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Soualiga Newsday Latest News (2633)

Minister Lake meets with seniors to encourage them to take part in NV GEBE Utility Relief Program

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake, on Friday met with senior citizens at the John Larmonie Center.

Minister Lake’s message was to encourage them to sign-up for NV GEBE’s Utility Relief Program, and seniors have until the end of the day on Monday, June 30 to do so.

“I told our senior citizens at the John Larmonie Center not to get caught up in emotions.  There is a group out there trying to confuse seniors, and they have a different agenda, and are not working in the best interests and in good faith where senior citizen issues are concerned,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Friday.

Minister Lake added, “Whether your bill is high or low, still fill in the NV GEBE Utility Relief Program form.  NV GEBE is then able to analyze the information and make a decision.

“I have always stated, there is no politics when it comes to senior citizen issues.  Our elders are very much responsible for the position that many people hold in different professions.  I can say from experience, what I learnt from my elders, helped me to function in the position that I currently hold,” Minister Lake pointed out.

NV GEBE will also be carrying out an awareness program geared towards the senior citizen population about cost saving measures such as changing their light bulbs to LED.

Minister Lake said the seniors at the John Larmonie Center were very pleased with his visit and the information that he shared with them, and were of the opinion that NV GEBE should be given the opportunity to provide the relief that they said they would provide to the senior citizen community.


Prime Minister Wescot-Williams Receives Integrity Posters

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The Prime Minister of St. Maarten the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams received the first copies of the Integrity Office Posters from Director of the Department of Kingdom and Interior Affairs BAK at her Cabinet on Tuesday. The posters, part of the Integrity Campaign of Government, contain a wide variety of informative and background information on the Integrity Program for St. Maarten as well as information on how to maintain integrity in the Civil Service and who to contact for questions, comments or complaints regarding integrity. (Cabinet of the Prime Minister)


Police Officials Receive Diplomas

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - On Tuesday June 24th at approximately 11.00 a.m. during a ceremony which was held by the Police Force of Sint Maarten on the premises of the former BBW-building on the Suckergarden road, 36 officers working in the Detective Department received their diploma in Basic Detective Training. 

Six of these officers also received their diplomas for successfully completing their training as full fledged police officers and two senior officers received their certificates for successfully following training as “Tactical Instructor”.

Chief Commissioner of Police Peter de Witte gave an extensive speech thanking all organizations involved for their tremendous cooperation and input in making these trainings successful.

The head of the Detective Department Denise Jacobs also gave a speech explaining the necessity of these trainings and congratulating all the officers for their achievements.

These trainings were given by RESECO represented by Peter van Zunderd and the Royal Marechaussee represented by Luitenant-Coronel Aard Lettink and financed by USONA represented at the ceremony by Angela Dekker. (Contributed by the Police Force of Sint Maarten)


Minister Lake calls on Community to support waste haulage companies clean-up effort in preparation for hurricane season

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake, is calling on residents to support the clean-up efforts by waste haulage companies in preparation for the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season. 

Advertisements are appearing in the daily newspapers with respect to the clean-up in different neighborhoods and residents should scan the newspapers to see when their area is listed for the clean-up.

“We are in the hurricane season, and it’s an individual responsibility to keep premises around your homes and businesses clean.

“Besides, premises should be kept clean all the time.  Debris being a hurricane threat, also harbors mosquito’s which cause disease and vermin such as rats, mice and flies. 

“The clean-up by waste haulage companies serves in keeping the districts debris free and lessening the threat from any flying items due to the passing of a storm.  At the same time, potential public health issues are also eliminated because containers that can hold water can become a breeding ground for mosquitos.

“The removal of old car parts and wrecks also limits the harboring of vermin therefore once again eliminating any public health issues.  A clean environment, a clean neighborhood contributes to the improvement in the quality of life of the people living in that community,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Tuesday.

Ministry of VROMI is an integral part of the country’s disaster management system known as Emergency Support Function (ESF-3).


Last Poet to perform at Soualigan Fyah

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten—Last Poet, Abiodun Oyewole, will be visiting the young poets of Soualigan Fyah on Thursday, June 26, at 6:30pm at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library in Philipsburg.

