Road Closures Starting Tuesday Night
Ministry VROMI announces Simpson Bay Causeway Round-a-bout Road Closures starting Tuesday Night
PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), hereby announces that the upcoming road closures at the Simpson Bay Causeway Round-a-bouts on the Airport side (West) and the Round-a-bout (East) along the Union Road, Cole Bay near the border, is related to the application of thermoplast road markings and installation of the concrete centre guardrail.
The main road (Airport Road) leading to the airport and Maho Reef and to Simpson Bay from the aforementioned, and from Cole Bay to Marigot and vice versa, will be CLOSED for approximately eight (8) hours to facilitate the application of road markings on the main roads that connect to the round-a-bouts.
Road Closure: Cole Bay-Marigot/Marigot-Cole Bay
There will be no through-traffic on the Union Road from the entrance to Port de Plaisance to Marigot and vice versa.
Tuesday, December 03-Wednesday, December 04, 10.00pm to 06.00am
The road will be re-opened at 06.00am on Wednesday, December 04 for motorized traffic. Motorized traffic will be able to use part of the round-a-bout.
Road Closure: Simpson Bay-Airport/Airport-Simpson Bay
There will be no through-traffic from the juncture of Airport Road and Patientia Road to the Princess Juliana International Airport and vice versa.
Wednesday, December 04-Thursday, December 05, 10.00pm to 06.00am
The road will be re-opened at 06.00am on Thursday, December 05 for motorized traffic. Motorized traffic will be able to use part of the round-a-bout.
Motorists are requested to be vigilant and observant for the traffic directional signs.
Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience that this may cause.
Bikini Beach AOT Criminal
FROM THE DAILY HERALD
MARIGOT - NOVEMBER 29, 2013 - Vice President Guillaume Arnell, former director of Service Urbanisme José Carti, and Orient Beach developer Norbert Luftman on behalf of his company Sindextour, were found not guilty Thursday, of all charges brought against them in the long-running Orient Beach temporary occupation permit AOT case.
In a lengthy summation President of the Tribunal Gérard Egron-Reverseau stated there was insufficient proof to uphold the charges brought by the prosecution, which now has 10 days in which to appeal.
All three were facing criminal charges of fraud, complicity and collusion in the issuing of an AOT renewal to Luftman by the Collectivité's Executive Council on April 17, 2012, for the parcel of land AW33 on which the restaurants Bikini and Kon Tiki were operating.
The prosecution, in part of its case, considered Luftman had "accelerated" the issuing procedures in his favour via the services of José Carti and the powers of Vice President Guillaume Arnell as the elected official responsible for urbanism.
Prosecutor Flavien Noailles demanded a two-year suspended prison sentence, a probation period of three years, and a fine of 200,000 euros for both Luftman and Carti. He further recommended Carti be banned from exercising a public function for five years. As for Guillaume Arnell he recommended an acquittal.
There was a palpable sense of relief outside the courthouse among the acquitted defendants after the verdict was pronounced. "Happy that it's over," Arnell told reporters when asked for his reaction. "At no moment did I doubt the sincerity of the justice system. All that I possess in intellect has been granted to me by the French system and I'm very grateful for that. I just want to reciprocate with the prosecutor on the same argument he presented to me during the first day of the trial. "He said to me that I have to be careful over whom I work with and my reply to him today is to urge him not to give full rein to what Gendarmes are doing. In his capacity as prosecutor he has the obligation to screen and scrutinise, to separate truth from fiction." He thanked his long-suffering family and the Collectivité for their support. "My wife and children have suffered tremendously during this ordeal. I want to thank my first and original lawyer Maître Tissot, and of course the exceptional Bâtonnier Jean-Yves Leborgne. It is a great victory for him. I think we will be looked at differently now, not always with suspicion."
José Carti appeared to be overcome. "I'm just very tired," he said. "There was nothing...the guy asked to renew his AOT and that was that; nothing else."
Norbert Luftman said the stress of the past two years had taken a huge toll on him personally, but he was relieved it was all over.
The two-day trial on September 19 and 20, examined in fine detail the procedures that led to the issuing of the AOT to determine if any illegalities had been exercised and if favouritism had been shown by the Collectivité towards Luftman. A string of high profile Parisian lawyers had been brought in from Paris to defend the accused.
The verdict is a blow to the plaintiffs Elisa Cohen from Bikini Beach and Philip Just from Kon Tiki who had claimed civil damages for violation of their rights after their applications for an AOT in their own names on February 20, 2012, submitted three months before Luftman's, were not considered.
"There is no justice in St. Martin," said a dejected Cohen after the verdict. "Can you imagine Carti didn't even get a slap on the wrist; to me this whole thing is political. They had a ton of information to show there was something going on. It's impossible that they just threw the whole thing out and our demand for damages was not accepted. To me, at least Carti should have gotten something."
She said she did not know if the prosecution will appeal.
"If they don't appeal, obviously we will not appeal. But, we have other civil cases against Luftman and Sindextour that are coming up. We were hoping to get justice in this round that would influence justice in the following rounds."
Bikini and Kon Tiki discovered that between 2009 and 2011 they were paying rent to Sindextour without the company having a valid AOT, and moreover the two restaurants claimed the company was sub-leasing the AOT against French law. As a result they stopped paying rent to Sindextour which, despite all the legal manoeuvring, ultimately resulted in the closure of the two restaurants and eviction of Cohen and Just, and concession holders on September 3, 2013.
Cohen and Just found it incomprehensible that Préfet Philippe Chopin would order the eviction given that he himself deemed that an AOT to have been retroactively issued was illegal, while the restaurants' appeal to overturn the eviction set for September 11, was not even been heard. Cohen said at the time their eviction appeal was simply "thrown out." It is not clear what the status is of the Préfet's complaint and if a case is still to be heard on this issue.
The eviction order was instigated by Luftman in the court of Mixed Commerce on grounds the restaurant lessee contracts expired December 30, 2012. The plaintiffs had also accused Sindextour of collecting half-a-million euros in rent when the company was not in possession of a valid AOT that expired in 2009.
Luftman, who possessed the AOT since 1992, was to have renewed the AOT at its expiry date in 2009, and insisted he did submit the renewals on October 15, 2008, and again on April 10, 2009, but due to the ongoing court case with the Beauperthuy family over ownership of the parcel, the Collectivité did not answer Luftman immediately.
Road Closures Monday Night and Tuesday Night
PHILIPSBURG - NOVEMBER 25, 2013 - The following road closures will be in effect as indicated as part of the Simpson Bay Causeway Bridge Project:
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2013 at 10:00 PM through TUESDAY, November 26, 2013 at 6:00 AM: There will be NO THROUGH VEHICULAR TRAFFIC permitted on Union Road from the entrance to Port de Plaisance to Marigot and vice versa. Regular vehicular traffic will resume on TUESDAY, November 26th at 6:00 AM.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2013 at 10:00 PM through WEDNESDAY, November 27, 2013 at 6:00 AM: There will be NO THROUGH VEHICULAR TRAFFIC permitted from the junction of Aiport Road and Patientia Road to the Princess Juliana International Airport and vice versa. Regular vehicular traffic will resume on WEDNESDAY, November 27th at 6:00 AM.
Fuel Prices Down
PHILIPSBURG - NOVEMBER 25, 2013 - Motorists will pay less at the pump as of Sunday, November 24, when gasoline and diesel fuel prices go down.
Unleaded gasoline will cost NAf. 2,40 per litre, down from NAf. 2,59. Diesel fuel per litre will cost NAf. 2,20, a decrease from NAf. 2,28.
The decrease in prices reflects ongoing international price adjustments, according to the public notice issued by Economic Affairs Minister Ted Richardson.
New Causeway Bridge Grand Opening Likely
FROM THE DAILY HERALD
SIMPSON BAY - NOVEMBER 25, 2013 -The official opening of the Simpson Bay causeway probably will not occur in December as originally planned. There are no major problems to report, just some finishing touches that have to be added that usually take some time to complete.
Although the lights currently are being installed, not all will be ready by the original December 15 target date. Landscaping still has to be done as well, and construction and aesthetic activities will continue.
Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority (SLAC) and government will inform the public of the grand opening. The causeway has already become a popular landmark in its own right with several aerial photographs appearing on social media and in regional and international maritime publications.
All indications point to a grand opening in January, but this has not been confirmed.
New High Season Simpson Bay Bridge Opening
Schedule Effective November 18, 2013
SIMPSON BAY, St. Maarten – Port of St. Maarten – NOVEMBER 14, 2013 - The Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority Corporation (SLAC) announces the introduction of its high tourist season Simpson Bay Bridge opening schedule effective Monday, November 18.
Motorists and other road users should take the new season bridge operational times into consideration when heading to or coming from work, and for visitors who are heading to the airport.
The opening times are as follows:
8.30 hrs Outbound Traffic
9.30 hrs Inbound Traffic
10.30 hrs Outbound Traffic
11.30 hrs Inbound Traffic
15.00 hrs Inbound Traffic
16.00 hrs Outbound Traffic
17.00 hrs Inbound Traffic
An assessment will be made after three months to determine if any changes are to be made to the time manual.
Official Royal Visit Program for November 13, 2013
9:00 AM - Official Welcome Ceremony at Clem Lebega Square in Philipsburg.
10:20 AM - Welcome by General Public and Schools
11:20 AM - Balcony Appearance at Government Administration Building
12:35 PM - Visit to Milton Peters College
1:30 PM - Visit to Raoul Illidge Sports Complex
2:25 PM - Walk through Philipsburg (Oranje School, Methodist Church, Courthouse)
7:00 PM - Youth Showcase at Festival Villiage
Traffic Disruptions Due to Royal Visit
FROM THE DAILY HERALD
PHILIPSBURG - NOVEMBER 12, 2013 - The St. Maarten Police Force and the organisers of the state visit of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima have announced a number of traffic disruptions resulting from road closures due to the royal visit.
The police said the traffic disruptions would be kept at a minimum compared to a visit of Queen Beatrix in the past, due to the fact that the royal couple would not stay at The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort, but at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort.
The disruptions will take place mainly on November 13, but some minor disruptions are expected for the days around that date, as the royal couple will have their base in St. Maarten when they visit the other islands. Drivers are requested to be patient and are reminded that side roads leading to the roads mentioned also may be affected.
