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Soualiga Newsday Top Stories (3771)

Prime Minister Wescot-Williams at Opening of National Institute for Professional Advancement Institute

CAY HILL, Sint Maarten - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams opened the national advanced vocational training institution the National Institute for Professional Advancement (NIPA) in Cay Hill on Friday.

During her remarks at the opening the Prime Minister stressed that with the opening St. Maarten can look forward to training a local labor force instead of having to import labor from elsewhere.

“There are many persons who we should be grateful for making the NIPA a reality and it is truly through their hard work and dedication that we are able to stand here today. I thank all of you who in one way or another have contributed in making this institute a possibility.  It has been a long time in coming for St. Maarten to get an institute such as this one: a dedicated building for advanced vocational education. I believe that this opening will make the difference regarding the professional advancement of our local labor force.

“Within the community you still have people mentioning for example the lack of hospitality training facilities on St. Maarten, you hear persons complain about the lack of our own nursing courses.  Now, with the opening of this facility, those opportunities are here and will ensure the further development of our people professionally.

“I hope that everyone is encouraged to take the message forward that this location is the place for life-long learning on St. Maarten, giving everyone the opportunity to train, learn, grow and reach higher. I really look forward to the day when we will not be able to use the excuse that we have to import labor because we have our own residents trained technically and vocationally to be a part of the labor force on St. Maarten. Congratulations on taking technical and vocational training on St. Maarten to a higher level,” concluded Prime Minister Wescot-Williams. (From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister)


Ministry VROMI announces road closures starting June 15 related to sewage works

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), hereby announces that there will be several road closures related to sewage work that has to be carried out in different areas.

There will be a temporary road closure of Back Street between intersections Hotel Steeg/Korte Steeg and School Steeg/H. Beaujon Steeg, on Sunday June 15th from 8:00pmtill Monday June 16th 5:00am, and this is related to sewage connection Backstreet lot #114.

There will be a temporary closure of Front Street between intersections Hendrik Straat and Emmaplein from Monday June 16th at 8:00pm till Tuesday June 17th 5:00am, and entails the installation of sewage connection to offices near Kanaalsteeg.  Work will continue on Tuesday June 17th 8:00pm till Wednesday June 18th 5:00am and is related to sewage connection of shops near Kanaalsteeg.

There will be a temporary road closure of D.C. Steeg on Thursday June 19th6:30am till Friday June 20th 6:00pm and is related to a sewage connection at DC Steeg.

Motorists and pedestrians are requested to be vigilant and observant for the traffic directional signs indicating what works are underway in the respective area.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience that this may cause.


SXM Airport Emergency Evacuation Drill on Friday

SIMPSON BAY, Sint Maarten - The Princess Juliana International Airport Operating Company N.V. (PJIAE) in compliance with its Fire Safety and Evacuation Plan, will be holding an emergency evacuation drill of the terminal building for the entire SXM Airport community onFriday morning,June 13, 2014.

The objective of the drill is to familiarize the staff and users of the airport with the required procedures on how to efficiently evacuate the terminal building in response to an emergency in and surrounding the terminal building.

Normal airport operations will be affected for the duration of the evacuation drill. During the drill, every person inside the terminal building will be forced to evacuate. No one will be allowed to enter the terminal building for the duration of the evacuation drill.

Building evacuation procedures are a vital part of SXM’s fire safety and evacuation plan. Evacuation drills are held to familiarize occupants with drill procedures and to make the drill a matter of established routine. Because wellmarked exits alone do not ensure safety of lives during a building fire or emergency evacuation, drills are needed so that occupants will know how to make an efficient and orderly escape.

According to Michel Hyman, Operations Manager at SXM, the evacuation drill is “to ensure that SXM departments, tenants and operators at the airport operate to the highest level of fire safety in all areas and are aware of evacuation procedures.”

Prior to this, SXM had held information sessions with the occupants of its facilities and the entire airport community to educate them about evacuation procedures, practice building evacuation processes and Emergency Assembly Point coordination and to practice staff accountability procedures. These sessions were mandatory, Manilo Penijn, Manager of the Rescue and Fire Fighting Department said.

He said these drills have been held since 2011 to “simulate the immediate response and evacuation procedures that we would use for any type of emergencies in and surrounding the terminal building.”

