Grid List

PHILIPSBURG--The implementation of a garbage tax and an environment tax are on the income-generating agenda of One St. Maarten People Party (OSPP). These ideas are part of the party’s manifesto launched on Monday morning.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC--A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will materialized over several areas of cooperation, including commerce, education, health, regional security, trans-shipment and tourism, was signed by Prime Minister William Marlin on behalf of the country with Dominican Republic Foreign Affairs Minister Miguel Vargas on Monday. The signing comes after three years of discussions.

The proposal of One St. Maarten People Party (OSPP) to introduce garbage and environmental taxes (see related story) might not earn them a lot of votes, but can certainly be considered noteworthy. After all, very few of the parties campaigning for the September 30 parliamentary election have come up with concrete income-generating measures to help finance their many other plans.

One can hardly deny that the current system of collecting and processing waste on the Dutch side is far from ideal and needs fixing. Moreover, these kinds of levies are commonplace just about everywhere else, as dealing with trash in an ecologically responsible manner has become an increasingly expensive undertaking.

In addition to charging residents NAf. 25 and businesses NAf. 50 per month for their garbage, the plan is to have visitors pay US $20 (NAf. 36) due to the burden of their presence on nature. That is fairly reasonable for stay-over guests vacationing in St. Maarten a week or longer, but not so much regarding cruise passengers who are on the island less than a day.

Perhaps more important is that the funds are applied as indicated, in this case to clean up Great Salt Pond. When, for example, in the past proceeds from the dollar-a-day programme at local resorts intended for less fortunate children were used to fix roads, it did not go down well with everyone.

Nevertheless, OSPP at least presented straightforward ideas on how to raise revenues, including the already-long-talked-about tourist driver’s licence that is actually a no-brainer. Also, levying import duties or perhaps excise taxes on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products should not have the negative effect on shopping predicted by some, simply because they probably would still be considerably cheaper than elsewhere.

News that the United Bus Association has adopted a colour code for different routes (see Saturday paper) is most welcome. This kind of system to help organise public transportation in St. Maarten makes all the sense in the world.

In addition, residents of Pointe Blanche received the good news that they will be getting up-to-now non-existent bus service. Of course, no mention was made of


KINGSTON, Jamaica--Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has launched a special J $20 million (US $157,735) revolving loan facility to boost the compliance of small tourism properties, attractions and businesses on Jamaica’s eco-friendly south coast.

VIRGIN GORDA, BVI--Sir Richard Branson saw “his life flash before my eyes” during a bike crash close to a cliff edge that left him needing hospital treatment.

BERLIN--Germany's interior minister visited Facebook's offices in Berlin on Monday and said it should be more proactive in removing forbidden content from its social network platform.

NEW YORK--Mylan NV said it would launch the first generic version of its allergy auto-injector EpiPen for $300, half the price of the branded product, the drugmaker's second step in less than a week to counter the backlash over the product's steep price.

LOS ANGELES--Gene Wilder, whose wild curls and startling blue eyes brought a frantic air to roles in the movies "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," "Young Frankenstein" and "Blazing Saddles," died on Monday at the age of 83, his family said.

WASHINGTON--Huma Abedin, one of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's top aides, said on Monday that she was separating from her husband, Anthony Weiner, after a sex scandal similar to an earlier incident that led him to resign from the U.S. Congress.

LAS VEGAS--Outside political money is pouring into a race in Nevada to replace U.S. Democratic Senator Harry Reid, who is retiring and who told Reuters that the main reason his favoured successor isn't winning easily is cash from beyond the state's borders.

AUSTIN, Texas--Lucy, one of the best known ancestors of humans to ever roam the earth, may have died after a fall from a tree, University of Texas researchers said on Monday after studying her 3.18-million-year-old fossilized remains.

BRASILIA--A defiant President Dilma Rousseff warned on Monday that her conservative opponents were trampling on Brazil's democracy by using trumped-up charges to oust her and roll back the social advances of 13 years of leftist rule.
  Presenting her defense at an impeachment trial in the Senate, Brazil's first female president said the economic elite had sought to destabilize her government since she narrowly won re-election to a second four-year term in 2014.

BEIJING--Chinese President Xi Jinping has reshuffled three top provincial-level Communist Party posts as he seeks to place his men in key positions ahead of a once-every-five-years congress next year, and more new appointments are likely soon.

The St. Maarten Volleyball Association National Male Senior team won the NORSECA 2016 World Championship Qualification Tournament held August 24-28. The games were hosted by Saint Martin.

NEW YORK- - Second seed Angelique Kerber, one of four women's players who could emerge from Flushing Meadows as world number one, made a short and sweet start at the U.S. Open on a hot, sunny Monday.

Dear Editor,

I would like to use this space to address the situation in Beacon Hill with the rain water that collects on the road in front of Alegria and Sunset Beach Bar.

There is nowhere for the water to run off, as the powers that be at the airport filled in the ditch that ran along the inside of the fence that was used for runoff. This water becomes stagnant with the residue from the garbage shed at the road in front of the resort making it unhealthy and it smells.

Why wasn’t the airport responsible for making an alternate water runoff?

This water sits for weeks at a time if the rain is persistent and it creates such a bad traffic situation and potholes that could seriously damage cars and people.

It would be nice if the Government, Public Works or maybe VROMI looked into this mess. I’m sure my neighbours and visitors of the island would appreciate it too.

Mary Lou Nipper

Beacon Hill resident

Dear Queenie,

After a family get-together with our children and grandchildren we noticed that some money was missing from my husband’s wallet that was sitting on the dresser in our bedroom.

No one was paying any attention, so anyone could have gone in there and taken the money.

Queenie, should we mention this to anyone or just let it go?—Ripped off

Dear Ripped,

Unless you want this to become an issue with your family every time you see any of them, let it go. But from now on make sure to lock up your money and any other valuables that could easily be taken. Lock the rooms they are in, if necessary. And if anyone asks about the security measures you have taken, tell them all why, without accusing anyone in particular. The culprits will (hopefully) get the message.

St. Maarten appoints first STA Director

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