Soualiga Newsday Features


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Soualiga Newsday Features (1162)

Public encouraged to review the Cay Hill-Little Bay & Cul-De-Sac Draft Development Plan

PHILIPSBURG - The draft Cay Hill-Little Bay, & Cul-De-Sac development plans will be on official public review from September 29 through October 28, 2014, and all interested persons are advised to review the plan which was discussed during the public hearing held Tuesday September 9 at the Rupert Maynard Community Center in St. Peters.

The public hearing, which was led by Secretary General of VROMI, Louis Brown and presented by VROMI Project Leader, Thijs Sommers in the presence of the Honorable Minister of VROMI, Maurice Lake, was captured by the Department of Communications, has since been uploaded to the government webpage for review.

An intimate crowd gathered to discuss various covered topics and posed questions in review of the presentation, particularly discussing details with future main road links. Minister Lake assured attendees that the links and projects are “prioritized” and that the process would remain inclusive and transparent, taking all the necessary steps to keep the public involved and abreast. He further urged the public to utilize the 30-day period allocated for written objections in regards to the development plan also referred to as “zoning plan”.

The public review is the legal formal part of the development plan process. The development plans will guide the future spatial development of the entire Cul-De-Sac and Cay Hill-little Bay areas where it relates to land use and building regulations. This is the opportunity for residents and stakeholders to address their concern in writing to the Minister of VROMI.

The draft development plans will be available at the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment & Infrastructure (VROMI), Tamarindestreeg #16, Philipsburg as well as online via the Government website On the Ministry of VROMI page, select “About Zoning/Development plans” from the left panel and click on Cul De Sac and/or Cay Hill-Little Bay on the interactive map.

Anyone can submit objections with respect to the draft development plan in writing to the Minister of VROMI, Government Administration Building, P.O. Box 943, Clem Labega Square, Philipsburg, St. Maarten.


Upcoming Rotary Mid-Isle spelling Bee gets a helping hand from TelEm Group

POND ISLAND – T-e-l-E-m. G-r-o-u-p. spells a grateful thank you from the Rotary Mid-Isle group during a recent check presentation at the TelEm Group Main Building on Pond Island.

TelEm Group donated an undisclosed amount towards Rotary’s upcoming Spelling Bee for schools which will be held at the Belair Community Center during the month of October.

According to Rotary Mid-Isle past president, Louis Wever, various stages of the Spelling Bee will be held at the Belair Community Center starting with  the Preliminary Round on October 4th, the Semi-finals on October 11th and the grand final in front of an excited audience on October 18th.

He said past events have been held at the American University of the Caribbean (AUC) in Cupecoy, however, due to the distance of this location, fewer spectators attended each year than expected.

“We have chosen a more central and accessible location at the Belair Community Center and we therefore expect a large turnout to support the efforts of the various schools that are competing in this year’s spelling bee,” said Mr. Wever.

He thanked TelEm Group on behalf of the service club for the kind donation, promising that it will go a long way towards making the annual event another smashing and educational activity in the service club’s year of activities.

The presentation was made by Manager Marketing & Sales, Mr. Emile van der Weerd on behalf of TelEm Group management and staff.

He also spelled out his own hopes for the youngsters and organizers staging the Spelling Bee, saying, “much – S-U-C-C-E-S-S.”


Ministers Lake, Richardson and other stakeholder’s wrap-up tourist directional signs project

PHILIPSBURG – Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake and Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications Hon. Ted Richardson along with representatives of the St. Maarten Timeshare Association (SMTA) and St. Maarten Harbour Group of Companies, on Tuesday wrapped-up the tourist directional signs project.

The brief ceremony took place at the Cay Hill round-a-bout in front of one of 90 signs that were erected throughout the country during the past months.

“This is a significant improvement for product development.  We need to make it easier for our visitors to be able to get around the island without a hassle. The signs will benefit stay-over as well as cruise visitors.  I would like to thank all stakeholders who played a role in making this happen,” Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Hon. Ted Richardson said.   

“The signage is very important for our visitors.  Tourism is a service industry, and the signage is part of the service as well.  We are facilitating our visitors to be able to find their way around the country, and signage plays a role in this,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said.

The SMTA and the Tourist Bureau on the scene started the discussion about additional signage for secondary roads, tourist sites (look-out), nature trails and cultural/heritage sites.

Present for the brief ceremony was Chairman of the SMTA Marcel Javois and SMTA Secretary Jim Rosen, representatives from the Tourist Bureau and Clean St. Maarten, the latter who completed the installation of the signs throughout the country. 

The SMTA financially sponsored the project and the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau (STB) product development team assisted in the process. 

The St. Maarten Harbour Group of Companies also contributed to the program, understanding the importance of signage for the countries visitors especially cruise passengers.

All stakeholders were thankful for the assistance they provided during the entire project process, namely, including all the aforementioned, Public Works and the Traffic Department of the Police Force, who all worked in harmony to make it happen.  

