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CPS Launches Mosquito Squad with 4th graders at Sister Marie Laurence School

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, launched its pilot project for schools, the “Mosquito Squad” at the Sister Marie Laurence School earlier in the week.

The CPS program kicked off at the Sister Marie Laurence School on Monday as a pilot campaign with fourth graders.  After an evaluation, the program will be expanded to other schools.

The objectives of the Mosquito Squad for schools are to strengthen the bond between schools and existing community initiatives and to mobilize the public to take action in eliminating mosquito breeding sites in and around public and private locations.

By focusing on school aged children, giving those tools and knowledge to change behavior, future generations will be better prepared to care for their families and communities resulting in a clean environment, CPS said.

The launch took place at the Sister Marie Laurence School in the presence of Minister of Public Health Emil Lee and Minister of Education Silveria Jacobs.  Other officials who took part in the launch were Head of the CPS Dr. Virginia Asin, School Principal Karen Wattley, School Board Members, Pupils and staff from CPS Vector Unit.

The Mosquito Squad will consist of children in fourth grade between the ages of 9-10.  Every Monday, each participating school will designate a team of pupil inspectors overseen by a teacher.

At the launch the first two squad officers were introduced wearing their recognizable reflector yellow “Stop the Mosquito” vest.

The children and teachers were also introduced to the Vector Unit supervisors and instructors Gerald Davelaar, Lionel Francisca, and Kendall Gumbs.

The pupil inspectors will carry out an inspection of the school premises noting down potential mosquito breeding sites based on a guideline and school inspection checklist; this information will then be passed on to the school janitor who will ensure that all breeding sites have been cleared prior to the next inspection.

The children will also use educational tools such as games and puzzles to learn more about the mosquito biology, species, habitat, reproductive activities, and mosquito control actions to control mosquito populations.

Mosquito squad inside

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Rotary Mid Isle Comes Home with Awards

SIMPSON BAY - Seven members of The Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle have just returned from the Rotary International District 7020 43rd Annual PETS Assembly and Conference held aboard the Royal Caribbean Enchantment of seas.

Attendance at this event offered the incoming presidents and secretaries of all Rotary Clubs in the district an opportunity to learn more about Rotary and to prepare for the new upcoming Rotary year which starts on July 1st, 2017.

Representing Rotary Mid Isle were President Elect Anjali Manek, Secretary Elect Denise Antrobus along with Rotarians David Antrobus, Louis Wever, Reena Manek, Julie Ramchandani (District Secretary), Lucianna Raspail along with partners in service Amanda Wever and Sanjana Manek.

The highlight of the conference was the awards and closing ceremonies where the District Governor Haresh Ramchandani awarded the club for the work they had done in their respective communities during the Rotary year 2016-2017.

The Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle collected four awards: The Club of Distinction for Community Service; Club of Distinction for National Project Winning Partner; The Public Image Citation; and the Club of the Month Award.

The Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle is pleased to receive these recognitions for their work in the community and would like to thank all the sponsors who have assisted us to do good in our community and around the world.

We would also like to thank the media for their cooperation in getting the word out about our activities and events and helping us to reach people when inviting them to participate in our activities.

We look forward to your continued support of Mid Isle’s activities as we all join together with Rotary Serving Humanity.

The Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle meets Tuesday at 7pm at Mary’s Boone in Simpson Bay.

For more information please contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our Facebook page Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle.

PHOTO CUTLINE: L-R: Rotarian Louis, President Elect Anjali, District Governor Haresh, Secretary Elect Denise and Rotarian David.

AWARDS AT DISTRICT
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NOAA Forecast Active Hurricane Season. Up to 17 Storms

SINT MAARTEN/MIAMI - For the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, forecasters predict a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season.

"As a Florida resident, I am particularly proud of the important work NOAA does in weather forecasting and hurricane prediction," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. "These forecasts are important for both public safety and business planning, and are a crucial function of the federal government."

Forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

These numbers include Tropical Storm Arlene, a rare pre-season storm that formed over the eastern Atlantic in April.

“The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Nino, near- or above-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

Strong El Ninos and wind shear typically suppress development of Atlantic hurricanes, so the prediction for weak conditions points to more hurricane activity this year. Also, warmer sea surface temperatures tend to fuel hurricanes as they move across the ocean. However, the climate models are showing considerable uncertainty, which is reflected in the comparable probabilities for an above-normal and near-normal season.

