St. Martin News Network

Jan 29th
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Story Time puppet show this Saturday at the Library.

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Story Time puppet show this Saturday at the Library.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Philipsburg Jubilee Library will be hosting its weekly Saturday Story time at 11:00 am on Saturday, January 31st. This week, guest storyteller Papa Umpo, in collaboration with the St. Dominic School will perform a puppet show at the storytelling hour.
Every Saturday, the library conducts story time sessions for visiting children. Both Joseanne Peterson and Lysandra William are the coordinators for the Saturday story time sessions and have been volunteering their time for this project since January 2014.
The St. Dominic High School's theatre art class will do puppet performances and stories for this week's Story Time. The students will do this session as part of their course requirements. During this week's puppet show, the St. Dominic High School students will perform various fairy tales and traditional folk stories.
The next story time session will be Saturday, February 7th.

PJL Press Release

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 January 2015 23:33 )


Central Committee Meeting scheduled for Friday regarding Non-payment of bills by SZV and Government for health care.

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PHILIPSBURG:--- The Central Committee of Parliament will meet in public session on January 30 at the request of the National Alliance (NA) faction.

The Central Committee meeting is set for Friday at 10:00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda for the meeting is the non-payment of bills by the Social Health Insurance (SZV); the non-payment of premiums by Government to the SZV, and the consequences to health care in the country.

This meeting has been requested by NA Members of Parliament (MP) Hon. Silveria Jacobs, MP Hon. William Marlin, and MP Hon. Christophe Emmanuel.

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberation.

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

The parliamentary session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 120, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the Internet, and also via

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 January 2015 22:44 )

Nature Foundation Repopulates Corals on Depleted and Hurricane Damaged Reefs in Marine Park.

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Nature Foundation Repopulates Corals on Depleted and Hurricane Damaged Reefs in Marine Park.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Through the assistance and backing of luxury horlogier Hublot and the Alwani Family of the Little Europe chain of stores the St. Maarten Nature Foundation over the past eighteen months researched, installed and managed various coral nurseries at various locations around St. Maarten. The Coral Nurseries were installed in order to provide fast coral growth so that new coral fragments could be transplanted both on reefs within the Man of War Shoal Marine Protected Area and closer to shore. Since the passing of Hurricane Gonzalo last October the Nature Foundation has been working on transplanting coral to some of the damaged reefs inside of the Man of War Shoal Marine Park.

Due to rapid coastal development and climate change St. Maarten has lost nearly 80% of its near shore coral reefs. Coral reefs are an essential part of the Marine ecosystem as they provide habitat for numerous creatures and are often described as the 'rainforests' of the sea. Coral reefs also form a barrier to rising sea water levels caused by climate change and can act as a very important mitigating factor for the effects of Climate Change. Some of the coral was damaged due to the passing of Hurricane Gonzalo and these areas is the focus for transplanting and repopulation project.

Additionally, the man of War Shoal Marine Park and the coral reef areas within it are of significant environmental and economic importance as diving in Marine Parks is globally on the rise and generally accepted by the diving tourist as a "must do" vacation activity.

With proper management and restoration the area will increase the St. Maarten Tourism Product and local fisheries will also be enhanced through the regeneration of the depleted fish stock surrounding St. Maarten. Research has shown that Marine Protected Areas increase fish populations and fish size of commercial species in nearby fishing grounds.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 January 2015 22:35 )

Prevention program Zippy’s Friends comes to St. Maarten.

