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College or University 101 workshop set for August 23 for students/parents

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Student Support Services Division (SSSD) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport is organizing a free workshop entitled “College or University 101: The United States and Canadian Systems” on Thursday, August 23, 2018.

This event will be held at the University of St. Martin, Room 202, from 5:00 P.M. to 7:15 P.M.

Students in their last two years of secondary school or recent graduates who are interested in studying in the United States of America (USA) or Canada are invited to come and get the information needed.

Parents are also invited to attend this free and interactive workshop which aims to ensure that attendants walk away with a better understanding of the U.S. and Canadian college and university educational systems.

The workshop will be conducted by SSSD’s Career Guidance Counselor and will be covering aspects from the first year, where key differences in comparison to our own educational system need to be addressed, to the last year of college or university. Some social aspects will also be addressed.

Persons interested in attending this workshop on August 23, 2018 are urged to contact SSSD at Tel: 543-1235 should they have any questions. Come out and ensure that you have all of the necessary information as you make a choice in where you will pursue tertiary education.  Persons are also urged to be on time.

The Student Support Services Division provides many services to students and their parents. These services include career guidance services, psychological services, educational diagnostic services, social work services, counseling services, speech language pathology service. SSSD also provides various programs including support groups for parents and free educational/informational workshops for parents. 

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Man arrested by ALPHA Team at airport

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - On Friday August 17th, 2018 at approximately 3:10 P.M. a young man with initials J.R.J.A. was arrested by the Alpha Team at the Princes Juliana International Airport, police said on Sunday. 

J.R.J.A. was attempting to leave the island while a warrant for his arrest was issued by the detective department.

J.R.J.A. was involved in an altercation during the last weekend in the Simpson Bay area with a group of young men. Several persons were injured during this altercation.

Once arrested J.R.J.A. was immediately transported to the police headquarters where he remains in police custody for further investigation. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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BPW Concordia recognizes Humanitarian day 2018

ST. MARTIN (MARIGOT) - "All of our Humanity is dependent upon recognizing the Humanity in others."

“World Humanitarian Day is a day dedicated to recognize Humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for Humanitarian causes,” Business Professional Women’s (BPW) organization of Concordia said on Sunday in a press statement.

“BPW International’s theme for the next triennium is: "Empowering Women to realize the SDG's (sustainable development goals). They are set by the United Nations in 2015 to cover social, and economic development issues.

“We have consultative status with the UN for over 70 years. We also collaborate with our affiliates, with a multitude of UN agencies and NGO's around the world.

“Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom.

“BPW Concordia sees it fit to mark this very important day because not only we develop the professional, leadership and business potential of Women, but we also advocate for human rights.”

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All-in-with WIB this Saturday

COLE BAY - Visit WIB @ Motorworld’s Hot Summer Car Show on Saturday 18 August at the Motorworld Showroom on Welfare road from 8 am to 6 pm.  

WIB loves Car shows to give you the best offers - Car Show drop-rate special.  

Double Fun Miles earned with every approved loan (see attached “Fun miles Bank Services earned”) and Form to reward Fun Miles earned with WIB Loan Services (see attached: “Fun Miles Earned1”)

WIN 25,000 Fun Miles - Fun Miles is giving a lucky applicant 25,000 fun mile points for applying by WIB.

WIN a Free T-shirt for Rio Productions Lighted Parade 2018 by applying.  (while supplies last).

Fun games and giveaways

Like our promotion on these Facebook pages:

  • Fun Miles     
  • Rio Productions
  • WIB Windward Islands Bank
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Canadian Ben Smith named new head of Air France-KLM

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Benjamin Smith, the current COO of Air Canada, was named the new head of troubled Air France- KLM airline alliance on Thursday evening, the airline said in a statement.

Smith, 46, is credited with much of the economic development of Air Canada and the transformation of the carrier into its present position. ´Smith has been deeply involved in social dialogue at Air Canada.

He personally oversaw, along with the human resources division, the collective bargaining talks with trade unions. These negotiations led to historic win-win long-term agreements for the airline, its workforce, and all other stakeholders,’ the statement noted.

The combine’s Air France unit has had very poor relations with its staff for some time now and lost upwards of €400m from strikes earlier this year.

The appointment of Smith closes the gap created by the resignation of Jean-Marc Janaillac as CEO after his latest pay-and-conditions proposal was rejected by striking Air France pilots in early May.

Smith joined Air Canada 19 years ago after leaving university. A French speaker, he has held many positions at the Canadian carrier. (DutchNews)

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SMDF Hands Over Homes to Seniors

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - It was a great day in St. Peters as the St. Maarten Development Fund (SMDF) and the Dutch Ministry of Kingdom and Interior Relations (BZK) officially presented two newly constructed and renovated homes to Ernest Roumou and Esther Kivilier respectively.

