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#439893 - 06/06/12 02:21 PM Today's Belize News: June 6, 2012
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El Pescador Fishing Report, June 3, 2012
What a week! Huge congratulations to Captain Cesar for being the first Belizean to become a Certified Casting Instructor by The Fly Fishing Federation. His certificate is signed by one of his testers, Tim Rajeff. Tim is well known in fly fishing as a world champion fly caster. He grew up casting at the Golden Gate Casting Club in San Fransciso with Mel Krieger down the street. Cesar is a second generation San Pedrano guide who loves to cast. He consistently wins any casting competition he enters. Casting ~ reaching beyond borders and generations. The other huge kudo goes out to Ali. Ali is doing an incredible job coaching the guide team toward this goal of certification. The feeling around here has been electric. And then we all thanked Tim Rajeff and Katherine Hart for spending the week with us here at El Pescador. They conducted four afternoon clinics for the guides, and guests participated as well. It’s not everyday you have a world champion show up and share what they know. Katherine is a Master Certified Instructor and also competes. We got to know each other in fly casting competition and now our friendship continues with our fishing. Anglers this week had disappointment with the weather, but we were able to learn from each other and that might not be a big fish, but it’s worth a lot.


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

The San Pedro Sun

Launch of “National Training Programme for Protected Areas Management”
Belmopan, 4th, June, 2012. The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development through a collaborative effort with the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) of the University of Belize will be launching the National Training Programme for Protected Areas Management on Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. at the Belmopan Hotel. The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Honorable Lisel Alamilla, will deliver the keynote address. The National Training Programme for Protected Areas Management has been developed as a part of a project entitled “Strengthening National Capacities for the Operationalization, Consolidation, and Sustainability of Belize’s Protected Areas System” which demonstrates the Government of Belize’s commitment to continued support for protected areas management in Belize. The project is being implemented by the National Protected Areas Secretariat in conjunction with the Fisheries and Forest Departments with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) via the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Additional financial support for the National Training Programme is provided by the Protected Areas Conservation Trust, University of Belize and the Oak Foundation.

No foul play is suspected on the body of man found on a dock
San Pedro Police do not suspect foul play in the death of a San Pedro resident. 41 year old Oscar Velasquez, of no fixed address, was discovered dead shortly before 6PM on Tuesday, June 5th on a dock situated along the lagoon side of San Pedro Town commonly referred to as El Embarcadero area. According to San Pedro Police, they responded to a call and visited a dock situated on the San Pedro Lagoon off Nurse Shark Street. Upon arrival at about 5:35PM, they observed the motionless body of a Hispanic person, later identified as Velasquez, lying face up on a dock belonging to a local tour company. Preliminary Police investigations reveal that sometime around 3PM, Velasquez was in the company of his “regular hang out friends,” when he began complaining of severe abdominal pain. Rudolph Neal, one of his friends told police, that after Velasquez’s pain continued, he took him out of the sun and placed him under the shade on the dock. After checking on him at about 5:30PM, he realized that Velasquez was motionless.

Photos: John Greif II Airstrip upgrade almost completed
Work at the John Greif II Airstrip in San Pedro is slowly winding down and should be completed within the next month. The confirmation was made by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Hon. Edmund “Clear the land” Castro. In December of 2010 $3.7 million was secured for the project through the Central American Corporation for Air Navigation Services (COCESNA). The project started in January of 2011 and was scheduled for completion by July however progress was delayed several times due to weather. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Castro explained that works are almost completed and the new rehabilitated runway should be officially commissioned by July 2012. The rehabilitation on the John Greif II Airstrip was conducted in two phases. The fencing which was done by Graniel’s Construction and the runway and lighting by Rodla’s Construction, which were supervised by Thurton and Associates Engineering Firm through COCESNA in Belize. A total length of 2800 feet by 46 feet of runway has been resurfaced using hot mix material that was barged in from the mainland. When officially commissioned, the airstrip will have complete fencing around the entire runway to prevent people from walking across the landing area. It will have world standard runway and pad lights to accommodate night flights especially during emergencies. The project, which started under the auspices of former Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., is important for the tourism industry in Belize. According to Minister Castro, because the John Greif II Airstrip is one of the busiest in Belize and the region, making it up to “world standard” was important. Castro said that “San Pedro has the busiest airstrip in the entire region, not just in the country of Belize so it’s very important that we upgrade this airstrip in San Pedro and bring it up to world class standards. Basically what we are doing is moving away from the chip and seal or chip and tar situation for the airstrips. We are using the hot mix. So it’s a little bit more costly but nevertheless that’s the standard now that we are trying to use on all the airstrips in the country because it will lasts longer.”

The Island Academy Graduates eight
Kicking off the ever busy “Graduation Season”, The Island Academy (TIA) was the first to hold its graduation with its annual end of year ceremony. On the morning of June 1, 2012, eight students marched to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance, facing the gathered well-wishers on hand to celebrate their scholastic achievement. Lady Dixie Bowen, Principal of TIA, welcomed everyone with a warm smile and short speech. As customary, there were pre-graduation ceremony issues to deal with, including the handing out of awards to the top students from each class. Ranging from such awards as “Grammatical Guru”, “Master Mathematician”, “Remarkable Reader” to “Mad Scientist”, students were called to the podium to receive their awards from their teachers. Some students, including Leanne Vega and Reign Ackerley, positively cleaned up in the academic department, taking top awards in nearly all subjects. There were several community awards given out as well, especially to the Standards IV and V classes, who raised over $1,500 and decided to donate the proceeds evenly to two worthy causes: Mama Vilma Family Home and Liberty Children’s Home.

Man stabbed in San Pedro over the weekend
A San Pedro resident was attacked and stabbed on the night of Sunday June 3rd. The victim is 34 year old Cruz Garcia, a Belizean construction worker of a Blake Street address in San Pedro Town. Garcia was apparently attack and stabbed in the neck while heading to his home from the store on Coconut Drive. According to Police, sometime around 10:05PM on June 3rd, they were called to the Ambergris Hope Clinic where they observed a man, later identified as Garcia, undergoing treatment for what appeared to be an injury to the neck. Preliminary Police investigation reveals that between 9:40PM and 10PM on Saturday night, Garcia was returning home from Marina’s Store situated on Coconut Drive. While walking home Garcia was attack by a man described as a dark skinned person with dreads. Garcia told police that his attacker injured him with a sharp object.

Ambergris Today

BTIA President Jim Scott’s Challenge for a Good Cause
He is President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association and a devout member of the Rotary Club of Belize. Everybody knows him as the "Si Se Puede/Yes I Can" man of Belize because of his positive attitude and cheerful personality. Mr. Jim Scott is a well known personality in the tourism industry and is also a humanitarian. By the end of this year, Mr. Scott will turn 50 on November 25, 2012, and he plans to celebrate not only for himself, but also for a cause that he holds dear to his heart. On his birthday Jim will be partaking in the Lion Man Competition in Cozumel, Mexico and at the same time aims to raise $50,000 in funds for his own cause – Iron Cause for Iron Kids. This is his personal campaign to raise funds for the renovation and expansion of the Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center in Belize (DMCCC). Since his birthday last year Jim has been working hard and focusing on his goal for the Iron Man Competition.

