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The September 2nd, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • The Court Dismiss - The Prosecution Insist
  • Novelo Finaly Charged
  • Marcia Moody Is The New Queen Of The West
  • BWSL Records Another Successful Year
  • Galen Awards Scholarships
  • How To Be A Good Student
  • Government Upgrading More Streets Benque, San Ignacio & Punta Gorda
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

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

Elijah Alamilla is back in San Pedro after lifesaving open heart surgery
The San Pedro Sun is happy to report that baby Elijah James Alamilla is back on Ambergris Caye after undergoing a lifesaving surgery. Elijah was born with Down syndrome, and was diagnosed with a heart condition that required open heart surgery to save his life. The surgery was conducted at the Clinica Regional de Altas Especialidades in Merida City, Mexico on June 3rd. After more than two months in recovery Elijah is finally back at home with his family and doing well. Dalia Alamilla, Elijah’s mother, arrived in San Pedro on Thursday, August 23rd from Merida City with her son. “Elijah needed an open heart surgery that could not be performed in Belize. Being a child with Down syndrome, this made his chances of survival even lower. We were at the KHMH (Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital) and they told us that there was nothing they could do for him. When we went to the Clinica Caranza in Chetumal, Mexico they told us the same thing. [Then] like a miracle, we met a doctor [who] encouraged us to take my baby to Merida. When we reached there we met with a cardiologist and he gave us the opportunity to go to the Clinica Regional de Altas Especialidades which is a government hospital,” explained Alamilla to The San Pedro Sun shortly after touching down on Ambergris Caye. “Thanks to the help we got from the residents of San Pedro we were able get one of only three beds in the intensive care unit.”

Galen University awards ten new scholarships to deserving students
A scholarship award ceremony was held on August 29, 2012 at the main campus at Galen University in Central Farm, Cayo District. Ten new scholarships were announced at the ceremony, nine for Bachelor degrees (including one basketball scholarship) and one Master’s degree scholarship. Students were awarded these scholarships based on their high academic achievements, their outstanding community service and financial need. Galen University’s scholarship program has now grown to sixty-two students, which is about 15% of the student body, with a value of over $900,000. Galen University congratulates all students who received a scholarship for the academic years 2012-2014 and wishes them the very best in their pursuit of a world class quality education. The scholarship program at Galen is just one of the many ways that the University gives back to the Belizean community.

Sergeant Gonzalez joins the San Pedro Police Formation
« Older: Ocean Pedal Challenge watercraft found off the coast of Ambergris Caye Sergeant Gonzalez joins the San Pedro Police Formation Saturday, September 1st, 2012 Font Size: Increase | Decrease | Reset The San Pedro Police Formation now counts on the services of a new head of Crimes Investigation Branch, Sergeant Jaime Gonzalez. Sergeant Gonzalez brings with him over fourteen years of experience with the Police Force and in the CIB Unit. Previously, he served in Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo and Placencia. As the head of the CIB Department in San Pedro, Gonzalez will be responsible for investigating all criminal activities here on the island. The San Pedro Sun caught up with Sergeant Gonzalez, and he shared some of his observations with us. “Like in Placencia, there appears to be lots of burglaries here on the island and basically tourists again appear to be the targeted population. They tend to leave their things unattended and that is somewhat of an indication – especially to drug users who are the main perpetrators. From my experience I can say that I have been here for [a few] days now and I can say that a lot of criminals from other places, I’ve seen them on the island. My observation is that if two burglars are put away for the week, another two come from the mainland. So it’s like if you stop two, two more come and they are coming from all over.”

Miss San Pedro 2012-2013
Congratulations to Miss Naiely Odalis Puc, our new beauty ambassador!! 16 yr old Naiely was selected as our new Miss San Pedro 2012-2013 on September 1, 2012. She will be crowned on September 10th during an official coronation ceremony. (She is pictured with our current Miss San Pedro, Yakarelis Hernandez).

Misc Belizean Sources

The Belize Wildlife Clinic’s first veterinary interns! Of Interns and Iguanas
So many exiting things happening all at the same time makes it hard to decide where to even begin... Before the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic even opened its doors, the first interns arrived in March 2012 and while I promised to focus more on animal’s stories again – as opposed to all that mostly “human” stuff – I can’t resist to also talk about our first 2 week interns: Sarah and Stacy. In 3 words: They were awesome! What connects Interns and Iguanas? Probably the first letter... and while all my students get their hands on iguanas, Sarah and Stacy saw a lot more then the average iguana patients during their internship. They knew the clinic might not yet be open and opted for the “intensive rotation internship” where they would spend the majority of their time at our conservation partners and BWCN member organizations, get some basic theory and go around seeing patients with me. And they were ready to jump in! On our way from the airport we saw the first patient – not an iguana and possibly the subject of a different blog soon – a very sweet puma. The next morning, with the official start of their internship, we received the first iguana call.

Welcome to my new mobile office…in Ambergris Caye, Belize!
For the past two weeks, I have received some interesting comments and inquiries from friends every time I checked in on Foursquare to Wayo’s Beernet here in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Especially since some of those check-ins have been at 9:00 a.m. Let me start by explaining that I have come close to fulfilling my eight-year dream of living in Belize as I am now renting a place with one of my awesome local friends. I can be down here as often as I like — right now that is only going to be part-time, but it’s a start. Views from my beach and new mobile office And, well, I’ve picked a pretty scenic mobile office that happens to be just steps from my bedroom — the picnic tables on the beach or my now favorite barstool at Wayo’s. As you might imagine by “beernet”, Wayo’s offers Internet service and, well, one of the prime spots to have a beer on the beach. I’ve been here a number of times since its opening in March 2010 and always had an amazing time, but it wasn’t until this trip that I fully realized how it is the pulse of San Pedro.

