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Government working on a more effective juvenile crime strategy

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS - Although juvenile crime continues to decrease, recidivism among young people is increasing, with over a third of convicted juvenile criminals finding themselves back in trouble within two years.

Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker considers this rate unacceptably high and the government has therefore approved a package of measures to enable quicker and more effective interventions to minimise the likelihood of recidivism. The new strategy will provide treatment of juvenile delinquents and focuses on what the individual in question truly needs.

Greater customisation

Judicial detention of young people is only used as a last resort. If judicial detention is unavoidable, then these offenders need care, treatment and security in order to minimise the likelihood of them committing future offences.

The current system only offers one type of institution for all juvenile offenders and Minister Dekker wants to abolish this ‘one size fits all’ approach. ‘All these young people have so many different and unique problems that making them jump through exactly the same hoops simply won't work. For this reason, we need to adopt a more tailor-made approach.’

The problems that young people face are becoming increasingly complex and there is also huge variation in the length of time offenders spend in institutions. Tailor-made sanctions and care are the only solution to these issues, and to provide this, greater variation of young offender institutions is necessary. Therefore, the government is introducing two new types of institution: small-scale facilities and national specialist facilities.
 
The purpose of the small-scale facilities is to allow young people to maintain greater connection with their life outside the institution during their detention. The majority of incarcerated juvenile offenders are only serving short sentences, with – for example – half of all young offenders in pretrial detention being released within a month.

For this reason, this government is investing in small-scale facilities for the incarceration of juvenile delinquents that enable them to go to school or work during the day and remain connected with their life on the outside.

This makes it easier for them to pick up their lives where they left off upon their release. The small-scale facilities set up in Amsterdam as part of a pilot will be continued, and four other small-scale facilities will also be added in Rotterdam, The Hague and in the North and South regions.

In addition to the small-scale facilities, the young offender institutions will be converted into national specialist facilities. Here, juvenile offenders serving long sentences and with more complex issues – e.g. young people with youth hospital orders or serious behavioural problems – ‏will receive more intensive care and a high level of security.

Extra investment will be made in the training of staff, further improvement of information exchange, higher quality of education and all adjustments required to make the current institutions more suitable for young offenders to attend school, work, etc.

The government will increase investment in the small-scale facilities and national specialist facilities over time, rising to a recurring total of €17 million by 2024.

Reduction of empty cells

The decline in juvenile crime in recent years has left many cells empty, with forecasts predicting that only 358 of the current 753 places in young offender institutions will be required by 2024. The government has therefore decided to reduce capacity by 180 places. This will leave enough flexible capacity to accommodate unexpected fluctuations in the juvenile crime rate.

Two young offender institutions (JJIs) will be closed: JJI Via Het Keerpunt in Cadier and Keer (as of 2020) and JJI Het Poortje Juvaid in Veenhuizen (as of 2021). In addition, JJI Teylingerland will be relocated from its current site to the adjacent new building, which will allow the current premises, accommodating a capacity of 92, to be closed. In the North and South regions, the capacity and jobs will be partly retained as small-scale facilities will be set up in the area.

‘Every euro that we spend on empty cells is a euro that can't be spent making the country a safer place,’ explains Minister Dekker, ‘For this reason, it's good that we're taking action on this matter. Of course, I understand that these will be challenging times for the employees in Veenhuizen and Cadier en Keer, although this will put an end to the uncertainty in the sector once and for all.’

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USP MP Brison sets out to safeguard residents, tourists from bad liquor

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Member of Parliament Rolando Brison (USP) on Sunday said the very recent news about the tragic deaths of several tourists in the Dominican Republic, some reportedly due to the consumption of counterfeit and decoded products (fake/bad liquor), has created a clear and present danger to all countries, including St Maarten that doesn’t regulate the supply chain of goods sold in the marketplace.

Brison said the laws and decrees are in place but the various departments in government need to immediately act and tackle these criminal acts before it is too late. “Now more than ever they are needed to safeguard the health and safety of our local people and millions of tourists,” Brison said.

