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Sarah extends invitation to Canadian Envirogreen Energy Company to explain the company’s plans for landfill

PHILIPSBURG - Back in July of this year, the Minister of VROMI Christophe Emmanuel announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a Canadian company, Envirogreen Energy Inc., President of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams said in a press statement on Monday evening.

“According to the statement of the Minister in July about the signing, the company is studying the power purchase agreement (PPA) and the concession. Furthermore according to the Minister this company will not charge the government of St. Maarten anything. Further than this statement in July, we have not heard from government or GEBE regarding respectively the concession or the PPA.

“With all the talk going on about the dump site in Philipsburg, the extra garbage because of the hurricane and the recent fires, the question begs, where are we with this concession and the waste to energy project?

“Not wanting to waste any time with questions to the Minister, which would most probably go unanswered, contact was sought with the company.  On a hunch, I invited the principals of Envirogreen to have an audience with Parliament and present their plans for the dump site in Philipsburg.

“I was pleasantly surprised with the quick reaction to this invitation by Envirogreen’s COO, Mr. Quade. I therefore look forward to his/their visit to St. Maarten before year’s end to provide Parliament and the people of St. Maarten with some insight into what can be expected and the timeframe involved.

“Parliament will be on recess later this month, but I am sure members will be willing to interrupt their recess to hear about this vital project. As a Parliament, we cannot sit back and wait until government decides it is time to inform the Parliament and the general public about matters of vital importance to our wellbeing.

“Such an undertaking must be widely communicated to ensure openness, as we have seen in the past too many of these waste management attempts fall by the wayside, without any explanation as to why by those who lead these projects on behalf of the government.”

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TelEm Group kicking off 12-Days-of-Christmas Promo Wednesday

POND ISLAND - Double data packages, specials on mobile devices, and unbeatable prices on accessories, are just some of the things on offer from TelEm Group’s 12 Days of Christmas countdown which starts on Wednesday.

According to the company’s 12 Days of Christmas promotion team, this year’s collection of goodies has something for everyone, from special high-end gifts to little stocking fillers.

And we’ve made it easy for everyone to get exactly what they want by having cut-out coupons for each day of our specials for easy shopping,” said TelEm Group Manager, Marketing & Sales, Grisha Marten-Heyliger.

She says it’s really going to be a Christmas to remember - if her department has anything to do with it.

“Not only will there be something every day to choose from these great deals, but our customers will also have a chance to win one of the hottest gift items going this year – an iPhoneX – the latest Apple mobile phone release,” said Grisha.

The Manager Marketing & Sales is meantime urging everyone not to wait too long to scoop up their own special, because even though the final day of the countdown in December 24 (Christmas Eve), all items on sales are while stocks last.

“We would hate to disappoint, so come early and take advantage of this great Christmas promotion from TelEm Group,” said Grisha, who also reminds everyone that the 12 Days of Christmas Specials are only valid as advertised and promoted for each day.

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Azamara Cruise Line Confirms Port Calls for the Season. Three ships in port on Boxing Day

PORT ST. MAARTEN – Due to the continuous efforts of Port St. Maarten Management to increase cruise ship calls to the destination port-Irma, the port confirms the return of Azamara Club Cruises. The cruise line provides an up-market voyage experience for discerning travelers. 

The line was founded in 2007 and then re-launched as Azamara Club Cruises in 2010, and is one of three brands owned and operated by Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited.

Azamara Quest, will be in port on Boxing Day, December 26 in addition to Grandeur of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas, both vessels are of the Royal Caribbean International (RCI) brand.

Azamara Quest went on its inaugural voyage in October 2007. The vessel was refurbished in April 2016; carries 690 guests (double occupancy) and 408 international staff and crew members; is 592 feet long; has eight decks; gross registered tons of 30,277; cruising speed is 18.5 knots.

Azamara Club Cruises, a boutique upmarket cruise line, operates two 690 passenger ships, the Azamara Journey and the second being the Azamara Quest. The company serves an up-market segment of international travelers, who tend to be curious and well-traveled, and as a whole are eager to explore new destinations and cultures.

Azamara Club Cruises pioneered Longer Stays and More Overnights. With its two ships the focus on these extended stays and authentic local experiences keep evolving.

“Stay longer. Experience more.” is the philosophy behind every Azamara Club Cruises voyage. Capitalizing on longer stays in port, more overnights and night touring, Azamara Voyages deliver to guest’s authentic cultural experiences across the globe.

The ship’s smaller size allows for visits to ports larger ships are unable to venture to. In 2017, Azamara will take passengers to more than 200 ports, in 68 countries, including 195 late night stays and 82 overnights.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) is a global cruise vacation company that owns and operates three global brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises. 

We are a 50 percent joint venture owner of the German brand TUI Cruises, a 49 percent shareholder in the Spanish brand Pullmantur and a minority shareholder in the Chinese brand SkySea Cruises.

Together, these brands operate a combined total of 48 ships with an additional twelve on order.  They operate diverse itineraries around the world that call on approximately 535 destinations on all seven continents.

