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NA MP’s request correspondence between Government and SXM Shipyard N.V.

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The House of Parliament has been buzzing for the past few months about many important issues, including the topic of long-lease land, the National Alliance (NA) Faction said in a statement on Thursday.

“During these discussions, it was brought to light that the SXM Shipyard N.V. has failed to pay its long-lease land fees to the Government for over a decade.

“Given all the conflicting information regarding the SXM Shipyard N.V. being delinquent in paying Government an excess of NAf. 1.2 million in long-lease land fees owed over a period of 12 years, members of the National Alliance Faction have requested all pertinent correspondence between the SXM Shipyard N.V. and the Government of St. Maarten between December 2018 till present.

“The MP’s hope that these correspondences will give them some more insight in regard to this issue, as it is important that they seek answers for the citizens of Sint Maarten, as they are the ones that are ultimately affected by it. The Members of Parliament requested that this information be sent no later than Wednesday, August 28th, 2019.”

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Tito’s Vodka donates $1500 to Be The Change Foundation for drinks sold during SXM Festival

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) – As part of their ongoing partnership, CC1 St. Maarten & Prime Distributors presented a donation of $1,500.00 to the Be The Change Foundation for a drink special featuring Tito’s Handmade Vodka sold during the 2019 SXM Festival.

We managed to raise funds with “Love, Tito’s”, a program that has one simple goal: to turn spirits into love and goodness. Make the world a better place—in whatever way moves you; find your passion, and get involved. With the help of our nonprofit friends and family, Love, Tito’s can continue to give back in more impactful ways, and keep spreading the love more and more. “Thanks to the opportunity the SXM Festival created we’ve managed to donate to Be The Change and will keep spreading the love in SXM in other creative ways. To be continued!” said Tito’s Handmade Vodka Trade Marketing Coordinator, Jade Ladal.

For the SXM Festival, which took place during the same week as SXM DOET in March of this year, Jade Ladal of CC1 St. Maarten came up with a special mixed drink known as the “Mystical Mule” featuring Tito’s Vodka. For every Mystical Mule drink sold, a portion of the funds went to the Be The Change Foundation. The funds raised will benefit their Spotlight Projects of the Month for the upcoming year 2020.

“It’s always exciting to see local businesses and companies as large as CC1 contribute to the non-profit sector by way of monetary and in-kind donations. We are especially proud of CC1 for coming up with such a creative idea with the Mystical Mule and look forward to continuing to work with them in the future,” President of Be The Change Foundation, Melanie Choisy stated in a press release.

CC1 St. Maarten is one of the largest distributors in St. Maarten, currently selling some of the top brands in the market including Coca-Cola, Corona and Tito’s Handmade Vodka among others. CC1 St. Maarten has been partaking in the annual volunteer campaign SXM DOET since 2017 by playing an active role in their employees lending a hand at community-service projects as well as with their in-kind donations of beverages and snacks to various non-profit donations.

For more information about how to donate to the Spotlight Projects of the Month visit bethechangesxm.com. For more information about CC1 St. Maarten, please contact +1 721 542 2283 or visit them at Oryx Drive #1 in Cay Hill.

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Act. Minister of Public Health Romeo Marlin visits dialysis department at SMMC

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) – On Friday August 16th, Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin in her new role as Acting Minister of Public Health, Social Development & Labor Affairs (VSA) paid a working visit to the Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC).

During the working visit at the SMMC, Acting Minister of VSA Romeo Marlin and the SMMC Management Team led by SMMC Director Kees Klarenbeek focused their talks primarily on the current state of affairs surrounding the dialysis department and the ability of SMMC to maintain the highest quality of medical care to its dialysis patients.

Recently, the number of dialysis patients have increased while the number of nurses that are trained to work in the dialysis department have decreased. As a result, the management of SMMC have taken a number of decisions to remedy this situation. In the interim, to ensure the quality of medical care, three dialysis patients have been referred to overseas medical institutions while the SMMC Nursing Department are directing five registered nurses towards certified training in dialysis care to increase capacity.

Discussions are also taking place to bring about a structural working agreement with the medical services on French Sint Maarten to seek the possibility of having dialysis patients tap into similar services next door, in order to avoid the more expensive overseas medical referrals.

Additionally SMMC informed Minister Romeo Marlin that in the meantime two new dialysis stations have been added to the overall inventory to ensure that when the new nurses have completed their training, there will be sufficient capacity and quality medical care to meet the demand of the medical services at SMMC.

