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Contractors and builders advised to have plans in place to remove building materials in the event of a hurricane

PHILIPSBURG - Contractors and builders are requested to have a plan in place to prepare and secure their job sites in the event of a passing hurricane. 

The Caribbean has entered the most active months of the hurricane season, mid-August to mid-October with the peak around September 10th. Every effort should be made to be prepared in the event of a threat.

Contractors and home builders during severe weather are responsible for securing job sites for the protection of the public, property and surrounding areas.

Materials such as plywood, shingles, zinc, and other construction material could become flying missiles capable of impaling brick walls or anything in its way. 

Construction debris can cause severe damage to property and loss of life.  With building and construction activity still taking place on the island, every construction site supervisor and/or foreman is advised to have a plan in place with respect to what action they will be taking. 

A tropical storm system could form during any part of the hurricane season and not necessarily during the peak months.

As a general rule, all jobsites should be kept clean.  Arrange timely pick up of trash dumpsters, and only keep materials on the job site you actually will utilize at any given week especially during the hurricane season, and keep construction equipment secure.  Any planned supply deliveries should be postponed if there is a hurricane threat to the island.

When a tropical storm or hurricane watch is issued 48-hours before a system is forecasted to hit, remove all scaffolding, and remove, or safely secure, all building materials and equipment. 

Sub contractors should also be alerted to their responsibilities as well with respect to securing or removing their materials and equipment.

Stop job processes that will likely become damaged by the hurricane, such as window installations, house wrap, or landscaping.  Complete those tasks that will likely prevent damage, such as concrete work, closing in a house, or filling in foundation excavations. 

Follow through with a quick inspection of your job sites.  Do not wait until the last minute to inspect your job sites, as you may need that time to go home and secure your own family home.  Employees will need to also do the same.

Once the hurricane is over, return to the job site for damage inspection only when the all clear sign has been given by the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) headed by the Prime Minister of Sint Maarten

Keep in mind that damages from the hurricane on other parts of the island may impede efforts for immediate attention of job sites.

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Ministry VROMI announces Road closure section Union Road vicinity entrance Princess Port de Plaisance up to Causeway Roundabout August 29

COLE BAY - Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), hereby announces road closure from the entrance of Princess Port de Plaisance up the Causeway Bridge Roundabout on August 29.

Previous works could not take place before due to unforeseen circumstances.

This road works is a project from Windward Roads BV to finalize placement of hot asphalt on the intersection Union Road/Causeway roundabout.

These works will start Friday 29th August 2014 at 4:00am and will end on the same day 29th August 2014 at around 6.00am.

Traffic coming from Union Road will be diverted onto the new concrete road right of Union Road and will continue and end up in the roundabout which will continue their normal route. Road users have to pay keen attention and follow the traffic signs.

Traffic coming from Marigot or from the Causeway Bridge can go via Union Road through the roundabout taking a right turn on the same concrete road and end up on the Union Road.

Due to the nature of the works there will be no special measures for any of the Emergency Services during the duration of these works.

Motorists and residents are requested to be vigilant and pay keen attention due to the fact of various heavy machinery being used on the road during the civil works.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience that this may cause.

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Baby Wellness Clinic and Youth Health Care Closures

GREAT BAY – The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA) announces that the Baby Wellness Clinic behind the Guardian Group Building near the A.J.C. Brouward Road, and Youth Health Care at the Collective Prevention Service (CPS) located at the Vineyard Office Park on the W.G. Buncamper Road #33, Philipsburg, will be closed on the following dates and timeframe.

-          Thursday, August 28 (entire day for a team day activity)

-          Friday, August 29 (half day in connection with the elections, 8.00am to 12.00pm)

For more information you can call: 542-2078, 542-3003 or 542-3553.

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UP Board Says Law Grants Employees Two Hours Off to Go Vote

PHILIPSBURG – The United People’s (UP) Party board has received some reports of employees being told that they won’t allow going out and voting during their working hours.

The UP Board would like to remind all that it’s established by law that every employee has the right to go and exercise their right to vote, and have been given two hours to do so on Friday, August 29.