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Formation process of new Government extended to December 15

HARBOUR VIEW – On Saturday, December 09, 2017, the Governor of Sint Maarten, His Excellency drs. E.B. Holiday, met with and received an update from formateur Franklin Meyers on the progress regarding the pending points of the formation.

Considering that the background screening of candidate ministers is still ongoing the formateur therefore requested a further extension of his commission to form a new government.

Governor Holiday as a result and having assessed the situation extended the commission for Meyers to present him the final report of the formation process by December 15, 2017.

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SER elects Richardson as Chair and Henriquez-Dijkhoffz elected as Vice-Chair

HARBOR VIEW – ir. Damien Richardson was elected Chairman of the Social Economic Council (SER) by his fellow board members during their board meeting of Thursday, December 7th, 2017.

ir.Damien Richardson takes over the position from former Chairwoman Oldine Bryson-Pantophlet, who bid farewell to the SER on April 30th 2017.  On May 1st 2017, the three-year tenure of the former SER council came to an end.

A new nine member council was installed by national decree on October 23rd 2017. Damien Richardson serves an independent expert (kroon lid) on the council.

Born on the island of Sint Maarten, Damien Richardson is no stranger to our community, a Sunday SER press release stated. Damien graduated with honors and a principle mark of ten (10) for his Master of Science in Architecture in 2002 at the Technical Universiteit (TU) in Delft, Netherlands.

He returned to the island in January 2007 and worked as the Department Head of VROMI from 2007 and 2008 managing both the Building Permits and the Policy Development Department.

Damien is currently the Managing Director of Richardson Plus, and teaches courses on Caribbean Metropolitan Architecture (CMA) at the University of St. Martin (USM).

On the same day, Eveline Henriquez-Dijkhoffz was elected as Vice-Chairwoman of the SER by her fellow board members. Henriquez-Dijkhoffz takes over from former Vice-Chairman Dwight Williams who resigned from the council in October.

Returning for a third term, the businesswoman serves as a member representing the employers from the Sint Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA). Henriquez-Dijkhoffz is an active member in the community, the SER stated in its media statement.

Besides her role on the board of the SER, Henriquez-Dijkhoffz is a proud mom of two, together with her husband they own their own business. The terms of the Chair and Vice-Chair will come to a conclusion on April 30, 2020 at which time the three year tenure of the entire SER council comes to an end. 

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Minister Jacobs pledges support to Sint Maarten Youth Brigade

POND ISLAND - On Saturday December 9th the St. Maarten Youth Brigade, along with family and friends celebrated the promotion of its new recruits, cadets and Sergeants in a wonderful ceremony and reception which was also supported by the Prime Minister Rafael Boasman and Minister of Youth Silveria Jacobs.

Founder Zulayka Peterson spoke of the history of the St. Maarten Youth Brigade and its journey from inception to present, highlighting its challenges as well as great achievements including the personal and collective growth of its members.

The members also engaged in  community support and volunteering before and after Hurricane Irma, along with training and development which they endured and are now thankful for and so much more.

Mrs. Peterson also mentioned in her address that members got permission to wear their uniforms to school on the 5th anniversary of the Voice of our Youth Foundation earlier this year which led to more recruits joining the SMYB.

Mrs. Peterson also highlighted the accolades the members have received from the Dutch Marines whom they assisted directly after Hurricane Irma’s passing, working at the NIPA Shelter, assisting with food and water distribution, with cleaning up schools and in the community and helping those who had lost roofs including their own members.

Minister Jacobs in her address, congratulated the visionaries who saw the possibilities 5 years ago and who saw it through to the point where they have so many youth positively busy in their own lives and making an impact in the community. Minister Jacobs also thanked all those who had worked with the youth to make it possible for them to move to the next level today.

Minister Jacobs further pledged to continue to support in whatever way she could, both in and out of office, and encouraged the general public to find some way to support youth groups such as these and to encourage and support their children to take part in such positive initiatives. The Youth Brigade should not be seen as a boot camp but as a way through military type training to groom youth to join our uniformed services as well as to grow in character and discipline. One young member who has been promoted to Sergeant, Corporal Rupshen is already enlisted in the VKS.

Setting a day per month in which the SMYB members could wear their uniforms to school at least once per month to share their goals and experiences with their friends at school was promoted by the Minister and received loud cheers of agreement from the recently promoted members. Minister Jacobs pledged to make it possible.

Prime Minister Rafael Boasman also gave some encouraging remarks to the organization, members, families and friends and further echoed the sentiments of his colleague Minister for continued support for the St. Maarten Youth Brigade as an alternative to incarcerating youth offenders and thereby retraining and preparing them to be productive and positive citizens and role models to their peers and younger children on St. Maarten.

The newly promoted members and their peers marched through Philipsburg with pride after the ceremony and returned to enjoy the reception with their guests.

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Art Saves Lives Foundation partners with Broadway Serves® and Broadway Cares® to provide Hurricane Relief

SINT MAARTEN/MIAMI - “Art Saves Lives #SaveSXM” ®, an initiative of Art Saves Lives Foundation (ASLF) culminated in a hurricane relief effort to assist the St. Maarten community following the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Art Saves Lives Foundation partnered with Broadway Serves and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids in this successful response to what can only be deemed a catastrophic event.

