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Grid List

DATE ISSUED: Sunday, October 20, 2019 @ 12:00 LST (12:00 UTC)

VALID UNTIL: Monday midday (12:00 LST) October 21, 2019 


This afternoon through Monday midday: Partly cloudy with passing showers.


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

Sunset Today: 5:47 P.M.               Sunrise Tomorrow: 6:08 A.M. 

This afternoon through Monday midday: Easterly with a light to gentle breeze of 04 to 12 mph.


SYNOPSIS:  Drier air moving into the region will reduce cloudiness and shower activity. Nevertheless, low level moisture drifting within the light winds will trigger a few passing showers across the local area.

Seas will remain slight to moderate for the next few days.

STATE OF THE SEA:  Slight to moderate          WAVES/SWELLS: 4 to 6 feet


OUTLOOK through Tuesday midday: Partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated showers.


Steering committee meeting in progress on Thursday.


MARIGOT--The last steering committee (COPIL) meeting on the revision of the Natural Risks Prevention Plan PPRN took place in Hôtel de la Collectivité on Thursday, October 17. Extensive information and arguments were provided by the eight themed technical committees (COTECH), held in the neighbourhoods in September and October.

Today’s report that a third of the electricity produced in the Caribbean Netherlands last year was from renewable sources is encouraging. This good news from both self-reliance and environmental perspectives is the result of investments in solar panel parks for Saba and St. Eustatius, as well as primarily in wind turbines on Bonaire. For Statia the share of “green energy” was even higher at 45.5 per cent, while this is still to go up considerably in Saba (16.7 per cent), because its two solar parks only started operating in February 2018 and 2019 respectively. 

These three islands becoming overseas territories of the Netherlands per 10-10-10 no doubt played an important role in this positive development, as it helped provide them with the necessary means and expertise.

Mind you, there are potential drawbacks such as possible long-lasting weather-related issues that could hamper production. However, with the proper backup from diesel engines major problems can be mostly prevented. St. Eustatius, for example, is normally able to meet its full electricity demand from solar power during the day but requires the generators at night.

While Curaçao and Aruba too have made substantial strides in moving away from fossil fuels to more nature-friendly alternative energy sources, St. Maarten is lagging far behind. The setback suffered by local utility company GEBE due to the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017 obviously didn’t help, because priorities had to be set particularly regarding extensive damage to the tap-water distribution network and storage tanks as well as to the country’s streetlights that are so important in terms of public safety and the tourism economy.

Nevertheless, two years have since passed and the international oil market remains volatile, with – among other things – rising tensions in the Middle East and the ongoing crisis in Venezuela. Although windmills present challenges locally because of the hilly terrain and a less-stable trade-wind than, for example, in the so-called ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao), there is usually plenty of sunshine.

Existing plans to cover public parking lots on the Pondfill with solar panels and other, similar proposals should be dusted off and given new life, because sustainable energy is clearly the future. And if not now, when?

Caretaker Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication Stuart Johnson confirmed a licence had been approved last January for a casino in the former Super Plaza building on Back Street, despite its proximity to “sensitive” entities like Sundial School and the hurricane-damaged Philipsburg Jubilee Library (see Thursday paper). He argued that other gambling houses currently operate under similar circumstances, which is certainly true for Jump Up Casino and Diamond Casino in the same general area.

However, his assertion that the library won’t be returning to its old spot is not necessarily correct. After all, there are plans to construct a new complex there together with St. Maarten Archaeological Center SIMARC and the St. Maarten Heritage Centre.

In this case it regards the relocation of an existing casino, despite the mention of creating 50 jobs. Issuing an entirely new permit wouldn’t be possible either, because of a moratorium placed on standalone casinos years ago to discourage excessive gambling among locals for obvious reasons.

Only licences for casinos in visitor accommodations can be given out, although the conditions for such have not always been met. When the standalone operator at Caravanserai moved, government found itself granting a resort casino permit based on a – never completed – expansion project to reach the required number of rooms.

