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Scheduled water outage prolonged in some areas

CUL DE SAC--Monday’s water outage in a few Cul de Sac areas was scheduled to start at 9:00am, but lasted longer than expected because the “water technicians encountered a number of issues.” The scheduled outage had been announced on GEBE’s social media page on Sunday afternoon, but still caught many off-guard.

Sunday’s online media post informed customers that water would be off in the St. John’s, St. Peters and Betty’s Estate areas from 9:00am to 12:00pm, advising customers to prepare. Regular updates were posted during the day, notifying customers of some setbacks, as well as when select areas were reconnected.

“Crews began working on the pumps at 9:00am and were supposed to have the issues resolved during the midday hour. Unfortunately, these are types of emergencies the crews have to attend to. When this happens, the crew works around the clock to make sure that water is restored in a timely manner,” GEBE explained that evening.

Customers still having problems should call emergency number 1-8444-323213 to report any issues.

No word yet on completion of minister candidates screening

PHILIPSBURG--It has been more than a month since the submission for screening a minister candidate to join the Marcel Gumbs Cabinet and there has not been any word about whether and when the candidate will be sworn in to office. There also has not been any information about the progress of the screening from authorities.

The candidate, who is expected to take up the post of Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (TEATT), is former utilities company GEBE employee Ernest Sams.

Following a successful screening, Sams is to take up that post and current minister Claret Connor is slated to move to the portfolio of Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI. That portfolio is held ad interim by Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs.

Meanwhile, it is understood that a second minister candidate is undergoing screening. That person has been confirmed by coalition insiders as labour mediator Raphael Boasman. Boasman is a career civil servant who also has served his country on several boards and in other civic positions.

Boasman is pegged for the post of Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour. That portfolio is held ad interim by Education Minister Rita Bourne-Gumbs.

The Marcel Gumbs Cabinet has been in office since December 19, 2014. The cabinet has five ministers, with two of them doubling up on portfolios. It is those two portfolios for which United People's (UP) party seeks to find individual ministers.

The Governing Accord states that all ministers will be appointed jointly by the coalition partners UP, independent Members of Parliament (MPs) Cornelius de Weever and Leona Marlin-Romeo, and United St. Maarten Party (member of the coalition since January). It is understood that Sams was put forward by the coalition for screening on Marlin-Romeo's recommendation, while Boasman was recommended by De Weever.

The UP-led coalition has been in office since October 10, 2014. After almost 10 months in office, many in the country are still waiting for any of the campaign promises to blossom into actual projects. The renovation of St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) or the building of a new hospital has not been heard of for many months and there has been no apparent move to indirect taxes and the abolishing of direct taxes.

The coalition only presented its governing programme to the cabinet in mid-July 2015. That roadmap calls for "restructure" of the present tax assessment and collection process "to make it more manageable and efficient" and to "reduce" its complexity, thereby making it less complicated and less expensive, while increasing compliance

Simplification and restructuring of the tax system is "a priority," cited the coalition as it called on the cabinet to conduct a study aimed at revising and simplifying the tax laws as a matter of priority and to make this available to the public in the English language.

The coalition said in the programme that building a modern medical facility would establish St. Maarten as a regional healthcare centre. The coalition said it would support and promote medical tourism in conjunction with the "new" St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) by providing a broad range of specialists and emergency care that normally would not be possible in St. Maarten and by eliminating, for the greater part, the need for patients to travel off-island for medical treatment.

Crowds flock to Sandy Ground for biggest ever Caribbean Beach Party

page17c067ANGUILLA--August Monday fete started at 4:00am in The Valley, where thousands of revellers followed the large bands and wended their way slowly, very slowly, to Sandy Ground where they arrived at 11:00am, the time when the band music was due to stop.

By midday, Sandy Ground could hardly hold any more cars and the beach could hardly hold any more people. Private motor boats and large party boats had been arriving from early morning from St. Maarten, St. Martin and Martinique, as well as other neighbouring islands. The biggest Caribbean Beach Party seems to be getting bigger than ever, and especially at the northern end of Sandy Ground Bay, where the large stage is set up; there was scarcely room to move. Performances continued all day on the stage with top artistes Destra and Bakanal Band from Trinidad and Tobago and Beenie Man from Jamaica. Also performing were Kerwyn Dubois and Farmer Nappy, both Soca artistes from Trinidad and Tobago. Bands included TVice, a Haitian zouk band and Asa Banton from Dominica. Small Axe Band from St Kitts as well as Exodus HD, Pantha Vybes International and De Movements, all from Anguilla.

Boat-racing enthusiasts were disappointed when no action was being taken to start the races, and organisers said the wind was too high to race. However, by 3:00pm, the wind was slightly down and so as to not disappoint the crowds, the A Class captains agreed to race. In all 12 boats took part and the race started at 3:30pm. The boats were back quickly with the high wind and came in to shore soon after 5:00pm. It was a close finish with Real Deal the winner, followed by Eagle, Sonic, De Tree and Light and Peace.

The Treaty in Full

Due to recent developments and comments, The Daily Herald thought it useful to publish the complete text of the so-called Dutch American Friendship Treaty so readers can make up their own minds as to what it means or should mean.


 *Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation*

Orange Alert - elevated at 'Kick 'em Jenny' in Grenada

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC)--An increase in seismic activities at the submarine volcano "Kick ‘m Jenny" on Thursday morning, has prompted the National Emergency Council to meet with a team from the University of the West Indies(UWI) seismic unit in Trinidad and Tobago.

  "We were informed through the official channel about the increase activities at Kick ‘m Jenny and like we did early we again call on all marine interest to observe the no exclusion zone of five kilometres around the summit of the volcano," said Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Agency, Terrence Walters. He promised that a detailed statement will be issued following the meeting.

  On Thursday, the UWI seismic unit posted an advisory informing the public that it has changed the alert level of the volcano from yellow to orange, stating that at 3:00am (local time) a strong continuous signal was observed on instruments monitoring the submarine volcano.

  "Signs of elevated seismicity (earthquakes) began on 11th July and continue to present," said the advisory. It further explained that for the period since the 11th July a total of more than 200 micro and small earthquakes of varying magnitudes have been recorded, with the largest, prior to the strong signal, less than 3.0.

  "There have also been observations from divers of degassing occurring off the west coast of Grenada in the Moliniere Sculpture Park area. This activity is being closely monitored by The UWI-SRC and further updates would be issued as more information becomes available," the advisory stated.

  An alert orange mean highly elevated level of seismic activity or other unusual activity. This means that an eruption may begin with less than twenty-four hours notice.

  The seismic unit says all regional governments will be alerted through Disaster Coordinators. The release added that local radio stations in Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados and Trinidad have been placed on alert.

  In addition, all shipping are required to stay outside the first exclusion zone that is 1.5km from the summit and non-essential shipping such as pleasure craft should stay 5km clear of the summit.

  Since the rumbling at Kick ‘m Jenny telecommunications service in Grenada has being affected with only the FLOW network apparently operating.

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