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Mosquito Fogging Activities; Schedule Opening Times of Clinics and Pharmacies for Tuesday

PHILIPSBURG - The Collective Prevention Services Department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor informs the general public that in view of the noted increase of mosquitoes on the island, the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development & Labour will continue with fogging in the following areas for the remaining of the week,


Bush Road

Cul-de-Sac 

Mary Fancy

Saunders 

Betty Estate 

Ebenezer 

South Reward

The fogging activity will take place from 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. as weather permits.

Schedule of General Practitioners & Family Physician’s opening hours for Tuesday, September  26th, 2017


Saunders Dr. Spencer 8 am to 2 pm
Dutch Quarter Clinic Dr. Arrindell from 8 am to 12 pm
Great Bay Medical Clinic Dr. Bus and Dr. Knoll 9 am to 1 pm
Mercuur Medical Clinic 8 am to 12 pm
Bush Road Clinic Dr. Raghosing and Dr. Bouman 8 am to 12 pm
Cay Hill Dr. Generellette 8 am to 11 am & Dr. Swanston from 11 am to 3 pm
A.Th. Illidge  Road Dr. Nagwu from 9 am to 1 pm
Cole Bay Dr. Zamora from 9 am to 12 pm
Union Road Clinic Dr. van Osch, Dr. Simmons & Dr. Herles  9 am to 3 pm
Dr. Bell 8 am to 11 am
Simponbay Clinic Dr. Buser, Datema & Tjaden 8 am to 1 pm
Dr. Dennaoui 8 am to 2 pm 
Dr. Deketh will be seeing patients at  Dr. Dennoui clinic 8 am to 12 pm until further notice

Schedule of Pharmacies opening hours


 Philipsburg Pharmacy 8 am to 3 pm
 Bush Road Pharmacy 8 am to 6:00 pm
 Dutch Quarter Pharmacy 8 am to 6 pm

 St. Peter’s Pharmacy 8 am to 1 pm
 SMMC’s Pharmacy 8 am to 4 pm
 Simpsonbay Pharmacy  8 am to 1 pm
 Orange Grove Pharmacy 9 am to 5 pm
 The Druggist  8 am to 1 pm

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POSTPONEMENT OF PARENTS MEETING – PUBLIC SCHOOLS

PHILIPSBURG – The parents meeting which was scheduled for Tuesday September 26th at 8:00am, for the parents of the public-school students (Leonald Conner School, the Oranje School, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School, the Ruby Labega School, the Genevieve de Weever School, the Prins Willem Alexander School and the St. Maarten Vocational Training School), has been postponed until further notice.

Once a new date has been determined, the parents will be informed accordingly. 

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Mosquito Fogging on Sunday. Schedule for Family Physicians. Pharmacy Opening Schedule for Sat & Sun

PHILIPSBURG - The Collective Prevention Services Department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor informs the general public that in view of the noted increase of mosquitoes on the island, the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development & Labour will continue with the fogging activities on Sunday September 24th, 2017 5.30 am to 8.00 am. in the following areas:

Dutch Quarter
Madame Estate
Arch Road
Suckergardem
Guana Bay
Hope Estate
Point Blanche

Schedule of General Practitioners & Family Physician’s
 

Opening hours for Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

Great Bay Medical Clinic  9 am to 12 pm
Dr. Mercuur 8 am to 12 pm

Bush Road Dr. Bouman & Dr. Raghosing 9 am to 11 am

Saunders Dr. Spencer 9 am to 11 am

Cay Hill Dr. Generellette & Dr. Swanston closed on Saturday

A.Th. Illidge Road Dr. Nagwu from 9 am to 1 pm

Cole Bay Dr. Zamora from 9 am to 1 pm

Union Road Clinic Dr. van Osch, Dr. Simmons & Dr. Herles  9 am to 12 pm

Dr. Bell 8 am to 11 am

Simpson bay Clinic Dr. Buser, Datema & Tjaden 8 am to 12 pm

Dr. Dennaoui 8 am to 2 pm

Dr. Deketh will be seeing patients at  Dr. Dennoui Clinic from 8 am to 12 pm until further notice

On Sunday, your general practitioners will be closed and resume on Monday

 

Schedule of Pharmacies opening hours for Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

