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Soualiga News (1768)

Temporary postponement of Meet, Greet and Eat small business entrepreneurship initiative in Festival Village

POND ISLAND, Sint Maarten - Stichting Overheidsgebouwen (SOG) and Strictly Business Educational Foundation (SBEF) regrets to inform the general public of Sint Maarten that the much anticipated small business entrepreneurship weekend program will not kick off as planned on July 4th 2014.

The reason for this temporary postponement is due to e.g. many vendors not being ready with their vending permits, police records and food handler’s permits. In addition securing the necessary finances in a timely manner has also proven to be a challenge for some of the vendors.

As a consequence management of SOG and SBEF are left with no other choice than to postpone the start-up date of this weekend program and after careful consideration have decided to kick off this small business initiative on November 1st with a pre St. Maarten Day celebration and will continue every weekend thereafter.

This temporary postponement until November 1st 2014 will allow all vendors ample time to secure all necessary permits and finances.

The aim of the program is to create vending opportunities for small entrepreneurs and to promote, organize activities in the Festival Village by stimulating the selling of drinks, foods, arts & craft. The vendors will be allowed to have booths, tents or tables for vending.

Additional information can be obtained by calling SOG office at 5430506 or SBEF at 5537580.

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Seven Seas Waters donates to Art Saves Lives Foundation

POINT BLANCHE, Sint Maarten – Art Saves Lives Foundation has joined a growing list of St. Maarten entities receiving a donation made by Seven Seas Waters St. Maarten.  The donation was made by Seven Seas Waters managing director Franklyn Richards, in the form of a cheque presented to representatives of the youth group, over the weekend.

The donation is to assist in the foundation in fulfilling its overall objectives, geared towards youth empowerment.

Seven Seas Waters St. Maarten is delighted with the opportunity to contribute towards the group and has made the donation in an effort to facilitate the foundation’s “cross-cultural exchange between youth in need and experienced practicing artists who seek to use their talents for positive change”.

Seven Seas Waters St. Maarten remains committed to supporting community programs that offer the youth opportunity for growth, seen against the background of a national development of the country.

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SDA next DigiKidz School for start of the new school year

COLE BAY, Sint Maarten - When the new school year begins in August, the Seventh Day Adventist School (SDA) in Cole Bay will be the next DigiKidz school after the first pilot at Hillside Christian School Asha Stevens Campus.

DigiKidz envisions bringing ICT in Sint Maarten primary schools on the island through joint efforts of the public and private entities. This project focuses on a modern physical ICT infrastructure and includes 21st century learning and teaching. The project aims to increase and improve the use of technology among students and staff at the primary school level, acknowledging the fact that education does not stop after school closes.

The Digikidz project rolls out a comprehensive ICT project for elementary schools, including hardware with laptops/tablets, wired and wireless network, and professional development for staff for those schools that are motivated to teach students innovative 21st century learning skills.

Through an initial commitment of The Windsong International Foundation in the US/Anguilla, Sint Maarten might be able to receive funding. Nearly US $200.000 already has been invested in the first pilot school and Philipsburg Jubilee Library's future DigiKidz Media Lab.

Currently, preparations are underway at SDA to install the basic network infrastructure. CaribTech recently finished all the cabling for six datalines per classroom, cabled connections for the offices and public spaces.

CaribWork as the local sub-contractor for Skool N.V. will install the wireless infrastructure, the network structure and install SkoolControl a Learning Management System that controls the use of all ICT in the school.

“This is a very helpful tools for management, teachers and student as it helps them to easily navigate and get access to educational programs and website and allows the schools to be in control of their IT infrastructure,” President of the Foresee Foundation Jose Sommers Verscheuren said. Foresee is the initiator of the DigiKidz project.

She said SDA has been very cooperative by building a server room with air-conditioning in a safe place at the school. With the network and SkoolControl in place, Foresee Foundation in collaboration with SDA will order the additional hardware: laptops for teachers, digital boards, educational tablets for students and other technology equipment.

