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Nathalie Tackling and Emilio Kalmera join APS Board

Cayhill - Local professionals Nathalie Tackling and Emilio Kalmera recently joined the APS Board as members. The APS Board now consists of four persons: Shaira Bommel, Arjen Alberts, Kalmera, and Tackling. There is still a vacancy for an...

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COCI: Update on Board of Director Positions and Nominations

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry (COCI) would like to inform its Registrants that during the postulation period that ended on Tuesday November 16th, 2021, eight (8) persons submitted their postulation...

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How to get the most out of the website

Information on how to use and get the most out of ~ - Register for the Free Newsletter at You will not only become a member of the website but also receive the free email newsletter. Send...

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Appearances are deceiving

By Terrance Rey ~ A Dutch friend of mine was once amazed at the size of my house. He concluded that I must be rich. In the Netherlands he lives two floors high in a flat. I drive a jeep, he rides a bicycle. One might think that we only live in...

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Passenger tax - a tax on their vacation dreams

What the Caribbean region needs is so simple: rapid, reliable mobility at reasonable rates. What makes it so difficult? It is almost just as short and simple to explain. There are two players; the aviation industry and the governments. The...

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Airport taxes may cause economic strangulation

Passenger taxation is 'swamp taxation' because no one besides the tax receiver wants it, and it sucks. They may opt for visiting a different island destination that doesn't have the taxes, yet does have the same sun, the beaches and the palm trees.

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Mar, bribe and destroy

By Hilbert Haar ~ It is not a good week for the United St. Maarten party (USp), its faction leader Claudius Buncamper and its founder Frans Richardson. Like attracts like, or as the Dutch like to say: soort zoekt soort. This seems to apply to the...

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What others do not dare to share

By Hilbert Haar

Bad things happen when good people do nothing. I have been unable to source this quote but it feels appropriate for the topic I want to discuss here (again): corruption. More in particular: corruption in St. Maarten.

When I wrote about it earlier under the headline Mar, bribe and destroy I could not begin to imagine the number of reactions it would trigger. Those reactions did not come in the form of signed letters to the editor; they simply flooded the Whatsapp of the publisher of That showed, at the very least, that there are people on our island who actually care. At the same time, these people are not bold enough to attach their name to their criticism.

I understand that. In a small community like St. Maarten, kicking the establishment in the nuts is akin to economical suicide.

Who remembers the iconic José Lake Sr.? He founded the Windward Islands Opinion in 1959 and embarked on a journey of fearless journalism. He challenged the political establishments on both sides of the island. The French declared him persona non grate for it. His opponents threatened his life and burned down his office. He wrote about political corruption, environmental destruction and - far ahead of his time - about Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) as a racist symbol.

Lake’s efforts were not appreciated by everyone. His son José Lake Jr. once told me that Claude Wathey expressly forbade businesses to advertise in the Opinion, threatening to never give them a government contract again if they dared to ignore his order.

And here we are, more than sixty years later, stuck with good people who think that giving the establishment a piece of their mind is a bad idea, or at least something that is not good for their careers and wellbeing.

I had to laugh when I read one particular reaction: “Leave it to Hilbert Haar because he is in Cambodia.” After I stopped laughing I realized that this is not funny at all, but it also dawned on me that I have a job to do: sharing what others do not dare to share. This is about what these people are thinking, so bear in mind that what follows is not necessarily true.

One reaction attached a price tag to the activities of several politicians: from Frans Richardson ($400,000), to Claudius Buncamper ($300,000), to Theo Heyliger ($14 million - but should be corrected to $17 million) and Silvio Matser ($2 million). Other private persons were listed, but they are not politicians. Somehow Mark Mingo was missing in that line up.

“St. Maarten could have had over a billion dollars for a rainy day since 10-10-10 if the government knew anything about financial management,” another reaction read. “Then St. Maarten could have made a pitch for independence. Now the ones crying for independence are the ones who would like to get out of their legal problems by being independent and having their own justice system.”

Others claim in these reactions that politicians like Theo Heyliger, Frankie Meyers and Frans Richardson all have American passports, “and yet they profess to love St. Maarten.” That sounds interesting but it is unlikely, because Dutch law does not allow for double nationality.

But the idea of putting all this in a letter to the editor signed “name withheld upon request” fell flat: “I don’t like faking my writings.” And: “Hand it over to Hilbert Haar; he is in Cambodia anyway.”

