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Soualiga Newsday Latest News (1960)

MAF Plan for Sustainable Community Development to be presented at Workshop Wednesday

GREAT BAY – On Wednesday, September 10th there will be a Validation Workshop at the University of St. Martin (USM) to endorse the Millennium Acceleration Framework (MAF) Country Action Plan.

This Validation Workshop aims at helping key players in the Government of Sint Maarten, Line Ministries, Development Partners, Civil Society Organizations and the Private Sector agree to a feasible set of interventions and activities in four specific areas to overcome the constraints to sustainable community development.

This Action Plan aims to help Sint Maarten accelerate the achievements of Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 1 (poverty eradication) and MDG 7 (environmental sustainability) by focusing on sustainable community development.

The Action Plan not only addresses accelerating progress on MDG 1 (Poverty) and MDG 7 (Environmental Sustainability), it also touches upon eight of the seventeen proposed Sustainable Development Goals for the MDG post-2015 agenda.

The workshop will help the attendees to focus on those activities which the development partners will have to concentrate on as priorities for next year.  This is considered as crucial in order to put MDG 1 and MDG 7 on track for the deadline of 2015.  It is of fundamental importance for entering the phase of the post 2015 development agenda. 

In conclusion, the validation workshop will lead attendees on endorsing the Country Action Plan, detailing a focused number of high impact measures and specifying a number of major potential partners and stakeholders from the line Ministries, Development Partners, Civil Society Organizations and the Private Sector.

Representatives of some relevant Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), private sector companies, business associations, relevant Department heads, Secretary Generals and Ministers are invited to attend the validation workshop.

In February a Methodological MAF (MDG’s Acceleration Framework) Workshop was held and conducted by the Department of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK), of the Ministry of General Affairs in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where several crucial topics on Sustainable Community Development for Sint Maarten were discussed.

Out of this workshop four priority areas were chosen: 1. Neighborhood/District improvement, 2. Provision of Programs for Youth in the community, 3. Alleviation of the Socio-Economic burden of the Elderly, and 4. Conservation of Nature.

Right after the February workshop an Experts Group (EG) was formed. The EG members were selected out of key ministries and seven departments from five line ministries, a United Nations (UN) agency and three NGOs.

This group has met regularly during the past half year to dig deeper into the aforementioned areas, analyzing the bottlenecks, identifying solutions and activities needed. The EG also identified the potential partners in the community to play a role in the execution of the projects when those are designed.

Fostering sustainable community development is a key strategy to promote poverty alleviation and ensure environmental sustainability and accelerate progress on MDG1 and MDG7.

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Nature Foundation Launches Online Donation Campaign to Showcase Environmental Public Service Announcements

COLE BAY - The St. Maarten Nature Foundation on Monday launched an online donation campaign where the community can contribute to showcasing St. Maarten’s unique nature and the need to protect it via a specialized public service announcement.

Last year world renowned wildlife photographer Mauricio Handler spent two weeks on St. Maarten filming and recording St. Maarten’s Nature and the work being done in order to protect it. The visit resulted in the making of a brief, two-minute video highlighting the beauty of nature on St. Maarten and the need to protect it.

“We had this idea supported by the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance to make a promotional video highlighting the beauty of St. Maarten Nature both on land and below the sea. The images were recorded by the very famous Mauricio Handler and we were able to make an excellent short video. The idea now is to get as much community support through donations to show the video in the preview section of the movies and on local cable TV in order to educate and enlighten the community of the need to protect the beautiful nature surrounding us,” commented Tadzio Bervoets of the Nature Foundation.

The Foundation is appealing to the community to go to the Nature Foundation Indiegogo website https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/environmental-awareness-psa-s-in-st-maarten/x/8608605 and make a contribution in order to realize the project.

There are also perks for those who donate, such as a digital photo album of St. Maarten Nature, Scuba Diving Tours and Classes and Environmental Boat Trips in the Mullet Pond section of the Simpson Bay Lagoon.

“We hope to mobilize the community in order to realize our goal of five thousand dollars in order to show that Nature is, and should always be, our Future,” concluded Bervoets.

