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CPS Tells Mosquitoes to “Buzz Off” as Mosquito Control Awareness Week Kicks Off on Monday

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, says there is nothing worse than an unwanted house guest, especially when they do nothing but suck you dry.

Mosquitoes have nasty habits of buzzing around; causing itchy bite marks and making many grab the nearest can of bug repellant.

This year Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week will be observed from May 8 to May 12 under the theme, “Small Bite, Big Threat.”  The Region has become increasingly susceptible to mosquito borne diseases, which threaten the health of the people of the Caribbean, according to the Caribbean Public Health Agency.

CPS in line with the aforementioned and will be providing information via radio and TV programs and the print-media about the elimination of mosquito breeding sites.

Enjoy the outdoors and stop the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses by following tips from CPS to prevent mosquito infestation and control an existing problem.

“Over the last few years, Sint Maarten has had increased cases of mosquito-borne illnesses such as zika virus, dengue fever and chikungunya,” said CPS Environmental Health Officer Gerald Davelaar.

“To ensure the safety of family, friends and pets, it’s extremely important to make sure you’re taking the proper steps: 1st reducing mosquito breeding through water management and source reduction, and 2nd reducing adult mosquito populations.”

One of the easiest and most crucial things to do is to remove any stagnant water you have around your property. Empty pots, tarps, tools and trash cans of any water that has collected after rainfall, because they are all breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

If a mosquito problem already exists, CPS recommends controlling adult mosquitoes through mosquito traps, area spray control and vegetation management.

Mosquitoes can also be kept out of the home by keeping windows, doors and porches tightly screened.

“Eliminating standing water is probably the most important thing to remember when preventing or controlling mosquito problems. Keep it in the back of your mind during all outdoor activities – even remember to irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing for several days,” added Davelaar.

CPS reminds the public to practice the THREE D’s of mosquito prevention — Drain, Dress and Defend:

• Drain: Empty out water containers at least once per week

• Dress: Wear long sleeves, long pants, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing

• Defend: Properly apply an approved repellent such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535

Mosquito-borne diseases such as zika, dengue fever and chikungunya are transmitted by the female vector Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is distinguished by its markings. The body of the mosquito has alternate black and white horizontal stripes. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito lays her eggs in clear (clean) stagnant water. Within eight days the mosquito can complete its life cycle from egg, to larvae to pupae and to and adult mosquito.

An increase in the mosquito population puts residents at risk. For information about mosquito-borne diseases prevention measures, you can call CPS at 542-2078 or 542-3003.

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Caribbean courts need to be better prepared to judge cybercrimes. Judicial Education urgently needed

SINT MAARTEN/By GERARD BEST - Institutions worldwide are finding it hard to keep up with the rapid pace of advance in computer-based technology. This is all the more so for courts, which are typically steeped in tradition and ponderously slow to change. Globally, systems of justice are struggling to keep track of the sophisticated, rapidly evolving operations of modern cyber-crime.  

But one Caribbean nation is tackling the issue head on, providing an interesting pattern for other countries of the region. The nation of Belize is taking an important step in responding to cybercrime, by upgrading of the capacity of its judiciary. 

“Cybercrime and cyber issues must now have a prominent place in judicial education,” said Kenneth Benjamin, Chief Justice of Belize.  

In Belize, the legislative framework already supports the admission of evidence electronically. However, no laws are yet on the books to specifically criminalise the growing incidence of Internet-based wrongdoings.  

A cybercrime bill is expected to come into force soon, though. With that impending legislation, the Chief Justice plans to fast track judicial education, focusing on technology developments generally and cybercrime specifically. 

“The introduction of new laws must be accompanied by the development of policy and of regulations guiding the detection, investigation and prosecution of any alleged cyber misdeeds,” Benjamin said, adding that only a few judicial officers had already received cybercrime training to date. 

The Chief Justice was speaking at Belize's first-ever national cybersecurity symposium, held in Belize City from April 24 to 28. 

A special forum at the event included judicial officers and magistrates and focused on how cybercrime has been affecting the judiciary globally.  

The weeklong gathering was organised jointly by Belize's Public Utilities Commission and by the Caribbean Network Operators Group, a volunteer-based organisation focused on training programs to build the region’s technical capabilities and safeguard computer networks. 

"This event marks an important milestone for the region's judiciary, and signals a new collaboration between Caribbean jurists and the region's technology community," said Bevil Wooding, a co-organiser of the event and an Internet Strategist with US-based non-profit firm, Packet Clearing House.  

The symposium drew nationwide attention, with more than 700 stakeholders taking par, including members of the Bar Association, military and law enforcement officers, representatives of the business chamber, the Central Bank, the association of ICT professionals, and many concerned citizens. 

