GRAND CASE, St. Martin - There’s more time to share your interpretation of The Spirit of St. Martin. 

The deadline for the 2016 Heritage Photo Contest has been extended to June 15th to allow more people to share their photography and ideas about the island.

The Heritage Photo Contest and Exhibition was developed by Les Fruits de Mer to showcase art created here on St. Martin/St. Maarten, and to engage residents–especially kids–in thinking about their heritage. 

This year’s theme, The Spirit of St. Martin, was chosen to inspire entrants to explore the many aspects of nature, history, people and culture that make the island unique.  Over 120 photos have been submitted so far this year, featuring animals, landscapes, historical buildings, local events and much more.
 
“There are some amazing images and stories in the online gallery for the 2016 contest,”  says Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “We’re excited to see so many different ideas about what represents the spirit of the island, so we’re giving folks a little extra time to contribute.” 
 
Entry is free, open to all ages, and people can enter as many times as they like. The Heritage Gallery of current entries and all contest information, including how to enter, can be found at http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com/category/spirit-of-st-martin/.
 
All qualifying entries will go on display in the online Heritage Gallery. Judging will take place after the submissions period ends, and selected entries will be featured in the Heritage Photo Exhibition, which will be open to the public. Awards will be given for the winning entries in three categories: Adult, Under 18 and People’s Choice.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - With its newest 4G LTE mobile network being operational for over 6 months and the Chippie 3G + network also being available for almost 3 years UTS has come a long way from the GPRS and EDGE data services it introduced many years ago.

The company is now able to offer much higher speeds over these newer networks and most customers have gladly upgraded to the newer services because of the new possibilities these higher speeds offer.

The company has also taken steps to encourage customers to upgrade with various promotional offers specifically aimed at upgrading their SIM card and the related service.

The time has now come to transition the last group of remaining BlackBerry customers that still make use of the older GPRS/EDGE service.

“For some customers moving to the newer networks may just require an adjustment in the settings in their phone. Others may need to replace their SIM card with a newer type.

They keep their same number, but the physical chip will be a more updated type. There are also some customers whose actual devices are a bit outdated. This applies especially to some of the older models of BlackBerry handsets that may not be fully supported on the newer mobile platforms.” Says UTS Marketing & Communication officer, Ivy Lambert. “In that case, you may want to replace your device to get the most out of your mobile service. For those particular customers we will have a special upgrade offer that will allow a handset upgrade at a reasonable price.

We already had a few upgrade campaigns over the past year, encouraging customers to come in and upgrade their SIM card to use our new, faster services. Although the campaigns were very successful and many customers gladly upgraded, for some the timing may not have been right or their schedule didn’t permit.

So for this group we’re extending our upgrade offer once more. We are also available to assist customers in setting up their new service to make sure that they get the most out of it.

They will see how fantastic things like voice and video calling can be, thanks to the upgrade in their data speed. We are excited to introduce our customers to these new possibilities. After the transition of this group of Blackberry customers to our faster networks, we will also approach the last group of customers that is still using GPRS/EDGE based mobile internet;

Those using our NET-ON mobile internet service. This transition will commence within short, but upgrading is possible at any time.” Lambert continues.

GPRS/EDGE-based BlackBerry service will officially be phased out on June 1st. UTS invites customers or anyone else that is interested in more information on the new, faster mobile internet service to visit our stores or contact our Service Center at +17215881010, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at ChippieSXM on Facebook. “Our team is ready to assist and make the transition as smooth as possible.” Says UTS Eastern Caribbean Chief Commercial Officer, Christina Sprock “Not only is there the possibility to upgrade to a new faster network, but these customer may also be interested in our new postpaid plans, that offer maximum savings and the convenience of subscription-based service.

No top ups needed, because you receive a monthly bill from us for your calls, text and mobile internet usage. Plans start as low as $15 a month and the sign-up is simple.”

Marigot/Great Bay - The “Parents and Teachers Workshop” of the St. Martin Book Fair is on Tuesday, May 31, at the University of St. Martin (USM), from 7 to 8:30 PM, said book fair coordinator Shujah Reiph.

