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#437731 - 05/11/12 02:06 PM Today's Belize News: May 11, 2012
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FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

WEEKEND WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR BELIZE
Valid: Friday until Monday, May 11-14, 2012

Synopsis: A stable easterly to south-easterly airflow will persist across the NW Caribbean region and Belize this weekend. Surface heating and some influx of moisture could set-off some outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms mostly inland later on Sunday and Monday.

Rainfall Projections: Daily rainfall accumulations will be in the range of 0.01-0.10 of-an-inch over most areas on Friday and this weekend. However, daytime heating and the influx of some moisture will provide the energy for localized showers and thunderstorms, but mostly in the interior on Sunday and Monday. Daily rainfall rates will be in the range of 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch on Sunday through Monday in some localities of the Cayo, Stann Creek and Orange Walk Districts.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report


Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

Come out this Saturday 12th May, 2012 at the FFB and support your Belize Police Department in the biggest game of their Rookie Season.

It's the Placencia Assassins Vs. POLICE UNITED.

The San Pedro Sun

John McAfee “demands” an apology for GSU raid
John McAfee, the inventor of the McAfee AntiVirus Scan demands an apology from the Government of Belize after members of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) stormed into his estate located on the outskirts of Orange Walk Town. The 66 year old expatriate was the subject of an aggressive search and 14-hour long detention by police that eventually required US Embassy intervention to secure his release. The wealthy US investor, who moved to Belize in 2008 and spends his time between homes in San Pedro and Orange Walk, says that not only was he a victim of an aggressive search but his doors were busted open despite being unlocked. In an exclusive interview with The San Pedro Sun on May 9th, McAfee recalled that sometime around 6AM on Monday, April 30th, GSU personnel descended on the mainland property, namely the Belize Ecological Foundation Limited, located next to the Tower Hill Bridge in Carmelita Village, Orange Walk District. After the GSU officers entered his estate, McAfee said that his dog, Caramelo, was shot and killed. Thereafter, the men broke down doors and ransacked the nine houses on the compound. “I was awakened by a commotion; megaphones and dogs barking and people yelling. I went outside and saw a lot of soldieries in attack formation coming down the driveway with automatic weapons,” said McAfee.

San Pedro’s Tatiana Rivero to represent Belize in Miss America Latina del Mundo Pageant
San Pedro’s very own Tatiana Rivero will be Belize’s delegate to the Miss America Latina del Mundo Pageant in Mexico. 23 year old Tatiana is no stranger to pageantry and has represented Belize internationally before. The Sanpedrana will be amongst 35 contestants from the Caribbean, North, Central and South Americas at the two-week event, ending with the pageant on Saturday, June 9th. “I feel very excited and honored to be chosen to represent my country Belize and I am very proud of being a Belizean,” said a very confident Tatiana. All the contestants will compete in various segments such as the national cultural costume, swim and evening wear. The top qualifiers from those segments will move on to participate in a question and answer segment. The costume segment of the competition will give the participants the opportunity to highlight their country by depicting cultural wear representative of each country.

Second autopsy confirms cause of Boco-T’s death; Police Officers suspended from active duty
A Press Release sent out to the media today confirms that Kevin Kelly (aka. Boco-T) did not die of natural causes. After a second autopsy was performed on Kelly to clear up any ambiguities, the performing medical physician concurred with the finding of the first autopsy dispelling the idea that Boco-T’s death was accidental. This has led to all of the officers mentioned in the case to be suspended from duties awaiting the result of an internal criminal investigation.

Hon. Lisel Alamilla wins prestigious Whitley Award Fund
Hon. Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, is one of the recipients of the 2012 Whitley Foundation Awards. She received the Whitley Fund for Nature award from the Princess Royal at the 2012 Whitley Awards Ceremony, held on the 9th of May at The Royal Geographical Society in London. Alamilla joins six other nominees from countries like Indonesia, Madagascar, Peru, and Costa Rica in competing for project funding worth £30,000 (US$48,480). The honour recognises the Minister’s work to unite and equip the people who live in the Maya Golden Landscape to match development pressures, including population growth, agricultural change and increased demand for natural resources, with protection for the area’s world-class scenery, wildlife and traditions. The Whitely Foundation granted her the funding, donated by the William Brake Charitable Trust, which she has stated to hand over to the Ya’axche Conservation Trust here in Belize.

Ambergris Today

SP Town Council Keeping With School’s Wish List
In April of this year Mayor Danny Guerrero and Councilors set out on a familiarization campaign in part to address issues concerning the island. During this time Mayor Guerrero and councilors met with school principals who presented the council with a few issues that the schools were facing and needed immediate attention. In reviewing the schools letters and wish list, the San Pedro Town Council has begun delivering some items on their lists. On Wednesday, May 9, 2012, Deputy Mayor Severo Guerrero Jr., along with councilor Gaby Nuñez, personally delivered to the San Pedro Pre-School items they had asked during the council’s visit. Two wall clocks and a standing fan were handed to Principal Rosela Guerrero who was very much grateful for the donation.

Coca-Cola Moments Of Happiness
Bowen & Bowen Ltd. is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the bottling production of Coca-Cola in Belize this year. To highlight this Golden Anniversary the company had 50 painters to conjure up the quote “Open Happiness” Coca-Cola through painting in an art competition/exhibition that will travel around the country. Coca-Cola is the beverage of choice and can be found at just about every social event. Whether or not you enjoy an ice-cold Coca-Cola in the morning with your delicious hot tacos or over the rocks with smooth local rum and a slice of lime in the evening after a hard day’s work, Coca-Cola refreshes Belizeans of every walk of life, every day.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (May 9th, 2012)
Mini X 50.00 Each (8 Balls) 59 ­36 ­68 ­60 ­17 ­18 ­62 ­28­ Lucky Three 25.00 Each (10 Balls) 59 ­36 ­68 ­60 ­17 ­18 ­62 ­28 ­56 ­9­ Four Corners 50.00 Each (12 Balls) 59 ­36 ­68 ­60 ­17 ­18 ­62 ­28 ­56 ­9 ­31 ­7­ ...

The Top 5 Most Popular/Common Cars In Belize By Brand
Whether it is the latest model or an old-fashioned one, Belizeans prefer and choose cars as the number one means of transportation. If you don’t believe me here is something for you to ponder on. How much gas stations are in Belmopan City alone? You will be astonished as to the number of gas stations we have available and let’s not even talk about the other parts of Belize. In other countries, trains and planes are more common but cars are still the number one means of transportation anywhere you go -- no wonder car companies are some of the richest in the world. In Belize, we ride tough cars because of the ugly state of the roads that we possess but every now and then I see some people riding some smooth wheels. Cars like those are not meant for our roads but people still like to risk it and go for the hot rides – Belizeans love to brag! If you know what I mean! Everyone has a preference and a style as to which vehicle they like and feel safe with. Some choose Japanese cars, some prefer German cars, and some go with the more popular USA brands.

Nevermind the Apocalypse: Earliest Mayan Calendar Found
The oldest-known version of the ancient Maya calendar has been discovered adorning a lavishly painted wall in the ruins of a city deep in the Guatemalan rainforest. The hieroglyphs, painted in black and red, along with a colorful mural of a king and his mysterious attendants, seem to have been a sort of handy reference chart for court scribes in A.D. 800 — the astronomers and mathematicians of their day. Contrary to popular myth, this calendar isn't a countdown to the end of the world in December 2012, the study researchers said. "The Mayan calendar is going to keep going for billions, trillions, octillions of years into the future," said archaeologist David Stuart of the University of Texas, who worked to decipher the glyphs. "Numbers we can't even wrap our heads around."

The Tomistoma Fund Art Project
At long last, all the drawings have been scanned and made into a fun, short youtube video. It is rather remarkable reviewing all of the coloured papers, they were all really unique and showcased the creativity, imagination, and interest of every student. To them, this video is owed. A big shoutout goes to "Nana", Dov and Laura Magy, and the Casado family for their support, it wouldn't have been possible without your generous donations. Credit for the original drawing goes solely to Akai, please check out his other work at http://uchiha-zooa.deviantart.com/, he has really helped our organization from the start. It would also have not been possibel without the support from ACES, please check them out if you haven't already. During a stay in Belize, our nonprofit organized a series of educational presentations for the local schools on Ambergris Caye. Over 1,000 students took part in our presentations promoting the importance of science and conservation. At the end of our elementary presentations, we provided art supplies and coloring papers to the students, hoping to gain some interest from the students. What we received was truly remarkable. There was a "spark" in every student's artwork, which showed genuine creativity, imagination, compassion, and thought. Enjoy.

Mexican Trade Mission to Belize
The Mexican Embassy hosted today a press conference to announce the visit of a Mexican trade mission to Belize from May 15th to 18th, in collaboration with the Trade and Investment Mexican Agency, ProMexico. A delegation of Mexican business people will visit Belize in order to promote trade and to identify potential buyers and suppliers of various products and/or services. Companies include: Adrian Manuel Xeque Solis; Botanas y Frituras del Sureste La Lupita; Fábrica de Postes; Galletera Richaud Hermanos, Inco Peninsular; Industrias Metalo Yucateca; Mitchel Salchichonería Alemana; Productos Richaud, Sayer Lack Mexicana; Septi-K; and Victor Manuel Pat Rodriguez. Products include hurricane shutters, reinforced concrete poles, wood and metal furniture, pipes, biodigestor tanks, coating, jewellery, plastic bottles, and snacks and carmels. The delegation will be at the Mexican Embassy in Belmopan on Wednesday, May 16th and at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City on Thursday, May 17th, to meet with their Belizean counterparts, government officials and representatives of various organizations. For further information, please call the Mexican Embassy’s Trade, Tourism and Investment Section at 822-0406 or write to malopez@embamex.bz

Canada and the Belize Police Commissioner Project
Support for OAS - Belize Police Commissioner Project Implementing Partner: Organization for American States Cost: $422,620 Timeframe: April 2012-March 2014 Canada is working in a cost sharing arrangement with the Government of Belize to support a foreign commissioner of police who will lead the police department, implement initiatives and mentor future commissioners of police. This project will support Belize’s objective of reforming and modernizing its police force. Fundamental to these efforts will be the implementation of sustainable programs and processes that focus on identified needs, such as criminal investigation, human resource management, and accountability amongst the senior ranks of the police department.

