St. Maarten – A large cross-section of the public turned out to the National Alliance Congress that was held at the Cay Hill Community Center yesterday evening.Â It appeared to be the largest turnout for a congress held by any of the political parties to date.
The key note speaker, with the theme Rebuilding From Within, set the stage for the congress. In sharing his observations of the current situation of the island said that the current situation of the island leaves much to be desire and if one is to take an opinion poll it would reveal that it raises more questions than an ... Read more
St. Maarten â The Democratic Party (DP) of St. Maarten held its congress last Saturday night. A packed Cultural Center saw the election of a new board against the backdrop of the partyâs new logo and to the music of the partyâs songs, adaptations of the popular songs Blurred LinesÂ by Robin Thicke andÂ Daft Punkâs Get Lucky.
The executive board positions will be filled by 3 young professionals, with their roots well planted in the Democratic Party, the DP said in a press release.
âThe charismatic Hasani Ellis contested the presidentâs position unopposed, as ... Read more
St. Maarten – After a bout of illness, the Mighty Sparrow – real name Francisco Slinger – is not as active as he once was, but after his superb performance under the tent at the Princess Port de Plaisance last Friday, most would agree that the Calypso King of the world still has the ability to captivate the audience even when he is sitting.
The promoters of the concert, wheretheflex.com and M&M Production knew that the âBirdie,â as he wasÂ popularly known, would attract a mature audience and with that in mind, they catered for 40 elderly clients from the St ... Read more
ORANJESTAD â The Parliaments of St. Maarten, Aruba and Curacao have reached agreements about all agenda points they discussed this week during their tripartite consultation.
For some topics, this means further study for continued deliberations later this year. This applies to appeals in fiscal disputes and the rights of the child.
Several ministers have been put to work to make decisions the three parliaments agreed upon a reality. An example is the establishment of the Legislation Academy.
The parliaments furthermore set up committees to work on the free trade agreem ... Read more
St. Maarten â Swinda Abram is not alone â there are hundreds like her. The pensioner, who has spent her working life as a security guard, a cleaner and as someone doing odd jobs, needs reading glasses. The problem: she is living on a pension of 640 guilders a month and the quote for new the glasses she so badly needs from Chic Optic amounts to $615. She does not have that kind of money.
Mrs. Abram came with her friend Julian Rollocks to this newspaper to ask for help. While we do not have spare reading glasses, or money to help her out, we do understand her cry for help. If you a ... Read more
THE HAGUE â The Netherlands must send a fully-fledged Queenâs Commissioner to replace the current supervisor to the Caribbean islands Bonaire, Saba and Statia. The current system with a Dutch representative does not function, says PvdA-parliamentarian Roelof van Laar. He pleaded yesterday for a Commissioner for Caribbean Netherlands, comparable to the Queenâs Commissioner in Dutch provinces. This functionary will have to decide up to what point the Kingdom should interfere with the islands. âRight now every ministry is doing its own thing,â NRC Handelsblad quoted Van Laar yesterda ... Read more
St. Maarten â The Court in First Instance yesterday moved the trial of serial robber Dion Olysses G. to August 6 and to have the 23-year-old suspect in the meantime subjected to a psychological evaluation.
Between August 1 and December 18 of last year, the defendant committed eight armed robberies, mainly at supermarkets in Simpson Bay, Cole Bay and on the Pondfill. He threatened his targets with a firearm and came away with cash, jewelry and phone cards. The prosecution accuses the defendant not only of the eight robberies, but also of firearm possession.
Prosecutor Karola ... Read more
St. Maarten â Finance Minister Martin Hassink will visit Curacao next week for a final meeting about the report from Price Waterhouse Coopers about the Central Bank, Prime Minister Wescot-Williams said yesterday.
Curacao has indicated its wish to have its own Central Bank and therefore to step out of the troubled monetary union with St. Maarten, but Wescot-Williams has apparently other ideas. âWe are keen on further expansion of Central Bank activities in St. Maarten.â
The process to dismantle the monetary union âwill be carried out jointlyâ the prime minister said, ... Read more
St. Maarten â The Council of Ministers has not yet approved a Memorandum of Understanding with Dominica that independent Member of Parliament Romain Laville accompanied by Tourism and Economic Affairs Minister Ted Richardson presented with much ado during a press conference on Wednesday, March 26. Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams said yesterday that the minister has not yet submitted the memorandum for approval to the Council of Ministers.
Wescot-Williams said that the council would not sign the memorandum just like that. âIt requires advice from the minister of education, an ... Read more
St. Maarten â Construction on the Harbour Group of Companiesâ much touted Down Street Cruise Heritage Development has ground to an absolute halt. Reports reaching this newspaper are that the funds for the estimated $2 million project have dried up for one reason or another, and until they flow again contractor Windward Roads Infrastructure, the company hired to execute the works, will not continue to build.
