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Registration for Carnival Concert promoters open

PHILIPSBURG - All promoters/persons interested in securing a night to host a concert for Carnival 2018 may now express this intent to the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF).

The foundation is busy preparing the Carnival schedule for 2018 and as customary has issued a call to potential promoters of a Carnival night and opened registration for such.

Interested persons should email the foundation at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The foundation will then respond with relevant information to enable the interested party to decide whether it wants to be part of Carnival 2018. The deadline to contact the foundation for a Carnival night is July 1, 2017.

The foundation clarified that the music genres/concerts of Reggae and Latin is off the table and, as such, no requests will be accepted for those two music genres.

“Carnival preparation is a year-round exercise. We start early with everything, concerts are no different. Annually we choose to offer the opportunity to host a concert in Carnival because there are some creative thinkers out there with concepts that could enhance the Carnival product,” the foundation said.

“This process has led to independent established brands such as Hit Makers, Flag Fest and Bacchanal Sunday that go along with One Love Reggae and Noche Latina of the SCDF.  There is room for a few more so we’re curious about the kind of requests we will receive for Carnival,” the foundation added.

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Caribbean Girls under Cyber Attack. Urgent action needed to protect the most vulnerable

SINT MAARTEN/BELIZE - By GERARD BEST: A cyberbullying victim’s parents are speaking out in Belize against the alarming practice of posting nude photos of young girls online. 

The couple sit facing away from the camera as they recount the episode that forever changed their daughter’s life. The father, slowly and in a plaintive voice, says someone accessed the photo from her social media account and reposted it to a public site. With just a few clicks, the damage had already been done.    

“It was a huge blow to our family when it happened. Me and her mother, we tried to be strong for her, and supported her in every way possible, and to try to get over it. It was a terrible thing for her,” he says. 

“Be bold for change against cyber violence!” shouts the mother, firing a parting shot in the final frames. 

The parents’ testimony is part of an online anti-cyberbullying campaign spearheaded by the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan. The campaign gives voice to a nationwide concern at the trend of posting nude photos and videos of girls and women.  

Also speaking out is Kim Simplis-Barrow, wife of Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who is calling for urgent action to protect women and girls from the use of the Internet as “a vehicle for gender-based violence.” 

“Globally, cyber criminals are using the Internet for abuse and exploitation, putting our most vulnerable populations at risk. Here in Belize, we have had our own struggle with these issues,” she said. 

Pedophiles, rapists and human traffickers must not be allowed to continue using popular Internet-based social media platforms as “a digital hunting grounds”, she said.  

The First Lady, who is also the country’s Special Envoy for Women and Children, has worked to bring child sexual exploitation into the domain of public discourse and action. 

“Belize is ill-prepared legally and otherwise to effectively address these challenges,” she said. 

Speaking at the country’s first-ever national cybersecurity symposium, held in Belize City in April, her brief remarks made a simple yet powerful point: there can be no citizen security without cybersecurity. 

The message found support from a powerful ally. 

“Cybercrime knows no borders, we’re all in this together,” said Adrienne Galanek, Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy. 

“The cyber world we live in poses very real threats, from exploitation of children to the cruelty of cyberbullying. Predators capitalise on the anonymity of cyber space to target victims, whether to lure them to sexual exploitation or criminal activity. Compromising images of young girls and women are exploited online, while the male perpetrators’ identities are often concealed in shocking videos,” she added. 

Only in the last few years the growing cost and incidence of cybersecurity has propelled the subject to the top of the agenda of government and business leaders. 

“In the United States, we are currently in the process of reviewing our cybersecurity national strategy, and we encourage Belize and other nations to similarly review as needed their cybersecurity national strategy,” Galanek said. 

Many observers across the Caribbean will hope that Belize is only the first in a regional movement to break the silence and take active measures to protect the region's children and all citizens from cyber predators.

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Ding, dong! Any volunteers to parent a class of 30?

