Friday, March 05, 2021

January 19, 2021   -On Friday, December 18th, 2020, Belair Beach Hotel received its Platinum SafeSeal recognition of best practices in protecting its customers against COVID19. The hotel states that they are “proud to be a part of this progressive movement to ensure a safe working and accommodation environment while enhancing the safety of St. Maarten as a destination.”

SafeSeal is the immediately recognizable emblem for companies that are verified that they adhere to strict cleanliness and hygiene guidelines to counter the COVID19 pandemic.

Belair takes the pandemic very seriously and has additional measures in place to the ones required.
Director Evans highlights some of the steps taken to ensure this: “A hygiene specialist from SMMC gives our housekeeping staff regular training on the proper protocols, highlighting any changes within the industry and going over practices implemented on the property.  Visual reminders and bi-weekly updates for supervisors, remind them of the importance of updating their staff and obligatory bi-weekly departmental meetings are held where we discuss shortcomings and ways to enhance practices.  We do hourly fogging of public spaces during high traffic periods and fogging every two hours once the traffic subsides for the evening”. 

Team spirit is a key feature of the hotel, and that accounts for protecting against the pandemic as well. “Belair Beach Hotel has a strong responsibility to their employees as they are a part of the team that makes up the resort. We believe in continuity, training, and enhancing the skills of our current employees while welcoming new employees and sharing the talents as team players.  We believe that training and having the right equipment are sure ways to create a safe environment for our guests.  We take care of our employees so that our employees can take care of you”. 

Evans underlines that though travel might be temporarily different, the timeframe offers opportunities as well. “St. Maarten is an amazing island and in spite of the pandemic, the island continues to have amazing sunrises and sunsets, delicious cuisine, friendly people who genuinely care about you having safe fun, great for families, wonderful experiences and great vacation opportunities.  If there was ever a time to be spoiled on St. Maarten, it's now!” 

SafeSeal standards have been devised by medical and occupational safety professionals; the methods and practices have been used to grant acknowledgment of best COVID19 prevention practices to 1700 companies in the Caribbean. For St Maarten, the checklists per sector have been validated to befit, among others, the guidelines on stmaartengov.org.

By highlighting best-practice companies, supporting organizations St. Maarten Tourism Bureau, the St Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association and occupational health company Med work want to spread the word that Sint Maarten is making its best effort to be a safe destination. More information regarding SafeSeal can be found at www.shta.com/safeseal and travel information updates at www.stmaartenentry.com.

Entertainment

February 28, 2021    NEW YORK (AP) — When drained of glamour, what’s left of the Golden Globes? That’s one of the biggest questions heading into the 78th annual awards on Sunday night. The show, postponed two months from its usual early-January perch, will have little of what makes the Globes one of the frothiest and glitziest events of the year. Due to the pandemic, there will be no parade of stars down the red carpet outside the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. Its hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will be on different sides of the country.

February 26, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Most playwrights who dip their toes into musical theater for the first time go small. Not Katori Hall: Her first assignment was to capture the life of a musical giant — Tina Turner. “I’m not really scared of much, which is probably why I felt like ‘Oh yeah, I’ll try this. I’ll take Tina Turner, one of the biggest icons in the world, and attempt to retell her story in this musical form,’” Hall says, laughing. “I had no qualms whatsoever.” That fearlessness has led to Hall’s first Tony nominations, as a producer and book writer for “Tina — The Tina Turner Musical.” At the awards show, it will compete against “Jagged Little Pill” and “Moulin Rouge! The Musical!” for Broadway’s best new musical crown.

February 26, 2021   NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix on Friday released a study it commissioned from top academic researchers that shows the streaming giant is outpacing much of the film industry in the inclusivity of its original films and television series. For years, academic studies have sought to capture inequalities in Hollywood and to hold studios accountable for making film and television that doesn’t reflect American demographics. Those studies have generally relied on box-office or ratings data, often leaving out streaming platforms. Netflix is trying a different route with both more transparency and more company control. The streamer commissioned the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative to analyze its 2018 and 2019 original, live-action films and series, and presented the results to members of the press Thursday in a video presentation. The results were, as Annenberg Inclusion Initiative founder and director Stacy L. Smith noted, far more positive than most Annenberg reports, which have typically found only slow, sporadic improvement in the most popular films.

 

February 26, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Four hours of morning television is a lot of time to fill, but new Black News Channel hosts Mike Hill and Sharon Reed don’t expect to run out of things to say. Their new program, which debuts Monday at 6 a.m. Eastern, is the centerpiece of Black News Channel’s relaunch to emphasize commentary and a more analytical approach to the news. Nearly invisible when it debuted last year, BNC is methodically becoming more available to viewers. “This is when I need my voice to be heard and I want my voice to be heard,” said Hill, who has worked at Fox Sports and ESPN. “So much is happening in our country.”

Business News

 

February 28, 2021  WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two. Health experts are anxiously awaiting a one-and-done option to help speed vaccinations, as they race against a virus that already has killed more than 510,000 people in the U.S. and is mutating in increasingly worrisome ways. The FDA said J&J’s vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalizations and death. One dose was 85% protective against the most severe COVID-19 illness, in a massive study that spanned three continents — protection that remained strong even in countries such as South Africa, where the variants of most concern are spreading.

February 28, 2021  WASHINGTON (AP) — Looking beyond the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, President Joe Biden and lawmakers are laying the groundwork for another top legislative priority — a long-sought boost to the nation’s roads, bridges and other infrastructure that could run into Republican resistance to a hefty price tag. Biden and his team have begun discussions on the possible outlines of an infrastructure package with members of Congress, particularly mindful that Texas’ recent struggles with power outages and water shortages after a brutal winter storm present an opportunity for agreement on sustained spending on infrastructure.

February 26, 2021    WASHINGTON (AP) — On a cold, gray February afternoon, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen stepped out of the West Wing wrapped in a puffy black parka and clutching a folder of documents, seemingly oblivious to the Washington custom of having an aide schlep the paperwork. Viewed as an outsider to partisan politics, she now has a place in President Joe Biden’s inner sanctum, a Ph.D. economist who does the reading, knows the numbers and treats her staff as peers rather than underlings. Yellen, entourage in tow, had been at the White House to strategize about how to push through Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan -- a package that could determine how quickly the U.S. economy heals, how the Democrats fare in the midterm elections and just how much Americans can trust the government to solve the nation’s toughest problems.

Fashion News