The project was approved and signed into effect on February 7 of this year by Minister of Tourism Ted Richardson and made public through a press release to local media on Febr ... Read more
Chief Prosecutor Rick Noordhoek offers a realistic picture of the situation in the local land of law enforcement in the interview we publish today.
It is an inconvenient truth: there is not enough manpower, not enough expertise and not enough prison cell capacity to tackle crime efficiently on all levels. There is no capacity left to deal with criminal organizations.
The lack of resources is due to political decisions and to the apparently reluctant attitude of the Netherlands. As Noordhoek points out, criticism while staying on the sidelines as the Netherlands is apt to do, w ... Read more
St. Maarten / By Hilbert HaarÂ â âThere is an awful lot to do here, though things work differently than they do in the Netherlands. There are a lot of hardworking people of good will in St. Maarten, but there is also something going on.â These are the first impressions of Chief Prosecutor Rick Noordhoek, the successor of Hans Mos and interim-pope Hans Wesselink. He started his 3-year contract on February 1, and sat down yesterday morning for an interview with Today.
Too much work an ... Read more
St. Maarten â The Government of Curacao still has not taken a position on the proposal by minority shareholder St. Maarten to give up 12.5 percent of its shares in telecom provider UTS in exchange for complete control over UTS Eastern Caribbean. Curacao already holds 87.5 percent of the shares in UTS.
According to Curacaoâs Minister Earl Balborda (Traffic, Transport and Urban Planning), the proposal requires further study.
St. Maarten sent its proposal for the swap in the beginning of March to Curacao, but in Willemstad there is little enthusiasm for the deal. This is main ... Read more
St. Maarten – When it comes to pageantry, the combination of beauty and brains can make a huge difference between one contestant and another. Both, however, were on display after witnessing the teen and senior speech and cultural wear competition this past Sunday at the Sonesta Great Bay Hotel and Casino.
While the results of what happened that day will not be known until the night of the pageant on April 23, most would agree that all of the contestants in the competition sponsored by TelEm, Motorworld, Manrique Capriles, and DIVICO were articulate in their presentations, and t ... Read more
SIMPSON BAY – The St. Maarten Nature Foundation would like to remind the community that sea turtle nesting season is once again here. âWe are urging the limiting of beach bonfires and artificial lighting on nesting beaches,â the foundation said in a press release yesterday. Each year between March and November, female sea turtles return to lay their eggs on the major nesting beaches of Simpson Bay, Guana Bay, and Gibbs Bay. There are three sea turtle species which nest on St. Maartenâs beaches, including the green sea turtle and the largest sea turtle species, the leatherback.Read more
St. Maarten â Last Friday, Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson officially opened a ministry wide integrity training scheduled to take place for the next 6 months. The Minister expressed his gratitude for having been able to realize this project which was started before his time. He continued to emphasize his position and view when it comes to the âdevelopment and promotion of our country which abides by and has integrity as a pillar,â the Ministry said in a press release yesterday. The project was in the making since 2011 and was approved and financed by Dutch development funding th ... Read more
St. Maarten / By Hilbert HaarÂ â âI expect absolutely more transparency. I also have the impression that parties will carry out the legislation, as long as they have the feeling that the rules apply to everybody. The council is a serious club that will not allow the execution of its tasks to be obscured,â says attorney Bert Hofman, the chairman of St. Maartenâs Electoral Council.
The Council is not only new, but it is also unique: no other country in the Kingdom has such a body, tasked with the registration of political p ... Read more
St. Maarten â The Democratic Party has called for the presence of external observers during the upcoming parliamentary elections on September 5. In a press release issues yesterday, the party maintains that the presence of these observers would enhance the publicâs confidence in the voting process.
âAt present, election fraud, government corruption and the lack of integrity are (unfortunately) common place topics on Sint Maarten,â the press release, signed by president Michael Ferrier,Â begins. âCriminal investigations related to election fraud (âvote for payâ) during ... Read more
St. Maartenâ Two months of hard work on the choreography, followed by more hard work on costumes, dĂ©cor and makeup came together Saturday evening at the cultural center whereÂ the Indisu Dance Theater of St. Maarten put the musical Cats on stage for a full house of enthralled spectators. Yesterday, the cast put on a second show. Those who missed this spectacle have another chance to see the dancers excel at the same venue this upcoming Sunday at 5 p.m. and next week Saturday (8 p.m.).
Susha Hien directed and choreographed the production together with her co-director Ihndhira Marl ... Read more
St. Maarten / By Hilbert HaarÂ â Will St. Maarten become the first Bitcoin-island in the world? Internet entrepreneur Ryan Higgins would love to see this become a reality. On Friday, Higgins gave the second of a series of informal information sessions about the virtual currency Bitcoin at the Panlaan Thai restaurant in Simpson Bay. On Friday April 18, Higgins will host a third meeting at the same venue at noon.
When this newspaper asked this weekend a random cashier at a random supermarket and a random member of the government ... Read more