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CBCS Acting President Traa Calls for More Attention to the Supply Side of the Economy

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - During the Wednesday luncheon of the Curaçao Business Association (CBA) (“Vereniging Bedrijfsleven Curaçao”), Mr. Bob Traa, acting president of the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS), sparked the interest of those present with his diagnosis of and possible solutions for the current economic situation in Curaçao.

Traa pointed out that labor productivity shows a negative trend in Curaçao, while at the same time the growth of potential working age persons is shrinking. As a result, the potential growth of the economy is negative.

When productivity declines, business firms reduce employment to lower costs, which increases unemployment. Curaçao not only has a high unemployment rate, there is also too much unused capital, e.g., empty houses and hotel buildings, and an excess liquidity in our banking system.

Furthermore, as a result of the negative productivity, Curaçao lacks competitiveness and has a high deficit on the current account of the balance of payments. The economic structure is gradually shifting from industry to tourism.

Based on this diagnosis, Traa argues that economic policy in Curaçao should be focused on both aggregate demand and aggregate supply. Given the high deficit on the current account of the balance of payments, Traa sees little room to stimulate the economy from the demand side. Moreover, in respect of fiscal policy, the speed at which measures are implemented must be taken into account.

If we try to adjust fiscal policy too strongly, economic activity could additionally be stalled. The possibilities for monetary policy actions are also limited, as the NAf is pegged to the US dollar.

Furthermore, the economic dynamics of Curaçao and Sint Maarten are different. Sint Maarten’s recession is V-shaped and may well be in a recovery phase already, while Curaçao has a structural adjustment path recession (L-shaped).

The focus should therefore be on reinforcing aggregate supply in order to boost potential growth. Curaçao should strive towards the implementation of a structural reform plan. These reforms should be focused on making both the labor and product markets, as well as the government apparatus, more efficient and productive.

The emphasis should be on a tripartite commitment and flexicurity, i.e., protecting people and not jobs. The government, the labor unions and the business community should actively work together on defining the structural reform agenda.

With his speech, Mr. Traa intends to stimulate a dialogue to achieve a broadly supported structural reform agenda.

Mr. Traa’s presentation can be downloaded from the CBCS website at https://www.centralbank.cw/publications/speeches-presentations.

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K1 DIRECT Fundraising Raffle begins

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – K1 DIRECT, K1 Britannia Foundation’s official disaster relief and crisis team, is holding a fundraising raffle to raise funds for the team’s disaster relief operational budget.

The budget will be used to cover the costs for medical supplies, fuel, vehicles, materials, and other necessities during activation of the volunteer team during a disaster locally or in the region.

The raffle will be on-going until September 30th 2019, where persons have an opportunity to win various prizes including 4 round-trip tickets for two to destinations flown by Winair, 3-night all-inclusive stay for two at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, 2 tickets to "The Big Three" at Rainforest Adventures St Maarten, artwork by Roland Richardson Gallery Museum, Hair styling vouchers by The 5, prizes by Boolchand's St. Maarten, gift voucher by Alina restaurant - Sushi & Sake Bar and Caribbean Liquors and Tobacco.

Since the passing of Hurricane Irma, K1 has conceptualized and materialized an official disaster relief & crisis team to assist St. Maarten and the region during disaster situations.

Since then, K1 DIRECT has set up two completely voluntary teams on St. Maarten and in Curacao of approximately 40 volunteers.

To date, K1 DIRECT is continuously working on various trainings to be effectively equipped with necessary preparations to carry out their tasks during a disaster including completion of their CPR/AED and EMR training as well as a Disaster Management Training facilitated by the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) and End-to-End Supply Chain Management Training facilitated by World Food Programme and CDEMA.

K1 DIRECT is encouraging persons to support the team by purchasing a raffle ticket. Companies are also encouraged to purchase raffle tickets for their staff or to be sold to their clients.

Each raffle ticket will be sold for $10 USD or 20 FLS, and will be sold outside Carrefour Market in Cole bay on August 24th, September 7th, and September 21st from 10am to 1pm. Tickets can also be bought at the K1 Britannia office, or 20 other locations such as Winair, Adolphus Richardson, Arena Base Café, Simpson Bay Pharmacy, Obersi Group, Island Real Estate Team, Bluepoint, Colosseum, Carrefour, Dominos, EBS, NAPA, Pete’s Photo, Cay Hill Pharmacy and Kam’s Food World.

For more information please visit the K1 office located on Falcon Drive #7, Suite A3 in the Brooks Tower, Suite A3 in Philipsburg, or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +1 (721) 580-3923.

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TelEm Group aiming to stabilize Cable TV power issues

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) TelEm Group technicians and engineers will be installing new power-related equipment at Cable TV’s headend facility at Madame Estate this weekend with the possibility of interruptions to Cable TV, TelTV and CableNet services.

