIAE), began a three-day CPR AED Certification Course on Monday, October 29, 2012, which is specially designed for them and conducted by the Windward Islands Emergency Medical Services (WIEMS).

Participants will learn how and when to use CPR and Automated External Defibrillators or AEDs. The newly acquired AEDs are being installed this week at the airport, therefore the staff must be educated on how to use them in the event of an emergency.

The training, which has a theoretical as well as a practical component, is based on the American Heart Association guidelines. It also includes a video presentation titled, "Heart Saver First Aid CPR AED" by the American Heart Association. The instructor is Mr. Merlin Aventurin, Medical Field Commander of the Windward Islands Emergency Medical Services (WIEMS).

"This is part of our ongoing efforts to put safety first in all our operations," said PJIAE Director of Operations, Larry Donker.

The participants, who are drawn from the Quality Assurance, Fire, Security, Business Class Lounge (BCL), Human Resources, and Customer Service departments of the airport, will learn how to apply their training to children and adults. The next two sessions will be held on Wednesday, October 31 and Thursday, November 1, 2012, from 9 am – 12 noon.

Place: St. Maarten Academy Gym (next to Sheik)
Date: Saturday, November 3, 2012
Time: 7:30pm – midnight
Tickets: $10

Prizes: household appliances, round trip tickets, jewellery, weekend resort stays, and many more.

Contact PTF President, Mr. Henderson Williams on 553-4634; or Vice President, Mr. Elroy Hughes on 522-6365; or the Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Carmen Lake-Reyes on 520-0015.

garrindell23122011Several business people over the years have succumbed to armed robberies due to gun violence. Last week Friday once again, gun violence took place where a restaurant owner was injured. The owner of L'Escargot Restaurant was shot by one of two assailants who waited until the restaurant closed. Besides the owner of the restaurant, also present was his wife and two tourist friends.

This armed robbery could have had a tragic ending similar to the double murder in Cupecoy in the third week of September. My prayers go out as well to the victims of this latest assault on the victims, our business community, and our Country.

Many homes in the past have been through the process of a home invasion experience in our neighbourhoods.

I commend the communities of Beacon Hill, Maho and Cupecoy for coming together to form the Community Safety and Crime Prevention Council of Beacon Hill/Maho/Cupecoy. This group also organized the first 'Get to know your Neighbour' event over the past weekend. The initiative is to create safer communities and this effort should be copied by other communities on the island which can work together with our community police officers in fighting crime in our neighbourhoods.

I am calling on the Minister of Justice to review current crime fighting measures. As one group is captured, another group becomes active, and our community is feeling unsafe. Our tourists are feeling unsafe. Our business people are targets and are feeling unsafe. We cannot allow this to continue!

We are heading into the high tourist season and we need to see some form of action that is based on a strategy, and it must be a sustainable long-term action plan and not a short-term intervention as has been the case in the past. Where are the controls of vehicles especially during evening hours? In the past the authorities have confiscated a number of weapons including guns. One less gun on the road means one less crime is committed. Why don't we have these controls anymore? Parliament needs to be informed on this matter.

With respect to immigration; as one criminal group is apprehended, another one creeps up and starts a wave of crime.

The community wants to know if these criminals are entering the country illegally, and/ or they are lawfully entering the country and overstaying their welcome. If either one is the case, what is being done to deal with these criminals? Investments have been made in border control efforts and the Coast Guard also plays a role in this area. Perhaps additional tools may be needed by law enforcement. If the Honorable Minister of Justice needs additional tools to deal more effectively with this worrisome situation and if it requires amending certain laws, we would like to know and act swiftly.

Last week the Prime Minister announced that Immigration Services has reached a level where the Plan of Approach attached to the operations of the services is no longer needed. Parliament and by extension the people now need to be informed about the status of our country's immigration services.

I too share with many the grave concern regarding the surge of barkers. Our citizens, including taxi drivers must know what corrective and or deterred measures are taken to deal with and avoid this recurrent unruly situation. It is downright unacceptable.

The surge of barkers came last week when four cruise ships were in port with more than 20,000 passengers. I would like to know what is being done with respect to this matter especially with the high season not far off. Do these barkers and vendors of merchandise have permits to ply their merchandise? What is the status of controls? What is the planning for the upcoming season?
We have to protect our cruise tourism industry and the visitor experience must not be overshadowed by overzealous people who can put our tourism (cruise) industry in jeopardy. As a people we cannot tolerate this.

Hon. Gracita Arrindell
Member of Parliament
United Peoples (UP) Party

Philipsburg:--- Constant rumors and an unfounded news article published by one of the news agencies on Monday morning caused a ruckus among the St. Maarten population. The article claimed that the present National Alliance, Democratic Party, and IND government is in trouble and there is a shake up that is imminent. The article went as far as saying that the persons that are expected to form the third coalition since St. Maarten became a country are planning to send home the current Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams.

Politicians that are part of the current government said the article is unfounded and has no basis. They further explained that certain people who lost power in government some months ago have been spreading constant rumors. They said one such rumor that was placed in the public domain was that one of the Independent members of Parliament pointed a gun at Deputy Prime Minister William Marlin in a bathroom. "The people of St. Maarten seem to forget that "Golden Boy" said he will give the current coalition government seven months in office and October makes it seven months since the UP/DP Government fell. In our opinion the Golden Boy has people working for him in the media."

A BlackBerry broadcast message was also sent out on Monday which caused confusion at the Department of Public Transportation because several persons that were promised taxi and bus licenses rushed to the department to see if their permits were signed off. Civil servants at the department said they were bombarded with calls about their licenses which are now stuck on the desk of the Department Head Martha Thewet. Sources within the public transportation department told SMN News that the Minister of Transportation had his assistant send an email to the department ordering them to prepare licenses for certain persons but when the news broke on SMN News, the department head asked the Minister to provide her with a written request to process the permits which they have already prepared. That written request they said is not forthcoming therefore the licenses will not be delivered.

SMN News learnt that while current coalition is having serious problems regarding how to balance the budget and the illegal filling in of the Great Salt Pond there has been no major issues that would throw the government down now. "Yes, there are disagreements in government especially regarding the drag strip and the filling in of the Great Salt Pond, but there is no indication that the government would dismantle right now. An independent member of Parliament has been making demands to get the TEMPO Turn 7 off the ground and to certain things his way but apart from that the current coalition government is busy working on the affairs of the people of St. Maarten.

In an invited comment, Deputy Prime Minister William Marlin said that the National Alliance is not involved in any discussions with any other political party to form a new government. Marlin said as far as he is concerned the current coalition is solid and not in jeopardy.

fraud01082012Philipsburg:--- Two Guyanese nationals that are naturalized Dutch citizens and an American who is also a naturalized Dutch citizen (two females and one male) remain in police custody for defrauding Soggy Dollar Bar located at the La Palapa Center. According to well placed sources, the suspects stole cheques from the company which they used for extensive traveling purposes to the Dominican Republic and Guyana. SMN News has been reliably informed that the women who claimed that they were being abused by the owner of the company traveled to the Dominican Republic where they did surgeries on their breasts and other areas of their bodies.

The source said the culprits also bought an apartment and a store with the monies they stole from the company over a period of time. SMN News further learnt that the fraud was orchestrated by the male who happens to be a Guyanese national who now holds a Dutch passport and is residing on St. Maarten.

Chief Prosecutor Hans Mos told SMN News last week that the three culprits were St. Maarteners. In a follow up interview on Monday Mos said thus far the suspects stole $400,000.00 from the company. When asked by SMN News if the suspects used the monies to travel overseas for cosmetic surgeries and if they bought an apartment and store, Mos said he will not confirm the information SMN News received.

confiscatedcocaine29102012In an ambitious effort led by the Dutch Navy HNLMS Van Amstel intercepted 42 bales of drugs during a counter drugs patrol in the Caribbean Sea. In close cooperation with the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard unit, the maritime patrol aircraft Dash 8, the ship disrupted a drugs transport of 840 kg of cocaine.

In the evening of October 26th the Dash 8 spotted a go fast close to the operation area of HNLMS Van Amstel. The Van Amstel launched it's Rhib, a fast rubber motorboat into the water, with on board the Law Enforcement Detachment of the US Coastguard which is part of the crew of HNLMS Van Amstel during counter drugs operations. During the pursuit the boat threw several bales into the water. While HNLMS Van Amstel pursued the go fast, a second Rhib was launched into the water to pick up the packages. HNLMS Van Amstel picked up 42 bales out of the water. A drugs test proved that the bales contained cocaine.

