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Minister of Education Jacobs addresses matters related to AUIS Medical University

POND ISLAND - The inflammatory, defamatory and libelous remarks made by Mr. Milo Pinckney, representative of USESOM NV which was declared bankrupt, IEMC LLC, IEMR LLC, IEMR N.V. dba AUIS, are very serious and an impediment to further discussions and negotiations with Government and specifically the Ministry Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.

While some facts are quoted in the statements made, many are left out thereby portraying the government in a very negative light in the statements made by Mr. Pinckney in the press.

Mr. Pinckney’s very negative and disrespectful attitude towards civil servants and Ministers has been well noted in meetings and he has been told on more than one occasion to provide proof of his allegations or to refrain from such slander.

Instead, Mr. Pinckney chose to instead try the government in the court of public opinion with malicious and unsubstantiated statements.

The Minister in a letter directed via its legal representative to Mr. Pinckney’s lawyer on Monday February 13, 2017, informed him that she is prepared to sit with Mr. Pinckney provided that clarity can be obtained on all of the companies, shareholder changes and name changes Mr. Pinckney utilizes for the purposes he wishes to attain. Instead of providing clarity, Mr. Pinckney went to the press with his malicious and unfounded allegations.

Neither the Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport nor St. Maarten is in anyway obliged to sign any addendum or to cooperate with any agreement with the new company IEMR N.V. without full disclosure.

The Minister of Education would like to inform the parents and students as well as the general public seeking information about the University, that although IEMR NV dba AUIS is eligible to conduct business on the island, AUIS is not an accredited university nor recognized on the island as is stated on its website.

After consultation with Legal Affairs, a new agreement was drawn up which Mr. Pinckney has in his possession for feedback and further discussion. However, he refuses to provide clarity in writing on how IEMR N.V. took over the operation of the University from USESOM N.V.

The Minister’s goal is to make certain that the medical school is at a level that it can be accredited; this requires a commitment by the school to apply and qualify for accreditation at an institution approved by government and subject itself to monitoring to be able to maintain accredited status.

Lawyers for the Ministry ECYS and Mr. Pinckney have been in discussion since the last meeting held in 2016. Mr. Pinckney has met with the representatives of the Dept. of Education, Legal Affairs and Minister Jacobs in early 2016. The Minister deems the public behavior of Mr. Pinckney reprehensible and unacceptable.


Civil Aviation Dept. on Use of remote piloted aircraft (RPA)/Drones during the Heineken Regatta

SIMPSON BAY - The Department of Civil Aviation, - Shipping and Maritime Affairs would like to reiterate to the public that persons intending to operate remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) or drones in Sint Maarten, particularly in the area near Simpson Bay are prohibited to do so without the express authorization from the Department of Civil Aviation, - Shipping and Maritime Affairs.

Remotely piloted aircraft systems or drones have to be closely monitored while operating in the area of Simpson Bay and near the airport because large numbers of drones operating in these areas can pose a danger to landing and departing aircraft at the airport and to the sailing teams taking part in the Heineken Regatta. 

The general public is also hereby advised that Article 25 paragraph a, of the Aviation National Ordinance prohibits operations in the airspace over Sint Maarten in a manner that may endanger or disturbed aviation and the public order.

Individuals that are found to be operating their drones in violations of this notice will be considered acting in violation of the aforementioned ordinance for which the individual can be subjected to various penalties and or fines.

With the start of the Heineken Regatta on March 3, 2017, the Department will be issuing authorizations for the use of the drones for commercial purposes only. Any individual/company that want to conduct aerial photography for commercial purposes during the Heineken Regatta must submit a written request to the Department by no later than March 1, 2017. 

With this request the individuals must provide all relevant information on the drone (type model, operations specification,) and the details of the operation (take-off and landing zone, proposed route).

Individuals can submit their requests at the Department Civil Aviation, - Shipping and Maritime located at Airport rd. #114 or requests can be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

We are limiting the amount of drones that can operate during the Regatta, and as such requests will be assessed in order for which they are received.  The request to use drones for none commercial purposes will not be assessed and the use there of is strictly prohibited.  


InselAir Curacao and InselAir Aruba are airworthy and safe to fly

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - Recent newspaper articles reported from various sources that both InselAir Curacao and Aruba were unsafe. Both Civil Aviation Authorities of Curacao and Aruba constantly perform oversight exercises on the operations of the two airlines.

