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Can the newly launched CaribSKY save Caribbean travel?

Pointe-A-Pitre/Ph'burg - What was dubbed as the most important meeting of the region, a gathering of press, airline officials, travel agents and government officials came together in Pointe-A-Pitre, Guadeloupe, last week for the launching of CaribSKY

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Dear Reader

The dump remains a hot item and for good reason. For decades dump fires have affected the health of citizens and for decades the government had failed to do something about it.
The construction of a waste-to-energy facility has for a long time been considered as the solution to our dump-issues, but that’s of course a fairy tale. A waste-to-energy facility does not make the problems we are experiencing with the fires go away.

Like a real solution for the dump, the construction of that waste-to-energy facility has also been elusive; that situation is still true today. Such a plant – that burns garbage to produce electricity – is a first step towards a solution. So why is this not happening?

If we leave conspiracy theories about backroom deals out of equation, the stumbling block has always been the price such a plant would charge GEBE for its electricity. The latest plan – presented by former VROMI-minister Christophe Emmanuel - also hinges on that issue. The plant would charge GEBE 0.26 guilders per Kilowatt while GEBE produces at 0.22 guilders per kilowatt.

According to the country’s National Energy Policy, the average monthly electricity-consumption per household in St. Maarten is around 1,500 Kilowatt.

In other words: if GEBE would take a deal to buy power from a waste-to-energy plant at .26 guilders, it would have to pass on the difference to its customers. In a worst case scenario this would up the monthly electricity bill by 60 guilders (roughly $33.50).

But the increase cannot be that bad. GEBE board member Roy Marlin told me earlier this year that a waste-to-energy facility will produce at best 20 percent of the country’s energy needs.

Let’s plug that projection into an equation of the production costs (the price for the consumer is higher due to the fuel clause). If 1,500 Kilowatt costs 0.22 guilders it would total 330 guilders.

If 20 percent of those 1,500 Kilowatts is going to cost 0.26 guilders; that’s 300 Kilowattts times that price: 78 guilders. The remaining 1,200 Kilowatts still cost 0.22 guilders, or 264 guilders. The total cost for 1,500 Kilowatts becomes then 264+78 = 342 guilders.

If this calculation is correct, the price for electricity goes up by a mere twelve guilders, or $6.70 per month – less than 0.40 guilders or  $0.22 per day.

Again, that waste-to-energy facility is not going to solve the fires at the dump. Those fires are here to stay for a long, long time, whether you like it or not. The plan that was on the table in 2009 spoke of a facility that would mine 10,000 ton of garbage per year from the current dump.

Before Irma, St. Maarten produced around 140,000 ton of garbage a year, so it would take 14 years to mine one year worth of garbage – and by now, 140 years to bring the level of the dump back to its 2007-level.

But that waste-to-energy facility is a first step towards a solution.

The question nobody has ever asked before is this one: how much is it worth to citizens to see a solution for the dump move into the right direction?

Is it worth paying 40 cents a day more for your electricity? Or is that too much to ask?

I’d like to hear from my readers what they think about this.

Hilbert Haar

PS: Email to request us to sign you up for a Yearly subscription for only $75. We will email you an electronic invoice for payment at your convenience. You can choose to pay with your creditcard online; do a banktransfer to our WIB or RBC account; or pay with your debitcard, check or cash at any of our three (3) payment locations. See Contact Us for address information. Court News
Little Switzerland employees demand their salaries

PHILIPSBURG - Twenty-two employees of World Gifts Import BV, a company that operates two stores in St. Maarten under the name Little Switzerland demand that the company pay salary arrears dating back to December 7, 2017. That day, the company...

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Recap MP Frans Richardson residency issue

Recap articles published about the residency issue of MP Frans Richardson and the possible consequences regarding his status as a member of Parliament: MP-status Frans Richardson called into question Questions remain about MP-status Frans...

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To write or not to write.... about the dump fire again

Last week Saturday, Carnival Fascination cruise ship was informed about the smoke from the dump by the port authorities and advised not to make a call at the port of St. Maarten. Despite this the captain decided, after assessing the situation, to ...

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Open letter to Pastor Wycliffe Smith

I doubted very long whether I would write this comment. Let me begin by congratulating pastor Wycliffe Smith with his upcoming executive position as Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (ECYS). I believe that a man with your experience ...