"The forum marks the beginning of a process of sensitisation, and we plan to continue collaborating with the CaribNOG team to develop future training interventions for our jurists,” Benjamin said.  

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Section of Back Street Closed from 8 May to 21 May as Phase II Commences

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), announces that part of Back Street will be closed from Monday, May 8 to Sunday, May 21.

The closure is in connection to Phase II of placing asphalt on Back Street. The street repair works will be take place daily from 7.00am to 6.00pm.

Barriers will be placed with respect to the closed section of Back Street in connection with Phase II which will be from Zout Steeg to Gevangenis Steeg (Angelo’s Boutique). There will be no through traffic. 

Zout Steeg will be closed to motorized traffic.  Parents of school-going children will have to use Front Street for the next two weeks when dropping off their kids at the St. Joseph Primary School.

Motorists are advised to be observant of detour and directional signs.

The works will be carried out by Windward Roads.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconveniences this may cause.

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Dr. Petra R. Rivera brings reggaetón to the 15th annual St. Martin Book Fair

GREAT BAY - The St. Maarten Carnival has just ended but music is still in the Caribbean air. And music will be critically highlighted at the St. Martin Book Fair, June 1 – 3, 2017, said Shujah Reiph, the literary festival director.

“The music workshop will be conducted by Dr. Petra R. Rivera-Rideau, who will present reggaetón in what could be a revolutionary way compared to how we generally think of, rap along with, or dance to this popular music originating in the Caribbean,” said Lasana M. Sekou, a book fair co-founder with Reiph.

Dr. Rivera-Rideau comes with her highly recommended book Remixing Reggaetón: The Cultural Politics of Race in Puerto Rico. Along with her examination of the racial politics of the Latin urban music scene, Dr. Rivera-Rideau’s ongoing research on popular music and society is very significant to the peoples and cultures of the Caribbean and Latin America understanding themselves and each other, said Sekou.

Dr. Rivera-Rideau is also the co-editor with Jennifer A. Jones and Tianna S. Paschel of Afro-Latin@s in Movement: Critical Approaches to Blackness and Transnationalism in the Americas. The assistant professor of American Studies at Wellesley College holds a PhD in African Diaspora Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

The interactive reggaetón presentation will add to the series of well-attended music workshops hosted by the St. Martin Book Fair since 2003, at the University of St. Martin (USM), said Reiph.

Music history, writing songs, analyzing lyrics, judging calypsos, how sexual content in contemporary songs affect St. Martin children are areas covered over the years in pan, kaiso, hip hop, and reggae workshops by experts and artists such as Dr. Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool (Trinidad & Tobago), Michaela Angela Davis (USA), Isidore “Mighty Dow” York (St. Martin), Kwame Dawes (USA), and Dr. Carolyn Cooper (Jamaica).

“I’m very excited about Dr. Petra Rivera’s contribution to our book fair for the entire family,” said Reiph. “Her presentation will definitely boost our understanding, skills, and enjoyment of another Caribbean music that is taking the world by storm.”

The St. Martin Book Fair 2017 is scheduled to open at Cité Scolaire Robert Weinum on Thursday, June 1, at 8 pm, said Reiph. The new high school/jr. high school complex is located in The Savanna—the area between Rambaud and Grand Case. The main day of workshops, open mic readings, book sales and book signings by famous, new, and upcoming writers is set for USM on Saturday, June 3.

Conscious Lyrics Foundation and House of Nehesi Publishers are organizing the 15th anniversary of the literary festival in collaboration with St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, University of St. Martin, and LC Fleming Foundation, along with SOS radio 95.9 FM and Peridot Foundation, said Reiph.

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Win a Weekend Get-a-Away at OBBR with SXM Talks App

PHILIPSBURG - SXM Talks has recently launched its free Mobile Application (App) for both Android and Apple mobile devices. To celebrate the launch, SXM Talks will be awarding two prizes to two lucky winners: a Weekend Stay at Oyster Bay Beach Resort and a Sunday Brunch at Infinity Restaurant!

To be eligible to win, you simply need to download the SXM Talks App and send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a screenshot of the downloaded app. The lucky winners will be announced on July 15th, 2017 on the SXM Talks Facebook page.

The SXM Talks App is free and very user friendly. Users can choose to be notified for any news updates by changing their personal settings in the App. Apart from bringing users the latest local news and commentary, the SXM Talks App also presents users with a cool “Sell Your Stuff” feature. This feature enables users to make a picture of whatever they want to sell and post it online immediately.

SXM Talks platform has been developed as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for local news and commentary as it compiles all local news from the leading news sources and presents it neatly on one website.

The platform, which includes a popular Facebook page and now has added a Mobile App, has gained tremendous popularity and has since launched a sister news platform on Trinidad & Tobago called Trini Talks, with more islands in the development pipeline. This way SXM Talks aims to contribute to entrepreneurship, exporting of knowledge from SXM and thus helping to diversify the economy.

