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Soualiga News II (4757)

Simpson Bay Bridge/Causeway Operating According to Regular Scheduled Bridge Openings

PORT ST. MAARTEN – The Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority (SLAC) would like to inform maritime traffic, and stakeholders that the Simpson Bay Bridge and Causeway, are operating according to their scheduled daily bridge openings.

SLAC is also closely monitoring the approaching weather system known as Tropical Depression #7 which is more than 700 miles from the Leeward Islands.

According to the Meteorological Department of St. Maarten, some gradual strengthening is forecast, and the depression could become a tropical storm Wednesday night or on Thursday.

SLAC may have to adapt its bridge opening schedule based on the approaching weather system. All stakeholders will be informed accordingly.

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Energy subsidy for low-income Saba households

SABA (THE BOTTOM) - The Public Entity Saba is making a one-time US $1,300 energy subsidy for low-income households available to help this group of Saba residents with their electricity bill during the times of increased energy prices. Residents with a lower income up to a certain amount can apply for this subsidy within short.

The funding for the energy subsidy comes from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (SZW) and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK), and will be dispatched through the Public Entity Saba. The financial assistance is specifically for low-income households to help alleviate the burden of the rising energy costs for this group by subsidizing the electricity bills of these residents.

Income limits

The Dutch government has decided that the subsidy can only be used for low-income households. Income limits have been set which vary per composition of the family. The income limits are stated on the application forms that will be made available online and at different locations where residents can pick up a hard copy. Only Saba residents qualify. Applicants need to submit some documentation along with the filled-in application form.

Assessment

Based on the information provided by the applicant, a mixed committee will assess the application and determine whether a person is eligible for the subsidy. When the committee determines that someone is eligible, this will be shared with the Saba Electric Company (SEC). The $1,300 one-time amount will be deposited directly to the person’s energy account at SEC. The subsidy will not be provided in cash.  

Multiple subsidies

With the increasing energy prices, the Public Entity Saba has made several subsidies available to SEC to soften the impact for consumers on Saba. In July this year, the Pubic Entity Saba granted a special subsidy to SEC to aid consumers with the variable tariff increase for the period of July to December 2022 so the increase of electricity bills would remain limited to 10%. Without this subsidy, the electricity bill would have gone up by almost 30%.

The first subsidy covered the period July-December 2021 which helped to limit the increase of the variable fee. For 2022, the Public Entity granted a subsidy for the fixed fees, which reduced the fee to zero for every KVA (kilovolt-ampere) category.

Save energy

The Public Entity Saba called on consumers to take energy-saving measures and to use electricity wisely. People can save electricity by, for example, turning off the airconditioning and lights when no one is in the room, install LED lights instead of regular light bulbs, and use the dryer less frequently.

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A MODERNISED EDUCATION SYSTEM FOR STATIA. WORK BEGINS ON SECONDARY SCHOOL

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - The journey towards modernisation of education in Statia is under way with the official start of construction of a new state-of-the-art secondary school.

The unveiling of the construction billboard for the Gwendoline van Putten (GvP) school took place on Friday 9 September on the site of the project, which is jointly funded by the Government of St. Eustatius and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

Construction of a new building to accommodate the GvP students, teachers, educators, management and support staff has been a long time coming, with the process starting back in 2010 with the publication of the Education Housing Plan 2010-2015, said Alida Francis, the Government Commissioner.

Back then it was agreed that the school was in dire need of maintenance and had a shortage of classrooms.

“Two consultants, three architects, one contractor and 12 years later, we are here now to officially start the construction of the Gwendoline van Putten school,” Ms. Francis told the brief ceremony, attended by various dignitaries and a group of GvP students. “It is my hope that we can all gather here again with a much larger representation on the Statian community in late summer of 2024 to cut the ribbon for the official opening of the brand-new state of the art Gwendoline van Putten School. It is further my hope that these improvements will consequently contribute to an overall positive academic performance of Statian youth.”

The two-storey, U-shaped structure with a total floor space of approximately 4,000 square metres, will replace the current school buildings which opened in 1988 and no longer meet the practical and structural requirements.

“The new school will have room for our children to learn more subjects, experiment more, and join the world in the modernisation of education,” stressed Carol Jack-Roosberg, Director of Social Domain.

