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Soualiga News Today (3790)

Harbour Group of Companies approach benefits the Government and Communities

POINT BLANCHE, Sint Maarten - Port St. Maarten officials as well as Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Hon. Ted Richardson attended a presentation that took place at the Mr. K. Cigar Lounge in Sucker Garden given by Dr. Simon B. Jones Hendrickson in connection with the 12th Annual St. Martin Book Fair.

The theme of the presentation was ‘Another Initiative to Raise the Bar.’

Dr. Jones-Hendrickson is a Dean at the University of the Virgin Islands of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences. He is also an advisor to the Prime Minister of the Federation St. Kitts and Nevis Hon. Dr. Denzel Douglas.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Port St. Maarten Mark Mingo was very pleased with the presentation and says that these eye opening sessions are very much needed for organizations such as the harbour group, and many other big companies on the island, in order for country St. Maarten to continue to lead as a small island developing nation.

Mingo added that he would like to commend the organizers of St. Martin Book Fair for taking the initiative and organizing such a presentation, as the points brought forward by Dr. Hendrickson are very much relevant to the development of country St. Maarten.

Dr. Hendrickson’s, key note address was on economic opportunities for small island territories and states; survivability of small island states and territories in the Caribbean; life after debt, and more.

In his address, he cautioned the attendees to remove from the mind that we now need to start to think outside of a box in terms of generating new business for the economy and sustainability of our islands existence. Small islands must stop believing that because we are small we need to think small, and went on to advise that we ought to believe that there is never a box, because by believing that there is a box we confine our way of thinking, and limit our abilities to expand, grow and progress beyond our measure. He termed this being multifocal rather than mono-focal.

After this thought provoking presentation, Port St. Maarten CEO Mark Mingo posed a question, ‘Being the CEO of the Harbour Group of Companies, there are always much discourse if Government owned companies such as the Harbour "can/should" compete with monopolies on the island, or in the broader sense, if public sector and private sector are allowed to compete with one another.’

This brought much discussion within the crowd, and Dr. Jones- Hendrickson answered by saying that in the broaden scheme of things, there should be no clause or push back if Government entities wishes to pursue other revenue streams, as this if managed correctly will in no doubt benefit the people of St. Maarten via returns to government.

Government equates to the people, if Government companies are successful the community at large should benefit from this success, and this is simple economics from his perspective.

Dr. Hendrickson pointed out the example of St. Kitts & Nevis citizen by investment program which gives back much relief towards the St. Kitts & Nevis communities in terms of lower energy bills, scholarships etc.

Another point brought forward by Dr. Jones-Hendrickson was that the Caribbean in general should start lobbying more with China and build a relationship.

The crowd generally agreed with his notion, and Harbour Group CEO Mark Mingo also supported it by saying he too realized the need for this from a cruise-crew-passenger perspective, and have already made plans in the future to capitalize on the Chinese market.

“Port St. Maarten has already embarked on a plan to hire persons who can speak Chinese (mandarin speaking) to work at the Harbour Group of Companies.  We understand the trends and developments, and in order for the country to continue to reap the benefits, we need to be and have to be proactive in whatever we do.  One Chinese local has already been hired working as a front line employee handling cruise passengers via the information desk,” Mingo stated on Sunday.

During the closing of the St. Martin Book Fair event that was held last week Wednesday, Minister of Tourism and Economic Affairs Hon Ted Richardson in closing remarks, stated that St. Maarten in the past made great strides without even having a firm official plan, and never regarded itself as being small.

Minister Richardson added that St. Maarten now can be considered the leading island within the Caribbean in its own right, and that must be respected.  And in order to continue to raise the bar and stay up, a vision incorporating a long term plan must be key for continued sustainability and true progress.

Minister Hon. Ted Richardson thanked Dr. Simon-Hendrickson and organizing team Mr. K. Cigar Lounge and Marcel Gumbs for once again initiating to raise the bar.


End of the Year Performances to Showcase NIA's artistic range

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - National Institute of Arts (NIA) will round off its inaugural year with three evenings of performances starting Thursday, June 12 and ending Saturday, June 14.

NIA, which was founded last year via a merger between the former institutions Motiance Dance School and Imbali Center for Performing Arts, offers a wide variety of classes across artistic disciplines including; choir, theatrical drama, nouveau clowning: the art of laughing, gymnastics, sound engineering, etc.