Both airlines do respond immediately to any findings that for which they are made aware and do present their correctives measures to the Aviation Authorities for their approval.


InselAir is aware of the fact that the Dutch Civil Aviation Inspectorate has recently visited Aruba and Curacao and met with the representatives of both airlines, including their Chief Executive Officers. They requested to perform spontaneous audits to which both airlines had no objections.

Contrary to the information being circulated by the media, both local and abroad, both airlines remain until now unaware of any findings from the Dutch Civil Aviation Inspectorate that would have an effect on the airworthiness of their operations.

Pleasantly surprised

Upon the briefing received after the audit the inspectors said that they were pleasantly surprised with the conclusion of the findings in all of the following areas: Flight Operations, Operation Control Center, Safety and Security, Training, Scheduling, Quality and Maintenance of InselAir Curacao.  

Safety always priority

This independent audit performed by the Dutch Civil Aviation Inspectorate brings to the management of both airlines a further high level of comfort as to the quality of the internal oversights performed by its quality personnel.

InselAir Curacao and Aruba safe to fly

Currently neither of the airlines have major pending technical and operational findings with their respective Aviation Authority. The ongoing grounding of the MD fleet in Aruba is due to a position taken by the Aviation Authority of Aruba in support of the government of Aruba that took the decision to freeze the bank account of the airline due to arrears in payment of taxes.


iSTEP embarked on a Leadership in Innovations – EdTech Teacher training

PHILIPSBURG – The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, via iSTEP, hosted an EdTechTeacher management and teacher training at NIPA from February 13th - February 17th 2017. The week was divided into two trainings; three-day management training and a two-day teacher training.

The management training, which began on February 13th and ended on February 15th, for all school managers and student care coordinators of the public schools and was geared towards preparing management for the integration of ICT devices within their schools and their essential role in this process.

Management representatives of the other school boards also took part in the training. The management training ended on a high note, whereby the management teams of the various schools were enthusiastic for the project to commence and to get the programs and devices up and running in the schools, in order to reach each student at his/her level of interest.  

The two-day teacher training, which commenced on February 16th and ended on February 17th, was for the public school teachers whom participated in the iSTEP pilot program. This training was geared towards training the teachers on how to integrate the various ICT devices into their classroom instruction, curriculum and assessment. The teachers will receive monthly follow up trainings which will coach them in the transition from traditional classroom setting to tech-laden classrooms. 

The 2-day teacher training ended with the remarks of the Head of Division Public Education, Mrs. Glenderline Davis-Holiday. “We can’t do anything without your commitment and I hope the energy displayed here today, does not fade away.”

Mrs. Fabiana Vanterpool-Arnell, Policy Advisor of the Cabinet ECYS, who spoke on behalf of the Minister who could not attend, congratulated the teachers, iSTEP team, and Mr. Tom Daccord, on a successful training. She encouraged the teachers to continue to be enthusiastic and to share on the knowledge gained with colleagues.

Mrs. Vanterpool-Arnell conveyed the Minister’s wish for the teachers to be the change they want to see in the classroom by striving to make learning the best time in their students’ lives. “The children are growing up in a technological world and this is their reality. Let us grow with them,” Mrs. Vanterpool-Arnell added.

Mr. Tom Daccord, the Director and Co-Founder of EdTech Teacher, flew to the island to give the 5-day workshop. EdTechTeacher is an experienced training company that focuses on trainings that stimulate tech laden environments within the classroom.

The trainings were designated for a maximum of 25 persons however the iSTEP team will organize the same training in the near future so that the adjunct school managers and more representatives from the other school boards can also follow the training.

iSTEP is taking the necessary steps to bring our classrooms into the  21st century – one school, one teacher, and one student at a time!


CPOs takes Cops & Kids to the Primary Schools

PHILIPSBURG—Tuesday, February 7, 2017 marked the kickoff of the Cops & Kids program in the primary schools.  The program which is comprised of five (5) modules was written collaboratively by four (4) CPOs, namely Steven P. Carty, Daryl A. Chandler, Shawn P. Crispulo and Ethelwoldus S. Josepha with Head Inspector ECYS, Priscilla S. Bell, M.A.Ed. 

