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The family regrets to announce the death of

Theofilo Gustavo Monzon Richardson a.k.a Mussington

Sunrise 13th May 1933 – Sunset 8th May 2014

Leaves to mourn:
Spouse:                       Louise Muriel Monzon-Wilson
Children:                      Hennis Monzon & family
                                   Marelva Monzon & family
                                    Olda Monzon & family
                                    Edsel Monzon & family
                                    Jeanine Monzon & family
                                    Zunilda Monzon & family
                                    Baudouin (Junny) Monzon & family
                                    Claude Mussington & family
Step children:                Ingrid Martina & family, Wilfred Wilson & family, Ronald                                                             Wilson, Brigitte Beault ,Rosie Richard and Kenneth                                                             Connor.
Sister:                                    Centillia Romain-Mussington
Sister- in- law:                     Clotilda Mussington & family
Brothers-in-law:                 Frank Arnell & family and Henry Idylle & family
Favourite nieces:                Elena Martie-Musenton & Cheryl Richardson-Arnell
Other Nieces & Nephews:  Too numerous to mention in St. Martin, St. Maarten                                                         Curacao, The Netherlands Guadeloupe, France, and                                                         The United States.
Close Friend:                          Maryorie (Maude) Connor & family
Mussington was related to the: Monzon , Mussington , Richardson, Froston, Hunt                                                  & Idylle families.
Funeral service will be on Wednesday, May 14th 2014 at the Emerald Funeral Home
Viewing will be from 1:00 pm. -2:00 pm. service commence at 2:00 pm. with interment at the Cape Bay Cemetery.

The Management and staff of Emerald Funeral Home would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the bereaved families.

 

Dear Editor,

The Citizens for Positive Change Party (CPC), a newly formed political party contesting the 2014 Parliamentary Elections, is of the firm opinion that the draft Simpson Bay Development Plan does not meet the internationally accepted criteria for Sustainable Development from an Economic perspective, Social perspective or from an Environmental perspective.
CPC will summarize why the draft Simpson Bay Development Plan does not meet said criteria in a series of three articles. Our first article, published earlier this week, focused on why the draft Simpson Bay Development Plan does not make sense from an Economic perspective, this second article will focus on the Environmental aspects.
CPC has carefully reviewed the Draft Simpson Bay Development plan and concludes that the draft plan does not sufficiently facilitate the proper management of the Simpson Bay Lagoon's natural features and functions. The plan also gives rise to serious concerns regarding the future of the Simpson Bay area, the beach and the historic village of Simpson Bay.

The Simpson Bay Lagoon has historically served as a nursery for many, often commercially significant, species of marine life. A number of reef and even some deep-sea fish species are dependent on the mangroves in the Simpson Bay Lagoon for much of their early growth. Over the past four decades much of the Lagoon's shoreline has been cleared of mangroves, hundreds of square meters of sea grass beds have been dredged out or covered with sand and soil to facilitate land reclamation projects.

Credible estimates state that if the present pace of filling-in were allowed to continue the Dutch side of the Simpson Bay Lagoon will have lost upwards of 50% of its original surface area by the ending of 2016.

Despite the development pressures the Lagoon has been faced with, pockets of mangrove stands can still be found along portions of its shores, sea grass beds are also still present and both play a significant role within the Lagoon ecosystem. In its current format the Draft Simpson Bay Development plan does not provide for sufficient protection of these important ecosystems, nor does the plan take into account the recreational function of the Bay and Lagoon for residents and visitors.

Regional and local studies have concluded that mangrove stands in the Caribbean contribute the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars per square kilometers per year in ecosystem services such as sustaining fisheries, providing shoreline protection, supplying sources of food, medicine and scientific research to island communities.

Rather than facilitating the protection and much needed restoration of the very few remaining mangroves and sea grass beds, the Draft Simpson Bay Development plan offers proposals for having these areas designated for commercial (marinas) or infrastructure (expansion of road network) related usage.

The plan refers to "the desired development of the Boardwalk along the Lagoon, and the new pier near the Lejuez drawbridge". Having attended the zoning plan meetings in Simpson Bay, CPC is left to wonder who exactly "desires" the proposed boardwalk and new cruise pier, as the Simpson Bay Community Council has made it very clear that they are not in favor of these developments.

The proposal to facilitate or allow for the construction of a cruise or mega-yacht pier opens up the door to a wide range of environmental concerns. Without going into too much detail, some of the main concerns are as follows;

Associated dredging activities during construction, not to mention regular maintenance dredging will have serious consequences for water-circulation (current speed and direction), natural sand movement, beach replenishment and the breaking of waves, this will likely alter the shape and size of the beach and increase flooding of particularly the homes and alleys bordering to the beach during heavy swells. Dredging will undoubtedly lead to the removal of sea grass beds and other marine life.

A cruise or mega-yacht pier at the proposed location would very likely also affect the tranquil residential character of in particular the old Simpson Bay Road and other parts of the Simpson Bay village.

CPC believes that in order to ensure the long-term viability of Sint Maarten's economy, we must implement and enforce ways to encourage and stimulate economic growth while protecting the natural environment, improving the overall quality of life of residents and enhancing the on island experience of Sint Maarten's many visitors.

Based on the aforementioned, CPC will not support any additional destruction of fragile Simpson Bay and Simpson Bay Lagoon ecosystems whether through land-reclamation, dredging or other activities.

It must be clearly noted that the Draft Simpson Bay Development plan does not reflect the wishes of the majority of the citizens who attended and participated in the Simpson Bay Zoning plan meetings held in March and September of 2012 as well as the Public Hearing held in Simpson Bay in February 2014. The CPC therefore urges all concerned citizens to make use of the opportunity to review and if deemed necessary file official objections to the Draft Simpson Bay Development plan at the relevant Government departments on or before June 3rd, 2014.
In a couple of months you will be presented with a choice on how you want to move forward. CPC urges you to use it wisely.

Citizens for Positive Change Party

Dear Editor,

The Citizens for Positive Change Party (CPC), a newly formed political party contesting the 2014 Parliamentary Elections, is of the firm opinion that the draft Simpson Bay Development Plan does not meet the internationally accepted criteria for Sustainable Development from an Economic perspective, Social perspective or from an Environmental perspective.
CPC will summarize why the draft Simpson Bay Development Plan does not meet said criteria in a series of 3 articles. This first one will focus on why the draft Simpson Bay Development Plan does not make sense from an economic perspective. The CPC encourages stakeholders and residents to file objections letter before the deadline of June 3, 2014.
Regarding the Airport expansion:
Q1 - Does our airport need expanding from a regulation standpoint?
Just look at Gibraltar or Honduras airports to name a few airports with surrounding challenges. Obviously international standards will tolerate a lot. PJIA has hosted Concords and even an Antonov flying in GEBE generators, so what changed except maybe regulations? According to information presented during the Public Hearing on the Draft Simpson Bay Development Plan the proposed Airport expansion is not an international requirement but rather a desire of the Airport.
Q2 - Does the airport need expanding from a business perspective?
Except for a couple of hours a day for a limited amount of days per year, our airport can hardly be termed to be bursting at the seams. It is safe to say that the majority of the time, there is hardly any activity at all. So if it is about capacity, the first move needs to be towards maximum use of what is there. For instance: increase early morning and evening activity. Increase low season activity by more actively pursuing markets other than the North American market where most of our tourists originate from. There is no reason why the current size of the airport cannot accommodate more arrivals. From the above perspective an expansion is not warranted.
Q3 - Is additional parking for private jets really needed?
Perhaps additional space is necessary for a few days per year. Does Sint Maarten really need to sacrifice another portion of what remains of the Simpson Bay Lagoon for space which will only be used for a very short period (several days) each year? Sint Maarten has already sacrificed large parts of the lagoon to land reclamation projects to facilitate residential and commercial development. Has the airport considered the negative consequences that further deterioration of the Simpson Bay Lagoon will have on the (marine) tourism industry?
Regarding the Marine Developments:
Q4 - Do the people of Simpson Bay and by extension the rest of Sint Maarten need a cruise terminal in Simpson Bay?
It is now the month of May and the cruise terminal at the harbor can hardly be termed busy. Before an expansion is warranted, the maximum capacity of the current facility needs to be met. There are enough buses and taxis to arrange trips to Simpson Bay if cruise passengers want to visit that area. Furthermore, will the proposed cruise terminal in Simpson Bay be like the one in Pointe Blanche, where the taxpayer who owns it, cannot make reasonable use of it?
Q5 - Is a boardwalk along the lagoon a good idea?
Some people will benefit, some will lose what they have now. There is little consideration for parking. CPC envisions that when the existing proposal is carried out, it will lead to even more traffic congestion in an already congested area. While the Philipsburg boardwalk has been great for the cruise passengers, it has hardly contributed to any increased night-time business centered around residents and stay-over visitors. Grand Case is a good example of the fact that there is no need for a boardwalk to do brisk business. The boardwalk proposal is furthermore unrealistic because much of the land at the proposed locations is already occupied by marinas, stores and other commercial facilities. At this stage a boardwalk would result in further filling-in and encroachment on the Simpson Bay Lagoon.
There is too little space set aside in the Simpson Bay Development Plan for recreation: to the contrary much of the areas currently used for recreation purposes will be zoned for commercial use as per the current draft. The airport expansion plans are expensive so operational costs will go up which will most likely be passed on to the users of the airport: airlines having to pay more in landing fees (to the detriment of our competitive position in the region) and travelers having to pay more in departure/service fees (both residents and tourists).
Based on the above, we can safely state that the Simpson Bay Development Plan is not scoring high from a sustainability perspective.
These proposals in the Draft Simpson Bay Development plan are supposedly intended to stimulate economic growth, often expressed in the form of employment. In this case, the majority of the employment opportunities are during the construction period, after which Sint Maarten still has to deal with the seasonality of tourism arrivals. The same short-term contracts etc. Not everybody can work at the airport, certainly not when there are no planes arriving.
Alternative Employment:
If funding can be found for boardwalks, piers and airports, then surely funding can be made available for establishing and operating parks, green areas, playgrounds and outdoor facilities in general. The objective would be that these would have a low threshold access for everyone: residents and visitors.
Since the Airport can afford to purchase waterfront properties for the proposed airport expansion (e.g. Turtle Pier Restaurant etc), why not consider investing in the protection and maintenance of Natural and Cultural resources instead? Would it not be desirable to purchase beachfront property to increase public access to our beaches? Sint Maarten can invest in establishing a center for visual and performing arts, a national parks system, create nature trails and expand the museum just to name a few examples.
Sint Maarten must secure means to decrease the seasonality of the Tourism based economy. The Airport should facilitate this by launching or improving marketing efforts in countries where people tend to go on vacation during the period Sint Maarten experiences its low season. Currently, Sint Maarten experiences its high (tourism) season during the winter months of the Northern Hemisphere. The larger portion of Sint Maarten's marketing resources are spent or aimed at the North American market. For years private sector representatives, tourism consultants and others have advocated that more substantial attention should be paid to increasing marketing in the South American Market. Such marketing strategies have however never been made a consistent priority.
In addition to the aforementioned with the implementation of the right incentives, Sint Maarten can create additional opportunities for services which complement existing components of the tourism based economy, such as for example: boatbuilding/ repair. Currently there are a number of individuals on the island following boatbuilding classes. Sint Maarten has large marine industry resources which sit idle in the low season. Boatbuilding and an additional focus on vessel repairs would create employment in the off-season when it is most needed.
Sint Maarten can choose to maintain the Simpson bay lagoon, a part of the island's natural heritage upon which the Tourism based economy relies, or chose to destroy the lagoon for privately owned jets which will only be here for a short period per year. In essence, it is a choice between protecting our economic resources, in this case the Simpson Bay Lagoon, and building a parking lot for jets which would sit empty for months at a time. In the end it is about what we collectively decide to do. It should in any case be a democratic decision. In a couple of months, you will presented with a choice on how you want to move forward. Citizens for Positive Change (CPC) urges you to use it wisely.

Citizens for Positive Change
www.positivechangesxm.com

The word integrity is defined as "the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness." Ethics is defined as "moral principles that govern a person's or group's behaviour." But can such noble words be achievable in the world today? Before one can even attempt to answer such a question one must first ask who or what determines honesty, moral principles, and uprightness? In other words who determines what is right or wrong and where can these rights or wrongs be found in written documentation for all to read? Taking this into context and reflecting on the age old saying "what is good for the goose is good for the gander" still leaves a lot to be answered. Because again, we can ask what is good and who determines what is good?
My research and findings led me to conclude the following: in today's monetary system once there is a breakdown of community where fragmentation, competition, income inequality, power and wealth consolidation, dilution of the local population through migration, overpopulation, labour abuse, social stratification and a number of other fragmenting causing terms becoming the norm, integrity and ethics become a façade, a chasing after the wind. This in turn leads to greed and corruption.

The word greed is defined as an intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food. The word corruption is often defined as moral perversion or dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery. Taking the conclusion from above into context and relating it to the five basic human needs framework of Abraham Maslow, one can further conclude that greed and corruption are the very foundation that drives our so called free-enterprise capitalist system. Today, people see money as the means to survival as oppose to seeing it for what it was created for - a tool to help improve the cumbersomeness of barter trade. Therefore, according to Jacques Rueff, "Money will decide the fate of mankind." And since money is not controlled by the community but by private institutions with private interests who thus in turn determine the fate of economies, integrity and Ethics become unachievable. "What's in it for ME", is the way people think as oppose to "What's in it for US - the community and environment."

Emilio Kalmera

Democracy is a beautiful thing, and any election is an opportunity to express one's choice, but it is also an opportunity to make one's voice heard.
Saturday, May 24th is the date of the European elections. Our vote must therefore be oriented primarily (if not exclusively) in favor of St. Martin's own interests of in its relations with Europe.
Today, our territory remains an Outermost Region (UPT) of Europe, even if it is absolutely atypical, and even if the French authorities continue to keep us in the fold of the outermost region of Guadeloupe.
We are an absolutely atypical UPT, and this:

  • not just because we are the only UPT to share an island with an Overseas Country and Territory (OCT; Sint - Maarten) with also a symbolic and fictitious border,
  • not just because we are the only UPT to not be an integral part of the European customs territory,
  • not just as well, because we are the European territory the most westerly situated in the Atlantic,
  • not just even, because we are the only one to have a multi-currency economy: (Euro and Dollar at the time),
  • etc...

but rather because:
-We are the only one of all the outermost regions of Europe to which its home country (France) denies the legitimate right to have its own specific and full-fledged Operational Program (PO) for the funding period 2014-2020 with a level of funds corresponding to its genuine needs in light of the importance of its setbacks, handicaps and infrastructural deficit based on the evaluation criteria of the European Union,
-We remain the only one for whom its home country (France) refuses to make the request and initiate the steps that would lead up to it obtaining its own NUTS-2 code (NUTS code (nomenclature of territorial units for statistics) is a territorial division to facilitate comparisons and assessments between territories; this code also permits the evaluation of the volume of European development funds which each territory could claim).
The refusal of France to grant to St-Martin its own 2014-2020 full-fledged Operational Program is totally unjustified and unjustifiable. The same goes for the refusal since our status change (from a Commune to an Autonomous Territory) in 2007, to request a NUTS code for St-Martin, whereas all the other home countries of the E.U. have done it for their dependencies that are much smaller than us (Spain for its enclaves of Ceuta and Melila; Finland for the Åland Islands).
While our territory is being heavily penalized by the application of regulations and many European norms and standards, a real political will on the behalf of France to present, argue and defend at the level of the European authorities, our reality, our "habits and customs", our particularities and the heavy handicaps that a blind application of all these regulations create, would have allowed us to obtain the necessary adjustments, adaptations and facilities.
It is clear therefore that vis-a-vis of Europe, our difficulties and lack of financial support at the level of what we could legitimately claim, have for sole causes the negligence and the sacrifice of St. Martin by France in favor of other French outermost regions that have greater lobbying power and that represent more political and electoral weight. France in so many areas continues to sacrifice St. Martin in its rights and opportunities within Europe.
As long as we remain integrated in Europe, we have no other choice but to continue our battle for Europe to hear more and better our voice.
Given this reality, the European elections of May 24th are one of the rare opportunities for St-Martin to attract the attention of the European institutions, to make its voice heard and to assert its own interests. For this it is essential to change our way of thinking and to move away completely from the classic Franco-French political games and mimics and to release the strings attached through memberships and affiliations to national political parties (PS, UMP, FN, etc...). St. Martin has not gained anything in the past and has nothing to expect by simply being a follower and accepting to be simply a reservoir of extra votes.
Conscious, that these kind of elections do not mobilize nor really interest the St-Martin electorate, conscious as well that both in France and in Europe, blank votes are now officially recognized and are counted as a means of expression and a civic act, this tool (the blank vote) represents a way for St-Martin to make its voice heard and to draw attention to its problems. The blank vote may therefore be a way to sound the alarm.
It would therefore be wise for St-Martin voters who decide to go to the polls this Saturday, May 24th to use this new tool and means of expression that is the BLANK VOTE. To actually use this tool of civic expression but with long political reach, just deposit in the ballot box either the empty voting envelop or the voting envelop in which you would have slipped in a white bulletin (white paper).
For our territory the status of outermost region (RUP) must only be a passage or a stage, because our interests and sustainable development (based on the attractiveness and competitiveness of our territory) are not secured remaining an outermost region of Europe. But pending this change, we must work to make sure the voice of St-Martin is well heard, by casting a BLANK VOTE on Saturday May 24th.

Alain Richardson
Former President of the Collectivité of St-Martin

lisacoquillasandsareenacarti26052014Lundi 26 mai 2014 Sareena Carti de l'Avenir Sportif Club de Saint-Martin s'envolera vers Paris rejoindre l'équipe de France, afin de participer aux sélections pour les Jeux Olympiques de la Jeunesse à Bakou en Azerbaïdjan. Le vendredi 30 mai 2014 Sareena s'alignera sur les séries du 400m, et si elle se qualifie, elle prendra le départ de la finale le lendemain dimanche 1er juin. Elle sera accompagnée dans ce déplacement par son entraîneur Patrick Trival, qui a été chargé par la ligue de la Guadeloupe d'accompagner les athlètes domiens jusqu'à Paris.
Le même weekend une autre athlète de l'Avenir Sportif Club de Saint Martin portera haut les couleurs du club : Lisa Coquillas championne de Guadeloupe 2013 du 2000 m marche catégorie benjamine a été retenue par la ligue de la Guadeloupe pour participer au match interligues Guadeloupe – Martinique – Guyane qui se tiendra à Cayenne le 1er Juin 2014. Une mise en jambes avant les championnats de la Guadeloupe le 15 juin 2014.

Une opération de lutte contre la délinquance (lutte contre les vols avec violence et les vols à main armée) était menée durant la soirée du vendredi 23 mai 2014, par la compagnie de gendarmerie départementale de Saint-Martin et Saint-Barthélémy.
Réalisée conjointement par l'escadron de gendarmerie mobile 47/3 de Châteauroux et le P.S.I.G de Saint-Martin, l'opération mobilisait au total 18 militaires de la gendarmerie engagés sur l'axe principal reliant Marigot au quartier de Sandy Ground. 29 personnes et 26 véhicules ont été contrôlés, permettant de relever les infractions suivantes :

  • 02 saisies/destruction de produits stupéfiants (joints d'herbe de cannabis) ;
  • 01 défaut d'assurance ;
  • 01 défaut de contrôle technique ;
  • 02 immobilisations.

L'opération aura par ailleurs permis de contrôler et interpeller un individu activement recherché par les enquêteurs de la brigade de recherches de Saint-Martin en raison de sa participation à quatre vols à main armée commis en juillet et août 2013. L'individu a été immédiatement placé en garde à vue dans les locaux de la B.R.

La démocratie est une belle chose, et toute élection est une occasion d'exprimer son choix mais c'est aussi une opportunité de faire entendre sa voix.
Le samedi 24 Mai est la date des élections européennes. Notre vote doit donc être orienté prioritairement (voir exclusivement) en faveur des intérêts propres de St-Martin dans ses relations avec l'Europe.
A ce jour, notre territoire demeure une Région Ultrapériphérique (RUP) de l'Europe, même si elle est absolument atypique, et même si les autorités françaises continuent à vouloir nous maintenir dans le giron de la RUP Guadeloupe.
Nous sommes une RUP absolument atypique, et cela :

  • pas simplement parce que nous sommes la seule à partager une île avec un Pays et Territoire d'Outre-Mer (PTOM ; Sint-Maarten) avec en outre une frontière symbolique et fictive,
  • pas simplement parce que nous sommes la seule à ne pas faire partie du territoire douanier Européen,
  • pas simplement non plus, parce que nous sommes le territoire européen le plus à l'ouest dans l'atlantique,
  • pas simplement aussi, parce que nous sommes la seule à avoir une économie pluri monétaire : (Euro et Dollar à la fois),
  • etc ....

mais plutôt parce que :
- nous sommes la seule de toutes les RUP de l'Europe à qui son pays d'attache (la France) dénie le droit légitime à bénéficier d'un Programme Opérationnel (PO) propre et spécifique 2014-2020 doté d'un niveau de fonds correspondant à l'importance des handicaps et du retard structurel à rattraper en fonction des critères européens,
- nous demeurons la seule pour qui son pays d'attache (la France) refuse d'entamer des démarches pour qu'elle obtienne un code NUTS-2 propre, (pour rappel le code NUTS (nomenclature des unités territoriales statistiques) est un découpage territorial destiné à faciliter les comparaisons et les évaluations entre territoires; ce code permet aussi d'apprécier le volume de fonds européens dont chaque territoire pourrait prétendre).
Le refus de la France d'accorder à St-Martin son propre Programme Opérationnel 2014-2020 dans les règles de l'art est totalement injustifié et injustifiable. Il en est de même quant au refus, depuis notre passage en collectivité autonome en 2007, de demander un code NUTS pour St-Martin, et ce d'autant plus que d'autres Etats Européens l'ont fait pour leurs dépendances beaucoup plus petites que nous (l'Espagne pour les enclaves de Ceuta et Melila ; la Finlande pour l'archipel d'Aland).
Alors que notre territoire se trouve être lourdement pénalisé par l'application d'une règlementation et de nombreuses normes européennes, une volonté politique de la France à faire valoir au niveau des instances européennes notre réalité, nos «us et coutumes », nos particularismes et les lourds handicaps que crée et que créerait l'application aveugle de toute la réglementation, aurait permis d'obtenir les adaptations et aménagements nécessaires.
Il est manifeste donc que, vis-à-vis de l'Europe, nos difficultés et notre déficit de soutien financier à la hauteur de ce dont nous pourrions légitimement prétendre n'ont d'autres causes que la négligence et le sacrifice de St-Martin par la France au profit d'autres RUP françaises ayant plus de pouvoir de lobbying et représentant plus de poids politique et électoral. La France comme dans de si nombreux domaines continue de sacrifier St-Martin dans ses droits et opportunités vis-à-vis de l'Europe.
Nous devons donc poursuivre notre bataille pour que l'Europe entende plus et mieux notre voix.
Compte tenu de cette réalité, les élections européennes du 24 Mai sont une des rares opportunités pour St-Martin d'attirer l'attention des institutions européennes, de faire entendre sa voix et de faire valoir ses intérêts propres. Pour cela il est indispensable de changer de logiciel politique en sortant complètement du jeu politique classique franco-français et en se libérant des chaines liées aux appartenances et affiliations aux partis politiques nationaux (PS, UMP, FN, etc...). St-Martin n'a rien gagné dans le passé et n'aura rien à gagner encore à faire du suivisme en acceptant de n'être qu'un simple un territoire d'appoint de votes.
Conscient que ce genre d'élection ne mobilise pas l'électorat et n'intéresse que très peu de personnes ici, la reconnaissance officielle désormais du vote blanc comme acte civique et expression politique tant en France qu'en Europe, représente un moyen pour St-Martin de se singulariser et d'attirer l'attention sur ses problématiques. Le vote blanc peut donc être un moyen de sonner l'alarme.
Il serait donc judicieux que les électeurs de St-Martin qui décideront d'aller aux urnes ce samedi 24 Mai utilisent ce nouvel outil d'expression qu'est le VOTE BLANC. Pour utiliser effectivement cet outil d'expression civique mais à forte portée politique il vous suffit de déposer dans l'urne soit une enveloppe vide soit une enveloppe dans laquelle vous auriez au préalable glissé un bulletin blanc (un papier blanc).
Pour notre territoire le statut de RUP ne peut qu'être transitoire, car nos intérêts propres et un développement pérenne (fondé sur l'attractivité et la compétitivité de notre territoire) ne sont pas sécurisés en restant RUP. Mais, en attendant ce changement, œuvrons au mieux en faisant entendre la voix de St-Martin, par le VOTE BLANC.

Alain Richardson
Ancien Président de la Collectivité

Ce samedi 24 mai, les électeurs de Saint-Martin sont appelés aux urnes pour élire leur représentant au Parlement européen. Je sais combien – plus encore que les Français de l'Hexagone – nous pouvons nous sentir loin de Bruxelles.
Mais Saint-Martinois, nous sommes Français, nous sommes Européens.
Se poser la question légitime du devenir européen de Saint-Martin, souffrir des normes qui handicapent le développement économique de notre territoire, se sentir léser de ne pouvoir bénéficier de notre propre P.O... ne légitiment pas l'abstention.
L'appel au « vote blanc » d'ex-leaders politiques est aussi dangereux qu'irresponsable, en plus d'être sans effet sur le plan politique. Dois-je leur rappeler que les votes blancs - s'ils sont aujourd'hui comptabilisés en dehors des votes nuls - ne sont toujours pas pris en compte dans les suffrages exprimés ? Qu'ils ne restent ainsi qu'une simple indication, comme peut l'être le chiffre de l'abstention, sans conséquence sur le résultat du vote ?
Il serait trop facile de vouloir, encore une fois, mettre au compte de l'Europe ou de l'Etat, le solde de tous nos maux : NOUS sommes les principaux responsables de notre situation et c'est de NOUS que viendra le salut de Saint-Martin. Qu'obtiendront les Saint-Martinois – alors même que l'avenir de l'île a été hypothéqué le 12 décembre 2012 par ceux-là même qui voudraient jouer les « résistants » de pacotilles en bloquant les urnes aujourd'hui ! – en boycottant de la sorte ces élections ? Rien. Cette (im) posture donnerait simplement, une fois de plus, de Saint-Martin l'image d'un territoire qui renonce.
Au moment où la montée des populismes d'extrême-droite n'a jamais été aussi forte, je refuse d'être de ceux qui renoncent et j'appelle au contraire à une forte mobilisation dans les urnes ce samedi, en faveur de Laurent BERNIER, candidat UMP pour notre section Atlantique.
Il faut une nécessaire réorientation de la politique européenne et il faut à Saint-Martin un représentant digne de ce nom qui sache la réalité de notre territoire, ses enjeux et ses difficultés, ses particularismes et les préoccupations de ses concitoyens.
Samedi, tous aux urnes citoyens !

Daniel GIBBS
Député de Saint-Barthélemy et de Saint-Martin

13emeeditiondumeetingdesjeunesdavenirsportifclub19052014C'est le samedi 17 mai 2014 que s'est tenue la 13ème édition du Meeting des Jeunes de l'Avenir Sportif Club de Saint-Martin au stade Albéric Richards. La matinée avait commencé par les épreuves du Kids Athlé, dont le concept, labellisé par l'IAAF consiste à apporter aux enfants le plaisir de « jouer à l'athlétisme ». Les épreuves, sous forme d'atelier avaient pour objectif de permettre aux enfants de découvrir les activités courses, sauts, et lancers. Six équipes se sont affrontées, et c'est l'équipe Hillside Christian School de Sint Maarten qui a remporté l'épreuve.
Dans l'après-midi, les plus âgés sont rentrés en piste. Plusieurs équipes et officiels avaient répondu présents à l'appel de l'Avenir Sportif Club de Saint Martin : Speedy Plus, le Dynamics et LAB Sports de Sint-Maarten, le Gosier Athletic Club et Monster de la Guadeloupe, l'Eclipse de la Martinique, le Diamonds d'Anguille et une équipe de Tortola.
Les épreuves ont démarré à 14h30 sous un soleil de plomb, et il faut retenir entre autres pour l'Avenir Sportif Club de Saint-Martin les victoires de Sareena Carti sur le 200m -18 ans en 24'', de Teejay Jasaron sur le 100m catégorie minimes en 11''83, et d'Adélio Brooks sur le 1000m minines en 3'04''02. Le Dynamics Club a souvent été sur la première marche du podium avec entre autres, la victoire de Rogers Jervon au 50m poussins, et de Pink Shakeba au 1000 minimes filles. Les licenciés du Gosier Academic Club se sont fait remarquer avec la victoire de Coman Nicolas au 200m hommes -18 ans et e Bourguignon Kaëlle au 100m minimes filles.
Le club donne déjà rendez-vous aux athlètes et au public pour la 14ème édition, et tient à remercier tous les sponsors sans qui cette manifestation n'aurait pas eu lieu : le Crédit Mutuel, Digicel, Getelec, la SEMSAMAR, les Liaisons Dangereuses, Rapido Print, le CUCS, l'Hotel Mercure, le Pélican, Le Service des Sports, la Collectivité de Saint-Martin, le CTOS, le St Martin's Week, Youth Radio, Radio Saint Martin, le CNDS.

MM. Dominique Lefebvre, député et François Auvigne, Inspecteur général des finances, ont remis le 13 mai 2014 au Premier ministre, Manuel Valls le rapport du groupe de travail sur la fiscalité des ménages qu'ils co-présidaient.

Le rapport analyse la progressivité d'ensemble de l'imposition des revenus, les instruments de soutien au pouvoir d'achat et d'incitation à l'activité des travailleurs modestes et les modalités de modernisation du recouvrement de l'impôt.

Le Premier ministre a salué la grande qualité du travail réalisé. Notant que ces travaux pouvaient contribuer à la meilleure connaissance du système socio-fiscal français, il a décidé de rendre public ce rapport ainsi que l'ensemble des annexes reprenant l'ensemble des dossiers documentaires qui ont alimenté les travaux du groupe.

En présentant les conclusions de leur travail, MM. Lefebvre et Auvigne ont, en particulier, souligné le consensus apparu au sein du groupe de travail sur la nécessité, d'une part, de réformer les modalités d'entrée dans l'impôt sur le revenu et, d'autre part, de corriger les conséquences pouvant en résulter sur d'autres impôts et en matière de prestations.

Dans la ligne du Pacte de responsabilité et de solidarité, le Premier ministre a confirmé la détermination du Gouvernement à rendre le système fiscal français plus lisible, dans le cadre général d'une baisse des prélèvements sur les ménages modestes. Il a notamment souligné que le Gouvernement avait décidé de mettre en œuvre, en 2015, l'allégement de cotisations salariales proposé par le rapport pour assurer un soutien simple et efficace au pouvoir d'achat des salariés modestes et inciter à l'activité.

Pour télécharger le rapport cliquez sur le lien suivant :

http://www.gouvernement.fr/premier-ministre/rapport-sur-la-fiscalite-des-menages

C'est avec une profonde tristesse que Manuel VALLS, Premier ministre, a appris le décès tragique de Stéphane ALAIZE.
C'était un homme de caractère, passionné par l'engagement politique. Déjà très jeune, il s'était impliqué auprès de son père Jean-Marie ALAIZE, alors député de l'Ardèche. Cet engagement, il l'a prolongé comme élu.

Maire d'Aubenas, conseiller général, et à son tour député, Stéphane ALAIZE était profondément attaché à son territoire ardéchois, qu'il a défendu avec beaucoup de convictions. Professeur de Lettres, il a toujours eu à cœur de servir la République.

Manuel VALLS adresse à sa femme, à ses enfants et à ses proches ses plus sincères condoléances.

Le Premier ministre, Manuel Valls, a appris avec une grande émotion la mort en opération, la nuit dernière au Mali, d'un sous-officier du 2e régiment étranger de parachutistes de Calvi.

Lors d'une opération dans le Nord-Est du Mali, un véhicule de la force Serval a sauté sur un engin explosif. Grièvement touché, le sergent Marcel Kalafut a succombé à ses blessures ; deux autres militaires ont également été blessés.

Le Premier ministre présente ses plus sincères condoléances à la famille du sous-officier tué et à ses proches. Il s'associe à leur peine ainsi qu'à celle de ses frères d'armes. Ses pensées vont aussi à ses deux compagnons blessés ; il leur exprime tout son soutien et leur adresse ses vœux de prompt rétablissement.

Dans ces circonstances tragiques, le Premier ministre tient à rendre hommage au professionnalisme, à la détermination et au courage de nos militaires engagés au Mali pour lutter contre les groupes armés terroristes.

departdu200mcadets07052014C'est le samedi 3 mai que s'est tenu le 3ème meeting International de Saint Martin organisé sur le stade côté hollandais par Speedy Plus.
A cette occasion une quinzaine d'athlètes du club Avenir Sportif Club étaient engagés sur les différentes épreuves de la journée, et ils n'ont pas démérité.
Le matin, les moins de 8 ans obtenaient la médaille de bronze lors des épreuves du Kid Athlé.
Dans l'après-midi, les plus âgés se sont distingués avec la première place pour Teejay JASARON au 100m catégorie minime en 12"76. Anthony SEGUIN et Adelio BROOKS terminaient respectivement 2ème et 3ème sur le 1 000 m catégorie minime en 3'01"07 et 3'03"81.
A noter aussi la 3ème place de GUICHET Jérémy sur le 1 000m catégorie poussin et la médaille de bronze pour TAILLEPIERRE Jessy au saut en longueur catégorie Poussin.
Des résultats prometteurs pour le club Avenir Sportif Club qui organise le 17 mai son meeting au stade Albéric Richards de Sandy Ground, et dont plusieurs athlètes seront engagés aux championnats de la Guadeloupe.

The National Alliance Family extends its deepest condolences to the parents, MP Theodore Heyliger and Debbie Zwanniken, and grandmother Patsy Richardson, and the rest of the family of young Curtis King Heyliger. It is always difficult to find words to express to family members on the loss of a loved one, especially when they are still in the prime of their life. We pray that you may find comfort in the words of scripture as found in Psalm 23: 4. "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me".

NA Press Release

PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):--- According to the Inspector of Taxes, the date to submit the 2013 Income Tax Return has been extended up to and including the 6th of June 2014.

Taxpayers are reminded that those that are unable to submit their 2013 Income Tax Return by the abovementioned date can submit a request for an extension until the 6th of June 2014.

To download your 2013 Income Tax Return please visit the online services of the Government of St. Maarten http://onlineservices.sintmaartengov.org using your E-login.

How to apply for the E-login and download the income tax form

  1. Go to http://onlineservices.sintmaartengov.org,
  2. Put in an E-login request in the upper right hand corner. (The instructions on how to do it are online.)
  3. After you have received confirmation of your e-login registration, login and download the income tax form. (The instructions on how to do this will also be online.)

It is important to note that the 2013 Income Tax Return cannot be filed online.

Persons who do not have the availability of internet services can pass at the Tax Administration, Vineyard Building or the Public Service Center in Simpson Bay for assistance in obtaining the 2013 Income Tax Return Form.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Caribbean Fashion Style Journal is launching Color Revolution - a fashion event that is first of its kind in the Caribbean and will take place in St. Maarten. Hosted in collaboration with the National Fashion Developmental Association (NFDA) of St. Maarten, the weekend event extends from May 29 - June 1, 2014 and will bring together designers from across the Caribbean to promote Fall/Resort 2015 lines.
Color Revolution kicked off with a mixer on Wednesday, May 28 in Simpson Bay and will feature a grand opening ceremony and cocktail gala on Friday, May 30 at Blue Mall. Friday night will also include a pre-event party at Bliss Nightclub and will commence with some of the island's top DJs. Sky Beach will host a fashion party leading up to the inaugural fashion Show, "Color Elegant," on Saturday, May 31 and then fashion enthusiasts can head to Tantra Night Club for an after-party sponsored by Ciroc. The concluding fashion show, "Color Resort," will feature local and international models strutting their stuff on the catwalk on Sunday, June 1.
E! Entertainment Television will be following designer Andre Soriano, of Bravo's "Styled to Rock" fame, to St. Maarten for a segment on the popular pop-culture television channel. Soriano's designs high fashion pieces with influences from cosmopolitan cities worldwide like New York, Los Angeles, Paris and Milan. Soriano's designs include all types of garments ranging from active wear to classic evening wear, specializing in elegant wedding and couture gowns.
Designers will include Christina Goddard (Barbados/New York); Clay (Jamaica); CLD (Trinidad); Donna Dove (Trinidad/New York); Ecliff Elie (Trinidad); Indy (Los Angeles); Jolie Duzon (St. Maarten); KAJ Designs (Tobago); Kami Shade (Los Angeles); Kimya Glasgow (St. Vincent); Koko Karibi (Trinidad); Prajje (Haiti/New York); Rhaj Paul (Barbados); R' Michel'le (Los Angeles); Sheila Sorton (St. Maarten); Shurnel Oliviere (Trinidad); Simon Duncan (Trinidad/New York) and Kai Designs and Production (St. Maarten).
Designers will have the opportunity to attend special development sessions: a workshop on Friday, May 30 and a business forum on Sunday, June 1. Both events will be hosted at the Maho Convention Center and are open to all designers.
For more information about Color Revolution, or to buy tickets, contact Laura Cotton via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (868) 757-1017.
For more information about St. Maarten, or to find accommodations during the event, visit www.VacationStMaarten.com.

parlatinocommitteeofenergyandmines29052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Members of Parliament and support staff from the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino) had two-days of very successful committee meetings.

Energy was one of the main issues discussed. The Committee for Energy & Mines discussed a draft framework law concerning Electrical Energy which will be finalized for discussion in the next Committee meeting that will be held in Panama from July 24-25.

The decision taken in the committee is to send this draft law to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). The Parliament of Sint Maarten is to also receive a copy and is expected to give its opinion and input on the draft law. Work will also be carried out in drafting a law on Sustainable Energy.

The Chile delegate Issa Kort did a presentation about Mining Safety and it was decided that a draft framework law will be prepared.

Nuclear energy was discussed as well as a draft law on the use of renewable energy.

In the Committee of Political Affairs, Municipal and Integration meeting, it was agreed to create a document that promotes the unity of Latin America and the Caribbean. It will be recommended to the Board of Directors of Parlatino, that the concept of integration be present in all topics of Parlatino.

The committee for Economic Affairs, Social Debt and Regional Development discussed the issue of migration. The committee agreed to propose to the Parlatino Board of Directors about promoting a meeting with the Congress of the United States and the European Parliament, to exchange views on the rights of migrants.

It was also decided to promote a meeting with the United Nations Human Rights Committee with respect to making an integral analysis of the problems related to the human rights of migrants.

The Cuban delegate proposed to strive for a greater expansion of Parlatino toward the countries of the Caribbean.

The Parlatino Members of Parliament and support staff attended three committees meetings that took place last week at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino.

Parlatino, is a regional, permanent and unicameral organization, comprising the National Latin American Parliaments elected democratically upon popular vote, whose countries have subscribed to the institutional treaty of November 16, 1987, in Lima, Peru.

Some of the purposes of Parlatino are to encourage the economic and social development of the Latin American community and endeavour for it to achieve the full economic, political, social and cultural integration of its nations.

patricialourensphilip11082013GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Hon. Patricia Lourens Philip on Thursday extended her condolences to the families of Curtis Heyliger who succumbed to his injuries during a tragic traffic accident early Wednesday morning.
"The thoughts and prayers of my family and I are with the Member of Parliament Hon. Theo Heyliger and family, as well as with Debby Zwanikken and family. We are thinking of you during this difficult time.
"The Sint Maarten community is here to support you in your grieving process. Wishing you peace to bring comfort, and courage to face the coming days, and memories to forever hold in your hearts of Curtis Heyliger.
"May you be comforted by the outpouring of love from love ones surrounding you," Minister of Education Hon. Patricia Lourens-Philip said on Thursday.

eocodmmeeting29052014GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Representatives from the Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) and the Office of Disaster Management (ODM), met on Tuesday in the setting of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to discuss preparations for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season.