Launch of “National Training Program for Protected Areas Management”
The overarching goal of the National Training Program for Protected Areas Management in Belize is to develop national capacity for protected areas management to enhance and sustain management of the National Protected Areas System which contributes greatly to our national development. The main objective of the training program is to establish effective institutional capacity within Protected Areas (PAs) Management Organizations for strategic planning, program development and implementation and long-term sustainability. This objective will be achieved through the delivery of applied training to build capacity under the priority areas identified in the National Training Needs Assessment for PAs Management completed in 2011. Implementation of a national training program aimed at improving national protected areas management capacity is significant, not only at a national scale, but also at a global scale. This is highlighted by the fact that the implementation of the national training program falls under the overall framework of the National Protected Areas Policy and System Plan which specifically addresses the national needs of protected areas while contributing to meeting Belize’s commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Program of Work on Protected Areas (PoWPA). For more information please contact: Contact person: Mr. Alfredo Cruz, Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries & Sustainable Development, 2nd Floor, West Block Building, Belmopan Tel #: 501-822-0810 or 501-822-0401

Flashback: Las Leonas As Strong As The Lions
Las Leonas- this was how the wives of the Lions were referred to when the San Pedro Lions Club was founded in 1975. These lovely ladies certainly don’t look like ‘Leonas’ or Lioness but they certainly worked hard along with the Lion members to make of this club a success. Seated at the front of Ovidio Guerrero’s Skin Diver’s Club at the front were distinguished Sanpedranas like Leni Alamilla, Elma Gonzalez, Addy Gomez, Argelia Forman(+), Nila Munoz, Sylvia Gonzalez, Lala Alamilla(+), Mathy Gonzalez, and Neydy Salazar. Indeed their husbands were founding members of the San Pedro Lions Club. Skin Diver’s was a bar located downstairs of Martha’s Hotel where Publics Two is presently located. Those were happy days for Lions and moments when they were considered the top club among sixteen other clubs in the country. Many Lions are sadly missed today like: Adolfo Ayuso, Arturo Mora, Allan Forman, Reynaldo Squires, Felipe Paz, Tabito Alamilla, Fedo Alamilla, and Joe Alamilla.

Misc Belizean Sources

The Belize weekly newsletter published by the Gov Info Service, Jan 1965
In 1961, there were 35,490 visitors and in 1964 we had 57,640

Robbery at Toledo's Teacher's Credit Union Bella Vista Branch
On Monday 4th June, 2012 at 8:48am Independence Police responded to a robbery in progress at the Toledo Teacher’s Credit Union Branch (TTCU), Bella Vista Village, Stann Creek District. Barry BARDALEZ, 46yrs, Manager reported that on sometime between 8:30am and 8:45am whilst inside the credit union along with other employees and about twenty customers, when three armed men, two of whom were masked were armed with what appeared to be M16 rifles and the other un-masked armed with what appeared to be a 9MM pistol entered the credit union pointing their firearms at the credit union employees and demanding money. Fearing for their lives, a cashier at the credit union opened the vault of the credit union, where he opened the safe and the robbers then helped themselves to an un-disclosed amount of Belize and US currency including coins, were placed inside a green military bag. The thieves then made good their escape in a 2008 green Toyota Hilux pick-up truck bearing license plate TOL-C-4051 valued at $75,000.00bcy, property of the credit union. BARDADLEZ then discovered that (2) 9MM pistols brand and serial number unknown with (15) live 9mm rounds each were also stolen valued at $6,500.00bcy. No one was injured. Whilst police were on investigation on Savannah Road, Independence Village in the vicinity of the Independence High School, they saw a dark blue Isuzu Trooper bearing license plate SC-D-1150 travelling from Independence Village towards Savannah Road and Southern Highway junction that was stopped and searched.

Santa Elena Meat Shop has a new Website
The Santa Elena Meat Shop has a new website. "Looking for Meat? Come to Santa Elena Meat Shop. We offer a varity of fresh and quality meat. We guarantee to satisy your meat needs."

Belize Zoo's Summer Conservation Camp
The Belize Zoo is doing their annual Summer Conservation Camp, and has spots for 30 kids between the ages of 12 and 17. It's on a first come first accept basis, so let them know soon. TBZ's FB page: Click here

Mayan Full Moon Ceremony yesterday at Lower Dover
Don Beto Cocom did a Maya Full Moon Ceremony yesterday at Lower Dover Field Station. It started at 4:00, and went until 6:00pm. Don Beto Cocom is a renowned healer from Bullet Tree Falls, and takes care of the Masewal Medicinal Trail. The Cornerstone Foundation and the Natural Healers Program are also cosponsors of the event.

Belizean Conch Fritters
Conch or Abalone is a delicacy of the sea. In Belize conch is usually made as a stew or soup, served with white rice or as an appetizer in the form of fritters. Conch Fritters are spicy with just a hint of conch. This appetizer can be eaten with dipping sauce or alone.

BTIA Disaster Preparedness Workshop 2012
The Belize Tourism Industry Association is inviting everyone to participate in the 2012 Disaster Preparedness Workshop. The goal of this Hurricane Preparedness Workshop is to inform participants about hurricane hazards and provide knowledge which can be used to take ACTION; “Preparation though education is less costly than learning through tragedy.” The workshop will focus on helping businesses within the tourism industry through learning the steps of action planning and plan implementation and is designed for managers, supervisors and key operations staff. Come and be a part of this informative event and learn of the various measures needed in mitigating disasters within our industry. Contact our BTIA Office on 10 North Park St. at 227-1144 or emails a.usher@btia.org, info@btia.org, for any queries or suggestions. Click the link below to download the workshop’s registration form: Hurricane Preparedness Workshop Registration Form

Channel 7

Unsanctioned Development In Wildlife Sancutary
A stop order has been issued to a developer who cut a massive canal right through a wildlife sanctuary. It's the Belize Central Corridor near mile 25 on the Western Highway. It connects the wild areas of Southern and Northern Belize and is used by Jaguars as they roam over a large area. But, a huge agricultural development - reportedly eighteen thousand acres of cane production - is in that same area - and the developer has trenched a massive canal to bring in water from the Belize River. Now, the project has no environmental clearance - and the Forestry Department just became aware of it a week ago - after the trenching was well underway with four excavators working overtime to build the canal - right through the biological corridor. A quite disturbed Forestry Minister, Lisel Alamilla today told us that a stop order has been issued post haste.

Lawmen Who Allegedly Robbed Credit Union Criminally Charged
Tonight, two police officers and a BDF soldier are spending their second night in detention after allegedly robbing a credit union in Southern Belize. At 8:30 yesterday morning, 20 customers were inside the Toledo Teacher's Credit Union Branch in Bella Vista Village in the Toledo District when three armed men, two of them masked and armed with what looked like M-16 rifles along with an unmasked man with a 9 millimetre pistol stormed in. The cashier opened the vault and the safe and the robbers stuffed an undisclosed amount of Belize and US dollars into a green military bag. The also stole two nine millimetre pistols.

GSU Catches Brazen Burglars
Around 4am on Monday morning, GSU officers responded to a burglary in progress at a residence on Dean Street. While inquiring with the house owner, they were informed that two men dressed in dark clothing and wearing a red and a black cap had burglarized her house the night before around midnight stealing her keys and some items. The same robbers returned at 4:00 am on Monday this time armed with firearms. A 12 year old minor was held up at gunpoint while the robbery was taking place. Her mother reported that while in the garage she heard noise's inside the house and upon checking she saw the robbers stealing her TV, fan, 2 bicycles and 2 cell phones from inside her house. Based on the description provided, GSU officers conducted a search at #98 East Canal which led to the recovery of all the items inside the house - while the two bicycles were found in an alley besides the residence. Also found at the house were a black cap and a red cap which were wet. The TV was also wet given that it had been raining. Two 17 year old Belizean minors of 98 East Canal, 19 year old Hugh Thomas of 23 Berkley Street, a 17 year old female of 37 Mahogany Heights and 19 year old Monica Ramclam of #98 East canal were all detained pending charges for handling stolen goods, burglary and aggravated burglary.

