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Post-Irma cleanup invoices are a maze of exaggerated claims

PHILIPSBURG - In the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Irma, local contractors massively jumped on the bandwagon to make some good money by providing cleanup services to the government. A total of 68 companies - some of them not registered at the...

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Dear Reader

On Friday, three judges quickly reached a consensus in their verdict that the ruling of the court in first instance should be upheld and that the Telem holding company has until February 10th to finalize a manpower assessment for the workers of the St. Maarten Cable TV company and until then, the workers can not be dismissed nor laid off.

This afternoon, an urgent Central Committee meeting of Parliament will be convened at 2pm to discuss the status and situation around the dismissal - in this case, given the latest court verdict, the proposed dismissal of the workers at St. Maarten Cable TV.

We wonder if any MP will care to mention the clean-up contractors made billing government to the tune of 7.9 million guilders for the first phase of the cleanup program. Apparently, the invoices submitted and paid are a maze of incomprehensible and exaggerated claims, impossible hourly calculations and non-specified man-hours.

And yet, this cost of 7.9 million guilders pales in comparison to the inevitable health costs to those living down-wind from the blazing dump fire, to the medical insurance sector and to society as a whole. Clearly, there is a need for an investigation into our disaster management plans.

Activist/Environmentalist Jadira Veen wrote on Facebook: "You guys do realize that non action on the landfill is basically the government deliberately poisoning the population? The government as a collective body. I have always been wondering why our legal persons have not taken upon themselves to start a class action suit against government. It is poisoning the legal brains as well. Their staff working in the offices, judges prosecutors everyone is affected."

We wonder the same thing we well. Some of our legal minds may be too busy defending the many clients in the Emerald investigation. in any case, the anti-corruption task force (TBO) is here to stay as the Dutch government agrees to provide funding for the next four years. And also to put Statia under higher supervision.

Whether the whole of Pond Island burns to the ground, carnival will go on. And now for a word from one of our carbon-emitting sponsors as SZV seeks to fly-in stranded patients from the Dominican Republic. Columnist Bud Slabbaert writes if we are to fly in anything, we should fly-in something in the Caribbean while our own resident columnist, Chris Morvan, is happy to have found a haven in St. Maarten for the globetrotting gourmet that he is.

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Enjoy reading this newsletter! Do have a great week! And make sure get one of those facemasks from the Nature Foundation. That dump is a killer!

The Publisher

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Real Auto hosts fabulous Night with the Stars

Philipsburg - As promised, we bring you a full report on Real Auto's Night with the Stars event held on Friday night at Porto Cupecoy where visitors enjoyed drinks and snacks and the chance to win several raffled prizes while checking out the...

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A haven for the globetrotting gourmet

By Chris Morvan ~ You wouldn't believe how excited I was to find a dripping, stinking piece of Brie in a supermarket chiller last week. But then you probably haven't spent the last four years in countries where what you might call "good food"...

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Blazing fire on Pond Island

Pond Island - A fire of an unknown origin broke out yesterday in the site where vehicles and other forms of metal are stockpiled on Pond Island. Firefighters worked to contain the blaze which grew intensely into a blazing fire at a certain point....

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"Emerald" case in court on February 6 and 7

Philipsburg - Seven owners of one-man businesses (sole proprietorships) on Sint Maarten will appear in the Court of First Instance of Sint Maarten on 6 and 7 February 2018. It is the "Emerald-case" regarding evading income and turnover tax. These ...

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Anti-corruption task force stays another four years

PHILIPSBURG - The anti-corruption task force (Team Bestrijding Ondermijning - TBO) will continue its work for the next four years in St. Maarten. The budget for the task force is €10 million ($12.4 million at the current rate of exchange) per...

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Waterbenders also needed to battle Pond Island fire

Cartoon celebrating true heroes of St. Maarten

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SCDF, CC1 partners for Reggae, Latin concerts

Philipsburg - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) and CC1 St. Maarten has renewed their partnership for Carnival 2018. With CC1 on board as a major corporate sponsor of Carnival, the general public can expect several...

