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The D’Vybzz band are the 2019 winners of Statia Band Clash Competition that was held on Thursday night at Mike van Putten Youth Centre/Carnival City. Several bands vied for the title, but it was the newly formed D’Vybzz that came out on top with 216 points.

From left: Rotary Assistant District Governor Marcellia Henry and new president Gabriel Flanders Hyman with incoming board, at the Rotaract Sunrise change-of-board reception held late last month.

PHILIPSBURG--Rotaract Club of St. Maarten Sunrise recently had its change-of-board ceremony with the pinning its first male president in more than ten years.

The arrangement between the General Pension Fund APS and Banco di Caribe to provide future homeowners at Oryx Residences with a mortgage (see related story) is obviously good news. After all, where else can one get 100 per cent financing at 6 per cent interest.

Construction of 62 units is scheduled for completion at the end of this month and approved buyers should get their keys six to eight weeks after that. With reportedly attractive prices, the project should help alleviate the acute shortage of affordable housing at least somewhat.

The question is whether more can’t be done in that sense and in the process promote homeownership, which is an important factor in social stability. If banks were able to offer similar, favourable conditions for mortgages to everyone, this could also stimulate movement in the real estate sector and boost local spending a bit.

A so-called mortgage guarantee fund is one way to accomplish such, but there might be other feasible options too. It would behove government to have consultations with financial institutions on the islands to see what is possible.

Perhaps some of the millions in the Dutch-sponsored Trust Fund managed by the World Bank can be used to this end as economic revitalisation tool, along with Small Business Recovery Project and other initiatives. There is no doubt that owning homes helps give people stronger roots and tends to make them care more about their surroundings and the community they are part of.

The announcement that Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin will temporarily take over from Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Emil Lee has at least provided some clarity on the latter’s immediate future following the no-confidence motion against him recently passed by Parliament. After correctly submitting his resignation on July 11 he will no longer function as such.

Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI Miklos Giterson also made his position available to the governor, but did so based on a request from the United Democrats/St. Maarten Christian Party coalition, rather than a vote of disapproval in the legislature. Perhaps partly for that reason he is staying on in caretaker capacity until “the prospective candidate” has been appointed.

The latter would seem to indicate Giterson’s successor has already been chosen and will undergo the usual screening process. That does not appear to be the case in Lee’s case, however, so the prime minister may have to “hold the VSA-fort” for quite a while.

The release did not mention anything about Justice Minister Cornelius de Weever, who was reportedly also asked to step down. This suggests the coalition leaders are not insisting on his departure or in any case don’t consider it a priority.

As stated before, ensuring the country’s continued recovery from its worst natural disaster to date with good use of funding made available by the Netherlands is what matters most and not so much who sits in what chair.

Tropical Weather Outlook

NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL

800 AM EDT Mon Jul 22 2019

  

1. Showers and thunderstorms over the Northwest Bahamas and the adjacent waters are associated with a trough of low pressure. Environmental conditions are expected to be marginally conducive for development during the next couple of days while the trough moves west-northwestward to northwestward at around 15 mph. Additional development is not anticipated after that time due to strong upper-level winds.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...30 percent.

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

 

Forecaster Latto/Pasch

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico--Puerto Rico’s governor said on Sunday he would not seek re-election next year but refused to step down after nine days of sometimes violent protests demanding his resignation over vulgar chat messages.

ATHENS--Greece will submit a 2020 budget later this year that will fully respect the fiscal targets agreed with its lenders, newly elected Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Saturday.

BEIJING--Some Chinese companies are seeking new purchases of U.S. agricultural products, China's official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday, citing authorities, as Beijing and Washington look for ways to end a protracted trade war.

SAN DIEGO--The upcoming "Star Trek" series about Jean-Luc Picard will reunite the beloved starship commander with android officer Data and other characters from the long-running space franchise, the cast revealed to fans at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday.

WASHINGTON--U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday that he would vouch for the bail of detained American rapper A$AP Rocky, who was arrested in Sweden in connection with a street fight that occurred in June.

WASHINGTON--U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday stepped up his attacks on four Democratic congresswomen who have criticized his policies, calling on them to apologize as he himself faced charges of racism.

WASHINGTON--The U.S. military on Sunday accused a Venezuelan fighter aircraft of "aggressively" shadowing a U.S. Navy EP-3 Aries II plane over international airspace, a fresh sign of growing hostility between the two countries.

TOKYO--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling bloc won a solid majority in an upper house election on Sunday but his coalition and allies fell short of a two-thirds majority needed to begin revising the pacifist constitution, public broadcaster NHK said.

DUBAI/LONDON--Britain was weighing its next moves in the Gulf tanker crisis on Sunday, with few good options apparent as a recording emerged showing that the Iranian military defied a British warship when it boarded and seized a ship three days ago.
  Prime Minister Theresa May's office said she would chair a meeting of Britain's COBRA emergency response committee on Monday morning to discuss the crisis.

Team St. Maarten finished third in the Battle of the Fittest 5 on 5 Basketball Tournament at L.B. Scott Sports Auditorium. St. Maarten bested Aruba 73-68 Saturday night. In the championship game, also Saturday,  Dominican Republic won it all beating defending champions Tortola 88-74. A total of six teams competed in the week-long tournament. Not advancing were St. Eustatius and Curacao.


LONDON- - Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce produced a superb display to outclass local favourite Dina Asher-Smith and Ivory Coast's Marie-Josee Ta Lou as she won the women's 100 metres in 10.78 seconds at the London Diamond League on Sunday.

Dear Editor,

  This article is for people to understand what education cannot do.

  Education defines as the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life. Another definition is the act or process of imparting or acquiring particular knowledge or skills, as for a profession or a degree, level, or kind of schooling.

  Education is good, listen carefully, I do not want you to agree or disagree, I need you to understand me. Education can give you a comfortable life and also lots of money.

  But education cannot save your soul. The danger about education is that some people let it become idolatry.

  The Bible describes idolatry as the worship of an image or a created object. Idolatry is anything that comes between us and God.

  In many universities throughout the world, education is used against the teaching of God and also to mock Christianity.

  Many people use education as a tool to save the world. That in itself is deception.

  Many people use education to promote immorality and to indoctrinate people against Christ. Notice I said Christ, not God.

  Because many universities acknowledge there is a God but not a Christ.

  Worse yet politics have entered our educational system which is creating more confusion. Education cannot give you a good heart.

  Education cannot make you a moral person. Education cannot make you accept Christ.

  Education is good but never idolize it because if you do it can be very destructive.

  Remember, education cannot change the heart of man to be good. Only God can do that.

  Education is good but it is not the savior, only Jesus Christ is. Romans 1:22: Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.

  The conclusion is education has its limitation. But Christ covers a realm that is everlasting with the knowledge that education is far too limited to accomplish.

  The Supremacy is only Jesus Christ. The only idol is Jesus Christ. Be careful who or what you worship and do not educate yourself to be a fool.

  Remember, choices have consequences. Choose wisely.

  I reaffirm only Christ is Supremacy.

 

The Patriot Miguel Arrindell

Dear Queenie,

  My sister and I have always been close and I have always been there for her when she needed a shoulder to cry on. But recently when I needed someone to talk to about a problem I was having she just kind of brushed me off and later when I complained about the way she had treated me at that time she got mad at me for criticizing her.

  Queenie, do you think this is fair?—Sister feeling used

 

Dear Sister,

  No, it is not fair, but that is how things are sometimes. Some people are better at taking help than at giving it, and because up to now you did not need that kind of help you just did not notice that your sister is like that.

  Try to accept her for what she is and focus on all her good qualities.