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Sep 23rd
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Minister Lake follows-up on trench cleaning works and job creation.

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Minister Lake follows-up on trench cleaning works and job creation.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake announced on Tuesday that he is in the process of visiting the different districts where it concerns trench cleaning works based on contracts that were signed earlier this year.

"I am very proud of the work that has been carried out by our young small business owners, the local contractors. They have done a great job, and taking pride in their own districts.

"This is in line with my vision of giving our people the opportunity to run their own business. Within my short term in Government, I had the opportunity to give our local contractors three times within the year work related to trench cleaning so that they would have a steady income and be able to take care of their families.

"I would like to see a more permanent structure in place for trench cleaning for the boys in the different districts. They have proven they can do the work once given the opportunity.

"I try my best to create work for our local contractors with my limited budget that falls under my ministry. The permits section within the ministry is working to facilitate the issuing of as many building permits as they come in.

"I always preach to my ministry that the more building permits we get out the more work we create for our people and more revenues for Government. It is very slow in the construction sector at this point in time and a lot of contractors are hurting.

"Government needs to be creative and create more projects to create more jobs for our people. We also need economic stimulus for our people where more and more become their own boss in our country. We need to raise the bar, and focus on empowering our people.

"I am also looking into other employment opportunities for other young people in the various districts including Sucker Garden. Not everybody is into trench cleaning, but have other expertise in different areas that could be of benefit to the community that they live in," Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Tuesday.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 September 2014 20:14 )


Ministry VROMI and Nature Foundation working together on removal of seaweed.

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Ministry VROMI and Nature Foundation working together on removal of seaweed.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake stated on Tuesday that Ministry VROMI is working closely with Nature Foundation regarding the removal of Sargasso seaweed on certain beaches.

A backhoe has been in operation at a beach in Point Blanche which has seen a large amount of Sargasso seaweed come ashore.

Residents have been complaining about the smell and burning eyes that live at Ground Dove Apartments which is right next to the beach.

"I've had a very good working relationship with Nature Foundation. The organization works in a very professional manner.

"They sought the assistance of my ministry with respect to large amounts of seaweed that has been washing up on certain beaches and we are more than happy to assist.

"We all have to work together to keep our environment clean. I commend all the volunteers who came out over the past weekend to clean-up a beach at Nettle Bay as part of the Inter Coastal Clean-up," Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Tuesday.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 September 2014 20:26 )

Crystal Pineapple Awards 2014.

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PHILIPSBURG:--- SHTA's 9th Annual Crystal Pineapple Awards Gala is on its way! Nominations have opened on September 1st, 2014 and will be closing October 6th, 2014.
Send in your nominations and let St. Maarten's Tourism stars be recognized.

The following categories will be open for nominations:

  • Accommodations
  • Employee, Supervisor, Department Manager, General Manager, Timeshare Sales Person and Rookie of the Year.
  • Restaurants & Bars
  • Employee, Supervisor/Manager, Restaurateur, Chef, Bartender and Rookie of the Year.
  • Trade
  • Employee, Supervisor, Manager and Rookie of the Year.
  • Outstanding Community Service Achievement

Category Qualifications & Nomination Forms can be found here:

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 September 2014 20:23 )

Remain vigilant and prevent mosquito breeding.

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GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), says that the community should remain vigilant in preventing mosquito breeding. Frequent rainfall allows mosquito's to breed when the rainwater gets trapped into containers around homes and businesses.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO) have both recently appealed to countries that have mosquitoes that transmit dengue and chikungunya to step up their vector control efforts and prepare for a possible increase in patients suffering from these diseases.

The PAHO/WHO recommendations come as the peak transmission season for dengue approaches and following local transmission of chikungunya in a number of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Resident's at home and owners of businesses are advised to continually take measures to mitigate the Aedes Aegypti mosquito that is responsible for the transmission of dengue and chikungunya.

Minister of Public Health Hon. Cornelius de Weever, 'Get Checked" campaign, is in line with the appeal for residents, and business owners, to check-in and around their homes, and businesses in order to reduce breeding sites of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, and making them mosquito-free zones.

On a daily basis check containers such as buckets and water tanks for larvae and eliminate the breeding source. Water tanks and cisterns should be properly secure and screened to prevent mosquito's from entering. If there aren't any containers with water for mosquitoes to lay the larvae there won't be any adult mosquitoes.

The Aedes Aegypti mosquito lays her eggs in clear (clean) stagnant water. Within eight days the mosquito can complete its life cycle from egg, to larvae to pupae and to adult mosquito.

