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Dauphin Telecom continues Communication Partnership with the Caribbean Foiling Championships 2021

SAINT-MARTIN (ORIENT BAY BEACH) - Dauphin Telecom teamed up for the second year with the Caribbean Foiling Championships as Communication Partner of the event. Dauphin Telecom Data Network will be used to live track all competitors during the 3 racing days (December 10-12, 2021).

“Foiling is an extreme sport, nowadays foilers are capable of reaching speeds of over 40 knots (74km/h). It can be challenging to keep an eye on everybody, especially during the Round the Island Race. The number one priority is that all competitors are safe on the water and that is why we teamed up with Dauphin telecom. They are our Communication Partner and their network is key in tracking all competitors!” says Maxim van den Pol (Organizer of the Caribbean Foiling Championships).

To keep everybody safe while racing around the island the organization took several safety precautions. A part from a mandatory helmet and a Personal Flotation Device, competitors are bound to stay within 2 miles of the shore. There will be safety boats placed on strategic points and gates for the competitors to pass through.

In addition, the competitors are required to carry a tracking device. This will be in the form of an application that competitors will be able to download on their smartphone. To be able to follow the participants, a GPS signal must be sent. Dauphin Telecom partner in Communications of the event offers the solution. All participants receive a Dauphin Telecom SIM card with the required amount of data. On top of that all competitors receive a waterproof case to keep their phone dry while racing.

‘Thanks to the reliable network of Dauphin Telecom, we now know where all racers are at all times. It is nice to see how an innovative sport embraces the use of modern technology. Not only does it does it keep our competitors safe but live tracking gives them valuable insight on their performance!, says Sacha van der Wouden (Organizer Caribbean Foiling Championships).

The Dauphin Telecom SIM cards, data and waterproof phone cases will be given to the participants during registration on Thursday 8 December from 9-5PM.

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Satel presents new directory, calendar

SABA (THE BOTTOM) - Local customers of the Saba Telecommunications Company Satel NV and Saba fans abroad can look forward to the new telephone directory and 2022 calendar which will become available by the end of this week. The directory and calendar were officially presented to the Executive Council on Tuesday, November 30.

Every two years, Satel NV publishes a new local directory with photos taken by Saba residents on its cover that show the island’s uniqueness. “We always use photos on the cover that are typically Saban,” said Satel’s Customer Care Supervisor and Administrative Assistant Sonya Johnson, who presented the directory and calendar to the members of the Executive Council, including Commissioner of Telecommunications Rolando Wilson. The new directory also has Satel’s 45th anniversary on the cover.

Unique photos

The 2022 calendar, published yearly, contains 12 unique photos by 8 resident photographers, the youngest one being secondary school student Jose Rodriquez. A photo of a Saba anole by Lonneke Schut was selected as the cover photo. Also on the calendar are two photos by Island Council Member Esmeralda Johnson. The other photographers are Nina Pederson, Angelita Peterson, Cassandra Holm, Danielle Dunlop and Johan Schaeffer. All winners receive a gift bag from Satel NV.

“We hope to inspire people, motivate them to keep taking photos, capturing the uniqueness of Saba throughout the year. And, I am very happy to see that children are getting into taking photos,” said Johnson.

Popular

The directory and calendar are not only popular among residents, but are also highly appreciated by Sabans living abroad and by people that regularly visit the island. “A number of directories and calendars go abroad. That is good PR for Saba,” said Johnson.

A total of 1,500 directories and 850 calendars are available. When customers come in to pay their bill at Satel NV, they will receive a new directory and calendar. The directory was printed in St. Martin by Prim Services and the calendar in the United States by Printing Center USA. Sonya Johnson thanked all photographers for submitting their photos and Malachy Multi Media for the assistance with the lay-out.

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Boat Owners and Operators of Commercial Vessels in Caribbean Netherlands will Require New License

SABA/SINT EUSTATIUS - The Harbour masters of Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Saba, and the Netherlands Shipping Inspectorate Caribbean Netherlands (NSI-CN) would like to inform boat owners and operators of local commercial operating vessels operating under article 41b of the regulation seagoing vessels, the so-called Annex 6 vessels, will require a new license.

As from January 1st, 2022, the new Seafarers regulation will come into force. The implication of this new regulation for the Annex 6 vessels is the requirement for a Boat master grade 3 license.

As indicated in personal- and group meetings, this requirement has a 3-year phase in period. That means that from January 1st, 2025, every Annex 6 vessel needs to have, at least, one person with a Boat master grade 3 license onboard.

The new regulation is published in The Government Gazette and available on the Internet (Google -> stcrt-2021-38007). (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

SEU Harbor

Sint Eustatius Harbour

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Inaugural Makana ferry service marks historic moment

SABA/STATIA—Saba and St. Eustatius together celebrated a historic moment with the inaugural of the Makana ferry service on Sunday, November 28.

