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Summer Movie Thursday at the Library

PHILPSBURG, Sint Maarten - Philipsburg Jubilee Library has been hosting their summer movie tomorrow since the start of July.

As part of the Library’s summer program, every Thursday in July, from 5:30 – 7:45pm has been dedicated especially to family movie nights. This Thursday, the animated film, “Spirit” will be shown.

Parents and children are invited to attend these special summer movie showings free of charge. Snacks will be available. 

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DP Presents Platform on Government Owned Companies and Monetary Union

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The Democratic Party over the weekend presented its platform on DP Platform on Government Owned Companies and the Future of the Monetary Union. The platform highlights that Government owned companies should focus on their core business and Government should ensure more transparency within these companies, something that will be mandated through the platform; “It is the feeling of the Democratic Party that the St. Maarten government companies can become even stronger if they would pool together in several areas, such as automation, finances and purchases.

For appropriate areas, such as finance, an overarching (holding) company could offer a beneficial relationship between companies and facilitate investments,” reads the Democratic Party Platform.

The DP also released its ideas regarding the future of the Monetary Union with Curacao. The platform states that the DP accepted the solution of a monetary union with Curacao on the basis of parity; “While this was negotiated and agreed to by all partners, having the union function in such a fashion has proven elusive at best. While cooperation in the last months has improved and both governments are desirous of making the best of the monetary union, it is clear that political views have changed.

“In this changed situation, the DP favors dollarization, de facto formalizing the economic reality of St. Maarten.

“However, the DP will work with the government of Curacao to ensure immediate upgrading of the Central Bank branch on St. Maarten in the following areas: training, human resources and a new bank building,” concludes the DP Party Platform on the Future of the Monetary Union with Curacao.  (Contributed by the DP Party)

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Issues Discussed at NAs First District Public Meeting in St. Peters

ST. PETERS, Sint Maarten - The Board of the National Alliance (NA) would like to thank the residents of St. Peters, South Reward and the surrounding areas for coming out last Friday, July 18 and participating in the first district meeting. Several residents were given the opportunity to voice their concerns and ask questions of the candidates and the Board.

Of the many things the residents mentioned, was the improvement of the environment in St.Peters. Residents were concerned about the sewage in the roads and the maintenance of the bushes and trees as well as the garbage pickup. The residents felt that St. Peters was being ignored by the current government.

The Alliance was able to explain the plans that were put in motion during the tenure of former Minister William Marlin where the St. Peters area would be one of the first areas to be connected to the Sewage System and the contracts that were to be awarded to several local contractors in the neighborhoods.

The residents also mentioned issues concerning Education, Mental Health Foundation, the quality of medication, and dental care for especially the elderly. Several candidates were introduced by the master of ceremonies for the night candidate #11 Cedric Peterson as they explained the improvements in healthcare that is planned by the National Alliance and mentioned in the Manifesto.

Team National Alliance also explained to the residents that no matter which parties form the next Government that the new medical center will be constructed as the Board of SMMC has been working on the expansion for a few years now.

The night ended on a high note with everyone mingling for a while after the meeting ended. (Contributed by the NA Party)

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Ministry VROMI announces road closure on Union Road near Port de Plaisance on July 26

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), hereby announces there will be interruption to the traffic flow on the Union Road, Cole Bay from the entrance to Port de Plaisance up to the Causeway round-a-bout.

The closure will start on Saturday, July 26 at 5.00am until Sunday, July 27 at 5.00pm.

The road closure is in connection with the placement and connection of a culvert underneath the road and, two road crossings.  The civil works are being executed by Windward Roads.

All traffic coming from Union Road will be diverted onto the new concrete road to the left of Union Road and will continue to the round-a-bout.

All traffic coming from Marigot or from the Causeway will not be able to go down Union Road via the round-a-bout.  This will only be possible via the following route: Causeway Bridge, Airport road over the Simpson Bay Bridge onto the Welfare road, to Union road.     

