Soualiga Newsday Top Stories


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Soualiga Newsday Top Stories (2502)

Carnival 2015 queen contestants experience cultural, history tour

PHILIPSBURG - The Carnival contestants of the Teen, Senior and Mature queen pageants on Saturday, January 31, were treated to a day of culture and history for the first annual Royal Culture Tour organized by the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF).

The brainchild of pageant coordinator Aishira Cicilia, the tour was organized to give all the contestants a more wholesome experience and for them to understand that through pageantry, they can learn and relay aspects of St. Maarten’s history and culture to others.  

They started at the St. Maarten Heritage Foundation where Director Elsje Bosch gave information of about the gift shop (where a variety of art from local artists are sold) and museum where the history and culture of the island is documented and well preserved.

(Environmental Protection in the Caribbean) EPIC foundation gave a presentation about the importance of protecting our environment specifically the ponds as part of our natural and cultural heritage.

This presentation was done by Laura Bijnsdorp (EPIC) and assisted by Reuben Thompson. The contestants were also made aware of their responsibility in protecting our environment. Then it was time to head over to the Sint Maarten Guavaberry Emporium where Ms. Hennie Seefat (manager) gave the contestants a brief history and update on the Guavaberry emporium and how Guavaberry is made.

Last but not least on the tour the contestants paid a visit to the National institute of Arts (NIA) where the contestants were given a presentation on the Ponum dance. They were also shown a video about how the Ponum dance came to fruition with the abolition of slavery. This research and video was done by the Director of NIA Ms. Clara Reyes.

After the video presentation the contestants were taught the songs and dance of the Ponum. “It was a great ending to an inspiration and educational day. The purpose of the Royal Culture tour is to expose the contestants to St. Maarten’s rich history and culture, relating the importance in its preservation and taking up torch in carrying on our intangible history and culture,” Cicilia said.

She thanked all of the aforementioned organizations as well as Alsphonso Blijden, Felicia Priest, Mohana Caesar, Lieneke Haandrikman, Eefje Janson, Swinda Smith, ILTT and everyone else who made the tour possible. (SCDF)


Island Gems Donates to St. Maarten Animal Rescue Team

PHILIPSBURG - Island Gems Charity Foundation recently made a donation to St. Maarten Animal Rescue Team (SMART) to aid with the spaying and neutering of abandoned cats and dogs.

The cheque was presented by Gems board member Jody Rosen to SMART representative Denise Antrobus.

The foundation raises money to support projects such as this one on both sides of the island via its annual gala costume dinner.

This year’s dinner will be at Captain Oliver’s restaurant onSaturday, March 28. The theme is “Caribbean Creole.”

Master of Ceremonies is the indomitable Leroy “King Beau Beau” Brooks who has donated his services to the event. Tickets cost US $125 each and are available from Gems members.(Island Gems)


Minister Fleming-Artsen Highlights Sint Maarten Hub Function at Dutch Caribbean Business Club

THE HAGUE, the Netherlands - Minister Plenipotentiary Hon. Josianne Fleming-Artsen last Thursday attended the Dutch Caribbean Business Club event at the Aruba House where she gave a presentation about Sint Maarten’s hub function and Government’s incentives to attract business to the country.

Minister Fleming-Artsen started out by first congratulating Aruba House Minister Plenipotentiary Hon. Adolphus Boekhoudt and its partners Caribbean Business Hub and Dutch Caribbean Business Club with this business initiative permitting the exchange of business ideas and capacity building between entrepreneurs and investors.

“I compliment you on this business day.  It is a time to listen and learn from each other in this Kingdom,” Minister Plenipotentiary Fleming-Artsen told the gathering.

“I am very honoured to stand here on behalf of my Government, the Government of Sint Maarten to address the question ‘What will Sint Maarten do in 2015 to stimulate entrepreneurs to do business with Sint Maarten’.

“Although this question is a timely one, it can be asked over and over again as governments make policies and strategies on economic development on an ongoing basis.

“When I review this question, it states also ‘what is Sint Maarten Government willing to give, to encourage investors who want to do business in Sint Maarten? Or what are the incentives for investors to come to Sint Maarten?

“The core throughout the governing program with undertakings outlined for 2015 is that the Sint Maarten Government belief is that a strong economy is the foundation of socio-economic growth. Fact is that all countries strive for a strong economy! All countries want serious investors! But which country has the best deals, the best incentives, and the best growth potential,” Minister Fleming-Artsen asked.

The Minister Plenipotentiary pointed out the excellent air and sea facilities which are the gateways to the country that links the country with Europe, Latin America and North America.

