In The Spotlight
A Sint Maarten Police Force KPSM Simpson Bay patrol was despatched to my home on Billy Folly Road early on Sunday morning to investigate the burglary. I was devastated. I was relieved that I was not at home at the time of the crime. Now I felt violated and unsafe in my own home. I was distressed and frustrated at why it was so hard to just live peacefully in my own home, where I harm no one and pay my dues.
Thieves had broken into my home, defiled my sanctuary and taken whatever they liked. They even drank my milk. I had to throw away everything in my refrigerator.
Now I awaited the police. I unconsciously felt that this was to be the second offence against my person in just a few hours, that I was to be interrogated and dismissed with a crime number by an overworked patrol officer, and never hear from anyone again.
I really could not have been further from the truth. In fact, the reason for my note today is to atone for my preconceived fear of this police visit, and to share with everyone my experience.
The officers arrived very promptly. They were immediately courteous, sympathetic, considerate, professional and wise. There were Detective Officers and Forensic Officers, all taking careful note, and specimens of the whole scene, inside and out. I was soon reassured by the strength of their ability to comfort victims like me and their calibre of police work to quickly assess and detect the whole scenario.
They felt sure that this person(s) had left enough evidence that they would soon be identified. They were a great source of information in how to better protect my home so that these thieves would not succeed in their vile business again. They recommended robust, reliable solutions that not only protect my home, but when considered in conjunction with my neighbours’ efforts, will make our community more secure.
I cannot thank the Police Force enough. It may have taken a horrible burglary to wise me up, but our Police Force was wonderful. I thank them sincerely and I can assure them that I have followed their expert advice in protecting my home to the letter.
My husband smokes cigars, not cigarettes, and I can’t convince him that cigar smoke is just as bad for the people around him as cigarette smoke.
Queenie, maybe if he reads it in the newspaper he will believe it.—Smokey’s Wife
Dear Smokey’s Wife,
The American Cancer Society says cigars give off more smoke than cigarettes because they are larger than cigarettes so they have more tobacco and burn longer, and all tobacco smoke can cause cancer.
Cigar smoke is not “just as bad” as cigarette smoke, it is much worse.
My mother’s pension is not enough for her to live on and she wants me and my brother to each give her money every month to help out.
My brother is very well off, with a good job and no family to support so he can afford to give her as much as she is asking for, but my husband and I have 3 kids in school and we don’t have very much money to spare. We are willing to help her out as much as we can, but not as much as she is asking for and my brother is giving her.
Queenie, how can we make her and my brother understand?—Feeling guilty
Dear Feeling guilty,
There is no reason for you to feel guilty about not being as well off as your brother. That is just the way things are sometimes.
If you have tried to explain all this to your mother and your brother and they do not want to listen to you, try writing them a letter explaining how much you can afford to give and why you cannot afford any more than that. Your first priority has to be your children’s welfare.
Congratulation to Middle Region supermarket owners. The good, great, excellent ambitions, and performance you are doing in Middle Region are highly appreciated by Middle Region people.
Bar owners in Middle Region: keep warning their deejays please don't play music with dirty lyrics.
My husband and I have been married for more than 20 years and have never been apart for all that time. Our children are about to go away to college and I am afraid that it is raising the children that has kept us together and with them gone away we won’t have anything else to keep us together.
Queenie, will this be the end of our marriage?—Worried wife
It is true that some couples suffer “empty nest syndrome” when their children have all gone out on their own, but on the other hand, this can also be the best time in your marriage.
Now you have a chance to take a romantic vacation and to find interests that do not involve your children, like club memberships, hobbies and/or classes that you can take together – or separately.
Go forth and enjoy!
So I opened up the Herald online to read updates pertaining to our island. Not the Bahamas. Us, in St Martin,
I am sorry they suffered what they have. Truly I am. I suffered the same. I lost my house and my business. So many many of us did.
Has St Martin forgotten what Hurricane Irma did to us? What little help we received?
Sorry, I never received more than a bottle of water after Irma tore off my brand new roof. I begged for water as I was breastfeeding my son. I needed the extra hydration. I was ignored. I will never forget how this island treated me after Irma.
