Wednesday, July 28, 2021

July 20, 2021  -Last week the Nature Foundation confirmed the successful nesting of a hawksbill sea turtle on Dawn Beach. After receiving a call from the security team from the Westin Hotel, foundation staff rushed to the scene and were able to confirm the hawksbill sea turtle laid several eggs in a shallow nest.

While this is not the first sea turtle nesting activity on St. Maarten this year, it is the first that has been confirmed to be successfully laid on the Dutch side beaches for the season

“We were very happy to see that this hawkbill sea turtle has been able to lay at least one clutch of eggs on Dawn Beach last week, as nesting numbers are dropping. We are very grateful that the security of the Westin Hotel was very cooperative and reached out to us quickly,in order for us to monitor the nesting activity and to ensure it remains safe until the eggs are ready to hatch. Sea turtles are a protected and critically endangered species, monitoring their nesting activity is crucial and the Nature Foundation is the designated authority to report any sea turtle nesting activity to” explained Melanie Meijer zu Schlochtern Manager of the Nature Foundation St. Maarten. 

Foundation staff clearly marked the nest to ensure that it can remain undisturbed. All beach visitors are requested to stay out of the marked area to prevent damages to the eggs. Sea turtles and their nests are protected by St. Maarten law and disturbing them may result in prosecution. Eggs can be laid in a shallow nest and close to the surface of the sand. It is essential to prohibit any beach umbrellas from being placed in the area which may pierce the eggs, prevent walking over the eggs, and ensure that there is absolutely no chance of the nest being driven over by any type of vehicle.

Hawksbill sea turtles nest every one to five years, coming ashore up to five times and lay a maximum of 160 eggs. Unfortunately, even with the large number of eggs that are laid sea turtles only have a 1% chance of living to adulthood. “Those visiting Dawn Beach should stay clear of the marked area to give the highest chance of survival to these eggs” confirmed the Nature Foundation.

The day before this nest was confirmed, video footage was sent to the Nature Foundation of a hawksbill sea turtle coming ashore on Indigo Bay a very short distance and then returning to the sea after showing signs of being disturbed. The reason a sea turtle would come ashore in St. Maarten is to nest, sea turtle nesting season lasts at least from April to November each year. In the video, you can see the sea turtle coming ashore in the late afternoon and several beach visitors are in the area. The proximity of the spectators is a major deterrent for nesting sea turtles and a very likely cause of its choice to return to the sea.

“While it is an amazing event to witness a sea turtle coming ashore to nest, it is essential that more space is given to ensure that they can successfully lay their eggs. While it was obviously not the intention of those in the area to discourage the efforts of the hawksbill at Indigo Bay, following our sea turtle nesting guidelines will help promote more positive nesting activity in the future,” explained the Nature Foundation St. Maarten.

Sea Turtle Nesting Activity Guidelines:

  • Contact the Nature Foundation right away if you see or suspect sea turtle nesting activity
  • Always maintain a minimum of 30 meters distance from sea turtles that come ashore and reduce noise. Ensure others and children in the area do the same
  • Never use flashlights or flash photography as sea turtles are very sensitive to lights and will even avoid nesting entirely on well-lit beaches
  • Do not allow dogs or other animals to approach the sea turtle
  • Do not allow any type of vehicle to drive on sea turtle nesting beach during the nesting season.

Remember sea turtles are a protected species on SXM and it is illegal to kill, wound, capture, or pick up sea turtles. It is also illegal to directly or indirectly disturb their environment resulting in a physical threat or damage, or to commit other acts which result in disturbance of the animal. It is forbidden to disturb, damage, or destroy sea turtle nests, lairs, or breeding places. In addition, it is forbidden to pick up or destroy the eggs of any species of sea turtle.

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Entertainment

July 22, 2021  LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles courtroom Wednesday to four counts of rape and seven other sexual assault counts. Sheriff’s deputies brought the 69-year-old convicted rapist into court in a wheelchair. He was wearing a brown jail jumpsuit and face mask. Attorney Mark Werksman entered the plea for the disgraced movie mogul a day after Weinstein was extradited to California from New York, where he was serving a 23-year prison term. Weinstein spoke only to say “thank you” to Judge Sergio Tapia, who wished him good luck as the hearing ended. He now awaits a second trial on a second coast, and the possibility of another lengthy sentence.

July 21, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — “The View” canceled a planned appearance Wednesday by a woman who settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against Bill O’Reilly, after the former Fox News Channel personality sought and received a restraining order against her. O’Reilly accused his former producer, Andrea Mackris, of violating a non-disclosure agreement by talking about her experiences with him nearly two decades ago. ABC’s daytime talk show, in a statement, said that after being notified of the restraining order “we decided to postpone her interview pending further developments. We look forward to welcoming her to ‘The View’ at a later date.” Mackris gave an interview to the Daily Beast earlier this month detailing her experiences with O’Reilly. She had accused him of making repeated lewd telephone calls, while he accused Mackris of an extortion attempt before agreeing to a $9 million settlement in 2004.


