Monday, February 17, 2020

February 9, 2020  PORT ST. MAARTEN – Another milestone was reached by Port St. Maarten on February 7 when Joshua Johnson signed his contract with the company becoming the first local St. Maarten Maritime Pilot. Pilots ensure the safe navigation of ships in local waters. 

They are highly trained experts in ship navigation and pilots are considered the elite of the marine professionals.  Pilots board ships entering or exiting the port and navigate them safely in and out avoiding any maritime hazards.

In attendance for the momentous occasion were Port St. Maarten senior management officials, representatives from the Human Resources Department, Chief Pilot Edmond Johnson and Joshua’s father Eric Johnson.

Port St. Maarten Management said that Joshua Johnson’s journey is a remarkable one that displays determination and perseverance. 

“We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Pilot Joshua Johnson on his achievements so far in his career development.  He has achieved his goal becoming part of an elite member of maritime professionals in a global industry that has shaped the world that we know today,” Port St. Maarten Management said on Sunday.

Pilot Joshua Johnson said on Sunday: “The sky is the limit.  From a high school dropout at 17 to becoming a Maritime Pilot today at Port St. Maarten, the journey was not easy.  There were lots of struggles along the way that could have held me back from achieving my goal.

“There were many times that I felt like throwing in the towel, but I pulled through.  My journey did not only comprise of struggles, but it has helped in sculpting me into the person I am today.  Seeing the world, experiencing different cultures, the long hours and dedication I gave, which I at first did not even know I had, is what made me Joshua Johnson.

“My advice to the younger generation is not to conclude that all is lost if high school didn’t turn out the way you wanted or expected, and to believe in second chances.  I would like to take this opportunity to say a special thankyou to Sabrina Jeanvoldemar, Chief Pilot E. Johnson, Senior Pilot T. Romain, my mother Juliana Arrindell and my father Eric Johnson.”

Joshua first started out at Port St. Maarten in 2008 when he was hired as a Pilot Boat Deckhand who is responsible for making sure that the pilot gets on and off the boat safely.  He worked with the port for two-and-a-half years and then decided to pursue studies in the Netherlands as a Maritime Officer and in Maritime Engineering.

In 2016, Joshua graduated with a Master’s License in Maritime Navigation and a license as a Maritime Engineering Officer.

Port St. Maarten sees the training of human resources especially at key Ports of entry essential in order for the country to maintain its hub function within the Northeastern Caribbean.

A well-trained team is Port St. Maarten’s number one priority as this reflects positively on productivity and efficiency of port operations. 

Port St. Maarten’s ongoing mission is to improve the port’s operations excellence platform. This has always been the mantra of Port St. Maarten and is a key component leading to the development of a training outpost.

The training outpost will lead to the certification of persons working in the logistics field such as heavy equipment operators, stevedoring activities, and other port-container related operations, and will also be used as a catalyst to use St. Maarten as a centralized training hub on a regional and international level.

February 16, 2020  AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — An emotional Elton John had to cut short a performance in New Zealand on Sunday after he lost his voice due to walking pneumonia and had to be assisted off stage. John reached out to his fans on Instagram on Sunday, apologizing for ending his show at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium early. “I want to thank everyone who attended tonight’s gig in Auckland. I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia earlier today, but I was determined to give you the best show humanly possible,” he wrote. “I played and sang my heart out, until my voice could sing no more. I’m disappointed, deeply upset and sorry. I gave it all I had. Thank-you so much for your extraordinary support and all the love you showed me during tonight’s performance. I am eternally grateful. Love, Elton xx”

February 2, 20202  MIAMI (AP) — Descending from the air, Lady Gaga kicked off a pre-Super Bowl concert by mimicking her entrance to her Super Bowl halftime performance three years ago, which earned her rave reviews. Headlining the big sports stage was a recurring theme of her Miami concert Saturday night, and the pop star sent a message to Sunday’s featured performers: “I better hear no lip-syncing tomorrow!” Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will join forces to perform at Super Bowl 54 at the Hard Rock Stadium, when the San Francisco 49ers will take on the Kansas City Chiefs.

MIAMI (AP) — Fat Joe brought New York hip-hop to Miami for an energetic pre-Super Bowl concert a day ahead of the big game. The Bronx rapper was joined by fellow New Yorkers 50 Cent and Remy Ma for the Pepsi Super Splash Pool Party on Saturday at Clevelander South Beach. Joe performed a number of hits, including the Grammy-nominated smashes “What’s Luv?,” “Lean Back” and “All the Way Up.” Ma surprised the audience, rapping on the latter two songs, while her rapper-husband, Papoose, freestyled onstage, earning cheers from the crowd. 50 Cent, who is from Queens, got the loudest applause from the hyped crowd when he performed “What Up Gangsta” and his debut hit, “In Da Club.”

MIAMI (AP) — Vin Diesel says it’s the spirit of Paul Walker that motivates him to continue starring in the “Fast and Furious” saga. Diesel and the cast spoke of the memory of their late screen partner at a special event surrounding the upcoming release of the franchise’s ninth chapter, “F9: Fast and Furious 9.” The recent death of Kobe Bryant reminded Diesel of the loss of his friend. “I can’t make a ‘Fast’ without Pablo in my thoughts, in my everyday activity, in my approach to every scene,” Diesel said, invoking his affectionate nickname for Walker. “His spirit must live in this saga, because his spirit, in so many ways, is what drives me to continue the saga.”