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

We regret to announce the passing of

John Thomas Godet
Born: 27 Feb 1937 ~ Died: 3 June 2012

Left to mourn:
Mother: Casilda Godet

3 Sisters:
Ramona Godet
Janet Godet
Andrea Godet

1 Brother:
Cyril Williams Godet

Soila Godet

Rosa N. Godet
Rosa M. Godet
Petra Godet
Magaret Godet

Sister in law:
Casilda Tyrol and Family

7 Grandchildren

Nieces and nephews too numerous to mention

Ramona Ventura & fam.

Many other friends in the St. Maarten’s home and relatives too numerous to mention.

The Funeral service for the late John Thomas Godet will be held on Monday June 18, 2012 at the Emerald Funeral Home Chapel in Cay Hill. Viewing: 1:00pm to 2:00pm. Service: 2:00pm. Interment: Cul de sac cemetery.

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

May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace


"Let not your heart be trouble."

It is will profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Mother, Sister, Grandmother, Aunt, Cousin & Friend

Marie Ulrique Richardson
Sunrise: 6 Avril 1919 - Sunset : 17 Juin 2012

She leaves to mourn:

Her sons:                     Edgar JACOB & Family

                                    Victor BROOKS

Her stepsons :             Jules Maximilien RICHARDSON
                                    Edward RICHARDSON  

Daugthers in Law:       Daisy JACOB            
                                    Brenda RICHARDSON 
                                    Louise RICHARDSON

Grand-Children:           Charles Florentin RICHARDSON
                                    Kimberly & Anika RICHARDSON
                                    Tania THUMANN
                                    Patricia JOHNSON
                                    Donna Maria, Edgar Todd, & Alphonse Rene JACOB

Her sisters:                  Alice JOSEPH & Jacqueline VIVANZ  

Her brothers:               Daniel, Jean, Michel, Louis, Emmanuel PETERSON                       


Her Uncle:                   Joanes ILLIGE

Her nieces & nephews:Yvette DAVIS, Monique DAVIS, & Joseph DAVIS

Her cousins:                Gerville BROOKS & Family
Her godchildren:          Lisette CONNOR & family
                                    Eliene FARGEAU & family
                                    Carmen HODGE
                                    Kary BROOKS
                                    Arlene GIBBS     
                                    Rosita DURUO BROOKS

Special cousins:          Cynthia LAKE & Family
                                   Eulalie CREQUE & family
                                   Alberta MILLER & family
                                   Judith RICHARDSON & family
                                   Alfred MANUEL & family
                                   The family of the late Charles MANUEL
                                   The family of the late Augustin GIBBS
                                   Augustine LEWEST & Family
                                   Rose MILLER & family
                                   Jean LEWEST & family
                                   Louis LAKE & family

Special friends:           Anais & Hippolite GOMBS
                                   The family of the late Jean GOMBS
                                   Charles BALY
                                   Diana MORGAN & family
                                   Joyce FROSTON
                                   Simon CARTY
                                   Clement GUMBS

Caretaker:                   Carmelita GRANT

Her caring neighbors: Sady GUMBS & Patricia

She was related to the following families:
Richardson, Hodge, Illidge, Davis, Peterson, Joseph, Johnson, Jacob, Thumann, Hughes, Roland, Thomas, Priest, Meyers, Miller, Creque, Gerard, Gibbs, Lewest, Manuel, Lake, Flanders, Gombs, Gumbs, Brooks, Hyman, Withfield, Arrondell, Philipps, Helligar, Rogers , Duruo and many others too numerous to mention.

A wake will be held on Tuesday June 26 2012 at Cinthy LAKE residence in Colombier from 6:00 to 10:00 PM

The home going service for the late Marie Ulrique Richardson will be held on Wednesday June 27th, 2012 at the Ebenezer Methodist Church in Marigot. Viewing: 3:00pm to 4:00pm. Service: 4:00pm.
Interment: Sandy Ground cemetery.


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

May Her Soul Rest in Eternal Peace


“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof the world; and they that dwell therein.”

It is with deep sadness that we announce tha passing of our beloved mother, grandmother, aunt, greatgrandmother and friend

Melvina Agatha Powell Weeks
b.k.a Mello from over the bank

Born: July 8th 1922 ~ Died June 23, 2012

She leaves to mourn:

Her daughters: Mildred Quarless- (U.K)
                            Dorothy Browne- St.Maarten    
                            Iona Weeks   -St.Maarten
Sons: Narol Lescott Nevis
          Antonio Weeks –St.Maarten
          Urie Powell (deceased)
         Roy Powell (deceased)
Daughters in law: Elvira Lescott Nevis
                          Katherine Weeks VanPutten
Sons in law: George Quarless (UK)
Anthony Browne  -      St.Maarten
Agnant Thomas    St.Maarten
Grandchildren: Alden Rombley-Holland
                            Albert Weeks USA
                           Lindzey Weeks St.Maarten
                           Denzil & Winton Browne St.Maarten
                        Gregory & Anuska Violenus St.Maarten
                         Akim Romney St.Maarten
                         Agnus Weeks St.Maarten
                        Nigel ,Neil & O’Larry Lescott Nevis
                        Sonia, Lornette & Jacinth Morton (UK)

Many Many other relatives and friends too numerous to mention just to mention a few; Alan Busby, Alben Daniel, Helena Phipps, Fernette Payne, Shirley Huggins, Employees of Caribbean Liquors, Edith priest (Holland), Aubrey Rogers (St.Kitts),Dasie Bevon & Venise Jeffers
She also leaves to mourn her friends at the St. Martin’s Home
She was related to the Powell, Weeks, Quarless, Lescott, Caines, Rogers, Jeffers, Browne & Violenus families.

The funeral service for the late Melvina Agatha Powell Weeks will be held on Thursday June 28th, 2012 at the S S Simon and Jude Anglican Church on Backstreet.
Viewing: 1:00pm to 2:00pm.
Service: 2:00pm.
Interment: Cul de Sac.

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

May Her Soul Rest in Eternal Peace


In the days when I grew up on St. Maarten, we had no ball fields, no basketball courts, no television and one radio station "the voice of St. Maarten PJD2" with two disc jockeys Brother Mere and Sidney Lejuez which simply played godly sermons and religious music all day long.
To entertain ourselves after school we made our own toys, Rollers with milk can covers, fishing line and thread spools, played marbles, spin tops and made kille bans. Most people today don't ever know what a kille ban is. Ask older St. Maarten people what it is...We also made little one-man zinc boats which we first tested in the salt pond to make sure they weren't leaking before taking them in the sea.
As we grew older, about twelve years old or so, we received our own fish and pellet guns from our parents to go fishing and hunting with. Those of us who had no boats got hold of a used car or truck tube from "Cyrus Wathey" the only gas station at the time to be able to get far enough out in the ocean so we could snorkel and spear fish. Several days a week after school we went hunting through the hill with our pellet guns for mountain and ground doves.
As we got a little older and more proficient at diving, we dove for lobster, grouper, snapper, turtle, goat fish, puppy shark etc. with our fish guns. Cock fighting was the pass time of our parents on weekends.
In recent years, people from cultures that have sex with animals, pedophilia, homosexuality, abortion [the murder of unborn babies] and euthanasia [the killing of old people when they deem them to be no long useful to society], came to tell us we can't own a fishing gun, cock fight, have a Dolphin Park, or eat turtle and puppy shark.
These people are: pro homosexuality [the origin of aids], which have already killed millions of people worldwide are against the death penalty for first degree murderers. However, they support the murdering of millions of unborn babies "abortion". They also came to tell us we can't cut down a tree in our yards. Yet, when they arrived here, they brought not even one tree in their suitcases with them. When you came here you met cock fighting.. If you don't like it; Leave.
How much longer are we going to sit back and allow these people from deviant cultures to take away our personal freedoms and destroy hundreds of years of the St. Maarten culture? Stand up against these people of Deception and Destruction. "A man can't ride your back unless it's bent." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Peter Gunn

Politics makes strange bedfellows, they say and no stranger are those political relationships that are based on the failure to communicate.
I was therefore delighted that during a recent television broadcast on Statia, two former politicians invited the general public to come forward and voice their opinions and concerns. The subject of debate was the latest preposterous scheme to seek independent status from the UN.
I am not sure just how ex-commissioners Van Putten and Kerkhoff came upon this instant craving for public participation. Both have been rudely ejected from office. Whilst in power, neither had real consultation before signing into law that other ridiculous scheme – an unsightly oil terminal in the centre of the island.
No public referendum there. No apprehension or comprehension for a multitude of objections. So attracted were these NuStar-crossed lovers that dissenting voices from their own community were but a blip on the way to bliss.
And so the decision was signed off during a weekend fling while discharging offices. Hardly a scrap of documentation was left over to assist the incoming administration. How thoughtful and communicative? Love is blind...
It seems that this agreement was silently signed and dated by the two turtle doves. No coo, no boo! Such communicative skills and talents were absent then - as they are now.

Love conquers all

A similar sell-out in the name of democracy followed when the issue reached the passive floor of the Island Council. By then, Eros had deserted Golden Rock. Van Putten had bolted from the administrative mayhem that embraced his brother's cows. This fraternal gift was also not subject to public discussion or approval.
Island council members discoursed and flirted with the romantic abstraction of an industrial wasteland in the heart of their Garden of Eden. How could Genesis be more complete with the mesmeric enchantment of the Serpent's rhapsody? No matter that marchers and media had lined up alongside the voices of reason. No matter that international treaties would be torn asunder. No matter that the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure raised countless doubts and questions over the social, scientific and particularly safety consequences. Love conquers all.

The community on Statia is now divided. Some would still like to know why our new commissioners were ready to sign the building permit - without genuine consultation or a referendum.
Information is power and some questions will never be answered. Despite efforts to obtain various documents from the Executive Council via the BES law on Freedom of Information, lips defy express ion and filing cabinets withhold their secrets. Their silence is also communication...
So what is the ticket now? Let us unify the divided population through a common United Nations cause. Step forward the DP and the four other useless parties on Statia. This Machiavellian smokescreen could also work for St NuStar.

Fit of pique

But wait a moment! How did we get into this constitutional mess? Not through referendum but through a fit of pique by a former DP member visiting Curacao. The same DP that now seeks a more independent status. Did the DP even care about the people they represented? Do they care now?
A commission has thus been set up to promote the UN cause. So far this commission bears all the transparent contents of an oil storage tank. And therein lies the rub! Members of the commission are unknown. Their role and contribution are also unknown. It all rather smacks of Don Quixote tilting at Dutch windmills.
Whereas the Dutch Government has a lot to answer for in terms of financial custodian, political representation as we have seen, should be a two way street. And this is a pity. The island has a wealth of human talent and skills to shape a successful future. It just has to be put together and put across.
But local politicians are unable to promote the assets that the island has to offer. Despite flag waving at election time, their only focus is self interest not democracy. It is leadership that we miss, not bedfellows.

James Russell

Listen, just for you I am going to ask all the recipients of the CAF who read your column to make a collection to buy you a CD, blue ray, or DVD or HDMI, TNT etc. because that old-time cassette you keep replaying is desperately without hope.

That went out of style way back with the ancient Albert FLEMING, Elie FLEMING elections and even Louis C. FLEMING.

Well, if the CAF'ers does not send you a new CD do not feel bad because it is not because you do not deserve it, no, no, no it simply means that they do not read your articles.

You have nothing intelligent to say so you go back to God, remember he said the poor shall inherit the earth and you dumped on that socialist thought; homo sex, what is the matter you cannot confront yourself, your feminine side? And race, put your evidence where you mouth is and do file your complaints with the prosecutor, marshals, gendarmes or police.

I must say I have a lot more admiration for a Louis Constant FLEMING and any other Party endorsing Mr. Guillaume ARNELL than for M Daniel GIBBS joining up with the Right, the UMP, he said he wanted nothing to do with, and LE PEN's FRONT NATIONAL for personal career hopping interests. Oh yes, that must be the racism, discrimination and intimidation you are really trying to address. It has to be because even your so-call Caucasians in France use those descriptive terms when speaking of the character of a LE PENISTS. They even say that there is violence in their movement.

Having supported Martin Luther KING and worked in the Civil Rights Movement I am absolutely sure that he would not have approved of their character just like he did not approve of Governor WALLACE and his racist gang.

President HOLLANDE's election permitted us to take note that there are over 300 plus LE PENISTS that voted in SAINT-BARTHS and over 200 plus that voted in SAINT MARTIN. Mr. GIBBS starts out with a solid base of over 500 LE PENISTS. I am sure he will dance the SAINT-MARTIN SOCA with them. But that could never be deceitful or hypocritical!

You are a patriot of what country? A patriot who votes on the French side knows that marshals are quite welcome in our voting halls. As a matter of fact at least two territorial Police officers are present, and a judge, a lawyer and someone from the "prefecture" controls every hall several times during the day. I can only conclude that your assertions are made to try and intimidate the voters and constitute a reprehensible form of violence and manipulation.

I do not know what parasite has bitten you but it seems that your malady now includes witchcraft. Jump in the sea, it cures all... I will try to keep my head and feet stable on My Island.

So join the Saint-Martiners and vote for Guillaume ARNELL, who spent over 10 years representing SAINT-MARTIN in the Conseil Général in Guadeloupe, elected Vice-President by the majority of the Guadeloupians present ; he handled several projects including the school for SAINT-MARTIN, a family man, a man of integrity committed to his country and his region.

Remember that Mr. Guillaume ARNELL's experience will enable him to work efficiently with the majority of the National Assembly for France and at the same time redirect the different responsible State services of the specific development projects of the both islands, St-Martin and St-Barthes.

Again and finally, President RICHARDSON and the Minister of the French overseas Territories, Mr. Victorin LUREL are explicit regarding the above and call for Saint-Martiners and Saint-Barthetians to vote for Mr. Guillaume ARNELL and Mrs. Inez BOUCHER-CHOISY to join to fight with the majority in France.