“The focus of the Government therefore is to ensure that: The human resources are trained and available to support business undertakings and service delivery; Support facilities are put in place to ensure the encompassing of new entrants in the market; The infrastructure is available to support an increase in traffic of goods, and humans; Pertinent data is available to investors to allow for a proper understanding of the Sint Maarten market, its needs and demands.

“Within the Governing program therefore those undertakings have been set forth to ensure that a conducive environment is created that will attract investors and enhance their potential of success in Sint Maarten,” Minister Fleming-Artsen pointed out.

The minister also added that even though Sint Maarten is a small country, it has proven to be a determined and persistent one.

“The Government of Sint Maarten has established development priorities to ensure investors its commitment to stimulate the investment markets. The following points will reflect the incentives for investors. The Government of Sint Maarten will:

  1. Formulate tax incentives to attract business incorporation / growth.
  2. Expand the financial services market
  3. Invest and seek partners in green sustainable energy
  4. Offer fiscal and other incentives for Brand name /Five Star hotels and time share properties. Investors who are interested in service providers will also receive same.
  5. Encourage investors for partnership in Medical Tourism, Sports Tourism and Events Tourism.
  6. Reduce seasonality for investors
  7. Stimulate off shore industry
  8. Partner with public private initiatives such Banking etc.
  9. Give Incentives for non tourism industries
  10. Give incentives and support efforts for food production, modern growing techniques such as hydroponics and aquaponics

“In closing, Sint Maarten will receive investors who not only want incentives but those who will also give back to the country. In these times when we are coming out of the economic crisis that has touched all of our countries, some more than others, we look forward to doing business with serious partners and investors in a country called Sint Maarten where the sun never sleeps,” Sint Maarten’s Minister Plenipotentiary Hon. Josianne Fleming-Artsen concluded.


IMPROVED POWER HOUR LAUNCHES ON MARCH 4! Foundation INFOBIZZ has scheduled a series of activities for entrepreneurs

GREAT BAY - POWER HOUR: Networking for Movers & Shakers is back. This networking event for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial professionals, has affected close to 400 entrepreneurial minds since its inception in November 2013. Created to inspire and empower entrepreneurs, POWER HOUR now includes vendors that can display or sell their products at the event.

On March 4, 2015, INFOBIZZ, host of the POWER HOUR, expects at least 100 entrepreneurial minds present and is aiming for no more than 20 vendors.  During the last POWER HOUR in November 2014, which took place during the Global Entrepreneurship Week, over 150 entrepreneurs were present and a total of 13 vendors. Having vendors proved quite successful for both vendors and participants alike and so will continue.

POWER HOUR, which is held quarterly, is just one activity hosted by INFOBIZZ.  Created to develop successful entrepreneurs, INFOBIZZ launched a training series during the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014, called GO DOMINATE.  This training is specifically designed to target the variety of topics that entrepreneurs face in developing a successful business.

POWER HOUR help various entrepreneurs to achieve success in short period by connecting them with the right people and the right information that has assisted them in their businesses. A unique element of the POWER HOUR is that the speakers are those that have reached a level of success and are willing to share tips with the attendees.  Also, there are networking activities that help those to introduce themselves and their business.

The first POWER HOUR for 2015 will take place on March 4, 2015 from 7:00 – 9:00 PM and doors open at 6:30 PM.  Tickets are $30 including refreshments and can be pre-ordered by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Registration for vendors is required and is $150 which includes table and chair rentals, tickets for MAX 4 persons, and refreshments. Registration opens on February 10, 2015.  Location will be announced shortly.

For further details on POWER HOUR, GO DOMINATE or any other activities, contact Foundation INFOBIZZ at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or


21 Register for Senior Calypso Competition

POND ISLAND, Festival Village - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) has received 21 registrants for the Senior Calypso Competition for Carnival 2015. These 21 singers will participate in the Senior Calypso Eliminations on Saturday March 28 to determine who will eventually compete in the finals in an attempt to dethrone the reigning Senior Calypso Monarch Ruminni “The Protégé” Rogers. Only 10 will go through to the finals.

This year there are also three new female singers to the competition, finally relieving Roxxy of the “only-woman” label in the competition. She will be joined by former Calypso Queen Lady Tiffany, Morenika Charles-Arrindell and Zhaira “Zee” Richardson. The four ladies will be going up against the veterans of calypso.

