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Lions Club postpones Mother’s Day Bingo to Saturday June 17th

PHILIPSBURG - The St. Maarten Lions Club regrets to announce to the public that due to some technical challenges and after consulting with committee in charge of the fundraising bingo, the board of directors have decided to postpone the Lions Mother’s Day Bingo which was scheduled for this Saturday May 13th to the new date of Saturday June 17th.

The venue will be the same location which is at the St. Maarten Harbor Complex in the new Homeporting Building and seats 700 persons. Parking will be available onsite, doors open at 7pm for the public to obtain their bingo cards and the first bingo game starts at 8pm sharp.

All tickets for the Mother’s Day Bingo that were bought by the public over the past few weeks will be valid for the new date of June 17th. The general public can still purchase tickets for the Mother’s Day Bingo and Father’s Day Car Raffle on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm at the Lions Den on Suckergarden road.

Tickets for both events are also available every day at Van Dorp in Madame Estate, Big D’s Photo Studio on the Pondfill road and at the Lion’s Den at the office for Afterschool School Activities(ASA).


Sunrise Airways to start serving SXM end of June

POND ISLAND - Minister of Tourism Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher on Wednesday announced that growing Caribbean carrier Sunrise Airways, head-quartered in Haiti, will commence service to St. Maarten at the end of June.

She said Sunrise’s service will also connect St. Maarten and Cuba due to the airlines strong presence in that country where it services Sunrise Havana and Santiago de Cuba.  Sunrise Airways serves three (3) gateways in Cuba as follows: Havana, Santiago de Cuba, and Camaguey.

Sunrise will begin service to St. Maarten at the end of June, twice a week with the goal of servicing the destination four times a week should load factors meet established targets.

Sunrise Airways was founded in 2010 and provides commercial and charter flights. In mid-2015 it started servicing to Santo Domingo and thus paves the way for further expansion including Cuba. 

Sunrise Airways will deploy jet aircraft on its new flights to St. Maarten with a total capacity of up to 150 seats. From its hub in Port-au-Prince, Sunrise Airways currently serves the destinations of Santo Domingo and Santiago in the Dominican Republic; Havana, Camaguey, and Santiago de Cuba in Cuba; and Cap Haitien in northern Haiti.

New flights to/from Orlando, Florida; Georgetown, Guyana; Kingston, Jamaica; Providenciales, Turks & Caicos; and Nassau, The Bahamas are planned for 2017, pending government approval. In line with the expansion of its route network, Sunrise Airways has initiated service aboard new Airbus A320 jet aircraft.

From Sunrise Airways: “Sunrise Airways very much looks forward to serving St. Maarten with the same uncompromising level of service and customer satisfaction that have made us the fastest growing airline in the Caribbean today. Our special thanks go out to Minister Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher and her wonderful team at the St. Maarten Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunications. We sincerely value your support and partnership.”


McDonald’s to start home delivery

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Fast food giant McDonald’s is at last succumbing to the home delivery trend in the Netherlands, the Algemeen Dagblad said on Wednesday.

Customers of the US-based hamburger restaurant chain will be able to take home delivery of their Big Mac, Happy Meal or Franse Frietjes in Amsterdam this summer, with the delivery service expanding to other big cities at a later date.

McDonald’s, which operates 250 restaurants in the Netherlands, has home delivery services in other countries. A McDonald’s spokesman said it was a matter of finding the right delivery partner.

The home delivery market is booming in the Netherlands. ABN Amro said the Dutch market was worth nearly €700m in 2016. The main players are Thuisbezorgd, Deliveroo, Just Eat, Ubereats and Foodora, some of which are now embroiled in a row over how they pay their delivery staff.

Guido Verschoor of restaurant consultancy Van Spronsen & Partners Horeca said competition in home delivery was speeding up in the fast food sector. He said Dunkin’Donuts, Taco Bell and TGIF are all expanding their delivery services as well. (DutchNews)


USP extends condolences over passing of Neville York

PHILIPSBURG - Leader of the United St. Maarten (US) party MP Frans Richardson and the board of the party on Tuesday extended condolences to the family and friends of Neville York who passed away early Tuesday morning, the USP said in a press statement on Tuesday.