Statia Government officials came to Saba on board of the ferry in the morning hours and after the customary speeches, the tokens of appreciation and a prayer, the Public Entities St. Eustatius and Saba and ferry operator Blues and Blues signed the Public Service Obligation (PSO) sealing the commitment for the new ferry service which will greatly add to the connectivity of the two islands.  

Joint venture

“For the past year-and-a-half, the Public Entities St. Eustatius and Saba worked closely together to make this service a reality. By working together in this joint venture, we made an effort to understand each other’s needs and concerns. We understood that each one’s success depended on the effort of the other. Together we held up the sky so we both could reap the reward,” said Statia Government Commissioner Alida Francis, who came to Saba with a group of 25 invited guests from St. Eustatius.

Travel possibilities

“This morning, we welcome the Makana ferry to Saba and officially inaugurate a pilot project that will improve connectivity between Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten, and eventually to St. Kitts.

This ferry project, which is subsidized by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW), has been in the pipeline for several months. Now that we are in a position to finally start this new service will enhance our affordable travel possibilities between our sister islands, while providing a much-needed boost to our tourism product and our economy,” said Saba Commissioner of Infrastructure, Harbor Affairs and Tourism Bruce Zagers in his speech.

Great results

Both Zagers and Francis said that through the new ferry service, Saba and St. Eustatius were building a solid foundation for future cooperation. “This project is a good example of how our islands can work together. Too often we miss the opportunities where we can collaborate to achieve great results like this ferry project. It is wonderful to see such a large Statia delegation to join us in making this historic project official,” said Zagers.

“The pandemic has taught us that while we may be different, we do have much more in common and that we do need each other. We can picture the interaction among our peoples, the exchange of cultures, the increasing in inter-island sporting activities, Statians escaping to Saba for long weekends and vice versa. Most importantly, we are granted the opportunity to visit family and friends at an affordable rate,” said Francis. She added that the collaboration between the two islands should also include tackling the challenge we both face in securing reliable, affordable and sustainable airlift.

Promotional opportunities

“This has been a collaborative process between Saba and St. Eustatius,” said Saba’s Director of Tourism Malinda Hassell, who acted as the MC for the event. She noted that having a stable and affordable ferry service like the Makana also opened more promotional opportunities for tourism.

Zagers praised the joint working group for its commitment to see the ferry project through. “To the many persons and stakeholders from Saba, St. Eustatius and the Netherlands who have been involved throughout the entire process, the realization of this much-needed service is a result of your efforts and commitment. We are very thankful.”

Success

Samuel “Blues” Connor of Blues and Blues, the company from Anguilla that operates the Makana, has been coming to Saba with his cargo vessels Mutty’s Pride and Captain Chrissy for more than two decades, Commissioner Zagers pointed out. “It was only two years ago that Blues received a Saba Day award, acknowledging his commitment to Saba. Knowing the relationship and commitment that we have experienced over the years with this operator, we can feel confident that this new ferry service will be a success,” said Zagers.

“It is a pleasure to be here once again with my new product. I am part of Saba and St. Eustatius and together, we will make this a success,” said Connor, who praised his family that works at his company for making the new ferry service happen.

The Makana crew and Government Commissioner Francis received a token of appreciation during the inaugural ceremony. After the signing of the PSO agreement by Saba Island Governor Jonathan Johnson, Statia Government Commissioner Francis and Connor of Blues and Blues, and a blessing of the vessel by Pastor Mervin Alexander, the Makana made two trips around Saba, first with invited guests and then with the general public. The Makana left in the afternoon for St. Eustatius.

SGIS Commissioner Francis gets off Makana ferryStatia Government Commissioner Alida Francis and Island Council Member Adelka Spanner disembarking from the Makana on Sunday morning.

SGIS Saba authorities with Makana crewSaba authorities with the Makana crew at the Fort Bay harbor.

SGIS Public boarding Makana on inaugural 01The general public boarding the Makana for a boat ride around Saba.

SGIS Commissioner Zagers at Makanas bridgeSaba Commissioner Bruce Zagers (right) visited the Makana bridge.

 

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Legal proceedings underway in fight to reclaim Sunset Building

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - Legal proceedings got underway on Monday, November 24 in which the owners of Paradise Real Estate N.V. will fight to reclaim the Sunset Building which in their opinion was wrongfully auctioned on October 30, 2019.  

The property was auctioned off because it was ruled that Paradise Real Estate (PRE) N.V., had failed to pay $1,317,647 in debts to Scotiabank. The property had a market value of approximately US $4 million and an auction value of $2,240,000.

