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Jeffrey Ziolhowski wins brand New 2020 Hyundai I10

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) - Presidente Beer and CC1 St. Maarten were happy to announce the winner of a Brand New 2020 Hyundai I10, Jeffrey Ziolhowski, CC1 said in a press statement on Friday.

In order to get a chance at winning, customers had to purchase 1 case of Presidente at various stores on the island. The promotion started early December until the beginning of February.

Since the announcement of the raffle, close to 5000 raffle tickets were received by various stores which shows great excitement from the consumers! CC1 St. Maarten would like to thank all that participated in this amazing raffle. Congratulations once again to Mr Jeffrey Ziolhowski on winning the brand-new 2020 Hyundai I10.


SCDF to present ‘Sons d’Amour’ Zouk concert for Carnival 2020

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) will dive into the Zouk/Kompa music genre and host its first “Sons d’Amour” International Concert for Carnival 2020.

The concert will be held on April 22 in Carnival Village and feature four very popular and dynamic recording artists of the Zouk music genre.

Phyllisia Ross, Kai formerly of the band Carimi, Fanny J and urban Zouk artist JmaX will all grace the stage for what SCDF calls an “incredible night of smooth, spicy Zouk & Kompa music.”

The show is one of three international events that the foundation is hosting for Carnival, spreading its wings further into the concert arena.

“We listen to Carnival lovers and to their recommendations of what’s missing from the Carnival schedule. Many have been asking about a Zouk themed night so we took up that challenge. We believe we have put together a great lineup of great artists for what should be a terrific night,” the SCDF said.

Tickets for the show will go on sale next week.

scdf Phylissia Ross NEW

Phyllisia Ross

No stranger to St. Maarten, Singer/songwriter who's known for her work in the Haitian kompa genre. She dropped her first single "Konsa" in 2014 and has released many since. Locally she is extremely popular having performed for Carnival before and at events on French St. Maarten. The international career of the Haitian American singer and musician Phyllisia Ross took off at the age of 16. From then on she collaborates with well-known artists such as Jah Cure, Ne-Yo or The Game.

Fanny J

Fanny Jacques-André-Coquin better known as Fanny J is a French singer of zouk and contemporary R&B. In 2007, song-writer Warren wrote "Ancrée à ton port" for her. She released her debut album Vous les Hommes in 2007 on Section Zouk record label with 16 tracks in a number of languages. Warner Music picked on that and signed her reissuing the album with two additional tracks. She adopted the name Fanny J for the Warner Music reissue. "Ancrée à ton port" reached number 12 on SNEP, the official French Singles Chart.

scdf JmaX


JmaX, born Yannick Sébastien on June 2, 1990 in the Yvelines in Île-de-France, is a singer and songwriter from Martinique. It was in 2011 that he became known with his single Djooky Dem on EDF Riddim. In June 2012, he released his first Xplosion mixtape which hit the headlines in Martinique with sounds such as Djooky Dem, I Salé and Beau converseur. He has been active on the scene ever since with hits released in 2014, 2017 and 2018.

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Kai (Richard Cave)

Kai has excelled and shot to stardom after the group Carimi dissolved. He has taken the Haitian kompa music genre by storm around the world and throughout the Caribbean. The band’s name, KAI, which means house in Haitian-Creole (but is spelled kay) was inspired both by the place Cave embarked on his rebirth and its Japanese translation, which means “restoration and strength.” “There wasn’t a choice for me, stopping music because CaRiMi broke up wasn’t an option for me,” said Cave, who holds a degree in finance and was joined in the group by Carlo Vieux and Mikael Guirand. “Music is in me, it’s a part of me and I can never forget what Haitian music has done for me.”


TelEm Group’s TV15 to air Caribbean’s premier Soca festival event Friday

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) St. Maarten’s local Cable TV Channel, TV15, has secured rights to broadcast the Caribbean’s premier International Soca Monarch festival live and direct from Trinidad and Tobago this Friday.

The event is being billed as the biggest Soca Showdown in the world, featuring a host of male and female entertainers vying for the tile of Soca Monarch 2020.

According to Manager, TV15, Mr. Davey Woods, TV15 is collaborating with CCN TV6 in Trinidad to secure the exclusive broadcast rights for St. Maarten from the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain starting at 8:00 pm.

Organizers say the International Soca Monarch contest will feature a Power Soca Category and a Groovy Soca category with whole mass of entertainment and talent in the mix.