An In-depth Look At Flooding In Belize River Valley
Last night we showed you some of the damage that has been done along the old Northern Highway due to the heavy rains that poured down on Belize for about 10 days. Well tonight we will show you a more in-depth look at the destruction wrought by the very heavy rainfall. Robin Schaffer has the story... Robin Schaffer reporting Belizeans are trying to cope with the damage from the past couple of weeks. It was the kind of rain that turned roads into rivers, yards into moats and a watermelon patch into a pond. Indeed, this farmer had to take on the role of fisherman as he tried to salvage some of the waterlogged crops on the Old Northern Highway. Victor Padilla, Farmer in the River Valley "For Hurricane Mitch we had something similar but we never lost that much. We had invested around $15,000.00 in tomato and sweet pepper and whatever else you see at the farm. If I get like $3,000 back, that would be a lot. My losses I would call it about $12,000. I have to go look for a job or at least I need something to start over. Start to clean some land and start over again in higher lands." And it is not only the farmers who are suffering from the 10 day downpour. Residents were trapped in their houses as their yards were filled with water. And for those houses not on stilts, water has entered, flooding the house. Some residents have even taken to making makeshift bridges, precariously crossing planks thrown over from one relatively dry area to another. One resident expressed the hopelessness of her situation, saying that she simply cannot do anything. Resident of River Valley "I can't even get out of my house."

BSI To Sign A Major Investment Buy-out
BSI's financial woes may soon be over. It has embraced an investment proposal from an American Group, American Sugar Refining which wants to invest substantially in the company. The proposal is for an investment which includes approximately a 60Million US dollar injection of new equity which would make ASR the majority shareholder in BSI with 85% of the company's shares. It would also make a further 30 million US dollar investment to improve and expand the Tower Hill Factory. Broad based support came from BSI Management, the directors of the BEH Trust and the Belize Workers Union, who at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the beneficiaries of the BEH Trust a week ago voted almost unanimously to permit ASR to become the majority shareholder. The new injection of finance will slash the company's present debt burden, while the investment in the factory will result in a shorter crop duration which means that it will no longer be necessary to operate in the early stages of the rainy season. ASR is also expected to prompt the modernization of the industry. ASR owns five sugar mills in the United States, Dominican Republic and Mexico.

GSU Make Drug Bust In Cayo
The GSU found 1.6 kilos of weed in Santa Familia on Saturday - stashed in a bucket in an open lot next to a Primary School. The drugs were actually found in a pasture adjacent to the RC school opposite the residence of an alleged member of the gang called Calle 13 operating in that village. That operation was to target members of a gang calling themselves Calle 13 and 18th Street. There were two amounts in the bucket i.e. an amount that weighed 350 grams and another that weighed 1,250, yielding a combined total of 1.6 kgs. of cannabis. And while it is believed to belong to the gang personality, at the time of the search no one was in the area, so the drugs was labeled as found property.

More GSU Busts; This Time On Southside Belize City
And while that was the weekend in Cayo, this morning in the city, the GSU searched an enclosed yard used as a mechanic shop operated by Dane ENRIQUEZ at 10 Caesar Ridge Road. Present at the time of the search were 24 Ryan WELCOME, 22 year old Alexander UNDERWOOD, 23 year old Randy ALLEN, 26 year old Jordean JERGENSON, and 36 year old Derwin MIDDLETON, all employed as labourers with Ministry of Works. A search on Derwin MIDDLETON led to the discovery of 0.5 grams of cannabis inside his hands. MIDDLETON was arrested and charged with Possession of Controlled Drugs. Alexander UNDERWOOD was found with1 gram of cannabis inside his left front pocket. He also arrested and charged with Possession of Controlled Drugs. A further search of the yard, where the five persons were standing led to the discovery of two small transparent plastic bags which contained a total of 13 grams of cannabis. As a result, all persons were arrested and jointly charged with Possession of Control Drugs. In a pile of garbage in the same yard a black plastic bag which contained 36 grams of cannabis was found. As a result, all persons were again jointly charged with Possession of Control Drugs.

Mounting Worries For Missing Teenagers
Tonight two teenagers are still missing after 72 hours. They are Edwardo Alamilla and Charlie Espat. Both young men are 17 years old and have been missing since Saturday. According to Alamilla's mother, she last heard from her son on Saturday morning around 7:30 when he called and asked if she can buy him a boat ticket to return home to San Pedro. She did, but her son never made it on the boat. Her nephew Charlie Espat was along with her son and he is also missing. Alamilla's mother told us that both her son and nephew left San Ignacio on Saturday and headed to Belize City in a green car that had on an American license plate. A friend of the boys told the devastated mother that the two mentioned to him that they were going to visit a friend on George Street. Since then no one have seen neither boys nor the vehicle. Carmita Gonzales Espat, mother/aunt of missing boys "We tried to contact through the phone but they don't answer their phone from Saturday. The last time I heard from him was 7:30 the morning when he asks me to pay his passage from San Pedro for him to take the boat in Belize City at San Pedro Belize Express. I paid it and now he does not reach home. I don't know anything about it. I don't know anything about the vehicle. I just want to know if he is ok and for him to contact his mother or his grandmother because we worry about him. Or my nephew to contact his mother, we just want to know about them. Whoever sees them just call us or tell us because I am worrying about my son."

Belize Connect For Biden's Daughter
The International Children's Hospital has reached out to Belizeans on several different occasions to help children with deformities. Volunteers from this hospital have performed reconstructive surgery on children with cleft palates, deformed ears, and clubbed feet. Well, now, one it's volunteers has gotten married to the daughter of the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden. 30 year old Ashley Blazer Biden married Dr. Howard David Krein in Wilmington on Saturday. Krein is a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Pennsylvania, and Ashley Biden is a social worker for the Delaware Department of Services for Children. Jill Biden commented that the newlywed couple is passionate about helping the less privileged.

Figueroa has been tracking the number of jaguars that use the central corridor
"If you look Belize, the entire country, you have two huge conservation blocks. But in the central portion of Belize there is no connectivity, there is no corridors." Bart Harmsen "We need to know how these cats are moving around in this landscape and with this kind of knowledge, knowing how these cats are moving around, the Belize government will be able to shape policy of how they have to deal with these jaguars." Jules Vasquez reporting And as what are called apex predators, jaguars are critical to understanding the state of play of the surrounding environment. Omar Figueroa "The main reason behind using these cats is that as the apex predator they play a critical role in maintaining the structure and function of ecosystems. So when you devise a conservation policy, a natural resource policy, focused on these cats, you simultaneously protect a host of sympatric species. When you focus and you develop conservation policy, natural resource policy around this jaguar you are essentially protecting a host of other species, flora and fauna biodiversity in general." "Then we will better be able to start to gain some educated guesses as to how many jaguars we have in this country and really where the critical areas are that we need to protect for these cats. You could protect 50% of this country but you could be protecting, half of that you don't really need to protect. It could be an erroneous plan." And while tracking will fine tune plans, it will also tell us about this fascinating predator.

Channel 5

National Security’s finest, B.D.F. and Police Officers, charged for Credit Union Robbery
Three weeks ago on May fourteenth to be precise was the last time a police officer was arrested. The charge? Trying to corrupt another cop. Police officers have been arrested for murder and another infamous case was when several were charged in connection to the landing of a drug plane on the Southern Highway. So [...]