In 2014 then-TEATT minister Ted Richardson adapted the policy to allow two licences each for the harbour and airport. These would be established on vessels and in the departure/transit halls respectively, making them accessible only to cruise passengers and air travellers.

Those plans never materialised; among other reasons, out of concern for the destination’s image this would portray. The ceiling on regular standalone casinos was also maintained.

More importantly, the long-announced Gaming Control Board (GCB) to supervise the sector is still not functioning. It was called a priority by several successive governments, but until now that has proven to be mostly lip service.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana--This year, Tullow Oil plc is expected to expend approximately GUY$17 billion (US $80 million) on drilling wells in Guyana’s offshore basin.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico--A storm of gunfire broke out in the dark on Monday, piercing the early evening calm at a public housing complex near the University of Puerto Rico with hundreds of loud shots. After it was over, five people lay dead. A sixth person who was injured later died.

NEW YORK- - Johnson & Johnson said on Friday it is recalling around 33,000 bottles of baby powder in the United States after U.S. health regulators found trace amounts of asbestos in samples taken from a bottle purchased online.
  J&J shares fell more than 6% to close at $127.70.

LONDON- - Britain will be on course for more distant economic ties with the European Union, making the country poorer, if Prime Minister Boris Johnson wins parliamentary backing for the Brexit deal he clinched with Brussels on Thursday.

WASHINGTON- - Washington's National Zoo will soon have an empty-nester exhibit on display when Bei Bei, the 4-year-old male offspring of the zoo's giant panda couple, sets out for China next month to help breed more of his species in his parents' homeland.

CUBA- - Legendary Cuban ballerina Alicia Alonso, who achieved global acclaim in the 1940s and went on to run the internationally renowned National Ballet of Cuba for decades, died on Thursday at age 98, state-run media said.

BEIRUT/ANKARA- The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Sunday they had withdrawn from the border town of Ras al Ain under a U.S.-brokered ceasefire deal, but a spokesman for Turkish-backed Syrian rebels said the withdrawal was not yet complete.

SPACE STATION - Two NASA astronauts made space history on Friday, completing the first spacewalk by an all-woman team when they stepped outside the International Space Station.

EDMONTON, Alberta-- Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg joined thousands of protesters marching in Canada's energy heartland Alberta on Friday, as a smaller counter-rally led by a truck convoy of oil and gas workers also converged on the provincial capital Edmonton.

BARCELONA- - Thousands gathered in Barcelona in a fourth day of protests that have led to the worst sustained street violence in Spain in decades after Catalan leaders were sentenced to lengthy jail terms for their roles in a 2017 bid for independence.

MARYLAND--Robbie Gould kicked three field goals and the San Francisco 49ers remained undefeated by posting a 9-0 victory over the host Washington on Sunday in heavy rain and wind at Landover, Md.

HOUSTON -- Without quarrel or debate, Jose Altuve serves as the foundation on which the Houston Astros have built their burgeoning powerhouse. He is the heartbeat of a roster flush with All-Stars, the engine often called on at critical times.

Dear Editor,

  I am calling on all citizens from commonwealth of Dominica to vote and give Skerrit their full support and re-elect his party to govern Commonwealth of Dominica in this coming election.

  The Bannis generation keeps calling on the Commonwealth Dominica government to change the name of Dominica, because the territory’s name is too close to Dominican Republic.

  And (I quote) it’s time Dominica has its own international airport (Hon. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit).


Cuthbert Bannis 

Dear Queenie,

  My husband’s parents are getting older and they don’t give his kid sister any discipline because they say it’s just too much trouble. As a result, she does whatever she pleases, including lying and sometimes even stealing things.

  Then she applied for a job where I work and they wanted me to write a letter of recommendation for her. I told them I wouldn’t know what to say and for a while most of his family wasn’t speaking to me, but then they invited my husband and me to a family get-together and everyone acted like nothing happened.

  Queenie, I think they owe me an apology. Am I wrong?—Offended wife


Dear Wife,

  You are not wrong, but you are not likely get an apology from these people either. Let it go, for the sake of peace in the family.