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Soualiga News Today (4321)

Multi-disciplinary control carried out at Cupecoy hotel property

CUPECOY, Sint Maarten – The Economic Inspection Department (TEZVT) that falls under the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication (Ministry TEATT), along with several other government entities from various ministries carried out recently a multidisciplinary control of a hotel property in Cupecoy.

A Cabinet official remarked that this control of a hotel resort is the first of its kind, and that additional controls will be forthcoming in the coming months.

Approximately 40 controllers, inspectors, and officers made an unexpected control of Sapphire Beach Club & Resort. The group comprised of officials from the Ministries of General Affairs, Justice, Public Health, Social Development & Labour, Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment & Infrastructure, and the Social Insurance and Health Agency (SZV).

The action was prompted after the Economic Inspection Department (TEZVT) received a number of complaints from tenants, timeshare and condominium owners.  TEZVT carried out further research and after several inter-ministerial discussions, the control date was set.

TEZVT was informed that tenants had informed the owners about the issues at hand, but no action was taken.

The survey of the property revealed exposed wires; waste water in the basement; mildew and mold; and possibly sewage water.  All fractions have been carefully documented.  The control took basically the entire day.  Two undocumented persons were found on site.

The situation that was discovered at the property was totally unacceptable.  The hotel leaves a lot to be desired where it concerns its maintenance and safety program.  A massive renovation is needed of the building in order to address the issues that were discovered.

The safety of clients staying at the property and of employees working is the top priority of Government, and it just makes good business sense to make sure your property is up to par.

TEZVT will actively control business for violations and there will be consequences for infractions of the law.  Hotel properties are on our radar and every business has to comply with the law.     

TEZVT will continue along with other ministries and government entities in their efforts of controlling businesses to ensure that compliance to existing rules, regulations and or norms are adhered to.

Controls are an important aspect of government and it ensures that the playing field is levelled for all operating in the market.  In addition, it ensures that businesses and the environment can live and co-exist peacefully and prosperously.

Businesses are requested to make sure that they have their paperwork in order and ready for display when EID controllers request such during economic activity control activities.  

EID activities are governed by the license country regulation (1963 no.28) and the island regulation of 15 April 1976 in implementation of Article 8.

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UP board conveys father’s day message, Males urged to step UP

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The board of the United People's Party (UP) is extending a special "Happy Father's Day" to all fathers and males in our community who play a positive role in the lives of our children.

The UP board also commends the various organizations in the media, and the business community who take the time out to organize contests and special activities for fathers.

"Good fathers or father figures are often overlooked in our community, so these events help to highlight the appreciation of fathers and hopefully bring them closer to their families," the UP board stated on Friday in a pre-father’s day message.

"We applaud these community efforts and encourage other males in our community to step UP in being a positive role model for our younger generation," the UP board concluded.

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Prime Minister Wescot-Williams Highlights Unity, National Identity During Flag Day Ceremony

CLEM LABEGA SQUARE, Sint Maarten - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams joined in with various dignitaries and the general public in commemorating Flag Day 2014.

During her remarks Prime Minister Wescot-Williams stressed the importance the National Flag has in the National Identity and the role it plays in focusing the National Psyche on what it means to be a part of St. Maarten.

“In 1985 our flag as we know it today was adopted by the Government and the people of St. Maarten. Through this establishment of the National Flag we acknowledged our flag as the national symbol, with the colors Red, White and Blue signifying us as a people. Red for the courage and determination of our people, white for peace and blue for our sky and our sea. These colors have now come to identify our national identity.

“The symbols of our flag and coat of arms were also established back then, establishing the National psyche for St. Maarten. Since that occasion we have year after year come to recognize and promote our flag and the symbols represented therein as representing who we are as a people, all of the people of St. Maarten. And so it is not only Government’s responsibility to encourage observance of this auspicious occasion in terms of respect and reverence for our flag but it is also the responsibility of each individual to recognize that these colors and symbols come with significant meaning regarding to our national identity.

