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In November 22nd Herald I read that the "Honorable" Parliamentarian Louie Laveist wants to know "how the people's money is spent". He theatrically stood on the Parliament's expensive Front Street stage and pretended to champion "the people's business". What I want to know is: "what happened to the loot the judge convicted the "Honorable" Parliamentarian of collecting from the new Government Building project? And while we are at it, can he tell us who were the recipients of a reported
US $15 Million for the sale of the land formerly occupied by BBW / EFB next to the Simpson Bay bridge? Also, can he confirm or deny that while he was a commissioner he arranged for 30 Bus and Taxi licenses to be issued to two transportation companies supposedly set up /directed /owned by him and/or members of his immediate family? And if yes, can he tell us if it is true or not that those companies (and thus he and/or his family) collect 30 X $600 per month equaling to US $18,000 a MONTH from the exploited bus and taxi drivers the licenses are supposedly rented to . If this is all true, it would explain the beautiful $83,000 White Range Rover SUV the "honorable" parliamentarian now drives! Talk about "the people want to know"!

Michael J. Ferrier

Wikipedia states the following:"The term quality of life (QOL) references the general well-being of individuals and societies. The term is used in a wide range of contexts, including the fields of international development, healthcare, and politics. Quality of life should not be confused with the concept of standard of living, which is based primarily on income. Instead, standard indicators of the quality of life include not only wealth and employment, but also the built environment, physical and mental health, education, recreation and leisure time, and social belonging." Another indicator which isn't mentioned would be "safety".
Let's look at the indicators one by one and ask ourselves some questions:
Are we satisfied with projects executed, on-going projects and projects in the (near) future in Sint Maarten? How do you feel about "the Pigeon Coop", Causeway Bridge, Filling of the Great Garbage Pond and The Tunnel(s) of Doom?
Physical and Mental Health: Are we satisfied with our current health care system in Sint Maarten (coverage, service, costs)? How do you feel about general practitioners no longer taking private insurance cards, the Mental Health Foundation which cannot obtain a license to optimally execute its tasks and the ongoing saga at our only hospital the Sint Maarten Medical Center?
Education: Are we satisfied with the set up of our current educational system in Sint Maarten (drop-out rate, level of education, accessibility)? How do you feel about schools lacking stationary and lesson materials, drug abuse in and around schools and gang fights in and around schools?
Recreation and Leisure Time: Are we satisfied with the recreation facilities offered in Sint Maarten (accessibility, costs)? How do you feel about the lack of recreational facilities (besides the natural locations)?
Social Belonging: Are we satisfied with the amount of community activities in Sint Maarten (church groups, trade-unions, community foundations)? How do you feel about the level and amount of events organized by community groups?
Safety: Are we satisfied with the current justice system in Sint Maarten? How do you feel about the crime rate and your safety?
Now let's ask ourselves one final question:
What can the government do, what can you do and what can we do as a community to increase the quality of life in Sint Maarten? #sxmmovement

Soualiga Social Movement

It is the assumption of "the people" that, when voting for a political candidate of their choice, our best interest would be looked after.
However, the trend always seems to be, electing leaders who take everything else into consideration except the best interest of "the people and our Country".

Parliament, which is our highest governing body and responsible for passing Legislations, thereby removing all doubts, insecurities and abuse of its people, are actively and publicly involved in wheeling, dealing and instructing their individually selected Ministers how and what deals to cut and accept.

Governor, who should uphold the practice of "good governance", is visiting schools, attending ceremonies and like all others, traveling the globe.

Prime Minister, who heads the Council of Ministers while holding her own portfolios, is just being the pretty face of Government and ribbon cutter, with
lots of talk but little meaning or substance.

Leaders of Government who only makes appearances at press briefings when having to dictate to us what projects will be executed, with total disregard as to
our views on such projects.

The people cried about the neglect of our elderly, youth, unemployed, poverty, educational system, healthcare, traffic, crime situation, environment and much,
much more. The people sighed a breath of relief when a "new" Government took office with the promise of: "Working FOR the people".

Unfortunately, the change of Government has proven to have as much meaning/substance as our Dutch/French borders. Absolutely no meaning at all.
We have seen nothing more than the "same ole, same ole with a little extra icing on top", showing total disrespect and disregard to the people of this Country.
Is this what we opted for? The answer is YES. We continue to complain but yet we ridicule anyone who tries to take our Leaders to task. We fight with each
other to defend the failures of our favorite politicians and/or political parties. A change of Government is not the solution unless we as a people stand up and
demand the promises we voted for. We did not vote for a tunnel, cricket field, race track, TEMPO and more debts.

We voted for a better way of life which includes but is not limited to our elderly, education, healthcare, employment, crime and immigration control.
It is time to seriously let your voices, concerns, disapprovals and (possible) solutions be heard, considered/regarded. #sxmmovement.

Soualiga Social Movement

Traffic Jam! Traffic Jam! Build some roundabouts! Traffic Jam still? Let's build a causeway! Still more Traffic? Well let's build some tunnels through the hills! So much effort to alleviate road traffic but when it comes to social mobility it seems that we are also stuck in traffic.
Social mobility is the movement of individuals or groups in their social position over time. This mobility may refer to changes in the measurement of health status, literacy, home and business ownership or level education attained but more commonly it refers to individuals or families, and their change in income. Are the low income parents raising children to live middle income lives? Are the high income parents raising children to live low income lives?
Are the people of Soualiga really moving forward in life? Very regretfully, the answer for most people is no. In past times, our parents had homes they could afford and they carried less debt, nowadays most of us have no way of affording a simple home and on top of that we are packed full of debt. Similarly, our parents had less educational opportunities but settled securely in their jobs with a high level of knowhow, while today a lot of returned students feel like educated fools seemingly overqualified, underpaid and in some cases unemployed. Most young St. Maarteners are simply trying to get to that destination where they can provide a better life for their kids than was provided for them by their parents.
But why is it so hard for young people to move forward in their own country? We are the most informed, most knowledgeable, most technological generation ever. As an island it seems we have been great at developing infrastructure, seaports and airports in the name of our tourism industry but we have failed to develop aspects of our society in the name of providing a better life for our people.
An elder St. Maartener constantly reminds me that his supervisor's job paid 1000 guilders 40 years ago, and he was able to pay all his bills, take care of the family, have a good time and still save 400 guilders a month. He refuses to understand why the young people today always complain about not having enough money, or not being able to purchase a piece of land or get a business off the ground. "Awyousuppose to be smarter than we were!"
My answer to him is always, 'Awyou should have thought better about the future for us'...
We have had countless politicians promising this and that, and all the manifestos of every political party in St. Maarten has aimed for a better life for the St. Maartener. But why is the same effort not being put into health, the diversification of our economy, immigration, housing and sports? If these parts of our society were to be developed with the amount of fine-tuned professional precision as was put into the airport, seaport and infrastructure this place would be a paradise to live in, for all.
The young adults in St. Maarten simply just want to get into gear so we can move forward in life, trying not to run into a pothole of debt, avoiding crashing into a wall of unemployment and not being able to tank up because of the high costs of living here. At the end of it all, having a home to go home to where we can put our kids to sleep at every night.
We definitely all have experienced, that when a young St. Maartener, straps in his/her seat belt, turns the ignition, gets into gear, puts their foot on the gas and tries to move forward in his life in the right direction we definitely encounter countless amounts of roundabouts, but are there any causeways to the other side? I guess that's may be the reason nowadays why so many young adults tend to go offroad...

Soualiga Social Movement

george21082009Member of Parliament and Faction leader of the National Alliance George Pantophlet says the campaign is on. Recent statements by the leader of the UP Party Theo Heyliger and the former Minister of Economic Affairs Franklin Meyers have indicated this. They have come out with the same old political spin they have learnt from a very large country. If we would look at old newspaper clippings and television programs, listen to tapes of radio we will hear the same old political statements of the past. Even one their cronies Theo Heyliger's right hand man recently wrote a piece in the opinion page. But why don't they tell the people of St. Maarten why they are out of government today? It hurts me to regurgitate things of the past but people often forget. Can the leader of the UP Party please tell the people if government was included in the bridge to nowhere discussions? Can the leader of the UP Party tell the people of St. Maarten which one of his relatives wanted to take over the entire Bus operation at the Harbor? Can the leader of the UP party tell us why a relative got the contract to do the Christmas decorations at the Airport? Can the leader of the UP Party tell the people who was going to take over the cleaning contract at the airport? And who is in charge of the cleaning at Simpson Bay Resorts the former Pelican Resort? Do we know how many projects are in the pipeline that would benefit the prosperous few? Need I say more? And all at once the former Minister of Economic Affairs Franklin Meyers is blowing his horn again. He was able to sign off on taxi licenses and bus licenses galore within record time. Didn't someone living mind you not vacationing in the United States for years received a call from the Minister's office stating that their request for a taxi license was ready? It is certain that if Minister Romeo Pantophlet embarks on this that he had first done proper research. And let us don't forget the moratorium on jet skis which was suddenly lifted to grant more licenses before he (Minister Franklin Meyers was thrown out of office? And what about the hundreds of requests for business licenses that were lying there for years? Finally now many are being processed by the present Minister Romeo Pantophlet who has been working diligently to get things up to date? Was it not the same Minister when he was Commissioner of Health and Sports complaining that he could not get funds for the St. Maarten Medical Center? And when were any of the sports facilities upgraded? In her short 7 months Minister Sylveria Jacobs has already started the bidding process to get the Raoul Illidge Complex up to par something lagging behind for more than a decade. The Member of Parliament says he is depending on the wisdom of the people of St. Maarten not to be fooled by these political tactics or spin moves they learnt from a very large country. Let them (tactics) stay where they belong in the past. St. Maarten needs innovative, forward thinkers not persons who are imprisoned in the past. The campaign is on.

MP George Pantophlet

If we are to pay for all the Cause Ways, Justice Parks, Ring Roads, Tunnels, Police cars, Schools, Mental Health Care, Drug Rehabilitation, Street lights, Road repairs, Empty Government Buildings, Full Parliament Buildings, etc., etc., I strongly recommend our Government reconsider the forced closing of businesses on any holiday or Holy Day. Employees that volunteer to work on these days can earn double and in some cases even triple pay, while businesses can try to make up for the absolutely dismal "off-season" that is now slowly coming to an end. Hiding behind "it's our culture" as an excuse to not allow businesses to open (especially when there are numerous cruise ships in port) may sound good, but no longer holds water if there is continued talk in the corridors of the Administration Building about budget deficits and increased taxes, new fees and other government levies that supposedly are on the planning board. Let's embrace each other and form a true Public/Private Sectors' partnership to dig this Sweet St. Maarten's Land out of the financial hole it is in, rather than finding 16 ways for Government to say NO!

Michael J. Ferrier

Who authorized the dredging of sand for the amount of 4.9 million dollars?
Who did the trucking of the sand?
Who authorized the sale of sand belonging to the people of Sint Maarten?
Who is receiving these revenues and what will be done with it?
Who authorized the filling of the Great Garbage Pond for a drag strip and possible cricket stadium?
We deserve answers to these questions without any delay or hesitation. Neither studies nor plans about a drag strip in the Great Garbage Pond have been revealed to the public. After the "change" of government (same parliament) we all of a sudden saw trucks loaded with sand racing up and down to full fill some political promise made by one of the Three Amigo's to a very small group within the electorate.
And it's not that we do not want the drag strip, we actually support St. Maarten having a drag strip. Think about all the extra inter-island visitors for grand events as it is easier to host such major events in St. Maarten than it is in the neighboring islands. So we do recognize the potential. Our issue is simply in the way this came to pass.
The cricket stadium is a whole other issue.....
So when these questions are asked, we have come to understand that nobody has a clue about what, when, how and by whom this went on. These kind of childish games are a display of blatant disrespect to the electorate and democracy on Sint Maarten. You have to give account for this mess and take responsibility. Let's go back to the polls and let the people of Sint Maarten show you if we agree or disagree with you. We want to know. #sxmmovement

Soualiga Social Movement

george21082009Member of Parliament George Pantophlet says that most of us remember or have heard the phrase Attitude determines your altitude. In this case he is referring to the words by Professor Jaime Saleh during his speech at the Westin Hotel organized by the High Councils of State. I think the professor also mentioned the word mindset. This word is also a key proponent according to the Member of Parliament if St. Maarten is to move forward in a consistent constructive and concise manner. The member of Parliament said that when Queen Beatrix was here last she asked him what he thought about the transition from Island Territory to Country, His response was "that the old mindset is still there." He understands that we are a country for only 2 years but there must be forward movement and fresh thinking. It is up to us as government and people to transition in our minds from old to new. More authority means more responsibility. The words we hear the most or the actions we see the most are the ones that mold our character be it in a negative or positive manner. How we respond to situations or experiences depends on us. The world is still in a financial quagmire. Economist financial experts are trying to find a solution. Formulas are being tested in the hope to restore an ailing global economy and St. Maarten is not excluded. But how do we deal with it? What kind of attitude do we display? Will it be the same old politics or critical innovative thinking? I am still proposing that government, public sector, the church, unions and non- governmental organizations get together to find a solution or common ground to deal with the present and impending situation. There is a solution to every problem, there is a positive to every negative but there must be a willingness to work together to get the job done. As Professor Jaime Saleh said and let me quote the headlines of one of our daily newspapers: "The problem is not the law but your attitude" end of quote. What a loaded statement. I would like to say for specificity "my attitude". All of us have a responsibility towards each other regardless of political affiliation, color (note I did not mention race because there is only the human race), religion or culture. Hurricane "Sandy" has dealt a devastating blow to the East Coast of the United States of America. We will be affected. Notice I did not say whether positive or negative because it is up to us. What is our attitude? The responsibility does not rest solely on the shoulders of government but on every individual who lives on this island and calls it their home.

MP George Pantophlet

Le Contrat Urbain de Cohésion Sociale (CUCS) signé par l'Etat, la Collectivité de Saint-Martin prorogé jusqu'en 2014, a pour but d'encourager la réalisation de projets visant à:

  • favoriser la participation des habitants,
  • soutenir les associations, développer le partenariat, le travail en réseau,
  • promouvoir l'égalité des chances, lutter contre les discriminations,
  • améliorer les relations entre les citoyens et leurs administrations.

Ces projets doivent s'inscrire dans les champs prioritaires de la politique de la ville que sont :

  • l'éducation,
  • l'emploi et le développement économique,
  • la citoyenneté et la prévention de la délinquance, (F. I. P. D.),
  • la santé,
  • le programme « Ville Vie Vacances » (V .V. V.).

Nous vous appelons à participer en 2013 aux objectifs de la politique de la ville en nous adressant vos projets.
Nous serons particulièrement attentifs à la qualité de vos projets, reposant sur des objectifs clairs, précis et mesurables, et devant constituer un apport concret et adapté à la situation des habitants et des publics des quartiers prioritaires, notamment les plus vulnérables.
Si vous souhaitez répondre à cet appel à projets nous vous invitons à télécharger le nouveau modèle utilisé pour la programmation 2013 (dossier CERFA) + la fiche Action (document obligatoire) sur le site Internet.

  • de la Préfecture :
  • de la Collectivité de Saint-Martin :

Les dossiers, devront êtres renvoyés par voie postale le 20 décembre 2012 à 16h00, délai de rigueur.

