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MP Wescot inquires about GEBE’s electricity supply and load shedding. Questions initiatives for alternative forms of energy.

PHILIPSBURG:---With the recent  spikes (again) in electricity outages/load shedding and GEBE's statements regarding same, such as regular maintenance, unexpected stoppages, safety concerns, overheating and such, MP Wescot urgently requested Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure, the Honourable Mr. Christophe Emmanuel to answer the following questions:

nt spikes (again) in electricity outages/load shedding and GEBE's statements regarding same, such as regular maintenance, unexpected stoppages, safety concerns, overheating and such, MP Wescot urgently requested Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure, the Honourable Mr. Christophe Emmanuel to answer the following questions:

1.What do you think is the structural problem with respect to electricity supply on St. Maarten? Under normal circumstances, even unexpected and unforeseen outages would have been incorporated in capacity and or demand projections to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply as much as possible.
2.Is the problem an overall shortage of production capacity?
3.If so, what is the short term remedy?
4.Does GEBE possess the financial capacity to invest if this is indeed the underlying problem?
5.If so, hope quickly will GEBE invest in the expansion of production capacity?
6.How soon can the water supply contract be amended to stop the overpayment for water, currently in excess of $ 800.000,--?
If none of the above is relevant to the outages and load shedding which is taking on unacceptable proportions, what is the problem with reliable electricity supply on St. Maarten?

In her letter to Minister Emmanuel, MP Wescot made reference to the Governing Program 2016-2020: "Stability for Prosperity", where it states;
 Introduce alternative fuel for GEBE in order to reduce the cost of electricity and stabilize the fuel clause.
 Promote grid level storage of solar and wind energy
 Promote through apublic private partnershipsthe realization of a fuel farm .

Stimulate and support clean, renewable and affordable.
 Review the management and distribution of drinking water
energy and water management infrastructure.
and
〉 Install solar powered street lighting to reduce the energy consumed initiatives.

In a subsequent letter, Wescot also addressed GEBE’s electricity supply versus the demand for such, which has been under constant discussion lately again and many consumers are awaiting clarity regarding GEBE’s "buy back" from individual consumers any overage these consumers might generate through alternative forms of energy;

Considering an initiative undertaken by the DP faction in Parliament in 2012, Minister Emmanuel was asked to inform if and what initiatives have been undertaken by government and or GEBE NV to address this matter of "buy back/sale to GEBE.

The MP further queried:
Are there any existing stumbling blocks in the way of this development?
What are these?
Are they technical or legislative in nature? Is this a priority for government? If so, pls. provide a timeline of actions in connection herewithIn order to assess Government’s actions against its Governing Program, the MP in her letter to the Minister referred to the 2016-2020 Governing Program "Stability for Prosperity, namely the stated initiatives:

Implement the Energy Policy Plan

* Review and intensify the Energy Policy Plan
* Approve legislation for the Energy-Buy-Back policy
* Review and where necessary amend the electricity concession.


St. Maarten first annual customer service week reaches high registration count .

PHILIPSBURG:--- Customer Service Mobile Academy, (CSMA) an affiliate company of Training Professionals International Firm, confirmed that they have been elated with registration numbers and anticipate surpassing their enrollment goals for this year’s conference. CSMA in partnership with the Holland Houses will host the First Annual St. Maarten Customer Service Week Conference on, September 4-8, 2017 at the Holland House.
CSMA reports that attendance numbers are high and the conference has many local organizations registered. It was also reported that companies from Statia, Saba, Anguilla and many other neighboring islands have registered. The conference will offer attendees accredited Customer Service courses with approved curriculum and global accreditation, all attendees will receive a certified certificate of completion internationally recognized.
CSMA, is a mobile Customer Service training company that brings accredited Customer Service courses to the front door of organizations. CSMA’s mission is to raise the bar for Customer Service Excellence, particularly in St. Maarten. CSAM achieves their mission utilizing a mobile philosophy by conveniently facilitating Customer Service courses on-site at organizations saving businesses money, time and conveniently allowing employees to attend valued trainings without leaving their jobs.
Dr. Gittens, President & CEO of CSMA stated: “The First Annual St. Maarten Customer Service Week is a pivotal event in St. Maarten’s History. This conference will showcase that St. Maarten as a major advocate for Customer Service Excellence and position the country as leader in fostering Customer Service education. The First Annual St. Maarten Customer Service Week is a unique conference, participants will be engaged in interactive conversations, networking, cooperative and collaborative learning exercises and gain a global perspective on the Service Industry at large.
For more information on the conference call 526.2052 or Register @ Academycsma.com or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

MP Wescot Questions Minister TEATT on Qredits Micro-financing Progress.

PHILIPSBURG:---  Recent media reports regarding the agreement between the Public Entities of St. Eustatius and Bonaire respectively and Qredits, prompted MP Wescot to pose questions to Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication ( TEATT ), the Honorable Mrs. Mellissa Arrindell – Doncher on St. Maarten’s progress.