PG Sho Family members still in hospital after murder and chopping
In other news from the south, a home invasion on the outskirts of Punta Gorda town has left one man dead and two others hospitalized. Care-takers of Tropic Inn, the Sho family, was asleep when around four on Sunday morning a man entered the building and inflicted numerous chop wounds to three members of the [...]

Belize River Valley under water
Ten days of rains has caused flooding in the Belize River Valley. Farms in a number of communities have been affected. In the Maskall Area, the farmers have lost most of their crops of fruits and vegetables. The damage to crop is extensive and our news team had to trek through mud and rely on [...]

What is the most pressing problem the country is facing: crime and violence or the economic downturn?
Tonight’s question is: What is the most pressing problem the country is facing: crime and violence or the economic downturn? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at channel5belize.com. You can also send an email with your comments to questions@channel5belize.com.

Attorney Godfrey Smith weighs in on Belize/Guatemala Referendum
The date to hold simultaneous referenda to take the Belize/Guatemala claim to the International Court of Justice is set for October sixth, 2013. In both Belize and Guatemala, a massive education campaign is expected to commence to raise awareness on a decision whether the matter will land before the ICJ as the final measure to [...]

Possible opposing views within U.D.P. and P.U.P. on Referendum
The issue of how to resolve the territorial claim has been divisive among the public and in political parties. According to Smith, despite sensitization on the subject there may be opposing views within the ruling United Democratic Party as well as the Opposition.   Godfrey Smith, Attorney “I’m sure there must be some public awareness [...]

South Side Gangsters, AKA Ministry of Work employees, busted with weed
The Gang Suppression Unit made a bust of cannabis this morning when it searched an enclosed yard at Caesar Ridge Road housing a two storey building and a number of vehicles. Five persons, all employed by the Ministry of Works, and described as members of the Southside Gangsters, were present: Ryan Welcome, Alexander Underwood, Randy [...]

GSU busts duo who burglarized home
In another arrest by the GSU, nineteen year old Hugh Thomas and nineteen year old Monica Ramclam along with a seventeen year old were all detained pending charges of burglary, aggravated burglary and handling stolen goods. This is in connection with an incident at a house on Dean Street. The occupants reported that the house [...]

Security Guard says Tyrone Meighan pulled gun and fired shot at him
Eighteen year old Tyrone Meighan may have not thought much of the consequences of pulling out an illegal firearm and shooting at a security guard, but he will have some time in prison to reflect on his actions. This morning, Meighan; an unemployed resident of Banak Street, was arraigned before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart on [...]

Tulip theft and false name, but Bennett says he’s innocent
K-Park Supermarket on Sixth Street in King’s Park is popular with shoppers and shop lifters. But instead of hiding the stolen items, one thief tried to walk away with them in plain sight of the store owner. In the courtroom of Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, thirty-six year old Steve Bennett pleaded not guilty to [...]

Highlights of Festival of Arts
We’ve reported so far on the arrest of law enforcement officers, other crimes and flooding, but there’s something positive that has just concluded that shows talent of the youth. The annual National Festival of Arts, a showcase in the performing arts, culminated with a youth concert at the Bliss over the weekend. The event brought [...]

Film Festival to be launched with record number of entries
Fans of the cinema will be happy to know that the Belize International Film Festival is on the horizon. The seventh installation of the country’s only festival that praises the art of movie making, will take place from the thirteenth to the seventeenth of July. This year, a record number of films have been submitted [...]

World Environment Day observed in Belize
“Green Economy: Does It Include You?”, the universal theme for this year’s World Environment Day, encourages growth in income and employment driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution. It also aims to improve energy and resource efficiency, as well as prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. While issues [...]

Croc lounges in residential neighborhood
While our news crew was covering the city murders and shootings on Monday, they drove past North Creek on the South Side near Meggs Vehicle Repair Shop. Across the canal were two homes separated by a zinc fence. Below the fence a crocodile basked in the sunlight with its mouth agape. It showed no fear [...]

Transit of Venus across the Sun; 117 years in the making
A singular event today captured the attention of astronomers around the globe and those who simply follow the stars. A rare astronomical event that is known as the transit of Venus took place. It started this afternoon when a small dot began to move across the face of the Sun. The planet Venus was making [...]

LOVE FM

NATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM FOR MANAGEMENT OF PROTECTED AREAS TO BE LAUNCHED
The government of Belize has announced the launch of a national training program for protected areas management. The initiative is the collaborative effort of the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and the Environmental Research Institute of the Universit...

BELIZE POLICE DEPARTMENT TO RECEIVE DONATION FROM U.S. EMBASSY
A ceremony is planned for Wednesday morning in Belize City for the handing over of vehicles and equipment donated to the Belize Police department by the United States embassy. According to a statement from the US Embassy, the donation of seventeen vehicles will be used by the Bel...

TOLEDO TEACHERS CREDIT UNION RECUPERATES AFTER ARMED HOLD UP
The Toledo Teachers Credit Union, Bella Vista Branch is getting ready to resume full operation following the temporary closure. Correspondent Paul Mahung spoke with the manager of the financial institution this morning. PAUL MAHUNG, Correspondent “The temporar...

SEARCH CONTINUES FOR MISSING GIRL
Thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe from Santa Elena Cayo has been reported missing. According to her father Christopher Lowe, Jasmine, a scout was supposed to attend the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Belmopan last night with her colleagues but she never made it. Her father sa...

INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEERS RENDERS AID TO PRIMARY SCHOOL IN BELIZE
Holy Angels Primary School in the Pomona Valley is receiving a much needed facelift after some international volunteers are helping to beautify the school. Love News spoke with the Principal of the school, Frances Gongora who explained what’s happening. FRANCES GONGORA ...

TRAFFIC ACCIDENT ON THE WESTERN HIGHWAY
63-year-old Edwardo Tesecum was injured in a traffic accident earlier today on the Western highway. Belmopan Police responded to the scene of the accident between mile 48 and 49 on the Western Highway minutes before nine o’clock this morning. Police say they saw Tesec...

Monday, June 4 - POLICE NEWS
An early Sunday morning home invasion in Punta Gorda town has left three members of one family hospitalized in Belize City. Reports are that Jose Sho, believed to be in his 50’s, his wife forty nine year old Patricia Sho, and their son twenty four year old Samuel Sho, ...

SPECIAL CONSTABLES UNDERGO TRAINING
People who work as special constables in Dangriga were given special training over the weekend. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU – DANGRIGA CORRESPONDENT “A two-day Special Constable training was held over the weekend at the D...

CREDIT UNION IN TOLEDO ROBBED
An armed robbery occurred this morning at the Toledo Teacher’s Credit Union, Bella Vista Branch. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG – PUNTA GORDA CORRESPONDENT “Reliable reports indicate that the incident happen about 8:35 ...

PRIME MINISTER'S WIFE SLOWLY RECOVERS
Belize’s Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow is out of the hospital in Miami, Florida, USA. The announcement of the major development in her recovery was made in a statement issued this morning from the office of Prime Minister Dean Barrow. T...

SUGAR CROP SEASON ENDS
The end of the 2011 – 2012 sugar crop season has been announced. With the onset of the rainy season an agreement was made between farmers and the mill that the delivery of sugar cane to the factory will end on Thursday June 10. Up to last week 1,045,617 tons of cane had been grou...