Patricia Chance-Duzant

Let me remind you that the majority of the Saint-Martiners are mixed and some of the Saint-Barthetians as well. Do not forget that three fourths of the world's population is mixed. As for France, I read in a history book that HANNIBAL made it from Africa to the SWISS Alps and to do that he and his African soldiers passed through FRANCE. Are you sure that they are all Caucasians?
As for who put out racial slurs on whom, take note that if Mr. GIBB's presidential campaign poster got any paler and washed out people who did not know him would have thought he was a white ....and not mixed. I will let you make your own comment on the Representative Campaign posters.
I myself had to answer people's questions regarding unfounded accusations spread about, maybe by people like you, against Mr. Alain RICHARDSON.
It has to be an ignorant person who does not understand that Mr. RICHARDSON who is mixed and has a profession as an expert accountant, a businessman cannot indulge in such foolishness. He has an accounting firm that he created from scratch over 14 years now that services many companies in Saint-MARTIN. Let us be honest those who own the majority of the enterprises on this island are metropolitans and regarding the rest some are mixed
Your assertions remain without proof and you logic is again incomprehensible whether it concerns economics or racism. In fact, for now the only nasty intentions I see come from you whose ultimate aim is to disparage self made men such as Mr. RICHARDSON, his father's friend did not give him a job, and Mr. ARNELL because of your jealousy and your inferiority complex.
Mr. GIBBS, with all his and your intelligence, stood hugging up to Albert FLEMING and to Louis Constant FLEMING accepting their questionable acts for over 10 years. When Louis Constant FLEMING refused to do the right thing, accept Ms OUGUNDELE-TESSI, his first Vice-President as President, the people of this island and in particular the women shouted discrimination but I did not hear either you or MR GIBBS as you participated in silently bulldozering democracy and the game of puppeteering.
Only when the Canadians decided that there were selected pockets they could fill by renting/buying what is left of SAINT-MARTIN did he budge. Where is the little man in all that? Where are our children and their future when this puppet sells out the island to power hungry foreign investors or pawns for 40 years?
Mr. GIBBS managed to divide his own party into three and now wishes to divide the island and the new RRR government.
Apparently you got your elections confused THE PEOPLE OF SAINT MARTIN VOTED FOR THE RRR PARTY OFFICIALS. We are now in the second round of the election of a Representative to Parliament, Mr. Guillaume ARNELL, 1er Vice President and President RICHARDSON of the RRR unanimously elected even by GIBBS and his party. GIBBS who was included on the executive board.
President RICHARDSON and the RRR united everyone.
The campaign is UMP Metro against RRR. So what parties "they say" are spreading racists' remarks? The local UMP just gave the RRR their support is it they? The socialists we hope are coming our way, is it they? And for Mr. Jeffrey or Mr. HAMLET...?
So what "they say" is still "they say" and we all know what that means in SAINT MARTIN.
Guillaume ARNELL, spent over 10 years representing SAINT-MARTIN even in the Conseil Général in Guadeloupe, he was even elected Vice-President by the majority of the Guadeloupians present he handled several propjets including the school for SAINT-MARTIN he is a family man, a man of integrity committed to his country and his region.
Mr. Guillaume ARNELL's experience will enable him to work efficiently with the majority of the National Assembly for France and at the same time redirect the different responsible State services of the specific development projects of the both islands, St-Martin and St-Barthes.
President RICHARDSON and the Minister of the French overseas Territories, Mr. Victorin LUREL are explicit regarding the above and call for Saint-Martiners and Saint-Barthetians to vote for Mr. Guillaume ARNELL and Mrs. Inez BOUCHER-CHOISY to join to fight with the majority in France.

Patricia Chance-Duzant , Esq

Can someone please help me ascertain what is going on at Diamond Resorts? Is someone getting paid under the table for hiring illegal Americans and persons whose permits are under another company?

Recently news broke out that Diamond Resorts International would be re opening its In-House Sales department. Before any vacancy was placed in the newspaper seeking a Project Director as well as an In House Marketing Director, there were already two Americans, Meggin and Sean who have already filled these positions. It appears that Diamond Resorts had no intentions of seeking any local candidates although there is a suitable candidate, the former UP candidate Glen Kemble to fill the position as Project Director.

The ads are placed as a decoy. According to the law, the Ad must be placed in the newspaper for six weeks and if in the event there are no suitable local candidates, the company can then seek other alternatives. You don't hire illegal candidates then pretend you are looking for applicants when you already have illegal candidates working on the job. At the end of the 6 weeks the company will be dishonest with the labor office, claiming that they have not found any locals, so that they will submit work papers for these illegals Americans who have already filled the positions that are currently being advertised in the news paper. I am almost 100% certain that Glen Kemble applied for that position.

In addition to hiring illegals, the company has also hired individuals who have been signed up under another company (Kemuel Henderson) from Dominica. According to the law quoted by the justice minister "The minute an employee comes to you with a permit that is under another company the permit becomes invalid the minute they begin working for you. I am going to this length to explain this to let employers know that they are operating in violation of the law." Employers who do not comply with the law are committing a crime and they will have to face the consequences." The Justice Minister said that these employers are acting in violation of the laws and his Ministry plans to take serious action which includes the implementation of fines that can amount to as much as Naf. 100,000.00.

We will be submitting the names to the immigration department and we will be closely monitoring the situation.

A few years ago immigration raided the Flamingo Beach Resort targeting two black Bahamian Directors in addition to other illegals. We will be patiently waiting to find out if preferential treatment will be given to these two illegal White Americans.

You will be updated next week in reference to these individuals including the employee who is signed up under another company who is currently employed at the Resort. Minister of justice, I trust that you will do your job. We will be following up with you next week.

Name Withheld on Author's Request

Dear Editor,

This election on French St. Martin is about hope versus despair. Despair means the loss of hope or hopelessness. This election is one of the nastiest elections French St. Martin has ever seen. It includes racism, discrimination, witchcraft and deceitfulness. French St. Martin has gone to a new low. We are witnessing the other candidates going against one man, in particular Daniel Gibbs, and it is nasty.
I am not going to hold back. We see hypocritical people like Louis constant Fleming who's supposed to be from the right joining with the left; it is clear he is a self-interest person and just destroys his credibility. I heard of complains, especially in French quarter, that some people were intimidated and afraid if they do not vote for the socialist candidate of RRR.
I am asking the French government to put French marshals at each polling station, that if it occurs to lock people up.
French St. Martin is still a democracy and every person has the right to vote for any party without any one being intimidated. I am asking all Christians to vote on our St. Martin values and not for a party that says they are Christians, but back President Hollande who loves breaking God's law by promoting homosexuality. You owe it to God to vote for a party with values. Any party that fabricates lies against a fellow St. Martiner (Mr. Gibbs) is not worthy of your vote. A lying tongue is destructive to mankind. It is hypocritical for that party that is playing the racist card calling their opponent a white boy (Mr. Daniel Gibbs) and then asking the electorate to vote for them to enter into an assembly where the masses of people are white.
My people of French St. Martin, we were never a people that promotes racism and discrimination; distance yourselves far from that RRR party that promotes racism and hatred of white people. Remember the most of our tourists come from USA and Europe who are white people. That mentality can destroy us as a tourist destination. Racism against black or white is equally wrong. I hate it. Martin Luther king said it best; judge a man not by the colour of his skin, but by the context of his character.
The big lie the socialist party RRR is telling the people is that Mr. Gibbs is going to cut the CAF. My people do not be fooled; the social welfare is controlled by the state and not the collectivité, so Mr. Daniel Gibbs cannot cut it even if he wanted to. And Mr. Daniel Gibbs never said so; it is the socialist party that is fabricating that false story. The socialist party of RRR is the party that keeps people dependent and is vindictive if you oppose them; they believe in the socialist doctrine of shut your mouth and do as you are told.

Mr. Daniel Gibbs' party is a party of inclusion for all people, always listening to see what people have to say and allows them to make their contribution. Mr. Gibbs' party is a party of respect and agrees to disagree while it maintains a team spirit over personal interest. That is the party free of racism and discrimination, where all people are welcome and respected as such. Do not vote for despair which is RRR; vote for hope and economic prosperity, the ideology of Daniel Gibbs. Vote for the best possible candidate for the job, who is Daniel Gibbs, a native St. Martin man and proud of it.

The Patriot Miguel Arrindell

Dear Mr. Editor,

Kindly allow me some space in your paper to vent on behalf of the ordinary men and women of St. Maarten, a bit of the frustration they endure in trying to make life here on St. Maarten. I do so, being cognizant of the recent change if government and what it portends for the drastic and deliberate change that will be realized when the working class on eventually decide to rid itself of the pressures associated with eking out an honest living on this island.
In simple language, the treatment of workers on St. Maarten by many employers is downright horrible. Needless to say, the despicable manner in which the Pelican issue has been handled by those who possessed the power to intervene, has given companies and their assertive attorneys an assurance that they can dictate the direction of the labor force on St. Maarten.
Yet, the treatment experience of the Pelican workers is not unique. On a daily basis, employee's across this land, are abused and exploited by employers who wield tremendous power in political circles. It all goes back to campaign financing-power hungry politicians selling themselves to unscrupulous business persons to win political favor.
In so doing, monies that could have been used to improve the social lot of workers are channeled into political campaigns. In reflection for their expenditures, business owners expect, are even guaranteed and receive all kinds of favors, including protection in the most unlikely of places, much to the detriment of taxpayers.
Thus, employees, including unsuspecting party supporters are made to pay the price for political greed. Employees are being pawned by the politicians because there are insufficient guidelines for employers to follow. There are too many loopholes and grey areas in the labor regulations to be exploited and when recommendations are made to address these, they are either postponed or watered-down in favor of the employers.
The issue of the minimum wage is often referred to, but never addressed. Workers in the private sector must face increased cost of living, while salaries remain the same, because employers apply the regulations as it suits them. At the same time, the worth of specialized labor is devalued by employers, importing laborers to perform functions that were previously done by locals.
Compounding this is the demoralizing notion that some politicians have shares in companies that continue to abuse workers. Where are the relevant authorities in this? Lip service is given to labor rights and consumer protection, but the consumers foundation is paralyzed, if alive.
Spasmodic media releases and occasional correspondences are a far cry from the stashing of standard guidelines and recommendations to adequate consumer protection. As for the implementation of and adherence to that, this is already on the books. The Minister of Justice and that of Labor need to work in closer collaboration in order to protect the working class from the kind of abuse we see taking place.
In the absence of this kind of protection, unions must engage the services of legal professionals to safeguard the rights of members. The fight against unscrupulous employers must and will continue.

Mr. William Reed

In the Daily Herald of Friday June 15, I read that the President of Wifol said that a dangerous precedent is being set by employers on St. Maarten, who continue to disrespect court decisions and utilize legal loopholes to prolong cases. Although I am not aware of the employers, I do know for a fact that Government, more specifically the Minister of Justice and/or the Prison director, is disrespecting the Law and the court decisions for a decade now.
I know plenty people who will say that inmates do not have any rights. I will not blame the people of thinking that, but I do blame the government who apparently share that same opinion. I want to believe that my country is a civilized country. A civilized country has a civilized legal system with civilized government officials that obey the law and obey the court. Our country does not only have a penal code to punish, it also has this law and many other laws to protect individuals from unlawful punishments.
Those who have followed the news these last days know that the Inmates Association had the right to strike in order to bring injustice within the prison walls to the surface. The Court of first instance ruled that the collective punishment was unlawful and considered specifically that it was despicable that the whole board of the association was transferred to the police cells on June 2, clearly with the sole intention to clip their wings and break down the strike. Not only is country Sint Maarten guilty of collective punishing inmates who did not break any rules, Sint Maarten is also guilty of infringing basic human rights.
Although the acts of the director/minister were called despicable by the Court on Monday, the president, vice president and a member of the inmates association were still being held at the police station Friday morning. Now tell me, if the prison director is instructed or backed up by the Minister of Justice to break his own prison rules and international human rights despite a court order, can we still tell ourselves that we live in a civilized country? No one stands above the law, not an inmate, not an employee, not an employer, not a prison director, not a Minister.

Yahaira Romney,

On behalf of the Inmates Association.

Private property is private property; I understand and respect that. But now after finally tearing down their buildings which were left to lie in ruin for more than 15 years for various reasons, the owner(s) and management of the MULLET BAY property have in their wisdom decided to ensure that the St. Maarten/St. Martin public and visiting tourists do not trespass ANYWHERE on their private property (they are in their good right to do so), by placing boulders on the immediate shoulders of the road that for all intents and purposes can be considered a public road through their land. My question is: even if they are trying to force everyone to use the one and only access road they must allow for the public to get to the public Mullet Bay beach ( so they do not walk across their golf course), what about when a vehicle has a mechanical problem and gets stuck on the road running through the property. From the parking in front of the former Chase Manhattan Bank (bldg. 15) to past the former locations of bldgs. 14, 13 and 9, the boulders along the road make a statement. And so do the ones further towards the Cupe Coy area, accentuating the issue of people not being able to park in designated areas where formerly buildings 61, 62, 63, 64, 65 and 66 stood (directly across the beach, including in the dip under the trees past the entrance to the Towers going to the Low Lands). It is true, having people trot across an active golf course is dangerous and could cause damage to them and to the grass. But guess what: When the resort and the golf course were originally planned and built, the guests staying in those buildings were sold on the fact that they "just had to cross the fairway from their suite and enjoy the immaculate white sand of Mullet Bay beach and the crystal clear water of the magnificent Caribbean Sea". So Mullet Bay, why not put your demarcation boulders a bit ON your property and put up signs: "PRIVATE PROPERTY. PARK AT YOUR OWN RISK & CROSS THE GOLF COURSE AT YOUR OWN RISK". You can even add: "TEMPORARY PUBLIC PARKING ON OUR PRIVATE PROPERTY", if your attorneys are afraid you may give away your rights. I am no lawyer, but am sure that where there is a will (by you to prove that you are not anti-social and don't really mind that our people and our visitors use small parts of your property while you have no immediate need to use the land yourself), your attorneys and engineers can find a way.

Michael J. Ferrier

The global economy is puttering. When the world sneezes we get a cold. Without a doubt our country is impacted by what is taking place and going on in Europe and the United States. Time and time again we have seen this, and the last impact and influence on our economic growth has been the financial collapse of the markets in late 2008 with the fallout hitting us in the latter half of 2009.
The current European debt crisis is having a negative impact on the U.S. economy; the world's largest, suggesting that it is facing a mid-year slump similar to episodes in 2010 and 2011. Prolonged weakness in the U.S. economy according to economists could worsen slowdowns in European and Asian countries that depend on doing business with U.S. consumers. Economists have already noticed slowdowns in China, India and Brazil.
The global recession ended for Asia and South American countries in 2009, but today things are different, and changing.
However, despite the gloom and doom, medical tourism is still on track within the Caribbean region. Investors see the potential and continue to develop their plans for Caribbean communities including Sint Maarten.
In the Cayman Islands, work continues to develop the vision of Dr. Devi Shetty's medical facility on a 600 acre plot comprising of a 2000-bed hospital, a medical educational facility, and assisted living homes for seniors. The 15-year project starts off with a 140-bed hospital, the "Narayana Cayman University Medical Centre."
Dr. Shetty is the founder of the Bangalore, India-based Narayana Hrudayalaya Group of Hospitals (14 hospitals in 11 cities, with close to 5,600 beds).
The hospital is expected to cater to 120 patients per day in its first year of operation. Patients would stay on island approximately 10 days. The hospital will eventually offer open heart/bypass surgery, angioplasty, heart-valve replacement, cancer treatment, bone-marrow transplant, organ transplant and orthopaedics.
Cayman Premier McKeeva Bush said in 2010 that in 2013 some 87,000+ patients and accompanying family members would arrive on Grand Cayman because of the medical facility, and by 2025 the number of stay-over medical tourists would increase to over one million per year (2010, stay-over Cayman air arrivals were 288,000). According to Bush's projections, the medical facility would lead to a 30 per cent increase in tourist air arrivals in 2013.
The aforementioned figures give an insight into the potential of the medical tourism facility to be established on Sint Maarten within the coming years.
Dr. Shetty's group back in April signed a document of public commitment with Ascension Healthcare Alliance to manage the Cayman medical facility besides handling group purchasing, facilities management and biomedical engineering services, another indication that the project here is moving forward. Ground breaking is expected in August and the 140-bed facility is expected to be open for business sometime in 2013.
Last week we were greeted with news that the Florida-based Advanced Orthopaedic Center, one of two groups interested in developing medical tourism on the island, met with Government to give them an update on their plans and how things are progressing.
The project will be an investment of US$250 million and will be developed in two phases. The group hopes to break ground in a few months and completing the entire project in two to three years.
The benefits of medical tourism will be tremendous, besides being an impetus for tourism; diversification of the type of tourist – medical; the medical care to be offered and also available to residents will enhance the health care of the Sint Maarten people.
At the end of every dark cloud there is a silver lining, and in our case, medical tourism is the key for the future development and enhancement of our tourism product and as a tourism destination.

