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Heyliger-Marten: "Big Supermarkets should be customer friendly, not just profit-driven

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The road to recovery for St. Maarten is long, but many solutions are within reach according to MP Elect Grisha Heyliger-Marten. In keeping with the need to improve our citizens standard of living Heyliger-Marten said on Sunday that "big businesses, especially supermarkets such as Carrefour, Cost U Less and PRIME, can generate increased economic activity for themselves while enhancing their service to customers, especially senior citizens and physically challenged."

"Think about the elderly man with a disability that lives in St. Peters, or the elderly lady in Dutch Quarter, Sucker Garden or Middle Region who has to do most things for themselves. What would it cost these Supermarkets versus the mutual benefit of offering the added value service to our senior citizens?" questioned MP Elect Heyliger-Marten.

She says there should be an island-wide effort led by big businesses, especially the supermarkets, and health service providers, to create incentives for Senior Citizens, thereby making their lives easier. "Having a Seniors Wednesday discount or creating a Senior Citizens Shopping Card are simple things that can be done to help ease the burden of our Senior Citizens and this will increase revenue generation for the businesses," said Heyliger-Marten.

"Today we see fruits and vegetables being sold at reasonable prices by local foundations, while we lament the constant increase in the cost of goods at the larger supermarkets," said Heyliger-Marten.

More must be done by the operators of these larger Supermarkets who have been around "forever" under one name or another, yet in 2020 they still do not have a Senior Citizens Program.

"Economic challenges or not, I refuse to believe there is no benefit to Carrefour and others providing a shuttle service for the Senior Citizens of St. Maarten who patronize their establishments. Having stores with motorized carts will be a cost but also has a benefit for our Seniors and the physically challenged the establishments that implement their use. These are things that will go a long way to showing appreciation to the people of St. Maarten for their years of support.

Today many businesses around the world have recognized the limitations of the Senior Citizens in their countries and have resorted to offering home delivery service to maintain their customer base. Additional incentives and benefits for Senior Citizens also include special discounts for essential items they use routinely.

With this customer-friendly approach businesses have seen marked improvements in their sales while other companies who refuse to keep up with the changing times have been looked at as elitist companies who would rather not have Senior Citizens walk through their isles.


Minister Christopher Wever attends Marine Conservation session

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - On Wednesday, January 22nd the Minister of VROMI, Christopher Wever attended an informative session on Marine Conservation organized by the St. Martin division of Sea Shepherd Global at La Samana Hotel, according to a press statement from the cabinet of the minister.

“In attendance were representatives of Sea Shepherd, the Collectivite de St. Martin, The Nature Foundation, Officers of the Brigade Nautique Marine Park and Dive Safaris.

“The main objective of the session was to bring about awareness in regards to the destruction of the environment and the effects this has on marine life.

“Representatives of the Nature Foundation emphasized that it is an illegal act to hinder turtles from nesting or to disturb their nests. Turtles are confronted with many impediments to their well-being, such as water pollution due to sewage water runoff, pollution and garbage. They become victims of poaching, traps, debris that end up in the water, particularly in the Simpson Bay lagoon, and accidents caused from boat engines.

“The representative of the Nature Foundation explained that turtles sometimes get confused and distracted by onshore lights, which hinders them from nesting. The same goes for young turtles making their way to the sea.

“The attendees agreed that a speed limit must be introduced and controlled for boats in the Simpson Bay lagoon and close to seashores to alleviate injuries caused to turtles swimming in the area. Other challenges in curtailing harm to sea turtles were pointed out and discussed in an effort to eradicate harm to or death of turtles.

“Minister Wever expounded on his ministry’s commitment to alleviate sewage water from running into the Simpson Bay lagoon and beaches. The proposed sewage plant in Cole Bay, when operational, will help to lessen the sewage water runoff in that area.

“The recently launched “Be part of the solution, reduce your pollution” campaign is another clear indication of the ministry’s efforts to keep the island clean and to reduce pollution through recycling. The minister pledged his commitment to the endeavors to protect the sea turtles and other marine life.”


Two arrests in shooing investigation made

SINT MAARTEN (MIDDLE REGION) - On Thursday January 23rd, 2020, two arrests were made of in connection with an ongoing shooting investigation which took place in October 2019 in the vicinity of Middle Region vicinity which left two dead and two others severely injured.

Suspect R.A.T.P was arrested in the area of the roundabout in the Cole Bay area without incident by the police Arrest Team. 

The second suspect in the investigation with initials R.J.K.R. was arrested, on the request of the Dutch authorities, in Marigot by the French Gendarmes.

This arrest was carried out as part of the mutual cooperation between the authorities of the French & Dutch part of the island. R.J.K.R has been transported to Guadeloupe pending an extradition hearing. 

