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Effective Immediately Moratorium on Car Rental Permits and Expansion of Fleets Removed

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication (Ministry TEATT), announces that effective immediately the moratorium on car rental permits and expansion of fleets has been removed.

The Minister of TEATT took this decision that is within his authority.  The moratorium was based on an Executive Council decision BC190208 ag. pt. 30.

Copies of the policy can be obtained via the Government website www.sintmaartengov.org located under the Ministry TEATT via Department of Economic Affairs, Transportation & Telecommunications webpage “Policies” and the National Gazette.

The policy establishes parameters on the issuance of car rental permits and the expansion of fleets.  The policy applies to all new applications for car rentals, including the expansion of fleets.

Applications must be fully completed and all supporting documentation included with the application.  Incomplete requests will not come into consideration for a car rental permit.

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ST. MAARTEN TO HOST 42ND CENTRAL AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN GAMES BODYBUILDING CHAMPIONSHIPS

MAHO REEF - The friendly island of St. Maarten is set to host the 42ndCentral American and Caribbean Games Bodybuilding Championships taking place Oct. 1 - 4, 2014 at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort. 

 

The prestigious bodybuilding competition, held quadrennially as part of the Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC), is expected to attract over 300 athletes along with their followers and families from 37 member countries originating in South America and the Caribbean region.

 

Typically held in the middle year between the Summer Olympics, the CAC is a multi-sport regional championship event that serves as a stepping stone for athletes seeking to further their careers on an international level.

 

St. Maarten / St. Martin first took part in the CAC games in 2010 and placed sixth in the Light Weight category among 26 participating countries at the 40thCAC games in 2012. In 2013 at the 41st CAC Games, St. Maarten / St. Martin received top five finishes in three different categories including first place in the Classic Body Building category. St. Maarten / St. Martin is continuing to develop within this sport and prove through its achievements that its athletes are able to compete at a higher level.

 

To stay up-to-date on all CAC news and events, visit the CAC Bodybuilding & Fitness FederationFacebook page.

For more information on St. Maarten, visit the official site of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau atwww.VacationStMaarten.com.

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Minister Lake says thank you

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake would like to thank his family, friends, and supporters for the support he received in the August 29 parliamentary elections.

“I would like to thank the people who came out firstly to exercise their democratic right to vote.  I say thank you to the more than 6,000 voters who placed their confidence in the United People’s (UP) Party on August 29.

“And for the 305 votes that I received, I would like to say thank you for your support.  This is my core base of voters that believe in my vision of putting people first.  It’s with your trust and good faith that I have reached this far, and with God’s grace I will continue to work for the people of this great country we call home.

“I also would like to thank my campaign team which has done a good job, and through hard work and being open about the issues affecting our people we made a difference.  It was a good learning experience for the team, and for every setback, there would be a stronger comeback. 

“I thank you again and look forward to serving you over the next four years with your best interests at heart.  My ‘back to basics’ approach and moving my people forward and getting the job done will now be coming from the House of Parliament as I take on this new responsibility to represent all the people in the interests of our country. 

“Everything in life happens for a reason, and everything God does is perfect.  Once again, thank you to the UP Party and to my family, friends and supporters,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Sunday.

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Presentation FBE Social Studies Materials

PHILIPSBURG - As the Acting head of the Division for Educational Innovations I would like to present to you the copies of the FBE Social Studies text and work books that were developed as one of our projects for FBE.

One of the Core Implementation Plans for the implementation of FBE in the schools was to develop and purchase materials that are aligned to the new subject areas introduced in the FBE Curriculum.

Over the years we have purchased a number of materials for the schools and now with this project we have been able develop materials for the subject area of Social Studies. The content of the developed materials has been aligned to the content subject area for  Social Studies in the FBE Curriculum.

The books have also been translated in Dutch for those schools where Dutch is the Language of Instruction.

The books and text books are divided from Cycle 1 group 1 up to Cycle II group 4

Some of the topics covered in Cycle I group 1 are as follows:

-          My Family, My School, Our Community, My Island, Celebrations, Transportation and Communication.

In Cycle II Group 8:

-          Citizenship, Groups, Change, Climate, Economy, Industry, Government, Transportation, Communication and Technology

All Primary schools will receive copies of the materials for each child and the teachers will receive a digital version of the Teachers Manual.

We will send out a schedule with the dates when the books can be collected by the school boards.

DEI will organize workshops during the 3rd and 4th week of September in order for the Teachers familiarize themselves with the content of the materials and how they can be used in their class rooms.