It’s a civic duty to exercise your right to vote and businesses have to abide by the law and give their employees those two hours to do so. If there are those who are not cooperating, we suggest to take your grievance to your union representative and/or the Department of Labour.

The UP Party is encouraging everybody to make use of their right to vote on Friday, August 29.  Our national Postal Services of St. Maarten (PSS) reports that they have completed delivery of voting cards for the elections within the timeframe agreed upon with the Civil Registry Office.

The UP Party takes this opportunity to congratulate the staff of PSS for a job well done.

21,457 persons are eligible to vote according to the Civil Registry Office based on the voter’s list.  On Election Day have ready your voting card and some form of Identification to take to your polling station.

If you haven’t received your voting card, contact the Civil Registry Office on Pond Island during the next couple of days to get a duplicate voting card. You would have to present a valid form of Identification such as a Dutch passport, Driver’s license or ID card.

The UP Party Board encourages everybody to make use of their right to vote.  The vote is the most powerful instrument that every eligible voter has.  Politicians take important decisions and to have a say in issues that affect your community, you need to be able to hold them accountable.  On Election Day, every vote matters. (Contributed by the UP Party)

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Former DP #3 Candidate Louis Halley Urges Supporters to Vote #1 on DP Slate

SIMPSON BAY - Previous number three candidate on the Democratic Party Slate popular Simpson Bay resident Louis Halley is urging his supporters and the people of St. Maarten in general to vote for the leader of the Democratic Party, the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams.

Mr. Halley said that of all the political leaders the Prime Minister of St. Maarten, the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams is the clear choice: “There is no politician on St. Maarten that has the vision for moving the country forward other than Sarah Wescot-Williams. She has been the beacon of stability; the light that has guided the people through very turbulent political times. Her steadfast leadership has ensured constitutional and economic growth for the people of St. Maarten”.

Mr. Halley encouraged especially the residents of Simpson Bay, where he resides and where the father of the Prime Minister hails from, to remember that throughout the challenges faced by this community over the two years, only the Prime Minister displayed genuine interest for the people of this community and listened to their concerns. “She has proven to be the only politician, who truly has the interests of this community at heart,” commented Mr. Halley.

The former number three Democratic Party Candidate, though not running for 2014’s Parliamentary Elections, is urging the community to exercise their democratic right and vote; “Exercise your democratic right and vote for the party and the leader, who has shown that the interests of the people are close to their hearts. Vote for stability and not for political gimmickry and bandwagoneering,” commented Halley. (Contributed by the DP Party)

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Victorious Living Foundation Invitation

If you are a man or a woman...

Suffering from relationship challenges; emotional wounds; depression; feeling unfulfilled; struggling with grief issues; in transition; and want to regain your joy for living,

Then Victorious Living Foundation invites you 

to register by September 2nd for its Journey to Freedom Sessions for men every Wednesdayin September/ October &

 for women, every Thursday in September/October.

Space is limited!  For more details visitwww.victoriouslivingsxm.org and send an e-mail to register or call 1-721-524-8731 for an appointment at:

 Victorious Living's new location at the Royal Palm Plaza #94 Front Street.

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Minister Lake says Government Legal Reps Said I Did Nothing Wrong

PHILIPSBURG – Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake says he has taken note of the recent story by former Minister of VROMI William Marlin regarding how he should be held liable for ‘wrongdoing’ in the Vorst land deal.

“The people of the country can see what is going on with William Marlin and the Prime Minister constantly hammering on this issue of the Vorst property that will benefit the people of this country by creating jobs and housing for our young professionals.

“If it is not coming from them, then it’s nothing good for the country, basically that is what William and the Prime Minister are saying in between the lines.  The Government’s own legal department, being part of the Prime Minister’s portfolio, stated that I did nothing wrong and I followed the proper procedures.

“The monies to pay part of the sale for the property were already approved by parliament in the 2014 budget.  The Prime Minister and William Marlin are singing the same tune so you have to wonder if they both have come together to cook up this whole saga regarding this piece of property.