Motorists and pedestrians are requested to be vigilant and observant for the traffic directional signs indicating what works are underway in the respective area, and that heavy equipment is also being used.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience that this may cause.

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Mix & Mingle for Christian Singles -Join the search on August 1

MARIGOT/PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - On the night of Friday, August 1, all roads will lead to St. Maarten's first and only singles retreat and game show organized by the Youth Development Center Foundation.

Branded Mix & Mingle for Christian Singles the event is scheduled to take place at Carl and Sons Conference Room in Cole Bay from 7:30 pm and according to organizers Emalie Questel and Georgia Peterkin, this one of a kind event will leave a lasting impression on attendees. It is not another concert, which only provides limited entertainment for Christians. It is a bold, new and creative concept with Biblical principles that diversifies gospel entertainment.

YDC hopes to attract single males and females from age 21 to infinity who seek friendship, companionship, love and ultimately a marriage spouse. The foundation admits that this is not a conventional method of socialization, especially for a community organization, but the objective is to create a conducive environment where folks lose their inhibitions, enjoy clean fun and perhaps find a partner.

"The theme of the event is Finding God's Match for Your Life! This means that people can no longer sit down and wait for the ideal partner to come to them. They have to become active seekers; as the Bible says, seek and you shall find. Bringing singles of various denominations together to fellowship is a good start and we anticipate a huge turnout based on the response we have gotten so far," Questel says.

To set the pace and inspire singles, YDC has also invited married couples to come out and show that it is possible to have a successful relationship. These couples will be used to warm the dance floor, share marital advice and participate in games.

"The price per ticket is $20 which covers the cost of entertainment, goody bags and buffet dinner. All proceeds from the event will go in aid of the work at the Youth Development Centre and also the Sister Circle empowerment group," Peterkin added.

She gave a sneak peek into some of the night's activities which include speed dating, quizzes, an expert relationship panel, stand-up comedy and live music by DJ Prince. Special door prizes such as dinners, spa treatment, movie tickets, weekend getaways, and a photo shoot and more will be given out.

Tickets for Mix & Mingle for Christian Singles can be purchased at Philipsburg locations; Family Bookstore, Oneil's Photo Studio and Negril Restaurant, Marigot locations; Rebuilding the Walls Book Emporium, MSR Private Cable TV and Carl and Son's Colebay. The dress code for the event is semi-formal.

The YDC is especially thankful for the kind contributions of Caribbean Cinemas, Cheri's Cafe, The Lotterie Farm, Inter Coiffure, Oniel’s Photo Studio, Domino’s Pizza, Rosemary's Seafood Creole Cuisine and Radio Maranatha 100.3 FM and Temptation Restaurant in support of the activity.

For more information on Mix & Mingle for Christian Singles scheduled for Friday August 1, 2014, please feel free to call 721-580-6796, 721-522-1131, 0690 77.41.98 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (Contribued by Mix & Mingle for Christian Singles)

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Deveny Elferink; 13-year old top talent off to New York

ST. MAARTEN-NEW YORK - Deveny Elferink, one of St Maarten’s top youth dance and design talents flew out to New York on Thursday to attend The School of Creative Arts and Performing Arts SOCAPA and the Parson New School of Design.

Deveny’s goal is to become a professional dancer and designer. Nicole de Weever, founder of the Foundation Arts Saves Lives, discovered Deveny’s exceptional dance and creative talents last year. Besides Nicole’s personal guidance, a team of professionals has been formed to assist and guide Deveny to achieve her goals.

In order to speed-up her personal development and to improve her dance skills, Deveny changed dance school at the beginning of this year.  Together with dance teacher Naomi Adriana, she is working on and developing her “own” personal image, dance and choreography identity.  Besides working on her dance skills, Naomi trained Deveny extensively on her body strength and dancing stamina.