Penijn called on the general public to kindly take note of this evacuation drill and not panic.


First Hawksbill Sea Turtle Nest of the Season Protected

SIMPSON BAY BEACH, Sint Maarten - The first Hawksbill Sea Turtle nest of the season has been recorded and protected by the St. Maarten Nature Foundation. Last week a Female Hawksbill Sea Turtle laid a clutch of eggs on Simpson Bay Beach. Nature Foundation staff recorded the nest and cordoned the area of the nest off.

Sea turtles have existed for well over 180 million years, even before the dinosaurs. St. Maarten is one of the few places in the region that has a nesting population of sea turtles, so all should be done to protect their nesting areas.

Sea turtle population numbers have plummeted to dangerously low numbers throughout the past century due to human impacts, bringing many species close to extinction and causing them to be listed as critically endangered. In order to reverse this trend, all sea turtle species are now protected by international laws and treaties as well as local laws. Based on ARTICLE 16 and 17 of the Nature Conservation Ordinance St. Maarten it is illegal to kill, wound, capture or pick-up sea turtles. It is also illegal to directly or indirectly disturb their environment resulting in a physical threat or damage or to commit other acts that result in disturbance of the animal. It is also forbidden to disturb, damage or destroy sea turtle nests, lairs, or breeding places. Also, it is forbidden to pick-up or to destroy the eggs of any species of sea turtle.

The St. Maarten Nature Foundation actively manages the sea turtle population on St. Maarten, particularly during the nesting season. The Foundation conducts various activities with regards to nesting females including beach surveys, nest excavations, tagging activities, and nest success research. The Foundation also relies heavily on volunteers to assist it in its Sea Turtle activities and welcomes any volunteers who would be interested in working with sea turtles. Beach communities in particular are in the best position to help ensure that females nest safely, that nests are left undisturbed and that hatchlings make it safely to the sea. This year the Nature Foundation also urges restaurants and beach bars along the major nesting beaches to refrain or limit the use of beach bonfires and artificial lighting that can seriously reduce the survival rate of sea turtles. The Nature Foundation asks that people also do not drive on the nesting beaches and that they walk their dog on a leash. To report nesting activity or illegal activity, please call the Sea Turtle Hotline 9229 or call the Nature Foundation office at 5444267 or email the Foundation at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


St. Maarten Cable TV Announces SportsMax to Live Stream 2014 FIFA World Cup

MADAME ESTATE, Sint Maarten – St. Maarten Cable would like to inform subscribers that the 2014 FIFA World cup will not be available on its channel line-up. This decision is due to the substantial cost for the rights to broadcast and unsuccessful pricing negotiations between St. Maarten Cable TV and International Media Content (IMC). Therefore, there will not be a dedicated channel for Live World Cup transmission as was the case in 2010.

Beulah Jonis, Managing Director stated, “The current situation is that some of the World Cup matches will be live on some channels throughout our line-up however, there is a possibility that we may be advised to blackout these channels during the Live World Cup broadcast by the rights holder, IMC, or the local Regulator.”

International Media Content’s sports channel, SportsMax, will provide live streaming of all 64 matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in High Definition at a one-time payment of $15. The opening match will begin on June 12th featuring Brazil vs Croatia and matches will continue through July 13th. Subscribers are encouraged to visit the SportsMax website, for 24 hour access of the tournament.

Customers are encouraged to visit St. Maarten Cable TV’s Facebook page and the website for additional information and other pertinent facts. The website address is Customers may also call our Customer Service department at 542-4361.


Ministry VROMI announces road markings painting activity on Friday in St. Peters and South Reward

ST. PETERS/SOUTH REWARD, Sint Maarten – Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), hereby announces that there will road markings activities being carried out on Friday in St. Peters and South Reward.

The activities will be carried out on Friday, June 13 from 8.30am to 12.00pm and from 2.00pm to 4.30pm. 

Road marking activities entail the painting of speed bumps, and pedestrian crossings.

Motorists and pedestrians are requested to be vigilant and observant for the traffic directional signs indicating what works are underway in the respective area.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience that this may cause.


Plenary Session of Parliament planned for Thursday about Sanctions Ordinance

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – A plenary session of the House of Parliament is scheduled for Thursday morning. 