The first module, “One on One” will be conducted in the month of February.  For this particular session, students had 2 weeks in January to write down any questions, anonymously if they wanted to, of interest about the CPOs, their work, lives and the Police Department.  Those questions will now be answered during the visits to the schools.

School Boards and School Management were informed during the first school trimester and teachers were invited to an information session in January at which time the program was explained, questions were answered and schools that were interested in participating, signed up for the first two modules (Feb & Mar). 

Eighty percent of primary schools (16 of 20) have chosen to participate.  The sessions will be conducted in the 16 schools by seven (7) Community Police Officers; Steven P. Carty, Daryl A. Chandler, Shawn P. Crispulo, Rensley V. Henson, Ethelwoldus S. Josepha, Arcella V. Leonard and Helen S. Romeo with support from the Head Inspectors Priscilla S. Bell and Marie N. Gittens.

The value of the Cops & Kids program is multi-tiered as both the CPOs and the students will be getting to know each other past being “a face in the crowd”.  Both groups may have opinions about each other based on what has been rumored by others.  This program will allow them to get to know each other “for themselves” and separate truth from opinion.  The presentation of this first session allows the students to see the officers first as human and then as protectors. 

Our Police Department is not perfect, but they do work hard and the safety of the people and country remains their priority.  To stand vulnerable in front of students helps and encourages students to establish a healthy self-image, they understand that they are good enough.  They are reminded that despite making mistakes, their mistakes do not have to shape their future—they are not the sum total of the mistakes that they have made. 

We don’t want students to end a chapter in their life prematurely just because things have taken an unwanted turn.  Instead, we are striving to encourage them to ride out the storm and grow from any challenges that are encountered.  In their grammar lessons they would have learned how to use a period and a comma.  The first denotes the end of a sentence, the other requires that you pause and then continue.  In the “real world” the same hold true.  In many instances it would behoove us to pause, breathe, pull our thoughts and emotions together—and continue with our lives.

It has become obvious that the mindset that caused the escalation in student conflict will not be the mindset that reduces or eventually eliminates it.  It is a problem that needs to be addressed before the problem even presents itself in the secondary schools.  Cops & Kids addresses school-aged citizens; as members of the community who are responsible, caring and community minded. 

The program does not take into consideration that in the opinion of others this may not be true of our students.  The program is written to approach students as we see them in the near future (responsible, caring and community minded).  Our expectations of them as citizens will be a contributing factor in their roles and productivity as contributing citizens. 

The program is not written to expose the weaknesses or shortcomings of the students.  It is obvious that those exist.  There is no value or purpose in holding what they cannot do against them or causing them to feel ashamed.  Cops & Kids was written to highlight and emphasize students’ strengths as individuals and as teams; and ultimately to bring the teams together as a group.

The focus is to inject their self-esteem with an improved perspective of themselves.  People who like themselves are less likely to be aggressive with others while in contrast hurt people.  It won’t be all rainbows and popsicles and it is expected that moments of conflict will arise, but those will make for teaching opportunities.  We are documenting the program with photos so that the community is able to see these groups of citizens go through the process of not just becoming responsible citizens, but understanding why that is important.

What excites us the most about Cops & Kids is that it is not a boxed product with a shelf life and an expiration date. It is not a one size fits all products.  Every single component of this product was tailor made for our students.  It is a living product and is customizable to the students in our schools.  It can grow with our students and what they learn in the course of the modules will serve them well as they choose how they will be molded. 

Once the students have concluded their Exit Examinations, the remaining three (3) modules will be conducted.  They will participate in an Open House, an all schools Debate and a Sports Day where they will compete against other schools and hone their good sportsmanship skills.

The program is set to conclude in June at which time it will be evaluated by parents and members of the community would like to have an input in contributing to the development of the program.  Students and teachers will complete surveys at the end of each program and that feedback will be added for overall improvement. (Police Force Sint Maarten)


CPS Re-emphasizes use mosquito repellent and take measures to eliminate mosquito breeding sites after rainfall

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, says due to Tuesday’s rainfall, CPS re-enforces its message that all residents and businesses need to take proactive measures to prevent mosquitos from breeding. 

Be on the alert for mosquito breeding sites and eliminate them especially after rainfall!

CPS is calling on the populace as well as visitors to wear light colored clothing at dusk; long sleeve shirts and pants; and use mosquito repellent to prevent being bitten by a mosquito that could possibly be carrying a mosquito borne disease.

