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Soualiga Newsday Latest News (2295)

Minister Richardson to meet Justice Committee of Parliament to discuss draft Penal Procedure Code related to CFATF

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - On Tuesday May 19, 2020 Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson was scheduled to have a closed-door meeting with the Justice Committee of Parliament, to discuss the pending approval of the draft Penal Procedure Code.

However, due to the requested urgent meeting of Parliament concerning government’s deadline to respond to the conditions posed by the Kingdom government as it relates to St. Maarten receiving financial assistance to cover the cost of the St. Maarten Stimulus and Relief Plan (SSRP), the scheduled meeting has been postponed until Friday, May 22, 2020.

Considering that to date, little headway has been made by various Ministers of Justice and various Parliaments in moving the handling of the Penal Procedure Code forward considerably, Minister Richardson has opted for a different approach by requesting the scheduled meeting of Tuesday May 19, 2020 to be held behind closed door.

Prior to Tuesday’s meeting being requested, the Minister and her legal team reviewed the proposed amendments made by Members of Parliament and considered the proposed amendment achievable. Minister Richardson is of the opinion that further discussions in a closed setting will allow for a more open exchange of views and will lead to all parties reaching consensus.

After which the discussions will then be brought to a public meeting for decision-making and will see the majority of Parliament vote to pass the law. “The deliberations on this draft Penal Procedure have been ongoing for some time now. It is lamentable that to date, the public discussions that were held did not produce satisfactory results. What we have seen is St. Maarten been given a public statement.

“Thankfully, despite being in the same space as it relates to the draft Penal Procedure Code, the FATF matrix was completed and sent on to the CFATF Secretariat in Trinidad and Tobago on April 30, 2020 to further confirm the passing and enactment of the Civil Code and the Penal Code in 2019,” said Minister Richardson.

St. Maarten having submitted the matrix puts the country on a positive rhythm with the FATF regulations and brings it closer to move out of the third round and into the fourth round. Minister Richardson looks forward to attending the CFATF Plenary session in November 2020, gaining a positive review for St. Maarten and thereby applying to move to the fourth round in May 2021 and having the public statement lifted for the country.

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Minister of Justice visits Police Headquarters

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Monday morning, May 18, 2020, the Minister of Justice Anna Richardson paid a visit to the Philipsburg Police Headquarters, the law enforcement agency said in a statement on Monday evening.

The Minister, under guidance of the Chief Inspectors B. Gout and D. Baptist together with Head of Operations Glenda Pecht, got a firsthand  opportunity to visit the police station in Philipsburg, the prison, dispatch center as well as other departments within the main police station.

As the new hurricane season is rapidly approaching, the Minister assessed the progress made on the work being done to the police station following the damages caused by the passing of hurricane Irma back in 2017.

The visit was a success and the Minister was pleased with the overall progress and will be making more visits in the future to continue to assess the progress and continuous growth of the organization. (KPSM)

min just visit to police

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Bertha could form around mid-June

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN – Crown Weather over the weekend in a long-term outlook said that the next possible tropical weather development after tropical storm Arthur could be mid-June, and the next name in line would be Bertha.

“I think that the next chance for tropical development will be towards mid-June as the next upward motion pulse of the Madden Julian Oscillation pushes into the Atlantic. The current upward motion pulse of the MJO helped to form Arthur and I think that it will help to develop our next tropical system towards mid-June.

“One item of note is that June of 2005, June of 2006 and June of 2007 are all showing up as analogs for this coming June. This is notable because there was a tropical storm that formed in the western Caribbean and moved towards the eastern Gulf of Mexico & affected either the Florida Panhandle or the west coast of Florida in early June in each of those years (Arlene in 2005, Alberto in 2006 and Barry in 2007),” Crown Weather pointed out in its weekend analysis of upcoming weather activity.

SOUALIGA NEWSDAY WEATHER WATCH

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SZV HELD VIRTUAL GENERAL STAFF MEETING ON COVID-19 IMPACT

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Friday May 15th, Social & Health Insurances SZV Director Mr. Glen A. Carty addressed near 113 SZV employees in an interactive video conference call. Over the past two months, SZV employees have been working remotely to maintain services to customers.

While daily virtual meetings have already become the norm at SZV, the virtual general staff meeting was organized to have an inclusive exchange with all employees on the global uncertainties related to COVID-19 and the impact on St. Maarten.

SZV employees chimed in during the virtual meeting with recommendations to continue offering online and phone services to customers, cost-cutting measures, the importance of using technology to improve data management, and syncing data with government entities to improve compliance.