“I would like to draw a parallel with the on-going world cup where you see so many flags of different countries fly, similarly our flag represents our team and our theme; this St. Maarten team that we must support win, draw our loose. This is our flag, our colors and our St. Maarten that we should love and cherish.

“Therefore I would like to salute those persons that were involved in the coming into being of our flag and the unity that that proclaims. This makes up who we are as a people; this is St. Maarten, our island to love and cherish and to hand over to the new generation. Happy Flag Day and God Bless St. Maarten and Her People,” concluded Prime Minister Wescot-Williams. (Contributed by the Cabinet of the Prime Minister)

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Ombudsman takes Kadaster issue to Parliament

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - In protecting the rights of the citizens and the integrity of the Constitution, the Ombudsman turned to Parliament regarding the continued disrespect for the laws of the Land by Kadaster as she drafted a Final Report after investigating yet another complaint against Kadaster. In an effort to draw attention to the continued disrespect of the Foundation Kadaster and Mortgages for a High Council of State, the Ombudsman addressed Parliament as the representative of the people and the highest oversight authority of the country.

Since the first investigation into actions of Kadaster, a private entity with public authority, the Ombudsman met with contempt. The Foundation Kadaster and Mortgages charged with the execution of vital government tasks, continues to  challenge the authority of the Ombudsman to investigate its organization. Although the Ombudsman called on the Minister in care of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure, responsible for  the organization of the pertinent departments and executing organizations, the Kadaster remains defiant even after the politically responsible Minister instructed the Kadaster to act in accordance with the law. However, no tangible change is observed in compliance with the laws of the Land by Kadaster. The Ombudsman said “that an apparent difference or error in the law upon transfer of the Kadaster Ordinance after 10-10-10 may not be used by government to justify not executing its authority to hold private entities, which are executing government tasks, accountable for their actions.” Despite the individual Ministerial responsibilities, the law provides ample opportunities for cooperation between Ministries to prevent citizens to be in limbo regarding their rights and neglect of proper services by private government entities.

The Ombudsman said: “Having a monopoly regarding land registry and service to the public when it comes to official information pertaining to real estate and land, it is of utmost importance that the administrative body, charged with these tasks, follows the law closely. Any breach of the law, or impropriety pertaining to handling the people’s affairs, or adverse communication with citizens, will result in loss of trust in such a vital institution.”

Since the Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Development, Environment and Infrastructure has not been able to convince the Kadaster of its legal position and its role as a private entity with public authority, the Ombudsman is compelled to address Parliament as a result of  talks earlier this year with the Director and Supervisory Board of the Foundation Kadaster and Mortgages, and recent reaction of the Director dated May 23, 2014 pertaining to a Final Report drafted by the Ombudsman after investigation of complaints filed by a citizen with the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman has requested Parliament as the representative of the people to use its authority provided by the Constitution, to look into this matter in order to safeguard and protect the interest and patrimony of the citizens.

The Ombudsman took this action in accordance with its obligation to listen, investigate and call government to act on the concerns of the people, whether as a result of complaints submitted by citizens or on its own initiative. The Ombudsman is charged with investigating how citizens are treated by administrative bodies. The investigative authority of the Ombudsman is not limited to the Departments within a Ministry, but also applies to  private entities, charged with public authority such as Kadaster.

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Police Need Your Assistance in Finding Bank Robbers

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - In connection with the ongoing investigation regarding the daylight armed bank robbery at Scotia Bank on Welfare road, which took place on Wednesday June 11th at approximately 11.00 a.m., the police department is requesting assistance from anyone from the community who may have information that could be helpful to this case. (Contributed by the Police Force of Sint Maarten)

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All set for DARE Foundation Zumba Walk Involving Primary Schools this Saturday at Five thirty in the Morning

CAY HILL, Sint Maarten - All is ready for the much anticipated DARE Foundation Zumba Walk involving Primary Schools on Saturday starting at Five Thirty in the morning at the Raoul Illidge Sports Complex.

The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams has joined forces with the DARE Foundation and the Police Force of St. Maarten to host the We 2 Can Move children’s Walk-a-ton and Zumba fest. The event will involve pupils taking part in exercise, encouraging them to stay away from drug and alcohol abuse.

