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Low Ticket Price for Hit Makers Show Ends Sunday.

MIDDLE REGION:--- With one week to go before one of the biggest shows this Carnival season, TelCell’s Night of the Hit Makers, patrons are being urged to get their tickets before prices go up on Monday.

All the post hurricane relief specials will end on Sunday and come Monday tickets will be sold for the regular price of $40, says producer, Bertaux ‘Mr. Rude’ Fleming. Tickets for the April 28 show in the Festival Village have been going fast with deals such as ’25-25-25’ and the ‘Irma Relief’, both of which saw tickets prices dropping as low as $25 and $30 despite the astronomical cost to bring hit makers such as Haitian Kompa band T-Vice out of Miami and Grammy-nominated Reggae artiste Jah Cure.

But Fleming, a veteran record producer and manager of Xtratight Entertainment Company, maintained that this is his way of doing something for his fans who have supported him over the years. He said in the aftermath of the devastating Hurricane Irma last year, people still need some form of stress relief and there is no better way than to let loose with positive vibes next Saturday night. It is also a night to rock to the music of St. Maarten's own Control Band and the original Burning Flames now known as Fantastic Four out of Antigua.

This is the sixth year of the highly-acclaimed show and Fleming promises that people will leave less frustrated, less stressed, and less depressed.

Speaking at a press conference at the show’s launch earlier this year, Fleming said he will not be compromising on the quality of the show, since his goal is always to please the people in this country. He always thinks which artistes they would love to see and the ones he selects must have hits and be able to entertain the crowd since performance is number one. His goal is to keep a dance floor full on the ‘Night of the Hit Makers’.

He is urging fans who missed his ‘relief’ special to get their tickets now and avoid paying a higher price after April 22. Sunday is the last day for $30 tickets. The remaining tickets for St. Maarten’s carnival flagship show and premier dance experience will be sold for $40 starting Monday and on the night of the show, the price will increase.

Tickets are available at SOS Radio, Van Dorp, Domino's on Bush Road, Abu Ghazi in Madame Estate, and Adolphus Office Supplies, Fleming’s Café at Raoul Illidge Sports Complex.

SHTA sends letter to the King regarding Dump fires.

dumpfires19042018April 18, 2018

Dear His Majesty King Willem Alexander, His Excellency the Governor Eugene Holiday, Council of Ministers, Honorable Members of Parliament, State Secretary of Kingdom Affair Raymond Knops, Head of Dutch Recovery Programme Hans Leijtens, Representative of the Netherlands in St. Maarten Chris Johnson, Head of World Bank Mission to St. Maarten Doekle Wielinga,

To anybody familiar with Sint Maarten, it is obvious that just like hurricane Irma, the dump affects all the citizens of the island - regardless where you might reside or work.
Although most probably we will only know the real human cost of inhaling fumes from the dump on a daily basis in the future, we need immediate short term action now while a long term plan hopefully is being conceived.

For several decades now, many talks have been spent on this topic – whereas the problem only seems to become worse. Time has come to acknowledge that those many years of talking has shown we do not have the capacity to remove the dump ourselves but that we need outside help to solve this problem.

Therefore, it is by this means that we demand for an immediate short term solution to put a stop to the fires and gases killing our society.

This undoubtedly is our number one problem and should be handled with such urgency. We ask from the World Bank and the Kingdom to tap into their human and technical resources and take direct control over our sanitary landfill for the good of our people.
We do not have the luxury of long term planning and endless meetings, we need ACTION.


SHTA on behalf of its members and the residents of St. Maarten

Savings of 12 Million guilders for supply of public drinking water.