Management updates, Q&A and employee recommendations were shared during the virtual meeting, as the organization finetunes it’s plans to transition to the “new normal” that COVID-19 has presented. Mr. Carty thanked and commended staff once again on their commitment, professionalism and teamwork to ensure that SZV could stay ‘open online’ and serve Sint Maarten during this pandemic.

In the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown, about 80% of SZV’s internal operations was restructured and fast-tracked to support staff working from home and online data management. As a result, customer services have remained accessible by phone, e-mail, website www.szv.sx and SZV’s Facebook page.

On the topic of phased re-opening of the SZV office, Mr. Carty reiterated to employees that, “proper health and safety conditions come first, and we are busy making sure that this is in place before the first shift of staff can start working from the office routinely again. We will work in a combination of shifts and remotely. COVID-19 will no longer allow us all to be physically in the office at the same time anymore or to physically attend to hundreds of customers a day. We cannot get relaxed about the health and safety guidelines, we must embrace technology to help us keep ourselves, our families and customers safe.”

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Police is implementing its phase 1 post-COVID-19 De-Escalation Plan. Two stolen vehicles recovered during controls over the past two days

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Police Force of Sint Maarten is busy implementing its post-COVID-19 De-Escalation Plan, the law enforcement agency announced on Thursday.

This action plan was laid out by the Minister of Justice, the Honorable A. Richardson during her press briefing on Wednesday, May 13th, 2020.

One of the operations flowing out of the action plan is maintaining public order during the set curfew hours and deterring car thefts and burglaries.

During the operational phase, police officers stopped and controlled several vehicles that were suspected of being stolen. During one of these controls, the officers stopped the driver of a Kia Sportage with the number plate M-325 on the W.J.A. Nisbeth Road on Thursday afternoon, May 14th, 2020.

During inspection of the vehicle the officers became aware that the VIN numbers were tampered with and certain parts of the vehicle were changed. The driver with the initials A.W. was immediately arrested and brought to the police station in Philipsburg where he is being held for questioning.

On May 13th, 2020 about 05.00 pm, the officers also stopped and arrested two (2) suspects for driving a Hyundai Grand I10 that was reported stolen.

While doing a safety search on the clothing of the passengers, a quantity of marijuana was found in his possession and it was immediately confiscated. The suspects with the initials T.H. and F.B.L. are being held at the station pending further investigation. The police will be intensifying these types of controls in the future. (KPSM)

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Odds are increasing for a pre-season storm says weather watchers. Would be named Arthur

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN – A tropical disturbance near Cuba and the southern Bahamas has the attention of weather watchers and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) out of Miami.

Brian McNoldy, Senior Research Associate at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, on Tuesday said the aforementioned system has the potential to develop into a tropical or subtropical cyclone this weekend, and would be the first named-storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season.

A pre-season named storm is nothing new and if this system further develops, it will become the 6th consecutive year.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1st and runs through November 31st.

SOUALIGA NEWSDAY WEATHER WATCH

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BirdsCaribbean Celebrates Local Birds with Online Learning and Activity Program “From the Nest”

SINT MAARTEN/SAINT-MARTIN - Looking for fun ways to learn at home? BirdsCaribbean has launched “From the Nest” with new activities every day. It is this year’s online version of the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival (CEBF).

The festival is an annual event organized each spring by BirdsCaribbean. It brings people of all ages together, right across the region. Normally, partners host activities like birding walks, presentations, and art contests. The goal is to raise awareness about the 171 unique birds that live only in the Caribbean and threats to their survival. The festival begins on April 22 and is celebrated through May.

“The goal of CEBF is exactly the same, but this year we are celebrating in a completely different way – from our homes,” explained Executive Director of BirdsCaribbean Lisa Sorenson. “Due to the challenges of COVID-19 and restrictions on citizens’ movements across the islands, our partners are unable to organize their usual wonderful, vibrant events. At BirdsCaribbean we have created a “virtual festival” with online discussions and activities that are both fun and educational. Our partners have been playing their part!”

Colouring pages from the recently published Endemic Birds of the West Indies Colouring Book are making their debut online. A new bird is presented each day on BirdsCaribbean’s website, with details, puzzles, eBooks, and activities to keep children, teens, and adults busy! The artist who made the fine bird drawings, Christine Elder, recently streamed a live hands-on workshop on sketching hummingbirds, which attracted budding artists of all ages.

BirdsCaribbean partners are doing their own CEBF projects on their social media pages. Cuban groups and the University of Havana have joined to present an Endemic Cuban Bird of the Day on social media. Antigua’s Environmental Awareness Group (EAG) has a weekly theme under the hashtag #NatureStillOpen. They invite followers to share photos online. The group is also hosting a six-part webinar on “Birding for Beginners,’ which started on May 1.

