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Once a week (on Sundays) I make a recap of the most recent news on Aruba in English that’s relevant to you.

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Recent News on Aruba

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Free WiFi in Downtown Area

The government started a new project to install free WiFi in the downtown area.

During a press conference in the main street, the prime minister introduced the new WiFi project. The press, minister of economy, the president of Oranjestad business improvements were present during the ceremony.

The vision of the prime minister is to make the downtown area digital – adding offers, deals, promotions available via websites and apps. According to him, the new WiFi project connects good with the vision they have for commerce in the main street.

WiFi is going to be free for locals and visitors in the downtown area, this includes entire Caya Betico Croes and Plaza Daniel Leo.

The government partnered with Setar (a local phone provider) to install WiFi in the main street.

With the new WiFi project the prime minister hopes to attract more people to visit the downtown area.

According to the prime minister the downtown area of Aruba has a bright and positive future, because of the recently renovated main street and the addition of new technology in the form of WiFi.

The prime minister also explained his vision for the downtown area during his speech, for example transforming the second floors of certain stores into apartments and condominiums.

He also wants to add more restaurants and bars to attract more people to the downtown area.

There’s aso plans to add colorful canopy style cloths to provide shade in the downtown area and music provided by surround systems.

Restoring Important Church Document

20 years of historical documents from the protestant church in Oranjestad are going to be restored.

The department of national archives started a project named “20 years of Protestantism”.

It all started when the national archives of Aruba decided to restore all the archives of the protestant church in the downtown area.

They are going to be restoring documents dating back to 1822 (about 195 years old), which totals about 154 boxes full of papers.

The restoration project has 2 goals – first to educate the public on how important it is to value and conserve documents that are part of our history, culture and heritage.

They also want to successfully restore the all the church documents and conserve them for many more years.

The project is funded by Prins Bernhard Culture Fund Caribbean, which will buy all the materials necessary to restore the old documents.

After they restore the documents, they will be place them into a digital format.

Expect an exposition of all the restored protestant church documents as soon as they are finished.  

Update About CITGO

Engineers and contractors are performing a crucial part of the start up phase this month in the refinery.

Last week they started inspection of all the machinery in the refinery.

The inspections are being done by an international contractor called YTT, which is an association of Technip France and Y&V Engineering and Construction.

During the next months they have to complete the inspection of the plant successfully, to find out which equipment are in good conditions and which ones not.

They will be repairing all equipments that are of high priority and order parts that take a long time to deliver.

All works are on schedule, within a few short years the refinery should be completely rehabilitated and running as a up-grader for crude oil.

Local Fishermen Concerned

Aruba’s local fishermen are concerned with a new law that the department of environment wants to implement.

The law that has these fishermen concerned is the banning of catching various species of fishes.

After hearing the news, the department of agriculture and local fishermen organization hadicurari also don’t agree with the new law, because they weren’t involved in the decision to create the list of endangered fish species.

Management of hadicurari had a meeting with the president from the department of environment to discuss the new rules they plan to implement.

The result of the meeting was that the law hasn’t been approved by the government yet, so the law isn’t official yet.

Local fishermen want a meeting with the prime minister, to demand that the department of environment sit with them to consult and ask for advice to create a fair list of endangered fish species that will be protected.

Aruba Helps St. Maarten

The government sends members of red cross and the military to give a helping hand to those affected by hurricane Irma.

They will be giving assistance at shelters, ambulances, elderly homes and hospitals.

All red cross volunteers form part of the national intervention team and have different expertise like, vulnerability capacity assessment, psycho-social support, water and sanitation team and emergency medical technicians.

The military will stop people from looting and give assistance and order where necessary.

Hurricane Irma caused enormous damage to St. Maarten, and reportedly left over 10 people dead.

Locals in Aruba also gave a massive helping hand by donating food, clothing, kids toys and other necessary products.

A total of 67 dialysis patients from St. Maarten have came to Aruba by plane to receive proper care, because the hospitals have been partially destructed.