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Parenting doesn’t stop when the school bell goes.

That, at least, is the idea in Nijmegen, where the school group Conexus has asked parents to stand in for teachers when the juf or meester is sick, reports the AD.

Anyone qualified as a teacher may teach and any parent can simply volunteer to take care of the lively class of some 20 to 30 kids.

‘We have reached the end of our capacities to solve the shortages [in supply teachers] ourselves,’ Toine Janssen, director of the group of 31 schools, told the AD.

He informed parents of the request for their assistance in a letter this week. The schools have had to send children home in the past school year due to no teacher and is now planning to register this.

There are currently 1,200 too few primary teachers and by 2025, the education ministry expects a shortage of 10,000 as there are not enough trainees to replace those who will retire.

PO-Raad, which represents the interests of those in primary education, was not surprised at the Nijmegen initiative and a spokeswoman told the AD: ‘I expect that there will be even crazier ideas.’

But the school inspectorate told the paper that sometimes children were sent home, although it is not really supposed to happen. ‘The school has a duty of care during school time and must ensure children are properly cared for,’ a spokesman reportedly said. (DutchNews)

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Coast Guard apprehends 29 Undocumented Persons

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO – The Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard on Friday apprehended 26 undocumented persons on Klein Curacao, a small island off the coast of Curacao.  An additional three persons were apprehended the day before.

The Coast Guard utilised the following assets during its operation: two Super RHIB, Jet Ski’s, a Dash-8 Aircraft, and a Helicopter.

The Coast Guard operation spanned over several days before resulting in the apprehension of the 29 persons.  A search was carried out for weapons and drugs.

Two of the Super RHIB was used to transport the persons to the Coast Guard Center where they were provided with drinks, food, blankets and clothing.  Thereafter, they were turned over to the Police and along with the Coast Guard, the investigation will continue.

SOUALIGA NEWSDAY REPORT

coast guard inside pix

coast guard inside two

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CPS Reminds Vaccination Open House is this Saturday

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) would like to remind parents and guardians about its Vaccination Open House this Saturday.    

Saturday’s Open House will be held at the Vineyard Office Park in Philipsburg from 9.00am to 4.00pm for children between 0-17 years old.

Parents and guardians are asked to bring their child’s vaccination record/book to the Open House.  There will also be presentations from 10.00am to 1.30pm on Oral Health, Puberty and Reproductive Health.

Vaccines help your immune system fight more than 20 dangerous diseases.  From the time we’re born, vaccines offer protection to help individuals stay healthy throughout their entire lives.

CPS, a department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, is holding its Open House under the banner of the VWA 2017. 

Evidence continues to show that vaccination is one of the safest, most cost-effective ways to prevent diseases and death. The polio vaccine has prevented 15 million cases of paralysis worldwide, and it is estimated that its eradication will result in economic savings of some $40-50 billion dollars.

The second Open House is scheduled for Saturday, June 10. 

Those who need additional information about the Open House can call CPS at 542-2078 or 542-3003.

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More Movement for the Elderly this Saturday at St. Martin’s Home

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – More Movement for the Elderly, will take place on Saturday, May 13. 

Senior citizens are invited to the St. Martin’s Home which is located at St. John’s Estate road #6 for More Movement for the Elderly Fitness.

To stay healthy or to improve health, older adults need to do two types of physical activity each week: aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity.

Older adults aged 60 or older, who are generally fit and have no health conditions that limit their mobility, should try to be active daily.

The activity has been organized and coordinated over a one-year period by Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department from the Sint Maarten Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, the White and Yellow Cross Care Foundation (WYCCF), Windward Islands Physical Therapist Association (WIPTA) and I&I Fitness.

The Saturday activity is being coordinated by WYCCF from 10.30AM to 12.00PM at the aforementioned address.

It's recommended that adults aged 60 or older do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, and muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms).

