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Friday, September 29, 2006

Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands’ Bonaire Visit Schedule Announced

The schedule for the visit of Her Royal Majesty, Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, to Bonaire, has been released by the Dutch royal house. Queen Beatrix will be on Bonaire for two days - November 8 & 9, 2006, as part of a tour of all of the Netherlands Antilles during early November.

The formal schedule of Queen Beatrix on Bonaire has been announced as follows:

Wednesday, November 8th:
- Arrival ceremony at Flamingo International Airport, being greeted by the Minister-President, Governor, and Lt. Governor (arriving from Aruba)
- Meeting with the Executive Council and Island Council of Bonaire
- Visit to the Stichting Project
- Visit to the Reina Beatrix Grade School
- Visit to Klein Bonaire and with DCNA/STINAPA and Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire
- Reception with Bonaire’s Lt. Governor

Thursday, November 9th:
- Visit to the small market of the village of Rincon
- Visit to the project Sociale Vormingsplicht
- Opening of the art exhibit “Homage to Bonairean Art” at Kas di Arte in Kralendijk
- Opening of Cruyff Court
- Visit to Windsurf Place, a windsurfing school in Sorobon

On Friday, November 10th, the Queen will be in Sint Maarten. (Source: Dutch Royal House Web Site, BonaireTalk)

Posted by Jake Richter on September 29, 2006 at 5:29pm AST
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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Flamingo Airport Announces Revised Security Measures for Flights to the United States

Today, Flamingo Airport announced that the security measures for flights to the United States had been revised, following a recent revision of TSA security procedures.

The following restrictions apply to liquids, gels, and/or aerosols at the passenger screening checkpoint for all passengers traveling to the United States and passengers with other destinations departing between 6:00 and 8:30 AM.

No liquids, gels, and/or aerosols are permitted EXCEPT one clear transparent resealable 1 quart (1 liter) sized plastic bag which may contain liquids, gels, and/or aerosols in containers of 3 oz. (90ml) capacity or less per container. The contents of the plastic bag must fit comfortably and the plastic bag must be completely closed/sealed and surrendered for screening separate from your carry-on baggage.

Passengers also may have the items listed below, but they must be declared to security at the screening checkpoint if they are not contained in a clear transparent resealable 1 quart (1 liter) size plastic bag and/or are over 3 oz. (90ml).

-- Baby formula/milk (to include breast milk) and baby food in containers if a baby or small child is traveling
-- Medications (liquid, gels, and/or aerosol)
-- Liquids (to include juice) or gels for diabetic or other medical needs

All other liquids, gels, and/or aerosols may be transported in checked baggage.

Beverages and other items purchased in the secure boarding area may be brought onto the aircraft.  (Source:  Flamingo Airport web site)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 28, 2006 at 4:42pm AST
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Transition Process to Dismantle the Netherlands Antilles May Begin in July, 2007

According to the Dutch Council of State RvSt, the transition process to dismantle the Netherlands Antilles may begin as early as July, 2007, however, completing the entire process could take additional, and considerable, time.

July 2007, only ten months from now, was the date for new relations in the Kingdom as previously agreed upon in the Round Table Conference (RTC) in November 2005.  In its September 18 advice to Dutch Minister of Administrative Reform and Kingdom Relations Atzo Nicolaï and Antillean Prime Minister Emily de Jongh-Elhage, the RvSt stated that this was a tight deadline.  The RvSt advised against excessive optimism about this target date, while admitting that it should not necessarily be put aside as non-feasible, as the transition period might begin by that time.

However, due to constitutional changes which affect legislation and the reorganization of civil and political functions, completion of the transition period will be a time-consuming affair.  The transition period should not take longer than is strictly necessary. 

For additional information, click here(Source:  Caribbean Press Releases)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 28, 2006 at 9:45am AST
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Caribbean Club Bonaire Under New Management

Solar Management has announced that effective October 1st, 2006, Caribbean Club Bonaire, the 26-unit resort located north of Kralendijk at the foot of Bonaire’s scenic route and hills, is under their management.

