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Wednesday morning opens with another scooter accident. Rider in serious but stable condition

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The Police Dispatch (KPSM) received a call of an accident with a scooter rider on Wednesday morning at 7.50am.

The accident took place on the Nisbet Road. According to the preliminary traffic investigation, the scooter rider and an SUV were both traveling in the same direction towards the stop lights on the Nisbet Road.

The driver of the SUV indicated that it was making a left turn on the Codvil Webster Street. The rider of the scooter was at the same time busy overtaking and on the cell phone which caused him to slam into the SUV who was at the moment making the turn.

The rider of the scooter suffered two broken legs and wounds to his body and face. He was transported to the Sint Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) where he is in serious but stable condition.

The investigation is ongoing. (KPSM)

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Zagers optimistic about 2022 despite challenges Saba faces

SABA (THE BOTTOM) —Despite the rocky start of the new year, Saba Commissioner of General Affairs Bruce Zagers looks at the future with much optimism. The local economy is recovering, ongoing initiatives continue to be enhanced and several important projects will start this year.

“We saw how quickly our economy and private sector was able to make steps towards recovery with the return of tourism. This shows that our product, the Unspoiled Queen is still relevant in the eyes of the traveler and well-sought after. The recent surge in COVID-19 cases throughout the world has definitely slowed travel globally, but I am confident that this will rebound as it has done in the past. We also saw our medical school drastically increase its on island student population, which has filled apartments and rejuvenated on-island commerce,” stated Zagers in his 2022 outlook message.

Important projects

The Commissioner announced a further enhancement of several ongoing initiatives and the start of several important projects. “As we continue to roll out our Saba Splash product, considerable efforts will continue to be made to ensure that the availability of affordable, quality drinking water, becomes more attainable for every household and business. Ongoing initiatives such as the hydroponics farm should soon start to deliver tangible results, while we must continue to promote and support traditional farming techniques and responsible animal husbandry. This will reduce our dependency on imports while providing a source of fresh and healthy food.”

Efforts in waste management will also continue to improve, while significant progress should soon start to be realized with the enforcement of the single-use plastic ban. Creating a mobility plan, which focuses on public transportation, will become a priority as there is a considerable strain on Saba’s infrastructure, especially the availability of parking places.  

New harbor

The tendering for the new harbor should start this year. “The road to the new harbor location has been under construction now for several months. This will be the biggest project in Saba’s history, and it will have considerable positive spinoffs during the construction phase for our economy while creating many business and employment opportunities in the short and long term.”

After many delays, progress is being made for the school housing project. All the relevant stakeholders are involved and a start should be realized in the first half of this year. Efforts are ongoing to create a bypass road which will reduce traffic while increasing the availability of parking around the schools. This bypass road will especially be useful during the construction phase of the school buildings, stated Zagers.

Global inflation

As Saba’s economy started to make steps towards recovery, Zagers expressed concerns about how the global inflation is impacting the already high cost of living and the cost of doing business on the island. “Not only does this impact prices in the stores and utilities, but it will also negatively impact planned projects such as the harbor and the new school buildings.”

According to Zagers, creative solutions, with support from the Netherlands, will be needed to help to curb these sharp increases which are severely impacting Saba’s ability to live and operate sustainably. “Further promoting a strong relationship between the private sector and its representatives with the local government will be vital in achieving tangible results.

Saba’s ability to further progress will be greatly influenced by the new Dutch government. “For Saba, some of the most important developments will be how the poverty situation gets addressed, what measures will be put in place to help reduce the high cost of living and how the ‘vrije uitkering’ (free allowance) will be adjusted, as the local government can no longer properly execute its legal obligations without a considerable increase,” stated Zagers. 

Positive mindset

“We have entered a new year under circumstances that are not ideal. However, as a resilient people we will pass through this as we have done with any other challenge we have been confronted with in the past. Having a positive mindset, a ‘can do’ mentality and by supporting each other, what may seem impossible will become achievable. Our collective efforts will determine how we continue to progress and develop, especially now through adversity. Let 2022 be the year where we take the next steps to do more as a community for the betterment of our people and our island,” Zagers concluded his message.

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Scooter accident on Bush Road on Tuesday

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The Police Department (KPSM) is investigating an accident that occurred at 12.30pm on Tuesday on the Bush Road near the Miss Lally Center. Several police patrols and an ambulance rushed to the scene.

The accident turned out to be between a scooter and a grey jeep. The scooter was heading in the direction of Church Hill round-a-bout and the jeep was coming from the opposite direction. The driver of the jeep made a left-hand turn without giving right of way to the scooter rider causing the accident.