Some activity, however light, is better for your health than none at all.

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Inspectorate of Health addresses Recall of Robin Hood Flour. Calls for removal of flour products

PHILIPSBURG – The Inspectorate of Public Health, Social Development and Labour on Thursday issued a statement with respect to the recall of Robin Hood Flour.  “A recall was issued for Robin Hood Original All Purpose Flour and Robin Hood Flour products made by SMUCKER FOODS of CANADA.  Reason for the recall is contaminated flour with the E. coli bacteria. The bacteria have been identified as E. coli (O121). 

“The symptoms after consuming products contaminated with E. coli can include nausea, vomiting, mild to severe abdominal cramps and watery to bloody diarrhoea.

“All food establishments (minimarkets, supermarkets, etc.) are hereby instructed do take these products from their shelves or storages and destroy these. The inspectors of the Food Safety department of the Inspectorate of VSA will be on the lookout for any of the products listed above,” the Inspectorate VSA said on Thursday.

All consumers of flour must adhere to the following measures

-        do not taste raw dough or batter

-        clean and sanitize with hot water or chlorine bowls, utensils, or surfaces where flour was used

-        wash hands after handling

-        check to see if you have any of the product(s) listed below, and if you do  DO NOT use the product. THROW IT AWAY. 

The recall applies to bags of flour with the following information: 

Brand Product Size UPC Codes Additional information
Brodie Self Raising Cake & Pastry Flour 1 kg 0 59000 01484 5 Lot codes containing BB/MA 018 JA 17 and 6 291 548 Only product with a best before date of January 17, 2018 (2018 JA 17) and the production code 6 291 548 is being recalled.
Golden Temple Sooji Creamy Wheat 2 kg 0 59000 01552 1 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 JA 18 and 6 292 548 Only product with a best before date of January 18, 2018 (2018 JA 18) and the production code 6 292 548 is being recalled.
Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original 1 kg 0 59000 01632 0 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 AL 14 and 6 288 548 Only product with a best before date of April 14, 2018 (2018 AL 14) and the production code 6 288 548 is being recalled.
Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original 1 kg 0 59000 01632 0 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 AL 15 and 6 289 548 Only product with a best before date of April 15, 2018 (2018 AL 15) and the production code 6 289 548 is being recalled.
Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original 1 kg 0 59000 01632 0 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 AL 16 and 6 290 548 Only product with a best before date of April 16, 2018 (2018 AL 16) and the production code 6 290 548 is being recalled.
Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original 1 kg 0 59000 01632 0 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 AL 17 and 6 291 548 Only product with a best before date of April 17, 2018 (2018 AL 17) and the production code 6 291 548 is being recalled.
Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original 5 kg 0 59000 01654 2 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 AL 26 and 6 300 548 Only product with a best before date of April 26 2018 (2018 AL 26) and the production code 6 300 548 is being recalled
Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original 5 kg 0 59000 01654 2 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 AL 27 and 6 301 548 Only product with a best before date of April 27 2018 (2018 AL 27) and the production code 6 301 548 is being recalled
Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original 5 kg 0 59000 01654 2 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 AL 28 and 6 302 548 Only product with a best before date of April 28 2018 (2018 AL 28) and the production code 6 302 548 is being recalled
Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Unbleached 5 kg 0 59000 01685 6 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 AL 25 and 6 299 548 Only product with a best before date of April 25 2018 (2018 AL 25) and the production code 6 299 548 is being recalled
Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Unbleached 5 kg 0 59000 01685 6

