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ROTARY CLUB OF SINT MAARTEN CELEBRATES ITS NEW BOARD. Caputo Named 47th President

BEACON HILL – The Rotary Club of Sint Maarten kicked off its new Rotary year on Saturday, June 17th at The Refuge in Beacon, Hill St. Maarten, which officially begins on July 1st.

Outgoing President Henna Budhrani thanked the outgoing Board of Directors for their service and reflected on the past year.  Henna explained, “Serving as President of the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten has helped me grow as a person and as a leader. 

“I want to thank all of the members of the four St. Maarten/St. Martin Clubs, our sponsors, donors, ‘Friends of Rotary’, and especially my Board.  It is through this combined effort that our club has accomplished so many projects that directly impacted our community in a positive way, and by making a difference in people's lives”. 

On behalf of the Club, President Henna then turned over the keys to two vehicles, one for the Meals on Wheels Foundation and the other for the New Start Foundation.  She continued, "As I hand over the reign to our new President John, I want to see our club flourish to greater heights.  His success is our club's success, so we must all be there to support the new projects that benefit our community

President Budhrani then officially turned over the reigns of the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten to John Caputo.

Newly installed President Caputo introduced his new Board Members and Committee Chairpersons including: Secretary/President-elect Sherrylle DeHaarte , Immediate Past President Henna Budhrani, Vice President Pierre DeCelles, Treasurer Robert Judd, Sargent-at-Arms Franklyn Maynard, Anil Sabnani and Danny Ramchandani (Fundraising) Iris Fehse and Maayke DeHaan (Fun & Fellowship), Larry Gregory (Disaster Relief), Agnes Kapoor and Adelena Schaap (Administration), Edward Bardfield (Technology Services), Adelena Schaap (Public Image), Maayke DeHaan (Membership), James Ferris (New Generations) and Jeffrey “Soc” Sochrin (Special Advisor to the President).  

Caputo went on to say, “It is an honor and a privilege to have been trusted to preside over the Rotary Club of St. Maarten and the amazing individuals we call Rotarians.

There is so much history and good this club has done for the community and the world as a whole over the past 45 years.  We will continue to change lives, improve situations, and provide help where help is needed. Of course, none of this is possible without your unwavering support of our endeavors. 

This Change of Board Celebration is a perfect example of how are Club makes a difference, with more than $1,000 being raised to support the needs of the recent Cay Bay fire victims.  This year we are taking on some very big projects, which will all have huge impact and sustainability with the youth of our island. The youth is our future and the Rotary Club of St. Maarten will do our part to make that future a bright one".

For more information about the Rotary Club of St. Maarten or about joining Rotary, please contact the Rotary Club of St. Maarten Press Officer at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the website www.rotarysxm.org

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2016 Barbados Junior Minister of Tourism hosted by Tourist Bureau and Sxm Jr. Minister Meyers

PHILIPSBURG - The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau hosted a welcome luncheon for Rashana Jones, the 2016 Barbados Junior Minister of Tourism and her mom at the Ocean Lounge restaurant at Holland House.

Ms. Jones was placed third at the 2016 Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Tourism Youth Congress and won a ticket for two to a LIAT to any Caribbean destination.

She chose St. Maarten as her destination. She was also hosted by St. Maarten's Junior Minister for 2017 Kiara Meyers.

Rashana and her mom were presented with gift bags courtesy of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau.

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Second Vaccination Open House attracts 126. Mahika Ramchandani wins essay

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) second Vaccination Open House held on Saturday, June 10, was another success, attracting 126 clients. 

109 fell under the school vaccination program and 17 under the baby wellness clinic.

15 clients attended the Oral Health presentation for the age-group 4-15 and 19 (9-12 age group) the Puberty and Reproductive presentation.

CPS, a department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, held its Open House under the banner of the Vaccination Week of the Americas 2017. 

Therefore, CPS invited 4th and 5th graders of all primary schools to participate in a Draw & Write Short Essay Contest.  The theme of the contest was, “Why Vaccinations are Important.”

Winner of the essay contest was Mahika Ramchandani, of the St. Dominic School; 1st Runner up Andel Henry, Asha Steven Hillside Christian School; 2nd Runner up Tianna Mathew, Sister Magda Primary School.

Three complimentary prizes were given out to Anikia Gumbs, Sister Magda Primary School; Ravi Austin, Sister Magda Primary School; and Oyeiye Nwoke, St. Peters Hillside Christian School.

The goal of the essay was for students to gain an understanding why vaccinations are so important and what can happen to persons who are not vaccinated within the Sint Maarten community.

