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Government News

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bonaire’s Tourism (Arriving by Air) Increases Five Percent in First Half 2015

As reported by Statistics Netherlands, Bonaire received five percent more air passengers as tourists in the first half of 2015 than in the same period in 2014.

In the first half of 2015, 68.8 thousand tourists landed on Bonaire, an increase of over 5% compared to the first six months in 2014. April 2015 was an especially high month, when Bonaire saw 1,300 more tourist than the year before for the same month.

More than half of the tourists flying to Bonaire were Dutch nationals. Of this group, 29%lived in the European part of the Netherlands, while the other 25% were Dutch nationals who lived outside of the Netherlands. Those from the United States formed the second largest group of tourists with 23%.

(Source:  RCN)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 27, 2015 at 11:55am AST
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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Bonaire Designates 15 New Official Monuments on Monument Day

Although many of Bonaire’s visitors come for the island’s well known watersports, there is a history to the island as well, which is often overlooked.  In recent years, the Bonaire Monument Foundation has held an annual event each September, Monument Day, during which many of Bonaire’s historic buildings have been designated as monuments.

This year’s event on Sunday, September 27th gave Bonaire fifteen new official monuments.  Many of these historic edifices have been restored and now house governmental or private business entities, or still private homes, but their structures can provide an interesting glimpse into life on Bonaire in earlier centuries.

The majority of these monuments are in Kralendijk and can be easily viewed via a self-guided walking tour, lasting about two hours and it’s an enjoyable way to mix shopping in town with a bit of history.

View some of these newly designated monuments by clicking here, many of which offer beautiful examples of Bonaire’s neoclassical architecture.  There is also a map which is helpful in planning your walk to see these edifices yourself on your next trip into Kralendijk.  (Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 29, 2015 at 1:47pm AST


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Bonaire’s Monument Day is Sunday, September 27, 2015

In connection with Bonaire’s annual Monument Day, this Sunday, September 27, 2015, the island government and the Bonaire Monuments Foundation will jointly organize an event.

This year’s program will consist of the opening of a number of monuments in the historical inner parts of Kralendijk.  The tour begins in Wilhelmina Park and will end in the Parke Tului Domcassé, beginning at 10:00 AM and ending at 1:00 PM.

To register for the program in advance, visit the offices of SKAL at Kaya Jan N.E. Craane #34.  (Source:  Public Entity of Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 23, 2015 at 10:12am AST


Friday, September 04, 2015

The Weekend Brings Champagne, Oysters, and Patriotism!

There’s no lack of interesting things to do this weekend on Bonaire, and they run the gamut from champagne and oysters, to celebrating Bonaire’s flag day, Dia di Boneiru.

First, open the weekend in style with an Oysters and Champagne Night at Sebastian’s Restaurant. Only available every once in a while, Sebastian’s is hosting another one of these favorite specialty events on Saturday, September 5, 2015 from 6:00 PM until 10:00 PM, or whenever the oysters are all gone! Sip on a bottle of Laurent Perrier Champagne, and get a pair of oysters for free. For reservations, call 717-1697, or visit their web site at www.sebastiansrestaurantbonaire.com.

Then, on Sunday, celebrate with the locals on Bonaire Day.  Official events will commence at 8:30 AM at Bonaire’s government house and in Wilhelmina Plaza.  After 2:00 PM, everyone will head to the Sentro Francisco “Chiku” Goeloe in Antriol for a cultural program.  View the day’s event schedule (available in PDF format) by clicking here.

And, no matter what you do, enjoy your weekend on Bonaire!  (Source:  Sebastian’s Restaurant and Bonaire Island Government)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 04, 2015 at 12:36pm AST
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Wednesday, September 02, 2015

New Shark Reserve Launched on Bonaire

It was a great way to end Bonaire’s first Shark Week, when State Secretary Dijksma of Economic Affairs opened a shark reserve during her recent visit to Bonaire and Saba. Shark populations are plummeting worldwide and therefore need extra protection against illegal fishing and the bycatch of regular fisheries. The local nature and fisheries organizations are involved in this protection and The Netherlands will actively protect sharks in the Caribbean Sea with the eleventh shark reserve.

