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Sarah: "The fall of the Marlin cabinet justified..."

Great Bay - Democratic Party leader and President of Parliament, Sarah Wescot-Williams, issued the following press release stating that the fall of the Marlin cabinet is justified by the horrific financial and economic outlook of St. Maarten....

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Dear Reader

We are in the media business and with headlines is how we bring the news to our readers.

So when we stop to think about who our Person of the Year would be, we think about those who have consistently made the headlines in 2017.

That is why our nominees for Person of the Year 2017 are people who have made the headline news one way or the other. Some dominating the headlines even more than others. Some willingly, some unwittingly. Some from behind the scenes. Some from far away. Some from near. Some just by using the power of their pens.

Below in our Poll section you will see who our nominees are. Place your vote accordingly and we will announce the winner next year.

With that announcement, we wrap up our last edition of the email newsletter for the year 2017.

We are glad it is over.


The Publisher,

PS: Do have a safe and enjoyable passing of the old into the new year and all the very best wishes for 2018. Headline News
Parliament passes budget 2017 amendments unanimously

Philipsburg - Parliament passes the budget 2017 amendments with 10 votes for and 0 against. Today Members of Parliament sat in an urgent plenary public meeting in the General Assembly Chamber of the House of Parliament at Wilhelminastraat #1 in...

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The University of St. Martin reopens January 8th 2018

Pond Island - The University of St. Martin (USM), assisted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport with the recent MOU, will open to the general public as of Monday, January 8th, 2018 and the 10 week semester for the continuing...

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Police Reports - December 29th, 2017

#1. Sint Maarten Police Force honors retiring colleague. #2. Police Force Donates tokens to SMMC kids ward. #3. Shooting victim arrested. Click here for the details of these police reports.

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Yes - 15%
No - 70%
No, the present caretaker government is doing a good job! - 15%                     

Poll sponsored by, when you need your roof fixed quick.
Nominees for Person of the Year 2017. Place your vote.
William Marlin
Sarah Wescot-Williams
Wycliffe Smith
Ronald Plasterk
Michael Granger Carnival 2018 Schedule
SCDF Carnival 2018 Schedule

The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) released the official schedule of events for Carnival 2018 on Christmas Day. Framing the release of the schedule as a gift to Carnival lovers on Christmas, the foundation erased all doubt...

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Community Bulletin Board Notices & Announcements

December 28th, 2017 SZV will be closed on Friday December 29th as of 12:00 p.m. SZV will open back the offices on Wednesday January 3rd, 2018. Customers with scheduled appointments will be contacted by SZV to re-schedule. December 27th, 2017 The...

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Takeover InselAir by Synergy (Avianca) off the table

WILLEMSTAD - The takeover of Inselair by Synergy Aerospace is definitely off the table. This was confirmed by the Minister of Economic Development Steven Martina in a press conference. Financial Director of InselAir, Andre Delger and the head of...

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Antiquated laws and red tape are keeping the economy...

Curaçao is a beautiful island. It has so much to offer. Compared to other islands in the Caribbean, Curaçao is much safer, more diverse and is rich in history. Still, the island doesn't excel at anything except at turning everything into a problem.

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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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Former Leo member Hassana Ellis spreads Christmas joy

Former Leo member spreads Christmas Joy - Acting Minister Plenipotentiary Mr. Hasana Ellis, (former Omega Leo member) during a working visit to St. Maarten, visited the St. Maarten Lions Club. During...

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Lions & Leos host Christmas Party

Lions & Leos host Christmas Party - St. Maarten Lions Club assisted by St. Maarten South Omega Leo Club organized a Christmas Party for the children staying at the Festival Village and the Little...

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Successful Christmas Market 2017 at the Philipsburg Library

PHILIPSBURG - The annual Christmas Market hosted by the Philipsburg Jubilee Library on December 21 st, 2017, was a huge success. The Christmas Market hosted 28 booth holders. Past & present booth holders came out with new original ideas and...

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2017 GDP to contract by 4.0 per cent

PHILIPSBURG - Sint Maarten's real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to contract by 4.0% in 2017, a deepening of the 0.1% contraction in 2016, primarily because of the severe damage Hurricane Irma inflicted on Sint Maarten's production...

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PHILIPSBURG, December 29, 2017

Gracita states: “in 2016 we publicly laid out our vision regarding the important position the Marine Industry plays in our overall tourism based economy, including the yacht sector. As we stated:  Quote; “We have a well-established marine industry in St. Maarten in terms of cruises (only few ports in the Caribbean are capable of receiving the world’s largest cruise ships – Genesis Class), cargo and yachting. Over the past decade our island has invested over US $100M in infrastructure, development and equipment, acquisition and commissioning.” Un-quote from our manifest.

“The devastation of Hurricane Irma unfortunately impacted a large chunk of our land based infrastructure, including most of the large hotels. This led to thousands of our work-force being sent home with little perspective for new employment on short term. Given this fact, it is imperative that we not loose sight of what the marine industry can mean for Sint Maarten which is good for at least 20% of our GDP in terms of local inclusive development.” 

Gracita continues: “Cleaning up of the Simpson bay lagoon from the under water debris left after Irma, must continue unabated and un-cumbered by the unfortunate political intrigues plaguing our nation. Instead, we must put our minds together - refocus our attention to matters such as presenting creative solutions that will encourage the yachting industry to return to Sint Maarten, with the certainty that when they do so, the industry will meet a well trained locally available professionally trained work force that they can count on. In the interim leading up to the upgrade of this important sector of our economy, it is imperative that the local authorities, including the SLAC, consider the possibility of lowering the bridge fees during this season to help spur business in this sector. Mooring fees can still be charged for vessels that remain longer in our waters. Making the case for lowering bridge fees or to consider the merits of cancelling these fees for a period of three to six months, may be helpful in attracting transient vessels to stop for a few days in Sint Maarten for food provisioning, re-fueling, dining , etc.”

Arrindell said: “additionally, we are fully aware that a huge challenge remains in terms of finding personnel to maintain these vessels in Sint Maarten. Now is the time more than ever to work towards establishing a well-trained workforce. This has been one of our firm proposals over the years, and so far not enough effort has been made to create a good and steady bases in this regard. As our local work force took a hard hit overall, I am convinced that many can be retrained to find gain-full employment in the marine and yacht industry. Organizations that created training and upgrade possibilities waited much too long to receive  approval ”.
“Approval of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers Code (STCW Code) is critical. This is needed to ensure a minimum level of entry for especially our young people ( over 25 % unemployed) who has an ambition to work in the yachts industry.

The purpose of this STCW Code, is to have everyone at the same entry level in order to ensure the same high standard or basic level of knowledge which will help our younger work force to be at par with persons from abroad who dominate this field .

The St. Maarten Sailing School, is an organization that has been providing such courses for some years to our youth. An official line of approval from the government has been a firm step in the right direction in order to be hired, while stimulating the much needed job creation in this field”.

Gracita concludes: “ As we are near the end of a very difficult year 2017 for most of our citizens, we must still make an effort to maintain a positive outlook overall of life. In this regard, I urge the local entities in charge of the Cause-way and Simpson-bay bridge to do all possible and return more lights to both structures for a festive end of the old year, and a fresh new start for the new year 2018. “ Advertisements
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