The change to the dance school, INDUSHI Dance Theater, has turned out to have a positive affect on Deveny’s progress. The INDUSHI Dance Theater has provided Deveny with excellent support by opening their doors to her and giving her the opportunity to use the dance studios during the day, outside the regular dance lesson hours. Dance Theater Directors Susha Hien and Ihndhira Richardson-Marlin have also been personally instrumental to Deveny’s recent development. Tamara Leonard, also part of Deveny’s team, has been focusing on her design skills and providing her with personal advice and making her business savvy in pursuing her goal to become a professional designer. 

The fist half of Deveny’s summers stay in New York will focus on dancing and the second half more on design. Between all these activities, Deveny will also be visiting world leading dance teachers/choreographers and designers, who have embraced her talents over the last year and who will give her even more “life lessons” in the very tough world of professional dance and design.

Just prior her departure from Princess Juliana International Airport Deveny said: “I would like to thank the support team that has guided me over the last months and also the persons in the community who have supported me, including the Windward Islands Bank (WIB-Bank), Clean St. Maarten and Studio Acht Architects St. Maarten who have contributed financially to make this special trip possible”.

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Democratic Party Presents DP Party Platform on Infrastructure Improvement

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The Democratic Party, as part of its DP Party Platform for the 2014 Parliamentary Elections, highlighted its plans for infrastructure improvement in the various districts.  The platform presents various plans to move the infrastructural development of St. Maarten forward and to ensure that the country’s infrastructure is catered to the needs of the community.

“The Democratic Party supports the infrastructural priorities for the country such as link 6, the upgrading of Union Road and the placing of side-walks in the districts. Additionally, updating the Road Network Plan will allow better planning in synch with the zoning plans which are being developed,” reads the DP Platform on Infrastructure and Zoning. The Platform also says that the zoning of the island, while necessary, should not be presented as a fait accompli to the citizens but should increasingly engage residents meaningfully in discussions about future plans.

The DP Platform also continues to support the plans to develop the Bethlehem Estate. This plans call for a public private partnership to bring about a development in Dutch Quarter that will change the landscape of the district positively and profoundly.  It will provide a number of economic and social impulses and opportunities, but most importantly, it will stimulate jobs for residents of the district.

The Platform also highlighted the 11th European Development Fund, signed into force by Prime and DP Party leader Minister Wescot-Williams (EDF), which will be allocated to Urban Development and will result in further improvements and upgrades to the districts.

“We have successfully managed to sign the funding agreement with the European Union for the upgrading of the Dutch Quarter District. With the signing of the European Development Fund agreement St. Maarten will be expected to manage its own 10th EDF execution with as mentioned the designated project being the upgrading of Dutch Quarter. The management structure that will be put in place is a critical component to ensure that the project is executed within the parameters and guidelines of European funding. In order to inform the community of the project I will therefore be heading into the Dutch Quarter community to give an explanation regarding the upgrading of this very important district,” stated Party Leader and Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams. (Contributed by the DP Party)

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TelEm Group restores services to Pelican Key, customers with self-block feature still affected

POND ISLAND, Sint Maarten – TelEm Group has restored all voice and internet services to customers in Pelican Key area after carrying out emergency repairs to a damaged underground cable nearby.

Repair work began Wednesday morning and was completed shortly after noon Thursday.

TelEm Group said customers still experiencing communication issues should report the problem to TelEm Group’s Helpdesk for further investigation.

Wednesday’s outage in the Pelican Key area is not connected to last week’s major outage of TelEm Group and Smitcoms N.V. telecommunication services which affected internet and international customers island-wide.

TelEm Group says since that outage, internet services have been completely restored however an issue remains with customers using a self-block code feature on their residential and business phones.

“With the assistance of one of our vendors we are busy resolving these issues whereby customers with the self-block code feature are experiencing problems making local and international calls,” said Chief Technical Officer, Mr. Eldert Louisa.

He said as of 6:00 pm Thursday a solution was still being sought and apologized to customers for the interruption in service.