BirdLife Jamaica is posting its endemic birds on its Facebook page and joined an online meet-up on the arts and environment organized by Kingston Creative. Puerto Rico’s Department of Natural Resources reached out to a 7th Grade Students for a talk about the island’s endemic birds and ornithologist, Dr. Adrianne Tossas gave a webinar, “Getting to Know the Endemic Birds of Puerto Rico.” The Bahamas National Trust’s Scott Johnson explored the mysteries of the legendary Chickcharney, an owl-like creature from folklore, in a fascinating webinar.

CEBF celebrations online will continue into June. Visit the BirdsCaribbean.org to find From the Nest activities, or follow BirdsCaribbean and your local nature groups on social media.

birds Bridled Quail Dove Puzzle

Online puzzles of gorgeous Caribbean endemic birds, like this Bridled Quail-Dove, are available for kids and adults to enjoy at home.
 birds CEBF From the Nest
 
 
 Artwork created for the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival 2020 Virtual Edition, called “From the Nest.”.
 
 

 

 

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Ti Koko and Kush Kush, it’s also a storybook for many of us held up at home by COVID-19, by Shasa Lake

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Ti Koko and Kush Kush by Patricia G. Turnbull is a storybook for boys and girls, ages 4 to 9, set on the lush bayside of Garden Bay on a tropical island paradise. Sounds familiar? If you have grown up on or near a beach, or wish that you did, this is sooo your story. If you’re from the countryside or city it’s also off to a magical place for your children, and you too. 

Ti Koko and Kush Kush is about “a happy little coconut tree and a friendly, wise yam” in a small community, reviews Nicole Phillip-Dowe on the book’s cover.

What happens on the bayside is not all happy, however. The little coconut tree is soon physically crushed by “Brogudoosh!,” a big new development thing that bullies its way onto the beach. The coconut starts to bawl, “I’ll never grow tall to stir the breeze and brush the sky.”

The breadfruit doesn’t know what to do, the calabash is crying. It’s Kush Kush yam to the rescue of Ti Koko and rallies the neighborhood: “Remember your roots,” she said, “or you will fall! You must stand on your roots to reach that high.”

Turnbull’s choice of the yam as a culture-bearer is brilliant. The yam has a royal origins legacy deep in the psyche of Caribbean people. It’s also a staple to “nyam” in our cuisine (yes, I’m a foodie), and a main survival food for over 300 years.

As for the coconut, respect to one of the oldest living natives of the region.

I’m always collecting children’s books for the beauty of the story and of the book’s design, which helps to make reading exciting in the home.

But I’m also thrilled that the book’s plants and trees bear fruits and vegetables that we can “culture” in our yard. They stay connected and care for each other in very difficult times. A storybook that may also be perfect for people held up at home by the COVID-19 pandemic—affecting island communities and countries on continents.

When I bought Ti Koko and Kush Kush for my girls, Amisha, and the youngest, Sanaa, it was because I loved its message in words and pictures. Strong roots define who you are, what you will become and keeps you grounded, literally.

Amisha was the first to say that she loves the book. The easy reading means that she can also be the proud big sister, acting as a storyteller to Sanaa anytime.

The colorful art by Reuben Vanterpool, exclusive for Ti Koko and Kush Kush, illustrates the poem-story’s talking plants and fruits, fishermen with their boat on the beach, farmers by moonlight, and children going home after school (hurricane Irma destroyed the original oil paintings).

This is the second oversize, hardcover book from House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP) that I’ve bought for children and fell in love with to my own amazement. I’m happy to know that a Caribbean publisher and writers in the region are creating such wonderful work. This happiness is shared as the joy in my voice when I read these stories to my children. 

Ti Koko and Kush Kush is available for Internet orders at www.SPDbooks (https://bit.ly/2rufPqb), Amazon, and from Van Dorp and other bookstores in the Caribbean and Canada.

nhp book cover

Ti Koko and Kush Kush, colorfully illustrated storybook by Patricia G. Turnbull.

nhp Photo2 art by ReubenVanterpool bayside TiKokoKushKush

Caribbean bayside artwork by Reuben Vanterpool in the storybook Ti Koko and Kush Kush by Patricia G. Turnbull. (Credit HNP photo)

 

 

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Foresee Foundation Announces Video Release: Soualichi Story Origins and Purpose

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Philipsburg, Sint Maarten –Foresee Foundation established Soualichi Stories as a way to preserve Sint Maarten’s rich and deep traditions of oral storytelling and also to draw Sint Maarteners closer during our period of social distancing.

