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Mentally ill man steals car and mistreats security officer at Mental Health Facility

CAY HILL/DUTCH QUARTER - Early Saturday morning October 13th a man on his first visit to the Mental Health Foundation ill-treated the security officer on duty, broke into the office and stole the car belonging to the foundation and fled the scene. The police department was immediately informed of what had taken place, police said in a report on Monday.

When the police saw the suspect driving the car on the street they attempted to stop him, however he increased the speed of the vehicle and tried to escape the police.

A chase of the suspect with the stolen vehicle continued into Dutch Quarter area where the suspect could not go any further and was arrested by police.

He was taken to the Philipsburg Police Station where he will be held for mistreatment and further investigation. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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St. Dominic High School Organizes Information Evening on Wednesday about IB

REWARD - The St.  Dominic High School will have an information evening on the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme on Wednesday October 17 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 

Interested students in Form 4 and the examination classes along with their parents are invited to learn more about this internationally recognized pre-university programme. 

Information will be available explaining the subject prerequisites and the application process.  Come and meet two students from the IB Class of 2019 who will share why enrolling in the IB Diploma Programme at St. Dominic High School is not only making them better students, but better individuals. 

Get insight into the research process of the 4,000-word Extended Essay, the importance of learning outside the classroom with Creativity, Activity, Service and how we know what we claim to know in Theory of Knowledge.

St. Dominic High stands with over 3,182 schools offering the DP, in 153 different countries worldwide. It is also the first government subsidized school in the Caribbean authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) to offer the Diploma Programme for students aged 16 to 19.

The IBO collaborates with schools, governments and international organizations in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia to develop and offer challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment in order to achieve its mission of developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

Students who are interested in the journey associated with learning, want to create opportunities for themselves, are driven to be successful and desire a more challenging curriculum that encourages them to think critically, to become internationally-minded, to reflect on their learning, and to develop university ready research skills are welcome to attend this information evening on Wednesday, October 17 at 7 p.m. in room 13 at St. Dominic High School.

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SCDF producing coloring book of Carnival icons for 50th Anniversary

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) will produce a children’s coloring book for Carnival 2019 as one of the many projects to mark the 50th Anniversary of Carnival.

The foundation is actively trying to re-vive the youth participation and interest in cultural aspects of Carnival and has chosen to start with the children at the elementary school level.

President of the SCDF Alston Lourens said the coloring book will feature about 15 pages of Carnival icons and things typical to Carnival. Well known Carnival artists and other stakeholders will be depicted as well as Carnival trucks, something representative of the pageants and more.

He said the book will be distributed free of charge to children and all drawings is being done by local tattoo artist Christford Shillingford of Inkorporated.

“The coloring book will not just be pictures to color. We will also include basic information about each person and thing included in the coloring book. It is important they not only color a picture of Pa Ben (for example) but also learn about how and why he was important to Carnival and St. Maarten,” Lourens said.

“This is just one of the projects the community can look forward to for Carnival 50. Moving forward the SCDF will place a lot of focus on getting young people positively involved in Carnival on all levels.

“We are using Carnival 50 to start this important endeavor and we hope we can get the cooperation of the community for other youth related projects in particular when they are directly involved positively and culturally,” Lourens said.

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USM called to play a role in health

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - With a physical presence of 100 in the audience and over 450 people watching via Facebook Live, USM successfully held its second public seminar, entitled Towards a Healthier and More Sustainable St. Maarten, last Thursday evening.

The dynamic and all-female panel hailing from government, the sciences and alternative medicine, engaged with the audience to explore ways in which the various sectors of society can raise awareness of UN Sustainable Goal #3 –Health and wellbeing.

Respectively, and following an introduction by Secretary General of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour Ms. Joy Arnell, speakers included: Ms. Maria Henry who serves as Section Head of General Health Care at Collective Prevention Services (CPS), Dr. Golden Jackson of the American Medical University of the Caribbean (AUC) and Highly Qualified Detox Specialist and liver cancer survivor Ms. Rose Rumnit.