sevenseaslee18042018PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of VSA, Emil Lee announced on Wednesday April 18th, that negotiations for the amendment of the contracts for the supply of public drinking water, produced by Seven Seas Water have been concluded and signed off in a positive and desirable savings of four (4) Million guilders annually for a period of three (3) years. As Minister of Public Health, Emil Lee is responsible for the public supply of drinking water. Negotiations took place together with the Ministry of VROMI who is responsible for the distribution of drinking water and the Ministry of Finance.
“Prior to hurricane Irma, the country was already in a situation where the water being produced was more than the actual consumption capacity. As a result, the generated loss in 2016 was 1.1. Million guilders. We took the time to examine the current contract with Seven Seas. It is a ‘take or pays’ contract, meaning that whether the country takes the water or not – by agreement, the country is obligated to pay for the contracted production of water. And that loss, in terms of water that is paid for but consumed, was projected to be about 4.6 Million guilders annually.” – Emil Lee, Minister of Public Health
Based on an agreement that was signed in 2012 between Government and Seven Seas Water; as per 2016 the daily amount of water to be made available was raised from 15.500 m3 per day to 18.500 m3 per day. The amendments consist of Government reverting to the pre-2016 volumes of 15.500 m3 daily, in exchange for the extension of the agreement, with the possibility to extend for two (2) more years thereafter.
“That gives us some breathing room in terms of cash flow; it allows us to get the hotel plants back in operation and it allows us to finalize discussions and negotiations with the French side, with the Harbour and the cruise lines as possible clients to sell water to.” – Emil Lee, Minister of Public Health
It is the desire of G.E.B.E to independently produce drinking water for the country; the contract with Seven Seas Water makes provisions that allows the possibility for the country to negotiate an early buy out of the contract. The negotiated amendments to the contract includes the expansion of the applicant criteria to the scholarship funds of the Desalination Resource Development Program (DRDP), which is part of the water contract with Seven Seas Water. There is currently 240.000 dollars in the scholarship fund; the fund allows students to specialize in water engineering.
“We have broadened the terms that allow a broader participation of who can access the scholarship funds with the understanding that what we are trying to do is we are trying to train individuals in water production on Sint Maarten, equipping the country to be able to take over the water production on its own in the future.” – Emil Lee, Minister of Public Health.

Minister Wuite supports local students at UNICEF Children’s Rights Film Festival Finale in Curacao.

jwuite18042018PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Jorien Wuite traveled to Curacao on Friday, April 13th and returned on Monday, 16th. The primary purpose of the visit was to support students of the Hillside Christian School who, after winning the local competition of UNICEF’s Children’s Rights Film Festival, were invited to participate in the regional finals amongst the Dutch Caribbean. The Minister acknowledges that UNICEF has been instrumental in the recovery process of St. Maarten; contributing in a number of programs to protect and encourage the healing and well-being of St. Maarten children in the aftermath of hurricane Irma.

The children, along with their chaperones and UNICEF coordinators, were able to meet and interact with students from all six Dutch Caribbean islands. They participated in workshops, explored and were able to expand their horizon. The children were very well behaved and very gracious when it was revealed that they were not victorious. Ultimately the top prize was given to Bonaire however the Minister expressed that she was extremely proud of the students. As part of the panelist of judges, the Minister was very impressed with the quality of the films presented by all the islands.

While in the Curacao, the Minister also took the opportunity to pay a courtesy visit to the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports Marilyn Alcala-Walle. Minister Wuite left that meeting both enthused and encouraged as both Ministers recognized the similarities of their portfolios and were able to immediately connect. The education agendas clearly confirmed a mutual interest and priority for the position of public education, renewed legislation for higher education and the associated challenges of the so called “boy problem” and early dropout of at-risk youth.

The Ministers discussed the status of St. Maarten exam students that stayed on Curacao to complete their final year of secondary education after the hurricane. She pledged the Ministry’s support and coordination to ensure that the needs of the students are continuously monitored. In the area of Sports they dialogued on anti-doping policies and structures that support the observance of the International Convention against Doping in Sport which would enable athletes’ participation in regional and international competitions. Applying technology to encourage capacity building between the respective ministries is another proposal that both Ministers also saw as a valuable opportunity.

At the conclusion the meeting Minister Wuite graciously accepted the invitation of Minister Alcala-Walle to join her at Bandabou’s Harvest Parade which according to Minister Wuite “was a delightful highlight of our shared time together. As Ministers of Culture it clearly underscored our joint responsibility and love for cultural heritage! I definitely look forward to further collaboration with the Minister and Ministry in Curacao as I believe we have much to learn and teach each other.”

Minister Wuite is thankful to the Minister Alcala-Walle and the community of Curacao for their friendliness during the visit and she looks forward to a continued partnership between the Ministries.

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