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DATE ISSUED: Friday, September 20, 2019 @ 18:00 LST (22:00 UTC)
VALID UNTIL: Saturday evening (18:00 LST) September 21, 2019

…A TROPICAL STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR ST. MAARTEN…
…A SMALL CRAFT/HIGH SURF ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR ST. MAARTEN…

WEATHER:  
Tonight through Saturday midday: Generally cloudy to overcast and slightly breezy with isolated showers and a risk of thunder.

Remainder of Saturday: Partly cloudy to cloudy and breezy with isolated showers possible. 

Forecast High: 30°C / 86°F                     
Forecast Low: 25°C / 77°F

Sunset Today: 6:10 P.M.               
Sunrise Tomorrow: 6:01 A.M.

SURFACE WINDS: 
Tonight through Saturday evening: Southwest to southeast with a gentle to moderate breeze of 08 to 18 mph, and higher gusts, particularly during showers.

SYNOPSIS:  
Moisture and instability associated with the outer bands of Hurricane Jerry will account for an increase in cloudiness, showers and possible thunderstorms across the local area. Showers are expected to become moderate to heavy at times overnight.  Consequently, flooding and/or rock slides are highly possible in flood-prone areas and along hillsides. Residents and users of these areas are advised to be vigilant.

Long period northerly swells will maintain hazardous sea conditions during this forecast period. As a result, small craft and high surf advisories are in effect for St. Maarten.
These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Beach erosion is possible in vulnerable areas. Sea-bathers are advised to stay away from the sea during the passage of Jerry.

STATE OF THE SEA:  Rough         
WAVES/SWELLS: 8 to 12 feet

SPECIAL FEATURES: 
At 5:00pm, the center of Hurricane Jerry was located 19.6 N, 62.0 W or about 129 miles east-northeast of St. Maarten. Jerry continues to move towards the west-northwest at 18 mph.
On the forecast track, the center of Jerry is expected to pass approximately 120 miles to the north of St. Maarten within the next hour. Effects of Jerry on St. Maarten are expected to be mainly in rainfall and sea swells throughout the night.
Maximum sustained winds remain near 80 mph (130 km/h) with higher gusts. 
Some weakening is forecast overnight, but Jerry could re-strengthen early next week.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (30 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km).
The estimated minimum central pressure recorded is 991 mb (29.27 inches).
Residents and the general public are advised to continue being alert and monitor the progress of Jerry.
The Meteorological Department of St. Maarten will continue to monitor and issue special weather bulletins. 

OUTLOOK through Sunday evening: Partly cloudy to cloudy and breezy with isolated showers possible.

FORECASTER: Connor

 

SIMPSON BAY--White Swan Chinese Restaurant in Simpson Bay was the scene of a large gas explosion on Friday afternoon that left at least two injured.

  According to reports at the scene, a gas tanker truck was starting to refill cooking gas bottles at the restaurant around 2:00pm when one bottle suddenly exploded.

  The St. Maarten Police Force KPSM, the St. Maarten Fire Department, and the Ambulance Department responded to this emergency.

  The cause of the explosion is unclear and was still being investigated by authorities as of 4:00pm Friday.

  At least two persons, one of whom being the driver of the tanker truck, was injured in the blast. They were treated at the scene by members of the Ambulance Department and were taken to St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) for further treatment. The extent of their injuries is yet unknown.

Today’s story about a decline of between 25 and 30 per cent in cruise calls for 2020 is not the kind of news one hopes to hear ahead of the next busy period. It seems figures from the past two years were inflated because several other cruise facilities in the region had not yet been fully operational until now, due to damage caused by the September 2017 Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

It must be said, the ships are getting bigger and on average thus bring more passengers, as often pointed out by Port St. Maarten. However, this obviously can’t compensate for such a drop by a quarter or more in vessel visits.

The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) sees lack of clarity about the apparent intention to give out a concession for running the harbour as one of the problems. It said there needs to be transparency toward the cruise lines that want to know in advance who they are doing business with.

The people haven’t been told very much about the plans either, which is always a concern. After all, it regards not only a government-owned company but also a major player in the island’s tourism economy so far mostly reported to be doing great, although there have been suspected irregularities in which supposedly millions were embezzled.