The successful action of HNLMS Van Amstel is in concert with the international operation Martillo aimed against the illicit drug trade. Since September this year HNLMS Van Amstel is the Guard Ship of the Commander Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean. The Dutch Navy and Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard are an integral part of the international struggle against the illicit drug trade. Operation Martillo is a multi-national collaborative effort to counter the spread of transnational organized crime in Central America. The operation is lead by the Joint Inter-agency Task Force South in Key West, Florida and denies organized crime networks the ability to conduct illicit trafficking via air and at sea. The Commander Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean is part of the Joint Inter-agency Task Force South, as the subordinate commander of Task Group 4.4.

Royal Netherlands Navy Press Release

sxmsportingclubteamandgebeteam29102012SIMPSON BAY:--- The SXM Sporting Club emerged among the winners of the "Airport Slam Games 2012" that ended Sunday night at the John Cooper-Jose Lake, Sr. Ballpark.

The Sporting Club is now the champion of both the dominoes and indoor soccer divisions after competing with teams from Aruba's Queen Beatrix International Airport and the St. Maarten utility company GEBE.

GEBE took home the dominoes and indoor fooyball sub-champion trophies. The four-day series of games were hosted by the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) and organized by the airport's Sporting Club.

The participating teams came from Queen Beatrix International Airport, GEBE, WIB, Police, Fire Department, and SXM. Indoor soccer, dominoes, volleyball, and softball filled out the list of the competing sports.

The games were held at the L.B. Scott Sports Auditorium and the John Cooper-Jose Lake, Sr. Ballpark, according to Evans J. Marsham, president of the SXM Sporting Club.

rtuittandradimblaha29102012Cape Town, South Africa:--- The Minister of Finance, Hon. Mr. Roland S. Tuitt MBA CPA, has concluded Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA's) with India, Costa Rica and the Czech Republic. The purpose of these bilateral agreements is to promote international co-operation in tax matters through exchange of information. The TIEA allows for Sint Maarten and respectively India, Costa Rica and the Czech Republic to work closely together on a full range of tax issues, including combating and preventing tax fraud and tax evasion. The TIEA provides for information exchange upon request and direct cooperation between the countries' tax authorities. The strengthened international co-operation on tax matters between countries ensures better enforcement of the tax laws, thus improving tax compliance.

Sint Maarten's network of international agreements on exchange of information has been expanding rapidly since 2009. With the conclusion of these two TIEA's, which have been negotiated during the last two months, Sint Maarten has exchange of information relationships with 53 jurisdictions to date.

Philipsburg:--- On 26-27 October 2012, the Minister of Finance Hon. Mr. Roland S. Tuitt MBA CPA, attended the fifth meeting of the OECD's Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum) in Cape Town, South Africa. During the meeting, the Global Forum adopted the Sint Maarten's Phase 1 Peer Review Report, which summarizes the legal and regulatory framework for transparency and exchange of information of Sint Maarten. Sint Maarten's report concludes that all the assessed elements of Sint Maarten's legal and regulatory framework are in place, with only a few recommendations on further improvement to implement the international standard more effectively.

The Minister of Finance welcomes the positive outcome of Sint Maarten's Phase I Peer Review assessment and believes that the report is one that Sint Maarten can truly be proud of. Being the last assessed country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands to be reviewed, Sint Maarten had the privilege to draw on the experiences of Aruba, Curacao and the Netherlands in their peer review processes. "This has helped us to identify the strengths and shortcomings that exist in our legal and regulatory framework. As a result, the government of Sint Maarten was able to proactively address these shortcomings and produced the best report within the Kingdom of the Netherlands!".

The Global Forum is the multilateral framework within which work in the area transparency and exchange of information is carried out by over 110 member countries, who participate in the Global Forum on an equal footing. The Netherlands Antilles, now succeeded by Sint Maarten, has been a valued member of the Global Forum since 2001.

Minister Tuitt stated that the Global Forum and OECD network will assist Sint Maarten as the government continues to work on improving tax compliance, preventing tax leakage, and improving the tax system by making it more simple, fair and balanced. This will ultimately be to the benefit of both the government and the tax payers of Sint Maarten in the long run by increasing overall tax revenues while reducing the individual tax burden for tax payers.

N.V. G.E.B.E. regrets to inform the general public that the ELECTRICITY supply to:


(Middle Region Rd. from A.T. Illigde Rd. until Ellis Rd.)

Will be interrupted on Wednesday October 31st, 2012 from 9:00 am until 12:00pm. This outage will allow us to carry out necessary maintenance to our Distribution system. N.V. G.E.B.E apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

CUL DE SAC:--- The St. Maarten Academy Parent Teachers Foundation (PTF) will be hosting its annual bingo on Saturday, November 3, 2012 and patrons can expect to receive some great prizes.

The bingo will start at 7:30 pm sharp and wrap up at midnight. There will be lots of food and drinks on sale.

Among the prizes are round trip tickets to St. Kitts from Winair, a gas range from Casino Royale, two-night stays at various reports on the island, including Sonesta Maho, Oyster Pond Resort, Bel Air Beach Resort, The Summit, and The Towers, to name a few.

There are lunch and dinner vouchers from Great Bay Resort, Plantation Grill and Bar, Canoa, Jimbo's, Boathouse, and other restaurants. Additional prizes include a range of electronic devices, jewellery, fragrances, and household items.

The PTF wants to thank the business community for their support and is inviting the public to come out to the bingo, not only to win these great prizes, but also to have fun, and to support the St. Maarten Academy.

Funds raised at this event will be reinvested in the students to get them great mementos at graduation and during Honour Roll ceremonies, among other things. Other projects being pursued by the PTF include buying a generator and installing a security and surveillance system at the school.

The PTF is still soliciting cash prizes and other donations. Any individual or company willing to donate to this worthy cause can contact PTF President, Mr. Henderson Williams on 553-4634; or Vice President, Mr. Elroy Hughes on 522-6365; or the Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Carmen Lake-Reyes on 520-0015.

TEMPO Networks to produce seven days of Caribbean tributes.

NEW JERSEY, USA:--- Spiritual revitalization, youth encouragement, respect for elders, the role of women, and the vibrancy of Caribbean culture merge during the seventh anniversary celebrations of leading Caribbean media and entertainment company, TEMPO Networks, next month.

The island of St. Maarten in the Dutch Caribbean will hum from November 25 through December 1, 2012 as TEMPO Turns 7 anniversary celebrations feature world class entertainers, all of whom will be announced later this week.

On Sunday, November 25, a "Rise and Shine" thanksgiving celebration will be presided over during the opening ceremonies by local and regional ministers and pastors who will share insights on the highly-anticipated seven principles of TEMPO. Local choirs, gospel performers will be featured as well as performances by several inspirational and popular regional musicians.

The following day at the same location, the network will produce "TEMPO KIDS RULE", a partnership with the St. Maarten Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs where "Badness Outta Style" principles will be shared with primary school students. TEMPO's popular JJ and Friends on-air program - which highlights the importance of education, teamwork, punctuality and discipline - will be featured. The interactive presentation will also be attended by members of the local public and private sectors. Specially invited artistes will perform and the event will be repeated the following day for secondary school students with additional guest artistes.

On Wednesday November 28, the "NEVER TOO OLD TO TEMPO" celebration, at White-Yellow Cross Foundation, will salute senior citizens, "key pillars of Caribbean communities, but often forgotten by most event and entertainment planners," according to Frederick A. Morton, Jr., Founder, Chairman and CEO of TEMPO Networks. "TEMPO not only recognizes the importance of our seniors, but pays tribute to their amazing work that has contributed to the Caribbean as we know it." The St. Martin's Home, where many seniors reside, will come alive with food, drinks and a top class guest performer.

Thursday, November 29 features the opening party for the weekend festivities: Frederick Morton's All-White TEMPO Party featuring local and regional celebrities, and hosted by a special surprise guest. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and greet the performers and win prizes.

On Friday night, TEMPO celebrates the Caribbean woman under the theme "I am TEMPO -Girl Power!" Top female entertainers will headline this event. "Wives, mothers, girlfriends, aunties, daughters, sisters - all Caribbean women will be honored for being the bedrock of the Caribbean family and community," said Morton who encouraged men to show how much they love the women in their lives by "showering them with gifts and treating them to a special night they so deserve."

On Saturday, December 1, TEMPO presents the very best in local, regional and international entertainment at the "I AM TEMPO - Caribbean Rising" finale concert. The TEMPO Turns 7 week of events, Morton notes, will culminate in a dynamic concert aimed at bringing light to the power of the region to attract the very best of everything. "The importance of being proud of our culture and creating a top notch tourism experience that extols our extraordinary virtues and promotes our unique attributes will be underscored."

