Soualiga Newsday Focus

Soualiga Newsday Focus (1053)

Leonard Connor School Group Three Students Visit HE Governor Holiday

HARBOUR VIEW - Recently His Excellency (HE) Governor Eugene Holiday received the pupils of group three from the Leonard Connor School.

During this visit the children and their class teacher Mrs. Clake and Mrs. Evers were able to ask the Governor and staff many questions and were given a tour of the Cabinet.

At the end of their visit the children were presented with a Governor's pin.

gov school visit inside


The Kingdom of the Netherlands is comprised of four countries: St. Maarten, Aruba, Curacao and the Netherlands since October 10, 2010. On that date, Sint Maarten acquired the status of country within the Kingdom. As a result, St. Maarten has its own Governor as of that day.

In accordance with the regulation of the Governor the authorities of the Governor are divided in powers assigned to him by law as an organ of the country St. Maarten and as an organ of the Kingdom.

The Governor as organ of the country St. Maarten

As organ of the country of St. Maarten the Governor represents the King of the Netherlands, King Willem Alexander, on Sint Maarten and is as such the head of the government of St. Maarten. As head of government the Governor is immune and the ministers are responsible. The Governor together with the ministers forms the Government of Sint Maarten and as such exercises executive powers.

The executive powers are related to:

The establishment and promulgation of national ordinances and the signing of national decrees, containing general measures.

The appointment, suspension and dismissal of civil servants  and the establishment of their remuneration;

The management of the finances and domains (properties) of St. Maarten;

The granting of remission of sentence and dispensations;

Granting permission for military aircraft and vessels of a foreign power to enter airspace or territorial waters of St. Maarten.

Many high officials when accepting their official duties, take the oath or the declaration and affirmation in the hands of the Governor. This applies to, among others,  ministers, members of Parliament, members of the Council of Advise, members of the General Audit Chamber, the Attorney General, and judges. At the beginning of the new Parliamentary year, on the second Tuesday of September, the Governor delivers the Governors address in a meeting of Parliament convened for that purpose. The Governor's address is an outline of the envisaged plans and policies of the Government. The Prime-Minister is responsible for the contents of the address.

The Governor is also  the chairman of the Council of Advice. In that capacity he has an advisory function. The vice-chair is responsible for the daily management. The Council of Advice advices the Governement and Parliament on (draft) legislation.

The Governor also participates in the legislative branch of Government of St. Maarten. The Governor presents draft national ordinances for approval to the Parliament and enacts them, after approval is obtained. Subsequently, he sees to it that the enacted national ordinances are promulgated.

The Governor as organ of the Kingdom

As organ of the Kingdom the Governor represents the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Governor in this capacity is responsible to the Government of the Kingdom. The Governor is authorized, within the limits of the law, to act on behalf of the Kingdom government. As organ of the Kingdom the Governor, in regards to Sint Maarten, guards the general interest of the kingdom, is responsible for the implementation of Kingdom Laws, of General administrative measures and of international treaties and oversees compliance therewith. This applies to the following kingdom affairs:

Maintaining the independence and the defense of the Kingdom (Commander of Armed Forces);

Foreign relations;

Dutch nationality;

The regulation of the knighthoods (The Royal honors)

Provide for the realization and supervision of the observance of kingdom laws, general administrative measures and international agreements.

In this regard citizens of St. Maarten mainly come in contact with the Governor through: the implementation of the Passport Law (issuing of travel documents), the implementation of the regulation issuing visas (Granting visas), the implementation of the Law on Dutch citizenship (naturalization and option), and the awarding of the annual Royal decorations on King's Day.


Spring O’Brien is St. Maarten’s rep for North American market

POND ISLAND - Marketing firm Spring O’Brien is the new North American marketing firm for destination St. Maarten. Minister of Tourism Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher said this became official on April 1, 2017. 

Spring O’Brien specializes in travel and hospitality communications and is known in the marketplace for its strategic thinking and creative programs and campaigns.

The firm will work closely with the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) to increase the awareness of the destination and continue to encourage new and repeat visitors to St. Maarten.

Spring O’Brien has been tasked to increase visitor arrivals not only from traditional source markets, but target more of the key cities in the South-Eastern area as well as in the mid-West and East coast.

Spring O’Brien has also been tasked with targeting more influential and upscale visitors to the destination, hence increasing the value of visitor spending.