Roddy Heyliger

In life we all make mistakes but then sometimes we catch ourselves, ask ourselves a question and make changes for the better. We will all continue to make mistakes in our lives but then if we decide to continue a particular mistake for years then we have a problem.

I have known this person for a little under a year now and I only recently found out about his pedophile behavior which was rather shocking...I have asked the gentleman on many occasions to seek help but up till this moment he hasn't made one move to seek any assistance for his problem. As a matter of fact, although he got caught he continues to deny everything.

I have not notified the authorities although this is the right thing to do. I am posting this here to get his attention and let him know that he needs to get help now before it's too late.

There is a particular individual working for the government of St. Maarten who has been frequently visiting Jamaica for many years, seeking vulnerable or destitute young school girls to prey on. He has also created several face book accounts with fictitious Facebook names. He scans Facebook seeking out his next victims.

All of his Facebook accounts are strictly for Jamaican school girls from the ages of 12 to 21. This guy has a sick obsession; He scans young girls on Facebook several times a day for hours; seeking to befriend them, paying more attention to dark skin skinny young teenagers. He starts off by complimenting them on how cute, sweet, and sexy they look. He also mentions that he has fallen in love with them at first sight and he wishes he could be their boyfriend. Some of these girls are so tiny they look like 8. He goes on by asking them about school pretending to show concern and offers to send them ten to fifteen thousand Jamaican dollars to buy themselves gifts asking for their full name and home address; Some do accept the offer but others refuse: He also asks these girls (some underage) to send him sexy private pics of themselves; He also sends them private pics of himself. (obviously of his private parts). I contacted one of the 14 year olds and she did confirm that he sent naked pics of himself to her.

Practically every 2 to 3 months, he sends about $75 US dollars to different Jamaican school girls via Western Union and sometimes tops up their cell phones. After the initial contact, he continues to maintain communication with them via Facebook and telephone. After he befriends these young girls, probably gains their trust, he then prepares to launch his attack.

When talking to those teenagers, he creates an inflated impression of himself to impress these girls He states that he has lots of money, he is well traveled, he goes on off island business trips, goes on cruises and he also claims that he currently owns boats. LIES LIES LIES. On one of his Facebook accounts, he has as his profile pic, his chest exposed, waving 20, 50, and 100 US dollar bills.

Every two to three months and sometimes every three weeks, he goes to Jamaica to exploit these girls. He takes every opportunity to fly to Jamaica and has stated that Jamaican teens are easy to get as most of them are poor and would do anything to obtain money.

This guy would leave his girlfriends at his house in St. Maarten and disappears for days, weeks, even months without saying one word. They would wake up one morning and he would be gone (to Jamaica of course to exploit these teenagers). Sometimes if you happened to see him before his departure he would mention some bogus story claiming that he was going down the road to come back but you would never see him again, well not for at least a few days, weeks, or months.

This has been going on for years. The first time he did his disappearing act and was confronted about it he became extremely enraged and asked in an aggressive psychotic manner if I was prepared to take a bullet for him. I had no idea what he was talking about. And he said to me; "You know where I was? You know where I was? I WAS IN THE JUNGLE."

When he gets to Jamaica he calls to inform some of these girls of his arrival: He would then make arrangements to meet with them; when he does, he may offer them notebook computers, phones cameras, money etc. He goes on to sleep with some and often times he would promise to marry some of them although he is supposedly still legally married which was found out recently. He also promises to take them to live with him in St. Maarten.

After having slept with some of them he would promise to help them with their school books and support them in any way. Some he has helped but many he hasn't: His next move is to delete and block some of them he has had sexual encounters with and refuses to take their calls: Eventually some realize that they were just being exploited.

After having found all the information from his cell phone text messages as well as on his Facebook page which he forgot to close and overhearing phone conversations and video chats, he blatantly denied everything stating that he wasn't the one who sent the e-mails it was hacked by a young school girl from Jamaica who got pissed off at him for not giving her any money: He stated that this young girl added a lot of young school girls to his page. With regard to the overheard phone calls and video chat his response was that he was just playing with them. The excuse for the numerous DHL and Western Union receipts of money sent to different Jamaican women was that it was some business he is doing that he will not or cannot reveal to anyone and the money has to be sent to different women to avoid any trace. With the reservation/ticket print outs to Jamaica; the excuse was; he goes through Jamaica as his transit destination to go to Cuba. What a pathological liar!

The reason he gave for the young dark skin teenagers who visit his home in St.Maarten is that, he has been very close to their parents and when they come over, they are there on the behalf of their parents and he has to accompany them to their parents' home so that he could help out financially:

I did mention to him that he has a sick problem and urge him to seek help: Months earlier I really did notice that he had this sick obsession to Facebook. He was always looking at very young Jamaican school girls in their school uniforms and other sexy outfits. This 50 year old claimed that these were his friends and even had the audacity to ask if I wanted to take a look: I was just so disgusted. Also, he would casually ask about young teenagers that I know and ask who their friends were; I had found it rather odd. In addition he kept insisting that I bring over my young friends even though I told him that I do not normally bring friends over to where I live. It so happened that one of my young friends came over and he insisted that he take her home alone. The young girl was smart enough to say that she was not going anywhere alone with this guy as we both figured he was up to something.

After indicating to him that if he doesn't stop what he was doing and get help I would expose him, he flew into a fit of rage and mentioned that he had set me up and would inform the police that I had broken into his room and stolen his money.

For now, I will not post this on the local newspaper neither will I mention your name. I hope you are reading this. Please get some help. Stay away from Facebook and computers and find yourself in some institution somewhere before it's too late. You are destroying these young girls' lives. You have daughters and this would be rather embarrassing if they were to find out. In Jamaica you can be faced with up to 15 years for child porn. With pedophilia I'm not sure how many years you may be faced with.

Please people if you are commenting please do not speculate and mention persons by name as we often time have the tendency to give misleading information about others based on second hand information and without having facts. This is coming from the horse's mouth and I do have all the proof so I can talk.

Lee B.

Dear Editor,

Allow me a space in your paper. I am not pointing fingers; I just want answers.

I have been hearing so many reports and reading a bunch of articles in connection with education in the space of one month. When for years our education system has been on the back burner, with our Education Department staff saying one thing, but doing nothing. Then there is the educational system that does not even make sense, when you look at it. Teachers go along with it maybe because they have no choice and need a job. A lot of parents go to school to complain and find out things about their children's education and they are told nothing can be done about it. Most of the schools have no Parent Teachers Association (PTA).

Education is on the bottom list of the agenda's of our politicians, because if our children are not educated, it is not their concern, as far as I can see. Everyone wants to sit in an office, because "our children are too rude" they say. Easy way out isn't it. Why is it we are trying to de-motivate our children, by implementing all kinds of rules and regulation that would hamper instead of help our children? "Keep the children in school" should be our motto.

There are no schools for children with special needs. Most of these children attend regular school and when they don't achieve the system puts them on the side and are only promoted because of their age.

As parents we have been asking the question for many years about the Technical section at Milton Peters College and why it was taken away? As parents we would also like to know what the role of the school board is in this equation. The technical section was so important, because of its hands on approach.

Now let us talk about the absenteeism of our school teachers. We are on the verge of beginning a new Academic Year and as has been the case for many years, we still we do not have enough Teachers and they are far too many teachers sick and stress during the school year.

Who pays the price of the above? The parents, who pay the school fee every school year and the children who sits the exam every year.

Why they are always cutting the budget of education, when money is being spent on all sorts of projects that can be put on hold and purchase vehicles, when we say that the island is in financial trouble.

Where are our priorities? Can we think for a moment on families who put their trust in our political system and get screwed over?

Then there is a press conference and an article this week in connection with decision makings on granting scholarships.

I am representing parents, who have many questions, because we read in the paper "Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport has now made a decision".

  • Is there a board of educators that sits and take decision with the Minister?
  • Does the department seek additional information from the scholars?
  • Which nationalities have been given scholarships?
  • After waiting six months, how they go about granting scholarships and do you keep n contact with the parents?
  • Is the St. Maarten University accredited?
  • Do we have capable teachers?

Former Minister of Education spoke about the University not being accredited. Were their meetings held with parents and students before these decisions?

The politicians get paid and move on with their lives. St. Maarten is stressed. When is enough!

Parents we need to stand together. Wake up and speak out. But then we ask for what? Nothing isn't going to change any way.

YOUR VOICE and OPINION WAS HEARD. They can't say we did nothing. Please answer my questions.

Concerned parent,

Miraida Carty

george21082009Member of Parliament George Pantophlet says that government is indeed hitting the ground running. The reduction of the price of gasoline and the future plans to deal with the propane gas and Gebe fuel clauses are on stream. He is looking forward to stricter controls with regard to prices in the supermarkets because bringing these essential components under control will surely increase the purchasing power of the consumers. What is also important is adding more products to the list of basic items. This will be discussed with the Minister of Economic Affairs and tourism Mr. Romeo Pantophlet who is presently abroad. He will also inquire as to the progress on the Casino Gaming Board. The member said he had a discussion with the Minister of Finance Mr. Roland Tuitt with whom he brought up the subject of the dividends. As one can remember the question was posed by the Member of Parliament to the former Minister of Finance Hiro Shigemoto as to why government owned companies were not paying dividends to the shareholders (people of St. Maarten). Mr. Shigemoto had promised to look into the matter of establishing a committee but this never materialized. The Member of Parliament was assured by Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt that a committee will be set up to look into the possibilities. Just recently in a report the Committee for Financial Supervision had stated that based on the last financial reports of the government owned companies, they are healthy and they see no reason why these government owned companies can't contribute by paying dividends into the government coffers. To be clear this will be in addition to the concession fees already being paid by some of these companies. Another matter discussed with the Minister was the procedures on tax collections. Apparently government can withhold one third of your salary and do so without informing the tax payer. The Member of Parliament is looking into how this law can be amended. The right to withhold the taxes owed is no problem but the person should be informed beforehand. He can imagine what happens to the people who are confronted with this and especially those in the low income bracket. What was also discussed were the outstanding casino related fees of some 25.9 million guilders since 2001. It appears that there are court litigations ongoing. The Minister promised to also look into this matter. The Member of Parliament feels that it is not right for millions to be owned by these companies who by the way don't pay Turnover Tax, while personal taxes are being withheld left right and center. Even the pensioners are not spared. What he did not discussed as it only came up during a discourse with someone later on is the issue of the gold reserves. St. Maarten needs to know that its share is secured. Telling us it is there is not enough we need to see it. The Member of Parliament plans to meet with all the other Ministers to get a sense of how they are progressing. They have their responsibilities and he has his as we all should be hitting the ground running.

Member of Parliament George Pantophlet

I have been waiting quite some time for the chosen One to appear and for the Coming that is to save this sinful earth, just like All God's Children have been waiting.

Yes, the US finally elected some black mayors in their big cities but only when those cities were bankrupt or on their way to being bankrupt. Yes, we got President Obama but only when the US was on it way to being bankrupt, or already bankrupt, some say.

Now we have a breath of fresh air, we have Mr. Alain Richardson and the RRR but these elected saviors can neither walk on water nor can they turn water into wine.

I do believe that in most democratic governments there is a serious attempt to separate state from religion, and even to separate the judicial, the legislative and the executive branches. This is done in an attempt to sort of keep the balance and manage the government equitably for all the people, and not just the ones who voted for the elected leader.

I voted for Hollande and for the RRR that they are the best persons right now to put your confidence in to straighten out some of the devastating problems facing us. Maybe God will help us with the rest:

President Hollande has France and the European Community on his shoulders, President Richardson has Saint-Martin and France. President Hollande will propose legislation in certain domains, such as health, family immigration, fiscal, etc. that we may be happy to assimilate others that we may be able to avoid by voting for derogations and others that we may have to fight against or swallow.

President Richardson has not even had 75 days in his seat! So he has not even had the time to scope out all the financial intricacies and dead weights creating the 30 years monstrous nightmare called DEFICIT for Saint-Martin, must less obtain financial possibilities, savoir faire, tools to repair and arms to fight to put this ship back in the race.

And you condemn him as godless, unconscious of the complexities of immigration in Saint-Martin and think that you can frolic the frontiers of defamation with impunity calling him and the RRR communist?

Such talk can only dribble out the mouth of a man of little faith, a spoil child who fantasizes that elections is really " a game" and forgets that Papa God said "...the poor shall inherit the world/earth". A hell of a Communist that rebel God!

But really, how dare you? Who are creating the CRISIS today the overabundant banks and institutions or the tired and downtrodden, the poor, or those in need?

By the way, I believe the majority of the World's Powers on whatever continent you wish to venture to will confirm to you that the present world economic problem is a result of greed, abuse, theft and rape of the ordinary man in the Capitalists countries and enterprises, national and multinationals; as well as the same among the exclusive hungry rich "paradise hypocrites" in even the socialists' countries and, worse, the dictatorship countries.

Mr. Alain Richardson, considering his profession, has spent over 20 years study functional economics of companies and over 14 years practicing professionally the art of saving companies, creating others and keeping them profitable as well as working to ameliorate the economical situation in Saint-Martin. He is not about to give up and neither am I, the RRR nor the real Saint-Martiners because we are ready to help.

Patricia Chance-Duzant , Esq

Dear Editor,

After the verdict of April 13, 2012, in which the court ordered the Wathey family to provide me with full accountability for all of N. C. Wathey Estate or pay a penalty of Naf. 20,000.00 per day to a maximum of Naf. 25,000,000.00 for non-compliance, I contemplated "giving the pen a rest" only to, once again, have to go back to the same pen because I still can not tell the court that I am one step closer to receiving what is due to me, almost 2 months after this verdict and now the penalty is running up.