“It is actually even more amazing, if one sees how much the Prime Minister has to say about the purchase of the Vorst property, but she has nothing, not even a little to say about the then Minister of VROMI, William Marlin, ‘purchasing’ the Emilio Wilson Estate in conflict with a decision taken by the Council of Minister’s.

“I have nothing to hide.  I have worked in the interests of the people and in the interests of the country.  It is rather unfortunate that this matter has to be carried on week in and week out like if there aren’t other pressing matters that the people of this country would like to hear about.

“The people want to know how you are going to create jobs and build housing for those that needs public housing.  I have presented my vision for the Vorst property in Cay Hill, but William Marlin and the Prime Minister do not want to see jobs and housing for the people of this country.  I wonder why?  It doesn’t make any sense, why shouldn’t our people move forward and upward?

“I don’t need to tow the white line or pull the red thread.  The people are the ones that count for me.  It seems that they are desperate and want to create confusion. You have folks in both of those camps who like to cook up how to get rid of Maurice Lake, but I put my confidence in the people who I have been working for during the past 12-months,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake pointed out.

The court ruled in its proceedings on August 21 that the agreement that exist to purchase the Vorst property in Cay Hill remains in place and government has to pay the sales price.

“As said from the start, I have been negotiating with the Vorst family from/on the basis of the (binding) Letter of Intent signed by the previous Minister of Justice, which would have cost the government considerably more money (almost US$9 million) for which we would have ‘only’ received  a right of long lease.

I have always considered the outright purchase of the property for less money (US$5.5 million) the best way to go, and that is why I came to this purchase agreement with the Vorst family. It saves the tax payer money, US$3.5 million.  Why pay more when you don’t own the property when you can pay less and own the property.   

“My vision is to build homes for our (returning) young professionals and a commercial center to create jobs for our people such as a call center, a metal signage shop and a sewing center.

“I would also like to reiterate, that before I entered into the payment schedule of the purchase price, I discussed this payment schedule with the Minister of Finance regarding the budget, and was advised by the Secretary General of Finance how to reflect the payments in the advice that was put before the Council of Ministers.

“This entire affair is a result of politics being played.  When are these elder politicians who talk about experience going to mature and handle the people’s business in the correct manner?  You are not being good examples to the youth when you are bashing your own.  My vision of job creation and building homes will benefit the people,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake concluded.

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Laser 101 Second Political Discussion with Leaders on August 25. Live on the Internet

MADAME ESTATE - The 2nd and last Political Discussion that will be hosted on Laser 101, will be aired live on Monday, August 25th from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. The leaders of the political parties that have representation in the present parliament have been invited to attend.

In first instance, Frans Richardson from the United St.Maarten Party, Sarah Wescot-Williams from the Democratic Party, and William Marlin from the National Alliance have all three confirmed their attendance by email to management of Philipsburg Broadcasting. Theo Heyliger of the United People's Party sent an email indicating that he could not confirm his attendance due to his agenda. Eventually William Marlin informed Philipsburg Broadcasting officials that there was a double booking as he has to attend an interview on a TV program on the same day and time, thus making it impossible for him to attend.

The National Alliance will therefore be sending Silveria Jacobs, and the United People's Party will be sending Frankie Meyers to represent the leader of the UP.

As the two candidates that will be attending this formal discussion are veteran members of their respective parties, the vision and sentiments of their leaders, and their party should be well represented.

The topics will be of a general nature, however integrity, will be the main driver.

The program will be retransmitted on radio stations on St.Martin, St.Barths and Saba. It will also be streamed on the world wide web (www.laser101.fm ).

The host of this program will once more be Glen Carty (Contributed by Laser 101 Glen Carty)

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Prime Minister Wescot-Williams Donates to Local Netball Club

PHILIPSBURG - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams recently gave a personal donation towards the uniforms of the Spurs United Netball Club. The Prime Minister made the donation as part of her continued efforts to promote women’s sports and women’s health on the island. The ladies of Spurs United won their game when they debuted their uniforms by ‘a large margin’ according to organizers. 

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