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It is with deep sadness that we announce the tragic passing of Tiffany Reid, student of the St. Maarten Academy P.S.V.E.  Form 1D.

She leaves to mourn her:

Mother: Evelyn (Yvonne) Jarvis
Father:  Robert Reid
Grand Mother: Lucille Clarke
Aunts: Sharon Clark, Sleaine Clarke and Gwendolyn Minnott (all of Jamaica)
Uncles: Mickael Jervis, Leon Clarke and Erric Clarke (all of Jamaica)
Cousins: Phylesia Clarke – of St. Maarten, Mervin Meggoe, Jannel Russell, Orien Russell and many more too numerous to mention.
God Mother: Judith Ottey ( Jamaica) and Teacher Mary ( St Maarten)
Mentors: Maureen Fortune and Zaida Vlaughn
Friends: Chadeline Edwards, Hudiya Arrindell, Christel Parris, Madia John, Renisha  Mc Caardy, Kalisha Trotman, Maria Clarke, Charie Boy, Martin, Derrick, Algis Jack, Keisha Richards, Kimberley Johnson, Lakisha and others too numerous to mention.
Funeral arrangements will be announced later.
Compliments SMN News.

May Her Soul Rest in Peace

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of

Anthony C. Whyte

Sunrise: 26 September 1983 ~ Sunset: 20 September 2011

He leaves to mourn:
Mother:  Sylvia Whyte
Father: St.Clair Rogers
Son: Javier Arrindell
Daughter: Saira Stoddart
Grandfather: Albert Rogers
7 Brothers
5 Sisters
6 Aunts
6 Uncles
Many nieces, nephews & cousins too numerous to mention.
God Mother: Dorette Clarke
The funeral service for the late Anthony C. Whyte will be held on Tuesday September 27th, 2011 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

Senior a jama bo bini serka dje pa asina senjor  nombra bo oficialmente un angel protector
         Ku tristesa profundo nos ta anunsia fayesimentu tragiko di

Anthony Fransisco Elisabeth
(Miho konosi komo “Tommy” of “Chiki”)

Na nomber di su:
Mama:       Sra. Vda. Ilva (Elvia) Elisabeth Pieters

Yunan:       Anchantee Elisabeth
                   Kian Stenz

Rumannan: Alfrind i Mairzy Elisabeth-Alberto
                    Lisette Elisabeth I Remsley Vrutaal
                    Anette Elisabeth I Sharon Litecia

Subrina/Subrinu:Johilvienne I shuremsley Elisabeth
                            Sharivienne I Shernon Elisabeth
                            Melissa I Alissa Elisabeth

Partner:        Grace Sprott

Tanta/Tionan:       Estrella I Jose van Blarcum-Elisabeth
                              Johanita Kwidama Elisabeth
                              Ernesto Elisabeth
                              Edna Elisabeth
                              Nelson I Ana Elisabeth-Paulina
                              Inaro I Rosmarie Elisabeth-Navarro
                              Julieta Pieters

Primu(a)nan:       Errol (Joy) Felisie i rumanan
                            Gerda Ignacio i ruman
                            Audie van Blarcum i rumannan
                            Madeline Kwidama i rumannan
                            Remsey (Achi) Elisabeth i ruman
                            Angelo Elisabeth I ruman
                            i nan respektivo famia

Tanta Grandi:       Birinia y Louisa Brigitha                               

Na nomber di:      Fina Sprott I famia

Madrina:       Maria Clarinda

Iha:       Shadira York I demas ihanan

Amigu I koleganan di Kuerpo Polisial di Sint Maarten i Korsou, muy en particular klas 98/2, RST, The Bikers Association i NAPB

Amiga(o)nan: Shadira Gysbertha, Bufio Jacobs, Mauricia, Phelipa, Ali Strickx, Dokan, Rudsel & Janette, Thode, Ranis, Carolina, Doei Martina, Guillermo Krips, Navin I tur sobra amigo I amiganan.

Demas faima: Elisabeth, Pieters, Brigitha, Melfor, Pietersz, Epistola, Kenepa, Litecia, Alberto, Vrutaal, Nicolaas, Sprott I Stenz.

A Wake will be held at Fort Willem # 2 on Tuesday September 13Th, 2011 from 04:00 pm to 07:00 pm.

The memorial service will be held on Wednesday September 14th, 2011 at the St. Martin of tour Catholic Church on Front Street, Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Viewing: 10:00am to 11:30 am. Service: 11:30am.

The body will be laid to rest in Curacao on Thursday September 15th, 2011.

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


The Lord is My Shepherd I shall not want.

It is with deep sadness in our hearts that we announce the passing of

Victor E. Thomas
Sunrise: 23 March 1932
Sunset: 3 September 2011

He leaves to mourn:
Brothers:  Emile Powell & Family (French Sxm)
                    Gilbert Jones & Family (St.Thomas)
Sister: Marcelle Flanders & Family (French Sxm)
Nieces: Cynthia & Rufo Winklaar & Family (Aruba)
Mrs Anna & family (Dom.Rep)
Great Nieces: Sherlyne Winklaar (Sxm)
                          Zuleyka Lake-Winklaar & Family (Aruba)
                         Shirley & Sheila (Holland)
Great Nephews: Omar Pom (Sxm)
                           Allan (Iceland)
Step Brother: Gaston Richardson & Family (Sxm)
Sister in Law: Shermina Powell-Richardson (Sxm)
Many cousin in St. Maarten and abroad too numerous to mention
Neighbors & Friends: Stanley & Rosenda vanPutten, Family Limish Gursahani, Margareth & Loysy, Doris Dedier, Mr & Mrs Pinas, Janchi Williams, Diana Baley, Bob the Builder Playschool, Miss Thompson, Pedro Cannegieter (Bus 14), Mr. Jason (Bus 159), Mr. Leroy (Bus 151), Gromyko Wilson, Mario James, Mr. Ray, Mrs. Senda , his friends in the Haitian community, Mr. John Hodge and Wally Havertong. He was a former employee of Food Center, Great Bay Hotel and supervisor of Public work department.
Special Thanks to the Staff of the St. Maarten Medical Center, Dr. Jolles, All authorities on both French and Dutch side of the island and all the concern citizens who have been at our side during this difficult time.
He was related to the van Gurp, Powell, Winklaar ,Williams, Jones, Green, Richardson, De Weever, Hodge, Roumou, Joe, Baker and many others too numerous to  mention.

The funeral service for the late Victor E. Thomas will be held on Friday September 9th, 2011 at the Risen Christ Roman Catholic Church in South Reward. Viewing: 2:00pm to 3:00pm. Service: 3:00pm. 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


O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusted in him. - Ps 34:8

It is with deep sadness in our hearts that we announce the passing of

Mr. Hyppolite A Reiph better known as Popo or Casa

Former owner of Saint Maarten Auto Parts & Saint Martin Cable

Sunrise: September 10, 1930
: September 24, 2011

Left to Mourn:

Edna Mathews Reiph

Patricia Reiph Lake
Marie-Therese Reiph
Marvis Reiph

 Serge Reiph (USA)

Rosa Carmen, Glenda Augusta,
Yvette Augusta (USA)

Ruben Augusta, Errol Augusta, Winselsio Augusta

 Sylvia, Gilbert, Elizabeth Wilson, Cedric, Timothy, Calwyn, Carlisle, Nicolas, Sergie, Zaire, Efraim, Janine, Rosacarmen, Niva, La-Teen, Jo-Anne, Morgan, Sandia, Ricardo, Ruben, Edna, Mercedes, Francis, Gabriel, Elizabeth Augusta, Frankie, Melissa, Cristal, Christine, Chelsea

22 Great Grand children

       1 great-great-grand child        

Joseph Reiph & Family (Curacao)

Martha Reiph-Baly & Family, Melaine Reiph Cooks & Family

Sisters-in law
Constance Cooks & Mercedes

 Nieces & Nephews here and abroad including
Henrie George & Family, Claudine Reiph  & family,  Cynthia Richardson & Family, Ralph Richardson & Family, Jane Reiph & family, Adeline Baly & Maria Blijden & family, Arsen Reiph and many more too numerous to mention 

Great nieces
 Charlise Barrot, Alexinia Barrot

Too numerous to mention

Close Friends
Elvasine Wescotte, Marie Peterson, Louis Hamlet, Norel Gumbs, Yvette Fleming- Hodge, Lesse Warren, Senator Louis Constant Fleming, Clement Gumbs, Brother Jim, Pastor R Webster, Nestor Durio, Philip Connor, Pastor Steven Hughes & Family and members of the Good News Baptist Church and many more too numerous to mention
He was related to the
Reiph, Barrington, Baly, George, Ricardson, Cooks, Blijden, Brooks, Flanders, Barrot, Chittick, Choisy, Lakes, Marlin, Conner, Primas, Augusta, Dixen, Dormoy, Duzant, Brill, Bute, Duinkerk, Duzanson, Emmanuel, Froston, Fortuno, Heyliger, January, Kingsale, Novels, Peterson, Parrotte, Rogers , Richards, Culingford Van Putten, Webster, Wilson and many other families too numerous to mention

A wake will be held on Thursday September 29th from 7: 00 pm to 10:00 pm at his home in Rambaud, St.Martin
The home going service will be held on Saturday, 1st October 2011 at the Good News Baptist Church in St. Peters. Viewing of the body: 10am-11am. Service: 11:00am.

Continuation of the home going service will be at Good News Baptist Church in Concordia F.W.I. Viewing of the body: 1:30-2:30. Service: 2:30pm after. Burial: Sandy Ground cemetery thereafter.

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

Dear Mr. DUNCAN,
Minister of Justice.

Without a doubt, your portfolio as Minister of Justice of St. Maarten is one of the most challenging and complicated of all in Government.
That is simply the case because, you inherited an immigration situation, which is extremely complex and which touches every sector and aspect of our community.
We also are of the opinion, that based on your very frank and professional approach, you should be capable of appreciating creative and 'out of the box' solutions to our immigration nightmare.
Clearly, the immigration challenge is a consequence of 'globalization', a process in which the movement of people in search of employment, has become a world-wide phenomenon.
One of the biggest challenges of the immigration issue, is that it is constituted of 'forces', which are, in and of themselves opposing in nature.
On the one hand, there is the natural desire of the host- or native population to preserve itself and thus to resist any threats to its way of life and its existence.
Consequently, uncontrolled levels of immigration have the potential to eventually result in xenophobia and to very undesired social confrontations.
On the other side of the immigration-equation, immigrants have certain social and infra-structural needs, as well as the legitimate need to have their human-rights protected.
Together, these opposing forces present any Government and community with an extremely delicate socioeconomic equilibrium.
Walking this tight-rope requires constant fine-tuning/adjustments.
This equilibrium can only be maintained, if any (major-)adjustment is off-set or compensated on the other side of the equation.
Now, what have we seen on the 'Friendly island' over the years ?
The host-population's side of the equation has systematically been ignored, eroded.
Not only by the explosive numbers of immigrants, but also by the birth-rate of these immigrants versus that of the native population.
Already, in that sense the 'socioeconomic scale' has gone completely 'berserk'
To make matters even worse for the natives, the lawlessness of immigrants has been 'rewarded' in various ways and it never seems to end.
Look at the very unfair competition of the 'gypsy' transportation versus that of the legal one.
What about compulsory education forcing extra expenses on the people of the land and in fact serving as a 'revolving door' for more illegals to enter the island.
Now the latest, BTA-disaster or conundrum.
It is in fact, the umpteenth form of 'amnesty' for illegals and probably not the last one either !
From the media and by just listening to the not so 'coded' message in your public statements, it is very clear that you will not deport those who are still illegal on the island, after all these chances.
For the record, their stay on the island now, according to laws of the land, is simply illegal. meaning that they should be deported.
Now, imagine, that as in the past, you once again intend to 'bend backwards' to that extent, that all those people who broke our immigration and other laws, will be rewarded by being allowed to stay here on the island.
The consequences are clear.
Once allowed to stay here, their 'children producing machinery' will again go into high gear, producing so many more 'born-here' children, only to hold us hostage in the future - again.
With limited space in schools, in the workforce etc., that can only lead to a life in crime and it all again comes 'full-circle'.
The point I am making here, Mr. Minister, is that this time, the 'scale' will not only tip too much to the disadvantage of the native St. Martin people, it might well completely break the scale, rendering our demise completely irreversible.
I hope you get the 'picture' and realize that it is not an acceptable one for the people of this land.
Therefore, the time has now come, to start taking care of the concerns, rights of we the native, indigenous St. Martin people.
And please, do not use any lame excuse, because if Government can bend backwards and reward illegal immigrants by giving them the same rights as us, then there is absolutely no reason not to finally - finally take care of us.
The consequences of not being fair to the St. Martin people whose heritage is anchored right here on this island, will come at a very high price, sooner or later.
So, while, we do not fundamentally disagree with you 'regulating' the rights of illegal immigrants, we absolutely expect you to bring balance, by making sure that for the first time in modern history, 'Charity starts at home'. for St. Martiners.
Nothing less will 'cut it'.


Drs. Leopold JAMES

Dear Minister DUNCAN,

No-one said that being Minister of Justice of 'Country St. Maarten' is an easy job - it is not - not even by any stretch of imagination.
After all, since 'thrash' has been 'fed into the box' for decades, indeed, the same or worse quality trash will logically be the output.