The plan is to have everything ready for the start of the school year. Teachers will be trained in the week before school starts and will get the opportunity to learn about the new technology implementations. The IT team of SDA will be the innovation team and in collaboration with Foresee Foundation - DigiKidz will guide staff with the implementation.

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Monday's Central Committee ends due to lack of quorum

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The Central Committee of the House of Parliament met very briefly on Monday, June 30th.  The session was closed by President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell less than five minutes after it was established that there was no quorum.

The first agenda points for the session were an invitation to attend a solemn ceremony of the Curacao House of Parliament on July 2 in connection with ‘Dia di Bandera.’

The second agenda point was the draft National Ordinance related to a budgetary amendment of the 2014 National Budget with respect to the financing of several policy initiatives.

Minister of Finance Hon. Martin Hassink was present with his support staff.

Members of Parliament (MP) who signed in for the session were the Chair Hon. MP Gracita Arrindell (United People’s party), MP Hon. Patrick Illidge (Independent), MP Hon. Roy Marlin (Democratic Party), and MP Hon. Leroy De Weever (Democratic Party).

The audio file download for the very short meeting is:

https://www.sendspace.com/file/bphive

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Special Summer Opening hours at the Library starting today

PHILPSBURG, Sint Maarten - Philipsburg Jubilee Library will begin their special summer opening hours in order to complete their annual inventory, starting today, Wednesday, July 2, 2014.

The Library’s summer openings hours will be as follows: The library will be closed on Mondays; Tuesday and Wednesday, the library will be open from 9:00am to 12:30pm and 2:00pm to 6:00pm; Thursday, 2:00pm to 8:00pm; Friday, 9:00am to 12:30pm and 2:00pm to 5:00pm; and Saturday, 10:00am am to 1:00pm.  

Regular opening hours will resume on August 12, 2014. 

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UP Party Releases first episode of The UPDate

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The United People's (UP) Party on Monday, June 30th launched its premiere episode of "The UPDate," the parties communication tool using social media and the traditional broadcast media to reach its supporters and the Sint Maarten community. 

 
The first episode of The UPDate features interviews with the Leader of the UP Party Hon. Member of Parliament Theodore Heyliger, Deputy Leader Frankie Meyers and UP Party President and UP Faction Leader Hon. Member of Parliament Sylvia Meyers.
 
The first episode of UPDate can be found on the following link:
 
 
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“July 1” discussion on Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin at Jubilee Library

GREAT BAY/MARIGOT, St. Martin - The facts and findings of Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin by Rhoda Arrindell is at the center of the Emancipation Day discussion on Tuesday, July 1, at 7:30 PM, at Philipsburg Jubilee Library, according to House of Nehesi (HNP), the book’s publisher.

The new study looks at how St. Martiners see their own identity; and how and why the island’s speech has been changing before and after the 1848 Emancipation, said HNP president Jacqueline Sample.

“Dr. Arrindell also uses interviews and surveys to present what immigrant groups think about the St. Martin way of speaking, and about other aspects of the culture on both parts of the island. All of this makes for a first-of-its-kind book for us,” said Sample.

“Arrindell’s research is a unique groundbreaking work,” said Prof. Alma Simounet, a linguist at the University of Puerto Rico.

“The Emancipation Day discussion will tackle issues in the book, from the curious to the controversial. Questions and comments from people in the audience will also be invited,” said Arrindell, who will read short selections to stimulate the exchange.

In Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin, Arrindell presents different points of view, analyzes, and explains. She manages to open the way to a wider public and scholarly discussion about the nation’s language, culture, and identity; and about education policies and practices in the South and North of the island, said the publisher.

Released in early June 2014, Arrindell’s book cites earlier research by Daniella Jeffry, Mario Brown, and Linda Richardson on whether St. Martin has its own language or a creole dialect. “But Dr. Arrindell goes the furthest so far to introduce St. Martin in a scientific way to the complex language, ethnic, and culture realities of the Caribbean region,” said Sample.

The writings of leading international language experts are drawn into the book as well. According to the distinguished US professor Dr. Garrett Hongo, the overall work by Arrindell is an “achievement” in the “linguistic realm” as it relates to actual evidence of “resistance, naming, and claiming” in the island’s culture. Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin is based on Arrindell’s original Ph.D. research.