Done; except, I am not in Cambodia anymore. COVID-19 had driven me via Malaysia to Indonesia where I am currently residing on the island of Bali. Not hiding, just having the time of my life while keeping an eye on the island that will always have a big place in my heart: St. Maarten. Political News
Emmanuel to Irion: Will Doran be accountable for Alegria ...

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - Independent MP Christophe Emmanuel on Monday asked Finance Minister Ardwell Irion if he will make an example of Minister of VROMI Egbert Doran and hold him accountable over his mishandling of the Alegria affair that...

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MP Arrindell questions PM on PJIA

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - On November 22, Member of Parliament (MP) Akeem Arrindell sent a letter to Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, requesting her attention to a number of concerns at PJIA.

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Sarah Insists on Answers from Minister Doran Regarding MB

Also Inquires Regarding the Mullet Bay Inquiry to "Give Mullet Bay Back to the People" ~ Philipsburg - With the Mullet Bay beach very much in the news lately, MP Sarah Wescot-Williams is attempting to get answers to her questions which were...

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NAGICO Cricket Club receives new uniforms & gears

PHILIPSBURG - The NAGICO Cricket Club will be debuting their new uniforms and gears this weekend, in the ongoing T-20 competition being held at the Carib Lumber Ball Park. The team received these new uniforms, courtesy of their title sponsor;...

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Sol St Martin to serve customers in new Sol-branded stations

PHILIPSBURG - Sol Antilles N.V. (Sol) has begun the process of rebranding its recently acquired Gulfstream Petroleum Dominicana SRL's (GPD's) Service Station Network, to the Sol retail brand. Sol and its predecessor have been the provider of...

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Prime Minister Jacobs commends Ashley Furniture...

Philipsburg, Sint Maarten - On November 17, Prime Minister Silveria E. Jacobs together with Managing Directors Sami Elyousef and Yousef Elyousef, cut the ribbon declaring the grand opening of Ashley Furniture Homestore in Cole Bay following a...

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A National Priority and Children Remains Our National Pride

Ready, Set, Protect! Children Rights- "A National Priority and Children Remains Our National Pride" The Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth & Sport celebrates the 32nd anniversary since the ratification of the International Day for the Rights...

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Life Insurance, the why and the why not

Life insurance is insurance based on a specific payment to one or more beneficiaries upon the passing of the insured. The reasons that motivate people to take out insurance on their lives can be many and have far-reaching consequences. First,...

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Philipsburg Property For Sale

Photo caption: Property located on the Backstreet no.18 in Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Property located on the Backstreet no.18 in Philipsburg, St. Maarten and is registered at the Cadastre office with Certificate of Admeasurement number PB...

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Chief Commissioner Carl John: "Aggression of youngsters...

PHILIPSBURG - Road rage and wayward behavior of young scooter riders have become a thorny issue, but Chief commissioner Carl John said in an interview on The Breakfast Lounge with Lady Grace that this is not the real problem. "This is not our...

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Second group of law-enforcement students completes training

PHILIPSBURG - The police force of St. Maarten is on the move. After a live interview with Chief Commissioner Carl John on radio broadcast The Breakfast Lounge with Lady Grace, the graduation of thirteen cadets from the basic police training on...

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Court-ordered statement from N.V. GEBE

The Court of First Instance of Sint Maarten by judgement of 3 November 2021 ordered N.V. GEBE to place the following announcement on On the 2nd and 3rd July 2021, Mr. Bloem, attorney of the Supervisory Board of NV GEBE, stated...

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Court ruling reveals toxic atmosphere at GEBE

PHILIPSBURG -- "This is not a normal labor-case, but a battle in a war between two camps about who obtains the power in the company," the Court in First Instance states in its November-3 ruling that concludes the dogfight between Sharine Daniel...

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Working together to maintain excellence in tourism quality

SINT MAARTEN, PHILIPSBURG - The Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunications (Minister of TEATT) Hon. Roger Lawrence met with Vice President of Tourism of Saint-Martin Hon. Valerie Damaseau to discuss the isolated events...

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Alida Francis: 'Airlift problem was always a challenge'

ORANJESTAD- Government Commissioner Alida Francis is of the opinion that the airlift problem, with which St. Eustatius is being confronted is 'nothing new'. According to Francis, the problem has persisted for over 30 years and under...

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Dave Levenstone (UMP) calls on island governments ..

THE BOTTOM/KRALENDIJK- The leader of extra parliamentary opposition party UPM, and former head of Economic Affairs for Saba Government, Dave Levenstone, calls on the local governments of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba to come...