And alas, so it is with the 'Friendly island'.
For years, the authorities have turned a very blind eye to the biggest and most detrimental threat to the very existence of its native population - the uncontrolled, flood of immigrants and their high production of offspring.
That process started long before your 'watch' as minister.
However, you are now in charge of justice and immigration and it is therefore your responsibility to find a solution.
While, keeping a very close eye on your policies, we also are of the opinion, that with all due respect for your colleagues, you are ostensibly the most experienced, competent and decisive of all ministers and members of Parliament.
Therefore, as St. Martin's grassroots nation building and unification movement, perhaps based on wishful thinking, we still hold out some hope that you will be able to come up with a very creative, solution based.
One based on a 'win-win' approach as it relates to the immigration situation and its enormous impact on the rights of indigenous St. Martiners to be preserved in their own land, as well.
We are prepared to offer you our assistance is so desired towards this end.
However, regardless of what you decide, here is our position.
Under no circumstances, can or will we support granting yet another form of amnesty under the guise of some 'regulation' to immigrants who made it their business to be here, by breaking our immigration laws and other laws as well, without the corresponding legal compensation to indigenous St. Martiners.
It can not be accepted, that Government can be pressured or bribed to reward illegal activities of immigrants, giving them ultimately the same rights as St. Martiners, without also rewarding St. Martiners for having being put at a very dangerous disadvantage of becoming an extinct species !
On Sunday last, during your interview with Mr. Eddy WILLIAMS, you mentioned the idea of 'Affirmative action' as such a means of protection.
While, we totally agree with you and admire you for mentioning this, we are of the opinion, that it should be part of a larger picture - our concept of the MARSHALL PLAN.
Clearly, you are faced with dealing with the 'BTA nightmare' or 'conundrum', for which we wish you much strength and wisdom.
However, again we implore you to realize that any regulation of illegal immigrant must be offset with special benefits for the St. Martin residents.
Not doing so, is a recipe for total disaster.
After all, we all know that, injustice breeds violence and criminality and we are very fast becoming the world's champion in those areas already.
Hoping to have made a constructive contribution towards this very complex issue, which will determine the very existence of all native, indigenous St. Martin people.

Leopold JAMES

Dear Minister Duncan,

This is to commend you for your interview on radio-station GBBC, with Mr. Eddy Williams, this Sunday morning, September, 19, 2011.
Not only were you very frank and realistic as far as the issues are concerned, but you set a very high standard as a minister in presenting your ideas.
While, I have been very critical of you in the past for ignoring our input as a grassroots St. Martin movement, it is only fair also to commend you for the very professional way you shared information with the public.
It was indeed very educational and inspiring as well !
Hopefully, it can serve as an example for others in Government as well.
Pertaining to the BTA issue now.
Indeed, you still do not have the solution to this aspect of our immigration nightmare.
Fact of the matter is, that no matter what decision you take to still 'regulate' offenders of the law, Government can not get around the moral, if not legal obligation to compensate and reward the St. Martiners, for having been left behind compared to those who came here illegally.
It is simply not right !
In other words, constantly finding excuses to grant illegal immigrants whatever permits, MUST be 'offset' by granting SXM'ers special rights in order to survive.
In that regards, thanks for the courage of finally mentioning the need for 'affirmative' action, or 'positive' discrimination.
It is the only way to bring about balance where such is non-existent in the socio-economic development of any society.

Drs. Leopold JAMES
President SNBF/ Association L' Esprit de Concordia

Fellow St. Martiners and friends of St. Martin,

Upon request of Daniella JEFFRY, it is my privilege to inform the public of St. Martin and all St. Martiners abroad as well of the following;

Once more our own, great cultural-icon, historian and exemplary indigenous, St. Martin lady, Daniella JEFFRY, will be launching yet another publication-a revised version of her popular book '1963, A Landmark Year in St. Martin'.
Needless, to emphasize the precious value of the work of Daniella as source of information and education as well as source for the restoration of pride and dignity of our St. Martin people in their history, roots, cultural-heritage and by extension in themselves as a people.
More than ever, it is essential that Daniella can continue the work of documenting our history for posterity.
To be able for her to illustrate the latest publication she is currently working on with pictures, I would like to recommend persons, who still have old time
pictures in their possession, to consider sharing these with Daniella.
In particular names and photographs of people who lived on the island during the 1960's or before, including the events and activities they were involved in, will be very appropriate for the book.
In addition, pictures of homes, views, landscapes etc.of those days, will be very welcome in order to create a complete picture as possible of the way of life back during the Traditional Period in St. Martin.
The names of all the people who contribute with illustrations and other information will be mentioned as well in the book.
By involving St. Martiners in the publication of her book, the product in fact will also be a collective legacy of St.Martiners, many of whom have remained unknown, therefore unrecognized thus far.
It is evident, that the children and other descendants of the persons to be mentioned in her book, will feel proud and empowered realizing that their fore-parents played a role in the development of this island.

Email address; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thanks for your co-operation,
Leopold JAMES

Dear Editor,

I would like to express my concern about the priority of the prosecutors in handling cases. We all know that our jail is full and that we have not enough manpower to finish investigations. At least this is being told to the general public in Sint Maarten on a daily basis (and basically inviting criminals to go ahead, because the chance of being caught let alone being punished is slim to none).

In my opinion it is our government who is the spine of our society. Yes, we determine who represent us and we determine who needs to get the hell out of Dodge, but the structure and representation lies in government's hands. Without saying that certain government officials are guilty of criminal acts, some severe accusations have been made and have to be dealt with. How can the public have faith in a government who is mixed up in all kinds of scandals like vote buying, illegal land schemes, abuse of power and self-enrichment on the backs of the people?

In order to have a strong government and strong leadership, the public must have faith in their leaders and senior civil servants. Chaos and anarchy will take place if there is no trust in the leaders of a country. This could also result in mass demonstrations, may they be peaceful or not, demanding of government to make way for a new breed of leaders.

Now is the time that the prosecutor's office sets its priority on clarifying all the rumors and accusations. Those who are guilty have to be (severely) punished and those who are innocent should be able to continue to function in the interest of the people. This is the only way to regain stability. If not, our so-called representatives might have something coming to them what they would not expect.

Have a great day,

Sjaoel "Shooz" Richardson

A number of St. Martiners have contacted us to express a very serious concern about whom we issue our St. Martin ID-cards to.
Many St. Martiners have been so inspired by the concept of the card, they warn us against too easily making the cards available to non-native St. Martiners, since it will eventually allow all card-holders the same benefits and opportunities.
In principle there are two categories of candidates who can qualify for our St. Martin ID-card.
In the first place, those who can their prove heritage on the island, North and South, going back to the Landmark Year of 1963, or before.
Then there are those whose heritage is not related to this island, but who have made significant contributions towards the preservation of the St. Martin people, their cultural-heritage, their way of life or towards their interest as a people.
For the record.
Those recipients of our cards who fall in this last category, have all made contributions to our nation building movement one way or the other and they continue to do such as well.
In other words, candidates who do not have the St.Martin heritage, must prove that they deserve this card, which is so important for St. Martiners, the nation building process and to eventually qualify for any special benefits, which eventually will be granted to the card-holders.
That can be done for instance by them committing themselves to projects promoting St. Martin People and their cultural-heritage.

Drs. Leopold JAMES
President SNBF/ Association L' Esprit de Concordia

Dear Mr. President,

Out of the greatest of respect for the institution of the Presidency, and in the same manner acknowledging actions above political rhetoric, please allow me to offer my congratulations on your speech and exertions in office.
For better or worse, I believe you have striven to rise to the challenge of office. My own desire has been to see the expansion of decision making to involve the broadest base of the Collectivity.
Together we can surely achieve more than we are currently reading in the press each week. Personal attacks and endless rhetoric, between the leaders of the various parties and to some extent shamefully the institution of the Prefecture itself.
Perhaps you would indulge me by considering just a few proposals intended to enhance budgetary transparency. A weekly, televised programme in the weeks leading up to major fiscal and financial decisions being enacted would allow a real opportunity to win the hearts and minds, and most important the collectivity awareness and understanding of the electorate.
In such program, your team may wish to give a detailed analysis of pre-budget considerations and issues of importance with its priority expenditures, funding and other fiscal imperative. Once presented, the electorate will better be able to evaluate important decisions in an increasing stressed and complicated economic environment, making difficult decisions more widely acceptable. Consider it bringing the Presidency closer to the people. Let us all pull together when it comes to the budget.

Enough of this strategic voting because, it is a majority party decision. Also, don't let an opposition just oppose; all must contribute to strengthen the budget. We are too small of an island to have so many "Califes qui veulent etre Calife a la place du Calife".
I have relocated to Singapore for business and they have recently celebrated their 46th year as a country. Take a close look at what they accomplished in that time. Spare a thought of why they did it, and we can't. Like us they had no natural resource. Let's look outside of Saint-­‐Martin and find what works.
Immediate priorities -­‐ we need a strong fiscal agency, to strategize, enforce, and manage the backbone of our economy. Our income revenue system.
We need a diverse economy that strengthens and develops our riches (being our island's natural beauty, our culture, our people and mostly our children's.); one that listens to its local actors – The current local companies that believed in us and mostly makes it a welcoming island to potential investors and entrepreneurs. Saint-­‐Martin needs to offer the most to all, in a protective manner, so no Saint-­‐Martiner could be left behind.
We took the electoral route of responsibility by becoming a Collectivity; let us start to appreciate the real meaning of that word and aim to be one of the best Collectivities by balancing its expenses with its income.

Yours truly,

Jean-Marc Vermot de Boisrolin

Never mind, that long before there was a Lido Bar-Restaurant & Events Center, or even a LIDO BBQ for that matter, there were native St. Martiners living in that area for many generation...peacefully.
Never mind, that while still operating as LIDO BBQ back then, the loud music coming from that establishment, resulted in many complaints from residents at the back, to all local authorities, including to the Governor, drs. Eugene HOLIDAY.
Never mind that, out of the 'clear blue' one day, it became public that those who had been terrorizing the neighborhood with their loud music had been 'rewarded' by the local authorities with a permit to open an even bigger business facility - the LIDO Bar-restaurant & Events Center.
Never mind that, ever since the owner, a certain 'Vernon' of Haitian descent, has decided that he would play the music as loud, and as long as he felt fit, although having been told on several occasions of the very annoying impact on the residents living there long, many even long before there was ever anything 'LIDO' .
Still, as bad as that all, might be, we tried hard to 'never mind'; after all we all know that 'everything goes' on the 'Friendly island'.
But here it comes, now.
This particular gentleman, seems to have found a 'safehaven' allowing him to disrespect those living adjacent to his establishment, as well as to circumvent the law of the land.
According to a person overhearing him one day, he is quoted as having said something to the following effect.
'Even when police responds to a complaint and comes to check out the loudness of his music, they tell me, that after they leave, I can just go ahead and raise the volume of the music again'.
As if that was not bad enough, when I called him two weeks ago, informing him, that the music was so loud, that we were suffering from headache and that it was not right, his response was very simple.
'That is your problem, because right now there are some police-officers here enjoying themselves and they have no problem'.
I beg your pardon, Mr. Minister ?
Am I still in St. Maarten, or am I now living in some lawless slum-area in Haiti, where the cops can be bribed to do about anything ?
Here, is where I now start to mind and intend to draw a line in the sand !
What was this gentlemen actually trying to tell me ?
Was it actually something, many young people truly believe in, and which is a reason, why many do not trust 'Babylon' ?
Could it be even remotely true, that certain individuals have certain police-officers 'in their pockets' or even elsewhere ?
So, what does this all mean for simple, law-abiding citizens ?
Does it really mean that, once certain individuals have a 'special relationship' with certain police-officers, that such in fact affords them in fact a 'carte blanche', or a 'protective cover' to do whatever they want ?
Really, Mr. Minister ?
With all the asocial behavior, lawlessness, crime, overpopulation, illegal immigration, BTA-'conundrum' etc. our community already has to grapple with, can this attitude be tolerated, let alone 'rewarded' even more ?
If even, under these 'treacherous', social circumstances, certain immigrants feel they can still completely disregard the people of this country, how will this bode after any possible, regulation/amnesty ?
Isn't is time, Government adds/emphasizes the possibility of REVOKING any privilege granted to immigrants ?
Privileges, such as work- and residence permits and even naturalization papers, passports etc. etc.
Given the very serious socioeconomic challenges the people of this country themselves are facing, others should PROVE they deserve a chance to stay in an already, way over populated, way overburdened community, whose carrying- and tolerance capacity has been over-stretched.
Consequently, and certainly in this context, any form of disrespect/crime against a native St. Martiner, should be punished very severely, including having all privileges granted REVOKED and the perpetrators DEPORTED after having serving punishment.
Mr. Vernon of LIDO might not have committed a crime perse, but at the same time, considering his mentality, he should be taught a very clear lesson.
That lesson is to respect the people of the land, who were here long before him and also a lesson for having implying our police-officers, as part of his protective shield, so that he can terrorize the neighborhood with his loud music.
In ending, Mr. DUNCAN, we look forward to you taking the appropriate measures against LIDO Bar-Restaurant & Events Center.
Not doing so, clearly will send out the wrong message, contribute to more lawlessness in our community and discourage citizens from cooperating with Law-enforcement.

With respect,

Leopold JAMES

On behalf of all conscious native, indigenous St. Martin People, we congratulate you for having the courage to protect your own Curacao people by passing the so-called 80/20-regulation. ( See attachment)
We agree with you that is a monumental and historical step in securing the future for your people in their own home-land.
Without such protection, your local population would eventually cease to exist as a people.
In addition, by taking this very courageous and necessary step in your emancipation process, you have indeed given real content and substance to the tern country CURACAO.
As you might know, our own grassroots St. Martin movement has been working for many years for recognition, preservation and protection of our native, indigenous people as well.
We will not rest until such provision is legalized as well, preferably in the constitution of our country.
Although, our political leaders have sold us out as a people, they thus far have not yet had the courage to correct their act of betrayal by recognizing and protecting their own people.
However, we are convinced that eventually there will be no other choice, considering the options of not doing so.
Meanwhile, we look forward establishing contact with your parliament and with others in the other former Netherlands-Antillean islands on this issue, because it can not be accepted that instead of going forward, the we the Antillean people of various island's heritage, have been betrayed and are confronting our demise on the various individual islands.
Therefore your historical move, means an enormous and invaluable injection of inspiration to our movement as well.
It must be possible to have our ow native, indigenous St. Martin People protected, without denying others their legitimate, realistic, 'non-trumped up' human rights.
Our Marshall Plan concept provides for such a harmonious and dynamic, socioeconomic balance between all key-stakeholders.
In fact, based on its very creative vision, illegal immigrants with an 'added value', would not even have to be deported off the island, nor would they be detrimental to the native population, should they be allowed to stay.
The bottom line is, that something's gotta give, and that doing nothing, or doing the wrong thing is no option.
At least, the Members of Parliament of Curacao and especially Mr. WIELS have shown that they really have pride in the Curacao people, their heritage and will defend their rights to come first at home.
Bravo !

drs. Leopold JAMES
President of the grassroots St. Martin People's movement.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to point out to you a unique situation on the Caribbean island called Sint Maarten/Saint Martin. It started out as a rumor, but the many sightings and confirmations are overwhelming. Without a doubt we can now state that there is a massive development of new species on the island, mainly rats. I will give you short list out of the many new breed of rats spotted on this island:

These species make a habit of eating whole neighborhoods (streets, houses, hotels, etc).