Namely: Baker Jr, King Beau Beau, Mighty Pepper, Mighty Barrow, Mighty Chipman, Mighty Dando, Mighty Carlix, D-Monitor, Genius, Repeater, Fish Da Mega Boss, Kitty Boy, Kaiso Brat, Lord Cheise, King Fox and X-rey. Also competing for the first time in the seniors this year is Rumari “The Messenger” Rogers. (SCDF) 


Minister Richardson: Language is no blockade in passing Timeshare legislation

PHILIPSBURG - Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson on Thursday stressed that Parliament should proceed with urgency in establishing Timeshare protection legislation, "this should be done forthwith," the Minister said.

Minister Richardson, speaking in Parliament during the budget debate, explained to Parliament that the Council of Advice objection that the draft law should be written in Dutch, should not be looked at as a blockade to establishing the law.

He said as St. Maarten has two official languages, Dutch and English, Parliament can handle and pass the law in English and have it translated into Dutch later on.

"I recommend that the problems signaled by the Council of Advice be addressed content wise and the law handled forthwith given the damage done to our country with the law not being in place (to protect Timeshare owners)," the Minister said. (Press Secretariat, Government of Sint Maarten Council of Ministers)



SIMPSON BAY– Island 92 (91.9) FM Radio today announced “The L.A. Lloyd Rock Countdown” will premiere this Sunday, February 1stat noon to 3pm, as a new addition to theSundayprogram line-up.

The LA Lloyd Rock Countdown is a weekly syndicated radio program featuring music, interviews and discussion from the rock world.  The program is heard on nearly 40 radio stations across the US and many Internet-only radio stations. The Rock Countdown Online Broadcast is heard daily in nearly 200 US cities and over 60 countries globally.


“We are so excited to welcome L.A. Lloyd and the L.A. Lloyd Rock Countdown to ourSundayline-up”, said Island 92 Managing Director Jeffrey “Dr. Soc” Sochrin.  “This is an amazing opportunity to bring the freshest new music and in depth interviews with rock bands from around the globe, right here to St. Maarten.  L.A. Lloyd himself has a great voice and decades of experience, which translate into a truly cutting edge first class show.  So please tune in on Sundays fromnoon to 3pmand check out the L.A. Lloyd Rock Countdown!”


L.A. Lloyd stated, “WOW, working with Island 92 is really an honor, this is our first time breaking into the Caribbean market and we couldn’t be happier. To say the Rock Countdown is a dream come true is an understatement.  If someone had told me when I was a kid that I would be interviewing the BIGGEST rock bands in the world, I would have just simply laughed.  And now, I can legitimately take work related trips with the wife and kids to the friendly island of St. Maarten.  I can’t wait to meet the new listeners!”


The L.A. Lloyd Rock Radio Countdown will bring St. Maarten interviews and music, the likes of Metallica, Disturbed, Godsmack, Nickelback, Staind, Kid Rock, Foo Fighters Shinedown and hundreds of bands who are all laughing with LA Lloyd each and every week when they co-host the show. (Island 92)


Payments for Carnival booths, season passes start Saturday at new office location

ILLIDGE ROAD - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) will start accepting payments for the booths and season passes of Carnival 2015. The SCDF will open its new office location for the first time upcoming Saturday, January 31 to handle Carnival related business. 

The office, located above the Windward Islands Bank branch on Illidge Road, will be open from 10:00am until 3:00pm every Saturday from now on until the foundation moves its operations into Carnival Village in the first week of April.

Booth holders and persons desirous of obtaining a season pass for Carnival are encouraged to visit the office and start making payments. Booth holders have until March 16 to pay the full fee of their booth. All booth holders will receive a package of information and requirements (health, safety, fire inspections, booth holder contract) when they visit the office. 

Persons interested in purchasing a season pass should also visit the SCDF office. Registration for the pass is now open and will close on March 16, 2015. The price of the season pass is $US 250. This can be paid in two non-refundable instalments of US $125 each instalment or in full any time before March 16, 2015. 

Registration forms for the passes will not be accepted without at least one instalment being paid when returning the form. Forms can be requested by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The pass is only valid for all shows in Carnival Village from April 16 to May 4, 2015. The pass is not valid for pre-Carnival events outside of the Village. (SCDF)


Prevention program Zippy’s Friends for children comes to St. Maarten

CAY HILL - The Mental Health Foundation, in cooperation with the Public Schools and Catholic Schools, is in the process of bringing a prevention program called ‘Zippy’s Friends’ to the children of St. Maarten.

Zippy's Friends is a program that promotes the mental health and emotional wellbeing of young children. This program is evidence based and is in use in already over 30 countries across the world.