CTV3

Locke Locked Up For Robbery
A man from the Corozal District is tonight behind bars after he walked into the Princess Hotel and Casino and robbed one of the cashiers of $5,000. Reports are that on Friday June 1STat around 4:59pm, 48 year old James Panta Locke entered the Princess Hotel and Casino located at the Northern Border, walked up to the money exchange gate, pushed his hands over the counter and stole approximately $5,000 from the cashier. As a result Locke was detained by Corozal Police and charged for the crime of robbery. The 48 year old appeared before the Corozal Magistrates Court this morning where he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison since he could not provide police with a proper address. Locke is scheduled to re-appear before the Corozal Magistrates Court on July 10th. Police were able to recover all the monies stolen

Corozalenos Join Hands To Combat Crime
Citizens for a Better Corozal Coalition was formed on April 22ndof this year. The group pledged that with the assistance of the community it would work along with the Corozal Police Station in order to reduce crime. Keeping in line with their aim this morning the coalition handed over several bicycles, batons, flashlights, and handcuffs to the Corozal Police Formation. Hipolito Novelo, Reporting Just about two months ago Corozal was plagued with numerous burglaries and robberies. Residents of the community feared that the misdemeanours would escalate to something far more serious and thus the “Citizens for a Better Corozal Coalition” was formed under the presidency of Henry Menzies. This morning, in an effort to reduce crime in the small town, the Citizens For a Better Corozal Coalition handed over several equipment’s to the Corozal Police Station. According to Menzies, much of the items donated were obtained with the kind assistance of the Corozal Community. Henry Menzies, President, Citizens for a Better Corozal Coalition “We got donations through the coalition from the business community and today we presented 5 bicycles, 7 hand cuffs, 7 batons and 7 flash lights to the police officers. This is a total value of $2,528 donations.”

Former Principal Of Bishop Martin High School Ordained As Priest
Ordination to priesthood takes place within the context of the Catholic Mass. It is a time of great joy and celebration on the part of the newly ordained priest, his family and friends, and all of those who have supported and encouraged him along the journey of his vocation. On Sunday afternoon a thanksgiving mass was held in honor of the newly ordained priest Father Rene Constanza who has chosen to follow in the righteous path of priesthood serving in the name of Jesus Christ. Janine Ayuso, Reporting Yesterday the La Inmaculada Catholic Church was filled with praise and songs of worship as Christians gathered in celebration of Orange Walks newly ordained priest Father Rene Constanza. A thanksgiving mass was conducted in honor of Father Constanza’s ordination which saw him celebrating his first church service at the La Inmaculada Catholic Church. The mass was carried out alongside four other priests who took part in the religious occasion. While Father Constanza’s six year journey to priesthood has finally come to an end, he says the journey towards serving God and his people has recently begun. Father Rene Constanza “Well it has been six years and six years of formation in several areas and it has been a grace filled moment after the ordination to be a part of people’s lives in the very difficult and the very happy moments of their lives and just to be present makes me humble. I’m humbled by the faith of others and I’m strengthened by my faith as well it feel good to be here in Orange Walk it feels good to be present and having celebrated a mass with the La Inmaculada Parish and the parishioners I am overwhelmed with joy I’m overwhelmed because this is the parish that saw me grow and this is the parish that also helped me nourish my faith in Jesus Christ and as I mentioned in today’s homily it is the community that gives rise to that individual and I’m grateful to all the community members the friends all the different persons that I met through out the years here in Orange Walk with the various organizations through the school through all sectors of life here in Orange Walk I’m very grateful because they have helped me nourish my faith in Jesus Christ and they have continuously been supportive through prayer.”

Help Age Honours Our Elderly Citizens
In 1983 the Help Age Centre in Orange Walk was formed to assist senior citizens in the community. Every year the centre hosts four events one of which is the annual fathers and mother’s day activity to commemorate the elderly for their contributions to the society. This past Sunday about 60 members gathered at the Help Age Centre located on Stadium Street where they spent the day celebrating their parenthood. Janine Ayuso, Reporting Yesterday elderly members of the community congregated at the ZenobiaMeggs Help Age Centre where they were escorted to their respective tables and seated for the entertainment that followed ahead. The socializing event opened the door for each golden citizen to catch up with old friends and share the memorable occasion. Everyone shared in the dinning, dancing and entertaining experience that took the spotlight. And taking part in the joyous occasion was Orange Walk Central Area Representative Hon. John Briceno whose speech was dedicated to all senior citizens.

Mission Milagros Offers Free Eye Care
Mission Miracle is a humanitarian social program created on July 8TH 2004 by the governments of Venezuela and Cuba to provide free eye care for patients in Latin America and the Caribbean experiencing visual health problems. The Venezuelan-Cuban anti-blindness program aims to restore the sight of 6,000,000 people in the region by 2015. The international program was implemented in 2008 here in Belize and has since aided hundreds of patients. After a brief pause Mission Milagros is back and the screening process for patients from the Orange Walk District took place yesterday at the Northern Regional Hospital. Gabriel Sanchez, Public Relations Officer, Republic of Venezuela “We are here today and Sunday in Orange Walk doing screening for the potential patients who are going to Venezuela to get an operation of cataracts and pterygium. What we have here is basically three doctors and they are going to be doing the screening. They select the patients and if the patients if in need of help then they are going to go to Venezuela in June 23rd for 15 days. The plan covers the plane ticket, in a private plane, also food, and lodging and of course the operation. So far we have seen 150 patients for the day.” The main goal of Mission Miracle is to assist the poorer populations and overcome the privatization of health care which prevents low income families from obtaining necessary eye treatment. Gabriel Sanchez, Public Relations Officer, Republic of Venezuela “Well it is from President Chavez and former President of Cuba, Fidel Castro that they had a vision. The vision was to help the health service in Latin America and the Caribbean. We just wanted to assist our brother nations by offering these services. Belize is part of Mission Miracle since 2008 and it is for anybody who doesn’t have the resources or the opportunity to get access to the operations. In some countries the operations is very expensive. The operation is covered by the government of Venezuela and I have to thanks the town council who worked with us in order to make this miracle happen.”

BHOC Showcases Belizean Talent
Yesterday the Banquitas House of Culture held another event which was geared at promoting Belizean Culture and talent. The riverside destination played witness to fun filled activities for both children and adults. Despite the rainy weather the event was well attended by Orange Walkenos who took part in the many games and activities that were organized for the day. According to Coordinator Yvette Torres the activities were a preview to a series of full moon concerts geared towards showcasing some of Belize’s talented singers and performers. Yvette Torres, Coordinator BHOC “We are doing the full moon concert and together with that we are doing the May Pole Dance and we are having a day filled with activity we have sack race, lime and spoon, water melon eating contest and the greasy pole which is gonna be a competition. We have a group of women who will be displaying and showing the process of how to do soy milk and later on in the evening for the full moon concert we will be having different signers on stage that will be showcasing their talent. We also have the artisans display and the different women’s group selling food and music for everyone’s entertainment. We decided that together since it was May we wanted to do the May Pole dace so we amalgamated all the activities together for the community to come out and have a fun day with the entire family.” Bringing back Mestizo culture into perspective, the traditional maypole dance was one of the highlights of the event that called for the attention of young Belizeans.

LOVE TV

Teenager accused of home invasion
A minor in Belize City was the victim of a home invasion allegedly orchestrated by another minor and a teenager. The twelve year old accompanied by her mother reported to police that around 11:50 pm on Sunday June third, while she was at home, two male persons entered the house and pointed a gun at her and her four younger siblings. The gun man demanded money, causing them to be in fear of their lives. The perpetrators walked away with two bicycles, two cell phones and a basket of assorted items. Police recovered the items and detained a seventeen year old laborer of Belize City, and nineteen year Hugh Thomas, an unemployed man from number twenty three Berkley Street for the crimes of burglary and handling stolen goods.

