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WIB elevates banking experience for Senior Citizens

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Windward Islands Bank (WIB) recently hosted an enlightening lecture for senior members, staff, and the board of the Sint Maarten Senior Citizens Recreational Foundation. The focus of the session was the introduction of the "New Personal Online Banking Experience," aiming to empower seniors with modern banking tools and knowledge.

During the session, attendees received comprehensive insights into the functionalities and benefits of the new online banking system of WIB. The senior citizens actively engaged with the presentation, asking pertinent questions, and receiving clear and concise responses tailored to their needs.

One notable comment came from a senior member who maintains accounts with other banks, commending WIB's online application for its user-friendly interface. This feedback underscores WIB's commitment to providing an enhanced user experience aligned with its vision of inclusivity and ensuring that "No one is left behind."

As part of its ongoing dedication to keeping senior members abreast of banking advancements, WIB announced plans for daily training and support sessions. These sessions will be held Monday to Friday from 9-11 am and 2-3 pm, designed to equip all clients with the skills to navigate and champion modern banking methods effectively.

"WIB takes immense pride in prioritizing the needs of our senior members and ensuring they have access to the latest banking technologies," said Mrs. Daisy Tyrol - Carolus, Country Head at Windward Islands Bank. "We are committed to providing unparalleled support and guidance as we continue to innovate and enhance the banking experience for all."

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Sint Maarten Baseball Softball Federation Seeks National Coach for Baseball and Softball

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - The Sint Maarten Baseball Softball Federation (SMBSF) is pleased to announce an exciting opportunity for experienced and dedicated individuals to join our coaching staff as the National Coaches for Baseball and Softball. This position presents a unique chance to contribute to the development of talented athletes in our vibrant baseball and softball community. 

As the SMBSF strives to elevate the standard of play and foster a culture of excellence, we are seeking qualified coaches who are passionate about the sport, possess exceptional leadership skills, and are committed to nurturing the potential of our players. 

To be considered for this prestigious role, interested candidates are invited to submit their sports resumes along with a cover letter outlining their coaching philosophy and vision for the future of baseball and softball in Sint Maarten. Resumes should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday, February 23rd, 2024. 

The SMBSF is interested in candidates with coaching background, relevant certifications, and a deep understanding of the game. The selected National Coaches will play a crucial role in shaping the future of baseball and softball in Sint Maarten, making this an incredible opportunity for those who are passionate about the sport and eager to make a positive impact. 

We look forward to receiving applications from candidates who share our commitment to excellence and are ready to contribute to the growth and success of Sint Maarten's baseball and softball programs. The Federation is committed to fostering a positive and inclusive environment for players, coaches, and fans, while also striving for success on the national and international stages.

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False Fire Alarm at the Government Administration Building

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – At 2:00pm on Thursday afternoon February 15, the Central Police Dispatch received a phone call about a fire alarm at the Government Administration Building (GAB).

The emergency services comprising of the Police, and the Fire Department responded with resources to the GAB on Pond Island.

Emergency services personnel started the process of evacuation personnel from the GAB until all clear signs could be given.

It was later determined that the fire alarm was triggered by accident. Civil servants later returned to their posts.

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VVD will take part in an “extra-parliamentary” cabinet: Yesilgöz

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – VVD leader Dilan Dilan Yesilgöz has said her party might be prepared to form a coalition with the far-right PVV and pro-countryside BBB in an extra-parliamentary cabinet as a way out of the current impasse.

Speaking during Wednesday’s debate on the coalition negotiations so far, Yesilgöz said it was easy to keep going on about what had happened to date. “But I would rather look forward,” she told MPs.

Immediately after the elections on November 22 last year, Yesilgöz said that her party would not join a right-wing cabinet but would support it from the sidelines. And while it would have been easier to keep to this position, a mature party should be able to move forward, she said on Wednesday.

An extra-parliamentary cabinet with independent ministers would be the “most realistic option”, she said, adding later in the debate that such a cabinet could include more parties than the current four.

Pieter Omtzigt, the leader of new party NSC who pulled out of the negotiations last week, has said he too favoured an extra-parliamentary cabinet, which would bring more distance between ministers and parliament.

“We need to get away from suffocating coalition politics,” he said, adding that so many problems in society do not get solved because the coalition partners cannot agree between them.

But CDA leader Henri Bontenbal said it was ‘nuts” that both the VVD and NSC are leaning towards such a cabinet, without anyone knowing exactly what that would entail.

Constitutional law professor Paul Bovend’Eert told the AD that an “extra-parliamentary” or “business” cabinet involves a looser alliance of parties without a hard and fast programme. Ministers do not have to be members of one of parties and the links with parliament are not as strict.

The Netherlands has not had such a parliament since 1926 to 1929, when the election resulted in a highly polarised parliament and MPs decided to try this instead, Bovend’Eert told the paper.

Others suggest the last was in 1939 and lasted just two days.

New talks

Meanwhile, PVV leader Geert Wilders has suggested Kim Putters, a former Labour senator and current head of the SER advisory body, should lead the next stage in the formation talks between the PVV, BBB and VVD. The NSC had said it will not be a main player in the negotiations at this stage.