The driver of the scooter suffered a broken leg. His wounds were not life threatening and he was transported to the St. Maarten Medical Center. The investigation continues into the accident.

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WYCFF Alzheimer’s Support Group meeting off to a great start

SINT MAARTEN (ST. JOHN’S ESTATE) - Last Saturday, January 15th, 2022, the White & Yellow Cross Care Foundation (WYCCF) organized the first of its Alzheimer’s Support Group meetings at the St. Martin’s Home in St. John’s. This meeting, which was held under strict preventative Covid-19 measures, was specifically organized to support those who have or had a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Providing care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease can be very hard. It can become increasingly time, and energy-consuming as the persons’ capabilities slowly decrease. But also emotionally challenging to see the personality of a loved one change. After the meeting, the group expressed to find the event very useful because it allowed them to share their experiences with persons who understand the situation in a safe and confidential environment. Psychiatrist Dr. Kitty Pelswijk was also present to offer her professional expertise and experience during the meeting. This opportunity to ask specific questions was used and very much appreciated by many in the group. The support of experts and others in a similar situation is essential, as it can be difficult to provide care for someone if you are not in a good place yourself.

The St. Maarten Alzheimer’s Foundation & the Henry Ostiana Foundation were both represented during the meeting and expressed their motivation and commitment to supporting this effort in the future. The next meeting will be held in two months, and the exact date and time will be communicated to the public via (social) media. The WYCCF is pleased with the great start of this project. It is part of the organization’s goal to continuously see where the quality of its care can be improved and solidified, and this project is an excellent example of how the WYCCF aims to do this. 

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Royal Netherlands Marechaussee is investigating suspicion of bribery related to COVID-19 testing

BONAIRE (KRALENDIJK) - The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (Koninklijke Marechaussee, KMar) launched an investigation on Saturday the 15th of January at Bonaire International Airport (BIA) following a suspicion of bribery.

The man involved tried to buy a negative test result upon arrival on Bonaire after he tested positive for COVID-19. The Public Health Department (Publieke Gezondheid, PG) of the Public Entity Bonaire (Openbaar Lichaam Bonaire, OLB) did not want to cooperate and called in the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee. 

The man, coming from Miami, first showed a negative PCR test, but this was no longer valid. When the man had to be retested, this resulted in a positive test result.

The man then tried to bribe two employees at the airport to still issue him a negative test result. The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee has launched an investigation into the case, after which the file will be submitted to the Public Prosecution Service (Openbaar Ministerie, OM).

The man was taken to his residence to go into isolation and must leave Bonaire immediately after the isolation period.

The Royal Netherlands Marechaussee works together with the Public Health Department at Bonaire airport to investigate possible criminal offenses related to PCR testing. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Gasoline and Diesel prices to change on Tuesday

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – On Tuesday, January 18, fuel pump prices will be adjusted for gasoline and diesel. 

The current price of unleaded gasoline is Naf.2.193 per liter, will be adjusted to the new price of Naf.2.298 per liter.

The current price of diesel is Naf.1.760 per liter, will be adjusted to the new price of Naf.1.828 per liter.

The Government of Sint Maarten regulates the prices of petroleum products by imposing a maximum price at which wholesalers and retailers can sell these products in the country to motorists.

At the international level, the prices of crude oil have experienced adjustments and local prices follow the international trend, and therefore prices are adjusted to reflect this. 

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Parliament to meet regarding examination credentials and admission Deputy Member of Parliament

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The House of Parliament will sit in a public meeting on Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

The Public meeting is scheduled for 10.00 hrs. in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda point is:

Examination of credentials and admission of deputy Member of Parliament for Member of Parliament C.A. Buncamper in accordance with article 50, paragraph 3, Constitution (IS/450/2021-2022 dated January 13, 2022)

Due to measures taken to mitigate the coronavirus (COVID-19), the House of Parliament is only allowing persons with an appointment to enter the Parliament building.

The parliamentary sessions will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 115, via SXM GOV radio FM 107.9, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the internet www.sxmparliament.org, and www.pearlfmradio.sx

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CARIBBEAN AIRLINES 737-8 INAUGURAL FLIGHT

SINT MAARTEN/TRINIDAD & TOBAGO - Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737-8 aircraft took to the skies for the first time today, January 14. The airline’s Boeing 9Y-CAL maiden jet service departed the Piarco International Airport destined to the Norman Manley International, Kingston, Jamaica. 

