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Soualiga News II (1799)

TEATT Committee of Parliament to Meet on Friday with AVA Airways

PHILIPSBURG – The permanent Committee of Parliament for Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (TEATT), will meet on April 22nd with representatives from AVA Airways.

    

The Committee meeting is set for Friday at 10.00 am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg. This session will be carried via Soualiga Newsday live video feed.

The agenda point is a discussion with representatives from AVA Airways concerning the business plan; the Sint Maarten Aviation Open Sky Policy; the private public partnership proposal with WINAIR; the intension with FAA IASA Cat 2 aviation rating and to bring to the attention of Parliament the circumvention, slanderous statement, discrimination and protecting of a monopoly in Air Transport within the Dutch Caribbean by the Government of Curacao.

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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Members of the Senate delegation meet the inhabitants of Bonaire

BONAIRE (Caribbean Netherlands) - On April 19th, 2016 the inhabitants of Bonaire were able to talk to the members of the delegation of the Senate.

During a meeting on the square of El Mundo, they could share their personal experiences, concerns, wishes and hopes for the future.

On June 21st , 2016 a debate with the Dutch government will take place in the Senate about the meaning of the integration of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba in the Dutch government system. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Education Committee of Parliament to Meet on Thursday with Foresee Foundation

PHILIPSBURG – The permanent Committee of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs (CECYSA), will meet on April 21st with representatives from Foresee Foundation.

    

The Committee meeting is set for Thursday at 10.00 am in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg. This session will be carried via Soualiga Newsday live video feed.

The agenda point is Presentation by Foresee Foundation on the ongoing projects pertaining to Technology in Education.

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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Take measures to prevent mosquito breeding

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, to take measures to prevent mosquito’s from breeding due to several days of rainfall.

CPS is also calling on the community as well as visitors to wear light colored clothing at dusk; long sleeve shirts and pants; and use mosquito repellent to prevent being bitten by a mosquito that could possibly be carrying dengue, zika or chikungunya.

Dengue fever, zika and chikungunya are transmitted by the female vector Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito is distinguished by its markings. The body of the mosquito has alternate black and white horizontal stripes. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito lays her eggs in clear (clean) stagnant water. Within eight days the mosquito can complete its life cycle from egg, to larvae to pupae and to adult mosquito.

Persons are also requested to keep their homes, yards, neighborhoods and work environment free from potential mosquito breeding sites.

Actively destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold water. Do not allow water to accumulate in the saucers of flowerpots, cemetery urns/vase or in pet dishes for more than two days.  Throw out the water and turn them over every time it collects water.

Check around construction sites or do-it-yourself improvements to ensure that proper backfilling and grading is realized to prevent drainage problems which can be a source for standing water.  Empty all construction containers such as blue tanks, buckets, paint cans etc.

Mosquitoes can be kept out of the home by keeping windows, doors and porches tightly screened (16-18 mesh). Those insects that do get into structures can be eliminated with a fly swatter or an aerosol space spray containing synergized pyrethrum.

Screen off cistern outlets, cover and screen septic tanks properly.

The aforementioned measures should also be taken in and around the workplace, social gatherings and living quarters to eliminate mosquito breeding sources.

An increase in the mosquito population puts residents and visitors at risk. For information about dengue fever, zika and chikungunya prevention measures, you can call CPS 542-2078 or 542-3003 or the emergency number 550-2255 to report mosquito breeding sites. 

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Minister of Culture Jacobs raises awareness on World Heritage Day

PHILIPSBURG – World Heritage Day also commonly known as International Day for Monuments and Sites is focused on celebrating the world’s built cultural heritage every year on April 18th. UNESCO established April 18th as the International Day for Monuments and Sites in 1983. It aims to raise public awareness about the diversity and vulnerability of the world’s built monuments and heritage sites and the efforts required to protect and conserve them. Each year has a different theme which is selected and this year’s theme is “The Heritage of Sport.”