Broadway Serves® served as the umbrella organization to assist Art Saves Lives to get the means necessary to make the relief effort possible. Broadway Care Cares/Equity Fights Aids funded the U-Haul truck and donated hundreds of T-shirts and hats from its merchandise department.

Former Art Saves Lives teaching artist Dionne Figgins and Farai Malianga, original Fela! Broadway cast member accompanied ASLF Founder Nicole De Weever to Miami to deliver the 18 barrels and three trunks to the shipping company for final transport to St. Maarten.

The majority of the shipping was paid for by Broadway producers Stephen and Ruth Hendel and Steve and Cathy Semlitz. Relief was distributed to persons in need on both sides of the island last month.

Art Saves Lives Foundation is very appreciative to Peter Borzotta (Broadway Cares), Larry Cook (Broadway Cares) Tom Viola (Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids) and Dionne Figgins, Dana Marie Ingraham & Kimberly Marable (Broadway Serves) for their generous support and assistance. 

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Traffic Accident: Quad collided with Police Vehicle

PHILIPSBURG - On Thursday December 7th at approximately 4.50 pm. the Police Traffic Department was called to investigate a traffic accident that occurred.

A Police vehicle traveling down the hill on A.J.C Brouwers Road with sirens on, transporting a suspect, collided with a red quad traveling up the hill behind a grey van. Driver of the grey van pulled to the extreme right to allow the police vehicle to pass.

The driver of the quad who did not hear the sirens, started to pass the grey van and collided with the police vehicle. The driver of the quad got injured. He was not wearing a helmet.

The Traffic Department is busy investigating the incident. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

police inside

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TelEm Group, Computech attend Dell EMC briefing on Technology Innovation

SINT MAARTEN/CALIFORNIA - Sint Maarten telephone company TELEM GROUP, represented by CEO Kendall Dupersoy and Senior IT Administrator Edgardo Lynch, were at DELL EMC Executive Briefing Center in Santa Clara California this week.

The briefing was focused on Digital Transformation, specifically the challenges and opportunities resulting from technology innovation.

The visit was facilitated by DELL EMC Regional Manager Jose Torres and Computech NV represented by its Managing Partners Jean Arnell, Alain Roper and Senior Systems Engineer Johann Charlery.

The DELL EMC Executive Briefing Center offers a hands-on environment for businesses and governments to discover the value of DELL EMC portfolio of products and services, specifically for next generation Software-Defined Datacenters based on Hyper Converged Infrastructures.

The state-of-the art facility offers customized briefings on DELL EMC and partner technologies, and key design strategies relating to IT Transformation, Workforce Transformation, and required Security Transformation to better meet the specific needs.

The 2-day Strategy Briefing focused on DELL EMC current and future line of Networking, Servers, Storage and Disaster Recovery technologies as well as DELL EMC solution for Microsoft Azure Stack which delivers Azure functions and services on-premise.

“TELEM GROUP is embarking on major Digital Transformation initiative both internally and to support new customer needs. We are moving from a traditional server farm to a high-density, low TCO Hyper Converged IT Infrastructure to support business applications and new user cases like Bring your own device (BYOD), mobility and big data. For the local business community, we’ll be able to offer a new portfolio of software-based services which leverage existing cloud apps and the development of new apps,” said Mr. Dupersoy

Computech’s Jean Arnell said: “Our customers are challenged with transforming their datacenters to adapt to technology evolution, improve service delivery and customer experience. Building on our experience with Converged Infrastructures and the deployment of Private cloud solutions based on DELL MEC and Microsoft Hyper V, Computech is determined to successfully accompany the Sint Maarten telephone company on their datacenter transformation journey.” 

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A decision to dissolve parliament does not absolve any MP of his/her duties

PHILIPSBURG - A meeting that could have brought some answers to many lingering questions, was obstructed again by National Alliance (NA) Members of Parliament (MPs), MP Sarah Wescot-Williams said in a press statement on Thursday.

“I dutifully followed the rules and vacated the chair’s seat to speak on the topic, only to see the same old games being played. This would have been the right place for ministers to clarify and respond to concerns that exist in the community.

“I expected the Minister of VROMI, who continues to rant on radio programs about the Simpson bay Lagoon to provide proof of his allegations; I expected information regarding the border control agreement, to allay fears that this agreement would infringe upon the open borders between the 2 sides of the island;

“I expected the answers to how the government was dealing with the finances of government, knowing that we have a serious budget deficit, and the 50 million guilders budgeted for extra coast because of hurricane Irma; as well as answers on the roof repair program and food voucher program.

“I wanted to know what government plans are for the homeless persons still in shelters at the Festival Village and the Little League ball park. I want(ed) to know what new labor policies are being devised, given the “new realities” of our labor market.

“I want(ed) to know the truth about pledges from (government-owned) companies. I wanted government’s take on the election resolution and the fact that the 3 months period, stipulated in the constitution, has not been observed.

“I wanted to know about insurance, adjusters and payouts in general, and for government and government companies in particular.

“Some argue that there is much happening and there is some truth to that. However, much more is happening, that is very questionable to say the least."

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