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Soualiga News (4137)

Safety at WINAIR and PJIA Airport

SIMPSON BAY, Airport Road - During annual routine inspection of WINAIR equipment PJIAE inspectors were impressed with safety bars WINAIR had installed on all golf carts, which afford passengers additional safety to riders.

PJIAE has asked all golf carts operating within PJIAE to be retrofitted with these safety bars. This additional safety feature was created and implemented by Manager Automotive Diniskoemar Soedban.

“A job well done by Dinis and demonstrating that we all have significant role to play when it comes to safety of all personnel operating at PJIAE”, says M. Cleaver President and CEO of WINAIR.


Ministry of Labor Closed on Friday

GREAT BAY - The Departments of Labor and Social Affairs will be closed to the general public on Friday, August 15, 2014 due to the funeral of their colleague Patricia Pantophlet. The departments will resume normal working hours on Monday, August 18, 2014. The department apologizes for any inconvenience caused.


Cft: “Saba is ahead with improvements of financial management”

SABA – The three public entities of the Caribbean Netherlands all have finalized the year 2013 with a budgetary surplus. But in the area of financial management their effort needs to be intensified. Saba is showing improvement, however Sint Eustatius and Bonaire do not have their financial management sufficiently under control. This is one of the main conclusions in the semi-annual report of Cft for the period of January–June 2014 regarding the three public entities.

Saba is on track with all reports. The first budget amendment for 2014 and the annual report over 2013 has been adopted by the island council and submitted to the minister of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations (BZK). The annual report for 2013 received a declaration of approval from the accountant for a correct reflection and a declaration with limitation regarding the legitimacy. In the event Saba has developed a framework of standards by next year, there is good reason to expect a declaration with a full approval.

Last year Sint Eustatius made a big step in the improvement of its financial management. The administration was cleaned up, which for the first time created insight in the real financial position of the public entity. Sint Eustatius has not yet submitted its annual report for 2013. In the semi-annual report Cft has made some remarks on the legitimacy of some expenditures, which will have to be addressed. Seeing the pressure on the viability of the 2014 budget, Sint Eustatius has already taken some measures to prevent a possible deficit.

Cft has made agreements with Bonaire about the improvement of the financial management. The public entity, the external accountant and the Board are working together to realize the necessary improvements and prevent an instruction. This collaboration was necessary because at the end of last year it became apparent that there was insufficient insight in the financial situation. Bonaire was not in control. There are improvements indeed, but at the same time there are also delays in other areas. For example, Bonaire does not dispose of adopted 2003 financial statements yet.

The three public entities all have realized a budgetary surplus in 2013, which they need to pay off interest free loans and to finance investments. 


Burglary at Port under Investigation

POINT BLANCHE - Management of Port St. Maarten have taken additional temporary measures to enhance security at the Port after a recent burglary.

The burglary took place during the night of Sunday, August 10.  The security system at a Jewellery Store at the cruise facility alerted Checkmate Security that something was amiss. 

An investigation is currently underway by the detective department, and therefore no further information can be released in order not to jeopardise the aforementioned.

A Port Management Security Meeting took place on Monday, August 11 to assess the situation.

It was concluded that the following temporary measures would be implemented immediately pending the conclusion of the current on-going investigation: security has been increased in the commercial area; additional cameras will be added in the aforementioned area.


Martis-Romou International Youth Day Message

PHILIPSBURG - Angelique Martis-Romou, The #16 candidate on the United People (UP) Party would like to take this opportunity to wish all young persons, a happy and blessed International Youth Day.

Martis-Romou, is a staunch youth advocate, who supports, promotes and motivates the youth. She stated that the theme of International Youth Day 2014 is "Youth and Mental Health."

Martis-Romou explained that it was 15 years ago on the 17th of December 1999, when  the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth, that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.

Martis-Romou indicated that there is no irony in the fact that this years' "international day of the youth" theme deals with youth and mental health as this is definitely a worldwide dilemma which has recently been coming to light here on our island and is taking a toll on our youth in St. Maarten as well. Mental health is a situation which has her attention and that of the United People's party as their future plans do not only include building a mental health facility but providing the adequate services at the facility which is of vital importance.

She also stated that International reports indicate that One-half of all chronic mental illness begins by the age of 14 and three-quarters by the age 24 and that despite effective treatment, there are long delays sometimes decades between the first appearance of symptoms and when people get help.                                                                                                 Our Mental health foundation indicated that due to lack of funding there is no official report on the numbers of youth affected by mental illnesses on St. Maarten. Martis-Romou  also explained that reports indicated that youth with mental health conditions can often experience stigma and discrimination, which in turn can lead to exclusion and/or discourage people from seeking help for fear of being negatively ‘labeled’ and that the mental health foundation also indicated the same .

The 2014 observance of International Youth Day will raise awareness on this important topic, as well as highlight the experiences of brave, young individuals who have chosen to speak out about these issues with the objective of overcoming stigma and discrimination to ensure that young people with mental health conditions can lead full and healthy lives free from isolation and unnecessary shame, and openly seek the services and support they need.Young adults have a higher risk of mental health problems and many of these problems are often tied into substance abuse, which in turn have a negative effect on the brain.

Reports also indicate that early intervention is key and it is said that across a lifespan, people with mental illness can experience an array of challenges—from family difficulties (such as violent arguments and financial worries) and academic problems to an increased risk for physical illness and shorter life expectancy. Some of these issues can be prevented by early intervention. Empowering youth, educators and health professionals with a better understanding of mental health can help alleviate the social and economic impact of some mental health disorders. Programs that provide youth and their families with the much-needed opportunity to discuss and address issues affecting mental health—before they become a problem—can help to ensure healthy development.

