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PHILIPSBURG--Utilities company GEBE will install a new twelve-inch water line and high voltage cables from Pond Island to Pointe Blanche in August. The replacement of the existing lines and cables is due to the increased demand for improved services in Pointe Blanche and the need for more water to the Eastern side of the country.

PHILIPSBURG--Officers within the Justice Ministry had a reason to smile, as some 39 police officers and coast guard personnel were given a promotion that, according to them, was long overdue.

There are some encouraging reports regarding law enforcement today, starting with the recovery on the Dutch side of a car stolen at gunpoint in French Quarter. That the victim was a baker sleeping in the vehicle to await his shift on the job makes the outcome feel even better.

This also shows that cross-border cooperation between authorities is possible and does occur with positive results, despite a recent incident between Dutch St. Maarten police and French-side Gendarmes. It remains something on which one has to keep working though, as is the case with practically all aspects of a unique relationship between two different countries sharing one island on the basis of a centuries-old treaty that calls for free movement of people and goods.

That a number of police- and Coast Guard officers received their usually-long-overdue promotion decrees is positive too. After all, it’s something they had rights to and several were apparently waiting for close to two years, which can have a de-motivating effect.

It was mentioned as well that the police have received five window-tint metres, three K9 vehicles and radios. Of course, with elections on the horizon the party that nominated Justice Minister Edson Kirindongo turned it into a bit of a campaign show, but fact of the matter is that these items were badly needed.

The same goes for the life, accident and disability coverage for Justice officials to be provided by NAGICO. Sure, some might question whether these civil servants should not fall under the same insurance as other Government employees, but one can hardly deny that enforcing the law does bring with it an added risk and could be considered special circumstances.

That the first director of the St. Maarten Tourism Authority (STA) will be selected by the end of this month (see related story) is obviously good news. The STA has been long in the making and with only three of 12 applicants left, the choice is being narrowed down.

However, nowadays such crucial positions require a screening process, so the actual appointment

ROSEAU, Dominica--With renewables accounting for 28 per cent of electricity generation, Dominica is the Caribbean Community Caricom member which consumes the largest proportion of its energy from renewable sources, according to the newly released Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) study “Barriers to Identification and Implementation of Energy Efficiency Mechanisms and Enhancing Renewable Energy Technologies in the Caribbean.”

HAMILTON, Bermuda--What was supposed to be a routine drill on the Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship turned deadly Wednesday.

PARIS--France's highest appeals court ruled on Friday that International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde must stand trial for her role in a 400 million euros ($440 million) state payout in 2008 to businessman Bernard Tapie.

BEIJING--Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday called on world leaders to step up macroeconomic policy coordination, after meeting the heads of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and other senior global economic officials.

LONDON--Queen Elizabeth's wedding dress is on display at Buckingham Palace in a collection of her clothes that will open to the public on Saturday, part of celebrations of the 90th birthday of the world's oldest monarch.

LONDON--Britain's Prince George, the son of Prince William and his wife Kate, celebrated his third birthday on Friday with his father's office releasing new photographs of the great grandson of Queen Elizabeth.

WASHINGTON--Hillary Clinton named U.S. Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate on Friday, making a safe choice that will help her present the Democratic ticket as a steady alternative to the unpredictable campaign of Republican presidential rival Donald Trump.

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana--David Duke, a former leader of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan, launched his candidacy on Friday for the U.S. Senate from Louisiana, saying white people are threatened in America and that he hears echoes of his views in Donald Trump's rhetoric.

MUNICH-- An 18-year-old German-Iranian gunman who apparently acted alone opened fire in a busy shopping mall in Munich on Friday evening, killing at least nine people in the third attack against civilians in Western Europe in eight days.

HARARE--Zimbabwean war veterans turned on their long-time ally President Robert Mugabe, describing him as a dictator in a jolting rebuke underlining political manoeuvring over his succession and mounting anger over economic woes.

Anguilla dominated Dominican Republic in the Battle of the Fittest International Basketball Tournament at L.B. Scott Sports Auditorium last night. Anguilla won 98-61. In the late game Thursday St. Maarten beat Aruba 86-72. The competition is divided into two pools. In the North bracket are Aruba, USA and St. Maarten. In the South pool are Tortola, St. Martin, Anguilla and Dominican Republic. The top two teams in each group advance.  From the North USA is the group leader at 2-0. St. Maarten is second at 1-1.  Tortola and St. Martin will advance from the South. Admission is US $3. Action continues Saturday with two games one at 5:00pm and the second at 9:00pm.  The final, for the US $5,000 prize is slated for Sunday at 8:00pm with the early game to tip off at  4:00pm.

SAINT-GERVAIS-LES-BAINS, France- - Chris Froome hit the deck but retained the overall leader's yellow jersey in the Tour de France on the 19th stage, a crash-marred 146-km mountain trek won by Frenchman Romain Bardet in vintage style on Friday.

Dear Queenie,

My husband and I are friends with a group of other couples who meet every week in one couple’s house or another’s. One of the wives told me her husband has the habit of staring at women he thinks are sexy and asked me to dress more modestly because she had noticed him staring at me.

Queenie, it’s not as if I wear tight-fitting clothes or short skirts or low-cut necklines. Why should I have to plan my outfits according to her husband’s habits?—Not hot

Dear Not hot,

You do not. However, you should try to feel sorry for this woman who is so sensitive about what her husband may or may not be thinking about other women.

First of all I would like to commend Minister Meyers for giving GEBE a deadline in regards to doing something about renewable energy. The truth is that the Honorable PM Marlin, MP Lake and former MP Marlin, now Board President and MP Wescot-Williams at some point have spoken in favor of solar power and other renewable energy.  The new head of the board former MP Roy Marlin went even further by drafting legislation when he was last in parliament,  so the deadline of 8/15 should be very easy to meet, all he needs to do is find the drawer in which the document was thrown in and ignored by all MPs and factions. Let’s hope this is not just political noise prior to the next election but actually a real move.  We all know the benefits of embracing solar but once again let me highlight a few I mentioned on my 2 letters to GEBE management and board and to the head of VROMI that went unanswered and ignored back in December 2015:

-It is good for the environment.

-By embracing and stimulating micro production from the clients that invest in solar the clients are the ones making the investment on the infrastructure instead of GEBE.  All GEBE has to do is use the new digital meters to determine how much they would like to pay for the excess energy produced by these clients.

-Job creation.  The solar industry can create jobs for the economy by incentivizing young professionals to go into the solar installation business since there would be a new demand for it.

-Provide an incentive program of rebates for clients deciding to invest in solar energy this will result in immediate results for those that have been considering making the move but were afraid since they knew that until today GEBE persecutes and penalizes solar clients instead of embracing them.

Roy please show the island that it was not just talk and that it can be done if we all work with the same goal in mind.

 Ricardo Perez

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