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Friday, October 27, 2006

The Lost Penguin Restaurant’s Last Day

Bonaire’s popular downtown diner-style restaurant, The Lost Penguin, closed today. It was a sad day for many on Bonaire who had come to discover The Lost Penguin as the best place for home-made waffles and Eggs Benedict, as well as a friendly smile and pleasant discourse. However, for owners Ton and Renota van der Willigen, it was time for a change, and fortune brought them a buyer for key parts of the business at a time when their business was doing well.

Ton and Renota told the Bonaire Insider that they wanted to share the following message with their fans:

Thank you to all our customers whose support contributed to our success the past four years.  We have made many new friends through the restaurant.  In order to keep in touch and update everyone regarding our upcoming endeavors, we will maintain this website.  Please use our message board to contact us at the http://www.thelostpenguin.com.

The Lost Penguin Restaurant has been sold and our last day of business was October 27, 2006.  The location will continue as a restaurant under a new name and new management.

Everyone’s first question:  Are you staying on Bonaire?  Yes.  First, we’re taking a “real” vacation.  We’re off to Peru for some “high altitude” rest and relaxation.  Upon our return we will begin the next chapter of our life on Bonaire.

Again, thank you.  A special thank you to all who brought us “penguin” gifts which decorated our restaurant.

Ton & Renota

The Bonaire Insider has been told that the new restaurant at the location of the old Lost Penguin will likely feature the same or similar menu, will be operated under the name Papagayo (the word for “Parrot” in Spanish), and may be open as soon as a week from now.

Posted by Jake Richter on October 27, 2006 at 9:55pm AST
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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Reception for Sunbelt Realty’s 12.5 Year Anniversary

Sunbelt Realty, one of Bonaire’s top real estate companies, will be celebrating its 12.5 year anniversary tomorrow, October 27th, at a special reception.

The reception will be held at the Bambu Restaurant, located on the waterfront halfway between Fort Orange and the Divi Flamingo. The event runs from 5:30pm until 7:00pm, and will also introduce a new real estate magazine, featuring, among other things, the photography of local artist, Wilna Groenenboom, who has been specializing in a study of Bonaire’s historical buildings. There will also be an exhibition of new art work at the reception.

The reception is open to the public, and Sunbelt especially welcomes all of their past, present, and future clients, as well as friends and business associates. (Source: Sunbelt Realty, Bonaire Reporter)

Posted by Jake Richter on October 26, 2006 at 5:34pm AST
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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Space Contests To Be Held In Conjunction With Astronaut Visit to Bonaire

In just over a month, NASA Astronaut Charles Bolden will be visiting Bonaire to spend a week speaking to the children, teenagers, and parents on the island. In addition to sharing his experiences in space with his audiences, Astronaut Bolden will also be discussing his ideas about setting and meeting personal goals. In conjunction with his visit to Bonaire, there will be two student contests held.

The first contest will be an Essay Contest where students can submit entries about various aspects of space exploration, while the other contest is a Poster/Exhibit Contest where entrants will be encouraged to share their vision for the future of space exploration. All entries to both contests must be submitted by November 10th, and winners will be selected by a panel of judges, and will be sorted into different age categories.

Bolden’s visit to Bonaire commences November 25th, with the awards for the winners of the two contests to be given out at a press conference on Tuesday, November 28th. More details can be found in the press release. (Source: Press Release)

Posted by Jake Richter on October 24, 2006 at 1:18pm AST
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Monday, October 23, 2006

Full Text of Memorandum of Understanding on Bonaire’s Future

Thanks to a devoted Bonaire Insider reader, we have received a copy of the original document, as well as translations into English and Papiamentu, of the “Slotverklaring van de Miniconferentie over de toekomstige staatkundige positie van Bonaire, Sint Eustatius en Saba - 10 en 11 oktober 2006 - Den Haag”. In English, that means “Memorandum of Understanding on the Future Constitutional Status of Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba Agreed During the Mini-Conference - October 10 & 11, 2006 - The Hague”.

This link has the English and Papiamentu translations, as well as a link to a PDF of the actual document executed by all parties. Please note that the aforementioned PDF file has had the signatures of the signatories obscured for public security reasons. (Source: Government agreement, Bonaire Insider Reader)

Posted by Jake Richter on October 23, 2006 at 10:31am AST
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Friday, October 20, 2006

The Wounded Warriors are Honored as Bronze Bonaire Ambassadors

Last evening, at a reception and dinner at the home of Bonaire’s Lt. Governor, the six men known as the Wounded Warriors (soldiers and marines who were severely wounded in Iraq and Afganistan) were honored as Bonaire Bronze Medal Ambassadors.

The evening began with an escort to the home of Lt. Governor Domacasse by the Bonaire Motorcycle Club.  Upon arrival, the group was greeted by Mrs. Domacasse, and the activing Lt. Governor (who takes over when Lt. Governor Domacasse is off island).  After dinner, the group was welcomed by Ronella Croes, General Manager of Tourist Board Corporation, Marie Rosa of the NY Office of the Tourist Board, and Onnie Emerenciana, Commissioner of Tourism, as well as representatives of DEMA/The Scuba Tour, the Handicapped Scuba Association, and the Wounded Warrior Association.

