The San Pedro Sun

Editorial – “What sort of voter are you?”
This is the last editorial in The San Pedro Sun before the Municipal and General Elections are held on Wednesday, March 7th. We have heard the candidates, we have had our barstool debates, we have argued with our neighbors, challenged our friends and defended our chosen candidates with fervor, but have we asked ourselves, “What sort of voter am I?” Are you a color blind voter, simply casting all confidence to who ever the candidate is just because of the color they wear? Are you an absent minded voter, forgetting the indiscretions that certain candidates have been found guilty of? Are you a deaf voter, not hearing the false promises and empty political babble some of them may spout? Are you a mute voter, not speaking your mind when you are pressured by family and friends to vote the way they SAY you should? Are you an educated voter, taking the time to listen to each and every candidate? Are you a smart voter, using what you have learned about the candidates to make a wise choice? Are you a fearless voter, choosing your candidates based on your own decision and not on what friends and family may dictate?

The March 5th, 2012 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • BIG John! Saldivar’s Splendid Debate Performance
  • Empowering Grass Roots People
  • From the Desk of the Chairman: Noise-Makers versus Vote-Bringers
  • CARICOM YOUTH Ambassador Campaign
  • Empowering Grassroots People: 200 Leases in San Juan/Cowpen
  • A Breath of Fresh Air: WAVE Radio & TV Airs Insightful Election Show
  • Faith Lift: The Merits of Prayer to Church and State
  • PHOTOS: The Prime Minister’s Tour Continued in Dangriga, Sunday, February 26, 2012
  • PHOTOS: The Prime Minister’s Tour Continued in Ladyville, Sunday, February 26, 2012
  • Montero Delivers Again! Ground Breaking for Santa Elena Library
  • Gabriel Martinez Delivers: Libertad Village Health Center Inaugurated
  • Setting the Record Straight: Looking Beyond the Elections
  • Completing the WORKS In Stann Creek West
  • La Ruta Maya 2012: Marking the End of the Mayan Calendar


Gas prices in Belize
Everyone likes to know the price of things, in fact that is one of my pet peeves shopping here when stores do not have their stock priced. Since I often get reader emails asking about the cost of living in Belize and have been blogging that topic for a few years now, I decided to do car gas price comparison. The idea came when I was out for a joyride with Dick and Zac as we stopped to gas up the golf cart. Currently we pay $11.69 a gallon and was $60 to fill Zac’s tank. Tim said last time he filled his Polaris it was $70. I asked a couple of my regular guest contributors Michele and Sharon to see what their pricing was like. Regular gas is $11.40 at Texaco and $11.42 at Shell.

The Friendliest People I've Ever Met, Really: KenMar Bed & Breakfast in Belmopan
I live in a friendly country so this might seem like exaggeration...but it's not. This bed and breakfast is amazing. So unexpected. If you are travelling to Belmopan, Belize...the place to stay is KenMar Bed and Breakfast. I promise. I got lucky. I was travelling to Belize's capital to see Prince Harry (see: Harry: My Scoop). I called a few hotels and they were booked. But Tripadvisor recommended KenMar. And I can see why... At the bus station, I grabbed a taxi to the hotel. If you need a taxi cab in Belmopan, call Smith. 604-4181. Great rasta guy. He chauffeured me my whole trip. KenMar is right behind the biggest hotel in town, the Bullfrog. The owner, Marion checked me in. She had her hair in curlers for the prince's arrival. I rolled in like a bag of dirty laundry. Honestly...the boat...the bus? She hugged me...said "baby, you're so pretty". I knew I loved this place.

Royal Relaxation at Belize’s Chaa Creek
“Wow, this place looks so relaxing!” HRH Prince Harry exclaimed as he arrived at the Lodge at Chaa Creek, setting the tone for what he and Chaa Creek’s staff described as a very pleasant stay at Belize’s premier eco-resort, according to Chaa Creek’s owner Lucy Fleming. “After checking in and strolling through the tropical gardens to his Tree Top Suite he commented on how peaceful Chaa Creek was, and then said he was very keen to taste one of our mojitos. “In this way he wasn’t very different from many of our other guests. In fact, we were all quite taken with his very natural, easy going charm,” Ms Fleming said. Prince Harry was visiting Belize as part of a Diamond Jubilee tour in honor of his grandmother’s, Queen Elizabeth II, 60 years on the throne. He arrived at Chaa Creek on the evening of March 2nd and was welcomed with a classic Maya dinner of Kac’kick, a traditional soup made with turkey and roasted vegetables flavored with chilies and spices, a fresh salad with vegetables from Chaa Creek’s Maya Organic Farm, and fine wines. And yes, he did get to enjoy Chaa Creek’s signature Mojito, a Caribbean rum and lime drink. The next day the Prince relaxed with a one-and-a-half hour massage back in his room before enjoying a hearty English breakfast.