In order to share more details about the origins, purpose and links between the “C’s” of the Foresee Foundation and essential elements of the Soualichi Stories series, the series team members collaborated on a new video released today, “Behind The Scenes, Insights from the ‘Soualichi Stories’ Team,” available on the Soualichi Stories website:

https://www.foreseefoundation.com/project/soualichi-stories/.

The video portrays the direct thoughts on the project from the Soualichi Stories Team, which includes representatives and leadership from the Foresee Foundation, along with its storytellers, the Soualichi Stories Project Coordinator, and other partners.

Next Soualichi Story Synopsis: In Soualichi Stories’ fifth story, “Nora and the Dry Gutter,” Nora and her sister visit the other side of the dry gutter to pick cherries. Upon returning across the dry gut, a voice asks them for a cherry. Nora’s sister offers the dry gut her only cherry and then crosses. Nora refuses to give up a cherry from her very full basket. The dry gut teaches her a lesson . . .

Release Date: “Nora and the Dry Gutter,” narrated by Papa Umpo, will be broadcast on multiple radio stations across the island beginning Monday May 11 (both Dutch and French side, schedule included below), while all prior stories are available on the project’s website, located at https://www.foreseefoundation.com/project/soualichi-stories/.

More Information: For inquiries and to suggest additional St. Maarten folk stories and story tellers, please contact Soualichi Project Coordinator, Laura Hartman, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or contact the Foresee Foundation on Facebook.

Programming Schedule

Monday

SOS 95.5

8:30 AM

Mix 94.7

9:00 AM

MY 88.3

9:30 AM

Tunes Carib

3:00 PM

Radio St. Martin 101.5

5:30 PM

Tuesday

MY 88.3

9:30 AM

Island 92 (91.9)

10:00 AM

SXM GOV

8:00 PM

Wednesday

SOS 95.5

8:30 AM

MY 88.3

9:30 AM

Island 92 (91.9)

10:00 AM

Tunes Carib

3:00 PM

Radio St. Martin 101.5

5:30 PM

SXM GOV

8:00 PM

Thursday

Mix 94.7

9:00 AM

MY 88.3

9:30 AM

Voice of SXM (PJD2)

5:30 PM

SXM GOV

8:00 PM

Friday

SOS 95.5

8:30 AM

MY 88.3

9:30 AM

Island 92 (91.9)

10:00 AM

Tunes Carib

3:00 PM

Radio St. Martin 101.5

5:30 PM

SXM GOV

8:00 PM

Saturday

Mix 94.7

9:00 AM

Voice of SXM (PJD2)

3:00 PM

SXM GOV

8:00 PM

Sunday

SXM GOV

8:00 PM

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Tax Inspectorate Reopens as of May 11 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - In light of the new developments regarding the de-escalation and the imminent lifting of the current measures within the coming weeks, the public is hereby advised that the following services will be available during the week of May 11, to May 15, 2020 (Monday, Wednesday and Friday).

 

TAX ADMINISTRATION

Week: May 11, 2020

Services

Times

Location

Days:

Mon/Wed/Fri

1.     Receiving of tax returns, protest letters, etc,

8:30 AM -1:00 PM

Vineyard Building

2.     Collection:For payment arrangements etc.

830 AM -2:00 PM

Vineyard Building

All collection inquiries will be handled via email and telephone.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: 542-2143/542-5301/542-5304/542-3839

3.   Cashier Transactions (Cash and Maestro payments only will be accepted at the window)

8:30 AM -1:00 PM

PSC /Government Building (Philipsburg)

Payments by check is also possible using the drop box located at the entrance of the Administration Building. Please be sure to print the name, contact number, and email address of the taxpayer or representative on the envelope. Please be sure to include tax returns, a copy of the invoice, etc.

When paying using online banking or bank transfer, please indicate in your transaction the crib number, tax type, year and month paid in the description box. Please note that for every payment, a separate transaction is required.

Banking Information:                       Account Numbers:

The Windward Islands Bank              324800-03-NAF/ 324800-05-US$

RBC Royal Bank                                5425048-NAF/403930461-US$

Please take note of the following tax obligation deferrals:

Wage and Turnover Taxes, AOV/AWW and AVBZ premiums (filing and payment)

March 2020                                        Postponed to May 25, 2020

April 2020                                              Postponed to May 25, 2020

For urgent matters, government public services departments/division can be contacted via email or through the 711 hotline. All clients must ensure that they are wearing proper protective gear (facial masks) and adhere to all security and safety (social distancing) guidelines. The public is also advised to stay tuned to the official Government website and other social media platforms with regard to the other services that will be provided in the coming weeks. 

 

 

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