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Road users take heed the roadways is not your own. Nine-month overview reveals 600 traffic accidents

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The police have done a retrospective of the vehicle accidents that took place over the last 9 months on the island. This analysis looked at the causes and locations where most of these collisions took place and the consequences of these road accidents were examined.  

There were more than 600 road accidents registered with the Sint Maarten Police Department between January 1st and September 30th, 2020. This averages out to be about 70 accidents per month. With this information, it can be noted that every day, more than two accidents take place across Sint Maarten. In fact, statistics show that many of the common causes of collisions are preventable.

The human factor appears to be the most prevalent contributing factor of road traffic crashes. This includes both driving behaviors such as: being distracted while driving, speeding, reckless driving and traffic law violations or impaired skills such as: fatigue, physical disabilities. Below, we have listed the most common reasons for road accidents on the Sint Maarten.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is the most common cause of road accidents on Sint Maarten. Next to distracted drivers, speeding, driving under the influence, are causes of some of the other major accident.

Often accidents happen because drivers are distracted while behind the wheel, taking their focus away from the road. Sometimes, accidents occur for a combination of reasons, from bad visibility to unsafe road design, or other drivers lack caution. While the causes of accidents can vary, the consequences are often the same, resulting in everything from vehicular and property damage to serious injuries.

Drivers can become distracted behind the wheel for a variety of reasons. Some of the leading causes of distracted driving accidents include using a cellphone while driving, as well as eating or drinking while behind the wheel.

Speeding

Speeding is the second most common cause of road accidents. Since car and truck accidents that involve speeding typically occur at high speeds, it is also a major cause of serious or fatal road injuries.

Driving above the speed limit is a common practice for many motorists. In addition, illegal behavior vastly increases the risk of losing control of a vehicle and causing an accident

Even a small increase in speed can result in a much higher risk of being involved in a collision or other type of accident. As such, it is essential for motorists to be aware of the speed at which they are traveling and stay within the legal limits.

Reckless Driving

Speeding, changing lanes without looking, hopping of scooters and motorbikes and ignoring road signs are all classic signs of reckless driving. An illegal driving habit’s now one of the most common cause of road accidents on our island

Reckless driving usually involves a motorist that is less concerned about other road users than they are.

After having looked at the reasons why vehicle accidents happen, an overview was done into the location on the island where most vehicular accidents take place.

The locations of the most accident-prone areas over the past 9 months are as follows:

AIRPORT ROAD

24

A.J.C. BROUWERS ROAD

49

A.TH. ILLIDGE ROAD

59

ARCH ROAD

12

BUSH ROAD

26

C.A. CANNEGIETER STREET

12

L.B. SCOT ROAD

35

SUCKERGARDEN ROAD

40

UNION ROAD

39

WALTER J.A. NISBET ROAD

53

WELFARE ROAD

47

The most dangerous crossings and intersections are listed below where most accidents take place:

Roundabout Indigo Bay                                           (Brouwers road)

Harold Jack                                                             (Brouwers road)

Crossing Brouwers road                                             (Brouwers road )

Crossing A.Th Illidge road and Middle region road       (A.Th Illidge road)

Crossing Billy folly road and Welfare road                   (welfare road )

Roundabout at former Eddie's auto supply                   (A.Th Illidge road )

Area of Pizza                                                                                       ( Bush Road )

Through this information the Sint Maarten Police Force would again like to caution road users. A lot of the accidents happening can be avoided if everyone drove not only for themselves but also for the cars around them. Take heed the roadways are not your own avoid unnecessary collisions. (KPSM)

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Eight-week program offered on Afro-ecology starting Nov.09

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - In recognition of “World Food Day, observed each year on October 16, the Department of Community Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs (CDFHA) in partnership with Space less Gardens will offer an eight (8) week program on Agro ecology starting on November 9,2020.