"Sport is part of every man and woman's heritage and its absence can never be compensated for" - Pierre de Coubertin

The Olympic Games will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in August 2016. ICOMOS wishes to dedicate the 2016 International Day for Monuments and Sites to the heritage of sports, since sports has developed from the origin of mankind onwards and has left testimonies to the diversity of installations and facilities related to their practice, many of them bearing outstanding values related to the development of architecture, art and techniques.

I would like to join the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) in dedicating this year World Heritage Day to “The Heritage of Sport” by raising awareness of the invaluable importance that sport can bring to the formation process of National Identity and social cohesion to a diverse island as St. Maarten with multiple ethnic groups and cultures living together.

The history of sports extends as far back as the most ancients cultures in the world and can teach about social practices and how the human being has developed particular skills. Prehistoric cave paintings in several regions show scenes related to sprinting, wrestling and swimming. Several types of ball games, as well as various sports such as wrestling, swimming, rowing, and athletics were already well established in ancient Egypt, as evidenced by the monuments of this civilization. Ancient Greece saw the first formal institutionalization of sports, notably through the Olympic Games, the first of which were recorded in 776 BC and continued to be celebrated until 393 AD in Olympia.

Since the Middle Ages, whole village communities in England and Ireland have competed with each other in rough ballgames, whilst in Florence the practice of Calcio Fiorentino was originally limited to the aristocracy. Combat sports such as fencing and jousting received the patronage of the aristocracy throughout Europe.

Whilst there is debate on the origin of modern team sports, particular sports were spread around the world by European colonialism. With the increase in leisure time brought about by the advent of the Industrial era, sport became less elitist and more accessible. From 1896 onwards, the modern Olympic Games, together with the Football World Cup whose first edition took place in 1930, have become two of the most important events at the international level. Certainly tennis and motor racing competitions also attract a large public interest.

The practice of sports has led to the creation of specific facilities (stadia, grounds, circuits, courts, etc.), which not only bear witness to the development of the sports themselves but also to the evolution of architectural design, use of technology and aesthetic expression over time. From Greek and Roman stadia or pre-Hispanic ball courts in Middle-America to modern high-tech installations now found worldwide, many of these buildings and ensembles carry significant values related to history, architecture and techniques and have become part of our cultural heritage.

In other cases, sporting activities involved the special use of particular urban spaces or territories. Many of these places are protected or included in protected sites or areas, whilst others are unfortunately not recognized as heritage components and subject to neglect and decay.

Throughout history, the St. Maarten people have entertained themselves in active and passive participation of games and pastimes, many of which are fast disappearing and others rebounding. These games were accompanied by particular techniques developed over the years. As a young constituent state within the Kingdom of the Netherlands we are presented with many challenges and opportunities on this front.

Regarding opportunities that are within our reach and may I say we have a golden one knocking at our door, which is well rooted in our culture dating back to the early 1600’s when the British occupied St. Martin. I am referring to the much talked about cricket stadium that has the potential of uniting us as a young constituent state as it did for us as West Indian people coming out of the mid 1800’s (post slavery). The numbers and the diversity of people that play the sport and are spectators of the sport in itself is testimony to the positive effects it will generate when materialized.

Keacy Carty’s success as a member of the West Indies U19 Team along with the West Indies Women’s Team and the West Indies Men’s Team recent victories are snapshots of this potential. We have to reflect and take a closer look on how we value our John Cooper/Jose Lake Senior Ball Park, Little league Stadium, Melford Hazel Sports Facility and Lionel Bernhard Scott Sports auditorium to name a few from an aesthetic, architectural, practical, historical, etc.; point of view and use them to bring out the best in our people, reflective of who we are.

In closing on this year’s World Heritage Day I am urging every citizen of Sweet St. Maarten Land to reflect and ask the question: Am I properly interpreting the values of our cultural properties and presenting them accordingly to the younger generation of our society? 

It boils down to a simple obligation and proposition:

Each generation is obligated to teach the future generation of the past and our plan should be in line with that of Jomo Kenyatta who made the proposition to his countrymen and by extension the world that “Our children may learn about the heroes of the past, however our task is to make ourselves the architects of the future.”

Happy World Heritage Day, Minister of Culture Silveria Jacobs said in a press statement.