Cayo teen girl sexually assaulted by grown man
A fifteen year old minor from San Ignacio, visited the police station along with her mother on Sunday June third, to report an incident of carnal knowledge. The mother reported that in January, her daughter was having abdominal pain so she sent her to a mid-wife. When the girl came back she went to her bed and when the woman went to check on her later on, her daughter told her she felt like something was coming out of her. The minor was told to undress and something that resembled underdeveloped fetus was seen coming out of her vagina. When questioned as to who did that the girl answered that it was Cris Pinelo, a twenty four year old Laborer of seventh Street in San Ignacio Town. A medical examination was conducted on the girl and the doctor stated that her hymen was broken and ordered a pregnancy test to be done to her as soon as possible. Police are looking for Cris Pinelo.

Teen accused of aggravated burglary
18-year-old Tyrone Meighan, an unemployed of Banak Street was charged with aggravated assault and discharging a firearm in public when he appeared in court today. Mieghan pleaded not guilty to the charges. Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart explained to Meighan that the court cannot offer him bail because the offences were committed with a firearm. She remanded him into custody until July 5. The incident occurred around 12:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 2. 59-year-old Henry Lammey, a watchman for AES compound on Cemetery Road, reported to the police that that he was taking a nap on a pallet when he was awakened by the dogs barking. Lammey said when he looked he saw a person running between the two warehouses and firing shots in his direction. Lammey said he feared for his life so he remained silent. Lammey was unhurt.

Police detain alleged credit union robbers
Policemen charged. Five people, including two police officers and a BDF soldier are this afternoon in police detention on suspicion of being involved in the armed robbery of the Bella Vista branch of the Toledo Teachers Credit Union. Our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung reports. Meanwhile, the Toledo Teachers Credit Union, Bella Vista Branch is getting ready to resume full operation following the temporary closure. Correspondent Paul Mahung spoke with the manager of the financial institution this morning.

Cayo teen reported missing
Tonight worried parents and friends of a thirteen year old girl from Santa Elena Cayo are desperately searching for her. Thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe left home to go to her mother’s place of employment around mid-afternoon on Monday and has not been seen or heard from since. According to her father Christopher Lowe, Jasmine, who is a scout was supposed to attend the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Belmopan last night with her colleagues but she never made it. Her father says he did not realize she was missing until late at night when he contacted the group leader who told him she didn’t even show up in the first place. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Jasmine Lowe, you can call her family at telephone numbers: 824-2755 or 665-5693. You can also call 911 or the crime stoppers hotline at 0-800-922-8477.

Watching the Crooked Tree Lagoon
And while residents along the old Northern Highway continue to monitor the flood situation … their compatriots in Crooked Tree are also keeping a watchful eye on the lagoon. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo went across the causeway today to bring you the following story.

Flooding hits Belize Rural North communities hard Posted: 05 Jun 2012 06:36 PM PDT
On Monday, we told you about the misery residents of communities in the rural areas of the Belize district were experiencing because of flooding. The flood not only caused classes to be cancelled but also damaged a lot of crops and agriculture produce for farmers in the area. Area Representative for the Belize Rural North, Edmund Castro today gave Love News an update on the situation via telephone.

Toledo Credit Union held up and robbed
An armed robbery occurred this morning at the Toledo Teacher’s Credit Union, Bella Vista Branch. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. But while the robbers are out, so are the cops in restoring the peace. As the police press officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood updates, there are some detentions.

Scouts celebrate Queen’s diamond jubilee
A Beacon lighting ceremony was held last night by the Scout Association of Belize at the Governor General Field in Belmopan. The event was held as part of Belize’s commemoration of the diamond Jubilee for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second. During the ceremony Chief Scout Dr. Erasmo Franklin told the crowd that the beacon [...]

Man jailed on theft conviction
36-year-old Steven Bennett, a labourer charged with theft and a mischievous act, was sentenced to seven months for each offence after he pleaded guilty to the charges. Chief magistrate Ann Marie Smith who imposed the sentences stipulated that they should run concurrently so Bennett will serve seven months. The incident occurred yesterday at K Park [...]

Man charged for jacking bicycle at gunpoint
24-year-old Justin Richards a.k.a Owl, one of two persons who the police believe jacked a beach cruiser bicycle at gunpoint, was charged with robbery when he appeared in court today. Richards pleaded not guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith explained to him that the court cannot offer him bail because the offence [...]

Charges brought in burglary case
Two persons, one of them a 17-year-old boy were charged with burglary when they appeared in court today. The adult was 19-year-old Hugh Thomas, an unemployed. Thomas, the 17-year-old boy and two others, one of them a 17-year-old girl, were charged with handling stolen goods for a 29 inch color television that had a value [...]

PlusTV

Belize celebrates the Queen's Diamond Jubilee
The River Thames was dotted in red, white and blue on Sunday, as thousands celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Queen ...

Breast is best campaign sweeps Belmopan Hospital
Plastered on walls and display areas throughout the Western Regional Hospital were posters and displays promoting b...

Gospel Reggaeton duo "Triple Seven" to headline weekend concert
Belize Christian Revival is a newly formed group of volunteers and Pastors who have a vision and heart to create po...

High school student goes missing
Jasmine Lowe a 13 year old high school student was scheduled to participate in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Ceremony...

Minors held up at gunpoint in home invasion
There was a home invasion in Belize City where several minors were held up at gunpoint. A 12-year old minor of Beli...

Complainant of police victimization is jailed
Teenager, 18-year-old Tyrone Meighan, who claims that he has been harassed on numerous occasions by the police, is ...

15 year old suffers miscarriage
On Sunday morning (June 3) at 9:00am, a 15year old female girl of San Ignacio in the company of her mother made a p...

Man caught on bus trafficking cannabis
Dangriga Police intercepted a James Bus at Pomona Village on Sunday morning. A search was conducted in a black and ...

Princess Hotel bandit charged
A man from the Corozal District is today behind bars after he walked into the Princess Hotel and robbed one of the ...



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

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#439894 - 06/06/12 02:22 PM Re: Today's Belize News: June 6, 2012 [Re: Marty]
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Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Has An Outdoor Cinema…
They show movies nightly. Admission is BZ$ 10. There is a full bar on the premises. If you are looking for something fun to do especially on a moon-lit night, then maybe this is the place for you.

If you need bottled water, Adrian is your guy!
If you need 5-gallon bottles of water delivered to you where ever you are, then AGUA DULCE is your water, and Adrian is your go-to guy. If you see him passing by on the street, just wave him down, give him your order, tell me where to drop it off, and voila! Life on Caye Caulker is simple and easy!

Amandala

Armed cops, soldier robbed Toledo Teachers’ Credit Union in Bella Vista?
Police detain 4 persons, but won’t confirm who they are; security cameras disabled... Police, BDF officers involved? Independence police confirmed to Amandala this evening that four persons are detained for questioning in connection with a robbery reported this morning at the local branch of the Toledo Teachers’ Credit Union (TTCU) in Bella Vista, Toledo District.

Steve Williams, 51, killed “for nothing” on Elston Kerr and Iguana
Steve Williams, 51, was on an errand on Iguana Street for someone he knew. As the Pelican Street resident rode a borrowed red mountain bike on Elston Kerr going south toward the intersection with Iguana around 11:20 p.m., according to police, the sound of gunfire suddenly rang out as he turned onto Iguana.

Baby, 9 months, shot in taxi with mother, 19
Also shot was a man, 24... A gunman reportedly approached the taxi, a Geo Prism, from a side street and fired at the people inside, four adults and the baby. The gunman then ran back through the street and escaped into the night.

