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U.S. Trade Representative Visits Curacao to Promote Trade and CBTPA

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - On September 12 and 13, 2019, Magaly Garcia, Regional Director of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, will visit Curacao to provide an overview of how the trade preference program, the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA), works, and describe the program benefits.

This is an opportunity to increase duty-free shipments to the United States. The U.S. Consulate in cooperation with the Curacao Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the Ministry of Economic Development will facilitate an information session on Thursday, September 12, from 6:00-7:00pm.

Mrs. Garcia will hold a presentation in the auditorium of the Curacao Chamber of Commerce for businesses interested in exporting goods to the U.S. CBTPA was implemented on October 5, 2000 and will expire on September 30, 2020.

U.S. Representatives introduced legislation to reauthorize CBTPA until 2030. CBTPA countries are a subset of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) countries with expanded duty-free access to the U.S. market.

Curacao is one of the partner nations of the program and, therefore, may potentially benefit from CBTPA through duty-free access to the U.S. market for most goods.

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CIBC DONATES US$150,000 TO HURRICANE DORIAN RELIEF EFFORTS

SINT MAARTEN/BARBADOS – CIBC is donating US$150,000 to support humanitarian relief in areas impacted by Hurricane Dorian with a focus on the Northern Bahamas. The funds, which include a donation through CIBC FirstCaribbean’s ComTrust Foundation, will be distributed through the Red Cross.

"We stand with all communities impacted by the devastating hurricane in the Bahamas and surrounding areas," said Colette Delaney, Chief Executive Officer, CIBC FirstCaribbean.

"We are committed to helping our clients, team members and communities recover and rebuild." In the Northern Bahamas, CIBC FirstCaribbean will also be extending special banking assistance to affected clients to aid in their recovery efforts, added Ms. Delaney.

Canadians wishing to support relief efforts, can donate to the Hurricane Dorian Appeal. Money raised will enable the Red Cross to provide relief and recovery activities in response to the disaster.

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Sub-contractor blamed for damaged cable in Cole Bay

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) A sub-contractor working in the Cole Bay area Sunday, damaged a TelEm Group underground cable causing interruptions in voice and data services to business and residential customers.

TelEm Group says contractors were on site and in the field Monday, repairing the damaged cable and will reconnect customers as soon as possible.

Interim Manager, Outside Plant, Mr. Steve Simmons said TelEm Group customers in Orange Grove Road, Wellington Road, and part of Waterfront Road are affected by the damaged cable.

Mr. Simmons has apologized for any inconvenience caused by the interruption in service which was beyond the company’s control. He said technicians and engineers in the field will continue to work until all customers have service resumed by the end of the day Monday.

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Man arrested for destruction of property

PHILIPSBURG - The patrol of Philipsburg was directed in the early morning of September 6th, 2019 about 2.:25 am to the Jump-Up Casino for a suspected case of destruction.

At scene the patrol encountered the suspect with the initials I.M who supposedly damaged a car that was parked in the area. He was arrested and brought over to the police station in Philipsburg, where he was incarcerated for further investigation. (Sint Maarten Police Force)  

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Road closures on Monday and Tuesday for Opening of the New Parliamentary Year

PHILIPSBURG – A number of road closures will be in place on Monday, September 9 and Tuesday, September 10 for the annual traditional Opening of the new Parliamentary Year.

The Wilhelminastraat in front of the House of Parliament will be closed on Monday, September 9 from 3.00 PM to 2.00 PM on Tuesday, September 10, 2019. The closure is in connection with a rehearsal for the personnel from the various uniformed services, who will be participating in the parade on the occasion of the opening of the new parliamentary year as well as some other preparations.

Back Street and Front Street will be closed on Tuesday, September 10 from 6.00 AM to 2.00 PM. This is in connection with the official ceremonies for the opening of the new parliamentary year.

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Two years later

SINT MAARTEN (By Fabian Badejo) - Two years have crawled past like two centuries

As I watch foreign experts come

And go come

And go come

And go

And the blasted bag

Of Euros or dollars

Slowly deflate

Like a balloon

of spent promises

Or like the devil himself

Passing gas.

I know this stench too well

It has burnt my nostrils

With lies and distortions

With graveyard crosses

And poisoned spices

I know this stench so well

It has suffocated freedom

Manacled rebellions

Unleashed rabid dogs

On running mothers

And fathers and their babies

In the moat,

And in the gator-infested rivers

It is a stench that sucks you in

Like quicksand

Makes you delirious

Defending your own oppressors.

Two years have gone too slowly

and too many homes remain

Without roofs

Too many wounds are yet to heal

the peacock

Now lays crest-fallen

prostrate

Tied with strings like a puppet

Who will stand up

In this season of cowardice

To.proclaim our manhood?