Oyewole’s visit is a collaborative venture between Art Saves Lives Foundation, Soualigan Fyah (Foundation 5 Square Miles St. Martin) and Be The Change Foundation. This is the second year that the three organizations have worked together to facilitate such an evening.  Last year the young poets were stunned by performances from, international poet and performing artist, Queen GodIs.

“We are extremely happy that Nicole DeWeever decided to continue with the community outreach part of the Art Saves Lives Summer Intensive. Our youngsters benefit tremendously from being exposed to artists such as Queen GodIs and now Abiodun Oyewole, so we definitely look forward to this experience,” Lysanne Charles-Arrindell, founder and coordinator of Soualigan Fyah said.

Oyewole rose to fame as a part of the politically charged, black power group The Last Poet during the late 1960s in the United States of America. The group, which is thought to be one of the forerunners of Hip-Hop, went on tour throughout the US and Europe. They have recorded about 20 albums in the last 40+ years.

Charles said that the event, which was open to the public free of charge, would start with the Soualigan Fyah poets reading and an open mic, before going over to the performance and workshop aspect with Oyewole.

According to Charles, Soualigan Fyah is a youth poetry group dedicated to creating a vehicle where youngsters can give voice to their emotions and ideas, encouraging youngsters to be aware of and critical of what is happening around them and to encourage the continued development of poetry and spoken word amongst the youth of St. Maarten. The group meets once a month, usually on the last Friday at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library. Once a year the group also hosts the Soualigan Fyah Youth Poetry & Spoken Word Competition, an event where a Supreme Young Poet is crowned after 4 rounds of verbal sparring. The winner for the past two years has been Jenice Forbes of the St. Maarten Academy. Some of the youngsters have also traveled to Tortola and Anguilla to perform at poetry and spoken word events held there.

“Every year we are growing and more importantly the young people and their works are growing. So we invite the public to come out and hear their voices and also share this learning experience with master poet Oyewole with us,” Charles said.

For more information about the event and Soualigan Fyah Charles encourages people to visit the group’s facebook site at: and like the page.


Minister Ted Richardson Commends Rotary Club St. Maarten for its Tourism Awareness Campaign

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Recently the Rotary Club St. Maarten installed the first Tourism Awareness Sector banners along the Walter Nisbett Road on the Pondfill.

The objective of the Rotary Club St. Maarten is to profile and highlight the importance of the tourism industry for the country’s economy and all those who are employed directly or indirectly.

The awareness campaign is geared at helping everyone understand just how important tourism is to our economy and to help promote a greater understanding of tourism in our community.

Ministry TEATT is also busy with its own public tourism awareness program that will also be launched shortly.  The campaign is exactly in line to familiarize the public with the benefits of tourism to the country’s economic development and for the social coherence.

“As Minister responsible for Tourism, this effort by the Rotary Club of St. Maarten is a commendable one.  Tourism is our main pillar of the economy.

“Tourism is an important vehicle for socio-economic development and has led to the advancement of country Sint Maarten during the past five decades,” Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications Hon. Ted Richardson said on Sunday. 

International tourist arrivals grew by five per cent in 2013, reaching a record 1,087 million arrivals, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Despite global economic challenges, international tourism results were well above expectations, with an additional 52 million international tourists traveling the world in 2013.  For 2014, the UNWTO forecasts four to four and a half per cent, again, above the long term projections.

International tourism export earnings in 2013 reached US$1.4 trillion.  Receipts earned by destinations from international visitors grew by five per cent to reach US$1159 billion, while an additional US$218 billion was earned by international passenger transport.

Minister Richardson added that international tourism which country Sint Maarten is part and parcel of, employs millions of people around the globe, and therefore is also a very important pillar of the global economy as well.


Ministry VROMI announces traffic interruption on Sunday evening for Back Street

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), hereby announces there will be interruption to the traffic flow on Back Street June 22.

The civil works will start on Sunday, in the evening at 8.00pm until 5.00am.

There will be a temporary road closure of Back Street between the intersection School Steeg/H. Beaujon Steeg and Weduwen Steeg.

The civil works entails the sewage connection to Lot #128.

Motorists and pedestrians are requested to be vigilant and observant for the traffic directional signs indicating what works are underway in the respective area.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience that this may cause.