Maya World Photographer of the Week: Tony Rath
I met Dangriga-based photographer and videographer Tony Rath on my first trip to Belize in 2003 and we've been collaborating ever since. Most recently, Tony shot the covers of my two books, MOON BELIZE 9TH ED (hanging out of a helicopter above the jaguar temple at Lamanai), and MOON MAYA 2012 (also shot at Lamanai). As you can see in Tony's shot of the Maya deer dance above, his imagery bursts with color. It also takes him to every nook, cave, cranny, caye, and underwater crevice of Belize. He's equally adventurous and skillful exploring Belize's many cultural landscapes, including the Maya. To get a taste (and take a little trip to Belize), spend a few minutes browsing the portraits and landscapes in TRPhoto's photostream.

Sunday Traveler: Caves, cayes and coral in Belize
COCKROACH CAYE, BELIZE —We’re standing near a makeshift Robinson Crusoe shack on Turneffe Atoll, one of the tiny specks of dry land off the shore of Belize, and since it's rare to hear a tropical island-dweller praise hurricanes, Leigh and I listen up when Carlos Miller starts to explain how the periodic storms help sustain the mangrove-coral ecosystem of Cockroach Caye. While chunks of foil-wrapped chicken sizzle on a wood fire, Miller shows us the sweaty, salty leaves of a red mangrove. He explains how the hurricanes flush sand off the reef and into the trees, where the root pillars trap it to build new land, helping both parts of the related ecosystem. Bigger hurricanes can destroy mangrove stands. But over time, the cycle of storms leads to renewal and growth, not just destruction. A succession of mangrove species, fueled in part by the storms, help sustain the delicate balance between the reef and the oceanic mangrove forests, Miller explains. It’s great to get that global perspective from time to time. That’s what passports are for. With that bigger picture in mind, I wonder if some events we see as natural disasters back home — pine beetles, forest fires drought, floods — are also part of natural cycles that drives ecosystems; but it’s challenging to remove the disaster tag when your life or livelihood is at stake.


Corozal Police Siezed Two Packs Of suspected Cocaine
A drug bust took place last night around 11:00 in the Corozal District. CTV3 News understands that Corozal Police visited Maya Guest House located on 2nd Street South Corozal where they searched one of the rooms occupied by Mark Mckenzie, a Belizean fisherman of Dangriga Town. The search led police to the discovery of a black knapsack containing two parcels of suspected cocaine weighing a total of 2,153 grams, 86 packs of LG cigarette and 52 packs of Benson Elite cigarette. As a result Mckenzie was arrested and charged for drug trafficking.

Prince Harry Arrives In Belize
Royalty landed on Belizean soil this afternoon as 27 year old Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, landed in a private jet at the Phillip Goldson International Airport at 4:20. Upon the Prince’s arrival, he was greeted by The Governor General of Belize Sir Colville Young and Chief of Protocol, Diane Locke. The Prince was then given the royal salute by members of the Belize Defense Force after which he was greeted by the Prime Minister of Belize Honorable Dean Barrow, Leader of the Opposition Honorable Francis Fonseca and British High Commissioner of Belize Patrick Ashworth. Prince Harry spent a few seconds exchanging words with Barrow, Fonseca and Ashworth and then proceeded to the VIP area of the airport where he briefly met with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. From there, Prince Harry headed straight to Belmopan where he made his official call on the Governor General. Tomorrow Prince Harry will be travelling to the OAS Adjacency Zone and Xunantunich where he is expected to spend most of his day before heading back to the airport.