For more information, stay tuned to TEMPO or visit

TEMPO is available on your local Caribbean cable channel and on Channel 1105 on Optimum TV. Tune in regularly for the very best in Caribbean programming.

pjiae28062012SIMPSON BAY:--- Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to make landfall later tonight in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, has forced the cancellation of several flights, some of which were bound for Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM).

JetBlue, the only carrier currently offering daily direct service from New York's JFK, has confirmed the cancellation of its Monday and Tuesday flight 788 and recommends that its passengers contact JetBlue's reservations department at 546-7796 for assistance.

The airport's Operations Department, however, has advised that up till the time of this release, all other carriers are operating as scheduled. It is important to note that United's service from Newark only operates on Saturdays for now, while American's service from JFK returns around November 15.

Passengers are urged to contact the airlines directly for further information concerning their flights.

Sandy, described by forecasters as a Category 1 "perfect storm" is bound for the densely populated East Coast of the United States, and is expected to affect about 50 million people.

Evacuations have been ordered from Maine to Maryland. Many airports have been paralyzed, with about 9,000 flights cancelled so far, according to Flight Aware. The monster storm has grounded planes throughout Europe and elsewhere because they are unable to land at their respective U.S. destinations.

Pond Island:--- TelEm Group technicians are busy carrying out repairs to a damaged phone cabinet in the Simpson Bay area which has left residents and businesses without landline and internet service.

The phone cabinet was damaged after a vehicle or vehicles ploughed into it early Sunday evening.

Police were called to the scene and TelEm Group Technicians were also called out to assess the damage and begin repairs right away.

The service affected areas as of Sunday evening extends from the Yacht Club to the Lapalapa Center, on the other side of the Simpson Bay Bridge.

TelEm Group has meantime apologized to residents and businesses in the area for any inconvenience caused.

royalnetherlandsnavydivingexercise28102012Divers of the Royal Netherlands Navy will visit Sint Maarten this Monday (October, 29) for a diving exercise. They will concentrate on disaster relief. This is the first time the divers come to Sint Maarten for such a scenario.

The navy divers visit the Dutch Caribbean for years, mostly for the international diving exercise Western Partnership. This year they will perform it something different. "We can be very useful in the assistance after the execution of such a natural disaster like an hurricane", says the Commander of the Dive Company, lieutenant Bernd Roelink. "With our modern equipment we can assist the local authorities for underwater search for bodies or wrecks of removing obstructions."

For the implementation of this specific exercise the divers concentrate on the precise mapping of the bottom of the Simson Bay lagoon. The divers can scan an area of 10.000 m2 per minute with advanced search equipment, which gives a very clear picture of what is happening underwater. The geographical and climatic conditions in the Caribbean offer a fine opportunity to all facets of this military action.

The divers are part of the Defense Diving Group and form the centre of professional diving in The Netherlands. The group is specialized in a variety of underwater work, both national and expeditionary. The divers are regularly deployed for military assistance such as the search for bodies of drowned people or evidence in criminal cases. To maintain the quality and expertise of military diving operations, this intensive training program is essential.

In total eleven divers take part in the dive exercise. The exercise takes place under control of the Commander Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean and is supported by the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard.

Royal Netherlands Navy Press Release

sjacobsatrotaryluncheon28102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs, gave a presentation on Special Needs Education at the weekly Rotary International Luncheon on October 24th.

The Minister was invited by Rotary International to give a presentation on Special Needs Education due to their interest in getting further acquainted with the topic.

During the presentation Minister Jacobs touched on principles and beliefs, the currents status, current developments and future plans regarding Special Needs Education.

A work group consisting of key stakeholders within the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports under the chairmanship of Head of Division Educational Innovations is currently working on the project which includes a study aimed at addressing the challenges St. Maarten faces in providing education for students with special needs, and what is needed to close the gap.

An increasing thought in education has been that students with special needs encounter barriers that tend to hamper them in their learning and/or development.

Children with special needs are those that have characteristics that affect their ability to learn. These characteristics can range from behavior or a learning disability such as dyslexia.

To help these children reach their full potential, innovations in education must be made to assist them on this path. Minister Jacobs concluded her presentation with the statement "Every child can learn and as such has the right to an Education that suits his or her ability and talent!"

ruthdouglass23092012A Journey of a Thousand steps begins with the first few good steps "(the steps need to be in the right order). If the order is incorrect then we need to stand UP and state that we are heading in the wrong direction.

My concern is regarding the sand dunes currently visible on the banks of the Great Salt Pond directly behind the Zoo and the residents of that area.

As a member of UP faction in Parliament, the faction is questioning the reasons why things are done the way they are being done by the sitting Executive Branch of the Sint Maarten Government. Or should we be asking who is really running things here? Are members of Parliament pulling the strings of their appointed Ministers? We have a constitution that states that it is against the law of the land (Chapter 4 article 51 and 56). We all took an oath in the Parliament of this country.

I have great concerns as to what we the UP faction are seeing as blatant disregard for the rules, by the sitting Government. When the Prime Minister and the Vice Prime Minister clearly states in public that they do not know who ordered the transporting of the sand from the harbor to a specific spot on the ring road, one can summarize that we have no Captain at the helm of this ship.

Somebody give the go ahead for the cricket and drag race track to start and now Minister William Marlin called for the project to come to a halt. The mountain of sand is now just sitting there. The UP faction questions: is there any minister in the Cabinet of Ministers that knows anything about what has become the illegal filling of the Great Salt Pond? Somebody has to be held accountable!

How long will these sand dunes (hills/banks) remain in place? This is in clear violation of the "Nuisance Law" this mountain of loose sand is disturbing the wellbeing of the people who reside in the area.

The sand is blowing into their homes during high winds, into their bedrooms, into their food and hampering their breathing. As a medical Doctor, I have to state with great clarity that this is not healthy for the residents of the area. We in this body of Government are our Brothers and Sisters "Keepers." We represent the people of St. Maarten "All the people" not just a few who want to build a cricket field and a drag racing strip. The "Nuisance Law" will again come into play here. The proximity of the drag racing strip hinders the peaceful way of life of the residents in the area. The UP faction is not against a cricket stadium or drag race track; however the locations are not good.

Somebody has filled in a protected area of the Great Salt Pond for a cricket field. Somebody has agreed to allow sand to be dumped behind the zoo for a drag race strip, but nobody seems to know who gave the permission. This is what it is all about; how can somebody go and fill in the pond and put sand aside for race track without the necessary studies and permits being in place?

The roar of engines and cars parking all over their neighborhoods will impact directly the peaceful nature of the surrounding residential areas. For those who don't live in this area it may seem like no big deal, however for those who do, I stand for them and state with great conviction that the UP faction stands united with them against the way these projects are being handled.

Is there going to be dredging of the Great Salt Pond to increase its water capacity when one looks at the illegal filling for a cricket field in a protected area of the pond?

If the dredging is going to take place, what are the studies showing about the effects this is going to have on the overall communities of Sucker Garden, Madam Estate, over the Pond and Philipsburg?

Is the harbor paying for the trucking of the sand separately or is this included in the dredging contract?

Who is paying these truckers; are tax payers' monies being used for special interests projects? I am sure there are other more productive issues at hand like relief for our pensioners!

Why are we not replenishing the beaches with the dredged sand, areas such as Great Bay, Divi and Belair beaches?

Does the Cabinet of Ministers not consider the hotel and time share sectors part of the economy?
Did the Cabinet of Ministers meet with the over 10 churches that are in the vicinity of the soon to be constructed drag strip with respect to the noise that these cars will make?

Has studies been done regarding the amount of noise such events as drag racing makes?

Have the population of these areas been taken into consideration such as the elderly, babies and students of the effect this drag strip will have on them, the impact it will have on their health?
Who will be responsible for any accidents that may take place there seeing that we do not have a trauma center? Is there any policy on vehicle racing?

The UP faction will not stand by quietly and allow a few people to impact the discomfort of the people of St. Maarten. Progressive projects need to be the standard of this Government. Do not push or support projects that will negatively impact the peaceful residence of people who have invested in their homes and community!

As one of two Medical Doctors in the Parliament of our country, I will state that this project in at its current location will do more harm than good. I hope my colleagues will join me and hold hands to defend the needs and the rights of the United People of St. Maarten. If we are going to stand for the right things, we can work together to move this New Country St. Maarten forward. And not just do things for a few special interests. Instead we need to work for all the people of St. Maarten.

Dr. Ruth Douglass
Member of Parliament (MP)

stbhasmemberonscdfboard28102012PHILIPSBURG:--- The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) and the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) have strengthened their cooperation with the inclusion of a representative from STB on the board of the SCDF.

The board of the SCDF has approved an extraordinary board position for Janelle Hermance of the STB to act as liaison between STB and the SCDF as well as to assist on behalf of the STB with SCDF's marketing efforts of Carnival.

