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The San Pedro Sun

Team San Pedro wins first game in Orange Walk Four by Four Volleyball Tournament
One team from San Pedro has been travelling to orange Walk to compete in the four by four (four persons playing) Orange Walk Volleyball Tournament. The tournament is being held in the Multi Purpose complex building. Team San Pedro is comprised of Eric Santizo, Armando Escalon, Gabi Nunez Jr., Gustavo Morataya and Guillermo Rivero. The first games were played on July 14th when team San Pedro went up against Bad News 2 from Orange walk. In the first set, San Pedro took the lead in a score of 25-21, falling back in the second set with a score of 27-29. In the deciding third set San Pedro dominated with a score of 15-7. Games are scheduled for Saturday July 21, 2012 around 9:30PM when San Pedro is scheduled to play against Hard Core Jr from Corozal.

High Level security meeting conducted with UNODC and Belize officials
Belize, through the Ministry of National Security and the National Security Council, conducted a four-day training ending with a high level meeting with representatives of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Joining the meeting were various ambassadors representing their country in Belize. The high level meeting, which took place in Belmopan City on Friday July 13th saw the group discussing serious areas such as intelligence gathering, strategic analysis and organized crime. Speaking at the closure of the meeting, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security Retired Major George Lovell explained that the meeting comes at a time when there is a spike in crime in the country, one as never before seen in Belize’s history. But according to Lovell, with the assistance from the UNODC, it is the hope of the Government of Belize to look at formulas that will help to prevent, investigate and solve crime in Belize. “There have been 129 homicides [in 2012 so far] which the country has never seen in its history. In my view it is reason for us to be alarmed and quite appropriately, we were alarmed. With the level of criminal activities that we witness in Belize City, the people that were involved in those types of activities are all reasons for us to have concern as a people. It is a reason for us to look at where we were 20 years ago, and where we were back in 2010 and clearly you would agree, that we as a people would believe that we were near a crisis situation. We couldn’t continue along those lines. We have since then looked at some of the areas that we needed to strengthen. Intelligence certainly was one of those areas,” said Lovell. But even when intelligence fails in preventing a crime, Lovell said that the next thing that must be working to ensure is that information gathering will assist in a proper investigation that will guarantee appropriate justice. And for that reason Lovell told the media that the discussion was frank and open and they looked at the entire aspect of how law enforcement agencies conduct intelligence architecture. In doing so Lovell explained that they hope to come up with a model that is in line with UNODC so as to enhance what currently exists in Belize. “We have identified that there are weaknesses that exists in our structure and getting a model generally does not necessarily fit the weaknesses we have, even though it’s good. What is more needed and we have agreed that we need to work towards – is to ensure that we have the right mix of people within our organizations. We need to have people who are competent; we need to have pragmatic people within our organization.”

German reality series “Das Duell um die Welt” films in San Pedro
Residents would certainly have noticed a group of guys with video cameras and production equipment making their way through the streets of San Pedro on the 24th and 25th of May. They were a film crew from a German digital production company, Endemol, here on the island filming an episode of a new prime time reality series called “Joko gegen Klaas – Das Duell um die Welt” exclusively for German television network ProSeiben (Pro7). In English the show is called “Joko vs. Klaas – The Battle for the World”, and is a reality show that pins its two stars against one another in a series of challenges all over the globe. Hosts Joachim ‘Joko’ Winterscheidt and Klaas Heufer-Umlauf give each other a series of outrageous and tough challenges in countries all over the world; they know where they’re going but have no idea what they will have to do until they get there. It is a travel game show and reality series where each host tries to push the other to their limits in an attempt to be crowned the “world champion” by taking on all the obstacles and coming out on top as the one who has won the battle for world domination. It is a high stakes truth or dare without the truth but a whole lot of dare! Shooting began at the John Greif Airstrip and Tropic Air Terminal in San Pedro where The San Pedro Sun caught up with them filming the arrival of Joko in Belize. It was Joko’s turn to be challenged and Klaas sent him to Belize to find out what he had to do. The San Pedro Sun spent the day behind the scenes with the production team accompanying them around town as they took on the challenge, which included a surprise cameo of one of islands most famous faces… Coconut Leo! Joko arrived and to his surprise and bewilderment was handed a piece of paper with a picture of Leo and the single phrase “Suche diesen Mann!”… “Find this man!” which sent Joko on a crazy adventure all around town trying to figure out who this person is and how to find him. Joko spent hours around town searching and talking to unsuspecting bystanders trying to find where Coconut Leo lives. When he finally found Leo’s home, Joko asked Leo to show him what he needed to do for his challenge. Leo then took Joko to show him what he does best… climb super tall coconut trees!