The Agro ecology project is of high priority and special interest to the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development & Labor Affairs and by extension, the Department of Community Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs (CDFHA) because it underscores its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals 1 “the eradication of poverty & 2 “reduce hunger”.

Additionally, the Agro ecology program is a recent addition to and compliments CDFHA’s growing list of key interventions such as the “Social Bank” and the “Backyard Gardening” program in an effort to combat hunger.

Further, the program aims is to “improve the skills and knowledge of targeted registered participants and less fortunate members of the community through a diverse hands-on educational program that focuses on agro-ecology and home gardening”, promote food security and encourage the community to grow what they eat and eat what they grow.

For additional information please visit or contact any of the following Help Desks: Cole Bay Help Desk 1721-5203415; St. Peters Community Help Desk 1721-5484633; Dutch Quarter Community Help Desk 1721-5203415.

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CIBC FIRSTCARIBBEAN ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF REGIONAL UNSUNG FRONTLINE HEROES INITIATIVE

SINT MAARTEN/BARBADOS - A 32-year old Registered Nurse tending to COVID-19 patients at a hospital Intensive Care Unit in both Curaçao and St. Maarten, who later contracted the virus himself, is among regional winners in this year’s inaugural Unsung Frontline Heroes initiative.

The programme, designed by CIBC FirstCaribbean through its ComTrust Foundation to unearth the work of persons across the region at the forefront of the COVID-19 fight, has brought to light the stories of many of those whose deeds have gone virtually untold. Over 100 persons were nominated for awards.

The personal journeys of individuals such as Jurgen Lacruz of Curaçao, have also shone the spotlight on the challenges and sacrifices being made by frontline workers every day to battle the pandemic.  However, based on the overwhelming feedback of the public and panels of judges in each jurisdiction where the bank operates, the winners have been firmly endorsed as national treasures.

Earlier this year, Jurgen was sent to St. Maarten to assist patients at the St. Maarten Medical Center. Unfortunately, during his assignment there, he contracted COVID-19. When his medical condition worsened, he was flown back home via air ambulance to receive specialized help at the hospital where he works, the Curaçao Medical Center. Thankfully, he has returned to the frontline where he continues to serve his profession with distinction. Jurgen openly shared his experience on social media and since then along with some of his colleagues, has produced many awareness videos on social media to inform people in Curaçao about the dangers of COVID-19.

St. Maarten is also home to Sandra Cheung, whose life’s purpose, as described by those closest to her “is to bring love, compassion and warmth to those in need.” During the pandemic, Sandra established a monthly food program that to date has fed over 2,800 families. House repairs, emergency cash relief, food donations, along with caring for the elderly have also been part of her many unrelenting community efforts. Sandra has been active in the areas of healthcare, education, culture and environmental protection for the past 18 years and still is today.  

Over in Antigua, Nurse Soria Dupie-Winston has been dubbed an “Angel” by one of her nominees, for her professional role and work in the community. Soria eclipsed all other entrants as she worked tirelessly and diligently with the team at the V C Bird International Airport adding support to border control whilst continuing her daily community nursing in her district, holding the mantle as President of Antigua Barbuda Nursing Association as well as offering the support at Hawksbill Hotel, the facility used for quarantine. 

Despite working every day, Soria is considered a heroine to all, including her daughter whose poignant words found favour with the judging panel in Antigua and the public. “Since this Covid 19 pandemic started, my mom has been working tirelessly to ensure she assists in keeping our country safe. There are times when she gets home at 2:00 am just doing what she can to help everyone keep safe. My mom is a hardworking, dedicated and kind-hearted Mother/Nurse who I think goes above and beyond the call of duty.  She doesn't think twice when someone asks for help… My mother deserves this unsung heroes award because she works 7 days a week.  This would be the perfect opportunity for her to get some well- needed rest and relaxation.”