Picture of the Day: Feed the Children Fashion Show
Danny Chung has posted more great pictures from the Feed the Children Fashion show. This one is quite unique, and very well done.

Calla Creek Primary School Fund Raiser
4 the World is doing a fund raiser to build 2 new classrooms for the Calla Creek Primary School. They'll be building the classrooms over this Summer, and we hope to get to help them out. Kudos to 4 the World!

Youth For The Future in Benque
Youth for the Future's office is now open in Benque! Congratulations to Mr. Jimmy Leslie, who is the Youth Empowerment Coordinator. Youth for the Future is a youth center aimed at empowering young people to pariticipate in the development of Belize. More power to them! You can contact them at yffbenque@gmail.com, and find them in the Benque Town Hall. "Youth for the Future office now in Benque, because investing in our youths is the way forward."

Bridal Photo from Ka'ana
Another feel good bridal photo taken recently in Cayo. This one was taken at Ka'ana by Olivera Rusu. Great picture, and you can see her other ones at Xunantunich.

Buy and Sell Weekly Classifieds
Check out this week's Cayo Classifieds. The entertainment section is shaping up quite nicely. Serendib has a 'progressive happy hour.' Amber Sunset has buy one get one free coupons in there for frozen drinks. Midas has a 50% pool entry coupon.

Channel 7

POLICE HESITANT TO CHARGE GUATEMALAN CAUGHT WITH FIREARM
Tonight a 28 year old Guatemalan is in police custody - after he was caught at the Benque Viejo Border yesterday with this .45 Colt pistol loaded with ten live rounds. That's a prohibited firearm, which means automatic lockup, followed by mandatory remand and trial - and so you might think it's an open and shut case - but, not so fast. 36 hours after he was busted, Ismael Antonio Moran Enriquez has not been arraigned or remanded, though he has been charged and is in custody. And that's because the Commissioner of Police David Henderson didn't want him charged in the first place. In a very candid interview over the phone, Henderson told us that he feels it would be, quote, "really unreasonable to charge him," end quote. And why is that? Henderson says Moran had asked Immigration personnel at the border to let him assist a woman to carry a bag across the border station - and he never left the customs building. But, 7news has confirmed that he did walk past the Customs Inspection ramp - without a bag - and that's when Customs personnel pulled him over and found the gun. Anyone who's travelled will know that customs and immigration are two different things - and Immigration can't allow anyone to pass customs. But that's just what Moran tried to do - and when the Customs officer told him he had to make a declaration that's when they say he started to act suspiciously.

POLICE'S SECOND POST-MORTEM CONFIRMS BOCO - T BEATEN TO DEATH
Today - exactly two weeks after he died in police custody - the funeral was held at St, Mary's Church in Belize City for Kevin Kelly, known as Boco-T. As we've been reporting, a post mortem examination conducted by Dr. Mario Estradabran on Tuesday showed that he died of, quote "internal bleeding, due to multiple abdominal trauma, due to blunt instrument type" - which basically means, he appears to have been beaten to death - possibly with a club or boots. That contrasted sharply with the original police account, which was that he may have broken his neck when he jumped a high fence while eluding arrest. It is a huge and consequential difference - and to make sure it is so - the police did a most unusual thing last night: they had a second post mortem done by a second doctor. Now that is absolutely unheard of - but the second post mortem, which lasted from 6:00 pm to 8:45 pm and was conducted by Dr. Hugh Sanchez confirmed Estradabran's findings. So, today, the police department - already embarrassed by the long time it took to get the post mortem done - have to go another humiliating step forward and launch an investigation into what appears to be a wrongful death. Minister of National Security John Saldivar discussed it with us today:.. Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security "We therefore have now intensified our investigation into this matter to determine what exactly took place leading to the death of Mr. Kelly and we have placed all the officers who were around when this was happening - we've placed them on interdiction while the investigation is proceeding."

POLICE DETAIN PERSONS FOR THE CARLOS MEDINA ROBBERY
Tonight, police say they have two known suspects for yesterday armed robbery of a jeweler. It happened at 5:00 pm on Pickstock Street in Belize City. 51 year old Carlos Medina, and his assistant Emmet Jones were entering his yard when two men walked up - one of them pointed a 9mm pistol to his face. Medina told police he dropped his black portfolio bag with $548 dollars inside. They robbers snatched up the bag and ran from the scene - leaving their slippers behind. Police have reviewed footage from a nearby security camera and say they are looking for a pair of 20 year old's from George Street.

ELECTION PETITION: BRIBERY GROUNDS FAILS AGAINST PENNER AGAIN
In the past two months - we've reported on election petitions many times. But that was all the preparatory work - leading up to today when the actual petitions were argued in the Supreme Court. Now, bear in mind this is unfamiliar territory; only once or twice before have election petitions been fully argued in court - most times they are thrown out at the preliminary stage. So, first up was the Orlando "Landy" Habet's petition against Cayo Northeast Area Rep., Elvin Penner. As we reported, Habet's petition against Penner is on the grounds that he bribed a majority of the new voters by paying for their naturalization papers to become Belizeans. He also alleged that Penner engaged in other corrupt practices to win the election. When the preliminary hearing for the petition leave was heard, Attorney Rodwell Williams dealt their case a major blow when he successfully argued to have the bribery struck out.

MARK KING PETITION DAY 1: THE ORIGIN OF DISQUALIFICATION LAW
And while that election petition was being heard in one courtroom, another was staged before the Chief Justice this morning. That hearing concerned Martin Galvez's petition against UDP Lake Independence Area Rep., Mark King. Viewers may recall that Galvez is contending that King is disqualified from being a member of the House of Representatives because at the time of his nomination, he had - and still has - a $135,000 Government Contract and he didn't declare his interests to the public. Galvez says that the proof exists that King is the managing director of the Brints Security Firm, which has the contract to provide security for several government buildings, including the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building and the San Ignacio Sales Tax Office. The actual petition stage, which has already been granted by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin might not even arrive because Attorney Denys Barrow, who is representing King, made an application to strike the petition out of court. He says that there are no grounds for it. Barrow and Attorney Lisa Shoman, who is representing Galvez, argued at length today on the strike-out application.

AMERICAN WOMAN'S HOME INVADED
Around 8:15 last night, 60 year old San Ignacio Resident Nancy Skiles - an American Buinesswoman of Trench Town Area was roughed up in a terrifying home invasion. Skiles was approached from behind by 3 men. One of the men wrapped his hands around her neck and told her not to say anything or else she will be killed. She was then ordered to lie down on the floor where her hands were tied behind her back. While on the ground she saw two other men dressed in black with masks covering their faces and armed with machetes. One of the men demanded that she hand over her Laptop Computer. Skiles didn't have one and that was when she was punched to the face. The men then rummaged through her entire house and stole her purse with two thousand five hundred dollars in cash. No one has been arrested.

BUSINESSMAN CHARGED FOR ATTACKING EMPLOYEE
46-year-old Angel Espat, the Manager of Shell Gas Station in Ladyville, is facing a harm charge after he allegedly punched one of his employees in the face. According police, Delvith Crawford reported Espat called him into the office on Monday about a complaint he received from a customer whose gas tank cover had been broken. Crawford denied it - and claims that Espat punched him in the right side of the face without any provocation. As a result, police charged Espat with harm, and he was brought before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today. Espat pleaded not guilty to the charge, and he was granted bail of $1,000, which he was able to meet. He is expected back in court on July 5.

SJC JUNIOR BALLER GETS A BIG OPPORTUNITY
A few weeks ago we told you about the Belize Junior team that went to the King James AAU tournament in Akron, Ohio. The whole idea behind the trip was to get exposure for some of Belize's best young talent and to get them in front of basketball scouts from US colleges - who would hopefully recruit them for college programs - giving them a chance at an education - and boosting Belize's stock of players with international training and exposure. Well, the plan worked - because today a student from St. John's College signed a letter of intent with Lake Superior State University in Michigan for a full athletic scholarship. It's a huge, rare event - and it was properly observed at Devin Daly's School, St. John's College - Monica Bodden was there and she has this report:.. Monica Bodden reporting The Fordyce Chapel at St Johns College was filled to capacity -as the entire high school gathered to support and cheer on one of their very own. Seated at the head table was 17 year old Devin Daly a fourth form honor student of the High School. Daly was one of the 15 best young basketball players to represent Belize at the King James Amateur Athletic Union Classic.

BREAKING NEWS: MAN SHOT ON RACCOON STREET
There was a shooting in the city about half an hour ago. It happened at the corner of Raccoon street and Central American Boulevard. According to reports, one person was injured. He was rushed to the KHMH. We'll have more details on this tomorrow.