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How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position by Tabish Khair

GREAT BAY, St. Martin – By Lasana M. Sekou - There are Caribbean people who would call Tabish Khair “a bold man,” “that bold-faceted fellow,” for daring to write How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position, his newest novel. 

Some of us might agree with The Times of London that the book is “Hilarious” and brilliant. But a good many would belabor its gritty humor-glad irreverence (not necessarily in a bad way, nor even as a question, and as if forgetting that our kaisonians and tone-laden languages do it with “we own thing” all of the time!).

So, readers in St. Martin and other parts of the region and its external frontiers, might pose matter-of-factly, “How Tabish could write so” (yes, we’d use his first name), about certain issues that are becoming increasingly acerbic worldwide. Issues that toggle incessantly at the fabric of human affairs, even as we’re barely robed halfway in the second decade of the new century: religious extremism, rabid racial, ethnic, and immigrant phobias, terrorism, and “the misunderstanding between rich and poor.”

Huffington Post review remarks that while Khair does look at such issues of the day, he also explores “more personal themes of love and imperfection, literature and life, city and country.” The satirical novel of less than 200 pages is further a “rare thing: a mature comic novel,” according to a review in The New Republic.

The publisher of How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position, Interlink Publishing, gets straight to the juicy point: The unnamed Pakistani narrator copes with his divorce, Ravi—despite his exterior of skeptical flamboyance—falls deeply in love with a beautiful woman who is incapable of responding in kind, Karim, their landlord, goes on with his job as a taxi driver and his regular Friday Qur’an sessions. But … why does he disappear suddenly at times or receive mysterious phone calls? When a “terrorist attack” takes place in the Danish town where they are immigrants and flat mates, all three men find themselves embroiled in doubt, suspicion, and, perhaps, danger.

I asked Tabish (see what I mean about first names?) to comment on or select a line from the text that might bring the novel home to Caribbean audiences, for whom I think that this book is unmissable. He chose from the text: “For me, though, infected surely by Ravi’s enthusiasm and sense of wonderment at what had happened between them, it was like a miracle gone unremarked: as if someone was walking on water while people went about their barbeque parties all over the beach, poking sausage and salting steak on their grills, and guzzling down beer.”

This week the paperback edition of How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position was released and is available at Internet bookstores. The book has been having a successful run with its European, Canadian, and USA hardback editions, a French translation, international reviews, and author appearances – following and overlapping each other in rapid order between late 2013 and the first quarter of 2014. A former guest author of the St. Martin Book Fair, Khair is already set for book signings in Ireland, the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere in the second half of the year.

Tabish Khair was born in India in 1966 and has taught at Aarhus University in Denmark, where he lives. He is the author of several critically acclaimed novels and poetry collections. Winner of the All India Poetry Prize as well as fellowships at Delhi, Cambridge, and Hong Kong, his novels—The Bus Stopped (2004), Filming: A Love Story (2007), and The Thing About Thugs (2010)—have been translated into several languages and shortlisted for major literary prizes including the Encore Award (UK), the Crossword Prize, the Hindu Best Fiction Prize, the DSC Prize for South Asia (India), and the Man Asian Literary Prize (Hong Kong). His co-edited Other Routes – 1500 Years of African and Asian Travel Writing is a paradigm-shifting must read for any one interested in the history of tourism. 

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Minister Lake commends colleague ministers for supporting Video X Games Tournament

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake would like to commend his colleagues Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Hon. Ted Richardson and Minister of Finance Hon. Martin Hassink for their role in approving funds for the Video X Games (VXG).

The 3rd VXG tournament will take place at Port de Plaisance.  The event is the largest of kid’s kind in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Last year VXG attracted over 300 game enthusiast tourists from various parts of the world, and attracted over 300,000 online stream viewers on CBS’s corps online broadcasting network Twitch TV.

“A group of young people came together and have on two occasions successfully hosted the VXG tournament.  They have done a wonderful job each time.  I take this opportunity to commend them for a job well done,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Wednesday.

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