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Soualiga Newsday Latest News (2805)

UP invites public North and South to second public meeting on Thursday in Dutch Quarter

DUTCH QUARTER – The United People’s party (UP) will kick off its second out of six scheduled public meetings on Thursday, August 7 in Dutch Quarter at the Plantz property near the Mc. Donald’s establishment at 7:00pm.

Party leader Theo Heyliger as well as the candidates of the UP Party, the number three slate is inviting the residents of Dutch Quarter to come out and hear about the issues that will move the country forward and upward.

“Residents of Belvedere, Middle Region, Madame Estate, French Quarter, Grandcase are all invited to come out.  Those persons living in the other districts North and South are also more than welcome to come and join UP in Dutch Quarter on Thursday.

“Our mission is straight forward: the United People’s party will continue to be the visionary party, placing special emphasis on the social and economic development of country.

“The objective is to ensure that all people in our society will feel a part of our community where there are ample opportunities to sustain our families and live comfortably and happily as we take this country UP to the next level,” Leader of the UP Party Theodore Heyliger said on Wednesday.

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DP Reminds Community to Attend First Public Meeting This Friday at the de Weever Property in Dutch Quarter

DUTCH QUARTER - The Democratic Party of St. Maarten is reminding the communities of Dutch Quarter, Belvedere, Middle Region, Defiance, Oyster Pond, Dawn Beach, Sucker Garden, Guana Bay, Madame Estate and French Quarter to come out to the Party’s first public meeting this Friday, August 8th starting at seven pm at the de Weever property in Dutch Quarter. The Board, membership and candidates invite the public to come out to listen to the red thread and hear what the DP plans for its vision bringing St. Maarten forward. Candidates will also have the opportunity to interact with the candidates, board members and DP membership and exchange ideas and information.

DP Leader and Prime Minister the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams will also be giving an update on the neighborhood development program already underway for the Dutch Quarter District, particularly the improvement of the Dutch Quarter District, which will greatly enhance the infrastructure and social upgrading of the area.

The Ebony Steel Orchestra will provide entertainment for the evening and residents will have the opportunity to interact and discuss the issues with the candidates. (Contributed by the DP Party)

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Democratic Party Platform on Safety and Security

PHILIPSBURG - The Democratic Party of St. Maarten outlined its Party Platform on Safety and Security on Tuesday, highlighting the DP’s vision with regards to the safety and security of the St. Maarten Population. The platform reads that Safety and Security remains a concern for DP and that the party is committed to improving the internal security of St. Maarten; “For every resident and visitor to St. Maarten a feeling of security and protection is vital.  In fact, it is critical to our very economic survivability.  The issue of safety and security remains a concern for the DP and we are committed to improving the internal security of the nation.

“We believe the critical difference in fighting crime is one of manpower.  We need our communities to work together, and we will continue to support Neighborhood Watch programs.  We believe in working with the private sector as a partner in implementing programs that will serve the needs of all subsets of our nation.  We also believe in partnership with the police force,” read the Democratic Party Platform on Safety and Security.

The Democratic Party also mentioned its accomplishments regarding the upgrading of safety and security during the last governing term; “Three noteworthy accomplishments by the DP administration were the Community Police Program, the Justice Academy Training Institution and the Juvenile Detention Center in Cape Bay.

The DP will implement alternative punishment for light crimes, and work towards reducing imprisonment- using the Netherlands as a study example to understand the possibilities, rather than attempting to re-invent the justice system. 

“In order to achieve the goal of a safe nation, we also need to focus on the programs and support systems including education, foster care, youth facilities, and work training to stop the cycle of crime before it starts,” concluded the Democratic Party Platform on Safety and Security. (Contributed by the DP Party)

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WINAIR now offers Door to Door Courier Service

SIMPSON BAY - WINAIR is pleased to announce another value-added service for its clients, door-to-door courier service. WINAIR currently provides Cargo Express services and Speedmail and now has enhanced this service by adding pick-up and delivery anywhere in St. Maarten. Customers can have packages or speed-mail picked up for shipping or delivered to their home or business by Caribbean Vis/Pass Consultancy, 40 Cannegieter Street, Philipsburg. Phone: 542-1139 and Cell: 527-1163.

