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International Yoga Day (IYD) was observed by practising yogis in Belair Community Centre on Wednesday evening in a free community class held by Explore Yoga. The class brought together persons of various skill levels under the guidance of St. Maartener Rikita Budhrani, a certified instructor.

The board of BPW Concordia pose for a group photo holding candles following Sunday’s inauguration and installation ceremony.


MARIGOT--An inauguration and installation ceremony was held Sunday, June 18, 2017, for the Association of Business and Professional Women (BPW) Concordia in the Christ Ambassadors Ministries Church.

  The installation ceremony was conducted by Regional Coordinator of North America and the Caribbean, Bessie Hironimus.

  The yearly Candle Lighting Ceremony also took place during which a candle is lit for every participating country to celebrate achievements and to honour Federations and Affiliate Clubs in over 96 countries world-wide.

Questions posed by opposition Member of Parliament Tamara Leonard (UP) regarding alleged “hefty contracts” at GEBE (see related story) deserve answers. Judging an amount for cleaning around the local utilities provider’s meter boxes and houses is tricky, but the US $900,000 per year mentioned does seem like a lot of money.

The claim that former Minister Maurice Lake or his firm is being paid some US $12,000 per month as advisor to the board of the Government-owned company also begs for clarification. While quality isn’t cheap, one can’t help but wonder if in this case such a relatively high fee was really necessary.

More explanation on this matter can hopefully be given during Friday’s continuation of the Parliament meeting on the state of affairs at GEBE. Of course, the water and electricity company is to be operated without political interference, but the country and its people are ultimately the sole shareholders to whom both management and the Supervisory Board must be accountable.

Speaking of which, there were various power cuts and surges on Wednesday, with especially the latter sparking concern among consumers. Persons who called GEBE were first asked to hold, after which someone closed the line without saying a word.

It’s understandable that when these problems occur technicians get very busy. However, it regards a so-called alarm number for emergencies that could include dangerous situations such as, for example, downed live power cables.

Whatever happens, they should at least be able to answer the phone.

Today’s report on the inauguration of two new ambulances is obviously good news. Especially the fact that they are equipped with Power Pro Hydraulic Stretchers and Loading System will be welcomed by the personnel who are sometimes forced to lift rather heavy patients in awkward positions, with all potential consequences for their own health.

Investment in up-to-date materials for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was no doubt needed not just for residents, but also the tens of thousands of persons visiting St. Maarten on any given day. Equally important is to ensure the modern equipment and devices on board are used correctly, to ensure their longevity as much as possible.

The need for continued training and refresher courses should therefore not be overlooked. Department head Cylred Richardson is completely right when stating that his team deserves the best in innovative technological advances, but they must also handle the tools they are given to provide quality care in a highly professional manner.

At the same time, motorists need to respect ambulances more. Too often one sees drivers reluctant to get out of the way or even trying to stay behind emergency vehicles to pass other traffic.

Such behaviour is not only irresponsible but downright dangerous.


ST. JOHN’S, Antigua--A public quarrel has erupted between some of the region’s politicians over how the Venezuelan crisis should be handled.

HAMILTON, Bermuda--Desmond Crockwell has lost numerous family members to violence – but his new magazine Visionz is much more than just a personal story.

SAN FRANCISCO--Uber Technologies Inc Chief Executive Travis Kalanick, co-founder of one of the most influential technology companies of its generation, resigned on Tuesday under pressure from investors after a string of setbacks.

LONDON--Barclays and four former top executives were charged with fraud on Tuesday over undisclosed payments to Qatari investors as part of a 12 billion pound ($15 billion) emergency fundraising during the financial crisis in 2008.

LONDON--When Emad and his mother entered the Iranian parliament this month, they were hopeful they would get help to treat his advanced illness.

LOS ANGELES--When Pakistani actor Kumail Nanjiani and his American wife Emily Gordon wrote a film about the surreal circumstances that brought them together, little did they expect that their love story would be put under a political spotlight.

WASHINGTON--U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled legislation that would replace Obamacare with a plan that scales back aid to the poor and kills a tax on the wealthy, but the bill's fate was quickly thrown into question as several senators voiced skepticism.

WASHINGTON--The gunman who shot at Republican lawmakers practicing for a charity baseball game did not post online any threats against or references to members of Congress before the attack, the FBI said on Wednesday.

KECSKEMET, Hungary--People-smugglers ignored the cries of 71 migrants as they suffocated in the back of a truck, then dumped it, crammed with corpses, at the side of an Austrian motorway, a murder trial heard on Wednesday.

