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Stacy Cox Elected President of Hotel Association Executives For next two years.

chtaboard18022018SAN JUAN:--- Caribbean tourism industry professional Stacy Cox has been elected president of the Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE) for the next two years.

Cox, who unexpectedly took the top job early last year following an unscheduled leadership change, received a full two-year mandate at the association's annual general meeting, which preceded this month's 36th annual Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace event in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

CSHAE is an independent organization aimed at advancing professional development and strengthening networking among Caribbean hotel and tourism association executives.

The association's 2018-20 Executive Board will be chaired by Gilda Gumbs Samuel, Executive Director of the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association, while Brian Frontin, CEO of the Trinidad Hotels, Restaurant & Tourism Association, will serve as Vice President. Miles Mercera, President and CEO of the Curaçao Hospitality & Tourism Association, will serve as Treasurer, while Clarisa Jimenez, President and CEO of the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association, has been appointed Secretary.

Other elected CSHAE Board Directors include Avril Alexander, Executive Director of the British Virgin Islands Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Association; Tessie Duran Tonaco, Marketing Director of the Belize Hotel Association; and Lisa Hamilton, President of the U.S. Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association.

Cox asserted her mandate includes increased engagement on issues such as education and training, advocacy, airlift capacity, disaster management and the sharing economy: "It is an honor to continue to serve the region's hotel and tourism associations and their members and focus on the many pressing issues facing the Caribbean's sustainability."

While in San Juan, hotel association executives attended their annual leadership conference, sponsored by American Resort Development Association - Resort Owners' Coalition (ARDA-ROC) and facilitated by Adriana Serna, ASAE (The Center for Association Leadership) Facilitator and Communications Manager of CHTA.

About the Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE)
The Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE) is a professional association whose members include executives and senior managers from the region's private sector led hotel and tourism-related organizations. Its primary focus is to serve as a network for the region's associations by supporting the professional development of the staff and voluntary leadership; facilitating the gathering and flow of information; advancing programs in support of regional advocacy and product improvement efforts; and working collaboratively with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) in achieving mutual goals.

Ministry of Public Health advises community to take preventive measures to mitigate spread of gastroenteritis.

GREAT BAY(DCOMM):--- The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, is calling on the community to take preventive measures to prevent contracting gastroenteritis.

CPS in observing a spike in its accumulated syndromic data under its surveillance responsibility, calls on all to prevent and mitigate the spread of gastroenteritis which source can be improper food and drink handling and preparation.

Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the stomach and intestine a.k.a. stomach flu, which is usually due to acute infection by viruses or bacteria resulting in vomiting and diarrhea.

With gastroenteritis, the main symptoms are watery diarrhea and vomiting. You might also have stomach pain, cramping, fever, nausea, and a headache.

The most common symptoms are vomiting and repeated episodes of diarrhea (three or more episodes within 24 hours).

Frequent diarrhea and vomiting can result in one becoming dehydrated. Watch for signs of dehydration, such as dry skin and a dry mouth, feeling lightheaded, and being really thirsty. Call your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

Children can get dehydrated quickly, so if your child has the stomach flu, it's important that you be on alert and monitor your child for signs that he is very thirsty or has dry skin or a dry mouth. If you have a baby, look for fever, drier diapers, and if you observe any of the above, do not delay, consult your physician. Gastroenteritis is typically spread (transmitted) from person to person, and common sources of infection are contaminated food and drinking water.

Keep children with gastroenteritis out of day care or school until all symptoms are gone. Check with your doctor before giving your child any medications. Drugs used to control diarrhea and vomiting aren't usually given to children younger than five.

There are many ways gastroenteritis can be spread: Contact with someone who has the virus; contaminated food or water; unwashed hands after going to the bathroom; caring for the sick or the elderly and/or changing diapers.

The most common cause of gastroenteritis is a virus, but also other contributing factors are bacteria, unhygienic food and drink preparation or handling, and not proper or continuous hand hygiene.

Gastroenteritis or stomach flu can be caused by many different kinds of viruses, the main types are rotavirus and norovirus.

Rotavirus is the world's most common cause of diarrhea in infants and young children. Norovirus is the most common cause of serious gastroenteritis and also foodborne disease outbreaks.

Although not as common, bacteria such as E. coli, Shiella, Salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria, can also trigger the stomach flu. Salmonella and campylobacter bacteria are the most common bacterial causes of gastroenteritis which are spread by undercooked poultry, eggs, or poultry juices. Shigella bacteria, is often transmitted in daycare centers.

Bacteria can be transferred through poor hygiene. It is spread through contamination of hands, objects or food infected with the aforementioned. The virus enters your body via your mouth, this type of transmission is fecal-oral. Viral gastroenteritis may also be spread through coughing and sneezing.

To prevent the spread of the infection, wash your hands thoroughly after going to the toilet and before eating or preparing food; clean the toilet, including the seat and handle, with disinfectant after each bout of vomiting or diarrhea; don’t share towels, cutlery and utensils with other household members; and don’t return to work until 48 hours have passed since your last bout of vomiting or diarrhea.
Practicing good food hygiene is essential in preventing gastroenteritis. Good food hygiene entails properly and regularly washing your hands; properly and regularly clean preparation area/surfaces and utensils with hot, soapy water; never store raw food and cooked foods together; avoid cross contamination of foods; make sure that food is properly refrigerated; always cook your food thoroughly; and never eat food that has expired (past its shelf date or sales date).

Consult your family physician if you experience gastroenteritis symptoms and especially if these symptoms are persistent, so that your physician can refer you to the lab to confirm a clinical diagnosis and the respective pathogen.