The following locations will be affected:
* On November 12 from around 12:50pm until arrival at Divi Little Bay Resort:
Airport Boulevard, Welfare Road, Kruythof Roundabout, A.J.C. Brouwer Road, Church Hill Roundabout, Bush Road, Prins Bernhard Bridge, Long Wall Road, Kerkhofstraat, Little Bay Road, Divi Resort.
* On November 13 from around 8:50am: Divi Little Bay Resort, Kerkhofstraat, Long Wall Road, Percy Labega Street, W.J.A. Nisbeth Road, Salt Pickers Roundabout, Peterson Street, N. Debrot Road, Clem Labega Square.
* On November 13 from around 9:20am: Clem Labega Square, N. Debrot Road, Peterson Street, Salt Pickers Roundabout, W.J.A. Nisbeth Road, Freedom Fighters Roundabout, Buncamper Road, Falcon Drive, Governor's Office.
* On November 13 from around 9:50am: Governor's Office, Falcon Drive, Buncamper Road, Freedom Fighters Roundabout, W.J.A. Nisbeth Road, Salt Pickers Roundabout, Peterson Street, Cannegieter Street, Gevangenissteeg, Hendrikstraat, Front Street, Wilhelminastraat.
* On November 13 from around 10:25am: Wilhelminastreet, Back Street, Gevangenissteeg, Cannegieter Street, Clem Labega Square.
* On November 13 from around 11:20am: Clem Labega Square, N. Debrot Street, C. Webster Road, W.J.A. Nisbeth Road, Percy Labega Street, Long Wall Road, Kerkhofstraat, Little Bay Road, Divi Little Bay Resort.
* On November 13 from around 12:20pm: between Divi Little Bay Resort and Milton Peters College
* On November 13 from around 1:20pm: Milton Peters College, L.B. Scott Road, Church Hill Roundabout, A.J.C. Brouwer Road, Welgelegen Road, Raoul Illidge Sports Complex.
* On November 13 from around 2:05pm: Raoul Illidge Sports Complex, Welgelegen Road, One Tete Lokay Roundabout, Belair Road, Link 1, Little Bay Road, Back Street, Oranje School.
* On November 13 from around 3:25pm: Courthouse, Front Street, Buncamper Road, Freedom Fighters Roundabout, W.J.A. Nisbeth Road, Percy Labega Street, Long Wall Road, Kerkhofstraat, Little Bay Road, Divi Little Bay Resort.
* On November 13 from around 7:20pm: Divi Little Bay Resort, Little Bay Road, Kerkhofstraat, Long Wall Road, Percy Labega Street, W.J.A. Nisbeth Road, Salt Pickers Roundabout, Soualiga Boulevard, Festival Village.
* On November 13 from around 9:30pm: the same route will be taken back from the Festival Village to Divi Little Bay Resort.
* On November 14, 15 and 16 from around 8:40am, 9:00am and 8:40am respectively, the royal couple will travel from Divi Little Bay Resort to the airport, and on November 14 and 15 at 4:00pm and 4:30pm respectively, from the airport back to Divi Little Bay Resort.
US Consular Visit
Tuesday, October 21, 2013
For Immediate Release
U.S. Consular Officer to hold office hours for U.S. Citizens in
St. Martin and Anguilla
A Consular Officer from the U.S. Embassy in Barbados will visit St. Martin, October 28, 2013 and Anguilla October 29-30, 2013 to provide U.S. Citizens Services and to accept applications for U.S. passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA). Visa cases will not be discussed.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: We will no longer accept handwritten passport application forms. You must fill out all passport application forms online at https://pptform.state.gov/ and then print. Please have all forms completed prior to your appointment and bring originals and copies of all supporting documents.
Appointments for St. Martin will be held at the CCI (Chambre de Commerce et Industrie), Rue Jean Jacques Fayel Concordia, Marigot:
Monday, October 28: 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Appointments in Anguilla will be held at Caribbean Juris Chambers, Hannah-Waver House, The Valley:
Tuesday, October 29: 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 30: 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
You must arrange an appointment online to meet with the Consular Officer. Please follow instructions on the U.S. Embassy’s website at http://barbados.usembassy.gov/acs_consularvisits.html.
Fees must be paid by international money order or bank draft made out to “U.S. Embassy.” PLEASE NOTE: The money order or bank draft must have the correct and exact amount. We will not issue any refunds. Fees are:
Child’s passport (under age 16): US$105
First adult passport: US$135
Notarials: US$50 per signature
If you are renewing a ten-year passport issued less than 15 years ago, and can present your expired passport, you may apply by mail directly to the Embassy; the fee is US$110. If you cannot present a previous ten-year passport issued less than fifteen years ago, you must appear in person for an interview with the consular officer; fee is US$135.
All applicants must provide: completed passport application, two passport-size photos (2” x 2”), proof of U.S. citizenship such as previous U.S. passport, U.S. birth certificate, or U.S. naturalization certificate, and social security card. Please bring originals AND photocopies of all documents. You must also provide a prepaid air waybill (FedEx, DHL, LIAT QuikPak, etc.) in order to have the new passport mailed back to you.
For a child under age 16, if both parents are listed on the birth certificate, both parents must appear in person with the child OR you may submit a notarized statement of consent from the absent parent. For more information, visit: http://www.travel.state.gov/passport/get/minors/minors_834.html. Please also bring the documents listed above PLUS the child’s birth certificate and both parents’ passports or other identification. Please bring originals AND photocopies of all documents including copies of the parents’ identification.
Additional information on U.S. citizen services and links to application forms are available on U.S. Department of State’s website at http://travel.state.gov.
Billy Folly Road Paving
SIMPSON BAY, ST. MAARTEN - OCTOBER 21, 2013 - Billy Folly Road will be resurfaced starting this evening, Monday, October 21, 2013 at 8 PM. Resurfacing will be in the area from the Atrium Hotel to the security booth by the entrance of the Simpson Bay Resort and Marina. Motorists and pedestrians are asked to exercise caution.
COLE BAY Fire Victims Need Your Help
FROM THE DAILY HERALD
COLE BAY - OCTOBER 21, 2013 - Victims of the Wesley Lane fire, which destroyed an entire shanty town on October 12, have taken much strength from the donations and support that they have received. However, much more help is still needed as a large number of people are still homeless.
The victims appreciate the help they have been given so far. There have been visits from many government ministers including Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour Cornelius de Weever and Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI Maurice Lake. Social Services have also visited, as well as many organisations and individuals.
"Especially the visit from Minister De Weever and his staff gave the victims a lot of hope and encouragement. Minister De Weever brought the Housing Development and Social Services to the site," said Jestan Guerrier, the Haitian Community Officer. "But, people are impatient. No solution has as yet transpired for their housing problems. Most people have been taken in by friends and relatives, but this cannot be a permanent situation."
Special thanks from the community goes out to the Red Cross. Guerrier mentioned the manager as a lady called Julia who spent a lot of time at the site preparing a buffet and handing out food, and who has become a welcomed, friendly face to the victims. He says their help has meant a lot to people.
Other organisations whose presence and donations have also made a big difference include the Indian Merchants Association (IMA) who distributed large packs of food and 30 cases of water; the Tzu Chi Foundation which was one of the first organisations on the scene to assist; DHL, a number of church organisations and also a number individuals came of their own accord.
Guerrier says "A very big thank you goes out to all that assisted. We had big and small organisations and individual people came to offer assistance. Many ministers attended in person. They all gave the victims hope, as well as much needed donations of food and clothing."
It has been nine days since the fire and many people are still homeless; many people still rely on the goodness of others for the basic necessities in life. A number of people who lived at the site are unemployed. They still spend most of their time hanging around at the site, the only home they know.
"There are healthy men and women here, in need of employment. They are willing to work hard. They are available," says Guerrier.
"People are scared that they are being forgotten. They are grateful for the help they have received but they are scared that they are old news now. They still need donations of food, water and especially household goods. But above all, they need shelter. I want to extend my special thanks to Minister De Weever for what he has already done, and also ask him, please, not to forget about the victims. They need shelter. They need a home."
Persons wishing to assist can contact Jestan Guerrier on tel. 527-3774 or 580-7880.
Free Clinical Breast Examination Screenings
During October 2013
PHILIPSBURG, ST. MAARTEN - OCTOBER 15, 2013 - Free Clinical Breast Examination Screenings courtesy of THE POSITIVE FOUNDATION are offered on the following dates, locations and times listed.
October 16, 2013 - Dennaoui Medical Center on Airport Rd - 4 - 5 pm
October 19, 2013 - Family Medical Practice on Welgelegen Road in Cay Hill - 9 am - 12 noon
October 19, 2013 - Dr. Holiday, SMMC in Belair - 4:30 - 5:30 pm
October 19, 2013 - Dr. Wassenaar, SMMC in Belair - 4:30 - 7 pm
October 23, 2013 - Dennaoui Medical Center on Airport Rd - 4 - 5 pm
October 23, 2013 - Dutch Quarter Medical Center - AT Illidge Rd 278A in Dutch Quarter - 10 am - 12 noon
October 26, 2013 - Bush Road Medical Center - Bush Rd 52A - 10 am - 12 noon
October 30, 2013 - Dennaoui Medical Center on Airport Rd - 4 - 5 pm
October 30, 2013 - Union Rd Clinic on Union Rd #139 Unit E - 9 am - 5 pm
October 31, 2013 - Dr. H. Deketh, Cinnamon Grove in Maho - 2 - 4 pm
REMEMBER - EARLY DETECTION IS YOUR BEST PROTECTION
US CONSUL Trip Cancelled
PHILIPSBURG, ST. MAARTEN - OCTOBER 4, 2013 - The US Consul Warden has announced that the US Consul scheduled to visit St. Maarten/St. Martin on October 7 and October 8, 2013 has been cancelled due to US Government shutdown. Details will be forthcoming with as soon as the visit is rescheduled.
Sports Tourism Foundation
PHILIPSBURG, ST. MAARTEN - OCTOBER 2, 2013 - Destination St Maarten has embarked upon on developing Sports Tourism for the country with the establishment of a Sports Tourism Council. The new entity is structured to attract annual sports events to the island and to stimulate economic development. The destination has new sports facilities under construction and more facilities are scheduled to be upgraded in 2014.