Dutch Quarter Pharmacy 9 am to 1 pm


Philipsburg Pharmacy 9 am to 3 pm


Bush Road Pharmacy 9 am to 3 pm

SMMC Pharmacy 8 am to 4 pm

Simpson bay Pharmacy 8 am to 1 pm

Orange Grove Pharmacy 9 am to 3 pm

The Druggist  8 am to 1 pm

Sunday, September 24th,2017 the following pharmacies will be opened


Philipsburg Pharmacy 10 am to 2 pm

Cole Bay Orange Grove  1 pm to 3 pm

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Roadmap for reconstruction and Recovery of Sint Maarten. Work Group Established

POND ISLAND - Due to the severe damage that was caused by Hurricane Irma to both the social and economic infrastructure of Sint Maarten, the Government of Sint Maarten will develop a national recovery plan to guide the reconstruction and recovery of Sint Maarten.

A work group to draft the National Recovery Plan was established by national decree.  The work group will take the various damage and needs assessments into consideration and will consult both local and international stakeholders as part of the assignment to draft a comprehensive national recover plan that will serve as a roadmap for the reconstruction and recovery of Sint Maarten.

The National Recovery Plan, NRP for short, will outline initiatives for short, mid and long term.

The members of the work group are:

-        Mrs. Joane Dovale-Meit, Chair and Member;

-        Mr. Dennis Richardson, Vice-Chair and Member;

-        Mrs. Cassandra Janssen, Secretary and Member;

-        Mr. Jan Beaujon, Member;

-        Mrs. Mackini Hickinson- Persaud, Member;

-        Mr. Fernando William, Member.

During a meeting between the Council of Ministers and the work group on Thursday, September 21, the work group presented and submitted their approach for the drafting the National Recovery Plan, which was approved by the Council of Ministers.

The work group endeavors to prepare a preliminary report by the beginning of October 2017 and a definitive report by the end of 2017

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Cuba, Dominica Top Internet Innovation Awards

SINT MAARTEN - When Dr. Gustavo Cervantes Montero got the good news, he didn't celebrate, not at first.

“At first, I thought it was a mistake,” he said in an e-mail interview.

For the last 10 years, Montero's team from the Universidad de Oriente de Cuba, a 70-year-old Cuban university, has been quietly working on a special project to develop digital educational materials for some of the country’s rural communities, precisely where it's most needed. 

In September, Montero was checking his inbox when he saw that the project had been selected by the Regional Fund for Digital Innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean—commonly called FRIDA—as a top prize winner.  In addition to a $5,000 cash award, the project also copped a sponsorship to attend the Global Internet Governance Forum in Switzerland. The news took a while to sink in.

“I was so sure that other projects would win, especially another one from Cuba which had national scope. In fact, I closed the e-mail and turned off the computer, then I came back and reopened it and read the mail again. I was confused, and I really couldn’t believe it,” he said.

“Eventually, I sent the mail to my son and my boss and just closed it. I couldn’t even click through to the online results until the next day, when I was bit more collected, and was able to actually process and celebrate the results. From the time I read that email up until the time that I actually saw the results online, I was just walking around with that excitement inside me. As in, I didn’t tell my wife until the following evening. And it wasn’t until the day after that that I started to think about all the work done by my team for more than 10 years. That’s when I started to reach out the research team, work colleagues and supervisors to let them in on the great news,” he added.

FRIDA jurors who selected the Cuban project, called Armonía, highlighted the fact that it uses technology to create educational materials in direct response to challenges faced by rural communities, in the context of the Cuban Internet. 

“Communities like Mangá, Sabanilla, Boca de Mícara, Soledad, Concepción, Aeropuerto, were among those with the best results,” Montero said.

The initiative ran in more than 20 sites, and saw the production of websites and e-books in primary schools and higher-level learning institutions. 

“In the committee's opinion, Armonía's efforts to incorporate technology in the school system and rural environments despite existing limitations are exemplary,” a release on the FRIDA website said.

Montero said he was “deeply grateful” for the support and input of a wide range of collaborators, including government representatives, education officials, teachers and citizens. 

Cuba's was not the only Caribbean project to win a cash prize for designing technology-based solutions to a serious challenge facing the region.

A Dominican proposal to use open data and the Internet of Things (IoT) to help deal with severe weather events emerged as the winner of the most technical category—Innovation for Internet Development, and was awarded $18,500. FRIDA jurors singled out the experiment for responding to the challenges of climate change and Caribbean countries’ exposure to natural disasters.