“We are not limited in the classes we provide to our students and these performances will demonstrate that, because we plan to use aspects from all. We will also be presenting an original story written by Iris Hakkens called Anansi and the Great Salt Pond, drawing awareness to the environment and using folktale as a vehicle to caution about its preservation. Another very special piece will be a ballet incorporating living statues and the paintings of Degas,” NIA Co-director, Arlene Halley said.

The theme for this year’s performances is ‘A Step Beyond’ referencing NIA’s growth over the last year.

“NIA is an extraordinary center for artistic excellence and we want people to know that we are a step beyond so many things, even in terms of the classes we offer and the teachers we have working with us. We always go that extra mile to deliver quality in everything we do, so we want people to know that we always try to go a step beyond even our best,” NIA Co-director, Clara Reyes said.

Each night will have a different theme and will be followed with an after party for those in attendance.

“After every show people will be able to stay and mingle. We know that on previous occasions people missed this aspect and we wanted to incorporate that this time. So we have created a way to extend the excitement, especially for the kids, so that they can enjoy the experiences of their performances and socialize a little longer,” Halley said.

The first night, which begins at 7pm, Thursday, June 12, will have presentations from persons involved in musical theater, drama, the national youth choir and nouveau clowning: the art of laughter. The after party will consist of wine or apple juice and cheese. The second night Friday, June 13, which also starts at 7pm, is mainly geared towards teens and will feature belly dancing, modern dance, hip-hop, African, jazz, gymnastics and will have a glow after party. The final evening, which begins at 5pm, is for the little ones and will have a Frozen themed after party where children can come dressed up as their favorite cartoon characters.

“Each evening will be amazing and different. We plan to transform the building of the John Larmonie Center and make it becoming a living structure for these three days. Performances will be happening simultaneously in different parts of the building and we will have moving audiences, so that people will always be busy taking things in. We want to really showcase the gamut of disciplines that NIA has to offer and in a way that also allows people to engage and interact with each other,” Reyes said.

Wristbands, which will act as entrance tickets for the evenings, can be purchased at the John Larmonie Center starting Saturday, June 7 for $5.

“This has been a very busy year for us, but it has been on of growth and of learning also and we encourage people to come out and enjoy the fruits of our journey with us,” the NIA Co-directors said. 


Civil registry department reminds of Saturday opening for eligible voters; Voter's register closes June 11

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Civil Registry Department would like to remind eligible voters that the office will be open on Saturday, June 6 allowing them to check whether they are registered to vote.

The office will be open on Saturday, June 7 from 8.00am to 1.00pm.

Eligible voters will be able to correct their address and get information about their voting status.

The voter’s list will be closed on Wednesday, June 11.

No financial transactions will be conducted during the aforementioned times.


Language, Culture and Identity in St. Martin by Rhoda Arrindell

GREAT BAY/MARIGOT, St. Martin - Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin by Rhoda Arrindell is the featured book of the main book launch and closing ceremony of the 12th annual St. Martin Book Fair, Saturday, June 7, at 8 PM, Chamber of Commerce Building in Spring Concordia, Marigot, said Jacqueline Sample, president of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

The first-of-its-kind book for the island, introduces St. Martin in a scientific way to the region’s dynamic language, ethnic, and culture studies. In fact, “Arrindell’s research is a unique groundbreaking work,” said Dr. Alma Simounet, a linguist and professor at the University of Puerto Rico.

The guest speaker at the book party will be Dr. Garrett Hongo, an outstanding poet, distinguished professor, and Pulitzer Prize finalist from the USA. “Professor Hongo’s interpretation is expected to set the bar high for the various ways we can look at this new study of how St. Martiners view their own identity, and what various immigrant groups think about the St. Martin way of speaking,” said Sample.

The book is based on Arrindell’s original research for her PhD, which she obtained in 2011. Arrindell also develops on the early language studies of Daniella Jeffry, Mario Brown, and Linda Richardson

According to HNP, publisher of the new title, “Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin is intended to contribute to the language education discourse and provide some insight into how language and culture affect and are affected by identity in St. Martin. … Furthermore, the book could serve to provide a knowledge base from which the analysis of cultural, identity, and educational issues confronting the South and North of this Caribbean island can be made and understood.”

Rhoda Arrindell is a leading linguistic in St. Martin. She holds a pre-law diploma from the University of the Netherlands Antilles and served as the first Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, and Youth Affairs in Philipsburg (October 2010 – May 2012).

The former head of the Humanities Division of the University of St. Martin was also an instructor of English and literature. Arrindell has co-authored chapters in Agency in the Emergence of Creole Languages edited by Dr. Nicholas Faraclas and is the editor of  Brother Rich ..., Creative Writing in St. Martin.

