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Curacao’s Economic Inspection Department similar to Sint Maarten's

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunication the honourable Stuart Johnson returned last week from a fact-finding mission at the Department of Economic Inspections in Curacao where he says it is good to note that "Curacao's Economic Inspection Department is structured similarly to the department on St Maarten and does not have a department solely dedicated to Calibration.”

Johnson said on Monday that while Curacao is a larger island, they have less staff for the department than St. Maarten does, and both islands utilize their team to perform multiple functions. This information was provided during the meeting held with the Head of the Economic Inspection Department in Curacao Ronny Cornelius, who also outlined that there is no dedicated Calibration Department within the ministry in Curacao.

Head of the Inspectorate of TEATT Lucien Wilson accompanied Johnson on the working visit.

 Wilson said he "fully agrees with Curacao's modus operandi as it is a much more efficient way of operating a department rather than specialization, considering the scale of both of our operations and the size of our islands." He said the island of Curacao is divided into geographic zones, as is the case in St. Maarten

 The visit was according to Johnson necessary to learn of some of the best practices that the island of Curacao uses where it pertains calibration. He said, for example, the Economic Inspection Department in Curacao follows a similar work plan that of the Inspection Department in St. Maarten whereby their staff are multifunctional.

In St. Maarten, the Inspection Department has six permanent employees while in Curacao, there are only five. As is the case on St. Maarten, the staff in Curacao are tasked with calibration but are also responsible for controlling Business Permits, price control. They also work based on an established annual work program prepared by the Department, as is the case in St. Maarten.

During the visit, both department heads were also able to discuss some of the challenges faced with Calibration and shared some ideas of a way forward. Johnson said, “Price control and calibration is essential to protecting the legitimacy of economic activity on St. Maarten. It is especially critical for us to continue to routinely control and upgrade our skills as a department and Ministry so that we can better secure our community from unfair practices or unreasonably escalated prices.”

He said the two ministries have agreed to make their visits more frequent and to build a closer working relationship in a bid to creating an even more efficient Inspection Department. "Our goal is not just to police businesses but to provide proper guidance and the services of calibration to ensure that even businesses themselves are not unknowingly giving more for less. Calibration protects both businesses and consumer, and we intend to ensure that the controls remain as effectively enforced as has been done by my ministry," said Johnson.

Johnson said the Ministry of TEATT has invited members of Parliament from both sides of the aisle will be taking a tour of businesses on the island with the staff from the Economic Inspection Department. During the tour which will be conducted on Wednesday the Members of Parliament will have a first-hand look at the work involved in ensuring businesses are operating within the parameters of the law and ensuring that all machines used to dispense goods and services are accurately calibrated. 

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54-Year Construction Worker dies at Construction Worksite

POINT BLANCHE - On Sunday July 14th at approximately 11.50 a.m. a police patrol was sent to Gold Finch road in Point Blanche to investigate a case involving a construction worker who was involved in a tragic accident while at work, police said on Monday in a statement.

On the scene the investigating officers encountered the lifeless body of a man identified with initial J.R. (54) from Haiti. According to witnesses the victim was busy demolishing a wall on the site at which time a large section of the wall broke off and accidentally fell on top of the victim.

Dr. Perk came to the scene and pronounced the death of the victim. KPSM (Sint Maarten Police Force) Forensic investigators and the Inspection Department of VROMI are also investigating the matter to determine the exact cause of this accident.

The body of the victim was transported to the Royal Funeral Home. (Sint Maarten Police Force)


Minister Smith visits Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary

SINT MAARTEN/THE HAGUE - Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, the Honourable Wycliffe Smith, during a personal visit to The Netherlands, made use of the opportunity to pay a courtesy call to the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary at the new Sint Maarten House located on the Prinsessegracht in The Hague.

He was greeted by the Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary Michael Somersall, and the staff of the Cabinet of the Sint Maarten House. Minister Smith held meetings with the staff of the Cabinet, with student counselors and with several students.

After a brief tour of the premises, Minister Smith sat with Deputy Minister Michael Somersall and staff where he was informed of the different plans and initiatives the Cabinet was working on to assist the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.