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The Unprofessionals

by Chris Morvan Lack of professionalism is not something anyone likes to be accused of, but it confronts us in all walks of life, not just here but everywhere. I'm talking about taxi drivers who can't put your luggage in the back because they've...

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The question nobody ever asked

By Hilbert Haar ~ The dump remains a hot item and for good reason. For decades dump fires have affected the health of citizens and for decades the government had failed to do something about it. The construction of a waste-to-energy facility has...

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St. Maarten News Online

Flag Fest 2018 in pictures

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St. Maarten News Online

More scenes from Flag Fest 2018.

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Special Priced Hit Makers Tickets Sold Out. Fans arrive...

SINT MAARTEN (MIDDLE REGION) - All $30 tickets for St. Maarten's Carnival flagship show, TelCell's Night of the Hit Makers are sold out and patrons are being urged to grab their $40 tickets before Saturday's show in the Festival Village.

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Carnival 2018: Help prevent mosquito-borne diseases....

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) - The Collective Preventive Services (CPS), a government department under the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, is calling on the community as well as visitors to wear light colored clothing at dusk;...

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Preventive searches during Carnival

The Sint Maarten Police Force (KPSM) in cooperation with the Public Prosecutor’s Office Sint Maarten, will carry out preventive searches during the 2018 Carnival season.

In accordance with the Firearm Ordinance, at predetermined locations, vehicles, bags and clothing of individuals will be searched for firearms.

This measure is being taken in consideration of the high number of illegal firearms in circulation on the island and past statistics which point out an increase in robberies before and during the Carnival season.

The Public Prosecutors Office Sint Maarten and KPSM are mindful that such a measure will impose on the privacy of residents and visitors. However it is in the interest of the general public and tourist visiting the island to heighten safety and security during the upcoming festive season. Headline News
National Alliance wants to discuss recovery-status

PHILIPSBURG – The opposition National Alliance faction has requested a meeting of parliament with Prime Minister Leona Marlin-Romeo to discuss “ the status if the National Recovery Plan and the overall recovery of St. Maarten in general.”

The NA also wants to discuss the role of the world Bank in the recovery process and the dissemination of funds and the status of the St. Maarten project Bureau to manage the recovery project.

In a press release, NA-leader Silveria Jacobs says that her faction has “serious concerns about the status of the recovery of the people of St. Maarten as well as that of the country itself.”

“In lieu of the looming hurricane season and the constant challenges being faced with the landfill, economic development and unemployment, the plight of the people still suffering as a result of Hurricane Irma, among other ills, it is imperative that government gives account,” Jacobs notes..
Opposition calls ministers to parliament

PHILIPSBURG –The opposition National Alliance faction asked last Friday to call the relevant ministers to parliament for four different issues.

The first one is the urgent meeting about the plans moving forward with the landfill that was postponed on February 9 at the request of Prime Minister Leona Marlin-Romeo.

The second request concerns the meeting to appoint the chair and vice chair of parliament which was postponed on March 9.

The National Alliance also wants ministers to come to parliament for an update on measures being taken to protect the government’s information technology infrastructure.

Lastly, the opposition wants ministers to inform parliament about preparedness for the upcoming hurricane season.

And there is more: MP Ardwell Irion, in his capacity of vice chairman of the finance committee has asked for a committee meeting with the minister of finance to discuss the request for financial aid from the Maho Sunwing Group for financial assistance.
Nature Foundation Expresses Concern about Use Beaches

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - The Sint Maarten Nature Foundation has expressed significant concern regarding the way beaches and beach access have been managed since the passage of Hurricane Irma.

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Central Bank warns for Counterfeit money

WILLEMSTAD - In a press release, the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten indicated that it has noted through the social media that there are counterfeit banknotes of 50 guilders circulating in Curaçao. The Central Bank wants to warn the...

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A Climate of Change for the Caribbean Internet

SINT MAARTEN/MIAMI - Spring storms with winter qualities clobbered North America this week, threatening Canada with slow-moving storms, and pounding the United States with near-record snowfall in the Midwest, low temperatures in the south and...

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5 years after being sworn in, Royal Couple good for business

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS - King Willem-Alexander and queen Maxima are good value for money and have considerable added value for the Dutch economy, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Friday. Five years ago, when Willem-Alexander was sworn in ...