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Final phase of Emergency Repairs Front Street to start on Wednesday from Courthouse to Emmaplein

PHILIPSBURG - The Government of St Maarten, represented by the Council of Ministers, would like to update the general public with regards to the second and final phase of the Emergency repairs which are been carried out on Front Street. The project is being financed by the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) and coordinated by the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI).

We are pleased to inform you, as promised, that the first phase of this project is now completed and traffic through Front Street from Sea Palace can continue up until the Court House. As of Wednesday April 20th 2016 up until Saturday April 30th 2016, the second and final phase of the emergency repairs will be carried out.

The project will be delivered on time and ready for the Grand Carnival Parade and Labor Day Parade. 

  • Phase 2 set to start Wednesday April 20th 2016 to April 30th 2016: From the Court House up until Emma Plein.

The works will be carried out by contractor Windward Roads. Co-ordination of the works will be carried-out by Ministry VROMI.

All Businesses and residence are therefore urge to co-operate during these times of execution and all questions and concerns can be addressed and taken into consideration. Deliveries to and from your establishment can be done via the side roads as access will remain open up until the Front Street.

The Ministry pleads that you do not park your cars in these side roads as the aforementioned should remain free at all times in case of emergency for the Police, Fire, Ambulance Department and for the collection of Garbage. Please respect the code of conduct for this project in order to facilitate an easy transition of the works.

The total duration of the emergency works for phase 2 is estimated at 10 calendar days; the projects is scheduled to be completed  prior to the start of the Grand Carnival Parade, Sunday May 1st 1016 and the Labor Day Parade, Monday May 2nd 2016 .

We understand that it is short notice and apologize for any undue inconveniences that this may cause. Trusting to have informed you sufficiently, working together towards a better St. Maarten for us all.

In case of emergency the community Police officer for the area of Philipsburg will be Mr. Steven Carty.

Please feel free to contact ing. Kurt A. Ruan, Department Head of New Projects Development and Planning, or Ms. Nathalie Parotte,  Project Manager, if any questions may arise with regards to the execution of the works to Ministry V.R.O.MI., Department of New Projects Development and Planning by the following E-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via telephone: 542-4289.

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MP Lake calls for action regarding waste haulers, and landfill management

ST. PETERS - “As a Member of Parliament (MP), I have a responsibility towards the people of St. Maarten who I represent.  And this responsibility also includes passing on my observations to the Government that I support with the result of action being taken to remedy situations in the general interest of the people,” MP Maurice Lake said on Sunday.  

“I have been observing the transition phase of the five waste haulers where it concerns picking up the garbage for the past weeks.  I also have been walking around in the different districts, talking to the residents, communicating with some waste haulers about the garbage situation, and listening to the different radio/ television programs, and especially taking note of the resident’s comments and concerns.   

“I also have heard of the comments on Facebook and have taken note of these as well, about the garbage situation. I would like to thank the general public and Foundations for sending me pictures along with their comments, and I can assure them that their concerns are also my concern. As a Parliamentarian it is also my duty to question Government / the Minister responsible and to express my concerns.I am a guy who likes to get things done and find solutions to every situation, which is my back to basics approach that I started with from the onset when I was a Minister. 

“I strongly believe in the saying "cleanliness is Godliness" and positive criticism instead of negativity, but Government must straighten out the garbage system to provide the people with good service. At the same time Government as a responsible Government must implore the standards on the waste haulers that workers executing the work must wear safety gear and other protective gear where needed when carrying out their work. 

“There is no politics in garbage collection and Government needs to address the situation right away by starting to hold waste haulers responsible and accountable for their districts. Clearly the transition phase didn't run smoothly, but it is time for the waste haulers to get their act together by getting to know their districts, the residents and doing their job as it should be done. 

“You can't clean some areas and leave the other side roads in the same district dirty.  This is unacceptable and not good service. There are standards that have to be upheld. I would advise Minister Meyers to get a route schedule from each waste hauler along with the time they are going to pick up the garbage within the districts. Those responsible within the Ministry can do spot checks to ascertain whether or not good service was provided by driving through the districts and documenting their observations. In the event that waste haulers cannot execute their duties, the Ministry must review their contract. There must be checks and balances put in place by the Ministry. 