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Mr. Rude brings El Légance to St. Maarten

MIDDLE REGION - Xtratight Entertainment is bringing a touch of class to the party life of the island with its newest event, El Légance. This is the event where the grown folks can dance the night away while decked out in their exquisite gowns and ...

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Smart Conversation a Talk Show developed for the community

SMART CONVERSATION, is a thought provoking, interactive, informative and knowledge focused one-hour talk show with two dynamic co-hosts, Dr. Natasha Gittens, Ph.D. and the Real Deal Cuchi the Captain. The show airs every Friday and debuts on...

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Two suspects arrested in connection with armed robbery

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - In a press release the police has confirm that on Thursday, February 1st two men classified as armed and very dangerous were arrested by the police department in collaboration with other judicial departments in...

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Stranded SZV patients in The Dominican Republic

PHILIPSBURG - It is a known issue that the discharged Medical Referral patients of SZV, currently in the Dominican Republic are now faced with prolonged stays in the country due to the cancellations of PAWA airline flights. SZV recognizes the...

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MHF launches new website. Appointments can be made online...

CAY HILL - The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) launched it's new, now modern website, created by Daphne Wong A Foe - a 19 year old Dutch student from The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS), MHF announced on Tuesday last.

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Mental Health Foundation presents Love & Semicolon projects

CAY HILL - On March 9 th & 10 th, the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) presents Love & Semicolon (Friday, March 9 th at 7pm), Green Thumbs Project (Saturday, March 10 th at 9am), and Beautifying M.H.F. (Saturday at 12pm) through SXM DOET.

Read more Travel News
NYT mentions Sint Maarten in its 52 Places to Visit in 2018

POND ISLAND - The New York Times (NYT) Travel section featured "52 Places to Go in 2018" as part of a starter kit for escaping into the world, and the Caribbean came in as number four under the banner "Tourism speeds recovery in a storm-battered...

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Ombudsman starts Systemic Investigation Disaster Management

Philipsburg - With eyes on the effects, recovery and rebuilding in the wake of the hurricanes of September 2017, and considering that in a short four (4) months' time the next hurricane season will be upon us, the Ombudsman Dr. Nilda Arduin (see...

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Ombudsman starts Systemic Investigation Rent Committee

Philipsburg - The Bureau of the Ombudsman continues to receive visits from citizens concerned about their housing conditions, as well as complaints about the Rent Committee allegedly not cooperating or responding adequately when addressed by the...

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The Cooperative Association explained

Under the law of Sint Maarten it is possible to form a co-operative association (coöperatieve vereniging, or coöperatie) also called a co-operative. The co-operative is a distinct legal entity, a special kind of association, formed by two or more ...

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"In support of Independent media"
by Hilbert Haar
In support of our independent media

By Hilbert Haar ~ The Rotary Club Mid-Isle invited me to join in for a club meeting last Tuesday at Wasabi Charley in Simpson Bay. After having turned down quite some previous invitations due to conflicting work schedules, this time I managed to...

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BREAKING NEWS: Dutch Government intervenes on St. Eustatius

The Hague - Today, State Secretary Knops (Kingdom Relations) has submitted a bill to the Second Chamber to be able to intervene administratively on St. Eustatius. The bill stipulates that the island council will be disbanded and the deputies and...

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Facelift and expansion in the works for Statia Airport

Oranjestad- The PLP/Merkman coalition is preparing a much needed facelift for the FDR airport terminal, in spite of the limited means the government has at its disposition to do so. The plans for the upgrading of the airport were confirmed to the ...

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Bonaire children parade small but colorful

Kralendijk- The childeren's parade which passed through the streets of Kralendijk this year was relatively small with only 4 troupes, but all troupes were nice, colorful and lively. In spite of the relatively small size, it took quite some time...

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116 volunteers help with Ocean Cleanup in Bonaire

Kralendijk- Dive Friends Bonaire STINAPA Bonaire and Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire have teamed up for the first Quarterly Clean Up Dive of 2018. A total of 116 Volunteers eagerly took part removing 1,171 items removed from the reef almost 475...