“This is first time that TV15 is broadcasting this event together other islands to music lovers and Trinidad & Tobago nationals in Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, St. Kitts, BVI and Jamaica,” said Mr. Woods.

He says the event is scheduled to run for six hours from start to finish Friday.

“TV15 is very excited about these developments because of our goal this year is to bring more live broadcasts of special events to tele-viewers on St. Maarten, especially events from around the Caribbean itself,” said Mr. Woods.

International Soca Monarch is an annual soca music competition/fete event, the finals of which are held on every Carnival Friday (aka Fantastic Friday) in Trinidad and Tobago. Contestants in the event vie for two separate crowns or titles, the International Soca Monarch (aka the Power Soca Monarch) for uptempo songs (135 bpm and above), and Groovy Soca Monarch for slower-paced songs (134 bpm and below).

The International Soca Monarch competition has become the mecca event for soca artists in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) where the event has been hosted since its inception; and also the rest of the Caribbean region, as many artists who have competed on its stage have moved on to successful soca careers. Dubbed the "Super Bowl of soca music" it is a highly anticipated and well-attended event that has been graced with internationally acclaimed recording artists such as SuperBlue (Austin Lyons), Machel Montano, Fay Ann Lyons, Kevin Lyttle, Rupee, and Bunji Garlin (Ian Antonio Alvarez).

The 2020 Soca Monarch Finalists in both categories that will be competing on Friday February 21st, 2020 are:

Power Soca: Iwer George; Luni Spark and Electrify; Lyrikal; Mical Teja; Olatunji; Preedy; Problem Child; Prophet Benjamin; Rome; Shal Marshall; Trinidad Ghost and Mr. Renzo 

Groovy Soca: Asten Isaac; Blaxx; College Boy Jesse; Ding Dong; Isaiah; Kerry John; Preedy; Leadpipe; Rayzor; Rome and Skinny Banton.


Cft says Sint Maarten needs to make steady progress in various areas

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Board of financial supervision Curaçao and Sint Maarten (Cft) urges the interim government to make progress in various areas. The 2020 budget has to be adopted as speedily as possible. In addition, measures must be taken to control costs and improve tax collection, enabling compensation for previous deficits as of the year 2021. It is also important to improve the budget and accountability cycle and to settle the large backlogs in the preparation and adoption of the financial statements.

Execution 2019 budget

On the basis of the third execution report of 2019, the Cft finds that Sint Maarten has realized a lower deficit up to and including September 2019 than was previously estimated. The year 2019 is expected to close with a deficit of ANG 47 million compared to a budgeted deficit of ANG 71 million. However, it remains necessary to take more measures to increase revenues and reduce expenditures in order to achieve budget surpluses from 2021 onwards.

Draft 2020 budget

The Cft received the revised draft 2020 budget on January 22nd, 2020. This displays a budget deficit of ANG 25 million and capital investments of about ANG 62 million. The Cft sent its response to this draft 2020 budget on February 5th and advised the Council of Ministers of Sint Maarten not to allow for delay in the 2020 budget process and to come swiftly to an adopted budget.

Considering the budget deficit in 2019 and the anticipated deficit in 2020, the Cft has discussed the liquidity position of Sint Maarten with the Minister of Finance and the Council of Ministers. It is in the interest of Sint Maarten that the deficit is turned into a structural surplus as soon as possible. Increasing income and in particular tax revenues is essential in this regard. The Cft emphasizes that the restructuring of the tax office has to take place quickly and that cost-saving measures have to be implemented.

Financial management

Since last year Sint Maarten has a Financial Management Improvement Plan that has been approved by the Council of Ministers. Nevertheless, no concrete improvements have been made in this area in the recent period. The lack of implementation capacity and financing have been indicated as the reasons for this. As a consequence, the agreement Sint Maarten made with the Board for an unqualified audit opinion on the 2021 financial statements, will require considerable extra effort. The Cft has called on the Minister of Finance of Sint Maarten to no longer wait with the implementation of the plan.

Financial statements

Sint Maarten has hired external support for the preparation of the 2017 and 2018 financial statements. However, the backlog in completing the accountability process for the years 2013 to 2018 endures. During its visit to Sint Maarten, the Cft emphasized the need to rapidly eliminate this backlog. This requires action from both the government and parliament.