Une réunion s'est tenue à l'Hôtel de la Collectivité le lundi 19 novembre dernier, réunissant des représentants de la Collectivité, de l'Office du tourisme, des restaurateurs et des hôteliers, afin d'évoquer l'opportunité de se doter du titre de «maître-restaurateur» à Saint-Martin.

Cette réunion s'est déroulée en présence du Président du Conseil territorial, Alain Richardson, de la vice-présidente de l'Office du tourisme, Jeanne Vanterpool-Rogers, de la directrice de l'Office du tourisme, Sylviane John, de la directrice du tourisme à la Collectivité, Stéphanie Bessière, des membres de la FERCOM (restaurateurs) et du porte-parole de l'AHSM (hôteliers). L'objet était d'échanger entre les différentes entités représentées, les avis concernant ce titre de « maître-restaurateur », qui permet de distinguer des dirigeants d'une entreprise exploitant un fonds de commerce de restauration. Pour les restaurateurs de Saint-Martin, cette certification constitue une reconnaissance éthique significative, et une avancée positive pour leur profession. Une adaptation des textes semblent toutefois judicieuse eu égard aux spécificités de Saint-Martin. Le Président Richardson a estimé qu'il s'agit d'un sujet important pour la destination Saint-Martin, et que l'acquisition de ce titre permettrait de valoriser et d'encourager la profession de restaurateur, précisant que la restauration est un atout incontournable pour Saint-Martin.

Au lendemain de l'annonce officielle de la victoire de M. Jean-François Copé à la présidence de notre parti, je souhaite lui adresser mes plus sincères félicitations pour sa victoire et pour sa remarquable campagne électorale, menée tambour battant ces derniers mois, afin de faire triompher les valeurs d'une droite moderne et déterminée.
L'heure ne doit pas être aux polémiques : l'UMP doit rester sur le champ de bataille et ne surtout pas devenir un champ de ruines. Le vote pour les motions, éclipsé par des commentateurs plus portés à faire leurs choux gras des peccadilles de la soirée électorale que d'entrer dans le fond du sujet, révèle un réel ancrage à droite de notre parti, dont l'opposition porte, finalement, plus sur la forme donc, que sur le fond.
L'heure doit être au rassemblement de notre grande famille autour d'une ligne politique commune et d'un vrai tempérament, incarné par son nouveau président. L'UMP ne doit pas apparaître scindée : un affaiblissement de notre parti profiterait dangereusement à la gauche et aux extrêmes.
Comme le dit Jean-François Copé, il est grand temps de « construire une droite et un centre-droit fiers de leurs valeurs » : une nouvelle page va s'écrire et chacun d'entre nous devons en être les auteurs.

Daniel GIBBS

Député de Saint-Barthélemy et de Saint-Martin
Secrétaire territorial de la Fédération UMP de Saint-Martin

Dans le cadre de l'élaboration du Plan Local d'urbanisme, la Collectivité de Saint-Martin lance les ateliers de concertations, qui auront lieu le :

Mardi 27 Novembre 2012 de 9h00 à 12h00
Salle des délibérations de l'Hôtel de la Collectivité

Thème 1 « La démographie (dynamismes de développement, attractivité socio-démographique,...), le développement et la structuration du territoire, les pôles économiques, résidentiels et touristiques ».

Mardi 27 Novembre 2012 de 14h00 à 17h00
Salle des délibérations de l'Hôtel de la Collectivité

Thème 2 « Le maintien et le développement des piliers économiques actuels (agriculture, tourisme, commerce et BTP), quel devenir pour les infrastructures (port, marinas, aéroport), les inter-relations avec Sint-Maarten ».

Mercredi 28 Novembre 2012 de 9h00 à 12h00
Salle des délibérations de l'Hôtel de la Collectivité

Thème 3 « Préservation des centres-bourgs de Marigot et Grand-Case, protection des espaces et écosystèmes patrimoniaux, patrimoine bâti et vestiges ».

Pour toutes informations complémentaires, veuillez contacter Madame Sabrina PLACIDOUX au 0590 522730, par fax 0590 877307 ou par mail au This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

arichardsonandswescotwilliams20112012Une réunion de coopération s'est tenue ce matin à l'Hôtel de la Collectivité, en présence des élus du Conseil territorial de Saint-Martin et les membres du gouvernement de Country Sint-Maarten. Il s'agit de la première réunion de coopération de ce type entre les deux parties de l'île depuis le début de la présidence d'Alain Richardson à la tête de la Collectivité, durant laquelle il a été évoqué les priorités à suivre pour l'année 2013. Chaque thème lié à la coopération a été développé, la sécurité, les transports, les infrastructures et le développement durable, les affaires sociales, la santé, l'éducation, la formation, les affaires économiques (y compris le tourisme), et les prérogatives de ces thèmes ont ainsi été définis: les travaux publics, le réseau routier, la circulation, la sécurité sociale, la santé, et l'éducation (notamment le problème des enfants quittant l'école durant l'année scolaire).
La prochaine réunion de coopération aura lieu le vendredi 07 décembre prochain, en présence des élus de la Collectivité de Saint-Martin, des membres du gouvernement de Country Sint-Maarten, et de la préfecture, puisque l'Etat reste compétent dans des domaines régaliens qui sont inclus dans les objectifs de coopération entre les deux parties de l'île.

Le dimanche 18 novembre 2012, les gendarmes de l'escadron de Chaumont, unité de force mobile actuellement déployée sur le territoire de la collectivité de Saint-Martin en renfort de la compagnie de gendarmerie, procédaient à l'interpellation en flagrant délit d'un individu circulant au guidon d'un quad venant tout juste d'être signalé volé par son propriétaire.
Immédiatement placé en garde à vue par les enquêteurs de la brigade de gendarmerie de Quartier d'Orléans, il se trouve que l'intéressé était par ailleurs activement recherché pour des faits d'agression sexuelle commis en date du 12 novembre 2012 ainsi qu'un vol avec violence au préjudice d'un couple de touristes en date du 16 novembre 2012 au cours duquel le malfaiteur, dans sa fuite, avait violemment percuté au guidon de son scooter un témoin des faits lequel tentait de s'interposer, occasionnant chez lui de très graves blessures.
Présenté au Procureur de la République de Saint-Martin à l'issue de sa garde à vue, le mis en cause comparaissait le 20 novembre 2012 devant le tribunal de Basse-Terre où son incarcération était décidée dans l'attente de son jugement le 11 décembre prochain.

Le 16 octobre dernier, une opération judiciaire était réalisée par la compagnie de gendarmerie de Saint-Martin dans le quartier de Concordia, aboutissant à l'interpellation et au placement en garde à vue de trois individus soupçonnés d'avoir participé à deux vols à main armée commis quatre jours auparavant, à l'encontre de deux couples de touristes visitant le Fort Louis de Marigot d'une part, et au préjudice d'une épicerie du quartier de Concordia d'autre part.
Les auditions et investigations réalisées par les gendarmes de la brigade de recherches avaient alors abouti à la mise en examen devant le juge des enfants de Saint-Martin d'un mineur soupçonné d'avoir fourni l'arme utilisée pour le vol commis à la supérette ; au déferrement d'un autre mineur en vue de son placement au centre de Sainte-Anne, celui-ci étant soupçonné d'avoir participé en tant qu'auteur au vol au sein de la supérette ; enfin, au déferrement d'un majeur soupçonné d'avoir
participé en tant qu'auteur aux deux faits.
Ce troisième et dernier individu a donc été jugé par tribunal correctionnel de Basse-Terre, le 16 novembre 2012. Jugé coupable des faits qui lui étaient reprochés, il a été condamné à une peine de trois ans d'emprisonnement ferme et incarcéré à la maison d'arrêt de Basse-Terre.

Le Parlement a adopté le projet de loi sur la régulation économique outre-mer après le vote de l'Assemblée nationale, jeudi soir, à l'unanimité des votes exprimés par le centre et la gauche, l'UMP s'abstenant dans une « opposition constructive ».

Pour rappel, ce texte pour une régulation économique outre-mer a été examiné selon la procédure d'urgence (une seule lecture par Chambre). Ce projet de loi a pour objectif de s'attaquer aux fondements structurels de la cherté de la vie outre-mer, par un arsenal de dispositifs: renforcement des pouvoirs de l'Autorité de la concurrence, bouclier qualité/prix permettant l'ouverture de négociations sur un panier de produits de consommation courante, plafonnement des tarifs bancaires ou encore interdiction des exclusivités d'importation. Les députés de tous bords ont salué hier soir, l'intérêt du texte « pour l'ensemble des territoires d'outre-mer ». Daniel Gibbs, orateur du groupe UMP pour ce dernier round, a mis un bémol sur « les conditions d'examen du texte » et a tenu à avancer « qu'améliorer la situation des territoires d'outre-mer, ce n'est pas seulement la régulation économique et le contrôle des prix ». « Il y a d'autres pans de l'économie qui méritent une action appropriée » a notamment déclaré le député de Saint-Barthélemy et de Saint-Martin dans son intervention, citant l'aide aux PME pour la conquête de nouveaux marchés, la question fondamentale de l'intégration économique régionale des territoires ultramarins, la valorisation des filières de production locale ou celle des espaces naturels et la biodiversité pour « répondre à une nouvelle demande en matière de tourisme ». M. Gibbs s'est toutefois réjouit de quelques avancées pour les deux jeunes Collectivités qu'il représente, notamment l'obtention, par convention, de la gestion matérielle du Registre du commerce et des sociétés par les Chambres de commerce et d'industrie de Saint-Barthélemy et de Saint-Martin. « Nous considérons que tout ce qui peut être mis en œuvre pour améliorer la condition de nos outre-mer doit être reçu avec le plus attentif des accueils par notre Assemblée, au regard de la situation exceptionnelle de nos territoires » a conclu M. Gibbs. De son côté, le ministre a remercié l'UMP pour son « abstention constructive » sur ce texte.

evelynefleming15112012Dans le cadre de la célébration du Saint-Martin's Day/11 novembre, une cérémonie d'hommage s'est déroulée à l'issue des allocutions officielles, reconnaissant neuf personnes ayant contribué à l'avancement de la Cité et de la communauté. C'est ainsi que Josette PLAISANT, Cindy CHOISY, Evelyne FLEMING, Georgina Rohan, Laurent FLANDERS, Mildred CARTI, Joseph Lake Junior, Clara Reyes, et York CHESTER ont respectivement été honorés selon la nature de leur engagement au sein de la société. Quatre catégories ont été retenues, l'enseignement, le parrainage de l'Art, la culture et le patrimoine, et le service. Evelyne Fleming a été reconnue dans la catégorie « parrainage de l'Art » ainsi que Cindy Choisy, Josette Plaisant pour l'Enseignement, Georgina Rohan Mildred Carti et Laurent Flanders pour le « Service à la communauté », Joseph Lake Junior York CHESTER et Clara Reyes pour la culture et le patrimoine.
Parmi ces personnes, dont la valeur de l'engagement pour le mieux-être de la société saint-martinoise n'est plus à démontrer, Evelyne Fleming symbolise bien cette volonté d'améliorer la vie de la Cité et son parcours l'atteste bien. Enseignante au Lycée Polyvalent des iles du Nord, Madame Fleming est également présidente du Foyer socio-éducatif des lycée depuis sa création en 2003, et le référent culture du lycée et chargée de mission pour la communication et la culture pour la représentante du recteur de Saint-Martin. Fermement attachée à la valorisation de l'identité culturelle saint-martinoise, Evelyne Fleming œuvre à la promotion culturelle de Saint-Martin, avec pour leitmotiv, la réussite des jeunes, la reconnaissance du patrimoine, et la revalorisation de la société.
Rappelons que cet événement est à l'initiative du service Culture de la Collectivité, dont est en charge l'élue Rollande Questel et la responsable de ce service, Minerva Dormoy, sous l'autorité de la vice-présidente de la Collectivité chargée du pôle développement humain, Aline Hanson.

Le Premier ministre, Jean-Marc Ayrault, a procédé aujourd'hui au renouvellement du Conseil d'analyse économique (CAE).

Conformément à ce qui avait été annoncé, le nouveau CAE est resserré. Il comprend, avec sa présidente déléguée, quinze membres, tous des universitaires reconnus dans leur domaine, dont beaucoup font leur entrée au CAE pour la première fois.

Ils couvrent un champ large de compétences et reflètent une diversité de profils et de points de vue.

En outre, trois économistes travaillant pour le secteur financier sont nommés correspondants du CAE. Ils contribueront aux travaux au cas par cas, en fonction de leurs domaines d'expertise.

Le CAE travaillera en bonne intelligence avec les autres instances de réflexion et de prospective réunies autour du Premier ministre, ainsi qu'avec les administrations économiques.

Les travaux du CAE commencent immédiatement. Une première réunion d'installation se tiendra prochainement, sous la présidence du Premier ministre.

Sont nommés membres du CAE pour une durée de deux ans :

  • Philippe Askenazy
  • Antoine Bozio
  • Pierre Cahuc
  • Brigitte Dormont
  • Lionel Fontagné
  • Cecilia Garcia Penalosa
  • Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas
  • Philippe Martin
  • Guillaume Plantin
  • David Thesmar
  • Jean Tirole
  • Alain Trannoy
  • Etienne Wasmer
  • Guntram Wolff

Sont nommés membres correspondants pour une durée de deux ans :

  • Patrick Artus
  • Laurence Boone
  • Jacques Cailloux

L'Union des Parents d'Elèves de Saint-Martin, section Lycée des Iles du Nord vous informe qu'une réunion mensuelle se tiendra au LPO le Jeudi 15 novembre 2012 à 17h30. Ces réunions importantes sont l'occasion pour vous d'évoquer les problèmes que rencontrent vos enfants, de proposer des idées, des projets, d'échanger les expériences et les connaissances et surtout d'écoute.
C'est aussi l'occasion pour les parents élus de vous informer de ce qui se passe au collège, de l'actualité au niveau de l'éduction nationale, des différentes rencontres (RECTORAT /COLLECTIVITE...).

Parents, nous avons besoin de vous pour mieux aider vos enfants. Rejoignez nous !

Le D.L.A. (Dispositif Local d'Accompagnement) outil de développement des structures d'utilité sociales, propose cette année de nouvelles opportunités de formations au tissu associatif de Saint-Martin.
La troisième session de formation intitulée : « La démarche commerciale, de communication et de marketing », démarrera le Jeudi 15 novembre 2012 de 9h00 à 16h00 à la CCISM de Concordia, salle « Aventurine ».
La quatrième et dernière session, vous sera communiquée ultérieurement par voie de presse, afin de vous inscrire à ces ingénieries collectives.
Public concerné : Associations
Contact : Pôle de cohésion sociale de la Préfecture de Saint-Barthélemy et de Saint-Martin, 0590 29. 18. 79.

La prochaine capture de chiens errants, en divagation sur la voie publique, aura lieu du 19 Novembre au 30 Novembre 2012.
Tous propriétaires d'animaux sont priés de les garder attachés même après la capture.
Pour tout renseignement complémentaire, contactez Mlle ISAAC Hélène au 05 90 52 27 30 extension 1201 à la Direction de l'Environnement et du Cadre de Vie.