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COCI: Trinidad & Tobago invites business participation...

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - ExporTT Limited, the National Export Facilitation Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago is hosting an Inward Buyer's Mission in Trinidad & Tobago this summer, July 5 th & 6 th, 2018 at the Centre of Excellence in...

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FOR SALE: Genuine Leather Bifold Wallet with Coin Pocket

Handmade RFID Blocking Genuine Leather Bifold Wallets with Coin Pocket Designer Engraved Fashion with Card Pockets for Billfolds Cash (Dark Brown) By Rustic Town ~ Great Gift for Men ~ Available for US$70. Email to order.

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BP: Free Tax Court representation for Sint Maarten...

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Benjamin & Parker (BP) after having its annual meeting with the Sint Maarten (SXM) associates in which several market conditions were disclosed, and the change necessary to secure business continuity was brought...

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SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - On Saturday, the Motorworld, Caribbean Auto and Audi Inventory Blow-Out Sale brought out hundreds of people with the expectation of getting a good deal on the wide array of vehicles on sale. This expectation was met with ...

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Philipsburg Jubilee Library Organizes Special Story...

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Philipsburg Jubilee Library might be destroyed but is still alive. On Thursday April 19 th, 2018, 15 children from the No Kidding with Our Kids' Foundation (ASA) and 10 visiting children between the ages of four...

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Over the Bank and Fort Willem Communities Invited to Red +

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - The St. Maarten Red Cross is continuing with its community sessions. The next two are Monday, April 23, Ft.t Willem at 7.00pm at the New Testament Baptist Church. This is being organized in collaboration with the Ft....

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Schotte: Dispute regulation on hold will deteriorate...

WILLEMSTAD - With the attitude of the Netherlands to put the dispute regulation on hold, the relationship between Curacao and the Netherlands will only worsen, according to the leader of the opposition party MFK and former Prime Minister Gerrit...

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Coast Guard busier since Venezuela's reopening borders

WILLEMSTAD - Since the borders between Venezuela and the ABC islands are open again, the Coast Guard has become a lot busier. This was reported by the spokesman for the Coast Guard Roderick Gouverneur. Yesterday morning 20 undocumented...

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75 million guilders from Isla is not for the foundation

WILLEMSTAD - From news reports from the last days, it seems as if the environmental organization SMOC demands 75 million guilders from Isla and thus endangers the existence of the oil refinery. Those reports are completely incorrect. SMOC informs ...

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Within a week agreement between SONA and government

WILLEMSTAD - In a meeting with Minister of Public Health Suzanne Camelia-Römer, the financial institution SONA agreed that the project for the new hospital will be transferred in an orderly manner to the government of Curaçao. The organization...

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Port St. Maarten and FCCA initiates destinations think tank

PORT ST. MAARTEN - Acting Minister of Tourism & Economic Affairs Cornelius de Weever, led a delegation that included Port St. Maarten Supervisory board Chairman Fernando William, Interim Director Ton van Kooten and Business Development Officer...

Read more Legal Matters

As a young country with its many political challenges, there is a need to understand the various mechanisms and tools available in a democracy laid down in our Constitution. The past seven and a half years have proven that certain provisions of...

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The Constitution stipulates that the term of the Parliament is 4 years, however article 59 also provides that the Council of Ministers (the Cabinet) can make use of its right of dissolution and dissolve the Parliament before the end of the 4-year ...

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Knops Shoots Down Proposed Directors for Bonaire Airport ...

111 By René Zwart © The Hague - The appointment of the candidates nominated by the Executive Council for the Board of Directors of Bonaire International Airport (BIA) has been thwarted by State Secretary Raymond Knops, of the Ministry of Interior ...

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Knops' Handling of Appointments to BOD at Flamingo Airport

4 By Harald Linkels Editorial Although it is first and foremost the current Executive Council of Bonaire which should be blamed for creating a totally unnecessary administrative crisis at the airport in Bonaire; the way in which State Secretary...

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Horticulturalist Arie Broers to Start Growing...

38 Kralendijk- Arie Boers will soon grow healthy vegetables and herbs in his own greenhouses. By means of the new project, several jobs will be created. Broers also aspires to offer training in horticulture at his company. In the past Broers...