“The large turnout was due to a number of significant factors we must consider”, said USM President Dr. Antonio Carmona. “First, health concerns everyone and everyone knows that there is a lot to do to improve conditions on St. Maarten.

“Secondly, working closely with BAK and UNESCO, our Dean of Academics Dr. Rolinda Cater pulled together an excellent panel of women who from civil society, government and academia have influence over how we think about health.

“And finally, it was the presence of such notable foundations as Positive Vibration Breast Cancer Awareness, The Diabetes Foundation of St. Maarten, Kelaha Projects on Cervical Cancer and the St. Maarten Sickle Cell Foundation.”

Proving again her commitment to sickle cell awareness and other health causes, Prime Minister Leona Marlin-Romeo joined the audience for the entire evening. Meanwhile, health activist Ms. Keoma La Hamer moderated the dialogue with lively intromissions of exhortations on lifestyle, education, the importance of youth and community.

During her presentation, Ms. Henry mentioned that USM could play an important role by providing the country with certified programmes for health educators and workers. Dr. Jackson outlined the steps that AUC faculty, staff and students undertook in order to contribute to sustainable health conditions. “Reduce, Recycle, Re-use, because our health is in great part shaped by our environment”, said Jackson referring also to post-hurricane recovery efforts. Finally, Ms. Rumnit made the link between good health and “going back to our roots”.

Rummit praised the works of Mr. Denicio Wyatte and the Eco-St. Maarten Agricultural Research and Development Centre, who spoke at a USM seminar in September. “To have a healthy diet, we have to do agriculture”, said Rumnit who expressed her willingness to offer workshops on natural medicine at USM.

CaniTV, a media project linking St. Maarten to West Africa on social issues, was responsible for the Facebook live streaming of the university event, which attracted hundreds of viewers.

“All these factors and collective efforts contributed to making our second seminar a grand success”, said Carmona Báez emphatically, “We hope to build on this experience and pull together the country’s resources to ensure that USM continues serving the country.”

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CARIBBEAN GOES TO SPACE. A Caribbean Region Dedicated to Lifting You to the Stars

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN - The characterizations mostly connected to the Caribbean are “paradise” and Relaxation”. The region provides a high level of ease in a world that is very busy and sometimes confined within a maze of confusing times. The “Caribbean Lounge” may be the perfect ethos of the region.

With a bit more futuristic view, why couldn’t the Caribbean be a Space Lounge? The MESATIC SPACELOUNGE is the idea of identifying the Caribbean as the primary logistic service point to be the facilitator for persons, companies and countries, being supported by the trained elite service representatives who assist facilitating space tourism, moon exploratory activities, Mars journeys, and beyond by using the resource and accommodation rich context of the Caribbean and its collaborating nation partners.

There are five steps that might be possible scenarios going forward as a Caribbean body that might help to achieve the goal of becoming the primary Space Lounge for the world. The five development strategies are to facilitate an initial program team who would focus on setting up a series of action points and representing the scope of responsibilities for each regional partner.

To start with, This would take shape by identifying persons or organizations within the region from the different regional nation groups which are for example the Dutch Caribbean, the French Caribbean, the British Caribbean, the USA Caribbean, and the independent and allied nation groups, who would work together to develop this MSL- Program Team.

Secondly, this MSL- Program Team could look at developing a MSL - Capacity Initiative that would identify which areas are significant to begin a preparation or a strategy to grow and working or collaborating with different programs that exist in the region.

Basically establishing a SWAT analysis within this context, and then from there seeing who within the region or context would be a good partner to grow the human skill and knowledge capacity in the following key areas.

If the Caribbean region were to become the host for the world in becoming the space lounge it would be important to initiate training and strategic investment activities in the following areas.

Working on and initiating processes that facilitate a regional fluid logistic movement between islands, taking part in satellite development programs, growing a specialized elite executive and event services program, developing initiatives that focuses on growing strategic agricultural specialists, and finally growing awareness and innovative services for Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, holographic, and nanotechnology.