In total 241 clients attended the two Open House Vaccination events, and CPS is very pleased that parents and guardians took the opportunity to check their child’s vaccination status by attending one of the two open house activities.

During the first Open House, 115 young individuals visited the event with their parents/guardians; 15 were between the age 0-3; and 100 were between 4-17 years old.

The Open House events were held at the Vineyard Office Park in Philipsburg from 9.00am to 4.00pm for children between 0-17 years old.

Vaccines help your immune system fight more than 20 dangerous diseases.  From the time we’re born, vaccines offer protection to help individuals stay healthy throughout their entire lives.

CPS would like to thank its sponsors and stakeholders, Social & Health Insurance SZV, for providing reusable water bottles; Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise, provided school supplies as prizes for the essay participants under their theme maternal and child health; Debbie Zwanikken, who contributed her time to give the presentation on Puberty and Reproductive Health.

PHOTO CUTLINE: CPS staff as well as the top winners of the essay contest.

cps group essay contest winners

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CPS Invited and Shared Breastfeeding Promotion & Practices at Washington 9th Summit of Breastfeeding Medicine

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – A delegation from Sint Maarten’s Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, recently attended the 9th Summit of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) in Washington DC at the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The two-day June 6-7 summit took place under the theme: “First Food: The Essential Role of Breastfeeding.”

Dr. Virginia Asin, CPS Head gave a presentation about Breastfeeding Promotion and Practices on Sint Maarten.  CPS Nurse Ivanca Woodley, also attended the summit and was co-presenter.

“I am very proud that our program got the attention of ABM, but I am more proud of the fact that the work done by our staff with limited resources, both human and financial, received such high recognition.

“At the summit we expanded our knowledge with attending professionals who offered support and technical assistance for the future upgrading and improvement in our Breastfeeding program and practices.

“With this summit behind us, CPS has intensified the already strong relationship with the American University of the Caribbean (AUC) through Dr. Julie Taylor who is the current President of ABM, but also the Associate Dean for Academics and Student Affairs at AUC.

“It was a huge honour for us to be invited to make a presentation at such a prestigious event in front of an illustrious group of experts in the field of breastfeeding,” Dr. Virginia Asin said on Friday.

The First Annual Summit, held in June 2009, marked the 25th anniversary of the Surgeon General's Workshop on Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, a milestone event led by the late C. Everett Koop, MD in 1984.

Now in its Ninth year, the Summit will continue to monitor and address the unmet health needs of underserved mothers and their vulnerable children associated with low rates of breastfeeding, and to work proactively toward reducing barriers to breastfeeding.

The goal of the summit was to bring high-level visibility in order to generate timely evidence-based programs for an enhanced national breastfeeding agenda.

Each year's Summit serves as a benchmark to assess annual progress in breastfeeding practice nationwide. In the past ABM have been pleased to feature each Surgeon General as well as leaders from other Federal agencies, key Senators, Congressmen, Governors, Mayors, the World Bank, and nonprofits nationwide. 

Key thought leaders in health and public health and medicine participating in the conference included high-level representatives from major Federal agencies as well as hands-on grass roots administrators from important programs throughout the United States and leaders from academic institutions, industry, nonprofits, and public agencies.

The Summit was again presented by the publication, Breastfeeding Medicine. Founded in 1995, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine is an international, multi-specialty, physician organization with more than 700 members dedicated to the promotion, protection, and support of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding Medicine, as its official peer-reviewed journal, will publish the Summit proceedings and policy recommendations coming out of the summit.

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General Audit Chamber presents Annual Report

PHILIPSBURG – The General Audit Chamber issued its annual report for the year 2016 this week. By law, the General Audit Chamber must present a report of its activities about the preceding year to both the Governor and Parliament prior to July 1st each year. 

Each member of Parliament received a copy of the annual report 2016 in both the Dutch and English language on Monday, June 12th. Mr. Ronald Halman presented the Governor with copies of the annual report on Thursday afternoon.

The annual report includes a review of the significant information arising from audits conducted in 2016. The General Audit Chamber also provides a description of its operations and gives account for the use of its budget of fiscal year 2016.

In the report, the General Audit Chamber provides summaries of all the executed audits over the year and expresses concern about the progress within government in terms of improving shortcomings that have been identified.

“While we recognize that no situation is ideal, we are becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of urgency in addressing the deficiencies within the public sector, and specifically public finance”, the report states. The General Audit Chamber goes on to state that they have not detected noteworthy improvement. “While plans to address weaknesses or deficiencies are drafted by government, the implementation is found wanting”, according to the General Audit Chamber.