Highlights of the discussion were the assistance and connection with students in The Netherlands, recruitment of teachers for Sint Maarten, closer contact with the guidance counselors, the establishing of a data bank, information sharing, and the initiative taken by some students to promote arts, culture and sports in The Netherlands.

In an invited comment, Minister Smith stated that he is very grateful for all that the Cabinet is doing to assist his ministry and is looking forward to an even closer working relationship in the future.


SXM Shark Foundation launched with pledge to improve shark conservation

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN - Caribbean sharks have gained a new ally. On July 13th, the eve of Shark Awareness Day 2019, SXM Shark Foundation was launched with a celebration on the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten. The new foundation will work towards making Sint Maarten a leading country for shark conservation and management in the wider Caribbean region and around the world. 

Sint Maarten has a wealth of shark species and the Nature Foundation Sint Maarten (NFSM) has worked closely with the government to develop protective legislation for sharks in its waters. From 2015 to 2018 the NFSM worked together with all Dutch Caribbean islands on the Save our Sharks project to better protect sharks in the Dutch Caribbean. Through the project, funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, great advances were made on research, education, and protection. But sharks still face constant threats from exploitation and habitat loss throughout the region, so more work is needed. 

Tadzio Bervoets, one of the founding members of the SXM Shark Foundation, and a leader in marine conservation on St Maarten, says “Through the work of the Nature Foundation we have discovered how important this area is to the sharks in the Caribbean, but they face a constant threat. This foundation offers new opportunities so that we can better protect these marvellous animals for generations to come.” 

Despite all the good work that has been done, implementation of conservation measures is not widespread and education on the importance of sharks in the marine system is sorely needed. The new foundation aims to not only lead shark conservation and management efforts within the wider Caribbean region but also to set op collaborative projects on shark research and conservation with organisations from Europe, the US, and Caribbean countries. On Sint Maarten, it will work with local organisations to develop conservation and education projects. 

Irene Kingma, the foundation president, and Netherlands lead for the Save our Sharks project says “Now that the SoS project has concluded we want to continue the wonderful cooperation with Sint Maarten and we see this as a perfect opportunity to further develop the work we have been doing together.”


UN Resident Coordinator pays courtesy visit to Prime Minister Romeo Marlin

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - On Wednesday July 10th, UN Resident Coordinator Marina Walter paid a courtesy visit to Prime Minister the Honorable Leona Romeo Marlin at the Government Building.

During the meeting, the Ms. Walter informed Prime Minister Romeo-Marlin that her role as UN Resident Coordinator is focused on facilitating the activities of the United Nations development system in support of the specific needs and priorities of Sint Maarten. The Government of Sint Maarten can also expect to receive more systematic regular updates and an annual report providing full transparency on the collective contributions to development by the United Nations country team based in Trinidad & Tobago, which has responsibility for Sint Maarten.


Dynamics brings home 35 medals. Prepares for Culturama Games

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Dynamics Sporting Club Dominance continues after competing in the 30th Annual Auto-City Trupial Track and Field Championship in Curacao from July 5-7, 2019. Countries that participated were St. Maarten, Suriname, St. Kitts, St. Eustatius, Aruba, Bonaire, and 8 different clubs from across Curacao.

After three days of competition Dynamics managed to win 35 medals in total. 15 GOLD, 12 SILVER, AND 8 BRONZE.

The First day of the competition was the Relays which we won 6 medals, Gold in the U9 4x100 Relay Mix (Titus Richardson, Schnelle Campbell, Joleen Tomlin, Kyle Richardson) Gold in the U11 4x100m Relay Mix (Niakoy Phillips, Rovienska Vis, Gabrielle Paullette, and Carlos Brison) Gold in the U13 4x100m Relay Mix (Niakoy Phillip, Sebastiana Reyes, Carlos Brison, Chanel Richardson). The under 15 team had to settle for Bronze in the Relay Mix (Jemar Phillips, Sebastiana Reyes, Chanel Richardson, and O’shane Blagrove). The under 17 4x100m Relay Mixteam won Silver (O’Shane Blagrove, Jiarah Drijvers, Roshania Benjamin, and Denzel Washington).