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Prevention program Zippy’s Friends comes to St. Maarten.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Mental Health Foundation, in cooperation with the Public Schools and Catholic Schools, is in the process of bringing a prevention program called 'Zippy's Friends' to the children of St. Maarten.
Zippy's Friends is a program that promotes the mental health and emotional wellbeing of young children. This program is evidence based and is in use in already over 30 countries across the world. The fundamental concept behind the program is very simple; if we can teach young children how to cope with difficulties, they should be better able to handle problems and crises throughout their lives. It teaches them how to cope with everyday difficulties, to identify and talk about their feelings and to explore ways of dealing with them. Some topics that are part of the program are feelings, communication, bullying, conflict resolution, change and loss. Zippy's Friends is a program for schools. It usually runs for 24 weeks, with one 45-minute session each week.
Psychologist at the Mental Health Foundation Jolien Louwerse explains she thinks this program will be very helpful for the children in St. Maarten; "Already when I first heard about the program in September 2013 at the Transforming Care Congress here in St. Maarten, I was very enthusiastic about it. The mastering of basic coping skills and social skills can help you throughout life and enlarges your chances of growing into a successful and happy teenager and adult. Unfortunately not every child picks up these skills at home or at school. What I like about the program is that children are encouraged to think about solutions themselves, instead of being told what to do. That is also what makes the program easily adaptable to different environments and cultures."
Zippy's Friends is not available to be bought 'off the shelf'; a license issued by the founders of the program Partnership for Children in England is needed. Training of coordinators and teachers is therefore required.

This week, the first part of the training will take place by a team of 4 to-be-coordinators visiting the country of Trinidad and Tobago, where the School Leadership Center has implemented the program already. The School Leadership Center took on Zippy's Friends in 2011, and has been delighted with the results, expanding from 13 schools in their first year to running the program in over 60 primary schools this year. The four coordinators from St. Maarten to attend the training are (as seen in the picture from left to right): Jina Mahbubani; guidance counselor at the Prins Willem Alexanderschool, Jolien Louwerse; psychologist at the Mental Health Foundation, Danette Gumbs; information and prevention coordinator at the Mental Health Foundation, and Miranda Veltman, psychologist at the Catholic Schoolboard.
This team will be visiting Trinidad and Tobago for a 3-day training beginning of this week. The training is aimed at getting familiar with the program, and how to train and guide the teachers whom will be using the program. Also visits will be made to several schools which are already using the program, to experience the program in use and to get feedback from these schools.
The second part of the training will take place when the team from the School Leadership Center will be visiting St. Maarten at the end of February, when they will assist with the first trainings of the teachers.
The project to bring Zippy's Friends to St. Maarten is starting off with a pilot: two schools will start using the program. These two pilot-schools will be the Prins Willem Alexander School and the Sr. Regina Catholic School.
The Cooperating Funds (Samenwerkende Fondsen) has provided funding for the pilot, including the training of the coordinators, teachers, and guiding of the teachers for the first year. Efforts will be made to implement the program in eventually all of the primary schools of St. Maarten.
For more information on this project, please visit (under Prevention).

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 January 2015 22:39 )

Dine and Discuss with Cruise Line Decision Makers at the FCCA Gala Dinner Extravaganza.

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Dine and Discuss with Cruise Line Decision Makers at the FCCA Gala Dinner Extravaganza.

PEMBROKE PINES, FL:--- Registration is now open for the 21st annual FCCA Gala Dinner Extravaganza, taking place during Cruise Shipping Miami on March 18, 2015 at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The event will feature cruise line executives, presidents and CEOs as table and evening hosts during an unforgettable night complete with dinner, cocktail reception, art auction and the opportunity to interact with those that decide where cruise ships call, what sells onboard and how to invest in destination infrastructure.

Registration comes with a selection of a table host-each a cruise line executive, with presidents and/or CEOs hosting private tables and offering a unique opportunity to showcase destinations or products as a team-and is on a first-come, first-served basis with limited space.

More than admission, registration offers a night of free-flowing discussion and networking opportunities. The event and evening will begin with a 90-minute cocktail reception and a silent art auction with a collection from Park West Galleries. After discussing anything from business to art, attendees and table hosts will join for a sit-down dinner with a side of productive talks and relationship building.

All proceeds will benefit the FCCA Foundation, the non-profit, charitable organization that funds humanitarian causes in the Caribbean and Latin America. Most recently, about 7,000 underprivileged children had something to celebrate because of the Foundation's Holiday Gift Project delivering presents, festivities and smiles.

To learn more or register, please visit:

FCCA Press Release

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 January 2015 22:49 )

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