Thursday, July 02, 2020

Philipsburg, June 18, 2020 -Gracita Arrindell said:  “a picture tells a thousand words, however, it does not always provide the whole story or the real message behind what the lens captures. Many of our citizens continue to suffer significant hardship after hurricane Irma. Some quietly behind closed doors because they are too proud to show that they need help, albeit temporarily.

Covid-19 lockdown no doubt contributed to this suffering as it seriously increased the unemployment rate of St. Maarten”.

“This situation seriously affected the purchasing ‘power’ of our citizens.

Increasingly, photos are shown on social media platforms of several private organizations, or groups of citizens, politicians, showing how many food packages they distributed to those who need it most.  Tens of thousands of food -items none perishable and perishable goods alike have been provided to people in different neighborhoods”.

Arrindell states, “Regrettably, there are persons who need assistance, but who do not receive any.  These citizens fall through the cracks of the support – supply chains. The question is why?  How can we ensure that everyone who needs and deserves assistance is counted? Is it true that some neighborhoods have become a ‘platform for pity’?We must be wary of  ‘wolves in sheep clothing’. On one hand, we are making all efforts to encourage and welcome back tourists to our beautiful shores. On the other hand concurrently, many of these tourists read what is happening on St. Maarten”.

“Constant stream of news heralding the amount of aid provided compared to the amount of people recorded in our government departments (unofficial estimates over 10.000 applicants) in charge of the aid distribution needs further stream-lining. The reported recent initiative taken by some organizations to assist 3200 households is the first step.

“Food boxes are delivered, but the real problem remains. It’s increased poverty.

The government must meet all organizations, not just a few, to assess the current situation by cross-checking their lists with the information that exists and is updated by the government departments that are in charge of food and aid distribution. 

The policy distribution of relief packages must be fair and accurate, and not misleading”.

Perhaps it is worthwhile to look at what Curacao, apparently faced with a similar situation whereby many organizations provided relief while many citizens did not receive or received few supplies. This country’s government announced and ordered all none governmental organizations or individuals who wanted to provide aid to the most vulnerable to channel their relief support actions through a main distribution center, Red-cross or ‘food bank’.

Arrindell continues, “most people encounter a downturn at some point in their lives. Even citizens who worked hard paid their taxes, saved for a ‘rainy day’ face hard times often of no fault of their own. Our citizens prefer to have a decent job to feed their families with dignity. Their unfortunate situation should never be used as a prop for self- fulfillment.


“Job creation will lift people who can and those who want to work out of this cycle of  ‘poverty- handouts. In the meantime, everyone in need deserves to be counted and assisted”, concludes Gracita”.

NEW YORK (AP) — After voicing support for Woody Allen and criticizing cancel culture, Spike Lee apologized Saturday for words he said were “wrong.” In an interview Friday on the New York radio station WOR 710, Lee called Allen “a great, great filmmaker.” “This cancel thing is not just Woody. And I think that when we look back on it, (we’re) gonna see that, short of killing somebody, I don’t if you can just erase somebody like they never existed. Woody’s a friend of mine,” said Lee. “I know he’s going through it right now.”


NEW YORK (AP) — Gary Phillips, a prize-winning crime novelist from Los Angeles, grew up on TV shows that showed a world nothing like the one he lived in. “I watched them all, ‘Dragnet,’ ‘Adam 12,’ ‘The Wild, Wild West,’ ‘Mannix,’ ‘Cannon,’ ‘Peter Gunn’ reruns and on and on. Now these were white guys and they were tough but fair and even-handed,” he told The Associated Press in a recent email, referring to popular programs mostly from the 1960s and 1970s. “I remember a ‘Dragnet’ episode where tight-ass Joe Friday solved racism among black and white officers in a weekend retreat. But I was a kid growing up in South Central and even then some part of me knew a lot of this was jive. We knew the cops out of Newton and 77th Division policed the ’hood a lot different than shown on TV.”

NEW YORK (AP) — An angry and emotional Dave Chappelle spoke on the killing of George Floyd in a surprise Netflix special, saying America was being punished for its mistreatment of black men. “I don’t mean to get heavy but we got to say something,” said Chappelle, who added that America is enduring “the wrath of God” for a string of police assaults on black men. The special was released Thursday and is streaming free on Netflix’s comedy YouTube channel. It was taken from a show at an outdoor pavilion in Yellow Springs, Ohio, with about 100 attendees on June 6.

Nanci Ryder, a powerful Hollywood publicist and co-founder of BWR Public Relations who became close to such stars as Renée Zellweger and Courteney Cox, died Thursday of Lou Gehrig’s disease in Los Angeles. She was 67. Ryder was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — or ALS — in 2014. The neurodegenerative disease gradually claimed her ability to walk, talk, eat and move. Her death was announced by publicist Lynda Dorf. Ryder’s clients — including Michael J. Fox, Reese Witherspoon, Viggo Mortensen and Sarah Michelle Gellar — blossomed into close friends. Zellweger thanked Ryder in her best actress acceptance speech when she won the Academy Award for “Judy” earlier this year. Witherspoon called her a “second mother.”