Press Release from Mr.Dave Levenstone

"Thank you Commissioner Frans Richardson".

Saba, February 15th 2010.

Last week while listening to the local news, I was very much satisfied to hear Commissioner Frans Richardson explaining about this recent trip to Brazil to try and attract new airlines from that market to St. Maarten and I was more than happy to hear him make mention of Saba and the surrounding islands.  

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Many may not have heard the Commissioner but being one that follows the local news on St. Maarten on a daily basis I was very happy to hear him make mention of how Saba can benefit from his type if tourism that will be visiting St. Maarten for several days. We all know that the Brazilian tourist are people that spend some good money when they are visiting the various islands and once this can materialize Saba stands to benefit from this type of tourism trade.

It is a pity though that our Commissioner of Tourism on Saba does not have tourism as his priority instead his priority is the Constitutional status for the island which will not fill up the hotels on the island. At times I even have to ask myself what is the priority of our Commissioner of Tourism? A good question that can be raised is when last has he even visited the Department of Tourism to exchange ideas with the hard working Director of Tourism? Our restaurants, hotels and taxi drivers I am sure would benefit from the new type of tourism that Commissioner Frans Richardson is busy attracting to his island with the hope that some of them would come over to Saba maybe for a day trip or even for a one night stay.

Several months ago I made a proposal to the Commissioner of Tourism to organize a Saba weekend on St. Maarten in which the Saba String band (Occasional) could have been featured for the weekend with a gig on the board walk at Taloula Restaurant the Friday evening, the Saturday it could have moved down to Cheri’s Cafe and the Sunday evening over at Boo Boo Jam. Restaurants, taxi drivers, souvenirs shops, dive shops etc. could have also participated in such an event and make it one big Saba weekend on St. Maarten. When I discussed this with the Commissioner he found it a good idea but my instinct tells me that because this idea was brought up by my person who has no gainance in this it was not followed up on. One might have argued where the money was going to come from to support such an event well some years ago the Executive Council established the "Saba Enhancement Funds" and that was established to help cover the cost of tourism with the monies that they derive from the sale of fuel on the island if my memory serves me well. Instead of spending the money on things that does not fall in line with what the funds was set up for use it to promote the island. Our Commissioner of Tourism should have been amongst the delegation that traveled to Brazil to attract new airlines and tourist. The Business community that is involved with tourism could have been approached also to cooperate financially.

Several years ago former Commissioner of Tourism Mr. Theo Heyliger made an offer to the Government of Saba to have a booth up at the new Cruise facility in Pointe Blanche, to date this offer has never even been looked at or accepted by the Government of Saba. As an island we need to make our presence better known on the island of St. Maarten in the area of tourism and yes we can say that over the years that we have had some Commissioners of Tourism on St. Maarten that was and is still willing to work with Saba to help boost our tourism market, but it seems as if our government does not have that as a priority. I have been saying all along that it is time for the Government of Saba to sit down with the Government of St. Maarten to work out several plans for the future of our beloved island, but it seems that our Government does not have a plan of action on how to help carry this island forward. Saba might be becoming a part of Holland or integrating into Holland but let us not fool ourselves we will still need to make use of St. Maarten for just about everything and it is high time that our Government get their act together and start holding bilateral talks with the Government of St. Maarten in various areas.

Yes 10-10-10 sounds nice and dandy but we will still have to use Philipsburg for health care, education, pleasure you name it. As an island we got to do things for ourselves and stop depending on the Dutch to do everything for us as some is trying to make it sound. We will still have to use Princess Juliana Airport, we will still have to make use of Dr. A.C.Wathey Cruise Facility, we will still have to make use of Capt. Vance James Sr. pier, we will still have to make use of Winair, UTS, Telem, Smitcom, N.V. G.E.B.E. and all the retail as well as wholesale grocery stores on St. Maarten. It is high time now that our Government start standing up and looking at the interest of the Saban community in a fair and balanced manner.

The Government of Saba should have also consider very seriously in establishing a "Saba House" on St. Maarten once that island obtains it country status. This Saba House could be the office to handle all Saba matters on St. Maarten in eh future when we become a public entity, (Openbaar Lichaam). We are going to need St. Maarten more than ever gentlemen. And we got our people on St. Maarten that can handle such an office just to mention a few without even consulting with them, Roddy Heyliger, Linda Johnson and so many others.


I hope that this is food for thought and that our Government here on Saba start waking up and smelling the coffee, I don’t know which aroma they like but they better start smelling it. Elections is just around the corner. We have many young people on this island that are in need of jobs and with fostering stronger ties with St. Maarten especially in the hospitality sector new jobs can become available for our young people that everyone seems to be so much interested in around election time. Our young people need to be assured that they can find work on their own island and not have to move to other islands in search of work.

In ending let me publicly thank Commissioner Frans Richardson for at least mentioning the name of Saba, as the island can benefit from this new type of tourism. Man na obra Commissioner of Tourism of Saba.

Dave Levenstone,

Enemy of the State".