The fundamental concept behind the program is very simple; if we can teach young children how to cope with difficulties, they should be better able to handle problems and crises throughout their lives. It teaches them how to cope with everyday difficulties, to identify and talk about their feelings and to explore ways of dealing with them.

Some topics that are part of the program are feelings, communication, bullying, conflict resolution, change and loss. Zippy's Friends is a program for schools. It usually runs for 24 weeks, with one 45-minute session each week.

Psychologist at the Mental Health Foundation Jolien Louwerse explains she thinks this program will be very helpful for the children in St. Maarten; “Already when I first heard about the program in September 2013 at the Transforming Care Congress here in St. Maarten, I was very enthusiastic about it. The mastering of basic coping skills and social skills can help you throughout life and enlarges your chances of growing into a successful and happy teenager and adult.

Unfortunately not every child picks up these skills at home or at school. What I like about the program is that children are encouraged to think about solutions themselves, instead of being told what to do. That is also what makes the program easily adaptable to different environments and cultures.”

Zippy’s Friends is not available to be bought ‘off the shelf’; a license issued by the founders of the program Partnership for Children in England is needed. Training of coordinators and teachers is therefore required.

This week, the first part of the training will take place by a team of four to-be-coordinators visiting the country of Trinidad and Tobago, where the School Leadership Center has implemented the program already. The School Leadership Center took on Zippy’s Friends in 2011, and has been delighted with the results, expanding from 13 schools in their first year to running the program in over 60 primary schools this year.

The four coordinators from St. Maarten to attend the training are (as seen in the picture from left to right): Jina Mahbubani; guidance counselor at the Prins Willem Alexanderschool, Jolien Louwerse; psychologist at the Mental Health Foundation, Danette Gumbs; information and prevention coordinator at the Mental Health Foundation, and Miranda Veltman, psychologist at the Catholic Schoolboard.

This team will be visiting Trinidad and Tobago for a three-day training beginning of this week. The training is aimed at getting familiar with the program, and how to train and guide the teachers whom will be using the program. Also visits will be made to several schools which are already using the program, to experience the program in use and to get feedback from these schools.

The second part of the training will take place when the team from the School Leadership Center will be visiting St. Maarten at the end of February, when they will assist with the first trainings of the teachers.

The project to bring Zippy’s Friends to St. Maarten is starting off with a pilot: two schools will start using the program. These two pilot-schools will be the Prins Willem Alexander School and the Sr. Regina Catholic School.

The Cooperating Funds (Samenwerkende Fondsen) has provided funding for the pilot, including the training of the coordinators, teachers, and guiding of the teachers for the first year. Efforts will be made to implement the program in eventually all of the primary schools of St. Maarten.

For more information on this project, please visit (under Prevention). (MHF)


Minister Plenipotentiary Fleming-Artsen meets with Chairlady of Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament

THE HAGUE, the Netherlands – Minister Plenipotentiary Hon. Josianne Fleming-Artsen on Monday, January 26 met with the Chairlady of the Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament Hon. Anouchka van Miltenburg regarding current affairs.

Minister Plenipotentiary Fleming-Artsen stated that the meeting was of an introductory nature and also part of her plan to rebuild relations between the two countries, Sint Maarten and the Netherlands.

“We had a very open discussion.  Van Miltenburg visited Sint Maarten in 2014 and she now has a better understanding of the diversity of the various countries, and also the complexities of small scale societies.

“Van Miltenburg also known as the Speaker of the House of Representatives has a very open mind for Sint Maarten’s viewpoint regarding the Integrity Chamber when we discuss integrity.

“The Dutch Speaker of the House would also like to meet with Sint Maarten ministers when they come to the Netherlands on a working visit.  This will in my opinion further enhance a better understanding for the challenges and complexities that exist and finding solutions together, but looking at it from our perspective. 

“We are on the right track with respect to improving the relationship and the basis of this moving forward is respect and mutual understanding,” Minister Plenipotentiary Hon. Josianne Fleming-Artsen said on Tuesday.

The Minister Plenipotentiary will be meeting with the Chairperson of the Dutch First Chamber of Parliament in early February as well as the faction leaders.

“My mission in the Netherlands is to build better relations with the Dutch, and this process has started a few weeks ago. We all will benefit when we work together,” Minister Plenipotentiary Josianne Fleming-Artsen concluded.

Anouchka van Miltenburg is a Dutch politician of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy. She has been the President of the Dutch Second Chamber of Parliament (Tweede Kamer) since September 25, 2012, and a Member of the Parliament since January 30, 2003.

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