Practically every building has been destroyed during hurricane Irma, there’s also nearly no communication possible at the moment in St. Maarten.

Kiosk Owners Are Concerned

Kiosk owners near the central bus station are concerned about their chances for moving to the newly constructed kiosk area near the cruise terminal.

The government didn’t inform the kiosk owners when they will move into the new kiosks since construction has been completed.

They are concerned that the government will transfer the new kiosk to other people, which wouldn’t be fair.

So, what’s the hold up with the opening of the new kiosk?

One of the representatives of the kiosk owners explained that they reached out to the prime minister and other concerning departments, but haven’t heard any reply from them as of yet.

According to the kiosk owners they have been living like nomads, because they have been relocated numerous times during the years.

According to the government, the newly built kiosks are still closed, because they still have to finish up on contracts and paper works before they open them.

Law Against Expired Products

The government just approved a new law that will give the department of public health more authority while they regulate products in supermarkets.

With the introduction of this new law, workers of the department of public health have more flexibility and authority to apply sanctions against supermarkets who don’t make use of proper packaging or sell expired products.

The issue before the introduction of the new law was that when a auditor from the department of health recognizes a expired product in the supermarket, they can’t take it off the shelf if the product still has a label on it.

Another issue that the department of public health had was to take measures against product that have been recalled. Because supermarket vendors (especially Chinese stores) remove the serial numbers from products and when a certain product gets recalled, it’s hard to recognize it and take it out the market.

Now it’s possible for auditors to take action.

They can now identify and stop the circulation and elimination of expired products in supermarkets on the island.

New changes in the law include that it’s not possible for supermarkets to promote expired products, or sell products without their original packaging.

If the language on the packaging of a product is not common in Aruba, a label (in English, Papiamento, Spanish or Dutch) containing additional information about the origin of the product and who imported it has to be added.

It’s also not allowed to alter the label or expiration date of any product without a valid reason.

According to the minister of public health the new law will take effect in 2018.

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Air Navigation Services Aruba

This week Aruba’s airport inaugurated a new radar system to regulate air traffic.

All guests that were present for the revealing of the radar system got a glimpse of the new air traffic surveillance system on two big screens in the control tower.

This new radar system has advanced features that standard radars don’t have and it’s the only one in the Caribbean and Latin America.

According to the director of air navigation services Aruba, the new radar system will bring more security in our air traffic.

It also gives the air traffic controllers more tools to safely guide and allocate more planes, even during high season.

The project started in 2015, when local air traffic controllers went to Spain to follow courses on how to work with the new radar system.

In 2016 they started installation of the new system at the airport after signing a contract with the manufacturer of the radar.

During the month of May 2017 management started with theoretical lessons, management and supervision of the radar.

In the following months all local air traffic controllers will be receiving extra lessons and trainings by a certified professional.

At the end of January 2018 all local air traffic controllers will be certified to work with the radar system.

New Orthopedagogy Clinic Aruba

This week the minister of justice officially opened the new orthopedagogy clinic.

After several years of planning and construction, the new clinic is finally opened.

During his opening speech, the minister of justice explained that the clinic is a benefit to the community, because it’s the only place where youths who have social, mental and emotional issues and who form a risk to the community can go for help.

The new clinic is opened in the district of Dakota.

Accident At Natural Pool

Yesterday a man drowned at one of Aruba’s most popular attraction conchi (natural pool).

The police received a call that someone was in trouble at the natural pool.

When the police arrived at the scene, they found a man with no signs of life.

After a doctor arrived, they confirmed that this man drowned during swim at the natural pool.

At first it wasn’t clear who the man was, but after investigation, the man turned out to be a local born in 1970.

The exact reason why drowned isn’t clear, because the police didn’t release any information.

So why would I publish this news about natural pool.

Take this a warning to be cautious and alert when visiting the natural pool or any other beaches near the rough coasts of the island

Because the natural pool isn’t dangerous by itself, but if one is careless, accident can happen

Don’t do anything dangerous in these areas and always pay attention to your surroundings, and take care of yourself when visiting the natural pool.

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