Architecture of Rotterdam designed the new structure, and it is being built by Statia Construction.

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Valentine’s Day Stabbing Tassel Road suspect extradited from Guadeloupe

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The primary suspect in the 2021 Valentine’s Day stabbing on Tassel Road has been extradited from Guadeloupe and is now detained by the Police Force of Sint Maarten KPSM.

On 15 August 2021, suspect H.G.-R. was detained in Guadeloupe as he attempted to board a flight. Following the extradition process, he was returned to Sint Maarten on September 6, 2022, where he was formally arrested and taken to the Philipsburg police station for questioning by the Major Crime Unit detectives.

Detectives have been working on this case since it occurred on February 14, 2021, at around 11:30pm.

On that night, people were called after two men sustained severe stab wounds a brawl and were transported in critical condition by private vehicle to Sint Maarten Medical Center. Investigators attempted to obtain statements from both victims that day, but neither was able to give statements due to their critical medical condition.

While on the scene, detectives approached several witnesses to learn details regarding what had taken place. The following day, officers were notified that one victim had succumbed to his injuries from the attack.

Officers identified a suspect, with initials H.G.-R., in the stabbing incident. An arrest warrant was issued for him by the Prosecutor's Office OM SXM. An island-wide search was conducted for the suspect.

A few weeks after the incident, KPSM received information that H.G.-R. had fled to a neighboring island. This information led to the issuance of an International Arrest Warrant by OM SXM for the suspect. It was based on that warrant he was detained by French authorities and extradited to Sint Maarten.

The investigation is still ongoing. (KPSM)

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A brand-new Parliamentary year……Ohhh Boy!!

SINT MAARTEN (COMMENTARY – By Michael Ferrier) - I don’t know about the rest of you, but I got me some popcorn and a case of TING, ready to watch the last year and a couple of months of this St. Maarten Parliament: 

  1. ) Will Omar scoop-up Toontje’s Marijuana plan(ts) and run with it (them)?
  2. ) Will Rolando thief Theo’s party? (I know that old habits die hard).
  3. ) In St. Maarten’s version of Game of Thrones, also known as “Who controlling Who”, will Oneil outsmart the Casino Boss?
  4. ) Will Jurendy really live up to his pledge to be on better behavior now that William is back, and Elections are coming?
  5. ) Will Sarah continue to be the ‘stateswoman’ and remain “the calming voice in the wilderness”?
  6. ) Will Melissa and Raeyhon keep on trucking calling out the lazy bums amongst their peers?
  7. ) What will be the “Ludmillas” next moves?
  8. ) Will it be reruns of “How Christophe beats up on his former NA colleagues after using THEIR White Line bus driven by Silveria to take him to the big salary Parliament Promised Land? Then turn-round and spit in she face???!!!!”
  9. ) Cliffhanger: will Cookie find his lost bearings and scruples?
  10. ) How does Chanel prevent Toontje from getting back his seat?
  11. ) What will Akeem’s reward be?  A few of Oneil’s gold pieces?
  12. ) Who will throw Grisha a lifeline?
  13. ) How hard is Leona Romeo laughing right about now?!? 

SXM Parliament has it all. Comedy, drama, suspense, mystery, thrillers, and chillers. Grab a seat, settle in and enjoy the show! 

Michael J. Ferrier

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Reference Framework and learning lines Papiamentu ready for use in schools

BONAIRE (KRALENDIJK) - Last Monday a conference was organized by the national expertise center for curriculum development (SLO) in response to the Papiamentu reference framework and learning lines.

During the conference presentations were given by various educational experts. Participants were additionally given the opportunity to practice with assignments and ask questions.

"The purpose of the Reference Framework and its elaboration into a learning line is to strengthen, from a multilingual perspective, the position of Papiamentu as a mother tongue and largest surrounding language in and outside education on Bonaire.

Therefore, the Reference Framework has been elaborated into a continuous learning line for the school subject Papiamentu. This learning line provides suggestions for the structure and organization of the educational offerings Papiamentu for the different levels." project leader Hoogeveen said.

Commissioner Nina den Heyer adds, "This is an important next step in the recognition and perpetuation of Papiamentu."

Reference framework as an instrument

A frame of reference is an instrument that describes what students should be able to do and know at certain points in their school career: end of primary education, vmbo, havo-vwo and mbo.