The Sports Tourism Council Sint Maarten Foundation ( STC SINT MAARTEN) is scheduled to attend Teams Conference 2013 in the USA to attract sports events to the destination, and is also currently busy putting together a 2014 calendar of events.
STC Sint Maarten seeks to develop triathlon event, marathon, cycling tour, youth basketball tournaments, softball tournaments, indoor slot model car racing, a kickboxing event, celebrity games, cricket tournaments, baseball tournaments, soccer tournament and other sports related events.
The Sports Tourism Council has a dynamic team of founders namely: Juan Pablo Piscione as President, Stanley Lint as Treasurer, Reggie Plaisir as Secretary, General Board Members Reggie Coram, and Peter Arndell.
The foundation welcomes corporate partnerships in order to achieve its main objectives. The board would like to thank the council’s first sponsor the owners of Trisports with their financial support of the formation of the Sports Tourism Council.
President Juan Pablo Piscione says: "I am very glad that Sint Maarten is getting serious about developing sports tourism. Many countries (several Caribbean islands) are already experiencing economic growth that visiting athletes bring. Entrepreneurs and local companies will grow. And even more exciting is our local athletes will benefit from the more professional levels of sportsmanship".
The Sports Tourism Council Sint Maarten will collaborate with various stakeholders including French St. Martin sports organizations in hosting international events. Due to the fact some international sports events may require using sports facilities on both sides of the island. The Sports Tourism Council will also be developing and promoting 20 Annual Sports Events for destination Sint Maarten / St. Martin via a joint marketing and operational budgets.
Sports Tourism Council Sint Maarten is looking to sign a Service Level Agreement with Tourism and Sports Ministries within the near future to develop this new niche tourism product.
This new team embarks on promoting existing annual sports events such as the Heineken Regatta now broadcasted on ESPN and the 3rd Annual Caribserve Video X Games while attracting new events to the destination.
For those requiring additional information about the Sport Tourism Council, you can call 522-2828 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
World Animal Day and I LOVE MY
ISLAND DOG ASSOCIATION at
FROM THE DAILY HERALD
MARIGOT, ST. MARTIN - OCTOBER 1, 2013 - On October 4, I Love My Island Dog Association, in collaboration with Art Lovers, will organise a painting exhibition at Captain Oliver’s Restaurant in Oyster Pond on Saturday, October 5, from 12:00pm to 9:00pm. A number of paintings of dogs and cats, as well as paintings of landscapes and other animals, will be on display and up for sale. We invite you to support this day to help the animal shelter in Chevrise. A portion of the sales will be given to I Love My Island Dog Association. A buffet with tapas and drinks will be offered to all visitors as of the 6:30pm opening sponsored by Captain Oliver’s Restaurant.
The following artists will participate in this exhibition with an unlimited number of works: Lucia Trifan, Sylvie Callet, Sylvie Campion, Joelle Durr, Marine Charvat, Cathay Millot, Claudine Gagnon, Lilo Kazuba, Jill Llobregat, Alexia Copini, Philippe Milovidoff, Ursula
d’Orléans and Agnes Etchegoyen (photographs). Throughout this week, preceding World Animal Day, and to ﬁnd families for our animals, the Chevrise shelter adoptions will be free (for dogs over six months, no adoption expenses). Our dogs are vaccinated, sterilised and leave the adoption centre equipped with an electronic chip. We are open from 4:00pm to 6:00pm every day, except Sundays and public holidays.
The shelter is full and the association is encouraging many animal lovers to visit this week. Dogs ready for adoption can also be seen on www.ilovemyislanddog.org.
For more information, please contact Ursula (I Love My Island Dog) at tel. (0690) 50-34-07 or Claudine (Art Lovers) at tel. (0690) 88-74-79.
More Road Closure Information
PHILIPSBURG, ST. MAARTEN – OCTOBER 1, 2013 - Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), hereby announces that there will be no through traffic from the beginning of Back Street to the intersection near Angelo’s Boutique Thursday eveningOctober 3 from 8.00pm to 12.00am (midnight). The alleys will also be closed.
Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience that this may cause.
Hundreds Attend Bird Festival
CUL-DEC-SAC, ST. MARTIN - OCTOBER 1, 2013 - Over 200 guests, young and old, came to enjoy the Migratory Bird Festival on Sunday morning at Étang de la Barrière in Cul-de-Sac. The event included guided birdwatching tours on the newly-built wooden boardwalk trail through the mangrove wetlands, nature photography tips, and a variety of bird-themed art activities for children.
The festival was a celebration of the migratory birds that fly thousands of miles each year between their summer breeding grounds in North America and their wintering grounds in South America and the Caribbean. Attendees learned about the miraculous voyages these birds make, and how important St. Martin's beaches and salt ponds are to their survival. For many, it was also their first visit to the Mangrove Discovery Trail. One of the best trails of its kind in the Caribbean, it offers easy access into one of the island's most important ecosystems.
This was the first big public event organized by Les Fruits de Mer, a non-profit association based in Grand Case. "Helping people experience and enjoy local nature and art is the mission of our association," explains Les Fruits de Mer President Jennifer Yerkes. "By sharing the story of these amazing birds through tours and art activities, we were able to do both. We're thrilled the event was such a big success, and it's only the beginning."
The event was co-hosted by the Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Martin and the Conservatoire du Littoral, who built the Discovery Trail and lead guided tours in French. Many other partners, both local and international contributed to the event, including Environmental Protection in the Caribbean, For the LOVE of Grand Case, the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association, Art Summer Camp SXM, Palm Beach, The Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds, and Environment for the Americas.
Although the event was primarily attended by residents this year, regional efforts like the Caribbean Birding Trail seek to promote the Caribbean as a birdwatching destination for tourists. In the United States alone, 72 million people spend over $17 billion on travel for birding and wildlife watching. St. Martin is particularly attractive to migratory birds because of the large number of salt ponds on the island. The peak months for these birds on St. Martin coincide with the low-season for tourism in the late spring and fall. Long-term, developing this type of tourism on the island could provide important low-season tourism revenues for St. Martin.
The Mangrove Discovery Trail is free and open to the public, and located just beside the Pinel ferry dock in Cul-de-Sac. Signs on the trail explaining the mangrove wetland and its inhabitants offer the perfect self-guided tour in English and French. For information about future events by the Les Fruits de Mer association, visit http://ass.lesfruitsdemer.org or follow Les Fruits de Mer on Facebook.
2014 Public Holiday Schedule for Sint Maarten
SINT MAARTEN PUBLIC HOLIDAY SCHEDULE 2014
New Year’s Day Wednesday January 1, 2014
Good Friday Friday April 18, 2014
Easter Sunday Sunday April 20 2014
Easter Monday Monday April 21, 2014
Kings day Saturday April 26, 2014
Carnival Day Wednesday April 30, 2014
Labour Day Thursday May 1, 2014
Ascension Day Thursday May 29, 2014
Whit Sunday Sunday June 8, 2014
Emancipation Day Tuesday July 1, 2014
St Maarten’s Day Tuesday November 11, 2014
Kingdom Day Monday December 15, 2014
Christmas Day Thursday December 25, 2014
Boxing Day Friday December 26, 2014
Lagoon Authority Announces
the Closure of the
Simpson Bay Causeway Bridge
SIMPSON BAY, ST. MAARTEN - SEPTEMBER 29, 2013 - The Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority Corporation (SLAC) announces that the Simpson Bay Causeway Bridge will be closed to marine traffic for several days on two occasions to allow for civil works to be carried out on the bridge structure.
The first closure of the Simpson Bay Causeway Bridge to marine traffic will be fromWednesday, October 2 at 7.00am to Saturday, October 5 at 12.30pm.
The second closure will be from Friday, October 11 at 7.00am to Sunday, October 13 at 7.00am.
The contractor will start aligning, pouring and curing of the joints between the steel swing bridge and the concrete decks on the East and West side of the swing bridge.
During the second phase of the bridge closure, the contractor will put asphalt on the decks.
If there is inclement weather, the aforementioned bridge closure times could change.
For stakeholders who require additional information, they can contact the Lagoon Authority at 520-2059, 554-7474 or 520-1867.
Cannegie Liquor Store - Legendary St. Maarten
FROM THE DAILY HERALD
By Alita Singh
The year was 1963. The Stella Polaris, the only cruise ship to visit St. Maarten, was making weekly calls. Cruisers eager for the authentic Caribbean experience browse the shops on Front Street; meeting and chatting with the local store owners and their workers. More than often, some cruisers stopped in the famed Oranje Cafe just a stone’s throw away from the picturesque Court House.
In that café, a young St. Maartener served drinks and was struck by a niche in the growing tourist market. That niche took advantage of an island commodity – duty free trading, and the appetite of 1960s for cigarettes and alcohol. So an idea was born and the 23-year-old St. Maartener set in motion what would today be a 50-year old business with the distinction of being the only remaining indigenous St. Maartener owned and operated business on Front Street – the unassuming Cannegie Liquor Store owned by Diederick Cannegieter, whose family roots can be traced back to early settlers on the island.
Diederick’s story starts with 16 cases of a variety of liquor secured on credit from the French side (yes, the northern side of the island was in those days considered the best place to procure alcohol). He carved out a small corner of his father’s Oranje Cafe to start his liquor store. Good ole St. Maarten jollification was used to get the literal corner store ready for its first customers – cruise ship passengers and crew members. “My friends helped me to build the shelves and make the partition for the store inside Oranje Cafe,” said Diederick as he is coaxed by his wife Barbara and daughter Erika into telling the origins of the now half a century old business as they sit in their home in Cul de Sac on a very warm September afternoon. “Who were these friends?” I chimed with Barbara and Erica. Diederick gave his signature chuckle, smiled and said: “They’re all dead now. I can tell you that!” And that’s how a little liquor store was born and grew up on Front Street. Diederick and Cannegie Liquor Store are now the Last of the Mohicans of the olden days of St. Maarten businesses amidst the sparkle and dazzle of ubiquitous jewellery store.