Materials for the sign selected were of the highest quality available.  They meet or exceed Florida Highway standards for thickness, reflectivity and salt environment resistance.

The signs were made of aluminum with a thickness of .125 inches and have the highest quality reflective diamond coating for maximum visibility for both day and night even without special lighting.

The signs have an additional UV protective coating to give a 15-year guarantee with an expected life span well over that.  The letter sizing is also in accordance with US standards for the speed of the traffic for safe visibility and readability. 


Photo, Drawing and Writing Competition for 7-12 Year Olds

PHILIPSBURG - Seagrape Tours in conjunction with The St Maarten Nature Foundation has launched the Birds of St Maarten Competition to introduce the Birds of St Maarten Identification Card which is available for free at The Nature Foundation.

This week all primary schools on the Dutch side have received the Competition Announcement and the Birds of St Maarten Identification card for each of the groups 6, 7 and 8 (grades 4, 5 and 6). Ask your teacher, learn about the birds of St Maarten and have a chance to win great prizes!

The competition is split up in three categories:

  • Group 6 (7-8 yr olds)
    Take a photo of a bird on your school premises or around your home and identify the bird
  • Group 7 (9-10 yr olds)Draw
  • Group 8 (11-12 yr olds)
    Write an essay (max. 1 page Letter or A4 size) on a migratory bird which visits St Maarten

Pick up a Free Birds of St Maarten at The Nature Foundation’s office, use the ones available for reference at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library or ask your teacher. Check for more details on the competition and for helpful hints to have a good chance of winning this competition!


The three first prizes are a Full Day Peak, Pond & Snorkel tour with Seagrape Tours which includes a lovely lunch. The three second prizes are a Half Day Wildlife Watching Boat Trip in the Simpson Bay Lagoon with The St Maarten Nature Foundation and the three third prizes are a Half Day Birdwatching Tour with avid birder and wildlife photographer Binkie van Es.

Prize Giving is Saturday the 11th of October 2014 during the Migratory Bird Festival organized by Les Fruits de Mer. The winners will be contacted in advance.


Submit your photo, drawing or essay at the latest on Thursday the 2nd of October 2014 by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on paper at The Nature Foundation or The Philipsburg Jubilee Library.

Make sure the submission has your name, your group and age, your school name and a phone number where we can get hold of you or your parent/ guardian in case you are a winner!

Extra Info

Seagrape Tours shows visitors the beauty of St Maarten and St Martin’s nature with full day Nature Tours and a half day Bird watching Trip. Seagrape Tours will start her tours in October and hopes to impress resort guests and cruise ship visitors with St Maarten/ St Martin’s stunning views, interesting history and unique local wildlife. Owners are David and Ilja Botha, who found their home on St Maarten 6 years ago.

For more background info on Ilja and David and the different tours see


OM Says Media Reports Untrue, Point Blanche Prison Director was not Threatened

PHILIPSBURG - The Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) Sint Maarten denies that the director of the prison at Point Blanche was in any way threatened.

According to a press statement from the OM, “There was no report filed at the police. Reports in the press that he was threatened are not true and thus not based on the reality.”  

The OM press release adds: “What did happen was the following: Friday a prisoner found, after the firearm incident, a bullet near his cell. He reported his finding to the prison director and handed him the bullet personally. No threats were made during this, or any other meeting.” 


Serial Car Thief Arrested on Monday

PHILIPSBURG/POND ISLAND - The suspect with the initials B.R.M. from the island of Grenada (39) who has been suspected for a series of car thefts on the French as well the Dutch side of the island has been arrested by police on Monday September 15th at approximately 02.00 p.m. on the Soualiga road.

The suspect is suspected of numerous car thefts as far back as November 2013. A warrant for his arrest was issued as of July3rd 2014. The suspect was always able to escape his capture each time the police tried to arrest him.

The suspect at one time during his escape assaulted one of the police officers. Numerous persons and even car rentals on the island have suffered for some time now of becoming victims of car theft.

Many of these stolen cars have been resold to other at a cheap price or stripped of their parts which are also resold.

The Detectives in charge of this investigation will be able to question the suspect who remains in custody concerning the many car thefts and to bring this investigation to an end. (Contributed by Police Force Sint Maarten)


Nature Foundation to participate in St. Maarten Village Pavilion Booth at FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show

POINT BLANCHE – In order to profile local organizations on the island, Port St. Maarten is sponsoring the “St. Maarten Village Pavilion Booth” at the 21st Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Conference & Trade Show from October 6-10.

There were 10 spaces and they have all been filled due to the high interests in the FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show. 

Nature Foundation will be profiling the country’s nature and marine life to the 1000+ conference/trade show delegates and cruise executives.

Nature Foundation manages the St. Maarten Marine Park, the only designated nature park area of the island.  Nature Foundation has spearheaded a number of projects over the years and is also presently active in various activities that help to promote environmental awareness in the community in order to conserve the country’s fragile marine life.   