President of the SCDF Mike Granger explained that increased marketing of Carnival and development of new strategies is a primary focus of the current board of the SCDF. As such, cooperation and ties with the STB had to be enhanced and, he continued, the inclusion of Hermance does just that.

"In the past, the challenge has always been to fully engage the STB in our limited marketing efforts. Both parties did as much as we could for Carnival. Now with increased marketing efforts made possible by increased marketing monies from the STB, it was vital that we forge much closer ties. Janelle's role with be important on numerous levels," Granger said.

Interim Director of the STB Gus Priest said: "Carnival is very important, this is serious business and the STB have been aboard with marketing efforts so this was a natural yet important decision for us and for Carnival. We look forward to building on our relationship with the SCDF though these direct ties, all in the general interest of St. Maarten."

SCDF Press Release

Do you know that the Ombudsman is called "the Public Defender"?
The Ombudsman is coming your way, to your neighborhoods.
Come and find out how the Ombudsman can help you, and how to file a complaint with the Ombudsman if you have issues with government or a government entity.

The Information Session will be held for the residents of Ebenezer and South Reward areas on the following date, time and place:
Date: October 31st, 2012
Place: St. Maarten Academy Gym
Address: Beryl Richardson Rd
Time: 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm.

All sessions will be organized in close collaboration with the various community councils of the districts. All citizens are invited to come out and be informed.

The other Community Councils have already been contacted, and as soon as the dates are confirmed they will be announced. Listen out for the announcement when the Ombudsman will be in your neighborhood.
Bureau Ombudsman is situated at Camille Richardson street # 13 in Philipsburg. Call us on tel. number 5421250

sxmfiredeptfirefighters28102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Fire Department is looking forward to another successful Fire Prevention Week in 2013.

The department will continue to keep informing the public about how to improve fire safety at their home as well as their business place.

Fire Officer Silvanico Pauletta on behalf of the Fire Prevention Department and the entire management of the Fire Department would like to thank the public that took interest in learning how to improve their fire safety.

Pauletta would also like to thank all fire fighters who worked together to present this year's program and also all the sponsors that made Fire Prevention Week 2012 possible.

The all-day Open House on Saturday October 20th was well attended. Especially in the afternoon many people came to the Clem Labega Square to view the demonstrations performed by the fire fighters and visit the booths of different vendors of fire safety products. All fire trucks and material, including the new brush truck were on display. The public were very pleased with the demonstrations given by the fire fighters due to the applause received.

The awareness campaign together with Domino's Pizza was also very well received. On October 17th and 18th several orders of pizza were delivered together with a Fire Prevention Inspector.

A person who ordered the pizza and had a working smoke detector at home, the pizza was for free, and if not the person would receive a free smoke detector and an explanation by the Inspector on how to use it. Out of the 12 deliveries made, only one person had a smoke detector.

The department organized a number of fire prevention lectures, and the attendees present were very positive about the presentation and interaction. The lectures took place in Philipsburg, St. Peters, Cole Bay, Dutch Quarter and Simpson Bay.

The Prime Minister who is responsible for the Fire Department that falls under her Ministry of General Affairs, Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams, pointed out the importance for everybody to protect their family and prevent personal disasters like fires at homes.

The theme of Fire Prevention Week 2012 was "Protect your Family against Fire. The Time to Act is now." The organizers of the fire prevention week were the Fire Department Section Fire Prevention and the foundation Friends of the Island Government Fire Fighters.

rafaelboasman29102012Philipsburg:--- Reliable information reaching SMN News indicates that as of Monday October 29th, 2012 the Policy Advisor of the Department of Labour and Social Affairs Rafael Boasman will be acting as the island's Labour Mediator. Well placed sources within the Ministry of Labour said that since the Minister of Health and Labour Cornelius de Weever informed the current Labour Mediator Derrick Holiday that his contract which expires on December 1, 2012 will not be renewed and advised him to take his vacation pending the expiration of his contract, Holiday has not return to work neither has he responded to the letter sent to him by the Minister of Labour, Health, and Social Affairs.

SMN News learnt that Holiday had up until Friday October 26th, 2012 to enter into discussion with Boasman but he did not respond to the calls made to his telephone.

SMN News also learnt that the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs will soon be opening the vacancy since several civil servants have expressed interest in the position especially knowing that Boasman will soon be leaving on pension.

The former convicted Chief Commissioner of Police Derrick Holiday was removed from his job when several employees of Blend-In Security Company filed complaints against Holiday for non-payment of salaries.

According to information provided to SMN News, Holiday collected monies from several Airlines, Bobby's Marina, and other companies that he is providing security services to but has failed to pay his workers. The source said that the Ministry is also checking to see if Blend In Security paid the workers dues to SZV and the Tax Department.

SMN News was also reliably informed that the Council of Ministers has already requested that an investigation be conducted locate the funds of the Friends of Police and find out who is handling the account. The source said that the former Lt. Governor Franklyn Richards was the president of the Association created for the Friends of the Police while Holiday and Richards were the signatories to the account. Below is a press release issued by Minister Cornelius de Weever regarding the appointment of Rafael Boasman.

Boasman appointed as Extraordinary Mediator.

Great Bay:--- The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, Cornelius De Weever, makes known that the Government Mediator, Mr. Derrick Holiday is on vacation until December 1, 2012 and will therefore not be carrying out his duties as Mediator.

In order to guarantee continuity of service, Minister De Weever has appointed Mr. Rafael A. Boasman as Extraordinary Mediator in accordance with art. 8 of the Ordinance on Labour Peace.
Mr. Boasman will be handling all pending and current cases for which a request has been submitted. Workers Organizations (Unions) and Employers Organizations requiring the services of the Mediator can contact Mr. Boasman as indicated below.

Mr. Rafael A. Boasman
46 C.A. Cannegieter Street
Sint Maarten
Tel: 1-721 542 3704
Fax: 1-721 542 3569
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Boasman's Appointment as Labour Mediator a Conflict of Interest --- Boasman did not Resign as Director of Labour Department --- SG Refused to Comment.

Philipsburg:--- The appointment of Rafael Boasman as Mediator for the Department of Labour and Social Affairs created quite some confusion among the government apparatus on Monday, especially among persons working at the Department of Labour and Social Affairs.

Rafael Boasman is the Director of the Department of Labour and Social Affairs and Policy Adviser and to date he has not resigned from that position but the Minister of Labour, Health, and Social Affairs Cornelius de Weever has appointed Boasman to a position that is supposed to be independent from the Department of Labour and Social Affairs. In an official press release from the Ministry of Labour, Health, and Social Affairs Boasman was appointed as an Extra-Ordinary Mediator.

Boasman is supposed to report to the Secretary General of Health and Labour Joireen Wuite. When SMN News contacted Wuite on Monday to confirm whether or not Boasman resigned from the Department of Labour now that he has been appointed Extra-Ordinary Mediator of Labour Affairs Wuite said that while she knew about the developments surrounding the current Mediator and his position she was not aware of the official appointment of Mr. Boasman to the position, therefore she felt that the Minister who is currently off island should be contacted for a statement. "I am not aware of the appointment and the press release that was sent out regarding Mr. Boasman's appointment, therefore I don't think I should comment on this matter. I would advise you to ask the Minister of Labour, Health, and Social Affairs this question on Wednesday when he returns to St. Maarten," Wuite said.


silveriajacobsatteachersappreciationfamilyfunday28102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports hosted the Teachers' Appreciation Family Fun Day at the Emilio Wilson Park over the weekend.

The day was designed to give teachers' a much needed day of relaxation, socializing and fun. In addition it was a moment to commend outstanding teachers in the education field by awarding the Lifetime Teacher's Appreciation Award.

The day started out with a mini sports day for the adults and children. Activities such as hula-hoop, tug of war and hop- in- the -sack race generated a lot of excitement.

Minister of Education, Culture Youth & Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs participated in the activities along with the teachers and children. Les Brown and William Barry coordinated the different sports activities. Musical entertainment was provided by Happen So Massive Dj's.

Teachers were seen dancing and enjoying the music selections. Besides the sports activities there were Bouncing castles for the children. An extensive buffet was prepared for the teachers by Duzon's catering. The staff of Duzon's catering ensured that the teachers were taken care of in every aspect of their food and beverage needs.

The highlight of the day was the Lifetime Teacher's Appreciation Award Ceremony. The recipient of the Lifetime Teacher's Appreciation Award is Sheila Kelly-Helmen. A committee of seasoned educators along with the Secretary General Unesco Marcellia Henry sorted through the 17 nominees provided by school boards and managers.