To date, the notary involved to execute the division of the estate, has not received the requested list of information they need to finish their work. Received is a baseless report compiled by their tenant and private accounting firm; Price Waterhouse Coopers, that shows check numbers missing, checks for large sums written out to Brenda Wathey for repairs on some house without any receipts for payments made whatsoever leaving me to wonder whether she can produce these receipts or not.

The question remains, why is Brenda not forthcoming with the requested information; does she have somethings she would prefer kept a secret, why am I not allowed to see the tax returns for the estate as well as for all the dozen or so companies, bank statements, shareholders registers and other documents in support of Price Waterhouse Coopers so-called report.

Miss Brenda seems not to realize that the verdict I have against them is not against Price Watrehouse Coopers, it is against them themselves, I have nothing with Price Waterhouse Coopers, they were not condemned to give me anything and they are not even independent in this matter.

I hereby would like to make abundantly clear to Brenda that I still need the requested information and that the longer she takes to hand it over, the higher the penalty will run.
I expect no problem in collecting it when the time comes!

Norman C. Wathey

swescotwilliamsattendsbtopeningreception10062012The Honourable Prime Minister of St. Maarten Sarah Wescot-Williams and members of her Cabinet attended the opening reception of Baker and Tilly accountancy and business advocacy firm on St. Maarten. Baker Tilly International is one of the world's leading networks of independently owned and managed accountancy and business advisory firms.

meandrahazel01062012The JCI International (St. Maarten) is pleased to announce that they will be hosting the annual mid year meeting for the Dutch Caribbean JCI on Friday 8th June, 2012 & Saturday 9th June, 2012.

A series of workshops are planned for the approximately 40 JCI members who are expected to travel to St. Maarten from Curacao and Aruba to take part in the meeting.
All workshops are open to the public. Generally these meetings are attended by Presidents and the board members of the local Chapters where they discuss issues coming out of their respective chapters and report on their activities during the first half of the of the year and their plans for the second half.
While the National Meetings are being held the trainings will be held for the other non board members who have traveled along with general public. All trainings will be held at the University of St. Martin.
The program will begin on Friday 8th June at 9 am with a motivational speech with the Topic: "Passion into Action" The speaker will be Ms. Valarie Brazier.
At 10 AM to 12 PM Training on "Parliamentary Procedures" using Roberts Rules of Order will be given.
This training is highly recommended by persons pursuing Leadership positions be it in a civil club, social clubs, and sports club or even to one day take up a position in Government.
The attendees will be taught the methods by which effective meetings are conducted and representative decisions can be reached. The price is $20.00
Saturday 9th June, 2012 an all day workshop will be given on the Topic: Progress is attainable through Challenges. The attendees will be equipped with the tools to maintain a positive self image, the power of active listening, effective communication and how to resolve conflicts. The price will Be $40.00 for this all day Training. Lunch will be an additional $10.00
Dutch Caribbean Leadership Academy "an all day training for members who wants to pursue a Board Position will also be offered on Saturday 9th June, 2012 from 9 am to 3:30 PM.

Friday's opening Ceremony will be held at the Tauola Mangoes on the Boardwalk at 7 P.M to 11 P.M.
The closing Ceremony will be held On Saturday 9th June, 2012 at the Roof Top Restaurant upstairs the Belair Community Center. The Theme will be Mardi gras.

JCI St. Maarten President Ms. Meandra Hazel is hereby extending an invitation to all members Senators and Associated members to join in and make this a memorable Dutch Caribbean Mid Year Meeting.

For bookings or Further Information please contact: JCI Sen. Sandra Hazel Tel; 5537753 or JCI Sen. Jerome Chittick 5814565.

On the 19th April WICSU/PSU decided to call their members of the Postal Services of St. Eustatius to hold a meeting concerning the many issues that were affecting them over more than two (2) years, of which at a giving moment was affecting them mentally and physically. One of the main issues socially is the building that are housing the post office is unsafe to work in and it is a danger to the workers and public at large, and many, many more.

After many correspondence to which no answer a firm decision, had to be taken by the union to take the workers off the work site to put a stop to this abuse by those in management position. The workers of the post office is very hard and dedicated workers and should not be judge or victimize when taken a stand to defend and protect themselves. That in the near future will benefit one and all of St. Eustatius.

The tactics which management use is completely unacceptable by this union seeing the motto is to protect and defend our members to the last extend. The way of living on St. Eustatius has change, but the working conditions and benefits of the postal workers remains the same, or must I say decreased as everyone is collecting in dollars and their salaries is in guilder.

Is this not justifiable for the union to take drastic steps to \wards these issues? But most of all the customer service has increased, because of love and dedication of my members of the postal office to the community.

Together we stand, divided we fall.

Press Release from WICSU/PSU

marinemammalconference07062012On June 4 and 5 the Caribbean Marine Mammal Sanctuaries Initiative (Caribbean MAMAS), a group of countries (France, Dominican Republic, the USA and The Netherlands) with marine mammal (whales and dolphins) sanctuaries or sanctuaries under development together with the Regional Activity Center (RAC) of the SPAW (Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife) Protocol, met on St. Maarten together with marine park managers and marine mammal experts, to discuss how they will be cooperating for conservation of marine mammals (whales, dolphins and manatees). The group reaffirmed their intention to work together, guided by the Marine Mammal Action Plan of the SPAW Protocol, and to embark on a number of joint actions listed in an Action Plan. The group also invites all other countries in the region who are interested to join the group. The participants were all extremely happy with the outcomes of the workshop, which has now firmly established the partnership.

The group of marine mammals sanctuaries first came together at the International Convention for Marine Mammal Protected Areas (ICMMPA 2) in Martinique in November last year where a Declaration of Intent was signed outlining the fields of cooperation the partnership would undertake. This workshop on St. Maarten was intended to discuss how the cooperation could best be realized and to identify specific actions on which to work together. Several of the Sanctuaries already have or are working on bilateral so-called Sister Sanctuary agreements. The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary first made such an agreement with the Dominican Republic Sanctuary because humpback whales spend the summer in the north on the Stellwagen Bank in Massachusetts but in winter they migrate to the Caribbean concentrating especially on the Silver Banks where thousands of humpback whales congregate, from all over the Northern Atlantic. The Humpback whales can also be found around other islands in the Caribbean, including the Dutch and the French islands, and those countries are also working on similar Sister Sanctuary agreements with Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and with the Dominican Republic Sanctuary.

At the meeting the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation (EL&I) informed the other partners that it intends to establish a Caribbean Netherlands Marine Mammal Sanctuary, before the end of this year. The French 'Agoa' Sanctuary and the Dutch Caribbean islands had already been working together on surveys for marine mammals around the French and Dutch Windward islands in March, including St. Maarten and also the Saba Bank, and the meeting was informed about some surprising preliminary results of that survey. Many Humpback Whales were heard singing on the Saba Bank and in the deep channel between Saba and St. Maarten numerous Sperm Whales were recorded. It was agreed that this successful joint survey work will be continued in October of this year and in 2013 another survey will be undertaken starting in the Dutch ABC islands and then up through the arc of Eastern Caribbean islands all the way up via the French islands to the Dutch windward islands. This expedition will also include outreach on the various islands to inform the communities on the work being done and the marine mammals around their islands. Participants in this expedition will also be invited from Venezuela and the various Eastern Caribbean islands.

Other actions agreed on during the meeting were the set-up of a regional network of acoustic underwater listening posts spread out among the partners to get records of songs and other sounds produced by whales and dolphins, but also to quantify the underwater noise generated by human activities all over the region in order to assess the impact of such noise pollution, not only from ships, seismic explorations, but also from recreational noise from speedboats, jet skis and such. Because the Caribbean has one of the highest shipping densities in the world, interactions between ships and whales must be better studied. Stakeholders from the shipping authorities will also be invited to join in this work. The group further agreed to exchange expertise and build capacity by mutual participation in joint work, training in stranding response and disentanglement of marine mammals, standardization of methods and sharing of marine mammal data.

The participants all expressed their appreciation of the Dutch Ministry of EL&I for hosting this meeting with logistical help of the Nature Foundation St. Maarten. Everyone found the workshop extremely useful and the partners decided that they will meet at least once every year to discuss progress and new actions.

swescotwilliamsattendsstdominicinternationalbaccalaureategraduation18062012The Prime Minister of St. Maarten joined dignitaries in celebrating the graduation of St. Dominic High School's first International Baccalaureate Graduating Class of 2012. The graduating students celebrating the pinning ceremony with teachers, family, and friends at St. Dominic High School on Friday.

Will be discussing challenges and success with regard to issues of equity and sustainable development.

The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams will be departing for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to attend the United Nations Rio+20 conference on the 19th of June. The Rio+20 is the short name for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and is considered an historic opportunity to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all. At the Rio+20 Conference, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups, will come together to shape how poverty can be reduced, discuss the advancement of social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet. The Prime Minister will be representing St. Maarten as part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Delegation and will be addressing issues specific to St. Maarten.

"It is important that St. Maarten is represented at the conference due to our fledgling position on the global stage and the sensitivity our country has with regard to the topics being discussed during the Rio+20 conference. All of the points are of particular importance to St. Maarten as we are what is known as a Small Island Developing State and as such we are most vulnerable to environmental changes and external shocks. It is also important that we highlight not only the challenges we face in the areas of social equity and environmental protection, but also that we highlight the steps Government has been taking to address these issues. As a young nation we have to be at the forefront of putting in place mechanisms to address the issues we are faced with;" commented the Prime Minister

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development will take place in Brazil from the 20-22 June 2012 to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Rio+20 Conference is envisaged as a Conference of the highest level; attendees to the conference will include Heads of State of various nations and high-level Government representatives. The Conference will result in a focused political document which will serve as a guiding framework to assist nations in meeting the goals of equity and sustainable development.

The main themes of the conference are a green economy in the context of sustainable development, poverty eradication; and the institutional framework for sustainable development. There are also seven priority areas which include decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans and disaster readiness.

The core theme of the conference will be the development of nations on a sustainable level "As is stated in the charter of the United Nations Environmental Program, sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This is seen as the guiding principle for long-term global development. It is important to realize that sustainable development consists of three main pillars, namely economic development, social development and environmental protection. Taking all of these factors into consideration is essential in developing our National Development Program and other framework and guiding documents on which Government will base its governing program. It is therefore essential that St. Maarten is represented at such an important conference as Rio+20," stated the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister departs on Tuesday for Rio and will return on Friday.

Press Release from Prime Minister's Office

swescotwilliamsmeetswithrkopecky26062012The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams met with the Ambassador of the European Community to the Dutch Overseas Territories Mr. Robert Kopecký (seated third from left) and members of his staff. Mr. Kopecký is the resident Ambassador to Guyana as well as the non-resident Ambassador to Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and the Dutch Overseas Countries and Territories. He holds the overall portfolio of Head of Delegation of the European Union to Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and for the Dutch Overseas Countries and Territories.

Various items related to St. Maarten's activities with regards to the European Community were discussed including the signing of the Single Programming Document for the 10th European Development Fund that will significantly upgrade the infrastructure of the Dutch Quarter district.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Central Committee of Parliament will meet in a public session on June 14 to discuss the Civil Code.

The meeting will take place on Thursday morning at 10:00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House of Parliament at Wilhelmina Straat #2.1 in Philipsburg.

The Central Committee will discuss with the Minister of Justice Hon. Roland Duncan about the draft ordinances for the new Civil Code.

Professor De Boer is also expected to be present to provide Members of Parliament with any additional explanation about the legislation.

The committee meeting will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 20 and via Pearl Radio FM 98.1. The audio will be carried via the Internet

swescotwilliamsreceivescopyofintegratedneighborhooddevelopmentplan18062012Discussions held on how to address social issues outlined in report.

The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams was presented a copy of the Integrated Neighborhood Development Program last week and was given a presentation on its contents by Mr. Pyt Lucas of For a Change Unlimited. The Report included information on the social makeup of the various districts and communities on St. Maarten. Information was given on the general population description in the various districts; the population makeup in terms of birthplace in the various districts; the gender and age bracket of citizens living in the districts based on extensive interviews which were carried out to gain information which formed the basis of the Report; the religious makeup of those living in the various districts; education level; the differences between the neighborhoods based on income level; unemployment level in the different districts; access to medical insurance; housing; the availability of services; and parenting.

During the presentation the Prime Minister discussed the various approaches her Government can take on how to address some of the social issues outlined in the report. Discussions were also held on how foundations that are established to address social ills such as Community Centers should become financially self-sustainable and the possible funding opportunities that may become available through the newly established St. Maarten Development Fund, the official signing of its establishment the Prime Minister oversaw on June 7th. Information campaigns on the Integrated Neighborhood Development Program will be conducted in the various districts in the future.

rotarystmartinsunriseinstalls2012-2013boardmembers19062012Philipsburg:--- Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise together with the Rotaract Club of St. Maarten Sunrise celebrated together the successes of the nearly ended Rotary/ Rotaract Year 2011-2012 and the installation of the board members for the year 2012-2013. The event took place at the Sonesta Great Bay Hotel on Saturday, June 16, 2012 in the presence of Rotarian, Rotaracters, Interacters their families and other guests also present as guest speaker was the Deputy Prime Minister, the honorable William Marlin who addressed the audience on the theme "Peace through Service" and highlighted how government, individuals within the community, and the Rotary clubs emulate this.

Outgoing President Hendrik-Jan van Ieperen thanked his fellow board members and entire membership for their enthusiasm and support during the year. He summarized the executed projects including strengthening the club's membership with the introduction of the successful Open House on every fifth Tuesday of the month also focusing on the projects and activities that the club had started in previous years such as Readers are Leaders reading program, Benefit concert for the Simpson Bay Community Center upgrade, delivery of school furniture's donated by Prins Claus School of Tiel (the Netherlands) to the Starlight School, Cleanup and beautification of the Dr. Martin Luther King School in Dutch Quarter, we also helped out with the organization of the Vaccination week of the America. President Hendrik-Jan van Ieperen concluded in wishing the incoming president Marcellia Henry and her team of board members a successful Rotary Year 2012-2013.

The new Rotary Board consists of: President Marcellia Henry, Vice-President Virginia Asin, Past President Hendrik-Jan van Ieperen, Secretary/President Elect Angela Gordon, Service Projects Director Joseanne Peterson, Treasurer Ahmed Bell, Sergeant at Arms Solaika Serbony, Membership Director Ronald Wever, Club Administration Director Peter Dialani, Public Relations Director Martha Pouchie, Rotary Foundation Director Meredith Boekhoudt, Fundraising Director Cookie Bijlani, New Generation Chair Paula Gordon and Club Disaster Chair Claret Connor.