Misc Belizean Sources

Diane Auxillou gets married on Caye Caulker, Saturday, July 22, 2012.
My daughter's wedding on Saturday on Caye Caulker, Belize. The crowd flew in from Illinois to Di's home island. PAPA was too sick to make it, but I like the photo. It rained in Western Belize and it looks like it rained out there on the Barrier Reef Island. CONGRATULATIONS AND BEST WISHES TO ALL.

Congratulations Hon. Oscar Requeña – Toledo West is Proud of You
The debate over Barrow’s bogus “discipline” budget ended with citizens of this country having less any hopes than before. There was no sigh of relief. Members of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition led by Hon. Francis Fonseca, explained to the Belizean people what is in store for them. Like the last four budgets, there was no allocation for the Toledo West constituency in this year’s budget. The representative of Toledo West, Hon. Oscar Requena, contributed significantly and told the government to make allocations and take serious consideration for the Toledo District. Unlike the government side, the representative for Toledo West did not attack on personal issues on any house member. Rather, he pointed out the facts of negligence displayed by the former UDP area representative. The honourable member pointed that the government can do better. After four years, Toledo West now has a voice in the National Assembly. The people of Toledo West were very proud and applauded for Hon. Oscar Requena when Mr. Speaker commended him for a presentation well prepared and is the best during the two days. Hon. Oscar Requena – CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Balance Exhibit at SISE HoC
The Balance Exhibit will be at the SISE HoC through the month of July. They have pictures from the Belize Audubon Society from all around Belize. At the inauguration, they had quick introductions, and some good refreshments. Don't miss it.

Blogs

tiny frogs and Big Skeeters aka the pros and cons Belize Rainy Season
Due to the rainy weather and washed out skies on Wednesday I only got three pictures I liked, so I went for a walk the following day and shot 200 more figuring I will get lucky after editing. As it turns out I deleted a whole bunch, dumped 50 to my stock photo pile and am still editing through 35 to pick 3 images for today’s post. As I was going through my puddle pictures, I was reminded of some of the trade offs I experienced in moving to a tropical island off the coast of Belize. I will take cons of rainy season – occasionally getting drenched, giant puddles and the skeeters any day over cold Canadian Winter. There are a few pros as well – nothing like seeing tons tiny frogs hopping around the back road puddles and when I am waterproofed, I love getting caught in a warm tropical downpour. Check out my staying dry in Belize Rainy Season post for some good tips on personal waterproofing. You will also find a best dry bag recommendation from - Press Officer of the San Pedro Sailing Club and avid Hobie cat master Forrest Jones.

Walking, Walking and More Walking & Some Pictures: 10,000 Steps a Day Ain't Easy
So...it's been about one week now in my attempt to get a bit more fit. For some reason, sitting by the pool and on my couch all day and drinking beer all night wasn't quite getting me there. So I did an about face. Strict dieting (blah) and exercise. 10,000 steps a day is suggested all over the internet as something to aim for. Who knew 10,000 steps (pedometer worn only outside) was about 2 hours of walking a day? Ugh. Tedious. One positive part (I guess)...it allows me to traipse all over the island with my bestest friend. Here are some of the places I've visited over the past few days. Construction continues on the dock at Grand Colony... And the huge dock continues to be a local favorite for swimming for kids of all ages... The car wash by the Belize Yacht Club is relatively new. Wonder how busy this place gets? I guess it's both a car and golf cart wash. Hurricane's Bar right in front of BC's. A kid freaking me out playing dead man float in the water. We waited until she moved. Belikin is giving out free samples of the Verano beer for those who haven't tried it. Always good to know when you can get something free... A new building going up on middle street for the Bank Co-op that is currently across the street.

International Sources

Mating Manatees Off Florida's Courtney Campbell Causeway Bewilder Locals (VIDEO)
Can't some mating manatees get a little privacy, people?! On Thursday evening, authorities were called by people concerned that a group of manatees were beached off Courtney Campbell Parkway, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Drivers exited their cars to observe the phenomenon, and police called upon Clearwater Marine Aquarium staff, who revealed that these manatees were not in danger, but rather were simply mating. Up to ten manatees were spotted. The waters were reportedly secured with crime scene tape to protect the manatees from humans fascinated by manatee lovin'.