MP Brison is calling for immediate enforcement of the existing laws from the various ministries and will sit down with the various importers to find a short-to-midterm solution. The primary focus of this will be to ensure supply chain integrity while ensuring that counterfeit and decoded products are permanently eradicated from the marketplace.

The MP said a possible avenue to support these actions would be the setting-up of a unique Whatsapp line and email for people to send information about infractions so that the respective enforcement agencies have the relevant information and can act immediately in seizures and destruction of product(s).

As of June 30, there were at least nine deaths with similar circumstances over the past few months. The FBI along with Dominican authorities are investigating, and the principle theory is that counterfeit/tampered alcohol was the cause of these deaths.

The FBI has reportedly taken samples of alcohol for testing, and the hotels where some tourists died have removed alcohol from the minibars in the hotel rooms. Counterfeit or illegally made alcohol brings a new level of risk, as it is not monitored for safety and may include added ingredients, known to be extremely harmful to health.

The World Health Organization estimates that 25% of the alcohol consumed worldwide is unrecorded. Counterfeit alcohol is typically meant to resemble legitimate alcohol, and expensive spirits, in terms of its look, taste and packaging.

One of the key aspects of counterfeit or illegal alcohol is that producers distill the alcohol more cheaply and quickly using dangerous shortcuts in the process, such as adding water and methanol, also known as methyl alcohol, which is highly toxic. Methanol is not intended for human consumption and can cause liver damage, blindness and death if consumed. Earlier this year, toxic alcohol killed at least 154 people in India because it was tainted with methanol.

The various incidents in the Dominican Republic are having a tremendous negative impact on their tourism industry. Bookings are down 74.3% in July and August. “The effects that any of these incidents would have on St. Maarten and its fragile tourism economy would be detrimental,” MP Brison said. “It is of the most importance that as a country, we take a proactive approach to safeguard the quality of alcoholic beverages being sold on our island before it is too late.”

In a previous press release by The Inspectorate of public health, the department urged consumers to be alert with their purchases after noticing that the labels of food items along with beverages are being tampered with and said that this was a criminal offence. Decoding starts when someone deliberately removes the so-called lot codes from a label to make the product untraceable. “This and is also a criminal offence and can jeopardize the health and safety of all consumers,” Brison said.

Last year June, local distributor CC1 was successful recalling a batch of their Stella Artois beer brand that contained particles of glass inside the bottles. Without lot codes this would’ve been impossible. The inspectorate said that according to local laws, it is prohibited to import, sell and/or export food products without taking in consideration the labeling requirements as laid down in the National decree on Food Labeling (AB 2013,GT no. 194). The decree states that all food products, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, must have information, instructions and warnings on the production batch.

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Rice Hill signs Fiber Optic Exclusivity Agreement with TelEm

SINT MAARTEN (OYSTER POND) - Rice Hill Gardens Development has signed a Fiber Optic Exclusivity Agreement with St. Maarten Telephone Group of Companies TelEm. The agreement solidifies the exclusive gated community’s access to high speed internet and related services.

All infrastructure for the delivery of fiber optic services are already in place throughout all current phases of the residential development in Oyster Pond.

Signing the agreement at TelEm’s office on Pond Island were Rice Hill Gardens Development Managing Director Astrid Plantz and TelEm CEO Kendall Dupersoy.

Plantz said the agreement fits into Rice Hill’s goal of offering the best services and options to its residents and potential buyers. “We are ensuring all amenities are accessible to residents and are in place for potential buyers. Connectivity is not long a luxury; it is a necessity that we have taken care of,” she said.

Dupersoy welcomed Rice Hill on board with TelEm’s ongoing project. He commended the residential community developers for catering to the needs of its residents and encouraged other developments and residents to sign on to support the country’s communications service provider.