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Yes - 50%
No - 50%

Poll sponsored by, because Valentine's Day is right around the corner.
Are you directly affected by the fires and toxic smoke emanating from the dump?
Not directly
PUBLIC NOTICE from Department of VROMI

This is an emergency Public Notice from the Ministry of VROMI. A large fire has erupted on Pond Island at the temporary dump site used for the hurricane debris. This fire is adjacent to the little league stadium and the fire department, police...

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Kwikfix Cleaning Services is offering pre- and post-construction clean-up services. Contact for a quotation for clean-up services your next construction project.
Cleaning services are also offered for commercial properties and office buildings.
Email for more information.             Online News Stories
Information session on international baccalaureate

SINT MAARTEN (REWARD) - An information session on the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme will be held during the St. Dominic High School (SDH) Open House scheduled for Tuesday, February 6 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., SDH announced on...

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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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EPIC plants 500 trees

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - With the recovery from Hurricane Irma underway, country St. Maarten is learning the importance of resilience - or the ability to recover from difficulties. While we proudly boast St. Maarten Strong, it is important to ...

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Teen Times to organize Youth Extravaganza 2018

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The crew of Teen Times has been granted the opportunity by the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) to host the Youth Extravaganza for Carnival 2018. Although it will be the first time the group will...

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Will the Fourth Revolution be a revolution for women?

SINT MAARTEN/SWITZERLAND - Even if you don't follow the news closely, you have probably heard of Carrie Gracie, a senior journalist at the BBC who resigned because of what she regards as a "secretive and illegal" pay culture.

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Continuation plenary session of Parliament at 10am

PHILIPSBURG - The House of Parliament will sit in a plenary public session on February 5. The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor will be present. The plenary public meeting which was adjourned on December 11, 2017 will be...

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Urgent Central Committee meeting Cable TV workers at 2pm

The Central Committee meeting is scheduled for 14.00 hrs in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg. The minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication will be present. The agenda...

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CANTO Welcomes Regional and International Teleco's

SINT MAARTEN/TRINIDAD & TOBAGO - ICT/Telecommunications Association, CANTO in collaboration with founding member and Operator, Telecommunications Services of Trinidad & Tobago (TSTT) host over 150 delegates at the 34th Annual General Meeting &...

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Smart Conversation


Read more Job Vacancies
Monday, February 5th, 2018
Vacancy: Assistant Manager
Vacancy: Caregiver Column
Fly-in-something in the Caribbean

by Cdr. Bud Slabbaert ~ How about Fly-In Banking; like a drive-in fast food operation? No, it's no joke. In the Caribbean? Probably not, but that is not the point. One has to look at the principles of the concept and explore if one could do a...

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New car sales in the Netherlands soar to record €13bn

New car sales in the Netherlands increased by €1.3bn, or more than 11%, to €13bn last year, the sector organisation RAI Vereniging said . As reported earlier, 414,538 new cars were sold in 2017, an increase of 8.4% over the previous year.

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Dutch company register expands, biggest rise new companies

The number of businesses in the Netherlands in 2017 increased by 73,000, the national statistics office CBS said . The CBS said management consultancies again topped the list of new companies, with nearly 13,000 launched in 2017, but added they...

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First-time buyers squeezed in tight Dutch housing market

The amount spent by first-time buyers in the Netherlands shrank to a record low last year, with just 23% of the total spend on new mortgages going to people investing in their first home.

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Ronald Koeman poised to sign as new Dutch national coach

Former Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV coach Ronald Koeman is set to manage the Dutch national football team up to the 2022 World Cup, the Telegraaf said on Friday. Koeman was sacked three months ago by English club Everton after they put on a poor...

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Coalition divided over bill to scrap crime of insulting King

The four coalition parties are divided about plans to scrap a law which makes it an offence to insult the king, the Telegraaf said on Friday. A majority of MPs back the plan, which was first introduced by the previous government, but the two...

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TV Carib News - 2 Feb 2018
TV Carib Informer News - Week in Review

TV Carib Informer News - 2 February 2018

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