Mes chers concitoyens,

Le vote du budget 2013 des outre-mer étant débattu cette semaine à l'Assemblée nationale, je ne peux être physiquement à vos côtés, aujourd'hui, pour ce week-end de réjouissances du Saint-Martin's Day. Je tenais cependant être parmi vous, d'une manière ou d'une autre, à l'occasion de ce temps fort pour notre île. Des commémorations placées par les organisateurs cette année sous la thématique de « S'investir dans l'avenir en respectant son histoire », qui revêt pour moi une double résonnance.

Tout d'abord, si le 11 novembre est devenu un jour de mémoire, c'est aussi la mémoire d'un jour : celle de l'Armistice de 1918, qui mit fin aux combats de la « Grande guerre » et dont la signature semblait inaugurer une ère nouvelle, avec cette promesse que cette tragédie serait bel et bien « la Der des der ». Mais l'homme n'a pas retenu longtemps les leçons de la Première guerre mondiale, et le nationalisme, l'individualisme, ont conduit quelques années plus tard à la Seconde guerre mondiale et à son lot d'atrocités. Les guerres, comme les périodes troubles qui les ont précédées, ne doivent jamais être oubliées. « Parce qu'un homme sans mémoire est un homme sans vie, un peuple sans mémoire est un peuple sans avenir... » écrivait Foch. Retenir les leçons du passé, celles de l'Histoire « avec sa grande Hache » comme disait Perec, au moment où les derniers témoins directs de ces guerres disparaissent, pour ne jamais avoir à revivre les tragédies du siècle passé : tel est le devoir de mémoire qu'il nous appartient à tous de cultiver, surtout en cette période de crise internationale.
L'unité contre la division ; la fraternité contre les haines ; le dialogue contre les raccourcis : tels sont les principes forts qui doivent guider nos actions, sur lesquels doivent reposer nos valeurs. Des principes qui doivent primer aussi, inconditionnellement, sur le plan local. Et ce 11 novembre, jour du Saint-Martin 's Day, est l'occasion symbolique, de nous rappeler que nous sommes un peuple indivisible, uni par la richesse de son histoire commune, de sa culture et de son patrimoine partagés. La question de la coopération entre nos deux territoires jumeaux à la « frontière » non matérialisée, est la clé de notre développement.
Je vous souhaite, à toutes et à tous, de belles réjouissances du Saint-Martin's Day.

Daniel GIBBS,
Député de Saint-Barthélemy et de Saint-Martin

Mercredi 07 novembre, à l'occasion d'une patrouille de surveillance générale réalisée dans le secteur de Marigot, le peloton de surveillance et d'intervention de la gendarmerie de St Martin interpelle sur la voie publique un individu de trente quatre ans, soupçonné d'avoir commis plusieurs vols à main armée. Il est immédiatement placé en garde à vue à la brigade de recherches, et reconnaît devant les enquêteurs sa participation à cinq vols à main armée réalisés entre le 11
septembre et le 3 novembre 2012, à l'encontre de commerces de Grand-Case, de Concordia et de Sandy-Ground ; dont le vol à main armée commis récemment au sein du supermarché US Market. L'individu agissait seul, il revêtait systématiquement un imperméable jaune, et dissimulait son visage à l'aide avec un filet à cheveux. Présenté aux autorités judiciaire du tribunal de Basse-Terre vendredi 09 novembre, il a été placé en détention provisoire dans l'attente de son jugement qui interviendra le 4 décembre prochain.

mdormoylsekouandiyork08112012Le synopsis suivant par Lasana M. Sékou a été écrit pour le 53e anniversaire de St. Martin Day, Novembre 11, 2012, à l'invitation du Département de Culture et du Patrimoine (Service Culture), Collectivité de Saint-Martin. Lasana M. Sékou est un poète, historien, auteur et éditeur.


La St. Martin Day, le 11 novembre, célèbre la culture, l'unité et la force de travail de Saint-Martin, une nation qui se constitue de tous les individus du Nord et du sud de l'île.

La fête annuelle de la St. Martin Day est le jour « national » principal, et le seul jour férié qui a Saint-Martin « officiellement » uni le peuple locataire occupant le territoire français (Nord) et le territoire néerlandais (Sud) pour célébrer cette île de la Caraïbe comme étant leur un patrie.

L'accent mis sur l'unité du peuple de Saint-Martin a commencé à se manifester plus fortement comme fondement de la célébration de la Saint-Martin à la fin des années 1980. Cet accent a été soutenu avec une détermination croissante depuis le début des années 1990, à la fois dans les discours officiels et les programmes et au travers des activités culturelles populaires qui ne cessent de se développer.

Toutefois, un principe fondateur qui a lancé la première célébration du jour de la Saint-Martin en 1959, a eu comme un objectif déclaré « l'anniversaire de la découverte de l'île de Christopher Columbus. » Cet objectif thématique a été un point de référence tout au long des années 1960 et 1970 et a connu quelques variantes jusqu'au début des années 1980 lors de l'organisation de la célébration de Saint-Martin tant à Philipsburg (Grand Baie) qu'à Marigot. En outre, « Cette unification de la population des deux côtés de l'île n'était pas le fait du traité de Concordia comme beaucoup le pensent. » L'idée concurrente de l'accord de Concordia comme base pour fêter le jour de la Saint Martin reste l'affaire de poches résiduelles d'une imagination populaire fervente et certaines déclarations officielles, jusqu'à dans la première décennie du nouveau siècle. La « motivation » Christophe Colomb a bein disparu.

Puis, il y a le fait rapporté par la Tradition Orale, qui, quelque part entre 1958 et 1959, nous dit que deux jeunes dirigeants politiques, commissaire Claude Wathey du Sud et le maire Dr. Hubert Petit de la partie Nord, se sont réunis pour discuter de l'industrie touristique naissante. Tous deux étaient déjà totalement acquis à l'idée de cette industrie nouvelle. Le Saint-Martin pastorale et postwissel était sur le point d'être plongé dans la modernité d'une manière sans précédent. En quelque sorte l'idée a germé d'un jour férié unique à la population de Saint-Martin, pour leur rappeler et pour célébrer leur longue histoire commune et active et les traditions de famille, d'amitié, de travail, de terres successorales, de commerce et de culture qui ont traversé la frontière pendant des siècles.

Ce qui mérité d'être mieux recherché, c'est que le 11 novembre a été convenu comme date à fêter entre ces Messieurs, et moins pour la supposée, mais non prouvée, célébration de l'observation de l'île par l'Amiral de la Mer — le jour anniversaire du noble soldat/moine/saint, Martin de Tours. Tout laisse à penser que le 11 novembre a été choisi plus à cause de la difficulté que l'administration locale à Marigot aurait eu, ou a cru qu'elle aurait eu, à convaincre les autorités de l'Etat, à une période politiquement sensible pour les régimes coloniaux, que « leur » colonie de 33.6 kilomètres carrés méritait son propre jour de « réunion » avec un territoire contigu hollandais de 25.6 kilomètres carrés, pour célébrer l'unité du peuple, leur vie en harmonie et cela certainement de leurs propres faits et du fait de leurs volontés, depuis 1848.

Le Nord était déjà contraint de célébrer avec la République le jour de l'Armistice le 11 novembre — un jour férié français depuis 1922, en l'honneur de l'héroïque « Ancien Combattant » (les fils de Saint-Martin inclus). Les Pays-Bas éloignés pourraient également penser que la journée avait davantage à voir avec Christophe Colomb, Saint Martin de Tours et ses propres fêtes de Martinstag ou Martinmas, qui est la Fête de Saint-Martin de Tours, ou de Martin le Miséricordieux, également célébré le 11 novembre. Une véritable tempête de « jours » a fini par permettre à ces deux territoires sur l'île de 37 kilomètres carrés de contourner les fastidieux et interminables obstacles qui pourraient être posés par des gouvernements lointains et de décider en un temps record, de réaliser un jour pour mettre en avant la « particularité » du peuple du Doux Pays Saint-Martin ? Peut-être.

Selon Jocelyn Arndell, trésorier de la « Commission du 11 novembre 1963, »  « l'idée de la célébration à la frontière » est venue du Dr Petit, de Felix Choisy et de Clem Labega. Une des premières photographie de la cérémonie au « Monument de l'amitié », largement diffusée a été prise en 1964. Comme une carte postale, elle montre le lieutenant-gouverneur Jan Beaujon disant son discours à l'occasion du jour de la St. Martin en présence des dignitaires, des troupes françaises, des gendarmes, des policiers, des scouts et une foule de gens de Saint-Martin debout sur la route et le mur de pierres sèches — tous bien habillés. Les drapeaux nationaux de la France et des Pays-Bas sont au premier plan. Pas très loin de là bat le pavillon du territoire des Antilles Néerlandaises.

Il est à noter que la loi émanant du centre décisionnaire des Antilles ou du Gouvernement Central (Landsbesluit) à Willemstad, assimilant le 11 novembre « avec dimanche, » donc un jour férié, « voor wat betreft het eilandgebeid Sint Maarten » (en ce qui concerne le territoire l'île de Saint-Martin) a été officiellement promulguée le 10 décembre 1984 et a publiée le 11 décembre, 1984.

Dès le début, la responsabilité de l'organisation de la célébration du jour de la Saint-Martin a alterné entre les gouvernements locaux dans les deux capitales. Le comité mis en place par l'administration organisatrice et hôte a organisé le programme officiel, par exemple: les services religieux (quatre messes en 1963. Le « Programme des festivités du 11 novembre 1980 » présidé par le sous-préfet Guy Maillard, mentionnait un service religieux) ; discours officiels, dépôts de gerbes, toast officiel et déjeuner, défilés des troupes avec fanfares et costumes et chars, spectacles culturels, jeux pour enfants et adultes, courses de bateaux, un match de football opposant le Nord au Sud et un bal public.

La dispute sur le fait de savoir si ce sont les élus locaux ou les représentants de l'État qui devraient être les principaux orateurs lors de la cérémonie à la frontière, elle non plus n'est pas nouvelle. Selon les informations que nous reçues, en 1959, le maire Dr Petit, considéré par certains comme radical ou progressiste pour son époque, était l'orateur principal représentant la partie Nord tandis que le lieutenant-gouverneur parlait au nom de la partie Sud (nous travaillons toujours à confirmer cette information). À leur crédit, ou du fait de l'hospitalité confiante et désarmante, née de la vie traditionnelle Saint-Martinoise, les représentants des États qui avaient tendance à exprimer une certaine affinité avec les gens de Saint-Martin, généralement parlaient de « l'unité », de « l'amitié » et « harmonie » du peuple par opposition à l'autorité ou au principe de nationalité française et néerlandaise.

Un exemple de cette expression serait le thème du discours à l'occasion de la fête de St. Martin en 2011, prononcé par le Gouverneur Dr. Eugene Holiday, dans lequel il mettait l'accent sur « une île, un peuple, un destin. ». À un moment de leur histoire où les deux territoires se débattent, chacun doté d'un statut autonome nouvellement acquis et distinct. Dans un exemple précédent, le sous-préfet S. Thirioux demandait à son auditoire lors de la cérémonie à la frontière, la permission de « rompre avec cette tradition » de parler de « ce qui a été fait durant l'année,... et de l'année à venir. » C'était le 11 novembre 1963, à l'aube de l'ère moderne de Saint-Martin. Le discours a fait l'objet d'une publication en anglais dans le journal Winward islands Opinion. Le représentant officiel de l'État français appelait directement tous les « Saint-Martinois, » à faire preuve de vigilance « en présence du progrès. Nous devons nous lever de nos berceuses et retrouver devant nos portes l'ardeur de nos pères » à développer l'île, et «chassant loin de nous le danger quelle qu'en soit sa forme. »

« Nous devons être les ouvriers de ce progrès et en faire la promotion afin d'en rester les maîtres. De passifs, nous devenons actifs. D'êtres endettés, nous devenons ambitieux [,] de personnes découvertes nous devenons des explorateurs. Tous les Saint-Martinois possèdent en eux ces qualités alors pourquoi ne pas les mettre en exergue ? Le progrès fait appel à la fierté, au courage et à la vigilance. ... Là, à cet instant même, prenez l'engagement devant vos ancêtres de rester dignes d'eux. ... »

« Saint-Martinois, ayez courages, la tâche est nouvelle et immense. C'est à vous de décider ».

Après la signature par toutes les organisations syndicales de salariés et d'employeurs de l'accord national interprofessionnel du 19 octobre 2012 relatif au contrat de génération, le Premier ministre se félicite de la volonté unanime des partenaires sociaux d'avancer ainsi ensemble pour la mise en œuvre rapide de ce dispositif.

Ainsi, conformément à un engagement majeur du Président de la République, le contrat de génération traduit en actes les trois objectifs suivants : l'emploi des jeunes de façon durable en contrat à durée indéterminée, le maintien dans l'emploi des seniors et la transmission des compétences dans les entreprises.

Le Premier ministre salue les partenaires sociaux pour avoir ainsi fait la preuve de la réussite de la méthode définie lors de la grande conférence sociale et de leur capacité à répondre par le dialogue social et dans des délais rapides, à l'urgence sociale que représente le chômage des jeunes et des seniors.

Le gouvernement souhaite que le projet de loi s'appuyant sur l'accord national interprofessionnel du 19 octobre, qui sera présenté en Conseil des ministres le 12 décembre, soit le premier texte discuté par le Parlement début 2013.

Suite à un contrôle coordonné des services de l'Etat sur plusieurs enseignes de restauration, le préfet Philippe Chopin vient de procéder, à la suite d'une procédure contradictoire, à la fermeture d'un restaurant, après avoir fait constater par ses services des manquements graves aux règles d'hygiène. De surcroît, cet établissement n'est pas à jour des redevances d'autorisation d'occupation du domaine public depuis son installation.
Une troisième vague de contrôles sanitaires et d'hygiène sur Saint-Martin a permis de procéder courant octobre et début novembre à l'inspection de seize restaurants, d'une demi-douzaine d'entrepôts et cinq lieux de vente de poissons. Ces contrôles ont fait l'objet de plusieurs avertissements administratifs et rappels à la loi. Ils seront renouvelés et une opération assurée conjointement par l'Urssaf, les services fiscaux, la Police aux Frontières et la police de l'hygiène sera organisée dans les prochaines semaines.
Ces actions de contrôles ont également pour objectif, outre le simple respect de la loi (hygiène et AOT), de renforcer le civisme parmi nos concitoyens en rappelant à certains professionnels de la restauration notamment, l'importance de la place qu'ils prennent dans l'image qui se forme de « Saint-Martin » dans l'esprit de nos visiteurs. Cette action a été réalisée en liaison étroite avec le Président Alain Richardson et M. le Procureur de la République averti.