This Project was funded via USONA with Funds from the OSJP projects. We had a team of local experts who worked along with the consultants with this project. These persons are Ms. Maria Cijntje - van Enckevort, Ms. Marcellia Henry and Ms. Claudia Connor.

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Minister Lake says he stands for the protection of the Great Salt Pond

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake says he stands for the protection of the Great Salt Pond, and looks forward in the new governing period to continue with the community consultation regarding the draft development plans.

Minister Lake said he took note of a petition that was presented more than a year ago which called for a stop to the landfill expansion, dumping and pollution in the Great Salt Pond.

“I agree we have to maintain the current status of the Great Salt Pond.  It is a natural reservoir for rain runoff which then goes into the sea once it reaches a certain capacity.

“I agree with the protection of the people, wildlife, and the wetlands of the country.  The new waste to energy plant which I have been working on during my tenure has reached a finalization point and once established and operational, it will lead to the processing of our country’s waste.

“The dump fires should be considerably reduced or become non-existent. I do believe that the Great Salt Pond is a national resource and should be treated in that manner.

“The process of public consultation with the various districts regarding the draft national development plans is one way to go to have all those ideas as presented in the petition to be discussed and become part of the planning where our natural resources that exist today are protected for generations to come.

“I look forward to continuing with the draft development plan process in the new governing period,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake concluded.

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Lasana Sekou on summer reading list in Spain, Yaya’s book reviewed in the UK

GREAT BAY—Pelican Heart – An Anthology of Poems by Lasana M. Sekou made the 2014 summer reading list in Spain, said Jacqueline Sample, president of HNP, the book’s publisher.

The St. Martin book was selected by Italian and Hispanic studies researchers José Sarzi Amade and Leonor Taiano Campoverde for the July reading list of Mito | Revista Cultural. The culture-savvy magazine is based in Spain,” said Sample, who was here recently for the annual editorial planning meeting of HNP.

“The July reading selection in a historically and highly competitive literary environment such as Spain, four years after Pelican Heart first appeared, speaks volumes of Emilio Jorge Rodriguez’s confidence in Lasana’s writings. It also tells us what others might be thinking about the developing literary culture of our island,” said Sample.

The Pelican poems were selected from nine of Sekou’s poetry books and translated from English to Spanish by the Cuban scholar Emilio Jorge Rodriguez. He also wrote the analytical introduction to the bilingual book that was published in 2010. 

Along with the 432-page Pelican Heart, the 16 books selected for readers of Mito | Revista Cultural in July 2014, include: La teoría del todo by Stephen Hawking; Supreme City. New York Jazz and Modern America by Donald L. Miller; Giorni di spasimato amore by Romana Petri; Felipe VI: Así se formó el príncipe heredero by José Antonio Alcina; and Sentido y Paz, an anthology of children’s stories by renowned Argentinian authors. http://revistamito.com/los-libros-de-julio/ 

Another HNP title that appears to be a St. Martin gift of poetry that keeps on giving is “The Frock & Other Poems” by Laurelle “Yaya” Richards.

“We just found out that Yaya’s book was reviewed in Wasafiri,”said Sample last Monday before returning to New York. The review by Moira Richards appeared in Volume 28:1 of the London-based international literature magazine.

The reviewer wrote that, “Richards’ poems are intended to record and reclaim,” and that The Frock & Other Poems, which was “Published posthumously, demonstrates how [Yaya] used words to celebrate the cultural history of her Caribbean home.”

“I still feel sad that Yaya passed away just a few months before her only book was published,” said Sample. “But I’m happy to know that The Frock is in stores, libraries, and homes in St. Martin. And with this review from thousands of miles away, you get more than just a sense that her work lives on in her book, at home and abroad.”Yaya Richards was the leading St. Martin folklorist when she passed away in May 2010, five months before The Frock was published. She hailed from St. Louis village. 

The Frock and the English/Spanish edition of Pelican Heart are available at Van Dorp and Arnia’s, and Amazon.com, spdbooks.org, and other Internet bookstores.

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Join UP at final public meeting on Wednesday at the Ring Road in Philipsburg

RING ROAD, PHILIPSBURG – The United People’s party (UP) will have its final public meeting on Wednesday, August 27th at the Ring Road in Philipsburg at 7:00pm.

Party leader Theo Heyliger as well as the 22 candidates of the UP Party, the number three slate on the election ballot is inviting the nation to come out to the meeting including the residents of Cole Bay, Cay Bay, Pelican, Simpson Bay, Sandy Ground and Marigot who couldn’t attend the fifth public meeting last week Thursday because it had to be cancelled due to inclement weather. 

The leader and candidates of the UP party will once again present the issues and the solutions that a United People’s (UP) Party Government will deliver to the people of the country once elected in the Friday, August 29 polls.

