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Soualiga Newsday Latest News (1629)


SIMPSON BAY – Team Goldendog accepted a donation of $3,050 from Blue Water Premium Rums from the proceeds raised from the Launch Party and Bankie Banx Charity Concert held on February 26, 2015 at the Red Piano.


All proceeds will be used to help build Camp Goldendog, Dutch St. Maarten’s first animal shelter and sanctuary, according to Team Goldendog Founder and Chairman, Jeffrey Sochrin.  This donation was announced live on St. Maarten’s Island 92 radio.

President and CEO of Blue Water Premium Rums, J. Scott Sitra stated, “We are thrilled to help the island dogs and to help create Camp Goldendog as a true animal shelter and sanctuary on Dutch Sint Maarten.  At Blue Water Premium Rums, we believe in a culture that supports the community we belong to and we look forward to continuing such community efforts in the future”.

Mr. Sochrin added, “I simply want to thank Mr. Sitra and the entire management team at Blue Water Premium Rums for their heartfelt support of Team Goldendog, especially our Camp Goldendog sanctuary initiative.


I would also like to thank the staff and owners of the Red Piano for hosting such a great evening of fun and entertainment, along with BIG Photo Booths SXM.  Finally, a special thank you goes to Bankie Banx and the Concepts for an evening that will never be forgotten.  To everyone who made the evening possible, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  There is a four legged friend out there that says thank you too!”

If you are interested in adoption or supporting Team Goldendog, or getting involved with us in any way, please call Chairman Jeff Sochrin in the US at 001 (203) 878-3884 or on St. Maarten at +17215866634. You can also email us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

About Team Goldendog

Team Goldendog was created in 2004 under the leadership of Jeffrey W. Sochrin to sail competitively in the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and to support the cause of homeless, abused and needy animals the world over.  After winning their class 4 times in a row at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, Team Goldendog now focuses on helping animals in need and on raising funds to build Camp Goldendog, a state of the art animal sanctuary on Dutch St. Maarten.   If you are interested in supporting Team Goldendog, or getting involved with us in any way, please call Chairman Jeffrey Sochrin in the US at +12038783884 or on St. Maarten at+17215866634.  You can also email us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Visit our website at to donate safely and securely using PayPal.   In Europe, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +06-1600738


PSS N.V. staff aiming for positive first impression on customers with new uniforms

PHILIPSBURG - Management and staff of Postal Services St. Maarten (PSS N.V.) are keen to make positive first impressions with customers and visitors to their three postal branches with new staff uniforms.

This week personnel began greeting customers dressed in new uniforms, sporting smart new designs that carry the red, white and blue of PSS N.V.

Postmen have also been given a “spruce-up” with new uniforms to carry out their postal rounds.

First to congratulate staff on their new appearance was Interim-Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Directors, Mr. Stuart Johnson, who was especially pleased that the initiative to brighten up their look came from the PSS N.V. workers themselves with the support of management.

“I personally commend any effort that staff take to put their best foot forward to make the best impression they can on their customers and visitors to our main post office and postal branches,” said Mr. Johnson.

He also revealed that the designs for the new uniforms were made in-house, demonstrating the creativity and resourcefulness of the PSS N.V. workers also.

The Supervisory Board Chairman made the comments during a recent visit to the main post office, where he was welcomed by Interim Managing Director, Ms. Antonia Wilson. Also present during the visit was representative of the St. Maarten Communication Union (SMCU).

Ms. Wilson said PSS N.V. the new uniforms are designed not only to look good, but also to convey the image of professionalism and courtesy to customers, which staff does their best to achieve at all times.

“We intend to embrace the new look with pride and we are already encouraged by the positive response we have already received by customers who have already seen our staff in their new outfits,” said Ms. Wilson.


Police Arrest Three Armed Robbery Suspects after an Armed Robbery at Thai Wong Supermarket

COLE BAY - On Sunday, March 8th at approximately 05.50 p.m. a phone call came in to the Police Central Dispatch stating that three unknown men armed with guns had just stormed into the Thai Wong Supermarket located on the Wellington road and robbed the establishment.