“The Caribbean economies are hampered by a lack of intra-regional transportation, and the governments should work together to assess how best to develop an air and maritime travel system that meets the needs of the region’s citizens. Despite the challenges, the Caribbean’s economic future can be made much brighter by combining the talent and know-how that drives the knowledge economy with the practical demands of today’s global service sector to lay a strong economic foundation for the twenty-first century,” according to a study called “Beyond Tourism: The Future of the Services Industry in the Caribbean” published in “The Caribbean Papers; A Project on Caribbean Economic Governance”.

The Space Jump industry, as I like to call it, is a multi-billion dollar one that does not seem to want to slow down in its passion towards this future space goal. Since 2014, more than fifty-nine nations, were in one way or another involved in the US$42,4 billion space race and were finding ways to accelerate that process.

Thirdly we would have to consider having Regional Activation Packages. This would take shape by each country, within the region, proactively requesting and representing the set improvements and identify the persons or startups that they are presenting as candidates to receive the financial activation subsidy package.

This would then be to develop activities in context of the space lounge program. As we progress towards a time of unprecedented advancements in the digital industries and social convergences, we as a region have to assess ourselves and begin to define our future desired goals.

Fourthly we would consider which international agent partners or organizations that could be connected to the space lounge program to assist with the representation and framing of this Caribbean space lounge strategy.

The question of were should we start or what should this vision look like might be a thought, but what can be said is that examples can be taken from nations like Curacao who some years back started a process that considered space tourism as a means of national development. By countries in the region positioning and associating themselves with progressive scenarios, it helps to stimulate regional change.

The fifth and Final Caribbean space lounge step could be the setting up of a “feast for all festival” that would be about identifying, initiating funding programs and facilitating community service organizations who are supporting the less fortunate and homeless shelters in our region. By doing this we are able to not only give back but also make sure to not miss out on valuable talent that can be nurtured and identified through these programs.

In conclusion the Caribbean could position itself to become the space lounge for the activities that will be developed in relation to all forms of space tourism, research and development, the moon gate project and moon related developments, and the transformational vision of life on Mars and life among the stars.

The Caribbean is the most suited region with all of its allied partners to lead the charge in developing the necessary conditions to lift us into that next stage of growth as a region.

By ir. Damien Richardson

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BPW: What’s your brand?

SINT MAARTEN/ST. MARTIN - BPW (Business Professional Women) Concordia Saint Martin, hosted a breakfast event entitled “Dress for Success”, facilitated by Anna Richardson of Professional Image Consultancy, on October 6th, 2018 at the Rupert Maynard Community Center in St. Peters.

The seminar which highlighted various aspects that contribute to projecting a certain image, covered a vast range of topics including, dress code, make-up application, and identifying or creating one’s own image brand.  

Members were given an opportunity to reflect on the following questions:

  • What image am I projecting?
  • Does the image projected reflect what was intended?
  • Is the image projected suitable for the occasion or position held in business or the community?

Wearing formal business attire and the right makeup to work, at interviews or certain social and business settings, can make all the difference.  Proper dress code can help to project confidence and command attention. 

Improper dress code can cause loss of opportunity. It is important to visually align one’s image with one’s purpose or intention. 

Our visual messages are judged and interpreted within seconds, so it is very important, for Women especially, to dress for success.  It empowers them to achieve economic independence. One of BPW’s missions.

Anna Richardson further covered; Features of Executive Presence, Personal Branding, Appearance, Keeping Standards, Image Roadblocks, Psychology of color, Capsule, Formal Business Dress Code, Semi Formal and Informal business dress code, during the seminar.

BPW Concordia develops the professional and leadership potential of women and girls.  For more information, you may contact BPW via their Facebook page @BPW Concordia St. Martin or email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Nomination for Three Chamber Board Seats starts on November 1

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Three positions on the Board will become vacant as of January 1st, 2019 and these positions will be filled by three (3) candidates chosen in the upcoming Election. One (1) small & Two (2) large seats will be available, the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI) said in a statement on Friday.