The ESFs that attended the meeting were utility company NV GEBE (ESF-1), Telecommunications (ESF-2), Ministry VROMI (ESF-3), Fire Department (ESF-4), Police (ESF-5), Health Affairs (ESF-6), Social Affairs (ESF-7), Department of Communication (ESF-8), and a liaison from the Dutch Marines.

ESFs gave an up-date and overview with respect to their state of readiness.

Hurricane forecasters predict nine named storms, three hurricanes and one major hurricane with over 111 miles per hour winds.

ODM is urging residents to prepare for the hurricane season, and to always remember it only takes one to make it a bad season.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake says that the draft Simpson Bay Development Plan that includes the SXM Airport, Beacon Hill and Simpson Bay Lagoon, official review will conclude on June 3.

Minister Lake is calling on residents and stakeholders to make use of the opportunity to submit their views before the aforementioned deadline. The public review started May 5.

The development plan is available at the Ministry VROMI (Tamarindesteeg #16, Philipsburg, Pondfill) and at the Public Service Center, Simpson Bay Fish Market.

The draft development plan is also available online through the Government website www.sintmaartengov.org; select Government; select Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure; scroll down to Zoning/Development Plans, and select About Zoning/Development Plans; go to the interactive map and select Simpson Bay.

"The public review is the legal formal part of the zoning plan process. The plan will guide the future spatial development of the Simpson Bay area where it relates to land use and building regulations.

"This is the opportunity for residents and stakeholders of the Simpson Bay area and adjacent communities to address their concerns in writing to the Minister VROMI. I fully believe in transparency and openness, and community engagement. This is my back to basics approach, from the ground up.

"The deadline is approaching. Tuesday, June 3 is the last day to submit in writing your views via this formal process," Hon. Minister Maurice Lake said on Thursday.

Residents and stakeholders can submit objections with respect to the draft development plan Simpson Bay to the Minister of VROMI, Government Administration Building, P.O. Box 943, Clem Labega Square, Philipsburg, Sint Maarten.

At the end of the public review, the objections will be sent to the Council of Ministers and Parliament for handling and approval of the law.

POND ISLAND:--- At approximately 11:00am, Thursday, May 29th, TelEm Group personnel reported a network card failure on the company's CS2K international switch resulting in interruptions in service to mobile voice and landline customers.
As a result of the faulty card, some customers have not been able to call TelCell to UTS or to make international calls to some overseas destinations.
Data services have not been affected.
Technicians and engineers have identified the problem and are busy replacing the faulty card after which the affected network switch will be re-configured and regular service resumed.
Assuming that the recovery operation goes as planned, all network restoration works are scheduled for completion by 4:30 pm today.
Management takes this opportunity to apologize to customers for the unscheduled interruption in service, especially on the Ascension Day holiday. The company meanwhile assures all customers that a team of technicians are diligently working to resolve all issues within short.

TELEM Press Release

cooperatingfoundationspresentschecktovoiceoftheyouthsxm29052014PHILIPSBURG:--- The Voice of the Youth SXM received a donation of Naf. 90,166 to start with its Program St. Maarten Youth Brigade. This program is one of the three St. Maarten projects which form part of the Dutch Caribbean project "Opportunities for Youngsters". The three-year plan is financed by Foundation Cooperating Foundations for the Dutch Caribbean. The other two projects on St. Maarten have started a few months ago and are managed by the Participant and Kids at Sea Foundation.
The Youth Brigade project aims to give guidance to at-risk youngsters and help them to get back on track through series of outdoor activities and workshops. The activities, e.g. survival camps and community service, focus on physical, mental, cognitive and social educational areas in order build self-confidence and a number of practical skills.
Cooperating Funds is happy to finance this important project and looks forward to the actual start with all its activities after the recruitment drive is finalized. They wish the Voice of the Youth SXM much success with this highly energetic and inspiring program.
As a funding agency, Cooperating Funds is always interested in receiving applications from St. Maarten NGOs. Socially related project proposals, which meet the objectives and criteria of the Foundation will be eligible for funding. For more specific information on Cooperating Foundations, types of projects to be funded and application procedures, you can visit the general website www.samenwerkendefondsen.org, contact Cooperating Funds St. Maarten by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 586 0808.

imadonatestorotarysxmsunrise29052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Indian Merchants presents check to Rotary Club St. Martin Sunrise in support of the Peace Monument to be unveiled on Saturday, May 31, 2014 at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library.

President Peter said this monument can transform peace and justice in our community and rid the island of violence and the fear of crimes that surrounds us. We are in full support of the Peace monument because he youth of the community can improve their well-being through social activities as the library is a perfect place for these activities.

Treasurer Cookie said "The monument will bring together people in our community in the promotion of lasting peace through fellowship, international understanding and goodwill and encouraging and fostering respect for the life and dignity of every person."

PHILIPSBURG:--- The United People's Party (UP) family board extends its deepest condolences to the Leader of the UP Party Hon. Member of Parliament Theo Heyliger and family, as well as to Debby Zwanikken and family with respect to the passing of their son.
The UP family is now in deep mourning, and joins with the entire Sint Maarten community for strength during this time of bereavement. The over-pouring amount of calls and messages of support during this difficult time of sadness is deeply appreciated. The UP family kindly ask to respect the privacy of the families as they deal with their loss. All UP activities have been suspended until further notice.

United People's (UP) Party Board

mauricelake18082013May his soul rest in peace

PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake expresses deepest sympathy to the Leader of the United People's (UP) Party and Member of Parliament Hon. Theo Heyliger and family, as well to Debby Zwanikken and family, on behalf of his Cabinet and Ministry VROMI with respect to the tragic passing of their son Curtis Heyliger.

"We are consumed with sadness to learn of the tragic loss of Curtis Heyliger. Our thoughts are with you in this time of sorrow. Word's cannot express the sadness we feel for the Heyliger and Zwanikken families. Know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. May his soul rest in peace," Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Wednesday.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Board and team of Citizens for Positive Change extends our heartfelt condolences to Member of Parliament and leader of the UP Party Mr. Theo Heyliger and Mrs. Debbie Zwanikken, the Heyliger, Wathey, Pelgrim, Richardson, Zwanikken families and all other relatives and friends of Curtis Heyliger. No words can truly help to ease the loss you bear, we pray that you find strength in your faith and family. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell said on Wednesday that she was deeply shocked to learn about the passing of Curtis Heyliger in a tragic accident early Wednesday morning.

Curtis Heyliger is the son of Leader of the United People's (UP) party and Member of Parliament (MP) Hon. Theo Heyliger and Debby Zwanikken.

The President would like to express her condolences to the Heyliger and Zwanikken families

"I was deeply saddened when I heard the news on Wednesday morning. I have spoken to MP Hon. Theo Heyliger and have expressed our deepest sympathy to him and his family on their loss on behalf of the MPs and the House of Parliament," President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell said on Wednesday.

gerritschotte09122013WILLEMSTAD:--- Lawyers representing former Prime Minister of Curacao and now Member of Parliament Gerrit Schotte was successful on Monday afternoon in getting their client out of pretrial detention.
Public Prosecutor Guilliano Schoop said that the judge released Schotte on the condition that he would remain available to the investigators that are investigating the Babel multiple forgery and money laundering case. Schoop said that should Schotte fail to comply then he could be re-arrested as long as the Public Prosecutor's Office files a petition to the court. He further stated that the defense lawyers were not at all happy because the judge that heard petition on Thursday only rendered his decision on Sunday and they were informed on Monday that there were no reasons given to release the suspect since the arguments presented by the defense on Monday and Thursday are basically the same.
Prosecutor Schoop said the defense then asked why is the police still holding his client and the response from the Public Prosecutor's Office was that they are fearful that Schotte would influence the other witnesses that they still have to hear. The judge he said then asked the prosecution if they informed Schotte who the other witnesses that are still to be heard are and they responded by saying they did not inform him who those people were.
Schoop said because of that the judge felt that if Schotte does not know the witnesses that are still to be heard then he cannot influence them therefore he must be released immediately. MP Schotte also told the court that he will remain available to the investigators if he was released.
A press release from the Attorney General's Office states that based on article 91 of the criminal code procedure the defense made several petitions for their client's release.

mlkplacesfirstatpeisd28052014Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 reigns supreme amongst public schools

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Primary School placed first for both the Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 Public Education Interscholastic Sports Day's. The Cycle 1 Public Education Sports Day was held on Friday, May 23rd, 2014 and the Public Education Cycle 2 Sports Day was held on Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 at the Raoul Sports Complex in Cay Hill.

Competing schools was the Marie G. Weever Primary School, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Primary School, Oranje Primary School, Ruby Labega Primary School, Leonard Connor Primary School and the Charles Leopold Bell Primary School.
"Congratulations to the teachers, support staff and students of our Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 classes, who undoubtedly placed 1st for the Public Education Interscholastic Sports Days on Friday and today. Seeing first hand our students forging forward amidst farce competition made me even more proud. Job well done as your grit and determination was clearly displayed in the spirit of your sportsmanship," remarked Stuart Johnson School Manager of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Primary School

"Words cannot convey how proud I am daily of the barriers and milestones our school successfully overcomes daily," Johnson concluded.

swescotwilliamsgivesopeningpitchforlittleleague28052014PHILIPSBURG:--- The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams gave the opening pitch for the opening of the Little League Season at the Jose Lake Ball Park on Saturday. The Prime Minister wished all of the players and teams, their coaches and parents much success for the upcoming season.

From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister

Regional Cooperation Key in Mitigating Effects of Natural Disasters

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams during a recent radio interview stressed the importance for St. Maarten in cooperating with regional organizations to mitigate the effects of Climate Change and natural disasters. The Prime Minister stated that proper information going out to the public and technical cooperation in regional organizations such as the Association of Caribbean States is crucial in ensuring the effects of calamities are reduced on St. Maarten; "Information and awareness is key and in the absence thereof you could have a situation where, after an earthquake like the one that shook us some ten days ago for example, some panic and confusion is created within the community. We know from history that an earthquake can trigger a tsunami. People realize the connection and start to wonder about what is happening and as soon as one person says something it starts to live a life of its own without correct and official information. It is therefore very important that we inform the population regarding what is occurring on a regional and local scale with regards to disaster management.

During the recent Association of Caribbean States meeting in Mexico strong emphasis was placed on a common system for the warning of natural disasters. Sint Maarten does not have the capacity to handle all of these issues and so being a part of an organization such as the ACS strengthens the capacity for St. Maarten and other smaller islands.

"It can do no harm to constantly revisit our disaster management organization and make sure that the lines of communication and the hierarchy are clear on who is supposed to do what and when it should be done. The other issue is that we need to address the effects and mitigate the future effects of Natural Disasters, including those that will be brought on by Climate Change. Particularly due Especially due to our small size we must not ignore this issue and address these effects it will have on our way of lie," commented Prime Minister Wescot-Williams.

From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister

swescotwilliams24122013PHILIPSBURG:--- The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams commented that there is a need within the Kingdom of the Netherlands to establish a positive program for the Dutch Kingdom in light of its two-hundred year anniversary. The Prime Minister's comments came as a result of debates in the Kingdom Youth Parliament held on St. Maarten last week where much focus was placed on building positive relationships between all Kingdom Partners; "I was very much impressed by all of the participants in the Kingdom Youth Parliament and how they stressed the need for a positive program when it comes to the Dutch Kingdom. I think it is very appropriate for the reflections that need to take place as we look at celebrating two hundred years of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. We were extremely pleased that one of the first celebrations of the two-hundred year anniversary happened on St. Maarten and even more pleased to see how the young people debated amongst each other and the concrete recommendations and instructions that they had. I think overall the adult politicians in the Kingdom should learn a lesson from these young people; we need to move away from the premise that we are all not equal partners in the Kingdom. There is too much patronizing still from some politicians in the Netherlands towards the smaller countries in the Caribbean and we need to move away from that. I commended a member of the Dutch Second Chamber who recommended that Plasterk establishes a positive program for the Kingdom," commented Prime Minister Wescot-Williams.

From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister

curtisheyliger28052014CUL DE SAC:--- Curtis Heyliger, son of Member of Parliament Theodore Heyliger who is also the leader of the United People's Party died in a tragic road accident that occurred around 4:30am Tuesday morning.
Police Spokesman Ricardo Henson confirmed that young Heyliger succumbed to the injuries he sustained during the early morning accident. Henson said Curtis Heyliger was driving at extremely high speed on L.B. Scot Road and lost control of the vehicle which led him to hit into a concrete wall not far away from the "Dollar Store". The vehicle drove through the wall, destroyed a wooden structure (Gazebo) and hit a pick-up truck that was parked inside the property. Heyliger passed away on the spot, Henson said.
Curtis Heyliger is the oldest child for Member of Parliament Theodore Heyliger who was residing at Bouganville Road.

SMN News would like to extend our deepest sympathies to MP Heyliger and his family on the loss of his son and to his mother Debbie Zwanikken and her family.

Fatal traffic accident on L.B. Scot Road.

firemenusingjawsoflife28052014On Wednesday May 28th, 2014 at approximately 4:10am, the Police Central Dispatch received a call informing them that a very serious accident had taken place on the corner of L.B. Scot Road/Isis Road in Cul de Sac and that the driver of the car was seriously injured. Immediately several police patrols, paramedics and Fire Department personnel were directed to the scene to handle the situation. On the scene the investigating officers found a totally destroyed blue Ford Egde with license plate M-6380 in the yard of the house on that corner with the driver trapped inside the vehicle. Immediately that section of L.B. Scot Road was closed off by police, while the Fire Department went to work with the "jaws of life" cutting the vehicle open to reach the victim in order give him the necessary medical treatment. However, Doctor Mercuur arrived shortly after and pronounced the death of the victim. After the victim was removed from the wreck he was taken to the morgue. The investigation by the Traffic Department thus far shows that the victim was traveling at very high speed coming from the Sint Peters area in the direction of the Churchill Round-a-bout. The victim lost control of the vehicle, destroyed the concrete fence and a wooden structure on the premises and collided with a pick-up parked in the yard. The impact totally destroyed the Ford Edge and trapped the victim in the vehicle. As more information regarding this investigation becomes available the media will be informed.
The victim has been identified as Curtis Heyliger, the son of Theodore Heyliger leader of the United People's Party. Deepest sympathy from the Police Department goes out to the family and friends of the victim.

accidentscene28052014

KPSM Police Report

osppregistersatelectoralcouncil27052014PHILIPSBURG:--- "Today we are very happy to announce that the One St. Maarten People Party has submitted their application to the Electoral Council for registration," says Lenny Priest, the Party Leader. This is the first step and one of the most important in preparing the party to participate in the upcoming election on August 29, 2014. We want to let our supporters know that the change that they are asking for must come and we must begin by doing things the right way. It was a very tedious exercise but one that we had to do in order to participate in the upcoming election.
Together we will make St. Maarten SHINE.

OSPP Press Release

HARBOUR VIEW:--- His Excellency Governor Eugene B. Holiday, in keeping with the provisions of the Kingdom Decree of September 30, 2013, submitted the Integrity inquiry interim progress report to the Kingdom Council of Ministers. A copy of the report has also been submitted to the Council of ministers of Sint Maarten. The report provides an outline of the progress of the work conducted by the New York based Accounting Firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers through the first three months of the integrity inquiry which commenced on February 26, 2014.
The purpose of the inquiry is threefold: to collect data and information for assessment based on integrity requirements in accordance with the rule of law in a democratic society, to report the findings from the assessment and finally to make recommendations that add value to the functioning of the public administration of Sint Maarten.
The scope of the inquiry, in keeping with the provisions of the Kingdom Decree of September 30, 2013, covers the government and includes ministers, the civil servants in the ministries and state owned companies. It focuses on vulnerable sectors such as prostitution, gambling and immigration as well as vulnerable activities such as permits for and the execution of infrastructural works and (other) large tenders. For completeness it should be noted that the inquiry is an integrity investigation and not a penal investigation. The inquiry is as such separate from any penal investigation being carried out by the Office of the Public Prosecutor.
At this half way point of the inquiry PWC has substantially completed the desk research and analysis of relevant documents. It led interviews with over 80 Government officials, interested parties and key stakeholders. Furthermore PWC conducted transactional analysis and has begun to identify and frame the core issues and recommendations. Future steps will include completion of the desk and field research to include identification and clarification of integrity issues so that PWC can complete its assessment against leading practices and standards and ultimately provide recommendations aimed at enhancing the integrity architecture for consideration by the Government of Sint Maarten.
This week the steering group integrity inquiry, which was installed by the Governor in December 2013, meets with the Project Management of PWC on Sint Maarten to speak about the next steps to be taken in support of the completion of the Integrity inquiry with presentation of the final report according to plan by the end of August 2014.
Further information and developments regarding the inquiry will be made public by the Governor through the Cabinet of the Governor.

From the Cabinet of the Governor of St. Maarten

pjlreceivescopyofforastickofire27052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Author and Illustrator, Drs. Mulberry Egstorf-Pantophlet, is on St. Maarten to present her 320-page illustrated book For a Stick o' Fire with over 1500 verses and rhymes.
The public of St. Maarten is invited to attend the book launch at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library, on Monday, June 2, at 7:00 PM. Egstorf-Pantophlet will be doing a reading and book-signing session at the launching ceremony. Copies of her books will be available for a special price.
According to Egstorf-Pantophlet, "The title For a Stick o' Fire stems from the old St. Maarten saying that folks used when they came for a very brief visit. It relates to a time when a person who wanted to light the fireplace or coalpot, would go to a neighbor and ask for a stick of fire and hurry back home with it before it extinguished."
The illustrated verses and rhymes of For a Stick o' Fire are all true accounts and give readers a perspective of how life used to be in the 1950s and 1960s, in remote and small sections of the Dutch cul-de-sac valley, now known as Marigot Hill, St. Peter's and South Reward.
"At that time this area was referred to as 'out in the country' and formed a world and environment all by itself. Most people could find typical old technologies, skills and activities such as; windmill-power, herding and caring for cattle, vernacular building-style, jollification, baking with fire-untop-fire-underneath-method, ironing with the goose, boiling the sheets in a bath-pan outside, fabricating spatalashes, building coal-keels and a host of ingenious items such as the goblet, the cotta, the coppa and more," said Egstorf-Pantophlet.
The author's collection of short stories resulted from her need to share and preserve St. Maarten's cultural and historical stories, which Egstorf-Pantophlet believes, "in the face of progress and modernization, have disappeared or changed beyond recognition."
The publication of the book has been realized with the support of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Caribsche Gebied.
After the book launch, on June 2, books will be available at the Library and for purchase at the St. Maarten National Heritage Foundation and Museum on Front Street.

alfonsodejesusvelezrivas27052014WILLEMSTAD, Curacao:--- Colombian consular services will be provided to St. Maarten this week, on occasion of a visit by Colombia's Consul-general in Curacao, Dr. Alfonso de Jesus Velez Rivas. The Colombian diplomat will be assisted by members of the Colombian consular office in Curaçao, Gloria Lulú Leon (Assistant Diplomatic Mission) and Luz Stella Jimenez Mira (Executive Assistant). Colombian consulate officials will visit St. Maarten for 2 days, during which consular services will be provided to Colombian nationals residing in St. Maarten Saba and Sint Eustatius, as well as local residents requiring consular assistance, at this time. The dates for the consular services mission is Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1. Hours of service will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m on Sunday.
Consular services will be provided to Colombian nationals and the general, by appointment. Persons receiving assistance are those previously contacting the consulate and submitting relevant documentation, for specific services.
Mobile Colombian consular services have been provided to St. Maarten since 1997, with the support and coordination by Mrs. Stella-Christian-Blandon, whom in St. Maarten has been liaison for the Colombian Consulate in Curacao.

About the Consul-General of Colombia in Curacao
The present Colombia Consul-general in Curacao has held a number of diplomatic and consular posts throughout his career. He is currently Minister Plenipotentiary in the Diplomatic and Consular Corps of the Republic of Colombia. Between 2009 and 2011, he served as Minister Counselor of Mission of Colombia to the European Union in Brussels. Previously, he served as Minister Counselor of the Embassy of Colombia in Warsaw, Poland and Consul of Colombia in Caracas, Venezuela.

Appointments
Consular services will be provided this Saturday and Sunday at Welfare Road # 85, located right next to Cappuccino's Restaurant (the Corner Road, building facing Dr. Halley Dental Clinic). For information call the Consulate at + (5999) 4614663 or Mrs. Stella Christian-Blandon at + (1721) 5238506.

swescotwilliamsmeetswithdickswijgmanandhanslodder27052014PHILIPSBURG:--- The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams received a courtesy visit from the outgoing commander of the Dutch Navy Brigadier General Dick Swijgman and his successor Hans Lodder at her Cabinet on Thursday. The Prime Minister was updated on the change in command and the operational aspect of the Dutch Navy's presence in the Caribbean. Commander Hans Lodder will receive the command of the Dutch Navy in the Caribbean when he will replace brigadier general Dick Swijgman. Lodder will also be director of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard. The Commander of the Dutch Naval Forces in the Caribbean is the highest military representative in the region and monitors the performance of the duties imposed by the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch Military is tasked with the protection of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and Saba.

From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister

PHILIPSBURG:--- The three voting stations at the Representation of the Netherlands in Aruba, Curaçao en Sint Maarten have received 1604 return envelopes with voting papers (886 in Aruba, 561 in Curaçao and 157 in Sint Maarten), of which 1.580 were valid (869 in Aruba, 557 in Curaçao and 154 in Sint Maarten).
In Curaçao most votes were given to Marc Frans (CDA) of Curaçao: 257. The Cristian Democrates (CDA) became the biggest party in Curaçao with 282 votes.
In Aruba is CDA winner with 313 votes. Marc Frans (CDA) received in Aruba 264 votes. The party "ikkiesvooreerlijk.eu" gained 249 votes with Armando Lampe from Aruba, who received already 247 votes.
D66 became the winner with 50 votes in Sint Maarten. PvdA is second with 33 votes. The votes per list:

List

Politicalparty

Aruba

Curaçao

SintMaarten

Total

1

CDA - Europese Volkspartij

313

282

19

614

2

PVV(Partijvoor de

Vrijheid)

21

11

10

42

3

P.v.d.A./ Europese

Sociaaldemocraten

59

46

33

138

4

VVD

32

46

12

90

5

Democraten66 (D66)- ALDE

110

105

50

265

6

GROENLINKS

21

15

12

48

7

SP(SocialistischePartij)

16

9

2

27

8

ChristenUnie-SGP

16

9

1

26

9

Artikel50

4

7

2

13

10

IQ, deRechten-Plichten

Partij

1

0

0

1

11

Piratenpartij

4

3

0

7

12

50PLUS

10

6

2

18

13

DeGroenen

0

2

1

3

14

Anti EU(ro) Partij

0

1

1

2

15

LiberaalDemocratische

Partij

3

0

0

3

16

JEZUSLEEFT

2

3

0

5

17

ikkiesvooreerlijk.eu

249

8

6

263

18

Partij voor deDieren

7

4

3

14

19

Aandacht enEenvoud

1

0

0

1

 

Total

869

557

154

1580

 

swescotwilliamsmeetswithmikeeman27052014PHILIPSBURG:--- The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams received a courtesy visit from Aruba Prime Minister Mike Eman at her Cabinet at the Government Administration Building on Thursday. Prime Minister Eman was on St. Maarten as part of the Kingdom Youth Parliament where he supported the Aruba delegation. Prime Minister Wescot-Williams and Prime Minister Eman discussed various matters of mutual interest to both countries, including Aruba's focus on sustainable energy and green economy and St. Maarten's new Energy Policy and its focus on renewable energy.

From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams congratulated St. Maarten's very own Leroy Fraser who is currently in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, representing the Latin American and Caribbean Region as an Umpire during the 75th Anniversary of the Little League World Series; "I would like to congratulate Leroy on this very special milestone, special not only for himself personally but also important for St. Maarten, where we have one of our very own playing a key role at one of the world's largest sporting events. The fact that St. Maarten, as small as it might be, is so full of talented people in all different fields is again highlighted when one of our own is chosen as an umpire for such an important sporting event. This is a clear example of Mr. Fraser and indeed our St. Maarten people 'Getting it Right'", commented Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams.

From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister

simpsonbaymangroves27052014SIMPSON BAY:--- This picture taken by Sint Maarten Pride Foundation volunteers this past Friday May 23rd, 2014 depicts the area south of the causeway at the eastern shore of the Simpson Bay Lagoon bordering to Port de Plaisance. The Government and Harbor Group of Companies commissioned report "Inventory of marine natural values in the Eastern Part of the Simpson Bay Lagoon" as prepared by Ecovision describes the area as follows;

"The area where the eastern side of the planned bridge [Causeway] connects to the island is characterized by one of the few remaining mangrove stands dominated by the "black mangrove" in the Simpson Bay Lagoon." "Black mangroves stabilize the shoreline, provide buffers from storm surges, trap debris and detritus and provide feeding, breeding and nursery grounds for a great variety of fish, shellfish, birds and other wildlife. The uniqueness of this area was already noticed in 1995 (Aidenvironment/EcoVision, 1995)." "Fish abundance in this area is the highest of all areas surveyed [in the Simpson Bay Lagoon]. In addition to numerous fish species, this area provides a habitat for various species that were otherwise rarely observed inside the lagoon." "The area still seems to function as a "nursery habitat" for various reef fish species as evidenced by the high abundance of their juveniles." "Combined, the features described above characterize this area as a relatively unique location within the wider Simpson Bay Lagoon area where similar habitats have already been destroyed by near shore development." "Areas where relatively healthy stands of mangroves still exist at present are the Cole Bay area, the Cupecoy area, Little Key and Mullet Pond. Combined, these areas cover less than 10% of the Simpson Bay Lagoon".

During the draft Simpson Bay Zoning plan meetings held in March and September of 2012 the Ministry of VROMI's proposals indicated that the aforementioned area would be zoned for conservation purposes based on its ecological value. To Sint Maarten Pride Foundation's surprise VROMI's Draft Simpson Bay Development plan, which is currently on public review, now proposes to zone this and a number of other ecologically valuable areas for the construction of "significant" marinas. Sint Maarten Pride Foundation believes that the draft Simpson Bay Zoning Plans in the format currently on public review at the Ministry of VROMI will facilitate the further destruction of the Simpson Bay Lagoon if left unaltered. Considering that the plans do not seem to represent the wishes of the majority of the attendees of the various draft Simpson Bay Lagoon Zoning Plan meetings held in Simpson Bay, Pride is calling on the population at large to file objections to the plans at the Ministry of VROMI and the Government building on or before June 3rd, 2014. Sint Maarten Pride Foundation furthermore believes Minster Maurice Lake of Environmental Affairs (VROMI) should do the honorable thing and have the plans altered to reflect the wishes of the people and the principles of sustainable development. For more information visit www.facebook.com/sintmaartenpride.

Sint Maarten Pride Foundation

plourensphilipthrowsfirstpitchatlittleleaguetournament27052014GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports (Ministry ECYS) Hon. Patricia Lourens Philip as part of good sportsmanship threw out the first pitch at the Little League Tournament over the weekend. Minister Lourens-Philip commends the Rotary Club for their outstanding support that they have given the organization. Also present during the event was Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams.

dpregistersatelectoralcouncil27052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Democratic Party Leader Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, joined by the President of the DP Board Hasani Ellis and Michael Ferrier, submitted the registration of the Party at the Electoral Council Offices on Back Street. During the brief meeting all of the necessary paperwork was submitted for the request for registration and the confirmation was received that all necessary forms were in order. The Electoral Committee will now review the articles of incorporation to ensure that these include all the requirements established by law.

Prime Minister Wescot-Williams commented that with the installation of the new young and dynamic Democratic Party board all of the members have been updated on all items related to the upcoming elections; "The DP, whose legal status as an association goes back to 1994, has overhauled its articles of incorporation to reflect the party's new approach and philosophies, as well as the new legal requirements for political parties, while at the same staying true to some of its core values. This is definitely an example of the Democratic Party 'Getting it Right'," commented Wescot-Williams.

The PM has also previously stressed that the electoral council is in place and functioning and that numerous considerations need to be taken into account prior to the upcoming elections: "The electoral council is one of the important bodies that has been created by law as part of the entire electoral process. The electoral council, which is chaired by attorney Bert Hoffman, is the body to which political parties submit their request for registration. Over the last couple of weeks on our sister island of Curacao there have also been issues with regards to political parties registering etc. On St. Maarten political parties need to be an association and this is not yet the case on Curacao. A political party on Curacao is suggesting now that political parties need to be an association so in that respect St. Maarten is a step ahead," commented Prime Minister Wescot-Williams.

After the registration of the Democratic Party at the Electoral Council Office, Democratic Party President Hasani Ellis stated that he considered it an honor to be a part of the democratic process "As a young president, I consider it an honor to be part of this new process for political parties. It's about transparency and that is something I endorse, as I believe it will encourage more young people to become part of a modern electoral process."

DP Press Release

gracitaarrindellreceivescourtesyvisitfromdaswijgman27052014PHILIPSBURG:--- The President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell recently received a courtesy visit from the Commander Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean and Director of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard, Brigadier General D.A. Swijgman.

Brigadier General D.A. Swijgman will be turning over his command on June 16 to Commodore H.R. Lodder.

"I have been a strong supporter of the Kingdom Coast Guard Section Caribbean. It is a necessity in the world that we live in today. Our Caribbean region is an area that warrants the cooperation of various law enforcement agencies working together.

"Small island nations and countries like ours in the region face a number of challenges such as drugs trafficking, human smuggling and other types of border crossing crimes. A well-equipped and manned Coast Guard is very much relevant for 21st century crime," President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell said on Sunday.

President Arrindell added that she is very pleased that on June 16 at the graduation ceremony which will take place at the Naval Base Parera in Curacao, approximately 10 new members all hailing from country Sint Maarten, including the niece of the President, Richeline 'Kiki' Arrindell, will embark on a new career in law enforcement on the seas.

"It shows with perseverance, hard work and dedication by all involved, we can make Sint Maarten a safe and secure place for all.

"I am also grateful to Coast Guard Sub Station Chief Edison Kiringdongo, BG Swijgman, former Minister of Justice Hon. Roland Duncan, and current Minister of Justice Hon. Dennis Richardson, for their part in ensuring the participation of our young people in the Coast Guard organization," President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell said on Sunday.

sxmprofessionalreceivingbandpcertification27052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Benjamin & Parker has been catering online courses and certifying participants in business science for the months January through 2014 with extraordinary success. In this period many students attended the certification session in Tax Administration and Efficiency Auditing. The Tax administration Basic course entails topics as Taxation prevention, Tax Office red flags, Penalties Prevention, Loopholes in the tax environment, Recognition of Tax evasion and Tax Assessment management basics including Tax Court Appeals procedures.

During these sessions the students have the opportunity to discuss current Tax problems of Sint Maarten while real time solutions are explained by Mr. Terence Jandroep, Certified Risk Auditor, Managing Director of Benjamin & Parker for Latin America and Dutch Caribbean.

After the basic course, students pursuing financial independence continued further development in their tax knowledge and are now attending the Tax Administration Plus+ version online.

The Plus+ version teaches the student the entire Tax Administration mechanism and Professional "Technical writing" when preparing protest letters to secure affirmative ruling on submitted protest letters. Technical writing is essential when addressing taxation considering that the contents must be aligned within the parameters that the Law permits and in synergy with the existing Ordinances. In addition the student must be aware of faulty actions and oversights by the Tax office to secure admissibility during a Tax Appeal. The benefit of this course is that its 100% practical and applicable at once. Preparation of Tax returns is also included in the Plus+ version.

B & P is currently developing the Tax Administration Platinum version, a course that will give explanatory notes to the most common day to day tax ordinance applications. The subjects that are explained in this course are:

Mastering General Tax Ordinance (Blanket Ordinance applicable to all Tax Ordinances)
Mastering Corporate Tax (NFR and Offshore)
Mastering Income Tax Ordinance.
Mastering Collection Ordinance
Understanding the SPF (Private Foundations) definition ( Legal way to save your Tax Dollars)

Benjamin & Parker(www.b-parker.com) has taken the responsibility to: 1) Simplify the comprehension of tax environment mechanism 2) Teach professionals to recognize taxation irregularities 3) prepare the professionals in technical writing to support argumentation sustainability in the Collection process by the Tax Authorities.

The results of another research by B & P revealed the urgent demand for Business Efficiency improvement in the SXM Business Community. The Efficiency Auditing course was developed using a new B & P Procedures Development and Analysis (PDA) frame work, which has been labeled as far more advanced and practical compared to the common COSO and ERM (Enterprise Risk Management) frameworks, that do not produce evident and substantial Cash Recovery and are becoming obsolete attributed to changes in present work environment.

The newly tailored PDA by Benjamin & Parker, is presented and illustrated in detail during the Efficiency Auditing course. The characteristic of the Efficiency course is the depth and thoroughness of this new approach with emphasis on improvement of future workforce performance and risk categories definitions, not present in the common frameworks.

The student after completing the course hours has to prepare a thesis on an assigned National Ordinance or a community condition that demands special attention.

In the year 2014 2 Efficiency Auditing certification sessions are hosted in association with Mr. Robert Budike Bsc. of PCMI.

The first examination of the course consisted of developing a "remedial action plan" for Day Care Centers. The students contemplated a detailed research and developed a plan in which shortcomings, corrective actions and benefits were outlined. The professionals that passed their examination with success for the improving the National Ordinance for Day Care Centers are :

Mrs. Maria Buncamper of Caribbean Intentional Financial Services and Mrs. Lydia Carter of GEBE.

The second group of students was assigned with the very important and sensitive task to prepare an Corrective Action Plan for Medical Foreign Treatment using the Benjamin & Parker, Procedures Development and Analysis (PDA) frame work, to secure quality of Foreign Medical treatment with emphasis on Efficient application of medical funds and effective workflows assuring Quality Management for patients and the Medical Body.

The professionals that have been entrusted with this task for their Certification as Efficiency Auditors are:

Malvina Thomasia (Consultant)
Elfleda Lake (Consultant)
Gloria Heyliger( Diamond Resort)
Maritha Pinas (Ministry of Defense)
Marcelita(Masso) Fleming (Consultant)
Cassandra Baptiste(Consultant)
Iris Arrindell (GEBE)

These professionals received an intensive course on how to optimize practical efficiency by boosting workflows effectiveness by mitigating waste of resources within the operation and financial areas.

In the month of June B & P will proceed with certification sessions for Tax Administration BASIC, Plus+,Platinum, and Efficiency Courses in Sint Maarten.

u2cmcolebay27052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Prime Minister Wescot-Williams brought the U2CanMove campaign to the Cole Bay district with some fifty participants. The special Zumba Walk-a-Thon, accompanied by the New Status Generation Drum Band, made its way throughout the district bring movement and music to the early morning hours. The Prime Minister will be bringing movement through exercise and music to the various districts free of charge for anyone who wants to improve their health.

From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister

richardgibson26052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Financial supervision contributes to sound public finances, which in turn will lay a solid foundation for sustainable growth, is the line of thought Mr. Richard Gibson brought about at the occasion of the trade mission congress: 'Connecting sustainable businesses from the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Caribbean region'. This congress was held on Thursday May 22nd in Sint Maarten in the context of 200 years of Kingdom.

Mr. Gibson, member of the Board on financial supervision (College financieel toezicht - Cft) for Sint Maarten, also pointed out which advantages the Dutch Kingdom has to offer to the young countries Sint Maarten and Curaçao. Going back in time Mr. Gibson illustrated how staggering debts almost brought the Netherlands Antilles to a financial collapse.

Debt relief
Together with the political restructuring of 2010, a debt relief program made available by the kingdom brought a solution to this profound problem. Starting new autonomous countries with an inheritance of a 90% debt to GDP ratio was simply not realistic. This debt relief also brought into existence the Board of financial supervision (Cft). Supervision identifies the risks, and confronts the country's decision makers with questions regarding these risks and the obligations they have to their own people. The relative stable debt position that Curaçao and Sint Maarten enjoy today and their access to capital at very low interest rates to develop their economies is a clear result of the existence of supervision. Recent economic research of the World Bank and the IMF has proven this. First of all, debt levels above 35 to 40 % of GDP in small island states like the Caribbean countries are a threat to sustainable economic development. Secondly, international comparisons of countries that have some form of supervision over countries that lack supervision prove that financial supervision is necessary for healthy economic development.

Low debt levels
Nowadays, almost four years later, no country in the region has debt levels as low as Sint Maarten and Curaçao. A healthy government with a low debt position instills confidence in investors and the population at large. Investors need trust in the financial and political stability of the government, and this has been achieved by Curaçao and Sint Maarten. The value of those factors for economic development can hardly be overstated.

Checks and balance
The question is whether supervision should be carried out by organizations within the country itself. According to Mr. Gibson independent budgetary supervision is of the essence but every country should work on its own checks and balances. Financial management is essential, and supervision of the budget needs to be carried out by parliament, sustained by internal accountants and the audit chamber. These three institutions are crucial for proper internal supervision. The effectiveness of institutions in Sint Maarten and Curaçao however needs to be improved. Annual examinations of the state of financial management based on the international Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability framework show that the supervision on the budgets and annual accounts by the parliaments is below standard. Reports of the audit chamber and recommendations of the corporate governance councils are not being dealt with adequately.

Four years is not enough time to achieve the necessary improvements, but really independent supervision is hard to achieve even in time. For supervision to function it has to be absolutely free from political influences. The countries should avoid putting new weak institutions on top of already existing weak institutions. Making use of the possibilities the kingdom has to offer is a better option; the Cft and the financial stability it brings to the countries is just one of the advantages of being part of the Kingdom.

Capacities
In addition, more can be done with the unique capacities of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, to achieve more economic development and to build up new institutions together. The countries in the Kingdom are fragile and dependant on each other. However, parties need to learn to know each other better, and increase their level of trust towards each other. With sound public finance and optimized use of the benefits of the Kingdom, the young countries Sint Maarten and Curaçao can truly take advantage of economic opportunities and reach their potential. But they have to do it themselves. The autonomous status of the countries means that no one can be blamed anymore if times are rough. Economic development requires fierce entrepreneurship. In this regard, lessons can be learned from surrounding countries such as Panama and Columbia which are doing well: both countries have been outperforming the region in recent years with impressive growth rates notwithstanding the worldwide economic downturn.

CFT Press Release

lisacoquillasandsareenacarti26052014MARIGOT:--- Sareena Carti of l'Avenir Sportif Club de St. Martin will fly to Paris to join the team of France to participate in the selections for the Olympic Youth Games in Baku, Azerbaijan. On Friday May 30, 2014, Sareena will run the series of 400m, and if she qualifies, she will participate in the final on Sunday June 1st, 2014. She will be accompanied on the trip by her coach Patrick Trival, which was commissioned by the league of Guadeloupe to accompany young athletes to Paris .
The same weekend another athlete of Avenir Sportif Club de Saint Martin who is wearing the colors of the club: Lisa Coquillas, Champion of Guadeloupe 2013 on 2000m walking benjamine category, was chosen by the league to participate in the interleague games between Martinique, French Guiana and Guadeloupe in Cayenne on June 1st, 2014.

vwabikeathon26052014GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- In Commemoration of Vaccination Week of the Americas (VWA), the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) Section Youth Health Care of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, organized a bike-a-thon on Saturday, May 24th.

The objective was to bring awareness as it relates to vaccination and health.

Minister of Public Health Hon. Cornelius de Weever would like to commend the youth for turning out for the bike-a-thon which was part of the Vaccination Week of the Americas program, and he looks forward to their participation on an annual basis.

