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National Culinary Team Convenes at Holland House for Extra Fundraiser

culinary28042017PHILIPSBURG:---Next Thursday, the 4th of May, a fundraising dinner will be held at Holland House Beach Hotel to raise money for their participation at the Taste of the Caribbean. Taste of the Caribbean is the region’s premier culinary competition and cultural showcase that is every year organised in Miami.
The fundraiser dinners prior to the prestigious event in Miami serve to raise the large sum of money needed to get the Sint Maarten team to the United States. Besides raising money for the competition, this dinner is a good practice for the chefs to be prepared for the real Taste competition at the beginning of June. Since this is the first time the chef’s work with each other every fundraising dinner is a good possibility to get to know each other and everybody’s skills better. As the team largely comprises of last year’s award winning contestants, the organizing parties try to further improve their team as well as individual effort at the highest level.
This year the team that will compete on behalf of Sint Maarten consists out of eight excellent chefs, Renata de Weever (Executive sous-chef at Sonesta Great Bay Hotel and Casino), Justin Assendelft (sous-chef/fish specialist at Holland House Beach Hotel), Ronald Estephane (pastry manager at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino), Paul Peterson (bartender at Temptation restaurant and bartending teacher at NIPA), Dino Jagtiani (chef and owner of Temptation restaurant), Pieter Holstein (Chef at Canoa and Rum & Peas restaurant), Suzy Adoptie (Student at Sint Maarten’s National Institute for Professional Advancement), and Mrinal Wadhwa (Student at Sint Maarten’s National Institute for Professional Advancement).
All chefs have their own speciality to battle with the other teams during the competition. This to win the different titles that are being awarded. Besides the team competition, different individual competitions are organised as well, chef of the year, junior chef of the year, bartender of the year, and pastry manager of the year. The Sint Maarten chefs are absolutely determined to do their utmost best, which will give Sint Maarten good hope that they will return home with some prices.
The first fundraiser dinner at Infinity was regarded as promising. There are still limited tickets available. Reservations for TASTE fundraiser dinners can be made at St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association, 1 721 542 0108 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Zr. Ms. Van Amstel makes two major drugs busts again, four major drug busts in 10 days.

drugbusts28042017The Caribbean Sea - The Royal Dutch Navy's station ship in the Caribbean, M-frigate Zr. Ms. Van Amstel again made two drug busts last week, with a total of nearly 1100 kilograms of cocaine being confiscated.

The busts were a collaboration between several units involved in anti-drug operations in the Caribbean. Zr. Ms. Van Amstel with her NH-90 maritime combat helicopter once again worked together with a US maritime patrol aircraft, a US Navy patrol vessel and units of the US Coast Guard to detain a smuggling vessel, in making the third and fourth drug bust in a short period of time.
The van Amstel received a report of a suspicious small motorboat. This so-called "go-fast" was being monitored by the American patrol plane. Once in the vicinity, the Dutch frigate sent off its NH-90 helicopter and took over the task to monitor the suspicious vessel. The NH-90 managed to force it to a stop after which a boarding crew from the US Navy patrol ship detained the five crew members. Due to the incremental weather and waves up to 2.5 meters high, the crew members of the powerboat were severely exhausted. During the detention, a large number of suspicious packages were encountered which contained 750 kilograms of cocaine.

Fourth drug bust in 10 days

Two days later, the Dutch Royal Navy ship intercepted a second drug transport in the Caribbean Sea. During that action, 330 kg of cocaine was seized. The NH-90 maritime combat helicopter was also deployed during this action during which it monitored a fast motorboat until the van Amstel was nearby. The NH-90 then showed itself to the crew and signaled the go-fast to stop. The motorboat then went off at high speed, with the NH-90 in pursuit. Warning shots were fired to force the suspicious vessel to stop. When this again had no effect, the outboard engines of the boat were taken out with targeted shots. Zr. Ms. Van Amstel next launched her own fast-moving RHIB’s with a boarding team from the American Coast Guard. The four men crew was detained and transferred together with the smuggling goods to the patrol ship of the US Navy that had arrived on scene.