Illegal logger shot dead in Belize forestry reserve
A shooting incident occurred on Thursday evening in the Colombia Reserve in the Toledo District of Belize when a patrol encountered three men who were allegedly engaged in illegal logging approximately 2 miles east of the border with Guatemala. There was a confrontation that resulted in one fatality and the arrest of two other men believed to be Guatemalan nationals. Police were flown in to the area on Friday morning to conduct an investigation. The dead man has been identified by the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Luis Alberto Martínez Alonzo. Two others, José Antonio Sosa and Hugo Monroy Ramos, have been detained by Belize security forces. Illegal activities including xate harvesting, logging and gold mining are a persistent and growing problem in Belize, and encounters with law enforcement officials often occur in areas along the border but seldom result in injuries or fatalities. Meanwhile, Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who is away until the weekend, has been informed of the incident and he will reportedly be speaking with Guatemalan president, Otto Perez Molina, to discuss the incident.

Belize Lawmakers Ponder Marijuana Decriminalization
The government of Belize is studying the possible decriminalization of the possession of small amounts of marijuana in a bid to unclog its courts and jails. In a Monday press release, the government said it had appointed a committee headed by a former national police chief to review the issue. The English-speaking Central American nation becomes the latest in the region attempting to find new, more effective ways of dealing with drug use and drug trafficking. Earlier this year, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina spearheaded legalization discussions at the Summit of the America, a process that will continue next month. More recently, Uruguayan President Jose Mujica floated a proposal for a state monopoly on marijuana sales there. And Mexico’s presumptive president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto, has said he is open too legalization discussions. So far the US has held firm to its prohibitionist line, but the trickle of dissent over drug policy is threatening to turn into a torrent.

Belize Olympic Team athletes selected
The Belize Olympic & Commonwealth Games Association [BOCGA] has announced today three athletes selected to represent Belize at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Team Belize will compete across three disciplines, Athletics 400 meter mens hurdles, Athletics 100m women's sprint and Judo. KENNETH MEDWOOD – ATHLETICS - 400 meter hurdles [men] KIANA MARTINEZ – ATHLETICS – 100 meter sprint [women] EDDERMYS SANCHEZ – JUDO - 66kg The squad hope to be an inspiration for all sports men and women in Belize by performing to their best against the best in the world. Commenting on the announcement Chief of Mission Sonny Meighan, said "This is the 50th year that Belize has sent athletes to the Summer Olympic Games and I am proud that we have been able to select 3 inspirational individuals who Belize can be rightly proud of. Each of them has proved over the last 6 months that they have what it takes to perform against the best in the world and on the biggest stage in the world and I know the whole of Belize and Belizeans across the world will be supporting us all the way".

Urge San Pedro to Stop Poisoning Dogs
Target: Mayor of San Pedro, Daniel Guerrero Goal: Urge San Pedro to stop poisoning dogs to death. In an effort to eradicate its overpopulation of stray dogs, San Pedro, Belize is poisoning them to death with strychnine. Disguised in meatballs along the streets, strychnine capsules kill the animals in anywhere from 10 minutes to hours, depending on the size, species, and amount of poison ingested. Although Mayor Daniel Guerrero says this is the town’s only option, the SAGA Humane Society has offered its services to humanely euthanize dogs that are not adopted or causing problems. Please sign this petition and urge Mayor Guerrero to stop poisoning dogs and use the SAGA Humane Society to contain the surplus. San Pedro is located on the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize. An increased number of stray dogs are relieving themselves on beaches and getting into garbage, leading to health concerns in the tourist town. As a solution to the problem, the Health Department used the poison strychnine to kill off 180 dogs. Fortunately, due to unexpected rain, only 31 capsules were used on the night of July 9th and the rest have not gone out. According to an article by The San Pedro Sun News, “The Dogs Act Chapter 153 of the Laws Belize revised edition of 2000 allows the authority of ‘any city or town’ to ‘place poison in any street or place of public resort in such city or town for the purpose of poisoning any dog which is at large therein.’” Even though poisoning the dogs is not against the law, there is a more humane option offered by the SAGA Humane Society located on the island.

The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw Review
The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw, by Bruce Barcott, gets reviewed in this article. It's a well rounded review too. "I ended up being equally overwhelmed by Bruce Barcott's non-fiction account of the fight to stop the Chalillo Dam in Belize, as the international struggle over the plan to block the Macal river in inland Central America sent me running to check websites in London, Newfoundland, Washington, D.C., and even Sierra Leone. It also left me pondering the best way to approach such a complicated tale. Do you inject yourself into the narrative? Adopt a dispassionate omniscient tone? What do you do if half of the players in such a complex case--in this case the proponents of the dam and the leaders of the Belizean government--refuse to be interviewed for their side of the story? How do you lay out the facts without having your objectivity being distorted by the very strong personalities that you end up being forced to rely upon?"



Edited by Marty (11/17/12 04:01 PM)