Dr. Umar Johnson will conduct the workshop. The USA-certified school psychologist will explore and discuss traditional and modern parenting and teaching ideas, practices, and models for rearing and educating today’s “globalized” child, said Reiph.

The “Parents and Teachers Workshop” is the first of over 15 workshops, panel discussions, and general sessions of the 14th annual St. Martin Book Fair, which actually runs from June 2 - 4, 2016, said Reiph. The complete book fair program is now online at http://houseofnehesipublish.com/sxm/st-martin-book-fair/.

“A fund-raiser fee of $10 is charged for admission to this pre-St. Martin Book Fair activity with Dr. Umar Johnson, who returns to St. Martin by popular demand,” said Reiph.

Last February Dr. Johnson addressed over 600 people at USM as the keynote speaker for CLF’s 25th annual Black History Celebration Lecture. “The dynamic Dr. Johnson also holds degrees in education and political science and is a most requested speaker,” said Reiph.

He has had speaking engagements throughout North America and in South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe. Reiph is also president of Conscious Lyrics Foundation (CLF).

In Photo: Dr. Umar Johnson  (L) and Book Fair Committee member Merlyn Williams. (CLF photo)

CAY HILL, St. Maarten – With the final awarding of contracts, the first of several major developments to take place at Mary’s Fancy estate, as part of projections being formulated for future use of the estate, are now set to start. This follows the 2014 acquisition of the estate by APS, St. Maarten’s general pension fund administrator in 2014.

On Monday, officials of APS and the company contracted to restore, among others, the historic rock walls of the estate, signed documents signaling the beginning of restorations works, which were awarded following a bidding process. St. Maarten’s Minister of Finance, Honorable Richard Gibson, signed as a witness.

The works forming part of a first phase of restoration initiatives are to cover the adjacent trench as well as a new entrance and exit path to and from the estate.

Projects and Goals

The rehabilitation envisioned is to implement improvements to the characteristic structures of Mary’s Fancy estate, including the plantation house, the sugar mill (which is actuallya boiling house and chimney),[KMA1] the estate grounds and the rock wall. IMG 0169

The process for each real estate development project within APS consists of the development, engineering, advising, tendering, evaluation of bids, contracting out, outsourcing of the supervision of construction, monitoring of the budget and expenditures, progress reporting of and on each projects. The overall projects include a pre-development phase, the conceptual and basic design and the engineering phases.

Re-construction of Rock Walls

The wall on the west boundary of the L.B. Scot Road Wall is a ruin, with trees having caused damage as did passing hurricanes.

The total length on the west boundary wall is approximately 130 meters, including the span over of the Zaegersgut.

Points of attention are: The height of the wall, the number of columns, the location of the wall, hurricane withstanding requirements, the safeguarding of the wall, according to the project team.

The height of the wall and the number of columns are aesthetic aspects that have an effect on the structural requirements to comply with the hurricane withstanding standards, in particular on the design of the foundation.

The wall’s southeast boundary runs along the Gladiola Road. There is no rock wall at this boundary. Just like the west wall at the L.B. Scot Road the south east boundary qualifies for having a rock wall. The design and construction specification are expected to be similar as for the L.B. Scot Road wall.

The APS board has discussed and indicated the priorities in the areas that need attention in terms of short term improvements and the development of plans for midterm execution.

APS advocates the realization of activities identified under specific smaller projects, part of a total approach, that is being developed, engineered and executed.

One of the first most visible changes, the public is thus to notice shortly, is the reconstruction of the centuries old rock walls and new construction of a sidewalk in pavers, with works expected to start during the month of June. Completion is projected for November 2016.

In Photo Below; Representatives of other entities involved with the Mary’s Fancy restoration project works joined APS officials on Monday, on the estate grounds, for the signing event.

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao - Democracy within the Kingdom will be high on the agenda for Curacao in the IPKO meeting currently being held in the Netherlands.

Parliamentarians of Curacao are of the opinion that the various islands namely Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten should have a say in decisions taken by the Dutch government regarding the different islands.

We have more via PodCast in this report filed by Gonzalo Caules of Z-86 radio in Willemstad.

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