Grid List

DATE ISSUED: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 @ 12:00 LST (16:00 UTC)

VALID UNTIL: Thursday midday (12:00 LST) September 01, 2016

WEATHER: 
Today: Fair to partly cloudy, hazy and breezy with a local shower possible.

Tonight through Thursday midday: Partly cloudy to cloudy and breezy with isolated showers.

Forecast High: 31°C / 88°F             Forecast Low: 27°C / 81°F

Sunset Today:  6:27 P.M.                Sunrise Tomorrow: 5:58 A.M.

SURFACE WINDS: 
Today through Thursday midday: East-northeasterly with a gentle to moderate breeze of 08 to 17 miles per hour.

SYNOPSIS: 

The dominant high pressure system is generating a stable atmosphere that will limit significant precipitation over the local region today. However, tonight through Thursday, expect partly cloudy to cloudy skies, breezy conditions with isolated showers due to the passage of a tropical wave.

Seas are forecast to remain moderate during the next few days.

STATE OF THE SEA: Moderate         WAVES/SWELLS: 4 to 6 feet

SPECIAL FEATURE:  None.

OUTLOOK through Friday morning: Partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated showers.

FORECASTER:  Pierre

The next weather forecast will be issued Today at 18:00 LST (22:00 UTC).

For further information visit our website: www.meteosxm.com.

This is to bring to the attention of the general public that there will be a shooting exercise on Thursday, September 1, from 8:30am until 12:00 noon. This exercise will be held in Back Bay, a known hiking area (the way to the natural pool).

News that Saba will execute a short-term plan to boost its tourism is interesting. The need to do so becomes obvious when looking at recent developments mentioned in the story.

Despite a lack of reliable figures it’s clear that key indicators are down. The smallest territory of the Caribbean Netherlands has been doing fairly well in terms of public finances and administration, but the economy is another matter.

Today’s paper also reports that the public entity’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by only 1.8 per cent in 2014 compared to Bonaire’s 4.1 per cent, although it’s still better than Statia’s decline of 4.4 per cent.

But that’s almost two years ago and St. Eustatius has an oil transhipment terminal, while Saba depends almost solely on visitors for its livelihood. Taking action before things get worse for the latter island is therefore a logical approach.

Targeting the yacht industry seems an obvious choice, especially as there are usually already plenty of them around. Mention was made of the potential market in St. Maarten and St. Barths, where some might even see the prospect of improved facilities and more professional maritime operations in Saba as competition.

However, if one does the math it’s doubtful the two existing successful yachting destinations will feel much of an impact regarding their numbers. In addition, the hub function of Princess Juliana International Airport SXM could be strengthened, as could Winair’s role of regional carrier.

Not only that, but the intention is to involve Port St. Maarten in the upgrading of Fort Bay Harbour and its personnel. Certainly with the Dutch Government’s backing, these initiatives are likely to create a win-win situation for all involved.

The proposal of One St. Maarten People Party (OSPP) to introduce garbage and environmental taxes (see related story) might not earn them a lot of votes, but can certainly be considered noteworthy. After all, very few of the parties campaigning for the September 30 parliamentary election have come up with concrete income-generating measures to help finance their many other plans.

TORONTO, Canada--The Canadian Government updated its travel advisory for nine Caribbean Community Caricom nations Monday, among a list of countries across the world.

 

KINGSTON, Jamaica--Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has launched a special J $20 million (US $157,735) revolving loan facility to boost the compliance of small tourism properties, attractions and businesses on Jamaica’s eco-friendly south coast.

PARIS/RENNES--Lactalis, the world's largest dairy firm, reached a deal with French milk producers on Tuesday to raise prices paid to suppliers and farmers called off their week-long protests, the company and unions said.

BRUSSELS/DUBLIN--The European Commission ordered Apple Inc

LOS ANGELES--Pop star Chris Brown was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on Tuesday after a daylong standoff and search at his Los Angeles home that began when a woman called 911 in the predawn hours, police said.

