Grid List

Minister Ingrid Arrindell.


PHILIPSBURG--Ingrid Arrindell, outgoing Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication Minister has urged the incoming National Alliance (NA)/United People’s (UP) party coalition to continue the tourism initiatives started under her tenure which has had positive effects on reviving the country’s flagging tourism sector.

  One project Arrindell urged the incoming government to follow up on is the Sunwing Travel Group’s proposal for its Blue Diamond Hotels and Casino branch to invest in a 450-room, five-star all-inclusive hotel at Indigo Bay.

Philipsburg - The Board of the Supervisory Council of the St. Maarten Tourism Authority (STA) has taken note of the press releases issued by the office of the Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication on the “selection and appointment” of Rolando Brison as Interim Director of the STA.

Teen Times made a strong case for the realisation of an Arts Centre on Wednesday, challenging particularly two politicians who made promises in that direction and seemingly will both be part of the next Cabinet. Such a project is likely to involve various Ministries, including – not in the least – that of Finance.

A professional theatre is certainly desirable and St. Maarten undoubtedly has the necessary talent to justify such an investment. However, it’s not the only thing that’s needed.

Parliament too will soon require its own home to replace the current space in the Caribbean Palm building being leased for the relatively high amount of US $96,000 per month, because the owner also outfitted and equipped the facility so it could serve as the Legislature. That contract ends next year and it appears an extension will anyhow have to be requested, as constructing a whole other complex before then simply isn’t feasible.

Once Government finally completes the move to its new offices on Pond Island, the most logical spot for Parliament actually would seem to be the site of the “old” Administration Building on Clem Labega Square, primarily due to its central location, parking lot, etc. Whether the existing structure can be renovated or a whole new one would be the better option is another matter.

As for the performing arts centre, several options have been mentioned, including making it part of plans for land owned by the Plantz family in Bethlehem near Belvedere, which also comprise a heritage park, housing, a cricket stadium and a commercial development. As long as regular bus service to the area can be guaranteed, this should not a problem.

A tip for whatever must be built is to use a truly sustainable approach. Include modern rainwater catchment systems and storage as well as solar energy panels in the design, so that the buildings can be practically self-sufficient and rely on GEBE only in the event of a shortage. Now wouldn’t that be something?

The continued issues with funding the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta are a source of concern. After all, it regards one of the island’s biggest annual happenings in terms of generating both visitors and international publicity.

The pending contribution for 2015 had been cancelled only a week before the 2016 edition, while that of this year was never paid. With next year’s regatta during the first weekend of March looming on the horizon it is indeed high time to solve this matter once and for all.

It turns out the Council of Ministers has approved finances for 2017, but wants a service level agreement (SLA) to promote the destination instead of giving subsidy, similar to that of St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF). This has the advantage that an audited financial statement is not required, but rather a marketing plan.

It was not immediately clear whether the latter has been completed meanwhile or is in the works, although feedback was reportedly requested on a draft SLA. The regatta organisation would do well to comply, because gambling on a next minister doing things the old way or in any case differently seems risky at best.

Particularly with the NA again part of the incoming Government the current policy is likely to stay in place, even if the tourism portfolio went to UP. Trying to meet whatever new conditions were set is therefore the advisable approach, especially as the monies have already been earmarked.

That does not take away the problems caused by the sudden lack of funding for the past two years, a grim reality with which the organisation has coped admirably well. Considering the huge economic impact of the event, there is obviously no more room for such hiccups in the future.


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

1. An elongated area of low pressure located a couple of hundred miles
northeast of the Central Bahamas is moving northwestward at about
10 mph. This system has become slightly better organized since
yesterday, and it could still become a subtropical or tropical
cyclone before it merges with a cold front over the western Atlantic
Friday night. A NOAA reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to
investigate the area this afternoon. Regardless of development,
locally heavy rainfall is possible over portions of Hispaniola
* Formation chance through 48 hours...medium...50 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days...medium...50 percent

Forecaster Pasch

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts--Former prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda Lester Bird has urged the United States and the Caribbean to speak out against Russia re-establishing a military base in Cuba.

BOSTON-- Coca-Cola and PepsiCo made donations to nearly 100 influential U.S. public health organizations from 2011 to 2015 in an effort to silence groups that might otherwise push for laws regulating soda, researchers contend.

WISCONSIN- - Harley-Davidson Inc <HOG.N>, facing falling motorcycle sales around the world, said on Tuesday it plans to streamline its operations, reorganize and reduce its workforce during the fourth quarter in a move that will cost the company $20 million to $25 million.

LA PAZ-- An expedition in a boat made only of reeds crafted by indigenous Bolivians is getting ready to cross the Pacific from South America to Australia, in a fresh attempt to prove that ancient mariners were capable of making the journey.

NEW YORK--The X-Files division of the FBI may not be real, but some of Mulder and Scully’s cases were actually inspired by real-life events. The truth is out there—and here are five times it was stranger, and more chilling, than fiction.

LAS VEGAS-- Republican candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested he might reject the outcome of the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election if he loses, a possibility his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton called "horrifying."

 WASHINGTON- - U.S. President Barack Obama lacerated Donald Trump on Tuesday over his repeated assertions that the Nov. 8 election is rigged against him, telling the Republican presidential candidate to "stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes."