The TelEm Group staffers are being joined by a team of technicians from equipment vendor HITESS N.V. in the installation and testing process.

According to TelEm Group Manager, Core Networks, Mr. Percival Cocks, the pending works will take place Sunday. Once completed, the installed equipment will bring stability to the Cable TV Headend facility which has been on backup power since power equipment located at the site was damaged three weeks ago.

 “This will take the facility from the current power condition, which is backup to production,” said Mr. Cocks.

He said the local and overseas teams will be working during hours that cause the least impact on CableNet, IPTV and Cable TV services.

“We anticipate interruptions will occur; however, we are asking customers and subscribers to be patient as we make all effort to reconnect their service(s) as soon as possible once the new equipment is installed and tested,” continued the Manager, Core Networks.

Mr. Cocks assures subscribers that the installation works will be carried out diligently. He has meantime apologized to customers of Cable TV, TeLTV and CableNet for any interruptions they may experience in these services over the weekend.

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Man abducts one-year old child on Friday morning

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Friday August 16 at approximately 2.15 a.m. the man identified with initials R.P. who is the father of a one-year old child went to the home of his child mother located on Back Street and took the child without the mother’s consent, police said on Friday.

The mother identified with initials L.T. immediately notified the police department who immediately went to the scene to investigate what was taking place. After the mother informed the police of the situation, she drove along with the police officers to Dutch Quarter in the “911 Project” where the suspect and child were found sitting in a car.

The police officers made many attempts to communicate with the suspect in order for him to unlock the doors of the car so that they could retrieve the child but be refused.

The situation escalated to a point that there was no other choice for the officers, for the safety and well being of the child, than to break one on the windows of the car to gain access to the vehicle.

The child was taken from the suspect and he was arrested on the spot. The suspect was then taken to the Philipsburg Police station where he remains in custody for questioning and further investigation. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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Three Young Professionals to represent SXM A.C.T.I.O.N at Leadership and Development Academy

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - JCI St. Maarten now re-branded to SXM A.C.T.I.O.N (Aspiring Change to Impact Our Nation) is a well-known Non-Profit Non-Governmental Organization on St Maarten which have developed many leaders and politicians within our community, SXM A.C.T.I.O.N said in a statement on Thursday. 

“Our mission is to provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change. This year, our organization have chosen 3 young professionals to represent St. Maarten in Curacao at the JCI Dutch Caribbean Leadership & Development Academy, which is scheduled for August 16th- 18th, 2019. The theme of this year's LDA is Influential Leadership.

“The Leadership and Development Academy is a once in a lifetime experience organized annually by the JCI Dutch Caribbean. It provides personal development opportunities, hands-on tools and knowledge to take on leadership positions. Much success to our team and looking forward to hearing their experiences when they return,” SXM A.C.T.I.O.N concluded in their media statement.

For more information on how to join SXM A.C.T.I.O.N call +17215262291 or email us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Arrindell

Oneida Arrindell

Mathew

Denair Sumter

 

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Arbitration Panel rules in favor of PJIAE, upholds close to USD$ 72 Million hurricane Irma claims against Nagico

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT) - An arbitration panel consisting of arbitrators appointed by PJIAE, Nagico and the Court of First Instance of Sint Maarten has ruled in favor of the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) in settlement of a USD 71 Million insurance claim against the company’s principal insurer, NAGICO. Under the terms of the arbitration ruling, PJIAE is awarded a principal claim (excluding interest) of USD 71, 864, 341 including the US$ 58 million that Nagico has already paid out to PJIAE in an advanced settlement. 

The ruling was handed down on Wednesday, August 14th, 2019, and the total awarded is more than double the amount of USD 32,5 million that Nagico was willing to pay to PJIAE. 

On Thursday, PJIAE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Brian Mingo, said while the settlement will greatly assist in the airport’s recovery and rebuilding plans, a good part of the funds (50%) has already been paid yet restricted. The insurance proceeds will be mostly used to re-build the airport’s main terminal in its upcoming reconstruction project. 

Mr. Mingo said the claim has been awarded in PJIAE’s favor in the order of Material damage (USD 51, 269, 728), Business interruption damage (USD 17,963,013) and Cost of advisors (USD 2, 631,600). There still remains a matter of PJIAE’s claim for damage to furniture, for which management have been asked to provide additional information. 

In the case of material damage to the airport, the arbitration panel has determined that the airport was not underinsured as Nagico had previously claimed and therefore could not apply the average clause which would have yielded a lesser amount in settlement for PJIAE. The panel however ruled that a 2% deductible amount of the insured sum could be applied by Nagico trimming the final amount for material damage only to USD 51,269,728. 