Philippe Chopin, le 8 nov. 12

jeannevanterpoolrogers08112012La vice-présidente de l'Office du tourisme, Jeanne Vanterpool-Rogers, accompagnée de Cindy Miller, représentante des Offices du tourisme de Saint-Martin/Sint-Maarten et de la St Martin/St Maarten American Marketing Association (SAMA) à New-York, Maurice Perrinmaréchal président de l'Association des hôteliers de Saint-Martin (AHSM), Emile Louisy en charge du marché canadien pour le compte de l'Office du tourisme, et Kevin Matier, représentant de l'hôtel Sonesta de Maho, se sont rendus respectivement à Toronto et Montréal afin de renouer les contacts avec les tour-opérateurs, agences de voyage et compagnies aériennes.
De nombreuses présentations de la destination Saint-Martin ont été effectuées par les techniciens, qui ont reçu un écho très favorable dans la mesure où les Canadiens ont une image positive de Saint-Martin qui conserve un capital sympathie confirmé. La délégation saint-martinoise a également rencontré trois compagnies aériennes canadiennes, West Jet, Air Canada, et Sun Wing. Si la desserte demeure stable, « il convient de la renforcer, mais pour le concrétiser, il nous faut augmenter le nombre de chambres d'hôtels ; les hôtels doivent cesser de se transformer en résidences, c'est une question de survie pour notre destination », précise la vice-présidente de l'Office, Jeanne Vanterpool-Rogers. Une volonté clairement affichée dont ne pourra s'exonérer la destination, si elle veut poursuivre une promotion cohérente et efficace de ses atouts.
Les représentants du tourisme de Saint-Martin ont ensuite participé au Salon International Tourisme Voyages (SITV), qui rassemble plus de 400 exposants et 250 destinations à la rencontre du grand public. Un rendez-vous important puisque ce salon montréalais s'avère être l'un des plus grands événements de ce type en Amérique du Nord, avec plus de 35 000 visiteurs ciblés.

Parallèlement, une délégation de l'Office de Tourisme de Saint-Martin s'est rendue au Brésil afin de démarcher des tour-opérateurs et des agences de voyages à Sao Paulo, avant de se rendre au salon ABAV, qui fêtait sa 40ème édition à Rio de Janeiro où le stand était partagé avec Sint-Maarten et Anguille. Ce salon est le rendez-vous incontournable des professionnels du tourisme au Brésil réunissant l'ensemble des interlocuteurs du tourisme, du marketing aux agences de voyage. Des centaines d'exposants étaient réunis sur plus de 40.000m2, pour cette occasion unique que représente le salon du tourisme ABAV, considéré comme le plus grand en Amérique du Sud, qui rassemble des hommes d'affaires, des acheteurs, des étudiants, des organisateurs de voyages d'affaires, etc.
Les différentes rencontres avec les tour-opérateurs et les agences de voyage ont permis d'évaluer la notoriété ou encore l'intérêt pour Saint-Martin par rapport aux autres îles de la Caraïbe. Force est de constater que les Brésiliens connaissent bien Saint-Martin. Ce marché a donc un énorme potentiel notamment pour les mariages civils, la lune de miel ou le shopping. Convaincu que le Brésil peut représenter une part de marché importante pour la destination, l'Office de Tourisme de Saint-Martin compte mettre en place des moyens financiers et humains, afin d'accroître sa visibilité sur ce marché et développer le flux touristique entre l'Amérique du Sud et Saint-Martin. « L'éventualité d'une représentation constante de Saint-Martin à Sao Paulo semble judicieuse, tant le dynamisme et la puissance de ce marché sont prometteurs pour notre destination », a indiqué Jeanne Vanterpool-Rogers, vice-présidente de l'Office du tourisme de Saint-Martin et déléguée aux affaires économiques.
Etaient également présentes, Silviane John - Directrice de l'Office de Tourisme, Aïda Weinum – Chargée de promotion du Marché US et Gwen Feliciano- Directrice des ventes et marketing du Radisson Blu Resort, Marina & Spa St-Martin.

Pour Jeanne Vanterpool-Rogers, les efforts de promotion à l'international n'ont de sens que s'ils sont accompagnés d'une volonté de garantir aux visiteurs démarchés, l'assurance d'un séjour de bonne tenue. C'est ainsi que la propreté et la sécurité de l'île sont des éléments indissociables afin d'assurer une promotion efficace de la destination Saint-Martin au-delà de ses frontières. La grande opération de nettoyage de l'île, qui débutera le 17 novembre prochain, s'inscrit dans cette logique, mais également les réunions régulières sur les problèmes de sécurité et les solutions à mettre en œuvre. La vice-présidente de l'Office du tourisme ajoute que dans le cadre de la promotion de Saint-Martin, la coopération et le travail en commun avec les hôteliers doivent se poursuivre : « Les professionnels du tourisme que sont les hôteliers connaissent très bien les tendances du marché, la nature de touristes qui viennent à Saint-Martin, et ont autant intérêt que nous à la réussite d'une promotion cohérente et opérante de la destination. »

A l'occasion d'un dîner à l'Hôtel de Matignon le mercredi 7 novembre, le Premier ministre s'est entretenu avec les représentants de l'Atelier international du Grand Paris – Pierre Mansat, son président, et les équipes d'architectes urbanistes du conseil scientifique de l'AIGP – en présence de Mme Cécile Duflot, ministre de l'Egalité des Territoires et du Logement, de Mme Aurélie Filippetti, ministre de la Culture et de la Communication, et de M. François Lamy, ministre délégué en charge de la Ville.

Les équipes d'architectes urbanistes ont exposé leurs visions et leurs orientations pour l'aménagement de la métropole.

Le Premier ministre a tenu à affirmer à cette occasion la mobilisation du Gouvernement pour le développement de la métropole capitale et pour la poursuite des projets du Grand Paris, au bénéfice de tout le pays. L'élaboration d'une stratégie ambitieuse au niveau régional, l'attention portée à l'habitat et aux mobilités ainsi que la mise en œuvre de projets urbains de qualité sur chacun des territoires sont une condition essentielle de la réussite de ce grand chantier. L'AIGP devra y contribuer.

Dimanche 04 novembre 2012, entre 03h00 et 04h00, une jeune femme habitant à Quartier d'Orléans est surprise dans son sommeil par un individu, qui résidait dans son voisinage. Cet individu, très alcoolisé, la menace avec un couteau et la contraint à des relations sexuelles.
L'alerte est rapidement donnée à la gendarmerie. Une patrouille de l'escadron 32/7 de Chaumont procède à l'interpellation de l'agresseur dès 05h10. Celui-ci est placé en garde à vue à la brigade territoriale de Marigot-Concordia, et déferré le lendemain au tribunal de Basse-Terre. Jugé en comparution immédiate lors de l'audience correctionnel du mardi 06 novembre, il est condamné à 7 ans de détention.

Le vendredi 12 octobre 2012 à 12h45, deux couples de touristes américains qui visitaient le Fort Louis avaient été victime du vol de leurs bijoux, de téléphones et d'une petite quantité d'argent par deux individus qui les ont menacé d'une arme de poing.
Le même jour à 20h54, deux individus aux visages dissimulés avaient dérobé la recette d'une épicerie du quartier de Concordia sous la menace d'un fusil à pompe.
L'auteur principal de ces deux faits, interpellé le 16 octobre 2012 à l'issue d'une enquête diligentée par la brigade de recherches de St Martin, a été condamné à 3 ans de détention lors de l'audience correctionnelle du tribunal de Basse-Terre, mardi 06 novembre.
Le coauteur du vol commis au sein de l'épicerie, un mineur de 15 ans, demeure incarcéré dans l'attente de son jugement qui aura lieu ultérieurement, compte tenu des nécessités liées à une instruction diligentée par le juge des enfants.

Le mardi 6 novembre 2012, un individu âgé de 21 ans a été interpellé par le Psig de St Martin sur la voie publique, à proximité de la plage de la Baie Orientale, alors qu'il était en possession de 36 grammes d'herbe de cannabis. 114 grammes d'herbes de cannabis, ainsi qu'un couteau et une
balance de précision ont par ailleurs été découverts par l'équipe cynophile du Psig sur la voie publique, non-loin du lieu d'interpellation.
L'intéressé, déjà interpellé 3 jours auparavant pour des faits similaires, a été immédiatement placé en garde à vue et conduit à la brigade de Marigot. Il est convoqué devant le tribunal de St Martin le 10 janvier 2013 pou répondre de ses agissements.

Dimanche 4 novembre
16h : concours de « Little Miss Saint-Martin » (Celebration Palace, Philipsburg)
Du 5 au 10 novembre
Toute la journée : l'association des commerçants de Marigot célèbre le jour de Saint-Martin, avec de nombreuses activités dans les rues de Marigot, et ambiance musicale.
Jeudi 8 novembre
20h : débat sur le patrimoine diffusé sur la chaîne câblée MSR et des radios.
Vendredi 9 novembre
19h30 : ouverture officielle de la célébration du Jour de Saint-Martin (Belle Plaine, Quartier d'Orléans)
De 20h à 23h30 : de jeunes talents musicaux exprimeront leur art, sur le thème « rendre hommage à l'Histoire et construire l'avenir ».
Samedi 10 novembre
11h : dépôt de gerbes pour la commémoration du 11 novembre 1945 (parc de l'Hôtel de la Collectivité)
12h : des plats locaux seront en vente à Belle Plaine (Quartier d'Orléans), dans une ambiance musicale
13h : tournois de dominos et de belotte
De 20h à 23h30 : show calypso, avec des artistes de Saint-Martin, Sint-Maarten, tels que Kaiso Brat, King Tmo, Ricky Boys, King Beaubeau, The Mighty Dow, Kind Fish The Boss (MC : Ricky d fox et Fernando Clark)

Dimanche 11 novembre

9h : messe œcuménique à l'église méthodiste de Quartier d'Orléans
10h45 : dépôt de gerbes à la frontière (Quartier d'Orléans)
11h15 : défilé (Quartier d'Orléans, RN7)
12h : discours officiels et déjeuner (Belle Plaine, Quartier d'Orléans)

A Belle Plaine :
12h : dégustation de mets locaux, ambiance musicale (Gun slingers)
13h30 : présentation culturelle, intitulée « i gah tell ayo the story » ; cérémonie honorifique.
14h : course cycliste : départ & arrivée au centre culturel de Quartier d'Orléans ; défilé (départ : centre culturel de Quartier d'Orléans, arrivée : village de Belle Plaine.
14h : présentation de groupes culturels sur scène : tournois de basket ball et de volley ball
15h : jeux traditionnels pour enfants et adultes ; compétition de roller
15h30 : finale du trophée des champions (football) au stade Thelbert Carti : FC Concordia contre Young Stars de Saint-Barth ; Juniors Stars contre FC Marigot.
16h : Phox & ses danceurs (Belle Plaine)
18h30 : projection d'un documentaire « le respect de l'Histoire, conquérir l'avenir)
De 20h à 23h30 : concert (Ruff Sand Production) ; présentation d'artistes locaux de différentes générations (MC: Dutty Sham, Bunfire Band, Percy Rankin, 4M Band, Velly, DJ Stiky Banton, Modeling par Sugary Treasures Girls, SXM DHQ Dance Group)
23h30 : fermeture du Village

Le Préfet de St Barthélemy et de St Martin informe que le dispositif gouvernemental « contrats aidés » appelé Emplois d'Avenir est
devenu opérationnel pour St Martin et St Barthélemy depuis le 1er novembre 2012.
Il s'adresse aux jeunes de 16 à 25 ans ( 30 ans à St Martin ) sans emploi et sans diplôme. Par dérogation, les jeunes diplômés BAC + 3 résidant à St Martin ou St Barthélemy qui sont inscrits à Pôle Emploi depuis plus de 12 mois sur les 18 derniers mois sont éligibles à ce dispositif.
Pour l'instant, seuls les employeurs du secteur non marchand (associations, collectivités territoriales, personnes morales de droit public sauf l'Etat , les structures d'insertion par l'activité économique, les personnes morales de droit privé chargées de la gestion d'un service public) sont concernés par ce dispositif. Il sera étendu au secteur marchand sous certaines conditions.
Ces Emplois d'Avenir sont des contrats de travail à temps plein (35 heures), à durée déterminée ou indéterminée. L'aide de l'Etat représente 75% de la rémunération brute du jeune (hors cotisations sociales) sur la base du Smic pendant trois années maximum, soit environ 1070 euros par mois.
Pour plus d'informations, vous pouvez consulter le site internet et contacter le Pôle de cohésion sociale : 05 90 29 18 79.

La Préfecture de Saint-Barthélemy et de Saint-Martin et l'Agence de Santé de Guadeloupe, Saint-Martin et Saint-Barthélemy informent la population qu'une réorganisation du circuit d'approvisionnement des 11 pharmacies de Saint-Martin et des 3 pharmacies de Saint-Barthélemy est en cours actuellement, compte tenu des actions développées par l'Agence nationale de sécurité du médicament (ANSM).
Ces changements visent à garantir une meilleure desserte de la population, dans le respect des dispositions réglementaires du code de santé publique, tout en reconnaissant le rôle premier de l'établissement pharmaceutique local de vente en gros basé à Saint-Martin.
Tout est mis en oeuvre, notamment aux cotés des pharmaciens locaux, pour que cette réorganisation ne perturbe en rien l'approvisionnement habituel de la population.

Le Premier ministre, Jean-Marc Ayrault, a reçu cet après-midi la note du Haut conseil du financement de la protection sociale dressant un état des lieux du système de financement de la protection sociale. Il salue la qualité du travail du Haut conseil du financement de la protection sociale présidé par Madame Mireille Elbaum.

Conformément à la feuille de route de la conférence sociale des 9 et 10 juillet 2012, le Premier ministre avait demandé lors de l'installation du Haut conseil du financement de la protection sociale le 26 septembre que ses premiers travaux soient consacrés à un état des lieux du système de financement de la protection sociale, analysant ses caractéristiques et ses évolutions. Le Haut conseil du financement de la protection sociale a consacré ses séances des 17 octobre et 30 octobre à ce sujet.

Ainsi que l'a annoncé le Premier ministre, à l'issue du séminaire gouvernemental du 6 novembre 2012 sur la compétitivité le Haut conseil poursuivra ses travaux sur les évolutions souhaitables des modalités de financement de la protection sociale. Il s'agit de définir les conditions du retour à l'équilibre des comptes de la Sécurité sociale, d'en préserver le caractère solidaire et soutenable, de favoriser la compétitivité de l'économie française ainsi que le développement de l'emploi.

Philipsburg (DCOMM):--- For the past two weeks, about 800 civil servants have been taking part in a one-day course at the University of St. Maarten.

The name of the course is "Country Status: The New Organizational in Development," funded by the funding agency USONA and executed by the Development/Government Administration Academy (Bestuursacademie).

Organized by the Department of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations (BAK), the course is mandatory for and is part of Government's efforts to improve the civil service core skills and knowledge.

The course consisted of eight 20-30 minute lectures on the following topics: New State, Council of Ministers, the Governor, Social Economic Council (SER), Council of Advice, Parliament, Ombudsman, General Audit Chamber.

Each organization or institution provided information about their organization, tasks and responsibilities, and examples so that the civil servants, ranking from general secretaries to secretary general of ministries, can acquire concrete knowledge on the changes to Government since St. Maarten became country on October 10, 2010.

The main objective of the training:

  1. Knowledge of, and practical insight into the change of the organization's acquired by the target group.
  2. The target group can translate the knowledge and skills to their own workplace.
  3. Support for the recently implemented new organizational structure.

Marcel Gumbs was the moderator, and lectured twice on the New State and the Council of Ministers. The other institutions mentioned above each sent a representative to inform the participants during the morning session. At the end of the morning session, participants completed a short quiz, and continued onto the afternoon session, when participants were divided into 5 groups of twenty people.

During the afternoon workshop, the trainers, in an interactive way, concentrated on: customer service, communication, and teamwork.

The course was a useful exercise to improve the working of the government apparatus, according to officials.