Ironically, many of those jewellery stores sell liquor as well these days. This is a trend Diederick had protested to government about in the early year to no avail. “I wrote letters to government about the issuance of all these liquor licences. Nothing was done. Now, liquor is used by the stores as a ‘hook’ to get shoppers in their doors.” Cannegie Liquor Store has survived the invasion of cheap liquor in the jewellery stores. However, the main lifeline for the liquor store has been its location. “Had we been further down Front Street, we may not have survived.” There were “no fancy liquor stores” in the 1960s, Diederick said, pointing out that just before opening Cannegie Liquor Store, the late Chester Wathey had started to sell liquor by Risdon’s further up the street. Back to those cases on credit; Diederick recalled paying around US $18 per case of alcohol and about $1.50 for a carton of cigarettes (Marlboro and Camels being the bestsellers back then along with Cherry Heering and Grand Mariner). The full service liquor store now has in stock more than 200 brands of alcohol. The alcohol was credited from French side merchants by Diedrick on the good reputation and respect his father, Clarence Aubrey Cannegieter, had in the community. The merchants in those days supplying alcohol, perfumes and other fine goods included Jules Petit. The liquor store business was successful from the very first day when, in a whirlwind, all 16 cases were snapped up by passengers and crew from Stella Polaris. Today, the stores main clientele remain cruise ship passengers.
“When I opened, I didn’t know if I would get any sale. The ship came in and I was cleaned out in one day,” the businessman said, getting a look of satisfaction on his face. Cannegie Enterprise, a strong family based business, has grown from just Diederick packing the shelves to a staff of six for the sales and heavy lifting.
Showing some boyish competition spirit, Diederick said, “I started out with one penny; just credited alcohol. My friend Bobby [Velasquesz] always says when he started his marina, he had four hundred dollar bills in his pocket. Well, I definitely beat Bobby!”
From the liquor store that now occupies the majority of the space that was once Oranje Cafe grew one of the island’s car rental agencies with the massive start up fleet of ... just one Volkswagen Beetle! The car rental agency had some 200 cars when Diederick finally decided to throw in the towel last year due to a saturation of the market. “Everybody was prostituting the car rental business ... Everyone offered lower and lower prices, although it meant they could go hungry.”
One good thing, though, about the car rental business is that it was the catalyst for his life with Barbara. She was visiting the island from New York with no particular plans and rented a car from Diederick. And the rest is martial history.
How does one stay in business when every locally owned business around you starts to disappear and be replaced by the diamond and gold district that is now Front Street? Diederick had two words for staying put all these years: “Drive” and “Devotion”. “I also thought, ‘Could I be a role model for the dying local businesses?’”
He saw other local businesses fail from people not taking the leap to devote all their time and effort to their business. “Some native people had jobs in the hotels and they wanted to do more so they opened a store. But they never gave up their hotel jobs and didn’t put much time in the store. They eventually closed.”
“You have to jump first into it. No one can promise it will be a rose garden,” he said.
There were times Diederick felt like pursuing other options, perhaps even expanding on his once fledgling construction business. Closing the doors of the liquor store and looking into more rental properties also crossed his mind. But the store always had his heart and it is where he goes almost every day for the past 50 years.
In the early days of the liquor store, Diedrick also ran a swanky Catwalk Disco in Van Romondt Alley which is incidentally named after his ancestors, who were among the first families to settle on the Dutch side. In spite of working in the disco, he still managed to trudge to the liquor store to open up at 8:30am.
At this point, Erika chimed in. “It wasn’t all work only for them though,” she said laughing and adding that he did manage to get eight children in his heyday.
Half a century is quite a stretch. It has gone by for Diederick rather swiftly; so swiftly, in fact, he was caught unaware that so much time has passed. It was his family who realised the milestone and promptly reminded him.
“And to think it was just recently I was in Vlaun [car dealership] and reading a plaque saying they have been in business for 53 years. I thought, ‘Wow, that’s a helluva long time!’” Diederick said.
Is retirement in Diedrick’s future? His wife Barbara has been asking him that question for many years. His answer has already been: “Why?” He even teased her that afternoon as he told the story, asking if she wanted him to stay home and just look at her all day. Barbara, though she wanted to appear not amused, smiled and blushed just a little.
What about regrets after all these years of dealing in hard liquor? Diederick is straightforward: “I wish I had a million dollars, but I don’t know what I would do with it.”
Structural Concerns at Little League Stadium
FROM THE DAILY HERALD
PHILIPSBURG - SEPTEMBER 27,2013 - Upgrading work on St. Maarten Little League Stadium has all but stopped over the past few days, after what some have termed to be an underestimation of the amount of work the stadium actually needs to be brought up to par, and the fact that certain areas are not structurally sound and have to be rebuilt completely. The Cabinet of Minister of Sports Patricia Lourens was contacted about the situation earlier this week and confirmed that work had stopped. However, details as to why, a time frame of when work is expected to resume in full and what any possible changes would cost government have yet to be given. The contractor reportedly stopped executing the work once the unplanned circumstances in certain areas related to the upgrading of the ballpark became apparent. Reportedly only about three contractor employees currently are working at the site.
The Daily Herald understands that one of the issues concerns the bleacher section of the stadium, which, according to sources, is void of steel and has to be re-enforced or reconstructed. The fact that this only became apparent at this stage of the ongoing upgrading brings site supervision and due diligence into question.
The upgrading of Little League Stadium and that of Raoul Illidge Sports Complex was set in motion by former Minister of Sports Silveria Jacobs during her tenure. Almost all facilities associated with Little League Stadium were to be upgraded, including drainage, sporting field, bleachers, stadium lights, scoreboard, fencing and bathroom facilities.
2014 Carnival Schedule Released
FROM THE DAILY HERALD
PHILIPSBURG - SEPTEMBER 27, 2013 - St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) has released the dates for the Carnival 2014 festivities, an impressive line-up of 24 days of Carnival activities to mark the 45th anniversary of Carnival in St. Maarten that invites residents and visitors to "Come, Celebrate Life." SCDF President Mike Granger explained that the foundation's board had worked on the schedule for at least two months and had involved key stakeholders in the planning, including the Ministry of Labour.
Granger explained that Minister Cornelius de Weever and his team had to be involved to discuss the Carnival holidays in 2014 now that King's Day will be celebrated, not Queen's Birthday on April 30. However, it was agreed after "speedy and cooperative discussions," that April 30, firmly established as the holiday for the Grand Carnival Parade will remain as is, with the Labour Day Parade on May 1. King's Day, which is now April 27 and also a holiday, will be used for the Jouvert Morning holiday. King's Day falls on a Sunday in 2014 so the Jouvert holiday will be given the day before, Saturday, April 26, the same day the rest of the Kingdom will be celebrating the King's birthday.
Carnival Village will open on Easter Monday, April 21, and close on Monday, May 5. Pre-Carnival events start as early as March 29. The schedule features seven Carnival-related activities before the official opening of the season on April 21. Granger further explained that SCDF had had to work around Holy Week to make the schedule work and to respect the churches and the religious significance of the Lenten season. With that in mind, SCDF reached out to the various churches and Christian councils to inform them of the complications with the schedule in 2014 with Easter falling so late into April.
The Carnival schedule also features five international concert nights: the return of Night of the Hit Makers, Riddim Box Presents, Sabor Latino II, the Zouk concert and newcomer to the concert night scene Where The Flex, who will be responsible for the reggae concert. Making a return for the 45th anniversary of Carnival and beyond is the PJD2 Caribbean Queen Pageant, a collaborative effort between SCDF and PJD2. SCDF also returns its Junior, Teen, Senior and Mature Queen Pageants. Also on the schedule are three events that are not directly under the auspices of SCDF, but complement Carnival nonetheless and as such are included. Brenda Wathey and Rio Productions return with the Lightin' Up The Road Lighted Parade, Jasmine Philips and Survivors Foundation will host the Children's Balloon Parade and E360 Marketing in collaboration with Sound 2000 will present Daybreak Breakfast Fete again next year. "There are so many other aspects to the schedule that we have to announce, details that accompany all the events, but we wanted to get the dates out now so that people here and abroad can plan," Granger said. "We think the schedule once again features something for everyone, which is the key element of St. Maarten's Carnival: we're an all-inclusive festival. Carnival continues to grow and we intend to make next year as spectacularly unforgettable as we did in 2013. We thank all stakeholders for their input, we thank the Council of Churches for their patience, understanding and honesty, and we're looking forward to a terrific Carnival 2014."
The 2014 Carnival Schedule:
Saturday, March 29: Senior Road March Competition
Sunday, March 30: Survivors Children Balloon Parade
Friday, April 4: Fete to Fitness Jump up
Saturday, April 5: Calypso Eliminations
Sunday, April 6: Teen & Senior Speech & Cultural Competition
Saturday, April 12: Rio Productions Lighted Parade
Sunday, April 13: Jr. Pageant & Jr. Calypso Show
Monday, April 21: Opening of Carnival 2014
Tuesday, April 22: Miss Mature Pageant
Wednesday, April 23: Teen & Senior Pageant
Thursday, April 24: International Concert (Zouk)
Friday, April 25: Night of the Hit Makers Concert
Saturday, April 26, 4:00am: Jouvert Morning Jump-Up
Saturday, April 26: Riddimbox Presents Concert
Sunday, April 27, 3:00am: Daybreak Breakfast Fete
Sunday, April 27: PJD2 Caribbean Queen Show
Monday, April 28: Senior Calypso Finals & Carnival Honours
Tuesday April 29: Sabor Latino II Concert
Wednesday, April 30: Junior & Grand Carnival Parade
Thursday, May 1: Second Day Parade
Friday, May 2: International Show Reggae
Saturday, May 3: Youth Extravaganza
Sunday, May 4: Family Fun Day
Monday, May 5: Burning of King Momo/Closing
ROAD CLOSURES: Sunday September 29, 2013
Road Intersection Closures this Sunday at Prince Bernard Bridge
Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) would like to announce that the four roads that intersect with the Prince Bernard Bridge will be closed at the intersection.
The closure is in connection with road marking activities that will commence on SUNDAY from 6.00AM to 12 midnight.
Roads that will be affected are:
- Intersection Bush Road/Prince Bernard Bridge
- Intersection Zagersgut Road/A.Th. Illidge Road area Eddy Auto Supply-Prince Bernhard Bridge
- Intersection Walter Nisbeth Road/Prince Bernhard Bridge
- Intersection Longwall Road/Prince Bernard Bridge
There will be no through traffic at all these intersections!
For further information you can call Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment & Infrastructure at telephone # 542-4289.