Called Schools’ Internet of Things, it proposed to build weather stations in local schools using hardware such as Rasberry Pi, Arduino, climatic sensors and cameras to capture data on local weather. 

“This will require students to develop knowledge in Python, PHP, and web server technology, as well as other Internet protocols,” said a release from the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) of Dominica, the organization behind the proposal.

The team proposes to make the recorded meteorological data freely available online, using mainly open source software. According to the proposal, students, teachers and volunteers will work together to record the local weather data at each school site, then pool their data in an open format online.

“NTRC Dominica is thrilled and overwhelmed to have been selected as the winner of the most technology innovative project,” said Craig Nesty, Executive Director of the NTRC, in an e-mail interview.

“We are very excited to move towards the implementation phase. We believe the exposure gained by the Dominican children and the Dominican public from different and varied backgrounds, will impact their lives significantly and hopefully transform their perspective on the use of the internet and plant the seeds for further innovation and creativity,” he added.

The proposals from Dominica and Cuba were selected among 312 initiatives received this year from 23 different countries. Since 2004, FRIDA has distributed more than US $1.67 million among more than 120 innovative initiatives and projects in 19 countries throughout the region, contributing to the promotion of Internet development in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the program website.

FRIDA is one of several capacity development programs coordinated across the Caribbean, Central and South America by the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Internet Registry, known as LACNIC. BY GERARD BEST

Gerard Best is an independent multimedia Development Journalist covering human interest stories around technology-related issues across the Americas | blog: www.gerardbest.com | twitter: @gerardbest

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A Dispatch from a Caribbean Climate Change Refugee: Hurricane Irma, Sint Maarten and the New Caribbean Reality

SINT MAARTEN/COMMENTARY - I am standing in line -or rather in a disorganized congregation of desperate souls- in the parking lot of St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport, once the second busiest airport in the Caribbean, now a shell of sheetrock, concrete, metal and glass; the main terminal building is completely gutted.

My partner is some feet away, seeking shelter from the searing mid-day sun in the shadow of a delivery van flipped unto its side, all its windows blown out and its bonnet lying across the street. On the van’s bent fender a parrot is inexplicably perched, ogling the someone-thousand people filling the parking lot with desperate chaos, trying, like us, to evacuate ourselves or our loved ones out of St. Maarten. The island is still reeling from the one-hundred and eighty-five mile per hour winds and subsequent civil unrest brought upon by one of the strongest hurricanes recorded in the Atlantic, a storm with a name that will live on in infamy in the collective psyche of every Caribbean community from Barbados to Cuba; Hurricane Irma. 

Dutch Marines are handing out hot bottled water to people congregated in different sections: one section for US citizens with US Embassy staff running around with clipboards; one section for Dutch Citizens evacuating to Curacao and then onwards to the Netherlands on military transport aircraft; one section with EU Citizens, getting pink and then purple under the blazing Caribbean sun and looking wide eyed at the destruction around them; and us, desperate Caribbean Nationals (Michelle is Jamaican and was visiting me on Sint Maarten) trying to find word on whether people will be evacuated to Antigua and then onwards to Jamaica, Trinidad, St. Kitts…anywhere. We are all Caribbean Climate Change Refugees.

A week before, as holidaymakers were disembarking their flights on jet bridges now twisted like foilpaper, a low-pressure system started to develop off the Cape Verde Islands in the Atlantic. Three days later, as cruise ship passengers meandered out of the Majesty of the Seas unto Front Street, our main tourism center, that low developed into Tropical Storm Irma. By the next day, when she hit unusually warm sea surface temperatures not far from the Lesser Antilles, Irma became a Category Three storm. The day after that Category Five, intensifying more rapidly than any other storm on record. Tomorrow the Majesty of the Seas will be docking here again, not to have her passengers buy jewelry and electronics on Front Street but to evacuate three thousand people off of the island. Besides, the jewelry and electronics were looted clean even before the storm stopped raging.

Irma struck on Wednesday morning. The day before Marine Park Staff helped to secure various boats in the Simpson Bay Lagoon. We tied our patrol boat down and together had what we knew would be our last cold beer for a while. Predictions weren’t looking good. While we hoped that Irma would head north the various weather models had the storm hitting us directly. We knew we were in for trouble. We secured our houses, bought our last supplies and hunkered down. By four on Wednesday morning Michelle and I, two dogs and a cat were riding the storm out in our guest bedroom, then kitchen, then guest bedroom again; the pressure popping our ears and the concrete building shaking as if in an earthquake. The storm humming and sucking like a living, breathing, thing, a thing upset at the very presence of humanity. At one point our ceiling flexed as if being pushed and pulled from above.