The Central Dispatch also received a complete description of the suspects. After committing this act the suspects fled the scene on foot.

Shortly after this information, the Police Central Dispatch again received information that the suspects in this case had jumped into a small white Suzuki vehicle with license plate 0062AAB and drove into the direction Union road.

Immediately all police patrols were informed of the incident. The investigating officers were also given the description of the suspects and vehicle they were using as a “get away vehicle.”

A few minutes later the suspect vehicle in which three men fitting the description of the armed robbery suspects was spotted by a patrol on the Union road in the vicinity of the “Pet shop”. The suspects were ordered to stop the car.

All three suspects 16, 19 and 20 years old were immediately arrested. During a search of the vehicle two pistols were found. The suspects along with the confiscated vehicle and firearms were taken to the Philipsburg Police Station where they remain in custody for further investigation. (Police Force Sint Maarten)


Causeway Jam, TelEm RTC party kicks off Carnival season Saturday March 14

SIMPSON BAY - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) will host its second annual Causeway Jump Up on Saturday, March 14. The event will be the first official event of the 2015 Carnival season. After a successful first-run over the bridge last year, the SCDF listened to Carnival lovers and made the event an annual one.

SCDF and its main sponsor TelEm will also host the first of four Road To Carnival (RTTC) parties. The TelEm RTC will be held at the Soggy Dollar Bar. Doors will open while the jump-up is underway, with the party continuing after the jump-up.

The RTC party series serve as warm-up sessions for Carnival 2015. On the schedule is a party in Festival Village following the Around Town Jump-Up, then a First Saturdays Affair in Tantra Night Club and finally a grand finale. More information about the finale will be released at a later date.

As for the Causeway Jump-Up, it will begin at 8:00pm at Kim Sha Beach. It will then move down the Simpson Bay stretch, over the Causeway, through Cole Bay via Union Road and Welfare Road and finally end at Kim Sha again.

“We are excited to finally get the first event of the Carnival season underway. A lot of planning has taken place and March features a few pre-Carnival events. The Causeway jam followed by a party is a great way to ‘Celebrate Life’ as our slogan suggests. We look forward to dusting off the rust of a few months and get back to doing what we do best; fettin,” the SCDF said.  


The 35th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has taken off

SIMPSON BAY -The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta got underway today with 188 yachts entered for the three day extravaganza separated into 18 different classes. The huge fleet was a magnificent sight and very likely to be the biggest gathering of racing yachts in the Caribbean this season. Sailors from all over the world come to the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta for competitive racing, and today they were not disappointed. Strong trade winds, gusting up to 25 knots, with brilliant sunshine served up spectacular conditions. Close to 2000 sailors enjoyed a long first day of amazing racing at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. The vast majority of the fleet sailed a 30 mile course around St. Maarten and as an appealing change, the fleet raced anti-clockwise, starting upwind from Simpson Bay.

Phaedo3 Blasts around St. Maarten

Lloyd Thornburg's ballistic MOD 70 trimaran, Phaedo3 set a record for the new around St. Maarten anti-clockwise course, which included Tintamarre and Blowing Rock. Blasting around St. Maarten in 2 hours 7 minutes and 24 seconds, Phaedo3 averaged 20.7 knots on the 35-mile course, hitting an incredible top speed of 36 knots. At Tintamarre Phaedo3 was smashing through the waves, leaping like a marlin - an incredible sight!

"For sure we can go quicker, fast is fun!" commented Phaedo3 navigator, Miles Seddon, taking a break from his role as performance analyst for Team SCA in the Volvo Ocean Race. "There were a lot of yachts coming to take a look at 'the beast' at the start and there was a lot of traffic to get through, especially in Simpson Bay, with the bareboat fleet all around us. Once we had come around to the windward side of St. Maarten, we were on our own, pounding into the big sea state at 20 knots. It was a big bare away at Tintamarre, we touched 30 knots and trimmer Pete Cumming, was down to leeward easing the head sail, literally underwater getting fire-hosed. Pete was in full wet weather gear but we joked that he really needed a snorkel!"