Rice Hill Gardens, located close to the border with Oyster Pond, opened Phase 3A of its housing development to potential buyers in mid-April upon completion of all infrastructure works. The works included all access roads to lots in the section, sidewalks, underground cables, all water and electricity connections and TelEm exclusive fiber optic cable.

Only a few of the original 18 lots in Phase 3A are still available for purchase due to the growing demand for private lots in a safe and secure gated community after Hurricanes Irma and Maria, said Plantz.

All lots have elevated views of the surrounding valleys and out to the ocean. Constructing on the lots in Rice Hill does not require extensive excavation as all lots are moderately sloped or not sloped at all. There is no requirement to build on the lot immediately. This enables buyers to invest in a private lot at a time prices may be at its lowest and build whenever they are ready. Buyers are responsible for constructing their own residence.

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USP MP Brison questions Smith’s lack of care for national monuments

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Member of Parliament (MP) Rolando Brison is calling on Minister of Culture Wycliff Smith to explain his apparent lack of urgency and care for many of the island’s national monuments which sit in disrepair. Brison recently dispatched a letter to the, through the Chairlady of Parliament, expressing his faction’s (USP) concern over the status of many historical buildings in Philipsburg and around the island.

The MP also focused his concerns around the Monument Council and if the members of the Council have the support required from the Minister to function optimally and efficiently with regards to protecting historical buildings and monuments that are of immense historical and cultural significance to the people of St. Maarten.

“Since the Minister has been to parliament for the appointment of members of the monument council, we have not heard back from the Minister on this body’s plans for ensuring Philipsburg historical icons are preserved and designated as monuments,” Brison said. “This is particularly concerning, considering that the parliament has already approved since September 26th 2018 the members of the monument council.

“During this meeting, the Ministers assured parliament that ‘this will allow for the council to be extremely active in ensuring that all of our national monuments received the necessary urgent attention’” Brison said. He added the reports he has received however, are much to the contrary, where many of the monument holders in St. Maarten are frustrated by the Ministry’s and the Council’s lack of effort in addressing various issues they face such as repairs, building permits, funding and information.

MP Brison said he has in the meantime learned that the members were only installed March 2019 and called on the Minister to explain why he would allow such a major delay to occur, and not respect the wishes of Parliament who approved these members to be installed in September 2018.

He questioned if the Minister understands the implications of his lack of urgency having affected the ability of many monuments in St. Maarten to undergo urgent repairs and preparation for the hurricane season. He said of particular unacceptable state are the cistern just before Walter Plantz Square, the property Watkins House on Frontstreet #113 and the Frontstreet property “The Old House” (Meetingbrief 363-1997).

“These are just three in historic Philipsburg, but island wide there are more. Why has the council not replied to owners in regards to their urgent requests to begin repairs to the properties? Does the monument council have the correct number of members on board, and sufficient expertise? How many “urgent” requests versus how many “regular” requests for advice were sent to the Monument Council? Is the Minister allowing sufficient time for the Monument Council to conduct their proper due diligence in advising on reconstruction efforts of Monuments? Does the Monument Council have any sort of budget for assisting monuments? How many requests and from which monument holders did the council receive requests for funding assistance,” the MP asked among other questions. He goes on to also question the status of the monument Passangrahan Hotel and why is the property being split up.

MP Brison stressed that the value and significance of a national monuments cannot be measured. “Natural and cultural treasures benefit all citizens – today and in the future. It is also important for our economy as historic attractions. The importance of protecting these sites and buildings cannot be overstated. We are counting on receiving on update in writing as soon as possible. The only other recourse then would be to call the Minister to parliament to answer to the members and give assurance that these things are being handled,” the MP said.

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brison ins sn

 

 

 

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CBCS presents prizes to the best graduates in Economics

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO – The Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS) awarded 14 pupils from havo and vwo schools in Curaçao and Sint Maarten with a prize, as they graduated the best of their school in Economics.

For several years now, the CBCS has been offering these incentives to stimulate interest and enthusiasm in economics among students.