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Office of the Ombudsman will be having its last community information session for the residents of Simpson Bay, Pelican, Beacon Hill, Maho, Mullet Bay and Cupecoy.

The session will be held at the Allen Halley Jr. Recreational Center at Sr. Modesta Road #25 in Simpson Bay (next to the basketball court) on Tuesday, December 04 from 7:30pm to 9:00pm.

The community information session will allow residents from the aforementioned communities to learn more about the role of the Office of the Ombudsman and how it can assist individuals.

The Ombudsman has a legal basis embedded into the Constitution of Sint Maarten under Article 78. The main task of the Ombudsman is to investigate the conduct of Government, civil servants and other Administrative bodies based on complaints received from individuals in the community, organizations and based on its own prerogative.

The Ombudsman will be available to provide information and to answer any questions that members of the community may have with respect to the role of the organization with respect to the citizen.

The information session is being organized in close collaboration with the Simpson Bay Community Council.

For more information and inquiries you can call Tel. 542-1250 or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Disaster Coordinator Fire Commander Winston Salomon, is thankful that once again the nation has been spared serious devastation from a hurricane for the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season.

The six-month 2012 season comes to an end on Friday, November 30.

The season turned out to be an extremely active one with 19 named storms forming. The 2011 season had 18.

"We have much to be thankful for having gone through the 2012 hurricane season without being directly hit by a storm system. We did have some close calls.

"I would like to thank the people of our island nation for taking the necessary preparations for the season when it was advised to do so. We had a number of storm systems that forced us into an emergency preparatory mode to take the necessary actions required to protect life and property.

"I would like to thank the public as well as the island's disaster management team and emergency support functions for their role played in preparing the country," Disaster Coordinator Winston Salomon told the Department of Communication (DCOMM) on Thursday.

Great Bay:--- World AIDS Day will be commemorated on Saturday, December 1, 2012 worldwide. The theme which was launched in 2011 and goes until 2015 is "Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths". The World AIDS Campaign focus on "Zero AIDS related deaths" signifies a push towards greater access to treatment for all; a call for governments to act now.
Minister of Public Health Social Development & Labor, Cornelius De Weever, is urging the community of St. Maarten to "Get Checked," and know their status. "As we reflect on the theme for World AIDS Day, we here in St. Maarten are doing our utmost to get to zero, as it relates to HIV infections, discrimination and deaths, so if we all "Get Checked" we are well on our way to zero status," said Minister De Weever.
Minister De Weever congratulated the HIV/AIDS Programme Management Team, the St. Maarten AIDS Foundation, and all entities in the private sector that in one way or the other has made and continues to make its contributions to St. Maarten "Getting to Zero."

PHILIPSBURG:--- On Friday several students will give insight and personal experiences about bullying at the Belair Community Centre as a result of a collaboration by Voice of Our Children (VOOC) Foundation with the Department of Sports and Youth Affairs.

The national panel discussion is scheduled from 8:00am to 12:00pm with students of secondary schools of St. Maarten/St. Martin

President of Parliament Hon. Drs. Rodolphe Samuel, says he is in full support of the initiative and collaboration with the Sports and Youth Department.

Bullying happens when someone hurts or scares another person on purpose and the person being bullied has a hard time defending themselves.

It is a behaviour that makes the person being bullied feels afraid or uncomfortable. There are many ways that young people bully each other, even if they don't realize it at the time. Some of these include: punching, shoving, spreading bad rumours, keeping certain people out of a group, teasing people in a mean way and ganging up on others.

"Parents have a role to play with respect to talking with their kids and asking them have they been bullied. This open relationship between child and parent is necessary in order to help the child overcome.

"I am looking forward to hearing about the outcome of the Friday panel discussion. One of the main things should be the development of home grown anti-bullying measures and interventions developed by our young people which can then be used in different schools and also circulated to parents so that they are aware and are informed," President of Parliament Hon. Drs. Rodolphe Samuel said on Thursday.

The newest form of bullying is cyber bullying (via the internet or social media platforms), and this is presenting a whole new range of challenges.

President Samuel commends the efforts and initiatives of the organization Voices of Our Children (VOOC) where it concerns bullying.

Philipsburg:--- In connection with the ongoing murder investigation into the murder of Gaston A. Gumbs, whose body was found on November 10th, 2012 at approximately 11:00pm in Hope Estate, the investigating team is asking the entire community on Sint Maarten if anyone has any information concerning the location of the victim's vehicle. The vehicle in question is a red 2007 Toyota Yaris with dark tinted windows, black hubcaps, and license plate 978 ZBC 971. The investigating team is also asking anyone who may have any information that could shed some light on this investigation to call the tip line 9300.

loekiemoralesandsilveriajacobs29112012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports the Honorable Silveria Jacobs attended the book launch of Bloodline – A family Search by Loeki Morales at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library on November 28th, 2012.

In addition to the book launch an audio book of the same title with voice of Sharon Freiburg was launched.

RBC bank sponsored the distribution of the hardcover version and several audio books to all high schools on St. Maarten, Saba, St. Eustatius, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.

The Minister was grateful and proud to accept a signed copy of the book from its author. The launching of this book is considered an accomplishment of which students will be able to experience a book about family, love and honor from the perspective of a local author.

Minister Jacobs encouraged the author to continue to fulfill her dreams of writing and touching the hearts and minds of young readers.

smmtalogo29112012Further to the article in November 29th's news, the St Maarten Marine Trades Association would like to note the raids in the prison and all the contra-band imported through the open window in the Simpson Bay holding cells. This open access to the community for accused or convicted felons continues to be not only a nuisance to the public but now proves to be a serious safety concern as well. We feel it is absolutely imperative that these openings are covered swiftly, not only to stop the unnecessary harassment of our residents and visitors, that in fact is a black eye on our tourist product and may in fact prevent visitors from returning to the island; but to avoid the easy importation of contra-band into the prison.

The SMMTA would like to propose that the holding cell windows that are facing the street be filled in with Glass bricks or similar material to a height higher than the inmates can reach or look over allowing for continued light and air flow at the top of the windows. This would eliminate the direct leering and menacing comments of the inmates on the pedestrian traffic below, as well as hinder their direct access to the public.

We hope that the Ministry Of Justice appreciates the detrimental effect that this has on the island and acts to rectify the solution swiftly, not only after the end of season when the damage is done.

faithbyjanicejames29112012Philipsburg:--- The Philipsburg Jubilee Library invites the general public to the book launch of Faith by author Janice Alina James. This event will take place on Friday, November 30th, 2012 at 7:00pm at the Library.
James' book "Faith", is a compilation of poems and short stories written over a period of years. The languages used in this book, English, Dutch, and Papiamentu respectively, are part of the uniqueness of Curaçao, where she was born and grew up. "We spoke English at home, Dutch at school and Papiamentu among friends", James explained. Janice was born on the island of Curaçao, where she was raised and completed her education. Janice migrated to St. Maarten in 1988 and has been living on St. Maarten ever since. Janice always loved to put her thoughts on paper. This talent grew as she matured and this project is a result of her love for literature in the form of poems and stories, which started at the tender age of fourteen.

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The annual Thanksgiving Service will take place on Sunday, December 2 in front of the Government Administration Building.

Service and activities start at 4:30pm with the customary praise worship followed by the service at 5:00pm

Minister of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs, is inviting the nation to the service which also marks the end of the hurricane season.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports in collaboration with the Christian Council of Churches, the St. Martin Ministerial Foundation and the Seventh Day Adventist Churches are jointly hosting the annual thanksgiving service.

The Thanksgiving Day proclamation has had a great impact on the community over the years and brings together the different denominations and the community at large.

Churches are encouraged to observe this proclamation during their morning services in their respective house of worship as a day of Thanksgiving.

The general public is invited once more to come prepared to give a love offering which go towards the purchase of goods for Christmas Baskets.

The churches along with the department of Culture are charged with the distribution of the love offerings, amongst the most vulnerable groups within the community.

Thanksgiving Service is observed annually based on the Executive Council's proclamation of December 1, 1999 which outlines that Thanksgiving Day should be observed on the first Sunday of December following the official end of the hurricane period.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure (MinVROMI) has organized a Town Hall meeting covering Dawn Beach and Point Blanche to be held on Tuesday evening.

Residents, stakeholders, and interested persons are invited to attend the town hall meeting which will take place at the University of St. Martin from 7:00pm to 9:30pm. The meeting is part of the process of drafting "development plans" for country Sint Maarten.

The development plan will comprise of a legal framework for possible future development that would take place in the district; to designate and/or reserve land for desired use; to prevent undesired development; and to offer legal security to residents about future development in their district.

This is the first meeting for this area which will allow residents, stakeholders and interested persons of the aforementioned districts to provide their views and ideas with respect to the future development of their districts. The views presented by the public will then be included into the design development plan and presented at a follow-up town hall meeting.

The process to develop the development plans are funded by the Dutch agency USONA to the tune of Naf. 2 million.

cdeweever19082012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- As part of the Minister of Public Health's Hon. Cornelius de Weever 'Get Checked' campaign, every parent's number one concern this holiday season should be to make sure that whatever it is you buy for your child this year, it's safe. Therefore, make sure you check the safety information of toys before you purchase it.

Every year Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, as part of its calendar of observances, highlights and creates awareness where it concerns safe holiday experiences for the entire family.

Before purchasing or giving any gift, particularly one intended for a child, double check to make sure it does not pose a hazard by reading the safety conditions attached to the gift.

Here are some safety tips for holiday season shopping: select toys suitable for a child's age, abilities, skills and interest level; for infants, toddlers, and all children who still mouth objects, avoid toys with small parts, which could pose a fatal choking hazard.

Avoid toys that have sharp edges and points, especially for children under age eight; do not purchase electric toys with heating elements for children under age eight; read the labels that give age and safety recommendations and use that information as a guide in your holiday shopping.

One of the most important gifts of all to give a child is time spent with you as a parent this holiday season.

Safe holidays.

sjacobsreceiveseducationdigest29112012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Division Educational Innovation presented the Education Digest for the school year 2010/2011 to the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports the Honorable Silveria Jacobs on Wednesday November 28th 2012.

The Education Digest provides general data on schools, enrollment, genders parities, teachers, educational outcomes and finances. It also describes indicators for the educational system, the structure of education, coverage of the system as well as public expenditure on the system.

The Education Digest is divided into three sections in addition to statistics to incorporate Special Needs Education and Tertiary education and indicators on education quality.

Several members of the Education Digest workgroup were on hand to present the Minister with the Digest. Members of the workgroup are Patricia Lourens – Chair person, Milton Top, Cheryl Labega, Nina Joseph, Marcellia Henry and Priscilla Bell. Every division/department and each school will receive two copies of the Digest.

In addition the Labor Department will also receive a copy of the digest. The Education Digest will be presented annually. The 2011/2012 edition is scheduled to be finalized in March 2013.

sangwengli29112012Philipsburg:--- The Philipsburg Police Station now finds itself providing social and medical care to a Chinese national who has been residing on St. Maarten for the past 23 years. SMN News reporter met the ill man on a prison mattress on the floor inside the police station covered with a brown blanket, next to him are two bottles of water and a pack of pampers since the man is unable to walk or assist himself in any way.

Police Officers have to bathe and clean the man while they also have to physically feed him since he is not able to do anything for himself. While SMN News reporter was on the scene the man was asking the officers to change his pampers because it was filled and overflowing.

Some officers at the Police Station on Thursday told SMN News that Li was a patient at the St. Maarten Medical Center and just a few days ago the hospital felt it necessary to discharge him because according to the medical professionals he no longer needs medical care. The police officers said that Li who was working and residing at Yang Yang Supermarket on Sucker Garden Road fell down and he ended up at the SMMC for medical care but when he was discharged he asked someone to take him back to Yang Yang where he was residing. That night the owners of Yang Yang Supermarket and so called friends of Li placed him outside on the supermarket porch. Several persons alerted police of the situation and a patrol decided to take the man to the police station where he remains up to late Thursday. Even though the Minister of Justice Roland Duncan has removed the immigration department from the Police, an illegal immigrant that is in need of social and medical services ended up at the doorsteps of the police instead of the IND Building where immigration matters are being handled. It should be noted that Minister of Justice Roland Duncan also replaces the Minister of Health, Labour, and Social Welfare when he is off island.

Officers at the Philipsburg Police Station whose duty is to provide security and deal with criminals identified the man as Sang Weng Li (57 years old). Two of the officers Albert Thomas and Leroy Beau Beau Brooks told SMN News that the Li speaks Spanish and Chinese fluently and that he has been residing on the island for 23 years now without legal documents.

However, the past three days Li ended up on the floor of the police station when a patrol found him lying outside of Yang Yang Supermarket one night after being discharged from the St. Maarten Medical Center. Officer Thomas explained that 23 years ago Li entered St. Maarten with a falsified passport from the Dominican Republic and he was working at the Sang's Supermarket. In 1989 immigration officers arrested Li when he was caught working for Sang's illegally. Li spent nine months in the police holding cells before he was deported to China. However, when Li reached China the Chinese government deported him back to St. Maarten because Li was never in possession of Chinese passport. According to Officer Thomas, Li left China on a falsified Taiwanese Passport and went to the Dominican Republic where he lived and worked for five years. The Immigration department made a second attempt to deport Li to his country which they know to be China but there again they failed because he was deported back to St. Maarten from Amsterdam.

sangwenglicloseup29112012According to the officers who have been providing assistance to Li since he is now in their care, Li was robbed in August 2012 by some bandits who beat him badly, the incident landed Li in the St. Maarten Medical Center for one month. Li has an outstanding bill at SMMC which amounts to $23,000.00 and another $10,000.00 at St. Maarten Laboratory Services (SLS).

He was admitted about a month ago at SMMC when he fell down at Yang Yang Supermarket. According to the officers that know Li they said the man makes his living as gardener who would plant and sell lettuce and other vegetables to the supermarkets around the island. Li is also known to be working in several of the Chinese restaurant on St. Maarten when he is in good health, but today he needs care and assistance the Chinese community has chosen to distance themselves from him. The Police Officers said that police management team made contact with the Chinese Association and they have since disowned Li claiming he is from Taiwan and not China even though Li provided them with the name of his wife and children that still lives in China, the Chinese Association claims that they first have to establish his identity before they are able to provide any type of assistance to their countryman. Contact was also made with the White and Yellow Cross who also refused to take the medically ill man into their service claiming that they have no room. The officers said that the entire Council of Ministers are aware of the situation and everyone claims they are working on finding a solution for Li but in their opinion its taking too long. "What seems to be the biggest issue here is that everybody is more concerned about who will pay for their services and it's not about the risk and health conditions of a human being."

In an invited comment, Chief of Police Peter de Witte said he already submitted a request to the Minister of Justice to find a solution for Li. De Witte said Li is not a criminal he is an illegal resident and the police is not responsible for immigration matters. De Witte said he also asked the Minister of Justice to see if the Council of Ministers can find a solution to provide some kind of social care for the man who has a medical condition and needs assistance.

Currently the Minister of Health Cornelius de Weever is off island while his replacement Minister of Justice Roland Duncan could not be reached by telephone for a comment on Thursday.

