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Rotary Sunset Launches Little Free Library At MLK.

subsetlibrary21102021PHILIPSBURG:--- The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset launched its fifth Little Free Library on the island at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Primary School in the presence of the school’s Adjunct School Manager, Tr. Minerva Marlin-Cooper, teachers and students as well as members of Rotary Sunset. The momentous launch took place on October 14th, 2021.

The concept of the Little Free Library was initially introduced in 2009 by Rotarian Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin and the idea quickly spread throughout thousands of communities in the United States, with the goal of creating awareness on the importance of literacy. The Little Free Library is certainly not a new one for the island of St. Martin, as Rotary Sunset initially introduced the first little free library in December 2018 with its initial launch on the Marigot Waterfront. In addition, Rotary Sunset now has free little libraries located at the Raoul Illidge Sports Complex, Simpson Bay Community Center and at the University of St. Martin. The objective of the little free library is mainly to advocate the importance of reading and to promote literacy, a key area of focus for Rotary clubs worldwide.

“We received an outpouring of support and encouragement from members of the community with the installation of our first little library on the French side and we decided that there was a need to construct additional little libraries which will be installed at various locations around the island. Today, we are extremely grateful for the support of the Management and staff of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Primary School and for the generous donation of Rotarian Lionel Lawrence, who built and installed this little free library,” President Anatol stated.

Rotarian Lionel Lawrence in a brief statement expressed his gratitude and pride to Rotary Sunset and to MLK for permitting him the opportunity to give back to his community by not only contributing financially to this initiative but also trusting him to construct and install it, as well.

“My mother always told me that if you can’t read and write a dog is better off than you. Therefore, when this project arose, I personally endorsed it as I saw the importance to advocate and stimulate reading and literacy, amongst our youth, especially of Dutch Quarter and MLK. I always had an infinity to reading and by extension, writing, and when I heard that the club wanted to install a free little library in Dutch Quarter, I leaped at the opportunity and ensured that this project was executed and completed, with the very best in mind. Placing this free little library at this location, here in Dutch Quarter and MLK is personal for me, as I am not only a resident of Dutch Quarter, but I was born and raised right here in this district. Additionally, I am also a proud alumnus of MLK, so this gives me more than enough reasons, why we are here today. I encourage all those who will be utilizing the free little library to take good care of it, read as much as you can and treat it like a personal bookshelf in your home,” Rotarian Lawrence added.

MLK’s Adjunct School Manger, Tr. Minerva Marlin-Cooper, thanked the club for their efforts in the community and for considering MLK to house one of its little free libraries with MLK also being the first school on the island to have a free little library. Tr Marlin-Cooper along with MLK students, Rotary Sunset’s President Anatol, sponsor Rotarian Lionel Lawrence and his son, Aijden Lawrence, symbolically cut the ribbon to officially declare the free little library open to the public.

The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset would like to encourage the general public to pass by the little library, take a book and leave a book. Members of the community are urged to donate books they are no longer using to either of the club’s little libraries. The club would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Rotarian Lionel Lawrence for his generous donation and to Jacques Annicette for his support and assistance towards this initiative.

The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset meets every second and fourth Monday of the month at Carl N Sons Unique Inn and Conference Facilities in Colebay at 7:30pm. Due to Covid19, the club currently meets via Zoom. The club can be contacted via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via the official Facebook page at


Sint Maarten Lions Club celebrates Seniors Appreciation Month with the Home Away from Home Foundation.

