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Minister Johnson congratulates Hazel on Winning Front-page photo of VISIT Destination Promotional Magazine

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – The Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) recently announced the winner of its Photo Contest for the cover of its hotel in-room magazine VISIT.

The winner is Richard Hazel who sent in a photo of an aircraft approaching the runway at Maho Beach of the Princess Juliana International Airport.

The Destination Marketing Committee of SHTA was designated as the body to select the winner.  The contest ran from September 13th to the 30th.

“I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Richard Hazel who won the SHTA contest and also to those who contributed pictures to the contest.

“SHTA stated that by means of the competition, they wanted to offer a platform for artistic talent among residents and visitors. I would like to commend SHTA on their new publication which comes just in time for the 2018-2019 high tourist season.  

“Hazel’s photo of the landmark landing of aircraft is a major destination attraction which has been visited by millions of tourists over the years and seen online by millions more each time somebody uploads this unique landing experience to YouTube or other social media channels,” Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Stuart Johnson said on Tuesday. 

Hazel’s picture according to the SHTA will be on the cover of 25,000 VISIT magazine 2019 editions. 

The SHTA says that VISIT is the largest and most well-read magazine of Sint Maarten, and is the official in-room magazine of SHTA and exclusively distributed in the SHTA association member hotel rooms.

The magazine is also used by the association as a business card when visiting tour operators and travel writers. 

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USM host its 3rd annual Breakfast Round-table discussion with Counselors

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - On Friday November 16th the University of St. Martin (USM) hosted its 3rd annual roundtable discussion: Breakfast with the Counselors. While the event did not take place last year due to the after-effects of Hurricane Irma, USM found it necessary to reinstate the occurrence within the academic calendar of the institution.

“As we rebuild the university, we recognize that our role is not only to educate students but also to disseminate data, foster the exchange of ideas and promote intellectual discussions. These are exactly what ‘Breakfast with the Counselors’ seeks to promote” said Dean of Academics, Dr. Rolinda Carter. 

This year, the number of counselors increased significantly to 15 representatives from the different high schools on the southern half of the island, NIPA, Charlotte Brookson Academy of the Performing Arts, and the St. Maarten Student Services Division.

Also, present were USM’s Counselor, Dean of Academics, Marketing and Admission Specialist, and Division Heads and Coordinators of USM programs. The presentation was led by General Liberal Arts Coordinator and USM Counselor, Ms. Leona Nestor-Hubert, who presented on “IRMA & Education: Effects of Crisis on Academic Performance”.

The open discussion that followed gave the participants an opportunity to reflect on some of the challenges that students throughout the island dealt with after the passing of Irma and in some cases are still overcoming. One of the counselors mentioned that some students want to leave the island while others feel like their academic dreams are “busted” as they can no longer travel abroad to further their studies. 

Other counselors mentioned that their students are learning to adapt to their given situations. Some students are motivating their peers to keep pressing forward while others have even started a trend of “not using their phones for a day”, something many would find very difficult.

Concerns were also heard of students who are now attending classes in the afternoons and getting home after the sun has set. 

The discussion was also geared towards highlighting the role that USM can play in mitigating the aftermath of such crises. As USM now offers accredited degrees and courses, the team reminded counselors that students are able to get their first degree at USM and transfer their credits to other universities or colleges to continue their studies.

“USM has a record of producing alumni who go on to hold prominent positions both locally and internationally. Thus, USM can be seen as a stepping stone for most students that come through its doors” – said USM Education Division Head Ms. Sharon Freiburg.

An example is the Dean of Academics who started her academic journey with the GED followed by the General Liberal Arts program at USM and continued her studies in Canada to eventually graduate with her doctorate in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine from the University of British Columbia, ranked among the top 40 best universities globally. 

The team assured the counselors that by providing students with the opportunity to jump-start their studies here on the island, they are helping to place students on route to accomplishing their academic goals/dreams.

According to Ms. Giterson, the Marketing and Admissions Specialist, “staying on the island allows one to prepare physically, emotionally and financially before venturing abroad especially after such crisis that may deter one from an original goal and dream.

“It also allows students to gain work experience, invest in an affordable education (in contrast to other Universities in the region) and help support their families here on the island. We are here to provide the key to a brighter future which can make a huge difference in the success of the student.”

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GEBE wins Best Sponsor of the Year at 2018 Brown Pelican Sports Awards

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - NV GEBE is proud to have been named “Best Sponsor of the Year 2018” at the Brown Pelican Award held on Sunday, November 18, 2018, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

NV GEBE who was one of the top three nominees along with CC1 and Domino’s Pizza, walked away with the award.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized as sponsor of the year, this win reflects on the commitment in which NV GEBE has towards the community of St. Maarten.