The second and revised edition of the historic book 1963: A landmark Year in St. Martin is here. This edition is a gem, which differs from the first edition in several ways. It is a beautiful treasure, professionally laid out in a handy format with glossy paper and numerous coloured photo's depicting St. Martin and St. Martin families in the olden days.
In this book, historian Daniella Jeffry gives an explanation on how St. Martin became one of the top Caribbean tourist destinations. The book defines the year 1963 as the beginning of the tourism development on the island of St. Martin and as the transition year between an agricultural, rural economy and a commercial, tourist-oriented economy.
According to Daniella Jeffry, the tourism boom brought about an enormous influx of numerous immigrants from the neighbouring islands in search of work as well as the return to the island of St. Martin of waves of St. Martiners, who had migrated to the then prosperous islands to fill the new positions in the first banks, business administrations and government offices. The festive, gentle way of life of the native St. Martiners harmoniously blended with the burgeoning new economy, and greatly contributed to the success of the tourism industry.
In 1978, seven years before 1963, A landmark Year in St. Martin appeared as a fourteen-part series in the St. Maarten/St. Martin Newsday of Jose Lake Sr. Today, St. Martin is one of the top Caribbean destinations. 1963, A Landmark Year in St. Martin gives readers a look at the island's unique beauty, warm hospitality and friendliness of the native St. Martiners which includes delightful stories and photos.
The book can be obtained in soft and hard cover at the Van Dorp bookstores and also as an e-book from the publisher Xlibris, that is promoting the book as a great travel book for persons visiting the island. However, the book also has a tremendous educational and historical value for young and old as it captures several parts of the island that can no longer be found or recognized as a result of the unbridled tourism. With the Christmas holidays right around the corner, this book is a great Christmas gift.
On Saturday, December 1, 2012, Daniella Jeffry will be present at a booksigning event at Van Dorp Bookstore on the Illidge Road from 10:00 to 02:00 p.m. to sign her books and to interact with the public. A similar book signing event will take place at Van Dorp Bookstore in Simpson Bay on December 4, 2012 from 11:00 am to 2:00 p.m.
To request a complimentary paperback to review copy, contact Xlibris at (888)795-4274 ext. 7879.
To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274
Ext. 7879 or contact Xlibris publishers via email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Residents of Middle Region and Dutch Quarter are reminded to attend the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure (MinVROMI) Town Hall on Thursday evening.

Representatives from the Ministry VROMI and consultants working on the project, will discuss the current situation with respect to roads and other infrastructure; shops and sub center; housing, public space; small scale agriculture; water and landscape; cultural heritage and archaeology.

Residents, stakeholders and interested persons are invited to attend the town hall meeting which will take place at the Belvedere Community Center, on Low Estate Road Belvedere from 7:00pm to 9:30pm. The meeting is part of the process of drafting "development plans" for country Sint Maarten.

The development plan will comprise of a legal framework for possible future development that would take place in the district; to designate and/or reserve land for desired use; to prevent undesired development; and to offer legal security to residents about future development in their district.

The process to develop the development plans are funded by the Dutch agency USONA to the tune of Naf. 2 million.

confiscatedweaponsfromprisoners28112012Philipsburg:--- Prison Director Edward Rohan and Head of Unit Detention Wilfred Williams displayed several items they confiscated in the prison cells located at Simpson Bay, Pointe Blanche, and the Philipsburg Police Station. Among the items confiscated is one of the fishing lines that are used by prisoners at the Simpson Bay Outpost to smuggle illegal and unwanted items in the prison cells. The prison management also managed to confiscate an escape ladder that is made from sheets, a quantity of marijuana, and a scale that is used to weigh the illegal drugs. Several cell phones including Blackberries, and other high end cell phones were also confiscated. What was most shocking to persons who witnessed the display at the A.C. Wathey Legislative Hall on Wednesday morning shortly after the Council of Ministers' press briefing is a plastic makeshift vagina that is sold at sex shops on the island. Rohan told reporters that the inmates are very creative since they have lots of time to think. He said a paint roller was used to make a dangerous weapon that can be used to stab other inmates, a bucket handle was also used to make a sharp edged weapon while the prisoners destroyed chairs that are inside the prisons to use the legs of the chairs as weapons. Rohan said that the prisoners concealed the items in their mattresses and even in their cupboards that are carved out since these prisoners are very skillful. The prison management also confiscated a number of pills some of which they said are steroids while others are simply pain killers that the prisoners sell to each other.
Rohan said that the inmates even removed a window pane from the Simpson Bay holding cell to create more space for their fishing expedition.
During the display, Minister of Justice Roland Duncan told reporters that the prison is short staffed, thus allowing the prisoners to smuggle items inside the prison. The smuggling of illegal items is openly done at the Simpson Bay location. The least amount of items were confiscated at the Philipsburg Police Station. Duncan said mostly marijuana was confiscated at the Philipsburg holding cells while the dangerous items were confiscated at the Simpson Bay Outpost and Pointe Blanche House of Detention.
The Minister of Justice said he saw several articles in the media condemning the adequacy of the Simpson Bay facility but his concern is mostly is the type of persons that are being incarcerated in the prison system. The Justice Minister said he once mentioned in Parliament and was highly criticized for it when he announced his intention to allow conjugal visits in the new prison facility but he is of the opinion that prisoners have needs like everyone else, therefore allowing conjugal visits would only facilitate their human needs. When asked if that is the case then why did the prison management confiscate the makeshift plastic vagina which is not a weapon, the Justice Minister said that prisoners are supposed to ask permission to have such an item inside their cells and it appears as though the prisoner did not request permission to have the sex toy.

Click here to view the items that were confiscated inside the prison cells.

rtuitt29112012Philipsburg:--- Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt announced on Wednesday during the Council of Ministers' weekly press briefing that he is still working on balancing the final draft 2013 budget which has a deficit of 29 million guilders. Minister Tuitt said that he is hoping to finalize the 2013 draft budget by Friday this week which will he submit to the CFT and Council of Advice before sending it over to Parliament for approval. The Finance Minister said he is trying hard to have the budget dealt with in Parliament before the Christmas recess.
One way the Minister of Finance is looking into to collect more revenues is to offer incentives to businesses that are not paying their share of taxes. Minister Tuitt said that his Ministry is focusing heavily on tax compliance and if the businesses respond accordingly then St. Maarten would be able to balance its budget without any hardships. Tuitt said because the government placed heavy focus on the compliance of taxes they already have six million guilders more than they had last year. The intention he said is to be able to cover 10 million in tax collection next year. The Finance Minister said government is busy putting certain tools in place to further increase the tax compliance. Tuitt also issued a stronger appeal to the businesses on St. Maarten to comply with his request and pay their dues. Tuitt said that his Ministry is willing to put incentives for businesses for the month of December 2012 for those businesses that show interest in paying their taxes. He said government is willing to waive the penalties that were placed on businesses who did not comply and pay their taxes over the past years. Another step the government is trying to take is to collect its dividends from the Central Bank and to privatize the granting of scholarships that are given to students annually. Tuitt said government gives out over Naf. 4 million annually on scholarships. The Finance Minister said the idea is to place the scholarships in a fund that would be tasked with collecting the monies past (old) students owes the government. He said over time this fund will become self-sufficient and government would no longer have to contribute to it or budget for it. Tuitt said there is one worrisome item in the budget and that is the debt ceiling that St. Maarten has. The Finance Minister made clear that this is one topic he intends to discuss with the Government of the Netherlands. Tuitt said when the calculations are done St. Maarten would be in a position to borrow as much as 620 million guilders.
The Finance Minister also announced on Wednesday that the government of St. Maarten is considering levying more taxes on the sale of alcohol and tobacco. He said St. Maarten is not the only country heading in this direction because the State of France already implemented laws to add more taxes on the sale of alcohol and tobacco.
The Minister of Finance also intends to meet with the various casinos on the island to inform them that government is also contemplating the implementation of Turn over Tax (TOT) on casinos. Those meetings the Minister of Finance said are scheduled to take place next week.

djeffreyandswescotwilliams28112012Philipsburg:--- Renown author and historian Daniella Jeffrey who is also a former politician, founder of the United St. Martin Movement (USM), and teacher presented the latest edition of her book which is done in two languages French and English "1963 a Landmark year in St. Martin" to the Prime Minister of St. Maarten Sarah Wescot Williams. Jeffrey made the presentation shortly after the weekly press briefing on Wednesday morning at the A.C Wathey Legislative Hall. The newest edition of "1963 a Landmark year in St. Martin" has color photographs that illustrate the island's history. The author and historian told reporters that she did her first signing in New Orleans with AARP USA and the second signing will take place at Van Dorp Bookstore. Jeffry said her publisher is currently marketing her book as a travel book.

Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams thanked Jeffrey for the work she has been doing especially when it comes to documenting the island's history.

Philipsburg:--- The Prime Minister of St. Maarten Sarah Wescot Williams announced on Wednesday during the Council of Ministers' weekly press briefing that she has been monitoring the Parliament of Curacao where one of the factions has submitted a proposal to have the Electoral Law and the Constitution amended. The Curacao Parliament wants to put in place that the seats that are held by parliamentarians belong to the political party on which they were elected. Wescot Williams said should this happen St. Maarten would have to take action, by this she said St. Maarten should also change its electoral laws to guarantee a more stable operation of government. She said she does not think St. Maarten has to follow the exact exercise Curacao followed because a part of the proposal was criticized by the Council of Advice. "The part that was criticized was the part that stated that politicians running on political slates would have to sign a declaration stating that the seat they are sitting on while in parliament belongs to the political party they ran on. The Council of Advice in their opinion said doing so would be unconstitutional." Jurisprudence in the Kingdom does not allow the seats of Parliament to be tied to a political party. However, the Netherlands is based on the Constitution they have in place for centuries. Wescot Williams said in the case of St. Maarten it's a young country that is going through a learning process. The Prime Minister said she believes that these changes in the electoral law are necessary and she will give the issue all her attention to find ways and means within the legislation, including in the constitution to create a basis that would give any government stability. Even if the government is formed by coalition this government would have to provide a governing program which would be judged by the people. Wescot Williams said she is sure that she will receive the necessary support for her endeavors to make certain changes to the electoral law. Wescot Williams said St. Maarten as a young country needs stability and transparency and has to be accountable to the people that elected a government into office.

Philipsburg:--- Minister of Justice Roland Duncan told reporters on Wednesday at the Council of Ministers' weekly press briefing that St. Maarten did not get a good rating at the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) annual reporting.

The Justice Minister said that he went along with a huge delegation which involved members of the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance, Customs, and representatives from the Justice Ministry. While the reporting focused on money laundering and financing of terrorism, the police department was not part of the delegation that went to Tortola to defend St. Maarten. The Justice Minister said that the meeting in Tortola was to mainly discuss the report on St. Maarten which was not in good standing. He said the United Nations and CFATF have given St. Maarten forty recommendations with nine core recommendations which the new country has to meet by May 2013 to respond to the CFATF findings and present a plan of action as to how St. Maarten will comply to reach its full compliance. Minister Duncan said when these recommendations are given to any country that country is expected to carry them out. One of the things St. Maarten must do to get to full compliance is to strengthen the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU/MOT) while the Central Bank has to step up to the plate and the laws on St. Maarten have to be adjusted further.

Minister Duncan said that he is not too happy with the results St. Maarten got because of the 40 recommendations St. Maarten has to deal with 15 of them. He said the delegation that went on behalf of St. Maarten put up a fight when they got the results. He said they met with the review group and managed to defend their position on the findings. Minister Duncan said Curacao got a more favorable result than St. Maarten. He further explained that he believes that Country St. Maarten got a bad evaluation because the island's country system is not properly understood, and besides that they found that there are countries that are in worst standing than St. Maarten. Minister Duncan said that St. Maarten is not in danger and one of the most challenging situations is the language because no one understands Dutch. He said St. Maarten must translate everything to either English or Spanish and if that is not done then the country did not comply.

Philipsburg:--- Minister of Justice Roland Duncan said that the police has a right to use force based on their instruction book but the use of excessive force will be investigated by the Police Internal Affairs or the Landsrecherche. The Justice Minister was responding to questions posed by SMN News reporter on Wednesday during the Council of Ministers' weekly press briefing.

The Minister said that the police have trained dogs that are used to attack and apprehend people who do not respect the commands of the police. Just recently a Guyanese national who police claim was running away from them received a number of dog bites and a broken jaw. The man was released by the judge of instruction the first time he appeared before the judge while in pre-trial detention. In the meantime, the judge also ordered that the Landsrecherche investigate the six police officers that were involved in a road control when the suspect/victim was arrested and brutalized by police.

When asked by SMN News how many police officers are on suspension and how many he plans to fire because of questionable behavior, the Minister said that there are about three officers that are on suspension, while one was fired already and there are at least two more that will be fired.
SMN News learnt that the Minister has to sign off on a number of decrees including the termination of two female officers.

Philipsburg:--- The Chief Prosecutor of Curacao Heiko de Jong confirmed to SMN News on Wednesday morning that his office is busy conducting an investigation based on a complaint filed by TAXAND. De Jong said that he is not prepared to divulge information on the ongoing investigation which involves the countries Curacao and St. Maarten.

SMN News has been reliably informed that Judith Brewster took Naf. 100,000.00 in bank overdrafts for TAXAND and she allegedly embezzled a large portion of the monies which she used on personal matters for herself.

SMN News questioned the Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt on the SOAB investigation he had conducted on the contract the former Minister of Finance granted to Judith Brewster (TAXAND). Minister Tuitt said he does have that report in his possession but because he was tied up these past weeks trying to balance the 2013 budget he did not have sufficient time to deal with the TAXAND report. The Finance Minister promised some months ago that he will publish that report after the Council of Ministers takes a decision on its way forward in handling the matter. The Finance Minister promised to divulge more information on the TAXAND investigation next Wednesday at the Council of Ministers' weekly press briefing.

When SMN News asked the Minister of Finance of Country St. Maarten if he was aware that TAXAND had filed a complaint against Judith Brewster, the Minister admitted that he knew of the investigation that involves both countries but he would allow the Prosecutor's Office in Curacao to do their job and comment when the investigation is completed and the outcome is made available to him.

Minister Tuitt also confirmed that Ms. Brewster is no longer working for Country St. Maarten since he took office because he sent her an official letter requesting information regarding the work she was conducting for St. Maarten and Ms. Brewster never replied to the letter therefore the Government of St. Maarten terminated the contract she had with the UP/DP Government. Tuitt said Ms. Brewster was granted a contract by the former Minister of Finance Hiro Shigemoto which amounted to Naf. 17,500 monthly.

rotaryendpoliocampaign28112012The Rotary Club of Saint. Martin Sunrise is joining Rotary International on Tuesday, 27 November, 2012 to help raise awareness for polio eradication by joining the World's Biggest Commercial. Members are donating their Facebook profile "this Close" picture for the day. We are also asking you to do the same, just go to for further details. Our club Rotary Foundation Committee is also organizing a Fellowship/ Fundraiser on Friday, November 30, 2012 at Air Lekkerbek, all funds raise at the event will be donated to the End Polio Now initiative, you can contact any of the club members if you would like to be a part of this great effort.

Polio anywhere is a risk to children everywhere. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is committed to fighting the disease until every child is safe. This is our chance to make history by wiping out the second human disease ever. Globally, we are "this close" to ending polio.

Since the global initiative began more than 25 years, Rotary and its partners have reduced polio cases by more than 99 percent worldwide. There are only three countries where the wild poliovirus has never been stopped: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.