WINAIR can ship to and from St. Maarten to the islands of Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Barth, St. Kitts, Nevis, Tortola, Dominica and Guadeloupe, any of WINAIR’s destinations. “Our customers will be very pleased with this enhanced service offered at very affordable rates. This service is available only in St. Maarten, we hope to expand this service to all destinations in the future” says Michael Cleaver, President and CEO of WINAIR. For more information please contact our courier office at 542-1139.

About Windward Island Airways International (Winair):

Windward Islands Airways International N.V. better known as WINAIR is a Government owned regional airline and was founded in 1961. The airline operates 5 de Havilland Twin-Otter aircraft and 1 ATR-42 500/ 600 series aircraft. WINAIR has provided safe and efficient air transportation in the Caribbean for more than 53 years. WINAIR offers connections from its main gateway, Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten to the islands of Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Barth, Nevis and St. Kitts, Tortola, Dominica and Guadeloupe. It has interline partners with 12 airlines from North America, South America, Europe and the Caribbean, giving WINAIR greater depth and reach, as well as giving the passengers greater access to the destinations with value added services such as checked through baggage. WINAIR also provides charter services to most Islands in the North Eastern Caribbean and offers Cargo and Speedmail service to all its destinations.

The WINAIR team of 130 employees is continuously involved in training to ensure the highest level of safety and proficiency is delivered. With hundreds of years of combined experience in aviation, our entire WINAIR team is committed to your comfort and safety every step of the way.

Website: www.fly-winair.sx

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Democratic Party Leader says “Ready or No…An October Parliament means a hurricane season campaign and election period”

PHILIPSBURG - In response to recent media articles disseminated by the United People’s Party regarding that party’s wish to have elections before the Hurricane Season, Prime Minister of St. Maarten and the leader of the Democratic Party the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams clearly stated that due to the Heyliger/ National Alliance Coalition Government in 2009-2010 deciding that the date for the transition of St. Maarten from a part of the Netherlands Antilles to its own Country would be the tenth of October 2010, elections are required to happen during the hurricane season.

“Someone of the NA/Heyliger government from 2009-2010 must have been asleep at the wheel when in 2010 that government decided and agreed to the October 10th date for country status. In addition, when that NA/Heyliger government approved the then draft of the Electoral Ordinance which is law today, certain dates, such as those of election and postulation became fixed.

“To claim today that the UP has been clamoring since June 2014 for an early election date is admitting that the UP leader was unaware of what was happening under his watch in 2010, when he was in government with the National Alliance.

“Heyliger and the NA gave their approval to the date of October 10, 2010 and a simple calculation would have shown that: With the new parliamentary term starting on October 10, postulation will always be between July 10th and July 20th; therefore elections will ALWAYS be between August 28 and September 8.  (Unless of course, it is the UP’s intention to dissolve Parliament prematurely every election year); If the UP acknowledged its mistake, the place to correct such and establish other dates for postulation, election etc. would have been in the Parliament of St. Maarten, where the UP faction has been sitting for approximately 4 years’

“In addition, the UP has been part of the country’s government, along with the DP for roughly 3 of the 4 years of this governing term, 2010-2014, to be exact:  from 10/10 – 4/12 and 6/13 to present. As hard as some would try to throw sand into people’s eyes with this type of statements, more and more people are awakening to the fact that political propaganda is exactly that, propaganda and by the way, the records will show what the DP leader’s position on the October 2010 date was at the time,” commented Party Leader and Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams. (Contributed by the DP Party)

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High Schools invited to nominate for Annual President of Parliament Award

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell has asked high schools to consider nominating somebody for the Annual President of Parliament Award.  The public and organizations still have an opportunity to do so.  

The application documents are on the parliament’s website.  Persons have until August 15, 2014 to submit their nominations. 

The website address is:www.sxmparliament.organd can be found under the documents section on the right side of the site.  Select the link and you will be able to download the application form. 

The purpose of the award is to honour young persons on Sint Maarten that are a great example to the youth and who have contributed positively to the community and the country. 

