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SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Get Up Stand Up Festival fuses food, arts and reggae to raise awareness about social justice and equality on Saturday, February 8th, 2020 with a tribute to the honorable Robert Nesta Marley, aka Bob Marley, for a powerful night of reverence, livity, peace, and unity - expanding consciousness through music, food, and Irie vibes. 

The Marley surname perpetuates Jamaican royalty, resonates with world-wide recognition and represents the pioneer of a cultural, political and social revolution. Reggae Icon and Legend Bob Marley blessed the world with his timeless, brilliant and message filled sound which continues to inspire and influence audiences today. With such a living past, Bob Marley’s conviction and passion for music unintentionally was passed to the lives of his offspring and has allowed the Marley name to remain relevant amongst the hierarchy of the reggae sound.

Reggae music, a musical genre now recognized as world heritage music by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), brings together people from all walks of life in the spirit of “One Love” to share in culture and healing.

Get Up Stand Up Festival expresses our hopes and dreams of a world in which what we have in common is far greater than that which divides us. We unify Sint Maarten’s diverse community at this event by highlighting a spiritual sense and reality through reggae music.

Music has always had the power to unite and inspire humanitarianism. "The Get Up Stand Up Festival takes it to the top, offering the highest quality of performance, socio-political ambiance, and service to community available anywhere. Past years have featured the likes of Queen Ifrica, I-Wayne, Mutabaruka, Fantan Mojah, Ras Takura, and Luciano to name a few. 

This year Get Up Stand Up Festival is headlined by Ky-Mani Marley, Jamaican artist and reggae royalty. He is the only child of table tennis champion Anita Belnavis and music and cultural icon Bob Marley. Being exposed to an urban lifestyle, Ky-mani adopted the attitude that all people are equal – no one is above or beneath him. This attitude has become the motto for the way he lives his life today. Humble. Soft-Spoken. Sincere.

Loyal. Honest. Genuine. These are the makings of Ky-mani Marley, an artist with no limits. Incorporating world music, hip hop, blues, rock, and a grassroots sound into his music, the end product his pure representation of life. His sound is one that transcends cultural lines and prohibits him from being categorized as only a reggae artist. His raw, unadulterated, gruff sound captures the listener and reverberates the essence of his life story.

Also performing from the Dominican Republic; Amara La Negra, the embodiment of today’s woman, created with a hint of the past and a twist of tomorrow. Self-described as eccentric, vibrant, and ambitious, Amara draws inspiration from music legends Celia Cruz and Beyoncé. The break-out star of Love & Hip Hop: Miami, Amara is a Dominican-American entrepreneur, recording artist, dancer, spokesperson, philanthropist, model, and actor who sheds light on the challenges of navigating the entertainment industry as an Afro-Latina.

Performing from the beautiful island of Anguilla, Omari Banks, found his musical calling at a young age when he first took the stage in Milan, Italy to sing alongside his father Bankie Banx. Finding his inspiration through an eclectic genre of music, Omari perfected his craft by writing and becoming a proficient guitar player.

In 2003, he became the first Anguillan to play test cricket for the West Indies. He went to travel the world for twelve years as a professional athlete, but despite his success in sports, Omari never lost his passion for music. In 2010, he made the decision to move on and pursue his passion for music. With a lifetime of experiences and life lessons, he immersed himself in songwriting and perfecting his musicianship and has dedicated himself to his music since then.

Closing out the lineup from Sint Maarten are Ku-J, Shawn J, La-Vaune Henry, and Kisha Richards. Coming over from Saba are Thaddeus Nicholson and the One Blood Band to pulse through the crowd, raising the vibration as Mix Master Pauly and Spirit Man from Zion Gates Sound maintains the positive vibes throughout the night. Visual art displayed echoes sentiments felt throughout the human experience while plant-based and cruelty-free dishes complement the compassionate atmosphere. 