rotary21102021PHILIPSBURG:--- The Sint Maarten Lions Club continued its celebration of Seniors Appreciation month last Friday, October 15, 2021, with 55 zealous and joyful senior citizens of the Home Away from Home Foundation.
The seniors were treated to a one-hour Health Awareness Talk by Mrs. Maria Chemont and an Exercise Session led by the Movement Specialist therapist, Adeo Admiraal of the White and Yellow Cross. At the end of the Sessions, after working up a good appetite for lunch, the seniors enjoyed a healthy, delicious meal and refreshments served by the members of the Lions Club.
Mrs. Maria Chemont is a retired Ambulance Assistant, former President of the WIEMS Foundation, and an excellent counselor and motivational speaker. The topic of discussion for the Health Talk was “Caring for Our Seniors During the COVID 19 Pandemic.” The speaker reiterated the importance of self-care to the seniors and gave practical tips together with multiple scenarios of how to stay safe, healthy, and protected from COVID 19.
The Movement Therapist Adeo Admiraal has been working at the White and Yellow Cross for the last 2 years. She holds a Master’s degree in Kinetics Therapy from Utrecht, The Netherlands. The 45-minute movement Session with the seniors covered the basic moves needed to assist with general circulation. The movement patterns were easy to follow and seniors were able to complete each exercise whether they had the ability to sit on a chair or stand. The participants were all smiling and singing during the Kinetics Therapy Session as their exercises were accompanied by their favorite songs.
Several members of the Home Away from Home Foundation remarked that our seniors on the island sometimes feel isolated and commended this initiative to bridge the gap between isolated seniors and the community. Many others expressed their gratitude for the kind gesture and commented on the tasty meal servings. Others were thankful for the entertaining and informative Sessions and indicated their interest in doing this again in the near future.
President of the Sint Maarten Lions Club, Lion Linette Gibs stated: “The Sint Maarten Lions Club joins with other Lions Clubs around the world this month in participating in a “Hunger Awareness Service Challenge” issued by our International President, Lion Douglas Alexander. What better way to show our appreciation to our seniors than to spend some quality time with them and just have fun together. We are honored to be serving our seniors today and see their happy, smiling faces.”
Members of the Lions Club Organizing Committees of the Event added: “This was a great and joyful event. Everyone had a fantastic time!”.
The Sint Maarten Lions Club is committed to serving and meeting the needs of our community on the island. By uniting in Service, we uplift our community and our world.

Omega Leos held a “Period Poverty” Drive at Carrefour Supermarket.

rotaryleos21102021PHILIPSBURG:--- The St. Maarten South Omega Club held a “Period Poverty” Drive at Carrefour Supermarket on Saturday 9 October 2021. This was in response to the “Period Poverty Awareness” Campaign that is currently ongoing in the islands of Leo District 60B. Club Members joined together in front of Carrefour to collect feminine products from the general public who passed by. This also provided the public the ideal opportunity to learn more about The St. Maarten South Omega Leo Club and its members.

The Omega Leo Club President Javid Hurtalt stated ”it is a great feeling to not only bring awareness to this very important issue but also to collect items to ensure that we are doing our part in service, by advocating for those who are unable to do so and share the dignity in raising awareness on “Period Poverty”.
As a Service Club, we continue to do our part for our community and it does not matter the size of the contribution. It still has a meaningful impact on where we will move forward for the betterment of our country.”

The St. Maarten South Omega Club has plans for more “Period Poverty” Drives to provide the community the opportunity to contribute to its initiatives. Future locations will be announced on the Organization’s social media outlets.

The Omega Club encourages persons within the community to join in its efforts in sharing dignity and thanks to its members for their continued dedication.

USP to restructure party operations.

PHILIPSBURG:--- With an eye on the future and living up to its founding principles, the United St. Maarten (US) party is in the process of restructuring its board, party platform, and representation in preparations for the upcoming electoral cycle.

The board of the US said that it is vital for any political organization to re-examine and plan for the future, especially in changing times. “Political parties are the major players in the democratic transitions. However, some have been unable to change their practices and/or adapt to ever-changing realities, and have sometimes disappeared. As a party of the people, in which the people of St. Maarten have shown confidence multiple times, it behooves us to restructure where necessary,” the board said.

It added that changing times and international realities, along with the direct challenges presented in the aftermath of hurricane Irma and the ongoing pandemic, have not gone unnoticed by the USP. As such, the party said focused leadership, dedication to proper governance, and an emphasis on ensuring that the people of St. Maarten have a clear understanding of the challenges that the country is facing are of the utmost importance.

The party board said the clear lack of consultation with the people of St. Maarten on vital issues does not equate to proper governance. Throughout the Caribbean, the US said, examples can be found of governments consulting their people prior to major decisions, decisions that will affect the lives of your very population.

“References to agreements signed by government on behalf of the people of St. Maarten in the form of country packages, COHO, liquidity support, and the consequences of such have yet to be clearly explained. No democracy the world over has ever been run successfully without the full involvement of its people,” the US said.

The board of the party stressed that transparency is one of the core pillars of any democracy and the current governing coalition seems determined on using confidentiality as an excuse for its lack of transparency and misleading and mixed messaging as the order of the day.

“The country has no clear direction and the leadership void has been exasperated and highlighted by performances of ministers and the members of parliament in this NA/UUP coalition on the floor of Parliament. There has yet to be a decision made by either body that is not clouded in controversy.
How can the people of this country foster a sense of tranquility and hope that better days are coming without a clear understanding of what decisions are being made, and how those decisions are going affect their lives and livelihoods in the near future,” the board said.

It continued: “If the only clear decisions made thus far in the form of salary benefits and cuts, which as stated by government had no direct positive impact on its coffers, is an example of what’s to come, it would explain the smoke and mirrors governing style of this National Alliance led coalition.”