“This is also an acknowledgment of the commitment and dedication that NV GEBE has towards the development of sports on the island,” said company Chief Executive Officer Kenrick Chittick, who was part of the team to receive the award at the ceremony.

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Central Committee meeting about National Ordinance revision pension civil servants

PHILIPSBURG – The House of Parliament will sit in a Central Committee meeting on Tuesday, November 20.

The Central Committee meeting is scheduled for 14.00 hrs. in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg. The Minister of General Affairs will be present for this meeting.

The agenda points are:

  1. Approval composition delegation and provisions Members of Parliament to attend Saba Day Celebration on December 7, 2018 (IS/309/2018-2019 dated November 8, 2018)
  1. Ontwerp van Landsverordening tot wijziging van de Pensioenlandsverordening overheidsdienaren, tot wijziging van de Landsverordening leefstijdsgrens ambtenaren, alsmede tot intrekking van de Duurtetoeslagregeling gepensioneerden 1943 (Landsverodrning heriziening pensioen overheidsdienaren) (ZJ 2018-2019-121) (IS/205/2018-2019 d.d. 16 oktober 2018)

(National Ordinance amending the National Ordinance on Pension for civil servants, amending the National Ordinance age limit civil servants, and repealing the Long-term allowance Regulation pensioners 1943 (National Ordinance revision pension civil servants) (ZJ 2018-2019-121) (IS / 205 / 2018-2019 dated October 16, 2018)

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations. 

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

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Committee of Public Health, Social Development and Labor to meet about Mental Health Facility

PHILIPSBURG – Committee of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (CVSA), will meet on November 20.

The CVSA Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at 11.00 hrs. in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda point is: Debriefing work visit: Visit to the Mental Health Foundation facility (IS/925/2017-2018 dated September 3, 2018)

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations. 

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

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The Week Against Child Abuse

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS - 'See, Say, Stop!', Is the slogan of Jeugdzorg en Gezinsvoogdij Caribisch Nederland (JGCN) during the week against child abuse that will take place from November 19th until November 25th, 2018.

A well-known sound for many, but unfortunately this makes practice for a scary silence. A silence that needs to be broken, because no child deserves to be mistreated. 

Almost everyone sees it or experiences it, but often nothing is said or done and a nasty and often unexplored reality will form, with all its consequences. That is why it is so important to make child abuse more debatable.

What is the best way to recognize child abuse? There are 5 forms of child abuse: physical abuse, emotional & psychological abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse and neglect.

Discuss it when you recognize 1 or more forms of child abuse and inform aid organizations so that they can help to protect a child.

JGCN prioritizes the safety of children in the Caribbean Netherlands and child abuse is a direct violation of this safety. It is in the general interest that there is more awareness about child abuse. 

Break through the silence surrounding child abuse; "See, Say, Stop!" And contact us via +599 715 7201. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Minister of Justice De Weever pleased with trainings for K-9 Unit. Enhances law enforcement capabilities

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – Police dogs help solve crimes as they have unique skills.  Police dogs are trained in specific areas such as tracking, substance detection, public enforcement, and cadaver searches.

Recently the K-9 Unit of the Sint Maarten Police Force participated in a two-week recertification training with a trainer from Aruba.

In addition to the training recertification related to the existing disciplines of narcotics, firearms, ammunition, the K-9 Unit dogs were trained to detect banknotes and are now certified for this discipline.

Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever said the additional detection area will further enhance law enforcement capabilities especially at ports of entry.

“The Sint Maarten Police Force K-9 Unit and its handlers are an essential part of the force and make important contributions to investigations. 

“Besides having the capability of apprehending criminals, the dogs protect their handler, other law enforcement officers and members of the Sint Maarten community.

“The dogs are trained in various disciplines and because of this they it further enhances overall the general security of the country and is very important for investigations carried out by various law enforcement agencies that may need to call on the country’s K-9 Unit.  Congratulations to the K-9 Unit members and their handlers,” Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever said on Sunday. 

Dogs with tracking skills use the sense of smell to track criminal suspects.  Substance detection entails using the sense of smell to detect a specific substance which could be bombs or explosives; illegal drugs.

Under public enforcement, police dogs assist officers in maintaining order while cadaver dogs are trained to find dead bodies. 

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Independence is Pro-St. Martin. Period

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – COMMENTARY - One day in 1982, I wrote an essay entitled “Waarom St. Maarten onafhankelijk moet worden” for Mr. Bijnsdorp’s Dutch class. Though I hated the class (not because of the teacher, but because I hated writing essays in Dutch), I was proud of that essay and my performance.

Not only was I pleased with my good mark, but, for the first time, I had written on a topic I felt passionate about. You see, I believed then at the age of 16, as I do now, that independence is the only way for the people of St. Martin to fulfill our aspirations as a nation and realize our full potential.

According to the United Nations Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, “all peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” The UN also states that “inadequacy of political, economic, social or educational preparedness should never serve as a pretext for delaying independence.”