Lot codes containing

BB/MA 2018 AL 26 and 6 300 548

Only product with a best before date of April 26 2018 (2018 AL 26) and the production code 6 300 548 is being recalled
Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Unbleached 5 kg 0 59000 01685 6 Lot codes containing B/MA 2018 AL 27 and 6 301 548 Only product with a best before date of April 27 2018 (2018 AL 27) and the production code 6 301 548 is being recalled
Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Unbleached 5 kg 0 59000 01685 6 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 AL 29 and 6 303 548 Only product with a best before date of April 29 2018 (2018 AL 29) and the production code 6 303 548 is being recalled
Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original 10 kg 0 59000 01652 8 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 AL 14 and 6 288 548 Only product with a best before date of April 14, 2018 (2018 AL 14) and the production code 6 288 548 is being recalled.
Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original 10 kg 0 59000 01652 8 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 AL 15 and 6 289 548 Only product with a best before date of April 15, 2018 (2018 AL 15) and the production code 6 289 548 is being recalled.
Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original 10 kg 0 59000 01652 8 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 AL 17 and 6 291 548 Only product with a best before date of April 17, 2018 (2018 AL 17) and the production code 6 291 548 is being recalled.
Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original 10 kg 0 59000 01652 8 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 AL 18 and 6 292 548 Only product with a best before date of April 18, 2018 (2018 AL 18) and the production code 6 292 548 is being recalled.
Robin Hood All Purpose Flour, Original 10 kg 0 59000 01652 8 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 AL 28 and 6 302 548 Only product with a best before date of April 28 2018 (2018 AL 28) and the production code 6 302 548 is being recalled
Robin Hood Best for Blending Flour 2.5 kg 0 59000 01534 7 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 JA 24 and 6 298 548 Only product with a best before date of January 24 2018 (2018 JA 24) and the production code 6 298 548 is being recalled
Robin Hood Best for Blending Flour 2.5 kg 0 59000 01534 7 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 JA 25 and 6 299 548 Only product with a best before date of January 25 2018 (2018 JA 25) and the production code 6 299 548 is being recalled
Robin Hood Best for Blending Flour 2.5 kg 0 59000 01534 7 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 FE 02 and 6 307 548 Only product with a best before date of February 02 2018 (2018 FE 02) and the production code 6 307 548 is being recalled.
Robin Hood Best for Blending Flour 2.5 kg 0 59000 01534 7 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 FE 03 and 6 308 548 Only product with a best before date of February 03 2018 (2018 FE 03) and the production code 6 308 548 is being recalled.
Robin Hood Bread and Roll Mix Homestyle White 1.36 kg 0 59000 00238 5

Lot codes containing

BB/MA 2017 AU 25 and 6 299 548

Only product with a best before date of August 25 2017 (2017 AU 25) and the production code 6 299 548 is being recalled
Robin Hood Bread and RollMix Homestyle White 1.36 kg 0 59000 00238 5 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2017 AU 26 and 6 300 548 Only product with a best before date of August 26 2017 (2017 AU 26) and the production code 6 300 548 is being recalled
Robin Hood Best for Bread Flour  Homestyle White 5 kg 0 59000 01519 4 Lot codes containing BB/MA 2018 AL 25 and 6 299 548 Only product with a best before date of April 25 2018 (2018 AL 25) and the production code 6 299 548 is being recalled

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Tourism Minister Arrindell-Doncher: Carnival’s continued growth means greater economic impact

POND ISLAND - Minister of Tourism Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher congratulated the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation for “a job well done” in organizing and executing Carnival 2017, pointing to the fact that with the continued growth of St. Maarten Carnival, the economic impact for the island is greater. 

“As you know all of Carnival’s subsidy comes directly from the TEATT Ministry with the intention that the SCDF dedicates the majority of these funds to marketing the festival regionally and internationally. Judging by hotel bookings alone through the month of April, Carnival continues to do very well for the economy of St. Maarten with stay-over visitors, most of whom stay for a week or more on St. Maarten. This leads to a positive economic spin-off for hotels, restaurants, car rentals and Carnival Village and events,” the Minister said.

Prior to Carnival 2017 the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau reported that hotel occupancy through April was at 85 percent. The Minister noted that occupancy increased (to approximately 92%) with a surge of visitors to the island in the last two weeks of Carnival. Final numbers is still being compiled. 