Bandits acting as police rob businessman at gunpoint
Omar Mitchell, a Belize City engineer, escaped with his life after he was held up at gunpoint and shot in his leg by two bandits who posed as policemen, and who stole his vehicle.

NICH’s technician, 35, murdered in his sleep
Police say no forced entry into the house; Rudy Cruz stabbed over 12 times... Rudy Noel Cruz, 35, of Allan Pitts Crescent in the Port Loyola area, was found dead on his blood-soaked mattress on his bed with over 12 stab wounds to the body, around 6:30 a.m. on Friday, June 1.

Buttonwood Bay Nazarene girls and St. Martin De Porres boys are Belize City Primary School Softball Champions
The Belize City Primary School Softball Tournament concluded on Friday, June 1, at the MCC Grounds with female and male championship matches played.

TIDE Freshwater Cup results & plans, semifinals and finals
The TIDE Annual Freshwater Cup competition is now coming closer to its end for this year. There are also proposed plans/dates for the Semifinals and Finals for the senior competition.

FFB President on nationwide tour
The President of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), Ruperto Vicente has started a nationwide tour of all football districts. The aim of the tour is to meet with the Chairmen and Executive of the Associations in order to listen to their concerns and recommendations as it relates to football. The President’s tour began yesterday, June 2, in Orange Walk, with his first stop being the Acuario Sports Bar, where he met with Rafael Avila, Chairman of the OWFA, and his Executive at 9:30 a.m.

Update from Harmonyville; more land for Belizeans
The original 1,300 acres of Harmonyville have all been surveyed and subdivided into six phases, and BGYEA is now negotiating with Government to move onto a larger, 2,900-acre parcel located in the same area, but which is presently occupied by non-BGYEA settlers with whom the group will negotiate as well.

10 named storms, 5 hurricanes, 2 major predicted
Two names storms, Alberto and Beryl, have already formed ahead of the official June 1 start-date of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. However, that does not mean that this year’s hurricane season is going to be significantly more active than the average year’s.

EDITORIAL: Early warning signs
In Jamaica, the news is that most of the public sector unions – except that of the teachers – have signed onto a wage freeze with the government of Jamaica. The Nurses Association of Jamaica, the Jamaica Civil Service Association and several other trade unions that represent various public sector groups have signed on the dotted line.

Lawrence Vernon offers complement to Janus of Sunday, June 3, 2010
As a complement to the piece on Words in “Ideas and Opinions” by Janus, in Amandala of June 3, 2012, I offer the following observation. I had some time ago attempted in an Amandala column to point out a few of the more commonly mispronounced words we hear on our airwaves, both locally and internationally. I repeat three such words/phrases here: Irregardless - this is a word that was coined in the U.S.A. in the early 20th century, and that many mistakenly believe to be correct usage in formal style, when in fact it is used mostly in nonstandard speech, or casual writing. In effect it is an erroneous word, etymologically speaking, which means the exact opposite of what it is intended to express — being probably a blend of IRRESPECTIVE and REGARDLESS. It has been considered a blunder for decades and will continue to be so, even to the extent of being used humorously.

Blogs

Mangoes EVERYWHERE: Driving from San Jose, Costa Rica to Panama
While Central America is relatively compact, the countries really start stretching out in the south...both Costa Rica and Panama are pretty long and skinny. I arrived in San Jose on Saturday evening, we planned to cross the border between Costa Rica and Panama on Monday morning and arrive in Coronado, Panama the same day. We had some driving to do. Let's get going. We woke up early, had our breakfast at the Hotel Aeropuerto, San Jose and paid the bill. It hit me...Costa Rica is expensive! $90USD for a hotel that should have been about $40. Gas per gallon is at almost $6 USD. But there is a reason that people flock to this country and pay a little bit extra. It is absolutely stunning. Mountains, neon green valleys, rushing rivers and waterfalls, trees bursting with flowers and fruit, happy looking cattle, water you can drink from the taps, well fed dogs and much less blatant poverty. All of that doesn't come for free. And look at this! RECYCLING. Totally impressive, Costa Rica. We took to the road. We wanted to make it close to the Costa Rica border by afternoon. Stay for the night and start out early the next day. (For all of you cringing that I was missing Costa Rica entirely...I get it. I pretty much was. But I HAVE been to Costa Rica before for 10 days a few years ago and I will be back...there is so much more to see.) We drove for about 5 hours and decided to stop in the port town of Golfito.

Stew Beef & Okra w/ Cilantro & Yellow Ginger Rice..." Mi eye too big for mi belly"
Now, Stew Beef is the 2nd favored meat side to Rice & Beans or White Rice & Stew Beans, which most will say is our National Dish and it might be but I personally Believe that here in Belize we have so many different ethnic groups that each dish needs recognition. The Creole will have their Rice & Beans dish, Garifuna might have Sere & Hudut, we have so many types of food and everyone has their recipe... I will share with you MY recipe for stewed beef. And while traditionally you serve this with rice & beans I have decided against it and went with something that is also local but less common, Yellow Ginger & Cilantro Rice. Now, traditionally stew beef has just beef, potatoes and onions and tomatoes...that is nice and all but...I tend to be a bit greedy with food...I want it all...or close to it so i have a general rule of thumb..."anything else that can go in goes in" Now, I know I've been off with my blogging but as I try to make it a weekly gig, work keeps getting in the way lol (just kidding I love my job) so a month later I bring you once again good yummy delicious FOOOOOOOOOD!

Chaa Creek Cheers New Chocolate News
Having highlighted the ancient Maya’s cultivation and use of cacao for many years, The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s Natural History Centre and Spa staff welcome recent scientific studies that once again point to the benefits of consuming chocolate, Spa manager Bryony Fleming said today. The new Australian study, supported by an Australian Research Council grant, used a mathematical model to predict the long term effects of daily dark chocolate consumption on people at risk of cardio vascular disease or stroke. The researchers concluded that yes, chocolate is good for you. “Dark chocolate may be a pleasant and effective way of delivering important dietary components that can provide health benefits to the ever increasing numbers of people at increased risk of cardiovascular disease,” researcher Christopher Reid, PhD, professor of cardiovascular epidemiology and preventive medicine at Monash University in Australia said this week. Reid’s team computed the number of heart attacks and strokes that would occur with and without the dark chocolate, and concluded that eating 100 grams of dark chocolate a day for ten years would prevent 70 nonfatal and 15 fatal heart attacks and strokes per 10,000 people over 10 years. Dr Joe Vinson, PhD, professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton in the USA and a long-time chocolate researcher, said that although the study had limitations in that “It’s all theoretical based on statistics,” even so, “It’s wonderful news again on the health effects of dark chocolate for people who have a little higher risk (of heart problems) than the normal person.” However, he recommends eating less than the 100 grams used in the model. He suggests about 40 grams, or about one chocolate bar, daily. Dr Reid suggested that the chocolate should be dark and at least 60%-70% cocoa. Ms Fleming said the study is further proof of what the ancient Maya knew all along. “The Maya were a very wise civilisation, one of the most advanced societies of their time. They would not have held chocolate, or xocoatl as it was known in Mesoamerica, in such high esteem over thousands of years if there wasn’t some reason for it,” she said. Ms Fleming said the Chaa Creek Spa uses chocolate in several natural therapies, including a chocolate wrap that has many of the active ingredients of cacao absorbed through the skin. “You can see people’s skin take on a glow, and they report feelings of peaceful wellbeing afterwards” she said, and pointed out that the Chaa Creek Maya Organic Farm, which supplies the eco-resort’s restaurant, grows cacao from local strains developed thousands of years ago in Belize. “There’s so much continuity with chocolate in Belize. Many of our staff are of Maya descent, and we’re using cacao their ancestors cultivated well before the birth of Christ and considered sacred because of its many benefits. And now, to have modern science confirm something that’s such an important part of our local Maya culture is very satisfying. “And, of course, it’s a proven fact that chocolate is delicious,” Ms Fleming said.