The new SXM Talks App is available now in both Google Play and Apple iTunes App stores.

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FIVE DAYS OF FITNESS - Celebrating 5 Years of U 2 Can Move

PHILIPSBURG - U 2 Can Move will start Five Days of Fitness on May 4th at the John Larmonie Center.  This activity will start at 7:00 pm.

The other events that will be taking place during the Five Days of Fitness are:

Saturday May 6th

Hike

Loterie Farm |Time: tba

$10.00/person

Sunday May 7th

Crossfit SXM Beach Workout (WOD) & Beach Clean-up

Mullet Bay Beach | 8:00am

Monday May 8th

Special Zumba Party Session & Health Bus |

John Larmonie Center | 5:00pm

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One Million Euros Extra to give Children Opportunities

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS - All children need to be able to participate; social, with sports, culture and at school. That is important for now and for the future. This is why the Cabinet has decided from this year until the year 2021, to make available 1 million euro extra per year to give each and every child on Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius opportunities. That way children can participate if there is little money at home.

Organizations that have good plans to help children, can apply for grants. With the money they receive, for example, they can ensure a healthy meal at school, swimming lessons for children whose parents would not be able to pay or for example for music lessons or a musical instrument.

This applies to not-for-profit organizations with a legal incorporation, such as schools, foundations, churches and associations. Also, next year the possibility exists to apply for grants. 

Jetta Klijnsma, State Secretary of Social Affairs and Labour, would like this way to ensure the money directly reaches the children. It can only be spent on items such as school supplies, subscriptions, sports clothing or music lessons for children. "Every child does matter.

It should not matter how fat the wallet of your father or mother is in order to be able to participate, “said Klijnsma. We must therefore ensure that children get the things they need to grow up."

Organizations can submit their plans from May 29th until June 12th, 2017. The plans will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis. If a plan is approved, the organization may receive funding to the grant until the ceiling is reached. That way things can reach the children fast so that all children can participate.

Employees of the RCN Unit of Social Affairs and of the Ministry of Social Affairs can assist with the preparation of applications. They will be present on the islands in May to help where necessary. There will also be information meetings organized on all three islands. More information will follow later. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Utrecht hopes to launch welfare experiment with carrot but no stick

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Utrecht city council hopes to launch an experiment in which a group of welfare benefit claimants will face fewer rules, broadcaster RTL Z said on Friday.

The plan has not yet been approved by the social affairs ministry, but if it gets the green light, a select group of claimants will no longer be required to apply for jobs on a weekly basis.

City alderman Victor Everhardt says the current system is based on mistrust. ‘We have to ask if such a system of controls is the most effective way to stimulate welfare claimants to get a job,’ he said. ‘What happens if scrap rules and we leave the initiative up to them?’

If approved, the experiment will run for two years and involve a group of between 500 and 1,000 people, who will be selected by lottery. Several other local authorities in the Netherlands are considering similar experiments.

Basic income

In January, the social affairs minister torpedoed hopes by the Zeeland town of Terneuzen to become the first in the country to experiment with a basic income.

Town councillors wanted to give 20 people currently living on welfare payments a monthly income of €933 with no strings attached. But the ministry said that the experiment could not go ahead as planned because the people who would have received the money do not have to do anything in return, and this is against the law.

Wageningen, Tilburg, Nijmegen and Groningen are also keen to experiment with basic incomes. Last year, the government agreed to give more leeway for experiments with different forms of income and welfare benefits. (DutchNews)

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PERIDOT FOUNDATION WISHES EVERYBODY A HAPPY, SAFE, CARNIVAL & LABOR DAY HOLIDAYS

PHILIPSBURG - Gracita Arrindell founder of Peridot foundation states: This weekend leading right into Labor Day on May 1st, will once again be full of colors, music and busy as a bee-hive with residents and visitors alike join in Carnival fete.

“As the parades and masses slowly wind down past the Church hill roundabout where our symbol is located, they are greeted with colorful bright lights displaying our ‘HAPPY CARNIVAL’ message. 

“It is in this spirit of happiness that we remind our revelers and onlookers to stay away and ‘walk away from trouble’ in the unfortunate case this should happen. Avoid engaging in brawls and just have good old -fashioned fun.”

“We call once more on parents and guardians of children to take all measures to protect them from loud music and the blazing sun.”

Arrindell continues; “Peridot congratulates the Sint Maarten carnival foundation and all other organizations and entities, including the police departments, Vromi and other first responders for the hard work they have done to make this 2017 Carnival and Labor Day celebrations as safe as possible and memorable one. Every individual is responsible for making a positive contribution towards the success of this Carnivals celebrations.