Among the nominees were Nancy Hodge-Peterson, Henri Brookson, Claire Connor van Zanten, Josianne Artsen-Fleming, Alma Fleming, Stanley Hodge, Jane Buncamper, Marcella Hazel, Mathias Voges, Alvin Rombley, Marva Sam –Arrindell, Gabriel Marlin-Bril, Beryl Lake, Migalda Ilario-Luciano and Soewana Moeslikan-Karta.

Based on an elaborate criterion, ranging from years of service, contributions to education, teaching methods and achievements, the aforementioned facilitated the committee in choosing Sheila Kelly-Helmen.

The award was presented to her in recognition of her high educational standards and methods as an educator, commendable educational accomplishments and dedication and ability to inspire the spirit of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities inside and out of the classroom.

Minister Jacobs congratulated and thanked Kelly-Helmen and the nominees for their dedication and service to the community.

Minister Jacobs also took the opportunity to thank the attending teachers for their presence and hard work. In addition the Minister pressed it on their heart to continue to inspire learning and others to join the noble profession.

Philipsburg:--- The owners of L' Escargot restaurant, Joel and Sonya Morand, were robbed late Friday evening as they along with two tourists were about to leave the business establishment to Divi Little Bay Hotel. According to information reaching SMN News, shortly after the cabaret show ended Friday night Joel and Sonya were about to take the two visitors back to their hotel when they were attacked by three armed masked bandits. One of the bandits shot Joel in one of his shoulders while firing about four or five shots. One of the tourists was also injured while being pushed out of the vehicle. Eyewitnesses say that the tourist's ankle was bandaged because it appears as though she received a splint in the vicinity of her ankle.

The bandits robbed the victims of $1,500 in cash, the restaurant credit cards, and cheques while they managed to escape with the handbags of the two tourists. One eyewitness of the robbery told SMN News that the robbers pushed the two tourists out of the Lexus jeep belonging to Joel but they failed to escape with the vehicle when the vehicle did not start. The businessman was shot once in one of his shoulders. He was rushed to the St. Maarten Medical Center where he is being treated for his injuries. Below is police report on this armed robbery.


Business man shot during armed robbery.

On Friday October 26th at approximately 11:30pm, several police patrols rushed to Hotel Steeg better known as the L' Escargot Alley in the vicinity of Anand Indian Restaurant because of an armed robbery. On the scene the investigating officers learnt that the victims were attacked by three armed robbers. The victims of this robbery were the owners of the L' Escargot Restaurant and two other friends who were all together in one car when the attack took place. During the robbery the victims were robbed of their personal belongings. The female driver of the car was dragged out of the car in the attempt to also steal the car, however, the robbers did not succeed in stealing the car. At one point during the robbery a gunshot was fired by one of the robbers hitting the owner of the restaurant with the initials J.M. in one of his shoulders. He was immediately transported to the Sint Maarten Medical Center for treatment. The Special Robbery Unit is speaking to witnesses and Forensic Department is collecting evidence in this case.

armedrobberyfillin13082012Cole Bay:--- Two armed gunmen robbed the manager of Volker Stevin that is coordinating the causeway project next to Port de Plaisance on Friday afternoon. According to reliable information reaching SMN News, the manager and payroll officer Jackie Lake- Brooks were robbed around 2pm Friday afternoon. Sources within the company said some 80 workers are being paid cash every Friday afternoon and the armed robbery left all the workers empty handed. It is said that the two armed robbers made their escape by crossing the French border.

Police Spokesman Ricardo Henson confirmed on Sunday that an armed robbery did take place close to Port de Plaisance Friday afternoon and that the Armed Robbery team was dispatched to the location. The Police Spokesman said that he did not have the details of the report because the detectives have not yet submitted the report to him.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The University of St. Martin(USM) continues its fall semester lecture series with a lecture entitled,"Career opportunities in the tourism and hospitality industry, more than meets the eye", given by local entrepreneur Tamara Leonard on October 29th, 2012 at 6:30pm at USM.
The lecture will introduce students and the community to the myriad of career opportunities in the hospitality and tourism industry as well as provide a more in-depth look at the industry and its interrelated sectors.
"The goal of my talk with the students is to inspire them to pursue careers in the hospitality and tourism industry, the main income generator for our country. For too long the mentality of service being servitude has infected our society and has taken away the foundation of our economy and our sense of self ".
As a driven and committed businesswoman with vast experience in several areas of hospitality and tourism management, Leonard identified the need for further development of St. Maarten's service sector and is the force behind St. Maarten SuperHost, a customer service training programme, geared to improving the quality of service and to return the friendliness to St. Maarten. For Leonard, quality and friendly service is the undergirding component that supports the tourism and hospitality industry in St. Maarten.
"We, St. Maarten, have built a reputation on being the Friendly Island. It's time we regained that friendliness that made us famous and be stronger by taking interest and care of our economic pillar of tourism."
Another objective of the lecture is to emphasize the link between the tourism and hospitality sector and the job market in St. Maarten. Leonard emphasizes that most career fields in St. Maarten are linked to industry and draws on her experience with the family business, Leonard Enterprises, a waste management and roadside cleaning company in charge of the western section of St. Maarten.
"One of the major problems we encounter on St. Maarten is people are either unaware or simply don't understand that every aspect of our lives is strongly tied to tourism.
USM welcomes this lecture as it complements its hospitality program and hopes that it will inspire students and the community at large to explore career opportunities in the field. Information about the Hospitality program at USM will also be available. The lecture is free and open to the general public. The University of St. Martin Lecture Hall has a seating capacity for 200 persons.

giftedmismatchglowparty26102012Philipsburg:--- The G.I.F.T.E.D. Foundation returns with their series of praise parties with "I Got Dressed In the Dark – MiSmaTcH GLOW Party- on October 27th at the John Larmonie Centre starting at 7pm. Local gospel DJ, Joshua "DRJ" Ferrol, will be back as the DJ for the night with MC DJ LJ Lenworth Wilson Jr. There will also be other performances for the night from local gospel artistes.
Patrons are expected to follow the dress code for the event – "Mix and miss" as the theme is "I Got Dressed in the Dark - Mismatch". There will be prizes for the best dressed, as well as other prizes and surprises. Free drinks will be served to the Early Birds from 7pm to 8pm.
GIFTED's GLOW parties, inter-church competitions and other activities have been getting much attention on social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Local youth groups, churches and individuals are also in on the buzz and quite excited about the party series by GIFTED.
Held on the last Saturday of every month, G.I.F.T.E.D. GLOW parties provide wholesome entertainment for young Christ-minded people and create an experience with good friends, music, and games for great memories. At the end of a GIFTED party, each person is energized to Go Light Our World!
Visit our Facebook page at and click "Like" to keep up-to-date with GIFTED activities. For tickets and/or more details you may call 581-0448.

deniciorichardsonatupupostalcongressinqatar26102012PSS attended and participated actively for the very first time on behalf of Country St. Maarten, a member country of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the 25th UPU Postal Congress which was held in Doha, Qatar, from the 23 September - 15 October 2012. The UPU Congress which is held once every four (4) years brings all the member country postal administrations of the world (192 in total) together under one roof for an extended period to discuss the current issues and to map out a road map plan for the future of the Post for the coming four (4) year cycle period.

The Congress is of significance to the Postal Administrations of the world, as it is the setting where member countries can discuss, debate and present proposals to bring about changes to improve the current postal network and its inner workings, while determine the next steps together.
During the congress the progress made during the past four (4) year cycle was shared and presented, with some of the highlights being advances being made in the technological field and the launching of the .post (dot post platform) to facilitate help the post migration from paper to electronic mail age and to allow in the years to come the postal administrations of the world to be a more effective and aggressive player in the growing e-commerce world.
Hundreds of proposals were presented, discussed and debated to further improve and streamline the workings between the Postal Administrations of the world. St. Maarten along with Aruba and Curacao participated jointly, as the three member country together share one seat and one vote at the UPU. Together the three (3) voted on the proposals and shared in the discussions.

The current state of the Postal Administration throughout the world remains very financially challenging, with falling letter mail volumes, but increasing parcel volumes as a result of the increasing E-commerce trade, along with the growth in financial services. Despite many administrations being a relative bad financial shape, there are a number that have become success stories and are now making profits, after having embraced changed and made some significant investments and with the backing and support of their Governments to streamline their operations and stepping over into the digital age, amongst other changes.
Ongoing developments at the UPU level will make it easier in the future for more administrations to jump on the technological wagon and take advantage of the opportunities that many administrations currently are not able to capitalize on.

At the close of the UPU Congress, for the first time in the history of St. Maarten, Postal Services St. Maarten, on behalf of country St. Maarten, signed the Postal Acts ratifying and agreeing to terms set that will govern the Postal Administrations of the World during the next four (4) year cycle period.
Echoed at the closing of Congress and very important for the future success of the Postal Administrations of the world is the backing and support received from the respective Governments, seeing the provision of the Postal Service remains a Universal Obligation of each member country and a right of its citizens to have to be able to send and receive mail.