Founder, Roland “Bushman” Joe, says:” The festival started with an obligation to do something good, and to affect people positively. The ways in which we can have a positive effect are limitless. By working together, we transform communities, our environment and ourselves, being a part of the how and why, remembering that many hands lighten the load”.

Get Up Stand Up Festival takes place on Saturday, February 8, 2020, from 5 pm at the Festival Village, Philipsburg, Sint Maarten. Tickets start at $35 in advance for entry. Get Up Stand Up Festival is family-friendly; children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets are available online at

Team Legendary is a dedicated and accomplished group of fine arts, entertainment, international relations, marketing, media and production professionals who together pool their expertise to create cultural events unlike any other.

As a leading provider of live entertainment in the U.S., our services range from event management and programming to booking first-rate performing artists and developing effective campaigns. Our team’s unparalleled skill in creating new experiences with a social impact, demonstrates how creative people use their efforts to solve problems.


Scooter rider loses control and collides with vehicle receiving head injuries and body contusions. Wasn’t wearing a helmet

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The traffic department of Sint Maarten is presently investigating a traffic accident involving a vehicle and scooter. The incident took place on Thursday midday January 16th about 12.00 pm on the Coralita road.

According to the report, the male victim was riding on a Yamaha X-max black scooter with number plate MF-13 on the Coralita road direction Betty’s Estate.

While overtaking a few cars on the Coralita road, the driver of the scooter rider lost control and collided with a vehicle with license-plate P-8431 who was indicating to turn.

As a result of the collision the rider of the scooter suffered head injuries and contusions to his body. He was treated at the scene by the personnel of the ambulance and transported to the Sint Maarten Medical Center for further treatment. The rider at the time of the accident was not wearing a helmet.

The wearing of a helmet is to minimize the severity of head injuries in the event an accident occurs while operating these vehicles. The Sint Maarten Police Department is again urging all scooter or motorcycle riders and passengers to wear a helmet when operating these vehicles as required by law and for your own wellbeing. (KPSM)


Academy PSVE Conducts first ever Skills Competition

SINT MAARTEN (ST. PETERS) - St. Maarten Academy P.S.VE conducted its first ever skills competition on January 10th, 2020 at the Vocational campus. The skills competition was in preparation for a regional skills competition for vocational schools to be held on St. Maarten on January 17th, 2020.

On January 10th, the fourth form exam students engaged in the internal competition, whereby they were given a series of practical business administrative assignments to complete in teams, within a predetermined time frame.

A total of 23 teams comprising examination students were established for the internal business skills competition, where they were exposed to curriculum content aligned with the end terms for administration and commerce sector program.

By participating in the competition, students completed assignments that were directly related to real world situation, and which enabled them to link their schoolwork to real life situations. One student indicated that the event was enjoyable because of the opportunity to be challenged on another platform. Others indicated that the tasks were challenging.

The completed assignment, to be corrected by business teachers, will see the best team emerge as winners for the school, to compete against other vocational schools offering similar sector program on the island.

Consequently, the winners of regional competition will compete against other schools in the Netherlands on a national level in March 2020. Thereafter, the overall winner of that event will be able to take part in the Skills World competition in China.

The St. Maarten Academy P.S.V.E is pleased to be a part of this historic venture, as it aligns with our mission to empower and equip students with a foundation in academic, technical and life skills necessary to become a productive, contributing member of society.

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SMMC welcomes new permanent Eye Care Specialist

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) recently welcomed a new permanent Ophthalmologist, Dr. Benny Oosterhof. Dr. Oosterhof received his education at the Rotterdam Eye Hospital and trained as a retinal surgeon in the Netherlands, where he worked at the Deventer Hospital for the past 5 years.

When asked about his reasons for moving to St. Maarten and working at SMMC, Dr. Oosterhof said “I’ve always wanted to experience working in a foreign country and when I was still a medical resident, I was looking for opportunities in countries like Indonesia, Singapore and Portugal. Then I found out there was a burden on Ophthalmic care in St. Maarten and heard about the Surinamese group that helped establish the Ophthalmology department. This accelerated the decision for me to take this step with my young family and after more than a year of preparation, we decided to make the big move.”