Arrindell has presented scholarly papers on linguistics and St. Martin literature at various regional and international conferences, said Sample. The mother of two is the founder of the United Volleyball Club Foundation.

Fashion model Katty Garcia will guide the book party/closing ceremony program that will also feature poetry by Raymond Helligar and the presentation of the annual Presidents Award by the book fair. Entrance to the book party and closing ceremony is free to all and refreshments will be served. “We’ll have copies of Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martinon hand for our guests,” said Sample.

Preview copies of Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin are already at Van Dorp,, and, said Sample.

Conscious Lyrics Foundation and HNP are the organizers of the 12th edition of the St. Martin Book Fair, in collaboration with St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, University of St. Martin, LCF Foundation, and St. Martin Tourist Office. The SXM Airport, SOS Radio, and SDL Heavy Equipment are sponsors of the St. Martin Book Fair 2014. For the full program of the Book Fair, see The theme of the 2014 festival is “Crime&Punishment.” 


Parents/Guardians reminded about Vaccination Open House on Saturday

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Collective Prevention Services (CPS) Section Youth Health Care, from the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, are reminding parents/guardians about the Vaccination Open House on Saturday.

The Vaccination Open House will take place at the Baby Wellness Clinic at A.J.C. Brouwers Road #6 across from the Yogesh Building.  It will be held from 10.00am to 4.00pm.  Parents and guardians are requested to bring along their child’s vaccination record/book in order to update the child’s vaccination status.

Minister of Public Health Hon. Cornelius de Weever ‘Get Checked’ campaign is in line with the efforts of CPS and therefore Minister De Weever is appealing to guardians and parents to get their children checked on June 07 to see if they are up to date with their vaccinations.

Immunization averts an estimated two-three million deaths every year, protecting children from diphtheria, measles, pertussis (better known as whooping cough), pneumonia, polio, rotavirus diarrhea, rubella, tetanus and others.


Minister Lourens-Philip bids good luck to participants in water polo games on Friday

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Hon. Patricia Lourens Philip is wishing all participants in the World Polo Championships Game on Friday, June 6 much success.

The game will be taking place at the Raoul Illidge Sports Complex starting at 12.30pm, and will mark the end of the 24th Annual Interscholastic Water Polo Tournament.

Two teams will battle it out in the pool to determine who will have the bragging rights over the next year winner of the tournament.

The tournament features 16 teams, divided into two pools of eight and this year also features for the first time Learning Unlimited School.

The tournament started June 2 and takes the format of a double elimination tournament.

The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth will be present for the tournament and the prize giving ceremony.


Preparations in full gear for Charlotte Brookson Academy for the Performance Art's Summer Camp Workshops for Young Creatives

POND ISLAND, Sint  Maarten - The Charlotte Brookson Academy of the Performance Arts will be hosting summer camp performance arts workshops from June 20 to July 12, 2014.

The workshop will offer young “creatives” unique opportunities to become fully immersed in a collaborative, supportive and artistic enrichment program focusing on  vocal techniques and performance, theatre dance and visual arts. The CBAPA has been extremely fortunate to engage two highly acclaimed artists from the United States; namely:  Fernando Carrillo and Paula Jeanine Bennett.  Carrillo began his dance training at the State University of Los Angeles. Later he moved to New York City and trained at the Ailey School. He has performed with Ailey II, Ballet Hispanico of New York, and Broadway’s 1st national tour of The Lion King, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. He also performed at Carnegie Hall with Jessye Norman (choreography by Milton Myers). Has worked with Hinton Battle in "Bronx Casket" (musical workshop) and "Louis -The Movie" (motion picture).

Fernando is currently an instructor at the Ailey School, STEPS on Broadway and NYU's musical theatre program CAP21. He is a proud member of AGMA, SAG and ACTOR'S EQUITY. Paula performed at Pope Benedict XVI's Summit for Peace in Assisi, Italy, at the Art Summit Indonesia VII, at London's Nehru Centre, and was the American Voice of Peace for the World Conference of Religions in Kyoto, Japan. In New York City, she has graced the stages of Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).She has been an American cultural ambassador in India where she performed with regional musicians on a five city tour sponsored by the American Consulate. Paula also headlined the Capital Jazz Festival as well as the Kala Ghoda Festival in Mumbai. 

Director of the CBAPA, Mrs. Judith Bell stated that they are really excited about hosting this summer camp workshop together with Carrillo and Bennett.  The workshops will offer artistic disciplines, which will be explored through self-expression, awareness and teamwork. “As a performance arts institution,  we love nothing better than seeing the talent of our youngsters being nurtured and seeing them perform confidently in front of an audience”, she concluded.