For more information call CPS at 542-1122, 542-1222, 542-1322, 542-1570 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Negotiating a Stable government after Elections.

wsmith28012018PHILIPSBURG:--- One of the most used buzz words in this campaign is the word “Stability”. Even those parties that have been in power since 10-10-10 and whose members wreaked instability in parliament and in government are now advocating the S-word. With these old parties having a track record of ship jumping, changing parliaments and breaking governments, can the electorate really expect them to offer the much-needed stability and change that Sint Maarten deserves? Our country needs to be able to move forward in every sector of society? But instability has crippled Sint Maarten’s development and progress. Instability has led to no decisions concerning our landfill or the dump. Instability is the cause for the delay in the reconstruction of Sint Maarten post-hurricane Irma. Rebooting the economy and the further development of the country are dependent on a stable government.

Unfortunately, the existing political parties have not been able to offer stability. We have had every possible combination of coalitions but these have all been short-lived. Putting the older parties in parliament again would be an act of insanity, which, according to world-renowned scientist, Albert Einstein, is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. Voting for the same old parties and the same old politicians will once again bring the same old result: namely, instability in government. There is, however, an alternative political party. The SMCP is a new and viable party that does not have a political history of ship jumpers, government-breaking, and instability.

Realizing the importance of stability in government, SMCP will make this it's number one priority when elected. In the event the voters give SMCP a majority, 8 seats or more, then you can be assured that SMCP will bring the needed stability in parliament and government. But should SMCP get elected as a minority party then we will allow the larger parties to form a coalition. Let it be known that SMCP has no problem functioning as an opposition party because a good functioning opposition in parliament is also extremely important.

If SMCP is called to be a coalition partner then conditions will be set which SMCP believes will help to guarantee a strong parliament and a stable government.

In the first place, SMCP will not be pressured into signing a coalition agreement hours after the election results are made known. Secondly, SMCP will insist that the governor follows existing protocols already in places such as appointing an Informateur and a formateur. The Governor should charge the Informateur to explore the possibility of a national parliamentary coalition in which the MPs from all elected political parties are represented. If the MPs agree to a national parliamentary coalition then the next step for the Governor would be to appoint a Formateur who will consult with all the elected parties and their MPs to prepare a national governing program. In addition, these MPs will select the Prime Minister from amongst themselves and together they will select qualified, capable and experienced ministers, ideally not from their political lists, to execute the national governing program.

In the event the Informateur does not succeed in forming a national parliamentary coalition then he/she will try to achieve a consensus from among the elected political parties that have the best chance of forming a durable parliamentary coalition. The Informateur would look, for example, at the history, philosophy, principles, internal working procedures and protocols of the various parties. This would enable him/her to observe compatibilities between parties as well as explore any non-negotiable issues parties may have. Discussions concerning the formation of a coalition should take place in a neutral place like e.g. the Parliament Building and all the elected MPs must be consulted.

After the Informateur submits his/her report, the Governor, in turn, will appoint a Formateur who will work with the coalition parties to prepare the governing program, select the Prime Minister and choose qualified, capable and experienced ministers, ideally not from the political lists, who also can withstand any screening. Ministers are selected jointly by the MPs to reduce the risk of a particular faction or a particular MP laying claim to a minister and saying “that’s my Minister”. SMCP will also ensure that the selected Ministers are aware of the governing program and what is required of them prior to their taking office. SMCP will insist that the governing program is presented to parliament and debated in order to give the people insight into what the government plans to do during the upcoming governing period.

To ensure stability in parliament all of SMCP’s candidates have signed a pledge, included in our Manifesto, not to defect during this parliamentary term. The stability offered by SMCP will result in a strong and steady government, which will enable Sint Maarten to move forward again. Stability will enable government to take decisions to get the reconstruction going, the economy growing and the dump dwindling. Sint Maarten, vote for stability! Vote SMCP!

Wycliffe Smith
Leader of the Sint Maarten Christian Party

Clothes 4 St.Maarten organization donates to the Charlotte Brookson Academy of the Performance Arts.

cbaclothes18022018PHILIPSBURG:--- This past Friday February 15th , 2018 , the Clothes 4 St.Maarten organization in partnership with Member of Parliament Mr.Claret Connor and businessman Mr.Francisco Lacroes donated boxes of clothing, shoes, cases of bottled water and non- perishable items to the students of Charlotte Brookson Academy of the Performance Arts (CBA)and their families who were affected by the passing of Hurricane Irma.

Clothes 4 St.Maarten started in the Netherlands with the intention to support persons and families who lost everything due to the passing of Hurricane Irma. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr.Denicio Levenstone of Clothes 4 St.Maarten, MP Claret Connor, and Mr.Lacroes for their kind generosity towards our students and their families.

Valya challenges government to establish vendor market on ring road.

valyalake18022018PHILIPSBURG:--- In line with her vision to promote small business development, at the public meeting of February 17th, 2018, of the United St. Maarten Party (USP), Valya Lake-Pantophlet challenged government to promote entrepreneurship and assist the people of St. Maarten by creating a vendors market for the sale of food, crafts, cultural items etc, on the ring road in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

"The ring road has been standing and cannot be completed anytime soon. It's a shame, and it is the time we give entrepreneurs a fighting chance by giving them opportunities to establish themselves in this country. With microloans that are available from Qredits St. Maarten - St. Eustatius - Saba this can happen in the shortest of time. Government needs to take its role as facilitator seriously and pave the way for this economy to bounce back by empowering the people", Mrs. Lake-Pantophlet said.

Valya Lake- Pantophlet is candidate number 5 contesting in the upcoming snap elections on February 26th, 2018, with the United St. Maarten Party (USP) under the slogan " The Face Of Change" and this is the change in thinking that she wishes to bring to parliament.

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