Nevertheless, any process to bring in an outside operator should be conducted in good consultation certainly with crucial stakeholders like FCCA, but also the general public that to a large extent depends on this gateway functioning optimally for an important part of its livelihood. One must consider too that many cruise passengers are known to return longer as stayover guests.

The main thing is to keep them coming.

 

No Saturday newspaper

Due to the expected impact of Hurricane Jerry from Friday evening, The Daily Herald will not be published on Saturday morning. A combined Saturday/Monday edition, together with the WEEKender, is planned for Monday, September 23. Management apologises for any inconvenience this safety measure to protect the wellbeing of our employees may cause.

The initiative by Member of Parliament (MP) Claude “Chacho” Peterson for Dutch Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations State Secretary Raymond Knops to meet with the legislature in Philipsburg (see Wednesday paper) is interesting. Of course, the request backed by independent MP Franklin Meyers and United Democrats (UD) faction member Jules James had to be made through Prime Minister Romeo-Marlin and for the sake of protocol it might be wise to extend the invitation to Dutch Minister Kajsa Ollongren, even though it’s Knops that handles most day-to-day affairs regarding the island.

The reality is that decisions taken in The Hague these days have a bigger-than-usual impact on St. Maarten and its people because of the Dutch government’s role in the country’s continued recovery from Hurricane Irma via its Trust Fund managed by the World Bank, liquidity support, etc. For the responsible public administrator of the Netherlands to have consultations with the local legislature therefore makes all the sense in the world.

Knops should seriously consider accepting the offer in the interest of fairness. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a Kingdom Parliament and the three Dutch Caribbean countries Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten have only one representative each in the Kingdom Council of Ministers dominated by Dutch cabinet members.

This so-called “democratic deficit” remains a reality within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, so it’s nice when efforts are made to give the islands a bit more input and a frank encounter with local legislators would seem a good way to do so. After all, talking can’t hurt.

Tropical Weather Outlook

NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL

For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

 The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Hurricane Jerry, located a few hundred miles east of the Leeward Islands.

 

  1. A tropical wave located about 700 miles east of the Windward Islands continues to produce disorganized showers and thunderstorms. The wave is expected to move quickly westward at about 20 mph during the next few days, and some development is possible while it approaches and moves across the Windward Islands this weekend. Upper-level winds are forecast to become less conducive for development once the wave moves over the eastern Caribbean Sea early next week.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...20 percent.

* Formation chance through 5 days...low...30 percent.

 

  1. A broad area of low pressure located over the central Caribbean Sea is producing disorganized shower and thunderstorm activity, mainly to the east and northeast of its center of circulation. This system is expected to move slowly west-northwestward and significant development is unlikely due to strong upper-level winds. Regardless of development, locally heavy rainfall is possible over portions of the Greater Antilles during the next few days.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...10 percent.

* Formation chance through 5 days...low...10 percent.

 

  1. A tropical wave is forecast to move off the west coast of Africa this weekend. Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for development, and a tropical depression or tropical storm is likely to form early next week while the wave moves westward across the eastern tropical Atlantic.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...10 percent.

* Formation chance through 5 days...high...70 percent.

 

Forecaster Zelinsky

WASHINGTON--Amazon.com Inc Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos on Thursday pledged to make the largest U.S. e-commerce company net carbon neutral by 2040 and to buy 100,000 electric delivery vans from a start-up, as employees and consumers around the world plan protests to address climate change.

NEW YORK--Some senior Deutsche Bank AG officials have discussed the possibility of putting additional problematic assets worth billions of euros into a unit it created earlier this year, if the bank is able to sell assets already held within that "bad bank," according to three bank sources.

RACHEL, Nevada--UFO enthusiasts began descending on rural Nevada on Thursday near the secret U.S. military installation known as Area 51, long rumored to house government secrets about alien life, with local authorities hoping the visitors were coming in peace.

NEW YORK--For Jessica Lescault there is no question that her 6-year old English bulldog "Moose" deserves cutting-edge biotechnology cancer treatment as much as any human patient.

