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Motorworld a proud supporter of Carnival with $10,000+ in sponsorship funds

COLE BAY - The premier auto dealership of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin, the Motorworld Group of Companies, is yet again delighted to be associated with helping to make the 2017 St. Maarten Carnival another successful event, following on from previous years of sponsorship.

Tariq Amjad, Managing Director of the Motorworld Group, which also includes Caribbean Auto and Dollar Thrifty Car Rental, noted that Carnival is that time of year when people and communities come together in the territory to celebrate their heritage and culture as one, despite the diversity of the many nationalities participating in the festivities.

“Hence, it is within this spirit of unity that we freely give our support, both financially and otherwise, to ensure we play our part in helping to make the various activities taking place this year a huge success for everyone individually, as well as for the country as a whole,” said Mr. Amjad.

This year, the Motorworld Group’s sponsorship amounts to more $10,000 in overall sponsorship funds.

This includes outfit and uniforms for the 4M HD band’s truck and team, sponsorship of the Soca Rumble, transportation via one H1 Bus for the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF); partnership with Abu Ghazi, featuring special offers for customers along with flags and banners in the village; staff tees for the Fusion Troupe; lots of giveaways during the Grand Parade; free ticket prizes on a Facebook promotion; and donation of television sets, as well as use of Jeep Wranglers and Ford Mustangs, for the Telcel ‘Teen Carnival’ and ‘Miss Mature’ Queen Pageants.

The Managing Director pointed out that, over the years, the Motorworld Group has always proudly participated in a number of Carnival activities, and that this year is no different with its corporate sponsorship, despite constraints on the company’s marketing budget as a result of its ongoing new Showroom project in Cole Bay.

He said the auto group will continue to support national events like these which bring many people together and ultimately make the wider community a better place to live, work and enjoy with friends, families and other loved ones.

“We also recognize that many of the participants in the various events, as well as vendors, are our customers and we deeply appreciate their continued patronage,” said Mr. Amjad. “Even for those who are not our customers, we still hope you enjoy every moment, and want you to know that you too have our support all the way,” he added.

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Hundreds Enjoy Local Wildlife at Endemic Animal Festival

GRAND CASE - Hundreds of guests from St. Martin and beyond learned about local wildlife at the fourth annual Endemic Animal Festival on Sunday.

The event, held at Amuseum Naturalis in Grand Case, featured animals found nowhere else in the world and a variety of activities for young and old. Created by the Les Fruits de Mer association, the festival is free and takes place each April.

“Getting to know the animals that live only on St. Martin is a fundamental part of understanding the island,” explained Mark Yokoyama, co-founder of Les Fruits de Mer. “The Endemic Animal Festival is one of our most important initiatives because it is a truly authentic, only on St. Martin experience.”

This year’s festival included a variety of fun ways to celebrate and explore island wildlife. The Endemic Animal Discovery Station showcased two species of lizard and one insect that are found only on St. Martin, as well as other species that live on only a few islands.

Local wildlife experts were on hand to talk about the animals and answer questions. Guests painted bird feeders made from calabash and took home seedlings of the Gaïac, an endangered native tree.

“Hosting the festival at Amuseum Naturalis was a great addition to the event this year,” added Jenn Yerkes, President of Les Fruits de Mer. “Guests were able to enjoy over a dozen exhibits about local nature and our program of short nature documentaries in addition to the festival activities. If you haven’t been to the Amuseum yet, we’re open for two more days this season: April 28th and May 2nd from 4-8pm at 96 Boulevard de Grand Case. It’s free to visit.”

The Endemic Animal Festival was made possible by the generous support of its sponsors: BirdsCaribbean, Caribbean Paddling, Delta Petroleum, Hotel L’Esplanade, IGY Marinas, Lagoonies Bistro & Bar, L’Esperance Hotel, Rain Forest Adventures, The Scuba Shop, Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino and Tri-Sport.

For more information, and to see photos from the event, visit http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com

PHOTO CUTLINE: Endemic Animal Festival guests enjoyed painting bird feeders made from local calabash and recycled fishing line. Photo by Tim Cam. (Photo contributed) 

Bird Feeders 2

PHOTO CUTLINE: Festival attendees received a free seedling of the Gaïac, an endangered native tree. Photo by Claire Affagard. (Photo contributed)

Gaiac 2

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Long queues at Schiphol are due to negligence: KLM director

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The long waits travellers at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport are currently experiencing are due to negligence on the part of the airport authorities, the operational director of airline KLM says in Tuesday’s Telegraaf.

Unrestrained growth, marketing bonuses focusing on passenger numbers and a lack of investment have led to the queues, René de Groot told the paper. Last weekend passengers were waiting an average of 100 minutes to get through security controls and several hundred missed flights, the paper said.

‘Schiphol has made the wrong choices,’ he said. ‘The airport has used marketing bonuses to generate unnecessary growth and has neglected to invest in proper infrastructure.’