(DutchNews)

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NSC sits out next stage of coalition talks, Plasterk steps down

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Pieter Omtzigt has said his Nieuw Sociaal Contract party will stay out of the next round of talks to form a new Dutch government, but has not ruled out a pact with a minority right-wing cabinet.

Omtzigt walked out of the negotiations last week just as Ronald Plasterk, the former Labour (PvdA) minister overseeing the four-party discussions, was preparing to send a progress report to parliament.

Plasterk said Omtzigt’s absence in the last days made it difficult to judge if a cabinet could be formed, but recommended that all four parties start a second round of discussions under a different leader.

Omtzigt said it would be a “good idea” for the other three parties – the far-right PVV, the Liberal VVD and the farmers’ party BBB – to look at forming a minority cabinet, but said NSC would not take a seat at the negotiating table.

Parliament will debate Plasterk’s report on Wednesday, after which MPs are expected to appoint a new informateur to lead the next round of talks and draw up an agenda.

Omtzigt told Plasterk and the other party leaders on January 10 that his party was not prepared to form a majority cabinet with the other three because the differences between NSC and the PVV on the constitution were too great.

Confidence deal

VVD leader Dilan Yesilgöz also said at the start of the negotiations that her party would not join a cabinet with Geert Wilders’s PVV, but was willing to support a minority coalition through a confidence and supply deal.

Plasterk said in his report that “it should be clear that not everyone in a cabinet can support it from outside,” a remark that will add to the pressure on Yesilgöz to change her stance.

Many rank and file members of the VVD are also keen for the party to form a right-wing cabinet with the PVV and BBB.

Wilders posted a message on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying the talks needed to continue because the country “must be governed”.

“It is worth looking to see if – and moreover in what form – we can continue together,” he said.

Timmermans: “No solution”

Frans Timmermans, leader of the left-wing alliance GroenLinks-PvdA, the second largest party in parliament after the PVV, said the talks had failed, but it was up to the right-wing parties to break the deadlock.

“The Netherlands has been waiting almost three months for a solution to the many problems we have and we are no closer to getting one,” Timmermans told EenVandaag.

“Wilders has the largest party in the Lower House, so he rightly has the initiative. They need to find a way to reach an agreement and as I understand it, that is probably going to be through some kind of minority construction.

“I think the country deserves a majority cabinet, but apparently they can’t make it work.”

(DutchNews)

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Cabana: A Great Pool Bar & Restaurant. A Place to Hang Out & Talk

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) – Cabana Bar & Restaurant located at Hilton Vacation Club Royal Palm Resort near the Simpson Bay Bridge is a place to visit while you enjoy your stay on the ‘Friendly Island.’

Bill H from Saint Louis, Missouri, told Tripadvisor that Cabana is a great pool bar and restaurant. “The food is very good. The service is great! Kenny at the pool bar took very good care of us…attentive, courteous and knows his cocktail.”

James W.R. from Altamonte Springs, Florida, in his Tripadvisor review stated the following about Cabana: “Ate there twice, lunch and dinner. Good afternoon happy hour, 4-7. Fun place to hang out and talk with other guests.”

Make sure to check out Cabana Bar & Restaurant which offers American, Caribbean and Barbeque dishes.

They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Cabana B R feb11

 

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CPS urgently calls on communities to take measures to prevent mosquito breeding after current rainfall events

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Due to the passing of a frontal boundary system that is causing an abundance of moisture and instability, the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) is urgently calling on residents to take and continue the necessary actions after every rainfall event in eliminating mosquito breeding sites to effectively minimize mosquito borne diseases, such as dengue. 

Dengue can become a life-threatening illness and it is crucial for everyone to be aware of the symptoms and take the necessary precautions to prevent further mosquito breeding, and transmission of mosquito borne diseases.

People become infected with dengue virus when an infected Aedes Aegyptus or Aedes albopictus mosquito feed or bite them. Usually between four to seven (4-7) days after a bite of an infected mosquito people typically begin to show symptoms.

Persons with a fever and two or more of the following symptoms are suspected dengue cases and should be tested for confirmation: Nausea/vomiting; Rash; Myalgia/arthralgia (muscle/joint pain); Headache, retro-orbital pain (pain behind the eyes); and Petechiae (red/purple spots on skin); Leukopenia (decrease in number of white blood cells).

CPS reiterates that if parents observe young children presenting the following symptoms of diarrhea or vomiting, they should be extra vigilant for these potential symptoms and consult with their general practitioner as it could be the signs of dengue.

Source reduction is the key to decreasing the mosquito population. Due to the tropical nature of our climate, breeding habitats are in abundance, and many of them are unfortunately man-made.

Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a half-inch of water.  This is not much, and plant saucers, bottle caps or plastic shopping bags hidden amongst vegetation/shrub are some of those unassuming places that can gather a small amount and can still be a huge breeding site for your backyard mosquito.

Breeding sites include anywhere that water can settle or remain stagnant for a certain time undisturbed from garbage to your flowers/plants. This includes tin cans, old tires, empty paint cans, buckets, old saucers, flowerpots, cemetery urns/vase, old pet dishes, unused plastic swimming pools, boats on dry dock, used food containers, plastic drinking cups; plastic shopping bags or other containers or plants that collect and hold water.