“I would again like to encourage all in the community, especially our youth to come out and join the police force and my Cabinet in coming together in exercise and movement to ensure that through sport we are ensuring that our youngsters keep positive and stay away from drugs.

“Movement plays a significant role in not only making our youth healthy but to also in using health and exercise to steer our youth away from drug and alcohol abuse. I therefore look forward to this walk very much,” emphasized the Prime Minister. (Contributed by the Cabinet of the Prime Minister)

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T-shirts and street banners to mark next phase of creating awareness and inclusion in National Development process

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Within short national dialogue coordinators from the National Development Program will be sporting yellow t-shirts as part of the house look of the process.  On the T-shirts is printed the slogan: ‘Growing Stronger Together’ along with the logo.

A street banner has been developed and will also be placed in strategic locations along with flyers and brochures to profile and act as a reminder of the importance in developing a national development plan that reflects the interests of the people of the country. 

Each and every member of our community is being called upon to participate in the dialogues to share their ideas and stake their claim in building St. Maarten.

A National Development Plan covers the period of 20-30 years and sets the direction for strategic long-term development as a country.

The process entails the input of the people which supports the kind of development St. Maarten needs and which the citizens want.

The national development process is seen as a new opportunity to reflect on the current situation and take decisions as to how best to collectively work together to achieve our common goals represented in the plan.

The National Development Plan is facilitated under the auspices of the project, “Building a Nation: Sint Maarten National Development Plan & Institutional Strengthening.”

The Ministry of General Affairs, Department of Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK) are providing key support for the NDP process along with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

For further information please refer to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and/ or call 542-0897.

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Key public and private sector entities briefed by Port of St. Maarten Coordinating Team about FCCA Conference & Trade Show

POINT BLANCHE, Sint Maarten – The Port St. Maarten Coordinating Team for the 21st Florida Caribbean Cruise Conference (FCCA) Conference & Trade Show on Wednesday morning gave a presentation to key invited private and public sector entities at the Cruise Terminal Building in Pointe Blanche about the preparations for the conference.

From October 6-10 more than 1000 cruise industry partners, including close to 100 cruise executives, will be visiting the destination during that one week period.

For cruise executives, ports and destinations, cruise and tourism agencies, attractions, ship agents, suppliers and tour operators, the annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show is the premier industry event of the year to meet key industry players, analyse trends and discuss current issues.

The official hotel for FCCA event is the Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa.  Bookings at the hotel for the conference week in October are very strong with more than 60 per cent already reserved.

It has been 10-years (2003) since the destination hosted a similar conference.  The FCCA Conference & Trade Show of 2014 will be on a much larger scale as the aforementioned has grown over the years.

Destination St. Maarten outbid several South American countries in order to host the 2014 conference and tradeshow.

“I am very pleased that we have anchored the official hotel for the conference.  We looked at various properties and also held discussions with them and came to a decision.  We had to look at logistics as well, and that the hotel is close to the conference and tradeshow venue which will be on the grounds of the Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Cargo Facility,” Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the St. Maarten Harbour Group of Companies Mark Mingo said on Wednesday.

One of the important aspects of the event is to have approximately 100 young and new start-up entrepreneurs be a part of the conference which is an initiative of Port St. Maarten.  These individuals will be provided with access cards and more information will be provided with respect to this.

“The 21st FCCA Conference & Trade Show is an opportunity for local businesses to showcase themselves at the conference as this is a business to business event.  This year Port St. Maarten is celebrating 50-years of cruise.  We need to re-invent cruise St. Maarten and this has to come from young and upcoming entrepreneurs as well as those with experience.

“We are at the end of the product life cycle of cruise, and we need to be innovative and offer different types of tours, shore side events, products etc. that would continue to keep us ahead as a premiere cruise destination in the Caribbean.

“Destination St. Maarten/St. Martin hosting and organizing the 21st FCCA Conference & Trade Show will also have an economic spin-off for small, medium and big business.  It’s an event that everybody should embrace to make it one of the best ever.