Prime Minister Reminds Us to Paint the Town Pink
in October for Breast Cancer
FROM THE CABINET OF THE PRIME MINISTER - SEPTEMBER 25, 2013 - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams has urged the community of St. Maarten to paint October Pink as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“Throughout the year but especially in October there are many Foundations that go all the way out in terms of promoting awareness on Breast Cancer. I would like to encourage all to wear anything pink and in fact I call for October to be painted pink; for everyone to wear pink, sport pink and let us remember Breast Cancer Survivors and those amongst us who are strong in battling this disease as well as those that we have lost. Let us recommit ourselves and remind ourselves to get tested; remembering and reminding one another and our focus in October will be on Breast Cancer Awareness. Breast Cancer is still a high ranking and serious illness. We have lost many friends, sisters, mothers, aunts and grandmothers from breast cancer and we need to offer our support to those who are fighting this terrible disease,” emphasized the PM.
The Prime Minister also explained that her cabinet will be organizing various events in October related to Breast Cancer Awareness. “On the first Saturdayin October we will be having a special Breast cancer Walk where we all walk with the New Generation Drum Band at six am in the morning. On the 18th we will be having a special Zumba me pink session with Breast Cancer Awareness in our mind and I encourage all to come out to these two events,” ended the PM.
CFT: Sound Financial Position a 'Big Challenge' for
FROM THE DAILY HERALD
PHILIPSBURG - SEPTEMBER 26, 2013 - St. Maarten and Curaçao are confronted with significant challenges to balance their public finances structurally, the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT said Wednesday in its semi-annual report covering the two countries' finances for the first six months of this year. Curaçao has implemented substantial measures, CFT pointed out in a press statement. However, in St. Maarten planned measures to increase income finally were not executed, resulting in a 2013 budget that was not balanced in the first six months of 2013.
Further, CFT said not only St. Maarten, but also Curaçao were "still failing" in their efforts to set up and adopt budget related documents on time and report on time to the Parliament (Staten) concerning the public finances. The financial management in both countries therefore still requires necessary improvements. The long-term budgets illustrate that both countries "have to make major efforts" to reach a balanced picture. "The fact that there were deficits in the past years and that these need to be compensated makes this task even more challenging."
The CFT has "a lot of appreciation" for the fact that the government of Curaçao took the necessary steps in the past year to strengthen its budget structurally by implementing various painful measures. This appreciation was translated into a positive evaluation of a request for a loan. St. Maarten has to take measures on the income side to be able to finance its desired multi-annual expenditure level structurally. Because the intended income-increasing measures were not implemented, the budget was not balanced in St. Maarten.
CFT had advised the Kingdom Council of Ministers in the beginning of September to give St. Maarten an instruction to establish the adopted 2013 budget as soon as possible. Governor Eugene Holiday signed the 2013 budget into law on September 16. The adopted budget was presented to CFT a few days later for an advice. CFT will give its advice "as soon as possible, in any case within two weeks."
The CFT board is concerned about the timely production of the budget documents. Both countries started 2013 without an adopted budget. In addition, the annual reports for 2010, 2011 and 2012, and the budget amendments since October 10, 2010, have not yet been adopted, "which makes it once again clear that the financial management in both countries needs improvement." That is apparent also from the measurement of the state of the financial management, which the CFT Board executed jointly with both countries in the past period. "Not only is a proper execution of policy difficult without adopted annual reports and budgets, it also has consequences for Parliament's budget right."
Kali's Boutique Destroyed by Fire
FROM THE DAILY HERALD
MARIGOT - SEPTEMBER 26, 2013 - A boutique situated adjacent to Kali's Beach Bar in Friars Bay burnt down on Monday, just before 8:00pm. Residents summoned the Fire Brigade who responded with two trucks and several firemen to tackle the blaze.
Initially there were concerns the flames would reach the gas bottles of the adjoining restaurant, but that did not happen and the fire was brought under control. Reportedly the boutique was empty and unused. The reggae-themed restaurant famed for its Full Moon Parties in its heyday has been put into judicial liquidation and restaurant and contents are to be auctioned off this morning. Kali could not be contacted, but it was understood he did not file any complaint with the Gendarmerie about the fire.
Commandant of the Gendarmerie Paul Betaille said last night the fire is not being treated as suspicious or criminal. Only a minor enquiry is being conducted, which will be passed on to the prosecutor.
Prime Minister Attends
Motivational Lecture by Best
Selling Author and Speaker
SIMPSON BAY, ST. MAARTEN - SEPTEMBER 23, 2013 - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams on Monday evening attended a motivational lecture and book signing event by Amazon.com Number One Bestselling Author, Motivational Speaker and Mentor Amanda Steadman at a well-attended event at Top Carrot Restaurant. Amanda Steadman has assisted many people in finding authentic success in business and personally over the last 15 years. She is a speaker, author, trainer and serial entrepreneur who is driven to help others achieve the success that they desire.
During the event the Prime Minister and the author, who is also a St. Maarten resident, exchanged thoughts on how personal development and the realization of ones own goals can lead to a successful and fulfilled life.
New York Knicks Iman
Shumpert leaves Lasting
Impression on Sint Maarten
GREAT BAY, ST. MAARTEN - SEPTEMBER 23, 2013 – A Sports Clinic held over the weekend at the L.B. Scott Sports Auditorium and hosted by Iman Shumpert, who is the starting shooting guard for the New York Knicks, left a lasting impression on the youths who attended the camp.
The Sports Clinic was coordinated by The American Clinic (TAC) and Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour Hon. Cornelius de Weever. TAC and the Minister hope to continue this type of outreach program in the future.
Shumpert came to Sint Maarten as an Ambassador to TAC to speak with the country’s youth about keeping your mind and body strong. Iman Shumpert spoke about health and wellness and what it’s like to be an NBA star.
“I was very pleased that our young people got the opportunity to experience first-hand from an NBA player what it takes to reach to the professional level of playing basketball.
“The advice provided will go a long way once applied on a daily basis in preparing our own young professionals. I look forward to working with the TAC in organizing additional camps for more of our young people,” Minister Hon. Cornelius de Weever said on Monday.
Shumpert enjoyed his time with the youth who attended the camp, but had to get back to practice to prepare for the 2013/14 NBA Season.
The New York (NY) Knickerbockers, commonly referred to as the Knicks, was founded in 1946. It is a professional basketball team based in New York City, New York.
The NY Knicks is a charter member of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and one of the benchmark franchises of American sports.
TAC is a patient centered physician guided specialty hospital committed to enhancing the health and wellness of the people of Sint Maarten.
FIRST EVER Lagoon Sailing
Team Racing Lagoon
SIMPSON BAY LAGOON - SEPTEMBER 23, 2013 - Last Saturday Lagoon Sailing held the first Sailboat Team Racing Lagoon Championship in the Simpson Bay Lagoon. Team Racing is a more complex form of the sport of yacht racing in that a team of boats race against other teams as is opposed to single boats racing against each other. Team racing is popular in areas where small boats are sailed and the complications of sailing are overlaid with the complications of sailing as a team and the resulting strategic consequences.
Saturday’s Team Race Championship, sponsored by Coors Light Racing, resulted in the top spot going to the team led by Roel ten Hoopen and Rhone Findlay. During light wind conditions both teams brought well-executed team racing tactics and consistent and high-level boat speed. Together both teams managed to dominate the event in spite of significant efforts by the competing teams. With the two-boat team-racing format, the engagement with the competition remained high until the very end of the short races, with particularly Roel ten Hoopen being able to use the various engagements to leverage success.
The second place slot went to the team of Robbie Ferron and Andrea Scarabelli, showing good speed on many occasions, however the team lacked the edge every time they came up against the winners. The third team, led by John Gifford and Jolyon Ferron, were able to engage with the competition almost every race keeping the interest factor during the races high.
The three teams sailed three round robins, with nine races being sailed overall. A team of three lady race officers led by Laurey Ann Findlay made it possible to keep the organizational pace up and umpire David de Vries played a pivotal role in making the event a success. After the races the intensity was cooled by cold Coors Light Beers enjoyed on the Budget Marine Waterfront.
Next week Lagoon Sailing will again be offering a Training and Coaching day to beginning sailors who are invited to make contact to register on a per person basis. Five boats will be available for beginning and intermediate sailors and a few experienced coaches are welcomed to participate. Those interested can send an email to email@example.com
Migrate to Cul-de-Sac for FREE
Bird Event on Sunday
Cul-de-Sac - September 23, 2013 - Nature lovers of all ages are invited to attend St. Martin's celebration of International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD). The event will be held at the mangrove discovery trail at Étang de la Barrière, right beside the Pinel ferry dock in Cul-de-Sac on Sunday, September 29th from 8-11am. Attendees can stop by any time during the festival and stay as long as they like.
St. Martin's Migratory Bird Festival is free and open to the public. Guided tours of the mangrove discovery trail in English, French and Dutch will help guests understand these birds, their miraculous journeys, and the important wetland habitats that they depend on. Photographers will be on hand to give tips on how to get the best bird and wildlife photos. There will be bird art activities for children and free Caribbean bird coloring books. Attendees are encouraged to bring photos and memories of St. Martin birds and wetlands to add to a scrapbook that will be compiled at the event.
"The annual bird migrations are one of the most fascinating natural phenomena in the Western Hemisphere," explains event organizer Mark Yokoyama. "Each year, migratory birds travel between their North American breeding sites, and wintering grounds in Central America, South America and right here in the Caribbean. These birds travel thousands of miles, some flying for days without stopping. In St. Martin, some birds will stop to rest in September and October before flying on to South America, while others will spend the winter here, returning north in the spring."
Many of these birds are shorebirds. Although varied, they often have long legs for wading in shallow water and long bills they use to catch small fish and probe the mud for snails and crabs. Most of our shorebirds can be found on our beaches and salt ponds.
Étang de la Barrière, with its mudflats and shallow mangrove wetlands, is an ideal place to see these birds. An elevated boardwalk through this wetland was completed earlier this year and is now part of the Caribbean Birding Trail, a collection of the best birding sites in the Caribbean. Along with a number of other ponds and marine areas in St. Martin, it is considered a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention.
"We built the boardwalk trail at Étang de la Barrière to make it easier for residents and tourists to enjoy this unique part of our natural heritage,” says Julien Chalifour, the Officer of Scientific Missions for the Réserve Naturelle. “We look forward to sharing it with the public at this event."