For Dr. Oosterhof, who started his service at SMMC in December 2019, relevant, patient-specific care is of utmost importance. “After more than one year of offering Ophthalmic care at SMMC, the department has a pretty good idea of ​​the suspected prevalence of eye disorders here on St. Maarten and the image is somewhat the same as in the rest of the Caribbean and Suriname. The biggest problem is glaucoma, which is something I want to emphasize not only because of the insidious nature of the condition, but also because of the numbers and the advanced stages that we see at the patients’ first visit. diabetic retinopathy follows closely.”

“I am impressed by the modern equipment that we have today at SMMC and I am proud to say that we have the great advantage of sub-specialties among the rotating Ophthalmologists, allowing us to offer a broad spectrum of Ophthalmologic consultations and offer a high level of eyecare. For the upcoming year I hope we can give lectures and information about the aforementioned subjects to the general public.  Our department is on the move and with that in mind, I look forward to our new hospital and increasing the level of care here on St. Maarten.”

SMMC is proud to have Dr. Oosterhof in service and urges patients interested in a consultation to make an appointment by calling the Outpatient Department at: Tel: +(1-721) 543-1111 ext. 1300 or 1378. Appointments can be made from Monday - Friday between 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. SZV patients are requested to obtain a referral letter from their family doctor.


The 33rd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture in Marigot on Wednesday

SINT MARTIN (MARIGOT/GREAT BAY) - Dr. Stephanie Melyon-Reinette is in St. Martin to deliver the 33rd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture on Wednesday, January 15, 2020.

“Valuing Excellence in Caribbean Arts” is the theme of the lecture at the Chamber of Commerce Building in Spring Concordia, Marigot, at 7:30 PM, said Shujah Reiph, president of Conscious Lyrics Foundation (CLF).

“I look forward to the lecture and the positive discussion,” said Dr. Melyon, a psychologist and performance artist who arrived from Guadeloupe on Tuesday. For 33 years CLF has opened its island-wide cultural calendar on January 15 with the MLK, Jr. lecture.

The annual address focuses on the whole island of St. Martin, Caribbean-wide, or international realities, said Reiph. “I’m inviting the general public to celebrate the birthday of the great freedom fighter Martin Luther King, Jr., by coming out and joining the discussion about how we value our arts and culture in St. Martin and throughout the Caribbean,” said Reiph.

Guest poets Tamara Groeneveldt and Stephen “Stretch” Rodney will perform on the program. “Books by Tamara and various authors will be available and admission is free,” said Reiph. In photo: Dr. Stephanie Melyon-Reinette, at SXM Airport, following her arrival (1.14.20).

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Dutch Minister of Education Slob sees improvements in education on St. Eustatius firsthand

SINT EUSTATIUS – Dutch Minister of Primary and Secondary Education and Media, Mr. Arie Slob, visited St. Eustatius on Tuesday January 14th where he saw with his own eyes the improvements in education resulting from years of cooperation between the Ministry of Education, Culture & Science, the Public Entity of St. Eustatius and Primary and Secondary schools on the island.

Minister Slob and delegation were welcomed by Government Commissioner, Marcolino Franco and Deputy Government Commissioner, Mervyn Stegers, upon their arrival.

A meeting with the Executive Council of St. Eustatius addressed among other things the progress of the Covenant School Housing St. Eustatius. This covenant was signed between the Public Entity and the Ministry of Education in August of 2019.

It regards the new building of the Gwendoline van Putten School (GvP) and the resurfacing of the playground area as part of the recently completed renovation and new construction for the Seventh Day Adventist School (SDA School).

The agreement further establishes that the Minister will put regulation in place to transfer the responsibility of the exterior maintenance of the schools from the Public Entity to the school boards. The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture will transfer the required budget for the realization of the last two education housing projects in three equal installments the Public Entity.

