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District Governor Patrick Adizua visits Rotary Sunset.

districtgovernor14122018COLE BAY:--- The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset welcomed District Governor Patrick Adizua and his wife, Lesline Adizua, to their general meeting on Monday 10, 2018. This was the first time that the club received such an honorable visit since being chartered on July 30, 2018. One of the District Governor’s core responsibilities is to visit all clubs in the district to provide support, deliver the RI President’s message, and present an update on district goals.

During the meeting, the club’s committee chairs discussed upcoming projects and activities with the members. President of the Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset, Jaida Nisbett, reflected on the journey of the club, it’s membership and projects that were carried out since being chartered. President Jaida also took advantage of the opportunity to discuss the goals and future plans of the club.

DG Patrick delivered a profound message to the members, highlighting the importance of friendship and partnership. He commended the club for their persistence, gaining a strong membership base of 41 members and executing effective projects. DG Patrick expressed his excitement for being a part of the club’s charter ceremony and installation of the charter president, board and members of the club. DG Patrick also presented Rotary International and District 7020 theme pins to all members. Thanks to Sint Maarten Guavaberry and Laser It, President Jaida presented DG Patrick and Lesline Adizua with a beautiful customized wooden cutout of St. Martin and a customized bottle on Guavaberry rum on behalf of the club.

Amongst invited guests were District Governor Nominee Designate, Louis Wever, his wife Amanda Wever and Assistant Governor, Marcellia Henry. The night came to an end with fellowship and the opportunity for club members to capture memorable moments with DG Patrick.

The members of the Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset would like to thank DG Patrick and his wife for their visit to the club and look forward to the rest of the Rotary year 2018-2019 under their leadership.

SMHDF: Phase 1 Repairs Completed, Phase 2 Planning Stage in Progress.

BELVEDERE:--- The St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation is moving into the holiday season with good tidings as the organization announced that phase one of repairs to its properties have been progressing according to schedule.
“At present, the roof capping and flashing has been fixed for 44 duplex units,” Technical Manager Telston Bell shared, “as well as for 20 multi-unit properties.”
SMHDF duplex units consist of two units per property, while the multi-unit homes boast five to seven units each. Repairs to the Duplex units are being financed by the SMHDF and required the input of residents. Most of the roofing has been repaired, and the organization now requires access to the interior to have damages repaired.
The Row Houses have had their roofing repaired and the SMHDF is proud to announce that with the excellent collaboration of respective tenants’, Phase 2, which is related to the interior of the homes progressing well with the valuable input of our valuable tenants. In so doing they are assisting the SMHDF to succeed swiftly in strengthening our housing communities.
The Apartment Towers Repairs in Phase 1 to properties damaged by Hurricane Irma were executed utilizing financing obtained from the World Bank trust fund established by the Netherlands. Housing Foundation has submitted plans for their remaining projects in accordance with the World Bank’s compliance rules, with repairs at the top of the priority list.
“Phase two is currently in its planning stages,” Bell commented. “It is reliant on the World Bank’s procurement process and once this has been completed, we will move forward. We aim for the first quarter of 2019.”
Repairs in the second phase of the project will focus on restructuring the roofs and facilities of the five towers (comprising eight units per tower), as well as the row houses, which number 21 in total. Once these repairs are completed, it will mark the end of SMHDF’s post-Hurricane Irma recovery phase. Director Helen Salomons stated that this will allow the organization to shift focus to other pending projects that have had their start dates delayed by the impact of Irma.
“We continue to work with our clients to facilitate their repairs in an efficient and effective manner,” Salomons says. “There have been challenges along the way but SMHDF has remained committed to executing these projects in an efficient and safe manner. For 2019 we deem it of pivotal importance that tenants collaborate with us to have this vision materialized in a swift manner. We can celebrate this holiday season with what has been accomplished so far, while we have maintained the same low rent rates for the past 22 years. Some as low as ANG 155,-. Together let’s focus on the whole process of creating opportunities reimaged.”
The foundation celebrated their progress on Friday, 7 December 2018 with a grand customer appreciation party, which was attended by a cross-section of over 300 tenants of SMHDF’s communities. During the event, SMHDF raffled over 100 prizes to exuberant tenants. Food and beverages were also provided compliments of the SMHDF. The main prize of a 55” flat-screen TV was won by Sandra Hassell.

