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Rotary Sunset Launches Little Free Library At USM

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) — The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset launched its first Little Free Library on the Dutch side of the island at the University of St. Martin in the presence of the President of USM, Mr. Antonio Carmona-Baez, the Dean of Academics, Dr. Rolinda Carter, as well members of the club. 

The concept of the Little Free Library was initially introduced in 2009 by Rotarian Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin and the idea quickly spread throughout thousands of communities in the United States, with the goal of creating awareness on the importance of literacy. The Little Free Library is certainly not a new one for the island of St. Martin, as Rotary Sunset initially introduced the first little free library in December with its initial launch on the Marigot Waterfront. The objective of the little free library is mainly to advocate the importance of reading and to promote literacy, a key area of focus for Rotary clubs worldwide. 

“We received an outpouring of support and encouragement from members of the community with the installation of our first little library on the French side and we decided that there was a need to construct additional little libraries which would be installed at various locations around the island, especially given the dire state of the public libraries on both sides of the island. Today we are extremely grateful for the support of the Management and staff of USM and for the generous donation of Rotarian Stuart Johnson who sponsored this little free library,” President Jaida Nisbett stated. 

Stuart Johnson in a brief statement expressed his gratitude to Rotary Sunset and to USM for awarding him the opportunity to give back to his community. “I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be able to give back to USM and I am thankful to be a part of such a wonderful organization which has enabled me to be able to give back to my community and to further promote literacy on our island with the installation of this little library. USM is dear to my heart, especially being a former student and this is a small token of appreciation to show how much I appreciate USM.” 

President of USM Antonio Carmona-Baez in a brief statement thanked the club for their efforts in the community and for considering USM to house one of its little free libraries. “On behalf of the Dean and myself, I would like to thank you all for this wonderful opportunity for collaboration. As a new resident on the island, I have come to realize how important Rotary Clubs are to St. Martin and it is extremely nice to see that there are so many collaborative efforts, especially in the areas of education. I do believe this would have a tremendous impact on our students and all visitors who come by. We are truly proud of this collaborative effort and we look forward to many more in the future.” 

The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset would like to encourage the general public to pass by the little library, take a book and leave a book. Members of the community are urged to donate books they are no longer using to either of the club’s little libraries. The club would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Rotarian Stuart Johnson for his generous donation and to the Management and Staff of the University of St. Martin for their support.

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Causeway Jump Up a Success

SIMPSON BAY - The Causeway Jump Up which was the first for the 2019 Carnival Season and 50thCarnival Anniversary was held on Saturday March 16th, 2019, police said in a statement on Sunday. 

The Jump Up started just after 8.00 p.m. on the Welfare road in the area of Billy Folly road heading over the Simpson Bay Bridge, Airport Boulevard, Causeway Bridge, Union road and back the Welfare road where it ended on time. 

The Jump Up also caused the traffic to back up some what but, this was cleared up as soon as the parade passed by.  The Jump Up was a success and there were only two arrests made. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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Working visit “BESt4kids” for progress and inspiration

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS - Several civil servants from Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba worked together with civil servants from the ministries on the “BESt4kids” program in Utrecht last week. The aim of this program is to strengthen childcare and pre-school and after-school facilities on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Caribbean Netherlands). The ambition is to offer high-quality, safe and affordable childcare and after-school care for all children in the Caribbean Netherlands by 2022. Daycare that ensures the proper development of every child. But also, for a good connection with education and meaningful leisure activities.

The public entities and the ministries of SZW[1], VWS[2], OCW[3]and BZK[4]work closely together in this program. In addition, they will coordinate regularly with local stakeholders. Such as childcare and after-school care organizations, schools and other organizations in the youth chain. (Ed.: the youth care centers, the Guardianship Council, the educational care expertise centers, etc.).

In 2018, the various ministries and the public entities had determined what they were going to do in the BEST(t) 4kids program during various work meetings in the Caribbean Netherlands. And how they will work together in this program. The program is based on a joint approach. But there is also an eye for the specific problems and needs per island. Every island, including the Central Government, has drawn up its own plan of action that forms part of the program.