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Salomons to read for Story Time at the Library Saturday

PHILPSBURG—Milton Peters College Havo 4 student, Michelle Salomons will be this Saturday’s guest reader, for the weekly Story Time for children at Philipsburg Jubilee Library on September 13, starting at 11:00am.

Salomons will be reading, Waarom ben ik zo klein? (Why am I so small?) by Eun Ju Kim,a book from the library’s collection. The story illustrates how Oliver learns that he must first be small, in order to grow.

Salomons said in a press statement, “I volunteered to read because I love a good story time. I believe that storytelling widens children’s imagination and also helps with remembering words, learning new words and learning about new topics. I am looking forward to this opportunity because I love to see the excitement in the children’s eyes when they hear a story.”

Story Time coordinator, Joseanne Peterson has been volunteering her time for this project since January. Peterson will also be reading from the library’s Dutch book, Hugo, dichter en politieman(Hugo, poet and policeman)by Carl Norac.

“This will be our first story time since our summer vacation and I’m excited to be reading to the children again”, stated Peterson.

After the story telling, children are engaged in arts and crafts and are provided with a snack. 

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Tzu Chi equips former ACE students for high school

CUL DE SAC - The St. Maarten Tzu Chi Foundation helped two former All Children’s Education Foundation (ACE) students start high school for the 2014–2015 academic year by donating the funds to cover their parental contributions (school fees) as well covered the cost of their school uniforms, school supplies and other school related items that they needed.

Thanks to the donation both students, who risked losing their spots had the fees not been paid, were able to start first form at the Preparatory Secondary Vocational Education (PSVE) section of St. Maarten Academy for the new school year and continue their journey in education. 

The parents of the two students had approached Tzu Chi separately requesting the donation due to their respective personal circumstances. Tzu Chi immediately decided to assist the two students, both of whom were also regular volunteers at Tzu Chi events during their years at ACE school and were always very helpful.

A total donation of US$835 was made to the first student Craig Jamie Shamar Forrester to cover two months outstanding parental contribution at ACE of US$280; Academy PSVE’s parental contribution of US$428 and school uniform and school supplies totalling US$127.

A donation to the tune of US$542.50 was made to the second student Islande Pierre. Her donation included the US$428 Academy PSVE parental fees and US$114.50 donation of school uniform and supplies.

Tzu Chi said both Pierre and Forrester are cooperative students who are always willing to help. The foundation recognises the importance of education hence its strong support in the community via its Education Mission. Tzu Chi and its volunteers were happy to be able to assist the two students to continue their education in high school and wished them much success as they become moulded to assume their position as the future generation in the country.

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Professional NBA Players Shumpert, Copeland and Williams On Island this Weekend for Youth Basketball Camp

SUCKER GARDEN - NBA basketball talent is coming to town this weekend, and all young basketball players are strongly encouraged to attend the free event dressed to play and ready for a fantastic, fun experience.

Island Hoops, a Sint Maarten youth basketball academy, presents the second annual Iman Shumpert Youth Basketball Camp. The two-day affair will take place at Melford Hazel Sports Complex on Soualiga Road in Sucker GardenSeptember 6 and 7from9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

This isn't just any basketball camp. Island Hoops is bringing it. On board for the clinic are New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert, Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland, overseas basketball star Corey Williams, some pro-level trainers/instructors, with support from national NBA analyst and InsideHoops.com founder Jeff Lenchiner.

"Aim. Aspire. Achieve." The Island Hoops motto is well-incorporated into the camp. Young players are taught key basketball essentials and given the tools, knowledge and inspiration for life, achieving goals on and off the court, while raising their basketball level of play.

The camp's first day will focus primarily on instruction, with players shown how to properly stretch and warm up, and put through drills teaching proper shooting, passing, dribbling, rebounding and defense. The second day will feature a recap of the key drills, with additional instruction, and games. Both days are worth attending.

All in all, a great, rare, free event that Island Hoops, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports Affairs as well as the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development & Labor Affairs, the Soualiga Youth Basketball Association and various sponsors, are proud to present.

More event information can be found at www.insidehoops.com/sxm

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Businessman Ferrier Questions the Lifting of the Car Rental Moratorium

PHILIPSBURG – Businessman Michael Ferrier and Democratic Party (DP) candidates in the past August 29, 2014 parliamentary elections is questioning the lifting of the car rental moratorium.

