Monday, Oct 05th

You are here: Home

St. Maarten midday Weather Forecast for Thursday

mdssep24middayDATE ISSUED:  Thursday, September 24, 2015 @ 12:00 LST (16:00 UTC)

VALID UNTIL:  Friday midday (12:00 LST) September 25, 2015 

This Afternoon through Friday midday: Generally fair to partly cloudy with no significant precipitation.

Forecast High:
   32°C / 90°F          Forecast Low:   27°C / 81°F 

Sunrise Tomorrow: 6:02 A.M.        Sunset Tonight:  6:07 P.M.

This Afternoon through Friday midday: East to southeast with a light to gentle breeze of 04 to 08 miles per hour, becoming calm and variable at times.

Dry air moving across north of the Region will limit significant precipitation. However, localize conditions could trigger a brief shower over the local area. Meanwhile, sea conditions will remain slight to moderate through the end of the week.

STATE OF THE SEA:  Slight to Moderate         WAVES/SWELLS: 3 to 5 feet 


At 11 am, Tropical Storm Ida was downgraded to a Tropical Depression. Tropical Depression Ida continues to move away from the local region and remains out in the central Atlantic. This system does not pose a threat to land.

OUTLOOK through Saturday midday: Partly cloudy with no significant precipitation.


 The next weather forecast will be issued today at 18:00 LST (22:00 UTC).

For further information visit our website:







Partly Cloudy, Isol. Showers possible

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy


32oC / 90o

32oC / 90oF

32oC / 90oF


27oC / 81oF

27oC / 81oF

27oC / 81oF


06:02 AM

06:02 AM

06:02 AM


06:07 PM

06:06 PM

06:05 PM


Merx denies that Labega has to give up position

AIRPORT--Attorney Cor Merx denied on Wednesday that Princess Juliana International Airport SXM Director Regina LaBega has to give up her position.  

Merx said in a letter to The Daily Herald that his client had not received a letter to this effect. He indicated that there was a letter “for someone else” who “must be removed” from the airport within eight weeks, but said this “has totally nothing to do with this case.”

When contacted by this newspaper and asked whether his client had passed the national security service screening, Merx indicated via e-mail, “If my client passed or did not pass the screening is something that still should be found out.”

When contacted for comment, Airport Holding Company Chairman Michel Hodge referred all comments to Supervisory Board Chairman of the operating company Gary Matser, who did not respond to queries from this newspaper for a comment on the matter.

SCELL officially opens at USM

page4a109PHILIPSBURG-- University of St. Martin (USM) officially opened its new school, the St. Martin School of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning (SCELL), with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the institution on Wednesday.

SCELL was launched on August 3, at USM. Dr. Natasha Gittens is SCELL Director of Customised Training and Human Capital Development.

The SCELL initiative was developed based on successful training relationships that USM had established over the past year, in particular the one with Windward Islands Bank (WIB) under the leadership of Managing Director Derek Downes.

SCELL is the business arm of USM, as such all clients can expect professionalism and a customised translation of their requests in the form of trainings, workshops and courses that lead to certification. The premise of the school is simple, but significant to provide customised training and workshops for businesses large and small: banks, healthcare organisations, schools, non-governmental organisations, government agencies, and offer adult learner workshops for individuals looking to advance or pursue educational opportunities.

One of USM’s goals is for SCELL to become “St. Maarten’s vehicle to excellence” by providing St. Maarten’s business community with the tools they need to develop human capital and to increase service excellence.

WIB had said earlier that it was extremely pleased to be associated with this very important initiative of USM’s, given the importance continuing education plays in the development of human resources.

The bank’s middle management recently benefited from specialised business courses tailored to its needs. WIB is SCELL’s key sponsor.

Gittens has been with USM since April 2014, in the capacity of a full-time Business and Hospitality faculty member, in addition to working on special university projects such as retraining 120 teachers in English as a first language on St. Eustatius.

NA: Marlin’s waste-to-energy plan called for zero investment

PHILIPSBURG--The still-pending waste-to-energy (WTE) plant would have cost taxpayers “a total of zero investment” under the plan left behind by National Alliance (NA) leader Member of Parliament William Marlin after his tenure as Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI in 2012-2013, said the NA board in a press statement on Wednesday.

The terms of reference were designed so that the WTE supplier would be granted a concession for 20-25 years and utilities company GEBE would buy the energy produced by the WTE plant, said the board as they chided United People’s (UP) party Member of Parliament Theo Heyliger for saying in Parliament recently that projects require investment.

“So you see, MP Heyliger, you are not correct. Things can be done for free, in the beginning at least, resulting in no huge debt for the people of St. Maarten. MP Heyliger also has a unique ability to confuse the numbers, so let us try to clarify things here for the honourable MP,” said the NA board.