The bike-a-thon activity is in line with the overall campaign of getting checked of Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour "Get Checked" which promotes good health for all ages.

The bike-a-thon started at 7:00am at the Vineyard Office Park and end at the Baby Wellness Clinic opposite Grand Marche on the Bush Road.

parlatinocommitteemeetingmpai26052014PHILIPSBURG:--- The President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell is very pleased with the turnout to the three committee meetings of Parlatino that were held on May 22 and May 23 when the country hosted Members of Parliament and support staff from the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

The meetings took place at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino saw attendance nearing 90 per cent. The committees that met were: Economic Affairs, Social Debt and Regional Development; Committee of Energy & Mines; and Committee of Political Affairs, Municipal and Integration.

"We should all be part of a larger discussion focusing on St. Maarten moving forward in terms of Sustainable Development and not just on nearsighted goals."

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Primer Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams over the weekend stressed the importance of inclusive sustainable development and the vision for the Island in terms of the National Development Plan. The Prime Minister also stressed the importance of the community dialogues and the work that is currently being done to ensure that all communities are included in the dialogues for the National Development Plan.

The Prime Minister stressed that, as a small island developing state, St. Maarten has to develop taking into accounts the principles of sustainable development in order to strike a right balance within all sectors; "The emphasis on what I have been stating for some time now is that, especially as a young country, we need to come to decisions regarding the sustainable development of St. Maarten in all of the areas including Economic Development, Environmental Protection and Social Development. This is the only route route going forward. However, when we look at inclusive or sustainable development the other pillar that we must also look closely at is sound and proper Governance. All of these factors need to be in place to ensure that St. Maarten develops in a balanced manner and now, as our own country, the emphasis must be placed on this. That is why a collective vision for the country St. Maarten is so important in determining what the best priorities for the country are. We should move away from the discussions focusing on a bridge or a tunnel; we should all be part of a larger discussion focusing on St. Maarten moving forward and not just on nearsighted goals. This is what it comes down to today and this is what St. Maarten should be focusing on; what is the overall plan and how do you get persons to buy in the plan and get people to ask us where we, as politicians, see St. Maarten in the future," commented Prime Minister Wescot-Williams.

The Prime Minister also emphasized that there is a current push to ensure that all districts are included in the participatory discussions regarding the establishment of a National Development Plan; "We have had some very active and participatory districts as part of the social participation in the National Development Plan while others have not been so participatory. Therefore we are thinking on different and innovative approaches of going into the community and we want to refocus on all that we have gotten and come to the decision as to how we can tweak the organization of that grouping and how we can reach everyone in the community," stressed Prime Minister Wescot-Williams.

From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister

Tuesday, June 3
"WOMANISH WAYS Freedom, Human Rights and Democracy"
A pre-Book Fair film. How Caribbean women won the rights to vote in The Bahamas.
Sandy Ground Cultural Center, Marigot
7:30PM – 8:30PM. Free Admission. DVD available.
The St. Martin debut of the award-winning film by Marion Bethel, filmmaker, attorney, author, who will be on hand for questions from the movie-goers.
The 12th Annual St. Martin Book Fair Organized by Conscious Lyrics Foundation and House of Nehesi Publishers in collaboration with St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, University of St. Martin, LCF Foundation, St. Martin Tourist Office, and sponsors SXM Airport and SOS radio.

policeofficersinvestigatingassaultonlongwallrd26052014PHILIPSBURG:--- On Monday May 26th, 2014 at approximately 8:45am, a police patrol was sent to Long Wall road in the vicinity of F.W. Vlaun and Sons to investigate a case in which a man was viciously attacked by another man with a weapon. On the scene the investigating officers learnt that the victim in this case had bled quite a lot as a result of the beating and that the victim had already left the scene and reported to the Sint Maarten Medical Center for treatment. Long Wall road was partially closed off for the Detectives and Forensic Department to conduct their investigation. Witnesses stated that the victim was struck numerous times with a long object in his head and on his body. The victim with initials E.P. stated that he had gone to the snack bar to purchase something to eat when he was unexpectedly attacked. He was treated for his wounds at the Sint Maarten Medical Center and then released. An official complaint was made with the Detective Department as to who the suspect is and why this attack took place.

KPSM Police Report

boogaardopeningparty27052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Boogaard Insurances (former N.C. Wathey Insurance Services) on Friday officially opened its new office at Professional Office Park in a celebratory atmosphere and with a goal of improving its services for its growing clientele base in St. Maarten.
The company has been serving clients at its new location for some three months now since its rebranding from N.C. Wathey Insurances to Boogaard Insurances.
Boogaard General Manager Rajiv Bhatia said, the Boogaard brand with its experience and strength can provide the same customer satisfaction as NCW has provided and even better with the new relocation to a "vastly improved and elegant office" and with the same team that has served them for so many years.
"Our new office in many ways reflects our style, a style that enhances our service and a style that reflects professionalism and gives you a pleasant feeling about being with us," he said. "After all service is all about the feeling of being in good hands. That's why our company's motto is: Services with a personal touch."
Chairman, Jan Boogaard started his career in insurance as an inspector at Delta Lloyd in life insurance. After three years of experience, he came to the conclusion that he could do a great job as an independent Broker. In 1978 he started Boogaard Assurantien BV with no staff and no portfolio, but with hard work he produced great results. In January 2009 he bought the companies from Jan Hein Braam, Managing Director of N.C. Wathey Insurance Services and Caribbean Insurance Brokers. With this the Boogaard Company became one of the largest independent Caribbean based brokers. "Today he has a big team of about 300 employees behind him," Bhatia told guests on Friday.
The Boogaard group has offices in St. Maarten, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Anguilla and the Netherlands.
The St. Maarten Boogaard operations are run by General Manager Rajiv Bhatia, Senior Insurance & Sales Consultant Marc Groeneveld, Robert De Vries, Project Manager Anouk Rozemeijer, and front office representatives Sylvia Jongbloed, Tanja Saridjojo, Sylvie Maccow, Ingrid Barry, and Elma Hodge.

Boogaard Insurances Press Release

swescotwilliamsmeetswithkyp26052014"St. Maarten can rest assured that its political future is secure"

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams met with the St. Maarten delegation of the Kingdom Youth Parliament at the A.C Wathey Legislative Hall on Friday to personally congratulate the Youth Parliamentarians and their coaches Franklyn Richards and Connie Francis. The Prime Minister stressed how impressed she was and mentioned that St. Maarten can rest assured that its political future is secure considering the performance at the 1st ever Kingdom Youth Parliament: "I want to extend warm words of congratulations to all of you for your performance during the Kingdom Youth Parliament just a couple of days ago. You did a wonderful job and it is clear that with your commitment you were able to do an excellent job giving a dynamic and powerful presentation.

"I am extremely proud of our young people, how you were able to leave the historical baggage aside and to see how we can make cooperation happen. you have come up with some very concrete actions that they will undertake. It must have been a wonderful experience for all of you and all of us on St. Maarten can learn a thing or two from them. It is in Parliament that decisions are made and that laws are made; laws that governs our lives. The whole matter of debating is so important, it is important to be able to speak with authority on laws and proposals. That is a critical part of a Parliament, youth or otherwise. I know that our young people when called to step up to the plate do so with conviction and I said wow look at the future leaders of our country," commented Prime Minister Wescot-Williams.

Prime Minister Wescot-Williams for her part was thanked for her contribution to politics and for her inspiration to the team with regards to being able to speak with authority on various issues important to Country St. Maarten and for supporting the Kingdom Youth Parliament.

From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister

gerritschotte09122013WILLEMSTAD, Curacao:--- Press Prosecutor Guillen Schoop confirmed on Monday that former Prime Minister of Curacao and now Member of Parliament Gerrit Scotte (G.F.S) (39) will remain in pretrial detention as the Babel investigation continues.
The decision to continue the pretrial detention of Scotte was taken on May 25th, 2014 by the judge of instruction in Curacao. The companion of Scotte identified only as C.R.D (36) was released last Friday. Scotte and his companion were arrested on May 20th, 2014 by members of the Landsrecherche. They are accused of being involved in money laundering and multiple counts of forgery.
Last week a press release from the Attorney General's Office stated that searches were conducted in St. Maarten and Italy. When questioned about this statement by SMN News, Prosecutor Scoop said that several persons were heard on St. Maarten in the Babel investigation as witnesses and one search was done in Italy.
Prosecutor Scoop refused to identify the persons that were heard on St. Maarten and he also refused to say whether or not the person in Italy whose place was searched is a suspect or witness. "Police have the right to search any place they believe they could find documents or data that can help an ongoing investigation. The person/persons does not necessarily have to be a suspect," said Prosecutor Schoop.

GRAND CASE:--- A shootout between two or more youngsters took place in Grand Case somewhere in the vicinity of the old police station shortly after 3pm Monday. So far it is not known who the victim/victims are and their medical condition.
This is the second incident to have occurred between Sunday and Monday in Grand Case leaving one person dead due to an accident and up to the time this news item was written the Gendarmes namely Commandant Paul Betaille or his two captains could be reached for comment. Prosecutor Flavien Noailles also could not be reached. It appears as though authorities on the French side are now "Missing in Action."

PHILIPSBURG:--- USM in collaboration with the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Department Study Financing are introducing a University Preparatory Program, this program is created for graduates of TKL and PKL/PSVE.
The program entails GED tutor classes and preparatory courses in Math, English, Life Sciences and Languages.
Students will follow the preparatory courses during the morning hours and the GED tutor classes during the evening hours.

Students will also participate in a job placement program, which will be arranged by the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Upon completion of the USM Preparatory Program, students will have to pass their GED exam and all preparatory courses in order to be eligible to enroll in a USM academic degree program. Students who completed the USM Preparatory Program successfully and enroll in a USM degree program are eligible to receive study financing to cover their tuition fees.

There is an information session scheduled for Wednesday June 28th, 2014 at 5:00pm in the USM conference room (room 208). Prospective students and parents are invited to attend to receive more information on this new program.

USM Press Release

niapracticeandperformance25052014PHILIPSBURG:--- National Institute of the Arts (NIA) showcased St. Maarten's culture and talent at the Parlatino Committee Meeting's opening reception held at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino on Thursday, May 22.
The performance arts institution, known for both its cultural and contemporary repertoire, was charged with adding aspects of arts to the evening.
"The organizers of this event recognize that to showcase a nation's culture, you cannot really do it just through a speech, you have to involve the arts. You need an artistic element to capture the full St. Maarten story. So for them to recognize that and also that NIA is the premiere vehicle from which to display our island's culture strengthens our awareness that we are on the right path as an arts institution," Co-Director of NIA, Arlene Halley said.
NIA presented two dances and a medley of St. Maarten's cultural songs, which highlighted folkloric, Latin and modern contemporary elements. The initial dance was an upbeat piece paying tribute to the polka and Latin influences on the island and was danced to the music of the island's legendary Tanny and The Boys. The mixture of songs was sung by vibrant trio, Morenika Charles-Arrindell, Lena Browne, and Malaika Maxwell. The second dance, PAC-B-13, is a modern contemporary number, which was choreographed by NIA instructors Peggy Oulerich and EoIia "Bibi" Ada, along with Co-Directors Arlene Halley and Clara Reyes and is named for the quartet.
Each piece seemed to delight the attending guests and earned high applause.
"We always bring strong performance elements to all that we do, making sure that each piece tells a story about who we are as a St. Maarten people. When it comes to cultural heritage and its preservation we often hear about all of these wonderful buildings or natural spaces, but it is really the people who create the experiences that are had in the buildings or spaces, so it is the people that really create the legacies that live on and that is what NIA is all about, creating a lasting legacy of arts," Co-Director of NIA, Clara Reyes said.
Latin American Parliament Parlatino is comprised of regional National Latin American and Caribbean Parliaments. The organization held its annual representatives meeting on St. Maarten last week.

NIA Press Release

usfolvolunteersteachenglishatgoslingaschool25052014WILLEMSTAD, Curacao:--- On 13 May 2014, eight volunteers from the U.S. Forward Operating Location (USFOL) went to Goslinga School to help teach English and judge student projects. In addition to assisting over 80 students with their English vocabulary, FOL volunteers engaged with students, sharing life experiences and cultural information to the enjoyment of all involved.

The USFOL has an informal, volunteer partnership with the school to support periodic recreational activities that assist the faculty in reinforcing healthy life styles and choices. This informal volunteer partnership with the school's teachers helps students reach their goals and learn English while having a great time.

Volunteers from the USFOL often donate time and resources to various areas and programs on the island in order to express appreciation for the wonderful hospitality received from the citizens of Curacao.

USFOL Press Release

swescotwilliamsmeetswithcgc25052014Tasked to Review Government Owned Companies

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams met with the new members of the Corporate Governance Council (CGC) at her Cabinet last week. The PM met and discussed various matters concerning the CGC and the management of, amongst other things Government Owned Companies, with new CGC members Madelon Dijkhoffz, Perry Wilson, and Joseph Lake. The PM mentioned that the term of the previous CGC was up and that the three new members will be supported by an additional two members in the coming days; "The Corporate Governance Council has been installed by National Decree and this has been done. Matters pertaining to Corporate Governance Council have been established by law and one of the most pressing issues that needs to be looked at and has to be reviewed are for example issues related to the Board of Government Owned Companies and their Managing Directors. The previous CGC Board has expired and we went through the process of installing a new Council, a lawful body that looks at certain conditions with regard to good corporate governance. There is also a corporate government code according to which government owned companies must adhere to. Especially given the fact that we did not have a CGC for a while there is much work that needs to be done," commented Prime Minister Wescot-Williams.

From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister

Johan Cruijff Court, Belvedere

11+U age category: Consolation Final

Leonald Connor took the field versus Sr. Magda FC in the 11+U age group category Consolation Final. Both teams had a nervous start. Sr. Magda FC opened the score. At halftime the teams were still close Leonald Connor 1 – 2 Sr. Magda FC.

Sr. Magda FC found its groove in the second half and added four more goals. The final score was Leonald Connor 1 – 6 Sr. Magda FC. Sr. Magda FC finished the tournament in third place. Goal scorers were Jeahru Richardson with 3 goals and 1 assist, Paul Speetjens with 2 goals and 1 assist and Quincy Wijngaarde with 1 goal and 1 assist. The lone goal scorer for Leonald Connor was Cartalino Joseph.

11+U age category: Final

The Final in the 11+U age group category was between Learning Unlimited and Sr. Magda United Stars. This turned out to be an extremely exciting game, with both teams having the win within their grasp.

Learning Unlimited opened the score and remained in winning position at the conclusion of the first half with a score of Learning Unlimited 4 – 2 Sr. Magda United Stars. Sr. Magda United Stars stepped up their game and the team dominated the second half, changing the score in their favor to Learning Unlimited 4 – 5 Sr. Magda United Stars.

Learning Unlimited did not give up and just before the time ran out Noah Ledee, this year's Goal Getter Award winner, managed to put one between the posts forcing a penalty shoot-out with a tied score of Learning Unlimited 5 – 5 Sr. Magda United Stars.

In the penalty shoot-out each team takes 3 penalties while taking turns. The one that has the most after 3 turns wins. Learning Unlimited was the first to take a penalty and both the first and second shooter of both teams managed to pass the excellent goalkeepers who were defending their goals. Also Learning Unlimited's third shooter found the back of the net. Extreme pressure became too much for Sr. Magda's last shooter, who was well aware that he would have to make the penalty to keep his team in the game. He just missed the left corner of the goal. Learning Unlimited is therefore the new 11+U Champion 2014. Sr. Magda United Stars goes home with the well deserved second place.

Goal scorers in regular game time were for Sr. Magda United Stars Dante Simmonds with 2 goals, Jolian Peterson, Jarred Illidge and Curtis Moniz all with one goal. Goal scorers for Learning Unlimited were Noah Ledee with 3 goals and 1 assist and Jan Lucas van der Plaas with 2 goals and 2 assists.

13+U age category: Consolation Final

Sr. Regina faced Leonald Connor in the 13+U age group category Consolation Final. Both team's skills and capabilities were well matched. At the half time the score was tied Sr. Regina 3 – 3 Leonald Connor. The teams did not add any more goals in the second half forcing another penalty shoot out.

First up was Leonald Connor with a clear shot that hit the back of the net. The first shot by Sr. Regina was blocked by the goalkeeper. The second Leonald Connor shot was blocked by the goalkeeper of Sr. Regina, Ladisha Simmons, giving a change to Sr. Regina to get back in. Sr. Regina did just that with making their second shot, tying the score 1 – 1. Leonald Connor made their third shot, a penalty by the team's top scorer Marlon Lopez. Sr. Regina's third attempt was blocked by Leonald Connor's goalkeeper Bernard Nisbeth. Leonald Connor is the 2014 third place winner.

Goal scorers in regular game time were for Sr. Regina Julian van Oort, Julian Goedknegt and Isaiah Snijders and for Leonald Connor Marlon Lopez with 2 goals and 1 assist and Isael Medina.

13+U age category: Final

The 13+U age group category Final was between M.P.C. and St. Dominic High School. Both teams started strong. At the halftime the score was M.P.C. 3 – 2 St. Dominic High School. In the second half M.P.C. benefitted from an own goal by St. Dominic High School extending their lead by two goals. St. Dominic High School did not recover. The final score was M.P.C. 6 – 2 St. Dominic High School. M.P.C. is the 2014 Champion in the 13+U with Dominic High School as silver medalist.

Goal scorers M.P.C. were Diaro Forsythe with 2 goals and 1 assist, Andre Knol with 2 goals and 1 assist and Jose Cortes, the Goal Getter Award winner, added 1 more to his total. Goal scorers for St Dominic High School were Arjun Kurup after an assist by Rajaan Prince and Bhagesh Atmaramani.

13+U Girls category: Final

Sr. Regina faced Sr. Magda in the 13+U Girls Final. Sr. Regina had dominated the whole tournament. In the Final, however, Sr. Magda was able to put up a fight. The halftime score was Sr. Regina 4 – 1 Sr. Magda. Sr. Magda continued to play great defense but was unable in the second half to finish the many chances that the team created. Only once the ball found the back of the net. Sr. Regina added two more to their total. The final score was Sr. Regina 6 – 2 Sr. Magda. Sr. Regina is the 2014 Champions and Sr. Magda the silver medalist.

Goal scorers for Sr. Regina were Shakira Charlie, the game's M.V.P. with 3 goals, Lucciana Peters, Nacirfa Drijvers and Goal Getter Award winner Aichelle Peters. Goal scorers for Sr. Magda were Annabelle Verheij with 1 goal and 1 assist and Nayomi Tjon.

15+U age category: Final

The 15+U age group category Final matched up M.P.C. with C.I.A. C.I.A. was missing some key players, however the team that was there did their best. M.P.C. however showed no mercy and displayed some soccer excellence on the pitch. The halftime score was M.P.C. 7 – 0 C.I.A. The final result was M.P.C. 13 – 0 C.I.A. M.P.C. is the 2014 Champion in the 15+U. C.I.A. is the silver medalist.

Goal scorers for M.P.C. were Jaeremi Drijvers, Goal Getter Award/M.V.P. Award winner, with 5 goals and 1 assist, Rosario Lieveld, Kael Richards, Djai Essed, all with 2 goals and numerous assists and Leon Benfield with 1 goal and 2 assists.

18+U age category: Final

In the 18+U age group category Final St. Dominic High School faced M.P.C. It was a thrilling game, showing some great soccer talent; a real showcase for the spectators and the young soccer players present. In the end M.P.C. was the strongest with a final score of St. Dominic High School 3 – 4 M.P.C. M.P.C. is the 2014 Champion and St. Dominic High School the silver medalist.

Goal scorers for St. Dominic High School were Suraj Ratwani with 2 goals and 1 assist and Romero Pertuz with 1 goal and 1 assist. Goal scorers for M.P.C. were Leonardo Chayadi with 2 goals, Daniel Halman and Jhon Dassous both with 1 each.

18+U Girls Category: Final

In the Final game in the 18+U Girls Category a friendly was played between SVOBE (M.P.C.) and the Mixed Team. The Girls from SVOBE (M.P.C.) stepped off the field the winners. At the halftime the score was SVOBE (M.P.C.) 4 – 1 Mixed Team. The final score was SVOBE (M.P.C.) 6 – 1 Mixed Team. SVOBE (M.P.C.) is the 2014 Champion.

Goal scorers for SVOBE (M.P.C.) were Rishendra Carty with 2 goals and 1 assist, Odessa Solomon with 2 goals, Nuralia Singodikromo and Micaela Galva both with 1 goal. The lone goal scorer of the Mixed Team was Shelsea Romney.

Award Ceremony

The Final day finished, as is tradition, with an Award Ceremony. All the teams were invited to attend. The honorable Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams started the Award Ceremony with a short speech in which the Prime Minister explained that she came especially early, because she wanted to see the kids play. The Prime Minister witnessed the exciting Final in the 11+U age group between Learning Unlimited and Sr. Magda United Stars, which was decided with a penalty shoot-out.

The Prime Minister reminded all the players that even though there can only be one winner, participating is the most important thing and that she very much enjoyed the game. The Prime Minister, who has attended the Final Day for the last 21 years, was thanked by the St. Maarten Soccer Educational Foundation (SMSEF) board. She received a special pin, which was recently made depicting the organization's logo. She was pinned by Vice-President Keith Gittens.

The honorable Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs, Patricia Lourens-Philip was at hand, supported by the Department Head of Sport, Jonelle Richardson, to present the awards to the winners. Trophies were handed out to the first, second and third place winners, Most Disciplined Teams and individual prices for the Best Goalkeepers, M.V.P.'s, and Goal Getter's. Close to 350 medals were handed out (Gold, Silver and Bronze). Players that did not win a medal will receive a certificate for participating.

In addition representatives of the Tournament's sponsors were present. A big thank you goes out to TelEm, Prime, GEBE, SZV and PJIAE for their support.

Another organization which makes a valuable contribution each year is the Red Cross, who's volunteers take care of the scrapes and bruises during the Tournament.

After the summer vacation the SMSEF will organize the second Monetary Award event. At that time the winning schools will receive the monetary prizes to assist their school soccer programs. The winners in the Champions League will receive their team and individual awards at this occasion as well.

The monetary award winning schools of last year used their money mainly for the purchasing of uniforms, balls, shin guards and similar equipment needs. Some of the schools still have the money in reserve in the hope to add some more to be able to do big purchases like the uniforms. All in all, the schools used the money for the school soccer programs as it was intended.

SMSEF President David Forsythe explained in his speech that the foundation is involved in the upgrading of the courts in St. Peters, Simpson Bay and Cay Bay. The upgrading has been made possible with the assistance of USONA. The project's name is 'Game On'. The foundation has noticed over the year that not all the potential players are able to make to Belvedere. The intention of the project is to make it possible for kids to play sports in their own neighborhoods. The courts have now facilities to play soccer, basketball and netball.

dennisrichardsonreceivescourtesyvisitfrommarijkevandrunenlittle25052014PHILIPSBURG:--- On Friday May 23, 2014, a working visit was paid to the Minister of Justice the Honorable Dennis Richardson by the Dutch Ambassador to the Dominican Republic the Honorable Marijke Van Drunen-Little. The Minister was pleased with the visit as he had also paid her a visit during his trip to the Dominican Republic earlier this year.

The following were the topics of consultation; the cooperation between the Ministry of Justice and the Embassy on the matter of child care, detention and immigration, in relation to citizens of the Dominican Republic residing on Sint Maarten. Also present at the meeting were representatives of Justice responsible for the different topics of consultation; Mrs. Richelda Emmanuel (Dir. SJIB), Ms. Khalilah Peters (Dept. of Foreign Affairs), Mr. Udo Aron (Dir. Immigration and Border Protection Services).

armedrobberyfillin13082012PHILIPSBURG:--- On Saturday May 24th, 2014 at approximately 11:50am, several police patrols were sent to Swiss Time Store on Front Street to investigate an armed robbery. On the scene the investigating officers learnt that two unknown men both wearing motorcycle helmets and dressed in dark clothing had arrived in a white van with license plate 5638AAA on Front Street and parked in the middle of the street in front of the establishment. Both suspects jumped out of the van blocking the flow of traffic on Front Street and entered the establishment. One suspect was armed with a gun and the other with a crow bar. The suspect with the gun threatened the workers while the other suspect destroyed several showcases and took out the contents.

KPSM Police Report

trafficaccidentfillin25052014BUSH ROAD:--- On Thursday May 22nd, 2014 at approximately 10:00am, a police patrol was sent to Bush Road in the vicinity of Furniture 4 More to investigate a traffic accident in which persons were injured and where a fight had broken out. On the scene the investigating officers encountered an accident between a white pick-up and a motorcycle. The accident was caused because the driver of the pick-up did not give the motorcyclist right of way. As a result of this accident the motorcyclist suffered a severe cut to his left leg. Parties got into a heated argument which escalated into fight. During the fight the driver of the pick-up suffered and injury to his nose and mouth. Parties did not file complaints against each other. Both parties were treated on the scene and then transported to the Sint Maarten Medical center for further treatment.

KPSM Police Report

motorcycleaccidentingrandcase25052014GRAND CASE:--- The family of a young man got bad news on Mother's Day shortly after 3:30pm on Sunday. Eyewitnesses at the scene said the young motorcycle rider got into a serious and fatal accident in the vicinity of the "Cuisine Central" des Ecole on Grand Case main road.
The eyewitnesses further stated that the young rider suffered several serious injuries for example both his arms and legs were broken. Medical workers that were on the scene examined the victim and realized that he apparently died on the spot and while workers from the Ambulance Department worked on the victim for quite some time to obtain a heartbeat they did not manage to revive him.
Several calls to the Captain of the Gendarmerie Sylvain Jouault and Commandant Paul Betaille went unanswered Sunday afternoon. SMN News even tried contacting Vice Prosecutor Flavien Noailles but his phone went directly to voicemail.
Reliable sources identified the victim as a DJ from Radio 95, they said he is known as Odilon Williams from Grand Case and works along with DJ Patrice on his radio program "Under the Sand Box Tree".
Up to the time this article was updated the Commandant of the Gendarmerie Paul Betaille could not be reached by phone. SMN News also could not reach the Captain of the Gendarmerie or Vice Prosecutor Flavien Noailles for comment.

vkvmootcourtuoc25052014WILLEMSTAD, Curacao:--- In the past two weeks, law firm VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne organized a moot court for law students of the University of Curaçao. With this moot court, the firm contributed to the celebration of the 35th anniversary of the University of Curaçao dr. Moises da Costa Gomez (UoC). On Saturday May 17, the final round of the moot court took place at the Court. The participants were advanced students of the bachelor's and master's program of the Faculty of Law.

The university as well as the participating students look back at the moot court with enthusiasm. VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne consequently considers organizing the moot court annually. Anticipating on that idea, enthusiastic students among the public already cried, "Next time we will definitely participate as well". In addition, all participants considered the moot court to be particularly instructive.

The moot court was kicked off on April 28 by providing the case the competition was focused on. The case described a fictitious litigation in which two parties compete about compensation after a purchased work of art appears to be forged. During two weeks, the students received more information on the case at different times, they could use the legal library of the law firm, and senior associate Rogier van den Heuvel trained them on how to plead a case. The students could show the result of their efforts on the day of the finals, which was last Saturday.

Beside the case they had prepared, the participants also pleaded a second case they were given on the spot. The arguments were reviewed by a jury consisting of judge Peter van Schendel and partners Michiel Gorsira and Mayesi Hammoud of VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne. With two female winners, Madelon Bos and Melitza Willems, the victory of the moot court was a ladies' affair.

Press Release from VanEps Kunneman VanDoorne

channelbehindhousesatpendantcactusrd25052014SUCKER GARDEN:--- Residents of the Foga homes along the Pendant Cactus road in Sucker Garden contacted Sint Maarten Pride Foundation this past week to express their worries regarding the widening and upgrading of a trench located behind their homes. Although members of the community welcome the improvement of the drainage infrastructure, there are concerns about the proximity of the channel to their homes and the fact that this could potentially lead to flooding of the area which is already prone to flooding during heavy rains. Some families are worried about the structural integrity of their fences due to the proximity of the excavation works. The Foga residents are therefore calling on the Ministry of VROMI to have the route of the channel shifted a few more meters away from their fences, yards and homes. Sint Maarten Pride Foundation has since forwarded the residents' concerns to the Ministry of VROMI.

Press Release from the Sint Maarten Pride Foundation

Need to support important institution

PHILIPSBURG:--- During her weekly call in radio program One on One with the Prime Minister, the PM stressed that she is specifically following up with regards to the subsidy for the Mental Health Foundation. The PM's comments come as a result of recent incidents within the community that were carried out by individuals with mental issues; "It is regretful and coincidental that the matter that brought the issue of mental health care on St. Maarten to the fore had to do with the fact that crimes were committed and persons lost their lives. As I have already expressed upon learning upon these incidents there is no excuse for violence, murder or ill treatment. In the case of the young student, she was attacked by someone from the neighborhood and some references were made on the mental state of that person. We have a Mental Health Foundation doing extremely good work but one that is faced with challenges. The Foundation is subsidized by Government but indeed the needs of the organization are great. I requested that from Government side that we look into the finances of the Mental Health Foundation upon learning of the issues that they have been dealing with. I will follow up with these and ensure that all will be done to support this important institution.

"I had the opportunity to as soon as I returned to the island from Montserrat to speak to the mother of the child and the details she explained to me were indeed frightening. This happened on the public road in the middle of the day and to hear about this as a mother it would send me crazy.

"There are a lot of issues that are faced by people on a daily basis; some persons can conceal this state but others not. More can be done on St. Maarten but we must also acknowledge that we have come a long way, not to long ago we had absolutely no care for those suffering from issues related to mental health on St. Maarten. During our island territory days things needed to be done but our legal parameters were not in place yet. Some persons got together and provided that service and Government subsidized the activities of that foundation but there are still some legal issues, including picking up persons and forcing them to have care, which must be looked at. This was a crime and you cant just attack someone, but if it is true that the person needed care in terms of mental care that care should indeed have been given," commented Prime Minister Wescot-Williams.

From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister

PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):--- The Financial Intelligence Unit, Sint Maarten (FIU) is in the process of not only becoming a member of the Egmont Group of FIU organizations, which at present has 140 country members, but also revising and updating its laws and increasing its operational efficiency.

"The FIU is busy upgrading itself," said Head of FIU, Sint Maarten Ligia Stella, "We are doing what is expected of us to get Sint Maarten in full compliance with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) anti money laundering and counter terrorist financing recommendations. We are working on the elimination of the deficiencies." Sint Maarten was evaluated by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) in 2012. The Mutual Evaluation Report of Sint Maarten came out in January 2013 and depicted deficiencies in the compliance with the FATF recommendations. Keeping the national laws up to date with anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing aspects and having an efficient FIU are amongst the FATF recommendations. Being in compliance with these recommendations is of importance for the integrity of the financial system of Sint Maarten. Non-compliance with these recommendations makes a financial system vulnerable for money laundering and terrorist financing and will ultimately isolate a country from interest of bonafide investors.

Recently, on April 25th, 2014, the amendment of the national ordinance reporting unusual transactions was approved by parliament. This is a requirement of the Egmont Group to become a member of this organization. "The reporting institutions must take their obligations seriously and always aim to safeguard the integrity of the financial system of Sint Maarten."

"Since the establishment of the FIU," Stella said, "we have been working diligently on improvement of operational efficiency and establishing administrative procedures. We are ever increasing our knowledge and working collaboration with other FIUs, regionally and internationally. Once completed, the FIU St. Maarten will benefit much from the information sharing and specialized training."

The FIU, under the responsibility of the Minister of Justice, is an independent government entity for the receiving, analysis and dissemination of unusual transactions reports (UTR). Once a suspicion of potential money laundering or terrorist financing arises after the analysis, the FIU reports the suspicious transactions to the Public Prosecutor's Office.

FIU has been engaging with the non-financial and financial institutions since the Netherlands Antilles period. The non-financial businesses and professions are the notaries, lawyers, accountants, tax consultants, car rental companies, jewelers, real estate agencies and administration offices. The financial institutions are the Investment administrators, Credit institutions, Investment funds, Providers of management services, Credit card companies and Credit institutions, Insurers and insurance brokers, Money remitting companies and the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten.

Both reporting sectors must screen their clients more diligently in accordance with the national ordinance identification when rendering services and engage more in risk-based reporting. This means that the amount of suspicious transactions should increase related to the amount of unusual transactions that are being reported at this moment.
Not reporting unusual and/or suspicious transactions is punishable by law for which the penalty is a prison sentence of maximum 4 years.

Stella said that the FIU is there to assist the financial and non-financial institutions in being in compliance with the FATF recommendations concerning anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing. This implies that the institutions must abide by the law which was established in 1996 and updated in 2010 and 2014.

Pursuant to the national ordinance reporting unusual transactions the non-financial businesses and professions fall under the supervision of the FIU. The reporting obligation of the non-financial businesses and professions was included in the national ordinance reporting unusual transactions in 2010. Under this amended law the FIU in its supervisory capacity of the non-financial businesses and professions can order fines, sanctions, and searches when the service provider is handling in breach of that law. The objective of the FIU is not to send persons to jail but to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism.

For more information, visit the FIU website: www.fiu-sxm.net.

eugeneholidaymeetswithkyp25052014HARBOUR VIEW:--- His Excellency, Governor Holiday received the Kingdom Youth Parliament members of the Sint Maarten Team for an audience today at his office at Falcon Drive 3. The Governor discussed their experiences and aspirations with them and exchanged views based on questions they had. Governor Holiday congratulated the youngsters on their excellent performance during the Kingdom Youth Parliament. In recognition of the outstanding way in which they represented Sint Maarten, the Kingdom and themselves, Governor Holiday presented each of them with a Governor's pin. They all thanked the Governor for his support and the opportunity to meet with him.

From the Cabinet of the Governor of St. Maarten

GREAT BAY:--- The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) receives each year subsidy from the Government of St. Maarten. For 2014 the MHF received Naf 1,605,500, which was granted and approved by the Minister of Public Health, Social Development & Labor, Cornelius De Weever.
One of the conditions set by the Minister was that MHF and Turning Point would share facilities and human resources. There are times when psychiatric clients are diagnosed with a dual diagnosis due to or complicated by their substance abuse. Thereby making it obvious for the cooperation between the two institutions. The condition for their cooperation was stipulated in their permit.
"In general, St. Maarten has a challenge with financial and human resources and it is in our best interest to share them," said Minister De Weever.
The Minister further stated that the need of any additional/new building(s) must be assessed properly and realistically given St. Maarten's financial position.
"Not because this is an election year or an emotional period means that we have to rush and make irrational decisions without understanding the financial reality and the sustainability. We have seen many things built and then run down due to lack of funds for maintenance. We must be responsible and get it right," said Minister De Weever.
It is important to note that the decision to purchase and reconstruct the Cay Hill property was taken given the urgency and need. After submitting a request for land way before and waiting quite some time for a reply, the MHF was left with very little choice but to buy and develop the Cay Hill facility in time for 10-10-10 in order to be able to take care of St. Maarten's clients.
"As Minister of Public Health, Social Development & Labour, I look forward to working with all stakeholders in the interest of our past, current and unknown clients and assessing their real needs," said Minister De Weever.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Based on ongoing weather conditions the island has been experiencing and based on water quality sampling conducted by the St. Maarten Nature Foundation it has been decided to issue an alert concerning the medium to
high potential for a Tilapia fish die off in the Great Salt Pond.

The Nature Foundation has tested the water quality in the Great Salt Pond and has measured a decrease in oxygen levels and an increase in salinity due to the ongoing weather conditions. These factors coupled with the
large amount of introduced and invasive tilapia in the Great Salt Pond have made conditions favorable for a tilapia die-off event.

The Nature Foundation has sent its recommendations to the necessary governmental departments and will continue to monitor the situation as it develops. As of Friday, May 23rd there have been some dead tilapia recorded in the Zagersgut area.

The Nature Foundation will issue updates as the situation develops.

Nature Foundation Press Release

dannabangkuwabong23052014GREAT BAY/MARIGOT:--- Dr. Dannabang Kuwabong is in St. Martin with his brand new poetry collection, Voices from Kibuli Country, said Shujah Reiph, coordinator of the St. Martin Book Fair.
There will be a poetry reading and book signing by Dr. Kuwabong at Philipsburg Jubilee Library, on Saturday, May 24 at 7:30 PM, as a pre-Book Fair activity, said Reiph.
Voices from Kibuli Country includes poetry about St. Martin based on impressions from a previous visit by the Ghanaian poet who is also a literature professor at the University of Puerto Rico.
"The Book Fair Committee is inviting all poetry and culture lovers, all lovers of good books to come out to this free and inspiring recital. I'm also very interested in how a traveling writer and scholar at the level of Dr. Kuwabong interprets his experiences about the people, culture and land of St. Martin," said Reiph.
Dr. Kuwabong's "collection results from the author's experiences in Ontario ... and his travels over several Caribbean islands and in the United States as a person of multiple locations and origins: Canadian, African and Ghanaian," according to TSAR Publications, the book's Canadian publisher.
Dr. Kuwabong has been busy in the region and in Canada this year. He was a guest author at Hamilton's Literary Festival in Ontario where his book signing followed what organizers called, "a fascinating reading and discussion about identity and the impact of cultural heritage on the stories we tell."
In April, Dr. Kuwabong delivered a scholarly paper on "The Ecopoetics of St. Martin" in Aruba at the 16th Eastern Caribbean Island Cultures Conference. The author of at least five books arrived at SXM Airport on Thursday from a working visit in St. Croix. In a few days he will be heading to Ghana. While on the Friendly Island Prof. Dannabang Kuwabong will also interview various people for a Caribbean literary project that he is working on.
The recital on Saturday, May 24 is a pre-Book Fair activity in preparation for the 12th annual St. Martin Book Fair, June 5 – 7, 2014. Conscious Lyrics Foundation and House of Nehesi Publishers are the organizers of the upcoming book festival, in collaboration with St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, University of St. Martin, LCF Foundation, and St. Martin Tourist Office. The SXM Airport and SOS Radio are also sponsors of the St. Martin Book Fair 2014.

princessbeatrixtourssimpsonbaylagoon23052014SIMPSON BAY:--- The Sint Maarten Nature Foundation had the honor to play host to Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix during a Royal visit to the Nature Foundation office and the Simpson Bay Lagoon on Wednesday. The Princess, on Sint Maarten as part of the Kingdom Youth Parliament meetings, specifically requested to visit the Nature Foundation and its staff and board members and to be shown the current status of the Simpson Bay Lagoon.

Upon arrival in Cole Bay the Princess and His Excellency Governor Holiday and entourage were introduced to Nature Foundation Board and staff and received an update on various projects currently conducted by the Foundation including work related to the control of lionfish, the nature education program, the Nature Foundation sea turtle management project, the Nature Foundation's work regarding Climate Change and the Man of War Shoal Marine Protected Area.

Her Royal Highness then proceeded to tour the Simpson Bay Lagoon where she received information on the ecological issues and their management therein. Nature Foundation staff and board members gave an explanation of some of the issue currently faced by the Lagoon and the steps which have been taken by the Nature Foundation to manage them. Her Royal Highness received a complete picture of what is currently ongoing with regards to the Lagoon including the filling in of certain parts of the Lagoon and the concern of the Simpson Bay community regarding some of the issues that are on-going. The Princess was very interested to hear about the current dialogue concerning the proper ecological management and zonation of the whole area.

Positive developments within the Lagoon were also highlighted, including the mangrove reforestation project at the Simpson Bay Causeway, the plans to protect Little Key and to improve water quality of the Lagoon, water quality testing done by the Nature Foundation on a regular basis and the plans to remove, clean and sink wrecks currently in the Lagoon as artificial reefs jointly by the Nature Foundation and SLAC.