Paradise Real Estate (PRE) N.V plans on presenting a strong case about wrongdoings and unethical actions by Scotiabank that led to the building being auctioned. The company plan on clearly showing that the picture painted around payments is far from accurate and what the public was told.

As part of its case, Paradise Real Estate (PRE) N.V intend to get testimony from former bank employees and executives to discuss what was established bank procedures. It was not appropriate, the company argued, that it didn’t receive ample opportunities to reveal to the public what really happened that led to the auction of the building.

The company said hundreds of thousands of dollars was lost with the wrongful auction of the Sunset Building, a venue that they put their heart and souls into. When these things happen, they continued, “people are expected to accept and not fight for what’s right. There are things you must challenge especially when wrong is done against you,” PRE said.  

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K1 Britannia’s 8th Christmas Angels Program starts this weekend!

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) -The K1 Britannia Foundation initiated the Christmas Angels Program 8 years ago with the intention to support vulnerable groups and local organizations during this time of the year. The program has seen the local community come out year after year to make Christmas special and memorable for a child, teenager, adult or elderly. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, K1 is once again spreading the tradition of giving throughout the island of St. Maarten via the program.

Two large Christmas trees will be filled with hundreds of little angels which were all hand made with love by the program’s recipients. The angels represent a foster child or youth, a Sr. Basilia Center or District Nursing client at White and Yellow Cross Care Foundation, a Mental Health Foundation client, a UJIMA member, a child at the Transitional Shelter and Player Development SXM, or other underprivileged children who need some extra love this Christmas.

K1 Britannia Foundation and its volunteers will be at the Government Administration Building on Pond Island from Friday, December 3rd, to Monday, December 6th, from 9:00am to 6:00pm. You can pass by, choose a special angel, buy a gift for the person it represents, and in return, you get to keep the little angel as a gift from that person – a perfect ornament to treasure!

Over the past 8 years, thousands of gifts have been given to the most vulnerable of our community and individuals, families, and companies have been supportive and instrumental in the success of the program thus far. For recipients of the gifts each holiday season, it’s meaningful and impactful that someone is thinking and valuing them.
The K1 Britannia Foundation believes that it is in giving that we receive. Join the program this Christmas and feel the impact one single act can have on the most vulnerable in our community.

For more information about the program and how individuals, groups or companies can be a part of it, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call +1(721) 553-8186/ +1(721)543-3332 or send a message to the foundation on Facebook or Instagram @K1SXM.

1 20201205 Christmas Angels Day 3 94 2

Mother and son selects an angel from the Christmas tree as part of the program. 

 

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Two New Positive COVID-19 cases on Saturday. 20 Active Cases

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - As of November 27th, there were two (2) persons who tested positive for COVID-19; however, two (2) persons have recovered; bringing the total active cases to twenty (20). The total number of confirmed cases remains at four thousand five hundred seventy-five (4575).

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS) are monitoring twenty (20) people in home isolation. Zero (0) patients are hospitalized at the St. Maarten Medical Center. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 remains at seventy-five (75).

The number of people recovered since the first case surfaced on St. Maarten has increased to four thousand four hundred eighty (4480). Nine (9) people are in quarantine based on contact tracing investigations carried out by CPS.

The total number of persons tested is 68,695.

As the numbers continue to fluctuate, CPS will continue to actively execute its contact tracing measures.

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DCNA Provides Platform for Youth Engagement in Nature Conservation During Symposium Held in Curaçao. The Future of Nature Conservation Looks Bright

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - A group of engaged teens and young adults had the opportunity to discuss youth engagement in nature conservation and nature education during the Youth and Nature Education Symposium organized by the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) as part of their annual convention.

Youth Participation

One of the priorities for DCNA and its member organizations is to engage the youth in their work of safeguarding nature in the Dutch Caribbean. After a successful Junior Rangers Exchange held during the DCNA convention of 2019, the expectations for this year’s symposium were high. DCNA chairlady, Mrs. Hellen van der Wal firmly believes that “the younger generation has a future today. They have a voice, and we should listen more to them”.

The youth symposium that recently took place during the DCNA convention focused on nature education and the 2030 Agenda. A total of seventeen participants between the ages of fifteen and twenty-three had the opportunity to strategize and discuss how they would like to see nature conservation develop on their islands, how they would like to see their governments committing more to nature conservation, and how they see their lives and livelihoods impacted by climate change.

Thorough Preparation

Before discussing the topics at hand and preparing the conclusions, the participants went through a preparation stage that lasted three months. They learned more about the environment in general, the Sustainable Development Goals and further developed their debating skills. The specific topics that they prepared to discuss were the environment in general, life under water, climate change, and nature education.