My brand new roof blew off, which the developer (Koozie Development) ran away from honouring a verbal guarantee that he would replace. Buyer beware from them with A&A Supplies. Very shady people … .
As I sat under the bathroom sink with my 11-month-old child. My entire roof disappeared. I was told by his lawyer that “something hit the roof” again, a brand new roof. Buyer beware of this developer.
Not one charity gave us a tarp for our roof as Maria rained on it and flooded my house.
I will never give to a single charity on this island after struggling as a single mum rebuilding. Two years later I still rebuild.
I don’t look like a charity case. I don’t present myself as a charity case. So to this date my family rebuilt with zero help from this island. Don’t you dare ask me for charity for others. How dare this island ignore us and now ask for handouts. Shameful. I am disgusted.
You charity organisations should be ashamed of yourselves. Red Cross, I have words for you that cannot be published. Look within first. Where were you when I had no roof? Where were you when I needed help? Right … I don’t fit the charity “profile”. You charities, all of you, make me sick. I rebuilt from my own pocket. Now you want a penny from me to help others?
I remember calling the police for help, I called the fire department for help. All they said was, “Am sorry we cannot help.” They gave all their handouts to their family. Rice, water, generators, etc. – all the donations worldwide. Where did they go? To their family. The police and fire department gave all donations to their family.
I actually have a neighbour who bragged about her fire-fighting brother who gave her bags and bags of rice for life from China! She never even offered me a bowl of rice. Imagine that.
Friendly Island …
I have lost complete respect for the police and fire department on the Dutch side since Irma. They never helped the layman during hard times.
Bring on the Dutchman, they also never helped. They will never help. They only help their own kind.
I do believe that is called “bigotry” “racism”.
Mary De Francesco
My husband died about 10 years ago and now I am engaged to be married again. I am inviting all my friends and family to the wedding.
I was always close to my late husband’s family, but having them there would remind me of him and kind of spoil the occasion.
Queenie, do I have to invite them?—Widowed fiancée
If you are still close to your late husband’s family, they might be hurt if you do not invite them. On the other hand, the occasion might make them sad, so they might not want to come or would not enjoy themselves if they did.
You might talk it over with some of them and see how they feel about watching you get married to someone else. Or you could just send them an announcement, and explain to them later why they were not invited.
On page 7 of The Daily Herald of Tuesday September 10, 2019, I read “‘Chacho’ working on initiative to amend country’s traffic laws”. I said to myself, at last. But when I read further it concerned the sobriety testing, which indeed should have been in use by the police a long time ago. I hope that this initiative law will be met with and dealt with the necessary maturity and not brushed aside like the, according to my recollection, one and only initiative plastic bags law.
Along with that I would have loved to read that in cooperation with the traffic department and VROMI,, places for bus stops along the roads will be stipulated, and indicated by the official yellow bus stop sign. By the way I have been mentioning this long before “Chacho” got into politics.
Over and over I have been calling people’s (in government) attention to the fact that official bus stops are not indicated by inlets along the roads or by bus stop huts. Bus stops are indicated by the yellow traffic sign with the Dutch word BUSHALTE. If the bus stops are indicated, other drivers would expect buses to stop at the bus stops and not as is the case now, not being sure or knowing if the bus is going to stop every ten meters or whenever and wherever a passenger ask them to stop.
Right now anybody, including visitors to the island, are not sure where to go to catch a bus, because of the very erratic and irresponsible way in which bus drivers , and for that matter gypsies also, on the island go about picking up passengers. Sadly to say, and literally nothing is being done about it. This, in my opinion, is one of the reasons, if not the main reason why more and more the traffic is backed up.
Every time I’m on the road and I see this erratic behavior of irresponsible drivers, it reminds me of my first mentor who at that time pressed upon me something that I had heard when leaving the police academy, that if the police remain consistent in the execution of their duty, the police just like the Customs, the tax department, the telephone company, the utility companies, would also be a department of government which would largely contribute in paying their own salary.
While I’m at it, I believe that the school buses also can ask the schoolchildren (in same school uniform) if they can come together in one spot and not 30 meters further on the same road. That, to me, would be contributing to the building a sense of order of the child.