After 1 Day of dominating the relays the athletes went into day 2 very confident and winning most of the individual Sprint and Field Events.

In the Girls U-9 Schnelle Campbell won Gold in the 60m, Gold in the Long Jump. Joleen Tomlin won Silver in the 60m, Bronze in the Long Jump, and Bronze in the Baseball Throw. Chardae Richardson Won Gold in the 600m Road Race.

In the Boys U-9 Kyle Kwidama won Gold in the 60m, Silver in the Long Jump. Titus Richardson won Silver in the 60M and Gold in the Long Jump. Alexander Brison won Silver in the Boys 600m Road Race.

In the Girls U-11 Rovienska Vis won Bronze in the 60m and Gold in the Long Jump.

In the Boys U-11 Niakoy Phillips won Gold in the 60m, Gold in the Long Jump, Gold in the 1000m, and Silver in the Baseball throw. Carlos Brison won Silver in the 1000m.

In the Girls U-13 Chanel Richardson won Gold in the 60m, Gold in the Long Jump. Sebastiana Reyes won Bronze in the Long Jump, Bronze in the Baseball Throw.

In the Boys U15 O’Shane Blagrove won Silver in the Long Jump

In the Girls U-17 Jiarah Drijvers won Bronze in the 100m, Roshania Benjamin won Bronze in the Shotput and Silver in the Long Jump.

In the U-17 Boys Denzel Washington won Gold in the 100m, and Silver in the Long Jump.

The Most outstanding Male athlete is no other than Niakoy Phillip with 4Gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze.

The Most outstanding Female Athlete went to the team Captain Chanel Richardson who won 3 Gold, and 2 bronze.

Dynamics would like to thank the Coaches, Louis Richardson, Alain Richardson, and Head Coach Abdule Wattley.

Dynamics Sporting Club will now be preparing for the Culturama Games in Nevis on July 28th, 2019.

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Chambers of North and South Meet to Discuss Matters of Mutual Interests

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI) Board and representatives from the Chambre Consulaire Interprofessionnelle de Saint Martin (CCISM), recently met to discuss matters of mutual interests as well as how they can work together to the benefit of the business communities of Sint Maarten and Saint Martin.

Both Presidents of the Board of COCI and CCISM expressed how great it was for both Chambers of Commerce to meet. The meeting marks the true beginning of a partnership focused on inclusion for both sides of the island and embracing the differences that exist -but most importantly finding ways and working together to develop joint solutions allowing to break down any existing barriers.

The representatives from CCISM who attended the meeting were Angele Dormoy, President; Bhanicia Bryan, Interim General Director; Joy Carty, Project Manager; and Malaika Maxwell, Communications & Events Manager.

COCI was represented by Benjamin Ortega, President; Bertaux Fleming, Vice President; Louis Bute, Treasurer; and Anastacio Baker, Executive Director.

During this meeting, CCISM representatives proceeded to enlighten the COCI Board about the steps needed to open a business on the French side of the island.

The main issue their clients run into is that France mandates having specific certification that relates to select activities in construction. This in turn causes an inconvenience because persons from the Dutch side have difficulty getting the experience they have, and diplomas appraised for certain trades.

COCI representatives said that both Chambers agreed to collaborate with the upcoming Bush Tea Networking event where various companies from both sides of the island would be able to attend an informative session geared at facilitating the exchange of information about setting up a business. For the first time this event would be a joint initiative benefiting both sides and is slated to see the light during the last trimester of 2019.

COCI brought forward in the meeting that some people are under the impression that the Dutch side has an influx of French companies doing business on the Dutch side, but Dutch side businesses can also establish themselves on the French side after complying with criteria for establishing a business on that side of the island.

CCISM also informed that they are now moving into a new online system that makes the business registration process much more easier and business/investor friendly. When asked about their perception within the French business community with respect to the online process, CCISM stated that it is something they are working on improving as they are striving to become more visible within the business community.