MEXICAN TRADE MISSION LOOKING FOR POTENTIAL BELIZEAN OUTLET
A Mexican Trade Mission will visit Belize next week from Wednesday to Friday. They are coming to investigate partnership or joint venture opportunities - but, basically, they want to see what they can sell Belize and possibly the Caribbean. The companies that are coming specialize in hurricane shutters, wood and metal furniture, jewelry, plastic bottles and snacks. Makes sense for them to explore a new import-dependent market, but does it make sense for Belize's business sector which could be gobbled up by the larger Mexican enterprises? That's one of the questions we asked today at an press conference announcing the visit: Marco Antonio Lopez Leon, Head of Trade Tourism Investment - Mexican Embassy "The companies are coming here looking for joint ventures. They don't want to monopolize the market, they want to increase the range so they can be present in Belize but as a partner more than as a competitor." Jules Vasquez "Is Mexico looking to penetrate that CSME market by setting up operations in Belize and then capitalize on that geographical advantage that Belize has."

BLAKBERRY'S PROFILE: FROM THE STREETS TO MUSIC
Tonight's I Am Belize Profile is about Kenroy Espinosa - you'll probably know him as the rapper called Blakberry. He grew up poor in Belize city hustling pints and ended up in jail. But that's where he turned his life around and decided to pursue a career in music, determined not to go back to jail. In tonight's profile he explains what led him to be a youth mentor:..

GHETTO GIRLS FASHION SHOW DEBUT
Our next story is about a fashion show competition - but a very unusual one - because it's mixed in with a bit of biting social commentary. It's called the Ghetto Girls Fashion Show - (we know, that sounds mean, right?) - but that's what the organizers have dubbed it. They say they have been to 'hoods all across the southside of Belize City- to prove that so called ghetto Girls can dress and impress. Here's what the organizer told Monica Bodden today:.. Kenny G, Organizer "Actually what we are having is a Miss Ghetto Gial competition, a pageant, a fashion show. Not discriminating ghetto girls but they say that you can ghetto fabulous in all different kinds of ways." "It's like doing this interview right now - ghetto fabulous means yes I am doing this interview right now and all I did to prepare was to put on some clothes and put some "cus cus" perfume on - ghetto fabulous."

Channel 5

Galvez/King Election Petition hinges on interpretation of “Public Service”
Two election petitions arising from the March seventh general elections were heard in the Supreme Court today. Martin Galvez is seeking to disqualify Mark King, the Lake Independence area rep, for a contract with the government which he did not disclose prior to the elections. Attorneys for both sides presented arguments throughout the day before [...]

King’s Contract may be inconsequential to CJ’s decision
The Galvez petition is based on a contract that Brint’s Security Service had obtained with the Ministry of Finance. Galvez alleged that King is the General Manager of Brint’s which has a one hundred and thirty five thousand dollar contract which started in July 2011 and ends in July 2013. Brint’s contract includes the Charles [...]

Habet tried to pen Penner for a recount in Supreme Court
Down the hall in the courtroom of Justice Minnet Hafiz, attorneys Said Musa and Rodwell Williams squared off on another election petition. The petition was filed by P.U.P. candidate Orlando Habet, who lost in the Cayo North division by only eleven votes to area representative Elvin Penner. Habet is seeking a recount and also made [...]

Musa will take Penner Petition to Appeal Court
Attorney Said Musa also commented on the proceedings, saying that they will take their claim directly to the Court of Appeal.   Said Musa, Attorney for Orlando Habet “We had applied to the court for leave to appeal the court’s decision that was made in the Orlando Habet matter when she struck out the allegations [...]

Cops on Duty during Boco T’s death placed on interdiction
A trio of officers attached to the San Pedro Police Station is tonight on interdiction and a criminal investigation has been launched into the death of Kevin ‘Boco T’ Kelly. Boco T was buried today, but the circumstances surrounding his demise while being held inside a cell at the San Pedro Police Station on April [...]

Academic and baller gets a Jesuit basketball scholarship
St John’s College was in a celebratory mood today. One of its own, a seventeen year old fourth former, has landed himself a scholarship at a US university. Devin Daly is not only a sound academic student; he is also excellent on the basketball court. Those skills have earned him a spot at the Lake [...]

American National Guilty of molesting Belizean child
A seventy-two year old fugitive from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin was caught in Guatemala in February 2011. Roland J. Flath was wanted for “traveling in foreign commerce and engaging in and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.” He was charged in absentia in the Wisconsin court in October 2010 for the [...]

Model behavior: CYDP Supervisor charged with Robbery
In the local courts, twenty-three year old CYDP Supervisor, Jose Ayala appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer for Robbery. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was remanded to the Central Prison until July fourth. Shantai White alleges that around five-thirty p.m. on April twenty-eighth she was walking on Newtown Barracks when two men [...]

Assailant who attacked Hofius Manager is charged for assault
Well-known Belize City businesswoman Jacqueline Roe, the Manager of Hofius Ltd., was allegedly attacked by a knife-wielding assailant while walking towards Swing Bridge on Tuesday. Fortunately, several passersby came to her rescue. Her attacker, who has since been identified as forty-five year old Kirk Nicholas, was later arrested and appeared in court today where he [...]

Elderly American woman victim of Home Invasion
An elderly American businesswoman from the West is the most recent victim of a brutal home invasion. According to sixty year old Nancy Skiles, she was at her house in the Trench Town Area of San Ignacio sometime around eight o’clock on Wednesday night when three men dressed in black, reportedly armed with machetes, accosted [...]

Belize and Mexico bridge the Trade divide
Trade relations between Belize and Mexico have been described by local and foreign investors as anemic despite legions of nationals from both countries crisscrossing the Belize/Mexico Border to conduct business on a daily basis. In an effort to strengthen those ties the Trade and Investment Mexican Agency, ProMexico, is partnering with the Embassy of Mexico [...]

Village life at Arts and Crafts Expo
It’s the first of its kind; a Village Arts and Crafts Expo that will showcase the talents of Belizean artisans to local and international visitors. This Saturday at the King’s Room of the Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize City, local artists from villages countrywide will get an opportunity to market a wide range of [...]

Whitley Fund for Nature Award features Lisel Alamilla
As we reported on Wednesday night, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Lisel Alamilla, is now also an award winning conservationist. Alamilla received the 2012 Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) Award and almost one hundred thousand dollars to continue her work with Ya’axche Conservation Trust in the south. The recognition is particularly for conservation [...]

BGYEA and Harmonyville going full steam ahead
Mile forty-one on the Western Highway, better known as Harmonyville, is the pet project of the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Agency (BGYEA). BGYEA dreamt big and squatted on the land while making plans to develop the area into a community that could be inhabited by first time landowners. BGYEA’s president, Nigel Petillo, somehow got the [...]

Healthy Living examines breast cancer options
Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday in celebration of motherhood. But the entire month of May is observed as Cancer Awareness Month in Belize. In the United States, it is believed that about one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Closer to home, a cancer registry [...]

LOVE FM

Tuesday, May 8 - POLICE NEWS
Amir Reyes, a prison officer residing in Orange Walk who allegedly tried to smuggle 324 grams of cannabis into Belize Central prison was charged with drug trafficking when he appeared in court today. Reyes pleaded not guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith o...

BELIZEAN DELIVERS TOP SPEECH AT VALEDICTORY SERVICE IN JAMAICA
A Valedictory Service was held today for the Norman Manley Law School in Jamaica. The top speech was delivered by Barry White of Hattieville Village. Later this year, over six Belizeans will be graduating from the NMLS. Among them are Michelle Trapp-Zuniga, Barry Whit...

BUSINESSMAN SHOT AT IN ROARING CREEK VILLAGE
Belmopan Police are investigating a shooting incident that occurred in Roaring Creek Village last night. Fem Cruz reporting… “Mariano Cruz, 32-year-old businessman of Roaring Creek Village told Love News he was at home last night watching television along wit...

ACTIVITIES FOR EDUCATION WEEK CONTINUE
Educators from primary, secondary and tertiary levels are gathered at the Bliss Institute for the performing arts today, where another activity in observance of education week is taking place. That activity is a symposium that looks to expand the knowledge of not only educators b...

PUC SAYS NO TO INCREASE OF ELECTRICITY USAGE RATES BUT YES TO FEES' ADJUSTMENTS
Your light bill rates will not go up but there are going to be some changes as a result of approvals granted to BEL. The changes come after the electricity company submitted a list of fees and charges that they requested consideration for by the Public Utilities Commission. ...

MINISTER ALAMILLA WINS WHITLEY AWARD
Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Lisel Alamilla has won the Whitley Awards. The award was presented this afternoon by the Princess Royal, Princess Anne at the Royal Geographical Society in London England. Alamilla contested against six othe...

CTV3

19 year old Student Charged For Rape
On September 30th 2010 Izak Chan Junior was charged for rape at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court after a 17 year old sixth form student of Muffles Junior College accused him of having sexual intercourse with her against her will. Since it was an indictable matter the case was set to be heard before Judge Dennis Hanomansingh at the northern session of the Supreme Court. Yesterday, after listening to arguments from both the defense and the complainant a jury of 12 found 19 year old Izak Chan guilty of rape. Chan, who faces a minimum sentence of 8 to 10 years imprisonment, was remanded to the Kolbe Correctional Facility until the 23rd of May when sentencing is scheduled. On September 18th 2010 the then 17 year old student reported to Orange Walk Police that on September 17th she was raped by four of her male colleagues. The group was reportedly drinking at the Banquitas House of Culture when they decided to leave for another location. The girl was taken to an area along the Honey Camp Road and allegedly raped by the four individuals including Chan.