The workshops will take place from June 20, 2014 to July 12, 2014, at the John Larmonie Center studios. 32 participants have been selected to take part in the workshops. The management and PTA of the CBAPA hereby expresses sincere gratitude for the corporate and individual sponsorships received thus far.  (Prospective) sponsors who are interested in offering a financial contribution or  to obtain more details about its summer camp, can contact the academy’s director Mrs. Judith Bell at +1(721)-580-6124 or  by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or President of the PTA, May-Ling Chun at +1(721)-520-7120 or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Nature Foundation Issues Alert on Salt Pond Fish Die Off; Do Not Consume Tilapia Fish

GREAT SALT POND, Sint Maarten - Based on ongoing weather conditions the island has been experiencing and based on water quality sampling conducted by the St. Maarten Nature Foundation it has been decided to issue an alert concerning the medium to
high potential for a Tilapia fish die off in the Great Salt Pond.

The Nature Foundation has tested the water quality in the Great Salt Pond and has measured a decrease in oxygen levels and an increase in salinity due to the ongoing weather conditions. These factors coupled with the large amount of introduced and invasive tilapia in the Great Salt Pond
have made conditions favorable for a tilapia die-off event.

The Nature Foundation has sent its recommendations to the necessary governmental departments and will continue to monitor the situation as it
develops. As of TUESDAY, June 3rd there have been some dead tilapia recorded in the University of St. Maarten area.

The Nature Foundation is cooperating closely with VROMI MInistry on this matter.  The Nature Foundation will issue updates as the situation develops.


Presidents of the four Parliaments in the Kingdom meet to discuss matters of mutual concern

THE HAGUE, the Netherlands, PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell who is currently in The Netherlands for the Kingdom Inter-Parliamentary Consultation (IPKO) along with other Members of Parliament from Sint Maarten.

On Monday the four Presidents of Parliament met to discuss matters of mutual concern unrelated to the agenda of the IPKO consultation but relevant to the functioning of Parliament and parliamentary democracy within the Kingdom.

A follow-up meeting according to President Arrindell was held on Tuesday morning with the Chief of Security of the Parliament of the Netherlands.  “The issue of security has had my undivided attention from the outset of assuming the presidency of parliament.

“While we finally have some proposals to consider, the meeting concluded to work out the details for a fact finding support mission from the Netherlands to Aruba and Sint Maarten, and if necessary Curacao.  Before a final decision is made regarding the appropriate security at Parliament for staff and visitors,” President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell said on Tuesday.



Preparatory workshops commence June 9 for Holland bound students

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - Beginning Monday, June 9, 2014, a series of preparatory workshops will be held for all students who applied for study financing from the Government of St. Maarten to pursue their tertiary studies in the Netherlands for the 2014-2015 academic year.

These interactive and themed workshops, organized by the Student Support Services Division (SSSD) and Division Study Financing (SF), will run until the end of the month. They are also designed to address many of the issues that our students face while pursuing their studies in the Netherlands and to help equip them to be successful.

According to SSSD officials, all the workshops will be held in the evening hours from 5.00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. when many of the applicants do not have school or have to work. They added that attendance to the workshops is mandatory and participants will be required to sign in and out at the workshops.

The titles and objectives of the four workshops include: Preparing for my Netherlands experience (Objective: Assessing and adjusting expectations: focus on reality.) Social/Cultural and personal issues and adjusting to life in Holland (Objective: Familiarization with new environment: What to expect?) Integrating into society in Holland (Objective: Provide information about maintaining a sense of wellbeing in integration without letting go who you are.) General Session.               

Some of the topics that will be covered in these workshops include expectations about the Netherlands, day to day living, dealing with missing home or feeling overwhelmed, importance of Dutch language skills,  group interaction, dealing with prejudices, living with a room-mate, cultural differences, coping strategies, and the importance of friends and networks.

Once the workshops conclude, there will be a general session for the students where all the workshops will be brought into perspective. In addition, the participants will be provided with tips for success and any questions they may have will be entertained. Communal living will be highlighted in this session and tips for success in this area will be given.

All students who applied for study financing from the Government of St. Maarten are urged to make an effort to attend all the sessions on the respective dates. All students were contacted by Study Financing regarding the dates they have to attend the workshops. The dates for Group A and Group B are different and students are urged to take note of such. Should parents or students have questions about the workshops, they can contact Michel Chance at the Student Support Services Division at Tel: 543-1235. 

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