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NA Board happy to see UPP leader and board awaken from their slumber.

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nalogo24062014PHILIPSBURG:--- The Board of the National is happy to see that the UPP leader and Board have awaken from their slumber. It is good to see that they are once again concerned about the people of St. Maarten. It is just a shame that this concern does not show itself when the UPP party is in the Executive Branch of Government. It is also a shame the way the UPP leader tries to mislead the people of St. Maarten.

The Board has taken note of the arrogance of the UPP Leader as he considers it thwarting the progress of St. Maarten if he is not in power. This present coalition has already made some positive steps in favor of all the people of St. Maarten and not as is customary with the UPP leader that his ‘projects’ only benefit the selected few.

We also understand his fear as he understands that the current direction of this government will open the eyes of the people so that they realize that the role of government is not to serve the few but to serve the masses.

Is the UPP Leader afraid that the people will realize that Government is supposed to be transparent and Government is not meant to be driven by under the table deals that only comes to light when the deal is done and the people of St. Maarten are left holding the bag?

This Government has already exposed the secret deal with the hospital. As it is customary with the UPP leader, the money is ready to be spent but the plans on how this money would be paid back and how the people of St. Maarten would benefit is still unknown. There was no bid, imagine spending 100 Million Dollars which is almost half of our yearly budget without having a bid.

On the subject of the new medical center, how did the UPP intend to repay SZV the 100 Million Dollars? Was the medical tourism wing a gift to some unknown persons? 35 Million Dollars and no plan on how to pay it back. In fact, any responsible government would have negotiated with an investor before making this plan. We see this as another glaring example of a typical UPP deal. Saddling the local people with a huge debt with no plan as to how to pay it back. What is even worse is that these secret deals seem to only benefit the UPP leader and a few of his friends.

The UPP Leader should take note of the process being followed by the DP appointed Minster, the Honorable Minister Emil Lee. The Minister has undertaken a process that is transparent and

outlines a clear path on the exact cost, quality and payback options. So there is a way to undertake large projects in a manner that is not hidden from the public. Proper government under the leadership of Honorable Prime Minister William Marlin.

The UPP Leader comments on the GEBE situation would be a joke if it wasn’t so serious. This Government under the Leadership of PM is in the process of presenting a budget with a surplus. This in spite of the mismanagement of funds by the UPP led Government. Now, the UPP leader wants the public to investigate the funds from the Government owned water Distribution Company.

The board wonders where the UPP leader concern for GEBE was when he was proposing that GEBE take a loan of an estimated 700 Million Guilders. Wouldn’t this loan have damaged GEBE or is it so that the UPP leader feels only he is allowed to damage Government owned companies. The board agrees that all government actions in the government owned companies should be scrutinized and we need to start by the Harbor Group of Companies.

In conclusion, it is not becoming of a leader to be playing the victim and seeking pity from the people of St. Maarten when it is not warranted. The constant ‘the Dutch coming to get us’ is getting a bit tiring. If the UPP Leader was to run his government in a transparent manner with less signs of corruption and nepotism, in a way that benefits all the people of St. Maarten, he would not have to worry about the Dutch.


Politicians will not deter Inspection team.

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Inspections will continue and those businesses that are in violation will have to deal with the consequences.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Inspection team headed by Dr. Earl Best will continue with its inspections as early as this week since the Council of Ministers did not issue a written decision to suspend the controls.
SMN News understands that the team took the decision on Monday morning during their weekly meetings to evaluate the work done last week. According to information provided to SMN News the team will revise their policy to ensure they do not hurt the economy.
The Ministry of VSA will continue with the inspection even if the other departments are afraid and do not participate.
While Prime Minister Marlin informed members of the media on Friday and clarified on Talking Point on Sunday that the Council of Ministers has no intention to stop the controls but instead they suspended it until clarity can be given as to what transpired at Maho on Thursday.
Minister of Emil Lee confirms on Monday that the Ministry of VSA will continue with its controls as normal.

Amuseum Naturalis Exhibit on Women and People of Color to Open Tuesday, Feb. 9th

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duck08022016Grand Case:---- Island residents and tourists of all ages are invited to the free grand opening of the exhibit Women, People of Color, and the Making of Natural History in the Caribbean, on Tuesday, February 9 from 6-10pm at Amuseum Naturalis in Grand Case.

The exhibit is a special series at Amuseum Naturalis, created to shine a light on the contributions of women and people of color in the study of natural history in the Caribbean, from the 1600s to the early 1900s. The exhibit brings their discoveries, explorations and stories to life with vivid biographical snapshots and reproductions of beautiful historical zoological and botanical illustrations, engravings, portraits and maps.

“The historical contributions of women and people of color to science have often been hidden, suppressed, or simply not as well publicized as those of their white male contemporaries, and this is just as true in the Caribbean as elsewhere,” explains Jenn Yerkes, Amuseum Naturalis co-curator and Les Fruits de Mer President. “We wanted to create an opportunity for people to discover the fascinating stories of these incredible women and men who helped to build the scientific heritage of the Caribbean.”

The free, public exhibit will launch Tuesday night with the first installation of the series, which will include captivating figures such as naturalist and scientific artist Maria Sibylla Merian (1647 – 1717), known for her expedition to Suriname to document Caribbean insects, reptiles, birds, and plants; Graman Quassi (ca. 1690 – ca. 1780), a renowned Surinamese healer and botanist of African descent; Richard Hill (1795-1872), a trailblazing mixed-race naturalist and anti-slavery activist from Jamaica; and Felipe Poey (1799-1891), a Cuban zoologist known for his pioneering study of Caribbean marine life. The upcoming installations will be added throughout the run of the exhibit, so there will be new additions for visitors to enjoy every week. The exhibit will coincide with Black History Month and run through International Women's Day, March 8, 2016.