“With great surprise the DP learned from a front page article in the Daily Herald of Sept 2, 2014, that Minister Ted Richardson has announced the lifting of the Car Rental Permits moratorium. Is this because the island really needs more car rental companies ( which is definitely not the case), or is this to benefit a selected few, irrespective of the consequences these additional permits may have on the already existing and seriously struggling other 88+ car rental companies on Dutch St. Maarten alone!!!

“Some months ago, Minister of TEATT, Ted Richardson, against the established policy on beach activities also lifted the moratorium on Vending Permits and allegedly promptly issued a permit to operate motorized water sports vehicles from the Mullet Bay Beach‎. This notwithstanding the loud objections from local residents, long-time visitors to the island and the owners of the property that encloses the Mullet Bay Beach. 

“Are these decisions in the interest of‎ our Tourism product, or in the interest of a selected few with no regard whatsoever for what is right, or how the general interest of our country's economy will negatively be impacted?” DP Candidates and Businessman Michael Ferrier concluded. (Contributed by Michael Ferrier)

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Minister of Justice Meets French Authorities Regarding Crime Prevention and Illegal Weapons

PHILIPSBURG – A delegation from Paris yesterday visited Philipsburg and had discussions with the Governor, His Excellency Eugene Holiday, and with the Minister of Justice, Hon. Dennis Richardson, about crime prevention and the fight against illegal firearms. The French officials came from the Inspectorates of the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the Gendarmerie Nationale and the Police Nationale and were led by senior former Sous Préfet, Dominique Lacroix. They are auditing the performance of the different authorities on the French side and hope to come up with recommendations to improve the corporation between the different law enforcement organizations on both sides of the island.

Lacroix and his delegation will also visit Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guyana, but he explained Saint-Martin is unique since it is the only French overseas island that has an international border. Effective law enforcement has to take that border and its open character into account.  

Minister Richardson met the French experts together with senior officials from the Public Prosecutors Office, the Police Force KPSM, the Customs Service, the Coastguard, and the Immigration and Border Protection Service. They informed the French préfet and his delegation about the actual cooperation that is taken place in the field.

Minister Richardson and Sous Préfet Lacroix agreed that the present corporation is working well on an ad hoc level, but there is still room for improvement on a strategic level. First of all by organising structured and frequent information exchange between authorities in Marigot and Philipsburg. It seems logical to also involve neighbouring islands such as Anguilla, Saba, Statia and St Kitts, but also the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Crime does not stop at borders so we must make sure law enforcement can function across borders as well.

Minister Richardson mentioned that he hopes the Police Corporation Treaty with France will be ratified this year by Parliament in The Hague. This will facilitate corporation tremendously. The Minister of Justice also hopes that the same type of corporation agreement can be reached for maritime law enforcement by the two coastguard organizations.

Finally Minister Richardson responded positively to the French suggestion to station a French liaison officer inside the Sint Maarten Police Force and to appoint a KPSM liaison officer for the Gendarmerie and Police Nationale.

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International Literacy Day to be celebrated with Read-a-thon at Library on Saturday

PHILIPSBURG—The Philipsburg Jubillee Library (PJL), St. Maarten National Commission for UNESCO, Jet Blue, and Students of the University of St. Martin (USM) have joined forces to put on their first annual “Interactive Read-a-Thon”  in celebration of International Literacy Day on Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 10:00am – 12:30pm.

This day, which is observed annually on September 8, was announced by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on November 17, 1965. It was first celebrated in 1966. Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies.

This collaborative effort between UNESCO, USM students, Jet Blue and the Library was spearheaded by Marcellia Henry,Secretary General UNESCO St. Maarten, Morenika Charles-Arrindell, PJL’s Activity and Public Relations Coordinator, Shellian Ramchandani, Supervisor Jet Blue, Patti Maier, instructor of the EDU 351 course at USM, and Joseanne Peterson, who presently reads to children on Saturdays at the library. 

Four students enrolled in the Teacher Education Program at USM will read stories to attending children. The student-teachers participation will fulfill a requirement for their course in Reading and Language Arts at USM, as they prepare for student teaching next year.