Actively destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold water. Do not allow water to accumulate in the saucers of flowerpots, cemetery urns/vase or in pet dishes for more than two days.  Throw out the water and turn them over every time it collects water.

Screen off cistern outlets, cover and screen septic tanks properly.

An increase in the mosquito population puts residents and visitors at risk.

For information about dengue fever, zika and chikungunya prevention measures, you can call CPS 542-2078 or 542-3003 to report mosquito breeding sites or send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Oyster Bay Beach Resort Developers Purchase Luxury Villas in Coral Beach Club

OYSTER POND – Pearl Development N.V., developer of the Oyster Bay Beach Resort (OBBR) in St. Maarten, has purchased 11 of the 24 units in the neighboring Coral Beach Club, along with the reception office. The resort is regarded as one of the most popular and highest-rated villa and townhouse resorts available for hotel occupancy on this Caribbean island.

The acquisition, made for an undisclosed amount, was led by Pearl Development Executive VP and General Counsel Mike Dolente.

“While enjoying the resort feel, Coral Beach Club provides the highest in quality residences — right on Dawn Beach and Oyster Pond,” said Dolente. “The affiliation of the upscale resort will enhance the opportunities for our OBBR owners to trade-up to even more luxurious and more private vacation homes.”

He said Coral Beach Club would continue to be operated with little change in personnel or other operational considerations. Coral Beach Club will complement the services and facilities at OBBR but will maintain a separate and distinct community and identity for its owners and guests. However, OBBR will provide 24-hour management, augmented security and other services for Coral Beach Club owners and guests.

Of the units purchased, six are beach front, four face the marina, and one is an apartment as well as an office and reception center. The six residences on the ocean front are three- or four-bedroom villas featuring spectacular panoramic views of Dawn Beach and Oyster Pond Marina. Each of these units also has a private pool; a travertine marble pool deck; and short, private walkway to the beach. Four of the units are two-bedroom, water-side townhouses with calming views of the three marinas on the Oyster Pond. The townhouses also offer access to a semi-private central swimming pool overlooking the Oyster Pond. Also included in the purchase is a spacious second-floor, two-bedroom apartment with ocean views and a walkway to the beach.

The reception building, also used by the other owners at the resort, will be remodeled in a modern, elegant and spacious style by professional designers and architects. Lush landscape and an improved entry way will help in creating an enhanced sense of arrival and a preview of the special hospitality offered at Coral Beach Club.

Oyster Bay Beach Resort Developers Purchase Luxury Villas in Coral Beach Club

“The townhouses on the marina offer an endless parade of beautiful sailing vessels and power boats, as well as breathtaking views of nighttime lights on Oyster Pond and the surrounding hillside communities, while the ocean-front units have a spectacular view of the lovely Dawn Beach and crashing ocean beyond.”

Dolente added the guests can enjoy complete seclusion and impressive accommodations with complete privacy behind the resorts gates. He also said they intend to establish a premier vacation ownership program at the property to sell ownership interests to those families who want to enjoy the most luxurious and comfortable vacation experience. As in the past, special attention will be given to the guests and owners to maintain Coral Beach Club’s track record of meeting the highest standards of satisfaction on the island.

“A special program of financing for qualified individuals and trade-ins of Oyster Bay vacation intervals will make the program very attractive to those owners,” said Dolente.

OBBR is affiliated with Interval International, one of the world’s largest timeshare exchange companies. According to Dolente, their plan is to affiliate Coral Beach Club with Interval International, as well as with its “Preferred Residence Collection” — an exchange program modeled after the famous, “Small Hotels of the World.”

“The Preferred Residences Collection is the top of the scale,” said Dolente. “There are only about 100 hotels and resorts that are part of this program and are among the finest in the world. We’re extremely confident that the beauty and serenity of the Coral Beach Resort will qualify Coral Beach Club for the Preferred Residence program as well as the very prestigious Elite designation.

Dolente added that approval from Interval International is pending.

Coral Beach Club, designed by the well-known European architect Jan Heim, opened in 2007. OBBR was originally constructed as the Oyster Pond Yacht Club in 1972. It was purchased by Pearl Development in 2003. The resort features 187 units dedicated to vacation ownership and hotel accommodations, as well as three separate, whole-ownership condominium developments. For information on OBBR, visit For information on Coral Beach Club visit

Pearl Development recently acquired Duck International, Ltd., which owns 11 of the 24 remaining and unsold units at Coral Beach Club, a neighboring community on Dawn Beach. It will be operated as exclusive, upscale waterfront hotel and vacation residences on the water. Pearl will offer weekly and fractional vacation ownership opportunities to the public and to OBBR owners looking to trade up to even more luxurious accommodations.


