St. Maarten / By Hilbert HaarÂ – 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
St. Maarten â Seventeen illegal firearms have been surrendered to the Attorney Generalâs 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.
âThere were 10 guns delivered to the office of the Attorney General today [Tuesday],â 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
St. Maarten â 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 â which amounts to an extortionate annual interest of 119 percent.
Richardson borrowed the money in 2012 but he did not pay ... Read more
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
St. Maarten âResidents 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
St. MaartenâThe 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
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 CuraĂ§ao, where he has since worked in the public sector (Island Territory of Curacao and Country of Cura ... Read more
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 â 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.
âToppix 2014 is one of the final events of our 70th anniversary celebrations,â explained Kalifa Hickinson, SXMâs Corporate Communications Specialist. âWe are happy to be hosting the competition again this year.â
Toppix âgod ... Read more
St. MaartenÂ â Resident archeologist Jay Haviser begged the governmentâs 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. MaartenÂ â The United Peopleâs 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
St. MaartenÂ â 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 Peopleâs party and the subsequent decision by Wescot-Williams to follow suit.
âI 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
St. Maarten / By Hilbert HaarÂ â The anger, indignation and apparent frustration about the instruction the Kingdom Council of Ministers gave to Governor Drs. EugĂšne Holiday has left many seething â 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 â otherwise another instruction could follow.
United Peopleâs party leader Theo Heyliger stated in a rather emotional reaction on Friday that the instruction is ... Read more
St. MaartenÂ â 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 countryâs own security service VDSM âto carry out the screening according to the criteria set by the minister,â 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, âbut then on my instruction via the St. Maarten security service. This was not to be made public. Of course, I objected.â
A ... Read more
St. MaartenÂ â 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
St. MaartenÂ â Minister of Public Health, Social Affairs and Labor Cornelius de Weever has summoned Dutch VVD-parliamentarian AndrĂ© Bosman in an open letter â written by his attorney Jairo Bloem â to retract his statement that UP-leader Theo Heyliger paid him for signing a coalition agreement with the UP.
Four different newspapers â Today, the Telegraaf, the Amigoe in Curacao and the Daily Herald â quoted Bosman on September 30 as saying, âHeyliger simply paid De Weever.â
The statement âlacks factual basis,â Bloem states in the letter, âand they are slande ... Read more
St. MaartenÂ â United Peopleâs party leader Theo Heyliger released another statement to the media yesterday, announcing that the Dutch government will be held liable for the damages its âunconstitutional intrusionâ is causing St. Maarten.
(For the unabridged version of Heyligerâs statement, see our Opinion page).
Heyliger states that the instruction to the governor is based on âits earlier initiated character assassination of my personâ and that the measure lacks a legal basis.
Referring to the investigation the Dutch government has in mind, Heyliger state ... Read more
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.
âOn Saturday at approximately 4:00 p ... Read more
St. MaartenÂ â The voting period for the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association officially opens today. âThis 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, âa news release from the SHTA states.
St. MaartenÂ ââ 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,â says United Peopleâs (UP) party Member of Parliament Tamara Leonard.
âThis instruction goes against a number of fundamental rights and freedom guaranteed to the people of St. Maarten by our Consti ... Read more
GREAT BAY âSt. 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. âOne 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