At six the eye passed and we fled to our downstairs neighbors. Our windows blew out and ceiling caved in. By twelve the storm was done. As I stepped out on our balcony and witnessed the destruction I thanked God; we were lucky to be alive. Ninety percent of all buildings were flat. Not a single leaf was on a tree, and hundred-foot ships lay across the street as if placed there by a giant child playing Battleship. St. Maarten had been decimated.

Unfortunately, this will be the increasing reality of our situation here in the Caribbean. This paradise of fun and merriment, of frozen beverages and beautiful beaches, of music and sunscreen, will increasingly be faced with disasters brought upon us by a warming climate.

As industrialized nations discuss and meet and hold Fora and COPs deliberating the consequences of a warming earth, as the US President withdraws from the Paris Climate Accords (while ironically having a house on French Saint Martin that was completely obliterated by Irma), as the world struggles with our addiction to fossil fuels and their impact on the climate, we are trying to put the pieces of our lives back together as Caribbean People. We are trying to adjust to the New Normal: to our new status as Caribbean Climate Change Refugees.

Barbuda, where I did fieldwork surveying the health of their coral reefs just a few months ago, has been declared uninhabitable; the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda ordering mandatory evacuations off of the island. A whole community displaced because of the effects of climate change. Anguilla, one of the wealthiest islands in the Caribbean, has been leveled and Necker Island, home of billionaire Philanthropist Richard Branson, has been destroyed. And, as I write this, a lady is washing her two children in brackish well-water. Adversity brings equality. 

In the aftermath of the storm local governments, especially on Sint Maarten, struggled to control law and order and the island descended into lawlessness. First people looted water and food, and then they emptied out electronic stores, jewelry stores, anything. I saw one guy dragging his barely clad children behind him with three flat screen TV’s on his head. The island likely will not have power fully restored for months. Rumors spread like wildfire of armed gangs pillaging whole neighborhoods, emptying hotel rooms, robbing at gunpoint. Whether true or not the news spread around the world and our island will be eternally scarred. People have been frantically waiting for a government in disarray to feed and water them. The Dutch Military has arrived to restore law and order, placing us under martial law. There are now armed marines patrolling streets that, just a week ago, were lined with bars, restaurants and strip-joints. 

While working in the conservation field we have been continuously preaching sustainable development to Caribbean Governments. We have been advocating a structured social welfare system, a sustainable economic plan not totally reliant on tourism, and the protection and management of our natural resources.

Resources like coral reefs or mangroves, which not only provide goods and services like tourism and fisheries, but which also protect our vulnerable coastlines and critical infrastructure from the damaging effects of hurricane storm surge. Because of the decline of both coral reefs and mangroves and because of Irma’s unabated twenty-foot storm surge I have had to do a diving survey of the Simpson Bay Lagoon earlier today. There is a sunken boat every five meters. The water is more diesel than salt. We will be diving again tomorrow to see if there are any bodies to recover. 

Long time neglect by most Caribbean Governments of their natural areas has reduced the ability of island ecosystems to be resilient enough to recover from disasters; to allow for the nature of these islands to return to its beauty, the reason why tourism is so popular on all of the islands hit by Irma. Our islands are now changed. Forever. 

We are at the head of the line now. We have said our hurried good-byes, tearful and fearful, wondering when and where we will see each-other again as Michelle is hurried away by the Dutch military to her waiting evacuation aircraft. As I stay and watch the tiny plane leave for Antigua two women are chatting about which school in the Dominican Republic they will now have to send their young daughters to since all schools on the island are damaged. A few feet away, in the shade of the upturned delivery van where just an hour ago we sought shade, two of the girls are trying to teach the parrot to say a word. As I walk towards my truck I hear it squawk “Irma”.

Tadzio Bervoets

Ebenezer Estate,

St. Maarten

Tadzio Bervoets is the Manager of the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation, a conservation NGO on Sint Maarten. He is also the Vice-chair of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance and the winner of the 2016 McFarlane Award for Conservation Leadership in the Insular Caribbean

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Suicide co-op membership doubles after going public with ‘death powder’

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Membership of a group campaigning for the right of people to end their own lives at the time of their choosing has doubled following a television programme about its ‘discovery’ of a deadly powder which is legally available.