Mr. Mingo said when an impasse was reached between the Airport management and Nagico insurance assessors last year, the natural step was to have an independent arbitration panel settle the differences between both parties. 

“We have stated all along that we have a solid claim based on our policy with Nagico and I am very pleased that the management team held on to their resolve with the support of our legal representatives and were able to secure the balance of our claim against Nagico,” said Mr. Mingo. 

Mr. Mingo concedes that some line items on the airport’s claims have been denied, however these denials did not form a substantial part of the total claim. He will however continue to pursue the claim for loss and damage to Airport furniture in keeping with another concession of the arbitration committee, so long as additional damage assessment reports and information can be provided. 

The Managing Board of the SXM Airport would also like to thank all the teams who have assisted and participated with the process. PJIAE was assisted by its damage experts Mr. John Trupiano of Corgan and Mr. Mark Gallagher of Willis Towers Watson, its arbitration - legal team Mr. Eric R. de Vries and Mr. Michiel van den Brink of HBN Law & Tax and the excellent team of in-house professionals and employees of PJIAE, with full support of its supervisory board and shareholder, to whom we extend our gratitude. 

PJIAE believes the outcome of the procedure is bittersweet, not the total amount that was claimed but the 51% awarded adds up and enables us to carefully plan and execute the reconstruction of the airport. We need to be careful how we spend the funds, on the real needs and improvements of the airport and the economy of St. Maarten.  

The CEO, PJIAE, expects Nagico to settle payment on the balance of the claim with interest within the next few weeks, also with a proposal for compensation for the pending interior line item. 

If we can get everyone on board and create a cooperation among all stakeholders our airport will be fixed quicker and easier. Our economy can then again thrive back to its glory days, anything else defeats our efforts. 

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NAGICO Insurances provides Employment for students and donates back to school starter packages

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Education is key to success and survival. It is for this core reason that NAGICO Insurances continues to give this area attention through several of its corporate social initiatives.

One of NAGICO Insurances’ main Education initiatives is the provision of opportunities to students to dip their toes into and get a feel for the working world and learn in a different environment. This summer we are pleased to have been able to create that learning opportunity and experience for 10 high school students.

“My experience working at NAGICO was outstanding and I am grateful for being given the opening to experience working with the amazing staff. It was definitely one for the books” said Giovanni Clerk one of the students on an Internship programs from the Tallahassee Community College.

 As part of NAGICO Insurances’ Project 1000 Smiles, annually it engages in a Back to School drive where students are provided with a back to school starter pack: a trendy draw string bag with copy book, pencil case and stationery. Our objective in this case being to ease the financial burden and absorb some of the costs associated with back to school preparations that parents and guardians face.

“Usually our team distributes these tokens directly but since we were approached by a few organizations for sponsorships geared toward the same purpose, we felt it better to partner and collaborate with them.” Ms. Kyria Ali Chief Strategy Development Officer said. “We are better together and through partnership, we will be able to reach and help a wider group of people; many hands make light work.”

Some of the organizations that NAGICO Insurances is partnering with for its Back to School drive are:

Your Voice, Your Choice which was represented by Founding President Silveria Jacobs.

“Our foundation has been operating for over 3 years and we have grown to the point where we assist approximately 400 students,” she explained. “With this donation and financial contribution from NAGICO, we will be able to reach more children who we assist with uniforms, books, tuition and much more. We also partner with Kimani Olivacce who does his back to school project annually, the UJIMA Foundation, Ms. Lali Foundation and the I Can Foundation.”

The Lions Club was represented by their new President; Ms. Oralie Boirard, and her 2nd Vice President Linette Gibbs and Secretary Jennifer Johnson who all two other representatives thanked NAGICO Insurances for their contribution.

“This is a true example of networking,” Boirard said. “We are all in this together and working together for the future of the kids. And as our Lions motto goes, We Serve. Where there is a Need, We Are.”

The Lions Club say this year they will be welcoming back the students of the MAC School and the Milton Pieters College with their objective being to encourage students to stay in school.

The Police Department also mentioned that their Back to School Campaign is being spearheaded by the Community Police Officers (CPOs) who have been doing this project annually. “Every year we put together bundles for the children, in our various communities,”’ Mrs. Helen Cristina Romeo said. “We want to thank NAGICO for their continued support and it shows that if everyone does a little bit, then the youths will benefit.”

Representatives from the St. Maarten Housing Development (SMDF) also received donations for the Belvedere area.

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