“NOAA’s broad range of expertise and resources support the nation with strong science and service before, during and after each storm to protect lives and property and enhance the national economy as we continue building a Weather-Ready Nation,” said Ben Friedman, acting NOAA administrator. “From our expert modelers to our dedicated forecasters and brave crews of our hurricane hunters, we’ll be here to warn the nation every step of the way this hurricane season.”

"Regardless of how many storms develop this year, it only takes one to disrupt our lives," said Acting FEMA Administrator Robert J. Fenton, Jr. "Get ready now with these easy, low-cost steps that will leave you better prepared and will make all the difference: Have a family discussion about what you will do, where you will go and how you will communicate with each other when a storm threatens; Know your evacuation route; tune into your local news or download the FEMA app to get alerts, and finally – listen to local authorities as a storm approaches.”

The 2016 season was the most active since 2012, with 15 named storms, including 7 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes.

SOUALIGA NEWSDAY REPORT

FINAL 0523 Hurricane Graphic pie chart 700x400

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CIBC FIRSTCARIBBEAN SUPPORTS SXM MOOT COURT

PHILIPSBURG – Some local high school students are busy sharpening their legal debating skills in hopes of representing their country next January at an international competition. In May 2015, with the help of St. Maarten-based attorneys, six teams from five different high schools competed in the first St. Maarten Moot Court Competition. 

The winning team and best individual speakers were selected to represent St. Maarten in the third edition of the prestigious International Moot Court held biennially in The Hague, the Netherlands, where they placed 3rd out of the 12 participating countries.

With high hope of even further success in the international competition, SXM Moot Court has organized another national round to be held on June 2nd, 2017. The best students will represent the island in the International Moot Court competition in The Hague in January 2018.

CIBC FirstCaribbean recently made a donation to the SXM Moot Court Foundation. The Foundation was established to introduce St. Maarten students to international law, legal debating skills and ultimately to a legal career.

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Inspectorate TEATT to step up public transportation inspections

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Section Transportation that falls under the Inspectorate of Ministry Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT), would like to inform the public transportation sector that they will be stepping up controls to make sure that the aforementioned are compliant with the law.

Section Transportation is responsible for the correct implementation of traffic and public transport regulations, and maintaining public order amongst all public transportation operators and permit holders such as busses, taxis, car rentals, and those vehicles that carry the G and T license plates.

During controls in public transportation, those persons found to be in violation of the ordinance and or permit conditions can face enforcement measures ranging from a warning, fine, and confiscation of property or arrest depending on the seriousness of the violation.

Permit holders who need to replace or substitute their registered vehicle for another must report to the Department of Economic Licenses located at Zoutsteeg #3, Philipsburg, in order to have this change approved and registered before operating on the public road.

An inspection of the vehicle will also be necessary to ensure it meets the requirements for public transportation.  The inspection will be conducted by the Inspectorate. 

The Department of Economic Licenses can be contacted at 542-2986, 542-0778 or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Inspectorate can be contacted at 542-4509/4511 or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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REAL AUTO & WINDWARD ISLANDS BANK PARTNER FOR THE LAUNCH OF WEEKLY “TEST DRIVE THURSDAYS” EVENTS

PHILIPSBURG - The Windward Islands Bank (WIB) and Real Auto joined together at a Meet & Greet on Wednesday, May 24 to celebrate the launch of a progressive partnership towards making the car ownership dreams of many residents throughout St. Maarten a reality.

Included in these efforts are weekly “Test Drive Thursdays,” which are social events that will be held from 4:00 – 7:00 PM at Real Auto’s dealership, located at #15 Longwall Road in Philipsburg.

A wide variety of Toyota, Suzuki and Chevrolet vehicles are already on promotion with discounted rates at Real Auto for the coming months. WIB has further enhanced this sales promotion with 100% financing, based on the applicant’s ability to meet the requirements.

“We are working towards making the dreams of owning a new car a reality for everyone qualified, with affordable prices and attractive financing packages,” says Eric Vlaun, Real Auto’s Sales Manager “We encourage people to come in to see, feel and sometimes even smell the new vehicles on a test drive. Our doors are open and we look forward to working with customers to ensure that they get the REAL DEAL!”   

The Real Auto “Test Drive Thursdays” will feature displays of these vehicles, with the showroom open for extended hours until 7:00PM to accommodate individuals at a convenient time after regular working hours. Everyone is encouraged to come in to view and test drive the vehicles at a time that is most feasible for them. A WIB Sales Officer will also be on-hand to provide immediate assistance with the review and processing of car loans.  

