Today Newspaper St Maarten

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The daily newspaper for Country St. Maarten
Updated: 6 min 9 sec ago

Analysis: Screening of candidate-ministers seems at odds with constitution

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 02:07

St. Maarten / By Hilbert Haar – Screening? What screening? Nobody has asked this simple question yet, because everybody has been either busy and confused, or excited and angry about the humongous cloud of dust the Kingdom Council of Ministers created with its instruction to Governor Holiday for additional screening of candidate-ministers. One may well wonder which instruments the experts Minister Plasterk wants to send to St. Maarten have at their disposal to find something so wrong with one of the candidates that this will give reason to ban them from becoming a minister.

St. ... Read more

Stop, Drop & Go brings in 17 illegal firearms

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 02:05

St. Maarten – Seventeen illegal firearms have been surrendered to the Attorney General’s office since the kickoff of the Stop, Drop & Go project on October 15th. The project is a joint effort of Dutch and French side law enforcement authorities to rid the streets of St. Maarten/St. Martin of as many illegal firearms as possible.

“There were 10 guns delivered to the office of the Attorney General today [Tuesday],” said Public Prosecutor Tineke Kamps to this newspaper. However, later in a press release, Kamps said that by 4:00 p.m. a total of 11 had been surrende ... Read more

Court voids extortionate interest on Meyers-loan

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 02:00

St. Maarten – Interest rates on loans that exceed 18 percent per year are excessive and void, based on the principle of good manners. The Court in First Instance established this in a ruling earlier this month that settled a dispute between Etienne Meyers and Andie Richardson.

Meyers loaned Richardson $100,000 in 2012, on the condition that the money be repaid within 46 days after September 30. The interest Meyers charged for the 46 days is 15 percent – which amounts to an extortionate annual interest of 119 percent.

Richardson borrowed the money in 2012 but he did not pay ... Read more

FIU continues one-on-one meeting with none financial sectors

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 01:58

St. Maarten – The Financial Intelligence Unit has started one on one meetings with the business owners of the real estate agents and jewelers as part of efforts to get the none financial sector of the business community up to date on the correct reporting procedures to detect and prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Information sessions for these sectors were hosted earlier this year and director of the FIU Ligia Stella explained that these one on one meetings are a means of verifying that businesses are complying. The FIU is working closely with the local j ... Read more

 Health ministry: “Avoid areas and countries where ebola is prevalent”

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 01:55

St. Maarten —Residents are being advised to avoid countries where ebola is prevalent. This advice comes from the Ministry of Health which continues to monitor developments in West Africa with respect to the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak which has infected 8997 persons of which 4493 have died, according to the Center for Disease Control stats as of 15 October.

Persons traveling or who have recently visited Africa especially West Africa should be cautious and take measures to protect their health. Persons should refrain from traveling to areas where EVD is prevalent in countries ... Read more

Parents urged to provide kids with mosquito repellant

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 01:53

St. Maarten—The appearance of a large number of mosquitoes on the island in the aftermath of hurricane Gonzalo has proven to be more than a minor nuisance and is now causing a level of discomfort and major distractions at some of the islands schools.

Director of the ACE Foundation Claire Elshot is calling on parents of students at that learning institution to provide the children with some sort of protection against the mosquitoes in the form of bug repellants. Elshot explained that while the school did not suffer any major damage during the hurricane of October 13, some screens we ... Read more

KPMG in the Dutch Caribbean & Suriname expands management team

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 01:50

GREAT BAY/WILLEMSTAD – October 20, 2014 – KPMG in the Dutch Caribbean & Suriname is expanding its management team with three directors Jason Nisbet, Hans Vissers and Guy de Esch. KPMG DC&S is one of the largest firms in this region in the field of Audit and Advisory services.

Jason Nisbet started his career in the private sector in the Netherlands, after which he successfully completed his studies Policy- and Organizational sciences. In 1998, Jason returned to Curaçao, where he has since worked in the public sector (Island Territory of Curacao and Country of Cura ... Read more

SXM AIRPORT / PJIA is sole sponsor of Toppix 2014

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 01:50

St. Maarten – The Princess Juliana International Airport, SXM, has taken over sole sponsorship of the St. Maarten Aviation Photography Competition, Toppix 2014, which will be held from November 7 – 14. The competition will be open to all comers, unlike its first edition last year when employees of the airport could not participate in it.

“Toppix 2014 is one of the final events of our 70th anniversary celebrations,” explained Kalifa Hickinson, SXM’s Corporate Communications Specialist. “We are happy to be hosting the competition again this year.”

Toppix “god ... Read more

Jay Haviser saves Simarc-trees

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 01:47

St. Maarten – Resident archeologist Jay Haviser begged the government’s management department not to chop up the three tilted trees the St. Maarten Archeological Center (Simarc) planted four years ago along the Pondfill Road opposite the building of the Central Bank.

The roots of these trees were still good and the only thing that needed to be done was lift the trees straight up and brace them, Haviser notes in a Facebook post.

Haviser arranged a loader to deal with the situation but when he arrived he discovered that the largest of the four trees had already been chopped ... Read more

St. Maarten Parliament is convinced that screening process is working: Motion will ask governor to reject kingdom instruction

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 01:44

St. Maarten – The United People’s party announced that it would table a motion that asks Governor Holiday not to go along with the instruction from the Kingdom Council of Ministers to execute additional screening of candidate-ministers for the new government. However, parliament adjourned until Wednesday morning after the first round. UP-leader Theo Heyliger told this newspaper that he had not delivered his final report about the new cabinet yet, even though yesterday was the deadline for his task as formateur.