“This special reserve will ensure the conservation of the animals in the waters surrounding Saba and Bonaire. Sharks are not only important for tourism but also for fishery. When there are more sharks, there also are more fish – contrary to what one would expect,” stated State Secretary Dijksma, who stated further, “The reserve will work closely with local nature and fisheries organizations to protect sea mammals and sharks.”

Proponents of shark reserves in Dutch Caribbean waters are happy that the governments of both Bonaire and Saba, along with the government of the European Netherlands see the importance of this issue and the beneficial effect the reserve can have for the islands and the region as a whole.

Research by Imares has shown that a decrease in sharks as apex predators leads to a disturbed natural balance in the sea. This could have consequences for the total fishery stock.

A good fishery stock is also important for the fishermen on the islands, who are dependent on fishing. Tourism also benefits from coral reefs with sharks. (Source:  RCN)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 02, 2015 at 10:38am AST
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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bonaire’s King and Queen Bring Honor and Grace to Dia di Rincon

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima today brought many smiles to the faces of those on Bonaire, as they graciously toured Dia di Rincon.  The Royal Couple’s arrival opened the event for all to enjoy.  View images of the Royal Visit on the Bonaire Insider Photo Gallery at http://bonaire.me/Zcda.

Upon arrival, the Dutch national anthem was played as the flag was raised, and then it was the time for Bonaire’s anthem and flag along with the flag of Rincon.  Speeches by Bonaire’s Lt. Governor, the Honorable Edison Rijna, and Mr. Francisco “Bubuchi” Janga, president of the organizing committee of Dia di Rincon, welcomed the King and Queen.  It seems that being royal doesn’t preclude one from selfies--press watched with big grins on their faces, while our King took a selfie of himself and Queen Maxima.

Then, the winners of Krioyo Rincon, an annual singing competition for children and adults, performed their songs.  Each year’s songs are sung in Papiamentu, with winners in the children’s division and adult’s division, providing ample entertainment.  Folkloric dancers kept the King’s foot beating in time to the rhythm of their dances.

At the end of the opening ceremony, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima were escorted on stage to receive gifts from Fundashon Deporte i Cultura, Bonaire’s Foundation for Sports and Culture.

Bonaire is well known for its local food items, and Dia di Rincon always provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy such treats.  The Royal Couple then visited several stands where they could try out some of Bonaire’s favorites--Sopi Kabritu (goat soup), Pan di Fornu (bread cooked in a clay oven), Arepa di Pampuna (pumpkin pancakes), Rincon Macaron (coconut cakes), Rincon punch, Mango Delights, and Tart Rincon (a pastry with prunes).

Afterward, the King and Queen visited the Chi Chi ‘Tan Museum, enjoying a guided tour through the museum which houses traditional musical instruments.  In the garden of the museum, they received instruction in the intricacies of tying the local Antillean traditional head-dress.

The Royal Couple also made visits during the day to the Cocari Foundation--a daycare foundation for the elderly, the Bonaire Youth Outreach Foundation (BYOF), a participant in Opportunities for Youth Caribbean, and Krusada Foundation, which is a substance abuse facility supporting people on Bonaire who desire a second chance at life.  The foundation is firmly rooted in the local community and provides a path to personal and socio-economic recovery.  Krusada Foundation has won the Appeltje of Orange award in 2015. On Thursday, May 21, Queen Maxima will present this award at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 30, 2015 at 2:48pm AST


Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Bonaire’s Solar Energy Pilot Project is Officially Launched

Yesterday afternoon, Bonaire’s electric and water company, Water & Energy Bonaire (WEB), officially launched the start of their pilot project in solar energy.  Bonaire is already utilizing wind power, which provides over 30% of the island’s needs, and the hope is that the solar energy project will also contribute to sustainable energy for Bonaire.