If memory serves me well, as long as I have been here, politicians felt intimidated to talk to a subject, both in the Island Council and Parliament. It was pleasing to me to read that the MP expressed her sense of courage. It sounded like coming from a man after my own heart. It reminded me of what my father told me when I first started to work. He said to me, “If you are not man enough to represent what that uniform stands for take it off.” I did not take it off.
I hope that the rest of the Members of Parliament will follow suit, which should assure us of the sense of independence and gumption of each member.
Russell A. Simmons
My husband pays child support for children with his first wife, but as far as I can see the money is not being used for the children. They never have decent clothes and shoes or pocket money or money for school activities.
Queenie, should we talk to their mother, or what should we do?—Worried stepmother
Your husband should talk to the children’s mother. It may be that the money goes to pay for necessities like rent, food and/or medical bills. If that conversation is not satisfactory, he should consult his lawyer. Perhaps the support payments are not enough, or if the money is being misused, the support payments to the mother could be reduced and he, together with you, could buy (some of) the children’s clothes and shoes, and give them some pocket money directly.
Yes, St. Maarten government has done it again. From the time the new coalition government was formed after elections, I believe people were hoping for the best, however things still turned out again for the worst. I believe I can hear the old people say: “Donkey maybe peed on them, or too much goat mouth was upon them.” However the case dear editor, we are now seemingly back to square one. Should we now go back to the polls, form another coalition or what? It’s a shame!
Since St. Maarten obtained its separate status in 2010, yet now nine years later, our politicians still cannot get their act together when it comes to unity, agreement, interest of this island, and governing stability.
Dear editor, how are we going to prove to the people of St. Maarten and the Dutch, that we can handle things on our own, even if we may ever get independence? With continual breakup of government, I can say that the future of this island may not be too bright. What example are we setting for ourselves, our future generation, and the Dutch Kingdom? It’s like a marriage relationship that goes sour. In the end it will lead to separation or divorce. And who will suffer the most? The children who depend on a stable family unity to grow up and walk in the footsteps of their parents.
Over the last years since our Separate Status in 10-10-10, we have seen more disagreements, disunity, ship-jumping, greed, selfishness, even politicians continually being arrested, or put behind bars for committing fraud, money-laundering, cutting above- and under-the-table deals.
Dear editor there is now talk about a re-election, especially among the opposition’s members of course. But dear editor, the people of St. Maarten are not foolish. We have been deceived for too long. Having a new government will not prove anything. The majority of people of St. Maarten have lost their trust in our politicians. The ten to thirteen thousand guilders a month salary is sweet, so why not fight your way back in?
Dear editor, since Hurricane Irma, many people on this island are still suffering financially, emotionally, and socially. Also there are still many pending issues to be resolved since Hurricane Irma devastated this island almost two years ago. The people of St. Maarten deserve better than this.
Our politicians need to understand that since 10-10-10, because of political issues, misunderstandings, backbiting, and cut throats, little progress has been made or achieved as an island that has received more autonomy. The people of this island are greatly concerned about what is going on politically. This issue has become the talk of the day.
Dear editor what people want is a stable government who will be able to jumpstart this island economy, bring in investors, get our airport, which is St. Maarten’s main economical stronghold, rebuilt, provide jobs, and give them security.
Voting for a new government who will go into office and repeat the same mistakes like the previous one or ones, does not make much sense. I don’t believe many people might even want to go cast their votes, unless they have the assurance that they will get a government who they can depend on, a government who is able to help them, and provide progress and a secure future for this island.
Dear editor, if we cannot run our own country, then we might as well bring in the Dutch to run it for us.
Frustrated and concerned citizen
Name withheld at author's request.
I had an affair with a married man whose wife was dying of cancer. It went on for several years and I thought maybe after a period of mourning he would ask me to marry him, or at least come and live with him, but it turned out that he just dumped me right after the funeral. Then, about a year later, he got engaged to some other woman.
Queenie, what do you think of all that?—Puzzled
Maybe after his wife died he felt so guilty about having cheated on her that he could not go on with you. Or maybe he needed the “forbidden fruit” aspect of your relationship to make it work. Or maybe he just got tired of you, or maybe he is just a jerk.