During the past week, acting president of the CBCS, Bob Traa, welcomed the pupils at his office in Curaçao and Sint Maarten respectively, to address them and award them a check, in the presence of their parents, economics teachers and school representatives.

The best graduates are:

Sint Maarten:

- Ian O’Connor (vwo) - Milton Peters College

- Zhanica Arrindell (havo) - Milton Peters College

Curaçao:

- Richard Pols (vwo) – Radulphus College

- Jaden Powell (havo) – Radulphus College

- Marnix van Thiel (vwo) – Kolegio Alejandro Paula

- Janay Ogenia (vwo) - Kolegio Alejandro Paula

- Nirali Manuela (havo) - Kolegio Alejandro Paula

- Sue-edy Luciana (vwo) - Maria Immaculata Lyceum

- Nicole Tejeda (havo) - Maria Immaculata Lyceum

- Maria Zanolino (vwo) - Dr. Albert Schweitzer

- Demi Luiken (havo) - Dr. Albert Schweitzer

- Willian LiNg (vwo) - Abel Tasman College

- Sophia Vermaas (havo) - Abel Tasman College

- Roshan Jain - International School of Curaçao

The CBCS wishes the students much success with their next studies and hopes they will return to one of our islands after finalizing their studies.

Foto moeder Ian St Dominic SXM

Ian O’Connor (vwo) - Milton Peters College, his mother on the left along with CBCS representatives.

groepsfoto Curacao

Group photo of the Curacao graduates.

 

 

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Avantika offering free registration to 50 kids on Saturday July 13 from 10am to 12pm

SIMPSON BAY - Avantika will be offering free registration to 50 kids on Saturday July 13th, 2019 from 10am to 12pm at Avantika (Puerta del Sol 2 Floor 68 Welfare Road Simpson Bay)

The camp will start on Wednesday July 24th thru Friday August 2nd, 2019 at the L B Scott Sports Auditorium, Longwall Rd, Philipsburg from 10:00am - 2:00pm for Boys & Girls ages 9 – 18 / Born: 2010-2001

For more information contact Alex Ferdinand +17215202151 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

The vision of St. Maarten National Basketball Association (SXMNBA) is to provide an environment to develop basketball & our athletes. Our philosophy is instructional, competitive, and developmental and promotes self-¬‐discipline, group cooperation, good sportsmanship and having fun while doing it.

We however are fully aware that this is not possible without the assistance and support of all stakeholders, to ensure that our programs are sustainable and produce results we are also looking for volunteers and sponsorship partners who are interested in assisting with our different activities throughout the year to guarantee that the objectives of SXMNBA are achieved.

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Health and Water Quality Main Goals. New water quality samples expected mid-July

SAINT MARTIN (MARIGOT) - A working cell, composed of the EEASM, SAUR, the ARS and the prefecture's services, was created following the appearance of bromates on the distribution network, the Collectivite Government said in a media statement on Thursday. The aim is to share information, coordinate actions and enable integrated management of the "crisis".

“The last meeting was held on 8 July. On this occasion, a number of measures were defined in order to restore the standards of potability and water quality. It should be remembered that the problem has not been identified very much on a global scale, and Saint-Martin is in fact a pilot territory in this management. In this sense, the measures taken will evolve according to the analytical feedback of water quality and with a constant concern to preserve public health.

First point of action, disinfection

“From the first detections, the EEASM has focused on increasing the quality control of the disinfectant (sodium hypochlorite), the revision of storage conditions, the implementation of a continuous chlorine analyzer that will allow management instant disinfection. A substitution of this disinfectant with chlorine dioxide, which in experience allows a substantial reduction in bromates levels, is planned.

“It should be noted that while many studies exist with regard to ozonation and its proven impact on the development of bromates, the disinfection process in St. Martin relies on the combination of chemical disinfection and UV use, not on the ozonation principle.

Second line of action: optimizing the pH of water

“PH (water acidity) is one of the parameters influencing water chemistry and the transformation of bromides into bromates. This factor is therefore subject to adjustment (without consequences for health or public or private facilities) and will allow a decrease in bromates rates. Again, these changes are based on water quality feedback.