It describes four achievement levels for language proficiency, in increasing levels of difficulty. The Reference Framework and the learning lines were developed in collaboration with a working group of teachers from primary and secondary education on Bonaire and is the result of the assignment of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap, OCW) to SLO in the Netherlands.
(RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

rcn bon papiam

 

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Joint Control Carried out at port of Saba

SABA (THE BOTTOM) - On Friday the 9th of September an extra and extensive check was held in Fort Bay on Saba by Customs, the KMar, KPCN and the Coastguard.

The baggage of passengers and the cargo from the ferry Makana from Sint Maarten were checked.

During the check, 19 passengers were checked. No abnormalities were found during this check.

As part of the joint effort of the chain partners to keep all islands of the Caribbean Netherlands as safe as possible and to guarantee the quality of life on the islands, actions are regularly held in which Customs/CN, KMar and KPCN work closely together. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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New Coloring Book Highlights the Insects of St. Martin

SAINT-MARTIN (FRENCH QUARTER) - The Les Fruits de Mer association has published a new coloring book, Insects Around Me. The book showcases 40 insects that live on St. Martin. The book is also a nature journal, where kids can record their own observations and make their own drawings of animals. 

“Insects are all around us, and they are easy to observe,” said author Mark Yokoyama. “Kids are fascinated by insects. They make a perfect gateway to discovery and learning, and we think this book can help.”

The book spotlights the wide variety of colorful insects found on St. Martin. For each species, there is an illustrated coloring page with a short description of the insect. There’s also a space to take notes on any sightings of the insect, and a place to do a drawing of it. There is also a visual guide on the back cover with color photos of each insect. These features encourage kids to observe these creatures in the wild.

“In this book, everything is in English and French,” added Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “We wanted the book to be more versatile on this multi-lingual island. This also means the book can be a language-learning tool, too.”

Free copies of Insects Around Me will be given away at Amuseum Naturalis on Saturday, September 17th from 9am to noon. Amuseum Naturalis is a free museum of nature and heritage located in French Quarter, St. Martin. It is open every day from sunrise to sunset.

The book is also available as a free download from http://lesfruitsdemer.com. Teachers and youth group leaders interested in copies are encouraged to contact Les Fruits de Mer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Companies or individuals interested in sponsoring copies for schools are also encouraged to contact the association. The book is also available on amazon.com worldwide.

Insects Around Me was produced with support from the Collectivité de Saint-Martin and the Agence nationale de la cohésion des territoires. This project is supported by the politique de la ville de Saint-Martin, implemented by the State and the Collectivité de Saint-Martin.

LES Insects Around Me

Insects Around Me is a new coloring book and nature journal featuring St. Martin insects.
 
LES Contrat de Ville
 

This project is supported by the Collectivité de Saint-Martin and the Agence nationale de la cohésion des territoires.

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SABA HOLDS THE ANNUAL “SEA & LEARN” ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS MONTH

SABA (THE BOTTOM) - The stunning Dutch Caribbean island of Saba, a leader of conservation in the Caribbean, and a champion of environmental awareness, will hold its 19th annual month-long “Sea & Learn” event throughout October 2022. Saba is located just 12 minutes away from St. Maarten. Each year the event is organized with the sole purpose of helping others to understand the fragility of the environment and the importance of its protection. Here are a few highlights of this year’s event which features an impressive line-up of hands-on field excursions, activities, lectures, and discussions. For the full schedule, visit www.seaandlearn.org

DEEP DIVE – Deep Sea exploration is a strong emphasis for 2022 as it is the focus of two of the 14 participating scientists, Vince Capone, and Chancey MacDonald. Capone led a team that searched for shipwrecks using robotic and sonar equipment to map the entire offshore area surrounding Saba to a depth of 200 meters. Both will give presentations as well as lead field projects. Visitors can literally take a deep dive with MacDonald to discover how depth affects the presence and abundance of fish (October 4), while those who choose to dive with Capone can see how he uses sonar to map the seafloor (October 12).

CORAL HEALTH - Dr. Erinn Muller, a Senior Scientist at Florida’s Mote Marine Laboratory managing both the Coral Health & Disease and Coral Restoration Programs, develops therapies to treat several different types of coral diseases. Miller will lead two field dives (October 16 & 20) to first identify and then treat coral disease found in the waters around the island, (October 19), visitors can immerse themselves in an intensive lesson in coral health and restoration.