Progress instruction

Based on the instruction of the Kingdom Council of Ministers in 2015, Sint Maarten has to compensate for the deficits from the past, eliminate payment arrears and make the health care system and the old age provision of the country financially sustainable. The deficits can only be compensated if there is a budget surplus. In 2019, payment arrears were reduced by approximately ANG 50 million and agreements were reached with various creditors. However, the remaining payment arrears are still substantial. The draft legislation for the reform of the health insurance system has not yet been submitted to Parliament. The same applies to the draft legislation to raise the AOV age from 62 to 65 years. The revision of the civil servants' pension legislation was offered to Parliament in October 2018 but has not yet been approved. This revision involves shifting from a final pay pension scheme to an average pay pension scheme and raising the retirement age from 62 to 65 years.

Other matters

The Cft has been informed that the agreements to finance the recovery work at the airport have been signed. Essential is now to take the further steps which are needed to obtain a well-functioning airport that can contribute to further economic recovery.

The Board of financial supervision Curaçao and Sint Maarten visited Sint Maarten from February 17th to 20th where it held meetings with the Governor, the Minister of Finance, the Council of Ministers, the deputy Dutch Representative on Sint Maarten, the Social Care Insurance Agency (SZV), Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC), Sint Maarten Harbor Holding Company (SMHHC) and the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA).

Cft visit to Sint Maarten harbor

Cft board members visited Port St. Maarten this week. 



Impressive Fleet of Monohulls, Multihulls and Bareboats Coming Together for 40th Heineken Regatta

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - The countdown for the highly anticipated 40th running of the renowned St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is well and truly underway. The 2020 Anniversary Edition of the famed event is scheduled for March 5-8. And the preliminary scratch sheet for the 40th now sits at over 130 entries competing in a half-dozen dedicated classes of monohulls, multihulls, ocean racers, bareboats and even cruising boats. It is shaping up to be one memorable regatta on multiple levels. And a look at the entry list reveals an intriguing mix of long-time competitors and highly anticipated newcomers.

The tightest racing will surely come in the Ocean Racing division, currently comprised of 14 Grand Prix race boats, highlighted by a trio of powerful Volvo 70 round-the-world campaigners: Johannes Schwarz’s Green Dragon and Grzegorz Baranowski’s I Love Poland will both be sailing under the Polish flag, while Lance Shepard’s Telefonica Black will compete under the United Kingdom’s Union Jack.  

But the international roster of skippers in the Ocean Racing fleet reads like a meeting of the United Nations. For example, Chris Stanmore-Major, sailing the Whitbread 60 Challenger, is representing Canada’s Lunenberg Yacht Club in Nova Scotia and is one of three Canadian entries in the class. Jeremi Jablonski’s Hanse 43, Avanti, is from the U.S.; and Per Arne Nilson’s Swan 66, Enigma VIII, will represent Norway. But of course, there are entries from close by St. Maarten as well, especially Don Terwilliger’s Beneteau First 47.7, Dauntless, from the host Sint Maarten Yacht Club, and the class’s smallest entry, Luis Juarbe’s Melges 32, Soca, from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

With a solid 50 entries to date, the monohull fleet is truly an eclectic collection of yachts, hailing not only from around the Caribbean, but literally around the world. For instance, Grace O’Malley is a Cookson 50 helmed by Zoe Taylor, who hails from New South Wales, Australia. Mikhail Mataruev’s Anna is a Mobile 50 all the way from St. Petersburg, Russia. And Morgane Ursault Poupon’s Class 40 Up Sailing comes from the sailing-crazed community of St. Malo, France. 

There are no less than seven entries from the popular J/Boat brand, including Peter Lewis’s J/121 Whistler from Barbados, New Yorker Jordan Mindich’s J/105 Solstice and local favorite Garth Steyn’s J/70 Franny from beautiful Simpson Bay. Among the mega-builder Beneteau’s many entrants are three First 40.7’s, all from the U.K.: Ken Docherty’s Playing Around, Germaine Williams’s Escapado and Chris Clark’s Fireball. And no St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is complete without a few powerful Swan yachts; the biggest of them all this year is Philip Rand’s Swan 80, Umiko.

Numbers-wise, the Bareboat fleet is just behind the monohulls, with 49 entries to date. Sailors from the Netherlands, Germany, Russia, the U.S., Switzerland, France and the U.K. will all be descending on St. Maarten to race their chartered yachts. They will all have to watch out for perennial Bareboat winners Michael Cannon and Neil Harvey on KHS&S Contractors, a Jeanneau 509.