St. Martin's Migratory Bird Festival was organized by Les Fruits de Mer, a non-profit association dedicated to raising ecological and cultural awareness, through publications like The Incomplete Guide to the Wildlife of Saint Martin and events like this bird festival. The Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Martin and Conservatoire du Littoral are co-hosts for the Migratory Bird Festival on St. Martin. Réserve Naturelle staff will be guiding tours at the event, teaching guests about our migratory birds and the wetland ecosystems that support them. The Réserve Naturelle and Conservatoire du Littoral protect and manage St. Martin's marine and terrestrial protected areas and constructed the discovery trail at Étang de la Barrière where the event will be held.
A number of additional partners and supporters, both local and international, are contributing to this event. Birdwatching equipment and educational materials for this event will be provided by Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC). EPIC has been working on St. Martin for over 12 years to protect the local environment through research and community-based action.For the LOVE of Grand Case will be providing refreshments for the attendees. They are a group of Grand Case residents dedicated to improving and enjoying Grand Case, through cleanups and other events. The Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) is the regional coordinator for IMBD events for the Caribbean. The Society is the largest organization devoted to wildlife conservation in the Caribbean, and has been coordinating IMBD events throughout the Caribbean for six years. Environment for the Americas produces educational materials for IMBD and is the overall organizer for IMBD events from Canada to South America.
To find out more about the event, visit http://www.sxmwildlife.com. Birders and non-birders alike are encouraged to attend and learn more about our fine, feathered friends.
Prime Minister Wescot-Williams
at re-opening of Tzu-Chi
assisted ACE Foundation
FROM THE CABINET OF THE PRIME MINISTER - SEPTEMBER 22, 2013 - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams attended the re-opening of the ACE Foundation School on the LB Scott Road on Sunday afternoon at a ceremony also attended by the Minister of VROMI the Honorable Maurice Lake, the Minister of Health and Social Affairs the Honorable Cornelius de Weever and the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Affairs the Honorable Patricia Lourens-Phillip. The ACE re-opened through the efforts of the Buddhist Compassionate Organization Tzu-Chi St. Maarten Chapter and through the assistance of the Maho Sonesta Resort and various private and public entities contributing towards the school’s new location.
During her address to the crowd of parents, teachers, students and well-wishers the Prime Minister reminded the crowd of the importance of ensuring that all children receive fair education and the key role this plays in the development of St. Maarten as a Country. “With compulsory education haven been introduced in stages since 2009 there where many undocumented persons who were residing on St. Maarten whose children, through no fault of their own, were not able to attend school. As a Government and a people we collectively believe that children should never ever suffer because of the circumstances their parents face. We should be grateful as a community to offer children the education that they deserve and it is important that we all work together as Government, Private Sector and Civil Society to make St. Maarten a better place for all of us and a better place starts with an educated population. We need to ensure that in today’s world our children understand what it means to be a member of a multi-cultural society, we need to have children understand that in todays world it is peace which will see us through in the coming decades and so today it is my pleasure to see the ACE Foundation and the Tzu-Chi Foundation and their partners realize the completion of this school, where we may offer the education necessary to continue to develop our country. Therefore a special congratulations needs to go out to the ACE Foundation and the Tzu-Chi Foundation for making this school a possibility. Every so often we should look back and see from where we have come and where we should strive to move forward as a country, developing St. Maarten and its children into the country and citizens it deserves.
Closing Arguments in the Orient
Beach AOT Trial
FROM THE DAILY HERALD
MARIGOT - SEPTEMBER 21, 2013 - The high profile legal team defending First Vice President Guillaume Arnell, former Director of Service Urbanisme José Carti and Orient Beach developer Norbert Luftman rested their cases Friday, during the second and last day of testimony in the temporary occupation permit AOT trial over parcel AW33 on Orient Beach.
Prosecutor Favien Noailles decided Arnell should be acquitted of the charges against him. Arnell's part in this affair was only to sign-off on the AOT, which as the elected official responsible it was his duty to do so while his lawyers insisted he was not part of any alleged conspiracy or collusion to commit wrongdoing. The prosecutor's recommendation, however, came with a stern lecture on the importance and responsibility of knowing what one is signing for.
At times looking visibly stressed during the two-day hearing, Arnell explained to the president of the Tribunal the new administration had only just taken up office after the March 2012 elections and was finding its feet. He further said, to be implicated in the affair has damaged his honour, stigmatised him and caused significant stress to his family.
For Luftman and Carti the prosecutor recommended for each a "partial relaxation," two years suspended prison sentence, a probation period of three years and a 200,000-euro fine.
Noailles added Carti should also be forbidden from working in a public function for five years.
All three faced charges of complicity and fraud over the granting of the AOT to Luftman by the Executive Council on April 17, last year, and subsequently delivered September 4, 2012, to the detriment of the plaintiffs, Elisa Cohen of Bikini Beach and Philip Just of Kon Tiki, whose own applications for an AOT were not answered by the Collectivité when they submitted them in February, 2012. This prompted a further legal action for infringement of their rights.
Luftman, who possessed the AOT since 1992, was to have renewed the AOT at its expiry date in 2009, and did submit the renewals on October 15, 2008, and again on April 10, 2009, but due to the ongoing court case with the Beauperthuy family over ownership of the parcel, the Collectivité did not answer Luftman.
He did, however, continue to keep rent money in an escrow account pending the outcome of the Beauperthuy case that in the end resulted in the parcel AW33 being turned over to the Collectivité.
Bikini and Kon Tiki, however, discovered that between 2009 and 2011, they were paying rent to Sindextour without the company having a valid AOT, and moreover the two restaurants claimed it was sub-leasing the AOT against French law. As a result they stopped paying rent to Sindextour which, despite all the legal manoeuvring, ultimately resulted in the eviction of Cohen and Just on Tuesday, September 3, 2013.
Cohen and Just found it incomprehensible that Préfet Philippe Chopin would order the eviction given that he, himself, deemed the AOT to have been illegally issued while the restaurants' appeal to overturn the eviction on September 11, had not even been heard. Cohen has since stated their eviction appeal was "thrown out."
The Préfet's case, contesting the issuance of the AOT retroactively, is still to be heard.
Thursday's marathon hearing finished at 9:00pm and involved a cross examination of each defendant. In each instance the judge scrutinised the time line of events and procedures in chronological order, referring to documents, correspondence and email records, probing and asking questions on why such and such was done or had not been done.
The trial's objective is to determine the manner in which the AOT was issued and if there was collusion among the defendants, and if favouritism was exercised.
The interjections and arguments of the high profile Parisian lawyers captivated the Palais de Justice audience. Maître Thierry Herzog, the lawyer for José Carti, is the lawyer for former President of the French Republic Nicolas Sarkozy no less, and has defended several French celebrities.
Norbert Luftman was defended by Maître Lacassange and Maître Pradines. Guillaume Arnell's lawyer was the charismatic Bâtonnier Jean-Yves Leborgne (President of the Bar Association) and clearly one of the most sought after celebrity lawyers in France.
His passionate, forceful arguments were nothing short of theatrical, all hand gestures and resounding rhetoric and humour that often stole the spotlight from the judges.
There is growing speculation over how much the Collectivité is paying to have this high profile defence team, a cost that is reportedly to be shouldered by the tax payer. A search on the internet shows that lawyers of this calibre can charge up to 800 euros per hour.
Elisa Cohen and Philippe Just were also in court both days accompanied by their lawyer Maître Montravers, but were not called to the stand.
Possible Smoking Ban in Public
FROM THE DAILY HERALD
PHILIPSBURG - SEPTEMBER 21, 2013 - Health Minister Cornelius de Weever and Windward Islands Civil Servants Union/Private Sector Union (WICSU/PSU) are working together to establish a smoking ban in all public areas and on establishing special "smoking areas" for casinos in particular.
The union sent a letter to De Weever on Monday urging him to table a motion to this effect. WICSU/PSU President Dearie Leonard told The Daily Herald on Friday that the minister had responded to the union the same day acknowledging receipt of the letter and saying it was something on which he had been working for two years already.
She said the minister had assured her that he would continue to work on this issue together with the union and that he was happy that the union also was supporting such an initiative.
In the letter to De Weever, WICSU/PSU said approval of such a measure would benefit workers as well as the public and would create a healthier environment. In the letter, the union said smoking in public areas had been a global topic of discussion.
"Smoking is not only a health hazard to our population, but can become a financial burden for our national health system," Leonard said in the letter. She added that the union's members who worked at casinos had been complaining continuously at WICSU/PSU meetings about cigarette smoke in their working areas.
Leonard said studies had shown that secondhand smoke could be more detrimental to one's health than the act of smoking itself.
Prosecutor Demands Acquittal
for VP Arnell, Luftman and
Carti Facing Two Years
Suspended Sentences - Decision
due on November 28, 2013
FROM THE ST. MARTIN NEWS NETWORK
MARIGOT - SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 - Prosecutor Flavien Noailles lectured first Vice President Guillaume Arnell while presenting his arguments to the court as the AOT (Authorization of Temporary Occupation) trial continued on Friday. Vice Prosecutor Noailles told VP Arnell that if the members of the Executive Council did their jobs correctly then the Collectivity of St. Martin would function as it should. He further stated that Arnell told the court on Thursday that when he signed the AOT for Sindextour he had no knowledge and or experience about the functioning of the pole that was designated to him. Noailles said that Arnell has a right to say he has confidence in the people working for him but he also has an obligation to ensure that proper procedures are being followed because he is the one that signed the AOT granted to Sindextour. However, Noailles felt that "things" were happening behind Arnell's back that he did not know about. After lecturing Arnell he asked the panel consisting of three judges to acquit Arnell of all the charges that he was facing which were fraud and forgery. Arnell told the court that even though the prosecutor decided at the end to have him acquitted the damage done to his personal image and family is irreparable. He said everyone knows he was placed in garde à vue and was under judiciary control. "This entire case has caused a lot of stress to my wife, children and family but today I am here for my children." His lawyer Maitre Jean Yves Le Borgne showed no mercy for the prosecution when he presented his defense. Maitre Le Borgne said that the prosecution did not build their case on facts instead they used suspicion to destroy the image of his client. Maitre Le Borgne destroyed Prosecutor Noialles saying that he built a case based on suspicion and not on facts, he said the prosecution could have analyzed the documents he had before him prior to filing the charges against his client. Maitre Le Borgne also defended Norbert Luftman whom he said was picked upon simply because he is a wealthy and successful businessman.