Three More Employees Fired From Ministry Of Works Orange Walk
First it was Cirilo Teul and Adrian Wade and just when you taught that the firing at the Ministry of Works here in Orange Walk had stopped, three more employees received their walking papers this morning. Steve Leiva, Cesar Cal and Cornelio Leiva were on the list of seven hard working employees at the ministry of works that were targeted by the Minister of Works and Transport Rene Montero to be fired for no valid reason. Montero’s plan was exposed a few weeks ago when a letter, written to him in response to his request for termination of the seven employees, by Alfredo Cruz, the then Administrative Officer at the Ministry, was published in the Belize Times. Despite the fact that Cruz rebuffed the idea of the seven employees being terminated, Montero did not stop on his track and fired Cirilio Teul, Adrian Wade and as recent as this morning Steve Leiva, Cesar Cal and Cornelio Leiva. Today Cornelio Leiva, who worked for 16 years at the ministry as a driver and mechanic, out rightly blamed Honorable Gaspar Vega for his termination.

First Time Mom Blames NRH For Her Son's Death
We continue tonight’s newscast by reporting on a sensitive story involving the staff from the Northern Regional Hospital and a 27 year old woman who lost her new born baby boy. On March 13th 2012, Kimberly Bull from the Village of Guinea Grass was admitted at the Northern Regional Hospital at around 8:00am to deliver her baby. After Bull was examined by a doctor, it was determined that her cervix was open to 5cm. She was; however, left in bed up until 2 o’clock suffering from terrible contractions. According to Bull it was not until 4:00pm that the same doctor examined her again and burst her water bag without even informing her. According to the first time mom, that’s where her worst nightmare began. Kimberly Bull, Lost her Baby “It was a rough experience that I had at the Northern Regional Hospital. It was the delivery of my first baby. I was so happy to that I was going to have my baby. Accordingly it didn’t go as plan that I had. So, the nurses they, well they are nurses but they don’t treat people as if we are human beings. They treat us as animals.”

Northenos Win KTV Latino
It was called the hottest show in Belize and as the third season of KTV Latino Karaoke competition got underway, live audiences and viewers at home eagerly awaited the new singing talents from across the country. It all started off with the auditioning of about fifty competitors out of which only twenty two made it through the first cut. The lucky bunch faced a live audience and a panel of judges to prove their Stay in the competition but only fourteen of the best moved on to compete for the first place position. After several performances at the Bliss, a live audience and viewers at home tuned in to witness the declaration of a season three winner on Tuesday night. Tonight we are proud to announce that of the final four contestants on stage the North seemingly took over the show as first and second place winners Nassain Montalvo and Francesca Awe proved to be the top singers and fan favorites.

Education Week Celebrated In Belize
“Together We Can Achieve Quality Education For All” is this year’s theme in which the Ministry of Education and schools from across the nation are celebrating education week. Every year the two weeks celebration is set aside to honour teachers and to highlight the importance of obtaining an education. According to the District Education Manager for Orange Walk Carla Alvarez, Education Week also serves as an epoch of reflection on educational goals that ought to be accomplished. Carla Alvarez, District Education Manager, O/W "I think a lot of it has to do with- it’s for us to take the time to reflect on what really are our goals in education, what we need to accomplish and we all work together in doing that. So it’s more sensitization. It has to do also with a time of reflection. A part of that is also the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award ceremony. Here in Orange Walk we have nominees from the primary, secondary, tertiary and we have an outstanding leader of the Year nominee. We also have a Special Ed nominee. So next week Thursday we travel to Belize City, Thursday night, and we hope that some of our nominees will be selected as the outstanding teacher or leader of the year for the entire country."

Doctor Mario Estradabran Back At Work
After more than a month of negotiations and a number of bodies piling up at morgues countrywide, the Ministry of National Security and Belize’s only Forensics Doctor have finally come to an agreement. News tonight is that the ministry has renewed Doctor Mario Estradabran’s contract under terms and conditions and a salary that he was comfortable with. The contract we understand is effective immediately and will run for the next two years. Reports are that when Estradabran’s two year contract expired on February 1st, the Ministry of National Security sent him a contract under the same terms and conditions as well as salary as the previous one. Estradabran reportedly refused the offer and submitted a proposed contract with changes in terms and conditions and a sizable increase in salary. The ministry refused the proposal prompting the commencement of negotiation for mutually acceptable new arrangements. Before the new contract was signed the last post mortem Estradabran conducted was on the body of Taylor Street gang leader, Arthur Young.

Education Week Celebrated In Belize
week. Every year the two weeks celebration is set aside to honour teachers and to highlight the importance of obtaining an education. According to the District Education Manager for Orange Walk Carla Alvarez, Education Week also serves as an epoch of reflection on educational goals that ought to be accomplished. Carla Alvarez, District Education Manager, O/W "I think a lot of it has to do with- it’s for us to take the time to reflect on what really are our goals in education, what we need to accomplish and we all work together in doing that. So it’s more sensitization. It has to do also with a time of reflection. A part of that is also the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award ceremony. Here in Orange Walk we have nominees from the primary, secondary, tertiary and we have an outstanding leader of the Year nominee. We also have a Special Ed nominee. So next week Thursday we travel to Belize City, Thursday night, and we hope that some of our nominees will be selected as the outstanding teacher or leader of the year for the entire country."

LOVE TV

Minister Alamilla wins the Whitley award
The Honorable the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Ms. Lisel Alamilla has captured the prestigious Whitley Awards. Alamilla received her award today from the Princess Royal, during ceremonies at the Royal Geographical Society in London England. Alamilla joins six other nominees from countries like Indonesia, Madagascar, Peru, and Costa Rica in competing for project funding worth £210,000. She won the award for a community empowerment and education project in the biodiversity-rich Maya golden landscape of southern Belize and along with it, Alamilla is bringing home £30,000. That money, according to Alamilla will be hand over to the Ya’axche Conservation Trust.

Armed robbery reported in Belize City
There was an armed hold up in Belize City last night. The proprietor of Romero’s Suits at the Corner Central American Boulevard and Raccoon Street reported that around eight thirty last night he was inside his business establishment along with his wife, when a tall dark complexion man entered and enquired about the cost of a pants. The man then took out a handgun, pointed it at the proprietor and demanded money. Fearing for his life, the owner says he handed over one hundred and twenty dollars in cash. The robber then proceeded to robbed the owner’s wife of one hundred and thirty five dollars before fleeing the scene.

Teen accused of attempted murder
There was an armed hold up in Belize City last night. The proprietor of Romero’s Suits at the Corner Central American Boulevard and Raccoon Street reported that around eight thirty last night he was inside his business establishment along with his wife, when a tall dark complexion man entered and enquired about the cost of a pants. The man then took out a handgun, pointed it at the proprietor and demanded money. Fearing for his life, the owner says he handed over one hundred and twenty dollars in cash. The robber then proceeded to robbed the owner’s wife of one hundred and thirty five dollars before fleeing the scene.

Policemen suspended while authorities investigate death of Kevin Kelly
Since the sudden death on April twenty-sixth, of thirty-four year old Kevin Kelly, known as Boco T, his family and friends have been vocal about their suspicion that the police were responsible for his death. Kelly died while in police custody at the San Pedro Police Station and not one, but two autopsies have given [...]

Election petitions continue through the courts
Election petitions filed last month in the Supreme Court of Belize between the two political parties have had political pundits and fanatics passing their opinions on how the respective judgment will go. That day will come one week from today but following legal arguments this afternoon for the two contenders, the PUP’s Martin Galvez against [...]

Belizean teen gets athletic scholarship to study in the USA
A popular quotation says in part: keep reaching for your dreams. And that is just what a Belize City teenager is doing. And the road to the top just got a whole lot easier for the young man to pursue the dream of a lifetime. Love TV’s Ava Diaz Sosa and video journalist Brian Castillo [...]

Alleged Freedom Street robber arraigned in court
33-year-old Jose Ayala, a supervisor residing on Freedom Street who allegedly robbed a woman at gunpoint was charged with robbery when he appeared in court today. Ayala pleaded not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to him that the court cannot offer him bail because the offence was committed with a firearm. [...]

Ministry of Works snubs reporters query over fired workers
The hype of the March seventh general elections is slowly fading away; but for a group of workers of the Ministry of Works in Orange Walk the nightmare is just dragging on. Love TV’s Manuela Ayuso Cantun reports.

PlusTV

Young Belizean baller gets big break
Today the St. John’s College Fordyce Memorial Chapel was abuzz with activity as a joint press conference was held t...

Police Minister orders internal investigation into Boco-T’s death
Kevin Kelly a.k.a. Boco-T died in police custody last month. His post mortem was performed on Monday (MAY 7). The p...

Belmopan CITCO wrestles with vendor squatting at market
Market vendors populate the Belmopan market space, and in several instances freelance vendors occupy enviable spots...

13 complete PhD in education studies
This week is Education Week and a key event was the Research Symposium & Oklahoma State University Doctoral Graduat...

Mexican trade mission coming to Belize
The Trade and Investment Mexican Agency (PorMexico) in collaboration with the Embassy of Mexico is organizing a tra...

Belmopan CITCO seeking alternative for farmers market
And while there may be some tension between Elizabeth Mendez and the Council, there is still the issue of the propo...