Ten boats are registered in the Multihull contingent thus far, which is heavily tilted toward versatile Leopard yachts, built in South Africa. Two local sailors will rekindle their long-time rivalry: Ian Martin, on the Leopard 50, Spellbound, and Petro Jonker on the Leopard 47, Seaduction. They may have their hands full with veteran St. Maarten Heineken Regatta sailor Vladimir Kulinchenko, competing in 2020 aboard a Leopard 45, Mere Cat.

Last but hardly least is the Island Time division devoted to cruising sailors who also enjoy a slightly more relaxed version of yacht racing. The cool class was founded by American Hank Schmitt, who will once again be competing aboard his Swan 48, Avocation. Another longtime Heineken stalwart, St. Maarten’s own Robbie Ferron, is joining the fun with his souped-up Nonsuch 33 cat boat Bunglebird, which sports a carbon-fiber rig. German skipper Norbert Hoesserman’s Hanse 470, Peer Gynt, will also be one to watch in this group.

There’s still time to register for the 40th Anniversary Edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. It’s one you don’t want to miss.


Jacobs and Irion meet with Dutch Minister Knops, Foreign Affairs Minister Blok and reps of Council of State

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS - This week the St. Maarten delegation, consisting of Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion, and their advisory staff are in the Netherlands taking part in several meetings.

“We are here to make connections aimed at improving the working relationship within the Dutch Kingdom based upon mutual respect and understanding in the best interest of the people of St. Maarten, stated Prime Minister Jacobs.

Prime Minister Jacobs stated that meetings were held on a technical level with technical representatives from the Ministry of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations (BZK). Additionally, the St. Maarten delegation met with the Minister of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations, Raymond Knops.

In-depth discussions were held between both parties pertaining to the 2018 and 2019 liquidity support. More specifically, St. Maarten’s position regarding the conditionality of pension reform, to acquire liquidity support for 2019 and the remainder of liquidity support for 2018, was shared.

“We’ve shared with Minister Knops, that we find it very unreasonable that pension reform is a condition for liquidity support as this topic is an extremely sensitive topic all over the world. Additionally, it is also clear that the people of St. Maarten, including the unions and the members of parliament still have great concerns where the draft pension reform law is concerned.” Prime Minister Jacobs stated.

During both meetings, the Minister of Finance Adwell Irion informed the Minister of Interior and Kingdom Relations, Raymond Knops and the technical representatives of the Ministry of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations (BZK) concerning the Committee for Financial Supervision (CFT) advices which were also discussed which supports St. Maarten’s need for the promised liquidity support of 2018 and 2019.

The St. Maarten delegation also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok, to discuss research related to visum policies in the Caribbean. They also met with our Dutch Caribbean counterparts in that context in preparation for this discussion in the Kingdom Council of Ministers. Additionally, the St. Maarten delegation paid a courtesy visit to the representative of St. Maarten Mrs. Maria van der Sluijs-Plantz and support staff. Courtesy visits were also paid to the Vice-President of the Council of State Thom de Graaf, Chairman of the Second Chamber Jan Anthonie Bruijn, as well as the Chairman of the Committee for Kingdom Relations of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Jan Paternotte. During these visits, the delegation touched on the dispute regulation for St. Maarten.

“In these meetings, St. Maarten saw communication, representation and her input in decisions related to St. Maarten. Ways in which these may be improved is also being highlighted. The delegation is working towards making sure St. Maarten’s voice is heard in the plenary sessions of the First Chamber as it pertains to the discussions on the dispute regulation,” said Prime Minister Jacobs.

Prime Minister Jacobs, represented St. Maarten in the Kingdom Council of Ministers this morning together with Minister Plenipotentiary Rene Violenus on the agenda point of the agreed upon 2018 and 2019 liquidity support for St. Maarten. After Ministerial Consultation held this morning prior to the Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting, parties were able to reach a consensus regarding liquidity support in keeping with the various the Committee for Financial Supervision (CFT) advice which stated that a liquidity norm of two months’ reserve should be maintained. This was later confirmed and established in the Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting.

“We look forward to more positive meetings in culmination of this week in the Netherlands. Minister Plenipotentiary Rene Violenus and his cabinet have diligently made a lot of preparation for these meetings and they have taken part in the meetings as well. We look forward to the Minister Plenipotentiary and his staff continuing to represent St. Maarten at a high level in the years to come,” concluded Prime Minister Jacobs. The Ministers will complete their trip in the evening meeting with some St. Maarten’s students and other St. Maarteners via a reception organized by the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary in The Hague.  