The detective department is currently still investigating and are asking anyone with information, pertaining to this shooting incident, not to hesitate to call the anonymous tip line of the police department at the number 9300 or send a private message via their Facebook page @Police Force of Sint Maarten. Persons can also visit our website to report a crime as well. (KPSM)


Alida Francis appointed New Central Government Deputy Commissioner of Statia. Van Rij appointed Commissioner

SINT EUSTATIUS - On Friday, on the recommendation of Dutch Minister Raymond Knops of Kingdom Relations, the Council of Ministers in The Hague approved the appointment of the new Central Government Commissioner and Deputy Central Government Commissioner for St. Eustatius: Mr. Marnix van Rij and his deputy Mrs. Alida Francis.

Mr. Van Rij and Mrs. Francis will take over the duties of the current government commissioner Mr. Marcolino “Mike” Franco and his deputy Mr. Mervyn Stegers as of February 15th, 2020. Marcolino Franco and Mervyn Stegers have brought the various parties together over the past two years to work together on sustainable fronts for sustainable improvements for St. Eustatius. Minister Knops warmly thanks Franco and Stegers for their efforts in the past two years.

The new government commissioner Marnix van Rij was a member of the Senate from June 9th, 2015 to June 4th, 2019. Until mid-2019 he was a partner at Ernst & Young tax advisors. In his latest position, he was a strategic advisor for the Ministry of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations for Caribisch Nederland.

The new deputy government commissioner Mrs. Alida Francis was born and raised on St. Eustatius and has been working in the Caribbean for thirty years. In her latest position she was employed by RCN communication and she made an important contribution to the reconstruction of St. Eustatius after Hurricane Irma. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)


Mr. Marnix van Rij 




Join our team for the 40th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is looking for volunteers to assist with the preparations and execution of this special 40th edition taking place Thursday March 5, 2020 – Sunday March 8, 2020. Every year more than 150 volunteers assist in putting together this world-renowned event. 

“The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta would not be the success it is without the help of volunteers. Some volunteers have been involved since the early years and keep coming back so they can meet up with friends and be involved in the Regatta. Others book their vacation to St. Maarten specifically during the Regatta so they can be part of the event. And there is also a large number of people, mainly Cruisers, that are only here for the season and still volunteer their time. One of the motivations is the social aspect, the volunteers love to meet new people and the Regatta Village at the Princess Port de Plaisance Resort, Casino & Marina offers a great platform to bring everything and everyone together. Volunteers often walk away having made new friends.” Says Jane Pipes-Parisi, volunteer coordinator.   

Enthusiastic and motivated volunteers are needed for setting up and breaking down the Regatta Village, merchandise sales at the Regatta Village and at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club, helping out with handing out drinks and food to the volunteers (volunteer care) and driving a water taxi (dinghy license is necessary) more specific jobs include survey takers, hobby photographers and being part of the green team (clean-up crew). Especially during this special 40th edition!  

As lasts year volunteer Yanina Leonettie states: ‘It was an amazing experience to be part of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. I met people from around the world and got to be part of the team that made all possible. I will do it every year if it is possible. To be part of a such a great event and share this experience is a privilege to me!’' 

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is unique in offering a water taxi service to its competitors, sponsored by Sol Petroleum. This accommodates competitors that are anchored out in the Bay or in the Lagoon to get from their sailboat to the onshore venues and back. 

‘I think I’ve been volunteering for roughly 15 years; it might even be a little longer. Volunteering has been a great way to meet people on the island, the diverse knowledge base is incredible, sailors from all over the world, ex marines, retired doctors, notably a retired skydiver that’s been returning for years. I always look forward to seeing them again every year, and every year brings new people into the Regatta, I can honestly say there is never a dull moment. It was great to work with such a vast group of people from all over the world with one common goal - serious fun” states Watertaxi coordinator Travis Shipman. 

Do you want to have the experience of your life? Join this special 40th edition St. Maarten Heineken Regatta! Become a part of the Regatta Team and this unique event and sign up as a volunteer now! 

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.  



SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA) is excited to announce the launch of VISIT St. Maarten/St. Martin 2020. Its yearly upscale destination magazine is distributed in each of the guest rooms of member hotels and other properties throughout the island.

The association and its publisher North South Net (NSN), a boutique custom publishing company specializing in the Caribbean region, made sure VISIT 2020 has a celebratory character as the association turns 50 this year.

VISIT continues to carry on the tradition of informing visitors about all the exciting things to see and do, while presenting a fresh take on the best experiences found throughout St. Maarten/St. Martin. The richly illustrated book highlights local personalities and captures the beauty of the island with captivating photography, engaging stories and valuable information about shopping, dining, activities, attractions, and much more.