“When the conference delegates leave our shores, they should continue to talk about what a great conference and destination experience they had.  I am very excited and looking forward to welcoming the 1000 cruise industry stakeholders to our Friendly Island shores,” CEO Mark Mingo said on Wednesday.    

The invitees to the presentation also included members of the harbour’s Board of Supervisory Directors, a representative from the Cabinet of the Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication, Tourist Bureau, Taxi Associations, the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association, Hotel property reps, French side rep, and management from the various harbour group of companies.

The Port of St. Maarten is ranked one of the highest in growth in cruise passengers as well as cruise passenger expenditure levels.  Last year the Port of St. Maarten received 1,785.670 cruise passengers, 32,455 passengers more than in 2012.  Cruise passengers arrived on 631 vessel calls for 2013.

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Micaela Hart Receives Paul Harris Fellow Award

LITTLE BAY, Sint Maarten - The Rotary Club of Sint Maarten-Mid Isle surprised Micaela Hart with a Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) at the Club’s Change of Board Dinner last Saturday in front of about 100 Rotarians and Friends of Rotary.

The presentation of Paul Harris Fellow recognition is The Rotary Foundation's way of expressing its appreciation for a substantial contribution to its humanitarian and educational programs. The Rotary Club recognized Ms. Hart for her distinguished and dedicated service to our community.

Micaela has served as one of the Ambassadors when she was studying at the University of St. Martin (USM), and at her graduation ceremony, she made her parents proud by receiving the USM Board of Directors Award for her dedicated service to the community of Sint Maarten as an Ambassador.

She continued her “Service Above Self” by joining the Rotaract Club of St Maarten Sunrise in 2012.

To gain additional leadership skills, she attended the RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) last year in Washington DC. To help people medically when the need arises, she took a course in Emergency Medical Responder last year, and took it even further by going to become a basic certified Emergency Medical Technician earlier this year.

As a Sunrise Rotaractor she participated in the Club’s various community projects including their annual “Feeding the Homeless”, “Hurricane Awareness Mission”, “World Water Day” and planting trees among her Club’s many activities. Hart served on her Club’s board as International Director this past year, and will soon be travelling to the Rotaract District Conference in Jamaica to attend the President-Elects Training Seminar, to fully prepare her in taking the leadership of the Sunrise Rotaract Club as President for 2014-2015.

Reading out the presentation was Micaela’s father Rotarian Jon Hart, while outgoing Mid Isle president Sanjay Surtani presented her with the PHF certificate, medallion and Paul Harris pin.

The PHF recognition is named for founder, Paul Harris, a Chicago lawyer who started Rotary International with three business associates in 1905. Rotarians often designate a Paul Harris Fellow as a tribute to a person whose life demonstrates a shared purpose with the objectives of The Rotary Foundation.

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Guana Bay, Simpson Bay Beach Cleaned in Commemoration of World Ocean Day

GUANA BAY, Sint Maarten - Some thirty pupils of the various Seventh-day Adventist youth groups held a cleanup of Guana Bay beach focusing on plastic pollution in commemoration of World Ocean Day 2014. The World Oceans Day 2014 theme was "Together we have the power to protect the ocean", and was focused mainly on raising awareness and promoting personal and community action in fun and positive ways, leading to a more aware, engaged, and sustainable society and a healthier ocean. A similar cleanup was also held at Simpson Bay beach focusing on keeping the beach clean for nesting sea turtles.

The thirty students were given information on the importance of all beaches on St. Maarten and Guana Bay and Simpson Bay beach in particular for the local sea turtle nesting season, which is currently underway and lasts until October. The pupils also received information why plastics, and in particular plastic bags are detrimental to the oceans and the damages that they cause to the Marine Environment.

“We were very happy to have especially young people assist us in keeping important sea turtle nesting beaches clear of plastic pollution. Increasingly plastic is becoming a major issue, causing death in not only sea turtles but in many different sea-going animals. For this reason it is so important that we regularly clear the beaches of plastic but also involve youth, youth groups, and community and religious organizations in communicating how important it is to keep our ocean environment clean,” read a statement from the Nature Foundation.

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