Noailles did not share the same sentiments about the former director of Urbanism Jose Carti and Norbert Luftman. He said Carti worked hand in hand with Luftman to give Luftman what he wanted which was the renewal of the AOT. Noailles said that there is proof that Carti was in contact with Luftman because all of that was revealed on Thursday. He said Carti did not answer important questions on Thursday even though in his view he knew the answers to the questions that were posed to him. He said Carti knew there were Euros 514,000.00 in a trust account as rent payments and by granting Luftman the AOT, the COM would get that money. Therefore the decision taken to grant Luftman the AOT was political, Noailles said.
Noailles said that Luftman was paying 50,000.00 francs per year to the Collectivity/commune while he was subleasing the property to other developers for $10,000.00 a month. "Luftman was paying less that 600 francs per month to the Collectivity but he obtained his riches at Orient Bay by subleasing the lots," the vice prosecutor said in his arguments. He said Elisa Cohen and Philippe Just were the ones working to fill up Luftman's pockets and when they asked for their own AOT their requests were not even considered.
Noailles asked the court to sentence Josi Carti to two years suspended sentence with four years probation and to ban him from public service for a period of five years. Maitre Thierry Herzog felt that the prosecution did not prove their case and what happened to the three defendants was some sort of plot because according to Herzog there are emails between Cohen and one of the investigators. Maitre Herzog asked the court to fully acquit his client since the case presented by the prosecution had no merits.
Noailles made the same request for Norbert Luftman which is to condemn the businessman to two years suspended sentence with a four year probation period, he also asked the court to impose a fine of Euros 200,000.00 on the businessman.
Maitre Pradines told the court that his client Norbert Luftman did not commit any crimes. He said Luftman did what any businessman would do which is to go after the AOT simply because that is where he makes his living. He asked the court to fully acquit his client.
Maitre Jean Yves Le Borgne also came to the defense of Luftman by indicating to the court that it does not mean that Luftman committed any crime because he is a successful businessman. He said cases should not be built on suspicion but on facts and proof of the charges. Le Borgne said that the civil parties were not paying their rent for about 21 months and when Luftman tried to seize their account they had overdrafts, therefore the COM could not take the risk to grant an AOT to persons that could not pay their bills.
The court would render its decision on November 28th, 2013.
Kingdom Council of Ministers
Does NOT Issue Instruction to
St. Maarten on 2013 Budget
From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister - SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams commented on Friday that the Kingdom Council of Ministers have not issued an instruction on the 2013 Budget on Friday due to Government’s diligent work in balancing the amended Budget. The Council on Financial Supervision CFT had issued an advice regarding the 2013 Budget, however with the passing of the Budget by Parliament and the subsequent signing by the Governor and Prime Minister the Kingdom Council of Ministers did not see the need to issue an instruction on Friday.
“Friday was a day that we all were looking at with keen attention as far as the 2013 Budget is concerned. As we all were aware there was a pending advice by the CFT regarding the 2013 Budget of St. Maarten. Due to the amended Budget that was accepted by Parliament and later signed off by the Governor and the Ministers the advice from the CFT to the Kingdom Council of Ministers to issue an advice regarding an approved Budget is now off of the table. Considering that Parliament approved the Budget any instruction in that context would have not been necessary and we are satisfied to see that the Kingdom Council of Ministers did not accept it.
“The amended Budget has now been signed off and the next step is to have the necessary review conducted by the ombudsman as per the constitutional ordinance. Additionally the Government of St. Maarten has already started with the preparations of the 2014 Budget, which have picked up speed. We as Government would like to see an approved Budget 2014 before the year 2013 closes and are working very hard on achieving that. So for now the instruction is off of the table and we still need to continue the process for the preparation of the 2014 Budget before the end of 2013,” commented the Prime Minister.
ORIENT BEACH AOT
Criminal Trial Begins
MARIGOT - SEPTEMBER 20, 2013 - The three defendants in the Orient Beach temporary occupation permit (AOT) case faced intense cross-examination from the President of the Tribunal yesterday during the first day of what will be a two-day trial in the Palais de Justice. On trial are Orient Beach developer Norbert Luftman, representing Sindextour, former Director of Service Urbanisme José Carti, and First Vice-President of the Collectivité Guillaume Arnell.All three, who were in court with their lawyers, are facing charges of fraud and complicity in the issuing of an AOT to Luftman by the Collectivité's Executive Council on April 17, 2012.
Also in court were the plaintiffs in the affair, Elisa Cohen of Bikini Beach and Philip Just of Kon Tiki, with their lawyers, who are claiming civil damages for violation of their rights and because their applications for an AOT in their own names on February 20, 2012, submitted well before Luftman's, seemingly were ignored.
The court was full to capacity and Collectivité President Aline Hanson, Vice-President Ramona Connor and Director of General Services (DGS) Pascal Averne, among other members of the Collectivité hierarchy, were present to listen to part of the proceedings.
The trial is examining the manner in which the AOT was issued, to determine whether there was any wrongdoing on the part of the defendants.
The Collectivité's legal team attempted to prove the case should not be heard, arguing that their clients had not been sufficiently informed of the charges against them and plaintiffs don't have rights to claim damages. There were also objections to the way Guillaume Arnell had been taken in custody (garde a vue) twice.
Prosecutor Flavien Noailles made a clear distinction in explaining the charges, of which there are three, in answer to the lawyers' argument that fraud had been charged twice. After hearing all the opening statements the judges adjourned to decide whether there were sufficient grounds to proceed with the case. That answer came back in the affirmative.The first to be thoroughly questioned was Norbert Luftman, followed by José Carti and finally Guillaume Arnell. The judge appeared meticulous in scrutinising documents, dates, and a paper trail of correspondence when questioning the defendants.
There was a gasp from the audience when the judge suggested Luftman's AOT renewal applications in 2008 and 2009 were forged. As expected, there were robust exchanges between lawyers and the President of the Tribunal, with one lawyer, clearly a showman, occasionally injecting some humour into the proceedings.
According to the prosecutor, the maximum penalty for the charges is five years in prison and a 375,000-euro fine. The trial continues today.
Mosquito Fogging to Continue
GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) SEPTEMBER 19, 2013 – The Section General Health Care (SGHC) of the Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government agency under the Ministry of Public Health, hereby announces that mosquito fogging is continuing and should be completed in another week. Fogging of course is dependent on weather conditions.
Some of the areas pending are: Fort Willem, Belair, Cay Hill, L.B. Scott Road, Jose Lake Ball Field, Mary’s Fancy, Saunders, and A. Th. Illidge Road.
Residents are however strongly advised to continue to step up measures at home and by businesses to mitigate the rise in dengue fever caused by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
Minister of Public Health Hon. Cornelius de Weever, ‘Get Checked” campaign, is in line with the urgent appeal for residents, and business owners, to check-in and around their homes, and businesses in order to reduce breeding sites of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, and making them mosquito-free zones.
Residents must bear in mind that fogging is not a total solution to eliminate mosquitos. Fogging activity is kept to a minimum in order to prevent the mosquito population from developing immunity to the chemicals that are deployed.
Fogging is one intervention of several, and the main measure is for every household and business to take action by removing potential mosquito breeding spots in and around their premises on a daily basis.
Homeowners are reminded during the time of the spraying they should open all doors and windows. Dishes, bowls, pots and pans, fish tanks and bird cages should be covered. Stay away from open windows and doors during the spraying.
An increase in the mosquito population puts all residents and businesses at risk. Call for information on the Aedes Aegypti mosquito breeding sites and respective preventive measures at 542-2078 or 542-3003 or firstname.lastname@example.org
National Institute of Art kicks
off New School Year with Open
PHILIPSBURG - SEPTEMBER 19, 2013 - The National Institute of Art has held its Open House on Saturday, August 30th, 2013 at the John Larmonie Center in Philipsburg. The Open House called the NIA Family Fun Day was well attended by prospective students and artists alike in the fields of Dance, Music, Comedy, Theater, Drama to Contemporary Traditions. The Open House provided prospective students the opportunity to come in contact with the different forms of art and expression and find areas that interest them. In addition to participating in free art and dance lessons, there was a fashion show, water slide, massages, manicures as well as a flight simulator for kids to interact with. “The Open House was a great success and we met many students who were interested in our classes. Students and parents had a great time interacting with teachers and discovering art”, said Clara Reyes, Co-Director of the National Institute of Art, a non-profit foundation with the aim to provide nationally and internationally recognized interdisciplinary art.
Classes are now in full swing at the newly established National Institute of Art. The NIA would like to remind parents that classes have started for the new school year and to take the opportunity to sign up their children. The NIA offers a wide range of classes and programs in the visual and performing arts. “Our doors are open to all who wish to partake in the creative art experience,” welcomed Arlene Halley, Co-Director of the NIA. Classes are available in areas such as Caribbean Folk Techniques, Modern Dance Techniques, Ballet and other dance genres, Voice Lessons, Art Classes, Drumming, and Theatre. Children’s classes start at $35/month for one class a week and adults can buy an Adult Class Card for $75 for 10 classes. Drop in rate is $12. For more Information about the National Institute of Arts, please visit our Facebook page www.facebook.com/NationalInstituteOfArts.
The official launch of the NIA is slated for October following its founding on April 11, 2013 by the merging of two prominent dance schools on the island, Imbali Center for Art and Movement and Motiance Dance School. The launch, called The NIA Festival of Arts and Culture will feature various theatrical and dance performances and exhibits at the school. “The launch is meant to be a celebration of arts and culture for the community of St. Maarten. Art plays such an important role is safe-guarding our cultural heritage,” states Arlene Halley, Co-director of the National Institute of Art. “We hope that community will come out to join us.” Ms. Halley added.
Budget 2013 is signed by
Governor and Ministers
PHILIPSBURG - SEPTEMBER 19, 2013 - Governor Eugene Holiday, Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams and Finance Minister Martin Hassink have signed the 2013 Budget into law following the approval of the amendments by Parliament on September 12.