Unbelievable but true, rats who are able to consume 10% of all profits on the island.

Rats who will eat their own and protect other rats.

These are big fat rats who hardly can jump, but still manage to maneuver their selves from one ship to another.

An MNO species what lives in the same habitat as the Concrete-Eating-Rats and providing the latter with enormous meals.

Rats which are said to be invisible.

Rats who are actually giving speeches to other rats. Human beings stay far away from these species.

A very dangerous species, they pretend to be nice pets, but are in fact awful monsters.

There are many more rats, but I am inviting you to come see it for yourself. It is truly unbelievable and you will find this nowhere in the world.

Have a great day,

Sjaoel "Shooz" Richardson

Dear editor,

More and more people know the feeling of being helpless. More and more people are becoming victims of crime. What if one could have defended his or her property with a gun? What if a robbery could have been avoided by gun carrying witnesses? Not to mention all kinds of other horrible crimes that law-abiding citizens carrying a gun possibly could have prevented.

One thing is for sure: there are a lot of pro's and con's when it comes to legalizing guns for law-abiding citizens. Unfortunately, too often we hear of a mad man or woman making amok with all kinds of weapons. Too often we see horrible pictures of innocent bystanders, sometimes children, with the most horrible gun shot wounds afflicted by stray bullets. Or what about all the accidents that happen with guns accidentally going off?

Looking at Washington D.C., for years murder capital of the United States and where they have strict gun control, you can see that shootings don't decrease by making guns illegal. Last week in New York more than three dozen people got shot in less than forty eight hours during the Labor Day festivities. Now they also want stricter gun control in New York.

On Sint Maarten we have an increase in crime, jail is full and our police force is understaffed. If we had a trustworthy government and a reliable justice system I think that I would feel safe and secure enough and might only have had a bat next to my bed "just in case". With the current crime situation, however, I sure would feel better with my friend Magnum around the house. If anything bad should happen, I don't have to face anybody with a potato cutter.

I don't want more guns on the streets, but I also want to secure myself, my family and friends and my belongings. To gun or not to gun...that's the question.

Have a great day,

Sjaoel "Shooz" Richardson

Great Bay (DCOMM):--- Overnight, Tropical Storm (TS) Maria slowed its approach to the Lesser Antilles island chain, and is barely hanging on as a tropical storm.

According to the National Hurricane Center 11.00am advisory, TS Maria could become a Tropical Depression or Tropical Wave later today.

TS Maria is located 25 miles North East of Antigua and is moving North West. According to the Meteorological Department of Curacao (MDC), TS Maria is forecast to pass 25 miles North of Sint Maarten as a Tropical Depression on Saturday night.

With tropical storm conditions no longer a factor, the possibility still exist for heavy rainfall and some gusty winds during passing rain squalls. Bearing the aforementioned in mind, street flooding and flooding in low lying areas is still possible. Motorists should therefore drive with caution if they encounter street flooding.

The Princess Juliana International Airport remains opened, however many flights were cancelled due to the anticipated deterioration in weather conditions.

Persons should call their respective airlines or 546-7777 for flight information.

The ferry service between the island and Anguilla has been cancelled since early Saturday morning until further notice.

The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) would like to thank the general public for their preventative response to this threat and to continue to be vigilant for the remainder of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

ODM will continue to monitor TS Maria until the system has cleared our area.

UNION des PARENTS d'ELEVES de SAINT MARTIN (UPESM) strongly condemns the irresponsible actions and the uncivilized behavior of adults who are permanently taking our children as hostages. We say no to all types of violence and remind everyone that vandalism is violence, and that it always worsens the existing conditions ,therefore bringing no solution to our children in their education or social difficulties. We can no longer accept, or tolerate that our children are served sandwiches for meals, or that meals are delivered late .
Parents associations have always been committed to fight against violence and for the improvement of infrastructure and working conditions in our schools.
It is sad to see the efforts and progress in those departments, thus violated. Such behavior does not allow us to move forward, and our children are the first one to suffer the consequences of such unscrupulous behavior. We are therefore asking for these acts of vandalism to stop, as they are costly to our community. We also call on the Collectivite and the CTOS to meet promptly in order to find in-depth and lasting solutions to the recurring obstacles to a smooth operating of the canteen in our schools.

Vernicia BROOKS

President of the UPESM

rarrindellwithsdoc28092011Madam Prime Minister,
Colleagues in the Council of Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media,
Residents of our beloved island.
Good morning.


Preparations for St. Martin Day have already begun. I met with members of the Organizing Committee on Monday to review the planning and discuss several aspects of what would be our first St. Martin Day celebration under our new constitutional dispensation.
The Committee comprises the following persons: Mr. Neville York, as Chairman, Ms. Fabiana Arnell, Secretary; Ms. Cassandra Jansen, Mr. Urmain Dormoy, Ms. Lisa Coffi, Mr. Thierry Gumbs and Ms. Maria van Heyningen, the last two of the Collectivite Territorial in Marigot.
We discussed among other things, the program of activities, decorations for the event, and protocol matters.
St. Martin Day 2011 will be held under the theme: "One Island, One People, One Destiny." We want to give a concrete expression to the idea of unity we proclaim each year on this day, hence I have asked the Committee to come up with suggestions of how we can demonstrate our desire for cooperation between both halves of the island, not just in words, but in a tangible way.
I have full confidence in the Committee and I am sure we will have a St. Martin Day worthy of its name.
On a different subject, 12 high school students drawn from various schools on the island will accompany me on my trip to Monroe College, in New York, this Saturday, October 1, 2011 for a taste of college life for a week. This coincides with their mid-term break. They will be able to sit in at classes, engage in sports activities, and get a general feel of what the College offers in the hope that this would help them make up their minds about seeking admission into this college.
Accommodation and feeding for all 12 students is being taken care of by Monroe College, while their parents are responsible for their airfares and other incidentals.
The trip is at the invitation of Monroe College, with which, you will recall, I recently signed an MOU. I will seize the opportunity to meet with the first batch of St. Martin students who are now pursuing their studies at the New Rochelle campus of Monroe College. I will also hopefully finalize the details of the two full scholarships offered by this institution, which we are yet to make use of.
My Policy Advisor, Mr. Calvin Mardembrough will also be accompanying me on this visit.
The Kingdom Games Steering Committee was here recently and has asked now for St. Martin to submit a bid to host the 2013 Games. You will recall I had announced before that we had practically been granted the rights to host these Games.
Following their visit to various sports facilities on the island, and the fact that Curacao has also argued that since it did not organize the Games in 2011 when it was its turn to do so, it should be allowed to host the 2013 Games.
In my meeting this morning with the Sports Department to plan the way forward, we also discussed establishing a Committee that would put together the bid, which has to be submitted by the end of October, with the final decision being taken in December of this year.
Later this afternoon, I will be joining Minister Franklin Meyers at the Philipsburg Community and Cultural Center, Backstreet, to launch the Youth Entrepreneurial Program, which is a joint SBDF/GB3 project. I guess I do not need to go into further details regarding this, other than to invite you the media to join us there at 3:00PM.
On that note, I thank you for your attention and await whatever questions you may have for me.

ST. JOHN'S, Antigua, September 09, 2011 – LIAT wishes to advise that due to the impending passage of Tropical Storm Maria, it has been forced to cancel the following services today Friday, September 9, 2011: 
  • LI 512 – Barbados-Antigua
  • LI 770 – St. Lucia-Antigua
  • LI 368 – Antigua-Anguilla-St. Thomas
  • LI 369 – St. Thomas-St. Maarten-St. Kitts-Antigua
  • LI 510 – Antigua-Tortola-San Juan
  • LI 511 – San Juan-Antigua
  • LI 508 – St. Maarten-Tortola
  • LI 509 – Tortola-St. Maarten
  • LI 768 – Barbados-St. Lucia-Dominica
  • LI 769 – Dominica-St. Lucia-Barbados
  • LI 557 – Antigua-Dominica
  • LI 558 – Dominica-Antigua
  • LI 563 – Antigua-Dominica

The following services for tomorrow Saturday, September 10, 2011 are now cancelled:

  • LI 771 – Antigua-St. Lucia
  • LI 504 – Antigua-St. Kitts-St. Maarten
  • LI 503 – St. Maarten-St. Kitts-Antigua
  • LI 321 – Antigua-Guadeloupe-Dominica
  • LI 320 – Dominica-Antigua
  • LI 310 – St. Lucia-St. Maarten-Tortola
  • LI 315 – Tortola-Antigua
  • LI 361 – Antigua-Dominica-Barbados
  • LI 362 – Antigua-San Juan
  • LI 521 – Tortola-St. Maarten-Antigua
  • LI 312 – Antigua-St. Maarten-St. Croix
  • LI 317 – St. Croix-St. Maarten-Antigua
  • LI 383 – San Juan-Antigua
  • LI 550 – Antigua-St. Kitts-St. Maarten-St. Thomas
  • LI 553 – St. Thomas-Anguilla-Antigua

The Antigua Airports Authority has advised that V.C. Bird International Airport will be closed from 6:00pm today until 4:00pm tomorrow, September 10, 2011. The full resumption of LIAT's services into and out of Antigua and other areas affected by Tropical Storm Maria will be subject to the reopening of the airports.

Passengers are asked to check the LIAT website or to call the LIAT Call Centre from Antigua –1-268-480-5582; toll free from the rest of the Caribbean – 1-888-844-5428 and from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands – 1-866-549-5428 for information on the status of their flights.

The LIAT Call Centre will close today, Friday September 9, 2011 at 8:00pm and will reopen at 12:00pm on Saturday September 10, 2011.

Customers affected by the disruptions who wish to rebook will be allowed to do so without charge for a period of one week from the date of their original scheduled travel. Following the one-week grace period, passengers will be required to pay applicable fare and change fees when re-booking. Passengers who are unable to travel as planned due to the disruptions caused by this tropical storm, at their request, will be issued a full credit for future travel. Terms and conditions apply.

When services resume, affected passengers are advised to contact LIAT Reservations to rebook before proceeding to the airport.

LIAT also wishes to advise that passengers who decide to travel but are unable to complete their journey due to disruption caused by weather conditions, will not be provided with meals, transportation, hotel accommodation etc. Passengers with onward connections are advised to contact their respective carriers.

LIAT regrets any inconvenience caused as a result of the passage of the storm. Passengers are advised to continue monitoring radio stations for further updates.

alzheimersawarenessposter20092011The theme for World Alzheimer's Day™ 2011 is 'Faces of dementia'.
Alzheimer 's Disease International (ADI) is focusing on many issues surrounding the 'Faces of dementia'. All Alzheimer's Organizations, including our very own St. Maarten Alzheimer's Foundation (SMAF) are asking you to recognize the face of dementia, while paying tribute to those who represent the 'Faces of dementia' in all parts of the world as well as those who are working tirelessly to promote increased support and care for people with dementia and their carers.

Every year on 21 September Alzheimer associations across the globe unite to recognize World Alzheimer's Day and 2011 will be no exception with events taking place internationally. The Rotary Club of St. Maarten will mark the end of their three month "Rotary Alzheimer's Awareness Campaign" with participating in recognizing the faces of dementia on Wednesday September 21st 2011. Chairperson of the Rotary Alzheimer's Awareness Committee Maria Buncamper-Molanus is reminding all who have an Alzheimer's T-shirt to wear this T-shirt tomorrow and as such show support and recognition for all whom in one way or the other are affected by and involved with this disease on St. Maarten. Many companies throughout the island helped to raise funds for the St. Maarten Alzheimer's Foundation by buying the Rotary Alzheimer's T-shirts and these funds will be presented tomorrow marking the conclusion of the Rotary Alzheimer's Awareness Campaign.

martijntradingdonatestoohp06092011Great Bay (DCOMM):--- The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) on Monday received a donation from Martijn Trading of oral health kits for the school dental program. The theme of the youth dental program is, "Brush after Breakfast, before bedtime, Floss and limit the times that you snack."

The presentation took place at the offices of CPS at the Vineyard Office Park. The health representatives would like to thank Martijn Trading for their donation to the school dental program.

Great Bay (DCOMM):--- Tropical Storm (TS) Maria is to the North of Sint Maarten – 125 miles North West as of 11:00am - and moving away from the area, however it is still causing some strong winds up to gale force during squalls. Sea conditions remain rough and according to the Meteorological Department of Curacao (MDC) a Small Craft Advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

TS Maria has maintained its tropical storm status over the weekend and now has winds of 60 miles per hour with higher gusts and is forecast to become a hurricane in a few days.

Periods of heavy rainfall are still expected through Monday morning. Therefore, street flooding and flooding in low lying areas is still possible. Motorists should therefore drive with caution if they encounter street flooding.

With respect to persons traveling today, for flight information, please call your airline or 546-7777.

Weather conditions are expected to improve according to MDC starting Sunday night going into Monday.

The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) will continue to monitor TS Maria until the system has fully cleared our area.

ombudsmanmeetswithusona13092011Philipsburg:--- The Ombudsman continued with the weekly Information Exchange Session with the ministries and met on Monday, September 12th 2011 with the Ministry of Finance.
The Secretary General Mrs. Sherry Hazel gave an outline of the organization structure while the acting Island Receiver Ms. Minerva Gumbs gave an explanation of the tasks and the director of the Tax Office, Mr.Geert Bergsma gave a synopsis of the projects implemented and under review to improve the functioning of the tax department.

On Friday the High Councils of State and the SER met with representatives of USONA, SONA (Stichting Ontwikkeling Nederlandse Antillen) and BAK (Buitenlandse Aangelegenheden en Koninkrijksrelaties) to discuss ways to improve the financing procedures of the IVB funds earmarked to assist in the establishment of the these institutions. Present at the meeting were, among others, the board member of SONA, Mr. Mike Alexander, and the director of USONA, Mr. Reginaldo Dorand.

