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Oct 09th
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Port St. Maarten contributes logistically towards the transportation of French Sea Rescue Boat SNS129 to France for Repairs

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Port St. Maarten contributes logistically towards the transportation of French Sea Rescue Boat SNS129 to France for Repairs

POINTE BLANCHE:---– St. Martin Sea Rescue boat “Notre Dame de la Garoupe,” SNS129, will be shipped to France onboard the CMA CGM Fort St. Louis Cargo Motor Vessel (MV) on October 12 where it will undergo repairs.

The French side Sea Rescue boat suffered severe damage in October 2014 with the passing of Hurricane Gonzalo.

Port St. Maarten management is very pleased that it could contribute towards making this on-going effort as the Sea Rescue Services of both sides of the island play a very important role to mariners.

Several companies have contributed to the covering of transportation and other logistical costs of the vessel via inland/coastal waters and across the Atlantic Ocean, namely, St. Maarten Crane Company, SSS Intermar Stevedoring Company, and CMA CGM Container Shipping Group.

The Sea Rescue boat was lifted on top of a barge in the Simpson Bay Lagoon and transported to Port St. Maarten cargo facilities where it was lifted onboard the CMA CGM Midas Motor Vessel by the ports Mobile Gottwald Crane to be transported to Guadeloupe.

Port St. Maarten management is looking forward to seeing SNS129 return to the waters of Sint Maarten/St. Martin where it will be on 24-hour standby to assist any mariners in distress.

Last Updated ( Friday, 09 October 2015 17:13 )


Building a Nation: Challenges & Opportunities

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Building a Nation: Challenges & Opportunities

PHILIPSBURG:---  On this Constitution Day, we mark five years of St. Maarten having obtained country status within the Kingdom. As we reflect on the experiences that have helped to shape the country we are today, it is important that we all acknowledge our continued role in building a St. Maarten we can be proud of, a nation that is an example to the region. Building a nation is no simple task; there are countless factors to consider. There is a path that we travel on as our little country continues to grow. Along the way, we have and will continue to encounter specific challenges and enticing opportunities that will serve to either move our country forward or set it back. These are not bound by their definitions; they are interwoven with one another in that our challenges can double as opportunities.
Political instability, for example, is a long-standing issue plaguing our country, yet it represents a specific opportunity for government to improve the country’s record on integrity and accountability. Our financial situation, indeed a priority concern for Government, gives us the chance to be fiscally responsible and prosperous if properly and responsibly addressed. With these tackled, we unlock key opportunities afforded to us by our country status. We have the power to improve our presence on the international plane, with the benefit of a rebounding world and national economy behind us. However, opportunities that cross our path can be hidden obstacles that challenge us to do the right thing when presented with an opportunity that in reality is not in the interest of the people. How do we achieve all this? By recognising and working together to fix what is in my view our greatest challenge: a culture of not truly making positive change. As I have said since inauguration day, our progress towards greatness begins and ends with us; there is no other way forward. And we will get there, through tranquility, civility and stability.
Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs


Our Culture plays a Key Role in Nation Building

As citizens of St. Maarten, it is of utmost importance to preserve our tangible and intangible heritage, which would help us to identify clearly who we are as a people, St. Maarteners!, which can inspire positive change, stability and unity during a time of crisis. If we do not bring awareness to our community about our history and culture, we are all missing out on an accurate view of our society and successfully building our Nation. We also need to continuously educate our young and old, why we as a people can celebrate Constitution Day and ensure it becomes a part of the curriculum in all schools.
Significant positive change in St. Maarten; has become a burning desire in the hearts and minds of our people. In order to bring about that significant change, it is essential for the strong leaders in our different districts, to see past party lines, assemble the people in each district together in large numbers, assume leadership seriously and form groups that will work together to start building powerful beneficial principles, on which that district will exist. We will eventually have a wider range of ideas, customs, and wisdom to solve problems and enrich community life, and that way of living, will certainly affect the quality life. Each group, whether cultural or not, will have unique strengths and perspectives, that the larger community, St. Maarten, can benefit from. I encourage all of us to work towards building St. Maarten, because we are a people of perseverance and courage.
I wish all the citizens of St. Maarten a Happy Constitution Day.
May God Continue to bless St. Maarten.

Mrs. Rita Bourne-Gumbs
Minister of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports

Last Updated ( Friday, 09 October 2015 16:57 )

Local LGBT activists at CWSDC 2015.

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Local LGBT activists at CWSDC 2015.