August 29 represents the people’s opportunity to elect the first majority Government for country Sint Maarten under its new constitutional status.  Under the 2010 September elections, Sint Maarten was still an Island Territory and those elected were Island Council members who transitioned into the new country status as Members of Parliament on October 10, 2010.

To move forward and upward, and for the economy and the people to grow, a one party Government is necessary, and the UP Party is ready to deliver to the people and calls on all voter’s to exercise their democratic right on August 29th and give the UP party the mandate to govern the country for the next four years – we ready.

The UP party’s website can be found at www.upparty.com.  You will find all information about the 23 candidates; campaign jingles; the party’s manifesto outlining the vision of the party on the many issues and areas that concern the grassroots and up of the country; and videos about the UP journey leading to the green road to victory come August 29th.

If you have any questions or would like information about the party’s programs for an UP Sint Maarten you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Health Observatory Signed

GREAT BAY - Minister of Public Health Social Development & Labor, Cornelius De Weever on Friday, August 22, 2014 signed a partnership commitment between Dutch St. Maarten and French St. Martin to collaborate on the ‘Health Observatory’.

“This is really a very important step as an island working jointly towards the needs of the island,” said Minister De Weever.

Considering St. Maarten’s small scale and the fact that many people live, work as well as make use of medical services on both sides of the island, to get a clear descriptive picture of the general health status of the general adult population it is of utter importance to, this time around, execute the Health Study on both sides of the island. This will provide more current reliable data as well as bring forth a more accurate picture  for the planning of policies and programs and identifying where healthcare changes and education/awareness is necessary.

The purpose of the ‘Health Observatory’ is to improve general health and well-being of the population, therefore the collaboration on public health related matters. This observatory will facilitate future endeavors between both sides of the island. A project has already been identified, which will be executed by the ‘Health Observatory’, consisting of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development & Labor, the Collectivite and the Louis Constant Fleming Hospital, this is the ‘How Healthy is St. Maarten/Saint Martin’ study. (From the Cabinet of the Minister of Health)

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Prime Minister Wescot-Williams Gives Update on Vorst Property Deal

PHILIPSBURG - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams on her radio program One on One with the Prime Minister gave an update on the developments as they relate to the Vorst property case.

The PM stated that with the Court Verdict and that there is some concern with regards to the implications this will have for the country; “The Vorst case has culminated into a verdict that has been made known. The issue here is that at some point the colleague Ministers were made aware of an agreement signed by the Minister of Vromi with the Vorst Family for the purchase of a property in Cay Hill.

“That agreement was signed some months before and the owners were therefore demanding payment. When the Council of Ministers looked at the agreement there were some questions by the Ministers, including the payment amount for the land. At the end of the day it is not the Prime Minister or any other Minister but in fact the taxpayer’s money that is involved in purchasing of the property.

“With the purchase agreement made by the Minister of VROMI we found that the price was too high and that the taxpayer would not get their fair amount. We therefore asked the Vorst family to renegotiate but because the Minister made the decision to have a purchase agreement with the Family the court now has decided that the Government of St. Maarten, or the Tax payer, has to pay for that purchase, the price of which is way beyond that of the appraisal of the land.  The government right now is in a bind because Ministers have not acted according to procedure.

“It is the responsibility of each individual Minister to ensure that they act in accordance with what is allowed and not allowed. We need to look at how far a Minister can commit a country and how far they can go on acting on behalf of Government. I also believe that this should always be public knowledge,” concluded the PM. (From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister)

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NA Youth Wing ‘Preparing to Lead’ Youth Conference Postponed

PHILIPSBURG - ‘Looking forward to a bigger and better event’ The Board of the National Alliance Youth Wing regrets to announce that its upcoming ‘Preparing to Lead’ Youth Conference has been postponed.

“Due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, conflicting schedules and considering the threat of the impending weather, we have decided to host the event at a later date. We are getting great responses on our Facebook page and the excitement is definitely building.

“Since our primary goal is not to campaign for the upcoming elections, we will be contacting the registrations that have already been processed with the news of the postponement.” a Youth Wing Board member said.

The “Preparing To Lead" Youth Conference seeks to raise awareness, stimulate dialogue, and create an interactive platform where youngsters, young professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs can share experiences, ideas and generate a momentum for positive change and social transformation in our community.

The event will be the first of many organized by the Youth Wing to encourage positive change on the island. The National Alliance Youth Wing Board apologizes for any inconveniences caused by this announcement and looks forward to still welcoming the Youth and Young at Heart to what promises to be an inspiring event. (Contributed by the National Alliance)

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