Father of three succumbs to gunshot wounds
Frank Vasquez a 29 year old resident of Belize City was shot in the face, left shoulder and back as he was walking ...

Lisel Alamilla receives International Whitley Awards
The Princess Royal (Princess Anne presented a Whitley Award for inspirational conservation leadership to Belize’s r...

Police looking for suspects in Belize City robbery
In last night’s newscast we reported on a robbery of a jewellery store owner. 51 year old Carlos Medina, owner of M...

Youth charged with aggravated assault
There was a report of aggravated assault in the south. Silvanus Makin, of Columbia Village reported that around 7:3...

NICH Canoe River Challenge scheduled for Saturday
The National Institute of Culture and History and the Belize Canoe Association will be hosting its first ever “NICH...

Woman assaulted, robbed in San Ignacio
San Ignacio Police responded to a call from Nancy Skiles, last night (May 9). 60 year Skiles, an American Businessw...

Bank repossess car from new owner
Theodora Andrews reported to police that she had purchased a white 1999 Isuzu Rodeo from Vanessa Slusher in Novembe...

The Guardian

Estradabran’s Contract Approved
The Police Department has been able to conduct post mortems on 9 out of 11 bodies which had been awaiting the procedure after pathologist, Dr. Mario Estradabran had discontinued doing them while he awaited the renewal of his contract. The remaining post mortems will be completed tomorrow. While the backlog has been cleared, the contract for Dr. Estradabran has been finalized. The contract has been revised and has been forwarded to Dr. Estradabran for his agreement and subsequent signing. It is expected that the contract will be signed on Thursday, May 10th. Dr. Estradabran had discontinued doing autopsies while he was in negotiation with the Ministry of National Security. During the negotiations, he was asking for a higher salary along with other requests. Information suggests that most of his demands are being met and his contract should be finalized without a problem. Meanwhile, the ministry does not anticipate that there will be backlogs in autopsy services.

Destructive O.W. Mayor
On Monday, May 7th, vendors at the Orange Walk Town Market looked on in complete amazement and disappointment as workers from the Orange Walk Town Council began to dismantle market booths that were just recently completed to serve as an extension for vendors in that municipality. The 19 stalls took two months and 25 thousand dollars to construct and in a single swoop and in what can only be termed as the council taking leave of their senses, simply began to break down the structure. According to the vendors, who were anticipating the construction of the stalls, the facility was constructed to accommodate tacos and food vendors, who are crammed in the existing market. During the inauguration former Mayor of Orange Walk Town, Phillip de la Fuente announced that the stalls would be distributed shortly. The same idea was passed on to the vendors by the current council and they were even asked to apply for space. To their dismay, however, town council employees arrived on Monday morning and began to strip the roof off the structure. There is absolutely no explanation as to why this is taking place. When the Guardian checked on Wednesday, the destruction had only reached half way of the roof and the work was abruptly ended. Maybe the Mayor and the council came to their senses after the public in Orange Walk took to the local airwaves and lambasted them for destroying what can only be deemed as a beneficial addition to the municipality’s infrastructure. Hopefully, no one makes off with the zinc that was torn off the structure and it is replaced, and vendors can get benefit from the installations. According to information we have gathered the facility is a good source of income, which has the potential of generating up to $1,500 monthly. It seems that the current council is not in need of any finances yet, we understand, they are quickly spending what was accumulated over years of hard work at by the former UDP council.



Edited by Marty (11/17/12 04:08 PM)

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#437732 - 05/11/12 02:07 PM Re: Today's Belize News: May 11, 2012 [Re: Marty]
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Hierarchy Versus Equality
The issues that currently divide communities and countries appear to be wide ranging and disparate, but if viewed within the context of an individual’s control over his or her own destiny, a pattern emerges and the fight appears to be over hierarchy versus equality. In the social sphere, this divide pits supporters of patriarchal and authoritarian structures against those who emphasize social inclusion and individual rights. Patriarchal societies tend to be rigid, stressing rules and procedures and penalizing or inhibiting individual initiatives. The Headman (and it is almost always a man) is the fount of all wisdom and adjudication. Below him in authority are a select group of men, usually related through kinship or marriage, which implement the patriarchal structures. This structure is repeated through various layers down to the family group where the father is the head of the household and makes all major decisions for the family. The patriarchal model is the primary pattern seen in agrarian and nomadic pastoral societies and hence, it is the model promoted in the sacred writings of cultures with a nomadic or agricultural history. Scholars agree that hunter/gatherer cultures tend to have relatively non-hierarchical, egalitarian social structures with no full-time leaders. In ...

Scholarships from Ariel Rosado Memorial
The Ariel Rosado Memorial Education fund held it first fundraiser on April 28th and already the organization is announcing that it is accepting applications for scholarships for the upcoming school year 2012-2013. The foundation says it will be offering 5 scholarships for secondary school, 5 for tertiary level education and 5 for primary school students to learn to sail. The high school scholarships will cover tuition, fees and books for four years and will be valid for high schools in Belize. The university scholarships will be for associate degree programs at Galen University and will cover cost of tuition only for the duration of the program being done. There will also be tuition covered for certificate programs or short courses at the University of the West Indies Open Campus in Belize. Application Forms are available at Bruce Bike Shop at 1834 corner Chancellor Street and Blue Marlin Boulevard, West Landivar, Belize City. Interested persons can also call 223-5674/600-6665. Completed applications forms must be received at Bruce Bike Shop on or before 15th. June 2012.

Princess Anne rewards Hon. Lisel Alamilla for Work at Ya’axché
On Wednesday, May 9, Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne, presented a Whitley Award for inspirational conservation leadership to Belize’s recently appointed Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Hon. Lisel Alamilla, for her work to protect the Mayan Golden Landscape as Executive Director of the Ya’axché Conservation Trust.

“The Real Deal” to present Update on Marion Jones Stadium
“The Real Deal” is a very informative show that is quickly taking control of Thursday nights in Belize. It starts at 8 p.m. on Wave TV and Channel 7 and provides inside information on a wide range of topics. On Thursday, May 10, the show will feature the Marion Jones Stadium construction site.

UK Foreign Minister for Latin America welcomes Referendum Date
Jeremy Browne, Foreign Office Minister for Latin America, today commented on the agreement between Guatemala and Belize to hold simultaneous referenda on 6 October, 2013 on referring their territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). He said: “I welcome the agreement, announced last Friday, by the Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala, to hold referenda on 6 October 2013 on the question of referring the Guatemala-Belize territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The UK supports the ICJ route as a means to finding a long-term and sustainable resolution which is acceptable to both states. The resolution of the territorial dispute continues to be a long-term priority for the UK. Our funding for the Organisation of American States (OAS) office in the Adjacency Zone, and our contributions to the legal fees fund to assist both countries during the ICJ process, confirm our long-standing support. This agreement is an important step towards increasing stability, development and trade in the region.”

“Trafficking in Persons: The Scale of the Challenge”
Belmopan, 7th May, 2012. On May 3rd and May 4th, 2012, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) facilitated a two-day colloquium for the Judges of the Supreme Court of Belize on the issue of trafficking in persons. The two-day colloquium had the following objectives:

Hon. John Saldivar continues Ministry Tour
The Minister of National Security, Honourable John Saldivar, met with members of the Belize Defence Force Volunteer Battalion, Immigration Department and Police as he continues his country wide tour.

Prime Minister Barrow in Good Health
The Office of the Prime Minister is pleased to inform the general public that Hon. Dean Barrow is in very good health and is presently in Miami accompanying his wife for medical treatment. It has come to this Office’s attention that mischievous rumors have been circulating to the contrary regarding his health. On occasions, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has experienced a very common medical condition known as vertigo, which causes dizziness. Three weeks ago, the start of Cabinet was delayed by half hour because the Prime Minister experienced one such episode. As a precaution, the staff called for a doctor to meet with the Prime Minister. He has since had a full check-up and received a clean bill of health. Hon. Dean Barrow continues his healthy exercise routine and does regular check-ups with his doctor.

Ministry of Health increases its Dental Services to Children with Special Needs
The Dental Department of the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Belize Center for the Visually Impaired (BCVI), Community Agency for Rehabilitation and Education for Persons with Disability (CARE) and the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) held a two day workshop on wellness care for Special Needs children on April 26th and 27th at the Stella Maris School in Belize City. The objective of the workshop was to certify dental surgeons to care for Special Needs Children. The workshop increased access of dental care for Special Olympics Athletes as well as children and adults with intellectual disabilities. At the conclusion of the workshop, dental surgeons and other professional doctors provided their services to approximately one hundred Special Needs Children at the Belize Elementary Gymnasium. This year, a total of 13 dental staff from the Ministry of Health participated as a part of Special Smiles. Special Smiles is a new component of the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes initiative. Founded in 1996, this program is designed to help athletes improve their health and fitness to improve their ability to train and compete in the Special Olympics. It also encourages dental and hygiene students as well as practicing dental professionals to volunteer to do screenings at Special Smiles events. Special appreciation is extended to all participating organizations and volunteers, Dr. Irvin McKenzie, Jamaica’s Chief Dental Surgeon and Mrs. Elodia Bautista, National Director Special Olympics Belize for organizing the event.