“We are pleased that Real Auto partnered with WIB to offer our community the best deals starting with 100% Financing possibilities, Attractive rates, BSure Insurance and Fun Miles with every approved loan.  Our Sales Officers are conveniently at Real Auto on Thursdays to assist you with banking inquiries towards owning your new vehicle. WIB your partner in progress.“

For further information on this initiative and on Suzuki, Toyota, and Chevrolet vehicles, parts, products and services please contact Real Auto “where you get the REAL DEAL!” at T: (721) 542-2318/ 542-0100 (Dutch side), or 05.90.52.45.65 (French side). E:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. FB: Real Auto B.V. W: www.realautosxm.com

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Ombudsman publishes list of ‘private entities with public authority’

PHILIPSBURG - Pursuant to the Constitution of Sint Maarten the Ombudsman is charged to investigate the conduct / behavior of administrative bodies, which includes private entities with public authority.

As a follow-up to the very positive and productive meetings held in the period January to March 2017 with the various stakeholders regarding the authority of the Ombudsman pertaining to Private entities with Public authority, the so called ‘zelfstandige bestuursorganen (ZBO’s)’ on Sint Maarten, the Ombudsman, Dr. Nilda Arduin, presented the so-called ZBO-list to the abovementioned entities last week.  The list is enclosed and is published on the website of the Ombudsman.

The legal basis for the foregoing are: article 78 of the Constitution, article 1 of the National Ordinance Ombudsman and article 2 of the National Ordinance Administration of law (LAR).

After thorough research and discussions, including ‘Ombudsprudence’ of the National Ombudsman of the Netherlands, the following main sources were used to establish the authority of the Ombudsman Sint Maarten:

• Kaderwet 2007 (Netherlands);

• Prof. Scheltema (Awb-Netherlands) concluded that the term ‘public authority’ is not adequate in relation to the authority of the Ombudsman;

• Broad interpretation required as the Ombudsman is a safety net (protection of the people);

• Ombudsprudence: in the general interest of the public the Ombudsman is authorized to investigate all actual behavior of private entities charged with government tasks (‘if it looks like government, it is government’);

• Report ‘Klachtbehandeling bij uitbesteding van overheidstaken in de zorg (9 augustus 2010-RA1054269).

The general criterion is that everything that Government pays for, decides about and organizes is subject to the same norms applicable to Government. As such the following criteria have been applied to establish the ZBO-list for Sint Maarten: legal basis/national ordinances, decrees and or contracts governing the pertinent entities; public interest/impact of the entity on the public and subsidy received from government.

The Ombudsman would like to express her gratitude to all persons that gave their input on the discussion on this matter, among which the Council of Advice, Law Offices Van Eps Kunneman VanDoorne Sint Maarten, the government department of Legal Affairs and Legislation as well as representatives of the various entities included on the list.

PRIVATE ENTITIES WITH PUBLIC AUTHORITY (ZBO’S)

1.      ALGEMEEN PENSIOENFONDS SINT MAARTEN (APS)

2.      BUREAU TELECOMMUNICATIE EN POST (BTP)

3.      BUREAU INTELLECTUEEL EIGENDOM (BIP)

4.      CENTRALE BANK VAN CURACAO EN SINT MAARTEN (CBCS)

5.      GERECHTSDEURWAARDERS (voor zover deze werkzaamheden niet onder verantwoordelijkheid van een rechter worden verricht)

6.      HUURCOMMISSIE

7.      STICHTING KADASTER en HYPOTHEEKWEZEN

8.      KAMER VAN KOOPHANDEL (KVK)

9.      KUSTWACHT

10.     MOTOR VEHICLE INSPECTION CENTER(MVIC)

11.     SCHOOLBESTUREN

12.     STICHTING JUSTIËLE INRICHTINGEN BOVENWINDEN (SJIB)

13.     SIMPSON BAY LAGOON AUTHORITY CORPORATION (SLAC)

14.     SINT MAARTEN PORT AUTHORITY (SMPA)

15.     SOCIALE ZIEKTEKOSTENVERZEKERING (SZV)

16.     VRIJWILLIGERS KORPS SINT MAARTEN (VKS)

17.     VOOGDIJRAAD

18.     SINT MAARTEN HOUSING FOUNDATION(SMHF)

19.     PJIA OPERATING COMPANY

20.     SINT MAARTEN LABORATORY SERVICES (SLS)

21.     PHILIPSBURG JUBILEE LIBRARY (PJL)

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Doncher-Arrindell grants historic economic permit to SXM Airways

POND ISLAND - Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher made history on Tuesday when she signed the Economic Permit for SXM Airways, making the airline the first locally established airline to acquire such since St. Maarten obtained its new constitutional status.