The highlight of the trip was when the Princess visited the Mullet Pond Section of the Simpson Bay Lagoon, an area currently in the final stages of being protected as an important wildlife area. Her Royal Highness was particularly impressed with Mullet Pond and commended its proposal for listing as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Treaty, a first for Sint Maarten.

Princess Beatrix, who is a Royal Patron of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, an umbrella organization under which the Nature Foundation also falls, also discussed the finances and capability of the Foundation and commended the organization for achieving sound and realistic environmental management with limited staff and resources available to them. The Princess stated that she was impressed at the work which was accomplished over the last few years and encouraged the Foundation to continue to work to protect and safeguard nature on St. Maarten.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Youngsters will be giving form to the future of the Kingdom themselves. That is on of the most important decisions of the Kingdom Youth Parliament (KJP), which reached its closure on Thursday on Sint Maarten. For three days 50 youngsters debated there about the topics in the Kingdom of now and the future, which are important to them. Education and culture, children's rights and durable economic development were central.

Princess Beatrix, who opened the KJP on Tuesday, was also present when the end results were submitted. On Thursday she followed a part of the debates and she has spoken with all of the youngsters during the past days. She was also the first to receive the closing agreement.

In three short presentations the youngsters indicated how the three themes which should receive special attention concerning the collaboration within the Kingdom during the coming years, should be further concretely elaborated upon. They are going to make a Kingdom Career Website (Koninkrijks Carrière Website) in collaboration with colleges and universities. The goal is to help future students on the island to make good study choices when they are considering to go to the Netherlands for further studies. According to the youngsters currently there is not enough information about this subject.

Another point of action will be combating the brain drain on the islands. The Caribbean parts of the Kingdom invest in their youngsters to go study in the Netherlands, but many of them do return home afterwards. This means that they no longer give a contribution to further developing their country/island, which did invest in them. This is the reason why the KJP youngsters want to realize more collaboration between institutions for higher education in all parts of the Kingdom. The students also have to be motivated themselves, in order to choose those studies that contribute to the development of the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom. One of the KJP youngsters put it like this:
"Let's stop the braindrain and start the braingain".

To obtain more and better knowledge about each other, a Kingdom Youth Channel will also be setup on Youtube, where youngsters will take care of popular video's themselves. The target group here consists of youngsters of 12 to 18 years. The first video has to go online in December. The goal is to create a 'kingdom identity'.

In order to get more and better knowledge and awareness of each other there will be a Kingdom Youth Channel on Youtube, where youngsters will take care themselves of uploading popular videos. The target Group here is young people aged 12 to 18 years. The first video should go online in December. The goal is to create a 'kingdom identity'.

For the 19 -year-old Aruban KJP participant Nurianne Helder, after three days of debating together, the KJP already a great success for that matter. She said at the closing session: "I'm no longer an Aruban citizen or a Dutch citizen, but now I certainly feel and am a Kingdom citizen" .

From various sides during these three days of Kingdom Youth Parliament, people insisted that this initiative should be continued. Aruba proposed through its Minister of Culture, Michelle Winklaar, to be the candidate to organize the next edition, possibly in 2017.

The KJP was the third national event of the National Committee in the context of the 200 years celebration of the Kingdom. On behalf of the National Committee, President Ank Bijleveld promised to raise the subject of continuation of the KJP initiative in a letter to the Minister of Interior Affairs Ronald Plasterk. Commenting on the results of the KJP, she stated to be particularly pleased about the "connection" it brings in the Kingdom.

After the earlier national events of the National Committee Kingdom 200 years in Scheveningen, the Hague and now St. Maarten, there still are three upcoming events: end of August in Maastricht, in April 2015 in Zwolle and the closure next September in Amsterdam.

caribbeanliquorandtobaccobvstafftakepartinmsexcelcourse23052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Businesses need information at their fingertips to increase operational visibility in order to drive significant improvement in operating profit and customer service.
Data analyses, reporting and query tools can help business owners wade through a sea of data to achieve that goal.
Today these tools are categorized under the name Business Intelligence or BI.
Without BI, a company runs the risk of making critical decisions based on insufficient or inaccurate information. Making decisions based on "gut feel" will not get the job done!
PCMI NV, a pioneer of innovative training opportunities in St. Maarten, is proud to offer the course "Excel's Pivot Tables for the Data Analyst Level 1". Excel's Pivot Tables is one of the most powerful, yet least used features by its users.
In an effort to upgrade the skills of its accounting and sales staff Caribbean Liquor and Tobacco BV took part in this specialized course. A Certified Business Intelligence Professional lectured this course training the students in mastering the skills to create and customize pivot tables, using slicers to filter data and create dynamic KPI dashboards with pivot charts.
This course "Excel Pivot Tables for the Data-Analyst Level 1" is suited for Accounting and financial professionals, Data analysts, Department managers and Executives.

To enroll in the course contact PCMI NV at 5423088 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

PCMI NV Press Release

gnsstmdrumband23052014GREAT BAY:--- Chester York is the island's senior panman and steel pan maker, "Gassy" Richardson was a champion bicycle rider, and "Mr. Bibi" Gumbs designed modern and affordable houses for 25 years.
"These men should be known for their perseverance from a humble start in life, discipline in studying and practicing their fields, excelling in their pioneer work, and contributing to our island," said Urmain Dormoy, leader of the 30-member Generation New Status St. Maarten drum band (GNSSTM).
The St. Martin Book Fair, scheduled for June 5-7, 2014, recently gave the Generation New Status band 90 booklets, profiling the life and pioneering work of George "Gassy" Gaston Richardson, Chester York, and Alexis "Bibi" Guillaume [Duzant] Gumbs. The current members of Generation New Status range from five to 16 years of age, and make up one of the island's busiest youth music groups. Each member of GNSSTM will receive one booklet about each pioneer nation-builder, said Dormoy.
The pioneerseries booklets are entitled Gassy York – Champion Cyclist, Chester York – Making of a panman, and Mr. Bibi – Pioneer in House Drawing & Design.
"Getting these booklets in the hands and homes of children and teens is part of HNP's reading motivation, creative writing, and literacy building activities that involve the St. Martin Book Fair," said Jacqueline Sample of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP), the book fair co-organizer that published the mini-biographies.
"I'm so happy to receive the booklets for Generation New Status STM members. This is a way for the boys and girls, and for some of their parents, to know more about our island, our people, and our culture, which they are all part of," said Dormoy.
The pre-Book Fair presentation was made to Dormoy last week by HNP. "Urmain in turn presented GNSSTM's archival copy of each title to Princess Beatrix on Tuesday during the Dutch royal's visit to the territory this week," said Sample.
"I wanted to get these books for the youngsters for about two years but we couldn't get a sponsor just for that, so I'm happy that the Book Fair is making this contribution," said Dormoy, himself a well-known musician.
Over the years, Dormoy has brought the VKS to the band's practice to train the members in forms of marching discipline; he has led the performing group in the Boardwalk Mas, and in the US city of Orlando at Sea World. Last Sunday, Generation New Status was one of the youth groups performing at the St. Louis/Freetown fête, which was made famous island-wide by the late folklorist "Yaya" Richards.
Dormoy said that he and co-principal Jennifer Thomas are always looking out for extra cultural and educational activities to creatively help band members "to know our island better; to do their school work and homework better; to be more helpful to their parents at home; and to take pride in their neighborhoods."
Conscious Lyrics Foundation and HNP are the organizers of the upcoming book festival, in collaboration with St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, University of St. Martin, LCF Foundation, and St. Martin Tourist Office. The SXM Airport and SOS Radio are also sponsors of the St. Martin Book Fair 2014.

sonsofthunderflyer23052014PHILIPSBURG:--- The G.I.F.T.E.D. Foundation has teamed up with Curtis Jordan Ministries for the second annual event, to present "Sons of Thunder - SXM Weekend of P.O.W.E.R. 2014" from May 30 to June 1, 2014. This is an event packed with the Praises Of Worshipers Empowered to Rule with international recording artistes Curtis Jordan, Positive, Koen Duncan, Rizon, and Keron Ramsey of Trinidad and Tobago, Kevin Smith of Jamaica, and E-Praise of Guyana amongst several other artistes. Sint Maarten is the third of a Caribbean five island tour including Trinidad & Tobago, Anguilla, St. Kitts, and Jamaica. All events are free of charge.
From May 27th to 28th, the Sons Of Thunder will storm through elementary and high schools with motivational speeches for the St. Maarten youth. Schools slated for the visit are St. Maarten Vocational Training School, Milton Peters College, St. Maarten Academy, St. Maarten Academy PSVE, Sundial School, Prins Willem Alexander School, Ruby Labega School, Genevieve DeWeever School, Oranje School, Charles Leopold Bell School, and the Leonard Connor School.
On Friday, May 30th, the Sons of Thunder will host a youth rally dubbed "300 – No Retreat" at the Christian Assemblies Church in Grand Case, French St. Martin at 7pm. All youth and youth groups are invited to come out to this free event.
On Saturday, May 31st, the Sons of Thunder P.O.W.E.R. Concert will be held at the Belair Community Centre starting with a pre-show at 6pm featuring DJs, Joshua "DRJ" Ferrol and Lenworth "DJLJ" Wilson. The main show will begin at 7pm. This power-packed ministry and worship event is at no charge to the patrons. The Sons of Thunder cast has the full line up of Koen Duncan, Rizon, E-Praise, Kevin Smith, Keron Ramsey, Curtis Jordan, and Positive. The event promises to be energizing and electrifying.
The activities close with Curtis Jordan's "Heaven Speaks" album launch on Sunday, June 1st at the Philipsburg Community Cultural Center at 6:30pm. Admission is free. The album can be reserved by purchasing in advance for $15, or pay $20 on the night of the launch. Tickets are available at Van Dorp in Madame Estate and The Family Bookstore in Philipsburg.
Visit the GIFTED Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GIFTEDLIGHT and click "Like" to keep up-to-date with GIFTED activities. For tickets for the album launch CD and/or more details you may call 520-3680 or 581-0448.

paulmartenspresentsmastersthesistopjl23052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Paul Martens presented his Master's thesis, "Varend op eigen kracht: Naar een effectief scheepvaarttoezicht op Sint Maarten" (Sailing with its own power: Effective maritime surveillance on St. Maarten) on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 to Library Director, Monique Alberts.

 

sundialschooltechnicalscienceandlanguagelablaunch23052014PHILIPSBURG:--- A fully renovated Technical Science classroom and a language lab were festively on Thursday May 22, 2014 at the Sundial School. The Division for Educational Innovation (DEI) was able to assist the Milton Peters College and the Sundial school with this project to the tune of over FLS 375,000.00.

The Technical Science project consisted of the ordering of a new Technical Science method along with the corresponding equipment as well as digital resource material and training of staff in the use of this new method .This project was lauded by all as very much worthwhile as it contributes to the rekindling of our students' interest in the technical sector and ideally the revitalization of our local technical industry.

The language lab project consisted of ordering computer based language software for both English and Dutch along with the necessary hardware. This was seen as a most welcome addition to the both the MPC and Sundial as students boast of the programs catering to their personal needs and being very engaging.

This latest investment is a part of an ICT integration project that was jointly embarked on by SVOBE and DEI in 2012 with an aim at equipping the school to educate the 21st century technology driven student. In December of 2013 an opening took place at MPC where classrooms with the newly installed beamers and smart boards, an AutoCAD (computer aided design for the technical sector), a language lab, a renovated Cultural Artistic Formation classroom and an official SVOBE website were opened. This part of the project was to the tune of over FLS 660.000,-

This project will be rounded off with an investment of over FLS 175.000 in a math lab and metal classroom at MPC where ICT will also play a major role. At the end of the project over 1.2 million guilders would have been invested at the SVOBE schools in order to give a much needed boost to the integration of ICT in our educational system.

These projects are part of the Dutch Development funding for the Innovations in Education projects that were funded through USONA. SVOBE is thanked for their financial contributions to such matters as insurance and training. DEI wishes to thank Mr. Wim de Visser and Mr. Reginald Richardson and the entire MPC/ Sundial team for their contributions to this project as well as Mrs. Angela Dekker (USONA representative) for her unwavering dedication to the betterment of education on the island.

mediatrainingparticipants23052014GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- On May 15 – 16, 2014, the Workshop Media Training for government public relations (PR) officers took place at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort. The workshop was attended by PR-officers from the Tourism Office, press officers of the Ministers' Cabinet, communication specialists of the Department of Communications (DCOMM) and the spokesperson of the Police Force St. Maarten.

The Workshop was facilitated by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, which is associated with the renowned Reuters Press Bureau. Trainer Lisa Anne Essex, originally from Great Britain, came from the United States of America to give the course.

Lisa Anne Essex has extensive experience as a journalist and media consultant. Recent courses given by Essex include Oil and Gas reporting in Iraq, Political Reporting in Nepal, International Newswriting in Bangladesh, Investigative Journalism in Ukraine, Good Governance and Anti-corruption in Turks and Caicos. Essex's clients included Reuters Foundation, UNDP (United Nations Development Program), The World Bank, The Financial Times, and the European Journalism Centre.

The workshop, which was funded by USONA and organized by the Secretariat of the Council of Ministers, was intended to increase the understanding of the PR-officers and the communication specialists regarding the different roles of journalists and PR-officers. As well as increase the confidence of the trainees to deal with everything from everyday press releases to crisis communications.

The training modules were designed with communications professionals in mind, to ensure that they are providing the tools necessary for journalists to do their jobs. The relationship between journalists and PR-officers can be a challenging one, mainly because neither has a good understanding of the others' roles.

For this purpose an additional session was planned Friday evening to which local journalists were invited to openly discuss these differences.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Dennis Richardson, was present Friday afternoon to hand out the certificates to the workshop participants.

chuchubifoundationmeetswithmikeeman23052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Members of the Executive Board of the Chuchubi Foundation, consisting of the Vice President Mrs. Sheila Kelly, the Secretary Mrs. Barbara Warren, the Treasurer Ms. Patricia Philips together with Board members, Mr. Clarence Richardson and Mr. Richard Woods met with the Prime Minister of Aruba, the Honorable Prime Minister of Aruba Mr. Mike Eman and Ms. Indra Duarte, Acting Director of the office of the European Union and Kingdom Relations, during their stay on Sint Maarten in connection with the Kingdom Youth Parliament.
The Foundation had an opportunity to discuss with the Prime Minister their goals, activities and future plans. The main goal of the Foundation is to continue to foster better relationship between Sint Maarten and Aruba. In this regard the Foundation expressed their desire to have direct airlift between Aruba and Sint Maarten. The charter that was co-organized by the Chuchubi Foundation to Aruba 60th Carnival is evident of the number of Arubans living on Sint Maarten who would like to make use of direct flights to Aruba.
The Prime Minister pledged to maintain the contact with the Chuchubi Foundation and expressed his willingness to assist the Foundation in their quest to maintain ties with Aruba. The Vice President thanked the Minister for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with the Foundation and for his warm reception and commitment to work with the Foundation in the future.

mauricelake18082013PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake on Friday said he has found a corporate sponsor who will provide assistance for the nine-year old victim who suffered a brutal attack a week ago while on her way to school.

"I spoke with the Mother of the nine-year old on Friday to see how the little girl is doing. I am pleased to announce that a corporate sponsor has come along who will assist with buying school materials and most importantly, covering the costs for professional psychological assistance.

"The most important thing at this point in time is the psychological recovery of the pupil so she can live a normal life without any fear. This has been a traumatic experience for the child that can cause serious psychological damage if not dealt with properly and quickly.

"It's all about getting the child back on the road to a happy recovery, and being in high spirits and living a normal life," Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Friday.

Minister Lake added that his actions are genuine and should not be construed with the current upcoming election campaign.

"People know me if I see something I will work on getting it done. I am a people and community oriented person, and solution driven. Since becoming Minister I have looked at allocating government land to various organizations that serve the community of this country, and the Mental Health Foundation is one of them.

"It's nothing political behind it; it's about getting the job done for the people of this country. I have sought assistance for our youth who want to spread their wings. We have talented young people in the area of sports for example, and I am proud to say that I was able to assist them to bring them closer to their dreams," Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Friday.

PHILIPSBURG:--- May 27th, 2014 is the new date for the recently postponed workshop entitled, "How to Apply for a U.S. Student Visa or Canadian Study Permit." The workshop organized by the Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs had to be postponed last week due to inclement weather and is now slated to be held at the University of St. Martin from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
In this workshop, information will be given on the application process for obtaining an U.S. Student Visa or Canadian Study Permit. Students who have applied to schools in the U.S.A. or Canada or those who have already been accepted to a school in either of these countries can attend the workshop to receive a step by step approach on how to complete the application process. The process can seem overwhelming and confusing, however, SSSD will help students to better understand the process.
Students who do not own a U.S. passport, U.S. Permanent Residence (Green Card), Canadian passport, or Canadian permanent residence are considered international students in the U.S. and Canada respectively. Applying for a student visa ties into immigration matters, therefore, it is essential that students are aware of the procedure and take care in preparing their application. "Improper preparation or incomplete applications can delay the process at the embassy," Mussington-Service, Head of SSSD, stated.
SSSD provides many services to students. Some services include: psychological services, counseling services, social work services, educational diagnostic services, career services, and parent education.
Students and parents are encouraged to contact the career guidance counselors Ms. Manek and Mr. Chance at 543-1235 for more information. They can also visit the SSSD office which is located in the Amigo Building across from the Police Station and next to WIB.

PEMBROKE PINES, FL:--- The 2014 FCCA Trade Show, taking place in St. Maarten from October 6-10, will offer exhibitors an invaluable opportunity to target a prestigious audience of tourism stakeholders and cruise line executives, presidents and CEOs.

Over 1,000 stakeholders from all sectors of the cruise tourism industry, along with over 100 FCCA Member Line cruise executives, presidents and CEOs, will gather in St. Maarten for the FCCA Conference & Trade Show-a four-day series of workshops, meetings, social functions and, of course, the Trade Show.

The Trade Show will be the best way to capture the attention of this prominent audience, allowing exhibitors to maximize the foot traffic of important decision makers focused on sourcing new business and expanding existing business.

Exposure will be supported by the Trade Show's front and center position in the Conference facility, with all attendees entering and passing through in order to access meetings, workshops, business sessions and registration. Plus there will be designated times when cruise executives have private viewings of the Trade Show.

Any booth will put an exhibitor's product, company or destination on the mind of these pivotal tourism stakeholders and cruise executives that decide where ships call and what is sold onboard. However, specialized pavilions will increase attention and allow a destination or large company to showcase their numerous offerings. Additionally, private meetings with cruise executives will be available in the pavilions.

To learn more about and/or register for the FCCA Conference & Trade Show, please visit: https://www.regonline.com/fccastmaarten.

To secure a booth or pavilion, please contact James Kazakoff at (+1-954-441-8881).

pjlworkersconductingworkshopatgjbpl22052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Philipsburg Jubilee Library's (PJL) staff members Francia Housen, Circulation Manager/Interim Systems Administrator and Irmin Hughes, Manager Information services traveled to St. Eustatius to conduct two days of introductory workshops for the staff and board members of the Gertrude Judson Bicentennial Public Library (GJBPL), on May 12 to May 13.
The GJBPL is in the process of automating its library services with the KOHA-Liblime software. PJL will serve as the hosting partner. Saba's Queen Wilhelmina's Library (QWL) recently became fully automated with the KOHA-Liblime software in March of this year. While the PJL library switched over in December of 2013.
Library Director, Monique Alberts stated that, "We are very happy that we are able to support our colleagues from Statia with this project. We have a long standing working relationship with the GJB Public Library. Once the Statia library is automated, it will be able to enhance its level of service to the citizens of the island enormously".
Staff and board members including Gloria "Patsy" Blijden, Rosabel Blake, Janiska Woodley, President of the board, Inez Shaw-Mars, and Siem Dijkshoorn, Vice President, received and introduction on computer cataloguing and circulation procedures. Once implemented, this digitalization of inventory will allow library users to access available resources online and place holds on books.
The digitalization upgrade of the three libraries was made possible with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
PJL will be inviting the GJBPL's staff to St. Maarten soon to get an intensive, hands-on training with the new automated system.

PJL Press Release

MIAMI/PHILIPSBURG:--- Dr. Sam Hess, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The American Clinic (TAC) said on Thursday that he was shocked by what he read with respect to guarantees of US$180-US$200 million being made available by the Social Insurance Bank (SZV) for medical tourism.

In order for the people of Sint Maarten to have the correct information about the interests of TAC and its plans for medical tourism, Dr. Sam Hess made the following statement to bring clarity and transparency to unfounded blogger reports:

"We have no agreement in place either with the SZV or the Government of Sint Maarten where funding of TAC's medical tourism project is concerned. We are not asking for any monetary contribution from either the Government or the SZV, and to say that an agreement is to be signed this Friday is just simply not the truth.
"We have been and are committed to working closely with the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) to improve the quality of medical care available to the people of Sint Maarten. Specifically, we are prepared to provide those specialists that are needed and not currently available on the island.

"Our project is unique when compared to other medical tourism wellness facilities throughout the world. Rarely does a medical tourism project help the resident population. We on the other hand have committed to assisting SMMC and SZV to provide access to specialist not currently available here on the island. This would prevent delays in diagnosis and treatment which is what the people of Sint Maarten want.

"Sint. Maarteners would no longer have to leave the island to travel to Colombia, the Dominican Republic, the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe/Martinique or Europe. Instead they would be able to have their consultations and treatment done right here at home. They will be able to recover with their family and friends right next to them.

"The American Clinic physicians will follow them after their surgery which is not happening now when they come back from having traveled abroad. Importantly, millions of dollars could be saved by SZV, the Government, and tax payers will obviously benefit as well.

"TAC envisions having the specialist and facility in place to cater to the needs of the Sint Maarten people while working side by side with SMMC which would continue to be the national hospital of the country that meets the basic health needs of the population.

"TAC's role comes into play in areas that SMMC is not able to focus on. This is where the synergy between both health care institutions would be a win-win for the community of Sint Maarten.

"TAC would focus on developing the medical tourism sector which would be its core business bringing millions in new tourism revenue, mitigating and balancing the seasonality of tourism on the island, and employing hundreds of locals in full-time positions. Together with the SMMC, we can make Sint Maarten the shining star of medical excellence in the Caribbean," Dr. Sam Hess, CEO of TAC said on Thursday in bringing clarity and transparency to the issue of public health and medical tourism matters.

usmrepsmeetwithjwureps22052014PHILIPSBURG:--- The University of St. Martin, Johnson and Wales University (JWU), and the Division Study Financing held an informative evening last night at the USM.

Present at the info session were prospective JWU students and their parents, Karen Codogan of the St. Maarten JWU Alumni Association and members of the Student Government Association/USM.

Under the current 2 + 2 program, Government of St. Maarten study financing recipients can earn their Associate's Degree at USM after which they are able to transfer to JWU and obtain their Bachelor's degree for only $5000 out of pocket expenses.

An agreement was made between the Dean of Academics and Mr. Jeff Greenip of JWU to work together on producing a joint brochure for USM and JWU.

In addition, Hospitality students at USM will have the opportunity to spend a semester at JWU, during their AA degree pursuits. The closer cooperation between JWU and USM has been welcomed by Mr. Antonio Aventurin and Mr. Calvin Mardembrough of the Division Study Financing.

Mr. Victor Silva, who is the Director of International Relations for Latin America and Caribbean, outlined the benefits of going to JWU and financial packages, which JWU has designated SXM to be one of its main partners, thus affording it a very beneficial financial package.

Besides the four campuses, the academic programs are well known. The student benefits range from small classes to having industry faculty to global perspectives.

The JWU operates on a trimester basis and a 4-day class week.

Their programs are: Business, Culinary, Hospitality, Arts & Sciences, Technology, and Graduate studies.

For more information contact the school and JWU Victor Silva on Facebook.

May 28, 2014: Deadline registration political parties

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Electoral Council calls on all political parties which have not yet registered to participate in the upcoming Parliamentary elections to do so as soon as possible as the deadline for application for registration of political parties is Wednesday, May 28, 2014.
Any party that fails to apply for registration before or on May 28, 2014 and/or does not adhere to all requirements stipulated for registration of political parties laid down in the National Ordinance on Registration and Finances of Political Parties will be excluded from participation in the upcoming elections.
Submission of an application for registration by a political party does not mean that the party is registered by the Electoral Council. Subsequent to the submission of the application, the application will be thoroughly reviewed by the Electoral Council. Only after receiving a positive decision on the application by the Electoral Council, the party can be considered registered and may participate in the Parliamentary election to be held on August 29, 2014.
Together with the application for registration of the political party the following documents should be submitted by the party to the Electoral Council:

  • Notarial deed containing the Articles of Association
  • Excerpt from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Statement containing the appointment of the party's authorized representative and deputy authorized representative
  • Application for registration of the identification to be placed above the list of candidates

In view of the upcoming deadline for registration of political parties on May 28th, 2014, the Electoral Council will extend its opening hours on Monday, May 26th, Tuesday, May 27th and Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 and will be open from 09:00 a.m. to 05:30 p.m.
For more information or to make an appointment, please contact the Electoral Council office, located on Back Street No. 145B. Telephone No. 543-9888, Fax No. 543-9887.

CUL DE SAC:--- In the presence of Princess Beatrix the history text book "Unity and diversity - 200 years Kingdom. Netherlands and the six Caribbean islands presented in dates" ("Eenheid en verscheidenheid – 200 jaar Koninkrijk. Nederland en de zes Caribische eilanden in jaartallen") was handed over on Wednesday in Sint Maarten. Twenty students of the Sint Maarten Academy received a first copy from the chairperson of the National Committee 200 years Kingdom, Ank Bijleveld.

"Two hundred years Kingdom means that Netherlands and the Caribbean share a great deal of mutual history. It is important to know this history, because that is the only way we will be able to understand the trends of today and build the future together", the National Committee chairperson declared.

This fits right with the theme of the Kingdom Youth Parliament (Koninkrijksjeugdparlement - KJP) which is currently held (May 20th to 22nd) in Sint Maarten. Fifty young people debate about what binds us in the Kingdom, now and in the future. The KJP is the third (national) event with regard to the celebration of 200 years of Kingdom.

The book is about the shared history in the Kingdom in the period from 1813 to now. However, the time from the discovery of the islands by the Spaniards is discussed as well. The focus is on the historical moments in the relationship between the islands internally and the relationship between the islands and the Netherlands. It is a mix of governmental affairs and important events in the field of sports, culture, economy and the society.

The timeline appears on the occasion of the 200 year celebration and is intended to be a permanent reminder for the pupils in the higher classes of VSBO/Mavo and in junior HAVO/VWO. It also lends teachers a helping hand in digging deeper into the history of the Kingdom.

After the presentation at the Sint Maarten Academy, some 11 thousand copies of the book will also be distributed to other schools in Sint Maarten and the five other Caribbean islands. To make it as accessible as possible, the work is translated into English, and Papiamentu and Papiamento.

A frequently heard comment in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom is that the young people on the islands often know more about the Netherlands than vice versa. That resulted to be indeed the case at the opening of the Kingdom Youth Parliament with Princess Beatrix on Tuesday. Many who were present emphasized the importance of attention for the Kingdom in the educational curriculum. Dwayne Griffith from Sint Maarten, one of the many youngsters participating at the KJP, phrased it as follows: ""I learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow". The National Committee is therefore looking into the options for to spread the book also under schools in the Netherlands

The historical timeline was commissioned by the National Committee to journalist and historian René Roodheuvel. He is a former correspondent for Radio Netherlands Worldwide (Radio Nederland Wereldomroep) and the NOS on the islands, and in his youth he lived for some years on Curaçao. He is also member of the Caribbean workgroup of the National Committee 200 years Kingdom.

Click here to view photos of Princess Beatrix visit to the St. Maarten Academy.

imfdelegationvisitswastewatertreatmentplant22052014GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- A delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited the country last week. The delegation arrived on May 13, accompanied by members of the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten.

The delegation just completed their visit to Curaçao, where they first conducted the Article IV Consultations before they continued in St. Maarten. The Article IV Consultations are held in both countries due to the fact that Curaçao and Sint Maarten together form a monetary union.

The IMF has published, based on their findings, a preliminary findings report. The final version will be presented in their Consultation Staff report later in the year, (http://www.imf.org/extend/np/ms/2014/052014.htm)

The IMF is an international financial organization, formally created on December 27, 1945, initially with 29 member states. Now the IMF has 188 members and its headquarters are situated in Washington D.C. in the United States of America.
The IMF's Articles of Agreement state under Article IV that the IMF will hold bilateral discussions with members, usually every year, in the countries involved. These consultations focus on the review of the overall economic development in a country, as well as its policy measures aimed at maintaining economic stability.

The IMF attempts to assess each country's economic health in order to forestall future financial problems.

The Article IV Consultations are part of the surveillance tools applied by the IMF to monitor the economic and financial policies of its 188 member countries. In addition, the IMF offers technical assistance to its members and provides loans to countries that have trouble meeting their international payments, as well as provides concessional loans to low-income countries to help them develop their economies and reduce poverty.

The IMF delegation consisted of five members and was headed by Mission Chief, Davide Lombardo, who is a Senior Economist at the European Department of the IMF and included Menno Snel, who is an Executive Director of the IMF Executive Board.

During their week on the island the IMF delegation conducted meetings with Government representatives and other stakeholders of economic importance, namely the Uitvoeringsorgaan Sociale en Ziektekosten Verzekeringen (SZV), Algemeen Pensioen Fonds (APS), the Chamber of Commerce, Sint Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SMHTA), Indian Merchants Association (IMA) and Union representatives.

At the end of their visit the delegation had a meeting with the Council of Ministers on Saturday, May 17, in order to present and discuss the preliminary report. The findings presented were not entirely a major surprise to the Council; the Prime Minister stated that "the issues as you put forward that government need to take into consideration, are issues we ourselves have outlined that needs to happen,", thus Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams.

The Council was therefore pleased to receive confirmation from an independent observer regarding the priorities identified by the Government. Furthermore, the Council expressed their appreciation that IMF took into consideration the challenges Sint Maarten is facing and the factors that have a great impact on the matters that influence the outcome of the report.

On Sunday, May 18, the IMF delegation went per bus on a sightseeing tour around the Dutch side of the island, as well as a Simpson Bay Lagoon tour by boat. The delegation received on-site presentations at the Port St. Maarten (Harbour Group of Companies), the Wastewater Treatment Plant at A.T. Illidge Road and during the boat tour in the Simpson Bay Lagoon.

In the bus representatives of the Government (Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure, Ministry of General Affairs and Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications) were at hand to elucidate about the new developments and projects along the route. The delegation received a tour of the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIAE) before departure on Monday, May 19.

The IMF officially stated that the delegation "is grateful for both islands' warm hospitality, for the authorities' cooperation both in the run-up and during the visit, and for open, frank and constructive discussions".

ocaneuparliamentarydebate22052014THE HAGUE:--- In a bid to generate more awareness and involvement within and by the Dutch Caribbean community, OCAN in collaboration with The ProDemos House for Democracy organised "European-Dutch-Caribbean voices in the EU-parliament" in connection with the upcoming EU parliamentary elections on May 22nd 2014. A video summary of the debate, covered by RTV-7/Nostisia.com, was broadcasted on TeleCuraçao and is available online through the YouTube URL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JgFfqsOpn0, or searching using the terms: Ocan Debat Europese Verkiezingen. A radio summary by the NTR can be heard through the URL http://www.dichtbijnederland.nl/page/detail/796450.

OCAN strongly urges the general public of the Windward and Leeward islands to view the debate which will supplement any general knowledge of the relation of the European Union and the OCTs Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten and what the standpoints of various political parties are in regards to the islands. Some 50 plus persons were on hand in Rotterdam on May 17th to engage in dialogue with the 9 invited EU candidates that were allowed time to state their agreement or disagreement with five debate propositions prepared by OCAN. The five propositions which evoked sharp commentary from the audience and eagerness by the 9 politicians to tap into the voiced concerns were:

  1. "European values are Judeo-Christian and humanist. These should be embedded in a European constitution."
  2. "Europe should henceforth only grant entry to the skilled migrant. Integration is also The sole responsibility of the migrant."
  3. "To lose Europe, is to gain adversity."
  4. "The Caribbean section of the Kingdom must become an integral part of the European Union."
  5. "The Dutch Euro parliamentarians should look after the desires and needs of Citizens in the Netherlands and Caribbean more actively, otherwise a rejection Of the European constitution will equal a rejection of Europe?"

OCAN reminds all eligible voters that as EU citizens, you are allowed to vote for your representation in the European Parliament on May 22nd, 2014.

gnoflyer22052014PHILIPSBURG/MARIGOT:--- INSCO in collaboration with Marketing Solutions is proud to announce 2nd SXM Girls Night Out event that will be taking place on Saturday May 24th from 6PM to Midnight at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino.
The 1st SXM Girls Night Out that took place at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort in August last year was nothing short of spectacular.
According to Ogechi, the Founder of SXM GNO "Judging from the comments of both the exhibitors and the visitors, I must say we met the expectations of all concerned".

SXM Girls Night Out is a one-of-a-kind event on the island and in this region solely focused on women. It is a fun-filled six-hour shopping event where women will relax and unwind over SXM GNO signature cocktails, mini-massages and mini-makeovers while hunting for EXCLUSIVE ONE-NIGHT-ONLY DEALS while local businesses showcase their latest or best-selling products or services. It will be the ideal fun night out for women that will feature a SILENT AUCTION, so women will be Shopping For A Cause!!!
According to Bernadette Davis, one of the organizers, "Women today are a rising economic powerhouse. This is significant information for companies positioning products and services to a female audience. According to recent research conducted, women have been identified as "the Third Billion," meaning that internationally women are the next emerging economy, the Sheconomy."
The new features this year is:

  • A Shoe Show
  • A mini Hear Expo
  • A fashion Show
  • A Workshop entitled "Beauty Inside and Out"

EVENT OBJECTIVES & GOALS

  • To create an event for women where they can relax, unwind, shop, network, and get pampered
  • To connect businesses that cater to women to their target market
  • To promote and create additional avenues for sales for local businesses that cater to women
  • To provide customers with a positive brand experience.

Tickets are available at various outlets: Van Dorp and la Classe Boutique, In addition, for those women who think one night is not enough, we offer a Week-End Get Away for $595.00 per person, double occupancy.

Organized crime networks targeted in INTERPOL-coordinated Operation Pangea VII

LYON, France:--- Nearly 200 enforcement agencies across 111 countries have taken part in Operation Pangea VII targeting criminal networks behind the sale of fake medicines via illicit online pharmacies. The operation led to 237 arrests worldwide and the seizure more than USD 36 million worth of potentially dangerous medicines.
In terms of the number of participating INTERPOL member countries, Operation Pangea VII is the largest-ever global operation targeting fake medicines. It resulted in the launch of 1,235 investigations, the removal of more than 19,000 adverts for illicit pharmaceuticals via social media platforms and more than 10,600 websites shut down.
In addition to interventions on the ground, which included the identification and dismantlement of three illicit laboratories in Colombia, the operation also targeted the main areas exploited by organized crime in the illegal online medicine trade: rogue domain name registrars, electronic payment systems and delivery services.
Operation Pangea VII was coordinated by INTERPOL, with the World Customs Organization (WCO), the Permanent Forum of International Pharmaceutical Crime (PFIPC), the Heads of Medicines Agencies Working Group of Enforcement Officers (WGEO), the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI) and Europol, with support from the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) and private sector companies including G2 Web Services, LegitScript, MasterCard, Microsoft,PayPal and Visa.
As well as raids at addresses linked to the illicit pharmaceutical websites, some 543,000 packages were inspected by customs and regulatory authorities, of which nearly 20,000 were seized during the international week of action (13 – 20 May).
Among the 9.4 million fake and illicit medicines seized during the operation were slimming pills, cancer medication, erectile dysfunction pills, cough and cold medication, anti-malarial, cholesterol medication and nutritional products.
"The sole focus of the organized crime networks behind the sale of these fake and illicit medicines is to make money, and they do not care about the potentially life-threatening consequences of their actions," said INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble.
"Operation Pangea has again demonstrated that the joint efforts of law enforcement agencies around the world and with the support of the private sector can have a significant impact in helping to protect the public and turn back crime," said the INTERPOL Chief.
Following the discovery of the illicit laboratories in Bogota, INTERPOL's National Central Bureau in Colombia issued the first ever INTERPOL Purple Notices – which seek or provide information on modi operandi, objects, devices and concealment methods used by criminals – in relation to pharmaceutical crime.
NCB Bogota also requested INTERPOL Blue Notices requesting further intelligence regarding suspects in a criminal organization related to pharmaceutical crime in order to trace and locate them.
"The results from Operation Pangea VII are not just about the seizures and arrests, but also about demonstrating the growing commitment from member countries in tackling these crimes, and their increasing expertise," said Aline Plançon, head of INTERPOL's Medical Products Counterfeiting and Pharmaceutical Crime (MPCPC) unit.
"The interceptions and seizures physically stop these potentially life-threatening medicines from reaching unsuspecting consumers, but equally as important is shutting down the online platforms used by organized crime
to target the public," added Ms Plançon.
Throughout Operation Pangea VII, INTERPOL's General Secretariat headquarters in Lyon served as the central hub for information exchange among the participating countries and agencies. From this base, the WCO's
Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for Western Europe coordinated activities between participating customs administrations via CENcomm and the Pangea team, and a mobile Europol office also conducted cross-checks.
Operation Pangea VII is part of INTERPOL's Turn Back Crime global awareness campaign, which aims to educate society about the ways in which organized crime infiltrates our daily lives, and to assist the public in
protecting themselves.

INTERPOL Press Release

recentparlatinoexecutivemeetinginpanama22052014PHILIPSBURG:--- The President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell will give the opening speech on Thursday morning at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino that starts two-days of Latin American Parliament (Parlatino) committee meetings.

Approximately 75 Members of Parliament and support staff from Parlatino will attend three committee meetings on Thursday and Friday, namely the Economic Affairs, Social Debt and Regional Development Committee; Committee of Energy & Mines; and Committee of Political Affairs, Municipal and Integration.

On Thursday evening there will be an official reception and His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday and Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams will attend.

During the evening reception speeches will be given by President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell and one by Acting Secretary General of Parlatino Roland Gonzalez Patricio.

Parlatino, is a regional, permanent and unicameral organization, comprising the National Latin American Parliaments elected democratically upon popular vote, whose countries have subscribed to the institutional treaty of November 16, 1987, in Lima, Peru.

mauricelakevisitssitefornewmentalhealthfacility22052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake on Wednesday hit the ground running when he visited the location for the country's new Mental Health Guided Living Facility that will be constructed in Madame Estate near the St. Maarten Zoo.

The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) will within short submit its request for a building permit.

A drainage trench that runs across the property that was provided for the new facility will be relocated.

"Everything is being done on my end to facilitate the construction of a national mental health guided living facility that can house those who suffer from mental illness and at the same time offer the best care possible. As a country we have to provide the necessary facilities to take care of our people who suffer from different things.

"This is not about politics; it's about taking care of our people and doing what's right when it comes to continuing to improve the quality of life and care of our people. Those who have challenges, as a society we also have a responsibility to take care of them.

"My main objective is about getting things done, and that is what my back to basics approach is all about. When I built my house, I did it step by step. You have to start somewhere and the Mental Health Foundation has my full support in getting things moving upward block by block.

"I once again appeal to the business community to assist the Mental Health Foundation in their efforts. This is a facility to serve all the people, because you never know when you, a love one or a friend may become mentally ill and would have to be treated. We have to focus on the forest instead of the trees," Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Wednesday.

Minister Lake added he was moved when a senior citizen came to him with tears in her eyes about her mentally ill son. "The lady told me that she is not able to take care of him because of her age and the MHF is not able to keep him at their facility over a long-term period. The lady said she is very stressed and requested help.