CC1 St. Maarten unveiled “Reign of Olympus” Carnival Troupe 2017

CAY HILL - Last Friday February 17th, CC1 St. Maarten, official distributors of Coca-Cola, in collaboration with Blue Etoile Production, unveiled its Carnival Troupe “Reign of Olympus” at the Tantra Night Club & Sanctuary.

Club goers were bedazzled with the three colorful sections representing Presidente beer, Coca-Cola and Dasani water. Inspired by the Greek Mythology, the troupe featured revelers depicting the Gods and Goddesses of Mount Olympus.

“The partnership with Blue Etoile Production, the troupe designer, provides an excellent opportunity for our brands to be promoted during Carnival; The Island’s biggest event”, said Ard Mulder; Trade Marketing Coordinator of CC1 St. Maarten.

“Consumers will have the opportunity to win free costumes by purchasing Presidente beer from their favorite supermarket”, he added.                              

Blue Etoile Production guarantees costumes will be reasonably priced, giving everyone the opportunity to have fun in a one of a kind design. Group discounts are also available.

For more information, feel free to visit Blue Etoile Production via Facebook or its Mass Camp in Belvedere.

Telephone numbers: 520-4425 (Nathalie van Heyningen) or 520-4427 (Rena Richardson).  


Reign Of Olympus Presidente Section 800x518

Reign Of Olympus Dasani Section 800x518


jetBlue pleased with SXM service, eyes new Fort Lauderdale route

POND ISLAND - At the routes Americas conference in Las Vegas, the St. Maarten delegation comprising the Ministry of Tourism and Airport were briefed by jetBlue representative Mr. Nicholas Han, Senior Analyst Route Planning of the performance of the current jetBlue services to St. Maarten, as well as future prospects with the destination, namely Fort Lauderdale

jetBlue eyes the possibility of opening the route in 2018, though a solid commitment to opening the route will require more discussion. A follow up meeting was suggested to be held in New York. Mr. Han also briefed the delegation of the performance of the San Juan Routes.

 Despite jetBlue no longer servicing the San Juan route itself, jetBlue is pleased with their arrangement with Seaborne Airlines. In an earlier meeting with Mr. Hector Montanez, Vice President of Seaborne Airlines, it was announced that Seaborne would be greatly increasing their service on the San Juan – SXM routes by doing daily flights for the remainder of 2017.

“This could result in not only a drop in fares, but also an increase in service and reliability,” explained Mr. Montanez. Seaborne has also seen a significant increase in corporate clients both in San Juan and St. Maarten.

The seasonal mint service from jetBlue has been doing very well, and the possibility of extending the Saturday Mint service beyond the season is being considered. The next step will be for the St. Maarten delegation to schedule a meeting in New York to better plan for the opening of the Fort Lauderdale route.


Rio Productions returns to Carnival Day Parade 2017

PHILIPSBURG - President of Rio Productions Brenda Wathey officially announced on Monday, February 20th 2017 that Rio Productions will be participating in the 2017 Carnival Day Parade, which will take place on May 1st and May 2nd in Sint Maarten.

 “Secrets”, the name of the Troupe, is being limited to approximately 100 participants divided into several sections, will parade through the streets of the Philipsburg in glamorous costumes inspired by the well-known “Victoria Secrets” runway show.

Brenda Wathey described these “winged” costumes as “absolute master pieces which are being produced by the some of the most seasoned costume designers in our region”.  Wathey further went on to say “…I am grateful for the continued support of our corporate sponsors despite the very tough economic times on the Island”.

Rio Productions has a long history in Carnival Celebrations. The foundation was incorporated in 1996 for the organization and promotion of mainly carnival parades.

In 2010, Rio Productions extended its parade activity to include a lighted parade, which quickly became a hit with revelers and spectators. The details of the 2017 Lighted parade will be announced in a subsequent release.

Anyone interested in participating in the day parade or in the lighted parade is invited to visit the official Rio Productions Facebook page or website at

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