Friday, Oct 24th

LATEST:
You are here: Home

High energy at UP last meeting

Theo promises 800 parking spaces, hospital, bridge across lagoon

PHILIPSBURG--The United People's (UP) party wrapped up its campaign in the run-up to the early Island Council elections on Friday with a fireworks display and live performances featuring Carnival-like-clad dancers performing on an elevated stage behind the main stage.

The fireworks display began in Great Salt Pond when UP leader Theo Heyliger, the last speaker, went on stage to address the meeting. Heyliger showed artist's impressions of what he said were some of the projects he intended to start if elected to office, including the bridge across the lagoon and the ring road. He said last night's meeting on the ring road would be the last meeting in the sand, as the ring road was coming.

He also promised that a new hospital and 500 new homes would be built and said 800 parking spaces would be created to alleviate traffic congestion. "The government building should be knocked down" to create parking, he said.

Heyliger said his plans were "not cartoon" or "Mickey Mouse," but were real plans that he would implement. He promised to protect the "historical value" of the island in the development of these projects.

Heyliger said the UP team represented strength. He boasted of his 15 years in government, which include 13 years in the Executive Council, which he said was unmatched. "All of the NA [National Alliance] candidates combined can't make up my experience," Heyliger said.

He addressed the audience briefly in Dutch and said his critics who said he couldn't speak Dutch were wrong. He said too that he and his #2 candidate Gracita Arrindell were only fighting for the people of St. Maarten.

Heyliger said his vision for St. Maarten was for every person to be employed. "This is time for you St. Maarten," Heyliger said.

"We don't need Jah Cure, we need our young people," he said, referring to the Democratic Party (DP), which brought in the singer for its last meeting. Heyliger said UP was coming for National Alliance and Democratic Party (DP).

Before he came on stage, local singer Cutie Johnson performed Heyliger's campaign song from Shakira's "Waka Waka" hit. Smoke and the elevated stage created a concert-like atmosphere during the performance. The electricity went off briefly during Johnson's performance, but was restored quickly and the performance continued. Many persons in the crowd had vuvuzelas (horns) which they were blowing as candidates addressed the crowd.

Arrindell, who called up the female candidates on stage, said she was there for the people of St. Maarten. She said UP needed to get St. Maarten "back on its feet. ... No one can stop us now. ... We will take over the reins of this country."

Arrindell said she was "excited" to get into government and "get things moving. ... This is a historic moment," she said, adding that those who had attended the final meeting were part of history.

Movement for Curaçao MFK leader and Curaçao's Prime Minister designate Gerrit Schotte, who had endorsed Heyliger earlier, said the people of St. Maarten "should give Heyliger a chance." He said "UP was the way to go" and that it was "the future."

He described his experiences in Curaçao's elections and said, "Theo should be given the same chance" as he had been given. "Let him make this country the brightest star in the Caribbean. Even though we are separated we will keep the family bonds."

NA: Elections about country, important to go out to vote

ST. PETERS--National Alliance (NA) leader William Marlin told supporters after 1:00am Thursday to be sure to go out and vote in this important election, which is "not about building a bridge or road or teaming up ... it's about Country St. Maarten."

Shortly after Marlin went up on stage to speak two police officers arrived and spoke to Constitutional Affairs Minister Roland Duncan about the meeting being long past the permitted time. Duncan went on stage and communicated this to Marlin, who told the crowd that they would try to respect the law.

He went on say that the elections were about a proper government for the island that could take it into country status. NA "had been working" when other parties were holding press conferences and others were campaigning, he said.

NA needs to be in government to continue its work and not to go back in later to "clean up any messes. We need to build a country," he said. He added that the party's plans were outlined in its manifesto and those plans would be carried out to the benefit of the people.

Of the 23 candidates on the NA slate, only Duncan did not speak, because he was not well. All candidates had similar messages: voting on Friday is important and the NA getting the majority and the full mandate to govern the island without a coalition was a must.

Candidate #16 Martha Simon-Thewet said St. Peters Road had been given a facelift by the past government, but they had forgotten about the side streets, proper housing and the overcrowding in schools.