They explained that the WTE plant would produce eight megawatts (MW) or 8,000 kilowatts (kW). Over 24 hours this would be 24 times 8,000 equalling 192,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per day; over a year 365 days times 192,000 equals 70,080,000kWh per year. Currently, GEBE’s electricity rate is approximately NAf. 0.48 per kWh.

“Under a National Alliance Government, the companies estimated a kWh price of between 0.31 and 0.45 per kWh. Taking the above into consideration the WTE would collect a yearly amount of 70,080,000 times 0.45 (let’s take the bigger number) = 31,356,000 guilders,” said the board.

For the 20- to 25-year term of the concession the WTE company would collect a total of 20 times NAf. 31,356,000, equalling NAf. 627,120,000, or 25 times NAf. 31,356,000, equalling NAf. 783,900,000.

“According to MP Heyliger, this is not a valid deal and St. Maarten or GEBE needs to invest in this project to make it feasible. The strange thing is even with an investment by the people of St. Maarten or GEBE he still envisions a cost of 0.56 per kWh,” said the board.

To use the numbers of MP Heyliger, “who it appears is confused and still thinks he sits in the chair of the Minister, we get the following – an investment of a minimum of NAf. 200 million (cost of most 8MW plants), 70,080,000 (kWh per year) times 0.56 equals NAf. 39,244,800.”

For the 20- to 25-year term of the concession the WTE company would collect a grand total of 20 times NAf. 39,244,800 equalling NAf. 784,896,000, or 25 times NAf. 39,244,800 equals NAf. 981,120,000 (close to a billion guilders), NA’s board said.

“We would assume that GEBE would benefit somewhat from this billion guilders, being a shareholder in the WTE. MP Heyliger needs to explain why GEBE would invest if it is not necessary.

“So with MP Heyliger’s terms of reference, the people of St. Maarten would be burdened with a loan of minimum 200 million guilders. We even heard of a figure of 700 million guilders which we don’t quite understand. In addition, we would also be paying more for electricity than we are currently paying,” said the board.

“With the terms of reference of MP William Marlin the people of St. Maarten would not be burdened with any loan and the cost of electricity would be lower, saving the people of St. Maarten millions of guilders over the years,” the board said.

They added, “Since MP Heyliger seems to know more about the entire issue than the Minister and has taken it upon himself to answer questions for the Minister he should also answer the question as to why the done deal during the tenure of former Minister William Marlin was not executed by former Minister Maurice Lake.

“Even more questionable is why the deal done by former Minister Lake is not being considered. Why is MP Heyliger dead set on burdening the people of St. Maarten with yet another multi-million-guilder loan?”

Winair starts process to fill three key positions

page7c109~ Posts temporarily filled ~

PHILIPSBURG--The three key positions that became vacant at Windward Islands Airways International Winair, after three senior employees were fired have been temporarily filled.

The airline is also currently in the process of looking for candidates to permanently fill these positions, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Directors Georges Gréaux said Wednesday.

Gréaux told The Daily Herald that after the positions became vacant Winair Managing Director immediately met with the St. Maarten Civil Aviation Department to inform them of the changes and received approval for the “identified qualified” personnel who are now filling-in the positions on a temporary basis.

“The process to hire qualified persons for these positions on a permanent basis has already started, which includes both internal and public postings being made for prospective candidates to respond,” he said. “At no point has any safety, security or operational quality been compromised by this change of personnel.”

The three positions became vacant when Winair Senior Manager of Flight Operations Elvis Queeley, Chief Pilot Captain Jeff Oliver and Manager of Safety Security and Corporate Quality Michael Carter were suspended by the airline on September 10, and subsequently dismissed less than a week later on September 16. Queeley and Oliver told this paper on Wednesday, that they will be challenging their dismissal (see related story).

Gréaux said a report about this matter was submitted to the Council of Ministers as representatives of the St. Maarten shareholder and to the Dutch shareholder representative.

Gréaux said due to “very challenging airports” that Winair has been flying in and out of for over 50 years, safety has been and will always be the number one priority of the airline. “The quality and standards set for our aircraft maintenance programme, pilot training and certification, operational and safety manuals, emergency response programme, ground handling programme and…our customer services training are at a level that rivals or even surpasses some of the best and largest international carriers in the world.”

He said the fact that Air France, which has a “very stringent” auditing process that also requires the written approval of the French civil aviation authorities, has recently embarked on a full-code share agreement with Winair, is a testament to the airline’s commitment to these high standards.

“Secondly, and more importantly, Winair has to be in constant contact with the St. Maarten Civil Aviation in addressing the various protocols and regulations related to its operations. This contact also includes audits performed to ensure that Winair is in compliance. It’s also important to know that [Ed. – International Civil Aviation Organisation] ICAO is not a regulatory agency, but is an organisation that airlines and countries are voluntary members of and by virtue agree to adopt their policies, practices and procedures, while the St. Maarten Civil Aviation is the regulatory agency which regulates the aviation industry for Country St. Maarten,” he said.

Page 10 of 1358