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Passengers in the Dutch Caribbean are being fooled about ...

At the end of April of this year, the managements of the six commercial airports in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom announced that they would intensify their cooperation. The Dutch Caribbean Cooperation of Airports (DCCA) was...

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Winair will fly three times per day to Statia and Saba

Simpson Bay- With the introduction of their winter schedule, starting December 6, 2021, Winair will start to fly 3 times per day to both St. Eustatius and Saba. Apart from increasing frequencies on existing routes, Winair is introducing...

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WINAIR will be increasing flights to Tortola and Antigua

PHILIPSBURG- WINAIR has received its 4th DHC-300 Aircraft PJ-WIP, to accommodate increased passenger demand for the upcoming season. The additional aircraft will allow WINAIR to continue its post Covid-19 pandemic recovery as customer...

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OM ziet af van vervolgen loterijbaas voor moord op Wiels

Willemstad - Het Openbaar Ministerie op Curaçao gaat loterijbaas Robbie dos Santos niet vervolgen voor betrokkenheid bij de moord op politicus Helmin Wiels in 2013. Dat heeft het OM bekendgemaakt. Dos Santos kwam al snel na de moord in beeld als...

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Curaçaose minister dwarsboomt terughalen verdwenen geld

Willemstad - Minister van Gezondheid Dorothy Janga-Pietersz (MFK) is opnieuw in opspraak. Zij heeft, zo blijkt uit een brief die in handen is van de redactie, een poging gedaan te voorkomen dat een miljoenenschade wordt verhaald op voormalige...

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Amigoe di Aruba verkocht

Van onze redactieOranjestad - Uitgeverij Amigoe (Aruba) nv is of wordt spoedig verkocht en is daarmee na circa 60 jaar niet langer een dochterbedrijf van de Nederlandstalige krant Amigoe op Curaçao. De Arubaanse zakenman Ishwar Daryanani (44...

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COLUMN - Schijn bedriegt

Column "Schijn bedriegt" door Terrance Rey over de gevolgen van korte termijn arbeidsovereenkomsten voor het verkrijgen van leningen van de bank voor eigenwoningbezit, belasting betalen en de onzichtbare armoede op Sint Maarten.

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CPS: World Antibiotic Awareness Week: Spread Awareness

World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) 2021 kicked off on November 18 and runs through November 24 under the theme: 'Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance.' Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)...

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Family Fun Day at Emilio Wilson Park

SINT MAARTEN (EMILIO WILSON ESTATE) - The St. Maarten Heart and Stroke Foundation did it again. The foundation's first "Family Fun Day for stroke survivors and caretakers" was well attended. The event was organized in collaboration with The...

Read more now offering shared charters to St. Kitts & Nevis

Shared charter rates from $260 US Dollars per one-way and up for groups of up to seven (7) passengers + one piece of checked luggage and one carry-on each. Submit a reservation request online at

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Philipsburg Jubilee Library is celebrating its 98th year

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Tuesday, November 23, 2021, the Philipsburg Jubilee Library (PJL) celebrates 98 years. The library was founded on this date back in 1923, the year Queen Wilhelmina celebrated her silver jubilee. From humble...

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Weather Forecast: Tuesday to Thursday

PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST FOR ST. MAARTEN DATE ISSUED: Monday, November 22, 2021 @ 18:00 LST (22:00 UTC) VALID UNTIL: Tuesday evening (18:00 LST) November 23, 2021 WEATHER: Tonight through Tuesday evening: Partly cloudy with brief local showers...

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Coronavirus cases rise 40% in a week, more hospitals say ...

In total, 349 people were admitted to hospital with coronavirus in the 24 hours to Tuesday morning, the highest number since December 28. There are now 2,540 coronavirus patients in hospital, of whom 488 are being treated in an IC unit, national...

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Tax office singled out low income households for extra...

The tax office specifically targeted people with low incomes when checking for potential fraud involving childcare benefits, the agency has confirmed to RTL Nieuws and Trouw. Between 2013 and July 2020, the tax office used a self-learning...

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The Netherlands has more millionaires, but most assets...

The number of millionaires in the Netherlands has risen for the sixth year in a row, with 24,000 more people joining the list by the beginning of last year. The Netherlands now has more than 278,000 households with assets of more than one million ...

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Need a Shared Charter to Curacao?
AirStMaarten now offering shared charters to Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao starting at $2000 USD per seat.
It is smarter to charter!
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