Candidate #15 Rudy Engel promised to create the island's first "attraction theme park," because St. Maarten has no attractions compared to Curaçao and other islands.

Kendall Dupersoy, candidate #13, said that when the results of the third polling station were called on Friday, the defeat for the United People's (UP) party would be so overwhelming that party leader Theo Heyliger "will be nowhere to be found."

Christopher Emmanuel, candidate #14, said the election would finally take the power from one family and give it back to the people. He said Heyliger was "the biggest liar," because he had said in the past he had the key to reopen Mulley Bay Resort.

Candidate #17 Jason Peterson said Heyliger bragged about giving the boys in St. Peters work, but they only had been given jobs because they had rebelled against the contractor during the upgrading project. He said Marlin had built schools and was providing proper housing.

Candidate #11 Leona Marlin-Romeo demonstrated how to vote properly using a dummy ballot. She said that in past elections there had been too many invalid votes and this needed to be prevented.

Louie Laveist, #9 on the white slate, said people could not continue to survive on slave wages and with the NA the minimum wage would be increased.

Candidate #8 Silveria Jacobs said she would work on a school adoption programme that would see businesses take care of the island's schools. She said every citizen had a responsibility to the island and must take it seriously, as country status was a few steps away from independence.

Minister Patrick Illidge, candidate #7, said that after only a year in government the NA's report card showed the party had passed with flying colours. The island doesn't need the "social butterflies" on the UP list because with NA the finish line is in sight, he said.

Number 4 on the white slate Rodolphe Samuel said Gerrit Schotte, who endorsed UP and is expected to become the first prime minister of Country Curaçao, was "not a nice guy," as he was busy forming a government on his island with a party that referred to St. Maarten as "wild donkeys."

Hyacinth Richardson, #5 candidate, told supporters to go home and pray that God would give NA the victory on Friday.

Local artistes Versatile and Addison "Shadowman" Richardson performed during the rally.

Bureau Telecom, Post given to St. Maarten

page3c104PHILIPSBURG--Minister of Tele communications Patrick Illidge and Commissioner of Tele communications Frans Richardson signed the protocol to officially transfer the tasks and responsibilities of the Bureau of Telecommunications and Post (BT&P) to St. Maarten from the Central Government on Wednesday.

Calling the moment "an historic day" for St. Maarten, Minister Illidge said St. Maarten now had full authority and the "power to govern" its own BT&P. Joining Illidge and Richardson at the signing was attorney Peggy Ann-Brandon, who has been appointed by the Executive Council as Interim Director of St. Maarten's BT&P.

Commissioner Richardson expressed pride in witnessing tasks being transferred to St. Maarten as the island headed towards country status. "The island government has been working diligently to complete the preparations for the transfer of tasks of the Netherlands Antilles to St. Maarten and we have opted for a pragmatic approach to the transfer of these tasks," he said.

"As long as we can remember, this service [BT&P-Ed.] has been headquartered in Curaçao with a small dependent office in St. Maarten. This is the bureau that has to deal with the radio and TV broadcasters when it comes to matters such as concessions, telecom requirements, licence fees, telecommunications laws, telecom providers, and radio and TV broadcast finalists. It also makes sure the infrastructure available complies with standards, as well as advises on government, telecom and postal issues," he said.

He said now that St. Maarten was becoming a country, falling behind was not an option. "We need to be in a position to keep pace with fast-changing telecommunications developments. We do not need to re-invent the wheel, but we need to have some sense of direction to develop telecommunications and enable free competition.

"The same could be said of the postal market. It is up to us to safeguard the interests of Country St. Maarten. I am most grateful to all those who have been working diligently to get us to where we are today," he said.

The Commissioner also noted that, even though everyone was "in the heat of an election," government continued to work on behalf of the people of St. Maarten.

WEATHER FORECAST FOR THE ISLANDS OF ST. MAARTEN, ST. EUSTATIUS AND SABA

Valid until Thursday midday 12:00
hours, September 16, 2010.