On hand for the handovers were Robert-Jan der Wilde of the Office of the Dutch Representative in Philipsburg, SMDF Managing Director Keith Franca and Chairlady of SMDF’s Supervisory Board Richelda Emmanuel. At the small handover ceremony, the representatives of both organizations welcomed the two seniors to their new accommodations.

For St. Peters stalwart, Ernest ‘Sugarboy’ Roumou, it was a day to enter a brand-new home after 11 months of temporary living. Hurricane Irma’s winds completed destroyed the home and left nothing but foundation and rubble where a house once stood. The destruction sent the 85-year-old to the Festival Village, the Little League Stadium and later the Transitional Residential Facility.

Receiving his newly constructed concrete home, Roumou was visibly emotional. As the appreciative senior took in the day, he quietly thanked those responsible for his new home. Citing his many years of championing St. Peters, Chairlady of SMDF’s Supervisory Board Richelda Emmanuel thanked Roumou for his unwavering dedication to calling out for positive change in his community.

Similarly, SMDF Managing Director Keith Franca shared that it was a proud moment for the project to handover a new home to a person that had resided in the same home as long as Roumou did.

Just around the corner from Roumou, Esther Kivilier was settling in nicely to her newly renovated home. One of St. Peter’s oldest residents, Kivilier was all smiles as she welcomed her visitors.

The 94-year old who was brought to SMDF’s attention by the Department of Community Affairs, had been living in her home for decades and was in need of renovation assistance. Through SMDF’s Elderly Project, she was able to have her house adjusted to her needs.

On behalf of the Dutch Government, Robert-Jan der Wilde welcomed the seniors to their homes. “We hope that your homes will be a place of comfort, where you can feel safe and without worry,” said de Wilde.

In his remarks to the small group, Franca reiterated SMDF’s dedication to supporting seniors and thanked the Government of the Netherlands for making the funds available for the project. Additionally, he also extended thanks to the Joseph Dollison, the Technical Supervisor of the Housing component of the Elderly Project as well as the two contractors responsible for the projects Main Road Construction and Roland Arrindell.

Thus far, SMDF has completed works to 40 homes, including 7 new concrete homes. In the coming two months, the Fund will be executing works to 28 homes. Of these 28 homes, 6 will be new fully concrete structures.

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COCI Seeks Public Discussion about the reduction of commercial interest rates

PHILIPSBURG – The St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI) is seeking a public discussion with respect to the reduction of interest rates. COCI prepared a ‘White Paper’ for discussion and sent it to various stakeholders as unsolicited advice.

Stanley Lint, President of the Board of COCI, said it was an important issue and the premise to the ‘White Paper’ was after the passing of hurricane Irma, where local financial institutions offered their clients certain breaks such as zero interest rate grace periods on loan and mortgage facilities; bridging financing, and unsecured loans at a concessionary term rate of four per cent for business and personal loan clients; due to the devastation caused by Irma. The financial institutions foresaw the challenges that their clientele would experience in the weeks and months thereafter.

“As Chamber of Commerce and Industry, we believe it is our duty to provide ‘Thought Leadership’ for the benefit of the development of the economy and society of Sint Maarten,” Lint pointed out.

He further adds that this is a first initiative, “…for which we hope we will receive broad-based support from society at large, and the relevant socio-economic stakeholders and their representatives in particular.

“It is intended to create public awareness and start a healthy debate about ways to stimulate and guide the sustainable post-Irma economic development of Sint Maarten in the broadest sense of the word.”

Lint adds that the paper in no way is meant to be exhaustive, complete, or conclusive, and is merely intended as a starting point for a dialogue which will hopefully lead to concrete actions and results on the short-term, and a win-win situation for all stakeholders in the medium to long term.

COCI has taken note of the relief measures that commercial banks implemented and wishes to explore the possibility of further stimulating the sustainable economic development of Sint Maarten by having commercial interest rates reduced across the board for a certain period of time.

Sections covered in the ‘White Paper’ are: Introduction and background; The Central Bank of Curacao and Sint Maarten (History, Role, structure and functioning); Monetary and foreign exchange policy; Sint Maarten’s economic development: monetary proposals, policies, and initiatives 2010-2017; The potential effects of the reserve requirement instrument; Interest rate reductions in a Caribbean context; and Request/proposal to the CBCS.

“The COCI aims to achieve this by first of all having consultations about this initiative with all relevant stakeholders. These consultations are required to ensure a responsible, well-prepared, and broad-based approach that will be beneficial to all parties involved in the long term.

