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First Foster Care Café for Foster Parents

BONAIRE - On Thursday April 11th, Jeugdzorg & Gezinsvoogdij Caribisch Nederland (JGCN) organized the first café for foster parents on Bonaire. Director of JGCN Curvin George informed the foster parents about foster care and the developments in this field. But above all the evening was organized to express the appreciation for foster parents.

The debut presentation of this evening was under guidance of moderator and youth professional Areina Martina at Foundation Forma and was titled ‘Bonding and the language of love’. Also, there was a question and discussion round and time for introduction.

This ‘foster care café’, an initiative from JGCN, is organized to express appreciation, to inform and to support foster parents. As the first of a three-yearly event, the evening was well attended and positively received by foster parents. In the interest of JGCN to keep each child continuously safe, this evening was especially organized for the appreciation of the foster parents. JGCN thanks all attendees and the commitment of its employees for the successful evening. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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1421 Vehicles controlled by Bike Patrol Team in Philipsburg

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - During the  period of March 13, 2019 and April 12, 2019  the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) Bike Patrol Team conducted a series of traffic controls throughout the Philipsburg area. The locations included the Front Street; Backstreet; CA Cannegieter street and Walter A. Nisbeth Road, police announced on Tuesday.

During these controls  a total of 1421 vehicles were stopped. The  drivers of 200 vehicles had to remove their tint  on the spot, 50 people had to pay a fine for the tint after it was measured using the Tint Machine that was  not in compliance with the law.

Vehicles are suppose to have 70%  transparency for the windshield and front side windows and  40% transparency to the rear or side windows behind the driver.

 The Bike Patrol reported that  six vehicles were towed for not having paid their 2019 roadtax and eight people were transferred to the Sint Maarten Police Station for failing to pay outstanding fines.

One driver had an outstanding fine of ANG 1550; a total of ANG 3250 worth of fines were given out during the control period. (Sint Maarten Police Force) 

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Egg farmers take Dutch food safety board to court over fipronil scandal

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Some 124 poultry farmers and the LTO farming lobby group are taking the Dutch state to court on Monday following the 2017 contaminated egg scandal, which led to millions of eggs and 3.5 million chickens being destroyed.

The poultry farmers and LTO say the government’s food and product safety board was negligent in dealing with the 2017 fipronil crisis which resulted in hundreds of poultry farms being closed down.

Some have still not reopened fully. They argue officials ignored reports dating from November 2016 that fipronil had been found in eggs following the use of a delousing agent made by Dutch company ChickFriend.

And they claim if NVWA officials had taken the reports seriously, many farms would not have used the pesticide containing fipronil to control a type of chicken lice, and the scandal would not have become so widespread.

‘I am joining in for justice,’ poultry farmer Helmus Torsius told broadcaster RTL Nieuws. ‘The government made mistakes and I have been left with the damage. And I have built up extra debts to pay for cleaning the barns.’

Last year, a formal report into the contaminated egg scandal slammed egg producers, government inspectors and ministers for failing to put food safety first. Neither the poultry sector, the food safety board or the two ministries involved showed sufficient concern for food safety when the fipronil crisis broke, the report said.

In particular, the health and farm ministers failed to inform parliament and the public properly about the scandal, while the farming industry put profit ahead of food safety and did not carry out proper checks for banned substances.

The food safety board also showed major failings by not reacting ‘adequately’ when it was first tipped off about the contamination crisis at the end of 2016 and in early 2017. The government has consistently said that Chickfriend, which is now bankrupt, is responsible for the damages.  (DutchNews)

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CBS starts rental properties survey on St Eustatius

ST. EUSTATIUS - From mid-April until mid-May of this year, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) will conduct a rental properties survey at the request of the St Eustatius government and the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. With this survey CBS aims to get an overview of characteristics of rental properties.

The information of the survey will be used by the government to improve current legislation regarding rental prices. In the context of improving the social housing market and promoting good maintenance, there must be more equality between the rents of public and private property owners, whereby the rent is linked to the quality of the home.