Issued: Tuesday, September 15, 2010 11:00 A.S.T. (15:00 U.T.C.)

...A HIGH SURF WARNING IS IN EFFECT
A SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE...

Weather: Today through Thursday midday: Partly cloudy with an isolated passing shower
possible.

Forecast high will be 31°C, 86 °F. and low 26 °C, 79 °F.
Sunrise will occur at 6:00 A.M. and sunset at 6:13 P.M.

Winds: Today through Thursday midday: Northerly and gentle to moderate, 08 to 16
miles per hour, becoming gradually Northwesterly in the evening and moderate
to fresh, 17 to 25 miles per hour.

Synopsis: Moisture associated with hurricane Igor will start to move in
later today, this will enhance the likely hood of showers across the local
region. These showers are expected to be isolated in nature. Even though
hurricane Igor passes at a safe distance from our islands, the effects of
this system will be noted in the gradual shifting of the winds from a
northerly to a more northwesterly direction and the rough seas, mainly on
the Northern and Eastern coastlines.

Sea conditions: Light to moderate with seas 3 to 7 feet over the open waters. Large easterly swells generated by hurricane Igor are reaching the coasts of the SSS Islands and will increase from the Northeast peaking on
Friday and then slowly subsiding and shifting to the Northwest.
These swells will cause large breaking waves of up to 12 feet on. Therefore,
a High Surf  Warning has been issued and a Small Craft advisory will remain
in effect until further notice. Owners of small craft and beach facilities
are urged to take this into account.

Tropical weather systems: At 11 A.M. local time the center of mayor hurricane Igor was located at about   19.8 N and  54.0 W about 550 miles East of St. Maarten. With maximum sustained winds near the center of 135
miles per hour, Igor is moving toward the West-Northwest at 13 miles per
hour. This system is expected to stay on a West-Northwest track, keeping it
well away from the SSS islands. Hurricane Julia, continued strengthening
overnight and is now a mayor hurricane  (category 4). Julia is located over
the central tropical Atlantic and moving toward the west-northwest. Tropical
storm Karl is located over the extreme western Caribbean waters and is
moving in a West Northwesterly direction towards the Mexican East coast. The
Meteorological Service of the NA & A continues to monitor the progress of
mayor hurricane Igor with much interest. For further information please
visit our web page at:
<http://www.weather.an/web/forecast/sxm/http/www.weather.an/cyclones/index.a
sp.>  http//www.weather.an/cyclones/index.asp.

Special Features: none.

Outlook until Friday midday: Generally partly cloudy with a few passing
showers and a risk of a thunderstorm. Winds will continue to shift to a more
southwesterly and thereafter a southerly direction as Igor continues moving
at a safe distance to the northwest of the Northeastern Caribbean area..

Forecaster:  Figueroa/Lauffer

The next weather forecast will be issued on Wednesday at 18:00 A.S.T. (22:00
UTC).

New building inaugurated at Sister Magda Primary

page3a103Marlin pledges Govt support for Phase IV

ST. PETERS--Faculty, staff and pupils inaugurated Phase III of Sister Magda Primary School on Tuesday morning.

Education Commissioner William Marlin joined the gathering to toast the opening of the new building, which encompasses a covered play area, a kitchen, a student care section and a resource centre.

The commissioner congratulated all involved in making the new building a reality and pledged his government's support for the construction of Phase IV, a gymnasium for the school.

"Some believe that the school should partner with another institution in the area that already has a gym. Others believe a gym for Sister Magda would be a crowning achievement," Marlin said while noting that sharing an established gym could become complicated in terms of schedule and usage.

"So if the school chooses to use adjacent land to construct a gym, this would have the full support of this government," Marlin added to loud cheers from the children and guests assembled in the covered play area.

Marlin, Principal Hans Schrijvers, and Catholic School Board President Marlon Halley all praised Angela Dekker of the Department for Education, Research, Policy and Innovations (DERPI) for her "tireless work" for the project and for her excellent work for education and various programmes and projects.

The building was financed through Dutch funding agency USONA to the tune of NAf. 850,000.

Page 937 of 1089