Corruption At Its Best In The Ministry Of Natural Resources
Back in August 2009 the Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega arbitrarily and illegally seized three seafront parcels of land located behind the Finca Solana Area in the Corozal District from their owners and awarded them to his close friends and family members. Back then documents obtained by CTV3 News exposed a bitter fight between the previous owners of the parcels of land and the new owners who took over with the support of the Barrow Administration. Now, the owners of the three seafront parcels were never notified that their land had been taken away and given to Derek Gillett, a well known UDP financier and high level campaigner, Minister of Health Pablo Marin and Diana Vega Rosado the daughter of no other than the Minister of Lands Gaspar Vega. Of course, parcel 1816, which is the largest of the three parcels measuring 2080.505 sq. Meters, was awarded to Diana Vega Rosado while parcel 1817 measuring 675.24 sq. Meters was given to Derrick Gillett and parcel 1819 measuring 1806.924 sq. Meters was given to the Minister of Health Pablo Marin. As if that was not enough the prices that were paid for these parcels of land were preposterous. Diana Vega Rosado paid a mere $2,000, Derrick Gillett paid $1,500 and Pablo Marin paid only $2,000 for a parcel of land that cost thousands of dollars.

Corozal South West Ready For General Elections
We are just hours away from Municipal and General Elections. The day is sure to be a hectic one and the results of intensive campaigning will be seen, but most importantly the voice of the people will be heard. For the past nine years Corozal Southwest has been dominated by the United Democratic Party with Gabriel Martinez as the Area Representative. Martinez has neglected the people of Corozal Southwest, despite the fact that his government has been in mandate for the past four years. Knowing this fully well, Martinez is still seeking a re-election. But come March 7th a new dawn will emerge and with it a new leader for the Corozal Southwest Constituency. Ramiro Ramirez is the PUP’s point man for the area and today when he visited our studios we took the opportunity to speak to him about his campaign in Corozal Southwest.

Javier Alvares Receives Officer Of The Month Award
This afternoon a police officer attached to the Orange Walk Police Department was recognized by the People’s Coalition Committee for his more than 17 years of service and dedication to the people of Belize. PC #743 Javier Alvarez, who was born here in Orange Walk, has been a law enforcer since 1991. For those 17 years of hard work, today Alvarez was awarded “Police Officer of the Month” for the month of February. Today police officers stationed here in Orange Walk filled the station’s conference room to show their support for PC Javier Alvarez who was named Officer of the Month for the month of February. “He is a human being but he doesn’t complain, he doesn’t hesitate, he complies and then he perhaps the complain comes after and those are the types of police officers that we want so that we can serve our community as Mr. Ross said let us take it to 100% am certain that there are others good officers among us here and you will get your due time of recognition because this is a team work.”

Oceana Wants The Referendum Act To Be Amended
After 29,325 registered voters came out on Wednesday 29th February in support of the People’s Referendum held by the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, Oceana is calling on any new Government elected by the people on March 7th to amend the Referendum Act and quote “Give the majority decision of the electorate on any referendum issue, the binding effect it should rightfully have.” End of quote. In a press release issued out today Oceana states that the recent show of people power is clear indication that the people of Belize will not be denied their participation in the governance process. And since the results of the People’s Referendum and any other referendum are not binding under law, Oceana fervently calls on any new government after March 7th, 2012 to amend the Referendum Act.

Child Stimulation Kicks Off With Fairy-tale Parade
Child Stimulation Month is celebrated every year in the month of March and this year is no exception. This year the month is being celebrated under the theme “Start Early Aim High”. Here in Orange Walk activities kicked off today with a colorful parade through the streets of town. CTV3 News’ Janine Ayuso and Cameraman Kenric Simpson joined in the parade and filed the following report. We are in the month of March and for preschoolers countrywide this means the beginning of Child Stimulation Month. A month pact with fun filled activities. Here in the Orange Walk District activities kicked off with a parade which saw preschoolers dressed in attractive fairytale and nursery rhyme outfits. Dressed in their favorite character, preschoolers danced, laughed and waved to the crowd as they made their way through the principle streets of town. Without a doubt these bright young minds, along with their teachers of course, wooed spectators with their colorful displays and costumes.

International Sources

Lord Ashcroft's bank rocked by downturn
Conservative Party donor's Caribbean operations lose $13.6m in final quarter of 2011. Lord Ashcroft, the Conservative Party donor, is fighting to stem mounting losses at his Caribbean banking business, amid an economic downturn and political turmoil in the region. The billionaire financier's stock market-listed company has disclosed that it lost $13.6m (£8.5m) in the last three months of 2011, with red ink spreading at his historic operations in Belize.

Edited by Marty (11/17/12 10:47 AM)