During the last working meeting in Utrecht, the civil servants involved worked together to achieve the objectives for various subjects. Think of the supervision of childcare and after-school facilities, the applicable quality standards, children who need care and the costs of childcare. The group also paid a working visit to two youth institutions in Brabant: the organization for childcare and after-school care ’Wij zijn JONG’ and the ‘Milo’ Foundation, a center for children with special care needs. These visits have generated a lot of inspiration. Both for childcare and after-school care and for collaboration with schools and youth institutions in the Caribbean Netherlands.

From 1 March 2019, the BESt4kids program will be led by program manager Fleur Lagcher. A project manager has been appointed for each island: Angela Dekker for Sint Eustatius and Rosalyn Johnson for Saba. The project manager for Bonaire is expected to be appointed in April. These three project leaders and the program manager work closely together with local project leaders as well as project leaders in The Hague from the ministries involved. (RCN CARIBBEAN NETHERLANDS)

 

[1]Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid

[2]Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport

[3]Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap

[4]Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties

 

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Firefighter department says goodbye to Jair Tromp

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS - The Caribbean Netherlands Fire Department said goodbye to Commander Jair Tromp last Monday. 

Tromp led the corps for over seven years. Under the presence of Director of Policy and Task Performance Jan Willem Schaper, Jair received the Bronze Fire Brigade award from chairman Stephan Wevers of the Netherlands Firefighter Service during a well-attended farewell meeting on Bonaire. 

This award is for foreign firefighter commanders. Earlier this month he said goodbye to the corps on Saba and St. Eustatius. Tromp becomes Director of Supervision and Enforcement at the Bonaire Public Entity. (RCN CARIBBEAN NETHERLANDS)

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Central Government Real Estate Agency starts dismantling old prison

BONAIRE - The first phase of the dismantling of the old prison will start March 14th, 2019.The decommissioning is planned in three phases. Phase one lasts until 15 April 2019 and concerns the relocation of the cell containers and various fencing.

In order to limit the inconvenience as much as possible for other road traffic, a temporary dam will be made from the dirt road opposite of the prison to the site of the stadium. 

The containers will be brought to their final destination via large-scale transport via the stadium site. Transhipment also takes place on the stadium grounds. A few containers might be temporarily placed here.

The majority of the containers will be deployed within the walls of the new prison at Plantage Aruba. In addition, a few containers are being moved to other (government) agencies, such as the SGB and Integrated Neighbourhood Approach (in Dutch: Integrale Wijkaanpak). All containers and fencing will be reused. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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St. Dominic High IB students experience CIBC FirstCaribbean

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - All across the region eager young women filed into the branches and offices of regional bank CIBC FirstCaribbean to “fill” a variety of positions for the day on Friday March 8.

The “job shadow” was one of the bank’s key activities across its 16-member regional footprint to mark International Women’s Day observed around the world on that date. It saw scores of female students from secondary and tertiary institutions joining meetings with senior managers and executives or going on the frontlines with retail staff as they got a feel for the various roles performed by the bank’s 3000 employees, seventy per cent of whom are women.

At the bank’s regional headquarters in Barbados, Chief Executive Officer Colette Delaney and Managing Director for Barbados and the OECS, Donna Wellington, welcomed three new “assistants” for the day when she was joined by Zwena Knight, 16, from Queen’s College, Alyssa Payne, from The Lester Vaughan School and Danielle Worrell, from The St. Michael’s School. 

The three, who have a firm grounding in accounting and business studies, shadowed Ms. Delaney for most of the morning sitting in on meetings with her and Chief Administrative Officer Neil Brennen and other senior members of the bank.

She noted that the students were engaged and “fully participated and had a good input” during one of her meetings. She said that the job shadow was intended to show the students that there was a whole lot more to banking that just the familiar retail functions. The students also spent time in the marketing, legal, risk and corporate banking segments at head office and were later taken on a tour of the Sunset Crest Branch by the CEO and Michelle Whitelaw, Director of Retail Banking Channels. They were also treated to lunch in the bank’s boardroom where they were joined by a number of senior female leaders.

On St. Maarten, St. Dominic High IB students, Selena Wadhwani and Srishti Rajani assisted Customer Service Manager, Carolyn Langhorne and Senior Customer Service Representative, Miranda Hodge. They also had the opportunity to sit with a Credit Manager, Sales Specialist, and Customer Service Officer. Stepping into the world of banking, the students learnt of the many careers available within the industry, such as Human Resources, which was of special interest to them. 