The six young men were then called up to accept their bronze medals with the stated wish that they may return to Bonaire to dive many times in the future.

To show their appreciation, the Wounded Warrior representatives presented Mrs. Domacasse with a special plaque from the group.  (Source: Eye witness account)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 20, 2006 at 11:12am AST
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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Signed Accord with Holland Unanimously Accepted

The signed accord with Holland relating to the future structure of state for Bonaire was accepted unanimously yesterday by members of the Bonaire Island Council.

During yesterday’s meeting, Commissioner Dortalina stated that the new state structure must be based on confidence:  If both the small islands (Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius) and Holland do not have trust in each other, it will not work.  There will be difficult matters to resolve at first, because this new structure is the first of its type.

For more information, click here (in Papiamentu).  (Source:  Bonaire Island Government)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 18, 2006 at 10:53am AST
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Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations Announces February Singles Weeks

Singles Week will be held from February 3, 2007 through February 24, 2007, for the third consecutive year, after Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations realized there was a need for travel services designed specifically for the solo traveler.

In the past, many windsurfers and kiters wanted to head to warmer waters for winter sailing, but lacked a traveling companion to enjoy the island experience.  Now each year, single windsurfers and kiters meet up each February with other like-minded solo travelers to feel the breeze by day and enjoy the sites and sounds of Bonaire’s balmy winter nights. After a day of sailing, dine under the stars seaside and after a sumptuous meal, dance to the sounds of a local Caribbean band. Snorkel and dive trips as well as caving, nature tours, kayak tours, and more are readily available. Organized by Ann Phelan, herself a single windsurfer and travel agent, all services such as airfare (from select cities), single accommodations, gear and vehicle rentals can be arranged.  For additional information, email ann@bonairecaribbean.com(Source:  Caribbean Wind & Sun Vacations)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 18, 2006 at 10:00am AST
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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sand Dollar Resort Condominiums Announce Winter Warmer Special

In conjunction with the new Continental Airlines non-stop flight commencing this December out of Newark, New Jersey, Sand Dollar Condominium Resort is offering Tri-State area vacationers and all other Bonaire-bound visitors, a Winter Warmer Special of value season packages for high season travel between January 6 and February 25, 2007. 

Value Season “Ride to the Reef” Packages are based on four persons sharing a two-bedroom/two-bathroom condominium, and are only US $732.00 per diver or US $527.00 per vacationer.  The package includes:  seven nights accommodations, free nitrox upgrades, six days unlimited shore diving plus six one-tank boat dives, double cabin pick up truck rental, daily breakfast buffet, and government room tax. 

Packages for shore diving only and other accommodation types (studios, one-, and three-bedroom units), are also available. (All rates valid January 6 through February 25, plus April 14 through December 21, 2007.)

For reservations and information, call toll free to (800) 288 4773 or (954) 453 5025, email USReservations@sanddollarbonaire.com, or visit their web site(Source:  Sand Dollar Resort Condominiums)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 17, 2006 at 3:23pm AST
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Thursday, October 12, 2006

K3 (Bonaire, Saba, and St. Eustatius) to Become Municipalities of Holland

After lengthy discussions, it has been agreed that Bonaire, Saint Eustatius, and Saba are to become part of the Netherlands, thus effectively triggering the dismantling of the current structure (single state within the kingdom).  Their new status will be like that of a normal Dutch municipality, but the special circumstances of the Caribbean region will be taken into account.

At a recent conference in The Hague, the delegates of these islands, who’d reached an agreement, offered positive reactions: “A historical agreement”, and “a great moment” were some of the responses. (Source:  Radio Netherlands)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 12, 2006 at 2:05pm AST
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Bonaire Prepares for a Visit by the Wounded Warriors

During the week of October 14-21, 2006, a group consisting of U.S. soldiers and marines, who recently served in Iraq and Afganistan, will arrive on Bonaire to complete their Open Water Diver certifications.

This group of men and women began their training at the Adaptive Water Sport Festival this past July, organized by Disabled Sports USA 2006.  Together with the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA) and its Scuba Tour program, volunteers from Disabled Sports USA, the New York City Fire Department, and the Handicapped Scuba Association, these injured men and women, along with their families, were introduced to the sport of scuba diving.

Now, nine of them have made the decision to continue with their training and complete the Open Water Diver course in the clear, warm waters of a different country and will arrive on Bonaire this Saturday.  Jack Chalk, Manager of Captain Don’s Habitat, which is hosting the group and their spouses and companions, said, “We are looking forward to meeting this extraordinary group, and it is an honor for us to give something back to those who have given so much of themselves.”

To view the schedule of the week’s events, click here.  For additional information about the Wounded Warrior Project, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org(Source:  TCB Release)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 11, 2006 at 10:42am AST
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