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Additional classes show great results at traffic exam

PHILIPSBURG - For the last three years additional classes in the traffic rules were given, upon request from a school to students preparing for the yearly School Traffic Exams, by Sargent Rexcarlos Courtar of the Police Traffic Department.

This year the Leonard Connor School took advantage of the opportunity to get additional free classes for its students. 17 of the 21 students from the Ruby Labega School passed this exam and 33 of the 41 students from the Leonard Connor School passed this exam successfully.

The additional traffic classes definitely had a positive impact on the outcome of the 2017 School Traffic Exams. It is definitely the intention of the Police Department to continue to assist all schools upon request by giving extra classes in preparation for the exams. (Sint Maarten Police Force) 


Lions Bingo set for Saturday, Car Raffle postponed to October 8th

PHILIPSBURG - St. Maarten Lions Club would like to announce to the public that the Lions Mother’s Day Bingo which was postponed from May 13th is still on with an exciting line up of games this coming Saturday, June 17th at the Port St. Maarten Home Porting Building. 

On Saturday evening, the public should drive to the Harbour Cruise facility in Point Blanche whereby they will be directed to the designated parking areas by security guards and St. Maarten Lions Club members in vests after which they will guided to the Home Porting Building where the bingo games will be played. Gates open at 7pm whereby the public can get their bingo cards, drinks, snacks and the bingo starts at 8pm sharp. 

Tickets for the bingo can still be bought for $10 from any St. Maarten Lions Club member, at Van Dorp in Madame Estate, Big D’s Photo Studio on the Pondfill and at the Lions Den on Suckergarden Road on Saturday from 10am to 1pm only.

A limited supply of bingo tickets will be available at the gate, so members of the public are urged to purchase their ticket in advance as only persons with valid tickets will be admitted to the facility where the bingo is being played. The facility seats 700 persons and a ticket guarantees the person a seat. 

Some of the prizes that the public can win at the Lions Bingo are various vouchers for Kooyman Mega Store, weekend stays at Oyster Bay, Atrium Hotel, Summit Hotel, Sonesta Maho Resort and at a resort on Anguilla.

Other bingo prizes are cellular phones, a tablet, various home appliances and vouchers for St. Maarten Cable TV, Caribbean Window Covering and numerous restaurants. Airline tickets at the bingo are for roundtrip tickets on PAWA any destination, WINAIR to Tortola and Antigua, Air Antilles to Puerto Rico and the Grand Prize is a round trip ticket to Amsterdam on KLM.  

With regards to the Car Raffle, after consulting with the St. Maarten Harbour Group the main sponsor of the Lions Club Father’s Day Car Raffle, the board of the St. Maarten Lions Club has decided to postpone the car raffle to Sunday October 8th.

The main reason for this is that the 2017 Toyota Prius Hybrid car is not yet on the island and the St. Maarten Lions Club would prefer to have the car on the island for marketing and promotion purposes which in turn assists with ticket sales. 

The Lions Club board members also felt that additional time was needed to raise the required funds with the car raffle for worthwhile projects in the St. Maarten community as ticket sales have been slow since Carnival. In addition to this, the Lions Club also felt it best to present the car to the winner as soon as the car raffle is over as was done in the past and not have the winner wait on the car for a few weeks. Tickets for the car raffle will also remain at $10.

All car raffle tickets that were bought by public over the last few months will be valid for the October 8th drawing and members of the public are urged to keep their car raffle tickets in a safe place until then.

The President and Board of the St. Maarten Lions Club apologizes to the public for any inconvenience that the car raffle postponement may cause and looks forward to holding the raffle on Sunday October 8th, 2017. 


Tropical Development is Possible Over the Eastern & Central Atlantic

SINT MAARTEN/CARIIBEAN – Weather watchers are keeping a close eye on two systems including the National Hurricane Center (NHC) out of Miami.  Crown Weather reported on Thursday: “I am also keeping close tabs on an area of disturbed weather located over the eastern Atlantic near 30 West Longitude.

“This disturbance is producing some shower and thunderstorm activity and is located at a rather low Latitude. For the middle of June, this is a very well developed tropical disturbance for the eastern Atlantic and some of the model guidance suggests this disturbance could become a tropical depression or a tropical storm as it pushes towards the southern Lesser Antilles late this weekend into early next week.

“An analysis of the environmental conditions around the eastern Atlantic tropical disturbance reveals that the environment is currently favorable for tropical development and is likely to remain favorable possibly through this weekend. This means that this tropical disturbance will be monitored closely over the next few days for signs of organization and development.