Nominations can be submitted by any citizen of Sint Maarten who believes that the individual that he/she is nominating meets the criteria. 

The eligibility criteria are: the candidate must have the Dutch nationality and/or has been legally residing in Sint Maarten for 10-years or more consecutively, and has been registered in the Civil Registry for that period of time; must be between the ages of 15-24 years; has made a worthwhile contribution to the development of the community and the country; these contributions/achievements must have taken place within the last three years; contributions/achievements must have been made while the individual was acting as a private citizen, not as an appointed or elected government official; and must have demonstrated capacity for leadership and ability to motivate. 

Nominations for the Annual President of Parliament may be submitted to The Parliament of Sint Maarten, attention, Annual President of Parliament Award Committee, Wilhelminastraat 1, Philipsburg.

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Biodiversity Protection and Sustainable Development of the Simpson Bay Lagoon, Waste Water Treatment Plant for Cole Bay

SIMPSON BAY LAGOON/COLE BAY - Biodiversity Protection and Sustainable Development of the Simpson Bay Lagoon, a Waste-Water Treatment Plant in the Cole Bay Area servicing both sides of the island and Flood Mitigation Projects are three of the Operational Program Projects for joint collaboration between French and Dutch St. Maarten, explained the Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams on Friday.

“The operational Program of Cooperation between Dutch and French St. Maarten, or the cross border operational program, is part of the European Development Fund. As the Minister of General Affairs I am responsible for the Department of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations and this Department is responsible for funding the projects on St. Maarten.

“We have successfully negotiated the tenth EDF which is being used for our neighborhoods and specifically the upgrading of Dutch Quarter. This money is managed and administered by my Ministry. I am also, as Minister of General Affairs, responsible for Foreign Affairs. Over the years there have been many actions regarding the cooperation between the two sides of the island.

“However, because St. Maarten south has a higher level of Autonomy with regards to St. Martin North there is a tri-partite committee involving St. Maarten, St. Martin and the Government of France and based on meetings with this tri-partite committee we have come to various agreements. I encourage everyone to look at the Operational Program input between the two sides and look at some of the projects involved, for example biodiversity management, environmental protection and sustainable development of the Simpson Bay Lagoon, a Waste Water Treatment Plan for Cole Bay and Flooding Alleviation for the Belle Plaine Area. 

“I consider the wastewater treatment plan and the rehabilitation of the Simpson Bay Lagoon as key areas. Also reducing the risk of flooding for the Belle Plaine area is also very crucial.  All of this information is on the Sintmaartengov.org under the tab of European Programs.

“We are looking at enhancing biodiversity and protection for the Simpson Bay Lagoon while simultaneously ensuring balance for sustainable development. Similarly we are looking at a wastewater treatment plan for the Cole Bay area that will reduce wastewater being entered into the Lagoon and also we are actively looking at the solving of the flooding issues ion the Belle Plaine area. Again I encourage everyone to have a look at the Sintmaartengov.org website to look at he current European Program,” concluded Prime Minister Wescot-Williams. (From the Cabinet of the Prime Minister)

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FCCA Conference & Trade Show to Jump Start High Season

POINT BLANCHE - The 21st Florida Caribbean Cruise Conference (FCCA) Conference & Trade Show to be held from October 6-10 will jump start the upcoming 2014-2015 tourism season.

The conference and trade show will attract to the destination more than 1000 cruise industry partners, including close to 100 cruise executives during that one week period.

For cruise executives, ports and destinations, cruise and tourism agencies, attractions, ship agents, suppliers and tour operators, the annual FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show is the premier industry event of the year to meet key industry players, analyse trends and discuss current issues.

“Destination St. Maarten/St. Martin hosting and organizing the 21st FCCA Conference & Trade Show will also have an economic spin-off for small, medium and big business,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Mingo pointed out.    

According to the Department of Statistics “Factors Statistical Magazine” of December 2013, the cruise industry is a success for the Caribbean which continues to rank as the dominant cruise destination, accounting for 37.3 per cent all global itineraries in 2013.  The Caribbean continues to have the leading share of cruise industry capacity, although there has been growth in all global cruise regions.