St. Maarten Lions Club donates to Dow’s Musical Foundation Summer Program

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - The St. Maarten Lions Club recently served the community by donating to the highly anticipated summer program of Dow’s Musical Foundation headed by our pan maestro Sir Isidore York, which will be once again held in at the Oranje School premises. The Lions Club sponsored some US$ 1050,- towards the program which will allow less fortunate children be able to participate in the summer program.

The musical foundation headed by the Sir Isidore York aka Mighty Dow has truly saved the art form of steel pan on the island and the Lions Club wanted to ensure that kids not able to financially pay for these lessons aren’t excluded of learning this great art form.

According to Lion president Claudio Buncamper and chairperson of the Youth committee PDG Lion Claudius Buncamper of the St. Maarten Lions Club whom both have never really played steel pan but love its sounds stated that young person’s get a chance to develop themselves their empowering themselves and that one of the themes of our president which was Youth Empowerment” through the various activities available on island.  

The St. Maarten Lions Club is proud to once again be associated with the Dow’s Musical Foundation and be given the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the youngsters on the island.

The St. MaartenLions Club has 52 members and meets on every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at the Lions Civic Center at 7.00 pm. Lions clubs are a group of men and women who identify needs within the community and work together to fulfill those needs. For more information or to get involved with the St. MaartenLions Club, please contact Lion Claudio Buncamper at 5200250.

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with more than 1.3 million members in approximately 45,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit the Web site at


Minister Lake visits Church Hill Round-a-bout and Commends Small Entrepreneur Spaceless Gardens for a Job well done

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (Ministry of VROMI) Hon. Maurice Lake, on Thursday visited Church Hill Round-a-bout where he was given a tour by local entrepreneur Denicio Wyatte, owner and operator of Spaceless Gardens.

“I was very impressed with the quality of work that this young local entrepreneur carried out at the round-a-bout.  Denicio Wyatte has done a beautiful job with the input of local agriculturalist Joslyn Richardson. 

“Wyatte recently formed his own company and has hit the ground running,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake said on Thursday after being briefed by Wyatte about the type of flowers that were planted as well as about the process of landscaping.

Spaceless Gardens has been working on the round-a-bout for approximately two months and completed its landscaping activities during the past week.

“The re-landscape process of the round-a-bout took a while due to underground pipelines having to be carefully restructured for irrigation, the last structure that was put into place was totally damaged because of the over growth of the wild palms that were left without the proper maintenance.

“The new design created by me and local agriculturalist Joslyn Richardson does not express its full potential as yet. In the next few months and with proper maintenance, the community and drivers will witness its full potential when passing by this round-a-bout.

“The design is meant to have the shape of a star effect in rotation as the driver cruises by. The star consists of Darante Gold plants that will form a nice hedge border. The border of the star will be outlined by beautiful red and yellow Lantana Flowers, surrounded by beautiful St. Augustine Grass and Fox Tail Palm trees.The Center Statue can finally be fully seen and will be surrounded by multicolored bougainvillea flowers,” Denicio Wyatte explained on Thursday.

Minister Lake added, “I have full confidence in our local entrepreneurs!  They can do the job just as good as anybody else from abroad.  We have to give them the opportunity.

“I would like to see all round-a-bouts adopted by local companies and beautified by our local young entrepreneurs.  They know about beautification and should be given the opportunity to beautify our landmarks,” Minister Hon. Maurice Lake pointed out.


Audio of Council of Ministers Press Briefing with the Prime Minister on Wednesday Now Online

COUNCIL OF MINISTERS PRESS BRIEFING, Sint Maarten - The Prime Minister Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams addressed five matters on Wednesday morning during the Council of Ministers Press Briefing held at the Government Administration Building.  The audio file can be downloaded with respect to what the Prime Minister spoke about.

The issues the Prime Minister highlighted were:

- TELEM and UTS Merger Proposal (12 minutes), Prime Minister says not a done deal!

- Electoral & Campaign Reform (12 min)

- Census Office and Passport Issue (10 min)

- Prime Minister Condemns Acts of Abuse Against Children (5 min)

- Prime Minister extends condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Glinder Webster (2 min)

- Reporter questions to the Prime Minister on the aforementioned and other matters unrelated: Postal Services of St. Maarten and court case with former Managing Director Denicio Richardson, and Budget Amendment related to the Emilio Wilson Estate.

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