Mr. York leaves behind a rich history of defending St. Maarten’s culture and exporting this culture whenever he could. The USP considers Mr. York a cultural icon whose work and dedication to the art of steel pan, local jazz and other art forms will never be forgotten.

His contributions as a proud citizen of St. Maarten, to the people and cultural history St. Maarten, deserves an abundance of praise. As a people we should be thankful and appreciative for what he has done for our country and our national identity.

May his family find strength through God’s guidance in these very difficult times.  


We might ‘gesave’ and ‘gestream’, but English is not a threat to Dutch, says report

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Dutch is not under threat from English as a language and is still spoken by some 24 million people worldwide, according to a new report, quoted in Trouw on Monday.

The report, by the Meertens Institute for Dutch language and culture, Dutch promotion body Taalunie and researchers at Ghent University, says English is rarely a threat to Dutch in daily life.

The researchers questioned over 7,500 people in the Netherlands and Belgium about their use of the language. They found Dutch is dominant in nearly every sector and is regarded by both native and new speakers as a ‘beautiful’ language which should be passed on.

Dutch, the report states, ‘is a viable language with excellent survival chances in the future’.

While youngsters in particular are incorporating more foreign words – primarily English – into the language, the words themselves are becoming ‘Dutchified’ in terms of grammar, the report points out. Saven, appen and streamen are examples of this.

In IT, shipping, air transport and scientific research, however, English is becoming more dominant.

The research also shows that English is increasingly popular as a language to read the news in. Some 28% of the Dutch people questioned in the survey say they regularly read the news in other languages.

Some 10-15% of’s readers are native Dutch speakers. (DutchNews)


MHF will have the Annual Mother’s Day Candle Sale as of Wednesday

CAY HILL - Candles that were produced by Mental Health Foundation (MHF) clients in the foundation's candle factory, will be on sale for Mother’s Day 2017. They are available in various shapes, colors and sizes, a press release from MHF said.

The candle factory falls under the Faraja care product and, since 2007, has been the largest community outreach-based project at the foundation that showcases the skills of participating clients and staff.

Kooyman has recently donated their left over candles, which are currently also being recycled in the MHF candle store, and will be for sale.

The public can purchase candles at the entrance of MHF Faraja Center at Leopard Road # 1, Cay Hill, on Wednesday May 10th from 10 PM to 4 PM and Thursday May 11 2017 from 10 AM to 4 PM.

For more information and sales visit the MHF online candle shop, Additional information can be obtained by calling tel. 542-1677 ext. 507.


Ministry of Health Drafting Multi-Hazard Disaster Plan for a Public Health Emergency

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Department of Collective Prevention Services (CPS) which falls under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), is currently in the process of creating a Multi-Hazard Disaster Manual for the event of a Public Health Emergency.

The aforementioned will be in line with International Health Regulations (IHR) of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Plan of Action 2016-2021 for the creation of a resilient health sector.

Starting on May 10 until May 12, a follow-up multi-hazard workshop will be held that will include CPS staff, stakeholders and a representative from PAHO.

The workshop is a follow-up to the first one that was held in May 2016.

The WHO embarked on the process to reduce the risks of disasters where protecting people’s health is at the centre of a new international framework.

The Haiyan Typhoon in the Philippines to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, have highlighted the centrality of human health to collective goals in disaster risk reduction by all sectors.

WHO has designed a new policy framework Reducing Health Consequences of Emergencies and Disasters: A Risk Management Policy Guide to help countries to effectively manage emergency risks and reduce their health consequences.

Recognizing the importance of multi-hazard early warning systems to disaster risk reduction, WHO renewed its commitment to help all Member States achieve their core capacities to detect, assess, notify and respond to epidemics and other public health threats under the International Health Regulations (2005).

WHO has also released a new Comprehensive Safe Hospital Framework and launched the Hospital Safety Index (2nd Edition) to make hospitals safe and operational in disasters, which was one of the key targets under discussion in Sendai.

WHO’s collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to establish the WHO-WMO Climate and Health Office and implement the Global Framework for Climate Services to meet the climate information needs of the health sector will also contribute significantly to reducing risks to health of extreme weather and climate-related hazards and climate-sensitive diseases.

CPS is looking forward to the workshop which PAHO is assisting with.  PAHO helps regional countries with health disaster risk management assessment in order to build disaster resilience throughout the Region.