Complaints about long waits first emerged last summer and this January, KLM director Pieter Cornelisse warned that queues to go through security would be long at peak periods this year.

Last year the airport processed 63.6 million passengers, a rise of 9% compared with 2015. KLM says Schiphol is allowing more aircraft to use its facilities when it does not have the proper capacity to deal with them.

Schiphol told the Volkskrant that the new, temporary terminal will absorb much of the holiday traffic pressure this year. A new pier will be opened in 2019 and a new terminal four years after that. (DutchNews)

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On Tuesday Man dies after being rolled over by garbage truck

POND ISLAND - On Tuesday April 25th at approximately 10.25 a.m. police patrols, traffic department, Ambulance Department, Detectives and Forensic Department were sent to the Sanitary Landfill (Public Dump) for a serious incident where a man was rolled over by a truck and was not showing any signs of life.

On the scene the investigating officers encountered the lifeless body of man with initials J.R. (58) who was a Dominican national.

Witnesses stated that the victim was accidentally run over by a garbage truck with license plate Z-221 while reversing.

Others tried to warn the driver of the victim being behind the truck but it was too late. The victim was pronounced dead by a medical doctor who arrived on the scene. Next of kin will be informed as the traffic department finalizes their investigation. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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CC1 St. Maarten and My Store “Win a Trip for Two to SXM Carnival 2017” was a resounding success

CAY HILL/SABA - CC1 St. Maarten, the exclusive distributor of Coca Cola®, the world’s number one beverage, recently ran a campaign in collaboration with My Store, The Bottom, Saba.

The campaign’s focus was on bringing the great CC1 portfolio of brands and St. Maarten Carnival 2017 to the forefront of the Saba population’s minds.

With the purchase of any Coca-Cola, Canada Dry, Presidente and/or Corona products from My Store, consumers were automatically eligible to win an all-expense paid trip to St. Maarten to enjoy Carnival 2017 first hand.  The campaign ran from February 28th until April 10th, 2017.

On April 11th, representatives of My Store and CC1 St. Maarten picked the lucky winner, Julieta Woods, from all of the many entries.  Ms. Woods, an avid consumer of Coca-Cola, was overjoyed with her lucky windfall of an all-inclusive trip for two to experience St. Maarten’s number one cultural event, Carnival 2017!

Her prize includes two roundtrip tickets to St. Maarten, one week accommodation at Simpson Bay Resort for two, Carnival season passes for two, and ground transportation to and from the carnival festival village.

Maduro Travel and Simpson Bay Resort, through their generous collaboration assisted greatly in putting together this wonderful prize.

My Store General Manager, Ms. Kelly Johnson, confirmed to CC1, “it was a very successful promotion and looks forward to working with CC1 in bringing more such promotions to the Saba community in the future.”

CC1 St. Maarten is the official distributor for Coca Cola, Sprite, Canada Dry, Dr. Pepper, Presidente Beer, Corona Extra, Stela Artois, Hoegaarden,Leffe, Budweiser, Budweiser Light, Michelob, Volvic Mineral Water, Evian and many more top beverage brands.

For inquires, or placing an order please contact CC1 St. Maarten, +1 721 542 2283. Located on Oryx Drive #1, Cay Hill or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Not everyone can deal with endless choices, government advisor says

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – The government needs to develop a more realistic view of what the man in the street is capable of dealing with independently, a senior advisory committee said on Monday.

‘There is a very wide gap between what is expected of citizens and what they can actually deal with,’ the Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) says in a new report. For example, people used to get an annual overview of their pension, which they would keep in a file.

‘Today, long before retirement, people have to take action and make choices,’ the report says. ‘The self-employed are expected to keep their skills up to date and deal with new opportunities and threats. In terms of health, people have to take more responsibility for themselves… chose their own provider and play an active role in determining what treatment they should have.’

Much government policy focuses on a rational approach and the idea that more choice is always better, but people are not always able to make choices, the report states. The government should, therefore, look again at the plethora of choices which people face, particularly in terms of financial provisions such as health insurance, disability insurance and pensions.

At the same time, the government apparatus should adopt a more personal approach to dealing with its citizens, rather than rely on automated processes when things go wrong, the report concludes. (DutchNews)

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SMART 2017 Online Registration Now OPEN

PHILIPSBURG - The 15th SMART - St. Martin/St. Maarten Annual Regional Tradeshow - is slated for June 14th -16th, 2017 at The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa. SMART is the largest trade show in the North Eastern Caribbean for Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Travel Writers, and Event Planners from the US, Canada, Europe, and Latin America.

Online Registrations has been opened and attendees are now able to register online via the SHTA website www.shta.com/smart. With online registrations attendees can register before May 08th for an early bird special!

The L'Association des Hoteliers de St. Martin, Saint Martin Tourism Office  in conjunction with the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau and St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association are expecting numerous Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Travel Writers, and Event Planners from the US, Canada, Europe, and Latin America to return to the island for this important event.

