Island Notices

Island Notices (1461)

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Last week a number of meetings were conducted with the actuary, Willis Towers Watson, together with the Ministry of VSA. The group met with a number of stakeholders such as business groups, senior citizens representatives, consumers and unions, to present a preliminary version of an economic model for National Health Insurance.
“The meetings were very open and positive.  Many questions were posed and many assumptions were challenged.  One of the main challenges is the collection and availability of data. To give an example, even the size of the population is disputed.  Based on feedback received, the actuary will refine and improve the model.”  stated Minister Lee.
Government is committed to Universal Health Coverage, bringing accessible, affordable and quality healthcare to the people of St Maarten. 
PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The Council of Ministers agreed to request legal advisors to explore the possibility of filing a lawsuit against Vamed to stop them from halting the development of the new General Hospital. Based on the urgent needs of the country to develop our healthcare system and build a much needed hospital that complies with international standards, legal advisors will advise Council of Ministers if there is a proper basis for legal actions against Vamed. 
The case of Vamed hampers  the development of our healthcare system. A new hospital has a direct and substantial impact on the costs and therefor the sustainability of our healthcare system as well as an obvious impact on quality of care and therefore the health of our population. 
Government should not allow our healthcare developments to be held hostage due to a court case by a foreign multinational for financial gain. “The more we investigate the prices regionally the more convinced I am that the price of INSO is not too low and that their price is competitive and reasonable”, said Minister Lee.  

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – In commemoration of International Mother Language Day (February 21), the Honorable Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (MECYS) Ms. Silveria Jacobs invites the general public, schools, poets and literary artists to participate and present in an upcoming S’Maatin English Poetry/Storytelling/Narration Competition.

This event will be held on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at the New Government Building on Soualiga Blvd., in Conference Room 1, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and is hosted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization National Committee (UNESCO NatCom) in collaboration with the Department of Culture, and sponsored by the House of Nehesi Publishers.

Since 1999, UNESCO has designated February 21 as the annual International Mother Language Day which serves to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by people of the world (www.unesco.org). Knowing, writing and speaking in one’s mother language is an essential tool for the transmission and safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage (ICH).

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Eddie and Sally have been opening their home and hearts to St. Maarten children for more than 30 years while raising a family of their own. ‘Aunty Sally” as she is affectionately known is the base upon which the New Start for Children Foundation is based. Sally came from a family of 28 children and a home where there was always room for the neighbor’s children as well. They presently have 18 children at their home, sixteen from the Court of Guardianship and two otherwise. Twelve of the children are in high school, the other six are toddlers.

They have been dealing with the court of guardianship for 12 years.

CUL DE SAC, St. Maarten – St. Maarten’s VROMI Minister Christopher Emmanuel was on Tuesday guest of the general pension fund, APS, with officials of the fund providing the minister with a tour of the Mary’s Fancy Plantation project.

The event served to update the minister on the latest developments pertaining to primarily infrastructural aspects of the projects, which are being carried out in cooperation with his ministry.

The presentation marked the minister’s first official visit to the project site, during which he was accompanied by APS chairman of the board, Franklyn Richards, project team members and members of the minister’s cabinet staff.

Following a tour of the area, minister Emmanuel was provided with in-depth information regarding ongoing and future developments related to the project, which is being executed as one of several investments made by APS.

On Tuesday, officials of APS were able to show the VROMI minister the status of the first phase of work being carried out at the Plantation, among which are the rehabilitation of the rock wall, the trench, and the construction of a new entrance and exit path to and from the estate.

PORT ST. MAARTEN – In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, red roses were given out to the ladies and customers at Port St. Maarten, the Walter Plantz Square (WPS) and at the St. Maarten’s Senior Citizens Home at St. John’s Estate, as a loving gesture and giving back to the community on this special day of the year.

Valentine’s Day comes once a year where one expresses their love for our significant others and sweethearts by giving Valentine’s cards, sending flowers, and doing romantic things, but this should be done every single day of the year. 

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - Teachers Formation Day started with a Prayer Service led by our Parish Priest of St. Martin of Tours Parish, Rev. Fr. Adam Oleszczuk SVD, followed by an address from Dr. Marlon Halley, president of The Foundation Catholic Education St. Maarten.

All present were then delighted with the presentation of the keynote address form His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday entitled” The Teachers’ Commandment: Inspire Your Students To make A Positive Difference”

His Excellency Governor Holiday reminded the teachers of a basic truth, that “teaching is the mother of all professions” and “as teachers it is your calling to be standard bearers of our society and as such it is incumbent on you to excel in doing so.” Teachers were recommended to live by the teachers’ commandment “to inspire each generation of students that pass through your classrooms to make a positive difference.” His presentation was very uplifting and inspiring.

The morning continued with a sharing from the Executive Director, Mrs. Lilia Aventurine-Hodge, which gave the teachers some “food for thought”

SABA - On Tuesday morning, February 14th 2017, it was discovered that there was a fire located at Saba’s landfill on the Fort Bay. Over the next few hours, the Fire Department with the help of Public Works and equipment of private contractors worked to get the fire under control. During this time, much smoke dispersed and spread to the neighboring villages of St. Johns and The Bottom.

Residents of The Bottom and St. Johns villages were cautioned to remain indoors and close windows during times of heavy smoke to avoid smoke inhalation. The Police Department blocked the road leading towards the landfill and the public was advised not to visit the area, in order for them to maintain a safe distance from the scene of the fire, and the resulting heavy smoke clouds and debris in the air.

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The Green Key jury of Sint Maarten has determined that two hotels have met the stringent environmental and safety criteria required to receive this prestigious award. This is the third consecutive year that Princess Heights Luxury Boutique Condo Hotel has achieved the Green Key while Holland House Beach Hotel on Front Street in Philipsburg has received its first Green Key award. They are part of an elite group of 2,500 Green Key establishments in 53 countries.

The Green Key Program is a leading standard for excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operations within the tourism industry. The quality of the program is maintained via thorough documentation and periodic audits. It is recognized by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

“Considering our significant overall growth, it became even more important to focus on sustainability and to reduce our environmental footprint. The Green Key program helped us to identify areas of concern and has proposed great solutions which led to improved efficiency of the hotel, thereby creating a win-win situation” Paul Boetekees, Director of Holland House, explained.  

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - For those 60+, your current physical condition can benefit from exercise. Join the More Movement for the Elderly by participating in the next activity on Saturday, February 18 at the St. Martin’s Home (St. John’s Estate) from 10.30AM to 12.00PM. 

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