In 2016, the General Audit Chamber was forced to deal with a worrisome phenomenon; one that the institution hopes will not become standard practice. The annual report states that there was a lack of cooperation and/or refusal to provide adequate information to the General Audit Chamber during two separate audits in 2016. The report provides more details about this situation by stating that “our requests for information were either ignored or the provision of documentation was delayed, inadequate, or both”.

Given that the job of the institution is researching and identifying the areas where change is needed, the General Audit Chamber cautions that when attempts are made, deliberate or otherwise, to constrain their ability to conduct their task, the system of checks and balances of the Country is disrupted.

“There is more at stake than an audit; without proper oversight, our system of democratic government can become compromised and the public trust will weaken”.

The General Audit Chamber is hopeful about the future. “The challenges of the public sector are not insurmountable “, according to the institution. However, a concentrated effort must be made by government and Parliament to address the challenges.

The report is published in both English and Dutch and is available on the website of the General Audit Chamber (www.arsxm.org).

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Local Jiu Jitsu athletes participate in World Championships in California

COLE BAY - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athletes Charlesson Reymond and Ruben Girault represented St. Maarten/St. Martin at the IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu Championships in Long Beach, California June 1-4.

Ruben earned a silver medal in the juvenile novice middle weight division. Charlesson had three tough matches winning his first two by submission and was stopped one match short of the quarterfinals losing a tied match by referee decision in the adult blue belt light weight division.

Both athletes trained diligently in preparation and are looking forward to future tournaments. For more information on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Self Defense classes for all ages please contact Melissa Bardfield, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.sxmbjj.com

bjj fpg

bjj inside one

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SCDF Carnival Foundation requests to take over Festival Village

PHILIPSBURG - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) has written to Prime Minister William Marlin and Minister Silveria Jacobs requesting the opportunity to manage the St. Maarten Festival Village indefinitely or via a 10-year lease.

President of the SCDF Alston Lourens explained to both Ministers that the Village (SFV) unfortunately remains a facility that is not used optimally as a premier venue to host events on St. Maarten.

The SCDF is the largest user of the facility annually with the hosting of Carnival, the only time the facility is used to its max capacity on all levels.

In short, Lourens said, “there is an apparent lack of vision and creativity for the future of the SFV due largely in part to the fact that it is not managed by an entity with a background in event management and hosting.”

As such, the SCDF is requested the opportunity to:

-       Be the organization in charge of the management of the activities in the SFV.

-       Take responsibility of the maintenance and further structural development of the SFV

-       Exploit the usage of the Festival Village to event organizers on St. Maarten, the region and internationally.

-       Accommodate Government functions and events in the Festival Village.

With this in place SCDF can then:

-       Serve as a facilitator to foreign events and promoters who wish to execute events in Sint Maarten.

-       Can equip the SFV up to modern standards to be able to handle a variety of event types.

-       Can open the SFV to accommodate many cultural initiatives related to the development of Carnival and Culture in general throughout the year.

-       Can begin the development of the SFV to be able to accommodate conferences as well.

-       Can seek to make Carnival and the SFV totally sustainable entities.

The aforementioned will be accomplished using various methods of SCDF’s expertise, including but not limited to:

-       Drafting a comprehensive plan for attracting users of the SFV.

-       Securing corporate sponsors by engaging companies to fulfil their social corporate responsibility (SCR) mandate. (Carnival will be separate).

-       Kick off a vibrant Advertising Campaign for the SFV as a venue for every event of every size.

Establish a volunteer coordination plan to involve students and other volunteer workers in the execution of events in the SFV.

-       Encourage community involvement in establishing “historical hot spots” in SFV that will feature pieces of St. Maarten History (perhaps even replicas) which can be visited by schools, cruise visitors and more. 

“The SCDF has a proven track-record of not only hosting St. Maarten’s largest and most intricate event, Carnival, but our foundation is a professional, creative team of event management specialists with years of experience producing high-quality events of every type and scale. Our passion is managing the behind-the-scenes details to deliver a superior event experience,” Lourens said.

He continued: “St. Maarten's events and event organisers, is in need a cooperative and innovative venue managed by outside-the-box-thinkers, to assist organizations through the minefield of challenges that currently threaten their funding and social impact.

Because the standard methods of creating events are not easily trimmed to fit a venue for greater efficiency, solutions for meeting these challenges must be sought in the administrative areas of venue management. In other words, the SFV must become a viable alternative, via new management, to host local and international events.”

Lourens said Government has placed 48 years of trust in the SCDF to develop the country’s largest calendar event.  “We now seek government’s permission in allowing us to finally manage the SFV to its full potential,” he concluded.