These are just three of the many stories of selflessness that have emerged. Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the FirstCaribbean International Comtrust Foundation, Colette Delaney, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has led, in many ways, to the re-emergence of the spirit of unity and caring that is an endearing feature of Caribbean people. “We are grateful to the contributions of these modern-day heroes, but we know that there are many more who may not have not been singled out but are just as important as they go about working quietly to create the pathways towards health and safety once again for all of us. We remain forever grateful to our first responders for being sources of inspiration and for the good that they do that has made all the difference.” 

Presentation ceremonies are currently being conducted throughout the region in strict observance of all protocols for social distancing and public gatherings.

Winners will receive an E-Check for US$2,000 toward a staycation at a local hotel of their choice. A full listing of regional winners will be posted on all of the bank’s social media platforms and corporate website at www.cibcfcib.com

CIBC Sxm donation cheung

Sandra Cheung and team of volunteers along with CIBC FirstCaribbean Branch Manager, Perry Wilson. 

CIBC Nurse Antigua

Nurse Soria Dupie-Winston, Antigua’s ‘Angel’.

 

 

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Lower the risk of developing breast cancer

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Breast cancer is one of the leading cancers affecting women. Every October, the nation and countries around the world profile breast cancer during ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’ where a wealth of information is shared on how to prevent it and promote the importance of early detection, and at the same time recognize the courage of breast cancer survivors.

The Collective Prevention Service (CPS), an executive agency of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), encourages Sint Maarteners to lower the risk of developing breast cancer by following some simple measures such as eating a balanced diet, drinking less alcohol, regular physical activity, maintaining a healthy body weight, and having an annual screening for early detection.

CPS encourages businesses to promote awareness amongst their employees by wearing the pink ribbon and sharing pink ribbons with customers and suppliers during the last week of October if you have not already done so from earlier in the month.

According to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), breast cancer is the main cause of cancer among Caribbean females, accounting for 14-30 per cent of cancer deaths.

Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts in the cells of the breast and can affect both men and women, but it's far more common in women.

Regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start, and women are encouraged to discuss this with their physician.

The exact causes of breast cancer aren't fully understood, however, there are certain factors known to increase the risk of breast cancer and include: age – the risk increases as you get older; a family history of breast cancer; a previous diagnosis of breast cancer; being overweight or obese; and excessive use of alcohol.

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After 30-Years of Service WINAIR’s Captain Roger Hodge retires

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT ROAD) – After 30 years of service with WINAIR Captain Roger Hodge is retiring. Captain Hodge began his career with WINAIR in 1990 thru 2020, Rogers 30 years of service in our flight department, beginning as a first officer progressing thru the ranks quickly to become our most senior Captain.

His many accomplishments as a training instructor, check airman and most importantly sharing his knowledge thru tutoring and developing our junior pilots, providing the example of what it means to be a pilot. Captain Hodge, a pillar in the flight department, provided all our staff the example of how we can better work together for a common goal.

His passion, commitment and love of flying complimented his work. This resulted in him taking people under his wing, sharing his knowledge and skill resulting in many of us being better employees and people.

It is time now for Captain Hodge to enjoy a very well-deserved retirement, but knowing our Captain, he will always available and continue sharing his experiences with the younger generation, always inspiring people to develop themselves. We at WINAIR say thank you Roger for your years of dedicated service!

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Cupecoy Sunset Toastmasters Club Celebrates its 5th Anniversary

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - The president of the club, Mr Damien Schmidt in a statement mentioned that "While the club’s 5th anniversary is originally in June, we did not want the year to pass by without recognizing this historical event in our club’s history.

Therefore, it was decided to celebrate our anniversary on Toastmasters Day". The meeting is scheduled for October 22nd, 2020 at 5:30 PM via Zoom ID: 514 742 3278, Password: 062015 under the meeting theme, “Honoring the Past, Ushering the Future.”

The general public is invited to join us as it promises to be an exciting evening where we will have renditions by local celebrities, and addresses by past presidents as we reminisce on our successes and challenges and mold the way forward for the club’s future.