To celebrate SHTA’s special 50th birthday, VISIT’s 2020 edition features a special celebratory section highlighting important moments in the island’s history and some of the people who have made a significant impact to the hospitality industry.

“We are very excited with the launch of this latest edition of Visit St. Maarten/St. Martin, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the SHTA and its commitment to the private sector,” says Wyb Meijer, Executive Director of the SHTA. “With their vast knowledge of our cosmopolitan destination and the personal relationships they have built over the years, NSN is positioned to be a valued strategic partner, providing us with high-quality print and digital products.”

NSN’s award-winning publishing team serves clients throughout the Caribbean, the United States and Latin America. In addition to St. Maarten/St. Martin, the company currently produces print and digital products for Hilton Hotels & Resorts (Caribbean and Latin America Region), Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Antigua & Barbuda, Miami Beach and Naples, Florida.

“We’re honored to have entered into a long-term publishing agreement with the stellar team at the SHTA,” says Garry Duell Jr., of North South Net. “Travelers from around the world are always looking for inspiration and we’re proud to produce high-quality print and digital publications, an app and the Maps supplement for St. Maarten/St. Martin that helps visitors discover the best of the island.”

For more information and the opportunity to be a part of the 2021 edition, please contact Garry Duell at +1 786-501-3434.


Statia investing in machinery and training to support agricultural development

SINT EUSTATIUS - The Public Entity of St. Eustatius has made several investments in 2019 and will make additional investments in 2020 to demonstrate its commitment to the further development of the agricultural sector on the island.

New machinery was purchased and will be used to provide direct support for local farmers. Putting the plan into full effect requires that persons are trained how to operate the new equipment. The Directorate of Economy, Nature and Infrastructure (ENI) has identified five persons who will follow training from Wednesday January 22nd until Saturday January 26th on operating the new government owned machinery.

An expert from the USA will give the training. A brand new 2019 specs tractor with the required attachments was purchased so that the farmers could have adequate machinery to produce. In the past, one of the biggest bottlenecks for farmers was inadequate machinery.

Machines were either not working or were nonexistent. Farmers were therefore unable to produce consistently. The goal of the Public Entity St. Eustatius is to give assurance and a commitment to agriculture on St. Eustatius.

Another important investment was made in the purchase of a baler. Having this equipment allows the Unit of Veterinary Service the possibility to bale and resell fodder to the farmers. It is planned for the Unit of Veterinary Service to start manufacturing fodder locally.

Fodder is food for livestock better known as animal feed. “We have also looked into the aspect of roaming animals, as farmers have indicated that the reasons animals roam is due to the lack of water and adequate feeding.

So, to combat this we have also invested into grass seeds to replenish the grass in certain areas”, says Anthony Reid Director of ENI.


Special Unit Robberies investigating spate of weekend robberies

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Special Robbery Unit is currently investigating three armed robberies which took place at different supermarkets on the A.Th. Illidge on Saturday afternoon January 17th around 1.30 pm.

According to the information received from the detectives who were dispatched to the scenes, two (2) male suspects both about 5’6 tall, and thin appeared on a black scooter by all the three supermarkets and robbed each one in a very short time span, police said on Monday.

The driver of the scooter stayed outside on the bike, while the second suspect robbed the establishments.

The suspect who went into the supermarkets, was brandishing a fire arm. He threatened the cashiers and forced them to hand over the day’s earnings.

After receiving an undisclosed amount of money from all the supermarkets, the robbers fled the scene on the scooter in the direction of Dutch Quarter.  

Police are asking the community for any information that possibly would lead to the arrest of these culprits.

The detectives can be contacted via phone at 542-2222 ext 203 204 205, the anonymous tip line # 9300 or persons with information can also send a private message via our Facebook Page- Police Force of Sint Maarten - Korps Politie Sint Maarten or website 24/7. (KPSM)



SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On January 15, 2020, The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (MECYS) bid Mrs. Glenderlin Davis farewell after over three decades of service. She spent 36 years in the Education sector and the last eight as the head of the Division of Public Education (DPE). She began her career on August 11st 1983 and left the Division of Education on December 31st, 2019.

Mrs. Davis has always been a hands-on leader and solution oriented. The true testament to her legacy is how much the students she’s worked with love her. Throughout her career, her focus remained on offering her students at the Oranje School the best educational experience she could for the 23 years God entrusted thousands of students in her care.

Up to today, it warms her heart when she meets up her students. When she cannot remember them right away, she simply asks them to smile or just give her a little reminder. Her love for seeing children grow from strength regardless of their economic or social circumstance gives her a satisfaction that cannot be explained in words.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport wishes Mrs. Davis all the best with her new position as director of the Jubilee Library.



SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Get Up Stand Up Festival fuses food, arts and reggae to raise awareness about social justice and equality on Saturday, February 8th, 2020 with a tribute to the honorable Robert Nesta Marley, aka Bob Marley, for a powerful night of reverence, livity, peace, and unity - expanding consciousness through music, food, and Irie vibes. 

The Marley surname perpetuates Jamaican royalty, resonates with world-wide recognition and represents the pioneer of a cultural, political and social revolution. Reggae Icon and Legend Bob Marley blessed the world with his timeless, brilliant and message filled sound which continues to inspire and influence audiences today. With such a living past, Bob Marley’s conviction and passion for music unintentionally was passed to the lives of his offspring and has allowed the Marley name to remain relevant amongst the hierarchy of the reggae sound.

Reggae music, a musical genre now recognized as world heritage music by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), brings together people from all walks of life in the spirit of “One Love” to share in culture and healing.

Get Up Stand Up Festival expresses our hopes and dreams of a world in which what we have in common is far greater than that which divides us. We unify Sint Maarten’s diverse community at this event by highlighting a spiritual sense and reality through reggae music.

Music has always had the power to unite and inspire humanitarianism. "The Get Up Stand Up Festival takes it to the top, offering the highest quality of performance, socio-political ambiance, and service to community available anywhere. Past years have featured the likes of Queen Ifrica, I-Wayne, Mutabaruka, Fantan Mojah, Ras Takura, and Luciano to name a few. 

This year Get Up Stand Up Festival is headlined by Ky-Mani Marley, Jamaican artist and reggae royalty. He is the only child of table tennis champion Anita Belnavis and music and cultural icon Bob Marley. Being exposed to an urban lifestyle, Ky-mani adopted the attitude that all people are equal – no one is above or beneath him. This attitude has become the motto for the way he lives his life today. Humble. Soft-Spoken. Sincere.

Loyal. Honest. Genuine. These are the makings of Ky-mani Marley, an artist with no limits. Incorporating world music, hip hop, blues, rock, and a grassroots sound into his music, the end product his pure representation of life. His sound is one that transcends cultural lines and prohibits him from being categorized as only a reggae artist. His raw, unadulterated, gruff sound captures the listener and reverberates the essence of his life story.

Also performing from the Dominican Republic; Amara La Negra, the embodiment of today’s woman, created with a hint of the past and a twist of tomorrow. Self-described as eccentric, vibrant, and ambitious, Amara draws inspiration from music legends Celia Cruz and Beyoncé. The break-out star of Love & Hip Hop: Miami, Amara is a Dominican-American entrepreneur, recording artist, dancer, spokesperson, philanthropist, model, and actor who sheds light on the challenges of navigating the entertainment industry as an Afro-Latina.

Performing from the beautiful island of Anguilla, Omari Banks, found his musical calling at a young age when he first took the stage in Milan, Italy to sing alongside his father Bankie Banx. Finding his inspiration through an eclectic genre of music, Omari perfected his craft by writing and becoming a proficient guitar player.

In 2003, he became the first Anguillan to play test cricket for the West Indies. He went to travel the world for twelve years as a professional athlete, but despite his success in sports, Omari never lost his passion for music. In 2010, he made the decision to move on and pursue his passion for music. With a lifetime of experiences and life lessons, he immersed himself in songwriting and perfecting his musicianship and has dedicated himself to his music since then.

Closing out the lineup from Sint Maarten are Ku-J, Shawn J, La-Vaune Henry, and Kisha Richards. Coming over from Saba are Thaddeus Nicholson and the One Blood Band to pulse through the crowd, raising the vibration as Mix Master Pauly and Spirit Man from Zion Gates Sound maintains the positive vibes throughout the night. Visual art displayed echoes sentiments felt throughout the human experience while plant-based and cruelty-free dishes complement the compassionate atmosphere. 

Founder, Roland “Bushman” Joe, says:” The festival started with an obligation to do something good, and to affect people positively. The ways in which we can have a positive effect are limitless. By working together, we transform communities, our environment and ourselves, being a part of the how and why, remembering that many hands lighten the load”.

Get Up Stand Up Festival takes place on Saturday, February 8, 2020, from 5 pm at the Festival Village, Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. Tickets start at $35 in advance for entry. Get Up Stand Up Festival is family-friendly; children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets are available online at

Team Legendary is a dedicated and accomplished group of fine arts, entertainment, international relations, marketing, media and production professionals who together pool their expertise to create cultural events unlike any other.

As a leading provider of live entertainment in the U.S., our services range from event management and programming to booking first-rate performing artists and developing effective campaigns. Our team’s unparalleled skill in creating new experiences with a social impact, demonstrates how creative people use their efforts to solve problems.

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