Nomination period for the filling of these positions shall be from

November 1st to November 14th, 2018.

The Chamber wants to remind the business community on St. Maarten, that nomination forms are available from November 1st, 2018. These forms must be submitted to the Chamber no later than Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 at 12:00p.m.

The Electorate

Voters for Large Businesses are those entitled to vote, whose names appear in the Commercial Register as involved in an established company whose minimum capital investment is one hundred thousand guilders (Fls.100,000.00). Voters with less than one hundred thousand guilders capital investment are classified as Small Businesses.

Entitled To Vote Are:

  • Residents (those registered with the Registry Office);
  • Of Dutch citizenship/nationality;
  • Who for one year, immediately preceding the making up of the Register of Voters, appear in the Commercial Register of the Chamber as:

Owner, partner, manager, deputy manager, managing director, supervisory director, general attorney or proxy holders (with no limitations).

Excluded From Voting Are:

  • Prisoners, persons put in a ward because of insanity, persons adjudged bankrupt, etc.

Eligibility

Eligible are those who meet the following requirements:

  • Residents for the last two years;
  • Dutch citizenship;
  • Minimum of 25 years of age per August 15th, 2017;
  • No incompatibilities (more persons in the same business);
  • Not excluded from eligibility (see entitled to vote).

Duration of Membership

A term of office lasts three years. Each year, one third of the membership steps down by rotation. Temporary vacancies: also stepping down by rotation.

  • Voluntary resignation.
  • Dismissal by law.

COCI would like to advise all businesses who want to take part in the Election to first settle their outstanding bills at the Chamber of Commerce & Industry which is located at C.A. Cannegieter Street #11, Philipsburg.

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Industry stakeholders join forces in Internet Week Trinidad and Tobago

SINT MAARTEN/TRINIDAD & TOBAGO - The Internet landscape of the Caribbean is small but relatively complex, nascent but constantly evolving. No single organisation holds the responsibility for promoting the growth of an open, stable, strong, affordable and resilient Caribbean Internet; that is a role shared by several.

Because the execution of the region’s overall Internet development agenda requires the coordination of separate players, various Internet stakeholders continue to work together to address longstanding and emerging issues. A recently concluded weeklong event in Port of Spain is only the most recent example. 

Called Internet Week Trinidad and Tobago, the four-day event series was held by the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), Google, the Internet Society, and the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Registry (LACNIC), and made possible through the support of the Ministry of Public Administration.

A short, formal opening featured remarks by Stephen Lee, CaribNOG; Gabriel Recalde, Google; Shernon Osepa, Internet Society; Kevon Swift, LACNIC; and Shelly Ann Clarke Hinds, Ministry of Public Administration.

On October 2, CaribNOG kicked off the week with its sixteenth regional meeting, an all-day affair which focused mainly on cybersecurity. In typical fashion, presentations by longtime CaribNOG members Steve Spence (Arkitechs Inc.) and Irwin Williams (Teleios Systems) struck a conversational tone, packed with personal stories from the proverbial trenches of network design and software development in the Caribbean.

Next, a pair of workshops held jointly by LACNIC and Google aimed to enhance local connectivity and strengthen the ecosystem for entrepreneurs. On October 3, a half-day workshop led by Inés Peralta Agüero, Market Lead for Central Region and the #Caribbean at Google, focused on how local business owners and start-up founders could make better use of Google’s publicly available digital marketing tools. 

A parallel LACNIC-Google two-day workshop covered the nuts and bolts of Internet connectivity and traffic optimisation, covering a range of technical issues such as the new Internet Protocol (IPv6), routing security (BGP and RPKI), peering models, open standards and root servers.

This interconnection workshop was facilitated by Arturo Servin, Manager of Interconnection Strategy for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean at Google and Guillermo Cicileo, Coordinator, Security, Stability and Resilience at LACNIC, with the support of the Trinidad and Tobago Internet Exchange.