International Sources

British monarchy's long-lasting love affair with the sea
For ardent royalists and keen followers of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations, there could have been few more fitting tributes to the British monarch's abiding reign than Sunday's 1000-strong flotilla. The vast fleet of multi-colored, eccentrically-clad yachts - which included everything from ancient tall ships to Viking-style longboats -- was led by a gold-gilded barge carrying the queen herself, reflecting an intimate and centuries-old communion between the royal family and the high-seas. Throughout history, British monarchs have relied on the country's sea power to protect their kingdom and conquer new territories. During the 18th and 19th centuries their naval conquests ensured that the "sun never set" on its empire, but even though times have changed since then, the monarchy still enjoys a very special relationship with the symbolically titled Royal Navy. The queen's husband, Prince Philip, is its Lord High Admiral, while her son Charles holds the rank of Admiral -- having taken command of his own ship in 1976. Prince William is Sub Lieutenant and Commodore-in-Chief for Scotland and Submarines and completed an attachment with the Royal Navy in 2008.

Why the Queen Matters
A SIXTY-year reign: a span embracing 12 presidents, 6 popes, 12 British prime ministers — starting with Winston Churchill — the fall of the Berlin Wall, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the formation of the European Union, the end of the British Empire and the growth of a multiracial Commonwealth. But then Queen Elizabeth II has reigned, not ruled: hers is not a record in government. The modern monarchy does not begin wars or shape domestic policy. And so the inevitable questions, as Britain and the Commonwealth celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, are now in people’s minds. What, in fact, has she achieved? What difference has she made? How are we to measure her years on the throne? For several decades of the queen’s reign, British governments saw themselves in the business of “managing decline” — from empire and victory in World War II to the status of middling power. During this time the influence and the symbolism of the crown has been all-pervasive. The queen has not opposed change or helped Britain avoid change; what she has done instead is to enable change without despair. Her permanence has given the British the essential self-assurance they have needed. The poet Philip Larkin caught it well: In times when nothing stood But worsened, or grew strange, There was one constant good: She did not change.

Smith Team Departs for Summer on the Reef
As the Smith College Coral Reef Ed-Ventures Program enters its 13th year, students gear up for another fun and educational summer running youth camps in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, Belize. The Smith Coral Reef Ed-Centures 2012 team. Smith students lead Coral Reef Ed-Ventures participants in a group activity outside the San Pedro classroom. This year’s student participants—Angela Oliverio ’12 (majors: biological sciences and philosophy), Kaylyn Oates ’12 (geosciences and education and child study), Alyssa Stanek ’13 (psychology and education and child study), Kayla Clark ’14 (sociology and education and child study), Laura Malecky ’13 (study of women and gender), and Megan Svoboda ‘12 (anthropology)—along with faculty members David Smith, professor of biological sciences, Al Curran, professor emeritus of geosciences, and Denise Lello, lecturer in biological sciences, team up with personnel at the Belize Hol Chan Marine Reserve to provide educational summer programs to the local youth. The Smith team departed this week for a six-week stay on the Belize coast.

Hurricane Typhoon Season 2012
Message for U.S Citizens U.S. Embassy Belmopan, Belize. The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the hurricane and typhoon seasons in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recommends that those in hurricane- and typhoon-prone regions begin preparations for the upcoming seasons now. This Travel Alert expires on December 1, 2012. The Atlantic Basin, including the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico: Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center expects to see a near-normal hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin this year with a 70 percent chance of nine to fifteen named storms, including four to eight that will reach hurricane strength (with top winds of 74 mph or higher). Of those, one to three will become major hurricanes (with top winds of 111 mph or higher, ranking Category 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale).

Knocking on Heaven’s Shore: Bluefin Tuna Carrying Safe Fukushima Nuclear Radiation
So the momometer tells us of another huge news story: bluefin tuna have carried radiation leaked from Japan’s tsunami-damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant across the ocean to California, where fishermen are catching them. (The momometer, a Geiger-counter of news magnitude, is my 86-year old-mother, Rose. No computer. When she phones me to tell me she’s heard a news story, it means it’s huge. And this one is.) The significance: while Californians wait for currents to bring the floating debris of tsunami-devastated towns knocking on their heavenly shores, migratory animals such as tunas, albatrosses, sea turtles, and sharks are rocketing Fukushima nuclear plant radiation across the ocean. We know the whole world is connected, but we didn’t quite think about how some of the connectors travel awfully far awfully fast. Long before tsunami debris arrives on Golden State sands, some California sport fishermen are catching radiation packages. And so you ask, “Are the fish okay to eat?” Well, yes, because the amount of radiation — while elevated and definitely from Fukushima — is still miniscule, well below levels that give experts safety concerns (and I mean experts, not just government agencies). Another answer is, “Well, no,” because they carry enough mercury to make you sick; that’s a different issue. The mercury comes not from nuclear plants but from coal. And if you don’t know where your bluefin originates, remember that Atlantic bluefin — of no concern regarding radiation — share the mercury problem plus are deeply depleted by overfishing. So another answer is, “It depends on what you mean by okay.” If you mean just the radiation, then yes, they’re okay to eat. (The fish, if they could, might ask you to remember that it’s also okay not to eat them.) The radiation work was done by some of my colleagues at Stony Brook University on Long Island, where I have a desk, and Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Lab in Monterey, Calif., where I’ve occasionally encountered a welcome mat. That is to say that when my mother phoned, I did not let on that I’d actually known about the Fukushima-tuna-radiation link for months but had been sworn to professional secrecy. Now the scientific review process has done its thing, resulting in the publication and unveiling of the results, and my mother has heard the news, so I am free to spill a few more beans.

Insight: Dengue Vaccine in Sight, After 70 Years
(Reuters) - One of the grimmest legacies of the war in the Pacific is still being fought 70 years on, but a victory over dengue, the intensely painful "breakbone fever" which that conflict helped spread around the world, may be in sight. The U.S. Army, which like its Japanese enemy lost thousands of men to the mosquito-borne disease in the 1940s, has piled resources into defeating the tropical killer. But it may be about to see the battle to develop the first vaccine won not in the United States but by French drug company Sanofi. The Paris-based firm hopes for positive results in September from a key trial among children in Thailand that would set it on course to market a shot in 2015 which would prevent an estimated 100 million cases of dengue infection each year. Of 20,000 annual deaths, many are of children.

Nurse's Belize trip was educational, life-saving
Lorie Ramey of Beavercreek got more than she bargained for on recent trip to Belize, where she passed on her lifesaving skills rather than help with construction projects and work on her tan. Ramey, 52, is an educator with a passion for helping nurses gain skills they need. But the 29-year veteran nurse at Adventist Medical Center spends the majority of her time teaching CPR, so she was looking to do other things. Just before she left, she learned that the employees of a La Loma Luz Adventist Hospital in Santa Elena were in desperate need of CPR training. “My goal on this trip was to do nothing nurse related, so I packed my hardhat and was ready to do construction,” she said. “There wasn’t anyone to do the renewals, and I said I would think about it, and as soon as I hung up the phone, I realized there was nothing to think about.” Her husband, Larry Ramey, 56, is an anesthesiologist for Kaiser Sunnyside in Clackamas. He also didn’t avoid application of his medical skills while traveling. While in Belize he oversaw four surgeries and helped construct a basketball court in Georgeville.


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