Who among this flock

Of sheep

Tip-toeing around

Waiting to hear

their master’s voice?

Two years have breezed past

Like fog chasing a leaking canoe

And we’re still waiting

Under all conditions

For shelters

for roofs

for zinc and plywood

Rotting in a container

Near the government building

Waiting on committees

And more committees

On foreign experts

And more foreign experts

Dining at Holland House

Living in posh hotel rooms

Sipping whiskey and pina colada

As they watch the sun set

On Great Bay

Watch us curse each other

The cross our forefathers bore

A relic of the storms to come.

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More purchasing power for low-income groups on Statia

SINT EUSTATIUS/SABA - The Caribbean Netherlands once again recorded a rise in consumer purchasing power in 2017. With a median 2.6 percent increase, the highest gain was on St Eustatius. Mainly low-income households benefited there, due to the additional increase in minimum wages and social benefits in 2017. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on newly released figures.

Purchasing power in the Caribbean Netherlands has risen year after year since 2012. Improved purchasing power (* see explanation 1) means that incomes are rising more than the average price levels, meaning consumers can afford to purchase more goods and services.

A median increase of 2.6 percent for St Eustatius means that half of the population see their spending power rise by at least 2.6 percent and the other half by less than 2.6 percent. Purchasing power fell for 45 percent of Statia’s inhabitants.

On Bonaire and Saba, the (median) change in purchasing power amounted to 1.0 and 0.6 percent respectively in 2017, the lowest increase on these islands since 2012.

Highest purchasing power gain among low-income group on Statia

On St Eustatius, by far the sharpest median increase in purchasing power was recorded in the lowest income quartile (25th percentile) at 6.1 percent. Benefit recipients gained 6.3 percent.

On Bonaire, purchasing power improved mainly among households in the highest income quartile (by 2.2 percent). Contrary to St Eustatius, it was predominantly the working population on Bonaire who benefited from the improvement with a rise in purchasing power of 1.6 percent.

RCN INS1 SEU CBS

All households benefited on St Eustatius

On St Eustatius, purchasing power developments had a positive effect across all household groups. Single households gained the most with a median rise of 5.4 percent. Purchasing power rose by more than 2 percent among single-parent families, couples with children and other multi-person households. On Bonaire, mainly households with children benefited: couples with children by 3.2 percent and single-parent families by 2.3 percent. Members of (other) multi-person households on Bonaire and Saba, on the other hand, lost some of their purchasing power.

RCN INS2

Young and old alike have more to spend on Saba and Statia

On Saba and St Eustatius, purchasing power improved across all age groups. With a median increase of 4.8 percent, the most significant improvement for young households (under age 40) was seen on St Eustatius. This was also the age group with the greatest improvement in spending power on Bonaire, namely 2.3 percent. On St Eustatius and Saba, residents over age 60 saw their spending power improve, partly due to additional increases in statutory pension benefits (AOV) (* see explanation 2). This age group benefited by 4.6 percent on Statia and 1.1 percent on Saba. On Bonaire, the increase in AOV benefit was lower than the increase in consumer prices; the spending power of local elderly residents declined slightly as a result.

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Sources:

StatLine - Caribisch NL; koopkrachtontwikkeling personen in particuliere huishoudens

https://opendata.cbs.nl/statline/#/CBS/nl/dataset/83551NED/table?dl=25074 =

https://opendata.cbs.nl/statline/#/CBS/en/dataset/83551ENG/table?ts=1567510221045?

Explanations

Explanation 1:

Purchasing power development

Purchasing power developments per person are calculated as year-on-year percentage changes in that person’s standardised disposable household income, adjusted for price changes. These percentage-based income changes are ranked from high to low, with the middle or median value reflecting the purchasing power development of that particular (sub)population. Personal (dynamic) purchasing power may fluctuate for all kinds of reasons. For example, a wage increase, a promotion, taking up of a (new) job, retirement. Furthermore, changes in household composition (e.g. a child moving out or a couple splitting up) may also result in income changes. All these changes are reflected in the dynamic purchasing power development.

Explanation 2:

Additional increase in benefits

With a view to improving livelihood security and combating poverty, each year statutory minimum wages and social benefits such as the AOV (statutory pension), the AWW (widow, widower & orphan pension) and the ‘onderstand’ (income support) in the Caribbean Netherlands are indexed on the basis of the CBS consumer price index (CPI). In addition, in 2017 the statutory minimum wages and benefits were raised further on St Eustatius (10 percent) and Saba (5.43 percent). The net increase for staturory minimum wages and social benefits on Saba amounted to 5.63 percent. On St Eustatius, due to deflation over several months of 2016, the net increase was 9.1 percent. On Bonaire, where wages and benefits were not raised, the statutory minimum wages and benefits were increased by the local rate of indexation – the year-on-year percentage change in the consumer price index – namely 0.6 percent.