“The consultations will include the Central Bank of Curacao and Sint Maarten (CBCS) in its capacity of financial supervisory and regulatory authority of the current monetary union between Curacao and Sint Maarten,” according to the introduction of the ‘White Paper.’

The ‘White Paper’ further states in its conclusion, “The COCI is aware of the many local and international parameters and circumstances that need to be taken into account and weighed by the CBCS when it comes to applying monetary policy instruments, like the reserve requirement percentage.

“As indicated and taking the contents of this paper and the underlying sources into account, the COCI believes that adding a temporary (indirect) reduction of the interest rates on Sint Maarten to its policy mix should be urgently considered and researched by the CBCS and the commercial banks.

“Ad indicated, the objective should be mitigating the effects of hurricane Irma and giving an additional impulse to the economic development of the island and potentially the monetary union of Curacao and Sint Maarten in general.”

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BIP SXM attends C.O.C.I business orientation

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Chamber of Commerce Sint Maarten (Chamber) has started an initiative for newly registered businesses called the ‘business orientation’. With this project Chamber aims to assist entrepreneurs with basic know how’s for doing business on Sint Maarten. 

The Director of Chamber, Mr. Baker, states: “At Chamber we want to do our part in building a sustainable future for Sint Maarten. The only way we can achieve that is by ensuring that businesses continue to operate past their startup phase. It usually takes 3 to 5 years to make a business profitable.

“Not knowing all the basic rules for registering a business on Sint Maarten can lead to non-compliance, not only at the tax administration but also at the USZV, the economic license department and the labour office etc, and shut down of one’s business during the first years of operating.

“The objective of the business orientation is to direct entrepreneurs to the relevant offices in order to finalize the ‘proper’ set up of one’s business and thus creating a more solid foundation for success.”

On Monday August 13th, the Bureau for Intellectual Property (the Bureau) attended the business orientation at Chamber in order to gain more insight on the requirements for doing business on Sint Maarten. The Bureau plans to work together with Chamber to inform newly registered businesses about intellectual property rights. 

The Bureau is enthusiastic about the collaboration with Chamber. Although the business orientation mainly focuses on what you have to do as a business owner the Chamber also briefly addresses what you can do in order to create a thriving business. The Bureau's input in the business orientation will be an added value to what you can do with your business. 

The Director of the Bureau, Mrs. Rosen-Sandiford comments: "Besides a business plan, swot analysis and the use of marketing to promote goods and services, entrepreneurs can consider the use of intellectual property as a tool to create (more) wealth.

“One method is the development of one's brand and the subsequent or simultaneous registration of one's trademark. A well-crafted mark is often a decisive tool for the success of any business, especially for a Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) in the market place.''   

Intellectual property services of the Bureau in a broad sense include mainly the registration of national and international trademarks, recordal of ideas, concepts and creations in an i-Envelope, patent registrations via the Patent Bureau in the Netherlands and in general providing information on intellectual property rights, for example copyright.

Both Chamber and the Bureau are excited to add intellectual property rights to the information provided in the business orientation and welcome businesses to attend this orientation free of charge. 

For more information visit us at www.bip.sx and www.chamberofcommerce.sx 

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WEATHER WATCH: Tropical activity could start to increase end of August

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN – Crown Weather reported on Wednesday that the long-range weather model guidance is indicating that there could be an increase in development chances of severe weather in the tropical Atlantic by or around the end of August.

“The GFS model guidance shows lowering barometric pressures across the eastern Atlantic by the end of next week with two very robust areas of disturbed weather pushing westward during the week of August 27.

“In fact, last night's GFS model showed both of these systems becoming tropical cyclones with one of them impacting the Lesser Antilles around August 30.

“The forecast of lowering barometric pressures materializing over the eastern Atlantic is supported by not only the Canadian and European operational models, but also the GFS ensemble and European ensemble guidance.

“This is the first time that I have seen the GFS model start to forecast a tropical cyclone to develop in the tropical Atlantic since Beryl back in early July.

“I think that this is a signal that a pattern change towards a more active period in tropical development is about to happen. This has the support of the background atmosphere state in which the Madden Julian Oscillation will turn favorable for tropical development around late August,” according to Crown Weather on Wednesday.

SOUALIGA NEWSDAY REPORT WEATHER WATCH

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Fourteen new employees at P-Direkt

BONAIRE - P-Direkt Bonaire welcomed fourteen new colleagues on 1 August 2018. The new colleagues will follow an employee contact center training through the vocational guidance course (BBL).

The MBO 3 work and study trajectory lasts two years and is offered by Scholengemeenschap Bonaire (SGB).

P-Direkt provides HR services to the national government. With the work and study route, P-Direkt wants to further strengthen the quality of its services.

P-Direkt wishes the new employees and course participants the best of luck during their learning trajectory. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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