DARMSTADT, Germany-- A European space lander reached Mars on Wednesday in what scientists hope will mark a major milestone in exploration of the Red Planet, but whether it touched down on the surface in good working condition was far from certain. Older European and U.S. spacecraft already in orbit relayed data of the lander's six-minute descent.

BAGHDAD/ERBIL-- Residents of Mosul said Islamic State was using civilians as human shields as Iraqi and Kurdish forces captured outlying villages in their advance on the jihadists' stronghold.

PHILIPSBURG--The second annual Brown Pelican Sports Award will be held at Princess Port de Plaisance and Casino on St. Maarten Day weekend November 13, Sports Affairs Minister Silveria Jacobs announced on Wednesday. Persons who practise sports avidly and contribute to the development of sports in general will be honoured at that event.

CAY HILL--Gulf Insurances through “team work” emerged the winner of the National Sports Institute (NSI) Business Soccer League with a clinical 2-0 win over Windward Island Bank (WIB) at the Raoul Illidge Sports Complex, last night.

Dear Queenie,

I have been diagnosed with cancer and may have only a few more years to live, if that. I just found out that my mother has been keeping in touch with an old friend of mine and is trying to arrange for him to marry my wife after I die.

Queenie, how can a mother betray her own child like that?—Angry son

Dear Son,

Perhaps she is simply trying to make certain that her daughter-in-law will be well taken care of after (if) you die. As long as she is not trying to arrange for your friend(?) to get together with your wife while you are still alive, give her the benefit of the doubt.

Dear Minister Plasterk, Mr. President Broekrs-Knol and members of the First Chamber,

We request your attention to the following regarding your plenary meeting on October 11, 2016.

Your Chamber has proposed on October 25 to vote to continue with the further anchoring of Bonaire (the BES islands) in your constitution. This was proposed on October 11, 2016, exactly one day after October 10, 2016, Columbus Day, which the colonization of American continent started 525 years ago and now six years after Bonaire was annexed on 10-10-10 without the consent of the Bonairean people.

On December 18, 2015, with 65 per cent no-votes, this illegal structure was clearly rejected. If you vote on October 25 in favour of, this is an infringement of our sacred self-determination and fundamental human rights and is an illegal annexation through your Dutch state system by anchoring Bonaire in your constitution.

Given your position and role as co-legislator to be independent and must take account of technical legal aspects, especially the relevance and consistency with other laws and certainly not contradicting higher laws, it is now your responsibility to definitively guarantee the rule of law and democracy. You have to respect the voice and rejection by the people of Bonaire on December 18, 2015, and not to proceed with the legislative process and to anchor Bonaire in your constitution against the wishes of the Bonairean population and international higher law.

We would like to again point out that your Chamber and the minister with this proposal intends:

* to violate your own accords in the United Nations,

* to put aside the advice of your own legal experts,

* to put aside your own appointed evaluation committee Spies opinion which stated that there is no constitutional basis to impose the anchoring of the BES islands, violating the self-determination and human rights of the humble Bonaire peoples;

* to violate the law and democratic decision of the Bonerian peoples of the clear rejection of the current structure on 18 december 2015;

* to impose your dominance;

* to infringe and breach your own commitments that you will respect the voice of the people and their acquired rights, etc., etc. ...

Your bill and intentions clearly point in the direction to legitimize the illegal annexation of Bonaire (the BES islands).

This makes the Dutch government nothing less than e.g. the paper annexation of Crimea by Russia, which was clearly rejected by the international community and the now ongoing Syria crisis and genocide with or without the consent of the international community.

The same thing happens here on Bonaire (BES Islands) where a “conquer and occupy” small paper war is going on, namely the extermination policy, genocide of the indigenous Caribbean Bonairean population with paper and laws.

Instead of this your Minister and your Chamber must stop immediately with:

* open immigration policy;

* the camouflaged euthanasia and abortion practices in the health care sector pursuing the systematic extermination of the native Bonerian;

* your cultural imperialism through imposing amoral legislation on the humble believer and Bonerian peoples,

* the invasion of European-Dutch which will neutralize the democratic right of Bonerian peoples on the short term and making the Bonerian a minority, direction cases of Russia and Crimea,

* all possible policy practices that sub-duct the economic strength and aspiration and self-reliance of indigenous Bonerian (eg closing Medical School, regulations by Authority for the Financial Markets, demotivation and segregation of indigenous Bonerian by Ducthification of the education system and policies, etc., etc.)

In summary, the chamber and the minister are planning to vote on October 25 to officially violate their self-co-signed international agreements and higher international law.

Just at this moment in time you have to show an exemplary function as board member of the security-council, but what you have in mind is the opposite; violation of rights to self-determination, human rights abuses, violation of the principles of the rule of law and democracy.

We only hope that in due time you will realize that you're violating all the above rights and that you are profiling a negative image to the world and Bonerian peoples.

It is expected that "justice for all" more or less becomes an empty slogan and that the rule of law is undermined. In this way you allow everyone to defend its own human rights and its political freedom, equality and certainly does not have to take into consideration anymore to keep or respect the law which the chamber and the Minister are knowingly violating.

Yours sincerely,

On behalf of Foundation Nos Kier Boneiru Bek

James Finies, president

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