“Right now, only the European model is showing no development while all of the other model guidance, including the GFS and Canadian models are forecasting development along with a forecast of a tropical storm moving just south of Barbados and right across the southern Lesser Antilles on Monday into Tuesday. This is then followed by rapid weakening and dissipation in the eastern Caribbean due to highly unfavorable environmental conditions.

I think that any development and strengthening from this tropical disturbance will be slow to occur. The reason why is because even though the wind shear values are favorable, the ocean water temperatures are not quite warm enough to support tropical development.

“In addition, the wind shear values increase some along and west of 55 West Longitude and this would mean even though the ocean water temperatures would be warm enough to support tropical development, the amount of wind shear would likely limit development.

“With all of that said, I strongly urge everyone across the southern Lesser Antilles and Barbados to at least be aware that tropical storm conditions are a possibility starting Monday afternoon and continuing through Monday night and Tuesday.

“Even if this tropical disturbance does not become a tropical cyclone, it will still bring very squally weather, including 40-60 mph wind gusts, heavy rain squalls and very hazardous marine conditions, to Barbados and the southern Lesser Antilles from Monday through Tuesday,” Crown Weather concludes.


SMART Participants Tour Rockland Adventure Park

CUL DE SAC - Rockland Adventure Park put its chairlift in operation on Wednesday for registered attendees of St. Maarten/St. Martin Annual Regional Tradeshow (SMART) for them to experience the country's newest attraction.

Each chairlift (similar to those found on skiing slopes) can accommodate four riders and takes about 15 minutes from base camp at the foot of Sentry Hill to the peak where one can see much of the Dutch side, with an incredible view over Princess Juliana International Airport SXM, the French side, Anguilla, St. Barths and Tintemarre (Flat Island).

The attraction is slated to open to the public at the end of summer. (Daily Herald) 



PHILIPSBURG - Parliament needs to be transparent with its budget said Leader of the Sint Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) Wycliffe Smith in a press statement on Wednesday. “During budget debates members of parliament pose numerous questions, some critical, many political, concerning government’s budgeting and spending, but no one raises questions about parliament’s budget and parliament’s spending.

“The reason for this is because parliament’s budget is camouflaged among the budgets of the High Councils of State. Furthermore, according to the Compatibility Ordinance and the Rules of Order of Parliament the budget of Parliament is drafted by the Secretariat of Parliament, approved by the Presidium and then sent to the Minister of Finance to be included in the national budget. So, nobody really takes a critical look at parliament’s budget, not even the members of parliament themselves.

“Did you know that in 2017 budget close to 400.000,00 guilders were allocated to vacation allowance for parliament? Annually, parliamentarians get a vacation allowance of 6% of their annual income. A parliamentarian grosses approximately Fl. 18.000,00 monthly. Now you do the math and calculate his or her vacation allowance! Yes, vacation allowance for parliamentarians who for most of the year seem to be on vacation.

“Yes, vacation allowance for parliamentarians who seemingly have no problem abdicating their responsibility to attend meetings and to represent the people. At the Tripartite and IPKO meetings currently taking place in the Netherlands, the UPP faction again forfeits the opportunity to represent the people. And the reason given is a flimsy excuse. According to Faction Leader Franklyn Meyers, after the discussion at the last IPKO meeting parties present were told that decisions taken were not binding.

“Does this mean that the UPP will be boycotting all future IPKO meetings? Yes, vacation allowance for parliamentarians whose absence is the cause that the President of Parliament has had to postpone many parliamentary committees meetings due to a lack of quorum? And what about the Member of Parliament who has been consistently absent from all meetings of parliament? I really wonder how parliamentarians feel collecting a vacation allowance when they should know they do not deserve it!

“Have you wondered how much money is spent on Parlatino? Well you will not be able to find it in the budget. A seven man/woman parliamentary delegation recently returned to the island after attending yet another meeting of the Latin American Parliament, popularly called Parlatino. For six years our parliamentarians have been going faithfully, twice a year, to Panama to attend parliamentary meetings conducted in Spanish, a language which most of our parliamentarians are not versed in at that level.

“Even one of the integrity reports was very critical of our parliamentarians attending Parlatino. “It is negative for St. Maarten’s reputation, when at meetings of Parlatino the smallest country has the largest delegation”- a quote from “Doing the Right Things Right. Financially, our parliament’s association with Parlatino costs Sint Maarten tens of thousands of guilders in tickets, travel allowance, hotel accommodations and not forgetting a membership fee of approximately US$ 20,000.00 per year. Upon return from Parlatino the people of Sint Maarten do not get a report of what transpired during these meetings neither do we see, hear or experience any added value that these meetings have on our local parliamentarians.