The Ombudsman has been experiencing delays in the execution of the projects and after the fruitful discussion, she is very hopeful that the projects will be approved and executed within short.

Philipsburg:--- The Ad Hoc Committee of the Rules of Order of Parliament met on Wednesday and the meeting is set to continue on Thursday, September 1.

The Ad Hoc Committee Rules of Order will meet in the General Assembly Chamber at 2:00pm.

Committee members are Members of Parliament (MPs) Hon. Dr. Lloyd Richardson, MP Hon. Patrick Illidge, MP Hon. Roy Marlin, and MP Hon. Sylvia Olivacce-Meyers.

gistrainers12092011Great Bay (DCOMM):--- Eighteen persons took part in the GIS and Remote Sensing for Infrastructure Management and Disaster Risk Reduction R3I Regional Risk Reduction Initiative project workshop that was held at the Fire & Ambulance Building in Cay Hill last month. Preparations are underway for part two of the training which will take place in December.

The workshop was organized due to the rapid growth in the use of digital spatial and temporal data in many aspects of disaster management, in such areas as preventive planning, response and recovery.

The aim of the course was to provide both a theoretical understanding and practical hands on introduction to the use of geographic information systems and remote sensing technologies for the analysis and solution of different infrastructure and disaster management problems.

Five of out of the 18 participants came from the Fire Department, two from the Anguilla Department of Disaster Management, one from the British Virgin Islands Department of Disaster Management and 10 from the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure.

The basic GIS training course was given by Zoran Vojnovic from UNESCO-IHE in the Netherlands.

gistrainingparticipants12092011Section Head of Disaster Management Paul Martens, said that the participants were eager to learn and were very enthusiastic.

The R3I emphasises intra-regional learning and sharing of tools, knowledge and best practices to enhance the territories' individual and collective capacities in the British dependencies and Dutch Caribbean.

The R3I covers the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) of Great Britain and The Netherlands. It has been considered that the islands are highly vulnerable to various natural hazards and climate change impacts, also having fragile ecosystems and concentrations of settlements and major functions in low lying coastal areas and other hazard prone locations.

This project seeks to address the risk and exposure of these small islands by providing a network of regional infrastructure, programmes, policies and protocols to strengthen their capacity to predict and prepare for natural hazards, thus improving resilience and reducing risk and subsequent loss.

The R3I is being funded by the European Commission to the tune of 4.9 million Euros covering a period of three years (2009-2011). Project management is being carried out by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Barbados.

utsemployeesredcrosstraining20092011Philipsburg:--- As part of his ongoing plan to keep UTS\CaribServe personnel up to date, interim COO Roy Richardson organized Red Cross lifesaving training sessions throughout the year with the result that almost every employee received the training. He said "it is not just enough to train our people with job-related skills, our aim is to give our staff the skills that also enriches them on a personal level, skills that will serve them wherever they go in life. We live on an island that has its share of natural calamities and challenges and we need to be prepared in every way possible."
Red Cross manager, Marjan van der Steen, expressed her satisfaction at the number of UTS employees who had attended the training sessions and urges other enterprises to follow suit so that St. Maarten will have far more available "First-Aid Responders".
From saving lives to reaching out to everyday life, modern day communication is something we tend to take for granted and few of us are aware of what goes on behind the scenes when we pick up a phone, "ping a friend", send a photo or an email: there is constant work at hand in order to keep up with and maintain the ever changing, fast-paced technology lifecycle. UTS\CaribServe's operation technicians recently followed a series of vendor-based, technology training sessions at the Training & Development Center (TDC) in preparation of the launch of UTS' new, island-wide 3G+ network. "The necessary skillsets needed to operate and maintain our new Ericsson-based 3G+ / 4G LTE-ready network are now in-house and I am truly proud of our staff's commitment towards realizing this important milestone", said Roy Richardson, Interim COO, UTS Eastern Caribbean.
Ericsson is a world-leading provider of telecommunications equipment and related services to mobile and fixed network operators globally. Over 1,000 networks in more than 180 countries utilize their network equipment and 40 percent of all mobile calls are made through their systems. They are one of the few companies worldwide that can offer end-to-end solutions for all major mobile communication standards. Communication is changing the way we live and work. Ericsson plays a key role in this evolution, using innovation to empower people, business and society.
Broadband networks are society's new communication highways: vital infrastructure that we tend to take for granted. Ericsson provides communications networks, telecom services and multimedia solutions, making it easier for people all over the globe to communicate by means of equal access to real-time information, wherever they are and whenever they want.
These members of the operation team are part of that big story and their training will continue on throughout year and with every future innovation.

Great Bay (DCOMM):--- The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) says based on forecasted projections on Friday, Tropical Storm (TS) Ophelia is expected now to pass approximately 150 miles from Sint Maarten on Sunday.

The storm even though strengthened on Friday is still forecasted to weaken according to the National Hurricane Center.

Impact on local weather conditions are expected to be limited according to the Meteorological Department of Curacao on Friday afternoon.

The 15th storm of the season on Friday was located over 500 miles from the Leeward/Windward island chain. Most of the weather and tropical storm force winds is in the Northern and Eastern quadrant of the storm or 260 miles from the center out over open ocean.

TS Ophelia is moving at approximately 15 miles per hour on a West North West track. Wind speeds on Friday afternoon were at 60 miles per hour.

TS Ophelia poses no threat to land and up to Friday afternoon is expected to remain out over the open Atlantic Ocean.

The ODM will continue to closely monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Ophelia until it clears our area.

The Rotary Club of St. Maarten is very pleased with the feedback from the community which continues even after the Rotary Alzheimer's Campaign has come to an end. The first caregivers support group meeting held last Wednesday at the St. Maarten Home was a success with about 10 persons in attendance who were able to share their concerns and experiences and support each other. The group under the guidance of SMAF will continue to meet every first Thursday of every month. The invitations for talk-shows continue and we are pleased even after the campaign has come to an end to provide information in collaboration with the St. Maarten Alzheimer's Foundation (SMAF). This Tuesday September 27, 2011 Secretary of SMAF Mr. Raymond Jessurun and Rotarian Maria Buncamper-Molanus will be guests of Brenda Lake on SOS radio. Magnetic (Bumper) Ribbons are still available from members of the Rotary Club, SMAF and corporate sponsor NAPA Auto-parts has them available at their two locations.

directoroftourismandshta31082011Director of Tourism May Ling Chun met with the SHTA at its Board meeting Tuesday afternoon as part of her ongoing efforts to keep private sector updated on developments within the industry. With both parties understanding the importance of public-private partnership, the meeting was spent discussing ways in which we can work together to improve the performance of the industry. The SHTA is encouraged by the ongoing dialogue and looks forward to a healthy working relationship with the Ministry of Tourism.

utsdonatestoleopoldjames05092011UTS presented Drs. Leopold JAMES, founder and president of the grassroots, St. Martin Nation Building movement with a check in the amount of USD. 2,500.00. The check was handed over to Drs. JAMES, by Ivy LAMBERT, Marketing and Communications Officer of UTS. The donation is the result of many months of discussions between both parties. "I would like to thank Mr. Glen Carty and Ms. Lambert for their very responsible, professional, non-partisan approach in setting conditions for any donation from UTS," says James "From of the launching of the St. Martin Nation Building Foundation, back in September 2003, UTS has been a very loyal corporate sponsor for this St. Martin grassroots movement. That cooperation was based a common interest of contributing towards people developing a love for-, and pride in the St. Maarten/St. Martin society." This most recent donation will go towards creating a specifically St. Maarten/St. Martin- dedicated multimedia platform. The foundations' goal of setting up this platform is to allow and encourage discussions geared towards creating more pride in country as well as creating more involvement and responsibility of young people for the development of the island.

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – A mini Emergency Operations Center (EOC) meeting was held at midday on Friday to review national state of preparedness with respect to approaching Tropical Storm (TS) Maria.

The Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) that met were the Fire Department, Police, Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure, and the Department of Communications.

TS Maria is expected to pass late Friday night into and throughout Saturday bringing tropical storm conditions with wind speeds of 45 miles per hour with gusts to 60 miles per hour.

TS Maria is expected to produce total rainfall of four to eight inches with isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches.

Weather conditions are forecast to deteriorate later tonight!

The following advisories are being issued by the EOC with respect to TS Maria:

Household Waste Collection

Residents are asked to secure their garbage bins. Persons are asked not to throw out their household garbage after 3:00pm today Friday. Waste collection services will commence with emptying garbage bins from 3:00pm onward. Residents are requested not to dump-out any household garbage after 3:00pm, today Friday!!

Concerning the Philipsburg area, households and businesses are requested not to put out any garbage after 6:00pm, today Friday. Garbage collection services will commence after 6:00pm.

Secure Premises

Residents and businesses are requested to secure anything that could blow away around their yards and business premises. These actions should be completed by 9.00pm tonight, Friday.


Of great concern to authorities is the rainfall that is expected from TS Maria. The storm is forecast to pass throughout Saturday. Persons who live in flood prone areas should seek shelter by friends. Emergency numbers to call in the event of flooding are 911 and 919.

The Department of Public Works has already taken or is in the process of taking the following pre-storm measures to prevent flooding:

  • Lowering the water level in the Fresh Pond to its lowest level;
  • Belair Pond, water level has already been lowered; additional lowering of current water level will take place later today;
  • Great Bay Beach channel to the sea has been prepared;
  • Culverts are in the process of being cleared along the roads;
  • Trench clearing is also being finalized;
  • Public projects are being secured today, Friday;
  • Installation of pumps in low lying areas;
  • Government buildings are being secured;
  • Landfill, is also being secured; the road to the landfill is re-enforced;
  • Floodgate to the Great Salt Pond is open
  • Pumping stations have already been lowering water levels for the past few days in anticipation of the storm.

Coastal Communities

Residents with beachfront properties should take measures to secure their homes. It is anticipated that sea conditions will deteriorate and high swells are anticipated along the islands south coastal areas.

With respect to the Beacon Hill access road; pre-positioned heavy equipment will be in place to clear the road once the storm passes. A pump will also be in place to pump excess rain water from the road. In case of an emergency, the Police and Public Works will have an alternative road opened, however, this would only be used in case of an emergency.

Construction Sites

Contractors and sub contractors are requested to secure building sites.

Pre-Positioning of Emergency & Heavy Equipment

The Police are allowing heavy equipment to move around on the South side of the island during peak hours to pre-position at different locations which can be used to deal with situations that develop.

The Fire Department is ready for any emergency situation along with Police and other emergency services. The Public Works Department will be posting spotter/removal teams at different locations that will be able to clear blocked waterways as soon as possible to prevent back-up of waterways from any heavy rainfall.

Saturday, September 10

Residents are asked to remain off the public roads as TS Maria passes south of the island during Saturday. It is anticipated that there will be a lot of rainfall and therefore possible flooding.

During heavy rainfall those who do venture out to work should proceed with caution, avoid low lying areas; look out for possible street flooding; and if the rainfall is persistent, while driving along hill sides, watch out for possible rock falls.

During high sea swells, persons should stay off the board walk and surrounding areas. The Police will assist with enforcing this measure. This is a public safety measure.

The ODM will continue to closely monitor TS Maria as it approaches the islands of the Lesser Antilles. Additional advisories will be issued as warranted.

usfolcommemorationevent09092011WILLEMSTAD, Curacao:--- The 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks was commemorated by a small ceremony at the U.S. Forward Operating Location (USFOL) today. In attendance were the United States Consul General Valerie Belon, Mr. Laurens Warnink representing the Governor of Curacao, and CDR Willem Groeneveld representing the Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean.
Chaplain Bridges welcomed the guests and delivered the invocation prayer. The Chaplain said in his remembrance prayer: "On this day, we remember our neighbors, of different nations and backgrounds, who died in the attacks we simply call 9-11. Hear our prayers for their loved ones. May they know the comfort that comes from knowledge and love of you. May they be surrounded by communities that care for them, even as you continue to care for this fragile and suffering world."
USFOL Commander Lieutenant Colonel Rick Bailey finished his comments with the following words: "Let us endeavor, from this day forward, to dedicate our efforts to making this world a better place for future generations. Let us honor the memory of the fallen by lifting up those around us, and giving opportunities to those less fortunate. Let us fight injustice and tyranny no matter where they grow, and do so with international resolve, dedication, partnership and common focus. And let those efforts be a constant reminder that those we've lost over the last ten years did not die in vain. Laga nos semper semper rekorda. Let us always always remember."
"We are grateful for the sympathy and various acts of kindness we received from within the entire Dutch Caribbean after these tragic events occurred. Your support over the years was heartfelt and it reinforces the strong partnership between the islands of the Dutch Caribbean and the United States," Consul General Valerie Belon said.