"We blew out a clew fitting after the big gybe but slick crew work had us back in the groove and the reach across to Basse Terre produced our top boat speed of 36 knots. It sounds crazy but at 30 knots of boat speed, things are calm on board, but at 36 knots, the noises coming from the boat become a little more alarming, the winches, the sails and the rig are literally screaming under the loads."

Gunboat Gunfight

The Gunboat posse composing five hi-tech catamarans, capable of speeds exceeding 20 knots, were an extraordinary sight. At the start, Gunboat 66 Coco de Mer, skippered by Angus Ball, won the pin end in some style and ventured far into Simpson Bay to get a massive lift off the hills beyond, to take the lead. After over three hours of racing, Gunboat 62 Tribe, skippered by Spike Abram with A-Cat World Champion Mischa Heemskerk on board, took line honours in an elapsed time of 3 hours 9 minutes 11 seconds. However after time correction, Coco de Mer was declared the winner by just over 5 minutes from Tribe. Michael Sonnenfeldt's Gunboat 66, Tiger Lilly was third.

Monster Project and Spirit in the Chocolates

In CSA 1, Volvo 70 Monster Project, skippered by Andy Budgen was the first monohull to finish the course. Scorching around in just under three hours to take both line honours and the win on corrected time in CSA 1. Doug Baker's SoCal team racing Kernan 47, True was second with Bajan TP52, Conviction, skippered by Clint Brooks in third.

CSA 3 was won by Swan 65, Spirit owned by British skipper Alan Edwards but the smallest boat in the class IMX 45, Team Maline, skippered by Børre Søraas Sæther performed well to take fourth against some heavy weight opposition. Gijs van Liebergen's Dutch King's Legend and Alan Edwards British entry, Spirit literally dwarf Team Maline. The Scandinavian team are here for some fun and some serious racing. "Team Maline crew is from Norway and Sweden." commented Børre Søraas Sæther. "Most of our friends are at home skiing right now but we are very happy to enjoy the sunshine in St. Maarten. Today we are super happy because, we could have done with more kilos on the rail, especially upwind against the big Swans in our class. So we are delighted to have done so well, it was a long hard race but very satisfying and we are so looking forward to a hot shower and a few cold beers tonight before getting back into racing tomorrow."

Racing at the 35thSt. Maarten Heineken Regatta continues tomorrowwith races scheduled to start for all classes at 955 local time (GMT-4).


E-book workshop at the library next Thursday

PHILIPSBURG - Come and learn about the PJ library’s great selection of E-books, available free of charge to all library members!

On Thursday, March 12th, 2015, your library will host another informative workshop on how to download e-books from the library’s website.

Participants will also learn what types of e-books, audiobooks and e-readers are available at the library. The workshop will be provided by the library’s former director Ans Koolen and library systems administrator Francia Housen.

Thursday’s session will be held between 6:00 pm and 8:00 pm in the media lab of the library. The workshop is free of charge and people of all ages can attend. Please bring along your own device (tablet, phone or e-reader) so that you can start downloading your e-books right away!

With a maximum of twenty participants, places are limited, so please register in advance for this workshop at the library’s Circulation Desk or contact telephone number 542 2970 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Honorable Minister of Economic Affairs C. Connor Meets with the Chamber of Commerce & Industry

PHILIPSBURG - The Chamber of Commerce & Industry (COCI) Board of Directors after having requested an audience with previous Ministers of TEATT finally got the long awaited audience with current Minister C. Connor, based on a February 15th request.

Having met prior with the COCI Executive Board, the Minister joined the COCI Board meeting on March 3rd, 2015 where he outlined his vision on economic development and the role of COCI.

The members of the COCI Board were very pleased to have this one on one exchange with the Minister, and requested meetings and exchanges with the Minister and his cabinet in a structural manner, to better synchronize efforts undertaken by both entities seeking a sustainable economic development in St. Maarten.

The COCI Board members undertaking the activities for the execution of this year’s theme:”Better Business in St. Maarten”, were elated to receive the positive feedback from the Minister and pledged their support for a close working relationship with the Ministry of TEATT.

The Minister and his Chef de Cabinet, J. James established the communication lines between COCI and the Ministry of TEATT, adding immediate action to words.  


