Saturday, January 23, 2021

January 11, 2021    PHILIPSBURG – On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, the Honorable Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson and her support staff met with the Integrity Chamber Sint Maarten for an introductory meeting. Representing the independent administrative bodies were Integrity Chamber member Rafael Boasman and secretariat director Charna Pompier.

Minister Richardson stated she considers integrity to be one of the most important values that underpin the activities of the Ministry of Justice and its personnel. She recognizes how it can affect public trust not only in the ministry but in the entire government apparatus and as such announced that she intends, in this current year, to pay closer attention to integrity issues and ways on how the integrity standards can be raised throughout the ministry.

As such, the Minister asked for the Integrity Chamber’s supports in her efforts on this front. The Integrity Chamber has indicated to render support where possible and required within the ministry.

Mr. Boasman, on behalf of the three-member body that includes Rian Vogels (president) and Hans Lodder (member), said it was a positive step for Minister Richardson to reach out to the Integrity Chamber to share her concerns and to discuss bottlenecks faced within the Justice Ministry.

“The Integrity Chamber is here to assist where possible. It is important for the effective and efficient running of government for integrity to play a very prominent role. We look forward to and encourage others in government and its entities to reach out to us for information, for assistance, for guidance,” said Mr. Boasman.

Minister Richardson was very keen to learn about the Integrity Chamber and its core tasks of rendering advice, giving proposals, investigating suspected misconducts within administrative bodies (i.e., government and its entities, including government-owned companies) and the continuous provision of information to strengthen awareness about the importance of integrity in the community.      

One question posed in the meeting by Minister Richardson was if there has been an interest in the Ministry of Justice by the Integrity Chamber. The response was that there is in fact an interest for all of the ministries and government-owned companies, however, in this phase of its activities, the primary focus is on introducing itself to the ministries and learning what is already in place with regards to integrity and how this is being documented. This way the Integrity Chamber knows what issues are in need of immediate attention.

The Integrity Chamber expressed its delight with receiving the invitation for a meeting with Minister Richardson as the Ministry of Justice was also on its list of ministries to visit. This is yet another step Minister Richardson taking to in her pursuit to strengthen the Ministry of Justice, the officers and its overall services.

January 16, 2021   LOS ANGELES (AP) — True to form, Betty White has something impish to say about her birthday Sunday. “Since I am turning 99, I can stay up as late as I want without asking permission!” she told The Associated Press in an email. White’s low-key plans include feeding a pair of ducks that regularly visit her Los Angeles-area home. Her birthday meal will be a hot dog and French fries brought in — along with a bouquet of roses — by her longtime friend and agent, Jeff Witjas. The actor’s TV credits stretch from 1949’s “Hollywood on Television” to a 2019 voice role in “Forky Asks a Question,” with “The Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” among the enduring highlights.

January 15, 2021   NEW YORK (AP) — Philip J. Smith, who rose from box office treasurer at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway to chairman and co-CEO of the theatrical giant Shubert Organization, has died from complications from COVID-19, according to his daughters. He was 89. In a career that spanned 63 years, Smith worked in every department of the Shubert Organization and was named general manager of all Shubert Theatres in 1964. The Shubert Organization owns and operates 17 Broadway theatres and six off-Broadway venues. Smith “influenced every aspect of the professional theater and earned the respect and admiration of everyone from the stage doormen to the greatest performers and creative talents of our time,” Robert E. Wankel, chairman and CEO of The Shubert Organization, said in a statement.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Peter Mark Richman, a character actor who appeared in hundreds of television episodes and had recurring roles on “Three’s Company” and “Beverly Hills 90210,” has died. He was 93. Richman died Thursday at his home in the Woodland Hills area of Los Angeles of natural causes, publicist Harlan Boll announced. Born in Philadelphia, Richman was a pharmacist but turned to acting. He joined the Actors Studio and in 1953 he starred on stage in the play “End as a Man.” He appeared on Broadway in “A Hatful of Rain” and “Masquerade.” He also portrayed Jerry in more than 400 New York performances of Edward Albee’s “The Zoo Story,” Boll said.

January 14, 2021  -Joanne Rogers, an accomplished concert pianist who celebrated and protected the legacy of her husband, the beloved children’s TV host Mister Rogers, has died in Pittsburgh. She was 92. Rogers died Thursday, according to the Fred Rogers Center. No cause of death was given. The center called her “a joyful and tender-hearted spirit, whose heart and wisdom have guided our work in service of Fred’s enduring legacy.” Joanne and Fred Rogers were married for more than 50 years, spanning the launch and end of the low-key, low-tech “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” which presented Fred Rogers as one adult in a busy world who always had time to listen to children. His pull as America’s favorite neighbor never seemed to wane before his death in 2003.