The party said it is fairly simple and obvious what the people want and need. They want competent leadership and representation to tackle issues that improve their standard of living. “Not pet projects that do not put food on their table.”

It is with those sentiments in mind that the board of the United St. Maarten party will begin its journey towards restructuring while maintaining its core belief of educating and elevating the people of this nation to operate at their highest potential by providing food for thought.

Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance Paints Bleak Picture of the Impacts of Climate Change in the Dutch Caribbean.

~Concerned at Lack of Mention of the Impacts of Climate Change During Address of King Willem Alexander at the Joint Session of the States-General of the Netherlands.~

dca20102021Kralendijk:--- The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance expressed its concern at the lack of attention on matters related to the impact of Climate Change in the Dutch Caribbean in The Hague. Despite Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte mentioning the impacts of Climate Change in the Dutch Caribbean during his intervention at the UN General Assembly in September, very little concrete actions and support for what will be the most critical crises facing people of the Dutch Caribbean in the immediate future. The statements from the regional conservation network come on the eve of the opening of CoP26 held in Glasgow, Scotland from November 1st to November 12th.
“While it was commendable that climate change has been mentioned by Dutch Politicians lately, we are still quite concerned that very little attention is being paid to the impact climate change will have on the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, this while it is clear that those living in the Caribbean, the biodiversity hotspot of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, are at the forefront of the climate crises,” commented DCNA Director Tadzio Bervoets.
Bervoets continued to mention that during meetings held recently with various parliamentarians and directorates in the Netherlands, DCNA highlighted the existential crises posted by the changing climate; “We had to remind the politicians, bureaucrats, and technocrats in The Hague that the various agreements and accords related to climate change are ratified by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and not by only the Netherlands, and as such there has to be increased focus in ensuring that the islands are better equipped to deal with what is expected to be an existential crises. We even had to explain issues such as increased hurricanes, coral bleaching, sargassum invasions, and droughts to what we assumed would be experts in climate change who had no idea about these impacts. This is both disappointing and alarming,” continued Bervoets.
The most recent climate change predictions for the Caribbean region by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are alarming and suggest that the islands of the Dutch Caribbean will go through profound environmental changes within the next few decades. The IPCC has projected that for the Caribbean Region an increase in air temperature of 1.4°C will result in a decrease in rainfall of 5 to 6%; an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events including a 66% increase in hurricane intensity; and a rise in sea level of 0.5 to 0.6m as a result of thermal expansion of water and glacial melt.
These climate change predictions are especially worrying in the context of an already visible warming trend. Average temperatures in the Dutch Caribbean have risen steeply over the past 40 years according to recent data. In Curaçao, research carried out by the Meteorological Department found that over the past few decades the island has progressively experienced more hot days and fewer cooler nights. Because the islands of the Dutch Caribbean form two geographically distinct groups separated by more than 900 km of open water, it is expected that climate change will not impact these two island groups in the same way. Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao are located in the Southern Caribbean, an area that is predicted to become warmer and drier, with longer seasonal dry periods. Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten, which are located in the Northeast Caribbean and therefore within the Caribbean hurricane belt, are predicted to experience more frequent and violent tropical hurricanes, as was evident during the disastrous 2017 Hurricane Season. All of the Dutch Caribbean’s marine and terrestrial ecosystems and the species that inhabit them will be affected, to varying degrees. Coral reefs are predicted to be especially vulnerable as higher ocean temperatures and ocean acidification will undoubtedly result in mass coral bleaching events, among other things.
The economy of the Dutch Caribbean Islands is also largely dependent on tourism and it is expected that this single economic pillar will also be drastically impacted: increase in storms and hurricanes may result in tourists’ perception of destination as unsafe; beach erosion and coral bleaching may negatively impact perceptions of destination attractiveness; there will be an increased risk of damage to coastal resort properties by violent hurricanes and other storms and of damage to tourist attractions; on Bonaire, beach erosion due to loss of shallow reefs leaves historic plantation buildings like those of Washington Slagbaai Park vulnerable.
The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) released a special edition of their free digital newsletter BioNews highlighting the challenges facing the Dutch Caribbean in the fight against climate change. Using internationally accepted climate change predictions and (research) reports, impacts both above and below water have been defined for all six islands, stressing the need for immediate action to build resilience against the effects of climate change. Loss of nature has far-reaching negative consequences for the local population since nature serves as both one of the most important sources of income and offers protection against extreme weather conditions. However, it will take a concerted effort to ensure that nature, lives, and livelihoods are not lost due to inaction by decision-makers.


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