CCISM added that now that when the system is fully online, it will give their staff the opportunity to engage in different interactive programs with the public. These will range from trainings, seminars and workshops for the business community to cross sector networking events.

Both Chambers agree that the main area they can work together is training. Taxi operators are one aspect that both parties believe can benefit from this joint training effort as it will streamline the information given to Tourists when they are on Tours.

At the conclusion of this meeting both organizations agreed that it would be very beneficial if they informed their respective business communities on the opportunities available and how to conduct business on the opposite sides of the island.


Operations resume to normal, following passenger evacuation due to smoke detection

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT) - Passengers were requested to evacuate the terminal building, due to the wide-ranging sound of the evacuation notice on Tuesday July 9, 2019 at approximately 14:50pm.

Following reports of smoke which engulfed the Departure Screening Area, the Security Central immediately contacted the Airport Rescue and Firefighting Department (ARFF).

The Airport Rescue and Firefighting Department immediately dispatched a unit to investigate the report. The Island Government’s Fire Department also carried out an assessment of the reported area. The cause of the smoke detection was later determined as an electrical defect to a microwave.

The alarm system was silenced at 14:56pm, during the ongoing investigation. An “all clear-code green” was issued at approximately 15:19pm by the Airport Rescue and Firefighting department, who were also in consultation with the Island Government’s Fire department.

As there was no further threat to the building, the passengers were asked to return to the terminal at 15:25pm. On behalf of the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM), we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.


Prime Minister Romeo Marlin signs MOU with CDEMA

SINT MAARTEN/BARBADOS - On Monday July 8th Prime Minister of Sint Maarten Leona Romeo-Marlin, on behalf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) represented by Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of CDEMA at their headquarters in Barbados.

Prime Minister Romeo-Marlin shared the following remarks, “With this MoU that we will be signing today, the Kingdom of the Netherlands aims to further embed the Dutch Royal Navy and other assets at its disposal into the regional disaster coordination mechanism, enabling them to deliver the Kingdom’s assistance even faster and more effectively to any nation in the region where necessary. Not only by means of this MoU, but also by playing an active part in the newly established Multinational Civil-Military Coordination Cell on Barbados (MNCCC-B) within CDEMA’s Regional Coordination Centre.”

The MoU ensures cooperation, coordination and mutual assistance in disaster risk management and aims to limit the impacts of climate change by strengthening the conditions necessary for sustainable regional development. The agreement will apply to the islands of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and the Netherlands including the public entities of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba.

“I am very happy to be signing this memorandum today as a first step to building a prosperous partnership for strengthening disaster management and building resilience in the region. Additionally, I am optimistic that this first step will enable our cooperation towards Sint Maarten’s pursuit of CDEMA membership,” said Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin.


Rotary Mid Isle Funds Podiatry Unit for DFS

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - Diabetes can strike anyone, from any walk of life, and it does, in numbers that are dramatically increasing, Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body can't use glucose (a type of sugar) normally. Glucose is the main source of energy for the body's cells. The levels of glucose in the blood are controlled by a hormone called insulin, which is made by the pancreas.

“Diabetes is a serious complex condition which can affect the entire body. Diabetes requires daily self-care and if complications develop, diabetes can have a significant impact on the quality of life and can reduce life expectancy. While there is currently no cure for diabetes, you can live an enjoyable life by learning about the condition and effectively managing it.

“To help manage patients that have diabetic foot disease The Rotary club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle have funded the purchase of an Atlas Podiatry Unit with micro-motor and spraying device for the Diabetes Foundation. This will go a long way to help in the safe treatment of patients with diabetic foot disease on Sint Maarten.

“The 2019-2020 District Governor for District 7020 Delma Maduro is encouraging all of the clubs in District 7020 to get on board with one of her district Projects - The Prevention and Control of Diabetes “My Health My Life, Stop Diabetes Now!”

The Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle meets Tuesdays’ at 7pm at Pineapple Pete in Simpson Bay. For more information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit their Facebook page Rotary Club of St. Maarten-Mid Isle. 

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