The economic permit allows SXM Airways to move forward with its operations and begin service. The signing was also a historic first for the Civil Aviation Department.

Civil Aviation advised the Minister to grant the permit based on the advice from the Central Bank which found the overall plan for SXM Airways to be realistic and feasible, and the company shows sufficient financial resources to cover the initial startup phase of the company and its first 6 months of operation which is a requirement by law.

The Directors of the company, Elvis Queeley, Michel Carter and Jeff Oliver were all present for the signing along with Head of the Civil Aviation Department Lou Halley. Oliver described the moment as a dream come true for three hard working young men who wants the opportunity to show their children that they can dream and then live their dreams.

The directors of the airline will now finalize the process to obtain the airline’s AOC (Air Operator Certificate) to allow the company to use its aircraft for commercial purposes. Most of this work is already done. The certificate will list the aircraft types and registrations to be used, for what purpose and in what area ect.

The economic permit is for three years. SXM Airways will operated a 9-seater BN2 Aircraft to deliver on-demand charter service to surrounding islands. Managing Director Elvis Queeley explained that the goal is to grow the company from one to three aircraft within three years and expand the type of service the company can offer.

Minister Doncher-Arrindell expressed how proud she was of the three directors, who she described as local, driven and hardworking. “I can imagine that the market and the airline industry is not an easy one and you will have challenges. But I am very proud of you and wish you nothing but the best of luck moving forward,” the Minister told the airline directors.

“Many thanks also to Lou Halley and his team at Civil Aviation for whom this is also a first. It is a first for St. Maarten, a very proud moment in our development and it has added significance because this is a locally run business by local young men who doesn’t see the sky as their limit, but the opportunity for greater things to come,” the Minister added.

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Police Chief John attends International Drug Enforcement Conference in Punta Cana

PHILIPSBURG - Chief of the KPSM (Sint Maarten Police Force) Carl John attended the International Drug Enforcement Conference (IDEC) which was held in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic from May 15th through May 19th 2017. This conference was attended by over two hundred participants from 110 different countries.

The conference was organized by the Dominican Republic's National Drug Control Directorate (DNCD) and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. The conference was mainly to enable participants to analyze global trends in illicit drug trafficking and to promote cooperation and information exchange with the focus on combating such crimes.

The island of Sint Maarten as are many other islands in the Caribbean, is used as a drugs trans- shipment hub for illicit drugs to the mainland of the United States and other countries in other parts of the world.

Also, as one of the main topics discussed the illegal manufacturing and use of the synthetic drug called “Fentalyn”. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent.

Non-pharmaceutical Fentanyl is sold in the following forms: as a powder; spiked on blotter paper; mixed with or substituted for heroin; or as tablets that mimic other, less potent opioids.

Fentanyl works by binding to the body's opioid receptors, which are found in areas of the brain that control pain and emotions. Its effects include euphoria, drowsiness, nausea, confusion, constipation, sedation, tolerance, addiction, respiratory depression and arrest, unconsciousness, coma, and death.

The high potency of Fentanyl greatly increases risk of overdose, especially if a person who uses drugs is unaware that a powder or pill contains Fentanyl.

Three of these illegal labs were discovered in the Dominican Republic. Noting how close the Dominican Republic and Sint Maarten are to each other, the community of Sint Maarten should take good note of this information and be aware of the consequences of this illegal drugs.

The Drugs Enforcement Administration will introduce an awareness campaign within the near future regarding the production and use of illicit drugs on Sint Maarten. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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National Institute of Arts Recapping a Year in Medals

PHILIPSBURG - As the National Institute of the Arts (NIA) celebrates the 4th Anniversary of the coming together of St. Maarten two most prestigious and longest artists training centers, Imbali Center for Creative Movement and Motiance Dance School, we take this time to share with you and bring you up to date with the series of events that took place since the year began, a press release from NIA said.

“This joining, born out of the vision to came together to create to a broader, more comprehensive platform for interdisciplinary art education gave birth to the National Institute of Arts –NIA.

“The collaboration is alive and flourishing.  The year 2017, began with a series of regional and international competition in gymnastic and dance that have propelled NIA to new heights.