The Kingdom Council of Ministers has been informed by government about the establishment of the budget, Prime Minister Wescot-Williams said at the Council of Ministers press briefing Wednesday.
A synopsis of the budget, the process to have the amendments adopted and an overview of discussions government had with the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT throughout the exercise have been sent to the Kingdom Council by Finance Minister Hassink via Dutch Kingdom Relations Minister Ronald Plasterk.
Minister Plenipotentiary in The Hague Mathias Voges also has spoken with Plasterk on the budget issue.
The advice from CFT to the Kingdom Council to issue an instruction to government to bring St. Maarten's financial house in order is now void, according to Wescot-Williams. "It is our belief that there is no need for an advice like has been prepared by the CFT."
That advice is on the agenda of the Kingdom Council of Ministers for its Friday session in The Hague.
The amended and approved budget has been sent to the CFT for review. Wescot-Williams hopes that a response from CFT will be received by government "as soon as possible," as the 2013 budget only now has been established.
Government can now look at attracting loans to carry out capital projects with the establishment of the 2013 budget.
Government is still interested in purchasing Emilio Wilson Estate, one of the capital projects in the budget. The Council of Ministers will take up discussions with the estate owners.
Government's focus now has shifted fully to the draft 2014 budget. The seven ministries have prepared their individual budgets. These will be reviewed by the Ministry of Finance. This pending budget does not have much room to manoeuvre, just like the 2013 budget.
Government continues to monitor its personnel cost. A core task analysis of the civil service has been commissioned by government. This will give government information and proposals on adjusting personnel cost.
Wescot-Williams said it is government's hope that the draft 2014 budget can be tabled and approved by Parliament before year-end.
Lagoon Sailing to Host First
Sailboat Team Racing Lagoon
Championship this Saturday
COLE BAY - SEPTEMBER 18, 2013 - On Saturday the 21st September Lagoon Sailing will hold the first Sailboat Team Racing Lagoon Championship in the Simpson Bay Lagoon. Team Racing is a more complex form of the sport of yacht racing in that a team of boats race against other teams as is opposed to single boats racing against each other. The format in the upcoming races will be two boats against another two. This form of racing is popular in areas where small boats are sailed, however it is not an Olympic sport. In team racing the complications of sailing are overlaid with the complications of sailing as a team and the resulting strategic consequences. This form of the sport has been exercised on a number of occasions in the past resulting great interest both for the crews as well as for spectators. The competitions can be highly intriguing and suspense lasts to the final moments.The rules are similar to the match racing rules that are the bais of the Americas cup .
Critical to the success of the event is the presence of a good umpire, and for this event Sint Maarten’s premier judge and an officiator in sailing races at the last Olympic games, David de Vries, has agreed to be the main umpire who has just returned from a prestigious NYYC event .
Sailing will be in matched Jeanneau 20 boats and currently three teams have been entered. Each team will consist of two crews of three sailors. The teams already entered will be led by Roel ten Hoopen, John Gifford and Robbie Ferron. The competition is open to a maximum of five teams.
The event will take place in the Simpson Bay Lagoon between 1.30 and 5.30 on Saturday 21st September. Competitors will meet to board boats at Budget Marine. Eager sailors are invited to email their profiles to Robbie.Ferron@budgetmarine.com and the requests will then be distributed to the team leaders. Those who do not wish to race but are interested in taking part are also encouraged to send their contact information to the above email or keep updated by following the link tinyletter.com/robbieferron.
2013 SXM PRIDE International
PHILIPSBURG - SEPTEMBER 17, 2013 - The 2013 International Coastal Cleanup is in full swing as organizers from both sides of the island are gearing up for another large turn out this coming Sunday September 22nd in Baie Nettle.
Local coordinator for the International Coastal Cleanup Jadira Veen says that everything seems to be in place as donations have been pouring in from the community to make the 2013 ICC a successful event. The public has an opportunity to join hands and be part of this worldwide eco-event to cleanup the worlds oceans, beaches, and wetlands.
Volunteers will be collecting trash from the beach coastline, documenting each piece of trash on a special data card provided by the Ocean Conservancy. Bags will weighed and all data will be summarized and sent on to the Ocean Conservancy to be added to their final report on trash free seas. Once again, the Sint Maarten PRIDE Foundation has teamed up with the French side eco-group SXM TRAILS, a local hiking group active in hiking the islands unbeaten paths.
Volunteers are asked to come out on:
Sunday September 22nd.
Location: Entrance to La Belle Creole
Police on the French side have been requested to provide assistance on the Baie Nettle road at the start, during, and ending time of the cleanup, to control the flow of traffic. We ask that volunteers just show up, register their name and their business, social group, youth group or school that they attend on the sign in sheets.
Gloves and Trash bags will be provided to volunteers.
The SXM Trails Hiking group will be conducting a cleanup around the peninsula at La Belle Creole, adult volunteers may sign up for this exercise. This hike-cleanup covers treacherous terrain and is not suitable for children. Please email email@example.com for more info on this special cleanup exercise. In addition to the large event on Sunday, 200 Sundial School students will be participating in the 2013 ICC this coming Friday and Saturday on 2 Dutch side beaches. The students and teachers have been briefed in the class room by the local coordinator on how to fill out the data cards and cleanup tools have been provided. Later on in the month more schools will participate at various locations, as well as an upcoming cleanup around the Oyster Bay Lagoon which will see the participation of Garnier beauty products, Pure Magazine, and guests and staff from the Oyster Bay Resort.
Sint Maarten PRIDE Foundation would like to thank the Sint Maarten Time Share Association for their generous contribution to the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup, by helping to provide cleanup tools for all the ICC events taking place in the month of September.
For more information on the 2013 International Coastal Cleanup, feel free to call 5204096 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Facebook page.
Legitimate Foreign Investment
Welcome, Money Launderers
GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – SEPTEMBER 17, 2013 - Minister of Justice Hon. Dennis Richardson’s intention is to see that the image of the country regarding combatting money laundering and terrorist financing is improved. A key organization in this regard is the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) which falls under the Ministry of Justice.
It is a new entity established on October 10, 2010, also known to many as MOT that has the mission to detect and deter money laundering and terrorist financing and other underlying crimes which contributes towards a safe and stable financial economic environment for the country.
“We as a country do not tolerate anybody using us for money laundering. We have taken upon ourselves as a country to have an FIU entity in place to combat such illegal activities that may take place on our territory. We have international obligations and responsibilities and we are complying with them.
“I am sending a very strong message to investors that we welcome your investments as long as these are legitimate. Sint Maarten will always be open to legitimate foreign investment.
“For those who think they will be able to launder their ill-licit gains, you are hereby informed that we will not accept nor tolerate this, and you are not welcome here,” Minister of Justice Hon. Dennis Richardson said on Tuesday.
The Minster pointed out that Sint Maarten wants to have a strong and dynamic financial sector free from money laundering and terrorist financing and other underlying crimes. The financial sector falls under the supervision of the Central Bank of Curacao and Sint Maarten.
The Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) fall under the supervision of the FIU.
These businesses and professions have been invited to register with FIU via its online website (www.fiu-sxm.net). These businesses and professions are: lawyers, notaries, tax advisors, accountants, administration offices, jewelers, car dealerships, and real estate agents. Registration must be completed beforeSeptember 30, 2013.
The business sector and professionals of Sint Maarten play a vital role in combatting money laundering and terrorist financing. FIU wants to foster a close working relationship with those categories of businesses and professions that have been identified.
Combatting money laundering and terrorist financing is seen as a national collective responsibility and therefore joint combative measures from government involving the private sector will lead to a successful effort with the end result of a better economic environment for all to thrive in connection with the national development of the country leading to the improvement in the quality of life for all.
Sint Maarten is a member of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) and fully subscribes to the mission of developing and implementing effective anti-money laundering and terrorist financing and counter-terrorist financing systems and to contribute to the setting of global standards.
Justice Minister Richardson also stated that the FIU of Sint Maarten subscribes to be an efficient and responsive organization that plays a leading role, within the region and the global community, in the prevention and suppression of money laundering and terrorist financing and terrorist financing through the effective implementation of the international standards.
Those requiring additional information can call the FIU at 542-3025 or email email@example.com.
St Maarten Rotary announces visit from the District Governor
-Jeremy Hurst to be honored at September 11th Cocktail Reception
PHILIPSBURG, SINT MAARTEN – SEPTEMBER 10, 2013 – Rotary Clubs in St Maarten/St Martin are pleased to announce the arrival of Rotary District Governor, Jeremy Hurst, and his wife Michelle to our island. DG Jeremy is responsible for leading over 80 clubs in Rotary District #7020 which spans 16 islands and 10 countries which include: the Bahamas (excluding Grand Bahama), Turks and Caicos, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, the US Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Haiti, Anguilla, St. Barthelmey, St. Martin and Sint Maarten.
His Assistant Governor, Rebecca Low, of the Rotary Club of St. Maarten, stated, “We are pleased to welcome DG Jeremy and Michelle to our shores. This is their first visit to our island and they will see first-hand Rotary in action. They have a packed agenda but a few examples of their activities include: participating in dictionary distribution to students; the Readers are Leaders initiative; touring the AUC facilities; and participating in the Learning Unlimited Preparatory School Interact Club Induction and Change of Board Ceremony. As part of official duties they will also be visiting each Rotary club, meeting with our exceptional young leaders from high school Interact Clubs, as well as our young professionals from the French and Dutch side Rotoract Clubs. As a motivator, DG Jeremy’s mission is to engage all aspects of Rotary in order to change lives.”
The District Governor will be honored by at a cocktail reception on Wednesday, September 11th at 7pm at The Pointe Restaurant in the Sonesta Macho Resort. Tickets are available from any Rotarian or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the Rotary Club of St. Maarten, please contact the Rotary Club of St. Maarten Press Officer at: email@example.com or visit the website www.rotarysxm.org.
About the Rotary Club of St. Maarten:
The Rotary Club of St. Maarten was chartered on March 17, 1972 as result of a September 1970 meeting to form a club on the island. Since its formation, the Rotary Club of St. Maarten has grown in membership and has assisted in the formation of new clubs in the District, including Anguilla (1978), St. Martin Nord (1988), St. Martin Mid-Isle (1997) and St. Martin Sunrise (2004). For more information, visit the club website at www.rotarysxm.org.