Choosing to become independent is choosing to exercise that inalienable right to self-determination and complete freedom, as laid down by the UN. Accepting to exercise that right has nothing to do with protecting (alleged corrupt) politicians or making threats.

Choosing independence has everything to do with accepting responsibility and accountability for our actions. More importantly, independence is about St. Martiners being able to make our own decisions—good and bad—in our interests. Plain and simple! It is not anti-Dutch, anti-French, or anti-anyone. Independence is pro-St. Martin. Period.

Every society—independent or not—has its share of trials and tribulations, and they will exist here too, whether St. Martin is independent or not. Granted, attaining political independence must be done in a responsible way, and it must be accompanied by social and economic development. These are all part of the discussions and negotiations that will have to take place leading up to political independence.

Not every St. Martiner will be comfortable to exercise that right, and not everyone will be comfortable with St. Martiners exercising that right. This is a normal. However, St. Martiners must not allow scare tactics, innuendos, or interference from outside to preclude us from exercising that inalienable right to govern ourselves based on our values and interests.

By Rhoda Arrindell, PhD

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S.I.R. says Thank You!

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Producers of the popular TV Show: St. Maarten in Retrospect (S.I.R.) would like to sincerely thank the hundreds of persons that made the 18th annual celebration of culture, heritage, and enlightening activities a grand success.

We thank the participants, supporters, and sponsors for the unwavering support received, as the show would not have been possible without any of you. St. Maarten in Retrospect 2018 not only celebrated its 18th anniversary of the broadcast, but also the 10th anniversary of the Simpson Bay marketplace, as well as the 55th anniversary of St. Maarten Day celebrations.

Particular thanks goes out to: TV Carib, St. Maarten Cable TV, PJD2, Travel Planners, GEBE NV, Sol Petroleum, Safe Cargo, Livvitt Signs & Marketing, Kooyman, St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce, Scotia Bank, Boolchand’s, Nagico Insurances, CC1, KFC, PSB Bank, Office World, St. Maarten Concrete, CIBC First Caribbean Bank, T-Shirt Max, Virtual Tech, The Paradise Inn, Mary’s Boon, Topper’s Restaurant & Bar, C3 – Critical Communication Caribbean, Oyster Bay Beach Resort, TelCell NV, Winair, St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, Princess Juliana International Airport, Simpson Bay Fish Market & its vendors.

Special thanks also go out to our radio listeners on PJD2 – who broadcasted the show live for the first time this year, as well as our Cable TV viewers. To our Facebook viewers and participants, thank you also and we admonish you to look out for more content in the future year-round. So stay tuned to www.facebook.com/sxminretrospect for raffles, giveaways, and so much more.

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TelEm Group getting all ‘Wacky’ for Nov. 23 Blowout Promotion

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - TelEm Group’s Marketing & Sales team are getting all “Wacky” again with plans to turn St. Maarten’s annual Black Friday sales into a “Wacky Telco Friday” bonanza for customers and friends.

The Wacky Telco Friday idea was such a hit with TelEm Group customers last year, that the team are bringing it around once more – this time bigger and better, with more specials offers, more super prizes to be won and more free gifts to sweeten the promotional pot.

The Marketing & Sales team say the first five customers to enter the company’s main building on Pond Island dressed in a Wacky outfit and upon making a $50 purchase, will get a FREE Samsung J2-Pro cellphone.

According to Manager, Marketing & Sales, Mrs. Grisha Heyliger, customers in Wacky attire also earn the chance to take a dip from a box of goodies from which they can take home any one of 100 available prizes.

“There will be something for everyone at this year’s Wacky Telco Friday event. That means Specials for Seniors, Top-Up Specials, Specials for different plans and also Sim Card Specials – we are talking about All-day sales from 6:30 am in the morning until 4:00 pm, depending on what’s left by that time,” said Grisha.

She said one of the features of the promotion last year was the great prizes customers and friends of TelEm Group could win in the fun promotion. This year the promotion is stepping up their game and the fun, with a massive $2,000 Smart Home automation system as the Grand Door Prize with automatic entry with any purchase on Wacky Telco Friday.

“We have huge reductions on cellphones, also on accessories. There will be very special on-the-spot-offers with unbeatable deals during specific hours,” continued the Manager, Marketing & Sales.

Grisha is urging everyone to watch out for flyers about the promotion that will be coming out in the print media and online during the coming days. The flyers will also be available at the TelEm Group main building on Pond Island and at the Simpson Bay Branch, Welfare Road and via Dominos Pizza delivery.

“We don’t want anyone to miss out on the offers and the times the offers are being made available to the public, so watch out and be ready to come down at a moment’s notice to take us up on our offers,” continued Grisha.

She says the offers will be limited offers, so it’s first come and first served while each offer lasts.

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