Child Friendly schools
The Ministry of Education is celebrating accomplishments in education over the next two weeks under the theme “Together: we achieve quality education for all.” Over the two-week observance the Ministry will be holding a series of events to highlight the strides that have been made in education. One of those will be the unveiling of a new initiative called the Quality Child- Friendly Schools Program on Monday, May 14th. The new initiative is geared at improving education at the primary school level by encouraging schools to look within and determine and chart a way to improve themselves. Through the program, schools will be guided at self-improvement with a specific focus on delivering on the curriculum. Areas of self-improvement include having teachers that care for their profession, having safe and healthy learning environments, encouraging community participation and having some level of quality assurance through effective inspectorate of the school. In 2009, the project was piloted in 9 schools with great success now the ministry hopes to expand the program to 30 schools across the country. The program will be officially launched on Monday May 14th.

Belize Telemedia to launch 4G Services in Belize
Looking at the ecological process that humankind has transitioned through, it is quite evident that communication is a requirement. It is predicted that when humans came into existence on earth, they did not know how to communicate with each other. They couldn’t speak any language; they had no idea of the use of body language and it was even more difficult to communicate with people who were at a distance. They couldn’t communicate so they faced hardships individually. Now, humankind wants to communicate on the go and one such communication environment is mobile communication. Mobile communication means communicating while on the move. There have been several developmental stages, such as, first generation (1G), second generation (2G), third generation (3G), and fourth generation (4G).

BTB announces New Board Of Directors
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is proud to announce the appointment of its new Board of Directors. On April 4, 2012, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture selected the ten member board, re-appointing three members from the last board and selecting six new board members. Serving the board as an ex-officio member is our newly appointed CEO of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Mrs. Tracy Panton. “The successful and sustainable development of our industry is dependent upon robust leadership and direction,” said the Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. “I strongly believe the new Board of Directors will be able to ensure positive growth in our tourism industry over the next year.” Drawn from discipline and expertise, these board members understand their key role in the continued development and achievements of the BTB, translating to an overall economic growth for the Belize Tourism Industry. The new Board Chair, Ian Lizarraga, says he is honored to be serving the industry in this new capacity. “It is paramount to position Belize globally as one of the most attractive emerging destinations, while ensuring efficiency and improved standards within the industry, and guaranteeing ease of entry for tourists entering Belize,” said Lizarraga. “Our first order of business, however, is to address the hiring of a new Director of Tourism and a new Marketing Director.” Mr. Lizarraga replaces the outgoing chairlady, Mariam Roberson from San Ignacio Resort. The BTB would like to thank its past chairlady and all past members of the BTB’s Board of Directors for their service and dedication to the Tourism Industry. A full listing of the new Board at the BTB is provided below: • Ian Lizarraga, Board Chair and Representative for the Belize Western Region of Belize; • Roger Espejo, Representative for the Belize City Council; • Gaspar Guerrero, Representative for San Pedro; • Einer Gomez, Belize Hotel Association Representative; • Neil Bradley, Representative for Caye Caulker and Outer Cayes; • James Scott, Belize Tourism Industry Association Representative; • Robert Pennel, Representative for the Southern Region of Belize; • Emil Arguelles, Attorney-at-Law; • Orlando de la Fuente, Representative for the Northern Region of Belize.

BELTRAIDE to open First Small Business Development Center in Belize
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) plans to open the first Small Business Development Center (SMDC) in Belize later this year. Starting a business is no easy task. There are many cases where the best ideas fell flat because of poor planning. SMDCs help entrepreneurs by assisting small businesses with financial, marketing, production, organization, engineering and technical assistance as well as providing feasibility studies. At the moment, BELTRAIDE already provides assistance upon request to aspiring entrepreneurs. However, there is much more that can be done to promote entrepreneurship in Belize. The SBDC Model is a proven model for success and representatives of BELTRAIDE, the Development Finance Corporation, the University of Belize, and other institutions are participating in a training program as Belize prepares to adapt the SBDC Model in order to help local small businesses.

Apprentices earn Full-Time Employment
Many of us have heard or uttered condemning words upon our youths about their desire to work and be productive citizens. We have labeled them lazy but perhaps that is just an excuse we have developed to not do our part to reach out and lend a hand. Since the United Democratic Party was elected to govern in 2008, young people have stepped up over and over again to prove that all they needed was an opportunity. The National Youth Apprenticeship Program held its second graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 3, and 45 young men and women graduated. In his 2010 budget speech entitled “Recovery Today, Prosperity Tomorrow”, Prime Minister Barrow reintroduced a National Youth Apprenticeship Programme. The program came to life through the lobbying of Hon. Patrick Faber, who saw the need for alternative educational opportunities for out-of-school at-risk youths and single mothers. Faber’s colleagues in Cabinet backed the program based on their knowledge of its past success under a UDP administration.

Students sit Second Half of PSE
On Monday, May 9, more than 7,000 students from across the country sat part two of the Primary School Examinations.

Belizean Scholar recognized by the ITC
Betty Jean Usher-Tate was selected by the International Test Commission for its prestigious ITC Scholar Program. The seven scholars recognized by the ITC for the July 2012 conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands are from: Pakistan, Malawi, Brazil, Philippines, Ukraine, Belize and China. In Amsterdam, Usher-Tate will present her work entitled "Reading Tests: A Decade of Sources of Validity Evidence".

Care Belize Signs MOU for better physical therapy in Belize
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Wednesday May 9th at the office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children in Belize City. The partnership agreement was signed by Evan Cowo, director CARE- Belize and Ruth Duggan, team leader for Team Canada Healing Hands. The agreement will involve consultation regarding the Belize Inspirational Centre, education programs in rehabilitation therapy, provision of Caregiver School programs and potential of supervision of rehabilitation students. CARE-Belize is an NGO that supports education, rehabilitation, advocacy, income generation activities for persons with disabilities in Belize. Team Canada Healing Hands is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the provision of rehabilitation education, training, and care in areas of need.

Bowen and Bowen Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Bowen and Bowen is celebrating its fifty-year anniversary as the bottlers of Coca Cola and related products in Belize. The company is perhaps the most celebrated corporate citizen in the country because of its many contributions to sports and community development. For its golden anniversary, Bowen and Bowen is presenting a fifty-piece art exhibition.

Diabetes Association creates Diabetes Registry
Whenever the topic of diabetes comes up and there are requests on official statistics, they are almost never available with any precise numbers. The Belize Diabetes Association is attempting to change that with a new project entitled the Management of Diabetes in Youth (MODIY) Project.

Hicatee Closed Season
The Belize Fisheries Department is hereby reminding the public that the closed season for Hicatee is from May 1st to May 31st, 2012. The Department is also informing all restaurants, food vending establishments and the public that the purchase or sale of the Hicatee (including its products such as cooked meat) is prohibited under the Fisheries Laws. The following laws are applicable: No person shall: (a) have in his possession more than three such turtles at any one time; (b) transport on any vehicle more than five such turtles; (c) fish for such turtles during the period from 1st May to the 31st May inclusive in any year; (d) fish for females of such turtles greater than 43cm (17.2 in) and smaller than 38cm (15.2 in); (e) fish for such turtles in any of the areas specified in the Fifth Schedule attached to these Regulations; (f) Sell or purchase such turtles. (g) Have in possession or use any ‘Hicatee Nets’. FIFTH SCHEDULE: Fishing for Hicatee in the following areas is prohibited: 1. Belize River: from Beaver Dam Creek to Labouring Creek; 2. New River: from Irish Creek to Water Bank; 3. Rio Bravo: upstream from Dos Bocas Dam, including Booth’s River; 4. Cox and Mucklehany Lagoons and headwaters of Mussel Creek; 5. Northern and Southern Lagoons and tributaries (Manatee lagoons and Manatee River); 6. Sibun River: between Ferguson Bank and Sibun Bar. Any person who contravenes any or part of the regulation in relation to the turtle locally known as ‘Hicatee’ commits an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both such fine and imprisonment. The Public is advised to call the Fisheries Department Enforcement Section at 224-4552 or 223-2623 to report on illegal fishing activities or further information.

Belize Humane Society introduces Subsidised Spay and Neuter Program
In an effort to limit the impact of unwanted breeding of the population of dogs and cats in the streets of the Old Capital, the Belize Humane Society and Animal Shelter (BHSAS) has introduced a subsidized spay and neuter program in Belize City. Under the program, BHSAS will pay 1/3 of the cost of spaying and neutering anyone’s dogs and cats at the Animal Medical Center (AMC) located off Victoria Street near Freetown Road. The animal’s owner would only be liable for the remainder of the normal costs of these operations at this leading veterinary practice. While the program has been initially implemented with the AMC, BHSAS intends to expand the scheme to include other vets in Belize City in the near future. The public should call AMC on 223-3781 to make the appointments, or for answers to any other questions about this program.

Marine Mammal Surveys 2012
The Coastal Zone Management Authority & Institute in the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries & Sustainable Development completed marine mammal aerial surveys along the entire coast of Belize. Nicole Auil Gomez led manatee surveys on April 3rd – 4th, and cetacean (dolphin and whale) surveys on April 13. The Oceanic Society carried out the surveys for the Turneffe Atoll on April 10th - 11th, led by Dr. Holly Edwards.

UNICEF hosts Visual Communication Workshop
UNICEF hosted a workshop at the Black Orchid Resort in Burrell Boom Village on visual communication from Monday, May 7 to Wednesday, May 9. Representatives from various social service organizations gathered in an effort to design different modalities for creating visible and informed changes in respect to issues impacting children in Belize.