Gracita concludes: “A special words of gratitude goes out to Dean Splat and Fernando for the placement of the structures and electrical work.  A heartfelt thank you goes out to our sponsors, especially GBE-nergy TEXACO SINT MAARTEN, for their outstanding support towards this project.  Without their commitment and contribution, shining our lights with our message would not have been possible.

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HOWARD HOBGOOD WINS 25th ANNUAL ST. MAARTEN OPEN GOLF TOURNAMENT

MULLET BAY - Howard Hobgood turned out to be the best player in the two day tournament played in the past weekend and prolonged his title with a cumulative score of 153. Even though he was less accurate than last year it did secure him the St. Maarten Open title during the 25th annual St. Maarten Open Golf Tournament.

The prize for Tournament Overall Low Net was won by Didier Kerfour from St. Maarten with a total Low Net score of 135.

The Championship flight with 13 players all with a handicap between 0-10, consisted of a lot of players that were determined to chase the first day leaders on the second day of the tournament. Still Open champion Howard Hobgood beat them by 3 strokes.

During the 2 day 36 holes tournament that took place over the weekend at the Mullet Bay Golf Course, a total amount of 80 players from both St. Maarten and St. Martin, joined by a large group of golfers from Anguilla, France, St. Kitts, Nevis, Guadeloupe as well as from the USA and the Netherlands, got started with an opening reception for players and sponsors on Friday evening at the Sunset Beach Bar at Maho Beach.

The tournament got underway on Saturday morning for the first round. After the second round on Sunday a recognition party was held at the Sky Beach Bar and Lounge.

In the Champions category, the prize of 1st Low net was won by Louis Louchet from St. Martin with a score of 139, 2nd Low net was won by Stanley Samuel from St. Maarten.

In the category Men’s 1st flight for players with a handicap between 11 and 18, Yannick Cazemajou from St. Martin came out on top with a score of 174 Low Gross, Steven Carty took first Low Net with a score of 146. In the Men’s 2nd Flight for players with a handicap between 18 and 36, first Low Gross was won by Charly Sermanson from Guadeloupe with a score of 185, first Low Net went to Andy Holmes from Anguilla with a score of 145.

In a strong field of female players, the prize for Low Gross in the Ladies category went to Sidsel Jacobsen from St. Maarten with a score of 183. Low Net was won by Gitte Poulsen from St. Maarten with a score of 152.

Philippe Thevenet from St. Martin shot 168 to win once again the Low Gross in the category Senior’s 1st Flight for players over 50 years old and with a handicap up to 18, while Didier Kerfourn took 1st Low Net in this category with a score of 135. In the Senior’s 2nd Flight for players with a handicap between 19 and 36, first Low Gross was won by Glenford Gumbs from Anguilla with a score of 198, first Low Net went to Ricardo Perez from St. Maarten with a score of 148.

This year again a large amount of players participated in the category Super Seniors for golfers over 60 years old. Therefor this category was split up for players with a handicap up to 18 and a category with handicaps from 19 to 36. In the ‘Super Senior’s 1st Flight’, Steven Mix from St. Maarten won Low Gross with a score of 165 and Low Net was won by Francois Anton from St. Martin with a score of 139. The category ‘Super Seniors 2nd Flight’ was won by Bernard Schmitt from France with a score of 199 Low Gross, Frank Jespersen won Low Net in this category with a score of 153.

The St. Maarten Golf Association SMGA was able to organize this top ranked tournament due to the great partnership with Mullet Bay Resort & Golf Course and CC1, combined with the relentless efforts from its members, volunteers and the tremendous support it received from both the local and international business community. Proceeds from the event will benefit pre-selected community organizations supporting sports for the youth of St. Maarten.

A special thanks goes out to:

CC1

Mullet Bay Golf Course

Our PLATINUM sponsors:

Anderson Fabrics, Caribtrans, Cariburo / Dauphin Telecom, Générali Assurance, PJIA, Sol Antilles, SXM Timeshare Association, US Laundry.

Our GOLD sponsors:

Aon Insurance Brokers, Argos, Audi Motorworld, Boogaard Insurances, BZSE Law Office, Electec, First Caribbean International Bank, First Response, Global Purchasing/Guichard, Holland House Beach Hotel, Oyster Bay Beach Resort, SBS Building Supplies, S.H.T.A., Sky Beach Rooftop Lounge, St. Maarten Harbour Holding, Sonesta Great Bay Resort&Casino, Starz City Casino, Sunset Beach Bar, Winair Airlines, Windward Islands Bank.

The SMGA is a non-profit organization of avid golfers that promotes the practice of the game of golf and to foster community sense. The SMGA organizes golf matches and tournaments for its members and non-members and donates most of its proceeds that are made through membership fees and during these events like the St. Maarten Open to multiple community organizations on the island.

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