The session ended with the election of a new Director General, from Kenya and establishing of where the next UPU Congress will be held, which will be in the year 2016 and in Istanbul, Turkey.

pjiaeemployeesattendbreastcancerworkshops26102012SIMPSON BAY:--- Employees of the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) have completed two days of interactive workshops to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Hosted by Positive Foundation, the workshops first provided information on how to conduct self-examination of the breasts. After the eight-minute DVD, PJIAE employees then applied the techniques learned to silicone breast models.

President of Positive Foundation Shelly Alphonso, said that the sessions were held in the airport's training room on October 18 and 19, from 3:30 pm to 5 pm, and consisted of the foundation showing the participants how to do breast self-examination. SXM male employees also attended the workshop.

"Men also need to know about breast cancer. Just Sunday, there was a tug-o-war fundraising event outside Holland House and the participants were all men from the construction industry," Alphonso stated.

She said overall, the airport seems to be advocating breast cancer awareness. There were Breast Cancer Awareness signs and decorations, especially in the room where the workshops were held.

The workshop participants wore specially designed T-shirts. The Elektralyets Foundation provided the T-shirts – worn every Friday in October by airport employees for the Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

SXM took the initiative to invite Positive Foundation to conduct the workshops as part of sensitizing airport workers about breast cancer, said Alphonso.

The purpose of the Positive Foundation is to focus primarily on awareness, and as such, there are year-round campaigns, which include conducting workshops for businesses, such as Princess Juliana International Airport, said Alphonso.

During the final workshop at SXM, Jacqueline Olaria of the airport's Security department won a T-Shirt, which served as her ticket to the popular Elektra Movie Night on October 24. The movie night at the Caribbean Cinemas was also a Breast Cancer Awareness event organized by both the Positive and Elektralyets foundations.

elsidrostjago26102012Revenge is not the way.

PHILIPSBURG:--- For the observance of National Bullying Prevention Month in St. Maarten, the Voice of Our Children (VOOC) recently held a walkathon here against bullying.

Following the walkathon, one of the speakers to address students, parents, and invited guests on bullying prevention was Elsidro St. Jago, Section Head of Security Guards at Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM).

St. Jago, a victim of bullying during his childhood, called on the children to acknowledge that there are different forms of bullying.

"Bullying is not only physical, it can be verbal, this can cause emotional distress to the victims. ... Verbal abuse can lead to low self-esteem among victims," said St. Jago.

He revealed to the audience that he also saw a bully fatally succumb to his consequences when a victim fought back. St. Jago told students who are victims of bullying that, "revenge was not the way" and that he saw how "a young life was lost because of bullying."

St. Jago urged students to select "positive friends and associates because the wrong association can lead to bullying." In his closing remarks St. Jago asked the students to "treat people with respect in their everyday lives."

The VOOC program was also addressed by Prime Minister Sarah Wescott-Williams and Minister of Education Silveria Jacobs. The walkathon and addresses also rallied participants and the audience against other forms of violence and for peace.

VOOC is among the organizations raising awareness about bullying in the island's schools.

comreceivespresentationonzoningplans26102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Louis Brown, Secretary General of Ministry Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure, along with support staff, informed the Council of Ministers on Thursday about the process towards the development of a zoning plan for St. Maarten. The presentation included a synopsis of the town hall meetings that had been held in 2012 as well as projections for the future which will ultimately lead to legislation as it pertains to zoning on St. Maarten.

sjacobsandswescotwilliamsreceivingreportonsxmstudentsinnetherlands26102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Perry Geerlings (Chairman of the board of Stichting Soualiga Foundation (SSF) in the Netherlands) gave a presentation about the report of the forum held in April of 2012 which had been organized by SSF.

The report focused on students in the Netherlands, who gave their opinions on the challenges they face as well as possible solutions which they themselves could work on as well as government.

The report was presented to the Honorable Prime Minister Sarah Wescott Williams and Hon. Minister Silveria Jacobs.

Several reasons were given by students as to why they are taking longer with their studies, giving prevalent answers ranging from lack of proper preparation before coming to Holland to lack of assertiveness and confidence.

Literacy in the Dutch language was also noted as an area that needed to improve. On a positive note the majority of students feel that the level of education they'd attained on St. Maarten was a good one. They also said that more information on the actual numbers of students completing their studies and moving higher should be made known, and that there was hundreds of well-educated St. Maarten professionals living in the Netherlands, Minister Jacobs stated on Thursday.

Minister Jacobs added: "Many of the proposed solutions are already within the vision and mission of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, however I will peruse the report to ascertain if any of the other suggestions can be added to the ministry's priority list of projects."

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Preparations are well underway for next week's Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) Open House.

The Open House is on Friday, 02 November.

Persons interested in learning more about the services of the IND can visit the Open House at its offices on the A.T. Illidge Road #8 (next to NAPA) between 8:00am straight through lunch-time right on to 3:00pm.

Immigration staff will be available to answer questions in English, French and Spanish. Brochures will be on display and available to take-away as well.

The IND is looking forward to meeting with those who require additional information during the Open House scheduled for 02 November.

ministryofhealthcrisiscaretraining26102012Great Bay:--- The Ministry of Public Health Social Development & Labor continued their Crisis Care Training, which started in May, 2012 to a group of civil servants. This three day training, which started on October 24, 2012 and will end on Friday, October 26 is catered for the Departments of Social Services, Collective Prevention Services and Community Development.
The training on 24 hours Crisis Care and Crisis Intervention is geared towards individuals and groups crisis care response during and after emergencies. During the three day training which is facilitated by Psychologist, Aisheline Maduro the participants will be introduced to different aspects of crisis care and crisis intervention. The following topics will be covered: Characteristics of a Crisis Worker; Personality and Crisis; Establishing a Crisis Team; Nonviolent Physical Crisis Intervention; Suicide Intervention; Personality Assessment; Recovery: Trauma, Shock and PTSD amongst other topics.
Some of the general principles of crisis intervention are: Intervene immediately; keep the focus of the intervention on the precipitating situation; Recognize the primacy of taking action; Provide emotional support for the client; Focus on self-concept. Twenty-four hours Crisis Care and Crisis Intervention, which has been implemented is being managed by the Department of Social Services.

mvogesreceivesreportfromsoualigafoundation26102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Board members of the Soualiga Foundation presented the Hon. Minister Plenipotentiary Mathias Voges with the report "Factors of Influence: The Academic performance of St. Maarten students in the Netherlands & Repatriation."

This report is the documentation of the perceptions held by the St. Maarten students that took part in the Soualiga Foundation student Forum held on the 20th of April 2012 in Bodegraven, Holland.

arthurgodettandlolamorgan24102012Philipsburg:--- Several workers working for the Blend-In Security Company that is owned by the former Chief Commissioner of Police Derrick Holiday told SMN News that they are not being paid by their boss. The workers said that Derrick Holiday is the mediator for the Department of Labour Affairs and complaining to the Labor Department does not yield them any justice because the person violating their labour rights is the Government mediator and a former Chief of Police who is also the brother of the Governor of St. Maarten, drs. Eugene Holiday.

Lola Morgan told SMN News on Wednesday that she was not paid for the month of September and that GEBE almost cut her light and water on Monday because she did not pay her bills. Morgan said she is also late on her rent payments and each time she calls Neville Mars, the person in charge of Blend-In Security payroll, she is told that the company does not have any monies as yet. "I have a son whose birthday is on Friday and I don't have one cent to buy him anything for his birthday. GEBE was at my home on Monday to cut my water and light and I had to cry and beg them to give me a chance because I am not being paid by my boss. I never saw Holiday face to face to discuss this matter but this morning I spoke to Neville Mars and he told me the company has no money." Morgan said she plans to wait until Friday and if she does not get paid for the month of September she will take further actions.
isidirablijden24102012Another employee who has since been dismissed Arthur Godett said that he began working for Blend-In Security since December 2011. Godett said ever since he began working for the company the workers have been encountering late payments. He said he was dismissed from the company when he began fighting for his rights as worker. Godett said he already visited the Minister of Labour dr. Cornelius De Weever and an attorney who will be representing him in court. Godett further explained that the former Chief of Police has been giving the companies he has contracts with a bad name by claiming that he is not being paid by them. "One of the companies that is getting a bad name by Holiday is Bobby's Marina and I can assure you that Mr. Robert Velasquez pays Blend-In on the 23rd day of each month. I don't want to drag Mr. Velasquez into this mess but I need to say this because it is what I am told. Furthermore, there was a theft at Bobby's Marina and Holiday has been deducting $125 each month from the salaries of the workers. This is an illegal practice because Mr. Holiday, a former Chief Commissioner of Police, should know his actions are illegal and that he should have liability insurance in place to cover the thefts. Holiday has no respect for the workers who are working 12 hours a day for him."

