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Curacao, Aruba and Sint Maarten have Successful Tripartite Meeting

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Delegations from the Parliaments of Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten met today for a Tripartite discussion. The goal of today’s meeting was to prepare for the Interparliamentary Kingdom Consultation (IPKO) as well as discuss topics of mutual interest. 

Among the topics discussed were, Constitutional Court; Dispute settlement; Current relations within the Kingdom; situation in Venezuela; Collaboration Immigration service of Sint Maarten with the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee and handling immigration in general via ferry; Collaboration in the field of Education more specifically the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate. The meeting was deemed to have been very successful. 

After the meeting, members of the delegations along with Members of the Parliament of Sint Maarten who were present as observers, posed for a group photograph.  

The Interparliamentary Kingdom Consultations, will commence tomorrow, January 8, 2018 at 10:00 am with the opening and welcome address by the Chairlady of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams and a short speech by each delegation leader.  

TheInterparliamentary Kingdom Consultations session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 115, the audio via the internet www.sxmparliament.orgwww.pearlfmradio.com and Parliament’s Facebook page: Parliament of Sint Maarten.

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Former MP authors Draft Motion 2019 about who is a Sint Maartener

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Former President and Member of Parliament Rodolphe Samuel on Sunday sent a draft motion to the media with respect to who is a Sint Maartener.

Samuel starts his motion with: “Since 10 10 10 some things have changed in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 

“Those include:

  • (1)The non-existence of the Antillean House
  • (2)Persons born in one the Islands of the former Netherlands Antilles cannot be called Antilleans.  
  • (3)In Holland the Antillean House has been replaced by Curacao House and Sint Maarten House. 
  • (4)Aruba House came about when the island stepped out of the Netherlands Antilles and became a country within the Kingdom on January 1st

“The Aruba House is expected to look out for persons from Aruba, the Curacao House for those people from Curacao, while the Sint Maarten House has to work in the best interest of residents from Sint Maarten.

“During this year politics in the Kingdom will pass various motions expressing desires of having things happen in the various communities. However, here on the island, I will like to see a motion pass by the Parliament of Sint Maarten.  

“Such motion should define and or establish who we are talking about in the Kingdom, when it comes to the “Sint Maartener”. In the past, we had policies and programs established geared specifically towards the “Antillean”. 

“In Holland, we even have Municipalities who called themselves Antillean Municipalities. Today some of those programs still exist. However, it is unclear who the programs are targeting. 

“The following motion can be passed in the Parliament of Sint Maarten.

 Draft Motion

“The Parliament of Sint Maarten in its meeting of today, ??? 2019.

CONSIDERING 

  • (1)That since 10-10 -10 the Netherlands Antilles no longer exists
  • (2)That the Antillean House in Holland no longer exists
  • (3)That the Sint Maarten House has been established to represent St. Maarten and its people    
  • (4)That persons born in Sint Maarten after 10- 10- 10 cannot be called Antilleans.

RESOLVES TO:

  • -Have the Government of Sint Maarten do the necessary to declare that all persons born in Sint Maarten since 10- 10- 10 be called “Sint Maarteners”.
  • -That there are persons born in Sint Maarten before 10- 10- 10 who are Sint Maarteners.
  • -Being a Sint Maartener does not automatically give a person any specific nationality.

And goes over to the order of the day!

Copies of this motion to be sent to: The various Parliaments, Island Councils, Governments and Executive Councils of the Kingdom.

Signed on this Day of 2019 by Drs. Rodolphe Emile Samuel

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Minister De Weever speaks at Vigil for Natasha Schmidt. Says Stop the Violence

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – “I knew Ms Natasha Schmidt for many years and whether she saw me at the government building or on the street she was always polite. More importantly she was a trainee at the NIPA/MIC construction course and was doing well. We had many discussions and it was clear that she was driven despite her circumstances, despite her setbacks - she wanted more for herself and her children,” Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever said in a speech at the vigil for Natasha Schmidt.  

“This is the wish of every parent, whether a single parent or both parents we all want more for our children. We want them to have more education than us, we want them to have better jobs than us, we want them to be better paid than us, we want them to have more opportunities than us. 

“We also want them to be more behaved but less tolerant to accept some of the things we had to endure, we want them to be able to speak up for themselves and not be taken advantage of without being rude or disrespectful. 

“As much as we want to give them more - we cannot do it alone. That is why the saying goes it takes a village to raise a child because we need our neighbors, our teachers, our community police officers, our social workers, our businesses and our government to look out for us and our children. 

“The truth of the matter is that our children are not being raised by our village anymore, some of us are afraid of our neighbors - some of us don’t want our children outside and buy them phones and games to keep them inside. When you ask why? It is because of violence, in the home or outside of the home, it is because of abuse whether it is sexual, physical or emotional, it is because of bullying. It is because of silence as well. 

“Being silent is glorified even though we know it is wrong and the saying snitches get stitches isn’t very encouraging but instills fear. We cannot let silence force us to stick our heads in the sand and pretend we do not see or hear what is happening around us. This has to stop. 