July 21, 2021  WASHINGTON (AP) — The Kennedy Center Honors will return in December with a class that includes Motown Records creator Berry Gordy, “Saturday Night Live” mastermind Lorne Michaels and actress-singer Bette Midler. Organizers expect to operate at full capacity after last year’s ceremony was delayed for months and later conducted under COVID-19 restrictions. This 44th class of honorees for lifetime achievement in the creative arts is heavy on musical performers. The honorees also include opera singer Justino Diaz and folk music legend Joni Mitchell. All will be honored on Dec. 5 with a trademark program that includes personalized tributes and performances that are kept secret from the honorees. Deborah Rutter, president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, said the current plan is to pack the center’s opera house to full capacity and require all attendees to wear masks. But the plans remain fluid and Rutter said they’re ready to adapt to changing circumstances depending on the country’s COVID-19 situation.


July 22, 2021   LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kanye West knows how to make a splash even with a listening event. West is expected to unveil his 10th studio album, “Donda” during a listening event Thursday night at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. His album was named after his mother, Donda West, who died at the age of 58 following plastic surgery complications in 2007.  The sold-out event will be live-streamed on Apple Music. West, 44, is mostly known as being associated with Chicago, but he was born in Atlanta - a Georgia city where there are no restrictions against large gatherings. The rapper-producer gifted 5,000 tickets to faculty, staff and students from some Atlanta HBCUs including Clark Atlanta, Morehouse, Spelman, Morris Brown and the Interdenominational Theological Center. The 22-time Grammy winner revealed in a commercial, featuring U.S. track star Sha’Carri Richardson, during the NBA Finals on Tuesday that his highly-anticipated album will be released Friday. The commercial, scored and directed by West, featured “No Child Left Behind,” a song from his forthcoming album.

Business News

July 22, 2021  WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s administration is beginning to make $3 billion in economic development grants available to communities — a tenfold increase in the program paid for by this year’s COVID-19 relief bill. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said her agency on Thursday will begin accepting applications for the competitive grants, which officials hope will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and help struggling cities and towns make long-term investments to drive development for years to come. “This is about real help for communities across the country as they rebuild,” Raimondo said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press. “It’s about longer-term investments to help communities build themselves back from the bottom up in the ways that work best for them.” The grants will be targeted at supporting local infrastructure, job training programs and developing new industries. Recipients will be selected on the basis of the anticipated return on investment to taxpayers. Raimondo was set to appear at Thursday’s White House press briefing to promote the new program.

July 21, 2021   DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — For months, anyone who wandered onto a dealer lot to look for a used car could be forgiven for doing a double-take — and then wandering right off the lot. Prices had rocketed more than 40% from their levels just before the viral pandemic struck, to an average of nearly $25,000. The supply of vehicles had shrunk. And any hope of negotiating on price? Good luck with that. But now, a sliver of hope has emerged. The seemingly endless streak of skyrocketing used-vehicle prices appears to be coming to a close. Not that anyone should expect bargains. Though average wholesale prices that dealers pay are gradually dropping, they’ll likely remain near record levels. So will the retail prices for consumers. Supply remains tight. And while demand has eased a bit, a steady flow of buyers could keep prices unusually high for a couple of years more. “It’s a short-term correction,” suggested Paul Sugars, sales manager for pre-owned vehicles at Jack Demmer Lincoln in Dearborn, Michigan. “Buyers are sitting on the fence, waiting to see what happens.”

July 22, 2021  SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric plans to bury 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometers) of its power lines in an effort to prevent its fraying grid from sparking wildfires when electrical equipment collides with millions of trees and other vegetation across drought-stricken California. The daunting project announced Wednesday aims to bury about 10% of PG&E’s distribution and transmission lines at a projected cost of $15 billion to as much as $30 billion, based on how much the process currently costs. The utility believes it will find ways to keep the final bill at the lower end of those estimates. Most of the costs will likely be shouldered by PG&E customers, whose electricity rates are already among the highest in the U.S. PG&E stepped up its safety commitment just days after informing regulators a 70-foot (23-meter) pine tree that toppled on one of its power lines ignited a major fire in Butte County, the same rural area about 145 miles (233 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco where another fire sparked by its equipment in 2018 killed more than 80 people and destroyed thousands of homes.

Fashion News

“Faced With Restrictions, These Are the Designers Who Took Us Somewhere New”—Vogue Editors Weigh In on the Most Innovative Presentations of Spring 2021