Another worker whose light and water has been cut due to non-payment is Isidira Blijden. Blijden said she works for Blend-In Security at the Princess Juliana International Airport and she too is not being paid. Blijden said she is very frustrated because she goes to work every day but at the end of the month she cannot see her paycheck. The mother of four school aged children said even though she is working she has no money to put food on the table for her children when they return home from school. "I live around family members and they are the ones that have to buy a bread and Caprisun juice for my children to take to school while they also have to give them meals when they return home. One of the family members that has been assisting Blijden with her children is Maria Hunt-Blijden.

Ms. Blijden said besides owing GEBE she also owes school fees and her children need after school lessons but she simply cannot afford to pay for it.

stabbingfillin24102012Marigot:--- A 19 year old young man from Sandy Ground is now in the custody of the Gendarmerie for stabbing a 17 year old young man from St. James on Wednesday afternoon. The suspect showed up at the Louis Constant Fleming Hospital and admitted to authorities that he was the one that stabbed the 17 year old.

Reliable information reaching SMN News states that the two youngsters were fighting when the older one stabbed the younger one just below his heart. SMN News has learnt that the victim's life is not in danger and he is currently receiving treatment at the Louis Constant Fleming Hospital. The Gendarmes are conducting an investigation into the incident.

louielaviestandjasonrogers03102012Philipsburg:--- The Appeals Court convicted former commissioner of labor and current National Alliance Member of Parliament Louie Laviest on Wednesday for bribery. Laveist was convicted to six months suspended sentence and banned from public office for a period of three years while he has to pay a fine of Naf. 5,000 or spend 55 days behind bars. Laveist is also under three years probation.

The Appeals Court found it proven during its second hearing that the former labour and social affairs commissioner accepted a bribe in 2003 from Bemal Enterprises and they also found it legally proven that Laveist accepted $6,000 in exchange for work permits in 2007.

In the conviction, the court took into consideration that Laveist was never convicted of any crimes in the past. However, they felt that he placed public office in jeopardy by accepting bribes. Laveist was fully acquitted of forging minutes of the Culture Club Foundation which the prosecution claimed he used to defraud AMFO of Naf. 22,750 to finance the Flag Day Celebration in 2004. Laveist was also acquitted of employing an illegal foreigner in his barber shop.

Basically, the Appeals Court rendered the same verdict they rendered in 2010. The embattled former commissioner and now Member of Parliament started his legal battle after he was arrested in 2008. The Court of First Instance convicted Laviest on all counts in 2009. The Supreme Court sent back the case to the Appeals Court after they found that the Appeals Court committed a technical error by attaching their reasons for conviction rather than incorporating it in the decision.

sarahwescotwilliams24102012Philipsburg:--- Residents of St. Maarten and businesses might soon find themselves paying 7% in Turn over Taxes (TOT) instead of the 5% they are currently paying. SMN News received information from several persons working within the Government apparatus that indicates that Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt is considering the increase of TOT by 2% to remove the deficit in the 2013 budget.

Last week Wednesday during the Council of Ministers press briefing, the Minister of Finance announced that St. Maarten is facing a real predicament with its budget due to old bills. SMN News reporter asked Minister Tuitt if he was considering increasing the TOT and he responded by saying that it seems as if the reporter was there looking for news.

This Wednesday Minister Tuitt did not show up at the weekly press briefing because he is off island. SMN News asked Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams if she is aware of the situation where TOT might be increased, Wescot Williams said that the Council of Ministers approved a balanced budget for the year 2013. She said in that draft budget which was submitted to the CFT there is no increase in the TOT. Wescot Williams further explained that even if the government of St. Maarten wants to increase TOT they would need to have a decree in place for such but to date no such decree has been prepared. When SMN News asked Wescot Williams what are government's plans to deal with the 2013 budget and the issues they are now facing, the Prime Minister insisted that government presented a balanced draft budget to the CFT and there are some things that they have to deal with. She said for example the things that are not in the budget cannot be financed. Wescot Williams said that these issues brought the 2013 budget into an imbalanced position and government now has to discuss the budget again and some decisions would have to be taken.

holiday24102010Philipsburg:--- Former Chief Commissioner of Police Derrick Holiday who lost his job with the Police Force of the Netherlands Antilles after being convicted by the Court of First Instance and was appointed Government Labour Mediator in December 2010 by the former Minister of Labour and Health Maria Buncamper Molanus has been sent home. In June 2010, the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the lower courts and the Appeals Courts of the Netherlands Antilles. Holiday was sentenced to one year suspended sentence, 180 hours of community service, and banned from holding any position within the police force for a period of three years. According to information provided to SMN News, Holiday never did the community service he was condemned to do. It is also not clear if Holiday was cleared by the VNA when he was appointed as the Labour Mediator of St. Maarten.

Information provided to SMN News states that Holiday was ordered to go on vacation two weeks ago and informed by letter to return the government owned vehicle and telephone he is using as the government labour mediator. Holiday's contract is due to expire on December 1, 2012.
SMN News has also been reliably informed that the Minister of Labour, Health, and Social Affairs Cornelius de Weever sent Holiday home from his job after receiving several complaints from persons who are working for Blend In Security and not being paid for their services.
While it is believed that Derrick Holiday is working for the Department of Labour Affairs, it should be made clear that the Labour Mediator does not work for the Department of Labour, instead he works as an independent body for the Ministry of Labour, Health, and Social Affairs. Holiday was working independently after the tripartite committee insisted that he work separately from the Department of Labour Affairs.

A representative of the Department of Labour told SMN News that they want to make it known that Derrick Holiday is not working for the Department of Labour and several workers of Blend In Security filed complaints with them but when they summoned Holiday to attend meetings with them he never showed up to the meetings. "I want you to know that Derrick Holiday thinks he is above the law and above everyone else. He never showed respect for the Department of Labour and we eventually met with his business partner Neville Mars who is in the same predicament as the workers. While Mars is an equal partner at Blend In Security he too is not being paid and GEBE removed his light and water meter about two months ago. Mars is the only one we could have met with because Holiday never responded to us and when we realized that Mars could not do anything we decided to assist the workers with legal aid so they could take Derrick Holiday to court for their monies."

Based on information and research done by SMN News, it is understood that Derrick Holiday was the signatory to the Friends of the Police Funds which was put in place to assist the Police Department with their social activities. Sources within KPSM say that the monies from the Friends of the Police disappeared and to date the new management team of KPSM cannot get access to the Friends of the Police funds and account because Holiday never removed himself from the account. One source said that the Minister of Justice was asked to see if he could make the banks turn over the accounts belonging to the Friends of the Police to the new management of KPSM. Efforts made to obtain a comment from the Minister of Justice proved futile as the Minister is currently off island.

The Ministry of VROMI hereby informs the general public that due to maintenance of the Sewage pit #2 located on the A.T. Illidge road, section from Belvedere round-a-bout up to the Dutch Quarter Medical Clinic (Dr. Bryson's clinic), will be closed to traffic on Saturday September 27, 2012 from 6:00am to 1:00pm.

Please note that due to the road closure, access to Nazareth from the direction of Belvedere will not be possible. Entrance for motorists needing to access Nazareth will only be granted coming from the direction of Madame Estate.

Motorists are asked to pay keen attention to the works being carried out on Saturday and to drive with necessary caution.

The Ministry of VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

Organized by the Voluntary Corps of Sint Maarten (VKS).

Date: Saturday, November 3rd , 2012

Start: VKS Office, Guadeloupe Rd 1, Madame Estate

Starting time: 5:00 AM

Route: VKS Office, Madame Estate - A.Th. Illidge Road (direction Mt. William
Hill) - Belvedere Roundabout - Bishop Hill Road - Sucker Garden Road -
Philipsburg - A.Th. Illidge Road - Amsterdam Shopping Center - Back of VKS

Price: US$ 10 or ANG 18 (includes t-shirt and breakfast).

Tickets are available from VKS members.

claireelshot25102012Philipsburg:--- The President of the Windward Island Teachers Union (WITU) Claire Elshot announced on Thursday that a member of the WITU just recently returned from St. Lucia after completing training on how to be a shop steward. The WITU intends to have shop stewards in all the schools on St. Maarten who would receive the necessary training locally.