Friend sets up Elvis Bevans; he’ll spend 5 years in Jail
Elvis Bevans was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment after being found guilty of keeping an unlicensed firearm, keeping unlicensed ammunition and keeping prohibited material. On Sunday May 22nd, 2011, Bevans was found in possession of a 9 millimeter pistol with an extended clip as well as 19 live rounds at the corner of Neal’s Pen and Kraal Roads in Belize City. Bevans’ case is one where he was found guilty because of doing a favor for a friend. In May of last year, 30-year-old Jermaine Garnett asked Bevans to do him a favor. Bevans was to take a gun from one location to another in order for it to be handed over to police. Shortly after he was moving the gun, police busted him. In the trial which concluded before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, Bevans was found guilty despite the fact that evidence suggested that he had been set up. Apparently, Garnett had made a deal with the police in exchange for not having charges brought against him regarding some drugs that had been found in his car earlier on.

Tourist busted with Crystal Meth
On Monday, May 8th, an American tourist appeared in Magistrate’s Court to answer to charges of drug possession. The tourist, David Michael Higgins, 44, entered Belize on an American Airlines flight 2145 with marijuana and Methamphetamine in his possession on Saturday May 3rd. An officer posted at the PGIA in Ladyville reported seeing a male person of Caucasian descent getting off an American Airline flight from Dallas, Texas, USA. The passenger was behaving suspiciously and as a result, the police officer approached Higgins, who was at the time in the presence of a Customs Officer. The officer approached the area and informed the Customs Officer that he needed to conduct a search on Higgins. He was then escorted by the Customs Officer to the Special Branch office at the PGIA where a search was conducted on him. Police found two small transparent plastic bags that were wrapped up in tissue inside his right front pocket. The bags contained what appeared to be methamphetamine and marijuana. Higgins appeared in Magistrate’s Court on Monday where he pleaded guilty to possession of .6 grams of cannabis. Due to the fact that the court requested drug certification to confirm the presence of the Class B drug, his case was adjourned for Tuesday. The results came back from the National Forensic Service and it concluded that they detected the presence of methamphetamine and that confirmatory analysis was pending. Higgins appeared before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith on Tuesday where he maintained his guilty plea and she fined him $1,000, which he was ordered to pay forthwith or in default 2 months imprisonment.

Herman Requena captures Pablo Marin Cycling Classic
The Belize Cycling Association in collaboration with the Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health and the Area Representative for the Corozal Bay Constituency sponsored the 7th Annual Pablo Marin Cycling Classic that was held on Tuesday May 1, 2012. In the Open Elite/Masters Category, the first rider to cross the finish line was Herman Requena of Benny’s Megabytes who completed the 80-miles-course in a time of 3:35:53. The second rider to cross the finish line was Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes, third place went to Robert Liam Stewart in a time of 3:38:17. Fourth place went to Quinton Hamilton in a time of 3:40:00, fifth place went to Darnell Barrow of Santino’s Belize, and sixth place went to Roger Troyer in a time of 3:40:15. Seventh place went to Shane Vasquez of Western Spirits also in a time of 3:40:15, eighth place went to Gregory Lovell of Santino’s Belize in a time of 3:41:41, ninth place went to Leroy Casasola also of Santino’s Belize in a time of 3:41:56 with tenth place going to Edgar Nissan Arana of C-Ray in a time of 3:41:56.

Boxing Federation to hold General meeting
The Belize Boxing Federation will be holding its General Assembly Meeting on Saturday, May 19, 2012, at 10:00 am at the offices of the National Sports Council at Rogers Stadium. The General Assembly will have as its main point on the agenda the elections of officers. The newly elected officers will then chart the way forward for the reviving of Boxing in the country. All Boxing personnel, trainers, boxers, fans and the interested person are invited to attend the Boxing General Assembly.

23rd Annual Women Cross Country Classic this Sunday
The 23rd Annual Women Cross Country Cycling Classic is scheduled for this Sunday May 13, 2012. The event is organised by the Belize Cycling Association under the regulations of the International Cycling Union. The race is scheduled to commence at 8:30 am from in front of Columbus Park in San Ignacio Town and will travel to the Memorial Park in Belize City where it will concludes. The Technical Meeting in connection with the 23rd Annual Women Cross Country Classic is scheduled for Thursday May 10, at 7:00 pm at the UWI Conference Room in Belize City. The first female rider to cross the finish line will receive $800.00, a trophy, garland, $500.00 BTL phone package and 2 Hot Stone Massages. The second place finisher will receive $600.00, a trophy, and lunch buffet for 2. The third place person will receive $400.00 and a trophy, 4th place will receive $125.00 and a trophy, 5th place will receive $75.00 and a trophy, while 6th -10th places will receive medals.

Laneisha Jones hurled perfect game
The 78th Belize City Senior Female Softball Competition continued at Rogers Stadium on Wednesday May 2, 2012, between Mirage Lady Rebels and Hurricanes. The air that night was not right for the ghosts of softball past to make their annual pilgrimage to the MECCA of Softball in Belize. But despite that, all the right ingredients for a perfect game were not there, however Mirage Lady Rebels’ Laneisha Jones had other things on her mind when she hurled her first ever PERFECT GAME in her softball career. Laneisha Jones, the starting and winning pitcher for Mirage Lady Rebels, faced the maximum batters that she could face 12 and returned all 12 batters. In the process, she recorded 8 strike outs and allowed 4 ground ball outs.

Placencia Assassins in driver’s seat
The first championship under the newly formed top football league of Belize will come to an end on Saturday May 12, 2012, at the Football Federation of Belize Stadium in Belmopan, when the Police United takes on the Placencia Assassins. In the first game of the two games series played on Saturday May 5, out at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, the home team Placencia Assassins edged the previously undefeated Police United by the score of 2-1 to take a 1 game lead in the championship series. The Placencia Assassins were the first to get on the scoreboard when Luis Torres scored the 1st goal of the game in the 35th minute of play to give his team an early 1-0 lead. That lead was further increased when Ashley Torres scored his team’s 2nd goal in the 43rd minute of play for a 2-0 lead. It was not until the second half of the game that the mighty Police offence was able to penetrate the Placencia Assassins’ defence when Evan Mariano scored his team’s only goal of the game in the 84th minute of play to cut the deficit in half. At the sound of the long whistle it was indeed a 2 -1 victory for the Placencia Assassins.

Primary Schools Softball heats up at Rogers Stadium
The 2012 Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition is well underway at Rogers Stadium with exciting games being played during the school week. On Tuesday May 8, in the female game played, Wesley Upper School defeated Muslim Community School by the score of 11-7. The winning pitcher was Shandy Vernon and the losing pitcher was Jaddah Sacasa. In the male game, it was St. Mary’s School winning over Wesley Upper School by the score of 18-7. The winning pitcher for St. Mary’s School was Christian Bailey and the losing pitcher was Jamal Augustus.

Cheaper Fuel is Possible
One gas station in Belize City has been proving for a year now that prices at the pump can be made cheaper if there is a concerted effort by all. Texaco Gas Station located at Mile 1 on the Northern Highway, has been offering 15 cents less on a gallon of any fuel purchased there during the week and 30 cents off on a gallon of any fuel purchased on the weekend. The big question in everyone’s mind is: how is this gas station is able to cut prices the way it does? In speaking with the managers for the station, the answer is simple, they are taking a hit on their bottom line. As it is, gas dealers’ take on Premium is 10.25% for premium or $1.09 per U.S. gallon; 11.15% on Regular or $1.04 per U.S. gallon; 11.75% on diesel or $1.04 and 10.6% or $0.82 on kerosene. In the past, the gas dealers’ take on gas was in the region of 7% but that was negotiated up to over 10%. The government already has brought down its import duties on fuel with premium being $3.16, regular $3.05 and Diesel $2.16; there is no duty on kerosene. Then there is a $0.17 environmental tax on all the fuels. All other taxes on fuel have been eliminated. The bottom line is that even while the world market prices of fuel cannot be controlled, there are small but meaningful ways that others can contribute to making fuel prices more bearable.

The Reporter

Editorial
A ruling handed down last week by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasburg declared that those persons in same-sex partnership cannot be expected to have the same rights and privileges as married couples. With regard to married couples, the court held the view that that in the light of social, personal and legal consequences of marriage, the situation (of same sex couples living together) could not be said to be comparable to that of married couples”. This civil ruling by the European Court is in harmony with religious teaching of many churches which maintain that sexual expression through sexual intercourse and especially through procreation have their proper place within marriage, between and a man and a woman, as expressed through their pledge of vows. The Strasburg ruling also made it clear that if governments decide to accept gay marriage as part of their legal system, they will not be able to discriminate between a man-and-man marriage and a man-with-a-woman, or marriage between a woman with a woman and a woman with a man.

Elvis Bevans convicted for gun and ammo that police had arranged to pick up
Elvis “Hooligan” Bevans, 39, a barber of Belize City, will spend 5 years in prison, because he was found guilty of firearm and...

One man freed of firearm and ammunition charges, five others still behind bars
Five out of six persons who were remanded last month on firearm offences are still behind bars, even though Kent Lynch, 19, has already...

Three murders in one evening
Despite the beefed up Belize Defence Force and police patrols, two Belize City men, Leon Palacio and Jason Canto, and James Hyde of...

Oceana seeks judicial review on referandum petition
Oceana, joined by private citizens Tom Greenwood and Audrey Bradley, applied for leave from the Supreme Court to file a judicial review...

Kevin Kelly died from blows to abdomen
The results of an autopsy performed on Kevin “Boco-T” Kelly 12 days after he died in police custody on San Pedro, has his family...

Campol vs DPP over Guat gunman
Acting Commissioner of Police David Henderson has locked horns with Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal over Guatemalan...