The Partnerships We Need
By President Barack Obama

On this 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, we remember that 9/11 was not only an attack on the United States; it was an attack on the world and on the humanity and hopes that we share.
We remember that among the nearly 3,000 innocent people lost that day were hundreds of citizens from more than 90 nations. They were men and women, young and old, of many races and faiths. On this solemn anniversary we join with their families and nations in honoring their memory.
We remember with gratitude how ten years ago the world came together as one. Around the globe, entire cities came to a standstill for moments of silence. People offered their prayers in churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship. And those of us in the United States will never forget how people in every corner of the world stood with us in solidarity in candlelight vigils and among the seas of flowers placed at our embassies.
We remember that in the weeks after 9/11, we acted as an international community. As part of a broad coalition, we drove al Qaeda from its training camps in Afghanistan, toppled the Taliban, and gave the Afghan people a chance to live free from terror. However, the years that followed were difficult and the spirit of global partnership we felt after 9/11 frayed.
As President, I've worked to renew the global cooperation we need to meet the full breadth of global challenges that we face. Through a new era of engagement, we've forged partnerships with nations and peoples based on mutual interest and mutual respect.
As an international community, we have shown that terrorists are no match for the strength and resilience of our citizens. I've made it clear that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam. Rather, with allies and partners we are united against al Qaeda, which has attacked dozens of countries and killed tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children—the vast majority of them Muslims. This week, we remember all the victims of al Qaeda and the courage and resilience with which their families and fellow citizens have persevered, from the Middle East to Europe, from Africa to Asia.
Working together, we have disrupted al Qaeda plots, eliminated Osama bin Laden and much of his leadership, and put al Qaeda on the path to defeat. Meanwhile, people across the Middle East and North Africa are showing that the surest path to justice and dignity is the moral force of nonviolence, not mindless terrorism and violence. It is clear that violent extremists are being left behind and that the future belongs to those who want to build, not destroy.
To nations and people seeking a future of peace and prosperity—you have a partner in the United States. For even as we confront economic challenges at home, the United States will continue to play a unique leadership role in the world. As we remove the rest of our troops from Iraq and transfer responsibility in Afghanistan, we will support Iraqis and Afghans in their efforts to deliver security and opportunity for their people. In the Arab world and beyond, we will stand up for the dignity and universal rights of all human beings.
Around the world, we will continue the hard work of pursuing peace, promoting the development that lifts people from poverty, and advancing the food security, health and good governance that unleashes the potential of citizens and societies.
At the same time, we have recommitted ourselves to living our values at home. As a nation of immigrants, the United States welcomes people from every country and culture. These newest Americans—like all the innocent victims we lost ten years ago—remind us that despite any differences of race or ethnicity, background or belief, we are all bound together by the common hope that we can make the world a better place for this and future generations. That must be the legacy of those we have lost.
Those who attacked us on 9/11 wanted to drive a wedge between the United States and the world. They failed. On this 10th anniversary, we are united with our friends and partners in remembering all those we have lost in this struggle. In their memory, we reaffirm the spirit of partnership and mutual respect that we need to realize a world where all people live in dignity, freedom and peace.

wibdonatestohelpinghandsfoundation12092011Philipsburg:--- The Windward Islands Bank Ltd recently gave a very generous donation to the Helping Hands Foundation.
The Donation will help the Foundation with the maintenance and upkeep of their vehicle for the year to transport of the elderly of St. Maarten. The Helping Hands Foundation is a non profit organization that aims at helping the elderly primarily through voluntary work.

Their daily tasks are picking up the elderly from their home and taking them to the Hospital for their Dialysis treatment, to the Doctor and to the therapy clinic.

As our elderly are the most forgotten citizens on our island this voluntary work is very much needed and HHF calls on other businesses to help support such an effort by the Helping Hands Foundation.
WIB is proud to be a helping hand to the foundation!

They can be reached by telephone 54-45866 during office hours.

Saint-Martin:--- « For the first time since months we can hope that the urgents means of St. Martiners will be looked after, Daniel Gibbs said today in reaction on the Prefet's statement of yesterday.» In fact, by reorienting the money of the Development Contract signed between the State and the COM, the Préfet of St. Martin has followed the ideas expressed by the First vice-president since a long time.
« I have always favoured, Gibbs said, that public money, wheever it comes from the COM, the State or the SEMSAMAR, should help to save problems linked to services to the population and not be spended in sectors where the private investors could be involved.» By highlighting the water cleaning , the financement of the new School complex at La Savane and the waste management, the Prefet has, at least, understood what a modern State has to provide to his citizens : essentials services!
Concerning the Prefet's decision to no longer provide money for the Waterfront project, the one promoted by the President, the Senator and the SEMSAMAR, Daniel Gibbs is totally agreeing. «This is a wise decision, added Daniel Gibbs. It puts an end to this no scale project pushed ahead by the President since Daniel Gibbs was fired from his responsablities at the Economic Development portofolio almost one year ago. It is time now , to come back to reality and to invite the private sector, nationaly and internationaly, to be welcomed in Saint-Martin. I urge the President to ,quickly, launch an international bid for the Waterfront project and for the Port of Gallisbay.»
About the Prefet's will to implement a real cooperation with the southern side of the Island, this looks like the propositions Daniel Gibbs made last Monday in an english speaking paper.

rotaryassistswithcoastalcleanup20092011The Rotary Club Sunrise took part in the International Coastal Cleanup 2011 by organizing a cleanup of the Simpson Bay Beach on Saturday September 17th.
Together with Rotary Mid Isle, Rotaract Sunrise, the Sr. Regina Primary School, the Leopold Bell school along with Simpson bay residents they had over 55 volunteers.
A total of 22 trash bags weighing 196.5 kilos of trash was collected by the volunteers, each piece of trash was noted on the special Ocean Conservancy data card that will be given to local coordinator Sint Maarten PRIDE Foundation to be added to the 2011 trash index report.
PRIDE Foundation thanks the Rotary Sunrise for helping along with the 2011 Coastal Cleanup and engaging residents and youngsters in this worthwhile initiative.

markdeygoo22092011Cay Hill:--- Mark Anthony Deygoo, the 34 year old businessman who was shot by armed robbers on Wednesday in his Back Street store is still hanging on to life even though doctors at the St. Maarten Medical Center have given up on his survival. Deygoo was shot five times by armed bandits, two of the bullets are logged in both of Deygoo's hands, while two are logged in his neck and the fifth bullet is logged in his left temporal lobe.
According to a CT scan of the head and cervical spine, metal fragments are high in the right parietal region and in the subcutis while there is a one centimeter opening in the skull.
Doctors at the St. Maarten Medical Center told relatives of Deygoo that he was brain dead and it would be useless to fly him overseas for further medical treatment. Relatives, including the victim's father was insisting that his son be sent off island for further medical treatment on Thursday since the doctors at St. Maarten Medical Center said on Wednesday night that Deygoo would not make it through the night and Deygoo was still alive up to late Thursday evening.
On Thursday, a decision was taken by the family and doctors to airlift Deygoo to Santo Domingo but the doctors at the St. Maarten Medical Center convinced the family that Deygoo would not make it to Santo Domingo and urged them to leave the patient here to spend his last hours.
Some of Deygoo's relatives are angry at the decision taken by the St. Maarten Medical Center claiming that the hospital did not try hard enough to save the young man's life. They told the immediate family that if Deygoo survived he would be blind and he would be of no use to himself or his family. The doctors also insisted that his wife or father sign certain documents to say they have consented for him remain on St. Maarten. Up to press time, the doctors decided to remove the life support from the young man so he could die faster.

Philipsburg:--- A public plenary session of parliament will take place on Friday, September 30 at 10:00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House of Parliament.

The meeting will deal with changes to the National Ordinance on Taxes and Business Turnover 1997.

This meeting is open to the public and will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 20.

It has been reported in the media that Mr. Victor Thomas who suffers from Alzheimer's is missing. This has prompted the Rotary Alzheimer's Awareness Committee to publish an additional article as part of the awareness campaign on the topic of wandering, says chairperson of the committee Maria Buncamper-Molanus.
Alzheimer's patients wandering away is a symptom usually experienced in the 6th stage based on the "Seven stage Deterioration Scale" or "the Reisberg Scale" and usually lasts from 8 to 10 years, but can sometimes stretch out as long as 20 years. Stage 6 is considered Middle Dementia/Moderately Severe Alzheimer's disease. Persons in this stage of Alzheimer's show a total lack of awareness of present events and inability to accurately remember the past. People in this stage progressively lose the ability to take care of daily living activities like dressing, toileting, and eating but are still able to respond to nonverbal stimuli, and communicate pleasure and pain via behavior. Agitation and hallucinations often show up in the late afternoon or evening. Dramatic personality changes such as wandering or suspicion of family members are common. Many can't remember close family members, but know they are familiar. This stage lasts approximately 2.5 years.
In case an Alzheimer's patient in your care does wander, it's a good idea to have a plan in place. Notify neighbors and local police about your Alzheimer's patient's tendency to wander, and ask them to call you if they see your elder wandering without supervision.
If a police search becomes necessary, keep on hand a recent photo and some of their unwashed clothing to help search-and-rescue dogs. (To do this properly, place the clothing in a plastic bag with plastic-gloved hands, and replace this clothing monthly.) Buncamper-Molanus suggests contacting the St. Maarten Alzheimer's Foundation on hotline 9220. Where to look for a lost Alzheimer's patient: A person with dementia may not call out for help or answer your calls, and often won't leave many physical sign. He or she may get stuck in a place that they cannot get out of, leaving them at risk for dehydration and hypothermia.
How to find a missing Alzheimer's patient:
  • Check dangerous areas near the home, such as bodies of water, dense foliage, bus stops, high balconies, and heavily traveled roads.
  • Look within a one-mile radius of where the patient was before they wandered.
  • Look within one hundred feet of a road, as most wanderers start out on roads and remain close by. Especially look carefully into bushes and ditches, as the person may have fallen or become trapped.
  • Search in the direction of the wanderer's dominant hand. People usually travel first in their dominant direction.
  • Investigate familiar places, such as former residences or favorite spots. Often, wandering has a particular destination.
  • If you suspect that the person used a car or public transportation, you'll need to consider likely places that are farther afield.
"I would like to wish the family and caregivers of Mr. Victor Thomas much strength and emphasize that the care for persons with Alzheimer's is really one that involves the entire community," concludes chairperson of the Rotary Alzheimer's Awareness Committee Maria Buncamper-Molanus.
The Rotary Alzheimer's Awareness committee would like to take this opportunity to remind the general public that T-shirts will be on sale, this Saturday at both Bush Road and Union Road Le Grand Marche's. The St. Maarten Alzheimer's Foundation will be on location to provide information on Alzheimer's disease. The funds raised will be donated to the St. Maarten Alzheimer Foundation.

There are 73 days left until the 6th Annual SHTA Crystal Pineapple Awards Fundraiser and nominations are now welcome. Nomination forms have been digitized and can be found on, along with a list of category details. Nominations period will close on October 28th, 2011 or until all categories have been filled.
The awards consist of 17 categories and this year we are only accepting four nominees per award, which means 68 individuals or organizations, will be recognized and valued for the work they have accomplished over the years. The organizing committee is calling out to the community of St. Maarten to nominate early. Individuals, who have been nominated in previous years, can be nominated again. "We ask you to please write why you would like to nominate the particular individual". "Let the person or organization shine. This, in combination with the results of the voting, is the deciding factor" says Valya Pantophlet, lead organizer of the Crystal Pineapple Awards.
This year there are three new awards: Elementary Teacher of the Year, Secondary School Teacher of the Year and Made in St. Maarten award, which recognizes individuals or organizations who have contributed to the tourism industry by producing unique and authentic art work, jewelry, liquors, etc on St. Maarten. There are also some changes with existing awards, namely: the Outstanding Community Service Achievement Award which was divided into separate awards for individuals and organizations, will now be one category . Small and Large Hoteliers of the Year Awards have also been combined, and lastly we have opened back up the Journalism Award for nominations and voting. The award winners are chosen based on their contribution to tourism and the community, achievements described in their nomination form as well as the outcome of an online poll. SHTA will once again have the support of Price Waterhouse Coopers for auditing the nominations voting system.
SHTA encourages the community to visit us on Facebook: "Crystal Pineapple Awards" and stay up to date on the latest updates.
For more information, please contact the SHTA office: 542-0108, e-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Distinguished Guests,
Sportsmen and women,
Sports administrators,
Sports lovers all,

I am very honored and pleased to welcome you to this Sports Conference. In particular, let me extend a warm St. Martin welcome to our guests from Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. They have come to be with us to share their experience in developing sports, an experience we can surely learn from, given the admirable level of international acclaim Cuba has achieved in this field. Bienvenidos a San Martin! Espero que estan disfrutando de la hospitalidad acqui en San Martin. Nuestra casa es su casa!

We are gathered here today to put our heads together and discuss how we can raise the bar in sports, as the theme for today's conference clearly states. In other words, our collective mission, which kicks off today, is to come up with ways to take sports in St. Martin to a much higher level of achievement. To do that, we obviously need a dynamic, realistic and workable sports policy. But what use is a sports policy if it does not aim to produce champions?

We cannot continue to compete for competing sake, as we have done for the most part until now. We must compete to win in order to get recognition on the international podium. I know you will remind me that the Olympic motto stresses participation. That is true. But may I draw your attention to the standards set by the same International Olympic Committee for that participation. You just don't wake up one morning, put on your track suit, and head for the Olympics. You have to go through a qualification process. And what is that if not a process to choose winners? The point is to be an Olympian, you have to be a winner already!

For Sports to receive the due attention it deserves, I have made it a priority to split the current Department of Youth and Sports into two separate departments, each with its own head and accompanying staff. That process is nearing completion as I speak.

But then, the question could be asked: What need do we have for a Sports department if it is not set up to guarantee results on the field? That is precisely the reason why we are proceeding in this manner: to guarantee results on the field. In other words, the idea of establishing a Sports department on its own, separate from any other department, is to ensure that it does nothing else but guarantee that we have sports programs whose effectiveness is measured by the performance of our athletes.

I strongly believe that the love of sports is the beginning of a healthy nation that is competitive not only in sports alone but in all other areas of human endeavor as well. I have no doubt that all of you here today love sports. But sports is about young people, and I mean physically young people, not those of us who are young at heart but no longer in the body. To develop sports to world class level, we have to catch them young. This is why it is imperative that we have a vibrant sports program in our schools.

When we consider the average age of many world-class athletes in various fields, we realize that they seem to peak in their mid-twenties, and thereafter begin a steady decline. By the time they reach the youthful age of 30, a lot of them are considered past their prime. Of course, some of them might still be able to continue competing at the topmost level, but usually they do so for a few more years and by 35 or so, they are forced into retirement.

This is certainly the case with soccer. Pele was a teenager when he played his first World Cup with Brazil. Lionel Messi, Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, et al, have blossomed in late teens and early 20s. In fact, Real Madrid was reported to have signed on a 7 year-old phenomenon recently. If he grows into his potential, you can expect that he would be in the first team by the time he is 16!

Look at the average age of world class tennis players, for example. Serena and Venus Williams burst on the world stage when they were still teenagers. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, the top two tennis players in the world are in their mid-twenties.

In swimming and gymnastics, you may even be considered "too old" once you are past 25. In athletics, the world's fastest man, Jamaica's Usain Bolt, turned pro at 18 and won three gold medals at the Beijing Olympics when he was just 22. Alberto Juantorena, the pride of Cuba, who was born in Santiago de Cuba, took part in his first Olympics when he was not yet 22. In 1976, at the Montreal Olympics, he won gold medals in 400 and 800 meters when he was just about 26. And just last week, Kirani James gave Grenada its first championship medal at the age of 18.