Toastmasters is an international organization that specializes in honing the personal and professional development skills of communication and leadership for persons (young, mature and otherwise) who dare to challenge themselves to grow in a dynamic and friendly learning environment.

In return, these acquired skills foster the important attributes of self-confidence and personal growth necessary for public speaking, work, leadership or interpersonal communications.

The club meets twice monthly (every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month) via the provided Zoom link at 5.30 PM. The entire population is welcome to attend.

Interested persons can visit the club or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. Additional information can also be found on the club's Facebook page (Cupecoy Sunset Toastmasters Club) or Instagram (cupecoysunsetters).

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PJIAE LAUNCHES SECOND COST-REDUCTION PROGRAM TO GUARANTEE BUSINESS CONTINUITY

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT ROAD) - As airlines have dramatically reduced flights to SXM due to the current pandemic, PJIAE Management is preparing its second cost reduction program in order to survive the COVID-19 crisis and guarantee its operations and business continuity.

While recovering from the financial and infrastructural damages of Hurricane Irma in 2017, PJIAE is faced with an even larger challenge. Due to the global pandemic, the Airport closed its doors on March 23, 2020 and reopened in August 2020 for international traffic, which resulted in a loss of more than ANG 20 Million. During the hibernation period, PJIAE Management introduced a first wave of cost reduction measures, which included staff benefit reductions and other cost reductions, such as reductions of all service level agreements. These reductions were necessary to guarantee PJIAE’s operations for 2020, but with the current inbound numbers of around 10% in comparison to 2019, additional cost reduction measures will need to be implemented to guarantee operations for 2021.

“The main objective of the cost reduction program is to preserve as much cash as needed to guarantee airport services for our tourists and our island. In August and September, we saw traffic numbers increasing but not as much as we hoped. The slow virus containment and the uncertainty about the resurgence and spread of the virus in the US and developing economies, are causing prolonged travel restrictions, which impacts consumer travel confidence. Over the last months, our Commercial and Financial team analyzed the global situation and based on the predictions they created a Needed Base Case scenario and Worst-Case Forecast scenario for the coming 4 years. These two scenarios are part of PJIAE’s Rebuild and Recovery Strategy, which identifies several commercial initiatives, includes postponement of several capital projects to preserve cash, and outlines how much cash is needed to guarantee operations and business continuity,” said CEO – Brian Mingo.

The most important growth drivers for PJIAE, along with the island recovery, are contingent on restarting flight routes, ease of travel restrictions to Sint Maarten, and offering PCR test services at the airport (due to limited availability of PCR tests in the USA and other countries.)  Furthermore, COVID-19 outbreak prevention and control mitigations, uniform island wide Safety & Hygiene Protocols, and of course an open border to the French side are all essential for recovery of arrival numbers. The latter are also important for the overall socioeconomic recovery of Sint Maarten. 

‘Given the global travel ban impact that C19 has caused for PJIAE -an airport with very little revenues-, Cost Management is crucial to preserve cash and survive. Cost Management is like physical exercise to build and maintain health and resilience. The price for inactivity is very costly and can be too high. From a financial perspective, we need to be prepared for the worst-case scenario because it is very hard to provide a realistic assessment of the financial impact of Covid-19 and its course. Therefore, the Management Team will further reduce the company costs and continue assessing and adjusting the operating costs as well as the level of investments on an ongoing basis,” said CFO - Leo van Der Meiden.

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DCNA’s patroness Princess Beatrix Receives First Copy of The Update on Severe State of Dutch Caribbean Protected Area Management Organizations During COVID19 Pandemic

SINT MAARTEN/BONAIRE - The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) recently sent its Patroness Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix a memo on the state of the six Protected Area Management Organizations in the Dutch Caribbean, particularly with regards to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The DCNA updated Princess Beatrix especially on the significant financial challenges faced by the Protected Area Management organizations due to the pandemic. 