Symposium Program

The participants were welcomed by Sietske van der Wal, representing Aruba National Parks Foundation. The keynote speech that followed was delivered by Dahlia Hassell-Knijff, projects officer at DCNA who started her career in nature conservation as a Saba youth ranger since the age of seven. After a keynote conversation led by Mr. Elton Villareal, the youth participants got the opportunity to present their conclusions to Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, patron of the DCNA. 

The Way Forward

There was marked interests amongst the audience for the various perspectives brought forward by the participants. They came up with three propositions: an awareness campaign, a movement to clean up the island on a weekly basis ('Cleaning Sundays'), and a youth council for matters regarding the environment.

Mr. Tadzio Bervoets, director of the DCNA, wrapped up the afternoon concluding that "the future of nature conservation looks exceedingly bright".

“The youth is generally very eager to learn and after witnessing today’s discussions and presentation, we are particularly driven to prepare an inspiring and educational program for them next year.”, says Achsah Mitchell from St. Eustatius National Parks. The next official engagement with the youth will take place in March 2022 in St. Eustatius.

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Work progresses at Botanical Garden, opens next year

SABA (THE BOTTOM) - Works are moving ahead at the Botanical Garden in the Windwardside. A fence has been put up around the property to keep goats and other roaming animals out, a trail has been created and the propagation house, a plant and tree nursery, is under construction.

Remaining work before the Botanical Garden can open next year includes the placing of information signs about the trees and plants, the installing of benches and picnic tables, the construction of an outdoor kitchen, and an area for orchids and herbal medicine plants. Placing a fence around the 8,400 square meter property was necessary to keep out the goats, rabbits and chicken so they don’t eat the seedlings and saplings that are being planted. The Botanical Garden project is carried out by the Saba Conservation Foundation (SCF) with funding of the Public Entity Saba.

Natural state

The Botanical Garden will only have local plants and trees, and will be kept in its natural state as much as possible. Visitors will be able to see fruit trees such as guava, mango, Suriname cherries, banana, cashew, soursop, breadfruit, rough skin lemon, mammee apple, as well as the moringa tree, the cacao tree and the cedar tree. A number of the trees and plants are already located in what used to be a farm area until the 1970s. People will be able to experience the farm-to-table concept. At the outdoor kitchen, traditional food will be cooked, using the produce from the Botanical Garden.

A trail now loops through the Botanical Garden connecting with both the Trail Shop and the Museum grounds. The property originally belonged to the Arnold family which donated the land to the SCF in 2017. SCF Director Kai Wulf explained that the intention is to point out and educate locals and tourists alike about the historical, traditional and medicinal significance of the local flora displayed in the garden. Anna Keene and Tom van ’t Hof have advised on the setup of the new attraction for Saba.

Great addition

Commissioner Bruce Zagers recently visited the Botanical Garden. Together with policy advisor Nicole Johnson and Director of Tourism Malinda Hassell, he was given a tour by Wulf. The Botanical Garden will be a great addition both for residents and visitors, said Commissioner Zagers. He pointed out that the garden will make it possible for persons who find the regular trails too strenuous to get acquainted with Saba’s nature.

The Botanical Garden will open for the general public in the course of next year. In the future, people can book the Botanical Garden for events. Local artist Heleen Cornet will have an event on February 22, 2022 whereby 22 of her famous rainforest paintings will be displayed throughout the Botanical Garden.

Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands and SCF Board member Nicole Johnson unveiled a sign depicting the various plants and trees at the Botanical Garden in December 2019.

Botanical Garden tour 01

 

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Saba Wahoo Food Fest Nov. 29 - Dec. 11

SABA (THE BOTTOM) - Eight restaurants on Saba will be participating in the first-ever Wahoo Food Fest which takes place from November 29 to December 11.

In view of the wahoo season and the popular Saba Day Wahoo tournament, the Saba Tourism Bureau came up with the idea to organize a food fest that involves the island’s restaurants with a wahoo related dish. This is the first time that the Wahoo Food Fest is held. In the past, the popular Saba Restaurant Week was organized several times.

The Wahoo Food Fest takes place from Nov 29 – Dec 11 in order to give everyone time to enjoy and savor one of the many dishes. Wahoo is a fish that is caught in the waters surrounding Saba. The Saba Wahoo Food Fest takes place during the wahoo fishing season. Saba is well-known for its Saba Day Fishing Tournament which this year will be on December 4.

Eight restaurants will be participating with a wahoo related dish: Angelina’s Restaurant, Bottom Bean Café, Chez Bubba Bistro, The Hideaway Restaurant, Island Flavor, Long Haul Grill, Rendezvous Ecolodge and Tropics café. Follow @Saba Tourist Bureau to view the dishes that are being offered the coming week.

Director of Tourism Malinda Hassell thanked all participating restaurants in making this a successful event. “We invite you to enjoy the wahoo season and to come and support our food fest,” said Hassell.

Wahoo Food Fest ins1

 

 

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