The WITU President also announced that the union and its board is currently meeting with various school boards to discuss increasing the vacation allowances for teachers which now stands at 6% on St. Maarten. Elshot said that Aruba, Curacao, and the BES islands already have been paying their teachers 8% of their salaries in vacation allowances and it is time that St. Maarten step to the plate and increase the teachers' vacation allowances. Elsot said the union will be meeting with the GOA to discuss all other issues relating to teachers especially when it comes to their pension fund.

Elshot also announced on Thursday during the Windward Islands Chamber of Labour Unions press briefing that the annual biennial congress for teachers will be held in Guyana in 2013 and it will be hosted by the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) in Georgetown, Guyana. Elshot said Guyana has a very strong teachers union and she is baffled as to why the Guyanese teachers on St. Maarten are afraid to become members of the WITU.

When asked if the WITU is looking into the issues surrounding the head of the Education Department Mrs. Davis Holiday, Elshot said they are not part of the committee that was installed to investigate the functioning of the Department of Education but one thing for sure is that public schools on St. Maarten were facing a number of issues before Davis Holiday was appointed head of the department. The WITU President said they will be waiting on the outcome of the investigation and hopes that the Minister will apprise them of the outcome.

gacnewboardmembers25102012Philipsburg:--- The Governor, His Excellency E. B. Holiday administered the oath of office to the members of the new board of the General Audit Chamber, on Wednesday morning October 24th during a brief ceremony at the Cabinet of the Governor. During the ceremony Governor Holiday underscored the importance of checks and balances in our parliamentary democracy and in that regard emphasized the role of the General Audit Chamber in fostering compliance with the principles of good governance through audits on the legality and effectiveness of government in the execution of responsibilities.
The members of the board are Mr. Ronald Halman, Mr. Mark Kortenoever and Mr. Alphons Gumbs. Also taking the oath of office were deputy members Mr. Daniel Hassell and Mr. Hyden Gittens. Mr. Ronald Halman will serve as chairman of the board.
The term of office for the new board members is seven (7) years.

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) and the Baby Wellness Clinic will be closed on Monday, 29 October.

The closure is related to a retreat that CPS is organizing for its staff members with respect to an evaluation of the 2012 Year Plan and preparations for the 2013 Year Plan.

CPS apologizes for any inconvenience that this may cause.

spotlightsxm25102012The SMMTA is proud to announce our plans for the second annual Spotlight event. Last year, Spotlight St. Maarten was held from November 11th - December 17th highlighting various local events and culminating in our VIP event at Isle de Sol and our St. Maarten Saturday Beach Party at Buccaneer Beach Bar.

This year we have decided to change things up a bit. Our main event will be held on 17th November 2012 at Port De Plaisance South Harbour when Spotlight St. Maarten presents its first annual Cooking Hot, Caribbean Style Chef Competition. Spotlight St. Maarten 2012 will run from November 1- November 30, 2012.

The event consists of a 2 day Concours de Chef competition for professional yacht chefs, held the week leading up to the main culinary event. On November 17th, we will have two different competitions. First, open to the public, local entrants will be judged on the best GuavaBerry Pie and the best Johnny Cake. Do you think you have the best recipie? Bring along your cakes and pies. We ask that you bake 2 cakes or 2 dozen johnny cakes to enter. The judges will taste first then pie and johnny cakes will be available to all.

Then the top three Concours De Chef entrants will compete against three of St. Maarten's top Chefs in true Caribbean style cook off. The SMMTA will be integrating Sundial Students to work with the professional chefs during all aspects of the competition. A sample plate of the food will be available to buy after the judging.

One of the goals of Spotlight St. Maarten 2012 is to highlight the marine industry to local residents. We have chosen South Dock at Port de Plaisance so Aqua Mania will be offering lagoon boat tours, St Maarten Yacht Club will be exhibiting youth sailing and other recreational activities on the water. We will also be showing off "Aqua Maniac", our first Build Your Future boat.

We are also looking for local artists and craft artisans to be a part of the craft fair.

The other goal is to extend our yachting season by encouraging more yachts to home port in November, or at the very least to make a stop for fuel, provisioning and other services before the Antigua Charter Show.

We would like to thank our sponsors St Maarten Time Share Association and Antillean Liquors for working with us to create a fabulous family fun and food event.

To register for entrance to the Guavaberry Pie/ Johhny cake baking contest or register for the craft fair, or just for further information, please contact Christian Smith on 522-0231 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

mhfcrisiscaremonitoringsystem26102012The October month is World Mental Health Month and the St. Maarten Mental Health Foundation continues to strive to improve the quality care for the population.

In July this year Dr. Gandotra, psychiatrist of the foundation published an article about crisis intervention and in that article he emphasized:
"No one can deny that life brings with it such situations when an individual experiences a sudden loss of his or her ability to use effective problem solving and coping skills leading to emotional, mental, physical and behavioral distress."

It is exactly one year ago, that persons in stressful situations as mentioned in the quote from Dr. Gandotra were treated on the road, in a police cell or if possible at home. The family was confronted with their loved ones in an overcrowded very noisy police cell. While their relative was not a criminal and desperately needed a stimulus free environment.

After serious accidents happened in the police cells because it was inadequate and unsafe, patients were moved to the Prison. The prison has one sick room, but remains a criminal environment. For further treatment patients were flown to Curaçao, if the family could not afford to fly to Curaçao patients remained there for months sometimes years without a relative.

At the Mental Health Foundation, specialized care is available 24 hours. From January to August 2012 42 patients were admitted to the crisis cell. Patients admitted in a crisis are monitored on 3 locations in the building, the crisis room has two doors for the safety of the patient and the staff, when entering and exiting the room. A large window provides an outside view and the patients can view the clock in the hallway. The crisis room is air-conditioned and located stimulus free, away from the road and the activities inside the building. The facility is constructed in accordance with international standards.

Treating patients locally enables involvement of the family, from the beginning of the treatment, it provides continuity of care from admissions until the patient no longer needs to be admitted. Patients remain in the crisis room as short as possible, mostly 3 days and are then admitted to the ward and gradually take part in the daily activities. For some there is the possibility of guided living and others can return home.

Thanks to the community at large the foundation continues to do its utmost to provide for quality treatments.

naturalizationceremony19102012Oyster Pond:--- On Friday 19 October 2012, 117 persons took the pledge of allegiance in before His Excellency Governor Eugene B. Holiday during the festive naturalization Ceremony which took place at The Westin, Oyster Pond. The pledge of allegiance, as being expressed in either taking an oath or making a promise, is the final mandatory step in the process of obtaining the Dutch nationality.

Naturalization is a legal process under the Dutch Kingdom Law whereby a person may be granted Dutch Citizenship. The Governor emphasized that community wise, naturalization is more than just the result of a legal process. In the context of the St. Maarten community, it is the start of a new chapter in one's life. A new chapter, which is truly a new beginning as well as confirmation of an existing relation with St. Maarten and its community. The Governor expressed his hope that each of the participants would consider this moment as a journey of growth towards a stronger St. Maarten.

The naturalization ceremony consisted of one session, including children who became Dutch Citizens. Each of the participants received the Royal Decree which confirmed their Dutch nationality. At the end of the ceremony, Governor Holiday personally congratulated each participant who had obtained their Dutch nationality. The naturalization ceremony was completed with the posing for a group picture as a special memory to an extraordinary day.

Press Release from the Governor's Office

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Department of Disaster Management (ODM) has alerted its 10 Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) to closely monitor the progress of a strong Tropical Wave (TW) associated with a Low Pressure system #98, which has the potential to become a tropical depression/storm within the next day or two.

The population is advised to closely monitor the progress of this system. Heavy rain and high winds are a possibility over the weekend.

The National Hurricane Center out of Miami says that a tropical storm warning could be required for portions of the Leeward Islands. A hurricane reconnaissance flight will be made into the system this afternoon – Friday.

The disturbance is between St. Lucia and Dominica, and moving Northwest or North-Northwest at 10-15 miles per hour.

The 10 ESFs that form the country's' disaster management organization are: GEBE Utility Company, Telem Telecommunications, Public Works Dept., Fire Dept., Police, Ministry of Public Health and Social Development, Dept of Communications, Ministry of General Affairs, and the Ministry of Tourism, Economy, Transportation and Telecommunications.

The board of the Police Sports Association ( P.S.A.) is regretfully informing the general public, that due to unforeseen circumstances, the raffle which was scheduled for October 7th, 2012 has been rescheduled for October 14th, 2012.

The board of the P.S.A. apologizes for any inconvenience this postponement may have caused.

jasminecijntje25102012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Registered Nurse Jasmien Cijntje, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) board members Graciella Zimmerman, Lydia Vanterpool, and Dr. Henk Wassenaar, will be some of the speakers at the Cancer Conference that starts on Friday morning.

The Cancer Conference is being jointly organized by Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, in