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Soualiga News (1698)

MP Heyliger visits elementary schools distributing pencil cases to students

PHILIPSBURG - Leader of the United People party Member of Parliament (MP) Hon. Theo Heyligeron last week Tuesday commenced with his annual distribution of pencil cases to elementary schools. MP Heyliger took time out to speak to the students about the importance of education and putting the pencil cases to good use doing their school work. His tour of the schools continued the entire week.

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Bob the Builder receives new mattresses from Island Gems

BETTY’S ESTATE - Bob the Builder Nursery and Day Care now has six new mattresses for its cribs, thanks to a donation from Island Gems Charity Foundation.

A request to fund new mattresses was submitted to Island Gems by Gems board member Jody Rosen. The request was granted by the Island Gems, because the new mattresses were deemed important for the well-being of the babies and toddlers who attend the day care and nursery.

The day care and nursery immediately put the mattresses, made in St. Maarten, to work. When Island Gems President Alita Singh, Treasurer Kerisha James and Rosen visited the school in Betty’s Estate recently, two children were resting comfortably in cribs while others watched television.

“Island Gems are very interested in the well-being and education of our children. This is why we saw this donation as important. We look forward to the children who fall asleep on the mattresses to be whisked off to pleasant and fun dreams,” said Singh.

Island Gems Charity Foundation is an all-women group. It raises funds to support community projects on both sides of the island at its only fundraising event – its annual, themed gala dinner. The next gala dinner at Captain Oliver’s restaurant is on Saturday, March 28, 2015. The theme is “Caribbean Creole Night.”

Island Gems urges everyone to save the date and start getting their best Caribbean Creole-style outfits ready for the gala.

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SXM Airport Teams up with Nature Foundation in Tree Planting Project

SIMPSON BAYThe Princess Juliana International Airport, SXM, in collaboration with the Nature Foundation has embarked on a tree planting project to replace some of those uprooted or damaged by Hurricane Gonzalo and provide much needed shade at the Belair Beach.

“Ours is a long-standing partnership with the Nature Foundation,” said Regina LaBega, SXM managing director. “Planting trees for shade or for beautification is not only good for the environment, it is a re-affirmation of life, especially after a hurricane like Gonzalo that seemed to have targeted our greenery.”

Tadzio Bervoets, manager of the Nature Foundation, remarked that he was impressed by the work of the contractors who planted the trees.

I was at the tree planting and I must say it looks very good. The guys are doing an excellent job and I have already had very positive feedback from the community regarding the project,” Bervoets said. He thanked SXM Airport for initiating the project and seeing to its execution. (SXM Airport)

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Rotary Sunrise welcomes Mr. Jason Rogers

PHILIPSBURG - Rotary Club of St. Maarten Sunrise was pleased to welcome Attorney Jason Rogers, Central Voting Bureau Chairman to their recent morning meeting.In the aftermath of the past elections Rogers in his presentation gave a recap of the recent elections and elucidated on the role of the voting bureau during and after the elections. 

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Ministry of Public Health calls on Garage Owners and Tire Repair Shops to take Steps to Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Sites

GREAT BAY – The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a section at the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, is appealing to garage owners and tire repair shops to take measures to remove mosquito breeding sites from their establishments and to maintain on a daily basis control measures to eliminate any standing water on their premises.

Accumulation of rainwater in tires provides breeding space for mosquitoes that carry the dengue/chikungunya-causing virus.

Minister of Public Health Hon. Cornelius de Weever, ‘Get Checked” campaign, is in line with the 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.

The design of tires makes them ideal breeding sites for several species of mosquitoes, some of which are very important vectors of disease.  Since they are easily filled by rain and collect leaf litter, they provide an ideal incubator for mosquito larvae.

By taking action, one will eliminate a prolific mosquito habitat and the associated disease risks.  When discarding tires, ensure that they cannot hold water by puncturing holes in them or cutting them up into pieces before throwing them away.

Dengue fever and chickungunya is transmitted by the female vector Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is distinguished by its markings. The body of the mosquito has alternate black and white horizontal stripes. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito lays her eggs in clear (clean) stagnant water. Within eight days the mosquito can complete its life cycle from egg, to larvae to pupae and to adult mosquito.

Even after you have cleaned-up your garage/tire repair shop and surroundings, it is recommended for owners and staff to walk around the place on a weekly basis and after every rain event to eliminate all possible breeding sites.

An increase in the mosquito population puts all residents and businesses at risk.

Inform CPS about your challenges in eliminating mosquito breeding sites in and around your homes/establishments to collectively seek a solution.

Call CPS at 542-2078 or 542-3003 or visit the Facebook Collective Prevention Services or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for mosquito prevention measures. (Dept. of Communication)

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Fire Department issues holiday season safety guidelines

GREAT BAY – The holiday season has started.  The Fire Department would like to issue several guidelines to the public in order for everybody to celebrate the holiday season in a safe manner incident free.