I give these examples to show how important it is for us to nurture our athletes and sportsmen and women from an early age. Of course, I am aware that there are exceptions to this general picture I am painting. You still have boxers holding world titles in their late 40s and even in their 50s. You have baseball players in their 30s and some in their 40s and you might find some world-class cricketers in that same age bracket. Of course, we're not going to talk about golf and sailing.

But even in these so-called exceptions, these athletes hit the international sport-lights when they were much younger. So, let me stress again that there is no alternative to catching them young. The school is a good place to start. In fact, it is the best place to lay the foundation for a sports program that will produce champions. It is an integral part of my policy to introduce sports as a mandatory subject in our elementary and secondary schools. The new curricula we are working on will reflect this.

In fact, as I have already stated in several other fora, it is part of my goals as minister with responsibility for Sports to ensure compulsory physical education instruction in all schools and to establish school teams in all sports, with participation in an annual Sports Festival or Olympiad. This would mean creating school teams in various sports, if they do not exist already, with the aim of participating in inter-scholastic competition not only on the island, but also in the region. This should lead to national youth teams that can compete regionally and internationally.

We cannot expect to build a sports program without trained coaches and all the other necessary amenities and incentives that are needed to make such a program successful. We will place emphasis on the training of coaches at all levels–an area in which, I am sure, we would be able to benefit from the expertise of our Cuban brothers and sisters.

With regards to sports facilities, there are perhaps more of these per square mile here on St. Martin than in any other island in the Caribbean. In my humble view, it is not just the numbers that matter; managing and maintaining them is a serious issue, and ensuring that they meet international standards is another.

Our main sports arena, the Raul Illidge Sports Complex is in a disgraceful state of disrepair. A structural and sustainable approach to its upgrading and upkeep is being studied. Several other facilities need repairs and proper maintenance. It is my intention to establish one entity that will be charged with the upkeep of all our sports facilities.

However, we must make better use of the facilities we have both at our schools and in our districts. It is pure wastage to have our school gyms, for example, locked up after school hours, when our youth could make use of them, with the necessary supervision, when there is no school. I am convinced that with the number of basketball courts we now have all over the island, we should be able to produce some of the best basketball players in the region.

Sports facilities cost money; and we must admit that the return on investment will continue to be meager if we do not make the best use of them, and certainly if we do not stamp out the acts of vandalism that destroy them faster than we can get to properly use them. In this regard, our young people must become co-responsible for the upkeep of these facilities.

At this point, let me emphasize that no real development of sports can be possible if we do not change our mentality towards it. While I do not deny the recreational aspect of sports, we cannot continue to see sports as something we do just for fun; as a hobby, a pastime. And even at that, our support for the sportsmen and women leaves a lot to be desired in many cases.

I am referring in particular to attendance at sports events. Although some sports have a sizeable following on the island, it is unacceptable that a table tennis tournament involving over 30 children held at the Sports Auditorium all day Saturday, attracts less than 10 people in the stands. Where are the parents, the friends, family and schoolmates of these budding table tennis, basketball, and baseball stars?

Granted, table tennis may not be a very popular sport here, so maybe we should get more of the Chinese in our midst involved. But what I am talking about goes beyond table tennis. If the Sports Auditorium could be filled to capacity with AND-1, why can't we have it so when we have the district competition going on, even when admission to this is free? It is common knowledge that athletes perform better when they have a crowd urging them on.

We also know that, in general, a healthy body houses a healthy mind. Obesity has been identified as a growing problem among St. Martiners of all ages. We lead a sedentary lifestyle, with as little physical activity as possible. Coupled with a diet that is fast becoming less and less balanced, it is no surprise that we are becoming prone to diseases our forefathers never knew.

A district based sports development program, with the full and active participation of the Community Councils, will be established to engage the young and not-so-young in sporting activities. This would increase community consciousness, foster unity among neighbors, and a healthy competition that would strengthen feelings of national pride and contribute to nation-building.

Our sports organizations need to take note and incorporate this idea into their programs. I am well aware that they too need a lot of assistance; however, this cannot be only in the area of funding. Reports reaching me indicate that there is too much bickering, too many personality clashes, too much duplication of efforts among some sports groups on the island.

Our sports organizations need to set aside their differences and come together in a serious manner to establish an umbrella entity that would permit St. Martin to speak with one voice in approaching regional and international sporting bodies to facilitate our participation in games that these organize. They also need to improve their statistical and data collection and documentation of individual and team performances, which are often needed at the international level to determine if we are meeting the required standards.

Adequate funding is, of course, necessary if we are to meaningfully raise the bar in sports on the island. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you that government has enough money to pour into sports development. To the contrary, we are going through a period of budgetary austerity, and for the 2012 budget which we are working on right now, my ministry has to cut Naf.18 million. Considering that sports are already under-funded, this would further tax our creativity in the allocation of funds for sports. Consequently, the new subsidy policy we are putting in place will focus very much on performance, accountability, and planning of the various sporting organizations, associations, clubs, foundations, etc. that may be seeking government financial support for their programs.

One of the distinguishing features of sports organizations on St. Martin used to be their spirit of self-help. In other words, they very seldom wait on government to give them money so they can travel to participate in competitions outside the island. I am certain that spirit still exists and can be reinvigorated, especially during these tough financial times for government.

A public-private partnership, where the private sector – and by this, I don't mean just a few companies who usually sponsor sporting activities – but the business sector at large, would do its part to supplement government efforts. This is not a question of charity, but a corporate duty to contribute to the development of the society in which these businesses operate.

Let me say a few words about Sports tourism, which many organizations seem to claim is part of their goals. I'm sure some of you would remember the glory days of boxing on the island, with regular boxing matches that drew spectators from all around the neighboring islands, including Puerto Rico. In fact, I understand that the youngest world boxing champion ever, the Puerto Rican Wilfrido Benitez, had fought here on St. Martin in the early days of his career.

St. Martin had also hosted a world boxing championship fight that was broadcast live on HBO featuring Pernel "The Sweet Pea" Whitaker. The fight was held at the Atlantis Casino shortly after Hurricane Luis, and was meant to show the world that the island was back in business.

Several other sporting events have attracted hundreds of visitors from far and near. However, it is clear that for us to continue in this direction, we would have to do the following: ensure that we have venues that meet international standards, build up our own athletes so that they can compete favorably against their counterparts from other countries and focus on targeted marketing, especially within our region.

We have a lot of work to do. Our sports legislation needs to be brought up to par. St. Martin has to ratify the Anti-Doping conventions that govern international sports, as well as the International Charter of Physical Education and Sport, which will enable us to host international championships and tournaments.
We have already indicated our interest to host the 2013 Kingdom Games. We must therefore roll up our sleeves and go to work immediately.

Before I conclude, I wish to draw attention to an area that should be of concern to all of us involved in sports, and that is the apparent decline in the active involvement of women in sports. From the heydays of Florencia Hunt, women have progressively given up competitive sports, it would appear.

As a "former" volleyball player myself and trainer/coach of a volleyball club, I realize that more needs to be done to attract young girls to participate in sports. This is in spite of the fact that a growing number of us go to gyms to shape up. However, I am encouraged to note that women basketball is on the rebound and would like to urge all the young girls to get involved in a sport of their choice.

In closing, I want to thank the staff of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, and Youth Affairs, in particular the department of Youth and Sports, for organizing this conference and all of you for attending. Consider my presentation to you this morning as food for thought as you break out into groups to discuss the various aspects of the Sports policy we have to fashion together. Your input will be most appreciated and all your ideas would be most welcome. I understand that you might have some questions for me. I would be most happy to answer them to the best of my ability.

I thank you once again for your attention.

Great Bay (DCOMM):--- As of Thursday evening 8.00pm Tropical Storm Maria was less than 500 miles from the Southern Windward Islands.

The system has weakened slightly and may become a Tropical Depression as it passes through the island chain on Friday night into Saturday.

The Department of Disaster Management (ODM) is advising the population of the South side of the island to continue to monitor weather reports as the storm approaches the Lesser Antilles.

The ODM also advises in the event of heavy rainfall, to avoid low lying areas; look out for possible street flooding; and if the rainfall is persistent, while driving along hill sides, watch out for possible rock falls.

The ODM will continue to closely monitor TS Maria as it approaches the islands of the Lesser Antilles.

Philipsburg:--- Bureau Telecommunications and Post St. Maarten donated two HP servers, a Linksys 4 Bay gig network storage system and a large server rack to the IT department of the Milton Peter College in St. Maarten.

The data storage system and servers will form a critical part of a network that will execute a number of important functions such as: providing shared access to files, provide central email services, central data management and access control to the network.

Milton Peter College St. Maarten was in the urgent need of additional equipment to support the growth of the organization and support its Information Communication Technology (ICT) needs. Whilst the contribution is minor the Bureau Telecommunications and Post St. Maarten trust that this contribution will aid MPC in this area.

Representatives of the IT- Department of the Milton Peter College, Messrs. Reginald Richardson and Raoul Gomes, were delighted with this donation of the Bureau Telecommunications and Post St. Maarten. They stated that the need to expand the servers, to support a larger data storing capacity of important educational data, and to operate more efficiently, can now be fulfilled.

BTP-SXM believes that any contribution that will stimulate ICT development on St. Maarten, irrespective of its size, is a contribution well made.

Philipsburg:--- Safe Haven staff recently completed a six-month course on Domestic Violence and President of Parliament Hon. drs. Gracita Arrindell extends her congratulations to the staff members.

The six-month course covered several areas such as how to define domestic abuse; how to recognize the signs of abuse; new methods on how to work with victims; and how to support a victim of abuse.

The course was offered by the foundation's board to upgrade staff knowledge and to improve support services to the clients.

According to Safe Haven, domestic abuse is reaching epidemic proportions worldwide, including in Sint Maarten.

"This week I have been busy reviewing our planning for the coming months with respect to Parliament Central Committee meetings, and Safe Haven is on our list of social-civic organizations to be invited to provide information to members of parliament with respect to the role of the organization and the state of affairs with respect to domestic violence on the island," President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell said on Tuesday.

Arrindell added that it is important that organizations such as Safe Haven are at the forefront of offering professional assistance to victims of relational/domestic violence.

"I again take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of all the victims of violence including the family, school friends and neighbours of the late Tiffany Reid (13)," President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell said on Tuesday.

pdonnerandswwilliams26092011Great Bay (DCOMM):--- Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams met with Dutch Minister of Home and Kingdom Relations Hon. Piet Hein Donner on Monday afternoon. The discussions focused on progress reports related to the plans of approach covering the Ministry of General Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure with respect to institutional strengthening.

Philipsburg (COM):--- On Thursday, September 29, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) focus on the issue for World Maritime Day 2011 to be observed across the globe is, "Piracy: Orchestrating the Response."

On this day, Vice Prime Minister and Minister responsible for Harbour Affairs Hon. Theo Heyliger, would like to congratulate the maritime sector and all those working in this particular area as well as those who have retired.

"The maritime sector is very important to the country's economy and everybody working in this sector plays a valuable role and makes an important contribution to our economy. I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate you and say thank you for your hard work," Minister of Harbour Affairs Hon. Theo Heyliger said on Wednesday.

Every year the IMO celebrates World Maritime day. The day is used to focus attention on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment and to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO's work.

Piracy is one of the major challenges facing the maritime industry. The world piracy population is around two million. Heightened piracy activity takes place near Eastern Africa in the vicinity of Somalia.

The IMO has been dealing with piracy for more than 30-years. According to the IMO, in the past 12-months, there have been 286 piracy-related incidents off the coast of Somalia, which have resulted in 67 hijacked ships, with 1,130 seafarers on board.

It has been estimated that piracy cost the world economy between US$7 billion and US$12 billion, as a result of the disruption to shipping services and international trade.

Philipsburg:--- UTS informs its customers that there are individuals abroad attempting to commit fraud on the island by abusing the local telephone systems. Several customers have reported being contacted on their telephone numbers in an attempt to trick the customer into sending money abroad. The calls generally seem to originate from the United Kingdom and the customers are misled into believing that they have won large sums of money in a foreign lottery. Following this first contact, the customer is called again by a different representative and asked to send a substantial cash deposit so that they may collect their winnings. UTS advises customers to exercise caution if contacted by an unknown party soliciting funds in order to receive prize money or winnings of any kind. "This type of scam has been going on for many years using the postal system and eventually email was used as a new medium to mislead the victims. Now these con-artists have graduated to a new means of communicating with their targets and have started using the telephone system," says UTS Marketing and Communications Officer, Ivy Lambert. "Unfortunately, we have had some customers who have been contacted in an attempt to mislead them. Luckily they were aware what was going on and brought these attempts to our attention. This is a world-wide phenomenon and is not only limited to our island or our UTS phone systems. By making this announcement, we want to do what we can to create awareness of this problem to avoid anyone falling victim to this kind of trickery."

Great Bay (DCOMM):--- The Department of Disaster Management (ODM) has placed the Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) on alert with respect to forecast high surf along coastal areas that is expected from Hurricane Katia over the weekend.

The relevant ESFs have been requested to take the necessary actions should those be required.

Hurricane Katia is East of the Northeastern Caribbean islands and is forecasts to pass well North of the islands over the weekend and poses no threat to the island.

The Meteorological Department of Curacao has issued a Small Craft and High Surf Advisory for the weekend and through the beginning of the next week.

Boaters and other marine interests should take action to safeguard their properties along the coastal areas. High surf can cause beach erosion and impact seafront properties.

The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) announced over the weekend that registration for all events of Carnival 2012 will open as of Thursday, September 8. The opening of registration in September is in keeping with the current board's efforts to start early on preparation in every aspect of Carnival.

As such, the SCDF also announced that the registration process will be closed on Friday, December 2, 2012, giving interested persons some three months to register with the foundation. All registration forms will be available at the security desk in the Government Administration Building as of Thursday and should be returned to the same location.

The SCDF can also email the forms to any person or group that requests this. Email requests can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. "After a successful Carnival 2011, the interest in Carnival 2012 is very high. We have several people already asking about participation," President of the SCDF Stuart Johnson said.