“The importance of contracting firms to handle key markets speaks for itself. These firms have to develop and implement a creative advertising and media plan for St. Maarten in collaboration with the STB. The intended results is to put heads in beds which ultimately contribute to the economy of St. Maarten,” the Minister said.

The Minister said government is looking forward to involving all industry partners and Spring O’Brien in developing new strategies on how to best position St. Maarten for the future in an ever growing and competitive tourism market.


NIA Celebrates 4th Anniversary with Double Party Fundraiser on April 11

PHILIPSBURG - On Tuesday April 11, 2017 National Institute of Arts –NIA celebrates it’s 4th Anniversary, with double party fundraiser for its students Marine Caillet and the competition group competing in this years French Federation of Dance competition.

NIA, founded four years ago continues to fulfill its mission of “Enriching lives through a continuum of interdisciplinary art education” by conducting this fundraiser to assist Marine Caillet who is traveling to New York to further her dance training at Broadway Dance Center.

Marine is joining NIA list of students who have successfully transitioned from St.Maarten to Schools in Jamaica, London, New York and Amsterdam to continue they’re training as dance artists.

NIA Fundraising Double Party will take place at NIA located at the John Larmonie Center in the Black Box Theatre with 2 events. Party ONE’S dress code is Blue and White created for children under 14 years old, to celebrate from 6pm to 9pm with friends, family and the public at Large.

Party TWO, the All White Party starts at 10 pm featuring renowned and popular DJ’s from the Kalaboom Team, DJ Big Boss, DJ Maestro, Dj Lil R, and DJ Kimbe. the DJ Have come together in collaboration to assist with the fundraiser for NIA.  Dress code for Party number 2 is all white.

NIA Double Fundraiser Party open to students, family and friend at large who wish to contribute to our cause assisting young people fulfill their dreams of becoming professional performing artist.

All tickets are available through NIA students at NIA located at the John Larmonie Center. For more information, please contact NIA 1-721-543-0600 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Minister Jacobs attends SMVTS career fair

SOUTH REWARD – On April 3rd, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Ms. Silveria Jacobs attended the 6th Annual Career Fair day at the St. Maarten Vocational Training School (SMVTS).

SMVTS has been hosting the career fair to encourage, and assist in the development of the students with regards to their vocational educational and career fields. This year’s theme was “Employability: Your ticket to a brighter future” which was aimed at broadening horizons and the possibilities of seeking employment in an unexpected or unthought-of area or profession.

The stakeholders in attendance at the Career Fair 2017 were St. Maarten Medical Center, GEBE, the Fire Department, the Philipsburg Jubilee Library and the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau. 

Minister Jacobs pleaded for each student to attend every stakeholder’s booth with an open mind. “Although you may have an idea or have your heart set on a profession, keep an open mind. You may be intrigued by a profession unthought-of.”

Good behavior and attitude was also a topic the Minister stressed on to the students of SMVTS. She encouraged them to always have a smile on their face, and utter the friendly words “Good morning and good afternoon”.

“A good attitude can take you a long way. The academic degrees can wither away, but the impression you leave on someone will stay with them forever.”

At the end, Minister Jacobs received a school tour guided by Mrs. Bourne-Gumbs, to the trade sectors the students receive their practical training in.  


Kingdom Mission “Higher Education” visit to Cuba a Success

PHILIPSBURG – Minister Jacobs along with the St. Maarten delegation finalized four days of marathon meetings with Ministries of Higher Education, Culture and Tourism as well as Universities of Arts, Medicine, Hospitality &Tourism, Pedagogy & Sports with firm commitments to collaborate to share expertise, promote student and professor exchange, technical assistance, research collaboration as a Kingdom partner and more importantly as a fellow Caribbean country.

The welcome by the Government and professional community of Cuba was indeed heart-warming and encouraged future cooperation. Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, can expect to come to some firm agreements within the coming months as to the scope of a multiyear plan of cooperation between Cuba and St. Maarten which marks a historical first at this level.

The opportunity for a delegation to travel to Cuba to secure a part of our cultural heritage through the film industry and gain exposure through exchange in the Caribbean market is expected as soon as the end of June.

Contacts were made with University of Havana Hospitality and Tourism, Vocational School of Arts, the Latin American School of Medicine, the Pedagogic University, the University of Physical Culture and Sports and the Technical Chemical School, which will be shared with vocational and higher education institutes on St. Maarten to further enhance their program development as well possibility to St. Maarten students including artists and athletes to matriculate at Universities in Cuba.