Potentially Contaminated Romaine Lettuce – (UPDATED)

PHILIPSBURG:--- In previous press releases on November 22 and 27, the Inspectorate of Public Health, Social Development and Labor informed the public of Romaine lettuce originating from the United States due to potential contamination with the E coli bacteria. This romaine lettuce is available in most supermarkets and restaurants on the island.
In addition, the Inspectorate also advised the public not to consume and discard of already purchased Romaine Lettuce. Drawers or shelves in the refrigerator where the lettuce was stored should be washed and sanitized. Restaurants were strongly advised not to serve any romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing Romaine.

The Inspectorate received an update from the FDA on December 13 providing the following information:
As of December 13, FDA has further refined the traceback investigation down to the farm level, which narrows the list of romaine growing areas that FDA recommends consumers and retailers avoid down to the following counties: Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Barbara.
The strain of E. coli O157: H7 causing the current outbreak was identified in one sample collected in the sediment of an agricultural water reservoir at one ranch owned and operated by Adam Bros. Farming, Inc., in Santa Barbara County. The strain isolated from this sample matched those collected from ill persons in this outbreak
San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz and Ventura counties in California have been removed from the list at this time. Other growing areas, for example, Florida, Mexico and the desert growing regions near Yuma and Imperial County, Riverside County do not appear to be related to the current outbreak
The FDA is issuing the following updated recommendation as part of its investigation and public warning:

• Based on discussions with producers and distributors, romaine lettuce entering the market will now be voluntarily labeled with a harvest location and a harvest date or labeled as being hydroponically- or greenhouse-grown. Consumers may notice that romaine lettuce is beginning to be available in stores with this new labeling. If it does not have this information, you should not eat or use it.
• Romaine lettuce that was harvested outside of Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Barbara counties in California does not appear to be related to the current outbreak and need not be avoided. Hydroponically- and greenhouse-grown romaine also does not appear to be related to the current outbreak. There is no recommendation for consumers or retailers to avoid using romaine harvested from these sources
The Inspectorate remains in close contact with the FDA and USDA. Importers and re-sellers are informed and the necessary spot checks are performed.

Public invited to 2nd Annual Art Auction for a good cause.

artauction13122018PHILIPSBURG:--- The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports (MECYS) - Education On The Move, in collaboration with UNICEF Netherlands is hosting its 2nd Annual Art Auction, this Saturday, 15 December.

The 2nd Annual Art Auction will feature 20 artwork pieces created by students of various Primary Schools and After School Programs on the island. All proceeds of the art auction will go back to the schools to support their educational work.

This year’s Art Auction has the theme ‘Too COOL to Loot” dedicated to the campaign MECYS and UNICEF have been conducting throughout the past year. The campaign started in response to the numerous incidents of looting that took place after hurricane Irma last September. Members of the campaign have since visited dozens of schools and organized various events to tackle the issue in a positive manner by engaging children and young people in the efforts.

The 2nd Annual Art Auction will take place this Saturday 15th of December at the Government Administration Building, on the ground floor. The evening will start at 6:00pm with a cocktail reception. The auction will start at precisely 7:00pm.

Everyone is encouraged to join the Art Auction to support the participating schools, after school programs and the talented children of St. Maarten. For more information about the Art Auction and the Too COOL to Loot campaign visit

St. Maarten’s House of Parliament Host another successful Annual Christmas Cheer.

parliamentxmascheer13122018PHILIPSBURG:--- Each year the Parliament of Sint Maarten makes an effort to bring good cheers to the public of Sint Maarten in some form. This year six grade students of the Oranje School, St. Joseph School and Sister Borgia School were treated to a Christmas breakfast.

The event, which took place at the House of Parliament on Thursday, December 13, 2018, had over 80 students joined by their respective teachers in attendance.
Each school gave a short performance, in the form of a song, poetry or dance, thereafter the students were served breakfast by the Members of Parliament.
After enjoying their breakfast, the students then joined the Members of Parliament that were present in singing Christmas carols.
As a token of appreciation in helping to make this event possible, each school was presented with a group picture of their respective students. The pictures were taken upon their arrival at the House of Parliament.

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