FRI Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs and Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok

Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs (left) and Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok (right).

FRI Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs with Minister Plenipotentiary of St Maarten Curacao and Aruba

Minister Plenipotentiary Rene Violenus (left) and Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs (2nd from right) in The Hague, the Netherlands.






CARTAC to play an instrumental role in Public Financial Management

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Minister of Finance, the honorable Ardwell Irion, opened the 2020 Tax Summit hosted by the Finance Ministry last Wednesday, February 5th.

In attendance were representatives of the tax administration, the receiver office, section business taxes, financial policy management & control, the treasury, ICT department, fiscal affairs, the finance department, the cabinet of the minister of finance, the World Bank and CARTAC (the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre)

The minister expressed his appreciation to the key players in the financial arena for attending, especially those representing The World Bank and CARTAC, who traveled to St. Maarten. The minister emphasized the importance of the internal specialists who will have to carry us further with the results of this summit.

“We are fortunate to be able to bring together all these distinct experts in such a short time”, said minister Irion. “I trust that you will contribute to, as we reflect on, the existing plans and understand the situation we are in. We aim to find a sustainable solution for the challenges that we face and I am convinced that we have the best team to give direction to reaching our objectives”.

Addressing the three principal topics, public financial management, the tax organization and fiscal reform, the small group of experts jointly assessed the current situation and established the steps necessary to improve all three areas, which effect public finances and the customers otherwise referred to as the taxpayers.

The desired outcome is: to be a modern functioning tax administration with a sound legislative foundation, operating autonomously with individual organizational planning, budget management and human resource management.

And to obtaining sufficient skilled and qualified human resource with the aim of eventually operating a paperless organization.

As for the tax regime, it was confirmed that since 2015 legislation was being drafted with the aim to simplify the tax system, maximize revenue and to create an attractive investment climate. Notwithstanding the numerous changes in government, which has contributed to the delay, the principles of the tax reform have remained the same.

Final calculations of the proposed amendments, for which reliable data is required in order to move forward, are still pending.

The relationship established with CARTAC is one of the IMF Regional Technical Assistance Centers (RTAC) located around the world in the Pacific, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, India and Central America. 

These Centers were created to assist countries to strengthen their human and institutional capacity to design and implement sound macroeconomic policies that promote growth and reduce poverty.

CARTAC is already rendering results at an affordable annual cost of US$ 150.000, compared to millions that consultants would cost. Additionally CARTAC’s approach of support is to assist and share the knowledge in order for the recipient, in this case St. Maarten’s civil servants, to learn and carry out the improvements themselves. Projects such as cleaning up the data and reporting are such exercises that are to commence within the next two months.

Short-term, medium and long-term goals, not exceeding three years, were established to commence in March of this year of which several will run simultaneously.  While many more details were discussed, assistance relating to data analysis is expected from the World Bank in the short term.

Important aspects required for success is to ensure that all who are required to contribute to the treasury do so. In light of this the tax reform will also aim at capturing the informal sector.

minfin public fin mngt





Four Suspected stolen vehicles confiscated during 38-car routine traffic control

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - A total of 38 cars were controlled by the Sint Maarten Police Force Control unit on, Tuesday February 4th, 2020 during a general traffic control conducted at the Harold Jack lookout point on the Cole Bay hill.

The control which started at approximately 4:30pm, were deemed a success as officers were able to confiscate four (4) possible stolen vehicles.

The vehicles confiscated were towed away and are currently under investigation. In addition to the confiscated vehicles, officers gave out five (5) fines to drivers who were not in compliance with the road rules.

These controls will be continuous through the year 2020. (KPSM)


Netherlands Red Cross and Nature Foundation introduces the Re-greening St Maarten Project

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - Recently a project to create a greener and more resilient island was launched by the Netherlands Red Cross in collaboration with the Nature Foundation St. Maarten. The Project “Re-greening SXM” aims to restore and build environmental resilience here on St. Maarten and will be executed this year.

The Re-greening SXM Project is part of the Disaster Risk Reduction Project designed by the Netherlands Red Cross. The project is financed by donations collected by the Netherlands Red Cross for St. Maarten after Hurricane Irma. The project will be focused to ensure ways in which community environments will be better adapted to withstand future hazards and natural disasters.    