“Parliament controls, or rather ought to control the government’s budget and also the budgets of the High Councils of State, such as the Advisory Council, the Ombudsman, etc. But who controls Parliament’s budget? According to the Annual Reports of Parliament, the Financial Committee of Parliament meets with the High Councils of State to discuss their draft budgets. Yet Parliament does not even discuss its own budget in its Financial Committee.

“Parliament’s draft budget is only discussed by the Presidium which is currently comprised of the President and two Vice Presidents, namely MPs Sarah Wescot-Williams, Drs. Rodolphe Samuel and Frans Richardson respectively. The Annual Reports of Parliament make mention of the fact that the budget is also deliberated in a Faction leaders meeting. Legally, according to the Compatibility ordinance and the Rules of Order of Parliament, the budget need only be discussed and approved by the Presidium.

“SMCP believes that this should change and that Parliament’s budget should also be discussed in the Financial and Central Committee meetings and ultimately approved by parliament in a public meeting. Parliament should be made accountable to the people as far as its budget is concerned.

“SMCP is of the opinion that just as each government department is represented in a separate chapter in the national budget, so also Parliament and each High Council of State should be listed as a separate chapter in the national budget. In this way, the people would be able to see exactly how much money each one of these institutions is costing the taxpayers.

“After Parliament, the highest supervisory body is the public (the voters) and as such they should have insight in the budget and financial statements of Parliament. The General Auditing Chamber has its complete budget online. Parliament should also exercise such transparency and post its budget online as well.

“SMCP is of the opinion that Parliament’s finances should be audited and made public. If political parties are required to present a registered accountant’s report to the Electoral Council how much more should Parliament be also held accountable to the people for its financial management,” Wycliffe Smith, Leader of the Sint Maarten Christian Party said on Wednesday.


Port St. Maarten to Attend FCCA PAMAC Meeting. Cruise Up by 5.1%

PORT ST. MAARTEN – Port St. Maarten is being represented this week at the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) PAMAC meeting in Aruba.  PAMAC brings together Platinum Members of the FCCA who meet with over 30 high-ranking FCCA Member Line cruise executives as part of a relationship and business building process.

Port St. Maarten representatives will be delivering the news that for five consecutive months (January – May), cruise numbers have been positive showing a 5.1% growth when compared to the same period of 2016.

The destination received during the past five months 923,600 cruise passengers from 347 cruise calls.

PAMAC will kick-off with a reception on Wednesday evening and thereafter a series of meetings and networking events are planned for Thursday and Friday to discuss industry trends and standards and develop relationships and mutual benefits for the cruise lines and members’, companies and destinations.

Representing the Port will be Bertrand Peters, General and Government Affairs, and Ichel Moeslikan, Sales and Marketing, and Alexander Gumbs, Business Development Officer as well as a representative from the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, Cherinah Franken, Product Development Officer. 

“Reinventing Cruise St. Maarten is an on-going process for Port St. Maarten.  We are looking forward to attending PAMAC in order to renew our relations with the cruise line industry and to attract additional cruise business for the country. 

“We want to continue to foster mutual growth.  It’s an opportunity to network and better understand each other especially when we look at different cruise industry developments,” Port St. Maarten Management Team said on Monday.

The PAMAC event is one of many that the FCCA coordinates for its Platinum Members and Member Lines to stay at the forefront of information about both the industry and destinations while finding ways to maximize the benefits for all.

The FCCA is a not-for-profit trade organization composed of 19 Member Lines operating over 100 vessels in Floridian, Caribbean and Latin American waters. Created in 1972, the FCCA’s mandate is to provide a forum for discussion on tourism development, ports, safety, security, and other cruise industry issue and to develop bilateral relationships with destinations’ private and public sectors. By fostering an understanding of the cruise industry and its operating practices, the FCCA works with governments, ports and private sector representatives to maximize cruise passenger, crew and cruise line spending, as well as enhance the destination experience and increase the amount of cruise passengers returning as stay-over visitors.

The PAMAC conference is taking place in Aruba at the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino.


MLK 6th grade primary school students visit Divi Resort 

LITTLE BAY - The Group 8 (formerly Grade 6) students of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Primary School visited Divi Little Bay Resort on Tuesday morning. 