"I can understand her situation and there are probably 10 or 20 more like her who are in a similar situation. I will do what is necessary from my end as Minister of VROMI," Minister Hon. Maurice Lake pointed out on Wednesday.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Registration is now open for the premier cruise industry event of the year - the 21st annual Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Cruise Conference and Trade Show - taking place Oct. 6-10, 2014 in St. Maarten.
This year's FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show, taking place on the cosmopolitan island of St. Maarten, will bring together more than 1,000 cruise industry partners and approximately 100 cruise decision-maker executives. The event provides a chance for cruise executives to meet with industry partners and discuss the benefits of cruise tourism.
"We're excited to welcome the 21st annual FCCA Cruise Conference to St. Maarten this year," said Edward Dest, interim director of tourism for the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau. "We recognize the cruise industry as one of our largest contributors to tourism on island and know that this high-profile event will allow us to grow and strengthen our relationships with top cruise executives," he continued.
Throughout the event's 20-year history, FCCA Member Line presidents and CEOs have been vital to the event's success and uphold its tenant to promote understanding and synergy between the cruise lines and destinations' private and public sectors.
The FCCA's mandate is to foster a better understanding of the cruise industry and to develop cooperative relationships with destination partners at both the public and private sector levels.
The FCCA Conference and Trade Show provides an opportunity to interact face-to-face with cruise line top level executives during a four-day series of meetings, workshops, social functions and other events.
To register for the 21st Annual FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show, visit https://www.regonline.com/fccastmaarten. For more information about the 21st Annual Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Cruise Conference, email James Kazakoff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
For more information about St. Maarten, or to find accommodations during the event, visit www.VacationStMaarten.com.

dennisrichardsonmeetscommanderhanslodder21052014PHILIPSBURG:--- On Tuesday May 20, 2014, a courtesy visit was paid to the Minister of Justice the Honorable Dennis Richardson by the incoming Commander Hans Lodder as Commander of the Netherlands Forces in the Caribbean and Director of the Coastguard; he was introduced to the Minister by the outgoing General Swijgman.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Social and Health Insurances, SZV is exclusively responsible for the implementation of social and health insurance for the country of St. Maarten. Guaranteeing the sustainability of the funds that are managed by SZV is part of our fiduciary responsibility and one of the main priorities of the organization, since these funds are generated by the people of St. Maarten. Before investing or acting as a guarantor in any situation, a due diligence is always executed by SZV's Management, Investment committee and Advisory board.
The SZV has the authority to invest without prior approval of the Minister but to ensure transparency the SZV would seek involvement and approval of the Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor on any investment of this magnitude. The Minister would in turn seek approval from the council of ministers and parliament in order to ensure transparency and maintain the integrity of all institutions involved.
SZV is not aware, involved or considering signing any financial agreements or is in any negotiations regarding medical tourism at this moment.
It is very regretful that the media publishes such information without confirming authenticity of the subject. This puts the institution and its executives in an unnecessarily compromising position. SZV has investments locally and abroad and statements like this can be damaging.

SZV Press Release

dennisrichardsonreceivesbelongerstatusofanguilla21052014PHILIPSBURG:--- On Tuesday May 20, 2014, Minister of Home Affairs the Honorable Jerome Roberts of Anguilla presented the Minister of Justice Honorable Dennis Richardson, with his certificate of "Belonger status of Anguilla" back in November 2013. The Parent and Grand-parents of Mr. Dennis Richardson were born Anguillans and in view of this he qualifies for the status of "Belonger of Anguilla". The status offers the same rights as all Anguillans.

SIMPSON BAY:--- As the fight to preserve the Simpson Bay Lagoon continues, the community at large is working diligently to provide their objections to the proposed "Development/ "Zoning" Plans by the Ministry of VROMI. The Simpson Bay Community Council (SBCC) has had several meetings with the Minister of VROMI Mr. Maurice Lake, a meeting with the Managing Director of SLAC Mr. Mark Mingo and two meetings with PJIA's Managing Director Mrs. Regina Labega to discuss the communities concerns. The members of the community are strongly opposing any more filling in of the lagoon, the increase in the amounts of marinas, the development of a boardwalk as well as a cruise pier.
In the meeting with SLAC many questions were posed and all answers provided preached that these projects within the development plan are only "ideas" and no feasibility studies have been conducted therefore these projects will not be taking place. SBCC urged that the 'proposed' cruise pier and boardwalk be taken out of the development plans given that no feasibility studies have been conducted. SBCC argued that if SLAC/Port of St. Maarten's 'vision' is to expand the cruise industry, expand it in Great Bay which has already been ruined by overdevelopment. Each party shared their concerns and opinions and at the end of the meeting SBCC still felt as if the vision set out in the development plans are already a done deal.
The second meeting with the Airport took place last week, where Minister Lake as well as PJIA's Managing Director Mrs. Regina Labega and her staff met with the SBCC to further discuss the 'Master Plan' of the airport. The following are three major questions that were raised , (1) Why is the Airport Master Plan from November 2012 presented in the Governments proposed 'Simpson Bay Development/Zoning Plan", if the Airport's master plan was updated before the Development Plans were placed on public review?, (2) How many private jets get turned away each year for the past 5 years? and (3) Why has the hindrance permit for PJIA never been updated?
When the first question was asked both the Airport delegation and Minister Lake seemed surprised and could not answer why the old artistic impression was in the development plan. They also stated that nothing can be done about that at the moment but when the final plan goes to the Council of Ministers the new airport plans will be inserted. The Airport delegation brought with them a printed version of the Airport's 'most recent' artistic impression of their 3-5 year Strategic Plan to the meeting which had several other projects in it that no one had ever seen such as a marina located near the Causeway that would cater to huge mega yachts. When the Airport was asked about this 'possible' marina they first stated that they could not provide clarity on this project as it was an idea from SLAC. When the question was then directed to Minister Lake all of a sudden one of the representatives from the Airport was able to provide clarity on it. The Airport representative said that this project was removed from the master plan vision and should not be on it. They promised that when the digital version of the Master Plan is communicated to SBCC that that project will be removed from the 'artistic impression'.
The second question was geared towards understanding the airports motivation for the expansion as SBCC struggles to understand the need for destroying the environment for economic gains that may be only wishes and hopes rather than a true demand. SBCC is still awaiting the answer to the second question. Other questions were asked and although clarity was provided SBCC is still very worried about the future and the impact that their efforts will have.
SBCC also noted that they are preparing a document with objections to the development plans and once this document is submitted to the Ministry of VROMI they will make their document public to the community at large by means of an online link that will be available on Facebook as well as through a community meeting which will be announced on a later date. SBCC would like to urge all members of the Beacon Hill, Pelican, and Simpson Bay community and the general population as a whole to read the development plans with a critical eye and do not be afraid to voice your concerns. "For those of you who may not have the time to read VROMI's Development Plans, please take a chance to read our objections and feel free to submit the same document on your own behalf. The more people we can gather in support of our struggle the better" said SBCC.

Press Release from the Simpson Bay Community Council

nagicoparticipantsposewithcertificatesatleadercast21052014GREAT BAY:--- Locally, regionally and globally, as our communities grapple with leadership challenges, scandals and threats, some 135 persons from a cross section of St. Maarten made a conscious decision to not only lament these challenges but find ways to be better leaders. These dynamic individuals hailed from the business sector, Government, NGOs, clergy, the educational system, and students from our own local high schools and University of St. Martin; and even a young business man, Gerard MacDonna, who traveled from Anguilla to St. Maarten for Leadercast 2014.
"I want as many people connected to my business to attend next year. It was inspirational and motivational," said Marketing Strategist, Bernadette Davis of Marketing Solutions.
"Well done!" "The conference is inspiring!" "A must! Content is great; messages motivational," stated other participants.
A number of leaders from Government entities were in attendance; such as Telem, which provided the Internet feed for the webcast. Noteworthy, The Secretary Generals of The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports; and the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication and many of their leaders were represented; also represented were leaders in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor; The Justice Academy, representing The Ministry of Justice; and The Office of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations.
These Government entities and all participants were commended by Victorious Living Foundation, the host of Leadercast on St. Maarten for investing in their personal and team development. Visionary of Victorious Living, Dr. N. Erna Mae Francis-Cotton applauded the attendees for recognizing that St. Maarten needs leaders worth following and that they would position themselves as such.
The business sector had a strong presence through Platinum Partner, The St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce; bronze partners Motorworld, and I Caribbean Group represented by, Bernadette Davis, providing free Wi-Fi to the participants; Nagico, Thrifty Car Rental, Caribbean Auto Sales, Oliver's Seaside Grill of Anguilla, and other local entrepreneurs. The media was also present through, MSR Cable TV, TV Caribe's Julia Brown and Andre Huie of WIN-FM of St. Kitts.
CEO of Motorworld, Rena Amjad led by example by having at least ten persons from her team at Motorworld present with her while she stayed and participated in the entire event. She had only praise and gratitude for being able to be a part of the event and she and her team committed to participating in Leadercast 2015.
The Clergy was well represented through the David Company headed by Apostle Alicia Liverpool, which had a large contingent of its leaders; The St. Maarten United Ministerial Foundation represented by Pastor Wycliffe Smith, Thy Kingdom Come Ministries, Heaven's Touch International Ministry and from the Northern side of the island, the Superintendent of the Methodist Church, Rev. Tyrone Hunkins, and Pastor Jerome Thomas of Christian Assembly.
If significant changes are to happen in our communities, then it begins with each of us and especially in molding and shaping the minds of our youth. Consequently, the Charlotte Brookson Academy and the St. Maarten Youth Parliament were also represented at Leadercast 2014 whose mission it is to create leaders worth following.
The Charlotte Brookson Academy delivered a powerful performance, led by their music teacher, Neville James. The students were awed at Leadercast and expressed their gratitude for being involved; they shared how Leadercast positively impacted and transformed their lives.
For persons wondering if they should attend Leadercast 2015, Rochana Richardson, President of the St. Maarten Youth Parliament stated: "I would tell them it is worth the while; and it can change their lives for the better." Another youth parliamentarian mentioned that all schools should have a representative at Leadercast in the future as it is so beneficial to their development.

This powerful leadership conference broadcast live from Atlanta Georgia featured:

  • Andy Stanley, Leadership author and communicator
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel laureate & human rights activist live from Cape Town, South Africa
  • Malcolm Gladwell, Journalist and best-selling author of The Tipping Point and Outliers
  • Randall Wallace, Screenwriter, director, producer & songwriter (Braveheart, Secretariat)
  • Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, the world's leading provider of business software; an over $80 billion company with more than $17 billion in revenue in 2011.
  • Laura Schroff, Former ad sale executive and best-selling author of An Invisible Thread
  • Dr. Henry Cloud, Clinical psychologist and leadership consultant
  • Simon Sinek, Best-selling author of Start with Why and leadership expert
  • Laura Bush, First Lady of the United States(2001-2009) via exclusive video interview

Victorious Living (VLF) is pleased with the almost doubled number of registrants for Leadercast 2014 and the impact that it had on the attendees.
Visionary, of VLF, Erna Mae Francis-Cotton encourages as many persons and entities to be a part of the change and enroll in Leadercast 2015 which is scheduled for May 8th. VLF thanks all of its partners, volunteers and participants for helping to make Leadercast 2014 a phenomenal success.
VLF has relocated its offices from Back Street 158 B to The Royal Palm Plaza on Front Street. The office will be officially open to receive the public within the next two weeks.
As Victorious Living continues its mission to empower, enlighten and reconcile members of the community, as a host of Leadercast, VLF is making available Leadercast Now to local participants and the general public for 365 days out of the year. Leadercast Now is an everyday, leadership-learning environment designed to help leaders develop into leaders worth following.
Leadercast Now supplies subscribers with well-designed, user-friendly, affordable, short-format, high-impact, on-demand videos coupled with immediate action steps that help bridge the gap between learning and life, for a nominal subscription fee. Persons locally, regionally or internationally, interested in taking advantage of this opportunity may:

  1. Go to LeadercastNow.com
  2. Click "Get Started Now"
  3. Select Your Subscription
  4. Enter Your Information and special access code: LCN1592

For more information about Leadercast Now, to partner with or to learn more about the counseling, coaching and training services that Victorious Living Foundation offers, persons may call 1-721-524-8731/1-305-407-9260; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit VLF's newly renovated web site: www.victoriouslivingsxm.org.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Sint Maarten Pride Foundation is calling on the General Public and in particular the residents of the Simpson Bay area to pay keen attention and if deemed necessary file objections to the Ministry of Environment's (VROMI) Draft Simpson Bay Development plan which is currently on public review up to and including June 3rd, 2014. Sint Maarten Pride will be submitting its detailed formal objections this week.

After careful evaluation of the draft development plan, Pride Foundation has concluded that significant and unacceptable adaptations have been made to the plans since the second public meeting for the Simpson Bay Area of September 2012 and the Public Hearing of February 2014.

During the Simpson Bay Zoning plan meetings held in March and September of 2012 as well as the Public Hearing held in Simpson Bay in February 2014 the majority of the attendees indicated their desire to have the remaining natural values of the Simpson Bay Lagoon maintained and rehabilitated. Despite these calls for preservation, some fifty percent of the areas which, according to the VROMI plans up until the public hearing of this past February, were slated to be zoned for their natural value are now to be reserved for other purposes. The area south of the causeway at the eastern shore of the Lagoon bordering to Port de Plaisance for instance, is now reserved for the construction of "significant" marinas according to the draft plan while just a few months ago the area was reserved for conservation purposes.

It must be noted that this is the same area where the Harbour Group of Companies and Nature Foundation replanted mangroves after the destruction of mangrove stands to allow for the construction of the Causeway.

The Government and Harbor Group of Companies commissioned report "Inventory of marine natural values in the Eastern Part of the Simpson Bay Lagoon" as prepared by Ecovision recommends protection of the exact areas Minister Lake of VROMI is apparently intent on sacrificing for further marina development in the Lagoon.

The Draft Simpson Bay Development Plan seems to attempt to isolate or quarantine Nature in Mullet Pond and on Little Key while facilitating the destruction of the few remaining mangrove stands and sea grass beds in the rest of the Simpson Bay Lagoon.

Although Pride Foundation welcomes the recent proposals and efforts made to protect Mullet Pond, the Foundation wishes to caution Minister Lake that he cannot justify or attempt to compensate for further destruction of the Simpson Bay Lagoon ecosystems by simply protecting Mullet Pond. Over eighty percent of the mangroves-stands lining the shores of the Simpson Bay Lagoon up until the 1970's have since been removed, it is therefore high time to protect the few remaining mangrove stands and sea grass beds present in the Lagoon.

Sint Maarten Pride Foundation

planeapproachingpjiae21052014PHILIPSBURG:--- St. Maarten's Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) has been named the second most stunning airport approach by travel fans around the world in PrivateFly.com's recent Airport Approaches Survey.
The Airport Approaches Survey was conducted throughout March 2014 on PrivateFly.com, the leading online booking platform for private aviation charters. SXM airport was selected from a group of airports chosen by a panel of high-profile travel industry experts with travel enthusiasts voting for their favorites. Nearly 5,000 travel fans voted in the poll, with over 200 different airports receiving nominations.
"We are incredibly proud of our airport in St. Maarten and appreciate that travelers from around the globe enjoy the one-of-a-kind view that passengers flying into our island are afforded," said Edward Dest, interim director of tourism for the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau. "After earning the top spot in the 2013 PrivateFly.com poll, we're thrilled to remain in the top two in 2014 and encourage those who haven't yet visited St. Maarten to come and experience the breathtaking approach, and of course, our entire island," he added.
SXM airport, located on the scenic shores of Maho Beach, offers passengers on incoming flights breathtaking views of turquoise waters and white sand beaches, while on-island spectators get a unique view of low-flying incoming planes that frequent Maho Beach daily.
For additional information on St. Maarten, visit the official site of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau at www.VacationStMaarten.com.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The General Audit Chamber issued their report to Parliament on the 2012 Financial Statements of Sint Maarten today, Monday, May 19th 2014. The National Financial Accounting Ordinance requires that we publish a report on our findings within a period of one and a half months after receipt of the copy of the report from the auditor (SOAB). As SOAB's report was issued on April 9th, 2014, our report must be issued by May 21st 2014. With the presentation to Parliament today, we have complied with the legally stipulated period for submission.
The 2012 Financial Statements cover the period from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012 and represent the second financial statements of Sint Maarten. Our report is the of our financial compliance audit on the financial statements and the operations of the ministries of government of Sint Maarten. As part of this audit, we also evaluated whether the information contained in the financial statements about the finances and policy at the ministries was conducted in compliance with regulations and whether the financial statements reflect such.
We reached a number of conclusions based on our examination of the 2012 Financial Statements. We find that the financial information contained in the 2012 Financial Statements does not meet the requirements stipulated in the National Financial Accounting Ordinance and the National Ordinance General Audit Chamber. An example of this is the fact that the financial statements contain material errors amounting to ANG 45,7 million as well as budget over- and underspending.
Furthermore, our review leads us to conclude that despite a few positive developments within the 2012 Financial Statements (for example clearer exhibits (statements) and additional explanations), ministries of Sint Maarten are not 'in control' of their operations. We also find the financial statements to be lacking in terms of informational value. This was also our conclusion after our review of the 2011 Financial Statements. In both years, the financial statements contained insufficient information to allow users to form an opinion regarding the implementation of policy intentions and the management thereof.
The 2012 Financial Statements are therefore not compliant. Improvement is urgently needed if government wants to obtain an unqualified opinion from their auditors. For 2012, the auditor issued an adverse opinion. We feel this opinion is justified.
As part of our report, we issued a number of suggestions and recommendations to Government, the Minister of Finance (as well as the other ministers), and to Parliament. For example, we recommend that government acts in accordance with the National Financial Accounting Ordinance (article 54) in terms of ratifying the financial management of ministers. To date, the 2011 Financial Statements have not been handled by Parliament.
To improve the reporting regarding policy, we suggest that policy objectives are drafted in a specific, measurable, achievable and time-related manner. All ministers should provide more/better input for the budget and the financial statements. This will aid the Minister of Finance in effectively executing his role as coordinator of the process, and also will allow him to give proper account for the finances of the Country.
Parliament was advised to, among others, establish budget agreements with ministers regarding policy performance and objectives to be achieved (again, as measurable, achievable, realistic and time-related as possible). Moreover, we suggested that Parliament establish agreements with ministers regarding receipt of timely and periodic information regarding the result of policy. At present, Government does not (always) comply with the legal requirements for the presentation of memoranda and reports related to the financial cycle.
The Minister of Finance's response is included in the report. We look forward to evaluating the minister's pledge to address the issues we have enumerated as part of our ongoing reviews, and certainly in terms of our examination of the 2013 Financial Statements.
The report on the 2012 Financial Statements of Sint Maarten is available in both English and Dutch on the website of the General Audit Chamber (www.arsxm.org).

Click here to view the GAC report on the 2012 Financial Statements.

CAY HILL:--- The Asha Stevens Hillside Christian School Parents Committee under the presidency of Tatiana Arrindell, will organize a silent march against all types of child abuse on Saturday, May 24th. The march is in solidarity with all the children of the country.

The silent march is being organized after one of the school's students was viciously attacked by a person while on her way to school last week Thursday. The nine-year old suffered serious injuries inflicted on her by a man from the St. Peters/South Reward area. "We will no longer tolerate any more acts of violence against our children," President Tatiana Arrindell said on Tuesday.

The silent march is to start at 5:00pm and will travel the following route: Asha Stevens Hillside Christian School (Cay Hill), Welgelegen Road, AJC Brouwers Road, Bush Road, Prince Bernhard Bridge, Pondfill, and ending in front of the Government Administration Building.

In front of the Government Building, there will be a number of speeches from various youth groups, and a song by the Hillside Christian School Choir.

Other schools have been invited to participate in the May 24 event. Everybody participating has been asked to wear a white T-shirt and walk with a flashlight.

Persons requiring additional information can call Tatiana Arrindell at 520-2851.

shgcdelegationattendscsaexecutiveconference21052014POINT BLANCHE:--- A delegation from Port St. Maarten recently attended the 13th Caribbean Shipping Executives Conference (CSEC) that was held Miami, Florida.

The conference was hosted this year in collaboration with the Port of Miami at the Marriott Biscayne Bay. It brought together shipping industry executives from the Caribbean, Latin America, North America and Europe to discuss key issues affecting the industry.

High on the agenda was an update on the Panama Canal, which has recently been embroiled in disputes over funding and delays. An agreement is to be signed soon that would allow for construction to restart and the new date for the completion of the expansion is January 2016.

The Panama Canal connects 144 trade routes. The main users are USA, China, Chile, Japan, Colombia and South Korea. The canal contributes to the lowering of costs of transportation of goods as well as delivery time of products. If the canal did not exist, cargo vessels would have to navigate around the South of Chile and vice versa which would mean considerable higher costs for international trade.

Additional topics discussed included the new marine gas era, securing ports impact of International Ship and Port Facility Security/Maritime Transportation Security Act on shipping companies as well as a cruise industry update.

Port St. Maarten officials also listened keenly to a presentation about trends and developments related to power solutions for ships plying the oceans of the world as well as trends in the energy markets. Wartsila did a presentation about 'New Marine Era for Gas.' Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is seen as the gas of the future.

Alfredo Di Palma, Chief Commercial Officer of Maersk/Sealand, gave a presentation on his company's plans for the Caribbean. Sealand is expected to start its Caribbean operations in January 2015.

Another topic was how maritime domain awareness affects ports and shipping, by William Lusk. Lusk emphasized on the involvement of non-traditional stakeholders as Port security is everybody's responsibility and others such as fishermen, boaters and environmental groups should be brought together in a consultation forum to provide their input.

Other topics ranged from the benefits of advanced level training in the maritime industry; an overview of marine sector insurance and a presentation by the Port of Miami, Juan M. Kuryla, port director under the theme, 'Looking at The Caribbean as Latin America and the Caribbean make up Port of Miami Largest Trade Region.' The Americas and the Caribbean make up 54.3 per cent of trade and Asia-Pacific 34.8 per cent.

Kuryla emphasized that the key to their port success is that partnership is key not only with various port departments, but also with lines and their respective agents.

Port St. Maarten has a cruise ranking of number four, and this is due to the strong strategic relationships that have been built with the cruise lines and other stakeholders. On the side of cargo, Port St. Maarten management continues with its endeavours of becoming a top transhipment operation in the North Eastern Caribbean. Cruise feeds the cargo sector with respect to provisioning of goods to vessels in port.

President of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Michele Paige made a presentation entitled, 'The Cruise Industry: Know the Benefits in Order to Appreciate and Seize the Benefits.' Paige was very adamant that ports needed to put the WOW factor back into cruise destinations and officials needed to create more AWESOME experience tours, and cruises go where passengers want to go.

During her presentation, Paige referred to St. Maarten several times pointing out the manner in which the destination was able to keep on top for both cruise passengers and crew.

Port St. Maarten delegation comprised of Supervisory Board members Humphrey Mezas, Chairman of the Board, Renald Williams, board member, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Mingo, Roger Lawrence, Manager Terminal and Cargo Operations, Hector Peters, General and Governmental Affairs, and Phil Laplace, St. Maarten Harbour Shipping Consultant.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell is looking forward to welcome to the 'Friendly Island' approximately 75 Members of Parliament and support staff from the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

The Parlatino Members of Parliament and support staff will be attending three committees meetings that are being hosted by the country from May 22 to 23rd at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino.

The committees are: Economic Affairs, Social Debt and Regional Development; Committee of Energy & Mines; and Committee of Political Affairs, Municipal and Integration.

Parlatino, is a regional, permanent and unicameral organization, comprising the National Latin American Parliaments elected democratically upon popular vote, whose countries have subscribed to the institutional treaty of November 16, 1987, in Lima, Peru.

Some of the purposes of Parlatino is to encourage the economic and social development of the Latin American community and endeavour for it to achieve the full economic, political, social and cultural integration of its nations.

To defend the full effectiveness of freedom, social justice, economic independence and the practice of representative and participative democracy, with total faithfulness to the non-intervention and free self-determination principles of nations.

To care for the faithful respect to human rights; to struggle for the suppression of every form of colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism and any other form of discrimination in Latin America.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), hereby announces that work started on May 20 on Union Farm Road, the road leading to the 911 houses, and this will lead to traffic disruptions until May 26.

Road works will be carried out from 8:00am to 7:00pm.
Motorists and pedestrians are requested to be vigilant and observant for the traffic directional signs indicating what works are underway in the respective area.
There will be various types of heavy equipment on the road during the road repairs in the aforementioned area. Hot asphalt will be used with respect to the infrastructure works.
Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience that this may cause.

trumanetrotmanandprincessbeatrixatkypinstallation20052014PHILIPSBURG:--- The Kingdom Youth Parliament (KPY) was officially installed on Tuesday at the University of St. Martin in the presence of Princess Beatrix, Governor Eugene Holiday, Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams and the President of St. Maarten's Parliament Gracita Arrindell.
The first Youth Parliament of the Kingdom comprises of teams from Aruba, Curacao, BES islands and St. Maarten who was the host country for the event. The first President of KYP is none other than Trumane Trotman from St. Maarten. The KYP consists of 15 members coming from the various islands. Some 150 youngsters applied to become members of KPY but those selected were the luckiest to be chosen.
To open the day's ceremony Trotman explained in her short speech that the idea of having youths involved in such a way has been brewing for some two years ago by having youngsters talk about the Kingdom themselves. Another vision was to give youngsters the opportunity to talk about their accomplishments and problems or challenges they are facing and what could be the best possible future for young people. "We are young but not blind, we see political indifferences in the Netherlands and the Caribbean and around the world.
Some see our transatlantic Kingdom as a historical mistake while others simply do not care. We KYP do care and we will speak for those that value our multi-cultural Kingdom.
The KPY will be debating several issues of concern for the next three days which they are responsible to take forward. The lead person from each of the team were given the opportunity to ask the adults some of whom are Members of Parliament for advice. Trumane Trotman in asking her question said she heard what everyone had to say, especially the Prime Minister of St. Maarten who said that they (KYP) should remain committed. Trotman said she is convinced that the KYP members are committed but she wanted to know if the adults that attended the ceremony would remain committed to KYP.
delegatesatkypinstallation20052014Princess Beatrix, the second speaker for the event past on the gavel to Trotman, the first President of KYP. Princess Beatrix said the shared history of the Kingdom goes back to 200 years ago and it belongs to each and every one of us also those living in the four countries that make up the Kingdom. She said every generation looks at the past, present and future in their own way and because of that each generation feels the need to decide their own priorities and set their own course. However, this cannot be achieved in a democratic way if people don't meet each other and enter into debates.
Princess Beatrix visited Belvedere on Tuesday afternoon after the installation of KYP, she is expected to tour the Simpson Bay Lagoon on Wednesday and visit the St. Maarten Academy.

Click here to view photos of the installation of KYP at USM.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Information reaching SMN News states that SZV is expected to put up close to two hundred million dollars to be precise some $180 million dollars this Friday when the agreement for Medical Tourism is signed. According to well placed sources, Dr. Hess and his group will be signing the agreement this Friday which would benefit the Wathey families since the Medical Tourism Hospital will be built on their property in Simpson Bay in the vicinity of Kim Sha Beach. A letter signed by Member of Parliament Frans Richardson was dispatched to the chairlady of Parliament on May 20th, 2014, MP Richardson is asking the chairlady to verify whether or not SZV intends to make such investments.
The information provided to SMN News showed that SZV will be the main guarantor for the project, or act as a third party for the project. While SZV has chosen to undertake this project it was already indicated that SZV will go bankrupt in the next three years if it is not properly managed. This statement was made by the former director of SZV. 
Member of Parliament Frans Richardson dispatched a letter to the President of Parliament seeking clarification as to whether or not SZV will undertake or has intentions to act as a sponsor or guarantor for SMMC or any other project. The letter sent by MP Richardson to the President of Parliament is to have the Minister of VSA inform Parliament on this development.
MP Richardson cautioned that SZV is the only guarantor to quality health care on St. Maarten while it is the last resort for several insurers, therefore extreme caution should be exercised in any venture that would endanger the financial stability of the country's national resource. Already the Minister of VSA has been invited to Parliament regarding the undertakings of SZV, it is not yet clear when that meeting will be called by the chairlady of Parliament.

sxmjoinseclac20052014GREAT BAY:--- Earlier this month St. Maarten was conferred Associate Membership in the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Lima, Peru. Minister of Public Health Social Development & Labor, Cornelius de Weever accepted Associate Membership on behalf of St. Maarten and in his intervention highlighted our constitutional status, St. Maarten's hub status, and matters related to health and how it affects development.
St. Maarten, by virtue of being a country within the Kingdom and consequently a United Nations (UN) member was eligible for membership. During the session in Peru, all research undertaken by UNECLAC during the last biennium was presented. The organization published its document "Compacts for Equality" during this session outlining what it believes is needed to achieve sustained socio-economic equality within our region. This was complemented with well over 30 panelists, representing government, banks, unions, NGOS, and the private sector, debating on topics such as south-south cooperation, inclusive economic growth, and social development.
One very interesting fact coming out of the research presented by the panel was that Latin America and the Caribbean has one of the lowest levels of global knowledge production (i.e. academic). Another point that came up of interest, particularly for St. Maarten, was the lack of reliable transport links within the region. This point was also continuously broached during the ACS Summit held earlier this month in Merida, Mexico and attended by the Prime Minister. St. Maarten, wishing to establish its hub status, should look to fill this regional transport vacuum. The lack of transport links was also noted as one of the reasons why regional integration is so low in Latin America, an odd fact taking into consideration the highly urbanized nature of the region. The information gathered during this meeting is invaluable as it will help to root all future policies in research, thereby making them more credible and strengthening their applicability.
During a meeting with the Kingdom Ambassador he stressed the importance of looking at Peru as a viable tourism and economic market, noting the country's exponential growth over the past decade and its large agriculture and fishing sector.
Minister De Weever was accompanied by Ms. Joy Arnell, Acting Secretary-General of the Ministry of Public Health Social Development & Labour, Ms. Khalilah Peters, Acting Head of the Directorate of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Patrice Gumbs Jr, Senior Policy Advisor of the Directorate of Foreign Affairs.
ECLAC, as it is most commonly called, is a UN sub regional organization mandated to encourage economic cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean. To this end, ECLAC initiates research into issues pertinent to our region and publishes studies, including statistics, addressing key concerns in varied sectors including economic development, inclusive socio-economic development, regional integration, health, social welfare, and labour. ECLAC also makes cooperative agreements with nonprofit institutions.

stpeterscds20052014GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The six scheduled Community Based Dialogues sessions for May have been postponed until further notice.

In order to continue to engage the community with respect to the formulation of the National Development Program, a review in the approach is underway based on the experience so far.

The feedback thus received from the community has been very valuable and the community members supportive of the process.

In moving forward, we the executing agency would like the dialogue sessions to continue to remain as engaging and attractive so that more people can come out and give their perspectives.

The Ministry of General Affairs, Department of Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK) project team is currently working on revising the dialogue process and would appreciate the guidance of key community leaders on how to make the journey to the long term visioning for Sint Maarten much more engaging for the whole community.

The National Development Plan is facilitated under the auspices of the project, "Building a Nation: Sint Maarten National Development Plan & Institutional Strengthening."

For further information please refer to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and/ or call 542-0897.

On Saturday May 24th starting at six a.m. The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams is urging the community, and especially the residents of Cole Bay, to Join in on the U 2 Can Move Zumba Walk. The Zumba walk will depart Little Well Oasis on Well Road, move to Union Road, and continuing on to Orange Grove Road, Wellington Road and back to Little Well Oasis on Well Road.

Attendance is Free and all residents are urged to join in on this special walk starting at six in the morning on Saturday, May 24th.

u2canmovecolebay20052014PHILIPSBURG:--- The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams will continue her U 2 Can Move health and fitness campaign this Saturday when she will be bring her U 2 Can Move campaign's Zumba and Fitness Walk to the District of Cole Bay this Saturday, May 24th. The PM has commented that a healthy lifestyle is essential for a healthy community; "The health of the St. Maarten Community is a matter of great concern to me. During the course of 2012 and 2013 we have organized several events related to physical fitness and exercise and we are continuing with these events in 2014. I urge each citizen to be physically active; especially considering that many of us lead a sedentary lifestyle so therefore movement is key along with a proper diet. What matters is that every attempt to exercise or to live a healthy life style by making the correct nutrition, care and movement choices, counts or rather adds up. So come and join us on Saturday, especially those in the Cole Bay Community to wake up and exercise with us," stressed Prime Minister Wescot-Williams.
The PM emphasized that every individual's competitor should be him or herself; "You need to be able to evaluate yourself based on what you were able to do before starting an exercise program and what you are now able to do. You never compare yourself with others. Max Ehrmann in his poem the Desiderata says that if you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, or always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans," concluded the PM.

From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister

srccvisitsshuduskabrooks20052014SOUTH REWARD:--- The South Reward Community Council visited Shuduska Brooks and her family on Monday afternoon at the St. Maarten Medical Center.
The South Reward Community Council met with the child and her parents and in a fighting spirit for justice and awareness on this incident and Mental Health Care, the parents welcomed the SRCC's support and move to focus more on Mental Health Care. The Board of the SRCC promise to work with other communities along side the girl's father, to bring awareness and help for the mentally ill front and center stage so that unfortunate incidents and attacks like this one is prevented in the future.

patricialourensphilip20082013GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Hon. Patricia Lourens Philip says the nine-year old school girl who was assaulted allegedly by a mentally ill man is in her prayers.
"It was very disturbing to learn what transpired last week Thursday. The incident must not be allowed to happen again. This matter needs to be addressed promptly and preventative interventions taken.
"This nine-year old was lucky, next time it could be someone else who loses their life. My prayers and thoughts are with the young lady and her family and I wish her a speedy recovery," Minister of Education Hon. Patricia Lourens-Philip said on Tuesday.

Open letter by INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble

"I know that everything has been done to ensure my safety and prevent anyone using a stolen passport from boarding my international flight."
Following INTERPOL's announcement a week ago today that AirAsia would become the first airline to verify passengers' passports against INTERPOL's Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database, this statement is true for
just one international airline.
But it is a statement which governments and air carriers need to make true for all.
After the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 on 8 March, it was revealed that two passengers had entered Malaysia on valid passports, and later used stolen Austrian and Italian passports to board the missing
flight. The world worried that there was a link between the use of stolen passports and the flight's disappearance. Talk of terrorism filled the air.
Neither the media, nor the public could understand how two passengers could board an international flight using passports registered in INTERPOL's databases as stolen. People were left even more incredulous when they learned that in fact less than 10 countries systematically screen passports against INTERPOL's Stolen and Lost Travel Document (SLTD) database.
The unexplained disappearance of flight MH370 exposed just how few countries properly discharge their obligation to protect their borders, citizens and businesses from those using stolen passports to cross borders.
But no country alone could have prevented the passengers who used the stolen Italian and Austrian passports to board that flight.
Why? These passengers used valid passports to enter Malaysia, but used stolen passports to board MH370. Today hundreds of millions of passengers are boarding international flights without having their passports screened against INTERPOL's STLD database. Criminals can simply use valid passports to cross borders and then continue their journey using stolen passports to board planes without any real concern that they will be
caught.
This is a risk too great for the world's governments and airlines to allow to go unaddressed.
The 9/11 Commission stated 'for terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons.' INTERPOL considers stolen and lost passports to be among the most valuable assets for terrorists and international
criminals. A notorious case of a terrorist using a stolen passport to board planes and cross borders is that of Ramzi Yousef, the convicted mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, who used a stolen Iraqi passport to enter the US in order to plan and carry out this attack.
After INTERPOL's announcement on 13 May 2014 that AirAsia would become the first airline to check passengers' passports against INTERPOL's SLTD database, airlines worldwide realized they could protect their
passengers from the risk that terrorists or dangerous criminals would use stolen passports registered in INTERPOL's databases to board their planes.

International standards adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) state that 'aircraft operators shall take necessary precautions (...) to ensure that passengers are in possession of the documents prescribed' by transit and destination states. In parallel, 'states shall assist' them in this endeavour. Where borders disappear, such as within the Schengen zone, this industry role becomes even more pivotal.
INTERPOL's I-Checkit was created precisely to fill the glaring global security gap presented by stolen and lost passports, and as part of INTERPOL's Turn Back Crime global awareness campaign will engage all sectors of society, including industry and the public, in preventing and fighting crime.
I-Checkit gives airlines the opportunity to screen passport numbers against INTERPOL's SLTD database to see if they are stolen and thus invalid. The initiative, endorsed by INTERPOL's 190 member countries last year, gives airlines an efficient way to discharge their international obligations and protect passengers in an automated and cost effective manner.
AirAsia, the world's leading low budget airline, seized this new opportunity to become the first air carrier to provide this additional security for its passengers and destination countries. It sets the new security standard in terms of passport screening for all airlines worldwide.
Immigration and law enforcement authorities screening AirAsia arrivals will know their passengers' passports have already been screened against INTERPOL's database.
Eventually all airlines will voluntarily participate in INTERPOL's I-Checkit programme. It will allow them to determine in less than a second if a passport has been invalidated by the issuing country because it was reported as lost or stolen. It is also the responsibility of smart and security conscious legislators to pass laws putting in place this additional security measure.
As more and more airlines participate in I-Checkit, they will also avoid bearing the cost of having to return passengers who used stolen passports to board planes, but had their passport rejected at the destination country. A cost often coupled with steep additional fines for the airline.
For INTERPOL's part, we remain ready, willing and able to work with airlines to help them prevent terrorists and dangerous criminals from boarding their planes using stolen and lost passports registered in INTERPOL's database.
Through air carriers and governments working together, I remain confident that one day soon more and more passengers will be able to say 'everything has been done to ensure my safety and prevent a terrorist or wanted criminal from boarding my international flight'.

swescotwilliamspresentsannualreporttomvoges20052014PHILIPSBURG:--- The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams received the Minister Plenipotentiary the Honorable Mathias Voges at her Cabinet on Monday afternoon. During the meeting the Prime Minister was updated on the activities of the Minister Plenipotentiary and was presented with the annual report including the facts and figures of the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary.

The Minister Plenipotentiary of country St. Maarten in The Hague, Mr. Mathias S. Voges, is the representative of the St. Maarten Government in the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The Council of Ministers of the Kingdom consists of the Ministers Plenipotentiary of the autonomous countries Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten and the Ministers of the Dutch Government.

From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister

gerritschotte09122013WILLEMSTAD, Curacao:--- Former Prime Minister of Curacao Gerrit Scotte (G.F.S), who is now a Member of Parliament of Curacao and his companion identified as C.R.D. were arrested by the Landsrecherche of Curacao. The arrests are related to an investigation called "Babel". The two suspects were arrested on the suspicion of more than one count of forgery and money laundering.
The arrests were made on the morning of May 20th, 2014 in Willemstad and Salina. The Office of the Attorney General of Curacao refutes all reports in Curacao that stated that house searches were conducted during the arrests on Tuesday morning. Public Prosecutor Guillano Schoop said sometime Tuesday afternoon more information on the detention of the two suspects would be released. The Prosecution is currently interrogating both suspects, Scoop said. He also reiterated that no house searches were conducted when the arrests were made.