"We are opening registration now to give all Carnival stakeholders the opportunity to plan and prepare for the season. Early planning is not only key for the SCDF but for all involved in Carnival to ensure a successful season. We urge all interested persons to register before December 2 so we can move into the New Year with momentum towards April," Johnson added.

On Thursday registration will open for booth holders, junior and senior calypsonians, troupe leaders, bands, junior, senior and teen queens. The SCDF has already closed off the period for promoters to submit the request for an international night. The SCDF reported that 10 requests have been received.

Carnival 2012 is scheduled to run from April 19 until May 2, 2012.

Philipsburg:--- RBC/RBTT organizes a 'walk for life' in Sint Maarten on September 17th, to raise awareness on child cancer and to raise funds for the St. Maarten Cancer Foundation and the RBC/RBTT Caribbean Children's Cancer Fund (CCCF).
The start time of the 'walk for life' is at 05:00 AM and will end at 10:00 AM; the start and finish line is at the Jose Lake Ballpark. Registration fee is 5 ANG (including a T-shirt). Along the route, stands will be placed where the public can donate by dropping money in the cans. To participate in the 'walk for life', registration format can be picked up at one of the branches of the RBC/RBTT Bank in Sint Maarten.


The 'walk for life' in Sint Maarten is part of a regional awareness campaign of RBC/RBTT throughout the Dutch Caribbean and Suriname. The campaign is in close cooperation with the local cancer foundations.
Through various events during the month of September 2011, RBC/RBTT will raise funds to cover patients' needs and care in the Dutch Caribbean and Suriname, thereby supporting the battle against child cancer in these markets. The funds that are raised will be divided between the RBC/RBTT Children's Cancer Fund (CCF) and the local cancer foundations in each jurisdiction. Across the region RBC/RBTT will align the local cancer awareness campaigns and fundraising events to the generic advertising campaign that will carry the gold ribbon of hope that visualizes childhood cancer awareness. Gold symbolizes the precious children, and the ribbon is a recognizable symbol of observance for various causes.


RBC/RBTT finds it crucial to raise awareness on cancer in the Caribbean. Many instances of childhood cancer go undetected. There is a need to raise awareness amongst the public to validate the need for support. In the Dutch Caribbean and Suriname, local governments, through the social insurance bank (SVB) cover only the primary cancer treatment of patients. As a result, patients do not qualify for coverage of cancer treatments through the Children's Cancer Foundation (CCF). For the secondary treatment there is need for financial support, which can amount to large expenses for each individual case. Therefore the local cancer foundations consistently work at generating funds to cover patients' needs. The RBTT Bank invites everybody to walk our 'walk for life' to raise funds for children battling cancer.

mvogesatroermondmemorialceremony08092011Great Bay (DCOMM):--- Last weekend Minister of Plenipotentiary Hon. Mathias Voges was one of the special guests of Mayor and Councillors of Roermond in Limburg and the Foundation National Indian Monument.

A special memorial ceremony was held in the National Memorial Park in honour of soldiers that lost their lives in combat between 1940 and 1962, mainly in Indonesia and New Guinea.

cubandelegationvisitsschools09092011Great Bay:--- Public School Managers gathered together at the Oranje School Thursday morning for a meeting with the visiting Cuban delegation here on a fact-finding mission to explore possible areas of bilateral cooperation in the areas of sports, education and culture.
Acting Head of Public Education Services of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, and Youth Affairs, Mrs. Glenderlin Davis-Holiday, welcomed the five-member, all-female
delegation to the school after the Principal, Mrs. Kay-linda Philips, had received them.
The school managers were very interested in how Cuba's education system is set up, particularly at the elementary level. Dr. Marlene Esther Daley Gonzalez, Vice Chancelor of Research and Post-Graduate Studies at the University of Pedagogical Sciences Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, gave an overview of the system, with her colleagues chipping in to explain specific aspects such as Physical Education which is a compulsory subject in the school curriculum and is considered as important as Mathematics or any other subject.
The school period in Cuba goes from 8:00AM until 4:30PM with a break for lunch for those students whose parents are working, while those students whose parents do not work would go home at 12:00 for lunch and return to school at 2:00PM until 4:30PM. Education is free at all levels and is compulsory up till pre-university (18 years old).
Parental involvement in the education of the child is fundamental and one of the key factors in the success of the Cuban system, the school managers were told, with a school for parents that seeks to ensure that parents can help their children with homework and other studies at home.
The lively exchange of ideas was held in a very friendly atmosphere, with the Cubans impressed by the passion and dedication to excellence the school managers demonstrated and also by the fact that they were all female.
At the St. Dominic High School, Principal Jose Verschueren-Sommers said since the delegation had been meeting all week with adults, she thought it would be interesting if they could have a face to face encounter with some of the island's students, hence the invitation to a group of her students, some of whom were of Spanish-speaking backgrounds.
The delegation was very appreciative of this twist and answered the various questions posed primarily by the students.
The Principal expressed interest in a student exchange program that would permit students from the school to visit Cuba and spend some time there with their counterparts. One student wanted to know if school teams could go to Cuba to compete against other schools there.
In response, the delegation leader, Dania Mesa Valenciano replied that all of these ideas are possible within the framework of a still to be negotiated agreement between the relevant ministries in both countries.
The delegation, which has already given a preliminary report of their visit to the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs, Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, departs Friday.

Great Bay (DCOMM):--- The Prime Minister who is also Head of the Disaster Management Organization, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and its 10 Emergency Support Functions (ESFs), would like to commend the nation for its pre-storm preparations that took place on Friday and early Saturday for the forecasted passing of Tropical Storm (TS) Maria.

The Prime Minister was also full of praise for the role that various ESFs played in preparing for forecasted heavy rainfall of up to 10 inches that was anticipated for Saturday along with tropical storm conditions with the passing of TS Maria.

The Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure took a number of measures such as lowering of water levels in the various ponds; clearing trenches and culverts; securing public sector infrastructure projects and government buildings; pre-positioning heavy and emergency equipment etc.

"I am very pleased with the professional and efficient manner in which the various actions of the ESFs were carried out in preparation for the forecasted weather from TS Maria.

"We must be thankful as a country that we have been spared once again from the wrath of Mother Nature. Even though it was only a storm and not a hurricane, the forecasted 10 inches of rainfall would have been a major challenge for the country.

"It seems that just about every weekend we have to deal with the passing of a storm system.

"Not surprising as we are in the peak of the hurricane season. The passing of these weather systems demonstrates again and again that we must continue to maintain a state of preparedness and be ready when called upon by the authorities to take action.

"Everybody played their role and did what had to be done, demonstrating the level of our national preparedness. Let's continue to maintain a state of preparedness, because it only takes one to cause destruction and devastation," Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams said on Sunday.

The 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season is in full swing with so far 14-named storms having formed so far for the season.

The U.S. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) updated forecast for the season calls for 14-19 named storms of which 7-10 could become hurricanes and of those 3-5 could become major hurricanes of Category 3, 4 or 5.

The hurricane season runs through November 30. The remaining names for the season are Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince and Whitney.

So far, seven nominations received for several different categories.

Eva Gumbs-Pelgrim for Manager of the Year,

Vera Olivacci also for Manager of the Year,

Louis Fortuno for Hotelier of the Year,

Dr. Jay Haviser for Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award,

Antonio Gummels also for Outstanding Achievement Award,

Rafael Dowe for Employee of the Year Award and,

Ivette Vermue for Secondary School Teacher of the Year Award.

SHTA strongly encourages you to continue sending in nominations along with a picture of the nominee and state why you've nominated the individual. Keep in mind, nominations close on October 28th, so keep the nominations coming.

To nominate, please visit our homepage,, and click on the Crystal Pineapple Awards tab where you can view a list of categories with descriptions and complete the digital nomination form."

Are you interested in your child's school success? Do you understand the importance of homework as it pertains to your child succeeding in school? If you answered yes to both of these questions then we at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library urge you to come out this Thursday September 15th to our informative session "Know Your Role". Know Your Role will focus on the issue of homework and how you the parents can help your child perform better in school by following a few simple guidelines. On hand will be a representative from the Know How Homework Centre, who will offer insight in how to help your child tackle the issue of homework and studying, and also be there to answer any questions you may have. This is an opportunity for you as parents to play an active role in your child's educational success, and setting them on the right path of achievement. The session is free of charge, and starts at 6:30 pm and ends at 8:00pm. Be there and get informed!

rarrindellgivingpresentation19092011Great Bay:--- Within short, the final draft of the Sports Policy which has been the subject of discussions in two Sports Conferences held this month, will be forwarded to all the stakeholders for their consideration before it is adopted. Part 2 of the Sports Conference was held Saturday, September 17, 2011 at the University of St. Martin with some 45 participants engaged in what has been described as "very positive and productive" break away group discussions of each policy area presented in the draft. Each of the five groups had a facilitator and a reporter who gave an account of the deliberations in their groups at the general session.
"We will integrate the relevant proposals coming out of the discussions into the present policy document and also update the statistical data," Head of the Department of Youth and Sports, Mrs. Shermina Powell-Richardson said. This updated version of the document will be sent to the stakeholders for their final approval, she added.
Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs, Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, said she was impressed with the attendance and the level of discussions.
"For so many people to show up for this second part of the Conference on a Saturday morning shows that they are indeed very interested in the future of sports on the island. I applaud that and judging from the content of the discussions, I feel confident that we're on the right track," Minister Arrindell said.
The soon-to-be managing director of Sedreko, the Curacao umbrella sporting body, Mr. Cintje, was a special guest of honor at the Conference. He had delayed his return to Curacao specifically to be able to attend the Conference Saturday, having been here during the week with the Kingdom Games Steering Committee.

In an impromptu address to the participants, Mr. Cintje said Curacao itself does not yet have a Sports policy. This, he said, will be one of his main priorities when he assumes office shortly.
He also disclosed that Curacao and St. Martin need to collaborate more and work together in the area of sports, especially seeing that Aruba and The Netherlands cannot be counted on for support. Mr. Cintje said Curacao had received an unequivocal "No" to its bid to become a member of the International Olympic Committee, and indicated that he was pretty certain St. Martin would receive the same answer. "We are in the same boat," he said.
Mr. Cintje was very pleased to have attended the Conference and added that he would like an official invitation to the follow up so that he could bring his board also.
The feedback from all the other participants in the half-day Conference was very positive. "It was really well-received," said Mrs. Powell-Richardson.

Philipsburg:--- The Parliament of Sint Maarten will be represented at Parlatino committee meetings this week in Oranjestad, Aruba.

Members of Parliament (MP) Romain Laville, MP William Marlin, and MP Louie Laveist, are scheduled to leave the island on Wednesday and until September 24.

The MPs will be attending committee meetings on Gender Equity, Childhood and Youth; Economic Affairs, Social Debt and Regional Development; and Labor, Social and Legal Affairs.

The Parliament of Sint Maarten joined the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino), a regional, permanent and unicameral organization, comprising the National Latin American Parliaments elected democratically upon popular vote. Parlatino was created on December 7, 1964.

The purpose of Parlatino is to promote, human rights, and economic and social development; to maintain and foster relations with other geographic parliaments, as well as international organizations; and to defend against imperialism and colonialism.

lionfishwanted20092011The St. Maarten Nature Foundation announces that it will be hosting St. Maarten's First Lionfish Derby. The Lionfish Population has reached to a point where fishermen and dive operators have been capturing numerous invasive lionfish in waters surrounding St. Maarten. "We wanted to launch a small event where people in the fishing and diving communities can bring in their catch of lionfish caught on the Dutch side and receive a prize for their efforts from the Nature Foundation. In this way we wanted to reward those who have been helping St. Maarten's Marine Ecosystem by catching lionfish and helping with the controlling of the invasion" commented Tadzio Bervoets, Nature Foundation Marine Park Manager.
There will be first, second and third place prizes for the most lionfish brought in, as well as a special prize for the largest and smallest fish caught. Prizes include a watch from Touch of Gold Jewelers, a signed painting by Lucia Trifan, a Coffee Table Book Reefs from Scubazoo International, and A case of wine donated by International Liquors and Tobacco Trading. Final weigh in for the Derby will be on Sunday the 9th of October 2011 at 10 a.m at the Nature Foundation office next to Island Water World in Cole Bay. This is the first such event planned by the Nature Foundation with subsequent Derbies to be held in the future.
The lionfish is an invasive species which was introduced into the Caribbean through the aquarium trade. The fish is a threat to local fisheries because they have the potential to destroy local fishing grounds and the economies which depend on them. The lionfish is also a venomous species which can inflict a painful sting, therefore the Nature Foundation requests that only persons used to handling the fish such as divers and fishermen take part in the derby. For further information please contact the Nature Foundation at 5444267 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Great Bay (DCOMM):--- The Office of Disaster Management (ODM) says based on forecasted projections, Tropical Storm (TS) Ophelia is expected to pass more than 200 miles from Sint Maarten on Sunday.

The storm is also forecasted to weaken according to the National Hurricane Center on Thursday afternoon and is also disorganized.

The 15th storm of the season on Thursday was located over 800 miles from the Leeward/Windward island chain out in the Atlantic Ocean.

TS Ophelia is moving at approximately 13 miles per hour on a Westerly track with an expected turn to the West North West and Northwest on Friday. Wind speeds on Thursday afternoon were at 65 miles per hour.

TS Ophelia poses no threat to land and up to Thursday afternoon is expected to remain out over the open Atlantic Ocean.

The ODM will continue to closely monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Ophelia until it clears our area.

ministerswalkfortourism26092011Great Bay (DCOMM):--- Several ministers took part in the successful 'Walk for Tourism' walk-a-ton on Sunday, September 25. This was the first activity to celebrate World Tourism Day – September 27. The walk-a-ton was held under the banner, "Walk for Tourism."