Source reduction starts by covering, removing, or turning over containers, artificial artifacts, unused boats which can be potential breeding sites and properly maintain the yard and surrounding by trimming overgrown vegetation. A few tips/reminders: Get rid of any unused pots or bins or turn them upside down, so they don’t collect water; Keep trash and recycling bins covered. If you can, try drilling drain holes into the bottom of them; keep a fine-mesh screen over rain barrels, water tanks and cistern outlets. Clean your rain spouts regularly so water can flow and not become stagnant; and properly remove or treat old unused tires.

In addition, to eliminating mosquito breeding sites, weekly assess your home and workplace and eliminate the source. Use mosquito repellent to prevent the mosquitoes from feeding, follow the instructions on the product label. Aedes aegypti mosquito is attracted to dark spaces and clothing at dusk and dawn it is recommended to wear light coloured clothing during those times.

For issues surrounding mosquito breeding sites, contact CPS’ vector control team by calling 520-4161, 542-1222/1570, or 914. 

Or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with supporting pictures and contact information to report a mosquito nuisance or request assistance. 

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Warning to Local Businesses on Sint Maarten Regarding Scam Attempts

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - The Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) is alerting local businesses about a concerning rise in fraudulent activities targeting companies on the island. The Fraud Department of KPSM is actively investigating multiple incidents where businesses have been subjected to scam attempts through deceptive emails requesting payments for purported services rendered. 

Modus Operandi: The scammers have been utilizing fraudulent invoices, appearing authentic, to deceive businesses into making unwarranted payments for services that were never rendered. The Police Force has observed a pattern where these misleading emails request payments for work purportedly completed. 

Current Investigations: The Fraud Department of KPSM is actively investigating several cases related to these scams. The Police Force is working diligently to identify and apprehend those responsible for these fraudulent activities. 

Police Advisory: In light of these incidents, the Sint-Maarten Police Force strongly advises all local businesses to exercise extreme caution and vigilance when handling invoices and making online payments. It is crucial for businesses to:

  1. Verify Invoices: Cross-check and verify the authenticity of all invoices received, especially those requesting payment for services rendered.
  2. Communication Confirmation: Independently confirm the legitimacy of any payment request through direct communication with the relevant parties, using contact information obtained from reliable sources.
  3. Employee Awareness: Educate employees about the risks of fraudulent activities and establish clear communication channels to report any suspicious emails or requests.
  4. Report Suspicious Activity: Businesses are encouraged to report any suspicious emails, invoices, or activities to the Sint-Maarten Police Force immediately.

Contact Information: For reporting suspicious activity or seeking assistance related to potential scams, please contact the Fraud Department of the Sint-Maarten Police Force:

At +1721-5422222.

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A Rave Review for Cabana Bar & Restaurant. A delicious breakfast, jerk chicken and a bread pudding to die for

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) – Blaze 711 from Arizona U.S.A. described Cabana Bar & Restaurant located at Hilton Vacation Club Royal Palm Resort near the Simpson Bay Bridge in his Tripadvisor review as a place that offers a delicious breakfast, a delicious jerk chicken for dinner followed by a bread pudding to die for.

Blaze 711 told Tripadvisor: “On my last night in Sint Maarten, I found myself solo for dinner. I decided to try the restaurant at our resort, The Royal Palm. The restaurant is called Cabana Beach Bar and Restaurant, and I had breakfast there one morning and it was delicious, so I went back for dinner.

“One of the specials that night was Jerk Chicken so I ordered that which came with fries and a salad. The chicken was extremely juicy and flavorful, and I ate every bit of it. I followed up with the bread pudding which was to die for.

“Everything tasted so good fresh and delicious, and the service was friendly, pleasant and thorough. Chef Eddie, you did a wonderful job on both the chicken AND the pudding! I definitely will be back!”

Make sure to check out Cabana Bar & Restaurant which offers American, Caribbean and Barbeque dishes. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Cabana this one to use

 

 

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Coalition talks continue as February report-back deadline nears

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Friday’s talks on forming a new government in the Netherlands ended in the afternoon with Geert Wilders leaving without talking to reporters after describing the negotiations in the morning as “extremely tense”.

The four parties have agreed not to speak about progress and the issues they are discussing in public, but pressure is mounting as the deadline for reporting back to parliament nears.

The formation process has been ongoing for over two months with little obvious progress and parliament is supposed to debate the situation before the February 16 spring recess.

Lead negotiator Ronald Plasterk had pledged to brief MPs at the beginning of February but the former minister told reporters on Friday he was “interpreting this broadly”.  It remains unclear when his report will be sent to parliament.

Last weekend, tensions emerged between the four parties after tit-for-tat sneers between VVD leader Dilan Yesilgöz and Wilders on social media.

Nevertheless, Yesilgöz told reporters on Friday that the talks are “good” and that she has “good hope” for a successful conclusion. BBB leader Caroline van der Plas said she did not feel under any pressure and that she was confident Plasterk would meet his deadline. 

(DutchNews)

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