A comprehensive report will be shared with the Council of Ministers and stakeholders in an effort to make the most of this Kingdom mission to Cuba which will result in many positive actions which fit perfectly within our 4 year governing program recently made public.

While Cuba is seen as a poor country, the country and the people are very rich in their cultural developments and educational systems where everyone has equal opportunity for education and development of their potential in sport and arts as well as those with special needs. 

Minister Jacobs extended warm, heartfelt appreciation and thanks to the Cuban government for their hospitality as well as the willingness to work with the Dutch kingdom and specifically the Dutch Caribbean islands to further enhance our country. She also thanked the Dutch kingdom for affording the St. Maarten the opportunity to broaden its horizons.

cuba photo TWO


Recent attacks show pirates off Somalia’s coast still a potent threat – UN agency

INTERNATIONAL, 4 April 2017 – Noting that recent attacks on commercial ships off the coast of Somalia highlight the continued threat of piracy, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has urged ships to follow advice of navies and that of the International Maritime Organization while planning passage through the region.

“After three attacks, following a lull of five years, it is clear that Somali pirates are resurgent and intent on continuing attacks on commercial shipping,” said UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, in a news release today.

“I urge the international community to be vigilant, to work in close partnership and to hold the Somali pirates accountable,” he added.

Over the course of last month, Motor Tanker (a merchant ship designed for the bulk transport of oil) Aris 13, fishing vessel Asayr 2 and cargo ship Al Kaushar were attacked by Somali pirates. While the crews of Aris 13, and Asayr 2 were released, Al Kaushar’s crew are reportedly still held hostage by the pirates.

According to UNODC, large parts of the Somali coast remain beyond the reach of law enforcement authorities and thus called on ships planning passage off the country to follow the advice of navies and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The UN agency added that it continued to support the trials of piracy suspects in the region and to the Somali maritime law enforcement agencies as they extend their reach around the Somali coast.

“The threat of Somali piracy has never gone away: it has been suppressed by the good work of the shipping industry and their security teams, navies, and UNODC’s support to the trial and imprisonment of 1,300 pirates,” expressed Alan Cole, the head of Maritime Crime Programme at UNODC.


Remember NAPA, for All your Auto, Truck and Marine Parts

COLE BAY - With over 600,000 part numbers available, NAPA St. Maarten services more than just the needs of auto and truck owners. We excel in 'special-order' service. A leader in the auto, truck and marine parts business, NAPA understands the need for quality parts and excellent service.



Fouled spark plugSpark plugs are vital to your vehicle’s engine running properly. They provide the spark that ignites air and fuel inside the cylinders and makes the engine turn. Spark plug replacement isn’t something you’ll have to perform very often, but when your vehicle is either running rough or not getting the fuel mileage it used to, foul plugs may be the cause. So how often should you replace your spark plugs and what are some symptoms of bad plugs?

How Long?

Many of today’s cars come equipped with extended-life spark plugs. These plugs are made of rare earth metals and are designed to run up to 100,000 miles. Your plugs may be good for that long but their performance may begin to deteriorate as early as 80,000 miles, as the electrodes wear out from all that use. Most carmakers recommend that you have your spark plugs inspected every 30,000 miles to make sure they’re in good condition.

Rough Riders

How will you know when it’s time to change your spark plugs? The most obvious indicator will be when your engine begins to run rougher than normal. As the plugs wear out, the ignition inside the cylinder will not be as strong and cause the engine to run unevenly. If your engine has a rough idle, trouble starting, misfires or surges when you slow down, you may be in need of some new plugs.

Fill’er Up (More Often)

Another symptom of worn spark plugs is high fuel consumption. As your plugs deteriorate, they aren’t able to ignite the fuel and air mixture as efficiently. Fuel economy can go down as much as 30 percent due to incomplete combustion. When you can tell you’re not getting as far on a tank of fuel, it’s probably time to change those plugs out.

No Go

Poor acceleration is yet another way you can tell if your spark plugs aren’t what they used to be. A solid spark will ignite the fuel inside properly and give the engine the power it needs to get your car moving. When spark plugs wear down, the spark is much less powerful and therefore your engine will not produce as much power. Worn spark plugs will give your car a sluggish feeling and let you know it’s time for a service.