“We have to watch out for each other and watch each other at the same time because government cannot do it alone, the community police officers cannot do it alone, the social workers cannot do it alone, the teachers cannot do it alone, the neighbors cannot do it alone and the parents or single parent cannot do it alone.

“So, we are back to - it takes a village to raise a child but we must take care of that village and those who live in it. 

“I went to college in Washington DC and this city was and still is known for high crime rates and shootings. As a matter of fact, I remember one of my first parties I attended with my two cousins - there were gun shots fired. I remember telling them let us run- when I looked back, they were not behind me- they stayed- everyone reacts differently. 

“Stop the Violence movement started then to me and that was 30 years ago. Here I am tonight as the minister of justice asking and begging to Stop the Violence. We cannot keep holding vigils or marches or wearing t-shirts of those who we have loved and lost to Violence. 

“We must act and do what is right for ourselves, what is right for our village and what is right for SXM. We can no longer turn a blind eye, we cannot bury our heads in the sand, we can no longer be silenced. 

“It is high time to stand up, open our eyes, open our ears and open our mouth. This is freedom and we must protect it by all means. Stop the violence,” Minister De Weever concluded in his speech at the vigil.

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Vehicles damaged during shooting incident in Simpson Bay

SIMPSON BAY - The Detective department is presently investigating a shooting incident which probably took place late in the evening on Friday January 4th, 2019 on the Old Simpson Bay road, police said in a report on Sunday.  

A police patrol was sent to the scene on Saturday January 5that approximately 12.30 p.m. after the 911 dispatch received a call of the incident. On the scene the investigating officers found evidence on the scene which indicated the shots were indeed fired at that location. 

On the scene the investigating officers also located a vehicle with license plate P-5026 and noticed that the rear windshield had a bullet hole.

The investigators also found other evidence of the shooting in the immediate area. The Forensic Department was called in to collect this evidence and detectives are still questioning potential witnesses to determine what exactly took place and who is responsible for the shooting. No one was reported injured. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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SCDF approach Philipsburg businesses for Carnival 50

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) directly engaged the businesses in the Philipsburg area this past weekend seeking support for the 50thAnniversary of St. Maarten Carnival in 2019. The activity in Philipsburg was a fundraising for Carnival 2019. 

Foundation members, with letters in hand, stopped by stores on Frontstreet and Backstreet to deliver the letters and speak to merchants about Carnival 2019, some of the events to expect and why it’s important for the private sector to contribute to St. Maarten’s  largest annual event.

The merchants were very receptive of the SCDF and said they already have Carnival 50 in mind considering the amount of people expected on island. 

President of the SCDF Alston Lourens said the foundation’s intention is to get everyone involved as much as possible because everyone benefits from Carnival. “The Carnival period is one of the peak times of economic activity in Philipsburg and St. Maarten in general. We are very encouraged by the reception we received and look forward to closer cooperation with the merchants,” Lourens said.

A local small business owner in Philipsburg, Plush Boutique, was the first business to step up for Carnival by presenting her contribution on the spot to Lourens.     

SCDF INS1 SUN0601

Several merchants were very receptive to the efforts of the Carnival foundation.    

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St. Maarten Academy: “Extending Hands, Extending Hearts”

SINT MAARTEN (CUL DE SAC) - Despite the challenges St. Maarten Academy faces, the school continued its tradition of giving through the annual service project, Project HOPE. The students and staff of the school donated grocery baskets with turkeys and ham to twenty-four (24) families of less fortunate students and friends during one month’s drive for charity. The theme for this year’s Project HOPEwas “Extending Hands, Extending Hearts”.

Under the guidance of Mrs. Joe-President, Head of the Department of Student Care of the Academy, this is the seventeenth year of this well-supported venture.  The students, staff, parents, management and Board of the St. Maarten Academy had been donating canned goods, non-perishable food items and cash to bring cheer and assistance to some families who have face difficult economic challenges that arose in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. 

Principal, drs. Tallulah Baly-Vanterpool shared, “The St. Maarten Academy is not only in the business of academic excellence, but we are also about shaping character though the development of the whole child. It is how we are teaching this next generation that they have the power to make a difference, and the responsibility of service.”

Students and staff volunteered to sort the items and pack the baskets with much love and care. Staff gave their time in making personal deliveries to the homes of these families in several communities across the island – from St. Peters to Cole Bay/Cay bay to Philipsburg to Dutch Quarter to French Quarter, and anywhere between that we could meet the need. 

The Board of the Foundation for Academic and Vocational Education (FAVE) under which the school falls also extended its benevolence to the school bus drivers who have been going beyond the call of duty to safely transport the students to and from school under the shift schedule.

“Some drivers work all day on the regular route and although they may be tired, they still accommodate our evening schedule without complaints,” one official of the school stated. It is for this reason that FAVE felt it necessary to say thank you to the hardworking bus drivers by giving them turkeys and ham for the holiday. “It may not be much, but we want them to know that we really, really do appreciate what they have done and continue to do for our students.”

sxm acad ins1

 

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St. Martin writer’s Schoolboy in Wartime at Dutch school in USA

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - It’s back to school for 2019. Teacher Judith’s class at The Bethesda Dutch School in Marylandis set to hear from St. Martin’s author Gerard van Veen. 