On Tuesday afternoon, a third press release was issued by the Office of the Attorney General which states that "Babel" started on September 18th, 2012 when a declaration was made. Another declaration was made on October 22nd, 2012 which states that the former Prime Minister and now Member of Parliament committed certain offenses. The Attorney General Office of Curacao, St. Maarten and the BES islands decided on January 28th, 2013 to commission a fact finding mission (investigation) led by the Landsrecherche of Curacao on the allegations that were made. Spokesman for the Attorney General's Office Norman Serphos said based on the outcome of the investigation and information they received from abroad, the Attorney General ordered a criminal investigation on June 6th, 2013. The investigation was given the name "Babylon" (Babel). Serphos said that the investigation is being conducted in Curacao under the leadership of the Public Prosecutor's Office and the Landsrecherche of Curacao, support is also given by the Criminal Investigation Team of Curacao.
On December 9th, 2013, the investigators conducted a number of searches and they seized laptops, computers, documents and other data carriers which were further examined.
As the Babylon (Babel) Investigation continues investigators in Curacao have arrested the former Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte (39) now Member of Parliament of Curacao and his companion identified only as C.R.D (36). The two suspects are suspected of being involved in multiple counts of forgery and money laundering.
Both suspects were taken to a place where they were questioned on the crimes they are suspected of committing, the interrogation continued in the afternoon on Tuesday in the presence of the Public Prosecutor and is expected to continue for the next two days. If necessary the two suspects will be taken before the Judge of Instruction where their detention will be extended for another eight days. During this hearing the judge will also decide if the arrest of the two suspects were in conformity with the law. The extension hearing should take place either on Thursday or Friday.

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Collective Prevention Services (CPS) from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, is advising persons planning to travel to the Middle East to take a number of health precautions and to be alert.

The advice is given in keeping with International Health Regulations (IHR) in connection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which is a serious respiratory illness of unknown cause affecting people, in that region.

The National IHR Focal Point for the Netherlands notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about two laboratory confirmed cases there of the MERS-CoV infection. Cases have also been detected in the United States of America.

Travelers to this area who have a pre-existing major medical condition such as chronic diseases (diabetes or chronic bronchitis, immunodeficiency) should be aware that these conditions can increase the likelihood of medical problems, including MERS-CoV infection, during travel.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which includes viruses that may cause a range of illnesses in humans, from the common cold and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Viruses of this family also cause a number of animal diseases, however the NCoV itself has not yet been found in an animal.

Travelers can take the following steps as a precautionary measure: • wash hands often with soap and water. When hands are not visibly dirty, a hand rub can be used;

  • adhere to good food safety practices, such as avoiding undercooked meat or food prepared under unsanitary conditions, and properly washing fruits and vegetables before eating them;
  • maintain good personal hygiene;
  • and avoid unnecessary contact with farm, domestic, and wild animals.

Travelers who return with symptoms from areas affected by the virus should call their family physician immediately. This is in connection with the Minister of Public Health's 'Get Checked' campaign in order to protect public health.

Globally, 614 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection have been officially reported to WHO, including 181 deaths.

swescotwilliamsandolivialake19052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Prime Minister of St. Maarten Sarah Wescot Williams and Olivia Lake from the Department of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations updated reporters on Monday on the meeting that was held in Montserrat over the weekend to discuss small and medium enterprises within the region of the European Union.
Wescot Williams said prior to leaving the island she told reporters that five agenda points would have been discussed but that broke down to three. This meeting she said was held by the Caribbean OCT Council whose chair is in Montserrat. Wescot Williams said this meeting was important for all OCT members of the Caribbean because the regions could claim funding for regional projects, therefore coordination within the region was of uttermost importance. The program chosen for funding is the "small and medium enterprise" which is coordinated by the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Wescot Williams said they were informed at the meeting that the project encountered some delay but now it is moving again and it is believed that it will be completed according to schedule. She said another meeting will be held on June 2nd regarding said program and St. Maarten will participate in the meeting. The delegation will comprise of persons from the public and private sectors.
The topics that were chosen as potential areas to receive funding were Tourism, Health and Renewable Energy. Climate Change and Waste Management would fall under "Renewable Energy".
She said there are similarities in most of the regions, such as National Health Insurance and waste management. Wescot Williams said each country has to prepare a paper on the topics that were chosen. St. Maarten she said has to work on the paper for tourism. "This paper when finished will be shared among each country in order for them to take a collective decision on what they are seeking funding for from the EU."
The Prime Minister said that the idea is to get everything ready for the European Development Funding (EDF) meeting where the regions will submit their projects and or programs for European Funding.
Wescot Williams said during the meeting in Montserrat, St. Maarten was nominated as the Regional Authorizing Officer.

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The application process for Mobility Passes for the 2014 Hurricane Season that started at the end of April will conclude on May 23. Potential applicants from the business sector and vital organizations have a few days before the deadline to submit their request.

The pass allows the aforementioned groups to assess possible damage to their property after the passing of a hurricane.

The hurricane pass application procedure is only intended for businesses and vital organizations with respect to their key personnel receiving an exemption to a curfew.

The Office of the Fire Department & Disaster Management is handling the application process for the passes on behalf of the Prime Minister.

The application form has to be completed and submitted to the secretary at the offices of the Fire Department & Disaster Management, located at Jackal Road 5, Cay Hill by May 23, 2014, with all necessary documents attached.

PHILIPSBURG:--- CaribServe, the broadband internet brand of UTS will be providing its broadband internet service and equipment to enable the live streaming of the Kingdom Youth Parliament sessions which will take place this week, as part of Princess Beatrix' visit to the island. Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix will open the Kingdom Youth Parliament (KYP) on Tuesday morning, May 20th at the University of St. Martin. She will deliver the opening statement and will frequent the sessions during May 20, 21 and 22. She will also meet with the youth members informally.
CaribServe is facilitating a live stream of the sessions so that interested parties will be able to follow the Kingdom Youth Parliament Sessions. The website to access the live stream is www.kingdomyouthparliament.org. In the past months, the teams have prepared themselves by practicing the art of debating. They came together during the weekends in order to practice how to build arguments that support their statements in the best possible way. And, where necessary, they learned the facts and figures of the constitutional structure by heart. The Dutch Debate Institute will lead the official debate in St. Maarten and has also helped with the preparatory sessions. "We are excited to be able to help showcase the opinions and debating skills of the 50 youths from all over the kingdom to a larger audience." Says UTS marketing and Communication Officer, Ivy Lambert "The visit by Her Royal Highness is certainly a momentous occasion and we are happy to be able to facilitate its exposure to as many people as possible. We wish all youth parliament participants a successful, educational and fun week."

funmilesfunexpo19052014PHILIPSBURG:--- The Fun Expo is the annual gathering that celebrates all things Fun Miles. After a successful first edition last year, the event will return even bigger and better on Saturday May 31st and Sunday June 1st at Kooyman Megastore. Many of Fun Miles' partner companies will be at the Fun Expo with booths, freebies and specials. There will be prizes to be won, exciting surprises and the opportunity to become a Fun Miles cardholder quickly and easily. Fun Miles icon Kim Fundashian will make an appearance and reveal how anyone can become a Fun Miles Millionaire. There will even be networking opportunities for Fun Miles' (prospective) business partners. Above all, it will be a chance for people to experience the full potential of their Fun Miles. Entrance is free.

GET MORE OUT OF FUN MILES AND WIN PRIZES
More and more people on St. Maarten are carrying around a Fun Miles card, but some are not yet fully aware of its many possibilities. The Fun Expo will offer them a bird's-eye view of all the fun things that can be enjoyed with Fun Miles. Many partner companies will be there to display and explain their regular Fun Miles offers, as well as some unique Fun Expo specials, which include free vouchers and other giveaways. There will be prizes to be won, including a door prize of no less than 10.000 Fun Miles along we are also giving away 4 VIP tickets for the Laugh Till Belly Burst Show being held on June 28 with Eddie Griffin.

A FUN DAY OUT FOR THE FAMILY
In addition, the Fun Expo will be a great family event with something for everyone. The entrance is free and everyone is invited at Kooyman Megastore on Saturday May 31st from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday June 1st from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Those who do not yet have a Fun Miles card need not feel excluded; they can get one on the spot quickly and easily for just 6 Dollars. Beyond those 6 Dollars, Fun Miles will never charge cardholders for anything. Saving, redeeming and enjoying Fun Miles is completely free.

BECOME A FUN MILES MILLIONAIRE
There has never been a better moment to join Fun Miles, also because of the ongoing Fun Miles Millionaire campaign. This campaign, which will run until December 1st, is Fun Miles' biggest yet. It offers new and existing cardholders the chance to win no less than one million Fun Miles, thereby becoming an instant Fun Miles Millionaire, just by swiping their card at participating partners.

MEET KIM FUNDASHIAN
Kim Fundashian is the hot and fun spokeswoman of the Fun Miles Millionaire campaign. At the Fun Expo, she will show visitors how fabulous it is to be a Fun Miles Millionaire. Wherever Kim Fundashian appears, fun is had, prizes are given away and glamour comes to life.

BUSINESS TO BUSINESS
The Fun Expo will also offer a unique opportunity for Fun Miles' partners and prospective partners to meet up and share experiences. A special networking session will be organized at the Expo on Friday May 30th. The program will consist of several short speeches from Fun Miles corporate ambassadors, as well as informal drinks. Interested parties can contact Fun Miles.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT FUN MILES & THE FUN EXPO
Please get in touch with Fun Miles customer service at 543 3301 or visit funmiles.net or facebook.com/funmiles.

usfolvolunteerscleanhbhballfield19052014WILLEMSTAD, Curacao:--- On 5 May, 2014, over 50 volunteers from the U.S. Forward Operating Location (USFOL) worked together with 30 students from Goslinga School to clean the baseball field next to the Holiday Beach Hotel. The baseball field is used by Goslinga School and Saint Joseph School for recreation during school hours.
USFOL volunteers and Goslinga students spent several hours clearing debris, picking up trash and cutting grass and overgrown tree branches to help enhance the ball park's natural beauty. Personnel from the USFOL often donate time and resources to various programs on the island in appreciation for the wonderful hospitality extended to them by the citizens of Curacao.

USFOL Press Release

naturefoundationinstallscoralnurseries19052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Through the assistance and backing of luxury horlogier Hublot and the Alwani Family of the Little Europe chain of stores the St. Maarten Nature Foundation over the past eighteen months researched, installed and managed coral nurseries at various locations around St. Maarten. The Coral Nurseries have been installed in order to provide fast coral growth so that new coral fragments can be transplanted both on reefs within the Man of War Shoal Marine Protected Area and closer to shore.

Due to rapid coastal development and climate change St. Maarten has lost nearly 80% of its near shore coral reefs. Coral reefs are an essential part of the Marine ecosystem as they provide habitat for numerous creatures and are often described as the 'rainforests of the sea. Coral reefs also form a barrier to rising sea water levels caused by climate change and can act as a very important mitigating factor for the effects of sea level rise.

Additionally, the man of War Shoal Marine Park and the coral reef areas within it are of significant environmental and economic importance as diving in Marine Parks is globally on the rise and generally accepted by the diving tourist as a "must do" vacation activity. An economic valuation study conducted by the Nature Foundation of St. Maarten's coral reef ecosystem has placed the monetary value at close to US$58 million in contributions to the economy of the country.

With proper management and restoration the area will increase the St. Maarten Tourism Product and local fisheries will also be enhanced through the regeneration of the depleted fish stock surrounding St. Maarten. Research has shown that Marine Protected Areas increase fish populations and fish size of commercial species in nearby fishing grounds.

Through a donation from luxury watchmaker Hublot and the Alwani family the Nature Foundation has been growing and transplanting coral at various locations throughout the island, both inside and outside of the Man of War Shoal Marine Protected Area. Specific species were chosen that provided a maximum of success in repopulating the country's near shore environment with coral reefs.

swescotwilliamsopensvoocspellingbee19052014Encourages Students to Continue to be Leaders

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams opened the Voice of Our Children Spelling Bee at the Belair Community Center on Saturday. Numerous participants from the Primary Schools on the island and their families attended the packed event.

The Prime Minister thanked the organizers and the sponsors and encouraged the students in continuing to excel. "I would like to thank the Voice of Our Children and the sponsors who have contributed to this event and helped to make all this possible. I am sure that, like me, the students are quite excited to get started in the spelling bee and I commend them for being young leaders in representing their schools at a very worthwhile project. It is important to also recognize all of those who have participated. The fact that you have participated in this important event shows that you can compete and that you have confidence in yourselves. You all deserve a round of applause. And I hope in years to come we can see many more students participating and of course to the teachers and parents in supporting and encouraging the students participating," encouraged the Prime Minister.

From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister

Johan Cruijff Court, Belvedere

7+U age category: Final

In the 7+U age category Final Learning Unlimited Hotshots took the field versus Sr. Magda Greenboys. Learning Unlimited Hotshots had a almost perfect tournament with only a forfeit smudging their winning record. Sr. Magda Greenboys also had a good run and clearly improved as the tournament progressed. Hotshots took a quick 3 – 0 lead in the first half with goals scored by Marshall Leone and Sergio Vasseur.
Sr. Magda Greenboys made some tactical changes which stopped Hotshots from adding any more goals in the first half. Komarr Fraties scored once for Greenboys for a halftime score of 3 – 1.
In the second half both teams put up a good fight. Hotshots put two more between the posts with a goal scored by Sergio Vasseur after an assist by Marshall Leone and a goal by Frans Richardson. Greenboys put one more over the goal line by Auriel Richardson after an assist by Elaijah Baker.
The final result was Champion Learning Unlimited Hotshots 5 – 2 Sr. Magda Greenboys silver medalist.

9+U age category: Final

In the 9+U age category Final the two top teams faced off against each other: Learning Unlimited vs Sr. Regina. Sr. Regina dominated this year in the 9+U round play. Also in the Final they were the stronger team even though Learning Unlimited put up a good fight. At the halftime it even looked as if Learning Unlimited might bring down the giant with a score of 2 – 3. However, in the second half Learning Unlimited was unable to keep it together. Sr. Regina added two more goals to their total for the championship. The final result was Champion Sr. Regina 5 – 2 Learning Unlimited silver medalists.

Champions League category: one-day tournament

Saturday, May 17 was a day in which the best of the best in the Champions League 12+U category took to the field. Participating schools were Learning Unlimited, Sr. Regina, Leonald Connor Kings, Sr. Magda and Leonald Connor Stars. The level of play the whole day was exciting and thrilling with in between Champions League round play additional excitement with the 7+U final in the morning and the 9+U final in the afternoon.
The Champions League games were games of 20 minutes without stoppage time. The order of play was determined by drawing numbers early that day.

First up were Sr. Regina and Sr. Magda. Sr. Magda won the game with the final result of 5 – 1. Goal scorers for Sr. Magda were Curtis Moniz, Keanu Tjon, Quincy Wijngaarde, Gabriel de Vries and Jeahru Richardson. The lone goal by Sr. Regina was scored by Julian Goedknegt after an assist by Kerese Bazil.

The second match was Learning Unlimited vs Leonald Connor Kings. Learning Unlimited won the game with 7 – 0. Top scorer was Oliver Hobgood with 4 goals.

Next up Sr. Magda vs Leonald Connor Stars. The game was extremely close and both sides could have walked of the pitch with the win. Nevertheless, both teams had to settle for a tie 3 – 3. Leonald Connor Stars 3 goals were a result of a hat trick by Gamy Charles. Sr. Magda's goals were scored by Dante Simmonds, Quincy Wijngaarde and Jeahru Richardson.

Just before the 7+U Final Sr. Regina and Learning Unlimited took the field. Sr. Regina physical strength won out over Learning Unlimited's tenacity. The final result was Sr. Regina 7 vs 2 Learning Unlimited. Top scorers for Sr. Regina were Julian Goedknegt with 3 goals and 1 assist and Isaiah Snijders with 2 goals. The Learning Unlimited's goals were scored by Oliver Hobgood after an assist by Jan Lucas van der Plas, who also assisted Noah Ledee.

In the first game after the break Leonald Connor Kings played their match versus Leonald Connor Stars. The Kings, a young promising selection, had a hard time against their school mates. Stars won the game with 5 – 0. Goal scorers were Isael Medina with 2 goals, and Durvane Soloman, Cartalino Joseph and Frisner Faustin all with 1 goal.

Learning Unlimited faced Sr. Magda next, another tough game in which both sides played with a lot of passion. In the end both teams had to be satisfied with a tie 3 – 3. Goal scorers for Learning Unlimited were Noah Ledee with 2 goals and 1 assist and Jan Lucas van der Plas with one goal. Sr. Magda's goal scorers were Curtis Moniz after an assist by Quincy Wijngaarde and Dante Simmonds. The third goal was an own goal by Learning Unlimited.

Next up were Sr. Regina and Leonald Connor Kings. Sr. Regina found the back of the net 7 times winning the game. Goal scorers for Sr. Regina were Isaiah Snijders with a hat trick, Julian Goedknegt with 2 goals and 1 goal by Javier Wadilie.

The last game before the lunch break was between Leonald Connor Stars and Learning Unlimited. Both teams were well aware of the importance of getting results. Stars proofed to be the stronger of the two winning the game with a 4 - 1 score. Goal scorers for Stars were Gamy Charles with 2 goals, and Durvane Soloman and Isael Medina both with one. The lone goal scorer for Learning Unlimited was Oliver Hobgood after an assist by Noah Ledee. Learning Unlimited finished the preliminary round with 4 points and proceeds to the Consolation Final.

After the lunch break Sr. Magda took the field versus Leonald Connor Kings. Sr. Magda, which had been sluggish scoring up till now, went all out versus Leonald Connor Kings. The final result was Sr. Magda 13 – 0 Kings. Top scorers for Sr. Magda were Dante Simmonds with 5 goals, Keanu and Quincy Wijngaarde both with 2 goals. With this result Sr. Magda advances to the Final. Leonald Connor Kings finishes in 5th place.

The last game in the preliminary round was between Sr. Regina and Leonald Connor Stars. Sr. Regina needed to win to proceed to the Final; Leonald Connor Stars would have enough with a tie to get to the Final. Both teams played hard and it was a close game from start to finish. In the end Sr. Regina just squeezed by Leonald Connor Stars with 3 – 2. Goal scorer for Sr. Regina was Julian Goedknegt with a hat trick. Gamy Charles scored both goals for Stars. Sr. Regina made it to the Final. Leonald Connor Stars would face Learning Unlimited in the Consolation Final.

The Consolation Final was played right after the 9+U Final giving all the teams a breather. Learning Unlimited and Leonald Connor Stars put on a great performance. In the end Learning Unlimited prevailed and won the game with a 2 – 0 score. The first goal was scored by Jan Lucas van der Plas after an assist by Oliver Hobgood, who also scored the second goal after an assist by Noah Ledee. Learning Unlimited will receive the 3rd place trophy next week during the award ceremony.

The Champions League Final, the last game of the day, was between the two teams who started it all in the morning: Sr. Regina and Sr. Magda. Both teams played their hearts out and for the longest time the game remained 0 – 0.

Sr. Magda had pushed Sr. Regina completely back on their own half for the second part of the game. All the Sr. Regina players were in and around the penalty area defending their goal with all their might. The congestion of players made it extremely difficult to score. Sr. Magda created many changes, but was unable to put the ball between the posts or past Sr. Regina's secret weapon, goal keeper Ladisha Simmons, who made plenty of saves to keep her team in the game.

The first opportunity that Sr. Regina got to break away from Sr. Magda strangle hold was a costly one for Sr. Magda. Isaiah Snijders and Julian Goedknegt found themselves alone before the Sr. Magda goal, leaving the Sr. Magda goal keeper Jaedyn Williams without at chance. Sr. Regina took the lead with a goal by Isaiah Snijders.

With less than 5 minutes to go, Sr. Magda had no choice than to go all out for the equalizer. Again Sr. Regina erected an impenetrable fortress around their goal, preventing Sr. Magda from scoring. In the last minute Sr. Regina was given another counter attack opportunity. In a one on one with the Sr. Magda goal keeper Kerese Bazil showed nerves of steel and he found the back of the net.
The final result of the game was Sr. Regina 2 – 0 Sr. Magda. Sr. Regina is now the new Champions League champion and Sr. Magda the silver medalist.

Sr. Regina's Coach Kevin Dekkers gave his team extra motivation before the start of the Final. He has promised to shave his head if they would win the final. (Everyone is curious to see Coach Kevin without his usual dreadlocks next week.)

On Saturday, May 24 the remaining finals will be played on the Final Day of the 2014 SMSEF Interscholastic Soccer Tournament: 11+U Consolation Final Leonald Connor vs Sr. Magda FC, 13+U Consolation Final Sr. Regina vs Leonald Connor, Girls 13+U Final Sr. Regina vs Sr. Magda, Girls 18+U Final SVOBE (M.P.C.) vs Mixed Team, 18+U Final St. Dominic High School vs M.P.C., 15 +U Final M.P.C. vs C.I.A., 13+U Final M.P.C. vs St. Dominic High School and the 11+U Final Learning Unlimited vs Sr. Magda United Stars.

At 15:30 the award ceremony for all the categories that participated in the 2014 SMSEF Interscholastic Soccer Tournament will take place on the field to close of this year's tournament.

swescotwilliamsatcoctconference19052014Project on Small and Medium Enterprises Amongst Those to be coordinated by St. Maarten Through 2020

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams has been nominated as the Caribbean Regional Authorizing Officer for the Dutch and British Caribbean Overseas Country's and Territories of the European Union (COCT) during the COCT conference held in Little Bay Montserrat last week. This role for the Prime Minister as regional authorizing officer means that coordination of the Caribbean-wide project that will be approved from the points discussed at the meeting will be done by St. Maarten through 2020. The points discussed during the two-day conference included items such as the updating of the OCTs on the status of Small and Medium Enterprise program remaining from 10th EDF, to select the sectors for submission for regional cooperation within the 11th EDF, to select countries to work on the proposals for the selected sectors, to select the Regional Authorizing Officer for this programming period and to commit to cooperate with other EU partners in the region namely the ACP and Overseas Regions of Europe.

As a result of the meeting the Caribbean Wide Project concerning Small and Medium Enterprise program is currently in full swing with the first steering committee meeting and stakeholder forum to be held in the British Virgin Islands on the 2nd of June, 2014

Various sectors for regional cooperation were also discussed including the biodiversity and climate change envelope focusing on renewable energy and waste management, the regional envelope on Tourism which will be steered by St. Maarten and the Health envelope which will be steered by the British Virgin Islands.

With Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams being nominated regionally as the Regional Authorizing Officer for the Dutch and British Caribbean OCT's the coordination of the project that will be approved from the above mentioned options will be done by St. Maarten through 2020

In connection with the commitment to cooperate with all regional partners, St. Maarten is now preparing to sign a letter of intent of cooperation with St. Martin for a European funded infrastructural development project accessed through the French.

There will be a press conference on the ongoing developments with regards to St. Maarten's Role in the Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union on Monday, May 18th 2014 at eleven am at the AC Wathey Legislative Hall.

From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister

SOUTH REWARD:--- The South Reward Community Council strongly condemns the brutal attack on the young nine-year-old girl, that took place in South Reward on Thursday morning, May 15. "It was shocking and difficult to read about this senseless and violent attack on a school girl. Our hearts go out to the victim and her family, in this difficult time. Even though the topic of mentally unstable citizens has been a lingering issue, too little attention from the communities and government has been given. It is an issue that should have never taken the spotlight because of an incident like this. We sincerely hope that other Community Councils and the Government will start having serious forums on what could be done to help mentally ill patients and to prevent another senseless attack. An Awareness Campaign on Mental Health will be on the S.R.C.C.'s agenda as we move forward with the hope that other communities will also handle this all important topic," said Vice President of the South Reward Community Council Armand Meda.

Press Release from the South Reward Community Council

caribservedonatese-readerstopjl19052014PHILIPSBURG:--- On the occasion of World Telecommunication Day CaribServe, the Broadband Internet brand of UTS, has committed to supporting the Philipsburg Jubilee library in its endeavor to promote the reading of e-books. The internet provider has provided the library with e-readers that library patrons can use to download and read e-books. The Library launched its e-book service last year. Since June 2013 every library card holder can download e-books free of charge through the library website. The e-book service is highly popular but, one obstacle for some patrons is the fact that they do not own an e-reader. An e-reader is a hand held device on which one can read e-books and often perform other activities as well. To allow more library patrons to enjoy e-books, CaribServe decided to donate three Android tablets to the library which can be used for e-reading as well as to display digital picture books during libraries weekly story hour for young children.
"The library is steadily expanding its e-book service and who better than CaribServe, their technological partner, to assist them in achieving their goal of further modernizing their facilities and processes," said UTS Marketing and Communication Officer, Ivy Lambert. CaribServe has been providing the library with broadband internet service for many years to facilitate the daily operations of the library and also allowing patrons whom may not have internet connectivity at home to surf the web for educational or recreational purposes. "The 2014 theme for Telecommunication Day is Broadband for Sustainable Development which we feel goes hand-in-hand with the products and services we offer. We hope our donation will allow many to become familiar with and enjoy the digital reading experience. The e-readers are yet another step in familiarizing the community at large with the many of possibilities the application of multimedia offers," Lambert continued.

hpcelogo19052014GRAND CASE:--- People of all ages are invited to showcase St. Martin heritage, and their talent, in the 2014 Heritage Photo Contest, now officially open for entries. The Heritage Photo Contest and Exhibition was developed by the Les Fruits de Mer Association to give tourists and residents alike an opportunity to celebrate art created here on the island, and to engage residents–especially kids–in thinking about their heritage. The 2014 Heritage Photo Contest and Exhibition is managed by the Les Fruits de Mer Association, with funding from Be the Change SXM.

"We're really excited to be working with Be The Change SXM on this platform to inspire and display local art," says Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. "We've gotten some great entries already, and we can't wait to see more of the amazing talent on this island. So get creative, or look at photos you've already taken–and hit us with your best shots!"

The theme of this year's contest, "Vibrant and Vulnerable," was chosen to raise awareness about the island's unique natural, cultural and historic heritage, as well as the threats facing this heritage and the need to preserve it. "We hope this contest will be a chance to share and promote many of the things that make this island so special," explains Les Fruits de Mer co-founder Mark Yokoyama. "We hope it can also serve as a focal point to understand, discuss and act on the things that put this special heritage at risk." Yokoyama, an avid photographer, adds: "Plus we also want to give everyone a great excuse to get out there and take a lot of amazing pictures!"

Organizers designed the contest to include everyone, and to empower children and youth to enter with a special Under 18 award category and other initiatives. "We'd love this to be an opportunity for kids and teens to explore photography for the first time," says Yokoyama. "For young people who are already into photography, it creates a showcase for what they're doing." Teachers and leaders of student and youth groups who are interested in getting their kids involved are encouraged to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more.

The contest is free and open to every age, and everyone is welcome to enter as many times as they like. People who want to enter should submit their entries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by May 31, 2014. Each entry should include two original photos taken on St. Martin/St. Maarten by the person entering (one representing a "Vibrant" aspect of the island, and the other a "Vulnerable" aspect), a brief statement explaining why those photos were chosen, full name, and age and date of birth if under 18. All qualifying entries will go on display in the online Heritage Gallery, and selected entries will be featured in the Heritage Photo Exhibition, which will be held in June. Awards will be given for the winning entries in three categories: Adult, Under 18 and People's Choice, and prizes will be announced during the entry period.

For more information about the Heritage Photo Contest and Exhibition, including the full rules and a sample entry, visit: http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com/category/vibrant-and-vulnerable/

PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake, recently met with the Board of the St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation (SMHDF) regarding a number of housing matters.

Topics discussed was Belvedere painting and maintenance of buildings; appointment of supervisory board member by the end of May; family James Cole Bay property; the financial situation of SMHDF; Foga sewage plant; Foga infrastructure; subsidy; articles or incorporations; Senior Citizen Homes; purchasing of new property; Foga lease to own; and Duplexes in Belvedere for sale.

"I was very pleased with the outcome of the meeting that I had with the supervisory board of the housing foundation. We are on the right track of what needs to be done and I am very confident that our joint approach will allow us to achieve and accomplish much for the residents.

"By mid-June, I, and the supervisory board will be informed on the starting date with respect to maintenance of the homes. This is top of my agenda, and is also a major issue for the tenants as was discussed in an earlier meeting with the tenants.

"I am pleased to announce that the sewage plant for Foga will be in operation soon. A test run has to be carried out first before its put into full operation.

"Housing for our senior citizens is very important to me, and I am also pleased to announce that work should start some time in the latter half of June. In my back to basics approach, housing is one of the key areas for our people and in further improving the quality of life for our nation," Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Sunday.

Housing for low-income people is also a priority for SMHDF. A piece of property has been purchased by the foundation in St. Peters to possibly construct up to 40 units.

owenarthur18052014HARBOR VIEW:--- The honorable Owen Seymour Arthur, former prime minister of Barbados and present Member of Parliament (MP) will hold the keynote address at the second annual symposium of the Social Economic Council (SER). In his speech, Arthur will connect the theme of Inclusive development with our society based on the experiences of Barbados.

As Barbados fifth prime minister; he was also the first Caribbean head of state who was also an experienced economist. Owen S. Arthur graduated from the University of the West Indies in 1971 and holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Economics and History. He completed his Master of Science (MSc) in Economics in 1974.

According to the United Nations Development Programme's 2013 report, Barbados continues to have the highest Human Development Index (HDI) of any Caribbean country,
Barbados is ranked 38th in the world in HDI, which examines factors including education, life expectancy and income, among others. Barbados' ranking is ahead of countries such as Poland, Chile, Lithuania, the United Arab Emirates and Portugal.

The theme of the symposium "Inclusive development" is currently a wide discussed topic and is high on the agenda of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The term Inclusive Development falls in line with SER' objectives. As an advisory and consultative body of employer's representatives, union representatives and independent experts, SER aims to help create social consensus on national and international socio-economic issues/topics. The SER is guided by the objective of social prosperity in its widest sense, this encompasses not only material progress, but also social progress.
The keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by master of ceremony, Cedric Peterson. The panel is comprised of representatives of the public and private sectors, managing partner and co-founder of Computech, Jean Arnell, National Development Plan representative, Drs. Okama Epke-Brook, founder and Directress of the Belvedere Community Foundation, Jessica Richardson and Collaborative Foundation (Samenwerkende Fondsen) representative, José Verschueren-Sommers.

The SER symposium will take place at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino. The title of the symposium will be "Inclusive development"; for a better Sint Maarten. The event will start on Tuesday, May 20th at 8 am and will conclude at 1 pm. The Organization of the symposium is covered by Dutch development funds managed by USONA.

davidvandelft18052014RINCON, Bonaire:--- The Public Prosecutor's Office bid farewell on Friday May 16th, 2014 to David van Delft. The reception took place in the 'Mangazina di Rei'. Van Delft officially stepped down as Chief Prosecutor of the Public Prosecutor's Office of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (BES).
David van Delft was in the 90's for a period of four years Public Prosecutor in Curaçao. In 2007 he returned to the former Netherlands Antilles as a prosecutor and 'Head of Mission' (Chef de poste) on Bonaire and, since the transition on 10-10-10, Chief Public Prosecutor of the BES-islands. Under his leadership, the OM BES formed a new organization with offices on three islands, it should be noted that these offices are 900 kilometers apart. David van Delft literally built up the OM BES. The organization stands, and is now a solid foundation on which to further be built by his successor.
Several people addressed Van Delft on Friday, including Attorney General Guus Schram, Chief of Police for the BES-islands Hildegard Buitink, and newsreporter for Extra Boi Antoin and former Lieutenant-governor Glenn Thodé.
David Van Delft will be succeeded July 1 2014 by Henry Hambeukers. Mr. Hambeukers been since August 1, 2013 Prosecutor at the Prosecutor's Office of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (BES).

Press Release from the Public Prosecutor's Office

civilregistrarsinnl18052014GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Head of the Civil Registry Department Leona Marlin-Romeo, accompanied a delegation from Curacao, Bonaire and St. Eustatius who were invited to attend the Civil Registry Jubileum Congress in the Netherlands.
Prominent issues of identification management, address fraud, forgery, counterfeit, look-a-likes and the latest technology that exist to combat these issues were all discussed in the form of workshops, trainings and presentations from representatives from various countries such as Germany, Sweden, Estonia, Slovakia, and the Netherlands.
The Congress highlighted the growing trends of identity fraud and the need for Civil Registries to be equipped to be able to identify fraudulent documents. These trends are challenging many countries and St. Maarten is no different with 114 nationalities. It is imperative that staff of departments are trained and equipped to handle all forms of documents being presented.
According to one presentation some documents are made on the streets, behind alleys and are generated from automated machines. With the swift minds of criminals Civil Registries must be technologically advanced to stay abreast to the latest schemes. Technology now makes it easier to detect fraudulent documents however, the first detection begins at the first contact at the window, and this was highlighted in the training.
Participants from numerous European Countries were present to commemorate the NVVB 20 year anniversary in the field of Civil Registries, and the organization is looking forward to assisting and strengthening ties with key partners in St. Maarten.
The Civil Registry of St. Maarten looks forward in continuing to work with this organization that has all of the Dutch Municipalities and some European municipalities as part of its membership.

caribbeanconferencedelegateswithgovtofficials18052014GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- His Excellency Governor Eugene B. Holiday and the Honorable Minister of Education, Culture and Youth Affairs Patricia Lourens - Philip encouraged Caribbean delegates to push the Caribbean forward during UNESCO's conference closing session on Capacity Building on Heritage Conservation in the Caribbean Small Island Developing Sates (SIDS).

24 members representing SIDS came to a consensus on Tuesday afternoon during the closing of the UNESCO meeting on Capacity Building on Heritage Conservation in the Caribbean with an agenda for follow-up priorities and responsibilities to be delivered during the sequel meeting in St. Vincent & the Grenadines in 2015, during which His Excellency Governor Holiday and Minster Hon. Patricia Lourens-Philip emphasized the importance of "pushing" the Caribbean forward in World Heritage Matters.

"There are challenges we have to overcome and we must continue to position ourselves in the international arena in terms of showing our history and that we can be going forward" said Honorable Governor Holiday during his closing statement as he sat in during the drafting of the agenda.

Among the SIDS representatives were Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and St. Eustatius as an observer.

Honorable Minster of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports, Patricia Lourens-Philip commended each member for accepting their invitation to the UNESCO meeting which was organized by her ministry by the Department of Culture and making measurable progress. "We are convinced that we have a rightful place in the Caribbean History in the English, Dutch, French and Spanish speaking Caribbean and as such we want to say thank you for being here and participating with a lot of passion," she said.

Himalchuli Gurung, Programme Specials for Culture, UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean, as well as Victor Marin, CCBP Coordinator, UNESCO Havana Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean on behalf of all participants commended Department Head of Culture, Mr. Neville York for his hard work in putting the meeting together and thanked the St. Maarten government for prioritizing the importance of the meeting and making it happen.

The UNESCO and SIDS representatives avidly worked on identifying areas of development, methods of funding and prospective areas of preservation in respects to creating their respective tentative lists, and nomination dossiers for World Heritage Sites while sharing intelligence and creating an informal network/skills bank to create accessibility among themselves when initiating projects or activities that will require the expertise of one or more of the members.

The official opening of the UNESCO meeting took place last Saturday on May 10, 2014 which commenced with a flag inauguration and supporting messages from Honorable Governor Holiday, Honorable Prime Minister Wescot-Williams and Honorable Minister Lourens, as well as Director and Representative, UNESCO Kingston Cluster Office for the Caribbean, Christine Norton, whom all emphasized 2014 being the international year of Small Islands Developing States and the relevance of the work to follow during the conference.

The conference meetings followed with discussion on Caribbean strategies on managing serial heritage sites, a field trip to Fort Amsterdam and supporting historic areas, updates on the Kingston Action Plan, presentations on country experiences in preparing nomination dossiers, group work, and closed with a St. Maarten Declaration on Caribbean Capacity Building Strategy for the Caribbean SIDS.

All members were given a token of appreciation sponsored by the St. Maarten Tourism Office as well as PITCH-IT Foundation, which was presented to the members by Minister Lourens - Philip and Mr. Neville York.

armedrobberyfillin13082012PHILIPSBURG:--- On Friday May 16th, 2014 at approximately 7:00pm, the Central Police dispatch received a call from Trendy Shop on Back Street stating that shortly before an armed robbery had taken place at that establishment. Police officers were immediately sent to the scene to investigate what had taken place. On the scene the investigating officers encountered the victim who had been tied up by the suspects with tie-straps and tape. The victim stated that two unknown men had come into the establishment asking to use the bathroom. Once inside, one of suspects pulled a fire arm and threatened to use it. The armed robber put the gun to the head of the store manager forcing him to hand over the cash. The robbers also took the manager's telephone and several new phones. After committing this act the robbers fled the scene. The Special Robbery Unit is investigating this case.

KPSM Police Report

PHILIPSBURG:--- The investigation into the severe ill-treatment of a nine year old female victim with initials S.B. which took place on Thursday May 15th, 2014 on Cherry Nut road in South Reward is in high gear. This unfortunate and serious criminal act was committed by the suspect with the initials A.P. (38) who is mentally challenged and resides in that area. As a result of this severe ill-treatment the victim suffered bruises to her body and a serious injury to her face. The victim was transported by ambulance to the Sint Maarten Medical Center where she was treated for her injuries and where she is admitted for observation and recovery. The Public Prosecutor's Office and Police Department has given this case the highest priority and are working diligently to find out what may have triggered the suspect to commit this very serious act which has caused much unrest within the community of Sint Maarten. The suspect in the meantime is detained and his detention has been extended by the Public Prosecutor.

KPSM Police Report

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Democratic Party condemns the acts of violence perpetuated on the island in recent days. One of these hideous acts took the life of a businessman on the Northern side of the island and a young female student suffered serious injuries at the hand of an allegedly mentally unstable man in South Reward. The use of violence and availability of weapons is all too commonplace in our community.

No excuse however can justify these types of assaults on members of our community and must be condemned in the strongest possible way.
The Democratic Party supports the increased cooperation between the two sides of the island in the different areas and, while crime fighting is chief amongst these, we note with concern the financial limitations to execute strategic crime fighting projects of the Ministry of Justice.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the late Anan and we express our sincere wishes for a speedy recovery of the young student. We encourage all members of the community to help take a "bite out of crime" by demonstrating tolerance, looking out for each other, not condoning criminals or criminal acts.

It is also with sadness that we received the news of the suicide death of candidate notary Lars de Vries.

All in all, sad days for several families in our communities and as a compassionate society we share in these families' grief. May God grant them strength.

DP Press Release

beaconhillstreetflooded18052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake is busy visiting the different residential districts throughout the country with respect to infrastructural issues. This week the Minister was informed about street flooding in Beacon Hill due to the heavy rainfall experienced earlier in the week. Minister Lake has his ministry already looking into the matter with respect to possible solutions.

nfdamodel18052014PHILIPSBURG:--- The St. Maarten national Fashion Development Association (NFDA) together with Caribbean Fashion Style Journal (CFStyle.com) will launch Color Revolution – a fashion event that is first of its kind in St. Maarten.
"Color Revolution is more than just a fashion show for entertainment value; it is about bringing together the wealth of talent in Caribbean fashion and connecting them to the billion dollar global fashion industry at large," said Daniel Smith, Co-Founder of CFStyle.
The weekend event extends from May 29th through June 1st and will bring together well-known and emerging designers from across the Caribbean and United States to premier their Fall/Resort 2015 lines. Color  Revolution includes must-see runway shows, social affairs, and workshop sessions.
"We are proud to partner with CFStyle to deliver what is destined to be an unmatched fashion experience; the organization expects this event to be the most sort after fashion event in the Caribbean," says the NFDA board.
The Honourable Vice President of Parliament, Senator Romain J. Laville added; "I am thrilled to lend my support and personal blessings to the organizers of the „Color Revolution' – The Caribbean Fashion Festival event to be held on St. Maarten. This event will continue to place St. Maarten on the Map with regard to Fashion, and will also inspire and expose young models and designers on the island to achieve their utmost potential in this industry."
The annual event will attract some of the biggest names in fashion, media and entertainment to the island. The NDFA sees Color Revolution as a vehicle that will connect the island to the global fashion and lifestyle industry - attracting various international media and investors to the island.
For more information, visit colorrevolution.cfstyle.com. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/CRSXM and facebook.com/sxmnfda.