Hon. Lisel Alamilla honored with prestiegeous Whitley award
by Benjamin Flowers Senator Hon. Lisell Alamilla, the minister of Forestry, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development, has won the...

Bishop Christopher Clancey elevated to Auxiliary Bishop of Belize City and Belmopan
Thousands of the faithful Catholics from all over Belize flocked to the St John’s College Gymnasium last Saturday morning, May...

Lose weight without side effects
Losing weight has been a major concern for many in the 21st century. World broadcasting CNN news report showed on the first day of this...

Donate your blood and make a difference
What is blood donation? — Blood donation is the term doctors use when a person gives (donates) blood. A person who donates blood is...

Placencia plugs Police 2-1 in Premier League championship finals
The Placencia Assassins plugged the Police United Football Club 2-1 in the first game of the championship finals of the 2012 Premier League...

Lady Jaguars & Rebels win in Belize City volleyball
Defending champions Lady Jaguars and Male Rebels enjoyed victories when the Belize District Volleyball Association’s Division 1...

World Cup venues will be ready, Brazil tells FIFA
FIFA, football’s world governing body, has no reason to worry about preparations for the 2014 World Cup, Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo...

Puerto Rico aims to become fully bilingual by 2022
The governor of Puerto Rico is trying to do what more than a century of American citizenship has failed to accomplish: make Puerto Ricans...

Blogs

Spread the word ……….. great events helping excellent projects!!
With Ambergris Caye being such a fun place it only stands to reason that this island has some of the best fundraisers. Below is information on 2 really fun events starting this weekend and May 27th, to put on your to do list. The St. IV and V class at the Island Academy is having a GARAGE SALE on Saturday, May 12 from 9am-12noon on the lot next to Asian Garden Spa. Benefiting – Mama Vilma’s Family Home and Liberty Children’s Home both excellent projects. Needed – stuff to sell (spring cleaning anybody?) Donations can be dropped at Asian Garden Day Spa until May 11. and people to come and buy ……!

Oh My Cashew!! (OMC): The Fruit, The juice, and a Cashew Cake that you'd ask for as a last meal...
Mmmmm Cashews...now, everytime u say cashew MOST people think of the nut, then again most people don't know the cashew is a fruit and well let's just say it's interesting. Ok, Here is what a Cashew Fruit look like. The greyish, blackish, green color Kidney Bean looking Seed on the top is actually what produces the cashew nut. But wait, don't just grab this thing and eat it now, it's actually very poisonous and actually needs to be roasted whole outside in the open because while roasting in a big bathe pan (is what traditionally they roast cashews in) the smoke can also cause severe damage to your lungs. You see it is actually a carcinogen...(its bad). But, once roasted the nut is shelled and let me tell you delicious and the fruit (we call it the apple). Now, there's the nut that almost everyone in the world knows but then there's the fruit...what does it taste like? what is the texture? what the hell do you do with it? OK first question, Cashew is bitter & tart and sweet and really juicey ( the juice staines clothes and doesnt come out beware!). Texture? stringy but not too stringy, really juicy, and soft kinda like a soft pineapple...NOW, for the fun part...what do you do with the fruit other than stick it in the fruidge for it to get cold on a hot day then eat the sucker!

The Bark Beater – An Ancient Maya Tool
Bark beaters are tools developed by the Maya, very much like a meat tenderizer, used to make bark cloth. Other uses include the production of paper, clothing, bedding, mosquito nets and dance masks as well as plastering walls. Bark beaters were made of limestone, wood, ground stone, and even sea shells and their size and shape vary depending on their use. Some bark beaters had long handles and others had an encircling groove around the sides so that they would fit in one hand. This simple, multi-use utilitarian tool was not exclusively invented or used by the Maya since many civilizations and people around the globe and over time have used similar tools. Bark beaters were however important to the Maya for daily use and in present times are important for archaeologists to better understand the great Maya civilization.

Happy Mother’s Day!!
Whether you are a mother or you have a mother, Mother’s Day is a day to be recognized and celebrate the beauty of mothers and motherhood. Mothers Day is celebrated on a variety of different dates around the world – today is 10th May and in Central America, this is the official day of celebration (although many will celebrate on Sunday too)!! Although for many reading this today may not be their countries actual Mothers Day, the sentiments remain the same whatever day of the year and therefore we give thanks to all mothers and indeed grandmothers around the world! No Love like a Mother’s Love There is no love, like a mother’s love, no stronger bond on earth… like the precious bond that comes from God, to a mother, when she gives birth. A mother’s love is forever strong, never changing for all time… and when her children need her most, a mother’s love will shine. God bless these special mothers, God bless them every one… for all the tears and heartache, and for the special work they’ve done. When her days on earth are over, a mother’s love lives on… through many generations, with God’s blessings on each one. Be thankful for our mothers, for they love with a higher love… from the power God has given, and the strength from up above. by Jill Lemming To all our Raggamuffin Mothers as well as all those mothers of Raggamuffins – we shout out loud and proud – Happy Mothers Day from Caye Caulker!!!

Fundraisers for Mama Vilma's Family House and Liberty Children's Home this Month
I wanted to help Tacogirl spread the word about two great events happening this month on Ambergris Caye. There will be two fundraiser events benefiting Mama Vilma's Family Home and Liberty Children's Home that you will not want to miss. Starting this weekend the St. IV and V class at the lsland Academy is having a garage sale on Saturday, May 12th from 9:00am until 12 noon and it will be located on the lot next to Asian Garden Spa. They need garage sale items, so if you have any donations, they can be dropped off at Asian Garden Spa until now until May 11th. All proceeds of this sale go to Mama Vilma's Family Home and Liberty Children's Home. Mama Vilma’s Family Home provides disenfranchised families and children with temporary housing, food, medical care, counseling and education to foster their connection with the San Pedro community and assist with developing a strong family unit. Liberty Children’s Home is a sanctuary for children in need, providing a natural loving, nurturing environment, and a high standard of education. Situated in Ladyville, on the outskirts of Belize City, Belize, Central America. Liberty is a refuge for abused, neglected and abandoned children from throughout Belize. It is unique in its commitment to child-centered care and education.

International Sources

The truth behind the 'Maya apocalypse'
Anyone still sweating a Dec. 21, 2012 winter solstice End of the World courtesy of the ancient Maya calendar may want to consider a trip here, to the storied Penn Museum. Opening this weekend, the "Maya 2012: Lords of Time" exhibition comes complete with panels debunking all sorts of buncombe about the Maya, from doomsday calendar predictions to their "disappearance." "The reality about the Maya is far more interesting than any of the stories out there about them," says curator and archeologist Loa Traxler of the University of Pennsylvania. "There are still 7 million Maya people living in the world today. So we can learn from the descendants of the classic Maya about their cultural beliefs and inheritance," Traxler says. Starting, as the exhibit notes, with the absence of any expectations of the world ending. Rather than springing from the Maya themselves, the idea gained traction with the 2006 book, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, by Daniel Pinchbeck, which prophesied big doings for this year, a prediction followed in more doom-saying books by various authors and the critically-panned disaster flick 2012. (Another underpinning of the 2012 apocalypse idea is the suggestion that a stone panel from the Maya site of Tortuguero predicts the end of the world this year. This appears to be a bad translation of a damaged inscription that might not even have the year right, according to University of Texas archeologist David Stuart, author of The Order of Days: The Maya World and the Truth about 2012.)

Chasing Birds And Sharks In Belize
When the subject of my daughter's high school spring break came up earlier this year, the family discussion turned to getting away for a week -- someplace easy to get to, fairly inexpensive and beachy. Hawaii was the frontrunner, but we decided we wanted something more exotic. It was that impulse that led us to Belize, the tiny Central American nation just below Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on the western most part of the Caribbean. About the only thing we knew about Belize was that it was a destination for scuba divers, snorkelers and fishers. After some research, we looked west to Belize's interior and eventually embarked on one of our most memorable adventures, driving three hours from Belize City's International Airport to a 7,200 acre private reserve in the Mountain Pine Ridge area of the Cayo District, not far from the Guatemalan border. Over four days, we hiked through dense tropical jungle on well-maintained trails to spectacular waterfalls, swam in crystal clear pools beneath the falls, explored caves both on foot and in canoes, watched huge Turkey and King Vultures glide over 1,000-foot escarpments, and scampered up the sides of the mystery- and jungle-enshrouded Caracol Mayan ruins. At times, as we bumped along rutted dirt roads in our guide's SUV or swam in waterfall pools, gazing straight up sheer stone walls covered in dense jungle vines, we felt as if we were in an Indiana Jones movie.

Plastic Seas Altering Marine Ecology
Plastic trash is altering the very ecology of the world's oceans. Insects called "sea skaters", a relative of pond water striders, are now laying their eggs on the abundant fingernail-sized pieces of plastic floating in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean instead of relying on a passing seabird feather or bit of driftwood. With an average of 10 bits of plastic per cubic metre of seawater, there are now plenty of places for sea skaters to lay eggs in a remote region known as the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, 1,500 kilometres west of North America. Not surprisingly, egg densities have soared, a new study has found. "We're seeing changes in this marine insect that can be directly attributed to the plastic," says Miriam Goldstein, study co-author and graduate student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. This is the first proof that plastics in the open ocean are affecting marine invertebrates (animals without a backbone), which will have consequences for the entire marine food web.

AmyLynn Flood
Your proudest professional moment: Two moments stand out … making partner in 2007 and participating in “Project Belize” last July. The experience in Belize ...


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