AFTER DARK – The island is known for its incredible hiking, and the land-based offerings this year include two-night hikes where visitors can discover the island’s flora and fauna activities after dark.

  • Scientist Lydia Mäthger has studied various aspects of animal sensory ecology. Her focus is on animal vision, from the shape and size to the complexity of color vision. During her night hike, she will use the natural world to talk about how animal eyes influence technology (October 26).  
  • Lauren Esposito, an arachnologist who currently holds the Schlinger Chair of Arachnology at the California Academy of Sciences, she will lead one of her very popular night hikes in search of scorpions, spiders, and more. (October 20).

During “Sea & Learn,” guests are invited to enjoy fascinating large-screen presentations led by the visiting experts, offered every other night throughout the month during "Happy Hour" at one of Saba's quaint local bars and restaurants. All activities and night-time presentations are free and open to the public.

Visiting experts also teach the local children the value of Saba's natural beauty and resources and their importance to the region. For more information and specifics on the lectures, programs, and the latest updates on the month-long celebration, visit www.seaandlearn.org. Are you interested in attending, Saba has accommodations to suit every style and budget for more information visit: www.sabatourism.com.

The entire program is made possible with support from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds whose mission is to support cultural and nature preservation projects in The Netherlands and Dutch Caribbean.

Entry Rules & Protocols

The island is open no pre- or post-travel test is required to enter. Transit travelers connecting through St. Maarten require to fill out an entry form visit and follow their entry requirements:  stmaartenehas.com.

About Saba - Often referred to as “The Unspoiled Queen,” Saba is the smallest of the Dutch Caribbean islands. This five-square mile island has five ecosystems from a dry desert climate to a cloud forest. With a population of just over 1,800, Saba is comprised of four main villages - The Bottom (Saba's capital), Windwardside, St. John's, and Zion's Hill (a.k.a. "Hell's Gate"). From the wide expanse of sea, jewel-like foliage and flowers that climb the mountainsides, and the charming Saban cottages and buildings. Saba is a welcoming and friendly paradise for those who desire peace, tranquility or eco-activities. In addition, Saba is world renowned for scuba diving and hiking trails, as well as deep sea fishing and snorkeling. Saba can be reached by air with WINAIR and sea with Edge Ferry or Makana Ferry from the neighboring island of St. Maarten. Visit: www.sabatourism.com.

 

 

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NIPA successfully launched 8th academic year in August

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - It has been one month since the National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA) has successfully launched its 8th academic year with a number of students in various age groups.

The year kicked off with a week of introduction to the programs offered. The introduction week was led by the Care Team consisting of the student care coordinator, Mrs. Nakeisha Sammy-Willems and social worker, Ms. Zeynep Sabahoglu. They gave new students information about the institute’s organizational structure, programs, school-related expenses, rules and regulations, and discussed other relevant matters pertaining to the NIPA.

As the country’s only institute for technical-vocational education, the NIPA aims to continue to contribute to nation-building by providing the people of Sint Maarten with opportunities to further their education locally. NIPA offers day and evening programs ranging from General Property Maintenance to Business Administration. This year, the institute relaunched the Maritime and Licensed Practical Nurse programs and looks forward to continuing with them in subsequent academic years.

We see that now more than ever, it is important that persons develop or improve on skills that may translate into a form of income for them in the future. Investing in your education, often leads to a reward that cannot be taken away, which is knowledge. The possession of skills and application of knowledge is key when starting a career. As such, the NIPA is here to guide its students in becoming professionals in various fields and is pleased with the successful start of the academic year.

The National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA) is well aware that it is the key institution for creating professionals in St. Maarten. NIPA’s goal is to increase the number of local skilled professionals on the island and in the region. NIPA is confident that it has the human resources necessary to facilitate this need to increase the skilled populace.

NIPA hopes that the St. Maarten community will make use of this opportunity and in turn, use their knowledge and skills to further contribute to nation-building.

Students can signup for any of our programs on the NIPA website www.nipa.sx

On behalf of the NIPA Supervisory Board of Directors, the Managing Board, faculty, and staff, we wish our students much success this academic year.

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