This pilot project was constructed at a site near Barcadera, on the island’s northern leeward coast, just near the dive site, 1000 Steps.  The facility actually went online in December, 2014, but it has been testing and reading results so far.  Yesterday, the company officially launched the facility with an informational event and cutting of the ribbon ceremony.

The pilot project consists of 792 solar panels. With this installation, WEB is examining the returns and the impact on the power grid of energy production with solar panels. Additionally, the feasibility of extension to a large Solar Garden is being investigated.  A high quality monitoring system records environmental factors such as irradiance, temperature and wind speed. The impact of distribution of solar energy on the power grid is followed minutely.  Weekly analysis of the measurements gives WEB insight into necessary adjustments, returns, and future possibilities of energy production with solar panels.

If the results are favorable, the pilot project can be extended to a full Solar Garden.  Currently, the pilot project is generating enough electricity to power approximately 70 homes on Bonaire, with results that are relatively stable given the fluctuations due to night-time, cloudy days, or other factors.

(Source:  Bonaire Insider Reporter)

Posted by Susan Davis on April 01, 2015 at 4:42pm AST


Thursday, September 04, 2014

Celebrate Bonaire’s Flag Day This Saturday, September 6, 2014

September 6th is always Dia di Boneiru, or Bonaire’s Flag Day.  It’s a legal holiday and it’s always celebrated with a full schedule of activities from the early morning through midnight.  This year’s festivities will take place in Wilhelmina Park in Kralendijk.

The events focus upon Bonaire’s government, its culture, and of course, its music and food.  A schedule of events is available (available in PDF, in Papiamentu) by clicking here.  Be sure to stop by and enjoy another Bonaire first-class celebration!  (Source:  Bonaire Island Government)

Posted by Susan Davis on September 04, 2014 at 4:16pm AST
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Thursday, December 12, 2013

There Are Lots of Upcoming Fun Weekend Events on Bonaire

There’s a full schedule of planned activities for this weekend on Bonaire, so there’s surely something for everyone’s tastes.  Be sure to take the time to enjoy some of these special activities.

The annual Geminid meteor shower, one of the busiest of the year, will peak on the night of Friday, December 13th. Unfortunately, the event will be lackluster because that night the moon will be in its full phase, but according to experts, the brightest meteors can be observed anyway, providing the skies are clear. The activity can reach 120 meteors per hour, up to 36 hours and stay at that level. The Geminid is a meteor shower that produces meteors of moderate speed, which are bright in many cases and that can be seen almost from dusk onward. To observe this phenomenon, experts recommend “getting away from the brightly lit town areas to avoid light pollution, get a reclining chair or a hammock and be patient.” (Source: Caribbean Weather Center)

The building of the island’s sewage system has long been in the news, and was much awaited to help keep nutrient-rich water off Bonaire’s reefs.  Yesterday, December 11th, 2013, the final construction of the water purification system was completed and it’s planned for the system to be in service for 2014.  To celebrate, the Island Government, in cooperation with WEB and MNO-Vervat, invite everyone to come to the premises of LVV on Saturday for an open house between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM.  Visitors can ask questions and receive a better understanding of how the system operates.  This will be the only opportunity for visitors to tour the facilities, as once it’s in working order, the facilities will not be open to the public.  (Source:  Bonaire Island Government

Also on Saturday, be sure to stop by Addo’s Books & Toys (Kaya Grandi #36) at 4:00 PM for the official launching of the newly published Bird Guide to Washington Slagbaai National Park. This beautiful, full-color book features detailed descriptions of commonly seen birds in the park along with the birding areas within the park and around Bonaire.  The Bird Guide to the Washington Slagbaai National Park has 115 pages with many images and illustrations and is a publication of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) and STINAPA Bonaire.  The cost is nominal, only $17.50 per copy, and those attending the launch on Saturday will have the added benefit of hearing an introduction by Elsmarie Beukenboom (STINAPA Bonaire), as well as a presentation by well known Bonaire biologist, Jerry Ligon (Biological Tours of Bonaire) about the birds of Bonaire. (Source:  STINAPA)