Police give robbery awareness training to 50+ Front Street Merchants

PHILIPSBURG - In the continued effort to provide a safer environment for residents and visitors to the island, the Sint Maarten Police Force partnered with the recently formed Philipsburg Safety Committee to provide a series of robbery awareness training to the Indian Merchants of Front Street.

The training which is broken down into two sessions consisted of a theory and practical part administered by the Arrest Team arm of the Police Force who is certified in tactical training.

Present at the first training was Minister of Justice Rafael Boasman who lauded the Safety Committee for taking the initiative to partner with the police to create awareness which in some cases can be a preventative measure or in some cases is the difference between a life and death situation.

“Being here today is proof that people are committed to work with us to make the island safer,” he said to the group of over 50 merchants and their staff gathered at the Cultural Center.

“It shows that you understand that the police cannot do it alone, it requires the involvement and effort of each of us and I am very happy to see that we are heading in the right direction.”

The Minister also commended the police team which was headed by Chief Commissioner of Police Carl John who personally led the training session.

“I am extremely proud of my Police team, which is headed by Chief John continues to go above and beyond to find new, innovative and creative ways to conduct their daily policing tasks, while ensuring that a good relationship is maintained with members of the community.”

Chairman of the Safety Committee Eric Ellis used the opportunity to congratulate the IMA for coming on board to participate in such an important venture. “It would be remiss of me not to use this opportunity to applaud the Merchants for rising to this occasion and embracing this training being offered by the police,” he said.

“It shows me that we all see the importance of ensuring a safer environment not only for us to conduct business but also for our clients and visitors whom we serve on a day to day basis, because the truth is; safety and security of our island is in everyone’s best interest and should be everybody’s business.”

The trainings which are still ongoing are being facilitated by the Safety Committee; which comprises of the Chamber of Commerce, the Insurance association and private entities such as the Indian Merchants Association (IMA).

These safety trainings are available to and are being conducted with several business entities that have requested it from the Police. (Police Force Sint Maarten)


First Tropical Wave of the Hurricane Season Now Moving Across the Central Atlantic

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN - The first tropical wave of the Atlantic Hurricane Season is now pushing westward across the central Atlantic and is located along the 40 West Longitude line on Sunday morning according to Crown Weather.

“In addition, another area of disturbed weather is located over the eastern Atlantic along the 20 West Longitude line. Other tropical disturbances, some of them quite robust are located across central Africa.

“Even though none of these tropical disturbances are expected to develop, should the strength of these disturbances continue into this summer and autumn, then the potential for named tropical storms and hurricanes in the central and eastern Atlantic that may end up impacting areas from the Caribbean and the Bahamas through the south-eastern United States and Gulf of Mexico will be something to really watch.

“Finally, there seems to be increasing factors that are pointing towards a more active hurricane season than what I originally thought. ENSO conditions may remain neutral and may never peak above a weak El Nino state.

“In addition, conditions across the Caribbean and the Tropical Atlantic are not hostile and are in fact a little more favorable than they have been over the past couple of years or so. These environmental conditions will be closely monitored as we head into the hurricane season,” Crown Weather concludes.

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Visit by Dutch Fire Department to Caribbean Netherlands Fire Brigade

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS - At the end of April both the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Dutch Fire Brigade visited the Caribbean Netherlands Fire Brigade (BKCN). This visit forms part of the strategy of the Dutch Fire Brigade to orient itself more overseas in the coming period.

The agreements on this visit were made during the last Fire Congress in Twente between the President Netherlands Fire Services Stephan Wevers and the General Commander of BKCN, Jair Tromp.

During the hectic multi-day programme in various sessions a large number of topics arose that are relevant to both parties. This is how BKCN received an extensive explanation of the developments within the fire field in the European Netherlands and could paint a good impression of the Brigade and its challenges.

As a result of the visit concrete follow-up appointments were made in a number of areas including the provision of information in the direction of BKCN, possible temporary staff support from the Netherlands and educating and training of particularly fire officers.

The General Commander said: "BKCN is honored with the visit of Mr. Wevers and Mr. Kransen and we have every confidence that closer cooperation will result in opportunities for both parties". (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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