DP MP Wescot-Williams queries Development Plan and St. Maarten Quarter Development Company prior to Parliament Committee Meeting

PHILIPSBURG – Leader of the Democratic Party (DP) Member of Parliament (MP) Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams on the eve of a closed door meeting of the House of Parliament by the Permanent Committee for Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications, set for Thursday, March 5 at 3.00pm; the DP parliamentary faction leader said: “It took the following questions to reveal that there is an approved development plan for the Harbour area.

"I would like to be provided with an elucidation of this convocation. ‘Who are the presenters and what is the objective of this presentation?’ These questions were posed by me, following convocation for a Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication committee meeting for Thursday, March 5th.

“Committee members were invited to the meeting to receive a presentation by the St. Maarten Quarter Development Company (SQDC) NV, without any further explanation.

“The above mentioned questions were then "answered" with copies of two letters, one of December 18, 2014 from the CEO of the Harbour Group of companies, giving his approval to this master plan and a second letter of February 13, 2015 by the SQDC NV to the government of St. Maarten requesting the final approval from the Government of St. Maarten.

“The company is scheduled to meet with the Council of Ministers, also on March 5th. Will the Government give its approval to this plan before the meeting with the Parliamentary committee?

“Dare the committee of Parliament ask any questions? Are we even allowed to ask questions, this time around to a "third party"?  Will representatives of the Harbour be present, either in the meeting with the Council of Ministers or with the committee of Parliament?

“Why was this agreement that allegedly goes back to 2009 not divulged during the presentations by the Harbour Group of Companies to the Parliament of St. Maarten? What are the parties seeking from Parliament, if anything at all?” queried MP Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams. (DP Parliamentary Faction)


Art Saves Lives holds first Placement and Screening Audition ~Ms. Nikeva Stapleton featured artist conducts workshop at screening~

MAHO REEF - On Saturday February 28th students from both sides of the island took part in the Audition and Placement event for Art Saves Lives Foundation Summer Intensive which will be held from June 29-July 4th 2015.

Many students who took part in ASL’s 2013 and 2014 Summer Intensives returned to audition for placement in ASL 2015. Workshops this year has now expanded to include classes in Painting on Canvas and Music Production. Ms. Nikeva Stapleton, a Fordham University graduate and an accomplished dancer who has worked with artists Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Chris Brown was the featured artist at this year’s audition. She was also a part of the faculty of ASL 2014. The Management of Sonesta Maho (Mrs. Patricia Vlaun), Mr. Clarence Derby (Towers at Mullet Bay), and Ms. Majella O’Brien Gallant were all sponsors of the event.

There will be another audition and screening event in May and students are encouraged to visit ASL’s Facebook Page for more updates or contact the organization at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. 


Minister Connor meets with police, regatta to ensure safety, security, overall experience

PHILIPSBURG - Minister of Tourism Claret Connor on Monday hosted a meeting with all the key players in the organizing and security of the Heineken Regatta. The meeting which was held at the Police Department focused on ensuring a safe and memorable experience for residents and visitors alike by making sure all contingent plans are in place. 

The Minister stressed that the Regatta is important to the marine industry which, in turn, is important to St. Maarten. He said everyone will participate and have an enjoyable experience but at the same time, many will also want to take advantage of the situation.

“My approach has always been a proactive one. I called the meeting to make sure all the T’s were crossed and I’s dotted. We discussed how we will deal with those ‘lil issues’ that can arise to hamper the overall experience. Also discussed was the chain of command and how government and the organizers will mitigate bad experiences,” the Minister said.

Minister Connor said he was proud of how the police have taken the lead and a no-nonsense approach to safety and security. In addition to meeting with Regatta organizers on a prior occasion, the police have also met with the relevant taxi associations to regulate the movement of people and traffic. All plans were shared with the Minister.

Minister Connor asked the public to exercise patience during the days of Regatta as there will be some inconvenience “but it is some inconvenience that will be beneficial to us all in the long run. I ask one and all to support the parties that the Regatta has organized and the overall event which is a terrific showcase for the destination.” (Press Secretariat, Government of Sint Maarten Council of Ministers) 

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