Rotary has raised more than US$1 billion dollars and committed countless volunteer hours to fight the disease.

The Sunrise Rotary Club meets at Air Lekkerbek Restaurant every Tuesday mornings at 7:00am for fellowship and breakfast. For more information on the club visit us at: www. or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., we are also on Facebook: Rotary Club of Saint Martin Sunrise.

humpbackwhale28112012On the third of December from one thirty until four pm a workshop will be held at the Nature Foundation Office in Cole Bay which will provide information on how best to identify whale and dolphin species around St. Maarten. Meike Scheidat and Steve Geelhoed from the Dutch research institute IMARES, which part of Wageningen University in the Netherlands will give a short presentation about marine mammals in general and how to recognize local species using video and photos. The workshop is also an opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss experiences with whales and dolphins in the Caribbean.

The Nature Foundation and the Saba Conservation Foundation have yearly Marine Mammal Sighting Programs in which valuable information on marine mammals around the islands have been gathered. The Caribbean is rich in whales and dolphins and many people see them but unfortunately many sightings are not recorded. To get to know more about the distribution of these magnificent animals, their seasonal pattern and their numbers the collecting and recording of sightings is important and can be done by anyone going to sea.

"Every sighting is valuable, but they are even more valuable when the species is identified. Ideally, a sighting contains information on species, date, time, place, number, behavior, calves, pictures and videos. This workshop focuses on identification of species. It will help people to identify all those small grey dolphins they encounter," stated one of the researchers.

The workshop is primarily for seagoing people who could encounter a whale or a dolphin, but all are welcome. Entrance is free, but if you want to attend, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

pjiadisabilitysigns09022012SIMPSON BAY:--- The Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company NV (PJIAE) fully supports the ongoing Awareness Week for the Physically Challenged and the international Wheelchair Tennis Tournament organized by the Committee Be Able, set up by Top Promotions Foundation.

The Awareness Week which began November 23 and ends December 2, 2012, features several activities aimed at empowering the disabled and educating and informing the general public and the governments about the value of sports for disabled persons so that good policies could be designed and executed by the authorities, not only for sports, but also in other areas for disabled persons on the island.

Highlight of the week is the Wheelchair Tennis Competition with Esther Vergeer from the Netherlands, the number one female player in the world, as one of the main attractions. She won her opening match at the Princess Port de Plaisance Resort on Monday, when the competition was officially opened.

Six top female players and six males are participating in this tournament, which also includes the number one player in the male category, Stephane Houdet of France. Play starts at 3 PM each day with the semi-finals slated for Friday at 3:30 PM and the finals set for Saturday at 8:30 AM.

PJIAE has pledged its support to the foundation and made a surprise donation toward the event. The company has been a longtime advocate of the disabled. This is evident in the traffic signs added earlier this year in front of the airport to aid in the drop-off and pick-up of physically-challenged persons.

"As an international airport, PJIA must cater to all users, including the physically-challenged," Regina LaBega, Managing Director, stated in an invited comment. "Our signage must therefore clearly reflect this philosophy."

In addition to the drop-off and pick-up zones, special handicapped parking is provided in the airport's public and employee parking lots.

PJIAE is further considering how it can assist the committee even more and create awareness for the needs of the disabled throughout its facilities.

Philipsburg:--- APS is busy rounding off information sessions for active participants, after the sessions were launched in September. APS is most pleased with the attendance of active participants at the informative sessions being held by representatives of the general pension fund administrator.
Organizations for whom sessions have been organized thus far are the Fire Department, Ambulance Department, Bureau Telecommunications and Post, SVOBE (foundation for secondary education), SZV and government ministries of Finance, Health and Labor Affairs (VSA), Economic Affairs (TEZVT)and VROMI.

APS continues with the organizing of the sessions for other entities with employees who participate in the pension fund which was formerly administered by APNA and is now administered by APS. During the sessions, APS provides as much information as possible regarding the APS organization. Participants are also given an outline of how APS was established as a new pension fund when St. Maarten attained its new status of a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Participants are making use of the opportunity to ask questions and gather the facts about their pension plans. APS welcomes this type of interaction since it provides the organization an opportunity to offer first-hand information and dismiss misconceptions that may have grown over time.
A concern is whether participants in the fund who have worked their entire lives for an employer on Sint Maarten can qualify for early retirement (VUT). Participants are entitled to VUT once they have met (at minimum) the criteria of being in service before or on January 1, 1996 or having been in service more than 20 years. Of these years in service, at least 5 would have been at the central government level. In any case, further legal clarification is still being sought on the 5 year requirement.
"Persons would like to know what their rights are. We are here for our participants; so every concern or question they have on their mind, are valid ones", says APSA director Kendra Arnell.
Of particular interest seems to be APS' asset management activities. In order to grow the pension fund's capital and to ensure pension benefits payment in the future, APS invests according to a prudent investment policy.
"Contrary to what many may think, not all of our funds are invested abroad. APS realizes the importance of investing on Sint Maarten and embraces viable and lucrative opportunities to do so. At the end of the day it is about ensuring pension benefits to those who are entitled. This will always be first and foremost in the fund's vision" says Arnell.
Recognizing that APS may be dealing with somewhat outdated legislation, that leaves room for modernization of St. Maarten's pension system, questions on whether a common law spouse can be acknowledged, must be answered in the negative. This is also the case for same sex marriages.
"Our current pension legislation does not allow for this. There are other areas where pension systems have modernized over the years. As an example, we can mention that in some countries participants can opt to retire at an earlier age while accepting a lower pension amount than they would normally receive", explains the APS director.
The development of a draft legislation to increase the amount to be paid out in AOV and the eligible age to collect AOV at 62 years, has also been anticipated by participants. The main question being asked is whether the pensionable age in the APS pension fund will also go up. "This is understandable. Thirty plus years is a long time to be working. An extension of the pensionable age implies additional years of working. It should be clear that the AOV is separate from the APS pension that participants are entitled to. The pensionable age for collection of APS pension benefits is still legally bound to 60 years", states Arnell.
According to the APS director " no advice for a change in the pensionable age has been submitted to date".
The general pension fund administrator is additionally planning information sessions for participants who are already receiving pension benefits and for those who will soon be receiving pension benefits.
Participants needing specific information on their individual situation are reminded that they can always make an appointment to visit the office of APS at the Yogesh Building in Cul de Sac.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Parliamentarians will be meeting with Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Development, and Environment & Infrastructure (VROMI) Hon. William Marlin on December 03, and Minister of Education, Culture, Youth, & Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs on December 04.

The Central Committee session with Minister Marlin is scheduled for Monday morning at 10:00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House of Parliament at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

Minister Hon. William Marlin, will be providing answers to questions asked by Members of Parliament about maintenance and zoning.

This meeting which was requested by the United Peoples (UP) party faction is a continuation of a meeting held recently with respect to the aforementioned agenda point.

The second Central Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at 2:00pm in the General Assembly Chamber.

This central committee meeting is a continuation of the previous session with the Minister of Education which was adjourned to be reconvened.

The agenda point for the meeting is the present Youth and Sports Policy. This meeting was requested by the United Peoples (UP) party faction.

Members of the public are always welcome to be present in the General Assembly Chamber during public meetings to follow the parliamentary session scheduled for that particular day.

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House.

The parliamentary sessions 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

PHILIPSBURG:--- Residents and motorists from Cole Bay, Cay Bay, Pelican and Simpson Bay, and the general public as well as public transportation, are requested to pay keen attention to traffic signs in connection with current road work activities in the vicinity of Tropicana Casino and Daily Extra Supermarket in Cole Bay.

The Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure (MinVROMI), would hereby like to inform all stakeholders and motorized traffic that as of Wednesday, November 28 to Monday, December 3, the following schedule will be in place which would facilitate the general contractor Windward Roads to complete certain pertinent parts of the civil works in the area between Tropicana Casino and Daily Extra.

The civil works will commence at 6:00am through 5:00pm with respect to the aforementioned dates, and again from 9:00pm to 6:00am.

The entire project is scheduled to be completed by mid-December.

All motorists are asked to pay extra attention to the traffic signs and detours for a safe traffic flow through this particular area during the dates and times mentioned.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience the civil works may cause during the aforementioned period.

Philipsburg:--- Sir Isodore York, famously known around the world as the Mighty Dow said he has decided to pull out from the TEMPO Turns 7 events that are currently taking place at the Festival Village.

York told SMN News on Tuesday that he is not bashing TEMPO or its organizers but he felt very disrespected when Member of Parliament Romaine La Ville attacked him in the corridor of the Government Administration Building on Friday. The Mighty Dow said that what is more disturbing to him is that the organizers mainly Peter Gittens and Fredrick Morton have chosen to lie on him claiming that he wanted $15,000 to perform during the TEMPO Turns 7 concerts. Dow said he did have a conversation with MP La Ville and threw out that figure but he submitted an invoice for $9.500 and later reduced it to $6000.00. The local music icon said he even emailed Peter Gittens and told him he was willing to accept his payment in installments if TEMPO did not have all the monies at one time but Gittens never responded to his email. York said while the promoters are talking about how much monies they asked for, he wants the promoters to tell the people of St. Maarten how much monies they are paying the foreign musicians to perform during the TEMPO Turns 7 concerts. "We need Gittens and Morton to show us how much they are paying the Mighty Sparrow and what will the Mighty Sparrow do during his performance. Show us the documents because our government invested $400.000.00 of the tax-payers monies for this show to take place on St. Maarten," Dow said.

The Mighty Dow said that during the meeting with the promoters they were told that TEMPO wants them to perform for $0. He also told SMN News that the Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt agreed to pay $23,000.00 to the ten local artists that were scheduled to participate, but the Finance Minister did not tell them how and when they would be paid. "All we got from the Minister of Finance is a promise that we will be paid this amount, but the Minister did not say when we will be paid or how we will get paid."

Sir York said La Ville claims he has an agreement with the local artists and he is calling on La Ville to produce the agreement because for him an agreement is when there is something on black and white. The Mighty Dow said that the MP accused the local artists of calling in the media last Thursday night but he wants to make clear he did not invite the media to the meeting. He said he does not know why a particular reporter was at the location that night and the reporter asked them for a statement and they gave the reporter a statement. "I want La Ville to know that he cannot tell us who to talk to or when to talk. This man is supposed to be my representative and the way he spoke "attacked" me on Friday inside the government building shows that he has no respect for anyone. I also want to know why La Ville is in every meeting for the TEMPO Turns 7 because he is involved in all the meetings and organizing the show and the only reason behind this is because La Ville is benefiting from the show in one way or another."

Sir Isidore York (Mighty Dow) is a recipient of the lifetime achievement award from the International World Music Awards and he was Knighted by the House of Oranje earlier this year.

Parents all over the world are looking for support and assistance to raise their children. Parents on St. Maarten are no exception when it comes to that. Through the Dutch funding project for Innovations in Education that is being channeled through USONA organization and the Division for Educational Innovations, the Parents of all children in FBE and PSVE schools can participate in parenting programs such as Active Parenting Now in 3, Active Parenting of Teens and Family in Action.

All these programs are free of charge for the parents and are conducted by enthusiastic and experienced leaders and trainers. There are also additional programs offered by some schools to accommodate the parents where needed.

In order to get parents more involved and truly be the voice and advocate of their children, all subsidized schools are required to have a parents' committee as stipulated in the Ordinance for Foundation Based Education, Secondary Education and Secondary Vocational Education.

Presently almost all subsidized schools have a Parents 'Teachers Association or Parents' Teachers Foundation. The members of these PTA or PTF's are being informed in several sessions on the regulations, duties, rights, benefits of a Parents' committee.

The ultimate goal is that these entire Parents' committees are represented in a unified body, the National Parents Platform for St. Maarten.

This Platform will function as an advisory body to the Ministry of Education. Parents will no longer be there in the parents' committee to solely take care of fundraising, bar-b-que and fun activities, but will also be able to ensure that they contribute to the quality of the Education that is being offered to their children.

As part of the parental involvement programs all parents have been given a survey to fill out regarding the indicators of parental involvement. A large number of parents have indicated their willingness to help but that they are unfortunately unable to find the time to be able to do so effectively.

To prepare representatives of the PTA and PTF's for their tasks in the National Parents Platform an information session has been scheduled for this evening November 26th 2012 by the Division of Educational
Innovation. The Division of Educational Innovation will be supported by the Division of Inspection who will present the representatives with in-depth information on their rights and obligations.

The following week Dr. Judith Arndell will host an interactive session regarding interaction between people with different characters. The Division of Educational Innovation urges representatives of the PTA and PTF's to make use of the information sessions as they believe that an informed and unified body is able to achieve great things.

rlabegasignscontractforpjiaerunwayresurfacing26112012Works expected to be completed in October 2013.

SIMPSON BAY:--- The contract for the rehabilitation of the runway at Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) in the amount US$16, 637, 215.11, was signed on Tuesday, November 20, 2012, between PJIA's Operating Company NV (PJIAE) and the joint venture, Janssen de Jong Caribbean BV/NV Arubaanse Wegenbouw Maatschappij/Windward Roads BV.

Managing Director Regina LaBega signed on behalf of PJIAE, while Janhendrik Boekaar signed on behalf of the contractor.

"The rehabilitation project will start by the end of November with the actual physical runway works getting under way by mid-March 2013," said Mirto Breell, PJIAE's Technical Director. The project is scheduled to be completed in October 2013.

All works on the runway will take place at night between 10 PM and 6 AM when there are no aircraft operations and the airport is normally closed, hence there will be no effect on flight operations.

"The entire length of the 2,300 meter (7,545ft) airport runway will be replaced with a fresh layer of asphalt and an asphalt overlay will be applied to correct the longitudinal profile of the runway, serving to significantly improve the structural integrity of the pavement construction," said Breell. Windward Roads BV last resurfaced the runway in 1997.

"The project also includes the implementation of the required Runway End Safety Area (RESA) to the west," Breell explained.

"The runway threshold will be shifted 70 meters to the east to accommodate the RESA. The rehabilitation of the runway is urgently required due to the deterioration of the asphalt surface after 15 years of use. It is customary to have a major resurfacing of the runway done every 15-20 years depending on the circumstances," added Breell.

If the runway is not regularly resurfaced it can become a potential safety issue as the integrity of the pavement surface breaks down.

The taxiway will be modified to allow larger commercial aircraft to have better access to the ramps and shorten the backtracking on the runway prior to take off.

The existing airfield ground lighting will be replaced with the more economical LED lights. Furthermore, an entirely new remote system will be installed in the control tower.

"The rehabilitation project also includes the construction of a helipad for helicopters at the southeasterly end of the runway," said Breell.

In preparation for this runway rehabilitation, a topographical survey, a pavement investigation with core drilling and subsoil testing among other stringent internationally required studies were carried out.

A project manager from the Netherlands Airport Consultants BV (NACO), Rob Noorman, has been contracted to supervise the project.

yvettescookbookphotoshoot26112012GREAT BAY:--- From Yvette's Kitchen To Your Table – A Treasury of St. Martin's Traditional & Contemporary Cuisine by Yvette Hyman is back in bookstores.

This is the third printing of the popular cookbook in less than two years since it was first published in 2011, said Jacqueline Sample, president of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

A few days ago, radio executive "Billy D" Hamlet encouraged listeners of his popular program to buy Yvette's cookbook for the holidays. He also recalled his repeat successes with his favorite recipe from the book. Little did the talkshow host and many of his listeners know that the cookbook had been sold out in all bookstores a couple of months before.