With a seven to seven
The man with the eight ball
Will make that final call
And remain standing tall
And will determine
whether the government
stands or fall
Thus giving the key
To none other than Frankey
The honorable MP Meyers
by his sudden but calculated
move has become a game
Frankie ketch the dutchman
with a finger still in the dike
trying hard te block the
While the crying Minister
Was out shopping
Like a plumber for stop
Parliament sprang ah leak
And Frankie gone
Yeh done know
Looking for Frankie
Where is Frankie
Now Frankie once more
holds the key
Whether we rise
Frankie will make that call
And as far as I am concerned
Frankie haven’t said his last
YEH DONE KNOW
HE AIN’T DONE YET
Raymond Helligar aka “Big Ray”
I have a friend who is a non-stop talker. She goes on and on and on about whatever she is saying and you can’t get in a single word. Even when she asks you a question, she interrupts your answer and gives your answer for you and then doesn’t stop talking.
I don’t want to try to talk to her about this because she gets her feelings hurt easily and I don’t want to spoil our friendship.
Queenie, what do you suggest?—Frustrated
Apparently your friend considers you more of an audience than a partner in conversation. Either get used to just sitting and listening to her, or limit your contacts with her to e-mails and voice and/or text messages.
On September 3, 2019, Red Cross St. Maarten decided to collect monetary donations to support the Bahamas Red Cross in response to the devastation of Hurricane Dorian. The storm battered the Bahamas and lingered there for more than a day, causing tremendous damage to the island’s homes and infrastructure. It’s vital to understand that Red Cross St. Maarten’s effort intends to complement the support of the International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies and other agencies that are also providing aid to the Bahamas.
Red Cross St. Maarten has learned valuable lessons about distributing aid locally, regionally and internationally in the past years. By sharing this information we hope to clarify the current process of emergency relief aid to the Bahamas, so St. Maarten residents understand why we focus on collecting monetary donations instead of in-kind donations. We owe all donors that same courtesy, and we aim for transparency at all times with all parties involved.
As Red Cross we aim to support the affected population as best as possible based upon their local and specific needs. The local authorities and the Bahamas Red Cross with support of the International Federation of Red Cross is currently conducting needs assessments among the affected population. Based upon this data specific requests for donations are already being made. So humanitarian aid is based on what is needed by the affected people first. Unfortunately, many of the well-meaning donations do not match the immediate needs of the people.
Processing unsolicited goods requires an immense amount of manpower and funds. All goods coming in need to be cleared through Customs, transported to local warehouses, checked for quality standards, sorted according to type, size and expiration date and eventually distributed. When you’re short on helping hands and funds you don’t want to be sorting piles of clothes while people have no access to safe drinking water. The aid needs to be well targeted and fast. This can only be done if we are absolutely certain that the goods coming in are actually requested and fit the quality standards of the affected country. We don’t want to burden the local responders with goods they haven’t requested at the moment, are not culturally appropriate or don’t match minimum quality standards.
The devastation at the Bahamas is enormous, this also affected the different supply routes to the disaster areas. Local airports have been shut, boats and harbors are seriously damaged, roads are flooded or filled with debris, warehouses are destroyed. Taking into account this limited local logistics capacity, the ‘pipeline’ gets congested quickly. During previous disasters runways were clogged with boxes of unsorted clothes and food, preventing essential supplies to be delivered. Therefore, priority is given to the most critical supplies first as requested by the local authorities and agencies.
We also need to think about the cost of transport of goods. Transport of goods is costly and time consuming. Why spending thousands of dollars on shipping water from one island to another while relief organizations can purify a multiple volume of water locally using less funds. Or why flood the local markets with imported food items if local markets or local production eventually re-established providing income to local merchants or farmers.
To ensure support to our sister Red Cross in the Bahamas, we are collecting monetary donations to give to the Bahamas Red Cross, via the International Federation of Red Cross, so that those agencies, on the ground, can react swiftly and appropriately to the most urgent needs.
Red Cross St. Maarten made a conscious decision not to send food and clothing supplies without a formal request from the Bahamas Red Cross to avoid burdening relief workers and volunteers with unrequested aid. Also, we believe that the provision of cash to local aid organizations helps them in adapting their response options based upon the local context, supporting their freedom of choice and dignity as local actors.