Your vehicle’s spark plugs are an integral part of the engine but they can wear out after extended periods of time. Fresh plugs will not only help your car run smoother but can also improve your fuel mileage as well as power output.

For more information on spark plug replacement, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

1024px spark plugs 3


Students of Leonald Conner School tour Government Administration Building

POND ISLAND - Friday, March 31st 2017 will long be remembered by students of Cycle 1- Grade 1 of the Leonald Conner School as they visited the New Government Building and got the opportunity to meet and greet most of the Ministers.

On the first half of the tour led by Mr. Erno Labega the students and their teacher, Miss Elisia Lake were taken to the 4th floor of the building where they met Civil Servants and Department Heads working in the Ministry of General Affairs.

Prime Minister, the Honorable William Marlin completed the second half of the tour by guiding the students to each of the Cabinets of the Council of Ministers. Prime Minister Marlin explained the young students that the visit was extra special to him, as more than 40 years ago he became the principal of the same school.

Minister Jacobs, who was in Cuba at a conference was one of his students in the 70’s and she went on to become a teacher as well and several years ago, before serving as Minister, Miss. Silveria Jacobs, was also School Manager of the same school.

Each Minister took the time to welcome the students with open arms and gave them a brief explanation of their function within the Council of Ministers. 

As the tour concluded the students were presented with a small gift package and a handout specially prepared for them with photos and information about the Cabinet Ministers. 

Pictures of the students interacting with the Ministers are available on the Facebook page SXMGOV.


Missing Persons Report: Community Assistance Needed in Missing 16-Year Old

PHILIPSBURG - On Saturday April 1st, 2017 a report of “Missing person” was filed at the Philipsburg Police Station by the mother of Tyrese Jevon van Heynegen, born on Sint Maarten, April 6th 2000.

Tyrese was last seen by his mother on Tuesday morning March 28rd 2017 before he left home for School in his MPC (Milton Peters College) uniform. Tyrese have since not returned home, nor contacted his mother or any other family member.

Tyrese has a slim posture, dark brown complexion, dark brown eyes and black hair.

The police department is seeking the assistance from the community to help locate Tyrese Jevon van Heynegen.  Please contact the Police Force: 54-22222 or the emergency number 911.

Or if you are Tyrese and read this, please contact your mother and let her know that you are doing fine. (Police Force Sint Maarten)


Some 300 million people suffer from depression, UN warns ahead of World Health Day

INTERNATIONAL, 31 March 2017 – More than 300 million people are now living with depression, which is the leading cause of ill health and disability worldwide, according to the latest estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) released ahead of World Health Day.

“These new figures are a wake-up call for all countries to re-think their approaches to mental health and to treat it with the urgency that it deserves,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in a news release.

With the number of people with depression increasing more than 18 per cent from 2005 to 2015, WHO is carrying out a year-long campaign, Depression: let’s talk, with the aim of encouraging more people with depression to get help. This is also the theme of the 2017 edition of World Health Day, marked on 7 April.

Lack of support for people with mental disorders, coupled with a fear of stigma, prevent many from accessing the treatment they need to live healthy, productive lives. Depression is an important risk factor for suicide, which claims hundreds of thousands of lives each year.

One of the first steps is to address issues around prejudice and discrimination. “The continuing stigma associated with mental illness was the reason why we decided to name our campaign Depression: let’s talk,” said Shekhar Saxena, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO. “For someone living with depression, talking to a person they trust is often the first step towards treatment and recovery.”

Increased investment is also needed. In many countries, there is no, or very little, support available for people with mental health disorders. Even in high-income countries, nearly 50 per cent of people with depression do not get treatment. On average, just three per cent of government health budgets is invested in mental health, varying from less than one per cent in low-income countries to five per cent in high-income countries.

Every $1 invested in scaling up treatment for depression and anxiety leads to a return of $4 in better health and ability to work.

Failure to act is costly. According to a WHO-led study, which calculated treatment costs and health outcomes in 36 low-, middle- and high-income countries for the 15 years from 2016-2030, low levels of recognition and access to care for depression and another common mental disorder, anxiety, result in a global economic loss of $1 trillion every year.

Households lose out financially when people cannot work. Employers suffer when employees become less productive and are unable to work. Governments have to pay higher health and welfare expenditures.

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