The organizations play a critical role in the management of the natural resources central to the sustainable development of the islands but may not survive the COVID-19 crisis in their current capacity. Governments are urged to consider providing structural financial support so that the Protected Area Management Organizations can continue their vital work of safeguarding nature in the Dutch Caribbean. 

The Protected Area Management Organizations, Aruba National Parks Foundation, STINAPA Bonaire, CARMABI Curaçao, STENAPA St. Eustatius, the Saba Conservation Foundation and the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation, have been severely negatively impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

All Protected Area Management Organizations in the Dutch Caribbean have seen both a significant drop in income due to the disappearance of User Fees but also due to the non-consideration by local, national, and Kingdom Governments on structural funding for the execution of their critical conservation work.

This has resulted in the real possibility of Protected Area Management Organizations having to scale back or cease operations. This while the Dutch Caribbean is, according to the Convention of Biological Diversity, the most biodiverse area of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 

The DCNA, as do her partner organizations of Worldwide Fund for Nature the Netherlands (WWF-NL) and Vogelbescherming Nederland, emphasize that:

- Quality of nature in Dutch Caribbean is deteriorating on all fronts

- The existing efforts and associated financing has not been able to halt this decline

- Protected Area Management Organizations are severely underfunded and may not

survive the COVID-19 crisis

-  There is a need for a coordinated, Kingdom wide effort for the conservation of nature in the Dutch Caribbean, the biodiversity hotspot of the Kingdom of the Netherlands 

The Board and Staff of DCNA has been working diligently in assisting the Protected Nature Management Organizations amidst the crisis. Amongst others, in collaboration with WWF-NL and Wolfs Company, DCNA has been providing STINAPA, the Saba Conservation Foundation, STENAPA and the Sint Maarten Nature Foundation with an analysis of their financial situation during the COVID19 pandemic in order to identify the gaps in terms of financing. This study shows that there is a chance that the Protected Area Management Organizations may not survive the COVID-19 crisis in their current capacity. 

The situation for the Protected Area Management Organizations is dire. The impacts of COVID19 has been significant for the organizations who, despite this, continue their conservation activities. Due to the work being executed by the DCNA Network the impacts have been somewhat mitigated, but there is a significant risk of closure and the ceasing of activities. 

The DCNA hopes that discussions regarding liquidity support and financial relief packages will also include considerations for the continuity of protected area management in the Dutch Caribbean. Protection, management and conservation of the Dutch Caribbean’s vitally important natural resources will be critical to repairing damaged economies after COVID-19 pandemic.

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Ministry of VROMI alerts public to Great Salt Pond Pumping Operation. Advises against bathing/swimming in Great Bay

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI), informs the general public that the Department of Infrastructure Management, will open up the pumps leading water into the Rolandus Kanaal in efforts of lowering of the water in the Great Salt Pond due to excess rain experienced recently and expected to proceed over the weekend. The operation will commence today Saturday, October 17th.

The water level of the Great Salt Pond is required to stay below a certain level to alleviate flooding during heavy rainfall, particularly in the hurricane season.

Due to pumped water flowing to the Great Bay area, the department strongly advises against any swimming in Great Bay over the weekend.

This advisory is a precautionary measure to prevent swimmers from coming into contact with any contaminated water that could pose a health risk if ingested or by skin contact, thereby making the person vulnerable to recreational water illnesses.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.

MinVROMI Pumping Operation Underway

 

 

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Rotary Mid Isle Donates to the Division of Public Education

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On October 13th, 2020, the Rotary Club of Sint Maarten - Mid Isle donated 60 packs of disinfecting wipes to the Division of Public Education.

Members of the Club present for the donation were Public Image Chair Anjali Manek, Foundation Chair Wayne Wilkie and District Governor Elect Louis Wever.

Interim Head Marcellia Henry accepted the donation on behalf of the Division of Public Education and thanked the Club for assisting them.

The Rotary Club of Sint Maarten - Mid Isle will meet Virtually next Tuesday at 7:30pm. For more information, please contact the Club at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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