Even after you have cleaned-up your yard and surroundings, it is recommended for persons to walk around their surroundings on a weekly basis and after every rain event to eliminate all possible breeding sites.
On a daily basis check plants in your yard for mosquito breeding sites, keep vegetation properly trim, and avoid overgrown vegetation.
Check around construction sites or do-it-yourself improvements to ensure that proper backfilling and grading is realized to prevent drainage problems which can be a source for standing water.
Turn over containers, buckets, boats and yachts which can catch water in the event of rainfall.
When out during dusk and dawn hours, use mosquito repellent or wear proper clothing to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
An increase in the mosquito population puts all residents and businesses at risk. Call for information on the Aedes Aegypti mosquito breeding sites and respective preventive measures at 542-2078 or 542-3003 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CPS is a government agency under the Ministry of Public Health.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 September 2014 19:45 )

Leaders of Coalition Government Advised to Make the Coalition Last for Four Years.

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Leaders of Coalition Government Advised to Make the Coalition Last for Four Years.

"Agree to disagree agreeably" - Pastor Wycliffe Smith

CAY HILL:--- Several Pastors from various churches came together on Tuesday afternoon and prayed for the three leaders of the three political parties that came together to form the coalition government for 2014-2018. The short but powerful prayer service took place at Bearing Point in Cay Hill where several persons including nine persons appointed by the three political parties have been working on the Governing Program for the next four years.
Pastor Wycliffe Smith the main organizer of the event said that the churches have been praying throughout the election period, on Election Day and even up to today as the political parties worked on forming the new government they have been praying. Pastor Smith said God has spoken and the leaders of the three political parties ought to make this coalition government work for the next four years. "We believe that the outcome of the election is God's will and that the churches will continue to pray for the political leaders throughout the years ahead."
He said many persons on St. Maarten do not want this government to work but it is the duty of the leaders of the political parties to agree to disagree agreeably and make it work for St. Maarten.
"Our prayer is that these parties namely the National Alliance, Democratic Party and the United St. Maarten Party that have come together to work together be granted the wisdom, guidance and direction of the Almighty God. Our prayer is also is that you lead and prepare and execute the governing program for the next four years. We also pray that you will prioritize the issues that the government and parliament would have to deal with and that you focus on it all with God's help. We also pray that you as leaders will select the right people to work for government and parliament." He stressed that a coalition of three is much more challenging than a coalition of two especially in this case where the margin is so thin, therefore it behooves you to bend over backwards to make it work. "There are people who are waiting and expecting for this coalition to fall "make it work", only you can make it work. There are people that are waiting for Marlin, Wescot and Richardson to be at odds with each other and disagree publicly, you must "make it work" agree to disagree agreeably." Pastor Smith made clear that as leaders they will not always see eye to eye but they must be able to agree to disagree agreeably. "People are expecting that this government would not work, but it is up to you to make it work for four years. John Maxwell once said that team work makes the dream work but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team. People on St. Maarten are tired of the changing of governments, ship jumping and media warfare, therefore you have to make it work." Pastor Smith further told the political leaders that are also people out there that expects that this government will be an example of good governance, transparent governance, and expedient governance. Nelson Mandela said that honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility pure generosity, absence of vanity, and a readiness to serve will make it work. The country is longing for righteous leaders, meaning leaders that will do the right thing not according their own standards but the standards of God.

Erna May Francis Cotton advised the political leaders to put aside their personal agendas and work for the best interest of St. Maarten, she also indicated that she is willing to do what is necessary for St. Maarten. Other Pastors that attended the service read scriptures some calling on the political leaders to ensure that they keep the peace on the island. Another Pastor prayed against all sorts of evil and witchcraft that some politicians engage in.
Leader of the National Alliance William Marlin thanked the church leaders for their kindness and thoughts in praying for the incoming government. Marlin said that while the political leaders are in the forefront there are people on the team that have been working endless hours to draft the governing program which will be presented on Wednesday September 24th, 2014. Marlin also thanked Bearing Point for their hard-work and their generosity for offering their workplace to house the team of persons along with the staff of Bearing Point here and on Curacao that worked in the background on the draft governing program.
Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams also expressed thanks to the churches and pastors who thought of them and offered their prayers. She said that the words spoken on Tuesday will serve as a reminder when challenging times arise. Leader of the USp Frans Richardson also shared the same sentiments as both of the other two leaders he also thanked Bearing Point and the team of people that have been working day and night on the governing program.

Click here to view photos of the prayer service.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 September 2014 20:10 )

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