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Infinity Restaurant Now Managed by F&B Connoisseur Sargentoni. Joins OpenTable

DAWN BEACH – Oyster Bay Beach Resort (OBBR) Infinity Restaurant, is once again managed by renowned Food & Beverage local connoisseur Spartaco Sargentoni, OBBR General Manager Ricardo Perez disclosed on Wednesday. 

Perez added that the Infinity Restaurant is also making use of digital media allowing customers to make their reservations online with the introduction of “OpenTable.”

“We invite everyone to come and see our recently renovated Infinity Restaurant for the ultimate dining experience.  We've made it even easier for you to be able to do just that.

“Thanks to Amanda Ferrier and her Social Media Marketing Company, Updated Status, Infinity Restaurant has recently joined the platform OpenTable.  OpenTable allows you to see what times are available for the amount of people you will be coming to the restaurant with, and for the date you're looking to make a reservation. It's really that easy!

“This Father’s Day weekend, we invite families to come out and discover the Infinity Restaurant experience at Oyster Bay Beach Resort. It will be a great treat for the entire family during this special weekend to celebrate ‘daddy’s’ day.   

“Come in for Sunday Brunch with ‘dad’ and don’t forget this Thursday is Italian Night which is very popular, so we highly recommend coming in to see for yourself.  Infinity Restaurant is conveniently located and offers international cuisine and much more. To make reservations go to OpenTable's website or App, search for Infinity Restaurant and then simply pick the day and time you'd wish to join us. 

“Also, we invite you to get social with us on both our Facebook and Instagram pages so you can be the first to know about our special offers and latest updates,” OBBR General Manager Ricardo Perez announced on Wednesday.

OpenTable is part of the The Priceline Group, and is the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations, seating more than 22 million diners per month via online bookings across more than 42,000 restaurants.

The OpenTable network connects restaurants and diners, helping diners discover and book the perfect table and helping restaurants deliver personalized hospitality to keep guests coming back.

The OpenTable service enables diners to see which restaurants have available tables, select a restaurant based on verified diner reviews, menus, and other helpful information, and easily book a reservation.

Infinity restaurant is open seven days a week at the Oyster Bay Beach Resort from 7.30am to 10.00pm for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.

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Seventh Day Adventist School Wins Cops and Kids School Debate Final

PHILIPSBURG - On Wednesday June 14th the Community Police Officers (CPOs) who headed the Cops and Kids Program held the school debate finals at the Asha Stevens Hillside Christian School in Cay Hill.

The debate finals were held between students of the sixth grade representing the Seventh Day Adventist School, Sister Borgia School, Oranje School and Ruby Labega School.

During the first round, the Ruby Labega School defeated the Sister Borgia School eliminating them from moving on to the quarter finals. The topic of this debate was: “Should Students be allowed to drink sodas”.

The second round using the same topic was held between the Seventh Day Adventist School and the Oranje School. The Seventh Day Adventist School won this round and moved on to the finals against Ruby Labega School. The topic for the final round was “Should animals be caged for entertainment.”

At the end of this debate the championship was awarded to the very strong “Seventh Day Adventist School”.

The Police Chief Carl John, the Acting Head of the Uniform Division Chief Inspector Benjamin Gout and the Police Spokesman Chief Inspector Ricardo Henson brought a surprise visit to the debate.

During this visit the Police Chief expressed words of encouragement and congratulations to all students present and encourage them to continue doing well in school because without an education you are no where.

The Police Chief also congratulated the organizing committee of the school debate, the panel of judges, the teachers, Pricilla Bell representing the Department of Education and all other involved in this event, and encourage them to expose these school debates to the public so that they also can see that our youth can do very well school.

He continued to state that the youth of Sint Maarten has been one of the main focuses of the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM). The KPSM will continue to engage in positive activities for the youth to bridge the gap between the youth and police.

The Police Chief finally thanked his Community Police Officers for a “job well done” in making this event a successful one. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

debate 6 inside

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WIB & Fun Miles reward MY Card campaign winner

PHILIPSBURG - The Windward Islands Bank Ltd (WIB) and Fun Miles promoted MY Card- WIB’s MasterCard Fun Miles credit card during the months of February to May 31, 2017.  

WIB’s MasterCard Fun Miles credit card offers more fun more rewards by rewarding one fun mile with every $2 purchase and 250 fun miles with first use. 

The Promotion was even boosted more with WIB offering $500 credit value and Fun Miles offering 50,000 Fun Miles to the lucky Applicant that Switched or Applied. 

The winner “Ms. Geraldine Gibs” was electronically pulled from the list of applicants during WIB’s Campaign period. 

WIB and Fun Miles are bringing more rewards within your reach.  To Apply for MY card, visit your preferred WIB Branch. Congrats Ms. Geraldine Gibs.

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