In her speech incoming president Marcellia Henry outlined her goals for the new rotary year consisting of Sustaining and diversifying the club membership, re-energized club members by following her slogan '100% Participation from All', We will also continue to cooperate and support the other Rotary clubs on St. Maarten and the neighboring islands in the district, establishment of a new interact club and continue with our programs such as the very successful Readers are Leaders and bring to completion the upgrade of the Simpson Bay Community Center, finally and most important we will promote and model our Rotary theme for 2012-2013 'PEACE THROUGH SERVICE'.

Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise also thanked all Rotaracters and Rotarians involved in the organization of the Change of Board Ceremony.

The 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 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.

The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot Williams will be signing the Single Programming Document for Curacao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba for the implementation of the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).

The main activities of the overall 10th EDF intervention on St. Maarten are centered around various improvements in the Dutch Quarter district including the placement of public street lighting and related works, the construction of pedestrian pathways, the expansion of the sewer network, including home connections and connection to the existing main sewer line, and the construction of a 1000 m3 drinking water tank.

Based on the conducted research, sewerage is considered one of the major issues on the island. The 10th EDF, through the planning procedure conducted by government, will also seek to reduce flooding leading to pollution down hill from poor infrastructure-equipped upper areas towards the densely populated areas. The proposed intervention has direct impact on poverty reduction and is line with a comprehensive strategic action of the Government summarized in the Sewage Master Plan 2006-2016.

The result of the project will directly benefit the deprived areas of Dutch Quarter through better collection and treatment of the storm and wastewater and as such will have a very positive impact on the health situation in the neighborhood. Lack of sufficient sewage infrastructure has become a critical issue, leading to the deteriorations in the quality of surface and coastal waters for recreational purposes and adversely affecting the quality of life for the residents on the island. Within the governing program for St. Maarten, the improvement of the socially deprived districts with special attention to sanitation, drainage and wastewater treatment is of high priority.

The ultimate objective of the 10th EDF is to improve the living conditions of low-income residents and reduce poverty on St. Maarten. Furthermore, this project is aimed at eliminating pollution in the form of nutrients and pathogens to the surface water bodies and coastal areas to keep them pristine for use by both tourists and residents alike.

Prime Minister Wescot-Williams will attend the signing of the 10th EDF on Monday at the De Weever property in Dutch Quarter together with other Kingdom Partners. The activities concerning the signing will commence at 15:30.

hibhosts26062012Willemstad, CURACAO:--- For the first time in its two year's existence, the entrepreneurial radio talk show from Curaçao, Hoyer in Business, will broadcast from Sint Maarten on Thursday 28th of June, from 17:30 to 19:00 hrs. on Tropixx 105.5. In this weekly radio show the hosts, media experts and entrepreneurs Clifton Wallé and Jefka Martha-Alberto, interview other entrepreneurs and people from the business community. The radio talk just launched its fanpage facebook/HoyerInBusiness, where it's raking up 'likes' at an impressive rate.

In May producer Gwenny Visser of Radio Hoyer together with the hosts took the show to the next level by introducing "Hoyer in Business goes Caribbean" with Insel Air. "Hoyer in Business goes Caribbean" will broadcast regularly from various destinations of Insel Air, such as Aruba, Colombia, Miami, Charlotte, Surnam, Caracas, Valencia, Las Piedras i Medellin. The first destination was Bonaire, which the crew visited in May. Now it's the turn of the friendly island of Sint Maarten.

The radio show, consisting of four fixed sections, will have a number of guests. In the first section, "Den ADREI", the hosts will welcome the president of the Chamber of Commerce, Arthur Bute. Next will follow several Curaçao entrepreneurs, who will share their experiences of doing business in Sint Maarten. "Den SALA" will be Kurt and Valeska Luckert of the Palapa Marina. "Den BALKON" Zaida Urvina of Travel Planners is interviewed, followed in "Riba STUPI" by Bernardo de Castro of Print 2000.

On June 28, Hard Rock Café on the Boardwalk will be the broadcast location of Hoyer in Business. It will also be a meeting place for entrepreneurs from Curaçao and Sint Maarten where they will mingle, do business and just have a good time. After the show, starting 19:00 hrs., DJ Ruby will add a musical note to the gathering.

The tropical and multi –lingual radio station of Sint Maarten, Tropixx 105.5 FM, will broadcast the Papiamentu show simultaneously with Radio Hoyer on Curaçao. "Holland House", the official hotel of "Hoyer in Business goes Caribbean, Sint Maarten edition", is where the whole team, consisting of the producer, the hosts and the technician Rob de Wolff will stay. "U-Save Car and Truck Rental" also joined this initiative, and will provide transportation for the crew.

usfolhelpsfuikprepareforvbs27062012On 21 June 2011, nine volunteers from the 429th Expeditionary Operations Squadron, located at the U.S. Forward Operating Location (USFOL) donated their time and service to help staff members of the FUIK community center prepare for an upcoming Vacation Bible School (VBS). This event, for the area's children, is scheduled from 2-6 July, with 450 attendees expected. The volunteers assisted by cleaning a storage area and painting backdrops essential to the VBS program.
Mrs. Emma Eman, one of the center's directors, commented that the volunteers accomplished what normally takes one week in just a few hours. Caroline Van Romondt added, "This team is tremendous! We are so very thankful for them!" USFOL personnel have long been advocates for the local community, and this was yet another outstanding effort to promote the welfare of Curacao's youngest citizens.

emilievanderwaals13062012PHILIPSBURG:--- Emilie van der Waals from Learning Unlimited School has come in third place in the senior category of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Children's Environmental Poster Contest.

Van der Waals will receive a check of US$1000 while her school will receive the same in value of art materials.

Giana Copeland, was also one of the finalist from the Sister Borgia School whose poster was chosen in the Junior category. Copeland will receive a prize of US$200 for being an on-island winner.

This year's competition was a collaboration of the Sint Maarten Tourist Office and the FCCA. Director of the Tourist Office May-Ling Chun would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all participants from the primary and secondary schools that took part including art teachers who coordinated at the school level. One poster from the Senior and Junior categories was chosen.

Chun also extends a special congratulation to Van der Waals and Copeland who won the competition in their respective categories with excellent posters that truly depicted and exemplified Caribbean excellence and creativity.

This year's poster competition attracted entries from 15 nations with images on how to preserve the environment.

The FCCA poster competition seeks to promote and stimulate environmental awareness among Caribbean students, while effectively educating the younger generation on the importance of environmental protection.

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister of Culture Silveria Jacobs on Sunday attended a dance recital by the St. Maarten Dance Theatre, headed by Susha Hien and Ihndhira Marlin.

It was an evening of dance from three-year-olds and up which was thoroughly enjoyed by parents, family and friends as well as the many dignitaries in attendance.

As a dancer herself, the minister was filled with pride to see this generation of dancers' growth and development in this art form. It is evident that St. Maarten possesses immense talent. Many senior dancers returned from their studies to dance with the companies.

Minister Jacobs's vision is for each child on St. Maarten to be able to excel and develop his/her personal talents in this very way.

The Minister will actively seek to be able to offer more opportunities for students' talents to be recognized and nurtured in the school environment so that a child's artistic and athletic development is not dependent on the size of their parents' wallet.

Minister Jacobs extends congratulations to the directors, choreographers, instructors, and dancers for a beautiful and professional show.

swescotwilliamsopensatipworkshop26062012We need to ensure that we are not consciously or otherwise participating in the trafficking of human beings.

The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams opened the training workshop to enhance institutional response under the banner of protecting vulnerable migrants. The training workshops, attended by various law-enforcement agencies, government officials and non-governmental agencies, will address the protection of asylum seekers, refugees, victims of human trafficking and children adversely affected by migration.

The workshop was organized by the local branch of the Anti-trafficking in Persons (ATIP) Foundation in collaboration with the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Government of St. Maarten in a continued effort to combat trafficking in humans and to ensure that institutional responses are adequate in dealing with numerous aspects of migration.

"I did not want to be here and I am sure you did not either," commented the Prime Minister. "I mean by that that I wish there was no reason to have this workshop on St. Maarten. But there is a reason that this workshop is being held in our country considering the issues with regards to immigration and trafficking in humans".

The Prime Minister continued by stating that, as St. Maarten will be celebrating Emancipation Day in the coming days it behooves all stakeholders to ensure that the people of St. Maarten are not consciously or otherwise participating in the trafficking of human beings. "St. Maarten, as a part of the Caribbean region, has also been part of the immigration flows and shifts which the Caribbean is known for. Many of our families had to leave this island in search of better economic opportunities and I am one of those whose parents needed to leave St. Maarten in search of a better life for their families. Now St. Maarten is on the receiving end in having people migrate to our country from not only the Caribbean region but also from outside. Therefore it behooves us to recognize that the attraction that St. Maarten has to immigrants also has the risk of having people with bad intentions coercing and forcing vulnerable persons into being trafficked to our shores. Human dignity and the abolition of discrimination in our society is one of the most important tasks which are being tackled and it is for this reason that this workshop is so very essential in combatting issues related to immigration and trafficking in humans" concluded the Prime Minister.

During the course workshops on national protection frameworks, screening of trafficking victims, detention facilities and third country resettlements will be conducted. The workshop will last until Friday June 29th. Also attending the opening ceremony of the workshop were The President of Parliament the Honorable Gracita Arrindell; Cassilda ven der Neut, President of ATIP Foundation; Ms. Chissey Mueller, Project Manager at IOM; Ms. Iris Blom of UNHCR Washington; Mr. Udo Aron, Director of Immigration; and Ms. Irene Simmons of the Ministry of Justice.

From the cabinet of the Prime Minister

17graduatefromrotaryleadershipinstitute05062012Rotary held a Rotary Leadership Training last weekend at the University of St. Martin. Past Assistant Governor and RLI (Rotary Learning Institute) director of Jamaica Haresh Ramchandani, facilitated the Saturday session after which President Rebecca Low and 2 other members of the club became certified trainers. Sunday's session was the last of the 3 level leadership training and was facilitated by Mr. Ramchandani and the three new facilitators. This training attracted no less than fourteen Rotarians and Rotaractors from Anguilla, St. Barths, and the four Rotary clubs on Dutch and French St. Maarten. The training covered subjects such as the history of Rotary, International service, effective leadership strategies, The Rotary Foundation, and communication techniques.

mpsattendparlatinomeetinginecuador07062012PHILIPSBURG:--- President of Parliament Hon. drs. Gracita Arrindell says she will recommend that Members of Parliament (MPs) who attend Latin American Parliament (Parlatino) meetings, prepare a quarterly report for the Central Committee and to also present the results of the meetings to the people of the country.

"Our parliament joined Parlatino in 2010 and MPs sit on a number of committees. They also attend meetings on a regular basis and I think with respect to transparency and open government, it would be an opportunity for MPs to inform the people in the setting of a plenary session about the issues they discussed and how our country can benefit from this and what steps will be taken in this direction," President of Parliament Hon. drs. Gracita Arrindell said on Wednesday.

This issue was discussed in a presidium meeting in the past and a proposal will be sent to the Central Committee of Parliament within short.

Arrindell's last Parlatino meeting that she attended was in Cuenca, Ecuador back in May, which was an Executive Board meeting where she signed the meetings final conclusion points. The President of Parliament attends the Junta Directiva meetings.

"It is very important to be part of this group as the issues that are dealt with also have a bearing on the development of our own country.

"The rights of self-determination and autonomy were debated and these are current affairs for us when we look at recently achieving country status within the Kingdom of the Netherlands only short 19-months ago.

"In one session the discussion was about expanding autonomy of small communities. Sint Maarten as a country can relate to this and can expound on our own experience. As a country we can make a meaningful contribution at this hemispheric forum as we are in a unique geographical position.

"95 per cent of the sessions are in Spanish so one has to be well grounded in this language. One of the issues discussed in my last meeting related to Argentina and the Falkland Islands of Great Britain with respect to oil rights etc," President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell said on Wednesday.

MPs are represented on the following Parlatino committees: Economic Affairs, Social Debt and Regional Development; Citizen Safety, Combat and Prevention of Narco-Traffic, Terrorism and Organized Crime; Education, Culture, Science, Technology and Communication; Health; Human Rights, Justice and Prison Policies; Gender Equity, Childhood and Youth; Agriculture, Cattle Raising and Fishery; Environment and Tourism; Labor, Social and Legal Affairs; and Energy and Mines.

MPs who were also present in Ecuador for meetings were MP Hon. Romain Laville, MP Hon. Roy Marlin and MP Hon. Patrick Illidge.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Central Committee of Parliament will meet in public session on June 12 with the Committee of Financial Supervision (CFT).

The meeting will take place on Tuesday afternoon at 2:00pm in the General Assembly Chamber of the House of Parliament at Wilhelmina Straat #2.1 in Philipsburg.

The first agenda point is a meeting with representatives of CFT where an exchange of views will take place between the former and Members of Parliament (MPs).The first agenda point of the meeting will be discussed behind closed doors; not open to the public.

The second agenda point is an advice from the Permanent Committee Kingdom Affairs and Inter-parliamentary Relations regarding participation in the control of the Kingdom Government where it concerns extraordinary matters. Discussion of the second agenda point is open to the public.

The central committee session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 20 and via Pearl Radio FM 98.1. The audio will be carried via the Internet

swescotwilliamsattendsrotarychangeofboardgalaevent11062012The Prime Minister the Honourable Sarah Wescot-Williams attended the Rotary Clun change of Board Gala Event at the Westin Resort on Saturday. The evening, during which the St. Maarten Rotary Club changes its annual Board, also functions as a fundraising event for the Rotary Club's various community programs.

Philipsburg (DCOMM):--- The Government of St. Maarten will commemorate Flag Day, June 13th with a ceremony at the Government Administration Building in Philipsburg. The law regulating the flag of St. Maarten was established on June 13th 1985 by Island Decree. The flag was hoisted for the first time on November 11th 1985. On June 16th 2005 the Executive Council of St. Maarten proclaimed June 13th as Flag Day.

The Council of Ministers invites the general public to attend the Flag Day ceremony, which starts at 9 am. Persons who are unable to attend the ceremony will have the opportunity to view the entire ceremony live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 120, as a result of a collaborative effort of the Department of Communication and St. Maarten Cable TV.

Highlights of the ceremony includes a march by Uniformed Troops consisting of Police, Fire and VKS Officers. The St. Maarten Flag will be hoisted and speeches will be given by the Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports. Additionally Ms. Roselle Richardson the designer of the flag will participate in a Toast and a selection of school children will also make their contribution to the celebration.

The general public should be aware that during the ceremony the Government Administration Building offices and the road in front will not be accessible (9 -10 am). Additionally, the weekly Council of Ministers press briefing will be cancelled.