The backlog from the demand by customers for Yvette's cookbook caused one bookstore to immediately buy 100 copies of the new printing instead of the usual less-than-15 copies per re-stock order, said Sample.

"As of today, fresh and new copies of Yvette's cookbook are available to everyone," said Sample.

"We're just in time for Thanksgiving (1st Sunday of December); the opening of the new tourist season in mid-December; and for the Christmas-New Year's holidays that are so special to us in St. Martin," said Sample.

The hardcover book has 13 chapters, including Appetizers, Soups, Poultry, Fish and Shellfish, Meat, Salads, Dumplings, Rice and Fungi, Breads, and Desserts, said Sample. As the book's main editor, Sample had worked closely with the award-wining chef Yvette Hyman to test the recipes.

Among the book's 312 colorful pages are classic favorites of St. Martin cuisine such as souse, johnny cake, Conch Yvette's, lamb stew, and soursop drink. Iconic holiday specials such as coconut tart and guavaberry add to over 200 recipes à la Yvette in this Treasury of St. Martin's Traditional & Contemporary Cuisine, said Sample.

"Yvette's cookbook is a wonderful addition to the written story about the exciting world of Caribbean cooking," said Sample.

From Yvette's Kitchen can be found at Van Dorp, Shipwreck, Caribbean Liquors, and Yvette's Restaurant. Limited copies are available at

luinteractors26112012Philipsburg:--- In recognition of Interact week celebrated in November, the Interact Club of Learning Unlimited chaired the Rotaract Club of St. Maarten Sunrise general meeting and Induction ceremony on Saturday 24th November 2012 at Chesterfield's. Among the President and Secretary of LU also present were Rotaract members, prospective members, ADG Jim Ferris, ADRR Sarah Khalfaoui, members of the Interact Club of St. Dominic and their Advisor Jon Hart and Rotary Sunrise and Mid Isle members.

sjacobsatrightsofthechildsportsday26112012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Honorable Silveria Jacobs opened the Rights of the Child Sports day on Saturday November 24th 2012 at the Alberic Richards Stadium in Sandy ground.

Children from both the Dutch and French side participated in the all-day event. In addition a team from Saba travelled to St. Maarten to be part of the Rights of the Child celebrations.

Minister Jacobs opened the Sports day event with a speech encouraging the children to enjoy their sports day and to remember the spirit of sportsmanship.

She welcomed the children that travelled from Saba to participate and encouraged all the children to be the best representatives of themselves, their schools and their communities.

"Not so long ago children were seen but not heard. But as we opened these celebrations on Monday (last week), I along with others have said that there are several entities working for your rights. You have a say in what goes on in your lives. You have the responsibility to be the best that you can be, so that we can continue to fight for your rights," Minister Jacobs concluded her speech by encouraging each participant to enjoy their day and to make the best of the fellowship amongst each other.

The Minister along with the participating children officially opened the Rights of the Child Sports day with a parade of participants. The day's activities continued with matches in several sports such as Tennis, Basketball, Volleyball and Soccer.

sjacobswithwheelchairtennisplayers26112012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, and Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs on Monday hit the first ball at the start of the Wheelchair Tennis Tournament at the Princess Port de Plaisance.

The ball was thrown by the founder of Wheelchair Tennis Brett Parks. The Minister was in awe of these athletes who have risen above all circumstances and to excel in the sport of tennis.

oranjeschoolgate26112012Philipsburg:--- Students of the Oranje School are facing some serious health risks and the Department of Education has so far failed to render assistance to the school.

On Monday parents of a six year old girl told SMN News that the dilapidated gate at the school fell on their six year old daughter and they had to rush her to the St. Maarten Medical Center for medical assistance. The father and mother of the child said that this is the second time the heavy Iron Gate has injured students and the Department of Education has not responded to the calls of the school to have the gate repaired. SMN News spoke to some teachers who said two years ago the same gate fell on a male student and his leg was broken. They said the school Principal sent several letters to the Department of Education and not once they responded to the letters that were sent to them.

One of the teachers who preferred to remain anonymous fearing that they might be severely victimized said that the school ending up using its own funds to repair the gate when the Department of Education did not respond to them. "We do fundraisers here and when we realized that a child's leg was broken because of the heavy gate that would slip off its track we used our monies and repaired the gate. On Thursday another child got injured and we are still awaiting the results and report from the doctor who attended to her at the St. Maarten Medical Center.

oranjeschoolwatercooler26112012Besides the gate, the water cooler that the children have to drink water from is in an unsanitary condition while the school yard is cleaned once per month by a private company.

The teachers said that they had six cleaners at the school that were responsible for cleaning the classrooms and two of them left recently and to date they have  not been replaced. They said five months ago the gardener/cleaner who was responsible for cleaning the yard went on pension and they submitted a request to the Department of Education to have them appoint someone to clean the school yard but to date that appointment has not been made. They said a company was contracted to clean the school yard once per month and students and teachers attending the school have to deal with the garbage that piles up around the school yard. "We have over three hundred students attending this school so you can imagine what the teachers and the students have been going through these past five months"
SMN News visited the school on Monday to take photos and to obtain a comment from the Principal of the school Ms. Sonia Parrotte- Warner on the ongoing health and hygiene risks at the school but the Principal also refused to comment fearing that she too might face victimization from the Department heads.

SMN News also visited the Department of Education on Monday to obtain a comment from the Head of the Education Department Mrs. Glenderline Davis Holiday but she was not in office.

Minister of Education Silveria Jacobs confirmed some weeks ago at the Council of Ministers' weekly press briefing that she ordered an investigation into the functioning of the Department of Education. The Minister had also sent home the head of the department for one month when she initiated the investigation.

Click here to view more photos of the Oranje School yard.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment, and Infrastructure (MinVROMI) has organized a Town Hall meeting covering Middle Region and Dutch Quarter to be held on Thursday evening.

Residents, stakeholders and interested persons are invited to attend the town hall meeting which will take place at the Belvedere Community Center, on Low Estate Road Belvedere from 7:00pm to 9:30pm. The meeting is part of the process of drafting "development plans" for country Sint Maarten.

The development plan will comprise of a legal framework for possible future development that would take place in the district; to designate and/or reserve land for desired use; to prevent undesired development; and to offer legal security to residents about future development in their district.

This is the first meeting for this area which will allow residents, stakeholders and interested persons of the aforementioned districts to provide their views and ideas with respect to the future development of their districts. The views presented by the public will then be included into the design development plan and re-presented to the community in a follow-up town hall meeting.

The process to develop the development plans are funded by the Dutch agency USONA to the tune of Naf. 2 million.

boxinggloves26112012Philipsburg:--- A newspaper article published in one of the daily newspapers last week about the grievances of the local artists that are scheduled to perform at TEMPO turns 7 this week caused a huge temper flare between the Mighty Dow and Member of Parliament Romaine La Ville.
According to several civil servants and workers at the Government Administration building MP La Ville verbally attacked the Mighty Dow in the corridor of the Government Administration Building after reading the newspaper article. The workers said that the verbal brawl almost got out of hand because some of them had to hold back Dow and La Ville to prevent them from throwing punches at each other. "The MP got on so bad as if he was in the ghetto using all sorts of foul language when Dow entered the building. It is sickening to see how an elected official behaves when he is angry," one of the civil servants told SMN News.

In an invited comment, MP La Ville admitted that he lost his temper when he read the newspaper article. La Ville said Thursday night the local artists called him to an urgent meeting at the Divi Little Bay Hotel and their concern was the amount of monies they wanted to perform during TEMPO turns 7.

La Ville said he had an agreement with the artists where he asked them to give him until Friday to regulate the monetary matters. He said he did not even know that the artists also called the Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt who agreed to pay the artists the monies they wanted just to avoid negative press, yet the artists called a particular reporter and gave him a one sided story.

La Ville denied using foul language during the brawl but admitted that he lost his temper and all respect for the Mighty Dow and Shadowman. La Ville further explained that it is the Mighty Dow and Shadowman who called him and asked him to be part of the one week show because no one contacted them. He said when he first spoke to the Mighty Dow he wanted $15,000 to perform and when heard the price he thought that Mighty Dow did not know how many people (music artists) would have wanted the opportunity they are getting which is to perform on a music network. "I did not do this for myself I did this for the local artists because I want to showcase them. None of the former commissioners or Ministers ever paid attention to the local artists here on St. Maarten and I am doing all I can to give these artists the international and Caribbean publicity they need so that they too can become big and successful." La Ville made clear that the local artists are being paid much more than those coming from abroad to perform during the one week of events. Efforts made to reach the Mighty Dow by telephone proved futile on Monday as the local musician did not answer his telephone. Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt also could not be reached on Monday for a comment.

It should be noted that the Government of St. Maarten invested $400.000.00 in TEMPO turns 7, of which $300,000.00 is already paid to the organizers.

rhodaarrindell25112012GREAT BAY:--- Leading St. Martin linguist Dr. Rhoda Arrindell has co-authored two chapters in a new book of scientific studies about how various historically new Caribbean, Pacific, and Houma-French languages originated.

The Amsterdam-based John Benjamins Publishing Company published agency in the Emergence of Creole Languages (2012), edited by Dr. Nicholas Faraclas.

The first chapter of the book for which Dr. Arrindell is an author is entitled, "Sociétés de cohabitation and the similarities between the English lexifier Creoles of the Atlantic and the Pacific: The case for diffusion from the Afro-Atlantic to the Pacific." Dr. Faraclas is the lead author.

The other chapter co-authored by Dr. Arrindell is "Marginalized peoples and Creole Genesis: Sociétés de cohabitation and the Founder Principle," for which Prof. Cándida González-López is the lead author.

"The chapters were developed from papers presented at international conferences and for which I conducted research and wrote part of the paper," said Dr. Arrindell when Offshore Editing Services (OES) caught up with her over the weekend.

The other joint authors of the two essays, along with the lead authors and Dr. Arrindell, are Micah Corum, Jean Ourdy Pierre, Lourdes González Cotto, Pier Angeli LeCompte Zambrana, Diana Ursulin Mopsus, and Marta Viada Bellido de Luna.

Agency in the Emergence of Creole Languages explores and discusses "The role of women, renegades, and people of African and indigenous descent in the emergence of the colonial era creoles," according Dr. Faraclas. A professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Faraclas is himself an internationally respected linguist.

The 246-page book of eight chapters is a "must read" for its fresh perspectives on the process of creolization of language. It also focuses on peoples that are often made invisible in colonial and neo-colonial history, and that have too often been silenced in linguistic accounts of how creoles – such as Haitian, Papiamento, Kwéyòls of the eastern Caribbean, and Sranan Tongo – came about, said Dr. Arrindell.

Dr. Arrindell, the former minister of education and culture of St. Martin (South), wrote her doctoral thesis on language, culture and identity in St. Martin. Dr. Arrindell was recently a panelist for the St. Martin Day discussion on the island's current socio-cultural developments. The department of culture of the Collectivity of St. Martin organized the program of experts from both parts of the island, which was broadcast live on MSR Cable TV.

shtagmretreat25112012PHILIPSBURG:--- The St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA) has announced the successful hosting of a recently held General Managers Retreat which was held on Friday 9th November at the Divi Little Bay Beach Resort under the theme "Energy, Economy and the future of Country St. Maarten."
The keynote address on Energy was given by Mrs. Loreto Duffy-Mayers who is the Project Manager of Caribbean Hotel Energy Efficiency Action CHENACT of Barbados. The main message according to SHTA that Duffy-Mayers brought to the GMs was, while green or alternative energy was indeed an attractive investment for the future, it was important that steps are taken now in order to mitigate energy waste as this can already see energy cost reductions of up to 50%.
She explained also that there is an urgent need for hotels to move away from the R22 Air-Conditions as they were too costly and not readily available any more. Her presentation also included a brief discussion on water conservation and preventative measures that can be taken to avoid waste. The opening remarks for the GM Retreat were given by SHTA President Emil Lee who thanked the SHTA Member hotels for attending and gave a brief "behind the scenes" explanation of some of the work that SHTA was busy with for the benefit of the island and its membership. He explained also the work SHTA had been doing with regards to bringing airlift to the island and the marketing initiatives it has undertaken in this regard. He said that the SHTA was strengthening itself as the Umbrella Association to include more businesses, which it could provide representation for.
Also in attendance was Policy advisor on Energy in VROMI Kendall Dupersoy who on the request of SHTA to Deputy Prime Minister William Marlin, minister in charge of VROMI, shared the Ministers vision for sustainable energy in the future for St. Maarten. In answer to questions raised by the GMs on whether there would be any incentives for businesses who invest in alternative energy coming from government Dupersoy confirmed that the Ministry of Finance was preparing a law to be introduced which will allow tax based incentives for investment in alternative energy. He said this was part of the plans to stimulate green and alternate energy and reduce the cost of energy on the island while at the same time making it more stable.
Paul Van Vliet, Director of PricewaterhouseCoopers also addressed the GMs on the work being done by the Tripartite Committee as it relates to the proposed new Labor laws of St. Maarten while SHTA Board Member and attorney at law for law firm VanEps Kunneman Vandoorne Peter van Dort gave brief remarks and fielded questions regarding the existing labor laws.
Executive Director for SHTA Alfred Harley also addressed the GMs and gave a brief overview of the Dollar-A-Day program managed by the SHTA office. He said that the SHTA had embarked on a strategy to improve on the program based on the request of many GMs from the different resorts that were DAD members. He also announced plans to expand the DAD program to include other businesses who wanted to contribute to the Social and Economic Development of the island.

telemgroupclosesrestructuring25112012Pond Island:--- TelEm Group management last Thursday announced the official closing off of the company's restructuring process following months of negotiation and final implementation.
In a brief ceremony, management and union used the occasion of Thanksgiving Day, November 22, to give thanks for the successful completion of restructuring within the TelEm Group and exchanged mutual congratulatory messages for carrying out a "difficult, but necessary" exercise in the history of the company.
Management has confirmed that as of Thursday, November 22, 2012, all personnel remaining with the company after restructuring have been successfully moved from the former Sint Maarten Telephone Company N.V. to the new Sint Maarten Telecommunication Holding Company N.V.
At the end of the exercise the number of personnel in TelEm Group has been reduced from 200 to 134 workers following a program of voluntary leave, early retirement, non-placement of staff and non-replacement of non essential staff positions during the past three years. The manning levels are expected to rise to no more than 154 workers should remaining vacancies be filled.
During the short ceremony held at the TelEm Group Building, Thursday, both management and union were joined by Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Directors of the Sint Maarten Telecommunication Company N.V., Mr. Rafael Boasman, to recognize the work of various stakeholders played their respective parts.
Chief Financial Officer, Mrs. Helma Etnel said the process has been a large and painful one for all parties concerned requiring much preparation from the Transition Agreement, the Social Plan and the new Collective Labour Agreement signed between management and union.
"Most people focus on the placement only but it was an entire process that took us more than a year to complete and included the process on how to place workers, how to prepare the new organization, new and more efficient ways of working, manpower planning and then after placement, the objection and appeal process.
"The most intense part was between April and June when management and union worked together side by side, sometimes on a daily basis, next to each other, to try to take decisions to the benefit of the company and staff.
"We have tried to be as transparent as we can, to b