Grid List

BONAIRE--Clark Abraham was appointed as Bonaire’s commissioner again hardly two weeks since re-entering the Island Council for opposition party PDB, after Michael Pieters had stepped down citing differences with fraction leader Robby Beukenboom to make room for Abraham.

Motorworld officially opened its state-of-the-art showroom at its Cole Bay location Friday evening. The two-storey solar-powered building will house the sales and executive offices of the business. Cutting the symbolic ribbon were members of the Amjad family with Prime Minister William Marlin and President of St. Martin Daniel Gibbs, among other dignitaries. (Andrew Dick photo)  

One would almost have to admire his political savvy if the whole thing wasn’t so crazy. Clark Abraham is back as commissioner in Bonaire only two weeks after he re-entered the Island Council and in no time managed to bring about a change in government.

To be fair, the son of long-time PDB leader Jopi Abraham was the red party’s biggest vote-getter while heading its candidate list in the 2015 election. He became commissioner, but was subsequently “left out looking in” after the then “watermelon coalition” with green party UPB fell apart.

Later, problems occurred between PDB’s fraction leader Robby Beukenboom and councilman Michael Pieters. The latter recently resigned to allow Abraham back in, who subsequently broke with the opposition party, declared himself independent and soon after formed a new coalition with MPB and independent member Nunu Raphaela.

Abraham becoming commissioner meant the PDB Island Council seat is again vacant, but will once more go to – believe it or not – the same Pieters, who formally remains next in line, presumably so he too can go independent and ensure the incoming Executive Council is still supported by a majority. That readers may have trouble following all of this is no wonder, because it’s a basically-unheard-of political game of musical chairs.

Only in the Dutch Caribbean, some would say.

Local grocery shoppers will hopefully make use of Government’s consumer goods price comparisons in Tuesday’s paper. An announcement earlier this month that these controls would continue and be expanded was welcomed in this column at the time.

Of course, the list regarded only 10 of the many food stores on the Dutch side, but the aim is to gradually target a wider range of super- and minimarkets than before. That is fine, as long as they obviously don’t know when will be their turn.

While 45 items were mentioned in this case, the plan is to check about 300 products by creating eight categories of which one is to be surveyed during each reporting period. In April that was meat and seafood, while for May it was canned goods.

This seems like a practical approach, as long as the businesses in question aren’t made aware of the month’s theme beforehand, which would allow them to only lower certain prices temporarily and manipulate the results. It is one thing to be open, but some things are better kept confidential.

It could be argued that publishing prices of May 10 and 11 almost two weeks later means these may have been changed meanwhile. However, a bit of time is obviously needed to process the information and present it in an organised manner.

One aspect that should not be overlooked is the so-called “basket of basic necessities” for which maximum prices have been set. In Curaçao a minimarket was recently closed for violating a similar regulation there repeatedly despite several warnings, clearly indicating a need for enforcement in this matter.

KINGSTON, Jamaica--Police in Jamaica have launched an investigation to find out who was behind a shipment of cocaine filled dolls destined for London, England.

The narcotics, which weighed just over a pound, were seized at a warehouse at Norman Manley International Airport in the capital, Kingston, on Wednesday.

FLORIDA, United States--Forecasters at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center say the Atlantic could see another above-normal hurricane season this year.

TORONTO--The Toronto Stock Exchange's efforts to win a slice of the massive Saudi Aramco public listing plays up the country's deep experience in natural resources as part of a broader offer to help the kingdom with its shift away from oil dependence.

BEIJING--China's structural reforms will slow the pace of its debt build-up but will not be enough to arrest it, and another credit rating cut for the country is possible down the road unless it gets its ballooning credit in check, officials at Moody's said.

LOS ANGELES--U.S. pop star Ariana Grande said on Friday that she will hold a benefit concert in Manchester for the victims of Monday's suicide bombing at her show in the English city.

CANNES, France--The suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester, England, temporarily drew attention at the Cannes Film Festival away from the movies and to the security threat that has bedevilled Europe.

WASHINGTON--U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has declined a request to host an event to mark Islam's holy month of Ramadan, two U.S. officials said, apparently breaking with a bipartisan tradition in place with few exceptions for nearly 20 years.

WASHINGTON--In a stinging rebuke to President Donald Trump, a U.S. appeals court refused on Thursday to reinstate his travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority nations, calling it discriminatory and setting the stage for a showdown in the Supreme Court.