“The Nature Foundation is very excited and grateful to be part of this important project of the Red Cross, as it will enhance our natural habitats and the environment, creating a more sustainable future. Our nature assists us to protect our island from disasters, such as flooding and storms, their enrichment is critical in the way to recovery and is needed to be prepared for future disasters.

“Without our natural vegetation, trees, mangroves and coral reefs, our island would experience much larger impacts from flooding’s, erosion and storms, therefore nature restoration activities are of utmost significance for St Maarten” stated Nature Foundation’s Manager Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern. 

The Re-greening project will be conducted mainly through restoration of natural and native vegetation. Land degradation results in soil erosion and vegetative damage which in turn creates higher risk of flooding. Vegetation restoration mitigates these impacts, builds resilience, and restores proper ecosystem functions. “We know that the natural environment is absolutely crucial to being able to withstand hazards. If you only look at flooding caused by heavy rains: a soil that has a lot of tree roots will absorb much more rainwater than grass ever can. Not to mention that the trees will also provide shade for humans and a home for birds. By doing all this, we contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 15 while also reducing existing disaster risk by reducing vulnerability as per the Sendai Framework. So, the Red Cross is funding this because it will make St Maarten less vulnerable to natural hazards, but everybody wins if we restore some greenery around the island!” said Tamas Marki Project Manager of the DRR Project at the Netherlands Red Cross. 

Other techniques will involve the several community clean-ups and campaign activities in order to create awareness. The public will be further notified of these events via the Nature Foundation’s Facebook page (Nature Foundation St. Maarten), the Foundation will need the assistance of volunteers for different parts of this project. “For this project, I will focus on creating a community where natural vegetation is enhanced. I will be assessing current conditions on the island and will select the more vulnerable communities to undergo ecological restoration. The goal is to make certain that the community’s environment will be able to combat future hazards. I would also like to express that it is with high hopes that all the clean-ups being planned for the near future will bring more awareness to the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle motto” voiced Ernika van Putten Project Leader of the Re-greening SXM Project. 

Often enough, pollution along with soil run-off creates a blockade in the drainages. This ends up slowing down or completely stopping the water flow through these drainages. With heavy rains and hurricane winds added to this equation pollution from afar also ends up in the drainages. Therefore, proper disposal of waste everywhere is super important. For our environment to stay healthy, the community as a majority needs to take initiative on keeping the island clean. If resilience is built, restored, and maintained in our environment, rest ashore that our environment will become better equipped to lessen the impacts of disasters on our homes. This makes for a much safer and better prepared community. Therefore, both the Red Cross and the Nature Foundation are excited and honoured to launch the re-greening project and are looking forward to receiving assistance from the community to implement this important project.


Former COCI Director presented at Rotary Sunset general meeting

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset invited Mr. Anastacio Baker to present at the general meeting on Monday, January 27th. Mr. Baker, in his former capacity as Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (COCI), served as the ideal guest speaker for the month’s theme of Vocational Service.

As owner and managing director of several family owned businesses on the island, Mr. Baker was able to provide vital information from both the COCI aspect, as well as a small business owner himself.

In 2014 Mr. Baker was elected to the board of the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and in 2015 elected as the Treasurer thereof. In 2016, he was elected as Vice- President of the COCI and re-elected in 2017. Mid 2017, Mr. Baker left Princess Juliana International airport to take up the fulltime position as Executive Director of the St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In 2019, he resigned from the position in order to focus on the family businesses fulltime. Throughout Rotary, there is always a desire to build connections and promote entrepreneurship. Therefore, given his recent position held within COCI, he was able to provide up to date information on the closures and openings of registered businesses, as well as information about the focal point of newly registered businesses from 2017 to 2019. Mr. Baker also provided vital information into the status of the economy, as well as viable small business opportunities that have not yet saturated the economic market.  

Rotary Foundation Chair, Michelette Boasman, as a business owner herself, saw the importance of inviting Mr. Baker to speak to the membership about the benefits and challenges of owning businesses locally, as there are entrepreneurs within the club. “Mr. Baker, as a young and local small business owner, served as the ideal guest presenter to provide key information on various ways to assist small businesses as well as the importance of them to our economy”, Boasman added.

The club would like to thank Mr. Anastacio Baker for his presentation, insights and advice, especially with few small business ideas provided. The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset meets every second and fourth Monday of the month at Carl N Sons Unique Inn and Conference Facilities in Colebay at 7:30pm. The club can be contacted via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via the official Facebook page at

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