At the Tuesday program, copies of Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin will be available for every one and for the author to sign. The new title can be found at Van Dorp bookstore, SPDbooks.org, and Amazon.com, said Sample.

The Emancipation Day discussion is organized by the St. Martin Book Fair Committee and sponsored by SOS Radio, said book fair coordinatorShujah Reiph.

 

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Democratic Party Reminds Parliament and Factions that the Electoral Ball is in their Court

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - Prime Minister and Minister for GA was visibly surprised with Parliament's letter reminding and asking the PM to respond to Parliament's motion of April 2013 regarding electoral reform. Ironically this motion has received the most attention by far from government.

The PM reminds the Parliament of St. Maarten of her initiative and discussion paper in which she outlined  to the Parliament of St. Maarten how the matters of the electoral reform motion could be addressed. The Prime Minister has even appeared in Parliament to expound on the proposals that she submitted.

More striking however is the fact that in the absence of  current guidelines governing the election campaign period,  some political factions are suddenly not in favor of arriving at a consensus regarding conduct and guidelines for the political campaign.

Mind you, the motion of April 2013 was UNANIMOUSLY adopted by all factions and parties (DP, UPP, and NA) in  Parliament.

It appears now that the UP faction in Parliament in particular  is reneging on this agreement as expressed in the Parliamentary motion of April 2013. That motion for some factions in Parliament seems to have been solely for political consumption and not for any real change in how we conduct ourselves in politics.  "Now, I receive this letter from the Vice Chair of Parliament on behalf of  the same Parliament??"

"Yet, I am sure if any organization, (church, NGO, social club etc.) was to call on political parties to observe some type of electoral protocol, many  politicians would nod in agreement, but have absolutely no intention to cooperate, let alone abide.

For good order sake, the DP faction showed its willingness and contributed to the draft agreement that the Minister of Justice was and is seeking between parties, to at least have a semblance of order and proper conduct during the campaign period.

It was felt that time does not permit formal  regulation of matters such as order at polling stations etc. and hence the proposal  by the Minister of Justice that political parties could arrive at a consensus (gentleman's agreement) regarding guidelines for the 2014 electoral campaign.

PM: "My feeling, however,  is that this matter could be regulated in the Police Ordinance, as I proposed to Parliament several months ago".

Already parties are making (mis)use of the absence of guidelines for the political campaign.

When does it start? And end?

Have there been exemptions given to the regulations governing billboards, political meetings etc? These matters are all part of the Police Ordinance.

For now therefore, the DP is focusing on the proposal that was also part of the Paper presented to Parliament, namely the agreement between parties and their candidates, the so-called covenant. We have formulated this agreement in a pledge for our DP candidates.

Our search for candidates who are in it for country and service to country, whose records are clean, who are committed to "Raising the Bar" is bearing fruit. Yes, there are these persons out there. Many, I dare say.

Some, still hesitant to enter the political arena,  because of intimidation and outright pressure, but also quite aware, that they can help turn things around. "If not you, then who and if not now, then when, is my mantra." When you fill in "then who", can conjure up some scary prospects of who are asking to represent us.

We can not observe what is going on and lament in our own small circles, but on the other hand, accept and join the public hype. When standing for what you believe in, you sometimes stand alone. (Press Statement by the Democratic Party)

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Central Committee to meet on Monday morning regarding 2014 Budget Amendment and Curacao Parliament Session

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The Central Committee of the House of Parliament will meet on June 30th.

The Central Committee meeting is set for Monday at 10.00am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The first agenda point is an invitation to attend a solemn ceremony of the Curacao House of Parliament on July 2 in connection with ‘Dia di Bandera.’

The second agenda point is the draft National Ordinance related to a budgetary amendment of the 2014 National Budget with respect to the financing of several policy initiatives.

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations.

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

The parliamentary session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 120, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the Internet www.pearlfmradio.com, and also via www.sxmparliament.org.  

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