Earlier today Caribbean Airlines hosted a brief ceremony at the Piarco International Airport to launch the new aircraft, which offers passengers exceptional levels of convenience and comfort.  The re-fleeting coincides with the airline’s 15th anniversary. Some lucky customers on the inaugural service won an extra 15,000 miles and all customers received bags of goodies and other memorabilia! 

Caribbean Airlines’ CEO, Garvin Medera, in commenting said: “The introduction of this new aircraft into service, represents Caribbean Airlines’ initiative to ‘REset Expectations’ for 2022.  The 737-8 is the most technologically advanced aircraft in the world and it brings a range of benefits for Caribbean Airlines, our customers, and the environment. Fuel and maintenance costs are lower, each plane has 10 more seats than its predecessor with a total of 160 seats and the aircraft offers state-of-the-art technology and an upgraded level of comfort in both the business class and economy cabin, including in seat power for mobile devices, a new sky interior, sleek modern seats and much more.” 

Mr. Medera continued: “We’re really excited about the plans and improvements for the coming year, all done with you in mind. Be sure to stay informed via our social media channels and follow us on #REcalibrate as we REset Expectations in 2022.” 

Customers can follow Caribbean Airlines’ social media pages and website www.caribbean-airlines.com for the latest information.

CARIBAIR counter

CARIBAIR counters busy

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Caribbean Netherlands Fire Department organizes several exercises on Bonaire

BONAIRE (KRALENDIJK) - In the coming weeks, the Caribbean Netherlands Fire Department (BKCN) will organize several exercises related to retraining. The commanders of the branches on Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire will carry out different scenarios at several locations on Bonaire.

The additional training for the commanders is focused on the core tasks of firefighting, incident combating with regards to hazardous substances and technical assistance in the event of, for example, car accidents.

Because the occupation at the three locations and the current corona measures must be taken into account, the training sessions are organized in smaller groups spread over three periods. The exercises will take place from the 17th to the 28th of January, the 2nd to the 15th of February and the 21st of February to the 4th of March.

In the indicated period, the BKCN is therefore regularly visible on the streets of Bonaire. In order to simulate various scenarios properly, the BKCN will be practicing at several locations, including the old police post in Rincon, at Bonaire International Airport (BIA) and in various (vacant) houses.

Smoke may be visible in some of these scenarios, however it is simulated smoke. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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Statia inspects households on proper waste collection

SINT EUSTATIUS (ORANJESTAD) - The Public Entity St. Eustatius, the Waste Management Facility and the Public Health Department are currently carrying out bin inspections to determine if households adhere to the guidelines with regards to the collection of waste. The results of these inspections will determine in which areas improvement is required. As of March 2022, residents run the risk of being fined if their waste is not separated correctly.

The fine is based on article 10.4 of the Wet Volkshuisvesting, Ruimtelijke Ordening en Milieu BES. Some of the Statian households have already been inspected. The remaining houses will be visited when the number of COVID cases has decreased.

Less than 10%

Research shows that less than 10% of the inspected households is not (or not properly) separating waste. This is why the Unit Licenses, Enforcement and Control and the Public Health Department in a joint with the Waste Management Facility started inspections of all Statia bins to determine where improvement is necessary. 

Recycling

The vision of the Public Entity St. Eustatius for waste management is to recycle as much waste as possible. Recycling is important as the materials can be used again or the recyclables can be exported thereby reducing the amount of waste that needs to be burned.

Segregation of waste is important for properly disposing of the vast amount of garbage modern society produces in an environmentally conscious manner. Different components of waste have very different properties, and grouping them by type allows for proper processing, storage or export.

The main categories are biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes, but there are subcategories in each that are often separated as well.Biodegradable wastes are quickly broken down by microorganisms in normal environmental conditions.

This category is mainly food scraps. It is further split into animal-derived and plant-derived waste. Non-biodegradable waste is the source of much of humanity’s waste disposal problem. Paper, metals, glass, plastic and textiles are all classified as non-biodegradable, due to the long or indefinite time it takes for them to break down naturally. Many of these wastes, but not all, can be recycled. 

Community support

Statian residents are required to separate their waste. Every home and business own two different collection bins to separate the waste: a dark grey bin and an orange bin.

Attached pictures show instructions how to separate waste. Stickers of these images are available at the Waste Plant. If necessary new or extra bins are available at the Waste plant at no costs. The following link explains how the process works : The Recycling Process - Statia Waste Solutions - YouTube

(Statia GIS)

SEU pic 1 1

 

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