August’s photo of the month!
We just love this photo of Kevin and his lobsters on our 3 day Caye Caulker to Placencia adventure!! Christina Bornstein took the photo earlier in the summer and it just captures Kevin’s humor! Thank you Christina – your photo will now be our ‘August Photo of the Month’!!


Regional fisheries conference in Belize next week
As many as twenty five countries from two regional organizations will converge in Belize City for a historic high level meeting. The meeting will take place from Monday September third to Tuesday September fourth at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel and will feature seventeen CARICOM member and associated member states of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism CRFM and seven members of the Organization for Fisheries and Aquaculture for the Central American Isthmus OSPESCA, joined by the Dominican Republic as an associate member, who will chart a comprehensive course for future collaborative action. Belize is the common link between CRFM and OSPESCA since it is the only country that has membership in both regional bodies and as such was chosen as the host country in a joint declaration by Heads of State and Government of both Central American and Caribbean countries who met at the third CARICOM-SICA Summit in San Salvador, El Salvador last August. The meeting is aimed at strengthening collaboration between CRFM and OSPESCA. Some of the matters to be discussed at the meeting are fisheries and aquaculture development across all twenty five states; illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing; climate change impacts on marine ecosystems and fishing communities, among many others. Observers from interested regional and international Organizations such as the FAO, UWI,CLME and CNFO have been invited to attend the milestone event.

Fire destroys house in Crooked Tree village
A woman and her grandchildren are left homeless after their house was completely gutted by fire this afternoon in Crooked Tree Village. Love News spoke with the victim, Joyce Adolphus Bull, who said that she was at home alone when she realized that the house was on fire and that by that time, it was too late to save anything.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Photo of the week: BETTA No Litta! Let’s keep Caye Caulker clean!
A clean Caye Caulker is a healthy Caye Caulker, let’s keep La Isla Carinosa clean!! Photo can be seen in front of Popeye’s Hotel on the beach


Let The Cats Play! A HUGE Cattery Donated to SAGA and How You Can Help Both the Cat & Dogs
Stop in at SAGA Humane Society just south of San Pedro town and you will notice a big change. Cats playing in the fresh air... (did you know that "Torties" or brindled tortoiseshell colored cats are almost all girls just like calicos?) ...climbing (this beautiful shy girl really needs some people-friends to help her socialize a bit)... posing (for just a second, get a toy out and this cutie goes wild)... snuggling... and lolling in the shade. The SAGA cats are doing what cats do. But mostly these guys are waiting for their new families to come pick them up, take them home and love them. Speaking from lots of experience, cats are the best. Mark Maggiotto from the beautiful Phoenix Resort here in town made a really amazing donation to the clinic. Both a cat and dog lover, he noticed that the cats at the Humane Society live in some really small spaces. In their cages almost all of the time, they have no time to play and get exercise. So, he not only donated the money for the new cattery but managed the construction. Including the addition of some fine chicken wire to half the enclosure so that the kittens could frolick and not escape. Here it is. And here is Mark. And here is Mark lovin' on the cats. It's an amazing thing. Drop in and check it out when you have a chance. If you haven't been to SAGA, we are just south of town. Look for this sign.

Night Time Photography
Taking good pictures at night is something I know many of us find difficult. I decided that last nights Blue Moon was a good chance to go do some practice, so I headed out to the resort dock to see what I could come up with. I noticed that things looked a bit grainy through the viewing screen and am not sure if something was off setting wise on my Cannon powershot S5 IS or what. I should have remembered to bring my glasses as it was hard to tell if it was my eyes or the picture that was out of focus sometimes, joys of aging ha ha. Thankfully I had the flexible table top tripod that SweetJane and Bruce gifted me, it was a huge help and lots of fun to play with. Does anyone out there in cyberspace have some good night photography tips? I was using the color swap setting when I took the pictures below.

International Sources

Belize: The dark side
Belize's decision to default on its foreign debt was not so much an inability to pay. Rather, it was an unwillingness to pay. At the end of last year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed its Article IV consultation, whereby it ran a thorough debt-sustainability analysis and found that Belize had the capacity to service its external obligations. There is no doubt that the country's debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio is high. At 80 per cent of GDP, it compares well with most of the European countries. However, in 2007, the govern-ment successfully completed a bond exchange in which it extended its maturities to 2029, slashing the coupons in half with a gradual step up and providing itself with a grace period on amortisations until 2019. The result was a bloodbath for creditors and a coup for the Belizean economy. After growing just 1.3 per cent y/y in 2007, the rate of GDP growth rose to 3.6 per cent y/y in 2008. Unfortunately, the international financial crisis hit the country that same year, resulting in a sharp decline in tourist arrivals. As a result, the economy has been expanding at a more moderate pace of about 2.5 per cent y/y ever since. The Belizean economy depends on two major sectors, oil and tourism. The problem is that the country's oil industry peaked last year, producing 5,000 barrels per day, and it needs capital to develop new fields that are located offshore. Likewise, the tourist industry has not fully recovered from the global crisis. Crime is a serious problem and there have been a handful of high-profile incidents involving tourists.

Edited by Marty (11/17/12 09:49 AM)