Station ship in the Caribbean

The Zr. Ms. Van Amstel is currently having a very successful term as station ship. The Royal Dutch Navy M-frigate managed to execute four major drug busts in ten days. On behalf of the Commander of the Royal Dutch Navy in the Caribbean, the Zr.Ms. Van Amstel conducts anti-drug operations in the Caribbean. The ship and its crew are part of a permanent multinational anti-drugs smuggling operation led by the Joint Interagency Task Force South. The ship operates within a Task Group commanded by the Commander of the Royal Dutch Navy. Anti-drug operations are one of the main tasks of the Dutch military forces in the Caribbean.

Cuba to Host BirdsCaribbean’s 21st International Conference

PHILIPSBURG:--- Topes de Collantes, Cuba—Every two years, bird educators, scientists and conservationists from the Caribbean and beyond gather for BirdsCaribbean’s International Conference. This year’s conference takes place in southern Cuba from 13-17 July 2017. More than 200 international delegates are expected to join dozens of Cuban delegates to share the latest in Caribbean bird research and protection.

“BirdsCaribbean conferences have always been a place for scientists to collaborate beyond political boundaries,” said Andrew Dobson, President of BirdsCaribbean, “Bringing an international group together in Cuba is particularly exciting. We are excited to have the chance to work face-to-face with our Cuban colleagues.”

This year’s theme is “Celebrating Caribbean Diversity.” The Caribbean is a hotspot of biodiversity, with many unique plants and animals. Birds are no exception: 172 species are found only in the Caribbean. The Caribbean is also a cultural melting pot, home to the most diverse group of bird scientists in the world.

The conference will focus on the practice of conservation backed by sound science. World-famous keynote speakers will present on current issues in ornithology. Training workshops, panels, and talks will cover many topics. These include conservation of island endemics and migrants, bird tourism, bird monitoring, emerging technology's, environmental awareness, invasive species, and many other themes.

“You can share your latest findings, upgrade your skills, network with colleagues, or see the 26 bird species found only in Cuba,” explained Andrew Dobson, “We will also be supporting the participation of spouses and children.”

“We are thrilled to host this conference at Topes de Collantes National Park in the Sierra de Escambray – Cuba’s second largest mountain range, and home to many unique birds,” said Lisa Sorenson, Executive Director. “There will be many chances to explore, from the forests and waterfalls of the park to the historic town of Trinidad nearby. Join field trips during, before and after the conference to learn more about the endemic birds of Cuba or tour the city of Havana.”

Conference registration is open now. Visit birdscaribbean.org to register or learn more.

Preparations has commenced for Memorial Day on May 4th

PHILIPSBURG - Prime Minister William Marlin hereby makes it known that preparations for Memorial Day have commenced. Memorial Day is the National Day of Remembrance, which is the day that we commemorate the victims who have died in wars or peacekeeping missions since the outbreak of World War II have commenced.

The preparations include the relocation of the commemoration plaques at the Captain Hodge Wharf to a more publicly accessible location on the same Wharf. May 4th is a day that is recognized throughout the Dutch Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is important for the general public to recognize this day as it not only acknowledges the victims that have fought to defend the Dutch Kingdom, but it is also a day that signifies the freedom of the Kingdom and its people.

On Thursday upcoming, May 4th, all uniformed forces will participate in a silent march through Philipsburg at 3:30 pm. The procession will lead to the Captain Hodge Wharf, where a short ceremony will take place in front of the existing plaque that commemorates local names of persons who have fought for our freedom within the Dutch kingdom.

The program also includes a formal wreath laying ceremony during which both the Government and Parliament of Sint Maarten will lay wreaths. Invited guests will also be given the opportunity to pay their respects to the placement of a single flower.

The general public is invited to witness this occasion as we pay homage to our fallen victims.

Prime Minister William Marlin meets with Progress Committee

wmarlinprogresscom28042017PHILIPSBURG:--- On Friday morning April 28th, Prime Minister William Marlin met with the Progress Committee. Prime Minister Marlin said that in the past reports have been very critical, but the reporting this time has been quite positive.

The new Justice Minister, Mr. Rafael Boasman is very serious about tackling the Plans of Approach. The Management Team at the Police is very enthusiastic and structural growth in the force is expected by 2018.

The situation at the prison is preparing to undergo changes. An interim management team is in place and recently the Council of Ministers approved the action plan. The intentions are good but visual changes are not yet in place.


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Radio from voiceofthecaribbean.net

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