Based on a Tourism Exit Survey (TES) Report for the 1st quarter of 2013, based on a total of 509 respondents representing over 2,000 cruise passengers, 54 per cent of the cruise respondents, predominantly reside in North America (USA 43 per cent, Canadian 10 per cent); travel groups have an average size of 3.5 persons and largely consist of family and friends.

68 per cent of individuals are in the age range of 15-49, and respondents to the survey spent an average US$199,11 per person on various miscellaneous activities followed by shopping and entertainment activities.

When respondents were questioned as to whether they are returning visitors to the island, 68 per cent of them indicated not having visited the destination prior to the cruise; whereas 31 per cent were returning visitors.

The visitor’s attraction to the destination, 54 per cent said it had to do with the presence of St. Maarten on the cruise itinerary which influenced their purchase decision.   

The Port St. Maarten is ranked one of the highest in growth in cruise passengers as well as cruise passenger expenditure levels.  Last year the Port St. Maarten received 1,785.670 cruise passengers, 32,455 passengers more than in 2012.  Cruise passengers arrived on 631 vessel calls for 2013.

Port St Maarten CEO Mingo says the cruise sector is a significant economic contributor to the Gross National Product (GDP) of the country.  The FCCA comprises of 15 cruise lines operating more than 100 vessels out of United States ports. 

Port St. Maarten was second in the top five destinations with US$356.2 million in expenditures by passengers and crew; according to the Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) September 2012 study.  The top five destinations have US$1.43 billion in direct expenditures, accounting for 72 per cent of the total cruise tourism expenditures among the 21 destinations. 

The cruise sector is a key strategic economic pillar of the country’s economy, generating a total of 8,123 jobs with a wage income of US$160 million.

The significance of the FCCA to the country’s economy speaks for itself.

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Minister Lake looks into Dutch Quarter Complaint of Gas Tank

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake says he looked into the complaint lodged by the Dutch Quarter Community Center (DQCC) regarding an LPG Refilling Station.

DQCC is acting on behalf of the residents of Lower Princess Quarter and in particular the residents in the nearby vicinity of the LPG Filling Station.

“I was informed by Dutch Quarter residents about the alleged illegal building of a CO2 tank.  I called the Inspector from Ministry VROMI and instructed that it be stopped.

“Proper procedures have to be followed.  You can’t build a tank and put gas inside and then apply for a permit.  If anything goes wrong without the necessary due diligence being done, the community would be the one to suffer,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Thursday.

DQCC is opposed to Delta Robertos Gas Station d.b.a. A.Q.S. Gas Station NV request for amending an existing hindrance permit to decrease the storage of lightly flammable gasses and add a large storage tank containing CO2 at A. Th. Illidge Road #291 Lower Prince’s Quarter.

DQCC shares the opinion of residents that they should be duly informed beforehand about the dangers and what safety measures are or should be in place for such an installation.

The Council seeks an audience with Ministry VROMI, Fire Department and the owners/operators of A.Q.S. Gas Station in order to be informed prior to making an informed decision regarding the establishment of a CO2 Refilling Station.

“I fully understand the position of the Dutch Quarter Community Council as well as some of the residents who have personally spoken with me or have written to me about their concerns.

“I believe in openness and transparency, and that is how I have functioned throughout my tenure up to this point in time.  The residents should receive all the information from the stakeholders involved in order to make an informed decision.

“Our communities have a say in what takes place in their neighborhoods.  This has been my approach from one end of the country to the next,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Thursday.

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Prime Minister Wescot-Williams Brings U2CanMove Campaign to Simpson Bay

SIMPSON BAY VILLAGE - Prime Minister Wescot-Williams brought the U2CanMove campaign to the Simpson Bay district with some fifty participants this past Saturday, July 26, 2014.

The special Zumba Walk-a-Thon, accompanied by the New Status Generation Drum Band, made its way throughout the district in order to bring movement and music to the early morning hours, encouraging the population to move and to stay healthy.

Highlight of the day for the participants was engaging in group exercise on the Simpson Bay Causeway. The Prime Minister will be bringing movement through exercise and music to the various districts free of charge for anyone who wants to improve their health. (Contributed by the Cabinet of the Prime Minister) 

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