PHILIPSBURG/PORT OF SPAIN:--- St. Maarten/St. Martin Alliance For Equality (SAFE) Foundation President, Lysanne Charles-Arrindell and Treasurer, Nadjesca Gumbs are currently in Trinidad attending the 3rd annual Caribbean Women & Sexual Diversity Conference.
The conference, which runs from October 5 – October 11, 2015, brings together lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered (LBT) women from across the region and western hemisphere for advocacy training and networking.
This year the conference covers topics such as community grassroots organizing, negative stereotypes and violence, media and advocacy, creative activism, grassroots fundraising, self-care/financial health, UN mechanisms (CEDAW/Commission on the Status of Women), LBT Sisterhood, Women’s Sexual & Mental Health, Security for Human Rights Defenders, Afro-centric Activism, Presentation Skills, LBT Women’s Movement Building/Feminism, Focus Groups on Activism Against Gender-based Violence. The participants are also taking part in health and relaxation sessions such as yoga and masala bhangra.
For Charles-Arrindell, who is also representing Body, Mind & Spirit (BMS) from Saba and the Pink Orange Alliance (POA), which is a kingdom effort between lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender (LGBT) organizations, this is her second year at the regional LBT conference and this year she will also facilitate and present a session on Creative Activism looking at the use of the arts for advocacy, confrontation and resistance.
“I am really pleased that I had an opportunity, chiefly via funding from BMS , COC & United & Strong, to participate in this conference again. This is a venture which really leads to lbt empowerment and networking and speaks to the idea that, both regionally and locally, we are stronger together. I’m also happy to be presenting on my two main passions arts and activism and I hope that the presentation stimulates good conversation and leads to tangible projects and activities for lbt women as it pertains to the arts. I can’t wait to come back and apply what I have learnt to our context,” Charles – Arrindell said.
This is Gumbs’ first year at the conference and she said that she is eager to learn from other organizations and individuals about their efforts on their islands and in their countries. She said that this knowledge would be applied to SAFE and the St. Maarten/St. Martin LBT reality.
“SAFE works for everyone in the LGBT community and we will continue to do this. This conference focuses on women’s issues and I think that this is also very important, because there are specific issues that impact us and that we need more strategies to tackle these. So far I had a great time and learned a lot and I like that there are different kinds of women at this conference, because it allows us to hear different stories and voices,” Gumbs said.
Gumbs said that SAFE may organize a lbt mini-conference on St. Maarten soon and perhaps even a gbt conference. She said that it is important for the diverse experiences of the St. Maarten/St. Martin LGBT community to share their reality. Gumbs is expected to return to the conference next year with another representative of SAFE.
SAFE’s president, Charles – Arrindell, said that it is important that all LBT persons who are interested in activism and advocacy on the islands of St. Maarten/St. Martin, Saba & St. Eustatius have the opportunities to attend such conferences to learn and share with others. She encourages all persons interested in activism to contact SAFE, BMS or POA.

Last Updated ( Friday, 09 October 2015 16:57 )

The NIA Award for Excellence in the Arts are in three categories.

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The NIA Award  for Excellence in the Arts are in three categories.

PHILIPSBURG:---- The next generation of Artist are The Vanguards. This award honors those artist that preserver against all the odds creating and maintaing their craft in country that is still in its infancy, and no clear infra structure to support those artists creating their artistry in St.Maarten.

The Vanguard Award recipients are:
Evelyne Fleming
Isidore York

Every year new artists are born and embark on their artistic journey. There those that stand out for their level of excellence, dedication, and commitment to their craft.

This year Emerging Artist Award recipients are:
Keila Michelle Gumbs
David Colas better known as D.Kullus

The National Institute of Arts recognizes that Arts and Culture play vital roles in celebrating the story of our humanity. The artist that we honor are a treasure throve of information and have created a library of work that helps tell Sweet S’Maatin Story. NIA knows that the Sweet S’Maatin Story lives in the body of our artists, poets, dancers, cultural workers, storytellers and others engaged in Culture & Arts. The Griots of our Island are a true testament and example of Artistry embodied.
NIACA Festival Excellence in the Arts Awardees 2014 were as follows:
Griot Awards: Harold Jack, Cynric Griffith, Evelyn Roberts Ann Meyers
Vanguard Awards: Musician and Band leader Jules Carty & Dancer, Cynthia Roberts
Emerging Artist Award: Visual Artist and Fashion Designer Akeem Adams & Vocalist Chantal Richardson

Last Updated ( Friday, 09 October 2015 16:58 )

Who will be paying for Minister Connor trip to the Dominican Republic? Minister got motion of no confidence he has no right spending tax payers monies.

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GEBE not paying for Minister’s ticket.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Minister of VROMI who is also responsible for Government owned company GEBE Claret Connor is expected to travel to the Dominican Republic this weekend with a delegation from GEBE. According to information provided to SMN News GEBE was invited by Watsilla to travel to the Dominican Republic on a fact-finding mission on the waste to energy plant. The source said that the last time the Minister of VROMI travelled to Miami with GEBE the government owned company paid his expenses with the intention that government will reimburse them for all expenses the company endured for the Minister. However, GEBE supervisory board made clear that the government owned company will not be footing any bills and or travel expenses for a Minister who got a motion of no confidence and should not have been in office today.
It is not clear if the Gumbs cabinet will use tax payer’s monies to send the Minister abroad while there is political debacle on the island. “One political pundit said if anyone in government chose to use the tax payers monies to send Ministers that got a motion of no confidence on trips then these persons including civil servants and the Minister himself should be prepared to pay back the monies or face the court of law.”
Besides that some well-known persons on St. Maarten including friends of the Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson contacted SMN News stating that they are extremely disappointed in their friend’s behavior especially since they know that he knows better and worked on the constitution of St. Maarten.
“We are his friends, we expect better from him, we know he knows better, but it comes to the point where we will have to take his skeletons out of the closets in order for him to respect the country he is supposed to represent then we will do just that. Friends should be able to tell their friends where they are going wrong and we personally spoke to our friend Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson who neglected the Ministry of Justice to fill in for the Prime Minister when fighting the Dutch and today the people of St. Maarten are suffering because of the escalating crime rate.” Recently we told the Minister of Justice that he is arrogance is putting St. Maarten on the world map, we also told him that at his age he needs to go home and spend time with his family instead of trying to strong arm the governor or anyone else just to be able to stay in office. “We are sending a sound warning to the present Council of Ministers to take heed, do what they need to do now and do not allow the people of this country to take the law in their own hands because of eight greedy and selfish people.”

Last Updated ( Friday, 09 October 2015 14:52 )

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