In addition to the job shadow there were various activities to recognise and reward the contribution of women to business and the society as well as seminars and mentorship sessions and donations to women and girl’s charities.

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Chuchubi Foundation Celebrates Aruba Flag Day on Monday

PHILIPSBURG - On March 18th is Aruba Flag Day and the Chuchubi Foundation on St. Maarten is bringing once again all Arubans and lovers of Aruba together to celebrate this national holiday with Aruba. 

After a successful 65thAruba Carnival Celebration last week where hundreds of Arubans and St. Maarteners visited Aruba, the Chuchubi Foundation continues its yearly organization of the Aruba Day celebration. Do join the Chuchubi Foundation at the following events on Aruba Day: 

Monday March 18th, 2019  

* 6:00am: Annual Church Service at the Philipsburg Methodist Church on Front Street. 

* 7:00am: Hoisting of the St. Maarten and Aruba Flags and singing of the anthems of both    countries. 

* 7:00pm – 11pm: The Honorary Ceremony & Meet & Greet Party at Caribbean Blend on the boardwalk with DJ EZ Rick and the familiar “Saco Di Felipe” will be on sale. Dress code:  Aruban Blend 

Chuchubi Foundation invites you to come and celebrate with us. 

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Concrete blocks damages bus in hit and run. Community assistance needed

SINT MAARTEN (BELVEDERE) - The Sint Maarten Police Force is in need of the assistance of the community locating a white truck that was involved in a hit and run incident on Monday 11thMarch, in the vicinity of the Belvedere/French Quarter border, police announced on Tuesday. 

Reports received from the Traffic Department stated that bus #160 was travelling on the Illidge road heading in the direction of French Quarter when a white truck carrying concrete blocks, travelling in the opposite direction began to lose its cargo. 

The concrete blocks which were not properly secured fell from the truck and damaged the bus. One of the concrete blocks landed on the seat of the driver through the driver’s side window of the bus barely missing the driver. The driver of the white truck continued driving without stopping to assess the damages, leaving behind several concrete blocks on the road side.

The Traffic Department is asking for driver of the white truck to come to the station or persons who were in the vicinity at the time of the accident to get in contact with Traffic Department as soon as possible by calling 542-2222 extension 241 or the Emergency Dispatch by dialing 911. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

police bus ins damaged

police damaged bus in2

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SZV INVESTIGATES PHISHING SCAM

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Social & Health Insurances SZV has recently been targeted by a seemingly international phishing scam. As a good corporate citizen, SZV takes this opportunity to warn businesses and institutions on island to be on the “lookout” for this. 

The scam took place via e-mail correspondence, where the scammers posed as a company insider that requests and approves financial transactions. The scam was of such a sophisticated nature that protocol was not breached. This led to no initial suspicion of the action. SZV has since increased its ICT security measures as well as its banking protocols, which will now include additional manual checks.SZV is aware that other local and regional entities have been targeted in similar scams. The scam has been reported to the respective authorities, an official police report has been filed as well and the FBI and other international agencies are being contacted for assistance. 

Due to the ongoing investigation, details cannot be disclosed at this time. Together with our bank, SZV is seeking to retrieve the money transferred. Internally, additional security measures are now in place for bank transfers. These measures include additional manual checks, which will lead to extending the payment processing time.This is a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam, a type of financial fraud designed to steal money from businesses and individuals. Typically, an attacker will impersonate high-level executives at a company and send phishing emails to employees requesting either a money transfer or sensitive data that can be used to commit fraud. 

Attackers research the organization to identify who to target (can make transfers) as well as who to impersonate (can make the request). The scam is not uncommon in the United States, Netherlands and the United Kingdom, however now seems to be targeting the Caribbean region more aggressively.

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Breemer appointed new managing director of tax dept. Caribbean Netherlands

SABA/ST. EUSTATIUS - Anneke van den Breemer has been appointed Managing Director of the Tax Department Caribbean Netherlands. Breemer starts in her new position on June 1st, 2019. In this function Breemer succeeds Nichalin Martina. Anneke van den Breemer is currently Regional Director Customs Rotterdam, where she has worked since 2014.

Prior to that, she worked in various other management positions within the tax departments (Customs and Tax office). (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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