Martis-Romou applauds the work of the UN, which in 1995 the General Assembly adopted the World Programme of Action for Youth, setting a policy framework and guidelines for national action and international support to improve the situation of young people.

She said that there are 15 Priority Areas adopted by the General Assembly namely:

  •  Education
  • Employment
  • Hunger and poverty
  • Health
  • Environment
  • Drug abuse
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Leisure-time activities
  • Girls and young women
  • Participation
  • Globalization
  • Information and communication technologies
  • Youth and conflict
  • Intergenerational relations

She also indicated that all of these points as indicated as priorities by the UN are also priorities for the UP party, Education leading the band wagon as a priority for the United People's party as well, especially knowing that education helps to facilitate and alleviate many of the other priorities on this list.

A. Martis-Romou also said that as president of the St. Martin Promoting Young Ambassadors (SMPYA) foundation she works tirelessly to bring about awareness on issues which affect and are of importance to the youth and applaud all organizations which do the same. "It is imperative that we as adults lead by example and motivate our youth to achieve excellence and to be all that they can be "no matter their situation or circumstance." (Contributed by UP Candidate Angelique Martis-Romou) 


TelCell launching brand new Buy $30 Get $50 visual shocker

POND ISLAND – The creative juices of TelCell’s Commercial Department went on overdrive during the Summer vacation months resulting in a brand new advertising campaign and the mobile provider’s best offering yet for TelEm Group customers.

The campaign is informing customers that for every $30 or more of Top-Up credit they purchase, they will be getting an additional $20 – ABSOLUTELY FREE!

And get across to the customer as effectively as possible, the creative team has captured the jaw-dropping expressions of various customers in the community showing what they think of the new “unbelievable” deal, for a series of media and billboard advertisements.

“The ‘can’t believe it’ expressions are the WOW factor of our new campaign for Buy $30 get $50 call/sms credit for Mobile Top-Up customers,” explains Manager, Marketing & Sales, Emile van der Weerd.

“Management were shocked when we came up with the new pricing concept, the creative team was stunned with their results after setting out to illustrate the concept. And now we believe our customers react with a much disbelief as the models on our posters when they see what great savings they are getting this time around,” said Mr. van der Weerd.

He says the campaign will replace the hugely popular TelCell  Buy $20 get $30 media campaign featuring some of the island’s most popular and community-minded personalities.

“Advertising is about having fun and getting your message across, so we are very excited about how the new campaign will be received by our customers and whether the verdict will be one of shock, or disbelief,” said the Marketing and Sales chief.



DP Party Platform on Housing

PHILIPSBURG - The Democratic Party of St. Maarten presented its Party Platform on Housing on Monday, highlighting the party’s vision for affordable housing for the whole community. The Platform highlights that the DP supports and builds on the Housing Vision 2012-2015; “The Housing Vision 2012- 2020 outlines our housing needs and the potential for increasing the amount of available social housing. Through a cooperative approach with government, the St. Maarten Housing Foundation will be able to increase its offer of different categories of homes. High on the list for the Democratic Party are the categories of first time homeowners, social housing and housing for the elderly, guided living for disabled, young adults and rehabilitated citizens,” stressed the DP Housing Vision.

The acquisition of affordable land is also a priority for the DP going into the August 29th Parliamentary Elections; “Acquisition of land is a condition sin qua non for further expansion of the housing supply. That, along with public private partnerships to upgrade existing land lease projects, will enable us to begin alleviating the housing needs across St. Maarten.

“The DP is in favor of small settlements of affordable homes, again with the focus on young families and retired persons. We believe we must facilitate home ownership for our young people, and affordable housing for our seniors for as long as they can live on their own.

“District improvements must continue unabated. Making our districts more livable requires attention for the cleanliness of the districts, proper infrastructure, drainage, and sewerage. Encouraging small business development in the districts is also a means to put more focus on the districts and the persons who reside there,” concluded the DP Platform on Housing. (Contributed by the DP Party)


Silveria Jacobs's Back to School Message

PHILIPSBURG - Much success is wished to all students and teachers returning to school this week. For many it is a completely new start whether it be a first time at school, a transition to secondary school or moving up a level.

This is a unique opportunity at this point in your lives. Resolve to make it your best year ever. Listen, question, practice and apply all that you learn in your everyday life.

Though many challenges still exist in education, I implore you to see yourself as the victor and not the victim and as an active participant in your own success.

May God bless you all to see the infinite possibilities and opportunities available to you as learners in this age. May your parents give you the necessary support and guidance to continue to progress as you grow.

May our educators be motivated and inspired to turn the key to open your imaginations, strengthen your skills and make you hunger to know and learn more each and every day.

Educators play a major role in preparing our young for the world they will inherit and run.
Make a positive difference in the lives of the children entrusted to you to teach.

Please apply these four basic rules of life to enjoy a productive and happy school year:

Respect: Respect yourself and others
Impulse Control: Do the right thing at the right time for the right reason
Compassion: Show compassion for others, try to put yourself in another's shoes
Equity: Treat everyone fairly - give each what he/she deserves

Have a blessed and productive school year as you continue to strive to be the best that you can be. (Contributed by former Minister of Education, Culture, Youth & Sports Hon. Silveria Jacobs)

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