BRUSSELS--Belgian troops shot dead a suspected suicide bomber in Brussels' central train station on Tuesday but there were no other casualties, in what authorities were treating as the latest terrorist incident in Europe.

MARIGOT—Local boat Yellow Whip took the early lead in the 20th St. Martin Billfish Tournament on Thursday after weighing in a 451lb Blue Marlin and recording one release. Theirs was the only Marlin to make it to the weigh station.
  Former tournament winner Yellow Whip will have scored 751 points in the provisional results taking into account 300 points for a release. Other boats that had releases included one for Indigo, two for Ruckus, one for Rum & Coke, and two for Habalo although it wasn’t clear by press time if they had a Blue or a White release.
  “I would say the fishing was slow and the weather was rough,” Stephan Petit who was the angler on board Yellow Whip reported. “But we managed to find one. The bite turned on around 9:00am. A few boats released fish and then we got one after everyone else. Then around 3:15 pm we hooked onto this one. It was very lively and took about two hours to get into the boat.”
  24 boats are contesting the tournament this year.
  One boat, Pinche Slow Pay, from St. Kitts with a crew from Texas hooked up two Marlin at the same time which resulted in them breaking two lines when they had a minute of fishing time left.
  “That was disappointing but we still have another two days of fishing to go,” said Captain Leandro Quirosz. “We actually live in St. Kitts as our wives go to medical school there. We bought this 35ft Contender at the Miami Boat Show last year. It took 10 days to drive it all the way here, over 1,507 miles, via Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic, and then crossing the Mona Passage.”
   Bottle Neck Blowing Stars and the Johnny Guy Band provided the musical entertainment in the Billfish Village. Tonight Friday will see the Jolly Boys performing, King Timo, Albert Connor, Mr. Ruffy and the Band Pure, featuring King James and Miss Sassy. The Pedrin Pacheco band takes to the stage at 9:00pm.
  Don’t miss the Caribbean Flavours food festival this evening and Saturday. Each day some eight stands will be featuring the delicious local cuisine of St. Martin’s finest cooks.
  Fishing continues today with boats returning to the Marina Fort Louis dock at around 5:30pm.

KAZAN, Russia- - Alexis Sanchez became Chile's all-time leading scorer with an early goal in their 1-1 draw against Germany in a clash between the top two in Group B at the Confederations Cup on Thursday.

Dear Editor,

It has been quite some time past that the health insurance takes for granted the responsibility of patient care, and is more interested in signed contracts with other nations to care for our sick, whole-heartedly.

It is also so, on the other hand, that individuals taken care of unprecedentedly do not care to address this nuisance of theirs to the proper authority, or even voice their concern to better the services given for the benefit of themselves, and others.

We notice, for example, in the seniors’ and pensioners’ association, representatives mouthing about great deals, but keeping down the poor and helpless with much talk and no action. The health institution SZV has had Dr. Bryson representing the arriving patients to Curaçao, but who is now in place? People going elsewhere have no one to turn to to represent them and if they do it is all hand in glove administratively.

Notice the issue of states where some are sent abroad, republican places, with sometimes no family members to defend them, the institution does not care; moreover, the sick are abused in the manner of proper assistance, not given any rights to defend themselves, not even covered with the right policy for their total care. If you don’t have an acceptable insurance policy you are doomed. Now while browsing on your cell, try going to UN documents on human rights patient care; don’t be surprised by what you did not know.

For the past 3-4 years the same board of the senior’s association sits once a month with the persons in charge at the SZV, and cannot come up with viable answers to the general membership. Nor had there been an election or distribution of membership cards, all against the order of the constitution of the association. We are perhaps dealing with a dictatorship regime of the association, yet I see no report in the media of such a nature.

There are many trips for conventions and boat trips to simmer the elderly, not to ruffle feathers. What is so unique is that the same president of this association and representative have not taken any time to address this non-compliance of the constitutional proceedings for the election to take place.

For requesting my membership card I was made an offer to vote for her, on election day, for the democratic party. I bluntly refused, now it is going into the third year with no word on my membership card.

How much more abuse can this be.

Name withheld at

author’s request.

Dear Queenie,

My children are all grown up and out on their own and I hardly ever hear from them, and their father is long gone. I’m not able to work and I don’t have any close friends and I get so lonely!

Queenie, what can I do?—Lonely mother

Dear Mother,

You cannot make your children the centre of your life forever. Would you be able to work part-time? Or do volunteer work or join a service club or a gym or a social group? Or you could sign up for a few classes at your community centre or the university.

Even if it not exactly what you would like, you are almost certain to make some social contacts – even some new friends – that will ease your loneliness.

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