Women, People of Color, and the Making of Natural History in the Caribbean will be on display in the special exhibit hall of Amuseum Naturalis, Les Fruits de Mer's free pop-up museum of natural history located at 96 Boulevard de Grand Case. Amuseum Naturalis is open to the public on Tuesdays during the Mardis de Grand Case street fair, and is sponsored by Delta Petroleum.

About Amuseum Naturalis
Amuseum Naturalis is a free, public pop-up museum of the natural history of St. Martin and the Caribbean, created by Les Fruits de Mer for high season 2016 and made possible by the generous sponsorship of Delta Petroleum. Amuseum Naturalis will be open from 6-10pm every Mardi de Grand Case 2016, with additional open hours and dates to be announced. Amuseum Naturalis is located at 96 Boulevard de Grand Case in Grand Case.

About Les Fruits de Mer
Les Fruits de Mer is a non-profit association based in St. Martin whose core mission is to raise awareness about nature, culture, and sport. The organization carries out this mission through publications, an education program, and special public outreach events that entertain, inspire, and inform. The association is currently accepting new member and corporate benefactor member applications on its website,

PITCH –IT to hold steel ban concert.

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huntleypromocolOR08022016PHILIPSBURG:--- The members of the Professional in Intangible and Tangible Cultural Heritage supported by Information and Technology ( PITCH – IT) Foundation are pleased to announce that they will be hosting a Steel Pan Concert fundraising event on Sunday, February 14th, 2016 at the Belair community center located in Cay Hill.
The Steel pan is one of the most significant inventions of the Caribbean that originated in the twin Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. St. Maarten like many Caribbean Islands caught on to the art of playing and making the Steel pan and as such has developed its own trajectory in Steel pan history.
It is arguable that this musical instrument points to the brilliance of our Caribbean people more than any other invention we have created. On the eve of the 60th Anniversary of Chester York’s involvement in the pan movement, the PITCH – IT Foundation cordially invites you to an Ivory and Steel Concert featuring world renowned gospel pianist Huntley Brown, Neville York Steel Pan Virtuoso and the Learning Unlimited Steel Orchestra performing numbers of Johan Sebastian Bach, Mozart, Andre Boceli and much more.
Date: February 14, 2016 Place:The Belair Community Center Time: 4:00 – 6:00 PM Entrance fee: $ 15.00 Dress Code: Caribbean Casual

All net proceeds from the concert will be applied toward design and fabrication of a steel pan float that can accommodate 60+ steel pan players to mark the 60th anniversary of Chester York’s dedication and involvement in Steel Pan on St. Maarten in 2017.

Minister of Tourism Arrindell invites hotels, tour operators and other to participate in Colombian ANATO Trade and Consumer Show

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GREAT BAY (DCOMM)L--- Minister Hon. Ingrid Arrindell of the Ministry Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT), is extending an invitation to the business community to be a part of the Sint Maarten delegation that will be attending the 35th Annual Colombian Association of Travel and Tourism (ANATO).

The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau will have a joint booth with the Anguilla Tourist Board.

ANATO which is being organized by Vitrina Turistica, will be held at Corferias, Bogota, Colombia from February 24 to 26. The tourism trade fair will attract representatives from Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean and North America.

The three day event is expected to lead to approximately 30,000 business contacts being made between exhibitors translating into an annual turnover of close to US$150 billion, according to the Colombian Association of Travel and Tourism.

This is the third largest trade show in South America, and attracts notable travel agencies, tour operators, wholesalers and media representatives from South and North America and the Caribbean.

According to the latest ANATO figures, over 3.9 million Colombian tourists traveled to a foreign destination on holiday in 2014. This is an increase of 8.5 per cent when compared to 2013 when over 3.6 million took a holiday.

“The business community should not depend on Government alone to promote the destination. Hotel properties, tour operators, transportation providers, all have a role to play, and it’s in their interests to help promote the destination which also promotes their own businesses and at the same time securing business opportunities with other providers.

“Today Colombian tourists do not need a visa to visit Sint Maarten. We need to capitalize on this market where close to four million Colombians took a holiday in 2014. The air access is already there with our partner COPA Airlines out of Panama.

“The three-day event will allow us as a destination to explore business to business opportunities with key partners in the tourism industry that is essential for the sustainable tourism development of our own sector.

“We have to continue to reach out to other travel markets and Colombia is a growing travel market with more than 3.5 million travelers annually.

“We will be using the attendance of the trade show to foster relationships with respective partners in an effort to have our destination included in their product line. It is also an opportunity to meet with the travel media in order to promote travel to the destination. Destination Sint Maarten has much to offer, especially the island-hopping aspect when we look at our sister-island of Anguilla who we are working with to make our representation at the show a success.

“Therefore, I appeal to the business community to get on-board and let us jointly showcase what we have to offer as a destination. Tourism is all about us together working to bring more visitors to destination Sint Maarten.

“Hotel properties, tour operators and other tourists related service provider interested in being part of the trade show delegation should contact the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau for details,” Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Ingrid Arrindell said on Sunday.

ANATO, is a non-profit organization comprising of industry representatives, who defend and promote the general interests of tourism and travel agencies in Colombia. It was created in October 1949.

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