Shernon Osepa, Regional Affairs Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Internet Society, led an afternoon session on October 3, sharing some highlights of the organisation’s ongoing global work in establishing community networks and strengthening the resiliency of telecommunications and computer networks.

The topics had special resonance in the aftermath of unprecedented levels of destruction wrought across the Caribbean region by the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.

The region’s threat landscape is constantly evolving, not only as a result of climate change but also as the sophistication of manmade cyber threats becomes more advanced. On October 4 and 5, LACNIC led a closed-door cybersecurity workshop under the umbrella of their AMPARO project, and with the support of the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs, Trinidad and Tobago.

AMPARO is an initiative that seeks to address emerging cybersecurity issues across the region and establish Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) within the LACNIC community. The two-day workshop was facilitated by Graciela Martínez, one of the promoters of the AMPARO project and Ernesto Pérez, Coordinator of CSIRT CEDIA in Ecuador. 

Internet Week Trinidad and Tobago events were held at Government Plaza Auditorium and the Attorney General Conference Centre, both located on Richmond Street, Port of Spain. The weeklong event followed a similar conference held in Guatemala City in August, with the local support of the Guatemalan telecommunications regulator. Another series will be held later this year in the Dominican Republic. 

BY GERARD BEST

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Office of Disaster Management: Country still Vulnerable for Storms Over the Next Six Weeks

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, DCOMM) – National Disaster Coordinator/Fire Chief Clive Richardson says the country is still vulnerable for storms over the next six weeks.  The hurricane season officially comes to an end on November 30.

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season has seen 14-named storms form so far for the season with three systems currently active, namely Michael over the southern United States, Leslie in the north Atlantic Ocean and Nadine in the eastern Atlantic Ocean.

“Residents should not let their guard down.  We still have several weeks to go before the 2018 hurricane season comes to an end.  Therefore, I am appealing to all residents to be prepared to take action in the event the country is threated by a storm/hurricane,” Richardson said on Wednesday.

The remaining storm names for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season by the World Meteorological Organization are: Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sara, Tony, Valerie, and William.

An average Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1-November 30, produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

For official local weather and Government related disaster/hurricane information please visit (www.meteosxm.com); the Government of Sint Maarten website (www.sintmaartengov.org) or the Government of Sint Maarten social media Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/SXMGOV), or tune into Government Radio 107.9 FM.

The 2018 hurricane season officially runs through November 30.

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Greenbox presents at Rotary St. Martin Sunset’s Meeting

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - In an effort to promote Economic and Community Development during the month of October, the Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset invited guest speakers from GreenBox to their general meeting, held on Monday October 8th.

GreenBox representative, Jennifer Carty, gave a presentation on the goals and objectives of the organization and the ongoing ‘Eco-School’ recycling program, currently being run at the Catholic schools on the island.

GreenBox in collaboration with Meadowlands BV have placed individual recycle bins in 80 classrooms across the 7 Catholic elementary and secondary schools on the island.

The project is geared towards creating awareness of the importance of recycling in our community, especially given the current situation of our landfill. The students and faculty are encouraged to practice good recycling habits, by sorting their recyclables in the classroom which are later transferred into miniature recycle parks on the school grounds.

Meadowlands BV has offered its services free of charge for the weekly collection of the recyclable items from the various schools. As an incentive, the school that has recycled the most materials will be recognized.

The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset has pledged its support to the GreenBox initiative and has announced their plans on having a ‘Recycling Drive’ whereby members of the club and the general public are encouraged to gather and sort through their trash for recyclable items.

The club will announce when and where these items can be dropped off and then later presented to the GreenBox and Meadowlands team. All recycled materials will be shipped and disposed of off island by a company, specializing in recycled materials.

The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset would like to extend a warm felt thank you to the representatives of Green Box and would like to encourage the general public to play an active role in developing a more eco-friendly and sustainable nation.

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