WASHINGTON--President Donald Trump's administration said on Thursday it is revoking California's authority to set its own auto tailpipe emissions standards and require some zero-emission vehicles, a move certain to spark a legal battle between federal officials and the most populous state over the future of U.S. vehicles.

WASHINGTON--U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, proposed legislation on Thursday to let the federal government negotiate lower prices for costly prescription drugs, drawing praise from Republican President Donald Trump, who urged a bipartisan solution.

OTTAWA--Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to continue his re-election campaign and asked for forgiveness on Thursday after pictures of him in blackface emerged less than five weeks before the national vote.

GUATEMALA CITY--Guatemala is no longer just a transit point for traffickers seeking to smuggle cocaine north towards the United States, authorities said on Thursday after security officials discovered several coca plantations and processing laboratories.

EINDHOVEN--PSV Eindhoven got off to a good start in the Europa League group stages with a 3-2 victory over Sporting club de Portugal.

MILWAUKEE --Lorenzo Cain, Ryan Braun and Trent Grisham drove in runs to help the Milwaukee Brewers earn a 5-1 win against the visiting San Diego Padres in the finale of a four-game series on Thursday afternoon.

Dear Queenie,

  My sister is getting married and I am supposed to be her matron of honour, but it turns out that I am pregnant and her wedding will be about 3 months before I am due to have the baby.

  Now she is mad because she thinks I will be getting more attention than her because I will be pregnant and it will ruin the wedding for her.

  Queenie, what can I say to calm her down?—Expecting

 

Dear Expecting,

  Tell your sister there is nothing you can do about being pregnant, but you will step down as matron of honour and just be a guest at her wedding if that will make her feel better. What more can you do? Does she want you to stay away altogether?

Dear Editor,

  Anguilla's upcoming election is very critical where it pertains to the future of Anguilla. We hear the cries of everyone within our society, except the cries of those we ignore; and those are the cries of the youth and the prisoners. We have been paying attention to the correlation between both of these parties. Hapgood came to our shores and was subsequently charged with "manslaughter". Not only was he granted bail for this charge, but he was allowed to leave the island under this condition.

   However, it is appalling that the indigenous people of the island face a great degree of difficulty when obtaining bail, because they are regarded as a  "flight risk". To add insult to injury, our indigenous people wait for years on remand before the preliminary investigation process is completed, while they continue to give special treatment to Hapgood. Did it ever occur to anyone that the police force might be using this remand tactic to wrongfully put an individual on remand to suffice as a sentence in their mind?

  If some of the cases that individuals served multiple years of remand time in Anguilla, only to be released, made it onto the desk of a prosecutor in other jurisdictions, the prosecutors would tell the police force to get that tomfoolery off  their desk. Where are the checks and balances that are necessary for stopping such travesties from occurring?

  Young men today are thrown into institutions that barely have the resources to rehabilitate them. There are no vocational classes in the prison; that is a glaring issue that needs to be addressed. Why does a prison have a CXC program that is hardly prepared to groom its inmates? These prisoners are humans too. All of the prisoners who have taken the CXC exam in the past were entered into the prison system already equipped with the skills to sit the CXC exam, but just never took it prior to being incarcerated. Which politician and or highly influential people in the society will help to contribute financially to a vocational class?

  Idle hands are the devil’s workshop, so if they are learning skills that teach them to use their hands productively, it is a win-win situation for the society and the individual. Our checks and balances are the visiting justice; however, these people are elderly folks and it is clear they only occupy the position for a cheque. They are unconcerned with the voices of the prisoners.

  Who do we go to? Particular officers within the staff abuse their powers and there is no one to come to our aid. We endure verbal abuse on a daily basis and all some of us can do is shed tears because if we try to express our opinions respectfully, it is usually held against our trial date. Why does our society continue to neglect our youth, knowing that if we do not prepare them for a tomorrow without those that came before them, they will perish? When the pressure searches for a release valve, I hope the end results do not come as a surprise. A simple-minded person would hear that statement and immediately imply a threat. I acknowledge and understand that it is logic.

  To the Anguilla society at large, please water the seedlings in the youth and the incarcerated, so the island can be bountiful during harvest time.

 Concerned resident of Anguilla