The Last Will cooperative had 3,323 members before the Nieuwsuur broadcast but membership has now rocketed to 6,800, Chairman Jos van Wijk told local paper De Stentor.

The cooperative is campaigning for the right of its members to obtain and use a drug to end their lives at the moment they see fit. New members have to wait six months before they are given information about the powder, which is a widely-available preservative.

Van Wijk said the group came across the substance, which he refuses to name, after talking to chemists, pharmacists and toxicologists who are members of the organisation.

‘We were looking for something which is legally available,’ he said. ‘You cannot buy it in shops but it can be bought online.’ Despite the surge in membership, the cooperative has come under fire for allowing people as young as 18 to join and for breaking the law which bans people from helping others to commit suicide. (DutchNews)

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‘Freedom and equality are the basis of our society’, says CDA leader

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – CDA leader Sybrand Buma has spoken about the importance of the ‘angry citizen’ in this year’s annual H.J. Schoo lecture organised by current affairs magazine Elsevier.

‘There are divisions throughout our society,’ Buma said. ‘Between young and old, between native and immigrant, between the well-educated and low skilled…’ But the concept of the ‘angry citizen’ is a strange one used by sociologists who clearly do not belong to the category, he said, ‘Angry citizens,’ he said, are just ordinary Dutch people who come up against a wall.

People who dismiss the rise of Geert Wilders, Donald Trump’s election, Brexit and the results of the Ukraine referendum as ‘irrational’ are burying their heads in the sand,’ Buma told his audience.

Cabinet

The CDA is one of four parties taking part in negotiations to form a new government. The party has 19 seats in the 150 seat parliament following the March general election.

Buma did not comment on the formation talks in the lecture but he did address ‘the restoration of the common historical and cultural consciousness’.

‘The Dutch culture is built on unity in diversity and not on the cultural relativism of the multicultural progressive outlook,’ he said. Dutch culture, traditions and values ‘must not be diluted’, he continued.

National anthem

During the election campaign Buma said Dutch school children should sing the national anthem in class every day and the four parties have apparently agreed that the Wilhelmus should become part of the national curriculum.

‘Anyone who comes to the Netherlands as an immigrant or refugee becomes part of this common history,’ he said. ‘We do not have to twist ourselves in knots to answer the question of whether the norms and values in our society have to change. They do not.’ (DutchNews)

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Dutch universities have more students but government funding fails to keep pace

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Dutch universities are producing more graduates but this is not reflected in the amount of money the government is spending on the institutions, and universities of technology in particular are suffering, the Rathenau Institute says in a report out on Monday.

Between 2009 and 2016 there was a 33% increase in the number of bachelor graduates and a 29% rise in people passing a master’s degree. However, government spending only went up 13%, while inflation over the seven years was about 10%.

The biggest discrepancy was found at the four universities of technology (Delft, Eindhoven, Twente and Wageningen) which have all warned that they will have turn away students for some of its courses because of a lack of staff and facilities, the FD said.

They have produced 65% more bachelor graduates over the 10 year period, but government funding has gone up just 8.5%. The Rathenau Institute, which conducts research and organises debate relating to science, innovation and new technologies, says the government must look again at how universities are financed.

At present universities receive a lump sum from the government based partly on the number of students and divided between their educational and research activities. They also receive fees from students and money from third parties for research.

‘Instead of talking about turning students away the debate should be about the quality of our university education and the system which would promote it best,’ Melanie Peters, director of the Rathenau Institute, said. (DutchNews)

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Amsterdam bans metro ads featuring unhealthy food for kids

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Advertising which targets children and promotes unhealthy food such as chips and ice cream will be banned throughout the Amsterdam metro system from January 1 next year.

The ban follows the city council’s alliance with the Stop Kindermarketing campaign, which aims to bring an end to the promotion of unhealthy food aimed at children.

The city has decided to start its campaign with a ban on advertising unhealthy food at its own and subsidized events, and at council-owned locations.

This includes the city’s 58 metro stations, including those of the yet-to-be opened North/South service, officials said in a statement. Figures from the city’s health board in 2015 show one in five Amsterdam children is overweight. (DutchNews)

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