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Yes, ridiculous! - 90%
No, not at all - 0%
Yes, because of the high taxes! - 10%

Poll sponsored by, where you order online, we deliver offline.
Are you prepared to pay a higher GEBE price to solve the dump issue?
Hurricane Pass Application Process Starts April 16

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) - The application process for the annual Hurricane Passes for the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season which starts June 1 and runs throu...

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GEBE temporarily closes Reverse Osmosis Water Tank at...

PHILIPSBURG - NV GEBE in a press release indicated that the (RO) Reverse Osmosis Water Tank located on Soualiga Boulevard in front of the Festival Village will be out of use as of April 16 for approximately 3 weeks. The closure of this tank is...

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Be aware of Sexually Transmitted Infections

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) - The Collective Preventive Service's (CPS) calendar of health observances, focuses on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) during the month of April, reminds and encourages the community to take a proactive approach to...

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PHILIPSBURG - Social & Health Insurances SZV has introduced several online services in 2017, including the Employer Portal where companies can submit their ZV/OV declarations digitally. Employers are obligated by law to submit and pay their ZV/OV ...

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Kwikfix Handyman Services is offering quick repairs and handyman services. Contact for a quotation for any repairs, renovations or small construction work needed.. Installation and store repair services are also offered for businesses, stores and commercial units.
Email for more information.             Online News Stories

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The United Nation's Development Program's (UNDP's) Cash for Work, Community Clean-up project remains highly impactful in St. Maarten's recovery process. A project that focuses directly on aiding in the clean-up of...

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Let's Cruise - Eastern, Western, Southern Caribbean... is offering cruise vacations on the best and biggest cruise ships in the world with brand name cruises and destinations in the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean, Alaska, Europe and the Mediterranean, ...

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SINT MAARTEN (BELAIR) - The world, the region, St. Martin, our communities are crying out for visionaries. What and who exactly is a visionary leader? Author and executive director of The Center for Visionary Leadership Corrinne McClaughlin...

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NA MP Doran calls on government to assist the people....

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - National Alliance (NA) Member of Parliament (MP) Egbert Jurendy Doran says, that for government or anyone for that matter, to just state that there are "some problems" out there among the people, is truly an...

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Díaz-Canel elected president of Cuba

HAVANA - Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez was elected president of Cuba on Wednesday during a session of the National Assembly of People's Power (ANPP). Alina Balseiro Gutiérrez, president of the National Electoral Commission (CEN), at the Havana...

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FirstCaribbean Scraps Plan to List Shares on New York...

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday April 20, 2018 - FirstCaribbean International Bank Limited (FCIB) has withdrawn its recent public offering in the United States and is no longer pursuing a listing of its shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

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CHTA Calls For Nominations For CHIEF Awards

MIAMI, United States, Sunday April 22, 2018 - The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is inviting the region's hospitality sector to submit nominations for the coveted Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) Awards, to be ...

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Weather Forecast: Monday to Wednesday

DATE ISSUED: Sunday April 22, 2018 @ 18:00 LST (22:00 UTC) VALID UNTIL: Monday evening (18:00 LST) April 23, 2018 Tonight through morning hours: Cloudy and breezy, with scattered showers. Remainder of Monday: Cloudy and breezy with possible...

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Markets watchdog raids dating websites in hunt for fake...

The Dutch consumer and markets authority ACM has carried out dawn raids on a number of companies running dating websites as part of a campaign against fake profiles. The users of the dating sites under investigation pay for each message they...

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Record numbers stop smoking but one third of young Dutch ...

In 2017 a record 110,000 people in the Netherlands stopped smoking, taking the percentage of adult smokers in the population to 23.1%, according to new figures from national statistics office CBS from the Trimbos addiction clinic. In addition,...

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Food inspectors to get tough on water in meat product...

The Dutch food safety board has given the meat industry until July 10 to come clean about how much water it adds to packs of meat and fish sold in supermarkets, the Volkskrant reported on Friday.

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SXM Daily News - 20 Apr 2018
SXM Daily News April 20, 2018

SXM Daily News April 20, 2018

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With the high season upon us and more and more airlines are resuming flights to and from St. Maarten, we are also open to take your flight bookings to and from St. Maarten as well.
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