And it’s always a festive annual event when Antillean Wine Company receives the new shipment of Beaujolais Nouveau from Chateau Cambon.  Taste it by the glass ($4.00) or by the bottle ($18.00) at the Saturday evening wine-tasting on December 14th, 2013 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM at their shop on Kaya Industria #23. (Source:  Antillean Wine Company)

Also it’s a holiday tradition that Bonaire plays for Bonaire, when the Classical Music Board Bonaire presents their annual Christmas concert, also Saturday evening, December 14, 2013 starting at 8.00 PM at the Cacique Hall of the Plaza Resort.  It is promising to be a wonderful evening with a lovely Christmas atmosphere. Elaine Marchena will entertain on the violin, with music by the Russian composer, Tschaikovski. The New Children Choir of the San Bernardo Catholic Church will perform (Bonairean) Christmas songs, and Anne Marie Kors will sing Jazz Ballads, with Hans Faassen on the piano.  Sylvia Ploos will play sax and flute, with Ann Hoemakers on the piano.  The concert ends with a musical grand finale......Then stay for an After Show Party with the well known Bonairian band “Creme de la Creme.” Advance tickets are $20.00 (available at Plaza Resort Bonaire, Addo’s™ Bookstore, Flamingo Bookstore, Chat€™nBrowse and Valerie’s Airportshop) or $25.00 at the door.  Entry for students with ID is $10.00 per person.  (Source:  Classical Music Board Bonaire)

On Sunday, December 15th, 2013 from 5:00 PM until 9:00 PM, Club Roomer will host their annual Christmas Market with lots of local arts and crafts, as well as a variety of other items.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to find just that right holiday gift for everyone still on the holiday shopping list.  The market will be held at Hotel Roomer at EEG Boulevard #97.  Entrance is free.  (Source:  Club Roomer)

And finally, from Friday through Sunday, Bonaire will be hosting the 2013 World Championship in Bossaball!  For those not familiar with this new sport, view a short video about the championship on YouTube.  For those who want to play spectator to this fun event, be sure to come and support your favorite team at the Plaza Resort Bonaire.  View the team schedule, available by clicking here, in PDF format. (Source:  TCB-Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on December 12, 2013 at 11:26am AST
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima Visit Bonaire on Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Governments of Bonaire have set a program where it is possible for as many people as possible to meet the royal couple.  Some parts of their itinerary are closed, but noted below are the planned meetings when residents and visitors to Bonaire are welcome to join.

After the official reception at Flamingo International Airport, the royal party will arrive at Wilhelmina Plaza at 10:20 AM in the parking area of the Executive Council, and where they will attend the finish of the runners of the Special Olympics. They will then tour various sports demonstrations, including chess, volleyball, BMX, judo, and karate, as will as kick off the new campaign of Youth Who Know Appropriate Weights. After that, they will meet with various schools and foundations who will introduce their organizations to the royal couple.

Pier Chicu Mercelina
While in the area, the King and Queen will watch demonstrations of watersports such as kite surfing, windsurfing, and sunfish sailing. Bonaire-born Kiri Thode, the World Champion in Freestyle Windsurfing, will explain the sport and windsurfing activities that will be demonstrated.

The road to/from Rincon and Cocari
At approximately 11:30 AM, the royal party will drive to Playa Rincon and Cocari, with a planned arrival at 11:50 AM.  Here the royal couple will tour the newly renovated grounds and facilities for the elderly, which is open only to guests of Cocari.  At 12:15 PM, the entourage will head back to Kralendijk, with a stop at Mentor in Antriol along the way so that the royal couple may receive information about Bonaire’s historical monuments.

Jong Bonaire
At 1:20 PM, the King and Queen will arrive at Jong Bonaire, where the Caribbean Netherlands Photo Exhibition “Dare to Share” will be officially opened by his Majesty King Willem-Alexander.  The opening of this exhibition and the reception that follows are for invited guests only. The royal party leaves at 5:10 PM for Bonaire’s Flamingo International Airport.

(Source:  Island and National Governments of Bonaire)

Posted by Susan Davis on October 30, 2013 at 1:23pm AST


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