“I am very impressed with all the work that is being done in education. This is due to the passionate teachers and administrators, who work with heart and soul on the future of the children. This is beautiful to see. The agreements with regards to the education housing are also showing good results”, states Arie Slob, Minister of Education.

Minister Arie Slob accompanied by Deputy Government Commissioner Mervyn Stegers, responsible for the portfolio of education, made it a point to visit all 4 primary schools as well at the Gwendoline van Putten school for secondary and tertiary education.

His first stop was at the SDA Lynch Plantation School. Since November 2019 teachers and students of this institution returned to their brand-new school building that was inaugurated in a special ceremony on Sunday January 12th.

His visit to the three remaining primary schools, Golden Rock School, Governor the Graaff School and Bethel Methodist School was to speak not only with management, but to interact with as many students as possible and learn how they personally experience education on St. Eustatius.

“The Public Entity of St. Eustatius is extremely proud of the achievements in education. These are due to the great cooperation between the local government, school boards and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Working together in education and the positive results achieved thus far are perfect examples of what can be achieved through cooperation”, Mr. Mervyn Stegers, Deputy Government Commissioner.

The Minister found it important to also pay a visit the Buzzy Bees Day Care in relation to the BES (t) 4 Kids programme. The BES (t) 4 kids programme’s was launched on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba in June 2019 and has the ambition to offer all children in the Caribbean Netherlands good quality, safe and accessible childcare and after-school care by the year 2022.

The Public Entities and the Central Government (the Ministries of Social Affairs (SZW), Education, Culture & Science (OCW), Public Health, Welfare & Sports (VWS) and Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) work in close collaboration with each other in the BES(t) 4 Kids programme.

Time was reserved in the programme for tours to historic Fort Oranje as well as the St. Eustatius Historical Foundation Museum. The museum tour was guided by Ms. Misha Spanner and local historian and Director of the St. Eustatius Monument’s Foundation, Mr. Walter Hellebrandt.

Hellebrandt continued the tour of Fort Oranje, which focused on the history of slavery. Minister Slob and delegation departed St. Eustatius for Bonaire where he continues his visit to the Caribbean Netherlands before returning to the Netherlands. (Sint Eustatius GIS)

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Director of the Buzzy Bees Day Care, Ms. Zuwena Suares, in conversation with Minister Arie Slob about pre-school education.

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Minister Arie Slob interacting with students of the Golden Rock RC Primary school.



An Epic Fleet of Catamarans and Trimarans Assembling for 2nd Edition of the Caribbean Multihull Challenge

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY - By Herb McCormick) - The countdown for the second annual Caribbean Multihull Challenge is on, and an eclectic fleet of catamarans and trimarans are starting to feel their collective need for speed. Eighteen yachts, ranging in size from 28- to 70-feet, have already entered the Caribbean’s best and only dedicated regatta for racing and cruising multis. The CMC will commence in just a little over a month, and is scheduled for February 14-16 in the wind-swept waters off Sint Maarten. It promises to be epic.

One of the primary reasons for the excitement is the highly anticipated match-up of a pair of the world’s fastest, boldest one-design trimarans: the MOD 70s Argo, skippered by American Jason Carroll, and Maserati, whose captain is the one-and-only Giovanni Soldini, the vastly experienced Italian globetrotter. Argo and Maserati will be using the CMC as a tune-up for the upcoming Caribbean 600, a strategy employed by last year’s CMC winner Fujin to great success. The match race between the powerful 70-foot tris should be nothing less than classic.

One of the most alluring aspects of the CMC, however, is that it’s not just for Grand Prix thoroughbreds: it’s an equal opportunity, all-inclusive event for all boats with multiple hulls. And there’s a host of excellent, dual-purpose racer/cruisers coming back for their second CMC to prove that point. Among them are Bernard “Appie” Stoutenbeek’s lovely, classic Newick trimaran Tryst, which earned the regatta’s Style & Grace prize in 2019. Another set of returning local craft are Petro Jonker’s Seaduction and Ian Martin’s Spellbound, popular Leopard catamarans from the renowned South African builder Robertson & Caine. Spellbound, sailing with a crew of young islanders last year, took top honors in Class C, and will be looking to defend their title in February.