LOS ANGELES--Pop singer Selena Gomez said on Tuesday she was taking time out to deal with panic attacks and depression thought to be a side effect of her lupus disease.

BOSTON--Combative Maine Governor Paul LePage told a radio host on Tuesday that he was considering not finishing his term in office, amid a wave of criticism after he left a lawmaker a profanity-filled voicemail.

WASHINGTON--Insurgent challengers fell flat in Florida on Tuesday as Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio won his party's nomination to seek re-election in November and U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz won her Democratic nominating race.

BEIRUT/WASHINGTON--Islamic State said on Tuesday one of its most prominent and longest-serving leaders was killed in what appeared to be an American air strike in Syria, depriving the militant group of the man in charge of directing attacks overseas.

PARIS--French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron resigned on Tuesday to work on proposals "to transform France", clearing the way for a presidential bid that will further unsettle an already wide-open race.

NOTTINGHAM, England-- England amassed a world record one-day international total of 444 for three as they crushed Pakistan by 169 runs at Trent Bridge on Tuesday to take an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

NEW YORK-- Two-times grand slam winner Stan Wawrinka dealt Fernando Verdasco a rare first-round loss at the U.S. Open, sweeping aside the Spaniard in straight sets on Tuesday.

A letter printed in the opinion section of this newspaper was erroneously attributed to Roddy Heyliger. The email he sent clearly stated that itwas a press release from Member of Parliament (MP) Cornelius de Weever. Mr. Heyliger had no part in writing the release and was only asked to circulate it to the media by a third party. The Daily Herald sincerely apologizes for this unfortunate error and any inconvenience it may have cause those involved.

Dear Editor,
The former Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, now Member of Parliament, Cornelius de Weever changed the classification of Sint Maarten Medical Centre (SMMC) from a peripheral hospital to a central hospital. By doing so he ensured that all new services that were or could not be offered before would and could be available at SMMC. This meant that SMMC could now charge for services in the area of cardiology, because as a peripheral hospital SMMC could not provide that service and patients would have to travel to Curaçao.
Secondly, while negotiating with SMMC after the departure of the then director and some board members who did not reside on St. Maarten, it was decided that SMMC would participate in the tariff study after many years of refusing and just demanding an increase. It was only after that study was completed could anyone increase the tariffs of SMMC.
It is important to know the history behind the “claims” of those who pretend to have done everything in nine months. As Minister, MP De Weever and the ministry VSA fought tirelessly to get to this point. It was not an easy journey and the many confrontations between SMMC’s Board and director of the Inspectorate of VSA are all well documented, and the level and quality of care started to be addressed. An inventory and projected specialist demands were done based on the population size as well.
Floating a bond for 30 million US dollars to finance the expansion of SMMC was proposed and SMMC, SZV, APS and the government started working together. The proposed expansion was limited, especially with the future demand and the potential to develop medical tourism. Medical tourism is not limited to the U.S. market, but also included Canada and the region. Many hours were spent getting all stakeholders to this point.
To go on public bid or not? That is the question that many are asking. A minister or any institution can decide based on their procurement policy. Should one decide not to go to a public bid, it has to be justified why you are deviating from that process.
For example, the building of the Point Blanche I/II water plant did not go on public bid because (1) We were faced with a water shortage and (2) the contract with Seven Seas had a provision for them to sell us water that exceeded the agreed-upon amount. This project was built by former Minister De Weever, GEBE and Seven Seas working together to ensure that the needs of the people are met. In addition, SOAB was requested to conduct an audit and that was done to ensure every penny was accounted for.
The infrastructure work that needed to be completed for the second phase of the water plant was scheduled to start during the off-season, April to October, and is now delayed. More than likely, this work will start in the high season and will create even more traffic in the Point Blanche area.
Let us put politics aside for a moment. Anytime one leaves an appointed or elected office, the work that was in process should be completed. There are consequences for inaction and consequences for deviating from a sound plan. Disrupting only sets our island back and politics should not be played with the people’s health.
Roddy Heyliger

St. Maarten appoints first STA Director

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