Based on the data collected by CBS, a points system can be developed to value a home. Based on this, the Public Entity of St Eustatius can set up a rent commission, an impartial organization that helps tenants and property owners by providing information, conducting research, mediating in their conflict or, if necessary, formally settling the conflict by settling a judgment, binding for both parties.

The rental properties survey is a sample survey conducted among residents of rental properties. Interviewers of CBS will go to 260 rental properties on the island to register characteristics of the property, such as the location, the rental price, type of property and number of bath- and bedrooms.

CBS is obligated by law to process the collected information strictly confidentially. Therefore, we have taken various measures to protect your information. All our interviewers have a CBS identification badge and must identify themselves upon request, so that everyone can be sure that the interview is being carried out by CBS.

CBS and the Public Entity of St Eustatius would like to thank all participants in advance for cooperating in this survey.

For further information and questions, please contact CBS via +599 717 8676 or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Police under fire for using water cannon on football fans

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Amsterdam’s mayor, public prosecutor and police chief are to investigate why the city’s police force used riot squads and water cannons on supporters outside the Arena football stadium on Wednesday, ahead of the Champions League football match between Ajax and Juventus.

Supporters groups have questioned the police show of force, describing it as an ‘over-reaction’. Trouble broke out close to the Arena stadium, when some fans lit torches, despite the ban on fireworks which police had earlier imposed.

This led riot police to turn water cannons on supporters, including children and people in wheelchairs, local broadcaster AT5 said. In addition, police used horses to drive a wedge between the supporters, leaving Ajax fans describing their action as ‘over the top’.

Their number includes city alderman Reinier van Dantzig, who was at the ground and who said the situation was ‘extremely chaotic’. In total, 185 people, mainly Juventus fans, were arrested in Amsterdam before and after the game.

Mayor Femke Halsema, currently in New York, will report back on the police action at a full meeting of the council next week, AT5 said. (DutchNews)

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Stamp of approval? Government opens door to innovative post delivery

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The cabinet wants to shake up the postal system to allow delivery firms to change the way they deliver post – such as by drone or by leaving letters at a central collection point rather than via the letter box.

The suggestions are included alongside new draft legislation which has been put out for public consultation by the economic affairs ministry.

The rise of email means consumers is sending fewer letters and changes in the law are needed to make sure delivery companies can continue to meet their needs in the future, junior economic affairs minister Mona de Keijzer says.

However, some key aspects of the current legislation, such as five day a week delivery and collection would not change. A spokesman for PostNL said that the company is continually innovating and improving its services.

‘Digitalisation is leading to falling postal volumes and we will look at the draft legislation in the coming weeks,’ a spokesman told broadcaster NOS. In February, PostNL, the former Dutch state postal monopoly, said it is taking over its main competitor Sandd for €130m.

The government last year said it would allow postal delivery firms to merge to cope with declining volumes of mail. PostNL currently controls some 70% of the Dutch postal market and Sandd virtually all the rest – primarily business deliveries. (DutchNews)

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SSSD HOSTS FREE CONFLICT RESOLUTION WORKSHOP

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport is organizing an interactive and informative workshop entitled, "We can work it out: How to resolve conflicts and teach your child conflict resolution skills.’’ The general public, especially parents of primary and secondary school going children, are invited to attend.

Parents and other interested persons are encouraged to come out to this workshop which will be held on Wednesday April 17, 2019 at the University of St. Martin from 7:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.

With the many types of conflict that occur in our every-day lives (school, work, home etc.), this workshop aims to educate and empower parents, teachers, and the general public on learning and teaching the vital skill of resolving conflicts rather than prolonging, escalating or having problems go unresolved.

For more information, contact the Student Support Services Division at 543-1235 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Student Support Services Division (SSSD) provides services to students referred by various schools on St. Maarten. These services include psychological services, counseling services, social work services, speech language pathology services, educational diagnostic services, crisis intervention etc. SSSD also provides career services and parent education/information sessions.