Philipsburg:--- The University of St. Martin (USM) will launch its Fall 2011 Lecture Series- Millennium Development Goals and Sint Maarten: A Look at Goal 1: Eradication of Extreme Hunger and Poverty with a lecture by the Honorable Prime Minister of Sint Maarten, Mrs. Sarah Wescot Williams, on Monday October 3rd , 2011 at the USM Campus 7:00 P.M. sharp.
The Prime Minister's lecture, entitled "Is Sint Maarten on Track to Achieve MDGs by 2015?", will explain the importance of Millennium Development goals (MDGS) in the international/regional context, the relevance of MDGs to Sint Maarten, touch on issues highlighted in Sint Maarten's MDG report , the progress Sint Maarten has made in relation to the MDGs, the challenges encountered in achieving these goals as well as a general look at goal one . By giving this broad picture of MDGs, The lecture will set the basis for the planned subsequent lectures of the series that will squarely focus on MDG goal one.
Earlier this year, the Government of Sint Maarten reaffirmed its commitment to achieve the eight internationally-agreed goals aimed to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and child deaths, diseases, inadequate shelter, gender inequality and environmental degradation by 2015. In February 2011, the United Nations Development Program(UNDP) presented the MDG report for Curacao and Sint Maarten to the Government of Sint Maarten with the intention of using this report as a basis for country's National Development Plan
This is first lecture of the planned five (5) lectures of the Fall Lecture Series, and the entire general public is invited to attend and participate in this important step towards eradicating Hunger and Poverty on St. Maarten.

dutchmarineshurexschoolbus31082011A group of around 120 Royal Dutch Marines and the navy ship HMS Pelican, are till September 7th at the Windward Islands for their annual training, the Hurricane Exercise. During this exercise, realistic scenarios are presented to train the marines for any kind of emergency or disaster during the 2011 hurricane season. This is one of the main tasks of the Royal Dutch Navy in the Caribbean.

On the 2nd of September the whole unit will travel on board of the Pelican from Saba and St. Eustatius to Sint Maarten for the actual Hurricane Exercise (HUREX). During this exercise, realistic scenarios are presented to train the Marines for any kind of emergency or disaster during the 2011 hurricane season.

The Hurricane Exercise is intended to familiarize the Marines with the situation in the Windward Islands, know the locations of the hurricane shelters and know the partners in the disaster management system. This will assist the Marines to prepare themselves in the event they will have to render assistance in the event of a hurricane threat to the islands. The HUREX is prepared annually in close cooperation with the local disaster management organizations.

dutchmarineshurexinjuredman31082011The period until the 2nd of September is being used for practical classes and to familiarize the participants with the islands. The internal communication system is tested on Saba and Sint Eustatius. On Friday afternoon (September 2nd), the actual hurricane simulation will commence. Some shelters will be manned on Sint Maarten. Members of the VKS, the Fire Department and the Red Cross will assist the Marines in the shelter. In the event of an actual hurricane situation, these entities will also cooperate together. After the passage of the simulated hurricane different scenarios will be organized on several locations on the whole island to which the marines have to respond.

Philipsburg:--- The BTA Advisory Committee by authority of the Honorable Roland Duncan Minister of Justice hereby wishes to notify the BTA applicants of the following;

  • Those that were approved will be contacted soon.
  • Those who don't qualify registered with a bogus company as employer will be notified and will be given 3 weeks time to rectify this, by coming in with the real employer and the required information, THIS IS WITHOUT PENALTY. However, if these persons who are registered with a bogus employer do not come in and adhere to this strict notice, they will be subject to prosecution and deportation.

Philipsburg:--- The Permanent Committee of Parliament for Kingdom Affairs and Inter-parliamentary Relations will meet on Thursday.

The agenda point for discussion is visa requirements for admission into the countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Rijksvisumwet) 32 415 (R1915).

The permanent committee meeting will take place in the General Assembly Chamber on September 8 at 10:00am.

Philipsburg:--- A credit rating evaluates the credit worthiness of an issuer of specific types of debt, specifically, debt issued by a business enterprise such as a corporation or a government.

It is an evaluation made by a credit rating agency of the debt issuer's likelihood of default. Credit ratings are determined by credit rating agencies.

Minister of Finance Honourable Hiro Shigemoto says within short the Government will announce which company has been chosen to evaluate its credit worthiness.

The credit rating represents the credit rating agency's evaluation of qualitative and quantitative information for a company or government; including non-public information obtained by the credit rating agencies analysts.

"The credit rating is used by individuals and entities that purchase the bonds issued by companies and government to determine the likelihood that the government will pay its bond obligations.

"A sovereign credit rating is the credit rating of a sovereign entity such as a government. A credit rating of a country is also very important for foreign investors.

"The credit rating indicates the risk level of the investing environment of a country and is used by investors looking to invest. It takes political risk into account.

"The selection of a rating agency is a top priority for Government with respect to attracting foreign investment which will be another stimulation of the economy besides public sector investments already taking place into infrastructure," Minister of Finance Hon. Hiro Shigemoto said on Tuesday.

Government will have the option to preview the rating results before they are published by the rating agency.

In July the Minister of Finance along with his policy advisor Dwayne President and President of Artemis Partners John B. Watts III, on a fact-finding working visit to the United States met with three rating agencies, namely Fitch Ratings, Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor.

ombudsmanmeetsbobwit06092011Philipsburg:--- The Ombudsman, Dr. Nilda Arduin ended her week on September 2nd 2011 with a meeting with the honorable judge Bob Wit where they discussed, the role of the Ombudsman in lawmaking and the procedures, as it pertains to the Constitutional Court and the National Ordinance Constitutional Court.

On Monday, September 5th 2011 the Information Exchange Sessions organized with the various Ministries continued with the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication.

In her closing remarks, the Ombudsman thanked the S.G. Mr. Miguel de Weever and the Department Heads for the well prepared presentations and for the fruitful information and ideas shared to foster proper work relations and corporation between the Ministry and the Bureau of the Ombudsman for the benefit of the people of Sint Maarten. Good governance is the ultimate goal.

Due to the passing of tropical storm Maria, the Philipsburg Jubilee Library has made a decision to postpone the Pajama party for the babies and toddlers program dated Friday the 9th of September to Saturday the 24th September from 10 am to 12:30pm.
All activities planned for the 9th will be scheduled on the 24th of September 2011. ENNIA insurances will be present to hand out the bags, bouncy castle, mascot from N.C. Wathey group of companies Music and dance face painting and Story by our storyteller Gini van Duivenvoorde.

robertreid08092011Dutch Quarter:--- Robert Reid, the father of 13 year old Tiffany Reid who is suspected of killing and burning his daughter's body fought with his wife two weeks before Tuesday's killing.
The police and prosecutor's office have remained tightlipped on the ongoing investigation even though they managed to arrest Robert Reid the same night they found the charred body of his 13 year old daughter in a ravine in South Reward. According to police and other sources, Reid suffered several burn wounds about his body.
The suspect will be taken before the judge of instruction sometime Friday where the judge will examine the conditions of his arrest. It is also expected that the prosecutor dealing with the case will request the first eight day extension of pretrial detention for their suspect.
SMN News has been reliably informed that the suspect and father of the deceased girl is yet to tell police how and where his daughter was killed.
Residents and neighbors of Reid said two weeks ago he went to a mechanic shop and told his friends that he had just fought with his wife whom he claimed pulled a knife at him as she was busy packing her personal belongings to move out of the family home. The neighbors said Reid is well known in Dutch Quarter and that he owns a white van M-7980 which he uses to transport school children. One neighbor said Reid has two vehicles, one which he uses to fix the other to transport the school children. They said Reid's wife no longer lives in Dutch Quarter.
As for the 13 year old victim, police and prosecutor did not say if they managed to identify the charred remains of the 13 year old PSVE student or if that will be done through DNA testing.
SMN News learnt that Tiffany Reid, a former student of St. Joseph Primary School and first form student of the St. Maarten Academy (PSVE section) was also a member of the New Testament Baptist Church in Fort Willem.

Philipsburg:--- The 2010-2011 parliamentary year will close on Monday, September 12. A special ceremony of parliament will be held for this occasion.

President of Parliament Hon. drs. Gracita Arrindell will deliver her annual report to members of parliament for the country's first parliamentary year.

The four faction leaders will also make addresses to the nation with respect to the closing of the 2010-2011 parliamentary year.

The faction leaders are United Peoples party (UP) Honourable Romain Laville, Member of Parliament (MP), Democratic Party (DP) Hon. Roy Marlin (MP), Independent Hon. Patrick Illidge (MP), and National Alliance (NA) Hon. William Marlin (MP).

The meeting will take place in the General Assembly Chamber on Monday at 10:00am. This special closing session of parliament will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 20.

The President of Parliament on Thursday afternoon briefed the media in a press conference about the special opening ceremony session of parliament for the new parliamentary year 2011-2012.

The aforementioned press conference which provides insight into the opening parliamentary ceremony will be aired on Friday, St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 15 at 7:00pm and again on Monday at 7:00pm.

yulandagentle09092011Philipsburg:--- The Tallahassee-St. Maarten Foundation Inc. under the directorship of Arthur Lugisse is busy preparing the winner of the Direct Music TV America' s 2011 Caribbean Model & Bikini Event Yulanda Gentle to participate in Virgin Islands Fashion Week.
The Fashion Week will be held from October 4-9 in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. at Frenchman's Reef Marriott & Morning Star Resort.
Preparations are on the way for fashion weeks all over the world, set to take center stage in these coming months. The gorgeous models in the Caribbean are in high anticipation of getting their faces seen in as many runway shows as possible.
Yulanda Gentle is no different; the 5'9, dark skinned beauty is now the winner of the Direct Music TV America's 2011 Caribbean Model Search held on August 27 on the quaint island of St. Maarten. As the winner, she will now represent her beautiful island at the Virgin Island Fashion Week in October. The model search competition was hosted at St. Maarten's most popular beach bar, Sunset Beach Bar and Grill where many turned out to support the eight finalists.
The 24 year old Gentle caught the eyes of the audience and the judges alike as she excelled in the business, casual and swimsuit categories of the competition. A very poised young lady, Gentle says "It feels amazing to be the winner. The other girls did well and are winners in their own rights." But of course, there can only be one. Winning the opportunity to walk in the Virgin Island Fashion Week is a great step for the model.
This will be her first time participating in any fashion week and like many in her shoes, Gentle will like the opportunity to walk in many more fashion weeks. "I'm excited," she said with a little laugh. "I look forward to representing St. Maarten to the fullest," she continued. As a budding designer as well, Gentle is also proud to have designed her own swimsuit that won her the competition. Looks like we may be seeing a new model turned designer from St. Maarten in years to come.
Virgin Islands Fashion Week is one of the premiere fashion events in the Caribbean, taking place on the beautiful American Paradise of St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. The event scheduled seeks to unite established and up-and-coming local, regional and international fashion designers, accessory designers, models, photographers, stylists and media houses. Virgin Island Fashion Week a unique platform that brings fashion to the forefront in the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean on a whole.
Virgin Islands Fashion Week reflects the unique Caribbean culture while maintaining an international appeal, like none other.

Great Bay (DCOMM):--- Tropical Storm (TS) Maria at 5:00pm on Sunday was located 115 miles NNE of San Juan Puerto Rico or approximately 180 miles North West of Sint Maarten and moving further away out into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is hereby issuing the "All Clear" sign as TS Maria no longer poses a threat to the country.

TS Maria has maintained its tropical storm status over the weekend and has winds of 60 miles per hour with higher gusts.

Periods of heavy rainfall are still expected through Monday morning. Therefore, street flooding and flooding in low lying areas is still possible. Motorists should therefore drive with caution if they encounter street flooding.

This is the last advisory from the Office of Disaster Management (ODM) concerning TS Maria.

Philipsburg:--- Activities surrounding the ceremonial opening of the new parliamentary year 2011-2012 will start at 9:30am, Tuesday, September 13 when guests start to arrive at the House of Parliament.

Between 9:30am and 9:55am, His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday and entourage will arrive. The Governor will inspect the uniform troops comprising of the St. Maarten Police, the St. Maarten Voluntary Corps and the Marines.

At 9:55am President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell will enter the House of Parliament followed by the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers.

At 10:00am the President of Parliament will open the ceremonial meeting and welcome everybody in attendance. After observing a moment of silence, the President will appoint a Reception and Departure Committee. Thereafter the meeting will be adjourned.

Members of the Reception/Departure Committee will proceed to the entrance of the House of Parliament and wait for the arrival of His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday and his entourage.

After the Governor and his entourage enter the House of Parliament's General Assembly Chamber, the President of Parliament welcomes His Excellency.

Governor Eugene Holiday then proceeds to deliver the annual state of the nation address which is the Governments Governing Program for the new parliamentary year.

After a national address of approximately 30 minutes, the President thanks His Excellency the Governor and declares the new parliamentary year 2011-2012 officially open.

The Governor and his entourage leave the General Assembly Chamber under the escort of the Reception/Departure Committee.

Upon the return of the Reception/Departure Committee to the General Assembly Chamber, the President of Parliament formally closes the ceremonial opening of the new parliamentary year.

The President of Parliament and the Prime Minister join the Governor and his entourage and proceed to the Wilhelmina Straat to view the military parade along with Members of Parliament, the Council of Ministers and invited guests.

After the parade, the invitees proceed to Sheer Restaurant for a reception party hosted by the President of Parliament on the occasion of the ceremonial opening of the new parliamentary year.

The opening ceremony of the new parliamentary year will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 20 from 9:30am on Tuesday. It will also be carried live on radio and via the internet on parliament's website:

The Clem Labega Square paid-parking lot will be closed early on Tuesday morning until 2:00pm. The lot will be used to provide parking for the dignitaries who will be attending the ceremonial opening of the new parliament year.

Great Bay (DCOMM):--- The 91-year-old mother of the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Mrs. Enid Golding, died on Wednesday morning at the St. Joseph's Hospital in Kingston.

The Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, was in Trinidad & Tobago attending the CARICOM Prime Ministerial Sub Committee meeting on Cricket.

Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams would like to express her condolences to the people, Prime Minister Golding and his family, and the Government of Jamaica on behalf of the people and Government of Sint Maarten.

Mrs. Golding was an outstanding educator and community builder. Mrs. Golding and her brother, Rupert Bent, are the co-authors of two high school text books on the geography and history of the West Indies.

"May God grant the Hon. Prime Minister and the Golding family strength during this time of bereavement," Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams said on Thursday.

Mrs. Golding was married to the first Speaker of the House of Representatives, the late Hon. Tacius Golding. They had four children: Prime Minister Golding, Dr. Trevor Golding and former Member of Parliament and Banker, Douglas Anthony. They also had a daughter who died in infancy.