"We are very pleased to add Caribbean Club Bonaire to our portfolio,” says Solar’s Managing Director, Ruud van Baal.  “It complements perfectly with our other properties. Although we will use the potential synergy within our group, as with our other properties, Caribbean Club Bonaire will be branded and operated separately, giving the property its own identity and serving a specific market segment.” It is planned that Caribbean Club Bonaire will be the affordable alternative within the budget dive-, leisure-, family- & (Eco) adventure market. The tag line “Dive, Relax & Explore” reflects that philosophy.

Caribbean Club Bonaire features 20 one- and two-bedroom cottages as well as 4 studios and 2 penthouses with ocean views of Bonaire’s west coast. The property has its own on-premises full service dive shop, restaurant, bar, and swimming pool. The “Hilltop” Bar & Restaurant offers daily breakfast, lunch, dinner and a weekly BBQ.

During the coming months the property will be upgraded with a focus on replacing furniture and inventory in the cottages, soft renovations, restock and redesign of the dive shop, and an improvement of services with daily operations.  Currently the construction of 8 two-bedroom units is being executed outside the existing resort-area, and these will be integrated at the end of 2007. After that, additional development phases are planned, which will result in a 50+ unit resort at the end of 2008.

For more information and reservations please call toll free 1-800 906 7708 from the US, + 599 717 7901 from other areas, e-mail to or visit www.caribbeanclubbonaire.com. (Source:  Solar Management Release)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 28, 2006 at 9:24am AST
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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Executive Council of Bonaire Decides to Set Aside a No-Fish Zone Within Bonaire Marine Park

It was just announced that the Executive Council of the Insular Territory of Bonaire will set aside a portion of the Bonaire National Marine Park as a fish reserve/no-fish zone.  The size and placement of the reserve is not known at this time.  It is stipulated that the Council will ask for the advice of the local fishermen.

From experience with other islands, St. Lucia, for example, it is well documented that a fish reserve will bring many benefits.  Fishermen habitually find larger quantities of bigger fish; dive tourism benefits from higher fish stocks and larger individual fish, and a more stable ecological system develops over time.

To view the government’s release in either Dutch or Papiamentu, click here(Source:  Bonaire Government Release)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 27, 2006 at 4:36pm AST
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Hyperbaric Guru Teaches Bonaire’s Medical and Diving Pros

From September 18 through 22nd, 2006, Buddy Dive Resort hosted a five-day course in hyperbaric oxygen treatment organized by the Foundation Deco Chamber Bonaire. 

Since this is not an every day event, Bonaire’s leading dive physician, Mr. Dick van der Vaart, MD, decided to invite the absolute expert in this field, Mr. Dick Rutkowski of Hyperbarics International Inc. to conduct the seminar. Mr. Rutkowski, retired as deputy diving coordinator from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where he trained over 600 physicians in hyperbaric training programs, is world famous in the dive industry as the co-founder of the International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD).

The group of students that consisted of doctors, nurses, and chamber operators were given the opportunity to learn the most detailed theories on decompression incidents and oxygen treatments as well as the latest information on hyperbaric chambers. During long morning hours, the students were pushed to limits in the classroom and in the afternoon hands-on training sessions followed in and around the hyperbaric chamber on Bonaire.

While Mr. van der Vaart was teaching doctors and nurses inside the chamber during simulated treatments, outside, the operators had to deal with several unexpected problems thrown at them by long time chamber technician Ronald Simonis. At the same time, Mr. Rutkowski held supervision over “the battlefield” as he realized, with a big smile on his face, that he had succeeded in passing on a great deal of his knowledge and experience.

The use of a hyperbaric chamber is a vital tool in modern medicine.  Bonaire’s tourists, diving community and the island’s people will be very pleased to know that another milestone has been reached on the road to safe chamber treatments with the certification of 13 hyperbaric experts.  (Source and Image by:  Martijn Eichhorn)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 27, 2006 at 4:04pm AST
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Jong Bonaire Holds the Sixth Annual Swim to Klein Bonaire on October 8, 2006

At 8:00 AM on October 8, 2006, many residents and tourists alike will convene on the beach at Eden Beach Resort for the Jong Bonaire Sixth Annual Swim to Klein Bonaire.  This is an event which has become very popular, with the number of participants growing each year. 