The St. Maarten/St. Martin business community is reminded to register to participate in the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show.  Local businesses can promote their services or products to the cruise industry by participating in the conference/trade show.

Registration can be done at the following address:

The conference and trade show will attract to the destination more than 1000 cruise industry partners, including close to 100 cruise executives during the October one week period.

The focus of the conference is on developing business, relationships and knowledge during the event’s four-day series meetings, workshops and social functions, and one of the best occasions for this is during the numerous one-on-one meetings.

For cruise executives, ports and destinations, cruise and tourism agencies, attractions, ship agents, suppliers and tour operators, the annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show is the premier industry event of the year to meet key industry players, analyse trends and discuss current issues.

The Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facility is the venue for the convention center that will host the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show.


Walichi Basketball Association Established looks forward to great things ahead

PHILIPSBURG - The board members has been working towards becoming an Association for the past few months and are happy to announce that its vision was realized on Thursday September 11th, 2014. The Walichi Basketball Association was established at the Boekhoudt Notary in Point Blanche. 

Present at the signing were Notary Ms. Meredith M. Boekhoudt, the association's President Ms Silvia Monte, Treasurer Ms. Agnes Monte and Secretary Ms. Chiaira Bowers.

The current board consists of 7 members, the other four members are Vice President Mr. Dennisio Duzong, Assistance Treasurer/Assistant Secretary, Ms. Adelicia Gumbs, Board Member (Marketing & Public Relations) Mr. Lee Blackman and lastly board member Ms. Donnethe McKoy.

The Main purpose of the association is "To be an elite, innovative basketball organization that adheres a vision of excellence, unity and character building and to develop and teach basketball and life skills to our players and emphasize the importance of education and giving back to the community."

To achieve the vision of Walichi Basketball Association (WBA), one of the core foundations of the association will be the Ladies Basketball Championship (LBC). This will be the first major event which will have its grand opening on October 5th at Melford Hazel and will host games on Saturdays and Sundays up until Mid-March 2015. 

The board sees the establishing of the association as the beginning of great things ahead by bringing the level of professionalism and innovation to the sport of basketball, especially ladies basketball in St. Maarten higher.

Registration is now open for all female basketball teams to sign up for the season. Contact the association at 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the "Ladies Basketball Championship" Facebook Page or Group for more information.


Island Hoops Youth Basketball Academy Director QP Says Thank You. Plans underway for 3rd Camp

SUCKER GARDEN-CHICAGO - Island Hoops, a Sint Maarten youth basketball academy, presented on the weekend of Saturday/Sunday September 6/7, 2014 the second annual Iman Shumpert Youth Basketball Camp. The two-day affair took place at Melford Hazel Sports Complex on Soualiga Road in Sucker Garden.

Island Hoops brought in New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert, Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland, overseas basketball star Corey Williams, some pro-level trainers/instructors, with support from national NBA analyst and founder Jeff Lenchiner.

“For eight years I’ve been directing basketball camps in the U.S., and no experience has compared to the 2014 Island Hoops camp in St. Maarten. The kids’ attitudes were fantastic and they were totally receptive to all instruction.

“It was apparent that many of them did not have much experience playing organized basketball or getting high-level basketball instruction prior to the camp, but for the two days we had together, they picked up on everything almost immediately. The energy and intensity was awesome. 

“On behalf of coordinators Paul Bell, Noah Sheer and Ahrii Shumpert and everyone else behind the scenes, pro players Iman Shumpert, Chris Copeland and Corey Williams, and myself, it was truly special to communicate across cultures and watch the beautiful game of basketball transcend all of us. 

“We’re grateful for the way St. Maarten has embraced us and plans for next year are already under way,” Quinn ‘QP’ Peterson, Island Hoops Camp Director said on Thursday. 

The Island Hoops Youth Basketball Camp was a collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports Affairs as well as the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development & Labour Affairs, the Soualiga Youth Basketball Association and various sponsors.


St. Maarten Cable TV Donates Discovery Kids Coloring Books to Students

MADAME ESTATE - St. Maarten Cable TV presented 200 students with Doki Coloring books. Recipients included students between the ages of 4 and 6 from the Leonard Conner School, St. Dominic Primary School and Methodist Agogic Center (MAC) St. John and Betty’s Estate Campuses. For each School two classes were selected. 

Doki’s Adventure is a Discovery Kids series which stars Doki, a curious dog whose love of adventure makes crazy situations no problem for him. Doki is always open to suggestions and tips from his friends. He learns from his mistakes and applies his knowledge to his adventures. Discovery Kids can be found on St. Maarten Cable TV’s channel 250 of the basic channel line-up.

Managing Director, Beulah Jonis stated, “It was such a joy to see school representatives gathering their excited and energetic students together to receive their coloring books from Discovery Kids. All the students were able to tell us who Doki is and what he does.  Some of the St. Maarten Cable TV employees have children attending these primary schools which made the presentations so much more special.”

Jonis concluded, “St. Maarten Cable TV is always honored to give back to the community.”

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