It all started when Teacher Judith “heard of my book, Schoolboy inWartime,just when she was planning to speak to her class of 10- and 11-year-olds about the Netherlands during World War II,” said Van Veen.  

The Dutch language teacher then used material from Schoolboy inWartimein her classroom. She also contacted the author “with much enthusiasm” and told him, “that the children were listening to her with ears and mouth open! She asked them to write down, in Dutch, some questions for me to answer,” said Van Veen. 

“One little guy had eight questions!” said the author. “Some things that were extremely interesting for them: ‘Is he your uncle?’ ‘Is he still alive?’ ‘What does he look like?’” When Van Veen finished writing his answers the December holiday-break had set in and the children would have to wait until their Dutch lessons resumed in January.

 Schoolboy in Wartime – Memories of My Early Yearsis autobiographical. The writing, in English, is mostly about Gerard van Veen’s childhood. His family’s experiences during World War II (1939 to 1945) in his native Alkmaar, during the German occupation of the Netherlands, are also highlighted.

“I’m happy that Teacher Judith, her students, and The Bethesda Dutch School are sharing the experiences of worlds away through Mr. Van Veen’s book, which was published in St. Martin,” said Jacqueline Sample of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

Since its launch at the St. Martin Book Fair last June, HNP and Van Veen have been promoting the book on-island and abroad as unique reading for adults and children. 

“In Schoolboy in Wartimesenior citizens can get a clearer idea about writing their own life-changing childhood experiences. Children who experience war, major accidents, or natural disasters like hurricanes Irma and Maria, can see that they’re not alone. With this book, boys and girls can also feel for or empathize with children on their island and in other parts of the world who go through such hardships,” said Sample.

As for meeting with students from Maryland, USA, through their written questions and language lessons, Gerard van Veen said, “The human being is always searching and discovering.”

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Minister Johnson encourages persons to volunteer for upcoming Heineken Regatta Activities

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Stuart Johnson is encouraging persons to sign-up to become a volunteer for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta which is looking for about 150 volunteers.

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta organizers are looking for volunteers to assist with the preparations and execution of the 39thedition of the country’s premiere sailing event that will be taking place from February 28thto March 3rd.  

“According to regatta organizers, the work put in by volunteers is one of the key ingredients in making the annual event a success.  

“The regatta is an event that puts the country on the map around this time of the year, and we must continue to do all we can for its continued success due to the promotional aspect and the contributions it makes to the tourism and maritime sector of the country.

“Working to help prepare for the execution and running of the 39thSt. Maarten Heineken Regatta gives a person experience in organization preparation and management such as this renowned sailing event in the region and would be a rewarding experience for any person who volunteers their time,” Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Stuart Johnson said on Friday.

Event organizers have stated that the event allows volunteers to make new friends and added that enthusiastic and motivated volunteers are needed for merchandise sales, token booth sales, media registration, committee boat assistance, set up and breakdown/logistics and volunteer care. Some more specific jobs include survey takers, hobby photographers, green team (clean-up crew), hostesses at the concerts, and bar staff.

Those interested in signing up as a volunteer should email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

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Grey Goose Luxurious Yacht Activation Platform Winner Announced

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) – CC1 St. Maarten in collaboration with some of the island’s biggest retailers ended their “Grey Goose Luxurious Yacht Activation Platform”. The participating stores were: Prime Distributors, Sunny Foods, Market Garden, Cost U Less, Penha Perfume Store, Booze It Up & Fairway Markit. 

Grey Goose, the world’s best tasting vodka and CC1 are happy to announce the winner of the Yacht Luxury Experience, where Linda Gardener will have a French Riviera style yacht experience with 6 of her friends. 

“We are more than happy to have been able to present the winner with her phenomenal prize. This activation entailed that with the purchase of a bottle of Grey Goose, you could participate in a raffle where the main prize was to spend a day on a yacht with you and six friends. 

“All expenses are paid, Open Bar & Catering on board, not forgetting video and photography to capture the entire experience as this is an extraordinary prize. This activation was supported by various channels to engage and increase participation: in store tastings, Radio interviews, Radio mentions, Social Media and Promotional video.  

“The focus was to promote brand awareness and of course inform the consumer of the prize involved and the participation, which was a landing page: wwww.caribbeangreygoose.com,” CC1 said in a statement on Thursday. 

“It was certainly innovative to have the consumers switch their minds from participating via a digital channel versus the traditional way of putting your name on your receipt and dropping it in a box, however we are happy with the results and the fact that we were able to increase product rotation within the activation period and the various retailers. It also shows that retailers are open to accepting this concept as we continue moving to digital marketing & selling strategies” said Kenty Lichtenberg, Trade Marketer Coordinator for Grey Goose. 

We would like to congratulate the winner, Mrs. Linda Gardener who won via participating at Prime Distributors. We would like to encourage you to look out for the video recap of the Grey Goose Yacht Experience and of course to continue visiting our Social Media pages as we filter our promotions via that channel as well. 

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