Several other production builders will also be represented in the CMC, including another Leopard, a 50-footer owned by Georges Coutu called La Novia, and two of the sweet, French Outremere cats: Tortuga, campaigned by German sailor Rüdiger Schiller, and David Slater’s Delphine, sailing under the Canadian flag. Another cat built in France is the Catana 39 Cassandra, another snowbird from Canada helmed by Michael Taylor. This international group of far-flung voyagers are sending a clear message to other cruisers in the Caribbean this winter: the CMC is open and inviting, and waiting for your entry!

Of course, production boats aren’t the only way to skin a cat, and there are several intriguing custom boats that will be making their debut in the 2020 CMC. Among them are Jeff Mearing’s 63-foot tri Shockwave, with a homeport of the U.S. sailing capital Newport, R.I.; Aussie skipper Brett Trevillianon’s 53-foot tri Finn; and the United Kingdom’s 53-foot cat 2 2 Tango, owned by Anthony McVeigh.

All of these sleek vessels will face local favorite Arawak, a custom 52-footer designed by Joubert-Nivelt and sailed by Rodney Williams and the Island Water World team. Arawak put on an impressive show last year by not only winning Class B but also being honored with the regatta’s Most Outstanding Performance award, which won them a brand-new timepiece from Oris Watches, one of the regatta’s premier sponsors. Other returning entries from Sint Maarten include Mitch Sylvano’s sweet 28-footer, Enola, and Jean-Michel Ricour’s sleek cat Guimamalou.

Once again, the distinguished Sint Maarten Yacht Club will be the CMC’s host club, but in a departure from the 2019 running, the event is partnering with the Yacht Club Port De Plaisance, and the first 20 boats to register and pay will receive free docking at the facility’s world-class marina for the duration of the regatta. The dedicated “homeport” of Port De Plaisance for the event is another ongoing evolution in the Caribbean’s premier regatta for catamaran and trimarans.

About the Caribbean Multihull Challenge Sint Maarten:

The Sint Maarten Yacht Club will host the second annual Caribbean Multihull Challenge from February 14-16, 2020. The event is open to all multihull sailors on racing catamarans and trimarans as well as chartered cats and cruising multis. For more information visit

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Tryst CMC 2019




Giving Trees Placed by Rotary at Ace Home Center And Kooyman Help Shelter Residents

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Leading up to the Christmas Holidays, the Rotary Club of St. Maarten placed two “Giving Trees” by Ace Home Center and Kooyman to help the remaining shelter residents with the relocation to their new accommodations.

The trees had decorations and a picture of a needed item and in the spirit of giving and helping others, a customer could choose one and pay for it when checking out. The 200+ decorations were made and colored mostly by the children of the shelter along with the help of the Learning Unlimited EarlyAct Club.

The items were chosen from a wish list that ranged from sheets, towels, dishes, pots and pans, appliances, bathroom vanities, irons, silverware, lamps, etc. The items were then collected by Rotarians and brought to the shelter in Sucker Garden where they were distributed to the residents as they moved out.

“It was so heartwarming to be a part of this project where together we were able to help so many get back the household items, they really need to start a new life,” said Sherrylle DeHardt, the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten’s President.

“They literally lost everything after Irma and Maria and with the help of Ace, Kooyman, and those in the community wanting to make a difference, we were able to get them the most everything they needed. We really thank them for their belief and support in this project,” she continued to say.

Almost $3,500 worth of essential new items were purchased in total from the Giving Trees. Ace Home Center so very generously matched the amount that was raised from their tree so some more of the non-purchased but still needed items could be given.

As a lot of people during the holidays upgrade their appliances or televisions, Rotarians also via the media put out a call for refrigerators, stoves, TV’s, beds, furniture, and washing machines still in good and working condition to not be thrown into the dump but to have a Rotarian collect them and be also able to get these appliances and furnishings to those that need them. This was also much better for the environment.