TAORMINA, Italy--Leaders from the world's major industrialised nations failed to persuade U.S. President Donald Trump to back a landmark climate deal at a G7 summit in Sicily on Friday after hours of talks that were described by Germany's leader as "controversial".

CAIRO--Egyptian air force planes on Friday carried out strikes directed at camps in Libya which Cairo says have been training militants who killed dozens of Christians earlier in the day, Egyptian military sources said.

MONACO-- Australian Daniel Ricciardo and Dutch teenager Max Verstappen have no escape clauses in their contracts and will remain with Red Bull in 2018, team principal Christian Horner said on Friday.

VIRGINIA WATER, England- - Henrik Stenson's title rivals will be looking over their shoulders after the Swede moved menacingly within two shots of the BMW PGA Championship lead despite being below his best on Friday.

Dear Queenie,

All my friends have children or are about to and they keep asking me and my husband when we are going to become parents too. Maybe we will someday, but I have never wanted to get pregnant and go through childbirth and my husband isn’t interested in adopting, so maybe we never will have children.

It’s bad enough when our parents get after us about giving them grandchildren, but our friends too?

Queenie, what do we say to people when they get on our case?—Happily childless

Dear Childless,

If you have medical reasons for not conceiving and bearing children and are comfortable sharing them with family and/or friends, explain your reasons for not having children.

Otherwise, just tell them, “Maybe someday,” and change the subject.

Dear Editor,

I have a question of which the answer in my opinion should be a no brainer, but permit me first to make a summation. The majority of our people have been loyal to the same leaders for many years. The same people for many years have been calling the shots. Both government and boards of government-owned companies are like a deck of cards. Same deck been shuffled. There was a time when the word affluent was not strange to us; nowadays more than 75 percent of the population is living below the poverty line.

The majority of our people in government have to think very long when asked what kind of government do we have in Sint Maarten. I still smile at an incident when someone high up in government wanted to know " wha yo mean by dah" when I asked that person that question. How long have we been partners with the other countries in the kingdom, whether equal or not? How long have we been governed by the same kingdom laws, while those in government do not even know how to explain to their constituents what kind of government we have in Sint Maarten?

We just had an extensive explanation about APS and our money (money which our representatives are using to bail out what seems to have been fraudulent behaviour of those who put government in debt) which over the years was constantly increasing in volume, and is now gradually is diminishing. The same people in government are plainly telling us that they take care of each other. They compensate those persons who have been in government and have not been re-elected for two years long to enable them to gradually go back to the lifestyle they had before being elected. This tells me that they are openly accepting and telling us that once you are elected to government, you lead an elaborate lifestyle off our money, and along with that, they have the gall (bile) to tell the pensioners of which the majority have contributed for much more than thirty-five years that our pension money is in jeopardy .

Since 10-10-'10, we have not had a steady government and still do not have a system in place to guarantee a steady government. There is a page in our book, once we rip that page out of the book, all the pictures of ships and busses will not be in that book any more. If you do not believe me, ask Michelle. There are projects like the Causeway of which we are still not clear how and by whom that money was spent. Our people in government are not permitted by their puppet masters to entertain the thought of determining who is a Sint Maartener.

Several people in government including political leaders, still put their country of origin before this goose which continues to lay the golden egg for them. Donald Trump is selling out. The country is getting congested with motor vehicles, which is a complaint being heard more and more from the tourists. That and limited parking spaces. We cannot even combat illegal transportation (gypsies). Several people in government are telling me that it is very difficult to regulate public transportation. They cannot even place bus stops along Nisbeth Road, which in my opinion is government property and does not need permission from anyone to place bus stop signs along that road.

We permit politicians from foreign countries to come here and organize political campaign meetings. People who have acquired the Dutch nationality here feel free to drive around with their country’s national flag with no regard for the kingdom flag, nor the Sint Maarten flag. With cruise passengers not spending like before (not me, worldwide report) for years now we are still exporting those crushed cars. Is not that a type of small industry that can be done here? I can go on and on with observations from many people who for instance would tell you that things they see the Sint Maarten government accept they could not do in their country.

How dare they use obscene language in the presence of government officials? Let us check the nucleus of the people living on Sint Maarten. Do they have the experience of having lived in an independent country? So here is my question of which the answer should be a no brainer. I know that every journey begins with the first step, but who are we taking that first step with? In other words, if we vote for independence for Sint Maarten, when that time comes around, who are we going independent with?

Russell A. Simmons

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