“On the eve of the departure of NIA students to another international competitive arena, allows a moment of recapping of the accolades and award earned since March 2017. The competition was literally coming one after the other allowing no time to rest on hard won laurels. As one competition ended, students and teachers Annelies Steenbeek, Stephanie Haseth, Ambarl Gounden and Peggy Oulerich where back on the grind, training hard for their next event to meet international standards and preparedness.

“NIA takes the time now to share with you the triumphs of NIA students as they excelled in the various elements and arenas.

“On March 4th the following student Venicia Tobias, Nyah Kalmera, Regal Peterson, Jada Fredericks, Jill-Ann Kartijoatmo and Meissa Austen Competed at the at the Club the de Gym Competition Honneur Poussine Gym: At the completion of that event, Venicia Tobias and Nyah Kalmera scored points high enough which allowed them to make the gymnastic Team to compete in the Team Competition for Guadeloupe Regional Team Gymnastic competition.  That same day students, Sasha Tobias competed in the Benjamin Category and received an honorable mention for her effort.

“On March 18 Club the de Gym in collaboration with NIA presented, Parcours 2017 which consisted of 70 gymnastic athletes who train on both sides of the islands. Jada Frederick distinguished herself by winning a gold medal in her category. Xavier Carty placed second winning a silver Medal. The rest of the teams were awarded the following placings. For the Parcours: - Benjamin category: Amisha Lake 2nd place - Poussine 2009:

Jada Fredericks first place and Maissa Austen 3rd place - Poussine 2010: Xhyann Duzong first place and Aditi Rajpal 2nd place -  rounding out the final selection for the boys in the Benjamin boys Category: 2nd place Xavier Carty. The list concludes with the following ranking.  Poussine 2008: Sofie Van der Hoogen 2nd place and Florianthe Boasman 3rd place

March 19 St. Maarten hosted the Individual Territorial Gymnastic Competition in which Nyah Kalmera, Regal Peterson, and Venicia Tobias participated. The results yielded scores for Nyah Peterson and Venicia Tobias to qualify for the Regional competition in Guadeloupe

“The results for the individual territorial championship of the 19th of march yielded the following medals - Excellence catégorie Zoe van Zadelhoff first place - Poussine 2009: Nyah Kalmera 3rd place, Regal Peterson 4th place. Poussine 2008: Venicia Tobias 5th place

“On April 1 NIA travelled with our Gymnastic Partner Club de Gym to Guadeloupe for Team competition at the Team Regional Gymnastic Championship Team. Competing under Club de Gym Team, Nyah Kalmera and Venicia Tobias with their team were awarded a group gold medal for their efforts.

“April 21 NIA students were part of a delegation of dancers who competed at the Regional French Federation of Dance competition held at the Sandy Ground Cultural Center, in which some 100 students from St. Martin, St. Barth’s and St. Maarten participated. NIA students medaled Gold, Silver and Bronze in several categories.  Winning Gold at the regional level allowed NIA students to qualify for the national championship which take place May 25 to 28 in Champagne France.

“Immediately following her Gold Medal performance at the Regional French Federation of Dance competition, the multi-talented and versatile dancer and gymnast Zoe van Zadelhoff, travelled to Martinique On May 11 to 14 which Team Coach Gracienne Riom and Peggy Oulerich to compete in the Jeux des Isle International sport competition where some 500 athletes hailing from the European Island competed.

“Zoe competing for the first time in this Arena that featured 12 sporting events, 5 of which were judged by Olympic judges, placed 4th in a hard fought battle, and Team St.Maarten placed third in gymnastic category.

“That same month on May 21 and 22 Students Nyah Kalmera and Venicia Tobias travelled to Martinique to participate in the Regional Individual Gymnastic competition where Venicia placed 7th in her category and Nyah medaled bronze.

As of the writing of this press release NIA Students

Zack Phipps

Kiara Vanterpool

Naomi Warsop

Lian Borsje

Zoë van Zadelhoff

Faith Peterson

Ray-Angel Simon

Jeremiah Davis

“Are deep in training to travel to France to compete at the confederation National de Danse   the CND, in Champagne France. The student trained by NIA teachers and staff have been looking forward to this event with much anticipation as they will be tested in an arena of champion dancers, all gold medalist in their territory.

“The CND is a competition last 3 days and features 2500 entries.  Team NIA parents, teachers and students have been fundraising furiously to raise the necessary capital to travel to France to compete in this prestigious competition.

“NIA extends our deepest and most profound gratitude to all the business, friends, families and NIA supporters who have contributed financially, and emotionally to get us to this level.

Team NIA departs Wednesday May 24 and returns to St. Maarten on Sunday May 28.”

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