NFDA Press Release

Expresses Condolences and Sympathy to Victims

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Prime Minister of St. Maarten, the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams has expressed her deep concern over the recent spate of violence the community has experienced. The PM made her comments while abroad attending the Caribbean Overseas Countries And Territories of the European Union Conference in Montserrat; "I am saddened to learn of the recent spate of violence in the communities of both sides of our island and I would like to express sympathy and strength to the victims and their families as they struggle to cope with these incomprehensible acts of violence and disregard for human life and rights. I trust that our law enforcement authorities will do their jobs and I encourage our citizens to have faith in our authorities and to assist them where they can.

"The situation has my full attention and the Government of St. Maarten will continue to do all that is within its power to ensure that our population is safe and secure.
At the same time, attention needs to be paid to the social and health issues that contribute to persons' state of mind. Mental health in its various forms and gradations also deserves our attention . The limited data available to us suggests that there is a worrisome number of persons who have to cope with effects of poor or unbalanced mental health.

We need to work with the organizations that provide service to the chronically mentally challenged as well as those with bouts of mental lapses, chronic depression etc.

We need to sensitize our services to these illnesses.

"Finally I again would like to wish the victims and their families much strength as they seek healing and try to cope and overcome the loss and stress due to these acts of senseless violence," concluded Prime Minister Wescot-Williams.

From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- 17th of May marked World Hypertension Day, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO), along with the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, is urging people to get their blood pressure checked regularly to prevent heart attacks and stroke.

One in three people with hypertension are unaware they have it, increasing their health risks.

The theme for World Hypertension Day was "Know your numbers," highlighting the importance of getting regular blood pressure checks and understanding that a reading of 140/90 mmHg or higher means hypertension.

As part of Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour Hon. Cornelius de Weever's "Get Checked" campaign which promotes good health for all ages, adults are encouraged in the interests of their health to 'know your numbers'.

PAHO/WHO estimates that in the Americas, 30 per cent of people with high blood pressure are unaware they have the condition.

Hypertension is a silent killer because in its early stages it rarely causes symptoms, and many people go undiagnosed. Diagnosing and treating it on time can reduce the risk of heart attacks, stroke and kidney failure.

All adults should know their blood pressure levels. Healthy lifestyles can prevent hypertension, and for people who need medication, it can improve control.

An estimated 80 per cent of premature heart attacks and stroke can be prevented by reducing the leading risk factors for these conditions: unhealthy diet, tobacco consumption, harmful use of alcohol and physical inactivity.

Overweight and obesity and excess salt consumption – the single most important risk factor for hypertension – also increase one's risk.

Studies show that high blood pressure contributes to some 9.4 million cardiovascular deaths worldwide each year. In the Americas, 1.9 million people die yearly from cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in most of the region's countries.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The United People's Party (UP) family was shocked after seeing the newspaper photo of a nine-year old school girl on Friday who was brutally assaulted last Thursday morning.
The UP family also condems the senseless murder of a young business on the North side of the island, and expresses its deepest condolences to the family, friends and business colleagues.
It is alleged that the perpetrator suffers from a mental disorder. The Sint Maarten community is very aware of people walking around in our districts who suffer from some form of mental illness/disorder.
Mental health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease. It is related to the promotion of well-being, the prevention of mental disorders, and the treatment and rehabilitation of people affected by mental disorders.
The UP family feels that more resources have to be provided to tackle cases of mental illness and persons in the community with mental disorders, adding that for the national budget of 2015, additional financial resources should be allocated to the Ministry of Public Health budget/Mental Health Foundation.
The UP family extends its prayers and get well wishes to the nine-year old school girl as well as her family during this difficult period.
The UP family fully believes in the premise that mental health is an integral part of health, and that indeed, there is no health without mental health.
The UP party believes this issue is nonpartisan and remains committed to any call to remedy such medical or social ills in our community.

United People's (UP) Party Board

WILLEMSTAD, Curaçao:--- On Monday, June 2, 2014, there will be three bond issues on behalf of the country of Sint Maarten. These three bonds will have semi-annual coupons and can be specified as follow:

  • 2.25% NAf 60,000,000 bond issue with a duration of 15 years;
  • 2.375% NAf 45,400,000 bond issue with a duration of 20 years;
  • 2.45% NAf 40,000,000 bond issue with a duration of 30 years.

On Wednesday, May 21, 2014, the Dutch State Treasury Agency (DSTA) will be able to subscribe and up to Friday, May 23, 2014, 10:00 A.M., the general public will be able to subscribe to these bonds issues at all commercial banks on Curaçao and Sint Maarten. Subscription will take place according to the tender system, in which parties indicate for which amount and price they wish to participate in the loan, thereby revealing their desired yield.
After the closing of the subscription, the Centrale Bank van Curaçao en Sint Maarten will publish the prices of issue. Parties that have subscribed for a higher price than the price of the respective bond issues will receive full allocation. Parties that have subscribed at a price equal to the price of the respective bond issues will receive the remaining amount of the respective bond issues.
As of May 19, 2014, subscription forms will be obtainable free of charge at the commercial banks and on our website www.centralbank.cw/government-loans.

CENTRALE BANK VAN CURAÇAO EN SINT MAARTEN

WILLEMSTAD, Curaçao:--- On Monday, June 2, 2014, there will be a bond issue on behalf of the country of Curaçao, which bond will have a coupon rate of 2.45%, interest is payable semi-annual starting on December 2, 2014 and maturity of thirty (30) years.
On Wednesday, May 21, 2014, the Dutch State Treasury Agency (DSTA) will be able to subscribe and up to Friday, May 23, 2014, 10:00 A.M., the general public will be able to subscribe to this bond issue at all commercial banks on Curaçao and Sint Maarten. Subscription will take place according to the tender system, in which parties indicate for which amount and price they wish to participate in the bond issue, thereby revealing their desired yield.
After the closing of the subscription, the Centrale Bank van Curaçao en Sint Maarten will publish the price of issue. Parties that have subscribed for a higher price than the price of issue will receive full allocation. Parties that have subscribed at a price equal to the price of issue will receive the remaining amount of the issue.
As of May 19, 2014, subscription forms will be obtainable free of charge at the commercial banks and on our website www.centralbank.cw/government-loans.

CENTRALE BANK VAN CURAÇAO EN SINT MAARTEN

PHILIPSBURG:--- For the first time in the 200 years of existence of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, there will be a Kingdom Youth Parliament. This is organized in honor of the celebration of 200 years of Kingdom. The celebration will take place in Sint Maarten on May 20th to May 22nd. Five teams of ten youngsters will engage into debates on various issues that affect them now and in the future, such as: education, culture, sustainable development and the children's rights.

Country teams
The teams come from the Netherlands, Curaçao, Aruba, and Sint Maarten and there is a mixed team from Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. The youngsters have been selected on the basis of short video clips in which they motivate why they want to participate in the Youth Parliament. Each team has a coach with extensive expertise and experience in politics and government: Senator Marijke Linthorst for the team of the Netherlands, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands Antilles Suzy Römer for the team of Curaçao, Minister Michelle Winklaar for the team of Aruba, former Lt. Governor Franklyn Richards for the team of Sint Maarten and former Antillean Secretary of State Nora Sneek for the team of Bonaire, Saba and Statia.

National Committee and the celebration of 200 years Kingdom (2013-2014)
After the start celebration at the Scheveningen beach and in the Knight's Hall (November 30th, 2013) and the Constitutional Festival (March 29th, 2014), the Kingdom Youth Parliament is the third national event of the National Committee Bicentennial Kingdom. During the celebration a moment will be taken to reflect on our collective past, present and future. We
will also celebrate that what binds all of the inhabitants of the Kingdom: democracy with equal rights and duties for everyone. After Sint Maarten there will be three events: Maastricht, Zwolle and in September 2015 the closure in Amsterdam. On behalf of the National Committee Bicentennial Kingdom will be present: Ank Bijleveld-Schouten (pr), Izaline Calister, Albert Verlinde, Erben Wennemars and Rein Willems.

Background and objective
The youth debate arose from the need to approach the Kingdom from a different angle/perspective. Or as Minister of State and Member of the Committee Kingdom Relations Herman Tjeenk Willink remarked: "The Kingdom is too important to be left to politicians, administrators and government officials."
What do young people think about the actual binding factor within the Kingdom? Why do we learn so little about the Caribbean islands in the Dutch secondary schools? How can we shape the future in a sustainable manner so that all citizens of the Kingdom can benefit from it? And what can we as young people contribute to shape our future. At the end of the meeting in St. Maarten, a final statement will be presented together with the answers to these questions in addition to as action points that each KYP member can work out in their respective countries.

Special opening
Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix will open the Kingdom Youth Parliament (KYP) on Tuesday morning, May 20th at the University of St. Martin. She will deliver the opening statement and will frequent the sessions during the days. She will also meet with the youth members informally. "We are honored by her presence!" says project manager KYP, Ron van der Veer, from St. Maarten stated. "In her capacity as Queen; since 1980 she has opened the Prinsjesdag/Prince's Day session of the States General, as many as 33 times and it is wonderful that no one other than the Royal Princess will be there to open this first KYP session!"

Preparation
In the past months, the teams have prepared themselves by practicing the art of debating. They came together during the weekends in order to practice how to build arguments that support their statements in the best possible way. And, where necessary, they learned the facts and figures of the constitutional structure by heart. The Dutch Debate Institute will lead the official debate in St. Maarten and has also helped with the preparatory sessions. Other people will also lend a helping hand: each team has a coach with a lot of expertise and in Sint Maarten the various topics will be highlighted by a group of experts.

KYP self-result of kingdom-wide cooperation
The Kingdom Youth Parliament idea was conceived by Ron van der Veer, Secretary of the Committee Kingdom Relations, together with five young people: Trumane Trotman, Marifer Aguirre Broca, Carl Fielmich, Kennedy Ogenio and Aster van Tilburg. As far as the content is concerned, assistance was provided by the Dutch Debate Institute (Roderick van Grieken and Else Nieuwkerk) and the organizational support was provided by a number of enthusiastic volunteers, in particular Tanja Fraai and Wendele van der Wiele should be mentioned who have made themselves indispensable. In addition, many organizational and other support was received from the University of St. Martin (Annelies Oliver - van den Assem) and of the St. Maarten Youth Council (Connie Francis Gumbs).

The KYP was also supported by: Air France KLM, Maduro & Curiel's Bank, Erasmushuis Sint Maarten, Inter Expo, Pasanggrahan Royal Guesthouse, Perscentrum Nieuwspoort, UNICEF and the Dutch Representation of the Netherlands in Philipsburg.

Program
Monday, May 19th – The "getting acquainted" of the youngsters with each other and with
At 17:00 an extensive press conference with, amongst others, the President of the National Committee, Ank Bijleveld-Schouten, KYP- Project Manager Ron van der Veer, several KYP participants and the RVD. This press conference will be streamed live. Reporters can ask questions to the persons at the table via @KJParliament. Further details will follow.
Tuesday, May 20th: Opening and start of debates
Wednesday, May 21st: Workshops, debates and dinner
Thursday, May 22nd: Establishing of the final statement
Friday, May 23rd: Farewell and departure

Holds recruitment drive at USM today Saturday, May 17th

PHILIPSBURG:--- At-risk youngsters in St. Maarten now have an avenue to receive guidance to help them get back on the right track thanks to the formation of Voice of the Youth SXM Foundation.

The new foundation will be holding a recruitment drive at University of St. Martin (USM) today, Saturday, May 17th, 2014 from 9am to 1pm as it set out to embark on its first project – the St. Maarten Youth Brigade (SYB).

SYB is a comprehensive programme geared towards helping its young members in their overall development through a broad three-year programme. SYB targets youngsters between the ages of 15 to 21, who are in the education system, but are at risk of falling through the cracks as well as those who have dropped out of the educational system.

Youngsters enrolled in SYB will be exposed to a range of physical, mental, cognitive and social education activities to help rebuild their self-confidence, self-esteem and give them a higher level of thinking skills. SYB's programmes will include first aid courses, fire prevention training, mentorship sessions and courses in general educational topics such as basic legal knowledge, public speaking, team-building, leadership and stress management.

Members will be groomed to channel their energies into positive activities. They will be prepared to occupy leadership roles within the Brigade as well as in other youth programmes in the country upon completion of the required course-work.

Brigade members will be required to recognize and report unsafe and/or unhealthy situations to their respective leaders who will take the necessary action.

The Brigade will also organize and participates in various social and recreational activities. These will include assisting the underprivileged in the community.

Voice of the Youth SXM was established on May 17, 2013 by businesswoman professional photographer and mother Zulayka Peterson to help guide youngsters from veering off the wrong path.

Peterson said the lack of sufficient educational and social activities to stimulate effective communication amongst youngsters coupled with her strong desire to instill positive self-images in young people were among the factors that prompted her to start the foundation.

She said Brigade is committed to offer trained leaders, who will be available for youth projects and activities in the community. SYB, she added, will serve as a model for youngsters in rendering service to the community, and to support various productive youth projects.

Although Voice of the Youth SXM is a new organisation, the persons involved have well-established histories of working with the targeted group.

St. Maarten Youth Brigade will be supervised and implemented by a combination of paid and voluntary workers. A future goal of Voice of the Youth SXM's is to acquire a building.

BELLEVUE, Wash.:--- The Expedia® group, the world's largest online travel company, reported today that travel demand garnered via Expedia.com® and Hotels.com® points of sale for St. Maarten/St Martin hotels grew nearly 20 percent in 2013 when compared to the previous year.
The Expedia group provides hotel partners with access to tremendous volume and variety of travelers worldwide through more than 150 websites in more than 70 countries worldwide, in addition to a myriad of mobile sites and apps, from brands such as Expedia, Hotels.com, Hotwire®, Egencia®, Expedia® Affiliate Network and Venere®.
The Expedia group continues expanding its global footprint with the launch of new portals, investing in campaigns and mobile technologies while developing tailor-made market strategies for hotel partners to attract a diverse array of clients in a variety of countries. Expedia reports an increase in demand from international markets to St. Maartin/St. Martin from countries such as Brazil (more than 100%), Germany (more than 20%), and The Netherlands (nearly 20%). The United States, by far the top producing international feeder market, continues to grow at more than 25%.
The Expedia group's market management team attended SMART, the destination's most influential industry event, from May 14-16, 2014. During the conference, the company's market management team will have an opportunity to discuss trends and online marketing tools and programs available via the company's multiple platforms that could provide increased visibility and incremental demand for the destination. Moreover, the team is expected to share 2013 successes while also meeting with valued hotel partners and reinforcing the company's commitment to the region.

"We believe that St. Maarten/St Martin has the ideal conditions to grow further as a tourist destination, which is why it represents a growing market for us in the Caribbean. It is our privilege to promote the destination to our global audience of travelers," said Demetrius Canton, Director of Market Management in the Caribbean for Expedia. "The Expedia group attracts 60 million travelers a month from more than 70 countries through its significant investments in marketing and technology. When a hotel partners with Expedia, in addition to getting access to these travelers, our market management team provides valuable data-based market insight to help a hotelier capture this demand in a way that makes strategic sense for their business."

sbccmeetswithpjiaereps16052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake is pleased with the discussions that took place Wednesday night between the Simpson Bay Community Council and SXM Airport.

Minister Lake initiated the meeting in order for both parties to have a better understanding of each other. Yvette Halley represented the Simpson Bay Community Council (SBCC) while Regina Labega, was the head of her delegation.

"In my back to basics approach it is very important that all parties understand each other in order to be able to move forward. With respect to the plans for our national airport and the interests of the people from the Simpson Bay Village and surrounding environs, some clarity had to be brought on matters of concern to the latter party, and the meeting basically brought a lot of clarity.

"An agreement has been reached where SXM Airport will meet with the SBCC on a quarterly basis. I applaud the airport's management on its transparency and openness and willingness to also help the community as part of its social corporate responsibility," Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Thursday.

The SBCC questioned a number of things such as the amount of filling that would take place in the Simpson Bay Lagoon; congestion within the lagoon; the lagoons beauty and nature; further mega yacht developments in the Lagoon; noise pollution concern and new jet engines that will be more silent, were some of the issues discussed.

During the meeting a number of projects, primarily those that would be implemented in the next three to five years in accordance with SXM's short term strategic plan were highlighted.

Regina LaBega, Managing Director of SXM Airport, was accompanied by her team and was pleased with the outcome of the meeting. "SXM was able to give clarity on a number of developments pertaining to the most immediate plans of the airport as well as listen to some of the concerns of the Simpson Bay community," LaBega said.

Key projects discussed included the relocation of the fuel farm, construction of a new FBO facility, construction of a bypass, upgrades to SXM's Rescue and Fire Fighting facility as well as SXM's construction of a substation for the government fire department which will serve the Simpson Bay and surrounding areas and will be equipped to also house the country's ambulance.

In addition to the ongoing developments at the airport, SXM also discussed ways that it can be of assistance to the Simpson Bay community in keeping with its corporate social responsibility. Upgrades to the community's current youth center and lighting for the basketball court were among some of the projects discussed. The main highlight of the meeting was SXM reinforcing its commitment to engaging SBCC by announcing it will begin quarterly meetings with the Simpson Bay Community Council to keep members abreast of the various developments, projects and plans being executed as part of SXM's Capital Improvement Program.

This announcement was very well received by SBCC and the members look forward to further discussions with SXM. "We value the input of the Simpson Bay Community and remain committed to including them and keeping them abreast of our plans," LaBega concluded.

residentsatcbdsession16052014GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Next week four Community Based Dialogues sessions are scheduled. In order to continue to engage the community with respect to the development of the National Development Program, the first session for the week is on Monday, May 19 for residents of lower and upper Cul de Sac. The session will be held the Seventh Day Adventist Church from 6:30pm to 10:30pm.

The second session is for the residents of Little Bay and surroundings scheduled for Wednesday, May 21 at the Christian Hillside Asha Stevens Campus in Cay Hill during the same aforementioned hours.

The third session is for the residents of Belvedere and will take place on Thursday, May 22 at the Belvedere Community Center, 6:30 pm to 10:30pm. This session was originally planned for this past Monday however due to inclement weather it has been rescheduled.

The fourth session is for the residents of Simpson Bay, Beacon Hill and Cupecoy on Friday, May 23 at the same time as the other sessions. A venue will be announced next week.

This micro and macro public consultation process with community stakeholders will continue until the end of June with communities, schools, the private sector, unions, non-governmental organizations, and Government. The majority of voices reflecting the diversity of the country's society will be captured.

The persons who attend these dialogue sessions have the opportunity to engage in fruitful discussions about what affects us socially, economically, culturally, and environmentally throughout the country.

In addition, persons will be able to find solutions which will help to improve the lives of those who live in the country. The thoughts and ideas expressed in these dialogues will be captured into the National Development Plan. The contribution made to the development of this plan will hopefully make persons feel a sense of ownership for putting this document in place.

The National Development Plan is facilitated under the auspices of the project, "Building a Nation: Sint Maarten National Development Plan & Institutional Strengthening."

The Ministry of General Affairs, Department of Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK) are providing key support for the NDP process along with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

For further information please refer to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and/ or call 542-0897.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) Hon. Ted Richardson congratulates all telecommunication sector workers on World Telecommunications and Information Society Day (WTISD), which is being internationally observed on 17th May.

The theme for WTISD is "Broadband for Sustainable Development." Digital development is a transformative tool to fast-track sustainable development. In order to realize its full potential it is essential to roll-out high speed broadband networks, making it affordable and universally applicable.

"I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all telecommunication workers as well as all those working in other fields where telecommunications are also being used to reach potential customers.

"The application of ICT is beyond anything anybody could imagine. Investments have been made and the country has also cooperated with others to facilitate more potential for our people where ICT development is concerned. It is indeed a day to reflect upon where technology had brought us and what the future may behold," Minister Hon. Ted Richardson said on Friday.

The purpose of WTISD is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.

17 May marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

World Telecommunication Day has been celebrated annually on 17 May since 1969, marking the founding of ITU and the signing of the aforementioned convention in 1865. It was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos in 1973.

In November 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) called upon the United Nations General Assembly to declare 17 May as World Information Society Day, and to focus on the importance of ICT and the wide range of issues related to the information Society raised by WSIS. The General Assembly adopted the resolution in March 2006 stipulating that World Information Society Day shall be celebrated every year on 17 May.

PHILIPSBURG:--- St. Maarten/St. Martin Alliance For Equality (SAFE) will hold a small coming together of persons from the island's LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender) community, on Saturday, May 17.
This day, which is internationally recognized as the International Day Against Homophobia, Bi-phobia and Trans-phobia, is celebrated in about 120 countries worldwide, across all world regions, including the Caribbean. May 17 was chosen as the commemorative day, because it was on that day in 1990 that the World Health Organization finally declassified homosexuality as a mental illness. This decision came some two decades after it had already been removed as a psychological disorder by the American Psychiatric Association in 1973.
The aim of the day is to increase awareness about LGBT rights and rights violations throughout the world. This year SAFE joins other LGBT organizations across the region and across the world who are trying to create understanding for LGBT people in whatever context they find themselves in.
"At SAFE we try very much to remain aware of what is happening on the LGBT frontlines throughout the world. We know that a lot of homophobia, bi-phobia, trans-phobia and phobias in general really stem from fear of the unknown. That is why we are open to discussion and dialogue with all members of our community, provided that certain levels of respect are maintained. Since our beginning we have indeed encountered some people who have displayed a certain lack of understanding about LGBT people, but we have also encountered many, many more who understand that at the end of the day it is not about people's sexual-orientation(s), but about their character," the board of SAFE said.
The day was originally founded in 2004 as the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) by Louis-Georges Tin, a French national, who served as IDAHO Committee Chairman until last year. He has been replaced by Tamara Adrian, a trans-rights activist, lawyer and law professor from Venezuela.
Local LGBT persons and allies are encouraged to visit the SAFE SXM Facebook account and/or contact members of the SAFE board in order to get more information about the scheduled event since they are still undergoing some last minute tweaking of the program.
"Since our founding on December 10, 2013, International Human Rights Day, we have been very busy organizing ourselves and putting together activities for the LGBT community and it has really been beautiful to witness. This event will be just the same. We encourage interested persons to make contact with us via our friend account on Facebook or via our email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so that they, LGBT persons or allies, can come out and experience this day with us. It is important that as LGBT people we remain aware that for many of us the struggle for human rights still remains very real and, that in a sense, all oppressions are connected," the board said.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The public plenary session of the House of Parliament about the Princess Juliana International Airport is now scheduled for Monday.

The plenary session for May 19 is set for 10:00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda point is about developments at the Princess Juliana International Airport. The meeting regarding this agenda point was adjourned on March 25, 2014 and is reconvened for May 19.

This meeting was requested by Members of Parliament (MP) Hon. William Marlin, MP Hon. George Pantophlet, MP Hon. Hyacinth Richardson, and MP Hon. Louie Laveist.

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations.

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

The parliamentary session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 120, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the Internet www.pearlfmradio.com, and also via www.sxmparliament.org.

worldinformationandsocietydayphoto16052014POND ISLAND:--- The use of Broadband services for sustainable development is the theme of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day when it is marked on Saturday May 17, with telecommunication workers around the world focusing their attention on the part they play in their respective communities.

The day is celebrated each year with 2014 being the 149th anniversary year of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) which sponsors the annual celebration.

TelEm Group management and personnel are marking the day one day early today (Friday), at the main building and branch offices, with a token offering of drinks and snacks to visiting customers.

The company said since the actual day is on Saturday, when few personnel are at hand, the opportunity was being taken on Friday morning to provide the customer treat.

On the same day TelEm Group personnel plan to visit the Sister Basilia Center and the White & Yellow Cross facility in St. John's to volunteer their services on World Telecommunication Day and Information Society Day.

TelEm Group Chief Financial officer (CFO) Mrs. Helma Etnel, said the main objective of the day is to raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies by providing job and business opportunities at home and from overseas.

"In St. Maarten, we are not only raising awareness, but we are actually putting things in place to make these possibilities a reality by taking the risk and providing the technologies upon which broadband services will depend," said Mrs. Etnel.

She points to the SMPR-1 submarine fibre cable of sister company Smitcoms N.V.; the 3G data services provided by TelCell and, in the future, the Fibre-to-the-Home Project as examples of how the company is utilizing Broadband to the betterment of telecommunications services on St. Maarten now and in the future.

"For instance, we are busy working with government and seeking funding for a Fibre to the Home project that will create new connectivity and provide additional broadband services to communities and to homes on St. Maarten in years to come.

"We see a future where more people will be able to work from home, where hospitals and patients can benefit from e-medicine and students can enroll into e-learning programs from universities many miles away.

"The potential for creating new jobs, opening call centers and developing e-commerce is endless and fully supports the diverse community and many spoken languages that St. Maarten has to offer additionally as a regional telecommunication and communication hub," continued Mrs. Etnel.

In this regard she says the company is already laying a network of conduit throughout the island in preparation for the laying of fibre cables and will also soon begin a pilot fibre-to-the-home project in two St. Maarten neighbourhoods - also as a first step.

"We are most fortunate to have all stakeholders on St. Maarten working towards the same goal of "Broadband for Sustainable Development" since 2004, when our sister company pioneered the delivery of the SMPR-1 undersea fibre cable to St. Maarten, therefore this year's theme is not a new one for us, but one that we bought into and have been building on for many years to give St. Maarten what it is entitled to," said Mrs. Etnel.

The CFO wished to recognize TelEm Group personnel and all workers in the Telecommunication sector for what is essentially their day.

"Telecommunications plays such an important part in our modern-day lives, raising the status of our sector to an essential public service along with power, housing and water, therefore we cannot forget or fail to recognize those who work behind the scenes each day to keep our telecommunication services going and our economies and communities connected," said Mrs. Etnel.

TELEM Press Release

PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake on Friday visited the nine-year old victim of a brutal attack that occurred in South Reward on Thursday morning.

Minister Lake spoke with the nine-year old and her mother on Friday at the St. Maarten Medical Center.

Lake also condemned the murder of a young St. Martin/Sint Maarten businessman, and offered his condolences to the family, friends and business community after learning about the callous act by allegedly two suspects.

"Our communities both North and South were in a state of shock to learn about the senseless acts of violence that transcended upon our communities of Dutch Quarter, Cole Bay and South Reward from Wednesday night up to Thursday morning.

"As an educator, it touched my heart to hear about the act of violence against the nine-year old. It is alleged that the perpetrator suffers from mental illness and is currently in custody. I appeal to our community not to counter violence with violence. I realize that certain members in the community want to take justice into their own hands, but this is not the way to go. I call for restraint! Next Tuesday I will be bringing the matter of violence within our communities to the Council of Ministers in our weekly meeting.

"Mental illness is not something that people cannot control. I commend the mental health foundation for all their efforts. I do believe that the foundation needs additional assistance and resources. As Minister of VROMI I assisted with allocating a piece of government property near the zoo in Madame Estate where the mental health foundation could construct a modern facility.

"I would like to call on the business community to assist the mental health foundation with donations so that they can achieve in bringing this new much needed facility to fruition. They need a proper facility in order to carry out the work that they need to do. I have had discussions with Turning Point and Social Welfare with respect to social housing.

"I am ready to facilitate in any way or form to move this new facility forward. We have a sad situation on our hands, but I think if every business chips in we can all make a difference. We need proper mental health facilities in order to cope with the challenges in this area," Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Friday.

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Department of Communication hereby informs that the Government of Sint Maarten and or its related entities responsible, did not issue a tsunami warning or watch on Friday in connection with the 6.0 magnitude earthquake that took place Friday morning (7:02AM) in the vicinity of the islands of Antigua and Guadeloupe.

During the course of Friday, a rumor started on social media that the country was under a tsunami watch/warning. This rumor created a lot of unnecessary panic among some of the populace.

The United States National Weather Service (NWS)-National Tsunami Warning Center (NTWC) in a public tsunami information statement issued at 7:07AM on Friday stated that: there is no tsunami danger for the area listed above (U.S., Canada, East Coasts, Gulf of Mexico, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands); based on earthquake information and historic tsunami records, the earthquake is not expected to generate a tsunami.

The community is advised to only pay attention to official government communications when issued via its relevant departments.

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- In Commemoration of Vaccination Week of the Americas (VWA), the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) Section Youth Health Care of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, has planned several activities including a bike-a-thon for Saturday, May 24th.

The objective is to bring awareness as it related to vaccination and health. CPS Section Youth Health Care will be organizing its 1st bike-a-thon that will start at 7:00am on May 24 at the Vineyard Office Park and end at the Baby Wellness Clinic opposite Grand Marche on the Bush Road.

Children nine or 10-years of age can take part in the bike-a-thon. Those interested in participating should contact CPS Youth Health Care at 542-3003 or 542-2078 for an application form which must be submitted on Monday, May 19.

Breakfast will be provided at the end of the bike-a-thon. Once a person registers for the event they will receive a T-shirt. The event is free of charge for participating children.
The bike-a-thon activity is in line with Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour Hon. Cornelius de Weever's "Get Checked" campaign which promotes good health for all ages.

george21082009PHILIPSBURG:--- Member of Parliament George Pantophlet wants the Minister of Finance Mr. Hassink to tell the people if the 2.6 million guilders owed to the St. Maarten Medical Center and other possible millions owed to other healthcare providers have been paid. The MP says that he has been patient on this matter in the hopes that the Minister would be forthcoming with the answers but this has not happened. The story on this broke sometime in February and now we are in May and still no response. In discussion with one of those healthcare providers he was told that they are owed January to April and don't know how they will survive if this scenario continues. The MP hopes that this does not lead to them refusing to accept medical cards as has happened in the past on more than one occasion. And in addition to that the Tax Office is breathing down the throat of this particular healthcare provider. Interesting combination, government owes you they can't pay you but you must pay them. It is becoming more and more apparent that this government does not like to pay its bills. This is one of the reasons why former Minister of Finance Roland Tuitt had to delve into the reserves to pay old outstanding bills and to add insult to injury they owe SZV and the pension fund over 100 million guilders which has to be paid this year according to the CFT before the 2015 Budget can be presented. The 100 million AUC gift is looming larger and larger at this time. The Member of Parliament says that the Minister of Finance will be requested to give Parliament a break down of how much is owed to whom it is owed since when it is owed and also a payment plan as to how these will be paid. Government is out there pursuing the minimum wage earner, the pensioner and the working poor as usual but absolutely nothing is being mentioned about the 100 million guilder AUC court case that was supposed to have started since December 2013 some 5 months ago. Another issue is how much has been collected of the 25 million guilders owed in casino fees. There was supposed to be a meeting with the casino controllers last week but it was conveniently cancelled. Interestingly this issue falls under the portfolio of Minister Ted Richardson who also carries responsibility for the Princess Juliana Airport. The MP says he is not interested in the singing skills of the minister but the financial management of the tax payer's money. I guess if the Minister is called in to Parliament he will sing a new song or maybe an old one but this matter is serious. The M P repeats his patience is running thin. There is also the matter of the Inspectorate of Taxes in this instance the audit department. A quick scan was done in February, was a copy sent to Parliament? Was any action taken to resolve the problems as it relates to the relationship between the Head of the Department and the staff? What actions were taken especially that of the communication between Department head and staff because the proper functioning of this department is vital to the collection of taxes. Finally on a complete other issue but financially and socially related, the MP wants to admonish Minister Ted Richardson that a request will be submitted to him to provide the following: A copy of the draft legislation of the Tourism Authority, a copy of the draft legislation on the consumer protection Agency, a copy of the draft legislation on the casino gaming board a copy on legislation to increase the casino fees and a copy of the draft legislation on the items to be added to the basket of goods. People are suffering and many are poor and as someone said a country is known by the way it treats its poor.

hinggwankho15052014CAY HILL:--- As of May 15, 2014 Dr. Hing Gwan Kho is employed as an anesthesiologist to strengthen the medical care provided to patients.

Anesthesiology care includes preoperative evaluations, operative support and post-operative management of patients.

In 1974, Dr. Kho worked as a family practitioner in the Netherlands until he returned to further his medical studies at the Nijmegen University in 1979. When he completed his studies, specializing in anesthesiology, he began working at the Nijmegen Teaching Hospital where he worked for 30 years until he retired in 2013.

In December 2013, he was recruited for the continuity of anesthesiology care at the St. Maarten Medical Center for a period of one week. "I met a lot of the people...who liked me too, and asked me if I would like to come back". After learning that the hospital was looking for an anesthesiologist for an indefinite period, Dr. Kho became more interested in a job opportunity at the SMMC.

Dr. Kho has worked in all fields of anesthesiology; including neurosurgical, open heart surgery and for the last five years he worked mostly with pediatric surgery. In 1991, Dr. Kho defended his thesis on "The Use of Acupuncture in the Operating Theater". Dr. Kho pointed out that in the early 1990s there were just a few practitioners who used acupuncture and now this has grown from a handful to a thousand. Scientific study is very rare though, because it is difficult and expensive, but "if you really want to push forward in providing medicine, you have to do three things, number one is patient care, then education and scientific studies."

Dr. Kho will work along with Anesthesiologist Dr. Yelena George to maintain a Pain Clinic, consulting with non-admitted patients who need to manage pain in a safe way.

For appointments at the pain clinic, please contact Outpatient department at 543-111 ext 1300 or 1310.

The SMMC is glad that with the employment of a second anesthesiologist, continuity of care is retained with the recommended number of anesthesiologists to meet the needs of our patients.

studentsatdigikidzmedialab15052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Philipsburg Jubilee Library's (PJL) recently launched Digikidz Media lab has provided workshops in digital multimedia to over 287 elementary school students, since it began in April.
The Media lab was officially opened on April 17, 2014 before invited guests including Jorien Wuite, Secretary General for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs, Forsee representatives and school officials.
Students from the Seventh Day Adventist School, Helmich Snijders Christian Hillside School, Asha Stevens Hillside Christian School, MAC Browlia F. Maillard Campus, St. Dominic, Sister Regina, Ruby Labega, St. Joseph and Leonard Connor School have taken courses in Movietrader, Internet Safety, creating animation movies, and making short film reports.
"We are very happy that we finally have our own media lab. Since the start of the first workshops, we have already noticed how excited children are about our new Media Lab. We hope to attract more adults to our afternoon workshops as well. Getting familiar with digital media is of the utmost importance for all citizens of our island," stated Library Director, Monique Alberts.
This week, Design specialist, Niels Hoebers, conducted Media Lab workshops on creating animation movies and short film reports. Hoebers also conducted classes for Curacao's Media Lab.
"The kids at my workshops are having a lot of fun making their own animated films. They are stimulated to create little stories by manipulating various simple materials like toys, paper and fabric. Students take a picture of the material in small steps by moving them a little bit each time. Pictures eventually come to life by replaying them successively and more quickly. They learn to be creative and have fun. This technique trains individuals to use their creative mind through hands on work and computer skills. The workshop is a great mix of digital and analogue work. One kid said "best fieldtrip ever". When I hear children say things like that, I know the DigiKidz Media Lab works," stated Hoebers.
The medialab project is an initiative from Foundation Kultuurkameleon. The Digikidz project was made possible through funding from the Windsong Foundation and the Kultura fund. Digikidz is a project from the Foresee foundation.
Classes are available for schoolchildren and anyone that is interested in learning about the use of modern internet technologies and multimedia. The courses are free to students between 9 to 18 years of age, as well as Teachers. Persons 18 and older pay a contribution of $ 5 at the start of the workshop. Interested persons can call the library at 542-2970 and contact Joy Lambert for more information or register online at http://www.medialabsintmaarten.com.

rotarysxmsunriseinducts1member15052014GREAT BAY:--- On Tuesday May 13, 2014, Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise inducted Okama Ekpe Brook into its membership.

Okama Ekpe Brook is a liaison officer at the United Nations, a National Develop Plan Coordinator and Senior Policy Advisor for the Island Government of Stint Maarten. She was introduced to the club by Membership Director Monique Alberts.

President Angela Gordon noted that "you have been chosen for membership of the Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise because our members believe that you are a leader in your vocation, and that you manifest the qualities which interpret and impart the message of Rotary to the community at large.

Your membership in Rotary places upon you many obligations and we believe that you will welcome these responsibilities as opportunities to serve", the organization's president told the inductee.

The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise also embraced and welcome Ms. Brooks and her family to the Rotary family.
Rotary Sunrise is a nonprofit organization that collaborates with stakeholders to assist with the needs of the community. Members of the organization congregate at Air Lekkerbek Restaurant on Tuesday mornings at 7:00am for fellowship and breakfast.
For more information on Rotary Sunrise, please visit us at www.sxmsunrise.org or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., you can also visit our Facebook page: Rotary Club of Saint Martin Sunrise and Tweet us: @RotarySunSXM.

swescotwilliamsmeetswithkpsmreps15052014Using Movement and Exercise to Keep Youth Away From Drug and Alcohol Abuse

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams met with representatives of the St. Maarten Police Force regarding the organizing of a joint DARE Foundation, Police Force of St. Maarten We 2 Can Move project assisted and supported by the Cabinet of the Prime Minister. The police officers were met with the Prime Minister and her Cabinet in order to present the DARE Foundation project, which seeks to involve all primary schools pupils to take part in exercise and thus encouraging them to stay away from drug and alcohol abuse. The We 2 Can Move will take place on the 7th of June, with the Zumba exercise walk starting from the Raoul Illidge Sports Complex and proceeding to the Carnival Village. The Prime Minister's Cabinet will be collaborating with the Police Force and the DARE Foundation on making the project a reality. The Prime Minister, during her meeting, thanked the officers for seeking collaboration on the project; " I would like to thank you for contacting our cabinet with respect to the DARE program and the association you have sought with the U2 Can Move Campaign. I think movement can play a significant role in not only making our youth healthy but to also in using health and exercise to steer our youth away from drug and alcohol abuse. I therefore look forward to collaborating on this project," emphasized the Prime Minister.

From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister

PHILIPSBURG:--- In light of the growing interest in Politics on the island, USM will recommence with the course
"Introduction to Political Science". The Political Science Course at USM is intended to introduce politics both as a field of study and as an art of science of governance. The idea is to help students better understand the environment in which political decisions are made and governments operate. The course will begin by discussing theoretical and analytical structures in which to approach questions about political and government and will move onto clarifying basic concepts used in the study of politics. Throughout the course emphasis will be placed on developing analytical skills and understanding of methodological tools that will help students analyze political issues. The course will be instructed by Drs. Khalilah Peters, Khalilah is the Political Science instructor at USM and Acting Head of the Department of Foreign Relations of the Government of St. Maarten.

USM is also introducing a course on "Caribbean Nationalism".
This course places the Caribbean at the center of global historical developments over the past five centuries. Students will explore the central role that the Caribbean played in the creation of transatlantic empires; its role as a devourer of African labor and the site where African-American cultures first formed; and its role in shaping the Cold War and contemporary social and political institutions. Students will be equipped to understand the Caribbean Region, its position in relation to the rest of the world, cultural expressions and identity, the impact of dominant ideologies and individuals who have had impact on leadership in the Caribbean and the different ideologies that have shaped integration and the development of the Caribbean Region.
Students will be encouraged to examine the tasks of leadership which will encourage them to critically evaluate the impact of dominant ideologies, and of individuals who have provided leadership in the Caribbean. The instructor for this course will be Ms. Nicole Jacoberger; Ms. Jacoberger is an Adjunct Professor of the St. Johns University School of Liberal Arts & Sciences, New York.

Other courses to run during the summer are: Business Software Applications, English Skills, Reading & Vocabulary Improvement and Beginning Algebra. Summer courses are scheduled to run from the 2nd of June to the 25th of July. The general public is invited to participate in the upcoming Summer program.
Persons interested in more information on these courses should visit USM Student Service Center or call 542-5171 ext. 1008.

USM Press Release

mauricelakewithnazarethresident15052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake visited Nazareth, Dutch Quarter to inspect the current infrastructure improvements that are currently underway in the neighborhood.

