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NIPA Orientation Week Successful

CAY HILL - On Thursday August 20th and Friday August 21st 2015, NIPA hosted its second annual orientation week to start off the new school year. Approximately 76 students, who were accepted to a program at NIPA, attended the 2 day orientation week.

The programs of which students were accepted were Maritime, Social Pedagogical Worker, ICT, Hospitality and Cook. Selected guest speakers, were invited to share their insights on a variety of subjects to get students ready for a successful school year.

The speakers that were present and topics covered were: Ife Badejo (Entrepreneur and networking consultant) on the topic: Networking your way to success, Patricia Evers (life Coach)
Topic: Appearance Grooming and Hygiene, Kimberly Meyers (Etiquette Consultant)
Topic: School and Classroom Etiquette Workshop, Maggie Van Hemmen (Entrepreneur)
Topic: Starting your own business, reaching your goal, Ramona Riley-Juan Pedro
TOPIC: Succeeding no matter where you start, Brenda Maynard  (Section Head of Administration and Facility Services at the Parliament of Sint Maarten) Topic: Time Management and Lenworth Wilson Jr. (Entrepreneur) Topic: Building your self-confidence, Believing in you.

Students also got the opportunity to go through the student handbook outlining what students can expect, and they all received a copy of their Education and Examination Regulation (EER), which gives students an indication of the knowledge and skills they should attain, by the end of their studies.

Students also received a talk from Andrea Gibson Paul who is the Job coach coordinator at NIPA, pertaining to the student’s job training expectations. The week was organized and supervised by Shameda Delaney Weekes, who is the marketing person at NIPA. Feedback received from students from an anonymous survey, pertaining to the two days, was extremely positive.

On a scale from one (1) to ten (10) 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest, 75% of the group gave a score of 8-10.  Comments that frequently came forward as to why students chose those scores were: “I learned a lot”, “I was very motivated/ inspired”, “The week was well organized” and “It was a very good orientation”. Most frequent comments pertaining to what students enjoyed the most were:  “The speakers”, “Everything”, “The information” and the Motivation/inspiration.

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When Elephants fight, the grass gets trampled

GREAT BAY – By Emil Lee (Advisor to the Democratic Party DP) of Sint Maarten) When the governments of the Netherland and St Maarten fight, it is the citizens of St. Maarten that lose.   The Democratic Party advocates that the interests of the citizens of St Maarten should always come first.

As the governments of the Netherlands and St Maarten discuss crime, corruption, transparency and integrity; they should not lose sight of the fact that the interests of the citizens of St Maarten should always remain the priority.  The fact that Ministers Plasterk and Richardson seemed to have found a way to ease tensions between the Netherlands and St Maarten is both commendable and reassuring.  Now, all efforts should be made to bring these discussions to a rapid and logical conclusion. 

The political posturing and showmanship that has transpired over the past several months should not be allowed to marginalize the interests of the citizens of St Maarten.  While all the rhetoric and accusations of corruption, nepotism, colonialism, questionable legality, and constitutionality are all understandable topics, the rights of citizens to live in a safe and vibrant community where the people can have trust and confidence in their government should always be the primary goal.

The people of St Maarten deserve an inclusive government that is honorable and clear about how tax payer’s money is being spent; a government that is clear about what are its plans and how resources will be allocated towards achieving these plans; a government that is transparent and accountable for how it purchases goods and services. 

The Democratic Party has campaigned for open government and will continue at every opportunity to advocate for an inclusive government with integrity that is transparent, accountable and fiscally responsible.  It is a well established fact that the citizens of a country that have an open government are more prosperous and happy.

By Emil Lee advisor to the DP.

Editor: The opinions expressed here are of the author and not Soualiga Newsday.

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Port St. Maarten and Lagoon Authority Clearance Offices Partially Closed on Friday, 28 August

PORT ST. MAARTEN – Port St. Maarten and the Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority hereby announces that the clearance offices at Great Bay and in Simpson Bay will be closed on Friday, August 28 from 9.30am to 1.30pm.

For those who would have some business to attend too, please do so before 9.30am or after 1.30pm.

The closure is related to the staff attending the memorial services for former Netherlands Antilles Senator and Minister of Finance Hon. Frank Mingo, father of Port St. Maarten Chief Executive Officer Mark Mingo.

Thanking you in advance for your attention and understanding.

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Frank Mingo Funeral Rescheduled from Thursday to Friday

PHILIPSBURG - Please be informed that due to the upcoming weather on Thursday, the funeral service for former Senator and Minister of Finance Hon. Frank Mingo, has been moved to FRIDAY August 28th at 10 am until 1 pm at the Royal Funeral Home in Sucker Garden.

After which the Church service will be at Grand Case Catholic Church from 2-4pm.

For details check out the daily newspaper obituary. Once again, the date is now FRIDAY the 28th August 2015.

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Iraq: UN hotline set up to reach out to displaced Iraqis scattered in hard-to-reach areas

INTERNATIONAL – United Nations relief agencies today announced the launch of a national hotline in Iraq to respond to the urgent food, medical and shelter needs of people displaced by the fighting now numbering 3.2 million and scattered in over 3,000 hard-to-reach locations across the war-ravaged country.

“More than 3.2 million Iraqis have been internally displaced since the beginning of 2014 and we are simply not able to reach everyone due to the sheer size of the crisis,” Bruno Geddo, the representative for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Iraq, said a joint announcement released today in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

“People continue to be on the move and many more are being displaced as we speak,” said Mr. Geddo. “While the call centre will help identify and respond to the most urgent needs of the displaced, it will also ensure that up-to-date information is available to them, so that they can access the assistance and services they require.”