In addition to the above, Super Plaza and Shams also offered cost price for some new appliances that were then purchased by Rotary and given to the shelter residents. “The cost of living on Sint Maarten is so very high and many of the residents are having such a hard time finding affordable or suitable accommodations.

Add in the security deposit, high rent, starting from scratch, etc. and it would have been so very difficult to even start to think of buying household items and furnishings; especially considering that they had lost everything.

We are so glad that we could be there to help them. It truly gave a whole new meaning to ‘I’ll be home for Christmas’,” said Rotarian John Caputo.

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NA and UP Form the Next Government of Sint Maarten

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - The National Alliance (NA) and United People’s Party (UP) on Saturday, January 11 signed a coalition agreement to form the next government of St. Maarten. The agreement will see the two largest parties coming out of the January 9 Parliamentary election form a solid majority in the next Parliament of St. Maarten, and, most importantly, a stable government for the next four years.

Under the coalition agreement the National Alliance will appoint the Minister of General Affairs and Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister of Education, Minister of VROMI, Minister of Justice, Minister Plenipotentiary, Deputy Prime Minister, Vice Chair of Parliament and 2nd Vice Chair of Parliament.

The United People Party will appoint the Minister of TEATT, Minister of VSA, Chairperson of Parliament and Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary.

Prime Minister and leader of the National Alliance Silveria Jacobs said in no uncertain terms that the NA/UP coalition government reflects the wishes of the people as they have been clamoring over the past years for the two largest parties to come together.

“The National Alliance campaigned strongly on stability and providing leadership of integrity and honesty. Therefore it is from this premise that we expect, with our coalition partner, to work consistently, cohesively and collaboratively in the interest of the people of St. Maarten,” the PM said, adding that the recovery of the country and re-instilling trust in the government of St. Maarten are key priorities for the coalition.  

“Our people expect stability and good governance. This coalition, formed by the people, intends to give them just that,” the PM said.

Leader of the UP MP Rolando Brison said the main goal championed throughout the campaign after so many years of instability was a strong, stable government that will focus and work to improve the quality of life of the people of St. Maarten by tackling pending issues on the Executive level and passing legislation in Parliament.

“We believe this coalition agreement between the National Alliance and UP gives our country a stable government that understands that at this point in our history we must get this right for our people. We must above all put them first and that starts with stable, serious governing,” Brison said.



SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - The Sint Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) would like to thank the voters of Sint Maarten for going out and exercising their democratic right and voting in the next parliament.

The election took place peacefully and orderly. As we know, the ballot is the way the people speak and certainly the people have spoken today. SMCP certainly respects the voice and the decision of the people.

For this reason, SMCP would like to congratulate all the winning parties, the NA, UPP, USP, PFP and the UD. Also congratulations to the elected parliamentarians. SMCP wishes you much success.

The people have put their confidence in you, therefore we expect you and your parties to represent all of the people and to put politics and self aside in the interest of the people of Sint Maarten.

We are proud of the hard work we did in Parliament and in Government, to serve the people of Sint Maarten. We hope and pray that the new coalition and opposition will put aside their differences and work together in the interest of Sint Maarten and its people. Country over Self!

SMCP would like to thank all of the supporters who believed in the vision and principles of the party, especially those who casted their vote in its favor which allowed the party to represent the people of Sint Maarten in various functions in the Leona Romeo-Marlin Cabinet. Unfortunately, in this election we did not get all the votes required to obtain a seat in Parliament, but we will continue to work on your behalf and represent you from outside Parliament.

In closing, I would like to thank the people of Sint Maarten on behalf of the President of SMCP, Jacqueline Godet, the former Member of Parliament, Claude “Chacho” Peterson, the former Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary, Michael Somersall, and myself as Leader of SMCP, Member of Parliament and former Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. Thank you also from our candidates and our members. Thank you for allowing us to serve you for a change.

May God bless our elected Parliamentarians and may God bless Sint Maarten the country that we all love.

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