The Minister noted that social media and online activity also increased this year with the SCDF utilizing its very popular Facebook page with more than 40,000 likes, Snapchat, Instagram and its website to engage potential visitors from across the world who now know about St. Maarten’s Carnival.

In addition to the SCDF, the Minister explained, there are now several independent video, still-photography and other social media outlets that cater specifically to the promotion of Carnival. “The videos and images that are being spread worldwide about Carnival is very impressive,” she noted.

“The SCDF should also be commended for working with two of the island’s largest tour operators, Nexus Tours and Bella Tours, in executing Carnival Village tours for our visitors and exporting this part of our culture.

“Lastly I would like to thank and congratulate the board and volunteers of the SCDF for the tireless work they put into Carnival on an annual basis. We all enjoy it but sometimes underestimate the magnitude of the work it takes to pull-off a three-week festival. Ministry TEATT, and in particular the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, will continue to work with the SCDF to facilitate further growth of St. Maarten’s largest annual event.

inside minteatt carnival pix

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Nature Foundation Supports Coral Isles Reef Friendly Sun Screen Products

COLE BAY - The Nature Foundation encourages the community of Sint Maarten/St. Martin to use Coral Isles Reef Friendly sunscreen/suntan lotions, Coral Isles Sunscreen is specifically formulated not to have any negative impacts on coral reefs while at the same time protecting users from the sun.

Over the past 30 years, Sint Maarten has lost over 80% of its coral reefs—an alarming statistic that is made even more disturbing by the fact that this has become a trend throughout the Caribbean Region and Globally.

Although climate change (global warming) has long been identified as a primary contributor to coral bleaching, scientists have also identified pollutants in our oceans causing significant damage to coral. Many of these man-made pollutants are common ingredients found in sunscreens.  

Coral reefs are popular recreational spots, they are high-traffic areas for swimmers and divers, many of whom wear sunscreen. Researchers at the Nature Foundation have been studying these high-concentration areas for some time, and there is a growing body of scientific evidence pointing to several ingredients in sunscreen that are highly toxic to coral.

These include Oxybenzone, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Octinoxate, and Parabens. Most “Safe” sunscreens avoid either Chemicals (Oxybenzone) or minerals (TiO2/ZnO), but seldom both. CORAL ISLES have removed ALL of those harmful ingredients while still maintaining a full broad spectrum UV protection sunscreen. 

The Nature Foundation urges water sports afficonados, especially divers and snorkelers, to use reef safe sunscreen. The Coral Reefs of Sint Maarten, especially in the Man of War Shoal Marine Protected Area, contribute significantly to the economy of Sint Maarten and all steps should be taken by the community to protect this very important resource.

CORAL ISLES is exclusively distributed by Indo Caribbean Enterprises, part of The Boolchand Group.

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Minister Jacobs Expresses her Condolences on the Passing of Neville York

POND ISLAND - The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (Ministry ECYS) and the Government of St. Maarten hereby extend sincerest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the late Neville York. Our heart goes out to you in this time of bereavement, as you accept this terrible loss, a press release from the Cabinet of the Ministry ECYS. 

Death is never easy to accept for the living, especially sudden and unexpected loss, but we will allow the memories to live on forever and sustain us. 

Neville York was a walking cultural archive, who fought for and shared his knowledge for the cultural development of St. Maarten as well as his artistic drive and excellence, especially with steel pan.

He was the Head of the Department of Culture, and he will definitely be missed by the entire Ministry. He was the brainchild of our "Decade of revitalization of our natural and cultural heritage!" Which we will strive to achieve in his memory. 

My prayers are with the family and friends; may God guide you and give you strength through the trying times ahead and may his soul rest in perpetual peace. 

York was a cultural icon in our community and his legacy will live on forever. His students, who he taught over the decades, will carry on his musical legacy. May Mr. York, live on in our memories forever.

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