A one-man protest action by Etienne Toochie Meyers – a represe ... Read more

Icon Mike Ferrier resigns from Democratic Party

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 23:00

St. Maarten – Mike Ferrier has terminated his membership of the Democratic Party out of disappointment over the way party-leader Sarah Wescot-Williams handled the defection of her number 2 candidate Cornelius de Weever to a coalition with the United People’s party and the subsequent decision by Wescot-Williams to follow suit.

“I cannot subscribe to abandoning all that we campaigned on and claimed to stand for prior to August 29, 2014, by joining a government that has been given life by a person, or a couple of people from within our DP-ranks who seem to be driven only by power ... Read more

Dutch Instruction is a direct attack on the country’s autonomy (Screening process of candidate ministers)

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 22:59

St. Maarten / By Hilbert Haar – The anger, indignation and apparent frustration about the instruction the Kingdom Council of Ministers gave to Governor Drs. Eugène Holiday has left many seething – not only in St. Maarten, but also in Curacao and Aruba. According to a report in Antilliaans Dagblad, the country has two weeks to agree with the package of measures Kingdom Relations Minister Ronald Plasterk has in store – otherwise another instruction could follow.

United People’s party leader Theo Heyliger stated in a rather emotional reaction on Friday that the instruction is ... Read more

Roland Plasterk wanted secret service undercover in St. Maarten

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 22:54

St. Maarten – Kingdom Relations Minister Roland Plasterk asked Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams to let the Dutch secret service AIVD operate in St. Maarten under the flag of the country’s own security service VDSM “to carry out the screening according to the criteria set by the minister,” Wescot-Williams wrote in an email to this newspaper.

According to the prime minister this is in essence what the governor now has been instructed to do, “but then on my instruction via the St. Maarten security service. This was not to be made public. Of course, I objected.”

A ... Read more

All Schools reopen today

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 22:51

St. Maarten — All schools have received the all clear to reopen today following a week unplanned break to access and repair the damages sustained by hurricane Gonzalo last Monday.

The St. Maarten Vocational Training School, Martin Luther King Primary School, Genevieve De Weever and the Oranje School had on Friday not been included in the list of schools that were clear for reopening today. However, another assessment over the weekend indicated that these schools are also ready to be reopened. Parents and guardians of these schools are asked to note that school will be in session t ... Read more

De Weever demands that Dutch MP Andre Bosman retracts slander

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 22:51

St. Maarten – Minister of Public Health, Social Affairs and Labor Cornelius de Weever has summoned Dutch VVD-parliamentarian André Bosman in an open letter – written by his attorney Jairo Bloem – to retract his statement that UP-leader Theo Heyliger paid him for signing a coalition agreement with the UP.

Four different newspapers – Today, the Telegraaf, the Amigoe in Curacao and the Daily Herald – quoted Bosman on September 30 as saying, “Heyliger simply paid De Weever.”

The statement “lacks factual basis,” Bloem states in the letter, “and they are slande ... Read more

UP-leader Theo Heyliger about instruction: “Witch hunt with me as primary target”

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 22:50

St. Maarten – United People’s party leader Theo Heyliger released another statement to the media yesterday, announcing that the Dutch government will be held liable for the damages its “unconstitutional intrusion” is causing St. Maarten.

(For the unabridged version of Heyliger’s statement, see our Opinion page).

Heyliger states that the instruction to the governor is based on “its earlier initiated character assassination of my person” and that the measure lacks a legal basis.

Referring to the investigation the Dutch government has in mind, Heyliger state ... Read more

One dead in fatal crash

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 22:48

St. Maarten – A man, identified as Jean Claude Samuel, lost his life in a fatal traffic accident on Saturday on Coco Plum Rd in the St. Peters area.

Samuel had been the passenger in a white pickup that had been driven off the hill and crashed, front first, onto the street below. The driver of the vehicle has been identified as Frank Delmore, a former teacher at the St. Maarten Vocational Training school. Delmore survived the accident but was taken to the St. Maarten Medical Center in critical condition, according to a police report.

“On Saturday at approximately 4:00 p ... Read more

Crystal Pineapple Awards voting online now

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 22:46

St. Maarten – The voting period for the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association officially opens today. “This puts you in the perfect position to vote for those individuals and organizations you think should really be recognized for their outstanding performance in the Tourism and Trade Industry. May it be an excellent employee, an outstanding manager, or your favorite chef or bartender, for example, “a news release from the SHTA states.

Voting can be done on by clicking on the ‘Crystal Pineapple Awards’ under the ‘E ... Read more

Tamara Leonard condemns instruction from Dutch

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 22:46

St. Maarten —“ The recent instruction from the Dutch Government to Governor Eugene Holiday to carry out an invasive screening of candidate ministers in addition to the mandated security screening has put the governor yet again in a very awkward position where he has to choose between truly representing the people of St. Maarten and the one-sided interest of the Dutch Government,” says United People’s (UP) party Member of Parliament Tamara Leonard.

“This instruction goes against a number of fundamental rights and freedom guaranteed to the people of St. Maarten by our Consti ... Read more

Disaster coordinator: “St. Maarten will review, analyze and adjust disaster response” 

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 22:45

GREAT BAY –St. Maarten will review, analyze and adjust its disaster response mechanisms according to disaster coordinator and fire chief Clive Richardson who believes there are many lessons to be learnt from the passing of hurricane Gonzalo.

Richardson stresses that preparedness is key to the prevention of large-scale damage and the responsibility of each person living on the island. “One of the first things is that you must always be prepared at the beginning of the hurricane season. This is an individual responsibility of every resident and business because we are in the hurric ... Read more