The plenary session of the House is set for Thursday at 10.00am in the General Assembly Chamber at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The first agenda regards incoming documents; followed by a proposed National Ordinance with respect to changes in the Sanctions Ordinance related to the European Union.

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations.


Minister Lake insists assistance has been provided to nine-year old girl's mother

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake on Tuesday stated he was surprised by the statements attributed to the father of the nine-year-old girl who was severely beaten by a man on May 15 in South Reward, that he hasn’t heard anything from the Minister.  

I never saw the father but only had contact with the mother of the child.  The same day the dad went to the newspaper, the mother of the child was in my office following up with my Executive Secretary on the well-being of the child. 

“When I contacted the mother about the father making these remarks in the newspaper, she said she didn't know he made these statements to the paper.

“I don't know what the father’s motives are because he was never in the picture from the beginning, but as a Good Samaritan I got the good corporate sponsor to assist the child.

“The corporate sponsor wanted to hire a private specialist to assist the child with her trauma, but student support services are working with the child.  The agreement with the mother is once she gets all the doctor bills and the little girl gets the stitches removed, the corporate sponsor will assist with a donation related to the doctor bills.

“All of this was communicated to the mother of the child, and she agreed to bring the bills.  I also tried to assist the mother to get her residence papers together.

“I find it ironic that the father went to the newspaper rather than asking the child’s mother about the situation. I will continue to assist the little girl with respect to the good corporate sponsor once the mother brings all the doctor bills.

“The father should have gotten his facts straight before running to a newspaper to dramatize the situation. 
It’s all about getting the child back on the road to a happy recovery, and being in high spirits and living a normal life,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Tuesday. 



Full House, Standing Ovation at Launch of Dr. Rhoda Arrindell's Book

GREAT BAY, St. Martin - With His Excellency drs. Eugene Holiday, Governor of St. Maarten and his wife in attendance, the closing ceremony of the 12th Annual St. Martin Book Fair will long be remembered for the standing room only audience which rose to its feet to give Dr. Rhoda Arrindell a warm ovation following her reading excerpts from her book, Language, Culture and Identity in St. Martin, published by House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

The book was launched Saturday evening at the Chamber of Commerce building in Concordia, Marigot, to round off this year’s edition of the Book Fair. The eager audience of over 200 people quickly snapped up the available copies of the book.

It would be the second standing ovation of the day, following a similar one accorded exiled West Papua freedom fighter and independence movement leader, Chief Benny Wenda at the President’s Forum held earlier in the day at the University of St. Martin.

Two young St. Martiners opened the book launch evening by reading the poems they had composed at a writing workshop conducted earlier by visiting author, Nicole Cage. This was followed by “grassroots poet” Raymond Helligar giving a recital that had the audience in stitches for his colourful use of the St. Martin vernacular. This set the stage for the presentation of Dr. Arrindell’s seminal work based on her doctoral thesis that earned her a summa cum laude from the University of Puerto Rico.

At the end of her presentation, Pulitzer Prize finalist, US Professor Garrett Hongo gave a concise, thought-provoking review of Dr. Arrindell’s book, praising her research and analysis of the language situation of St. Martin.

Preview copies of Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin are already at Van Dorp,, and, said Jacqueline Sample of HNP.

While giving the “Thank you” address, Coordinator of the Book Fair, Conscious Lyrics Foundation president, Shujah Reiph, recalled his earlier visit to the Point Blanche house of detention where a visiting author had gone to speak to the inmates. Reiph implored the audience to do everything possible to prevent their children from ending up behind bars.

“Prison is no place for our young men,” he stressed, as he called for the public to work with the Book Fair Committee to ensure that this situation is reversed.

Highlights of the Book Fair also included a sunset cruise, complete with jazz music by Fred York and his group, on the Simpson Bay Lagoon, which most of the visiting writers, who read from their works during the cruise, found innovative, unique, inspiring, and creative. 

The St. Martin Book Fair is organized by the Conscious Lyrics Foundation and the House of Nehesi Publishers in collaboration with St. Maarten Tourist Bureau, University of St. Martin, LCF Foundation, and St. Martin Tourist Office. The SXM Airport, SOS Radio, and SDL Heavy Equipment are major sponsors of the St. Martin Book Fair 2014.             

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