CUL DE SAC:--- The general public is being invited to the Philipsburg Jubilee Library on Friday (June 15, 2012) for the opening of a mini Art exhibition of pieces done by students and teachers of St. Maarten Academy.
The one-hour event, which kicks off at 6:00pm, will debut two final year students – Leandre Santos and Shawn Williams – as well as second former Janean Peterson. On show will also be other work done by one of the school's English teachers, Rochelle Ward, and Art teacher Henry Thomas.
The display marks the culmination of one year of Saturday morning Art classes conducted by Thomas.
"We are closing off the year and it will be the first time for these young, budding artists," Thomas said in reference to the students. "I am proud to see their accomplishment due to hard work and determination."
Thomas said he is also proud of Ward, who was once his student when she attended St. Maarten Academy. Although art is not currently her major, Ward has done pieces that would rival any veteran's work.
"Each student is unique and on Friday the public will be able to see life and still life drawings – about five to seven pieces from each artist," said Thomas.
Thomas, who has been teaching at St. Maarten Academy for many years, started the Saturday morning classes in 2009 for anyone interested in art. Students were able to explore their artistic abilities in water colours, pastels, basic paints, pen and ink, and charcoal, to name a few. The areas of study included painting and mixed media, portraits, calligraphy writing, graphic and communication and print making.
The exhibition will run until June 22.

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Baby Wellness Clinic has moved from the offices Youth Health Care (YHC) at the Vineyard Office Park Complex to Brouwers Road 6A which is the building behind FATUM Insurances.

The Clinic is open five days a week Monday thru Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm, lunch-break from 12:30pm to 1:30pm.

As of Monday, June 17, clients are requested to visit the clinic from the aforementioned location.

Persons who need additional information can call the Baby Wellness Clinic at 5592333.

YHC falls under the auspices of Collective Prevention Services (CPS) executing agencies of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour.

Men and Women in the Emergency Medical Services do Critical Work to Improve and Strengthen our Communities.

The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams took time out of her travelling schedule to the Rio+20 Summit on Sustainable Development on Tuesday to congratulate the men and women who work in the Emergency Health and Medical Services for EMS Week 2012.

"On Behalf of the Government and the people of St. Maarten allow me to extend gratitude and appreciation to the dedicated men and women in the emergency medical services for the critical work they do to improve and strengthen the health services in our communities," commented the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister, who because of her travels will be unable to attend the festivities surrounding EMS week 2012, continued by stating that she further wishes to extend her best wishes for a memorable and successful celebration to the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor and to the management and staff of the Emergency Medical Services as well as to the organizers of the EMS Week 2012.

Press Release from Prime Minister's Office

garrindelldiscussinglegislationviaicttech26062012PHILIPSBURG:--- The House of Parliament is exploring possibilities to make legislation more accessible to Members of Parliament (MPs).

President of Parliament Hon. drs. Gracita Arrindell on Monday met with officials from the Dutch Ministry of Interior Affairs & Kingdom Relations Rene Mazel (Project Consolidation Sint Maarten Laws and Legislation) and Onno Muchall (Center for Government Publications).

Muchall gives a brief explanation about the publication of laws and other documents (for example Kamerstukken) on and how the technology works in the Netherlands.

He also explains how Sint Maarten can benefit from the acquired knowledge and experience over a period of 10 years.

Muchall indicates that there is an offer on the table for the Sint Maarten government to be able to use the database/server of this website and its search engine to publish legislation. When this contract is finalized, the Parliament of Sint Maarten can opt to make use of this provision as well to publish draft legislation.

"Having a user friendly and an up to date website with such legislation for access to MPs and the public has been a constant concern from the outset when the present structure was established.

"We are happy to explore available options with the objective to further professionalize Parliament's website by making use of all Information Communication Technology (ICT) options that are available.

"Other options discussed were the possibility of MPs being able to access legislation via their IPads. This will reduce the costs of copying as well as ensure that MPs have at all times access to laws when preparing for parliamentary sessions," President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell said on Tuesday.

Arrindell said she will follow up with the Minister of General Affairs with respect to how to coordinate the services.

Also present during the meeting were Nancy Joubert and Alvin Prescod from the Secretariat of Parliament.

mvogesanddumfries27062012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister of Plenipotentiary Hon. Mathias S. Voges represented the country at 2012 Carekine Business Summit, held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands last week Friday.

The objective of the business summit was to connect the business world of the Netherlands with the Caribbean Region.

The organizer created a platform where companies, government representatives and (development) banks were able to get acquainted and whereby parties had the opportunity to discuss opportunities and to see how parties could facilitate each other.

In the presence of other speakers, such as the Ministers Plenipotentiary of Aruba and Curacao, the Dutch representative of the BES islands, and the Vice-President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr. Carla Barnett, Minister Plenipotentiary, Hon. Mathias S. Voges, outlined the position of Sint Maarten with regards to the possibilities we have to offer in order to attract investors from the Netherlands.
He informed the audience that Sint Maarten as a country is busy intensifying her efforts in the sustainable growth of her own market, but also looking at possibilities to increase possibilities of mutual trade in the Caribbean.

The Minister in light hereof emphasized the hub-, and gateway function Sint Maarten has in the Caribbean region.

Minister Voges said the modern harbour and airport facilities should be able to support these efforts as well as the efforts the government of Sint Maarten is undertaking to diversify her economy.

Emphasis was also placed on the historical fact that investors from around the world were able to find their way to Sint Maarten throughout the past decades, while the interest from the Netherlands, besides a few large contractors and wholesalers, remained rather conservative.

We must not see the ocean that divides the countries as an obstruction but as a means of getting in contact with each other Minister Voges said.

The audience was further informed about Sint Maarten's import duty free status and the possibilities of favorable tax-rulings. The spotlight was also aimed at the Government's development priorities, such as sustainable economic development, a (financial) sovereign rating for Sint Maarten, small business development, revised tax legislation, green sustainable energy, and human resources. These all being ingredients which should create trust and stability as an "investment partner", Hon. Minister Mathias Voges told his audience.
Minister Voges, accompanied by his cabinet staff members Perry Geerlings and Carol Voges, invited the attendees to meet with his staff in the scheduled parallel sessions for more detailed information on our economy and procedures with regards to establishing a business on Sint Maarten.

The parallel session scheduled for Sint Maarten was very well attended by interested parties from all segments of the business world. We were able to further inform and discuss possibilities and policies with people interested in green and sustainable energy, building of green energy production and development facilities, construction and expansion of harbor facilities, hotel construction, facilities for the production of goods for the Caribbean and Latin American markets, education and human resources, agriculture and small business entrepreneurship, Minister Voges told the Department of Communication (DCOMM) on Tuesday.

Follow up meetings with interested parties are being scheduled for the month of July and August.
Minister Voges extended his gratitude and appreciation to the organizers for a well-organized event and the opportunity created for all involved.

He particularly thanked Evelin-Pierre Dumfries and as token of appreciation he presented her with the "Golden Book" of Sint Maarten.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Algemeen Pensioenfonds van de Nederlandse Anillen (APNA) ceased to exist after 73 years of services rendered to the civil servants and pensioners of St. Maarten due to the dismantlement of the Netherlands Antilles on 10-10-10. APNA had on October 9th 2010 approximately, 22.900 members, of which 11,400 active members, 3,200 members free of contribution obligation and 8,300 pensioners.
The total Capital of APNA was on October 9th, 4,343 million Antillean guilders.
As agreed between Netherlands, Sint Maarten, Curaçao and the Netherlands Antilles the total assets and pension obligations of APNA on the date prior to the dismantlement is divided between Netherlands, Sint Maarten and Curaçao according to an allocation key. This allocation key takes into account the share of a country in the estate of APNA based on the relation between the sum of the pension reserve as per October 9th 2010 of all the participants that upon October 10th pertained to that country and the total pension reserve of all participants of APNA as per October 9th 2010.
Meanwhile the total assets of APNA have been divided and paid out to Sint Maarten and the Netherlands to the amount of ANG. 291,594,000 respectively ANG. 241,607,000. Upon finalizing the estate balance sheet of APNA of October 9th 2010 the final division and transfer of assets of APNA to Sint Maarten and the Netherlands will be completed. The countries Sint Maarten, Curaçao and Netherland instituted their own pension fund for civil servants. The allocation of the APNA participants to the respective pension funds of the new countries is also completed. By agreement between Algemeen Pensioenfonds van Sint Maarten (APS) and Algemeen Pensioenfonds van Curaçao (APC), the latter pension fund continued providing pension administration services and services with regard to the pension payment to APS. Since January 2012 APS is providing full services to its participants concluding the services of APC to APS. As of July 1st 2012 the APC office on Sint Maarten will be closed down permanently.
We are grateful to our officers, Mrs. Marelva Daniels and Mrs. Yolande Arrindell who for so many years has served APNA and civil servants and pensioners on Sint Maarten so well.
We are also grateful for having been part of the Sint Maarten community, and hope to be able to continue strong ties with this community in the future.

No better place in the world to see Caribbean interaction than these 37 square miles we call home.

swescotwilliamsspeaksatopeningofsxmbookfair01062012The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams gave an address at the opening of the tenth Annual Book Fair on Thursday Evening. In her comments during the event the Prime Minister stated that she feels fortunate to have brought words of greetings for the past nine Book Fairs to guests and residents. "I would like to recognize the vision of the founders of the Book Fair and their steadfast contribution over the years and the commitment to the originality of the book fair; the book has remained the center piece and works of literature the forte of this event," commented the Prime Minister.
The prime Minister went on to state that the communication, information and education factors which the Book Fair has embraced since its inception are ever evolving and there has always been an evolution in the St. Maarten Book, keeping the event exciting year after year. "What has been impressive has always been the line-ups of writers and poets which the organizers have been able to secure and which has allowed so many different cultures to converge on St. Maarten. As a society we need critical thinkers and over the years and inspired by the Book Fair many persons have put pen to paper; many writers have honed their skills because of the book fair. We take it a little for granted when the Lasana's, the Nicoles and the Dows and many others make regional and international headlines. We live in exciting times and St. Maarten is no exception. Our country is a work in progress and we need to make sure that these times are documented from the different perspectives that make up our society and this documentation should be promoted. There is no better place in this world to see Caribbean interaction in a global environment than in these 37 square miles we call home," concluded the Prime Minister. The Book Fair will run to the 3rd of June with numerous sessions and events being held on both sides of the island.

"Support the development of an honest, well trained, impartial, structured and reputable public service rooted in the principles of integrity"

swescotwilliamsopensintegritytrainingforcivilservants04062012The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams opened the Integrity Dilemma Training for Civil Servants at the University of St. Maarten on Monday.

During her opening address the Prime Minister explained to the gathering of civil servants and invited guests from various sectors of the Government of St. Maarten that the objective of the Integrity Code of Conduct is to give civil servants a grip on decision making processes and establishing standards and values with regards to conduct within Government.

The Prime Minister has always actively supported the planning process and the implementation of an integrity program for Government and explained that integrity training for the Government of St. Maarten has been on the books for quite some time; "an important agreement was reached in March last year for the financing of an integrity program for the Government of St. Maarten and finally a visions document for the government of St. Maarten was arrived at last year in November. It is the aspiration of the Government of St. Maarten that within the next five years there will be a higher level of commitment to the level of integrity for the entire public service in operating in accordance with the Integrity Policy of St. Maarten and observing the principles of Good Governance," commented the Prime Minister.

"And in doing so to support the development of an honest, well trained, impartial, structured and reputable public service rooted in the principles of integrity; a public service capable of professionally serving and meeting the constitutional needs of the citizens of St. Maarten," continued the Prime Minister

The Prime Minister also outlined that integrity and subsequently integrity training is extended to all levels of Government; "Having integrity is required from the highest level in Government to those at the lowest level in terms of coming together and working on the Integrity Program for St. Maarten. At the end of the day it is how we view the topic and how we decide to move forward as a Government and as a people. It is about how we wish to deal with integrity and the many complex factors civil servants may encounter during the course of their jobs. It is about how those in the Civil Service deals with the integrity within the Government of St. Maarten," concluded the Prime Minister.

Let us ensure that our youth have the love and support necessary to become the future leaders of St. Maarten.

swescotwilliamsatcouturecharity04062012The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot Williams wowed the crowd at the Couture for Charity Pearls and Fashion event 2012 at the Westin Resort and Casino on Saturday. The event, at which the Prime Minister was the Honorable guest, raised money for the Salvation Army Smiles for Christmas program, where gifts are distributed to less fortunate children during the Christmas Holidays. "This event is about coming together for a good cause to bring St. Maarten's children the help they need to make so much of a difference in their lives during a very special time of the year. While we celebrate here tonight we do it for a very good cause. One of the reasons I agreed to take part in this fashion show because it will eventually make a difference in the life of a child during a very special time of the year during the Smiles for Christmas program. Let us celebrate this event and ensure that our youth have the love and support necessary to become the future leaders within the St. Maarten community," commented the Prime Minister. Le Rosh provided fashion for the event and the Dance Theatre of St. Maarten provided entertainment. Proceeds from the charity event will go directly towards the Smiles for Christmas program of the Salvation Army.

pchopinandeholiday06062012Harbour View/Fort Louis:--- On Tuesday June 5, 2012, His Excellency Governor Eugene B. Holiday paid a working visit to Saint Martin and met with Mr. Philippe Chopin, Préfet for St. Martin and St. Barthelemy, at Fort Louis.
During the meeting, the Governor and the Préfet discussed several matters of mutual interest for St. Maarten and St. Martin. Topics discussed included cooperation between Sint Maarten/Saint Martin and more specifically the Joint Declaration of Intent which was signed on February 15, 2012. In addition to that, they discussed border, immigration controls, law enforcement, environment, education, and related mutual assistance matters.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The House of Parliament will meet in a public plenary session June 12 to discuss a three point agenda.

The meeting will take place on Tuesday morning at 10:00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House of Parliament on Wilhelmina Straat #2.1 in Philipsburg.

The first agenda point will deal with approval of the decision lists of plenary public meetings.

The second agenda point is the approval of the credentials of Rodolphe Emile Samuel who would be the next Member of Parliament (MP) for the National Alliance (NA) faction. He will fill the vacancy created by former MP William Marlin who tendered his resignation to become a Minister.

Once parliament approves the credentials of Rodolphe Samuel, those will be sent to His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday who will set a date for his swearing in as the 15th MP.
The third agenda point is the appointment of the first and second Vice Presidents of Parliament with respect to Article 6, third paragraph, Rules of Order of the House of Parliament.

The plenary public meeting will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 20 and via Pearl Radio FM 98.1. The audio will be carried via the Internet

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as part of its annual EMS Week 2012 under the theme "EMS More than a job. A Calling," has organized a live drill for Wednesday morning at 9:00am on the Pondfill Road between the Government Administration Building and the Post office.

On Thursday Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) demonstrations at three different locations, Old Fire Station Philipsburg, Le Grand Marche Bush Road, and Simpson Bay Fish Market, are planned to kick off simultaneously at 9:30am until 12:00pm.

The public is invited to come out to see the aforementioned.