“I urge Minister Meyers to have an urgent meeting with the waste haulers and landfill operators to see what the issues are, and to have Ministry VROMI Inspectors enforce a better plan of action to deal with the garbage situation and the landfill (dump).  

“I have to also commend Minister Meyers, the Indian Merchants and businesses and the All Waste in Place Garbage Hauler for finding a solution for the commercial garbage in Philipsburg. We can solve a lot of our problems through dialogue to make St. Maarten a better place. This of course comes together by working together. 

“I am not here to play any politics or make excuses with the landfill (dump). We all know the landfill (dump) is an issue and has been so for years. There were several fires over the past years under different contractors who were managing the landfill. These fires will continue no matter who is managing the landfill until the root of the problem of the landfill is addressed by the project to deal with the landfill. 

“It is nearing its capacity and things have to change by starting the waste to energy project. The landfill must be a priority and Government has to take the necessary steps to address the landfill problem, by starting to execute the Waste to Energy project in the general interest of the people. Some projects will have such an impact on the general wellbeing of St. Maarten, touching various aspects of the living standard of our communities such as health, which both Parliament and Government must come to a consensus to move forward with the landfill project. 

“I am looking forward to Minister Meyers having an urgent meeting with the waste haulers and to get their garbage route schedule for the different districts, and for Government to enforce accountability in the garbage collection system. Let's be part of the solution rather than the problem,” MP Maurice Lake said.

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Ministry VSA issues warning for fire at dump

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, is advising persons living downwind from the landfill fire, to close windows and doors, especially persons who have a respiratory challenge.  This action should also be taken in the future.

For persons who suffer from asthma, shortness of breath, or any other respiratory challenges, to close their windows and doors until the fumes clear.

Individuals who do not have respiratory issues but are residing downwind should also close their windows and doors if irritated by the smell from the fire.

Minister of Public Health Emil Lee commented, "The ministry is very much aware of the potentially negative impact that chemicals released into the air by the fire at the dump can have on the health of the population.  

“We advise the population to exercise caution when downwind of the fumes from the fire, and this also applies for future fire events at the landfill."

For information you can call CPS 542-2078 or 542-3003. 

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Opening Jump-up for Carnival 2016 a success. No drinks to be served in bottles

PHILIPSBURG - The opening Jump up for Carnival 2016 was a success. The Jump-up was held on Thursday April 14th 2016 was scheduled to start at 8.00 p.m., but stared approximately 8.30 p.m.

The jump up left the Reward area via the L.B. Scot road, Church Hill round about, Bush road, Prins Bernard Bridge, Walter Nisbet road, Salt Picker Round About and ended in front of the Festival Village on the Soualiga Boulevard.

The jump up arrived on time for the opening ceremony. The jump up was well attended by carnival revelers and onlookers. There were very few reports of fights, disturbances or persons miss-conducting themselves in which the police had to intervene.

What the police have noticed along the route of the jump-up is that there were many persons selling drinks and food out of vehicles on the side of the street. Several of these vendors were selling drinks in glass bottles. The police are asking all vendors for safety reasons not to sell drinks in glass bottles and to use plastic cups for that purpose, and not to sell alcohol to a minor which is illegal and can lead to the issuance of a very heavy fine.

Finally the police department wants to thank and congratulate the entire community for their cooperation and good behavior during this jump-up and is looking forward for the same type of cooperation and conduct over the entire carnival season.  (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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Chain snatched from victim’s neck

FRONT STREET - The Special Robbery Unit is presently investigating a case of chain snatching which took place on Wednesday April 13th at approximately 4.00 p.m.

The victim with initials F.W.R. stated that he was walking in Front Street in the vicinity of Shoe Tree when suddenly he felt that gold necklace was snatched from his neck.

When he reacted to what was going he realized that an unknown young man had pulled his chain from his neck and took off running in the direction of Back Street. (Police Force Sint Maarten) 

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