Maier and her students have collaborated on many events with the library such as the Anansi Storytelling Festival, Baby & Toddler Programs, and countless other puppet shows and festivals, that foster learning through storytelling.

Children attending Saturdays Read-a-thon can expect to hear and participate in fun, exciting and interactive stories as well as arts and crafts activities, which will be delivered by the USM students and other invited guests. The event is open to children ages 4-10 years old. Interested persons can contact the library at Tel#542-2970 for more information.

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Oualichi Female High School Soccer Tournament 2014 to start in October

PHILIPSBURG - In an effort to further promote female soccer on the island the Oualichi Women's Soccer Association is hosting its first ever-female high school soccer competition. The tournament will take place in October and November and thus far all high schools have been in talks with the women's soccer association and are excited with the tournament.

Each high school will form a team of minimum of 9 players regardless of experience. Also a committee has been formed and is now charged with the organization of the tournament. Each school will have one student representative on the committee, which is being chaired by Ms. Agnes De Polo.

This structure will not only allow for more girls to be active in sports but also be involved in the organizational aspect of sports activities. "We want to empower young women to be active leaders in their community and this platform is perfect as it is a tournament that will be organized by students for students." Commented the president Ms. Danae Daal.  Schoolteachers who came on board are also very supportive and have started with helping establish the teams and eventually assisting in trainings. 

The Oualichi Women's Soccer Association, member of the Sint Maarten Soccer Association and Concacaf has as its main goal to promote and further develop female soccer on Sint Maarten. The association, in existence for almost two years now, has had many activities to promote the sports for women.

From competing locally and internationally, expanding the team to include all age categories, to the recently held and very successful three-day summer camp for under twelve girls. Now the association is pushing the boundaries further by organizing a female high school competition.

To also expand the knowledge, the women's soccer association also has a Concacaf licensed D coach and also encourages more females to become coaches. Additionally, four members recently completed the referee course also provided by Concacaf. The association involves all in the community, other soccer clubs and government to ensure that this is done in unity as this benefits our women and girls at large.  

November is the finals and the finalist schools will compete for the champion title. The Oualichi Women's Soccer Association encourages all to come out during the competitions to support our young females. For more information about the high school competition contact the women's soccer association at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the website: www.oualichisoccer.com and Facebook page: Oualichi Women's Soccer Team

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Minister Richardson holds urgent meeting regarding Telecommunication Challenges on Monday

PHILIPSBURG - In light of the latest problems encountered the last two days in our telecommunication systems, Minister Ted Richardson, in charge of Economic affairs, Tourism and Telecommunication (Ministry TEATT), called an urgent meeting with the Bureau of Telecommunication and Post, TELEM Group and UTS. All top executives from the three entities were present in the meeting.

The main agenda of that meeting is to discuss with the regulator and the main service providers about the different measures that must be taken to try to avoid similar situation in the future. Even though that at this time the problem occur at TELEM, the island was almost shut down and our way of doing business was almost put top a halt in certain instances. Minister Richardson emphasized on the importance for the service providers to have structured provision for some sort of measures put in place to avoid or remedy similar situations in the future. The Minister also instructed BTP to be more vigilant in their regulation and control when it comes to the different telecommunication services offered to the consumers.

Minister Richardson was elated to learn that the Technical Departments of both TELEM and UTS worked together to solve this problem, the same way when UTS had a similar problem sometime ago. What was specifically important is to also learn that both companies are now working on a more structured approach to have a collaborative understanding established to deal with any and all future technical problems they may face.

The BTP was also instructed to move faster in finalizing the “Quality of Service Policy” that they have been working on since 2011. BTP indicated that all rounds of consultation with the Stakeholders were done and they have the feed back from them. Minor legal consultation is taking place and BTP have indicated that by next week the Minister and his Cabinet will receive the first draft. All present providers in the meeting formulated their approval on the concept to have such policy in place for benefits of the consumers and for the sustainability and the development of their business. The policy is intended to cover all aspect of the quality of the telecommunication services, including telephony and data. (Contributed by the Cabinet of the Minister TEATT)

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