"Work has started on the main road which is in agreement with the residents of the area that we discussed in a previous meeting together as a community.

"GEBE has installed the street lights in the different areas of the community, and one resident told me that the area now looks like Las Vegas. It is very important that we touch the neighborhoods, by improving the quality of life, by providing basic streets lights that would improve safety and security.

"It's a back to basics approach. You have to work from the bottom up. I came to the community and I listened to their concerns, ideas and suggestions. Government has limited financial resources at this time, but with the little funds available, we are still able to do wonders by meeting the basic needs of the community.

"Taking care of the grassroots is what the back to basics approach is all about in every Sint Maarten neighbourhood. So far this week I have been visiting the different districts and looking at the simple things that could be repaired which makes a big difference," Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Wednesday.

Besides Nazareth road in Dutch Quarter, work has been carried out on Christopher Maccow and Felix Marlin road.

NV GEBE drafted a plan to install approximately 20 to 25 extra street lights in the area which would complete the first phase of the project.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Windward Islands Emergency Medical Services (WIEMS) will join forces with the Philipsburg Jubilee Library at their weekly, story time at 11:00am on Saturday, May 17.

WIEMS an EMS (Emergency Medical Services) training organization geared to provide training in First Aid, CPR, EMR (First Responder), and any related pre-hospital care, recently held their 912 Awareness campaign exhibition at the library, with an art competition on May 6. The exhibit featured art work from elementary school students, who were assigned to draw or color an ambulance. St. Joseph student, Shanice James, age 8, won the drawing competition. James' drawing will be used to make vinyl magnets prominently displaying 912.

"The objective of this art competition was to bring 912 Awareness to all primary schools on St Maarten. Knowing what number to call in a medical emergency is very important. Even very small children can dial a simple emergency number like 912, to make sure the ambulance is sent on its way as soon as possible. But they must first learn how. As an avid reader, I think merging literacy with our 912 campaign is a great way to create more awareness," stated Joanna Rijnboutt, course coordinator for WIEMS.

Story time volunteer, Jamila Ruan, will be reading from one of the library's children's books called, "Ambulances", written by Kay Manolis, which gives a basic introduction to ambulances and the services they provide.

After story time, children will learn about WIEMS and how to perform CPR.

"Children and parents are welcome to join us for our weekly story time this Saturday. It will be very informative and interactive. We look forward to seeing you there", stated Joseanne Peters, story time coordinator.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Permanent Committee of Kingdom Affairs and Inter Parliamentary Relations of the House of Parliament is scheduled to meet on May 16th.

The public permanent committee meeting is set for Friday at 10:00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The first agenda point is an invitation received to attend the 18th Trade Mission with the theme, "Connecting Sustainable Business from the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Caribbean Region."

The second agenda point is related to preparations for the Inter-parliamentary Kingdom Meeting scheduled from June 3-6 in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations.

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

The parliamentary session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 120, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the Internet www.pearlfmradio.com, and also via www.sxmparliament.org.

ownerofzackshawarma15052014FRENCH QUARTER:--- The owner of Zack Shawarma located in French Quarter was shot to death around midnight on Wednesday. Information reaching SMN News states that the businessman who also own and operates a shawarma business in St. Peters was killed by persons who tried to rob his business place in French Quarter. SMN News understands that the victim is of Arabian decent.
Captain of the Gendarmerie Sylvian Joualt confirmed that the owner of Zack Shawarma was shot to death on Wednesday night. Joualt could not say if the businessman was armed and if he is the one who managed to shoot a second person who was apprehended shortly after the fatal shooting.

The Captain of the Gendarmerie said one person was arrested with gunshot wounds, this person was air evacuated to Martinique during the night for further medical treatment where he is held under guard. When asked if the second victim is one of the persons that attempted to rob the business place and if the victim was armed at the time of the incident. Joualt said that an investigation is currently ongoing and it is far too soon for them to have the details as to what really transpired and led to the shooting that left one dead and one severely injured.

According to persons who were at the scene, several shots were fired and shortly after the Gendarmes, Fire Department and Paramedics visited the scene. SMN News will bring you more information on this story as soon as it becomes available.

kandicefranklyn14052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Kandice Franklyn (25), a veteran soccer player from Saint Vincent, will be representing her hometown during the Women's World Cup qualifiers. Ms. Franklyn started playing soccer for her National Team at the young age of thirteen. She started out playing for her home team Jebelle FC in Saint Vincent, as captain of the team. She later played college football in the United States, first in Dallas, Texas, for Navarro College and later at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. Ms. Franklyn later moved to Sint Maarten and is now in the process of furthering her education, while also being an important part of the local women's soccer team, FC Soualiga. She has been a very welcome addition to the team, showing much dedication and skill as well as being a great role model for the younger teammates, proving what all can be achieved through sports with hard work and dedication.

Ms. Franklyn will be representing her national team during the qualifying games on the 23rd, 25th and 27th of May in Antigua, against the home team Antigua, as well as Barbuda, Aruba and the Virgin Islands. After this qualifying round, the poule winners will vie against each other in August. FC Soualiga would hereby like to congratulate and wish their teammate much success in such a fantastic feat. FC Soualiga is proud to see women in sports, especially soccer, getting more and more attention, thereby putting women's soccer on the map for the region.

FC Soualiga Press Release

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Department of Statistics (STAT) informs the business community of the start of its Business Cycle Survey this week.
Each year STAT carries out this survey in May through June and October through December, to gather up-to-date developments within our economy, based on the performance of the business sector.
Data-collection began on Monday May 12th 2014 and will continue for 6 weeks until June 20th 2014. The survey's target group includes all businesses with ten employees or more; and a sample of businesses with between three to ten employees.
STAT-trained interviewers will be distributing and collecting the Business-Cycle questionnaires from enterprises and will also be on-hand to provide any additional assistance, that may be required.
The survey takes just a few minutes to complete, and refers to the situation of the business for the first-half of 2014. It covers brief questions on the level and changes in turnover and personnel, but also seeks to capture the opinions and expectations of entrepreneurs in 2014, as it regards investments, competitiveness and confidence in the economy.
STAT is appealing to all businesses approached to participate in the Business Cycle survey, as the private-sector input is essential for the department's work in measuring current economic developments.

ocaneuparliamentaryelectiondebateinvitation14052014OCAN European Parliamentary election debate, Saturday, May 17th 2014 (2000hrs), Millinxparkhuis Rotterdam.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands:— In a bid to promote awareness within the Dutch Caribbean community and stimulate participation, OCAN is organizing a European Parliamentary election debate in Rotterdam slated for Saturday, May 17th 2014, and themed: European-Dutch-Caribbean voices in the EU-parliament! The 9 European Parliament hopefuls from several contesting parties will address the relevant issues important to the voter while they engage in debate amongst themselves and entertain your pressing questions. A recording of the debate will also be televised on TeleCuraçao and therefore viewable on the islands.
What is the significance of 'Europe' to your daily life? Which influence does it have on your legal position? Should Europe play a role in the areas of migration and integration, or in the norms and values that we share? Why should we, or should we not expand to Eastern Europe? How should future cooperation with the overseas territories in the Caribbean be defined? How should you vote and why?

9 candidates
The participants of the debate are: Maruschka Gijsbertha (Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats/ PvdA), Marc Frans (European People's Party/ CDA), Raoul Boucke (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group/ D66), Lara de Brito (The Greens/European Free Alliance/ GroenLinks), Stieneke van der Graaf (European Conservatives and Reformists/ ChristenUnie), Michel van Hulten (Ik Kies voor Eerlijk), Yernaz Ramautarsing (Artikel 50), Alexander van Steenderen (European United Left/Nordic Green Left GroenLinks/SP) and Adriana Hernandez (50+ partij). Rudy Lampe (Ik Kies voor Eerlijk) will deliver a video message to the audience from Aruba. The debate will be moderated by Anousha Nzume.

Mito Croes
The debate will be kicked off by way of an introduction by the Aruban constitutional law scholar mr. dr. Mito Croes. Amongst others, he shall provide background on the functioning of EU and the European Parliament, the relations with the islands and the landmark Eman/Sevinger case. Attendees will receive information materials from ProDemos and the House of Europe.

Millinxparkhuis
The venue of the debate is the Millinxparkhuis located at address Millinxstraat 69, Rotterdam. Doors open at 1915hrs and the programme begins at 2000hrs. Directions: from metrostation Maashaven follow the Dordtselaan to the 3rd street to your right: Heinenoordstraat. Following will be the Millinxstraat. More information see www.ocan.nl or call 070-3803301 / 06-51969524.

Bai vota – vote!
All EU citizens are allowed to vote on May 22nd for their representation in the European Parliament. This includes both European-Dutch and Caribbean-Dutch persons: here in the Netherlands as well as on the islands.

ProDemos voting aid
Check http://www.europeesparlement.nl/resource/static/files/pdf/nl_het-europees-parlement2012.pdf if you would like to familiarize yourself more with the European Parliament. Complete the voting aid by ProDemos should you want to know with political party matches your preferences best.

veronicareid14052014GREAT BAY/MARIGOT:--- Another fun and informative natural hair workshop will take place during the St. Martin Book Fair on June 7, 2014, at 11 AM, at the University of St. Martin, said Rochelle Ward, the workshop organizer.
Dr. Veronica Reid, who launched her natural hair and skin products in 2011, and is the author of Chances Are You're Not Natural, will conduct the hair workshop. The owner of Beautiful Earth Natural Hair Haven in Jamaica is also well known as Ewurama.
"It's exciting to introduce Dr. Reid to the St. Martin people, especially to our young women aspiring to start their own business, and to be able to say, 'Here is someone who has turned her passion into a business. See? Now, do'," said Ward.
Dr. Reid obtained her PhD in business and management at the University of Nottingham, England, and had returned to Jamaica with the intention to be a lecturer but decided to start a beauty care business.
The free book fair workshop is entitled 'Partners in Crime: Going Natural and Staying Natural' and promises to surpass last year's hair workshop, which was a mega hit at the literary festival. "Two hundred (200) plus persons attended the 'Natural Hair Mixology' workshop last year and some were turned away," said Ward, who is a published poet, high school teacher, and blogger.
"This year I don't want to turn people away, so I am encouraging future attendees to register online at www.partnersincrime.eventbrite.com. This time you can reserve your seat and your place will be secured," said Ward. (The theme for the 12th annual St. Martin Book Fair, June 5 – 7, 2014, is "Crime&Punishment.")
The new workshop is organized by Don't Break the Comb (DBC), the island's first natural hair group, which was co-founded by Ward and organized last year's 'Natural Hair Mixology.'
"As you will see, becoming natural is more than just growing out your God-given hair. This new workshop with Ewurama is also for those who are thinking about transitioning, in need of hair care and styling tips or having trouble maintaining their natural hair," said Ward.
Dr. Reid has been featured in The Gleaner and has made numerous appearances on television, radio and in the Jamaican press.
Conscious Lyrics Foundation and House of Nehesi Publishers are the organizers of the island-wide book festival, in collaboration with St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, University of St. Martin, LCF Foundation, and St. Martin Tourist Office.

ciaandmontessoristudentsvisitparliament14052014PHILIPSBURG:--- The President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell on Wednesday morning welcomed 29 students and three teachers from the Caribbean International Academy (CIA) and Montessori School to the House of Parliament.

The students and teachers were given a tour of the House of Parliament besides role playing as Members of Parliament and Ministers.

In her introductory message, President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell welcomed the students and teachers and briefly spoke about the role of parliament in today's society and development of country Sint Maarten.

"Our youths of today are very much on top of the issues that impact the quality of life of the people of the country. I enjoyed very much the engagement between the students who represented the Executive and Legislative branches of government in the role playing exercise," President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell said on Wednesday.

President of Parliament, drs. Hon. Gracita Arrindell says it's very important to continually engage the country's youth in learning about the important role of the House and how it impacts the way of life of citizens with respect to the drafting of laws.

sarahwescotwilliams05052013PHILIPSBURG:--- Prime Minister of St. Maarten Sarah Wescot Williams announced during the Council of Ministers' weekly press briefing that she will be leaving the island to attend a Caribbean OCTs Council Meeting which will take place this weekend in Montserrat.
St. Maarten became a member of the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA) after St. Maarten obtained its country status and it was decided that the OCTs of the Caribbean will form a council in the region. Wescot Williams said the meeting will be held in Montserrat where the chairperson of the council is located. During this meeting the members of the OCTA Council will be discussing several issues including a very important project which has been in the pipeline for some time now. "That project involves the small and medium enterprise project for the region in which St. Maarten participates. The aim of the project is to strengthen all small and medium size projects in all regions of the Caribbean. Wescot Williams explained that in this very project a steering committee had to be installed and they are expecting to hold a meeting on June 2nd, 2014.
Other topics to be discussed are areas of cooperation such as food security, capacity building, waste management, health, tourism, renewable energy, transitioning away from fossils fuels, blending facilities to promote investment, access and fishing.

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Office of Disaster Management (ODM), is calling on the Sint Maarten community to begin to prepare timely for the Atlantic hurricane season, and to have the necessary plans in place by June 1st, the start of the 2014 season.

Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane team Phil Klotzbach and William Gray have forecasted in their April report a below average number of storms systems to form during the hurricane season.

CSU forecast nine named storms, three hurricanes and one major hurricane with over 111 miles per hour winds. The forecast is well below the long-term average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes each season.

Even though the official start of the season is over two weeks away, ODM is urging residents to use this period to prepare themselves adequately by reviewing their annual hurricane season preparatory list.

ODM adds that the country's disaster preparedness and emergency management mechanisms are expected to be ready to deal with any eventuality arising during the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season.

"As we do for every hurricane season, preparing for a storm strike is necessary. Remember it only takes one to make it a bad hurricane season. Even though the forecast for the season calls for less storm/hurricane activity, every household and business should still take the necessary precautions by preparing, because it only takes one hurricane strike to make it a bad season.

"Check your disaster plan and review your disaster supply kit. Prepare early and avoid being caught unprepared. Minimize your dependence on government, family or friends. Preparedness starts with every one of us within our communities," ODM reminds the populace in a Wednesday statement.

Some of the preparations that should be carried out now are checking hurricane shutters and the roof of your home or business, and to make sure windows and shutters close securely.

Persons living along coastal areas as well as those in flood prone areas should start looking at what measures they would take in the event of a hurricane which could cause flood challenges.

The 2014 hurricane season officially runs through November 30 and begins June 1st.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Prime Minister of St. Maarten Sarah Wescot Williams announced on Wednesday during the Council of Ministers' weekly press briefing that the technocrats have been working very closely to ensure that St. Maarten/St. Martin structures themselves properly in order to make use of the European funding that is available to them. She said in the beginning the idea was to look specifically for transnational cooperation but they realized that they could have looked for a project that would benefit both sides of the island which would allow both sides of the island to access the available funding. Therefore the government of both sides have selected the joint waste water treatment facility as a project as well as the environmental and economical development and study of the Simpson Bay Lagoon.
"Our hope is that when the study is completed they would be able to identify a project for the Simpson Bay lagoon. A final meeting on these topics is expected to be held on June 4th, 2014 and at that time the signing of the agreement should take place, shortly after which they will be presenting the joint projects to the European Union to obtain the necessary funding."

PHILIPSBURG:--- Prime Minister of St. Maarten Sarah Wescot Williams announced on Wednesday during the Council of Ministers' weekly press briefing that the GOA has given government the green light to increase the age of pension from 60 to 62. Wescot Williams said the new pension age is for all workers but she handled mainly the pension age for government workers (civil servants). 
Wescot Williams said the increase in the pension age was being discussed since 2012 and it was also discussed in the GOA but sometime during the latter part of April 2014 she got the green light from the GOA. "Since then the Department of Personnel Affairs has been busy working out the procedures on how to execute the new pension age within government services."

The Prime Minister said she is very pleased with the decision because many persons were making queries as to what they needed to do in order for them to work beyond their 60th birthday.

PHILIPSBURG:--- UTS has pledged its support to the 13th St. Martin/St. Maarten Annual Regional Trade Show (SMART) is slated for May 14-16, 2014 at the Radisson Blu Resort, Marina & Spa in St. Martin. The Telecom provider is supporting the regional trade show with a monetary contribution of $1000. The aim of the event is to bring industry professions from the region together to support, interact and promote tourism to the Eastern Caribbean. "We are happy to support this yearly initiative in its aim to further strengthen the main pillar of our economy, which is tourism" said UTS Marketing and Communication Officer, Ivy Lambert. "We commend the organizers on staging a better event every year so far and hope for another productive and successful event filled with opportunity for all participants." The event is being jointly organized by L'Association des Hoteliers de St. Martin, The St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association in conjunction with L'Office du Tourisme de St. Martin and the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau. Event details are available on the SHTA website www.shta.com.

sxmin50years13052014Report Outlines Ways to Mitigate Impacts for the Country

PHILIPSBURG:--- The St. Maarten Nature Foundation recently presented a revised Climate Change Action Plan to Various Stakeholders explaining some of the projected impacts Climate Change will have on St. Maarten. The control plan outlines specific controlling methods to combat the effects of climate change to the coastal and near shore environments of the country. The re-issuance comes as a result of new reports from various international sources stating that the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Cap will have significant impacts to coastal communities around the world, including to those in the Caribbean.
This document is constructed as a plans of approach regarding the tackling of the effects global warming will have on the Marine and Coastal Zone Ecosystem of St. Maarten. The document also gives an overview of the causes and threats posed by Global Warming to the Marine and Coastal Zones, Parameters for Monitoring and Recording those threats and possible mitigating suggestions to the effects caused by Climate Change to the Coastal and Marine Environment, which are the ecosystems and population centers most greatly affected by Climate Change.
From the mid-19th to the beginning of the 21st century, the air temperature at the earth's surface increased by between 0.6 and 0.8°C, and this warming is expected to accelerate during the current century if mitigating measures are not put in place. The sea plays a key role in limiting this process as more than 80% of the heat absorbed by the planet accumulates in the world's oceans.
For St. Maarten Climate Change will bring with it serious consequences, particularly with regards to sea level rise, ocean acidification, invasive species and coral bleaching. It is estimated that by 2073 various districts on the island including Great Bay, Simpson Bay and Cole Bay will be submerged if current estimated sea level rise continues. The report outlines suggestions for mitigating the effects climate change will have on the country and outlines plans of action for addressing the issues climate change will bring with it.
St. Maarten, as a Small island developing State, is particularly vulnerable to climate change, climate variability and sea-level rise. The population of small islands like St. Maarten tends to have their population and infrastructure concentrated in the coastal zone and any rise in sea-level will have significant and profound effects on the economy and living conditions. The St. Maarten Nature Foundation hopes that, with this report, some measures can be taken to alleviate the stress climate change will have on St. Maarten. The plan can be downloaded via the Nature Foundation website naturefoundationsxm.org.

utsandlaser101reps13052014PHILIPSBURG:--- Chippie & Laser 101 present, "Who's Next SXM", along with Dee Sonoram of eOne records and celebrity DJs Big Ben and Shortkutz present Who's Next SXM Talent Competition. The Talent competition is being organized in conjunction with the SXM Experience Music Festival and is set to be the largest singing competition to ever take place on St. Maarten. The competition will give local youths the opportunity to showcase their singing abilities in front of renowned judges. Contestants will be vying for a chance to win a record deal, cash prizes and radio circulation. Judges will specifically seek out the youth of the island to give someone with raw talent the chance to grow and develop and become the next big radio superstar.

The competition will be sponsored by Chippie, the most reliable telecommunications service provider on St. Maarten as well as top radio station, Laser 101. Both presenting partners will ensure strategic and effective promotions for the event. "We have been a proud supporter of various local competitions in the past, which have been the stepping stone for many local talents to gain overseas exposure and experiences," said UTS Marketing and Communication Officer, Ivy Lambert. "We are very excited that this project will take the possibilities even further by offering the winner a recording deal with eOne records, a long-established international recording company. That is an unprecedented opportunity which we are certain many local talents will want a shot at. We look forward to seeing the best of the best out there competing," Lambert continued.

The competition will feature top music industry professionals from the U.S. which will lead to increased visibility for the Island, solidifying it as a top travel destination. The first round will take place at Tantra May 23rd in front of a live audience of entertainers, musicians and nightlife professionals brought in for the SXM Experience. Contestants can enter the contest through registration on a website made specifically for this event (http://sxmexperience.com/whos-next/). Tickets will be sold for $10 each. Next round venues and dates to be confirmed.

Judges: A highly regarded panel of judges that are locally respected and known will judge the contest including Dee Sonoram of eOne Records, and celebrity DJs Big Ben and Shortkutz.

Dee Sonoram

Dee Sonaram is a New York based Record Executive, and is widely regarded as one of the most inventive promotions people working in the Urban and Rhythmic crossover radio market. The list of artists Dee has worked with is a "who's who" of Urban music that includes Gold and Platinum selling artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Ray J, Timbaland, RZA, Jim Jones, DJ Khaled, Unk, Big Gipp, Dorrough, Sean Kingston and more. Dee has appeared six different times on The Source Magazine's Power 30 Most Influential People in Hip Hop Music and his achievements including Grammy nominations and A&R accolades.

DJ Big Ben

Big Ben is one of the most sought after DJs in the U.S. most known for his tenure as famed radio personality, Angie Martinez' hype man as well as opening for Platinum acts the Backstreet Boys and O-Town. Ben is a member of the Heavy Hitters Crew, one of the most influential DJ crews in the entertainment industry as well as a mixer on New York's premiere hip-hop radio station, Hot 97.Big Ben is currently a resident DJ at hot spots 1OAK and Avenue in New York and Wall in Miami. His energetic club mixes have been requested by some of the most well-known celebrities in the world including Uma Thurman, Alek Wek, Lenny Kravitz, Owen Wilson, Nicky Hilton, Michael Jordan, 50 Cent, and Sean "Diddy" Combs.

DJ Shortkutz

New York based DJ SHORTKUTZ is one of the biggest names in NYC nightlife, spinning at some of the city's most exclusive venues. SHORTKUTZ regularly performs at high-profile fashion, music, corporate and charity events for well-known brands including Chopard, REDValentino, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ciroc Premium Vodka and Heineken. Most recently he's spun for celebrities such as Heidi Klum, Ciara, Miley Cyrus, Jamie Foxx and JAY Z. Aside from NYC and the tri-state area, SHORTKUTZ has spun in all major U.S. cities including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Miami, and well as internationally in South Africa, Mexico, Panama, China and Japan. SHORTKUTZ has secured a residency at Tantra in St. Maarten, where he spins monthly, establishing himself as a fixture on the international nightlife scene.

UTS Press Release

dqcbdsession13052014GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- After five successful Community Based Dialogues sessions, the National Development Program process of country Sint Maarten, is continuing with its community based dialogue sessions. The Monday evening session organized for Belvedere had to be rescheduled due to the inclement weather.

Residents and stakeholders were invited to come out to the Billy Folly Community Dialogue session on Thursday, May 15, however due to unforeseen circumstances; this will be rescheduled for another date.

This micro and macro public consultation process with community stakeholders will continue until the end of June with communities, schools, the private sector, unions, non-governmental organizations, and Government. The majority of voices reflecting the diversity of the country's society will be captured.

The districts where Community Based Dialogues took place were Simpson Bay, Cole Bay, Guana Bay, St. Peters and Dutch Quarter. 145 residents in total took part in the first round of discussions.

Upcoming dialogues will be held in Belvedere, Billy Folly, Cul de Sac, Little Bay Area, Lowlands, Madame Estate, Middle Region, Philipsburg, Point Blanche, Sucker Garden, South Reward, Oyster Pond and Zagersgut.

The persons who attend these dialogue sessions have the opportunity to engage in fruitful discussions about what affects us socially, economically, culturally, and environmentally throughout the country.

In addition, persons will be able to find solutions which will help to improve the lives of those who live in the country. The thoughts and ideas expressed in these dialogues will be captured into the National Development Plan. The contribution made to the development of this plan will hopefully make persons feel a sense of ownership for putting this document in place.

The National Development Plan is facilitated under the auspices of the project, "Building a Nation: Sint Maarten National Development Plan & Institutional Strengthening."

The Ministry of General Affairs, Department of Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK) are providing key support for the NDP process along with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

For further information please refer to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and/ or call 542-0897.

pelicanstatue13052014PHILIPSBURG:--- On Saturday May 10th, 2014, a man with the initials M.M. filed a report with the Detective Department stating that between May 8th and 10th, 2014 unknown persons stole two four feet bronze pelican statues from his property in Bryson Drive on the Mount William Hill. The statues resemble those that are placed on the round-a-bout at the Princess Juliana International Airport. Each statue weighs approximately 100 pounds. This investigation is ongoing.

KPSM Police Report

PEMBROKE PINES, FL:--- The FCCA is pleased to announce the site of its 2014 Conference & Trade Show, taking place in St. Maarten from October 6-10. The Port of St. Maarten has commissioned Eventstar to develop a state-of-the-art convention center at the port.

With a backdrop of visiting cruise ships, attendees will have a stunning view and a convenient hub for the event's business sessions, private meetings, workshops and registration. Plus Trade Show exhibitors will be front and center in the facility's largest exhibit hall, providing ample space for the unique destination pavilions and guaranteed traffic from attendees and FCCA Member Line cruise executives, presidents and CEOs, as all must enter and go through the Trade Show to access any of the Conference's functions.

"We are honored and excited to again host the FCCA Conference & Trade Show," told Mark Mingo, CEO, Port of St. Maarten. "In 2003 we saw the benefits for all involved, and we used this understanding to further integrate the event's business and social functions with St. Maarten's WOW factor for cruise executives and attendees to experience why so many passengers visit our port and destination."

"The FCCA appreciates St. Maarten's efforts and commitment to making the 21st Conference & Trade Shows one of the best events yet," said Michele Paige, president, FCCA. "It has pulled out all the stops to woo the cruise executives and Conference delegates, and hosting for a second time allows all to see the progress made over the last decade because of its dedication to cruise tourism."

"We are thrilled to be bringing the FCCA's 21st Conference and Trade Show back to St. Maarten to showcase all that they have achieved in creating a world-class cruise destination," stated Kevin Sheehan, FCCA chairman and Norwegian Cruise Line CEO.

Once again, St. Maarten leads the way in providing the necessary infrastructure to support the cruise industry. The cutting-edge facility will serve as an epicenter for the Conference & Trade Show and further showcase St. Maarten's innovations for cruise tourism. St. Maarten and the Port of St. Maarten-the "Port to Remember"-continue to show that the 21st annual FCCA Conference & Trade Show will surely be a Conference to remember.

To register and/or learn more about the FCCA Conference & Trade Show, please visit: https://www.regonline.com/fccastmaarten.

PHILIPSBURG:--- SMART officially opens today with a grand Welcome Cocktail Party at the Radisson Blu Resort Marina & Spa in St. Martin, co-sponsored by the resort and its F&B, entertainment, audio-visual, and decoration suppliers. A full day and a half of trading is scheduled on Thursday May 15th and Friday 16th, 2014, where participants have set up appointments with hotels, excursion operations, ground handlers, and other potential business partners. This 13th year of the tradeshow is boasting one of the best turn-outs in years
L'Association des Hoteliers de St. Martin and the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association in conjunction with L'Office du Tourisme de St. Martin and the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau are expecting numerous Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Travel Writers, and Event Planners from the US, Canada, Europe, and Latin America, to the event that has become very significant for the entire region during recent years, one that should not be missed.
Arriving and departing visitors at this year's SMART event will notice significant changes at the Princess Juliana International Airport, SXM, the main sponsor of the official Farewell Cocktail Party which will be held at the Sonesta Great Bay Resort, Casino & Spa. SXM is now considered the international airport for seven regional hub partners – Anguilla, St. Barth's, Saba, St. Eustatius, Nevis, St. Martin and Tortola. Most of them will be represented at SMART this year. As a major sub-regional hub, SXM's role in the development of the economies of these destinations has become even more accentuated.
"It is a role we at SXM take very seriously," said Regina LaBega, managing director of the airport. "Our new commercial strategy has already begun to yield fruit in terms of enhancing visitor experience. Similarly, we have stuck painstakingly to the execution of our Capital Improvement Program, parts of which, like the rehabilitation of the runway, has been completed. We are moving steadily ahead with the other projects in the program, such as the construction of a new FBO facility which is expected to commence shortly," LaBega added.
"All over the world, airports are investing heavily in improving their facilities. LAX for example, has undertaken a multi-billion dollar remodeling project. SXM is cognizant of its impact on the economy of St. Maarten, an impact which a study by the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten estimated at 60% of the GDP. It is therefore with singular purpose that we continue to strive to make our airport, the leader in regional aviation. We remain a strong supporter and contributor to SMART because we believe that together we can continue to position St. Maarten as a top destination in Caribbean tourism," LaBega concluded.
For more details, please see www.shta.com and click on SMART or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 542-0108.

sxmbookfaircommitteemeetswithpjiaereps13052014GREAT BAY/MARIGOT:--- Can it get more sophisticated, "international," or symbolic of a "launch" than this? The Opening Ceremony of the 12th annual St. Martin Book Fair will take place at the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) on Thursday, June 5, 2014, at 8 PM, said Shujah Reiph, book fair coordinator and head of the Book Fair Committee (BFC).
Earlier this week, the SXM Airport Marketing & Customer Service Department representatives met with BFC members to discus plans for the opening ceremony, having new books available on site, and welcoming the regional and international guest writers and book fair lovers of the island," said Reiph on Tuesday.
SXM Airport will also sponsor the book fair's opening ceremony as part of its own ongoing 70th anniversary as an iconic institution of the island and its people. "A few weeks ago, Ms. Regina LaBega, the SXM Managing Director, generously welcomed the request to have the 12th anniversary opening ceremony at the airport, and she specifically proposed the Gate 1 venue at SXM," said Reiph.
"One of my friends says that the venue has 'a space-age beauty' about. It's a great location for a national event like the St. Martin Book Fair, dealing with our island-wide culture, with literature and books in general, and where visiting guests will meet the people of this Friendly Island," said Reiph.
Authors are confirmed from Turkey, South Sudan, the USA, the Pacific, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Anguilla/Venezuela, and the USVI, said Reiph. "Over 15 upcoming and famous writers will be meeting with St. Martin people; exchanging exciting books; visiting schools; conducting free workshops; and giving live multilingual literary readings," added Reiph.
"The success with pre-Book Fair activities over the last few years, means that we'll have that treat again in 2014," said Jacqueline Sample of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP). "On Tuesday, June 3, the film Womanish Ways – Freedom, Human Rights and Democracy by Marion Bethel, will have its Eastern Caribbean debut at the Youth Center theater in Sandy Ground, Marigot – as a pre-Book Fair activity.
"Womanish Ways documents how women won the rights to vote in the Caribbean, especially in the Bahamas," said Sample. Marion Bethel, an attorney and leading Bahamian poet/author, will be on hand to introduce the award-winning film and take questions from the audience in the movie theater.
What else is in store for book fair-goers? The theater workshop will return on Saturday, June 7, the main book fair day at the University of St. Martin (USM), said Sample. The workshop leader will be Dorbrene O'Marde, a playwright of five full-length plays; theater and music producer; and director.
The versatile O'Marde hails from Antigua. He's a columnist, and a calypso writer, judge, and analyst. O'Marde's first novel Send Out You Hand (2012) was followed by Nobody Go Run Me (2013), the biography of kaisonian King Short Shirt (Emanuel McLean). Nobody Go Run Me will be available at the St. Martin Book Fair.
The St. Martin Book Fair is organized by CLF and HNP in collaboration with its strategic partner the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau and USM, the LCF Foundation, St. Martin Tourist Office, and SOS Radio.

garrindellvotingeuparliamentaryelections13052014PHILIPSBURG:--- On Tuesday afternoon President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell cast her vote for the European Union (EU) Parliamentary elections. Arrindell used her democratic right by visiting the Office of Dutch Representation on Front Street #26, Philipsburg.

"I call on all citizens who registered up until April 10 to exercise their democratic right to vote between now and May 22.

"I made use of this right this afternoon and voted for the candidate of my choice. Not too long ago, not everyone could vote, including women. To date there are millions of people around the world who still cannot or are not allowed to freely vote for the party or candidate of their choice.

"The opportunity was created to allow residents who met the criteria to vote in EU parliamentary elections, and we should make use of this," President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell said on Tuesday.

The European parliamentary elections are considered the second biggest democratic exercise in the world, where 400 million people can cast their vote for a new European Parliament.

Elections are on May 22 for the 751 member chamber of the European Parliament. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) represent 503.7 million people in the European Union.

The 751 MEPs will take their seats in July and will set the course of European policies for the next five years. They will also elect the leader of the EU's executive body, the European Commission President.

GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- The Office of Disaster Management would like to remind the business sector and vital organizations to apply for their Hurricane Mobility Pass for the upcoming 2014 Hurricane Season.

The application process started April 28 and concludes May 23.

The pass allows the aforementioned to visit their business address to assess possible damage to their property in the event that a hurricane can caused damage to parts of the country.

Potential applicants have until May 23 to present all relevant information related to the process of requesting a Mobility Pass.

The hurricane pass application procedure is only intended for businesses and vital organizations with respect to their key personnel receiving an exemption to a curfew.

The Office of Disaster Management is handling the application process for the passes on behalf of the Prime Minister.

The hurricane mobility pass system is a mechanism to maintain public order during emergency situations. The Prime Minister assesses the damage after a disaster has occurred and can impose a curfew if the extent of the damage poses a threat to the safety and security of the community.

The application form has to be completed and submitted to the offices of the Fire Department & Disaster Management, to the attention of the secretary located at Jackal Road 5, Cay Hill before May 23, 2014, with all necessary documents attached.

Applicants will be informed by email or telephone when to pick up the pass at the aforementioned address between office hours, Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

casprojectatsdh12052014REWARD:--- On Friday, April 25, The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) candidates of the St. Dominic High School showcased their 18 months of CAS experiential learning. CAS is the acronym for Creativity Action Service and is a core part of the Diploma Programme curriculum and all students must complete it in order to be eligible for the IB Diploma. The students shared and discussed their involvement in activities such as do-it-yourself boat-building, becoming qualified first aid volunteers through the Red Cross, working with the Diabetes Foundation and the Youth wing of the AIDS Foundation, meeting the challenge of Zumba and belly dancing classes, writing for Teen Times and carrying out local projects that revolved around the theme "Living by the Water" for the international Comenius program.

The students discussed what they learned and the many challenges they encountered. For example, the Build A Boat project had a duration of almost two years and the students had to stay determined and committed to it. They had difficulty understanding the directions for the boat since they were unfamiliar with the nautical terminology for the parts of the boat. They realized that working as a team was an important factor for their success and each one had to take charge of his or her task. One student never used a sanding machine and would become frustrated. Eventually he realized that he improved his skill in that area and that gave him more confidence to complete the project with his team members.

CAS is a core programs within the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program which encourages inquiring, knowledgeable and caring lifelong learners through development of personal skills, open mindedness, and intercultural understanding and respect. All students planned their activities based on eight learning outcomes they were expected to achieve. They needed to be cognizant of how the proposed activity increased their awareness of their strengths and areas for growth, whether or not it was a new challenge or unfamiliar activity, show how they planned and initiated a project, worked collaboratively with others, demonstrated perseverance and commitment, engaged in issues of global importance, considered the ethical implications of their actions and developed new skills.

The St. Dominic High School and the IB Class of 2014 expresses thanks to the Honorable Minister of Health Dr. Cornelius de Weever, Head of the Inspection Division Mrs. Chantal Schaminee-Ringeling, Superintendents Mrs. Jacqueline Greene, Mrs. Ria Uiterloo and the Director Mrs. Lilia Aventurin from the Foundation Catholic Education, Mrs. L. Peterson of the Diabetes Foundation and Mr. Frank Boekhout, School Manager Mrs. Gianne Wilson, parents, teachers and all interested stakeholders who attended the presentation or contributed to the successful completion of its 2014 Creativity Action Service program.

nflectureinschools12052014PHILIPSBURG:--- The St. Maarten Nature Foundation over the course of the last few weeks have been headed into the classrooms of various schools on the island in order to give Nature Education lectures. The lectures are centered on both the work of the Nature Foundation in Terms of Nature Conservation on St. Maarten as well as educating pupils about the natural ecosystems and natural heritage of St. Maarten.
"The involvement of the young is one of the most important ways in preparing the new generations to ensure that their natural surroundings and natural heritage is protected," read a Nature Foundation statement. "It is essential that students are made aware of the need to protect our ecosystems and our environment and that they understand the importance of sustainable development and conservation. That is why we find it very important as an organization to involve the youth, whether it is through our yearly Snorkel Club or through field trips and schools visits."
Presentations are given on a wide variety of subjects including the Marine Environment, Wetlands and Mangroves, Sharks, Whales and Dolphins and Conservation practices. If schools are interested in receiving a presentation on any of these topics they are urgent to contact the Nature Foundation at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

joeplange12052014PHILIPSBURG:--- St. Maarten has been selected as the destination to host the 3rd Joint Meeting of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network (CHART) – Caribbean Cytometry & Analytical Society (CCAS)- Caribbean Med Labs Foundation (CMLF) and the 11th CCAS HIV International Workshop. The Conference/Workshop is scheduled to be held from the 24th - 28th of August 2014 at the Sonesta Maho Resort. The theme of this year's meeting is: Prevention benefits of antiretroviral therapy in Caribbean HIV patients: the central role of patient engagement in the continuum of care. As St. Maarten takes on the role as Host country for 2014, the Public Health Department continues to work diligently to ensure that the conference will be a success.
The four day conference will be filled with informative speeches and presentations of various research findings on the Caribbean region, followed by casual mingling and networking opportunities. Minister Cornelius de Weever urges all organizations and workers in the health care field to take advantage of this great opportunity and register. Usually conferences such as these are held abroad making it difficult for many of our professional to attend. Other persons who may be interested in information about HIV in the Caribbean are also welcome to attend.
The key note speaker for the opening ceremony will be Dr. Joep Lange who is the most eminent and distinguished Dutch HIV researcher and physician. He has been involved in HIV research and treatment since 1983. For more information about the Conference and to register, please visit the 2014 Conference Page at http://www.caribcas.org/ or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. On the webpage you will find the programme, registration form, and details about registration fees and hotel bookings. Registration is now open.

Please be informed that the Bureau Ombudsman will be closed in connection with staff training from May 19th, 2014 - May 22nd, 2014 and in connection with an out- of-office event on May 30th, 2014.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Operations will resume as usual on Friday, May 23rd, 2014.

transboundarymarinemammalmanagement12052014Executive Summary

The eastern Caribbean is of special significance to regional marine mammal conservation based on its high abundance and diversity of cetaceans. As signatory to both the CBD and the Cartagena Convention, and based on its international commitment to cetacean conservation, the Netherlands is also highly committed to cetacean conservation in the Caribbean, and asked IMARES to represent the ministry of economic Affairs at this meeting.
Using scenario development based on overlap analysis, Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) was demonstrated as useful tool for planning the regional network of protected areas which will be required for integrated long-term management and conservation of wide ranging migratory cetaceans. Several cetacean sanctuaries have already been established or are currently underway in the region as the whale watching industry continues to grow and island nations gradually recognize the economic potential they represent. Several marine areas of key cetacean concern were identified along the Caribbean island arc. Results show that the Windward Dutch Caribbean EEZ (of the Saba Bank, Saba, St. Maarten and St. Eustatius), lies adjacent to two identified marine mammal problem areas and, therefore, emphasizes the special importance of the Windward Dutch Caribbean EEZ to Wider Caribbean marine mammal conservation. This should serve as additional impetus to the Netherlands and Dutch Caribbean islands towards implementation of their ambitions for a Marine Mammal Reserve in this area.
Local importance of any specific area for MSP-based management of wide-ranging species like cetaceans can only be defined in regional context. This means that Caribbean-wi