“This is particularly important for displaced people living outside formal camps and settlements, who may otherwise not be easy to reach to help them meet their needs and harness their resources,” he said.

According to UNHCR, the conflict in Iraq has resulted in a displacement crisis of an unprecedented scale with more than 3.2 million people have been forced into displacement since January 2014 alone.

“People are scattered in over 3,000 locations across the country,” the agency said.

The hotline is designed so that those forced to leave their homes because of the fighting, as well as affected communities, will be able to seek information about humanitarian aid, request assistance, and provide confidential feedback on the humanitarian agencies’ services and outreach activities.

Jane Pearce, UN World Food Programme (WFP) Director for Iraq, said “first and foremost, the call centre serves as a quick and easy way for IDPs [internally displaced persons] to find out about how the humanitarian community can help.”

“But more importantly, it offers us a chance to connect to, and better understand, the people we serve,” Ms. Pearce said.

Following a successful pilot in July 2015 in Erbil Governorate, the information centre is now operational across Iraq and can be reached via any Iraqi mobile phone by dialling 6999.

The UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting implementation of its partners' peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world, established and operates the information centre through the financial contributions of UNHCR, WFP, and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

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UP board extends deepest condolences to Lista, Wathey, Mingo and Labega families

PHILIPSBURG – The United People's Party (UP) family and board extends its deepest condolences to the Lista, Wathey, Mingo and Labega families, UP Party Board President Sylvia Meyers said on Friday.

"Antonio "Tony" Lista, Frank Mingo and Lillian Mildred Labega-Rohan were all upstanding members of our country who undoubtedly contributed positively in many ways. We will surely miss them," the UP Party Board stated.  

“The UP family is now in deep mourning, and joins with the entire Sint Maarten community for strength during this time of bereavement along with the love ones of these families. May their souls rest in eternal peace,” the UP Party Board concluded on Friday. 

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UP MP Lake says Community Councils have a role to play in the districts regarding hurricane season pre-planning

ST. PETERS - United People’s (UP) Party Member of Parliament (MP) Maurice Lake would like to see the different Community Councils play a more active role by advising the residents and helping the senior citizens protect their homes during the Hurricane season.  

“As the co-founder of the St. Peters Community Council, I am missing that community togetherness where we use to give out flyers and do community a walk through advising all residents especially those that live in vulnerable prone areas within the districts to prepare for the hurricane season.  

“The Community Council leaders needs to go around and check on the residents and senior citizens to make sure all flying debris are secure and help them protect against flying objects that can damage their homes.  

“Encourage clean ups in the area. As a Member of Parliament, I still do it within the St. Peters/Marigot Hill area informing all residents to get ready for this Hurricane Season and to buy their basic emergency needs, water, food and emergency kit.  

“Educate the residents in the vulnerable prone areas about the do's and don'ts during a hurricane and listen to your radio for updates during the passing of the hurricane.  Simple things makes a big difference of promoting safety in the different communities.

“As a community, we have to understand we don't need Government to do everything for us, we also need to be pro-active and do for ourselves and help our neighbours that don't have.

“All community Councils should check with Government to make sure the Shelters are ready and to make sure every resident knows where the shelters are in case of an emergency.

“It's high time, we get back to basics as a community and help our neighbours and seniors properly prepare for this Hurricane Season.  We need to get out of the self-mode of "once my family okay, everything is okay, and give a helping hand to your neighbour or your community,” UP MP Maurice Lake concluded.

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Immigration chain discuss whether U.S. Citizens should receive same treatment as locals

THE BOTTOM, SABA (Caribbean Netherlands) - On Tuesday 18 August, an immigration chain partners meeting took place in the RCN Office in The Bottom.

In this meeting was discussed, among other, that the administrative fees will be changed as of 1 October 2015 (also Dutch citizens who are not island children and Americans will be required to pay fees per 1 October 2015).

It was also discussed that Americans, on the basis of a court ruling, should get the same treatment on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba as Dutch citizens.

Two other important topics that were discussed included the reporting obligation for foreigners and the labour market and immigration policy.

The chain meetings take place four times per year on both Saba and St. Eustatius, in which all the departments that have to do with foreigners are represented.

These departments include; Immigration & Naturalization Service, (IND), Social Affairs & Labour (SZW), the Cabinet of the Island Governor, the Census Office, Royal Constabulary/The Police, the Tax Office and the Guardianship Council.

The purpose of these meetings is to exchange information and to coordinate the processes as much as possible, for the benefit of a more efficient service to the foreigner.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) organizes and also chairs these meetings. On Bonaire, three times per year a strategic meeting takes place with the chain partners. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Sint Maarten Housing Development Foundation Consultation Hours

Consultation Hours

Mondays        8:30 am    -      12pm       

Appointments only 12 pm        -       5 pm Open to Public

 

Tuesday          8:30 am    -       12pm     Appointments only

                        12 pm       -         5 pm            Open to Public

 Wednesday    8:30 am     -      5 pm  Open to Public

 Thursday        8:30 am    -      12pm       Appointments only 2 pm - 5 pm      Appointments only 

 Friday            9:30 am    -      12pm  Open to Public 12 pm        -       5 pm

No visits

For any additional information, please feel free to contact any of our Customer Service Representatives at Tel: 54 71062/63/64. 

Thank you,

Management

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