PHILIPSBURG:--- June 23 is United Nations (UN) Public Service Day.

The UN General Assembly, designated 23 June as Public Service Day. It became a reality in 2002. The day has been acknowledged to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community.

It also highlights the contribution of public service in the development process; it also recognizes the work of public servants, and encourages young people to pursue careers in the public sector.

"I would like to take this opportunity to commend the public servants who work in the secretariat of the House of Parliament as well as faction workers and all those working in the seven Ministries of Country Sint Maarten, and the High Councils of State, happy Public Service Day.

"Public servants play an essential role in building a sound civil administration. As servants of the people, we have taken on the challenge and are well on our way to further improving the existing public administrative sector.

"While some may consider providing service to the public is routine, I share the view that it is a privilege and honour to provide service to the public in general. Sint Maarten's economy will definitely benefit when all of us who are employed to provide service are united in achieving this common goal.

"We must be proud of what we have achieved so far together, and we must look forward to continuing to build our institutions in order to build a stronger Sint Maarten.

"I leave you with these words: 'Without an effective civil administration, democracy and prosperity are virtually unattainable.' – Guido Bertucci. Once again, happy Public Service Day on behalf of the Parliament of Sint Maarten," President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell said on Friday.

winairholdsannualshareholdersmeeting22062012On Wednesday June 20th, 2012, the annual shareholders meeting was held in St. Maarten, attendees from left to right are Roberto Gibbs-CFO and Change Manager, Robert Budike-Supervisory Board of Directors member, Peggy Ann Brandon legal representative, George Greaux Jr.-Chairman Supervisor Board of Directors, Michael Cleaver-Managing Director, Michael Ferrier-St.Maarten Shareholder representative, Gerrit Draai-Supervisory Board of Directors member, Hans de Jong-Shareholder representative of the Netherlands.

In the short time, the new management has had the daunting task to meet deadlines in order to present the annual accounts for approval by the shareholders spanning 4 years of financial reporting, notably years 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. In the management report to the shareholders, the continued improvements in the core route plan in terms of revenues, load factors, and yields were highlighted, and the other areas of operational and cost center concerns that are still being worked on.

Amongst the agenda proposals that were handled, the installment of the second managing director was passed, effectively establishing the managing board with Michael Cleaver as President, and Mr. Roberto Gibbs as the Vice president.

A draft business plan has been submitted for comments before finalizing it and will be the basis for Winair to continue its operations while working out the structural solutions to its considerable debt position that was inherited from the previous Netherlands Antilles shareholder.

Press Release from WINAIR

usdeadonatestorbicuracao22062012The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Curacao Country Office has teamed up with Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Curacao, the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation in Baltimore, Maryland, and Pitch in for Baseball in Harleysville, Pennsylvania, to support youth baseball in Curacao.
The first shipment of donated equipment recently arrived in Curacao and will be used by RBI Curacao to make sure all players have the proper baseball equipment. Representing the U.S. Government, Consul General Valerie Belon and DEA Curacao presented the donated equipment, on behalf of Pitch In For Baseball and Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, to Chairon Isenia of RBI Curacao during a small ceremony at Brionplein, today.
RBI is a Major League Baseball youth outreach program that encourages participation in baseball as well academic achievement and teamwork by youth in underserved communities. The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation helps to build character and teach critical life lessons to disadvantaged young people residing in America's most distressed communities through baseball themed programs. Pitch In For Baseball ( is an American organization committed to helping kids and making friends all over the world by sharing the great game of baseball. Pitch In For Baseball collects and gives baseball equipment, and other assistance, to young people around the globe.
The U.S. and Curacao share a common passion for the game of baseball. Everyone involved in sending the donated baseball equipment to Curacao knew of Curacao primarily through their success at the Little League World Series and the accomplishments of Curacao born players in Major League Baseball. Special thanks go to the following people who helped to make this donation happen:

Mr. David Rhodes, Founder and Executive Director of Pitch In For Baseball
Mr. Tom Schoenfelder, Operations Manager, Pitch In For Baseball
Mr. Bobby McCaffrey, Assistant Director of Program Operations, Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation
Mr. David James, Director, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities Program (RBI)
Mr. Kevin Moss, Administrator for Community Affairs, RBI
Mr. Michael Rzepczynksi, Country Attaché, DEA Curacao
Mr. Sergio Luna, Assistant Regional Director, DEA Caribbean Division

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Collective Prevention Services (CPS) would like to congratulate the nation on World Environment Day (WED), 05 June, which is also part of CPSs calendar of health observations.

WED is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action.

The 2012 theme for WED is "Green Economy: Does it include you?"

The United Nations (UN) Environment Programme defines Green Economy as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.

Environmental hazards are responsible for as much as a quarter of the total burden of disease world-wide, and more than one-third of the burden among children.

Heading that list are diarrhea, lower respiratory infections, various forms of unintentional injuries and malaria.

The disease burden is much higher in the developing world, although in the case of certain non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and cancers, the per capita disease burden is larger in developed countries.

Health impacts of environmental hazards run across more than 80 diseases and types of injury.

Well-targeted interventions can prevent much of this environmental risk. Worldwide, as many as 13 million deaths could be prevented every year by making our environments healthier.

WED celebrations began in 1972 and have grown to become the one of the main vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action. Let us join the global population in keeping our community and our environment healthier!

WED is also a day for people from all walks of life to come together to ensure a cleaner, greener and brighter outlook for themselves and future generations.

vaccinationopenhouse05062012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- There are a number of measle outbreaks throughout the world. Measles can be a serious and potentially fatal illness and children who have not been vaccinated are particularly at risk of measles during this time.

Parents are urged to ensure their children are protected against measles. Measles is a highly infectious disease; one in 20 will get pneumonia, one in 1000 will get encephalitis and 1-2 in 1000 will die from the disease.

To be protected you either need to have received the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine to have had the disease. There is no other way to prevent measles infection. Two doses of MMR vaccine are recommended, the first given at 12-months of age, and the second at 4-5 years of age.

Dr. V.S. Asin Oostburg, Head of Collective Prevention Services (CPS) told the Department of Communication (DCOMM) that the open house was one health programme that is part of the public health ministry's interventions to reach out to the community to have their health status "Checked" against measles, and the results demonstrated how successful the open house was.
After an analysis of the May 19 Vaccination Open House held at the Festival Village, Youth Health Care (YHC) at CPS is very pleased with the interests and turn-out to the event with more than 500 persons of which 192 children's vaccination status were checked.

Out of this group 75 children were vaccinated, while 117 were up to date with their vaccinations and the remainder got appointments to visit the clinic at the Vineyard Building for their additional shots.

The Dental Mobile Unit catered to 47 children who received complete prophylaxis with cleaning and fluoride application. 50 information packages were also handed out to parents and the children by Dentist Hilda Guevara.

Out of the 47 children, three were already part of the dental school program while 44 were new.

The Minister of Public Health, Social Development & Labour Hon. Cornelius de Weever, Secretary General Jorien Wuite, and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Christian Morales, an expert on health systems and services were present throughout the day of the open house.

Dr. Asin says she would like to thank the organizing committee who started working on the preparations for the open house since March. The organizing committee was chaired by Anita Priest who was assisted by committee members Claudia Yhan, Irene Serfilia, Anuska Gibbs, Deborah Granger, and Irma Knight.

vaccinationopenhousegroupofyouths05062012Asin was also full of praise for the stakeholders who took part, which comprised of governmental and non-governmental organizations, private sector and civil society: Rotary Club of Sint Maarten, Nagico Insurance, Diabetes Foundation, Abbot Nutrition, Elderly & Pensioners Association, Alzheimer Foundation, Love of Kids Foundation, Red Cross and the board and staff of the Festival Village.

Minister Hon. Cornelius de Weever provided each participant stakeholder with a certificate of appreciation.

The theme for this year's open house was "Vaccination: An Act of Love – For you for me for everyone, get checked, get vaccinated."

Immunization is a way of protecting children against serious vaccine preventable diseases. Once a child or an adult has been fully vaccinated, their bodies can fight those diseases if one comes into contact with the respective virus.

Unprotected children are at greatest risk of contracting vaccine preventable diseases. Parents and guardians must ensure that their children are protected. Adults should also consult their physician to ensure that their vaccination coverage is up to date.

YHC can also be contacted if you want to verify your own vaccination status by calling Tel. 542-3003, 542-2078 or 542-3553.

papaumphowithkidsatsxmbookfair06062012GREAT BAY/MARIGOT:--- The "Children's Room" at the St. Martin Book Fair last Saturday, reflected the attendance in most of the workshops on the festival's main book fair day at the University of St. Martin (USM).

The 43 boys and girls, from age 2 to 12, amounted to the largest number of participants in the Children's Room since the book fair started in 2003. It was also the first time that the overwhelming majority of the workshops had a high number of attendance across the board, said Jacqueline Sample, president of HNP, a book fair organizer along with Conscious Lyrics Foundation (CLF).

In the Children's Room, "the kids responded very well, paid keen attention to the storyteller and gave good answers to questions that Papa Umpho asked. They had fun and want to do it again. They actually wanted it to be longer," said Nzinga Lake, coordinator of the children's activities.

Special guest "Papa Umpho" told Kompa Nanzi or Anansi stories "and actually got a brave boy to impersonate the legendary mischievous spider," said Lake. Kiara Meyers, Little Miss St. Martin 2011, made a guest appearance and read a folktale to her peers.

Children from throughout the island and various schools, including the MAC and the I-Can Foundation kept the room abuzz. At least two grandmothers stayed with their grandchildren for the length of the activities, from 9 am to 1 pm.

"A two-year-old boy got his granny to stay with him because he didn't want to leave after his parents dropped off his bigger brother," said Lake. Both fathers and mothers brought their children to the university campus.

The coordinator had the youngsters participate in activities for boys and girls separately, and activities in which all of the children joined in, including self-esteem motivation and anti-bullying exercises, said Lake.

After 11 am, the girls made an impromptu trip upstairs to Room 202, the massively-attended "Dance Workshop," coordinated by Broadway star Nicole de Weever, while the boys worked on communication skills with Papa Umpho in Room 108, said Lake.

Other activities that had a full-to-capacity or tremendous amount of people compared to previous years were the following workshops – How to make Guavaberry (Colombier Cultural Association), "Writing Your Life's Story" (Jacqueline Bishop from NYU), and "Caribbean Vegan & Vegetarian Cooking" (Taymer Mason), said Sample.

The "Books Are Boring!" and "literature + technology = future" workshops by novelist Wena Poon and Italian scholar Dr. Sara Florian respectively, "had a fairly good turnout of very appreciative audiences, compared to other years. One mother told Wena that she had been using comics books to get her son interested in reading fir his exams. Both Wena and Sara were pleased," said Sample.

The "FAQs About St. Maarten" presentation (on Friday) and "The Copyright Workshop" on Saturday were cancelled due to scheduling challenges by the coordinators. The Saturday morning literary talk at the Public Library in Marigot was cancelled because of non-attendance.

"This 10th anniversary edition of the book fair had over 20 activities, between six to ten more workshops and other activities than in other years," said book fair coordinator Shujah Reiph of CLF.

"I think this is the best book fair that we've ever had, and that's with all the glitches aside that we have to work on internally," said Reiph.

nicoledeweeverandkidsatsxmbookfair06062012"We have a good message to send to our partners, potential sponsors, and the general public about this wonderful 'book fair for the entire family': the St. Martin Book Fair is growing. It is answering a positive need for our island's people and for the visitors' experience," said Reiph.

Some of the 10th anniversary book fair activities will continue. "The 10th anniversary activities started very late because of the timing with regard to funding release but these activities still have to be carried out," said Sample.

"Thanks to Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, when she was minister, for jumpstarting the book fair activities. The Ministry of Education and Culture provided a small sponsorship toward a book of new St. Martin writings that HNP will invite the general public to submit poems for shortly. That anthology will be launched at the book fair in 2013," said Sample.

"The 'Cuisine as culture' poster presentation to the schools is continuing along with the presentation of a selected book to the libraries, the prison, and the government archives in Philipsburg and Marigot," said Sample.

Furthermore, "The Book Fair Committee is part of the anti-bullying campaign for the rest of the year with the Peace Is Foundation," said BFC member Ari Sutton. The campaign was launched at the book fair on Saturday with the workshop, "How to Stopping Bullying," coordinated by Eric Fenwick.

The usually three-day St. Martin Book Fair takes place annually during the first weekend of June.

CLF and HNP organized the literary/book festival on May 31-June 2, 2012, in collaboration with the University of St. Martin, the Ministry of Education & Culture (MECSY), the Collectivité de St. Martin, and the strategic partner St. Maarten Tourist Bureau.

italianambassadorvisitsmvoges08062012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister of Plenipotentiary Hon. Mathias S. Voges received a visit from Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Italy His Excellency Francesco Azzarello at the Sint Maarten House.

Ambassador Azzarello presented his credentials to Her Majesty Queen Beatrix in February.

During his meeting with Minister Voges, Azzarello showed great interests in Sint Maarten and informed Voges about his upcoming visit to Sint Maarten in February 2013.

Minister Voges presented the Ambassador with a copy of the Sint Maarten Golden Book, which he greatly appreciated, and both discussed economic opportunities.

Ambassador Azzarello has invited Minister Voges and his spouse to a concert on June 27 in honour of Queen Beatrix by the President of the Italian Republic and Mrs. Napolitano during their state visit to the Netherlands.

Glitter Events is teaming up with Soggy Dollar Bar and Antillean Liquors to bring the St. Maarten public the first annual Mega Flea Market on Saturday, June 30th.

"Dust off that old treadmill you now use as a clothing rack, stack up the Barney DVDs your 13 year old no longer watches and take those pretty dresses that don't fit out of your closet. It is time to Clean House and turn all that clutter into cash" says Riselle Roidis from Glitter Events, organizers of the Mega Flea Market.

This day-long sellathon takes place on Saturday June 30th from 11:00am until 8:00pm at the Soggy Dollar Bar in Simpson Bay. Treasure seekers and bargain hunters will have quite a lot to go through as the market will feature both used and new items from jewelry, clothing and shoes to house ware and furniture. Food and drinks will be on sale, a DJ will be spinning the latest tunes and raffles are all part of the program. Kids' activities will keep the young ones busy while you browse the booths. Admission is free.

Vendors are welcome! Sign up today via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling +599 520-1905.

chineseambassadorrbekinkvisitsmvoges31052012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister of Plenipotentiary Hon. Mathias S. Voges said on Thursday he received a courtesy call from Rudolf Bekink, Ambassador to the People's Republic of China at the Sint Maarten House in The Hague.

Bekink, the new Ambassador accredited to the Netherlands in Washington in August, showed great interest with respect to Sint Maarten. Voges informed Bekink about the country and the various opportunities that exist for foreign investment.