The tradeshow provides a unique opportunity for local and regional hoteliers and activities providers to present their tourism product, network and negotiate prospective business opportunities.

During the tradeshow, travel partners and wholesalers as well as hotel and excursion operations come together for one-on-one discussions on potential business ventures. In addition to the pre-organized appointments, throughout the trade show, participants may also set up additional appointments.

After years of success and progress, in addition to St. Martin/St. Maarten, other islands attending this event now include Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Montserrat, Saba, St. Barth’s, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts & Nevis, and Barbados.

It has become a very significant event for the entire region in recent years, one that should not be missed!

SMART 2017 kicks off on Wednesday June 14th, 2017 when delegates have the opportunity to meet and mingle with their peers at the Welcome Reception, then on Thursday June 15th we welcome all delegate to a full day of business where participants have set up appointments with travel partners and wholesalers as well as hotel and excursion operations, afterward all delegate are invite to a magnificent Farewell Party. On Friday June 16th all delegate get to enjoy an open forum with seminars.

Registration and additional details can be obtained via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and/or by phone at 542-0108. SHTA looks forward to welcoming all participants to SMART 2017.

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Legal clarity for SMMC Medical Center and Public Health Inspectorate

CAY HILL - On Monday, April 24th, 2017 a court case begins between St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) and the Inspectorate of Public Health (IVSA) regarding differences of opinions on the meaning of certain stipulations in (outdated) legislation.

Although court cases are often considered negative, this court case has the main objective of providing clarity and to create an impartial judgment on topics where SMMC and the Inspectorate have different interpretations of the laws and the objectives of the laws.

SMMC intends to create a mutual understanding and having a court ruling should give both parties much needed clarity, which seems to be essential for the working relationship of the hospital and the Inspectorate.

This court case should establish clearer legal standards for both parties and provide legal certainty for the future as well.

The overarching goal of all parties is to work in the best interest of the community and provide quality care to the people. High quality healthcare is the ambition and crucial for the country of Sint Maarten and the people that depend on it.

All and every healthcare-related institution in Sint Maarten must abide by the related laws of the country and to maintain a stable working relationship there must be a common understanding of what the laws represent regarding procedures, responsibilities and authorities.

Without clarity important issues will be left up to individual interpretation. However, objectivity can be achieved through formal decisions such as a court ruling.

The St. Maarten Medical Center considers it important to find a healthy balance between the Inspectorate and the hospital. Each has their own role within the healthcare system of Sint Maarten, with consideration that standards remain appropriate and clear.

Sint Maarten is in a stage of improvement within the entire healthcare system on the island. Legislations and policies that stifle healthy growth must be acted upon to ensure that the best interest of the public is kept.

The safety, satisfaction and health of the people in our care require clear legislations and an assurance that the laws of Sint Maarten are abided by correctly. Patient and employee safety and confidentiality are essential. Through this court case the focus can be placed on setting clear lines with which all parties can move forward.

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Case of Suspected Suicide on Cruise Ship

SINT MAARTEN/TORTOLA – The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force is investigating a case of suspected suicide onboard the Norwegian Escape cruise ship whose last port of call was St. Thomas.

According to reports, passenger D.G. (33), of Tennessee, USA, left his room around 3.00am on April 19.  A while after, the ships closed circuit cameras picked him up in midair descending toward the water.  His body was recovered by the ship’s crew.

An investigation is underway by the relevant authorities.  The deceased was traveling with his wife.

SOUALIGA NEWSDAY REPORT

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SCDF wants ‘mess on Pondfill’ seriously addressed next year

PHILIPSBURG - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) will seek a meeting with the Ministries of TEATT and VROMI following the Carnival season to discuss what it calls the haphazard erection of tents and other structures along Walter Nisbeth Road during the Carnival season.

Calling it “the mess along Pondfill”, the foundation lamented that government (VROMI) identifies the spots and TEATT subsequently grants the licenses without any sort of regulations attached regarding how and what should be built or placed on the spots.

The results, the foundation said, “is an ugly looking string of structures that does not enhance the tourism or Carnival product. Instead, anything that happens out there, is blamed on the Carnival foundation. We had visitors who thought that was Carnival Village,” the foundation said.

The SCDF pointed out that what started as a handful of vendors is now growing every year without regulation or supervision. “We have seen people throwing used cooking oil on the grass, garbage is left lying around, we have gotten blamed for noise pollution coming from the structures among other things,” the foundation said.

“If government is going to grant licenses for road side vending during Carnival, with the presence of Carnival Village, then we want to have a say in how many and provide suggestions on how they should be constructed that is actually appealing.

“How many is important because Carnival is a government subsidized event and Carnival Village must be protected. It is because of Carnival that they are out there, so we should have a say as to what happens during the season,” the SCDF said.

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