Explanation 3:

Income groups

The mean standardised disposable income is calculated for each household member over 2016 and 2017. The classification into income quartile groups is based on these averages over 2016 en 2017. This is the so-called adjustment for regression-to-the-mean effects.

According to the latest forecast by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the population of the three islands of the Caribbean Netherlands is expected to grow further from 25 thousand currently to 30 thousand by 2030. The number of older inhabitants will increase in particular.

The population forecast projects the most likely scenario for the future development of the Caribbean Dutch population. In this forecast, CBS uses a simulation model which uses research assumptions regarding birth rates, migration and life expectancy as the basis for projections. However, migration developments are especially difficult to forecast. If the number of migrants settling in the Caribbean Netherlands until 2030 is one-quarter lower than projected, the population will only go up to 28 thousand. If the number is one-quarter higher, the population will continue to increase to 33 thousand.

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Schouten pledges support for improving food security on Statia

SINT EUSTATIUS - Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Carola Schouten, concludes her visit to St. Eustatius on a positive and optimistic note having had fruitful and indebt discussions with the Executive Council and senior civil servants regarding their vision for a more integrated approach to agricultural development on St. Eustatius.

The Minister has pledged her ministry’s support to ensure that food quality and security improves by assisting St. Eustatius with increasing controls of the manner food products are handled particularly during the process of import.

“It is important that consumers on St. Eustatius and the Caribbean Netherlands on a whole are guaranteed food security in the same manner as consumers in the European part of The Netherlands”, says Schouten

Minister Schouten visited the island on Tuesday September 3rd and Wednesday September 4th where she received an overview of the plans for an integrated approach towards the further development of agriculture on St. Eustatius.

Her tour of the Department of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fishery centered on, among others, the operations of the slaughterhouse, Made in Statia, the Community Garden, the water catchment at STUCO Solar Park and the erosion problem near the airport.

A meet and greet with nature policy plan stakeholders at the Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute (CNSI) and a presentation at the St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation (STENAPA) office helped to paint a clear picture of the work that is being done or still needs to be done individually and collectively by the relevant partners on St. Eustatius.

Government Commissioner Marcolino Franco expressed appreciation to Minister Schouten for the support St. Eustatius has received from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality in the form of technical assistance and investments in projects such as the STENAPA reforestation project, Made in Statia and the water catchments near STUCO Solar Park and the Airport.

“As St. Eustatius continues on this path of sustainable development continued support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality will be necessary. In most instances, it will require the collective commitment of more than one ministry.

This is a positive development coordinated through the Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations”.

Schouten has further committed to lend St. Eustatius support needed to continue on its path to structural and integrated agricultural development. “I encourage you to clearly identify your needs for agricultural development.

“You live and work here and therefore you know your needs better. My ministry will seek to provide the necessary technical and financial support where necessary. If in the Netherlands, we seem not to be moving at the pace you desire do not hesitate to signal this”.

Minister Schouten and her delegation continue on to Bonaire before returning to The Netherlands this weekend. (Statia GIS)

seu food sec ins1

A vendor at the weekly Local Fresh Market speaks to Minister Schouten.

 

 

 

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Man arrested with False Driver’s License

PHILIPSBURG - The man with Initials C.H.N was arrested on Monday September 2nd, 2019 by the Philipsburg police patrol at one of the local banks for being in possession of a false driver’s license.

The suspect was brought over to the police station and handed over to the detective department for further investigation. (Sint Maarten Police Force)

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Senior Internet Classes are in demand at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Senior Internet classes are in demand at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library and classes will commence as of September 6th, 2019.

The senior classes will be held in the Cyber room of the library every Friday morning and afternoon, starting September 6th, 2019 to December 20th, 2019, time:
9 am to 12.00 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm. The library has provided Senior Internet Classes since 2015 to many seniors, providing access to computer technologies that enrich their lives and enable them to share their skills.

The Senior Internet course consists of a beginner’s introduction to computers, the use of E-mails, Facebook, digital reading and Skyping with your fellow senior mates, family, and friends at large.

All persons over 50 years of age are welcome so do not miss out on this opportunity.

Registration is open and classes are free of charge, however, space is limited to 10 persons per session. For more information about the course and enrollment please call 721-542-2970
ask for Certified Media Coach Coordinator ICT department Francia Housen and register for your Senior Internet Classes.
The library is located upstairs of the Adolphus Richardson Building, at W.J.A. Nisbeth Road # 3. The library is open daily from Mondays through Saturdays.
Please do visit our Website and Social Media sites for more information www.stmaartenlibrary.org on https://www.facebook.com/stmaarten.pjlibrary & https://twitter.com/SXMLibrary
Also, please be reminded that the library is expanding its collection of E-books which are available to all patrons.

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