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Preparations are well underway for the second Pregnancy Market organized by Youth Health Care (YHC), under the auspices of Collective Prevention Services (CPS) in collaboration with the Department of Community Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs (CDFHA), both executing agencies of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour.

The pregnancy market is planned for Wednesday, June 13 at the Vineyard Office Park Building, W.G. Buncamper Road #33 in Philipsburg from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. The entrance is free and YHC are urging women and their partners to start marking their calendar.

The pregnancy market is for women who are planning a pregnancy, pregnant women, parents of newborns, and persons who would like information in order to make an informed decision about future pregnancy.

rhalmanvisitsmvoges08062012Philipsburg:--- Acting Chairman of the General Audit Chamber, Mr. Ronald Halman, paid a courtesy visit to the Sint Maarten representative in The Hague, Minister Plenipotentiary Mathias Voges, on Thursday June 7th. The acting chairman presented the Minister Plenipotentiary with a copy of the annual report 2010 of the Audit Chamber.
The annual report of 2011 is currently in the final stages of production for presentation to the Governor and the Parliament prior to July 1 as prescribed by law.

Mr. Halman fulfills the role of chairman of the General Audit Chamber in a temporary capacity since May 20th 2012 following the resignation of the former chairman Roland Tuitt. During his visit to the Netherlands, Halman also met with representatives of the Court of Audit of the Netherlands as well as the municipal Audit Chamber of Amsterdam.

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- More than 10 stakeholders from the public and private sector will be present for the second Pregnancy Market organized by Youth Health Care (YHC), under the auspices of Collective Prevention Services (CPS) in collaboration with the Department of Community Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs (CDFHA), both executing agencies of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, on Wednesday.

Businesses still have an opportunity to sign up and participate in the Pregnancy Market on Wednesday. It would have to be businesses that sell maternity clothing, kid's furniture or anything related to the subject matter.

The pregnancy market is for women who are planning a pregnancy; pregnant women; parents of newborns; provision of information to those women and their partners in order for them to make an informed decision on a possible pregnancy in the future; information on staying healthy during pregnancy; provide information on nutrition for both mother and baby; provision of information on materials to be used during pregnancy and after delivery; and information on what to wear and topics that stimulates a healthy and safe pregnancy and childbirth.

The 10 stakeholders will provide a wealth of information to the visitors of the pregnancy market. The stakeholders are: St. Maarten Medical Center (pediatric ward, OB/GYN ward, Children's Ward, Gynecologist/Midwives); AHLIP/Physiotherapy Clinic, Angelique Martis-Roumou (breast feeding), Philipsburg Jubilee Library, Marinique & Capriles, Diaper Cakes, Dance Dimension, Oduber Agencies, Diabetes Foundation, White & Yellow Cross (post natal care), SIFMA, Civil Registry Office, Community Helpdesk, and CPS (Youth Health Care, Dental Care program, Nutrition).

The pregnancy market planned for June 13 at the Vineyard Office Park Building, W.G. Buncamper Road #33 in Philipsburg from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. The entrance to the market is free.

Philipsburg:--- The Parliament of St. Maarten unanimously approved the credentials of incoming Member of Parliament Rudolph Samuel. Samuel's credentials were checked by a committee that was installed by the chairlady of parliament. The committee reported to parliament that the incoming MP's documents were in good order and he was accepted as a Member of Parliament. The documentation will be sent to the Governor's office for approval. It is not yet known when Samuel will take up the seat in Parliament that was vacated by Leader of the National Alliance William Marlin.

Saturday night, the Rotary Club of St. Maarten used their Change of Board ceremony to honour two individuals for their outstanding contributions to St Maarten. Heather Mercuur of Love for Kids Foundation and Geoff Heilman of Chesterfields were named Paul Harris Fellows. Also recognized for her tremendous dedication to the club, was new Rotarian Henna Budhrani who received the award of Rotarian of the year by outgoing President, Rebecca Low.
Elie Bendaly, Country Head of Scotia Bank will be taking over the reins as president as of July 1 with his theme "strength in numbers". Building on the recently elected Lions' District Governor Claudius Buncamper' s quote, he praised the outgoing president as he pointed out that she and her team understood the importance of vision and the required action to get things done. Elie Bendaly said: "They aligned their vision with Rotary principles and values, put a plan in place and with hard work accomplished a great deal. They maintained our traditional events – they presented 700 grade 3 students their own dictionary; distributed over 180 food hampers to those in need at Christmas; took the Islands' seniors on an afternoon luncheon cruise; held a Christmas party for children in need; placed water fountains in schools and planted trees. But in addition they put their own stamp on the year. Two of the exceptional accomplishments of Rebecca and her team were first providing support for the Alzheimer's foundation which included a massive public education campaign in which 3000 public service announcements were aired, t-shirts sold and $5,000 donated for the work of the foundation and organizing and second hosting the GSE (Group Study Exchange) leadership youth from Devon, England which involved enormous planning, coordinating and long hours during the hosting.
Under Rebecca's leadership the St Maarten Rotary Club was awarded the Platinum District Governor Award at the District Conference that was recently held in Haiti.
Rebecca, on behalf of our club I say to you, thank you, for your generous volunteer time and commitment to Rotary. I know it was not simple and easy in particular in dealing with all of the triple A type personalities in our club. I tip my hat to you and am looking forward to working with you on my Board ". Several other persons were thanked and the incoming president ended his presentation with presenting and pinning his board for the year 2012-2013. The board is comprised of President Elie Bendaly, Past president Rebecca Low, Secretary/President Elect Maria Buncamper, Treasurer Frederick Fleming, Aadu Abel, Pierre Decelles, Valda Hazel Woodly, Henna Budhrani, Fred van de Peijl, Jeff Sochrin, Deepak (Danny) Ramchandani, Oliver van de Gevel, Franklyn Maynard and Robert Judd.
The Change of Board ceremony followed a tremendously successful third annual fundraiser on Oasis of the Seas – the world's largest cruiseship. This year's fundraiser collected close to $23,000 which has been earmarked for projects aimed at children with special needs. President Rebecca Low stated, "Once again, RCCL and Oasis of the Seas have shown they are true partners in corporate social responsibility. They continue to graciously donate all their services for the event and have been instrumental in Rotary help the children of St Maarten."

Today June 15 all over the world countries is commemorating World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day. Many abusers are individuals in the home or family environment that put seniors to suffer from physical, verbal, emotional, financial abuse and neglect. Providing poverty pensions and social allowances under poverty level is a violation of the right of older persons to a decent standard of living. Violation of human rights of the elderly is also a form of elderly abuse. So not only individuals but also governments can be abusers of elderly who put seniors to suffer from systematic, structural, collective, financial, emotional abuse.

On June 9th a year ago, in preperation of World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day, the Sint Maarten Seniors and Pensioners Association (SMSPA) to stop the abuse of the seniors in Sint Maarten and in defense of the human rights of the seniors in Sint Maarten, handed a petition to the Council of Ministers of Sint Maarten and to the representative of the Dutch government in Sint Maarten, to equalize the old age pensions, the social allowances and all other social provisions in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, just as the social provisions on the French side of Sint Maarten are equal to the social provisions in France.

In january of this year together with the social organizations of Sint Maarten, the Parliamentarians of the countries of the Kingdom who came to meet in Sint Maarten, the Prime Minister and deputy Prime Minister of the Sint Maarten Council of Ministers, and the Dutch representative in Sint Maarten on behalf of the Kingdom Council of Ministers, all got a request from the social organizations to address the poverty in this part of the Kingdom and to put an end to the abuse that the poor and in particular the seniors of Sint Maarten have to suffer, because of the geo-political systematic structural discrimination that the Kingdom government is maintaining in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Having received a letter from Minister Spies of Interior Affairs and Kingdom relations of the Netherlands, which basically refers the social organizations to address their request to the Council of Ministers of Sint Maarten, drs Raymond Jessurun, the coordinator of the seniors organizations in the Sint Maarten Anti-Poverty Platform this week met in Amsterdam with representatives of the European Anti-Poverty Network in the Netherlands.

Information was shared of the struggle of the social organizations of Sint Maarten for equality and of the EAPN organizations for a decent standard of living for all in the Kingdom in the Netherlands.

Today we have received a letter from EAPN Netherlands in which they express their solidarity with the poor and especially with the seniors on Sint Maarten.
EAPN Netherlands has offered support and has expressed ther willingness to cooperate with the Sint Maarten Anti-Poverty Platform, to address the eradication of poverty throughout the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Together the Kingdom government and the governments of the countries in the Kingdom will be reminded to comply with the obligation to implement the non-discrimination principle as a signatory of International Human Rights Conventions and Declarations throughout the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Not only the government in the Hague but also the European Commission in Brussels will be addressed together in joint actions of the anti-poverty platforms in the Kingdom of the Netherlands:

  • to eradicate poverty in all parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • stop the discrimination of seniors and their family members in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and
  • to implement non-discrimination and equality in the social provision level throughout the Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • for old age pensions, social allowances, etc for seniors on the Dutch side of Sint Maarten to be equal as in the Netherlands, just as is the case in France and on the French side of Sint Maarten
  • to stop the violation of human rights conventions in the Kingdom of the Netherlands all human rights of elderly.

Press Release by Sint Maarten Seniors and Pensioners Association (SMSPA).

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) on Sunday kicked off its annual EMS Week 2012 with a church service on Sunday at the Risen Christ Catholic Church, South Reward.

The theme for EMS Week 2012 is "EMS More than a job. A Calling."

According to Head of the Ambulance Department Cylred Richardson, various activities have been planned for the week up until Saturday when the week's activities concludes with an EMS Masquerade Ball for staff and invited guests.

Some of the activities planned for the week are radio interviews; primary school lectures; live drills; Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) demonstrations at three different locations; EMS lecture at the Fire and Ambulance Station in Cay Hill; and the Big Five EMS Motorcade 2012.

EMS is an emergency service dedicated to providing out-of-hospital acute medical care to patients with illnesses and injuries which prevent the patient from transporting themselves.

The goal of most emergency medical services is to either provide treatment to those in need of urgent medical care, with the goal of satisfactorily treating the presenting conditions, or arranging for timely removal of the patient to the next point of definitive care.

Richardson invites the public to attend the demonstrations that will be organized at different venues. Information with respect to the venue and times will be published in the Government Information Page published in the two daily newspapers.

"The Chic Fashion 2012 brand is about style and fun. We are looking for a confident and fun cover girl to promote the swimsuit edition."

The search is on across the Caribbean for the Chic Fashion 2012 Catalogue Swimsuit Edition Cover Girl.
On August 1, Green Mango Media will announce the new cover girl and reveal swimsuit collections by two Caribbean designers. The winner will be chosen via online voting.
Additionally, the winner will receive a full beach kit – a customised summer dress, a stylist swimsuit with sarong, beach bag, a pair of leather sandals and a straw hat made by a Caribbean designer.
Distributed in the Caribbean, United States and in Europe, this new full-colour travel size catalogue - a window into the world of the cream of Caribbean designers - was launched in April 2012 in the British Virgin Islands.
"The Chic Fashion 2012 brand is about style and fun. We are looking for a confident and fun cover girl to promote the swimsuit edition. Caribbean model Nikita Barker was our cover girl for the first issue which featured the stunning Hummingbird Collection by Guyanese designer Pamela Fox of the House of Niya Bingi."
"Since the catalogue was launch to promote fashion and champion Caribbean talent, we decided to make the cover girl search regional. So far the response from the Virgin Islands, Guyana, Trinidad and St Kitts has been great."
Girls must be 16 years and older to enter the online contest. All photos will be posted online from July 1 and voting will run for one month.
The swimwear collections are colourful, fresh, fun and sexy and will be previewed on Saturday, June 30 at the exclusive Peter Islands Resort in the British Virgin Islands.
"We have so many unbelievably talented and original designers in the Caribbean, among the best the world has to offer, but we rarely get to see their work because of a lack of promotion and a lack of investment. Green Mango Media is going to change all that with this great catalogue and well-funded, world class runway shows from only the best designers in the region - celebrating the latest trends from our most creative minds for all to see."
Green Mango Media is a London-based multi-media company committed to the positive promotion of the Caribbean's political, economic, social and cultural achievements.
Our versatile and gifted team of journalists, television producers, cameramen, editors, graphic designers and PR experts, bring decades of experience in the fields of global politics, economics and business, tourism, development, diplomacy, photography, entertainment, sports and leisure.
For more information, contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on +284-340-1995.

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Section General Public Health (SGPH) says leptospirosis, zoonosis, is an infectious disease caused by a type of bacteria called spirochete. Leptospirosis can be transmitted by many animals such as rats, skunks, mice, raccoons, and other vermin.

Leptospirosis is transmitted through contact with infected soil or water. The soil or water is contaminated with the waste products of an infected feral or domestic animal. Those at high risk are veterinarians, pet shop owners, sewage workers, and farm employees, slaughterhouse workers, and people hiking and camping outdoors.

People can contract the disease by either ingesting contaminated food or water or by broken skin and mucous membrane (eyes, nose, sinuses, and mouth) contact with the contaminated water or soil.

SGPH is therefore advising owners of households and businesses to keep their premises clean. Un-kept premises can be a breeding ground for bacteria from infected animals. Rodents require a source of food and water and a place to live. Carelessness can lead to increased populations of pest.
Open garbage cans and food left out, derelict buildings, abandoned cars, and dense bush can attract rodents.

Leptospirosis occurs worldwide, but it is most commonly acquired in the tropics.

Leptospirosis symptoms begin from two to 25 days after initial direct exposure to the urine or tissue of an infected animal. The illness goes through two phases. The first phase includes flu-like symptoms that include headaches, muscle aches, eye pain, chills and fever. After the fifth or ninth day, symptoms seem to improve.

The second phase entails initial symptoms recurring after a few days of feeling better, which includes fever and aching with stiffness of the neck. Some patients develop serious inflammation of the nerves to the eyes, brain, spinal column, or other nerves. Right upper area abdominal pain may occur. Less common symptoms relate to disease of the liver, lungs, kidneys, and heart.

Treatment of leptospirosis must be done by a physician that involves high doses of antibiotics.

For further information you should consult with your family physician or call SGPH at telephone number: 542-3553, 542-2078.

Cay Bay:--- The island suffered a brief total blackout at 1:18 pm. The protection mechanism of one of the transformers that powers the GEBE power plant was activated as a result of an over current. This resulted in an abrupt shutting down of all the production units in order to safeguard the power plant.

GEBE technicians were able to quickly locate and solve the problem. Part of the load from the faulty transformer was transferred to another transformer, and the technicians quickly initiated the start-up sequence to bring the plant back online.

Affected customers were kept up to date via the GEBE Facebook page and SMS service. All areas were back online by 2:45 pm.

To receive updates via the GEBE SMS service or GEBE Facebook page simply visit GEBE's website or respectively.

NV GEBE apologizes for any inconvenience this has caused.