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Register for the next Breast Abnormalities Screening Exam on April 13

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Women are being called upon to register and sign-up as soon as possible for the next free breast abnormalities and health screening exam/survey which is set for this Saturday, April 13th.

In order to participate in the screenings, you need to register as it is based on appointment.  You can call or email: 554-4532 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The screening is carried out on scheduled Saturdays between 8.30am to 3.00pm.  

The examination is a collaborative effort by the Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), the Positive Foundation, and the American University of the Caribbean (AUC), the latter, is lead research agency.

An overall health assessment will be carried out that includes taking your height, weight to calculate Body Mass Index; blood pressure, heart rate; visual acuity, blood glucose and cholesterol.

Those in attendance will also receive a presentation about the risk factors for breast cancer, including information regarding modifiable risk factors that can help to reduce the overall breast cancer risk; assessment of individual breast cancer risk via Gail model, and the distribution of breast cancer awareness brochures to take home.  

The screenings target population are women 18+ years of age. 

The screenings take place at the Vineyard Office Park Building in Philipsburg at the CPS Offices.

Breast abnormalities represent a large spectrum of disorders including benign, congenital, hormonal and malignancies such as breast cancer. 

Major risk factors for breast cancer in women are age, genetic predisposition and hormonal imbalance. Breast density is also a significant factor, especially in women 40 to 49 years of age.

The purpose of the study is to gain insight into the types of breast abnormalities and risk factors in women 18 and above in Sint Maarten. 

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Minister Dekker to visit St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba

SINT MAARTEN/SABA - Minister Dekker for Legal Protection will visit St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba from April 10thuntil April 13th. During the visit various parts of the justice area will be key. 

On St. Maarten, Minister Dekker and State Secretary Knops (Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations) will visit four different detention locations that were hit by Hurricane Irma in 2017. They will also have a meeting with Prime Minister Marlin and Minister De Weever about the detention facilities on the island.

After the visit to St. Maarten, Minister Dekker will travel on to St. Eustatius where he will have various meetings about, among other things, detention capacity, youth prevention projects, the implementation of juvenile criminal law and the security house on the island. After that Dekker will visit Saba. Here he attends, among other things, an expert meeting on victim rights. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Rotary Sunset Inducts Five New Members

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset on Monday March 25th, inducted five new members to the club. Joining Rotary Sunset are Lionel Lawrence, Sherbert Arrindell, Sabrine Sinclair, Jeffrey Baxter and Georginette Lake. All inductees took the oath and were sworn in by President Jaida Nisbett.

Jeffrey Baxter is a past Interact Club President, his classification within Rotary is Food and Beverage and is currently a Restaurant Supervisor. Georginette Lake classifies as Education within Rotary and is employed as a primary school teacher within the Methodist Agogic Centre Foundation. Lionel Lawrence classifies as Auditing and Compliance within Rotary andis an Insurance Inspector at SZV Insurance company. Sherbert Arrindell classifies as Logistics within Rotary, works for MER Sint Maarten BV and is also an entrepreneur and Vice President of Fusion Production. Sabrine Sinclair classifies as Education within Rotary and is employed as a primary school teacher within the Methodist Agogic School Foundation.

The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset, established on July 30, 2018, strives to provide diverse professionals an opportunity to give back to their community. The aim is to selflessly impact lives by embodying peace, community service projects, youth development, networking & fellowships. The newly inducted members exemplify the Rotary motto “Service Above Self,” and from inception have demonstrated the ability to go over and beyond to plan and execute projects in the benefit of our community. 

“We congratulate our new inductees. Working together with a diverse group of young professionals allows growth for all, getting to know our members, work alongside them and executing different projects builds strong bonds and genuine friendships. Rotary St. Martin Sunset is a young vibrant family looking to make positive changes one month at a time,” Micheline Warner, Membership Chair stated. 

The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset meets every second and fourth Monday of the month at Carl N Sons Unique Inn and Conference Facilities in Colebay at 7:30pm. The club can be contacted via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via the official Facebook page at Facebook.com/rotarysxmsunset.

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