In connection with decorations: do not overload outlets; do not put flammable decorations next to surfaces that will get hot; test Christmas tree and outdoor lights before hanging them.

Keep your Christmas tree moist if you purchase a real tree.  At the end of the holiday season, do not burn your tree, and do not put the tree near to open flames or hot surfaces.

With respect to fireworks, these can only be sold by a licensed retailer; persons under 18 may not purchase fireworks; minors may not use fireworks unsupervised; and fireworks should be used according to the instructions.

Fireworks can only be sold from December 29 to 31.

Fireworks can only be used on December 31, 2014 from 10.00pm to 2.00am, January 1, 2015.

The management and staff of the St. Maarten Fire Department would like to wish the populace of the country a safe and incident free holiday season with family and friends. (Dept. of Communication)

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CPS Section Youth Health Care Vineyard Office Park Location Closed

GREAT BAY – Due to personnel capacity problems related to sickness, vacation and maternity leave, the Youth Health Care office at the Vineyard Office Park, will be closed to the public from the 1st of December through the 9th of January.

Scheduled visits to the schools for vaccination rounds will continue.

Clients from children age four and up who already have an appointment at the Vineyard Office will be contacted to reschedule their appointment or to reschedule their appointment to the Baby Clinic location.

The baby clinic will remain open to the public. The baby clinic is located behind Guardian Group Fatum insurances near the Bush Road roundabout.

To make an appointment the client can call 543-0295.

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"IS THE GREAT TRAVEL RECESSION OVER FOR ST. MAARTEN?"

By Terrance Rey

SINT MAARTEN - There has been a lot of debate recently about airlines and the airline industry. Especially the cost of airline tickets for travellers. For us here locally, St. Maarten as a destination has been the center of

discussion on what should be done to attract more airlines to our island. But we have to understand a vitally important factor in the airline business. The only real reason any airline would fly to St. Maarten is to make money. Airlines are not in the business of promoting any tourist destination. Airlines exist to make money for their shareholders in the form of profits, plain and simple.

Many airlines have increased or are in the process of increasing flight capacity at the expense of leg room and continue to increase fares despite lower fuel costs because they are in the process of recouping the losses they sustained from the reduction in air travel brought about by the 'Great Travel Recession' of the past decade.

The management of most airlines have become forward-looking and see that the present recovery of economies in the United States and Europe is the perfect opportunity to make as much extra cash as possible. The money people save at the gas station as a result of declining oil prices can be
used for air travel.

One of the problems with development of more air travel to St. Maarten is the seasonal flights that only occur during the winter months from North America and Europe. St. Maarten needs to promote itself as a year-round tourist destination that will encourage the seasonal flight operators to make a change to all year-round operations.

Getting the airlines to cooperate with this objective will take incentives. The negotiations may be a bit tricky in maintaining compliance with US and European restrictions on government subsidies of airline
companies and St. Maarten’s government’s budgetary restrictions are certainly no help either. But the government of St. Maarten could and should make new deals with major carriers from the US and Europe, especially Scandanavian-based airline companies, such as Finnair, looking to expand their operations internationally.

This means paying the airlines to come to St. Maarten. This could be a financial stretch for a government that is seeing decreasing tax income and less revenues for businesses with the state of the present economy. But this strategy has worked well for Curacao and many more thousands of airports around the world. So why not St. Maarten?

St. Maarten needs to look at new markets that have established airlines such as the Arab Gulf states. China and South Korea have developed a growing airline industry. Certainly, not every person in China can come to St. Maarten, but a growing number of wealthy Chinese would see St. Maarten
for its attractiveness that even the vastness of China cannot offer in terms of climate and its natural environment.

Finally, advertising will make people want to come to St. Maarten and the airlines will cater to their client’s desires with more flights to St. Maarten. Again, this could be a bit of a financial burden on businesses
that are not making the revenues they once enjoyed but every other Caribbean tourist destination will be doing the same thing. The competition for tourist dollars in the Caribbean and elsewhere will
certainly increase tenfold the coming years and St. Maarten needs to be at the forefront of innovative marketing developments to attract new visitors to the island.

The good news is that the 'Great Travel Recession' is essentially over in the USA, Canada and Europe. But is the 'Great Travel Recession' over for St. Maarten as well? Higher employment rates and more disposable income in the USA alone will mean more tourists for St. Maarten and our island has all the accommodations, natural beauty, activities and night life that make the island attractive to tourists. However, the island will have to spend lots more money to increase inbound air travel and get back to the
levels of tourism revenues that the island previously enjoyed in the booming era up to ten years ago.

By the way, it is important that tourism authorities on St. Maarten select the right media to promote the island and attract new visitors and make it worthwhile for airlines to fly to St. Maarten. Here is an example of a good media platform to use:www.mapsxm.com. Because it is really necessary that we put St. Maarten back on the map as the preferred destination for the major airline carriers.


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