The entry fee is NAFl 15.00 (USD $8.43), and tickets can be purchased in advance at Jong Bonaire, BonFysiotherapie, Croccantino Restaurant, or De Freewieler.  Entry fee also includes lunch and a drink upon return. Swimmers may elect to swim without aids, or they can use mask, fins, and snorkel.  Safety boats are available and will return swimmers to Eden Beach, or swimmers may choose to swim back.

Those interested in participating should download the Release of Liability (either adult or child) and bring to registration at the event.

All proceeds go to Jong Bonaire, the teen center for Bonaire.  (Source:  Jong Bonaire web site)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 26, 2006 at 10:55am AST
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Monday, September 25, 2006

Coco Palm Garden Offers Added Value for its Guests with Kunuku Golf

Coco Palm Garden recently announced that is now provides free Kunuku Golf as an added value for its guests.

Added as an activity for when guests are not diving or windsurfing, Kunuku Golf is available to all Coco Palm Garden/Casa Oleander guests without charge.  There is no need to bring your own clubs, as there are plenty of clubs for you to use that are very suitable to the kunuku conditions of the course (short pitch & put course).

For more information, click here. (Source:  Coco Palm Garden)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 25, 2006 at 12:26pm AST
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Dutch Antilles Express (DAE) Revises Luggage Allowances

Recently, DAE announced new luggage requirements.  Previously, those carrying scuba equipment were allowed an additional 10 kilograms (22 pounds) for their gear on a checked bag, providing arrangements were made in advance of flights.

Under the new allowance, this extra free allowance is no longer available, and the maximum free baggage allowance for checked bags is now 20 kilograms (44 pounds) total.  Overweight fees will vary by destination.  For additional information, click here(Source:  DAE Web site)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 25, 2006 at 10:50am AST
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Sunday, September 24, 2006

2007 Edition of the Bonaire Creations Calendar Released

Following high acclaim for the 2006 Bonaire Creations Calendar released a year ago, Linda & Jake Richter and their company, Bonaire Creations BV, have announced the release of the 2007 Bonaire Creations Calendar.

The new 2007 Bonaire Creations Calendar features new images by the Richters, both of whom are resident artists on Bonaire. The new images present Bonaire in a variety of different and colorful ways and are displayed with large monthly layouts providing Antillean, U.S., Canadian, and Dutch holidays.

Linda Richter is well known in Caribbean art circles for her stunning oil pieces reminiscent of Bonaire.  Jake Richter is equally known for his digital painting, utilizing his own photography as a base.  Together, they bring a magical quality to this calendar - it will remind the viewer each day of their memories of the island of Bonaire.

The calendar is 8.5” x 11” when closed, and 17” x 11” when open, so it can be purchased while on Bonaire and easily will fit in either a carry-on luggage or checked baggage.  It is also printed on high quality, fine-art paper. The new calendar can be previewed at www.BonaireCalendar.com.

The 2007 Bonaire Creations Calendar will officially go on sale for a retail price of US$12.95 on Monday, October 2, 2006 at several local Bonaire stores, including Chat ‘n’ Browse, Jewels of Bonaire, and Photo Tours. Additionally, several resorts and hotels will carry the calendar, including Buddy Dive, Carib Inn, Golden Reef Inn, and Yellow Submarine. For those not on Bonaire between now and the end of the year, the calendar will also be available on-line starting October 2nd at www.BonaireStuff.com and www.CaribbeanArt.com.

Special arrangements are also possible for people and companies wishing to buy calendars in volume for use as Christmas presents and client appreciation.

A launch party, to be held at Antillean Wine Company on Kaya Industria on September 30, 2006 from 7:00 PM until 8:30 PM. The launching will feature complimentary wine and cheese--the wines being specially chosen for this event by Antillean Wine Company.  Non-alcoholic beverages also will be available. Advance copies of the calendar will be available at a special reduce price at the launch event.

Bonaire Creations, B.V., a company started by Linda and Jake Richter in 2004 to help promote and sell their Bonaire-originated art, is based at Kaya R. Statius van Eps 17 in the Belnem area of Bonaire. Viewings of current original art are available by appointment only. Phone number is +599-717-4112. E-Mail: . Web: www.BonaireCreations.com (Source:  Bonaire Creations Press Release)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 24, 2006 at 10:58am AST
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