When can Red Cross St. Maarten send food and clothing supplies?
We will send food and clothing supplies when there is a request from Bahamas Red Cross.
Why are we collecting monetary donations locally rather than having the money sent directly to Bahamas?
Red Cross St. Maarten acknowledges that the Bahamas services will be interrupted after the storm. Receiving cash donations or bank transfers is to ensure that we can provide funds for purchasing items that are based on a Needs Assessment.
Why is it necessary to do a Needs Assessment?
A Needs Assessment ensures that Red Cross and other agencies are collecting and providing the correct type of aid to affected people.
What happens after a Needs Assessment?
Usually, agencies on the ground submit formal requests to cohorts regionally and internationally for assistance in meeting the needs captured in an assessment.
Netherlands Red Cross – St. Maarten
My sister and her husband (her second husband) have a son in primary school and they let him get away with all sorts of things that they would never let her older son from her first marriage do.
When they first got married her new husband treated the older boy as if he was his own, but things changed when the new baby came along.
The older boy has noticed the difference in the way they are treating the younger one and he is angry about it and this shows in the way he has begun to behave.
My sister and her husband say they treat him more strictly because they are afraid he will turn out to be like his father and the way he is behaving proves that they are right.
Queenie, what can I do to help him?—Worried aunt
You can try explaining to your sister and her husband that if your older nephew turns out to be like his (apparently not so nice) biological father it will not be something passed on to him from his bio-dad, but because of the way they are treating him. However, they may not be willing to listen to you.
Try to persuade them to get professional counselling for the boy, and/or family counselling for all of them. The parents might be willing to listen to a professional counsellor, and at least it would help your nephew learn to deal with the situation.
My sister cheated on her husband and they got divorced and now she is living with the man she cheated with. Their son, who is an adult, is totally upset by all this and the rest of our family totally disapproves too.
So, Queenie, what do we do when we have a family get-together? We won’t invite the ex-husband, but we don’t want to invite the new boyfriend either, so as not to upset her son, my nephew, and because we don’t approve of her relationship with him.—Disgusted brother
I understand your feelings about this “other man”, but he is part of your sister’s life now, so I suggest you invite him to these get-togethers. It will be easier for your nephew to get used to having him around and to learn to at least be polite to him if he has his other relatives around supporting him and setting a good example.
This is an article to clarify and clear the Club High Up owner’s name from the incident that took place on November 18, 2018, on Simpson Bay Road.
I didn’t testify or give a statement identifying no 1. I was working in the bar when the incident occurred on the road. I was asked to come in at the station about the incident.
When I was asked about a Rastafarian man, a skinny person and a broad-shouldered man, of which hundreds of people in the club fit the description, I told them I don’t know who they’re talking about. They brought a sheet of paper with six people on it, asking if I know them. I responded, “No, first time seeing them.” Then they told me two had died the following night in a different incident. I again told them I don’t know anyone in the picture. Then they said it was okay to go.
I didn’t have any knowledge of a court case nor have I ever been in the Courthouse to testify, so I just want to make it clear that I have nothing to do with that incident.
Owner High Up Club
In my family, us children were raised to know that once we finished college we were expected to be able to support ourselves, and that is what we all have done. We have all done quite well and now in fact we are able to help out our parents when they need it.
My fiancé is quite well-off, but some of his family are not and he is constantly helping them out with money.
Queenie, it looks like it will always be this way. What should I do?—Worried fiancée
Once you marry, you and your husband-to-be should make financial decisions together. You need to sit down with him and discuss this matter, and if he will not do so now, he is not likely to do so after you are married. Pre-marital financial (and other) counselling might help.
My son and daughter-in-law recently invited us and her parents to their house to celebrate their baby’s first birthday. They have a small house and the baby doesn’t do well when there are a lot of people, so it was just the baby’s parents and grandparents.
A few days later some of our other relatives called to ask why they weren’t invited to the party and some of them were really upset that they hadn’t been included.
Queenie, how do we answer them?—Harassed grandmother
Just tell them what you have told me – the baby’s parents have a very small house and the baby does not do well in big crowds, so it was just a small “grandparents only” occasion. Then do not let their questions bother you.