Third axis of action: material evolution

“The production of water by reverse osmosis requires the use of membranes. SAUR last week made a change of part of these membranes on one of the two production lines in operation,in order to carry out qualitative tests.

“The experiment will correlate this membrane change with a desired drop in bromide levels. It should be noted that these production management parameters had already been identified by the EEASM and integrated into the DSP when it was renewed through modifications to maintenance protocols and equipment change.

“As already stated, the production tool is the subject of a necessary "upgrade" that was planned ahead of the appearance of bromates and which is part of the time.

Mobilization remains unresolved

“Following these first adjustments, the next samples will take place in mid-July. The EEASM, in accordance with its transparency policy, will naturally make the results available to the public and will bring together the dedicated working cell to decide on possible corrective actions. All actors remain mobilized around the Bromates issue and continue to work actively to restore water quality throughout the territory.

“The distribution of bottled mineral water by SAUR continues with the most sensitive audiences, in close collaboration with the Community. Wider distribution solutions are being considered if the crisis were to continue.L'ARS examines the adequacy of the measures taken since the beginning of the crisis under the precautionary principle, the results it will soon transmit will allow the devices to be adjusted.”

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TelEm Group cable repairs in Sucker Garden area Saturday

POND ISLAND – TelEm Group technicians successfully completed cable repairs in the Betty’s Estate area last week and will be carrying out similar repairs to damaged telecommunication cables in the Sucker Garden area this Saturday.

The maintenance work will take place between 7:00 am and 3:00 pm and will affect landline and internet connections to residential and commercial properties.

TelEm Group says the damaged cable originates from Arch Road and the areas affected will be: Arch Rd, Crown Cactus Dr, Mathews Lane, Claw Cactus Rd, Organ Pipe Cactus Rd, Pendant Cactus Rd and Soualiga Rd.

The scheduled works important will help improve telecommunication services in the area and TelEm Group has meantime apologized for any inconvenience caused.

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57-Year Old Man Seriously Ill-treated. Culprit caught by Police

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Tuesday July 9th at approximately 4.15 p.m. the Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) bike patrols were directed to Emmaplein in the vicinity of Jump Up Casino to investigate a call of ill-treatment with a weapon, police said on Wednesday.

On the scene the investigating officers encountered the victim later identified with initials F.R. (57) who was bleeding profusely from a large wound to his head. The officers also noticed that the lower left arm of the victim was in an awkward position and suspected that it was broken.

Immediately the Emergency Dispatch was informed of the situation. Paramedics were immediately directed to the scene to provide medical treatment. According to reports the victim was ill-treated by another man who used a metal object.

After committing this act, the suspect fled on foot. From witnesses in the area a description of the suspect was provided to police. During a search in the area the suspect in question was apprehended by police and taken to Police Headquarters in Philipsburg where he remains in custody for further investigation.

The victim remains in the hospital for further treatment and observation. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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Payroll Pro HRM seminars about ‘Digital Transformation of HR’ were a total success

SINT MAARTEN/ARUBA - Payroll Pro HRM offered two seminars in Aruba and Curacao that took place last week. The theme of the seminars was ‘Digital Transformation of HR, new trends and innovative solutions’.

For the Curacao seminar, that took place at the Avila Beach Hotel, Payroll Pro HRM had Ms. Lizzette Archangel, Senior Manager Human Capitol of Deloitte Dutch Caribbean as a guest speaker. Ms. Archangel brought a series of very interesting topics about the digitalization of HR.

For the Aruba seminar, that took place at the Cas di Cultura, the guest speaker was Mr. Enrique (Tito) de Cuba, Human Resources Consultant, who had some interesting information about the latest HR developments.

Payroll Pro HRM is extremely grateful to Ms. Archangel and Mr. De Cuba for their participation. Payroll Pro HRM also wants to thank everyone that was present at these two seminars.

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