The MP informed the Minister that, former Minister of TEATT, the honorable Minister I.I. Arrindell, had informed parliament that the government of St. Maarten and in particular the ministry of TEATT was in talks with Qredits to arrive at an agreement for St. Maarten’s MSME sector. Minister I.I Arrindell in December 2016 had stated "...And what is very important, is that there will also be a source of soft loans via Q Credits [sic]. Q Credits is a micro financing agency in the Netherlands that provides unsecured micro loans to SMEs at competitive interest rates. "

“Qredits is a private foundation of public and private partners. It is the only nationally operating Microfinance Institution in the Netherlands and they’ve adopted a new sustainable approach to microfinance: a blend of traditional banking with a highly sophisticated IT support system.
Qredits' vision is “to build a strong and independent entrepreneurship culture in the Netherlands by providing financing, mentoring and tools for micro-entrepreneurs that have a viable business plan, yet are unable to obtain credit facilities from conventional lending institutions; Stimulate new business start-up, Help (starting) entrepreneurs make an informed choice for entrepreneurship, Increase opportunities & survival rate of (new) businesses, Provide opportunities for entrepreneurs to become financially/economically independent, Bridge the gap for (starting) entrepreneurs to grow into the mainstream financial sector.” Source: www.qredits.com

The MP’s questions are the following:
1. What was the status of these talks when you took up the responsibility for the TEATT ministry?
2. Are these talks still being pursued?
3. If so, how soon can we look forward to an agreement and or the execution of such an agreement for (micro)financing opportunities for the MSME sector on St. Maarten?
While I believe that other projects to strengthen the MSME sector are also important and will contribute to the sustainability of this sector, the general cry from many small and upcoming entrepreneurs is the lack of financing possibilities.
Many of these persons are young persons with great ideas and with technology being what it is, new business niches are within the reach of many. However finances remain an issue.
4. Does the ministry possess any data regarding this industry branch that gives an indication what the most pressing needs are of the MSME sector on St. Maarten ? And if so, please share.
Finally, I also took note of the initiative launched by the collectivity of St. Martin , with a sort of mobile business help desk, which I believe is a worthwhile outreach program to empower micro and small business persons in the districts.
5. Anything of this sort in the works for our MSME?

Partners declare to work together on “Safety Image BES 2017

bonaireagreement18082017BONAIRE:--- On Wednesday, 16 August 2017, a declaration was signed in Kralendijk (Bonaire) in which the Public Prosecutor (OM), Royal Marechaussee (KMar), Police force of the Dutch Caribbean (KPCN) and the Public Body of Bonaire (OLB) have committed themselves to work together on a “safety picture BES 2017” (Veiligheidsbeeld BES 2017) . These parties are now part of the steering group that will guide the process.
The “security picture BES 2017” is commissioned by the Attorney-General (PG) of Curaçao, Saint Maarten, Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba, and must consist a report describing the threats, and especially visible criminal threats that are visible on the islands. The assignment has been given to the Royal Marechaussee. They will be assisted by researchers from the Public Body of Bonaire and from science. The research covers all three BES Islands.
The “security picture BES 2017” must give an idea of the extent and severity of crime, with emphasis on a description of the circumstances that lead to crime. The researchers are looking for causes that lie in, for example, government policies or existing regulations that work out maladministration. Furthermore, it will be investigated how sectors in which crime occurs are functioning and whether there are factors that stimulate crime. This makes the “security image BES 2017” a report that can be used to make plans with the various authorities, but also with private parties, for example, to reduce the vulnerability of society's crime to the three islands. This according also to future plans pursued by the OM.
The „security image‟ was previously drawn up by and for judicial partners. That the Public Body is present in the steering committee, and has an active role in the research, is a repercussion of the fact that the Public Bodies and other administrative partners have an active role in the establishment and use of the results.
Photo:
The statement was signed Wednesday by AG Guus Schram, Chief Officer Henry Hambeukers, Acting Head of the Royal Marechaussee in the region, Joep Henst, the Island Governor of Bonaire Edison Rijna and the Chief of polis KPCN, Jose Rosales.

Prosecutors Press Release

FLIGHTS DISRUPTIONS DUE TO TROPICAL STORM HARVEY

ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA, August 17, 2017 – LIAT wishes to advise passengers that due to
the passage of Tropical Storm Harvey that several destinations will be affected. Due to several
airport closures and late opening times the following flights have been cancelled for Friday 18th
August, 2017:

LI 773 from Antigua to Barbados

LI 381 from Dominica to Barbados

LI 304 from St. Vincent to Barbados

LI 374 from Barbados to St. Lucia LI 375 from St. Lucia to Barbados LI 308 from Trinidad to Grenada
LI 308 from Grenada to Barbados
LI 310 from Port of Spain to St. Vincent

LI 310 from St. Vincent to St. Lucia

LI 310 from St. Lucia to Antigua LI 300 from Barbados to Tortola LI 301 from Tortola to Barbados
LI 370 from Barbados to St. Lucia LI 371from St. Lucia to St. Vincent LI 371 from St. Vincent to
Barbados LI 771 from Barbados to St. Vincent
LI 771 from St. Vincent to Port of Spain

Passengers should expect some delays on flight services. Passengers travelling on Friday 18th
August are asked to check the LIAT website (www.liat.com), and the LIAT Social Media Pages for
information on the status of their flights and further travel advisories.

Please note passengers who have been affected will be allowed to rebook within the next two weeks
with all change fees waived. We strongly advise our passengers to contact LIAT's Call Centre for
rebooking:

1-888-844-LIAT (5428) Toll Free from destinations within the Caribbean Region

Call Antigua 1-268-480-5601/2 from Other Countries

Within Antigua 480-5582

1-246 434 5428 from Barbados

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
the respective regional and international carriers.

LIAT regrets any inconvenience caused by these delays/cancellations as a result of the passage of
the impending tropical storm.

The next advisory will be given at 9:00 a.m. on Friday 18th August, 2017.


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Radio from voiceofthecaribbean.net

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