"Our students had a great experience visiting Divi Little Bay Resort as they were also briefed about the entire facility during a tour," said Stuart Johnson School Manager. 

This fieldtrip was coordinated by group 8 Tr. E. Luce and Tr. N. Riley. 

After the tour the students enjoyed breakfast at the Bayview Cafe. 

"I would like to thank Divi Little Bay Resort for their warm hospitality and I look forward to an closer working relationship for the benefit of our students in the near future," Johnson concluded.

The Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. Primary School is a public education school located in the district of Dutch Quarter. 


Blogger's trip to Aruba: Absolutely fabulous

SINT MAARTEN/ARUBA - Kenty Lichtenberg, the body, mind and soul behind the plus size blog Kerai Kreative Lifestyle, recently visited the island of Aruba on an endeavor to discover the Arubian plus size fashion sense and all that goes with it. "It turned out to be much more than I expected.

Aruba is in a way so much like Sint Maarten because of how welcoming people are, but also very different. In either case, it's an ideal close to home destination for those fashion forward women who want something different", says Lichtenberg.

Though her itinerary was full of previously made appointments for, among other things, radio interviews and store visits, she took the time to explore the island and see what

 It has to offer to the visitor who is not directly seeking the beach.

"The island was hosting the annual Soul Beach Music Awards that attracts large amounts of American visitors. I had the honor of attending the concerts with the cooperation of the Aruba Tourism Authority and the Minister of Justice.

“It is a huge event with many supporting activities and parties and it is now my dream to be able to organize trips to this event for our people in Sint Maarten. Just like many Arubians come to Sint Maarten for Carnival, I think it would be wonderful for us to visit Aruba for this event."

Blogging is a relatively young phenomenon in Sint Maarten but many bloggers are taking the plunge into this world of opportunities. However, it’s not just about posting some pictures and random thoughts.

"As a blogger, you need to be consistent. You need to choose your main subject, make sure you not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. You need to be approachable and maintain contact with your followers, and keep them engaged with your posts."

Lichtenberg, although very focused and self-assured, never expected her blog and this trip in particular to be such a success. "I know people follow me and it is for them that I do the things I do, but still it humbles me when I realize it. One of the most memorable moments must be when a couple of ladies shouted from a car 'Hello Blogger' when they stopped to let me cross the street on the L. G. Smith Boulevard." I had no idea who they were, but obviously somewhere they knew of my blog.

Lichtenberg would like to thank her sponsors on St. Maarten (T’s Closet, Plush Boutik, Weekender, Viva Signs, Artistic Drive, Vanity First, Nelly’s Luxury Boutique, St. Maarten Guavaberry) and in Aruba Trash by Ronchi de Cuba, The Wine Room, Anastacia’s Facialism and the hospitality of Julie Julie From 105 Power FM that made this trip a possibility and

Read about Kerai Kreative Style's trip to Aruba on


Bute takes on a Division 1 University

POND ISLAND – For the first time in history, St. Martiner Shemar Deion Bute has been drafted to a Division 1 University. Bute, a graduate of Tallahassee Community College will be attending Connecticut Central State University (CCSU) in the Fall of 2017, according to a press release from the Cabinet of the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports (ECYS).

He currently plays center but will be a forward at CCSU. Bute is a graduate of St. Maarten Academy and was awarded Athlete of the Year.

Bute is a second-year participant on Tallahassee Community College men's basketball team. After attending TCC for a year, he earned a spot on the Eagles' 2015-16 roster and promptly averaged 7.6 points and 5.6 rebounds in 31 games, good for a spot on the Coaches' All-Panhandle Conference Second-team.

He was also named to the FCSAA All-Tournament Team after helping the Eagles to the tournament championship game. Academically, Deion is an honors student and was named All-Academic by the Panhandle Conference in 2016. (Contributed from

The Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Silveria Jacobs met with Bute where he discussed his current academic position as well as his professional aspirations. Minister Jacobs expressed her excitement for Bute and wished him the best in all his future endeavors. She also ensured that the Ministry will be willing to support Bute in any way possible.


Michael van Grieken is Lion of the Year

LITTLE BAY - The outgoing President of the St. Maarten Lions Club, Lion Davey Woods named Lion Michael van Grieken as “Lion of the Year” at the installation Dinner of the 2017-2018 Board of Directors.

Lion Michael worked hard during the year as the Tamer of the Club and was rewarded by the President for his dedicated service throughout the year with an award and a 2-night weekend stay sponsored by the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort. 

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